"I want to tell the fighters, this ain't Las Vegas or New Jersey, this is Philly," he said. "You can have great fights in Las Vegas, no disrespect, and great fights in New Jersey, no disrespect. This is Philly. It's a little different. People are going to expect it. You bring your A-game, they'll bring their A-game. You bring your B-game, and they'll bring their B-game. The B-game is you know what. They'll boo you no matter what here if you bring your B-game."
Given the perceptions of Anderson Silva's last two performances, Sirb's words seemed a bit ironic. Silva has been serenaded by boos during a win over Patrick Cote in which Cote suffered a freak, fight-ending knee injury, as well as a slow-paced five-round decision over Thales Leites.
His fight with Forrest Griffin is more likely to bring fireworks, however, as Griffin loves to come forward, and Silva keys off of his opponent's rhythms.
Sirb talked a bit about Philadelphia's history as a fight town, hosting bouts from some recent greats like Bernard Hopkins and Mike Tyson, and said he felt the city was looking forward to bringing a top-level fight promotion back.
Though he didn't mention any specifics on Philly fans, they most famously -- or infamously as the case may be -- booed Santa Claus during an Eagles game. Though that incident took place more than 40 years ago, it is often used as an example of Philly being a tough sports town. And Sirb just wanted to let his newest guests know that nothing has changed.
"To the fighters, especially you main event guys, you're in Philly," he said. "Remember where you are."
UFC 101 Fighters Warned to Bring Their A-Games For Tough Philly Fans
Share this story
PHILADELPHIA -- During every UFC pre-fight press conference, the organization brings up the head of the state athletic commission to address the media and the fighters. Almost every time, the executive says little of substance, essentially welcoming the promotion and the fighters and talking about the general economic impact of the event. But Pennsylania Commission executive director Greg Sirb had his own agenda at UFC 101, and that was warning the fighters about the notorious Philly fans.