The UFC returns this weekend with another event and a historical one at that as a championship will be defended on Versus!

Bantamweight title-holder Dominick Cruz will put his 18-1 record on the line against sparkplug Demetrious Johnson on Saturday night at UFC Live 6 with other featured bouts including hard-hitting heavyweights Pat Barry vs. Stefan Struve and Mac Danzig vs. Matt Wiman. However, before the quartet of co-headliners can get it on in the Octagon they participated in a conference call with media.

As always, Five Ounces of Pain was along for the ride and relaying back relevant information as well as interesting soundbytes.

Read below for a summary of things from the call thus far:

Dominick Cruz:

– “My career is bigger than just beating Urijah Faber. That was one of those I needed to do for myself to show the way I was improving.”
– Says Johnson brings a lot of tools to the table and he’s excited about the match-up
– Feels a lot different to be fighting on Versus in the UFC based on media obligations
– Knows how it feels to be an underdog and credits Johnson with having a great heart and top notch cardio, respects him a lot
– Sees Johnson’s speed being different than Faber’s (more lateral, less strikes) but feels his range will make the difference
– “The only way reach is worth anything is if you know how to use it and fight like a tall fighter.”
– Gets a lot of confidence from his past title-fights based on the experience as well as knowing he’s in top shape
– Admits he’s lucky to have a job he loves to do and he gets to do it in front of millions of people
– Thinks Johnson’s fight with Miguel Torres was a close fight but felt Johnson won
– His life is fairly similar to it was before UFC 132 other than getting recognized more, maybe a little more respect, and knows he’s only as good as his last fight so it’s hard for him to go spend a lot of money
– Hasn’t contemplated a move back to 145 if he wins a few more fights but wouldn’t say “no” to the opportunity for a super-fight
– Credits Jon Jones with keeping people guessing, by being unpredictable / “The person to beat Jones in my opinion is the person who has great striking fundamentals in terms of checking kicks, great boxing…I think you’ve gotta pressure him with hands. You’ve got to be able to fight like a short fighter like Mike Tyson…and you’ve gotta have that wrestling aspect. You’ve got to be able to put him on his back.”

Demetrious Johnson:

– Doesn’t feel he’s being overlooked
– Thinks the transition from WEC into UFC has gone smoothly and is happy to see the smaller weights fighting on a bigger stage
– Is no longer working full-time based on the importance of training for the fight
– Believes his new dedication to training should make a huge difference based on how rested/prepared he is, says he’s even faster now than before
– “I’ve made a lot of adjustments to my style to prepare for Dominick.” / Has been sparring someone who has been mirroring Cruz’s striking style
– Training with Bibiano Fernandes
– Says Cruz is a “great champion”
– Feels being too tall can be a disadvantage depending on footwork/speed
– Keeps his emotions in check by looking at the bout as being any other fights, has already accepted any outcome possible
– Can see the comparison between himself and Frank Edgar in that people always tell him he should drop down to 125 pounds and says he would love to fight in both divisions (flyweight/bantamweight)
– Is grateful for what he’s doing as a career and feels he has nothing to lose

Pat Barry:

– Doesn’t think reach will be a big deal in their fight because they’re used to training with smaller/larger partners / “I’m accustomed to guys being taller than I am whereas Stefan is to guys who are shorter.”
– Brought in a 6’9″ person to spar with
– Jokes around, asking if Cruz will move up to heavyweight to fight him with Dominick responding, “Yeah, I’ll jump around like a chicken!”
– “All I wanted to ever do was be a ninja. Every Halloween I was a ninja while growing up. I wanted to beat Tong Po from Kickboxer. And now I can make a living as an adult being something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve accepted that sometimes you’re gonna lose. If I lose a fight, yeah it sucks, but as long as I know that I fought my heart out and did my best, broken limbs or what not, I know it’s gonna happen. Once you turn a test in, it’s done. You can either learn from it and get better or sit in a chair and rot. We win or we learn.”
– “Anybody can win. Anybody can lose. Any day, any fight. You can’t count anyone out even when they’ve been knocked unconscious twice in the first round.” (referring to Cheick Kongo)

Stefan Struve:

– Plans on using his reach to pick him apart and feels it will be a big advantage for him if he uses it the right away
– Feels he should have used his range better in the past
– Has had fun with Barry in their online exchanges of trash-talk rather than it actually getting heated like was the case with Sean McCorkle