LOS ANGELES – UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian and guest host Michael Bisping interview UFC president Dana White, The Ultimate Fighter coach Urijah Faber and Luke Rockhold. Karyn Bryant and Ariel Helwani add reports.
UFC president Dana White on Demetrious Johnson’s title defense at UFC 191: “He completely dominated Dodson. He continues to steamroll his way to greatness. Johnson feels like he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I think he’s one of the most talented fighters to ever compete. Who wasn’t excited about this fight going into it? Dodson was the only guy who has ever done anything against him, and this time he literally couldn’t do anything against DJ. His coach Hume is like a scientist and DJ implements the game plan to a T. It’s fascinating to watch.”
White on what Johnson needs to do to build his reputation: “The pay-per-view did better than we thought. He beat the budget. Johnson just needs to keep going out there and winning fights. Maybe he’ll be more appreciated after he’s gone.”
White on a Johnson vs. TJ Dillashaw super fight: “TJ has to fight Dominick Cruz first. Cruz has not lost his title. He’s been plagued by injuries. For TJ to talk about a super fight, he needs to beat Cruz first.”
White on if the next fight for TJ Dillashaw is Dominick Cruz: “Yes. Cruz has never been beat and is really still the champion, but he can’t stay healthy. Cruz will fight TJ for the first-ever title fight on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Jan. 17 following the NFL game on FOX.”
White on this season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: “This season has a couple of new twists, but at the end of the day, what’s important is the fights and the coaches. It’s a great season in every way.”
White on Conor McGregor: “Conor has worked hard this year. He’s been home for just eight days this year. He’s jumped from thing to thing to thing that we’ve had him do. He’s home now.”
White on who’s the biggest star in the UFC – Ronda Rousey or McGregor: “It’s Ronda Rousey. Just today it was announced she’s going to be the lead in a remake of ‘Roadhouse.’ She continues to get bigger and bigger. There’s never been a bigger star than Ronda.”
White on why Holly Holm is fighting Rousey next instead of Miesha Tate: “Miesha has lost to her twice. Holly Holm won belts in boxing and is 9-0 in MMA. When we brought her in, it was to fight Ronda. If Miesha loses to her again, what’s she going to do?”
VIDEO: White Interview
Urijah Faber on coaching THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER this time: “It was a lot shorter season, and I had someone with more personality, instead of Dominick ‘the dud’ Cruz. There was a lot of back and forth banter and they got it all in there. The big difference was we didn’t get to pick our teams. They said here’s your team. I was happy with the team. Our guys were warriors. There were some amazing fights. I like Conor. We only got half the time with Conor because he was sleeping in until 3:00 every day.”
Faber on McGregor’s comments about Dillashaw being a snake in the grass: “Just so you know there’s a whole backstory to that, but you have to tune into TUF to know what we’re talking about. But there is a snake that was getting on our nerves. TJ is my boy.”
Faber on Duane Ludwig: “The deal that Conor was talking about was about Ludwig. Dysfunction follows that guy. I gave that guy a great opportunity and he seems to ruin it. He’s been kind of a bully and a tyrant for the team. Conor saw a little opportunity to needle and he did.”
VIDEO: Faber Interview
Luke Rockhold on how he’ll fight Chris Weidman: “We’ll be looking for the takedown, but he won’t get me down. I’m going to shut that down. I’ll be fine on the ground. He’ll have to fight me on his feet. He’s going to scramble out and I see this as a stand-up fight. I’m going to expose his weaknesses.”
Rockhold on being the UFC 194 co-main event and not main event: “I don’t have a fighting country behind me! The Irish are behind Conor, and Jose is the longest reigning champion. I’m going to go out there and perform and make that night my night.”
VIDEO: Rockhold Interview
UFC TONIGHT Insider Ariel Helwani on Dominick Cruz: “Dominick Cruz has been cleared to resume MMA training and he’s sticking to his goal to return at the end of the year or beginning of next year.”
Helwani on Fabricio Werdum’s return: “His management team said he’s ready to return in December or January. He’s ready to get the call.”
Helwani on Claudia Gadelha: “She’s still injured. She’s expected to return in February.”
on Conor McGregor’s training for UFC 194: “He’s going to train in Ireland and then go to Vegas four weeks before his fight to finish his training.”
VIDEO: Inside The Octagon
INTERVIEW from AMERICA’S PREGAME: Luke Rockhold thinks Conor McGregor may need to calm down a bit on the trash talking.
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UFC TONIGHT is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship on FOX Sports 1. Veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, veteran combat sports journalist Karyn Bryant and five-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani bring you all the news and analysis.
Follow on Twitter at: @KennyFlorian @Bisping @KarynBryant; @ArielHelwani; @UFCTonight; @FOXSports1