Press Release – LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, we have an exclusive interview with UFC President Dana White. Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen preview the upcoming UFC ON FUEL TV 8: SILVA VS. STANN card, plus offer thoughts on Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis, Anderson Silva’s next opponent and more.
Quote of the Week: UFC President Dana White on making the Aldo vs. Pettis fight: “It wasn’t difficult to get the fight. I called Andre [Pederneiras] yesterday and it took two minutes to get the fight done. He said that after Aldo beats Pettis, he wants to move up to 155 and fight there. I said that was fine, but one of the matchmakers called and said there was a misunderstanding, that he wants to go to 155, win the title, and go back to 145. That’s not happening. If he moves to 155, he stays at 155 and he holds that belt. If Pettis wins the fight, Pettis is going to have to stay at 145 and defend that belt a couple of times.”
UFC TONIGHT’s Kenny Florian on what makes Silva vs. Stann exciting: “You have two big names in the sport and the styles are what makes this exciting. These are two guys who love to bang it out and two guys who stand in the middle of the Octagon and love to trade blows. Brian Stann is not fearful of anybody. Wanderlei is very much in the same boat.”
UFC TONIGHT’s Chael Sonnen on Silva needing to win the fight: “Wanderlei has kind of been at end of the career for a while now. He loves this sport. He is very sincere when he says he loves to fight, he loves to train and he loves to compete. The problem is he isn’t winning a lot of fights. If he gets knocked out one more time, I suspect that will be the end of the road. Brian Stann has the ability to knock him out. Wanderlei has the same ability and can definitely win this fight. But he really needs it and Brian doesn’t.”
Sonnen predicts a Stann victory: “Wanderlei’s heart is big, but his chin is more suspect than Blade Runner. Brian Stann, the All-American, KO’s him in the first round.”
Florian on why Struve will have a tough fight with Hunt: “For Stefan Struve, what worries me is that he is very tall, but he doesn’t utilize his reach like he should. He needs to establish that jab early. He’s a slow starter and against a guy like Mark Hunt who starts fast and has the big power, he has to make sure keep he keeps Hunt on the outside. That won’t be easy because Hunt is so experienced.”
Sonnen predicts Hunt in an upset over Struve: “Stefan Struve is better everywhere: He’s younger, he’s faster, he’s got a longer reach, but he keeps his chin up, and in an upset, Mark Hunt will knock him out.”
Florian on Diego Sanchez: “He’s had to deal with some injuries. He’s back training with Greg Jackson. I’m convinced that Diego Sanchez is part cyborg and just doesn’t stop. This is an exciting fight.”
Sonnen predicts Sanchez over Takanori Gomi: “Diego is going to box him up. I think Takanori Gomi has just a hard enough head to make this exciting, but ultimately Diego Sanchez wins.”
Sonnen predicts Yushin Okami over Hector Lombard: “Yushin Okami out strikes him. The grappling gets nullified. Okami takes it in a three-round decision.”
UFC President Dana White on Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman: “It’s always a process with Anderson Silva, but to be honest, he wants big fights. He’s 38 years old – the guy still looks and fights like he’s 25 – but you don’t know how much time he has left. He wants that GSP fight, he wants that Jon Jones fight, and he wants big fights.”
White on Anderson Silva’s new contract: “Anderson Silva still has to sign a new UFC contract. It’s either going to be an eight- or 10-fight deal and he’s going to have to fight Chris Weidman in there somewhere.”
White on Benson Henderson vs. Georges St-Pierre: “It’s not going to happen. Benson just won that title not too long ago, there are plenty of guys in the 155-pound division to defend the title against, and there’s a possible fight with Aldo if Aldo moves up and stays at 155.”
White on his ideal super fight: “I really want to see Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.”
White on if Rashad Evans vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is possible: “No, that fight’s probably not going to happen. If any fight happens, it would probably be Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson.”
White on Ronda Rousey being a movie star: “You know how I feel about the movie stuff. When Rampage did the movie, it was his dream to be a part of the A-Team. I don’t want to take away any opportunities from Ronda, but at the same time, her window of opportunity as a professional athlete is really narrow. She could make a zillion movies when she retires. Where she’s really going to get the money is here fighting. I don’t care if she’s the lead role in ‘The Hunger Games 2,’ she would not make anywhere near – I mean, not even in the universe – to the money she makes fighting.”
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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