UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV Show Quotes – 1/26/13

Johnson: “I had to dig deep and pull through and keep the pressure on him.”

Sonnen and Cruz Break Down FOX UFC SATURDAY Fights, Plus White, Teixeira, Jackson and Pettis interviews.

LOS ANGELES, CA – The following quotes are from tonight’s UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV for FOX UFC SATURDAY: JOHNSON VS. DODSON. The show was hosted by Jon Anik, with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and light heavyweight number one contender Chael Sonnen offering analysis. Ariel Helwani conducted fighter interviews on-site.

UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV Analyst Chael Sonnen on Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson: “It was an incredible fight, and it was not without controversy. Our flyweight champion remains Demetrious Johnson. But there was a shot from the knee to the face. It was so illegal, the ref stopped the fight. It was so illegal the ref brought in the commission and doctors, but he didn’t take a point away.”

UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV Analyst Dominick Cruz: “Dodson also took knee to groin. But that wasn’t the story of the fight. The story of the fight was DJ’s pressure, the way he adjusted to Dodson’s power and he knew he had to weather the storm of the first two rounds. He knew Dodson was looking to counter and he knew if he flooded Dodson with offense, head movement, angles, footwork, then come the championship rounds, it was going to wear down his opponent. And Johnson stuck to his game plan and was able to grind out the win.”

Sonnen on the judges scores for Johnson vs. Dodson: “Don’t tell me you weren’t surprised by the decision. Dodson dropped him twice and still didn’t win on a single card.”

Cruz on the judging: “The judging surprises me every single fight. You never know what to expect. But what you have to understand is control, pressure, and not taking a lot of damage in the sense of dropping Dodson every single time you try as well. It goes both ways.”

Cruz on Dodson early in the fight: “I was impressed with Dodson’s power and speed. The first two rounds it was all him. He was able to counter like he’s done against all his opponents. What I didn’t like about Johnson was the way he was chasing Dodson. That allows Dodson to sit back on his back foot and counter with his power punches. But the championship rounds were all Johnson and he grinded out the victory.”

Cruz on what Johnson did to win the fight: “It was the pressure that slowed Dodson down. He was hitting Johnson with everything he had and Johnson stayed in his face and that is exhausting. Johnson just kept after him and grinding him. He was working on the clinch. The front head lock and kneeing, kneeing, kneeing him and that takes away the power.”

Cruz on what Dodson could have done differently: “Dodson should have tied up the upper body of DJ. He’s lightning fast and in his grill. Dodson should have dug in some under hooks, and could have put him on his back and make him uncomfortable. Johnson knows he’s wearing you out and knows that he’ll get the W.”

Sonnen on getting surprised by Dodson not handling Johnson’s clench: “What really surprised me was what little answer and resistance Dodson had for that Muay Thai clinch. It reminded me of Rich Franklin against Anderson Silva. He gets caught in a basic position and was a deer in the headlights.”

Demetrious Johnson on how confident he was that he won the fight before the judges announced the scorecards: “I felt pretty confident. The first couple rounds were hard and he threw some stuff that I wasn’t ready for and I had to dig deep and pull through and keep the pressure on him.”

Johnson on what he wasn’t ready for from Dodson: “He was fast. I wasn’t just following the game plan, I was getting too greedy and I was dealing wrong with him. I got caught and just relaxed, breathed and pull through it.”

Johnson on if he was surprised by Dodson’s speed: “No. Anybody can be fast in the first round, trust me. My wife is fast in the first round. But it’s a five-round fight and you have to be fast in all five rounds and I am.”

Johnson on how much the drop hurt in the second round: “I got dazed. I’ve been dazed before by Dominick Cruz with a knee to the face and I just dug deep. It’s going to happen.”

Johnson on how much fighting in the championship rounds in the past and being a champion helped him win: “Going five rounds with Dominick Cruz, Joseph Benavidez, Ian McCall. That stuff has all helped me earn my belt. And now going five rounds with a guy who is close to my speed helps me out a lot. That’s the stuff that other guys have to look forward to when they fight me.”

Johnson on if he expected his punch game to be that important: “Yes. If you look at John Dodson’s fights, he doesn’t like to be in the clinch. I’m ready for a knee battle against anybody in the flyweight division.”

Johnson on how he feels about the call against Dodson: “The first time I put my knee to his head, I couldn’t tell because I was looking at the back of his head. After the first time I got warned, I apologized about that. I could feel his pressure and he has to move. It’s not checkers – it’s chess damn it!”

Johnson on his champion aura: “I’m just a hard worker and I know I have a lot of stuff to improve on. I’m ready to go back home and get ready for the next fight.”

Johnson on who he thinks is next for him: “That’s not my decision. What’s next for me is to go home, relax, work on my knockout power, work on my clinch game and work on everything.”

Who Sonnen would like to see next for Johnson: “I think that Jussier Formiga is the guy. I think he should be the number one contender. I’m surprised to see him number six on the list – that’s still a great ranking – but I think he’s the guy. And I think his reach as well as his tenacity and ability to absorb damage is going to drive him to that fight.”

Who Cruz would like to see next for Johnson: “Formiga is good but I like the way the standings are looking. After Dodson’s out of the picture, I like Benavides and McCall. The winner of that fight should get the title shot, and the loser of that fight would go against John Moraga. He’s been looking really good. He’s on a two-, maybe three-fight win streak and he’s got finishes, he looks very strong, and he’s got a great wrestling background. I like those matchups.”

UFC President Dana White on if he agreed with the judges that Johnson beat Dodson: “I said it was going to be a controversial decision. I have to watch it again. I’m pretty sure I gave Dodson the first three rounds.”

White on if he felt a point should have been taken away because of the illegal knee to the head: “I do think the point should have been taken away. It was an illegal knee and it caused damage. There should have been a point taken away. But I hate that rule. The reason it’s there, it’s for soccer kicks when guys are down on the ground. But I don’t like when guys put their hand down to protect them from it. It was an awesome fight, a close fight and a controversial fight. I agree with you the third round was pivotal.”

White on Johnson looking like a champion now: “What’s happened in the fights, he’s so fast and talented, he makes it look easy. Tonight he fought someone with great power and who knocked him down. I don’t know anyone who won’t like the flyweights after tonight.”

White on if he’d keep Rampage in the UFC: “Rampage has said he doesn’t want to be in our business. He needs to work with people who make him happy. We’ve done everything in our power. I talked about the number that we’ve given him the other day, but not the cars. If someone else can pay him what we do, good. I do have the right to match.”

White on Pettis getting a title shot against winner of Gilbert Melendez and Benson Henderson? “No doubt about it. Is everyone else sold on him? I am now!”

Sonnen on Teixeira vs. Jackson: “Both of these guys delivered. Teixeira was here based on reputation and expectation, versus Rampage who was here because of his wisdom. He told us he’d never go for a takedown, but he did and that wasn’t his only time. Teixeira with a single takedown attempt, switches off to a double with very good wrestling. This was a really back-and-forth affair. It was very clear who was winning. It was very clear that Teixeira won the whole fight. It was absolutely entertaining and Quinton Jackson stood his ground.”

Cruz on Teixeira vs. Jackson: “Let’s look at Rampage’s career. He’s been nothing but entertaining for everybody. He comes out and fights every single time, stands in the center of the ring and gives everything he has. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing video games in the press conference right before the fight or not, the guy comes ready to fight. That was the leanest I’ve seen Rampage in a long time. I wasn’t expecting him to come out looking that good. What really shocked me was Glover, and that way he was able to mix his takedowns up. I wouldn’t expect to see wrestling like that from a guy that big. I loved his single. You take away the power of Rampage by going with a single because if you get underneath him with a double, Rampage is as powerful as they come with the hips and can resist the takedown, but if you grab one leg, you’re forcing a big strong man to stay balanced and now he’s not powerful. After he wore down Rampage, and hit him with big shots to the body, big shots to the head, he was able to shoot that double leg and then every single one of his takedowns were effective. Teixeira got on top, mounted, and did the ground and pound. It was a beautiful performance and confirms that Glover belongs here.”

Teixeira on his performance: “I’m happy with winning. No disrespect to Quinton but I wanted to go for the knockout and finish him, but he stopped me. I know he’s tough, but he took some good shots. I’m good – I’m happy with my performance.”

Teixeira on what he needed to do to finish Jackson: “You have to think this is a guy that has pride on him. I hit him with good shots, but he hits hard too. I cannot become cocky in that situation and get caught with a punch. I swear I hit him hard in the second round and I thought it was going to be a knockout. In the third round I had a little problem with my body and I felt pain in my ribs. But it’s not an excuse. Quinton is a tough son-of-a-gun.”

Teixeira on if he was 100 percent going into the fight: “I was. It was just like a little problem. No fighter comes in 100 percent. If he does come 100 percent, it’s because he’s not training.”

Teixeira on what Jackson said after the fight: “He said he was my fan. I’ve said this before, but I’m a big fan of Quinton Jackson and I told him he was my idol. He said that he’s my fan now, and he hopes I go out there and become a champion. I always respect him. It was an amazing and great fight with him.”

Teixeira on if he thinks he’s the number one contender in the division: “No. That’s not my job. The number one contender is Chael Sonnen and you’ve got to respect that. Let him go and see what happens. I think Chael is a good fighter, but I believe Jon is going to keep the title.”

Teixeira on if he wants to fight the winner of that fight: “No, because I don’t want to wait that long.”

Rampage Jackson on how he’s feeling after his loss: “It’s hard to swallow when you get your ass kicked. It’s part of the job, and I understand that. Glover did what he had to do. He took it to me standing up, he took me down a few times, and he did what he had to do to win.”

Jackson on any complaints about Teixeira: “Glover did a great job. When he took me down, he didn’t just hold me and he didn’t hump my leg. He went for submissions. He grounded and pounded. I have no problems with that – that’s MMA at its finest. It was a very exciting fight. He actually retained my respect. I respect fighters like Glover, I look up to fighters like Glover, fighters like Glover make MMA.”

Jackson on why he lost the fight: “Glover was just the better man tonight. That’s what I think. It’s one of those things. I felt great. I can’t blame it on my knee surgery because my knee didn’t even bother me. It wasn’t even on my mind. I thought it was going to be a factor because I did have surgery, but it was nothing. I have great coaches and they did a great job. I think that this is my reality and I have to see what’s next. I’ve been fighting for 13 years and the game has changed a lot. I might just be one of those fighters that come in and excite the crowd. I’m just going out there and try to entertain the fans. I’ll be one of those middle range fighters. If someone wants to pick me up and somebody is going to put on an exciting fight for the fans. I don’t know if I can compete with the top people. It’s my first time I’ve lost three fights in a row. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to go back to the drawing board and work on everything. I feel like I can come back if I set my mind to it, but right now if anyone picks me up, that’s my marketing pitch – hey I’ll put on a great show for you.”

Jackson on if this was his last fight and if he’ll fight again: “I’ll fight again. It’s not my last fight. I might try some boxing and see how well I do. It’s still in my heart, I just have to see. I just have a lot of re-evaluating to do.”

Chael on Jackson’s lasting legacy: “It’s outstanding. This is a former world champion. He fought all the guys that nobody else even wanted to fight. He beat Chuck Liddell at a time when nobody would even sign to fight him that wasn’t Randy Couture. But listen, the narrative is going to completely change now. Anytime a guy’s contract is almost up, he always says that he doesn’t know if he wants to do this anymore. This is always a ploy and you put all your eggs in one basket and that is the victory basket. You’re going to win, you’re going to look well doing it, and you’re going to come to the negotiating table getting a bump in pay. He lost and the narrative will change tomorrow morning, mark my words.”

Cruz on Jackson’s legacy: “I agree with Chael. I don’t think Rampage is going anywhere. I think the fighting is in him. It’s what he. If you look at all the fights in the past, you see the passion in his eyes and you see the passion when he comes in here and when he leaves. He loves this sport, and I think he’s going to keep fighting. He’s just going to do a great job in the future still and he’s not going anywhere.”

Cruz on Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone: “Pettis put a spin on this. He switched to south paw in this fight. Diaz had success against Cerrone as a south paw. Cerrone wasn’t expecting it from Pettis. Pettis kept Cerrone guessing. Because of that, all his offense changed.”

Sonnen on Pettis beating Cerrone: “This fight was five years in the making. To see Cerrone crumple on the ground was breathtaking. Cerrone is tough and that was a brutal kick from Pettis.”

Anthony Pettis reacts to his victory to Ariel Helwani: “It feels amazing. I went out there and did everything I wanted to do. I was out a year, I was injured, and he said something he shouldn’t have said and it fired me up. People talked about me having ring rust, but there was no ring rust. I love to fight. I trained my butt off to fight. I missed my daughter to train so much. I don’t know what finished him. After the body kick, I saw him turn red. But I was waiting for my chance to finish him. But once he went down, I kept punching him. I don’t know what finished him.”

Pettis on how much Cerrone was bothering him calling him out: “I wanted to finish him. I didn’t want a decision. He’s been calling me out for a year. I was at home hurt and couldn’t do anything about it, and it built up into those two minutes, so I took it out on him.”

Pettis on who he’ll fight next: “I have to see what they offer me. I hate waiting. I have a great performance, I get injured, and I’m stuck waiting. I think 2013 is going to be my year. My fight was ten minutes ago. I’m going to hang out with my daughter after this fight and then figure it out.”

Sonnen on Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas: “You want to really hurt someone, take the title shot away from him, twice. I thought he fought a good fight, but made one mistake and Lamas swarmed on him.”

Cruz on TJ Grant vs. Wiman: “I’ve seen these guys’ styles. They both meet in the center, move forward, and are dirty boxers. Wiman tried to get inside, starting to look for knees and elbows, but TJ Grant was a little better. I thought Wiman was going to weather the storm and I thought they’d go three rounds and get really bloody. But Grant was able to get him with the elbow and put him down early and won it.”

Cruz on Clay Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki: “Clay Guida did a great job controlling the fight. He realized that Hioki is tall, and started taking him down and stayed in the guard. He did a great job timing his takedowns. What Hioki did really well was he started hitting him in the body because he couldn’t hit him in the head.”

Cruz on Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko: “I didn’t know what was going to land first. Bader comes in with that mean left hook and surprises everybody. He puts Vladimir down with that straight left hook and then goes straight to the guillotine. Bader knew that Vladimir was rocked and that he was going to go for the kill because he’s too strong. He gets that guillotine, adjusts himself, sinks it and gets the fastest submission in the light heavyweight division ever.

Sonnen on Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko: “What a relief if you’re Ryan Bader. He comes out of a devastating lost to Machida. He got his heart broken by Tito Ortiz. He came out and I didn’t think he had the hold. He falls back and sure enough he had it tighter than it could be. That’s a significant win.”

Sonnen on Frankie Edgar at UFC 156: ALDO VS. EDGAR: “Guys, this is a whole another deal if you’re thinking Jose Aldo can whip him. He can certainly beat him. But you’re telling me he can beat Sean Sherk, BJ Penn, Gray Maynard – not only did Edgar beat all those guys, but he beat two of them twice. Frankie Edgar is flat out awesome. He’s beat some of the best ever. Dana White once said he’s the number-two pound-for-pound best in the world next to Anderson Silva. That means he beats out Georges St-Pierre.”

Cruz on UFC 156: ALDO VS. EDGAR: “Let’s not forget Jose Aldo who has nothing but power in his strikes, he has some of the best timing and knees up the middle, kicks to the legs and awesome footwork. And that’s what Frankie likes to use, footwork. So I see Aldo going out there and being able to land the shots he wants. Plus, he has great take down defense. He’s very powerful and big for the weight class.”

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