Contrary to popular belief, the UFC is part of the entertainment business.
Observing two combatants trade blows in the pocket, or outmaneuvering each other on the ground, is what we initially come to watch as fight fans. The banter, on the other hand, between fighters leading up to a bout can be a tremendously captivating time.
Which is why press conferences are so intrinsically vital to the UFC's overall promotion. Depending on the magnitude of the upcoming event, we get a chance to hear a fighter's mindset going into a fight, or their relative thoughts on their opponent. Most of the time, it ends up being just a show of mutual respect.
At other times, these thoughts can manifest into something truly fervid, to the point of being acrimonious. Fighters who have a point to prove will verbally spar with their rival during media events, which can make for some compelling exchanges. This is only amplified if a prior, shared rivalry wasn't resolved previously.
In the age of having to say something with spark to stand out in a crowded roster, some fighters have etched their name in the history books by doing just that. All it took were these press conferences to get their names, and subsequent messages, across...