NBA and UFC superstars clash at Toyota Center

NBA and UFC superstars clash at Toyota Center
October 17, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Howard and Harden on UFC

It was a busy day at Toyota Center on Thursday.

Not only were the Rockets practicing, but the arena was buzzing for UFC 166 media day. Earlier in the day, the UFC tweeted out a Vine video (see below) of Rockets stars Dwight Howard and James Harden posing with UFC stars Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in the team's locker room.

“I’m a big fan of the UFC,” Howard said. “Actually, Velasquez and dos Santos – they’re probably my favorite wrestlers.  I also squared off with one of them like in a pre-fight picture thing, whatever you call it. I kind of got chills. I was like, 'Dang, dudes get serious,' so it was a lot of fun."

“It’s crazy,” Harden said. “Those guys go out there and fight and try to rip each other’s hearts out and try to put each other in headlocks and crazy stuff like that. So, just to see them up close, how much bigger I am to them, I’m still intimidated.”

Major hype surrounds the Velasquez vs. dos Santos matchup, which headlines an exciting fight card on Saturday, as the two will battle for the coveted UFC heavyweight title. This is their third meeting with dos Santos winning the first fight and Velasquez dominating in the second meeting to take the title.

It’s expected to be a fight for the ages, and Howard and Harden will be there up close for the action. It will be Harden’s very first UFC fight in person while Howard has been to a few.

"I can’t wait for the fight," Howard said. "I’ll be there, but it’s going to be bittersweet because I like both guys, but somebody has to win somebody has to lose.”