On the casino floor adjacent to the sports book at MGM Grand Wednesday afternoon, the stars of UFC 195 put on a show at Open Workouts for a few hundred fans eagerly awaiting Saturday’s huge main and co-main events.
UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, No. 1 contender Carlos Condit and heavyweight Andrei Arlovski participated and entertained a loud and energetic bunch cheering and partying in the middle of MGM Grand.
Lawler is already feeding off the fan's excitement.
“I’m using their energy to amp me up and get ready for this fight,” Lawler said. “It’s nice that fans come out to support MMA and the UFC. I’m just using their energy to get better.”
Making his second title defense this weekend, Lawler said that his opponent, Condit, is one of the best fighters in the division and the sport. Fighting in such a deep division has helped “Ruthless” maintain his readiness when it comes to preparing for title fights, he said.
Condit is getting his second crack at the undisputed crown after holding the interim championship back in 2012. “The Natural Born Killer” said that this go around has been different because he wasn’t the same person when he faced Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154.
“In the GSP fight I was really hyped up,” Condit said. “That was four years ago and I’ve grown quite a bit since then. I lost my composure a little bit in the lead up and then during the fight. This time around I’m just enjoying the process and staying poised. Hopefully it will go my way and I’ll walk away with the title.”
Speaking of another chance at the title, Arlovski is hopeful that a win against Stipe Miocic, who missed Open Workouts because of a flight delay, will position him for another shot at the heavyweight championship.
But Arlovski is focusing on the task at hand first.
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“I don’t even think about the title shot. I have a dangerous opponent on January 2nd,” Arlovski said. “First I need to beat Stipe and it’s all up to the UFC. I’m excited and happy and ready to go.”
All three fighters agreed that the stage is set for another big event Saturday, and Lawler plans to lead the way by putting on a great show.
“This is a huge stage and a lot of fans are watching,” Lawler said. “The UFC is thriving right now - they’ve had some great shows leading up to this. So I’m going to continue the momentum and go out there and put on a great performance.”
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC