From FUEL TV:
Evans and Sonnen Break Down UFC ON FUEL TV 5: STRUVE VS. MIOCIC; Plus Exclusive Struve and Hardy Interviews
LOS ANGELES, CA – The following quotes are from today’s UFC Postfight Show on FUEL TV, hosted by Jay Glazer. Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans and UFC Vet Chael Sonnen offered analysis. Longtime British MMA Journalist Gareth A Davies conducted fighter interviews.
UFC Postfight Show on FUEL TV Host Jay Glazer on the night’s fights: "We bring the hammer to the UFC. We’ve had great fights including Sanchez vs. Ellenberger, Gustafsson vs. Silva, Korean Zombie vs. Poirier, Munoz vs. Weidman, and now Struve vs. Miocic.
UFC Postfight Show on FUEL TV Analyst Chael Sonnen on how good Stefan Struve looked in his victory: "You want to know how good Stefan Struve fought? Stipe fought excellent tonight, and Struve looked even better."
UFC Postfight Show on FUEL TV Analyst Rashad Evans on Struve: "The big guys got it underway. With Stefan Struve, he was nervous because of the weight of being in his first main fight. In the first round, he was working it out. In the second round Struve found his range. It’s the right hand and uppercut that got Stipe. I was surprised because I thought he’d have to get it to the ground. He stood in there and got some shots."
Sonnen on Stipe Miocic dealing with Stefan Struve: "It’s so hard to prepare for a seven-footer. Stipe did it on the job, and he did the best he could. It just wasn’t enough."
Sonnen on Struve needing to still improve: "He needs to make some improvements. He took a lot of shots. He shouldn’t take those shots with his range advantage. Struve has the reach of Jon Jones, but twice the courage. He caught Stipe on a great night and still beat him."
Evans on Struve improving his skills: "He should watch Jon Jones. He does a tremendous job defensively and you have to punch through Jon Jones with his reach and he’ll catch you with an elbow. Struve has the hard cover up, but you blind yourself when you do that. And you don’t know what your opponent is going to do and you’re doing the work for him. You have to use the long reach to post it."
Sonnen on both Struve and Miocic: "I’m still impressed with both the fighters. I thought Stipe did a great job and I mean that as a compliment to Struve because Struve beat him. If you watch that ending, Stipe was on rubber legs, but just wouldn’t fall down. That just shows what a tremendous athletes these guys both are."
Sonnen on the fight of the night Struve vs. Miocic: "Let’s mention that Stipe was a 2-1 favorite in the betting lines, which is usually the way the fights go. The fight was on their feet the whole time and both guys landed. The reason it was fight of the night was because of the shock and of the technique. This was not a brawl, this was a really well calculated, really strategic, really technical fight and it was a very well planned fight. The problem was that Struve was really coming on and when he really started to land, he really started to change the tone. When Stipe started to put his hands down Struve really started to land punches."
Evans on the fight of the night: "You don’t think Struve is that powerful, and Stipe had an iron chin. They both took some great shots in this fight. But Struve’s power really showed up."
UFC Postfight Show on FUEL TV Reporter Gareth A Davies interviews Struve about his emotions after the win: "Yeah. My dad has been dying of cancer for about two months so this was for him tonight. He is in his therapy for four weeks now and I heard he is doing well, but still."
Struve if he had bottled up emotions during camp: "Yeah it was really tough man."
Struve on if his father was watching tonight: "I don’t know, I hope so. It was great to get the win. It is good to go home and focus on that now."
Struve on Miocic: "I felt his right hand wasn't really hard enough to take me out as long as I just paid attention and bite my jaw together. I saw that he really slowed down in the second round and I decided to start chasing him and pressure him and I really rocked him with a few shots."
Struve on if Miocic rocked him: "No, he didn't rock me, just a few bruises."
Struve on his new maturity: "You know, I think I showed that I am still getting better, stronger in every fight. I am getting more powerful in every shot. I felt really well. I just need to use my reach more and more and I’m working hard on that. Just getting it all together the last couple weeks. I just wanted to go in there and get the win."
Struve on a possible fight against Fabricio Werdum: "I think it would be an awesome fight and he is one of the best fighters in the world. I think I can rock him on the ground and I can beat him."
Evans on Struve being emotional: "You know a fight takes place in two places, in a physical sense and on an emotional sense. When you fight you go through the emotional roller coaster. There are periods where you feel up and periods when you feel down and everything you swallow during the training camp comes out after the fight."
Sonnen on Struve being emotional: "It was real clear he was emotional. As men especially we feel we have to put a game face on and act tough. A lot of the times we kind of do. And I think that when he got the win, he put his guard down and got a little emotional and I think it is great."
Sonnen on who Struve should fight next: "There is a fight coming up with Travis Browne vs. Bigfoot Silva and if Silva wins, I would love to see Struve fight against Bigfoot. If Browne wins the fight, I still think a rematch is in the cards. Struve is a completely different fighter and I think it would be good."
Evans on who Struve should fight next: "I think I’d like to see him go against Big Nog [Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira]. He has some hands, so it can be a real test for Stefan Struve to see if he is really ready to be in the top-five level."
Evans on Dan Hardy beating Amir Sadollah: "Like you said, he lives right across the street. When you come into a fight that is so close to where you live, you try not to get nervous. You see the nerves in the first round. You see the evolution of Hardy going on, the takedown in the second round. Hardy in the second round totally takes over. He believes in his hands and his kicks and goes for the takedowns. Something we have never seen before. That is a fighter who is constantly evolving. Like I said before, hanging out with coach Nelson did him well. Before Hardy used to always get outwrestled by people and he complained about it openly and it’s good to see him changing the game. If you can’t stop them join them."
Sonnen on Hardy: "Maybe this was not the fight of the night, but definitely he was the fighter of the night. He was so awesome tonight. He scored three successful takedowns. He got the big win at home and Sadollah, who was a game player and fought hard, could not take home the win. What an impressive learning curve. This was an absolute 180 for him. It was a great fight and couldn't have happen to a better guy."
Evans on Hardy progressing through the night: "The first round I noticed he was very nervous, very tentative and found himself on the fence at the end of strikes. At the end of the second round he got his ground and really started making moves."
Davies Interviews Dan Hardy on how hard Sadollah was to fight: "The target wouldn't go away tonight. I kept kitting him with some big arrows and he kept absorbing them."
Hardy on his strategy against Sadollah: "Amir has a habit of pushing forward. He is very aggressive after I drew him into a strike. I knew I was going to be able to bring him to his back. I was a little sluggish today I think the anxiety got to me a bit."
Hardy on his technique tonight: "I’ve got these skills now and I’ve been working on them for a year. I didn’t get to use them in my last fight and they were a surprise in this card. I have a lot of things coming still, a lot of things I’m working on that I didn’t get to show tonight."
Hardy on sleeping in his own bed last night: "For me, the main thing about fight week is diet because I am very strict with my diet. Being in my own kitchen made it easier, but the problem is I was at home this morning, sitting watching Family Guy and I had to remember I had a fight tonight. When you are in a hotel, traveling, it’s work all the time."
Hardy on fighting in England: "Yes, it was great. Nottingham was a great venue for me. The fans are passionate and this arena means a lot to me."
Hardy on getting a candy from his grandmother after the fight: "It was something my grandpa used to do. My grandparents kept me focused through my teenage years and unfortunately we lost grandpa during the GSP fight, but my grandma was able to join me tonight. It was her first time to a fight today and first time to the weigh-ins last night and first thing she did was come over and give me a treat."
Hardy on if he is happy being a top-five welterweight: "Without a doubt. First and foremost, I am a huge UFC fan. I love the organization and to be able to come out and fight for these fans is something I will be able to remember for the rest of my life. I always love fighting for them."
Evans on Hardy using his elbows: "A lot of people, when they get a guy down, they try to throw punches. There are a few fighters who know how to use those elbows and he knew how to use them tonight."
Sonnen on Paul Sass vs. Matt Wiman: "We predicted this would be the fight of the night. Sass is a submission expert. They were rolling all over the place in the first round. This was not a good place for Wiman, but he goes for the triangle and transitions to the arm bar and he finishes it."
Evans on being surprised about Wiman’s victory: "Who would have thought Wiman would pull a submission on Sass? The transitions were so high level. Wiman finished it with a great win. He’s very aggressive and he puts the pressure on. I knew he was pretty slick on the ground, but I never knew he was that slick."
Sonnen on being surprised about Wiman’s victory over Sass: "I thought Wiman could beat Sass. Never did I think he would submit him. That was not on my list of ways that fight could finish. Wiman was very impressive. The confidence he has; it’s one thing to train against the submission game, but it’s another thing to have the confidence to beat someone at his own game."
Evans on where Wiman is in the division: "The sky’s the limit for him. He’s just getting more confidence. He’s ready for the next level and to go against guys who are going for title."
Davies interviews Wiman after his victory over Sass: "I expected him to come at me. He’s never tasted the heat. He doesn’t know the heat. Once you taste the heat, then he gets the doubt in his head. I knew I had to take it from him. Unfortunately, I didn’t take it to the ground. He took it there and I went to my guard, and I’m glad I had that part of my game."
Wiman if he’s ready to fight against title contenders: "I like laying back in the cut and being the lone wolf. I like being in it and not of it. I feel like I can fight anyone in the division. Let people say where I am. I just want to become a better fighter and keep getting better."
Sonnen on John Hathaway beating John Maguire: "This was a big fight. They’re both friends. In the first two rounds, the story of the night was Hathaway dominating and Maguire just looked sluggish. But in the third round, Maguire turned it on, but it was too late, and he lost the fight."
Sonnen on Gunnar Nelson’s submission of DaMarques Johnson: "This is the reason to watch UFC on FUEL TV fights. Gunnar Nelson makes his debut and its as impressive as I’ve seen. He was just as calm when he started and just as calm when he finished."
Evans on when he is fighting next: "I don’t know. I talked to Dana [White] early this week and we talked about maybe December. But I’m thinking maybe January or February. I will fight anybody. I want to get a fight at light heavyweight. They offered me a fight, but it was against Glover Teixeira and I only had three weeks to fight and I haven’t been training. I was like, ‘no way, not with that notice in Brazil.’"
Sonnen on who he’s fighting next: "I am better than Jon Jones and sound better than Sean Combs. You can dodge me now, but sooner or later ... you and me are going to be the last two to get off the bus. But I’m allegedly fighting Forrest Griffin next. I’ve signed a contract for it."
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