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01/16/2014

The awkwardness of a UFC press tour

DALLAS, Texas - Throw it in the category of "It's always been done like this" but one thing that always appears weird is the sight of two guys chatting it up, side by side, detailing how they are going to beat the other's brains in.

Boxers, and now UFC fighters, have been doing this for decades. This is the way fights are promoted. No other sport does it quite like this.

IMG_3292On Thursday afternoon at the Dallas Chop House, Robbie Lawler joined Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks to chat with the media to promote their upcoming UFC title fight. Tickets go on sale today for UFC 171, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 15 at the American Airlines Center.

As you can see from this photo, the two fighters all but shared lunch together.

Neither Lawler nor Hendricks thinks anything of it. They aren't necessarily buddy-buddy, but they do not dislike each other. We're going to sit here and chat, and then walk into an octagon and try to beat the hell out of each other. 

Lawler told me he does not hate Hendricks, and does not believe you have to hate an opponent to fight him.

"I think if you do that, the (emotion) of it will take away from what you need to do, which is just focus on your opponent and who you are fighting," Lawler said.

Hendricks thinks nothing of this time-honored tradition, that there is nothing awkward about it, and said he has never "disliked" any of his opponents. 

"I had helped train Martin Kampmann before we fought," Hendricks said. "That was a fight I was really looking forward to because we had worked together."

It should be noted Bigg Rigg knocked out Kampmann.

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