Bisping picks Gustafsson to beat Teixeira: “I see him staying on the outside, using the reach and range, and getting a decision win.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – On UFC TONIGHT, host Kenny Florian and guest host Michael Bisping preview the upcoming FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: GUSTAFSSON VS. TEIXEIRA and also interview middleweight Gegard Mousasi. Plus, Karyn Bryant adds reports.

UFC TONIGHT guest host Michael Bisping on the UFC announcing an interim middleweight title fight: “I was supposed to fight Georges St-Pierre for the title. Unfortunately, I do have a knee injury. I spoke to Dana White and he told me there will be an interim title between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, but they’re not fighting for my title. Romero and Whittaker are fighting and one of them gets a participation award. Listen, I just had knee surgery and it hasn’t been too long. I defended my belt less than six months ago and it’s going to be a few more months until I can fight again. I think it’s premature, but the UFC has to do what they have to do and it’ll solidify the next number-one contender who I’ll fight. It’s an incredible fight. And good for me, one of them has to lose.”

Bisping on White saying his fight with Georges St-Pierre is off: “I don’t know. In October they offered me GSP and I said yes. But then it was off. Then in February, I get a call and it’s on. I did a press conference with GSP to promote the fight. Now they say it’s off again. I spoke with Georges and he said he’d still like to do it. But the UFC says it’s off. As far as I’m concerned, we have a deal. But if it’s off, I’ll move on. I’m the champion and that’s what I do. I’ll fight the next guy. I’ll fight the winner of Romero vs. Whittaker.”

VIDEO: Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping may not fight after all

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on if Cody Garbrandt’s back injury will be serious: “Back injuries are dangerous and one eventually retired me. They are extremely painful. It can really paralyze you. For Garbrandt, he has to do this right, do his rehab and take his time coming back.”

Bisping on if Demetrious Johnson should fight TJ Dillashaw next: “Demetrious, what are you doing? He’s one of the best in the UFC. People aren’t tuning in to see you fight. This would be the former bantamweight champion vs. the current flyweight champion and is a great fight. It’ll give DJ a chance to prove to everyone he’s the best in the world. DJ, take the fight.”

Florian on Johnson’s lack of interest in fighting Dillashaw: “This is a legacy fight for him. But it’s hard to tell if DJ doesn’t want this fight or if it’s a negotiation tactic.”

Bisping on Glover Teixeira headlining against Alexander Gustafsson: “Teixeira, when he came in to the UFC, had a lot of hype, Chuck Liddell said he’d be the next champion, but he hasn’t achieved that yet. He’s got incredible knockout power. He’s got great Brazilian jiu-jitsu on the ground. He’s dangerous in all areas. Gustafsson is tall and will need to move around to make it hard for Teixeira to land on him. But in his last fight, he stayed in the pocket and allowed himself to get hit. He can’t do that against Glover. He hits too hard.”

Florian on Gustafsson vs. Teixeira: “In Glover’s last fight, he was knocked out by Anthony Johnson. I want to see how he’s going to come back. Is he going to be gun shy or are we going to see the Teixeira who plods forward, gets on the inside and destroys his opponent to the body and then takes the head off. He’s got knockout power and is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt as well. This is a tough matchup. If Gustafsson isn’t healthy, that will lead to his demise. He has to use his footwork, use his range and use the jab very well. If he does that, Teixeira will get tired.”

Florian on Gustafsson’s keys to victory: “He’s very rangy and has a great jab. He needs to use the amazing footwork and get in and get out, especially with his lateral movement. He needs to use the jab. And finally, he needs to stop the takedown. He does not want to be on his back against Glover.”

Bisping on Teixeira’s keys to victory: “Glover is a hard hitting Brazilian. He’s very dangerous wherever the fights go. He needs to cut off the Octagon to close the space. He needs to get inside and use his shots. Plus, he needs to land the takedown, use his ground and pound and look for a submission.”

Bisping picks Gustafsson over Teixeira: “If his back is good and his footwork is back, I see him staying on the outside, using the reach and range, and he’ll get a decision win.”

VIDEO: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira Preview

Gegard Mousasi on his UFC contract offers: “They should pay me. I’m a co-main event all the time, so it’s not like people don’t know me. I think I earned it. Don’t tell me it’s a fair sport. It should have to do with rankings. I’m up there. I’ve fought more than 10 years. I’ve earned it.”

Mousasi on not getting the shot at the interim title: “I thought I was ranked higher than Whittaker. He’s skipping three spots. I don’t understand it. But I think USADA time is a different time now.”

Mousasi on saying Bisping is the weakest in the middleweight division: “Michael is tough in the Octagon. Outside he’s a picking cherry, picking his opponents.”

Mousasi on who he fights next: “There’s only one guy left. Luke Rockhold. That’s the fight the UFC wants to make. But it’s taking a long time. I think that’s a fight fans would like. I have a month and a half left on my contract, then I can go talk to other people.”

VIDEO: Interview: Gegard Mousasi: ‘It’s not like people don’t know me’

Florian on Francis Ngannou’s potential: “He’s an absolute monster. He’s got so much talent, power and speed for a heavyweight. I think this is a guy who can go all the way and be a champion. But I just don’t want to see him pushed too quickly. He’s only going to get better.”

Florian on a Travis Browne comeback: “He’s been inconsistent lately. He’s been changing training camps for the last couple years. I think he needs to find out what works for him. If he can get it back together, he can get back on track.”

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