LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s “UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian offers his analysis and predictions for this week’s UFC ON FUEL TV: STRUVE VS. MIOCIC. Plus, Host Todd Harris and Florian interview recently crowned Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson.
Plus, we have updates on Dan Hardy, Yves Jabouin and Che Mills. And Rory MacDonald comments on his upcoming fight against BJ Penn and big training changes that he plans to make soon.
Quote of the Week: Exclusive interview with Rory MacDonald on how he’ll change preparing for a fight in the future: “It’s been tough [waiting for my injury to heal]. I’m ready to fight right away. I’m not one to sit on the sidelines. But it seems like I can’t stop getting injured in training. I’m going to make changes in how I prepare for fights and to do things my way from now on. It’s going to let me fight a lot more. I’m going to take fights on shorter notice. I’m learning from the older guys and see how they prepare for fights, like the two months of training camp. I’m tired of that. I’ll fight more often.”
“UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian on UFC ON FUEL TV’s main card between Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic: “I’m excited to call this fight live. Both of these guys are very dangerous. Stipe is an excellent wrestler and great boxer. Struve is the tallest fighter we’ve ever had in UFC. Stipe has to get inside his reach to get his strikes in. But Struve has made such improvements with his ground game.”
Florian on Struve’s strengths: “Struve has his incredible reach. But he’s the most dangerous on the ground. We’ve seen him get bloodied up and come back and submit fighters. He’s very dangerous if you have him on his back.”
Florian on Miocic’s strengths: “Miocic might put Struve on his back, if gets on the ground he always gets on top. Miocic has heavy hands and some great wrestling skills.”
Amir Sadollah talks about what kinds of fights he enjoys: “I enjoy fights that are aggressive. The more passive fighters aren’t as fun to fight. Dan Hardy is a counter puncher. He’ll wait until you open up. That will add pressure and that will work well for me.”
Florian on what Dan Hardy has to do to beat Sadollah: “Hardy has a very dangerous right hand, but he has a great left hook and he’s very heavy handed. Amir has to be careful in the middle zone. He can be very affective in the clench with his knees and take this fight to the ground, but he has to watch out for Hardy’s left hook.”
“UFC Tonight” Insider Ariel Helwani reports on how Dan Hardy has prepared for this fight: “It’s been pretty unique. He spent two weeks by himself in the Peruvian jungle. He took time to relax and look at his career from afar. He’s in a good place mentally, better than when he was in the middle of his four-fight losing streak. He’s very carefree. But this is a very big fight for him. He’ll be fighting in his home town of Nottingham, England for the first time in several years, in front of his hometown crowd. But he’s feeling very carefree right now.”
Helwani reports that bantamweight seems like the perfect weight for Yves Jabouin: “He’s 3-0 as a bantamweight in his last three fights. He was fighting to move down from featherweight to bantamweight for a while but when he was losing, his team told him it was do or die time. But he’s gone down and has been successful and now has a big fight against Brad Pickett in Pickett’s home country.”
Helwani reports what Che Mills learned from the loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 145: “He turned that negative into a positive. He’s took that loss into a motivational tool. He’s been training three times harder than his last fight. In just a few days he has a big fight and has put that loss into the rearview mirror and is looking forward to his next fight now.”
Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson on wearing the belt: “It’s pretty heavy. I like wearing it around my shoulder better. I have a pretty small waist and it keeps falling off.”
Johnson on what it means to win the belt: “When I was an amateur, I had a lot of belts. When I turned pro, I realized I needed a new piece of gold around me. I finally got it. This has been six years in the making. Now I have to keep it nice and shiny.”
Johnson on if beating two top flyweights to win the title gave him more confidence: “It does a lot. It shows I can beat the best in the world. I’m one of the top guys in the division. It makes me want to go to the gym, get better and keep moving forward.”
Johnson if he hit UFC President Dana White when White was putting the belt on him: “No, I don’t think so. He kept saying, ‘Keep your hands up.’ I don’t think I hit him. If I did, I’m sorry, Dana.”
Johnson on if he was affected by fans booing during his fight against Joseph Benavidez: “No, not at all. You can’t please everyone in the world.”
Johnson on who he believes is the next title contender: “There are a lot of guys. Next up will probably be the winner of Jussier Formiga and John Dodson. I’ll be watching that fight very closely. It’s hard to say who will win. Formiga has a legit ground game. Dodson is fast like me and is a southpaw.”
Rory MacDonald on if he’s healed from his injury: “I’m feeling a lot better now. I’m able to do technique, hit pads and do conditioning. That brings up my spirits, rather than sitting on my ass. I’m putting what happened behind me and starting camp in two weeks.”
MacDonald if he’s changing camps: “I’ll still be training at Tristar. But I have to do things my way. At the end of the day, I’m the one getting in the cage and taking the risk and I’m the one making the final call.”
MacDonald on if he’s excited to be fighting on the upcoming UFC ON FOX card: “I don’t care about that. I just want to fight.”
MacDonald on if he’s still planning on doing voluntary drug testing prior to his fight with BJ Penn: “Sure, it starts eight weeks out. You’ll have to ask my manager more about it.”
MacDonald on if he’s tired of thinking about BJ Penn while waiting for the fight: “I’m not thinking about him, I’m thinking about me. I’m trying to get better as a fighter and as a person every day.”
Florian on MacDonald changing his training style: “He’s an elite fighter. He’s at the top of the 170 group. He has to cater to his strengths in his training camp. I think he’s referring to how he’s training and who he’s training with.”
“UFC Tonight” is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, airing every Tuesday night at 10:00 PM ET on FUEL TV. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and former UFC host and WEC Announcer Todd Harris. Two-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.
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