UFC 261 Media Day Recap

On Tuesday, SevereMMA was in attendance for UFC 261 Media Day in Jacksonville, Florida. We were able to hear from ten of the athletes who were set to compete in Saturday night’s event and get their thoughts on a variety of topics. 

Anthony Smith seemed to be in very good spirits. He gave some insightful answers and expanded a lot on his thoughts instead of giving short, quick answers. When asked about how he viewed Jimmy Crute as an opponent, he gave an interesting answer, referring back to many of his high level former opponents:

“Is Jimmy Crute gonna take me somewhere in the octagon that I’ve never been before? Is he gonna show me something that I’ve never seen? Is he gonna hit me hard and rattle me? Is he gonna hit me harder than Hector Lombard hit me? Is he gonna be more technical and harder to get to than Jon Jones? Is he gonna be a better grappler than Roger Gracie? I don’t think so. I don’t foresee that he’s gonna be different. I’ve fought probably ten Jimmy Crute’s; ten guys probably exactly like him. But, has anyone taken Jimmy Crute to those dark dark places in the octagon? I don’t think so.” 

Jimmy Crute clearly feels as if he has something to prove in his fight against Anthony Smith. He seemed a bit annoyed that Smith had said he has fought guys like Jimmy before. Jimmy made it clear that he wants to make a big statement in what is the highest profile fight of his career thus far:

“If it goes to the ground, he knows and I know that he’s in trouble, 100%. And I don’t think he can keep me away from there for three rounds. I don’t think it’s even possible for him to keep me from getting him on the ground within three rounds. I only need (a) short time on the ground and I think I can put him away.”

Chris Weidman seemed rather relaxed during his scheduled media time. While he was very focused on his upcoming rematch against Uriah Hall, he couldn’t help but remind the public that he is a bad matchup for Israel Adesanya in his opinion. His main motivation at this stage of his career is earning his way back to a title shot by stringing together some impressive wins, including this Saturday against Hall:

“I think it’s a similar fight as far as, back then it was you know his greatest chance of beating me was on the feet and my greatest chance, what most people thought would be on the ground. But it just so happened that I knocked him out. I don’t think in this world, in this lifetime that he’s gonna be taking me down and submitting me. So, I think the same thing is at stake here, where there’s danger on the feet and I have to be prepared for that.”

Uriah Hall provided an entertaining set of answers to the media’s question. He was very open about battling his inner demons, his thoughts on Jake Paul, and his current mentality approaching his upcoming bout against Chris Weidman. He also provided an interesting perspective on his current situation with matchmaking:

“Who’s in charge of the rankings system? (A) panel, really? A bunch of people who just sit around in a room and say you’re number… wow, okay. So I don’t know how that works. I don’t believe in it, I think its b——t but, whatever. But, I guess it’s wherever I’m ranked. I just got my mind fixated on the top guy. If they wanna throw me some wolves in the top five that’s what I exactly want. But, you know styles make styles, you know? I don’t wanna go out there with someone hugging me. I wanna punch somebody in the face. But, unfortunately it’s part of the game. That’s what makes it so interesting.”

Severe MMA will be in attendance for Thursday’s press conference, Friday’s Weigh-Ins, and Saturday’s PPV event.

By Theo Lander

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.