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Live blogging UFC 90 Press Conference in Chicago

MMAFighting dot com is live on the scene at the Park Grill outside the "Bean" in Millennium Park for the UFC's first press conference in Chicago.

Our exclusive photos can be viewed here.

1:15pm? Dana White, Anderson Silva, Patrick Cote, Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves take the stage. The Allstate Arena Rep greets the media and crowd and says UFC 90 has already done $2 million dollars in ticket sales so far. The previous highest mark was Wrestlemania ($2.4 million) and he expects the UFC to breakthat break that record today.

1:16pm ? Dana White gets on the podium and talks about waiting a long time for UFC to come to Chicago. White says he loves Chicago and that the UFC does more buys in PPV buys than any other city. White goes through the background on the UFC. Reaffirms his goal to get the UFC to NYC and Mass in early 2009.

1:19pm? Ron Puccillo of the Illinois Athletic Commission says on behalf of the governor Rod Blagojevich, Governor, he "welcomes the UFC to thegreat state of Illinois for this historic event." Says he fought hard to get MMA sanctioned in the state and plugs the event hard.

1:20pm ? White explains how big MMA is for the media folks that aren't familiar with the UFC. Says the UFC breaks records everywhere they go. Fights with Werdum, Sherk, Griffin, will be announced soon for UFC 90.

1:22pm -Thiago Alves is introduced and he this is his first time in the beautiful cityof Chicago.

1:23pm ?Diego Sanchez is up next. He says there are no promises in this sport but he promises a war.

1:25pm ?Cote is up. Says he's a big fan of Anderson Silva and is grateful for this opportunity.

1:27pm ? AndersonSilva is up. Doesn't have too much to say cause of the language barrier, but puts over Cote for being a great fighter. White kids with the media by saying that Silva will have a translator to answer questions.

1:28pm ?White begins to field questions from the media. The first one he gets is: Why does he think Cote can beat Silva?

White says no matter who they put in front of Silva, people are going to say Silva will walk through them because of the "Tyson vibe" Silva has going on, but in this sport anything can happen.

It's time for Cote to answer and he jokes that he's working on his lucky punch. Says he has good people around him and a good game plan.

1:29pm ? A lady from a radio station asks if there are females interested in this sport. The few females in the crowd start cheering. White says he guarantees this will be most exciting live event with both males and females.

1:30pm -The same lady asks about John McCain and cockfighting to a chorus of boos. White talks about sanctioning and now "Senator John McCain is not unhappy with this sport anymore."

1:31pm ? A Comcast rep asks why Silva doesn't stay at 205. Silva says he wants to be in the biggest fights possible. Says his "problem" is in the 185-pound division.

1:33pm- Could the winner of Sanchez vs. Alves get a welterweight title shot?"Absolutely," says White.

1:34pm -Sanchez says his striking has improved (as shown in Luigi Fioravanti fight) and intends to show that with Alves.

1:35pm ? Alves was asked about his prediction of knockout victory. Says that's just what he does, go for the knockout.

1:36pm - Sanchez talks about his two losses against Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. Says hewas humbled after the fights and he's "refocused, re-drived and hungry" to become champion.

1:40pm ?Alves is asked about missing weight for his Matt Hughes fight at UFC 83. Alves again apologizes to the UFC and explains that a sprained ankle led to him missing weight. He is walking around at 200 pounds now, but assures making weight won't be a problem this time.

1:41pm -White says he's flattered that he makes fight promoting look so easy to competitors. "Nobody is going to kick our ass, it's never gonna happen."

1:42pm - White turns questions to the fans. White says the UFC will come once a year to Chicago. White is asked about weight classes below 155. White turns to WEC bantamweight champ Miguel Torres, who is in attendance. Clay Guida sat quietly behind him. White says Torres will stay in the UFC.

1:46pm- White closes the conference by thanking everyone for coming out.