Florian on Machida’s Return vs. Brunson: “He’s been out for a couple of years. The game evolves, so he’s going to need some new tricks.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – UFC TONIGHT was hosted by Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier, with Karyn Bryant adding reports. The crew previewed the upcoming FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: BRUNSON VS. MACHIDA and interviewed bantamweight Julianna Pena.
UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on his beef with Tony Ferguson: “You told me, Kenny Florian, welcome to the world of the commentator. I don’t know what I did to the guy. After the fight, my phone just started pinging. Maybe it was because I said I thought Conor McGregor’s next fight would be the Diaz fight and not with Tony.”
UFC TONIGHT Kenny Florian on if Conor McGregor should fight Tony Ferguson next: “Diaz vs. Conor is the bigger fight money-wise. But as far as the fight that should happen, it’s Conor vs. Tony. Ferguson has done everything he’s supposed to. Conor needs to appease the fans. If he goes out and fights Tony and beats him, he quiets everyone.”
Cormier on if Ferguson should get the McGregor fight: “First off, Tony, great performance. But to say Conor is only talk is not true. Conor’s backed it up. He beat Aldo, then beat Eddie Alvarez. It’s not all talk. But I believe the fight between Conor and Tony now will happen. But you’ve got to be careful, Tony – what you ask for isn’t always what’s best for you. I think Conor might have seen something in that fight and is ready for it now. I think they both have to make some strategic adjustments.”
VIDEO: Who knew Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson loved Grand Theft Auto so much? But will this be the next fight for both?
Cormier on what Derek Brunson needs to do against Lyoto Machida: “We need to see the guy who fought against Yoel Romero, who used his wrestling to dominate an Olympic silver medalist, who’s had success against the highest level of competition. The guy we don’t want to see is the guy who hangs his chin up in the air and tries to chase knockouts. All the success he’s had knocking people out does leave him exposed and he needs to show patience and use his striking to secure the takedowns. Lyoto has to stand back at range and wait for Brunson to make a mistake. As we’ve seen, Lyoto is a classic sniper.”
Florian on what Machida needs to do to beat Brunson: “I want to see the guy who uses his footwork, who switches his stances back and forth. I want to see the counter striking and also he’s going to need some more tricks. He’s been out for a couple of years. The game evolves, so he’s going to need some new tricks, especially if the fight hits the mat. Maybe some new submissions or other ways to get back to his feet.”
VIDEO: Which Derek Brunson will show up vs. Lyoto Machida?
Cormier on who Demetrious Johnson should fight next: “I’d say the loser between Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw. He needs a high-level guy. Both have said they could go down in weight to challenge him. The loser can walk into a title fight at the lower division. It’s a competitive fight, like Frankie Edger did going to 145. That would be an exciting fight.”
Florian on who Johnson should fight next: “I say give him a catch-weight fight at 130 pounds between the winner of Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw. It would be the fight that would give DJ the payday. It would put the nail in the coffin of all the people saying he’s not the best pound-for-pound champion.”
VIDEO: Who had the more impressive title run, GSP or Mighty Mouse?
Cormier on if Michael Bisping’s trash talking is getting to Georges St-Pierre: “When I watch them together, I think that might be working. I worked one weekend with Bisping and I wanted to fight him. I think it’s getting to him. He’s getting physical. If Mike wants to poke and prod you, it’ll drive him up a wall.”
Florian on if GSP is handling the trash talking: “We forget he’s fought for a long time. He’s experienced this before. Others have trash talked him. Diaz was talking trash. Hardy was talking trash. But if there’s one guy who annoys him more, it’s Bisping. I don’t think it’s a big deal. But they have to see each other over and over and it might be getting to him. And it’s not even fight week.”
Julianna Pena on if she’ll come back after having her baby: “Definitely. People are saying I’m retired. But that’s definitely not the case for me. I’ll take eight months to a year to come back. It’s selfish to be in a fight camp. You’re a crazy person already. I want to get that bonding experience with that kid for that first year before I come back.”
Pena on the other women who have had kids and fought again: “Those women are inspirations to me. Davis, McMann, Waterson. They’re moms and they fight ferociously. It’s going to be such an amazing comeback for me, to show other women who are watching because I’m a mother now. It’ll be very important to be a role model for women that you can be brave and show them they can do things they don’t think they can do.”
Pena on who she’ll fight when she comes back: “I think I got a little too far ahead of myself before my last fight. I’ll take whichever fight I can when I come back. I’d love to rematch Valentina Shevchenko.”
Pena on if she’d fight at 135 or go to 125: “I still have a lot to prove at 135. I’m not trying to move down to be the bigger fighter. I’m afraid of no one in the 135 division. And who knows if I’ll be able to make 135 after the baby?”
VIDEO: Julianna Pena discusses her pregnancy and her UFC future.