Cormier on Kevin Lee: “Kevin Lee truly has the ability and confidence to become the UFC champ.”
UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson on Ray Borg: “I’m going to go out there and cement my legacy as the longest reigning, defending champion.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – UFC TONIGHT was hosted by Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier, with Karyn Bryant adding reports. The crew previewed the upcoming UFC 216: FERGUSON VS. LEE and interviewed flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, as well as headliners Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee.

UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on Volkan Oezdemir’s recent comments about him: “He has much more respect for me than he does for Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. I do agree with you. He does have two minutes, because after that it all goes downhill from there because I’m going to be on him. People want to see fresh matchups. I’d like to fight Alexander too, but people want to see Volkan. They believe in him. The kid’s got knockout power. He’s got a cool thing. You’ve got two minutes, Volkan.”

VIDEO: Cormier answers Volkan Oezdemir’s recent comments

Cormier on how Tony Ferguson matches up against Kevin Lee: “He’s a phenomenal wrestler. In Tony, you saw his evolution come complete in his fight against Rafael Dos Anjos. He fought a former champion and dominated him on the feet, dominated the grappling exchanges, and seemed to be the guy who was ready for that moment. This guy is so tricky to fight.”

UFC TONIGHT Kenny Florian on Ferguson: “He’s a maniac. He’s so tough. He’s battle tested. He can defeat you in in a lot of different ways on the feet. He’s big and tall for the division. He has a long reach and an excellent jab. He’ll throw every strike out there. On the ground, if he gets you in the transition, this guy is nasty with those front chokes, a D’Arce or a guillotine.”

Cormier on Kevin Lee: “Kevin Lee truly has the ability and confidence to become the UFC champ. He has really good wrestling. In his last fight against Michael Chiesa, he looked so calm and confident. He never looked out of place and he got the finish.”

Florian on Lee’s technique: “Right now I think his skills are catching up with his ability. He’s very well coached. He’s an excellent wrestler, but is working hard on his striking. He throws a lot of different variety at you. Then he sets up the takedowns. He’s good at taking the back and has finished a lot of guys with the Rear Naked Choke. He gets the guys frustrated, then hits the takedown.”

Florian picks Ferguson over Lee: “I think Kevin Lee can be a champ in the future. I think it’s just a little early for him. His skills are still catching up with his physicality. I’m going with Tony Ferguson.”

Kevin Lee on when Tony Ferguson visited the college wrestling team: “He came back, he was a weirdo then, and he’s even weirder now.”

Tony Ferguson how Lee got this fight: “I told you you’ve got to market yourself the way you have to. You’re going to have to fight and you have to bleed a little. You marketed your way into this fight. I retired people and made them move classes. I ran out of asses to kick. I beat Khabib even before fighting him. It’s called mental warfare. You’ve got attitude problems. You’re just like that dude who’s never really cut it on the team.”

Fergus on if he respects Lee: “I respect you. Absolutely. You’re an athlete. I’m not bringing any animosity to this. You’re already at a loss. You’re trying to mean mug me, stare me down. I’m just going to school you. You can have all that shiny stuff. It’s all fake.”

Lee on if he respects Ferguson: “There’s always been respect for Tony. I said it from the beginning. I feel like Tony’s been the number-one contender for a while. He’s the toughest fight. I like the big challenges. As a man, he’s a weirdo. I never interacted with him. His style is great. He can fight, but that’s about it. He’s going to be disappointed on Saturday night.”

Lee on Ferguson’s conditioning: “I hope you can stay in there. I hope you can take the power and speed. You’re the one that has all the technical problems.”

Ferguson on his conditioning: “I’m battle tested. You’ve seen all my wars. You haven’t bled in battle. You’re fighting nobodies. I’m fighting guys like Barbosa, Rafael Dos Anjos. Are you off the juice? I made sure I was training for someone 10 times you. You have no idea what kind of person you’re dealing with. I’m going to TF you – technical fault you. That’s a Tony Ferguson finish.”

Lee on McGregor fighting Diaz next: “After I beat Tony, then Conor has to prove he’s ready to fight me. This is for the real championship. If Conor wants to fight Nate, that’s fine. If he can sleep at night with that medal after only beating one guy in the division, that’s cool.”

VIDEO: Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee Interview

Florian on Ray Borg’s skills against Demetrious Johnson: “Ray is a phenomenal submission artist. He’s very dangerous in the transition. He’s got a lot of skills and speed.”

Cormier on how Borg can defeat Johnson: “He has to believe that he can get it done. He seems to believe it. He has all the ability to challenge with Demetrious Johnson. He’s got to make it ugly. He has to catch DJ and make him make a mistake. I think Ray Borg is ready for this fight.”

Florian on Johnson: “He’s shown he’s susceptible to other fighters on the mat. He showed it against Tim Elliott. But, I believe he has the best skills in the UFC, period. He can really do it all. He can finish everyone. He’s head and shoulders above everyone in that division.”

Florian on Johnson’s keys to victory: “He can do it all at a very high level. He has skills for days. Key number one, he needs to vary his attack. Key two, he needs to stay off his back. He doesn’t want to be down with Ray Borg. And key number three, he’s got to use his speed. When he’s mixing it all together, there’s no one who can hang with him.”

Cormier on Borg’s keys to victory: “Early in the fight, he’ll need to make the fight crazy and wild. He has to slow it down, take Demetrious down to take him out of his rhythm. Second, he needs to keep the pressure on. Key three, he’s got to secure ground control. He’s got to hold Demetrious down and can’t allow him to get back up and get his rhythm again.”

Florian picks Johnson over Borg: “I’ve got to go with the champ.”

Demetrious Johnson on getting back in camp after the last fight was cancelled: “I work with the best coaches to make sure the peaking is right. The biggest thing was to stay healthy in the extra four weeks of training. I’m feeling better than I did in Edmonton.”

Johnson on if wants to send a message to Borg: “I’m always going out there to knock them out or submit them. This fight will end. I’m looking to finish it. I’m pumped to get out there and make it happen.”

Johnson on if he’s upset about not being a main event: “I’m a grown man. I’m thankful the UFC got me on this card. I’m going to go out there and cement my legacy as the longest reigning, defending champion.”

VIDEO: Interview. Demetrious Johnson breaks down his Ray Borg fight and more

Florian’s UFC 216 fighter to watch: “Tom Duquesnoy. He’s has an excellent standup. He’s very exciting. He’s a finisher through and through. He’s absolutely fearless, he’s violent and he’s technical.”

Cormier’s one fighter to watch at UFC 216: “The Black Beast Derrick Lewis. He’s not only a hero, he’s a phenomenal fighter. He’s show he’s got the power and he can knock anybody out at any time. If there’s any guy more entertaining in the Octagon and on social media, you’ve got to show me!”

VIDEO: Tommy Toe Hold – What happens when Tommy Toe Hold and Demetrious Johnson sit down to chat? Anderson Silva shows up