LOS ANGELES -- The UFC 199 public "weigh-ins" were simply theater on Friday inside Inglewood's Forum as fighters had already weighed in from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. elsewhere because of new California state rules. However, the fighters in Saturday's main and co-main events certainly made it good theater during their stare-downs.
"This is the dude I can't wait to beat up," bantamweight title-contender Urijah Faber said of champion Dominick Cruz moments after "The Dominator" had jawed at him with the UFC's promoter between them.
"It's going to happen. We're one day away from punching him in his smug face."
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After that, headliners Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold stripped down, pretended to weigh in, and then got in one another's faces. Bisping provoked a fun little melee that needed the UFC promoter and others to step in and separate the two middleweights.
Bisping kicked it off with a left jab to Rockhold's gut. At that point, the champion smiled and the two picked up where they had left off after talking trash at Thursday's press conference.
"There is not a single person in the world that I'd rather take the belt off than this smug mother [expletive] right here," Bisping said to analyst Joe Rogan afterwards.
Following that, Rockhold calmly mocked the amped-up Bisping, who has said that he believes it is his destiny to become world champ. "It just fuels the fire. I'm excited for this fight," he countered.
"There's levels to this game. He didn't get the message the last time (when Rockhold submitted Bisping in 2014). It's time to penetrate that thick skull and make him realize that his true destiny is behind the desk [as a television commentator]."