LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, we’ve got the latest updates on the UFC ON FUEL TV 9 changes. Plus, Rashad Evans is a guest in the studio and talks about his upcoming fight, the curse of the Blackzilians, and possible retirement. All that, plus a lot more on this week’s UFC TONIGHT.
Quote of the Week: UFC TONIGHT’s Kenny Florian on Ilir Latifi’s strengths against Gegard Mousasi: “Latifi is a national champion in wrestling in Sweden. If we’ve seen a weakness in Mousasi in the past, it’s with guys who can take him down and control him, so perhaps Ilir has the style that will give him a lot of problems.”
UFC TONIGHT Guest Rashad Evans on Ilir Latifi training with the Blackzilians: “He was one of the first members of the Blackzilians. We trained together. He was strong. I started calling him ‘The Strongy.’ He’s a good wrestler and has a lot of power in his hands. He can put you out with one shot.”
Florian on Mousasi’s strengths: “Mousasi is a true veteran in the game. He can knock you out. He’s so fast at 205 pounds and he has excellent submissions. This guy is a true finisher, but you have to think about his mindset going into this. He was preparing for Gustafsson and now he’s training for a completely different opponent. He went from a really tall guy to a short, stocky wrestler. It’s going to be interesting to see how he adjusts for this event.”
UFC TONIGHT Insider Ariel Helwani on how Alexander Gustafsson was injured: “Gustafsson was wrestling, slipped on the mat, and he hit his face on the nearby cage. He suffered a cut underneath his eyebrow, above his eyelid. He went to the hospital later that day and received three stitches. Two days later, they informed the Swedish MMA Federation, but they couldn’t look at him and make a final decision until today because Sunday and Monday were holidays in Sweden. They looked at him today and deemed he was unfit to fight.”
Evans on his last fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: “I watched a little bit of the fight. It was a lackluster performance on my part. It was one of those life lessons. You watch a fight like that, and it’s like, ‘What was I thinking? Where was my head?’ It took me weeks to get my head around what I did.”
Evans on his upcoming fight against Dan Henderson: “Dan Henderson is no secret. The power of Dan Henderson is in his huge right hand. He has great take down offensive, he has a wrestling background and he will get you on the ground and do ground-and-pound. For me, what I need to do is fight my fight. I need to have my transitions, from my punches to my takedowns, and they need to be sharp. No lazy half-shots. No pitty-pat punching. I need hard punching and hard takedowns.”
Evans on if he’s worried about losing his job if he loses his next fight: “No, I’m not worried about losing my job. I put in a lot of good fights at the UFC and I’m confident that I’m not going to lose my next fight.”
Evans on if he’d consider retiring if he loses his next fight: “If I lose my next fight, I would consider dropping down a weight class. If I drop down to 185 and things weren’t going right, then I would think about retiring.”
Evans on the curse of the Blackzilians: “The thing about it is, in any sport you follow, with any team you watch, they may have ebbs and flows of competition. Sometimes you do well and sometimes you’re not doing so well.”
Chael Sonnen on his upcoming fight against Jon Jones: “This is a public address from the people’s champion himself. I will come on stage, I will sell the tickets. I’m the highest paid fighter in the history of the UFC and I’m the biggest draw that this industry has ever seen. On 4/27, Chael Sonnen Promotions, in conjunction with Zuffa, LLC will bring to you the biggest fight of the year, the biggest light heavyweight fight of all time. The young Jon Jones at last will have what every young fighter dreams about: A chance to go one-on-one, to actually share the people’s Octagon, with Chael Sonnen. And he will be reminded the hard way what you already know: When you’re the greatest fighter in the world today, they have a name for you, they don’t call you a great fighter, they call you Chael Sonnen.”
Helwani on Nick Diaz being retired: “Right now Nick is retired, unless he gets rematch with Georges St-Pierre or the big Anderson Silva fight. Apparently if he doesn’t get those, he’s going to remain retired.”
Florian on if he’ll be making a comeback at the upcoming August 17 UFC fight in his hometown of Boston: “I’m enjoying retired life. I’ve said this before, if I can’t train like I used to, than I’m not going to do it.”
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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