UFC ON FUEL TV 9 POSTFIGHT: MOUSASI, “I’M WILLING TO FIGHT ANYONE.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – The following quotes are from tonight’s UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV for UFC ON FUEL TV 9: MOUSASI VS. LATIFI. The show was hosted by Jay Glazer, with former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and UFC middleweight Brian Stann offering analysis. Gareth A Davies conducted fighter interviews on-site.

UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV Analyst Brian Stann on what set Gegard Mousasi apart vs. Ilir Latifi: “He controls his range very well and he’s a sniper. He waits for his opening and then unleashes his hands very quickly. He continued to back Latifi up. If you’re the fighter with the shorter arms and you’re backing up, you’re going to have a hard time reaching your opponent.”

UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV Analyst Rashad Evans on Mousasi vs. Latifi: “The story of the fight was nothing but that jab. The jab was surgical and on point. When Mousasi kept backing him up with that jab, it made Ilir loose a little bit of faith and he stayed on his heels. A wrestler cannot get a takedown or even set up one if he’s not moving forward, and Gegard did a very good job of setting him on his heels.”

Stann on if this fight helped Mousasi in the standings: “He didn’t help. I don’t think this is going to be something to see him move up in the rankings to go from the number ten light heavyweight in the world to number seven. But looking at the matchup he got, and how little time he had to prepare for this specific opponent, it was a disadvantageous spot for Mousasi. I think he’ll still get a big name fighter in his next fight and he’ll have more to gain.”

Gegard Mousasi on if he had a knee injury going into the fight: “Yeah, I had a knee injury and a cold, but I trained for a fight so I wanted to fight. It was a risky fight. I tried to be precise and was slowly breaking him down. Maybe if we went five rounds I would have finished him.”

Mousasi on how he beat Latifi: “I trained on the jab and we stuck to the game plan. The distance was good. He’s a shorter guy. If you keep the distance, and you stuff a couple of their takedowns, then the wrestlers don’t want to shoot. I didn’t take a lot of risks.”

Mousasi on who he wants to fight next: “Next fight, I’m willing to fight anyone.”

Stann on what’s changed with Ross Pearson with his victory over Ryan Couture: “He made the move to Alliance and we’ve seen the improvements to his game. This was a tough fight. He was losing and had to overcome it. He saw an opening and took advantage of it. He sent a message to all the other lightweights that he’s here and can finish a fight. It was a violence of action. He got violent right away when he got an opening and took advantage of it.”

Pearson on getting the victory over Couture: “The first round was about figuring him out. He’s unorthodox and it took me a while to figure him out. But they say: ‘pressure and patience.’ I found my range and distance and I made it work.”

Stann on Matt Mitrione vs. Phil De Fries: “We all knew this was an athletic mismatch going in. And Matt Mitrione came out very mobile and well prepared. He was too powerful. He sprawled, hit him with his hips and got just one little opening and finished with that devastating power. As a former NFL player, we know he’s got heavy hands. He just ended the night quickly and got a much-needed victory after a two-fight losing streak.”

Mitrione on his emotions after the fight: “I was out for 14 months, and I’m coming off of two losses in a row, so it was a really emotional victory. Everything about it was really emotional. I was so elated. It was just a beautiful feeling.”

Stann on Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton: “This was the best fight of the night. We had striking. We had takedowns, wrestling and the clench game. These guys came out and they poured it all on the line. It was really the wrestling game of Brad Pickett that earned him a very close decision. It was a closer fight than the judges’ scorecards showed. It was back and forth. Mike Easton had his moments, but it was Brad Pickett diversifying his strikes and using a much-improved wrestling game who pulled off the win.”

Pickett on his fight: “The last fight everyone said I was one-dimensional. This time, I looked to change and mix things up. I think it went well for me tonight.”

Pickett on who he wants to fight next: “I actually would like to fight someone ranked above me for once. I always get people below me. Maybe somebody like Michael McDonald would be a good fight. Anyone above me, give me somebody above me.”

UFC President Dana White on his impression of the card after the changed main fight: “These guys delivered tonight. I’m proud of everyone who fought on the card. There were some fans out there who were talking smack about the card, but you can’t judge it until it’s over.”

White on if he was happy with the Swedish MMA commission: “The commission did a horrible job with this fight. Gegard knew his knee injured before the fight. Thank god he didn’t see the doctors here. I don’t want to smash the commission, but they’re very inexperienced. This isn’t Las Vegas or New Jersey or California where lots of fights happen. They did a great job the first time we came here, so hopefully they’ll get back on the wagon.”

White on Conor McGregor: “He did some good for getting himself on the Boston card. His first fight in the UFC, he came out calm and smooth, cool and collected. I love this kid. The hype is real.”

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