LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz guest hosts and interviews his archrival Urijah Faber about his upcoming main card fight at THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 17 FINALE. Plus, Cruz and Kenny Florian breakdown the fight, and UFC women’s champ Ronda Rousey weighs in on Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano. Plus news on Hector Lombard, Conor McGregor and more on this week’s UFC TONIGHT.
UFC TONIGHT’s Kenny Florian on THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 17 FINALE main card matchup between Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen: “They’re both similar fighters and both come from wrestling backgrounds, but what concerns me a little bit is the fact that Urijah Faber got Scott Jorgensen into the game. Any time you have that relationship, it’s like you’re a big brother. Will Scott Jorgensen respect Urijah too much heading into this fight?”
UFC TONIGHT Guest Analyst Dominick Cruz on Faber vs. Jorgensen: “I’ve wanted to see this fight back in the WEC days. Scott Jorgensen has done outstanding things lately and is on a win streak now. It’s going to be a high-paced fight. If you train with a fighter and if he brings you into the sport, you get this misconception that he is your teacher. Is Jorgensen in it mentally or will Faber give the big brother role toward him and get the W?”
Cruz predicts Faber over Jorgensen: “I’ve got to go with Faber. I think Jorgensen creates a lot of problems in durability and his wrestling ability that will make Faber think. But Faber’s explosiveness, speed and technique are going to win the fight.”
Faber on fighting Jorgensen, who he’s trained with in the past: “I haven’t trained with him much over the last couple years. It’s been more of a friendship. It’s going to be a little bit weird. It’s easy to punch or elbow someone in the face when you don’t care for them very much, but this is a different scenario.”
Faber on why he’s OK with fighting Jorgensen now: “We put off the fight for a long time. I was at 145 for most of the time and we were able to avoid the fight. You can’t avoid everybody. You’ve got to bite the bullet and today’s the day and I’m ready to rock.”
Faber on if he thinks Cruz still deserves to be the champ: “I do. Dominick and I don’t necessarily get along, but I can respect that the guy’s earned what he has. The bottom line is you can take the belt away, but everybody’s going to still want to see him go back and fight the top guy. You don’t want to see guys at the top of the food chain fighting guys at the bottom. That’s called a mismatch. They do that in boxing, but they don’t do that in MMA. Yeah, Dom, keep the belt. Shine it, take care of it, and sleep with it next to your pillow. You’ll have to get through (Renan) Barao first, which is very tough and a good match up, and then I’m looking to get back in there and have a go at it myself.”
Ronda Rousey on her prediction for Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano: “I have no clue. To be honest, both of them are amazing fighters. I think I’d prefer to coach against Miesha, so I’m rooting for her, but to have two undefeated fighters fight for a title, which it would be against Cat, would be an amazing experience as well. I’m the champ, I’m here to fight the best, so may the best girl win, and I’ll be here waiting for you.”
Cruz predicts Miesha Tate over Cat Zingano: “I love that it’s both of their debuts in the UFC, but I have to go with Tate. I think she’s got the cleaner technique on the grappling end.”
UFC TONIGHT Insider Ariel Helwani on Hector Lombard going down to 170: “I spoke to Lombard today and he’s about to work with Mike (Dolce) because he wants to get leaner. He walks around at 205 and he feels that at his height, it’s not really at his best interest to be fighting at 185. He knows the UFC wants him to go down. First thing’s first, he needs to have nose surgery. He broke his nose fighting Yushin Okami so the surgery is coming up next for him – hopefully next week. After that, he’s going to focus on that cut down to 170.”
Helwani on Conor McGregor fighting at 145: “Conor told me yesterday that he’s down with fighting at UFC ON FOX Sports 1 on August 17. Dana White wants him to fight in Boston. He did say if he had his druthers, he’d want that fight to happen at 155 pounds, not 145, which is what he fought at on Saturday. This is the first time that he’ll be leaving Europe to go fight, and considering the travel and everything that goes on with that, he’d like his first fight in North America to be at 155. The UFC has told him they want him to fight at 145 so we’ll see what happens with that.”
Helwani on Alexander Gustafsson: “His manager Manos Terzitane said that Alex is a week or two away from getting cleared. They’ve told the UFC that if someone gets injured at 205, they want to step in on short notice. They want to fight for the title – the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen on April 27. If they can’t get the title fight, they want to fight Lyoto Machida next. Their ultimate goal would be against Machida – the number-one contender fight – and then they want to fight for the title.”
Helwani on Nate Diaz: “Cesar Gracie is no longer managing Nate Diaz. For the first time in his MMA career, Diaz has a new manager and that is Mike Kogan. I talked to Mike and Cesar about this, and both would not confirm nor deny the story. Cesar Gracie is still training Nate, but he’s just no longer managing him.”
Cruz on his recovery: “I’m getting better every day. The doctor just cleared me to run and to jump rope, so I’m on the path.”
UFC TONIGHT is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and UFC light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen. Leeann Tweeden contributes, while three-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.
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