The UFC has saddled up and moseyed on down to the Lone Star State once again, this time stopping in Houston for an event featuring dual title-fights and a number of match-ups between ranked/respected Mixed Martial Artists.

Headlined by lightweight Frank Edgar’s second consecutive title-defense against Gray Maynard with a co-main event between phenomenal 145-pound champion Jose Aldo taking on Kenny Florian, UFC 136 is one of the most-anticipated events of 2011 and it’s only four days away from unfolding at the Toyota Center!

However, before the fighters take to the Octagon, a handful of them including the champs and challengers sat down and spoke with media at a press conference related to the festivities. As always, Five Ounces of Pain was tuned in and relayed relevant information back to readers.

Frank Edgar:

– Doesn’t think Gray has his number or else he would have beaten him in the last fight
– Was surprised by how well Maynard pressured him in their last fight and how tough he was throughout the entire bout

Gray Maynard:

– Feels good and fully prepared / “Everything is done. It’s about time to have fun.”
– Wants to bring a title back to Xtreme Couture
– Credits Edgar with being a “tough kid” and says even he was “amazed” by his ability to come back

Jose Aldo:

– His preparation was great for the last fight but the weight cut was harder, says it has been much easier this time

Kenny Florian:

– Doesn’t feel this is his “last stand” / Loves the challenges provided by MMA, loves going to the gym every day, and wants to compete against the best guys possible
– “I feel it is my time.”
– As a MMA fan he is looking forward to Edgar vs. Maynard and is happy he’s fighting first so he can hopefully watch things unfold from backstage afterwards

Brian Stann:

– Has trained wrestling more than anything else over the past two years and knows he doesn’t have to out-wrestle Sonnen on Saturday night / “I even went back to my bout agreement and checked – I can punch in this fight.”
– Doesn’t feel Sonnen’s past opponents didn’t train specifically for him rather than focusing on what they were already good at
– Believes there is a rhythm to fighting but doesn’t expect Sonnen to show any “ring rust”
– Mentions that he met Sonnen after he had his first professional fight and referred to how respectful Chael was

Chael Sonnen:

– Has accepted he could be a bit rusty after the long layoff and believes “ring rust is a real thing”
– “I’m out trying to pick a fight (with Anderson) and I’m not making any qualms about it. I’ve never told Dana I want a title-fight..I want the title.”
– The break doesn’t feel too long / “I’ve never been a victim. I’m not going to complain.”
– “He’ll bring his skills, I’ll bring mine. We’ll shake hands after the fight and live with the result.”
– Admits he had some doubts about coming back / “I’m never secure out there. Every day I try to get a little better at something – a little faster, a little stronger…that’s part of it. What fun would this be if you knew the outcome?”

Dana White:

– “Nothing sucks worse than a draw.” / Excited about finally being able to move forward in the division
– Calls Florian and Aldo both being finishers
– “I want Kenny to prove me wrong on this one.” (referring to past assertions Florian chokes in big fights)
– Mentions how much the UFC has grown since the last time they were in Houston four years ago, specifically talking about how jacked he is about the deal with FOX
– Says Houston has been a great market for them where viewership is concerned
– Even if Edgar wins and ties the series 1-1-1 the UFC is still moving forward in the division
– Doesn’t remember how he scored the last fight but just remember the bad taste the draw left in his mouth and how passionate Maynard was about getting another shot