Florian on McGregor vs. Mayweather: “What makes Conor so great is his mental game. If Conor is going to get this done, he’s got to get Floyd emotional.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – On UFC TONIGHT, host Kenny Florian and guest host Tyron Woodley preview the upcoming UFC FIGHT NIGHT: CHIESA VS. LEE and interview headliners Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee. Plus, Karyn Bryant adds reports.

UFC TONIGHT guest host Tyron Woodley on Colby Covington’s comments: “He had one thing correct, [when we trained] it wasn’t competitive. My coach had to peal me off of him every day. The welterweight division is the best in the world. The integrity of the sport has to be restored. Kids like Colby, do it the old fashion way, like Kenny Florian did, let your gloves do the talking, win in dominant fashion, climb your way up. Then when you’re near the top, you bark a little bit. But I don’t even see him in my crosshairs in my scope. There are five or six other guys on I’m looking at. It’s flattering that he’s talking about me.”

Woodley on Kevin Lee’s chances against Michael Chiesa: “Kevin Lee has composure. He can relax in the moment in the fight and execute. He has great conditioning. It allows him to take risks in a fight. It’s about being a chess player, about being a step ahead. He wants to use his speed, play to his advantages in striking and don’t put Chiesa in his world in wrestling.”

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on Lee’s advantages: “He’s got to use the speed advantage. Both these guys are good wrestlers, but Kevin doesn’t want to be on his back or give his back against Chiesa. I was impressed with him in his last fight against Trinaldo. It showed he can weather the storm, come back and get a big win and that was in Brazil.”

Florian on Chiesa strengths: “When he’s moving forward, he’s tough to deal with because he’s tall and lanky for the division. He’s a big lightweight. He moves at a different rhythm. He’s been underrated as a wrestler, and when he gets on top, his ground and pound and submission game is brutal.”

Woodley on Chiesa’s edge: “I’ve fought these guys who come forward over and over again. It’s really taxing on your mind. That’s an advantage that Chiesa has.”

Woodley picks Kevin Lee: “Sometimes you see a guy who is really confident and have a swagger. I’ve trained with Lee and seen him go through some grueling sessions. He’s very confident. It’s a close fight. Lee has the striking and speed advantage, and every fight and every round starts on the feet and he’ll keep it there.”

Florian picks Lee: “I think Lee is too fast and too polished a striker for Chiesa.”

VIDEO: Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Lee Preview
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49QhKsGXOa4

Michael Chiesa on if he’ll get emotional in the fight because of what happened at the press conference: “No. I keep it in the past. If he walked in a gym and started spouting off today, I wouldn’t pay attention. It was a one-time thing. I’m motivated to be world champion, not by that.”

Chiesa on if the UFC should have reprimanded Lee for hitting him: “No. I ran at him. The UFC is stoked the fight got promoted that way. I don’t consider it a cheap shot that he got on me. I got stopped by a body guard. He got a shot in. It’s been over a year since I’ve fought and I’m excited to be back fighting.”

Chiesa on being the underdog in the fight: “I’m always overlooked. I’m not technical. In every fight, I have a spot that I could lose the first round. When do the odds makers ever like me? But it’s not a math equation, it’s a fight. I only care about becoming number one.”

Chiesa on if he’s just a submission artist: “I’m always working to round my game out, but I always get that. I have so many more tools in my arsenal, but I get just the back and get the choke.”

VIDEO: Interview: Michael Chiesa talks about his press conference fight with Kevin Lee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyZqsSq94qo

Kevin Lee on if his fight is personal with Chiesa: “I don’t make these fights personal. There’s not room for emotion in these fights. He’s already mentally broke. He knew that going into the press conference. This fight sells itself. You’ve got this country boy from the Redwoods driving the beat up pickup truck vs. a young, flashy dude driving a Benz in Las Vegas.”

Lee on fighting Chiesa: “I told him, I’m going to whop him. He doesn’t stand a chance in this fight. Only if I make a mistake. I’m bigger, faster and stronger. I’m much more technical. That’s already playing in his head. He’s hoping I’m going to make a mistake. He’s already frustrated. I didn’t say anything bad about his mom. I don’t fight for free.”

Lee on if he’s worried about Chiesa’s chokes: “The man’s tough. I hive him respect. I’m built for five rounds. He’s going to take a whopping. This is going to let me beat him up. I’m a five-round championship fighter. If you look at my old fights, I get stronger as the rounds go on. This favors me. If he gets on my back, I’ve got to worry, but I won’t worry about it.”

Florian on if it was fair that Germaine de Randamie got stripped of the belt: “Yes. You don’t have any other fights in the division. She knew she had to fight Cyborg and she said no. She didn’t want that challenge. I’m glad that Megan Anderson stepped in.”

Woodley on the UFC’s statement for stripping de Randamie: “She could have gone about it another way. If she thought Cyborg was taking drugs, she could have asked for more testing to make sure it’s a clean fight and a clean opponent. Do I agree with it, maybe not 100 percent. I think the statement came out and it could backfire. We’ve seen it go so many other ways. The statement should have said, moving forward the number one contender should fight the champion, but if there’s something else that makes sense from an entertainment or money standpoint, we’ll use that case by case and that will be the x factors moving forward. I’ve been on the other end. I’m staying true to this statement. If you’re the best, you’ve got to fight everybody.”

Florian on Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather: “What makes Conor so great is his mental game. But I agree he needs to be working with high level boxers especially masters who have the defensive style like Floyd. If Conor is going to get this done, he’s got to get Floyd emotional. It’s what he does outside the ring. That could get him rushing in during the fight. I’m not sure Floyd has dealt with someone like him. Also, Conor’s got to get in the clinch and get nasty and wear out those arms.”

Woodley what McGregor needs to do to prepare for Mayweather: “He needs to believe and get those sparring partners in front of him. He needs to come up with and answer to the defense of Floyd. He needs to be drilling over and over again. I see what he does, using all these hand skills. He needs to have a high-level boxer in front of him showing him how to react. If you’re going to make the money, spend the money.”

Florian on if McGregor fights again after this fight: “If Conor gets beat up badly, he won’t come back. But if he makes it through 12 rounds, he’ll come back. If he wins, we’ll see him again.”

Woodley on if McGregor fights in the UFC again: “I think Conor will fight again. It depends on where is head is at. He’s going to make a lot of money. If he smokes Floyd, he’s going to fight him again and get an even bigger payday. But if he gets beat up by Floyd, he might come back to the UFC to prove he can still win.”

Florian on if he thinks the lightweight division should get an interim title: “I don’t like interim title fights, but I think you have to do it between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.”

VIDEO: Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K44311ZDx0

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Woodley Picks Lee Over Chiesa (154 kB, last updated June 2017)