Month: November 2017

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FOX College Hoops Tips Off this Week with the Sport’s Top Voices on the Mic

Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery, Jim Jackson and More Highlight FOX Sports’ College Hoops Coverage
Howie Schwab Joins FOX Sports as Network’s Official Bracketologist

NEW YORK, NY – With the 2017-18 college basketball season tipping off this week, FOX Sports announces its impressive lineup of game and studio broadcasters. Led by lead play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson and top game analysts Bill Raftery and Jim Jackson, FOX Sports is set to deliver some of the top games from the BIG EAST, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences.

“We are excited to have some of the nation’s top college basketball broadcasters back with FOX Sports for what we expect will be our best season yet, featuring the BIG EAST, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences,” FOX Sports President, Production and Executive Producer John Entz said. “We are especially happy to have Howie Schwab join the FOX Sports family, bringing his encyclopedic knowledge to our coverage as the season heats up and teams jockey for tournament positioning.”

Calling games for FOX and FS1 are a list of familiar broadcasters with impeccable credentials on and off the court. FOX Sports’ game analysts include Raftery, a former NCAA coach and Sports Emmy Award winner; Jackson, two-time All-American and NBA veteran; veteran broadcaster and former NBA player Len Elmore; UConn standout and FOX Sports studio analyst Donny Marshall; former NCAA head coach and studio analyst Steve Lavin; former Duke All-American Jim Spanarkel; and former Creighton standout Nick Bahe. FOX Sports’ roster of play-by-play announcers includes Johnson, one of the most exciting voices in all of sports; voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers and FOX College Football broadcaster Joe Davis; television veteran and FOX College Football’s Tim Brando; Milwaukee Brewers and national MLB announcer Brian Anderson; FOX Sports multi-sport broadcaster Justin Kutcher; and FOX College Football and boxing’s Brian Custer.

In studio, Jackson, Marshall, Lavin and Casey Jacobsen are joined by hosts Rob Stone, Kevin Burkhardt and Mike Hill throughout the season. FOX Sports’ college basketball studio crew also presents INSIDE THE BIG EAST each week during conference play on FS1 and will go on the road for multiple games this season, beginning with three consecutive Gavitt Games matchups Tuesday, Nov. 14 through Thursday, Nov. 16.

New this season, FOX Sports adds longtime researcher and beloved television personality Howie Schwab as the network’s official bracketologist. Schwab will join FOX Sports studio programming as the season progresses to project which teams are in, which are out, and which could have their tournament bubbles burst. A Sports Emmy Award winner and graduate of St. John’s, Schwab joins FOX Sports after having spent 26 years at ESPN where he worked as a researcher in a number of capacities and was the host of the network’s sports trivia show Stump The Schwab. Most recently, Schwab worked as a writer and researcher on NBC Sports Network’s Sports Jeopardy.

College basketball on the FOX Sports family of networks tips off Friday, Nov. 10, with a BIG EAST doubleheader on FS2 – Fairleigh Dickinson at No. 23 Seton Hall at 6:30 PM ET, followed by Columbia at No. 6 Villanova at 8:30 PM ET. Action continues the following afternoon as DePaul opens its brand-new Wintrust Arena against No. 14 Notre Dame with coverage beginning at 3:30 PM ET on FS1.

This season, FOX Sports televises top games from the BIG EAST, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences, including six of the eight Gavitt Tipoff Games; the Crossroads Classic from Indianapolis; “The Garf,” a new non-conference event played at Madison Square Garden; a highly anticipated showdown between Chris Mullin’s St. John’s Red Storm and Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas; the full BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Tournament; the Pac-12 championship game; and much more.

College basketball games on the FOX broadcast network, FS1, FS2, FOX Sports Regional Networks and FOX College Sports are also available via the FOX Sports GO app and online at FOXSportsGO.com.

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FOX Sports Honors Military for Veterans Day

FOX NFL SUNDAY, FOX NFL KICKOFF Broadcast Live from Naval Station Norfolk
FS1 Studio Shows & UFC FIGHT NIGHT Highlight Our Nation’s Armed Forces Thursday – Saturday

LOS ANGELES, CA – With Saturday, Nov. 11, marking the annual Veterans Day holiday in the United States, today FOX Sports announces it will pay tribute to the men and women who bravely serve in our nation’s armed forces with a variety of programming on FOX and FS1.

From Thursday through Saturday, FOX Sports welcomes active military members and veterans on the sets of its FS1 studio shows in New York, Charlotte and Los Angeles. On Veterans Day, FOX Sports and FOX NFL Insider Jay Glazer host a viewing party on the Naval Station Norfolk for the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: POIRIER VS. PETTIS. And capping off the weekend Sunday, FOX Sports broadcasts FOX NFL KICKOFF and the Emmy Award-winning FOX NFL SUNDAY from Pier 10 on the Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia with more than 400 base personnel expected in the live audience.

“FOX Sports has a long history honoring the armed services by broadcasting shows live from military locations around the world including from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman on patrol in the Mediterranean Sea in 2000, a U.S. military installation in Afghanistan in 2009, and from Pearl Harbor in 2015,” said FOX Sports President and Executive Producer, Eric Shanks. “To commemorate this Veterans Day, we’re excited to take FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY to the Naval Station Norfolk to support the servicemen and women who make it possible for us to live in freedom and security.”

FOX Sports’ Veterans Day support begins on FS1 Thursday with active and reserve military personnel visiting the FOX Sports’ Charlotte studios to view NASCAR RACE HUB. On Friday, FS1’s studio shows including FIRST THINGS FIRST in New York, as well as SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED and THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD in the Los Angeles welcome more military personnel, where they will appear on-air throughout the show, in appreciation of their continued service and sacrifice. Additionally FOX Sports’ Charlotte studios play host on the set of NCWTS SETUP, the popular NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pre-race show.

On Veterans Day, FOX Sports’ Los Angeles studios invited military in for the COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME show on FOX and FS1, where FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL host and Air Force veteran Mike Hill works during halftimes and breaks during games on FOX and FS1.

Later Saturday, FOX NFL Insider Glazer and UFC welterweight Neil Magny (Army Veteran) do talkbacks from the viewing party on the Naval Station Norfolk during the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: POIRIER VS. PETTIS PREFIGHT and PRELIM SHOWS.

FOX Sports wraps up Veterans Day coverage on Sunday live from Pier 10 on the Naval Station Norfolk with FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY. At 11:00 AM ET, FOX NFL KICKOFF is hosted by Charissa Thompson, with former quarterback and four-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Vick and 14-time NFL Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez previewing the day’s NFL games in front of bleachers filled with several hundred active sailors, retired veterans and other shore-based staff. Vick has local ties – he grew up in Newport News, went to Warwick High School and Virginia Tech.

Then at noon, FOX NFL SUNDAY takes over the stage with co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, analysts Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan and premier NFL insider Jay Glazer all onsite. The Emmy Award-winning FOX NFL SUNDAY is America’s most-watched NFL Pregame Show since 1994, and is currently in its 24th season.

Both shows will feature segments with FOX talent being shown around the naval base as only the Navy can. In addition, the U.S. Fleet Forces Band will be onsite providing the morning’s musical soundtrack.

FOX Sports Supports, the charitable arm of FOX Sports, will be dedicating its support to Snowball Express, committed to serving the children and families of our fallen heroes since 9/11. Their annual event out of Dallas is designed to honor the sacrifices of their parents and spouses while building new and happy memories for these Gold Star families for years to come. Features will be aired throughout the weekend honoring this organization and its mission.

FOX SPORTS PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE

DATE TIME (ET) EVENT NET*
Thursday,

Nov. 9

6:00 PM NASCAR RACE HUB FS1
Friday,

Nov. 10

6:30 AM FIRST THINGS FIRST FS1
Friday,

Nov. 10

9:30 AM SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED FS1
Friday,

Nov. 10

12:00 PM THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD FS1
Friday,

Nov. 10

8:00 PM NCWTS SETUP FS1
Saturday,

Nov. 11

11:00 AM FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME FOX / FS1
Saturday,

Nov. 11

7:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW FS1
Saturday,

Nov. 11

8:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS FS1
Saturday,

Nov. 11

10:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: POIRIER VS. PETTIS FS1
Sunday,

Nov. 12

11:00 AM FOX NFL KICKOFF FOX
Sunday,

Nov. 12

12:00 PM FOX NFL SUNDAY FOX

 

FOX Sports Honors Military for Veterans Day (396 kB, last updated November 2017)
Kenny Florian

UFC POSTFIGHT Quotes – Florian on GSP Beating Bisping

Woodley on GSP: “Georges should have been fighting me here, so I’m going up to middleweight to challenge him.”
Weidman on UFC 217: “This was the best fight card I’ve ever seen.”

NEW YORK, NY – The following quotes and videos are from tonight’s FS1 UFC 217 POSTFIGHT SHOW on FS1 hosted by Karyn Bryant, with Tyron Woodley, Kenny Florian and Chris Weidman providing analysis. Megan Olivi conducted interviews.

FOX UFC analyst Chris Weidman on UFC 217 and Georges St-Pierre’s upset of Michael Bisping for the middleweight title: “This was insane. I’m in shock. I’m pretty sure this was the best fight card I’ve ever seen. We’ve seen Bisping struggle with the right hand in the past. Georges threw that big right hand over and over. GSP was the more comfortable fighter in there. He took Bisping down and was landing shots. But then it looked like GSP was slowing down, but he got his composure and finished the fight. This will never happen again. This wasn’t an easy fight for GSP, but he was better than we ever seen. It was hard to image that he could do it.”

FOX UFC analyst Tyron Woodley on how GSP beat Bisping: “When Georges St-Pierre’s body got tired, he went to his martial arts and went back to the takedown. He was slowing down, but he got his bearings back. He used his superman jab, and then went to his takedowns.

FOX UFC analyst Kenny Florian on GSP winning the middleweight belt after being away for four years: “We’ll never see this again. I’m blown away. This was a three pronged attack by St-Pierre. He gets you worried about his striking, then mixes it up, then gets some takedowns. This was textbook GSP tonight and he is better than he was four years ago.”

Weidman on GSP fighting at middleweight: “Look, it was an easier fight against Bisping than against Woodley. He didn’t know how he was going to fight after four years. He’s not going to stay at middleweight. He’ll go back down now.”

Woodley on wanting to fight GSP: “Georges should have been fighting me here at MSG – so I’m going up to middleweight to challenge him for the belt.”

Woodley on what GSP did to neutralize Bisping’s forward movement: “He shut down the offense of Bisping, because Bisping was worried about the takedown. If you are on your back against GSP, you’re losing the fight.”

Weidman on what GSP did to prevail against a bigger fighter: “GSP was working his striking more, knowing he was going against a bigger fighter.”

Florian on GSP’s style tonight: “Good fundamentals never go out of style. A great jab is a great jab and a great takedown is a great takedown.”

Woodley on GSP fighting at a bigger weight: “I don’t think he’s carrying more weight, he just isn’t cutting more weight. But if you can’t transition that to power, you shouldn’t be carrying it. The sport is different now, it’s more press, it’s more work. I think he took some time off to reset.”

VIDEO: GSP vs. Bisping Breakdown
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/927039119997276160

Bisping on losing tonight: “This is a difficult sport. Respect to Georges. He beat me tonight. One team wins and one team loses. Tonight was his night.”

Bisping on how he felt in the fight: “I thought I was doing well. He caught me with a good shot and wobbled me. He was strong. God bless him. Good for him.”

Bisping on what’s next: “When you win, you go celebrate, and when you lose you drown your sorrows. I’m going to go drink a lot. Look, at this point, this is my hobby. I get paid well to do what I do. I’m bummed. I remember what it was like to be world champion – like it was yesterday. Georges is a good man. I was trying to sell pay per views.”

Florian on Bisping’s attitude after losing: “I love his attitude. He’s an amazing competitor. He put it in perspective for what’s important. He probably got a big paycheck for today. He deserves it.”

VIDEO: INTERVIEW: Michael Bisping
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/927057989239955456

Florian on how TJ Dillashaw beat Cody Garbrandt: “TJ Dillashaw created confusion, throwing a lot of variety and mixing up his striking. He kept going into the firefight and taking that risk and in the end it paid off. I thought TJ stayed more composed. In the Dominick Cruz fight, he didn’t stay composed and adjust.”

Woodley on TJ Dillashaw: “When he was in pocket, he didn’t have that much success. Showing he can come back after getting knocked down, he showed what kind champion he is. Garbrandt was putting it on TJ and you knew it could end either way.”

VIDEO: Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt breakdown
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/927043214334296064

TJ Dillashaw on if his beef with Cody Garbrandt is over now: “There wasn’t beef on my end. They were trying to get me to fight angry. We’ll see how they let go of their animosity toward me.”

Dillashaw on what adjustments his corner told him to make in the fight: “They said to use my kicks. I was setting them up too much. They said throw a quick kick. Throw them low and set him up for the high kick.”

Dillashaw on getting in the pocket against Garbrandt: “I got in there after the head kick. I felt more comfortable after that. The Killashaw came out and I wanted to finish him.”

Dillashaw on the lesson he learned from the Dominick Cruz fight: “I did learn, even though I thought I won that fight against Cruz. I got too emotional. Garbrandt’s team knew that. I knew I needed to control my emotions. I learned it, did it this time and that’s why I’ll continue to be the champion.”

Dillashaw on wanting to move down to 125 to fight Demetrious Johnson: “That’s the fight I want. When Cody pulled out of our fight in July, I wanted to do it then. I want to knock off the pound-for-pound champ. He can’t run. I’m coming to that weight class. I want to stop that record. I know I can make the weight. I’m not a big 135. I want to stop that record.”

VIDEO: INTERVIEW: TJ Dillashaw
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/927048348900589570

Woodley on what Rose Namajunas did to beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk: “You think about the emotion, she’s showed emotion in victory and defeat – but once she learned she can use it to her advantage, it really made a difference in her fight. It looked like Joanna got much too hyped up leading up to the fight and in the fight. Rose was calm, relaxed and poised, and she saw her target and put her hand on Joanna’s chin.”

Florian on what mistake Jedrzejczyk made: “We’ve seen Joanna dropped before by Claudia Gadelha, and they probably saw it on tape and tonight Rose landed that. Usually Joanna starts slowly, but then gets her rhythm and runs away with her fights. But Rose didn’t let her get her rhythm tonight.”

Florian on if Jedrzejczyk should get a rematch with Namajunas: “Joanna was a champion for so long, I think she deserves an immediate rematch. But that is up to the Rose, too.”

Woodley on if Joanna should get the rematch against Namajunas: “When you completely smoke the Boogiewoman, she doesn’t get the rematch.”

VIDEO: Rose Namajunas breakdown
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/927044764133765120

Rose Namajunas on how she stayed composed in the title fight: “So many different things. My coaches always having my back. Me having my back. She’s a master at Jedi mind control. I went through my mantras. I kept telling myself to stay calm.”

Namajunas on what was different this title fight: “Experience, timing. I was 22 for the first one, now I’m 25. This one was really intense. Everything was opposite from last time. I got rid of the distractions.”

Namajunas on why she didn’t try to take Joanna down: “A lot of girls were so desperate to take her down. My game plan is always to punch them in the face, take them down and choke them out.”

Namajunas on what she learned from fighting Joanna: “I learned how to be a champion when she first stepped in the scene, but this week I learned how to not be a champion. I want to bring back the honor in martial arts. I want to show there’s a different way.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk on what’s next: “I have to hold my head up. I have to get stronger. I know already my mistake. I feel great. It’s a sport.”

Jedrzejczyk on her mistake: “My coach showed me the video. My hand was low and she got me. It was a big surprise, but I’m moving forward. I’ve done so much for the sport. It’s a sport.”

VIDEO: INTERVIEW: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/927053135570354176

UFC President Dana White on GSP: “To return after a four year layoff, very few people have done that. Everyone thinks Bisping was an easy fight. Mike did a lot of damage to GSP. But GSP looked great. He’s staying at 185.”

White on Dillashaw fighting Demetrious Johnson: “Not a bad idea. I like it.”

White on Namajunas vs. Joanna: “A lot of people think Rose is up and coming, but she wasn’t ready for this moment. She was totally composed tonight. It’s amazing. I mean if anyone deserves a rematch, Joanna does. But we’ll see what happens.”

VIDEO: Interview: Dana White
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/927054522345652224

-Oklahoma

Bedlam Comes to FS1

No. 5 Oklahoma Visits No. 11 Oklahoma State Saturday at 4:00 PM ET
FOX Tripleheader Kicks Off with No. 7 Penn State at No. 24 Michigan State

One of the wildest rivalries in college football comes to FS1 on Saturday, as Heisman candidate Baker Mayfield leads No. 5 Oklahoma into Stillwater to face Mason Rudolph and No. 11 Oklahoma State at 4:00 PM ET. FOX Sports’ lead college football broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, analyst Joel Klatt and sideline reporter Jenny Taft are live from Boone Pickens Stadium as the Sooners and Cowboys battle on the gridiron for the 112th time in history.

A full day of college football begins at 11:00 AM ET with FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME hosted by Rob Stone and analysts Matt Leinart, Robert Smith and Dave Wannstedt on the FOX broadcast network and FS1, followed by tripleheaders on both channels. On FOX, No. 7 Penn State looks to recover from its heartbreaking loss last weekend as the Nittany Lions face No. 24 Michigan State at Noon ET. Joe Davis, Brady Quinn and Bruce Feldman have the call.

Also on FOX, No. 21 Stanford hopes to have running back Bryce Love back on the field as the Cardinal visit No. 25 Washington State at 3:30 PM ET. Justin Kutcher, Mark Helfrich and Petros Papadakis call the cation from Pullman before handing it off to Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman and Holly Sonders who are at The Big House in Ann Arbor for Minnesota at Michigan at 7:30 PM ET.

College football on FS1 begins with a Friday night edition of “Pac-12 After Dark,” as Utah hosts UCLA at 9:30 PM ET. On Saturday, FS1’s schedule begins at 12:00 PM ET with K-State at Texas Tech, followed by Bedlam at 4:00 PM ET, and closes with more late-night action between Oregon and No. 12 Washington. This week’s full schedule of games on FS1, FSN and BTN, including broadcasters, can be found HERE.

In 2017, FOX Sports televises top games from the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences. FOX Sports is home to some of the biggest matchups of the season, including Ohio State at Michigan, and Oklahoma at Oklahoma State in the annual Bedlam rivalry. FOX Sports also presents the Big Ten and Big 12 championship games and the Foster Farms Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.

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FOX Deportes Scores Record-Setting Audience for 2017 World Series

Game 7 is Most-Watched Non-Soccer Event in Spanish-Language Cable Television History
Game 7 Peaks at Nearly 1 Million Viewers as Astros Defeat Dodgers 5-1

LOS ANGELES, CA – The emotionally captivating 2017 World Series featuring the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros is the most-watched World Series ever in Spanish-language television history, delivering an average audience of 476,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The Houston Astros closed out the series last night, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7, and propelling FOX Deportes to the most-watched non-soccer event in Spanish-language cable television history, delivering an average audience of 778,000 viewers.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros delivered one of the most memorable World Series in recent history, setting new records in Spanish-language television history along the way,” said Carlos Sanchez, FOX Deportes General Manager and Executive Vice President.

On FOX Deportes, the 2017 World Series is up +34% over 2016 (355,000), and more than double the 2015 average (233,000). Game 7 posted a viewership increase of +37% over last year’s Game 7 (567,000), and peaked with 907,000 total viewers from 11:15 PM – 11:30 PM ET. On FOX Sports Go, Game 7 had a total of 236,030 minutes viewed.

FOX Deportes now lays claim to the four highest-rated non-soccer events in Spanish-language cable history.

  • 2017 World Series Game 7 ranks as the most-watched non-soccer event and most-watched World Series game with 778,000 viewers
  • Super Bowl LI on FOX Deportes is the second highest-rated non-soccer event and most-watched Super Bowl presentation with 650,000 viewers
  • Game 7 of the 2016 World Series on FOX Deportes delivered 565,000 viewers and ranks as the third highest-rated non-soccer event
  • FOX Deportes’ Super Bowl XLVIII telecast, the first ever Super Bowl in Spanish in the U.S., ranks second among Super Bowls and fourth among non-soccer events with 561,000 viewers
Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz at Minute Maid Park for the 2017 World Series

106 Million Viewers Watch All or Part of 2017 World Series on FOX

FOX, FOX Deportes & FOX Sports GO Combine to Deliver More than 29.3 Million Viewers for Game 7
Game 7 on FOX Deportes is Most-Watched, Non-Soccer Sporting Event in Spanish-Language Cable Television History

LOS ANGELES, CA – An eye-popping 106 million viewers watched all or part of the World Series on FOX according to Nielsen Media Research.

Wednesday’s emotional World Series Game 7 victory by the Houston Astros over the Los Angeles Dodgers averaged more than 29.3 million viewers across FOX (28,229,000), FOX Deportes (778,000) and streaming live on FOX Sports GO (293,918), according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. The game peaked at 31,989,000 viewers from 10:30 to 10:45 PM ET.

The complete 2017 World Series on FOX, the 20th delivered by the network, averaged 18,909,000 viewers across all seven games (10.7 HH rating), the second-best audience for a World Series since 2009. While it was -19% below last year’s historic Chicago Cubs’ seven-game victory over the Cleveland Indians, which went into extra innings in Game 7 (23,388,000 viewers), it topped 2015 by +29% (14,700,000) and 2014 by +37% (13,825,000).

The World Series also was a hit with younger viewers. Among teens, this year’s World Series enjoyed its second-best rating since 2009 (2.4), outperforming every entertainment primetime program on television.

“This unbelievable World Series absolutely showcased the power of great baseball,” said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports President & Executive Producer. “Not only did it give the city of Houston a moment of triumph in challenging times, but the evenly matched and intensely battled series engaged a nation well beyond anyone’s expectations. These seven games — with 106 million viewers tuning in to catch a look — give us all something to celebrate.”

FOX Deportes’ Game 7 viewership was up +37% year-to-year, peaking at 907,000 viewers from 11:15 PM ET to 11:30 PM ET. Last night’s finale ranks as the most-watched non-soccer sporting event in Spanish language sports cable television history. Overall, FOX Deportes’ World Series coverage was the most-watched ever for Spanish language cable television, averaging 476,000 viewers, up +34% from 2016 (355,000) and more than double (+104%) the 2015 World Series (233,000).

FOX Sports GO scored an average-minute streaming audience of 293,918 for Game 7, the second-best MLB event ever on FSGO, and the fourth-best authenticated event in FSGO history. Overall, the World Series delivered an average audience of 183,249 viewers across all seven games, up 4% from last year’s Indians-Cubs classic.

UFC Tonight Logo

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Bisping on Georges St-Pierre

St-Pierre on how he’ll beat Bisping: “I’m better than him, I’m faster than him, I’m stronger than him and I have a higher fight IQ than him. I’m more adaptable.”
Florian picks GSP over Bisping: “I see it going the distance and being a five-round war. It might be close and a controversial decision, but I think GSP is going to win.”

NEW YORK, NY – UFC TONIGHT was hosted by Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier live from New York City, with Karyn Bryant adding reports. The crew previewed the upcoming UFC 217: BISPING VS. GSP and interviewed Michael Bisping, Georges St-Pierre, Cody Garbrandt, T.J. Dillashaw and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on Georges St-Pierre’s return: “I’m so excited Georges St-Pierre is back. We had to wait four years. Only history could get that man off his couch in Canada.”

UFC TONIGHT Kenny Florian on Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre: “This is really a battle of offense vs. defense. Michael Bisping is the all-time leader with significant strikes in the UFC. GSP has the best defense in the UFC. He was ahead of everyone with his skills four years ago. I think he likes this style match-up. He’s fast and throws combinations, and he’s been very difficult to take down.”

Cormier on the keys to Bisping vs. GSP: “Bisping is on fire now, but GSP is the best at not taking damage. He’s very good at taking fights to where his opponents are weakest. He can do everything in the Octagon and it showed. But Bisping is hard to take down. Now he’s developed the power with Left Hook Larry and he says he’s going to knock GSP out. GSP will think about taking him down. People forget Bisping has great cardio and conditioning. He never gets tired in there.”

Florian on Rose Namajunas facing Joanna Jedrzejczyk: “I think for Rose, mentally, she wasn’t ready for the first title fight after THE UTLIMATE FIGHTER. But now she’s dominating her opponents. She’s fighting Joanna at the right time in her career. However, Joanna has the best striking in the UFC, and is a very nasty girl, with her striking and she now throws elbows in the pocket, which are devastating. Joanna just keeps improving. She’s a phenomenal striker and has improved her wrestling. She’s great at getting back to her feet. Rose isn’t a big girl, so it’ll be tough for her to get her down.”

Florian on picks Joanna Jedrzejczyk over Namajunas: “I’ve got to go with Joanna. I don’t see anyone in that division beating her.”

Florian picks Garbrandt over Dillashaw: “It’s a tough one to pick. I’ve got to go with Garbrandt. For T.J. to be effective, he has to get in the pocket, and that’s where Garbrandt is most effective.”

Florian picks GSP to pull the upset over Bisping: “I see it going the distance and it being a five-round war. It might be close and a controversial decision, but I think GSP is going to win.”

Michael Bisping on how this fight is bigger than others he’s had: “GSP is coming out of retirement. He’s one of the best to ever do it in the Octagon. I’m the middleweight champion, he was the welterweight champ for a long time. This sounds like a Hollywood movie. It’s a great dream, but unfortunately dreams don’t come true for GSP this time.”

Bisping on what’s next after this fight: “I’m going to beat Georges so bad we won’t see him again. Then, I’ll go down to Australia and whoop Robert Whittaker’s ass, who’s walking around with a fake belt.”

Bisping on having coach Jason Parillo, whose opponents faced GSP in the past, in his corner: “It’s a great advantage. Jason wants to make sure once in his career he beats Georges. I’m ready. I’ve been knocking out sparing partners in the gym. Here’s the thing. GSP is going to try to take me down and cuddle me to death. And we all know I’m not a good cuddle.”

Georges St-Pierre on what he’s changed to prepare for this fight: “I changed the structure of my training. All the things I don’t use, I got rid of those things. Now I train less, and have more time to recuperate.”

St-Pierre on what’s going through his mind going into the fight: “You’re always afraid because you don’t know the outcome. You always have doubt going into a fight. That helped me. The confidence comes from how you prepare yourself, but you’re not guaranteed. I control what I can control the best I can.”

St-Pierre on how he’ll hold down Bisping: “I’ve been studying tape and I see patterns on what he does when he tries to stand back up, and it exposes him. I’ll use that against him on Saturday night.”

St-Pierre on if Bisping’s trash talk is affecting him: “No. It’s never personal. He’s trying to do mental warfare. I think he’s afraid that I’ll wrestle him. He’s begging me to stand and bang with him. I’ll take my opponent where he’s the weakest. I’m going to fight the way I’m supposed to fight and I’m going to beat him up.”

St-Pierre on how he’ll beat Bisping: “I need to be the best I can be. I’m better than him, I’m faster than him, I’m stronger than him, and I have a higher fighting IQ than him. I’m more adaptable and that’s why I’m going to win.”

VIDEO: Georges St-Pierre stops by UFC TONIGHT to talk UFC 217
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRj4EKw7uHg

Florian on Garbrandt’s technique: “T.J. has high fight IQ, but Garbrandt doesn’t get credit for his high IQ. When Garbrandt goes backward, he baits opponents in, and goes to the body, then uses the big left hook up high. Or he goes right down the middle with that devastating right hand. He has skills for days.”

Cody Garbrandt on representing Team Alpha Male against its old fighter Dillashaw: “It means everything to me. Just like the Dominick Cruz fight and the rivalry with our team. The ball is in my court. I feel comfortable. I need these fights and adversaries to bring out the best in me.”

Garbrandt on what it was like training with Dillashaw: “He brought me supreme confidence when he was champion, to stay focused by training with him.”

Garbrandt on if Dillashaw has improved since they trained: “I’m very excited to get back in there. I’ve been off 11 months. But I was in the lab, working, rebuilding myself. I’m a better fighter and athlete. TJ has gotten better, but he hasn’t made the strides I’ve made.”

Garbrandt on fighting Demetrious Johnson in the future: “I can make 125 pounds this weekend. I told the UFC I wanted to beat T.J. in July, then fight Demetrious here this weekend. That didn’t work out. But after I beat T.J., I’ll go down to 125 and beat Demetrious. He’s a great fighter and a great champion, and the pound-for-pound champ, but I want to go down as a two-weight champion.”

T.J. Dillashaw on the feud with Garbrandt: “I’ve got nothing invested in it. I put a smile on my face every day, then we get in the cage and get to end the feud. At first, with guys I knew well, it was tough, but it’s really just mental warfare. They need me to do it to help fuel them, because they know I’m the better fighter.”

Dillashaw on how to beat Garbrandt: “He’s got a lot of holes in his game. He’s talented, quick and powerful, but one dimensional and I’m going to take advantage of him.”

Dillashaw on how it will feel beating Garbrandt: “It’ll be great to get my belt back. I still have a bad taste about losing that belt. Nothing beats winning it.”

Dillashaw on fighting Demetrious Johnson: “He’s the pound-for-pound kingpin. That’s someone I know I can beat. He knows it’s a tough fight for him. I’d love to prove it. I can make it down to 125 pounds.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk on being back defending her title at MSG: “It feels so amazing, it feels great to be here. It’s my city. I think next year I’ll fight in Dallas in May and then again in New York again in November.”

Jedrzejczyk on potentially breaking the most title defenses for a woman this weekend: “I will break the record. It means a lot. I care about Saturday. Rose is my challenge. More than that, I want to stay undefeated and retire undefeated. It’s more important than this record.”

Jedrzejczyk on attacking Namajunas for her family’s mental illness: “I didn’t know about her father. I wasn’t talking about her mental illness. I was talking about her mental game. Before fights, she says she doesn’t want to fight. She didn’t want to do media. I’m enjoying this. This is part of my job. We must deal with it. She wants to be a champion, but she doesn’t want to do the work outside of the Octagon. I would never talk about someone with mental illness. It was wrong. But what I said was she doesn’t have a chance in this fight. I know Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre are the main fight, but Joanna is taking over the Garden on Saturday night.”

Jedrzejczyk on what drives her: “There’s no easy fights. I was a challenger one day. I know what it means. I stay humble, I work hard and I’m as hungry now as I was 2 ½ years ago.”

VIDEO: Joanna Jedrzejczyk joins UFC TONIGHT to discuss her UFC 217 fight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRXUsaBnAh4

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Bisping on Georges St-Pierre (159 kB, last updated November 2017)