Pettis on fighting Poirier: “This time I’m going for the kill.”
Cormier on GSP’s next fight: “I’d like to see GSP fight Woodley next.”
NEW YORK, NY – UFC TONIGHT was hosted by Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier, with Karyn Bryant adding reports. The crew recapped UFC 217, previewed the upcoming FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: POIRIER VS. PETTIS and caught up with Dustin Poirier, Anthony Pettis, and Matt Brown.
UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on Georges St-Pierre’s victory at UFC 217: “First off, how big did he look? He looked huge in there. And the superman jab was back. His skills were still there, his fight IQ was there and to finish Bisping, that’s very difficult to do. He deserved the win.”
UFC TONIGHT Kenny Florian on GSP winning the middleweight belt: “This was vintage Georges St-Pierre, but he did up a weight class and he did it against Bisping, who keeps a very active pace and never gets finished. Georges mixed variety and takedowns and got the submission win. It’s amazing that he came back after four years and got finish over the champion. We’ve seen crazy comebacks, but after four years, this is just mind-blowing.”
Cormier on Tyron Woodley calling out GSP after UFC 217: “Be very careful saying stuff like Boogie man – it didn’t work out well for Joanna when she did it. But I think Georges should have fought Woodley at 170. It’s his weight class. I felt like he was a little slower at 185 and his athleticism was a little off because of all the muscle. I’d like to see GSP fight Woodley next. It would allow Tyron to fight the guy who vacated the title that he has now. It makes all the sense in the world.”
Florian on if GSP will fight again: “I don’t think any options raise the legacy of GSP. What gets better than being champ, walking away, and then coming back after four years to win the middleweight title. I want to see him fight again, but I don’t know what any of those potential fights do for him?”
VIDEO: Who should GSP fight next? Tyron says he’ll go up to 185. Should he? DC and Kenny weigh in!
Cormier on what TJ Dillashaw did to win the belt: “The adjustments that TJ made was key. In round one, Cody was waiting and countered him. In the second round, TJ’s coach told him more kicks and that’s what won it for him. TJ has always been one of the best. Saturday he proved leaving Team Alpha Male was good move because now he’s the champion again.”
Florian on if Dillashaw should fight Demetrious Johnson next: “I think Demetrious is the fight I want to see. It helps Demetrious as well. TJ is very vocal about wanting it. If you beat Demetrious, who’s considered one of the pound-for-pound best, that’ll raise TJ’s status. Both guys need this fight. It would be a really big fight for the lower weight classes.”
Cormier on Dillashaw vs. Johnson: “What if TJ goes down and wins at 125? Will he defend that belt? TJ ain’t defending at both weights. It would just make it really hard. Let them fight at 130 pounds, with no belt on the line. It won’t hold up either division. Who wants to work with Dominick Cruz if he’s waiting on a fight? Not us.”
VIDEO: Who should TJ Dillashaw fight next? DC and Kenny decide!
Florian breaks down Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier: “Pettis is a master of deception. He mixes things up and then baits you with something, then gets you to bite and takes you out. He goes low, checks out what you do and then goes upstairs. With this fight, I want to see who’s going to lead the dance. Both are exciting fighters. Pettis has to keep Poirier in the kicking range.”
Cormier on Poirier and Pettis’s skills: “Poirier starts fast with his left hand. He hasn’t seen the level that Pettis has. When Pettis was the star, he was mixing everything up. He’s known for his standup, but when he gets guys hurt, he can finish them with submissions.”
Cormier on Poirier’s keys to victory: “He starts fast with his strong left hand. He’s known for his standup. Key one is to get in boxing range. He’s a powerful striker and has to be in range to land them. Second, he’s got to apply pressure and close the distance. That will be important to take out Anthony’s kicks.”
Florian on Pettis’ keys to victory: “He’s as creative as it gets and has knockout power on the feet and finishing ability on the ground. Key number one is to use his creativity. He needs space to move and use his skills. Key two, he needs to get into kicking range. He’s one of the best when he keeps his opponents on the outside.”
Cormier picks Poirier while Florian picks Pettis to win. Says Florian: “I think Pettis gets it done by decision. It’s going to be a close one.”
Dustin Poirier on how he’ll fight Pettis: “I’ve been working on my wrestling at American Top Team. I feel like that’s his biggest hole in his game. We know he has amazing kickboxing.”
Poirier on why he’s stumbled in big fights: “A lot of that is overthinking, over caring. I have to go out there and just have fun. I’m going to go in there and show the world what I do.”
Poirier on if he’d face James Vick next after his callout: “He deserves a guy of our caliber after his win. But I feel like I’m one win away from the title. I want the winner of Alvarez – Gaethje or Khabib vs. Barboza.”
VIDEO: Dustin Poirier Interview
Anthony Pettis on his keys to beating Poirier: “I’ve got to put him on his heels. I can’t let him move forward. He’s a slow starter. He can’t put me and my back against the cage, so for us put him on his heels and punish him is really important.”
Pettis on Poirier’s style: “He’s a southpaw but doesn’t throw too many kicks. I’m ready to expose his mistakes. Last fight I played it safe, but this time I’m going for the kill.”
Pettis on getting back to the title: “It’s a long road. There are so many good guys. I’m excited to feel the way I do. I’m ready to go.”
Pettis on moving back from 145 to 155: “My goal was becoming a champion in two weight classes. But I can’t make the weight. I’m ready to go out there and show people what I can do.”
Pettis on what advice he gives his brother: “I tell him to take his time. The UFC wants to push him fast. Their job is to create challengers, not champions. So I tell him to take his time. And hold on to it a long time.”
VIDEO: Anthony Pettis interview
Matt Brown on why he’s thinking this is his retirement fight: “The number one thing is whether I have the motivation to have another championship run. I got really close with Lawler. I don’t want to be a journeyman. I don’t want to be just fighting for money and fighting to fight. In my mind, it’s about do I have the hunger to get back to the top?”
Brown on if he’s prepared for Saturday’s fight with Diego Sanchez: “I still have the hunger to fight. I think this is my retirement fight. I think every fighter goes through some introspection and questions at the end. I’m feeling great. My injuries are gone. My mind is clear. I have motivation and my hunger is back. If I can continue it, I will keep fighting. But if not, I’m not going to keep fighting just for the money.”
Brown on how he wants to end the fight: “I don’t have any specific ways I want the fight to go. I can go in there and accept anything that happens. I’m going to defeat him in any way I can. I don’t worry about what happens. He needs to worry about what happens.”
VIDEO: The P4P rankings have been released and Kenny Florian breaks down his top five.
VIDEO: Tommy Toe Hold