From FUEL TV:
UFC 152 Analysis and Predictions, Plus Exclusive Stephan Bonnar and Chris Weidman Interviews
“UFC Tonight” airs Tuesdays 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT
LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s “UFC Tonight,” Analyst Kenny Florian offers his analysis and predictions for this week’s UFC 152. Plus, Host Todd Harris and Florian interview Stephan Bonnar, who discusses his upcoming fight against Anderson Silva and how he feels about being the biggest underdog in UFC history. And Chris Weidman talks about how he feels about Bonnar fighting Silva.
Quote of the Week: “UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian on what Vitor Belfort has to do to beat Jon Jones: “Vitor’s such an explosive striker. He has a lot of first-round finishes. He’s going to have to catch Jon Jones early. He’s great at timing his opponents. He’ll use that speed against his opponents and he’ll have to use that against Jon Jones. He needs to slip that long jab in there. Even with eight-to-one odds against him, Vitor has a chance.”
Florian on the ‘young lion’ Jon Jones vs. the ‘old lion’ Vitor Belfort: “This young lion is no joke. Any 205 pounder going against Jon Jones is at a huge physical disadvantage because of his size and reach. But Vitor is coming into it at a great time because of all the criticism and controversy against Jones and the cancellation of UFC 151. Vitor has no pressure going into this fight.”
Florian on if Belfort will have an advantage because he’s training with Rashad Evans: “Rashad has a lot of info on Jon Jones. It’s going to help Vitor. Rashad has a lot of experience training and fighting against Jones. He knows how to fight against him and he knows how he trains. Rashad knows what he did wrong when he lost to Jones. The key is to learn from his mistakes. He did one bad thing in his fight against Jones and that was he didn’t go forward against him. Vitor Belfort needs to go forward.”
Florian on Jon Jones: “Jones is a favorite in this fight. He has a huge advantage. Vitor Belfort will have to make it up and go after him.”
Chael Sonnen comments on if he’s going to UFC 152: “To Toronto? No. I’m training for the fight, but I’m not going unless I’m competing.”
Florian on Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson: “It’s going to be a fast and furious fight. Demetrious Johnson is very bouncy on his feet and he’s so smart with his game plans. Joseph Benavidez is more flat footed, but he’s a great finisher. He has an excellent guillotine.”
Florian picks Joseph Benavidez over Demetrious Johnson: “Benavidez is more of a finisher. Demetrious has a great game plan and does what he has to do to get the job done. But Benavidez has more experience finishing fights.”
Florian on what Michael Bisping will do against Brian Stann: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Bisping comes out and uses his grappling skills against Stann. Bisping has so much more experience, but Brian Stann has some serious knockout power and will go after him in the first two rounds.”
Florian picks Brian Stann over Michael Bisping: “I think Bisping has the experience, but I’m going with Brian Stann and the knockout power.”
Stephan Bonnar on how he found he got the fight against Silva: “I don’t know how they do it, but Ariel Helwani and Karyn Bryant have spies in the UFC offices because they were asking me about the fight before I even heard about it. I got the text from my manager Thursday and by Friday night I still didn’t believe it because I only got a text saying I was going to fight Anderson Silva and I wanted to talk to Dana. I thought, ‘come on, Anderson? Really? Me?’ I needed to hear it from the horse’s mouth, from the boss’s office. Once I heard it from his mouth, I believed it. It took a few more days to let it sink in. Five days ago I was retired and now I got the biggest fight I could ever dream of having.”
Bonnar on if he will be ready to fight Silva: “Look, I have been on the shelf for 10 months; he just fought, so he probably hasn’t been in the gym either. I mean 10 days really isn’t enough time to train, so really to get in shape we both have three weeks to get ready for a three rounder. To get ready for a three rounder, I usually need three months. This is like a crammer - like I did in college when I had to cram for exams and I am doing the same for this fight.”
Bonnar on how it feels to be the underdog: “I’m loving it. I am the greatest underdog in UFC history. I am fighting him in his back yard. He is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the UFC. No one is giving me a chance. I love it. I feel like Rocky Balboa. It’s like ‘Rocky 1’ and ‘Rocky IV’ meshed together. It’s me, it’s time. The ‘American Psycho’ is going to get it done.”
Bonnar on what he is doing to prepare for the fight: “Hey, I just have to train my ass off every day until I leave for Brazil. I don’t even know if I can be in good enough shape by the time I get there. But, I’m a pressure fighter. I like to push the pace. That is how I like to fight and we will see if I am able to be ready enough for that. I am going to put the pressure on him when I get there and hopefully the gas tank holds up. We’ll see.”
Bonnar on if he is feeling emotional about the fight: “Yeah, I am emotional. This is like a dream fight. Fighting Anderson Silva in his backyard, of course I’m going to be emotional. But, I like the way it turned out. If I am going to fight this guy I want it to be in Brazil, I want it to be in Rio, I want to be the biggest underdog of all time and I want to shock the world.”
Bonnar on if he will continue to fight after this fight: “That is a great dilemma that I would like to be in. If I beat Anderson that’s a perfect story book ending. All these years I have been trying to top the Forrest Griffin fight and if I beat Anderson, then it is a chance to do that. But if I beat Anderson, I am sure I will be offered a bunch of dream fights. Do I hang it up after the perfect situation or do I take all these dream fights? We will see. I’d love to be in this situation.”
Chris Weidman on how he felt when he heard about the Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar fight: “I was a little shocked and confused and a little disappointed. I had just ended up getting elbow surgery a week ago. As soon as I was done announcing my Boetsch fight, getting elbow surgery, the same week I find out that Silva is fighting Bonnar at UFC 153. You know it is tough, they are acting like he is doing a good deed, which is good, but it is a smart move on his part. It is definitely very calculated. He is going into a fight with odds I have never seen before, 14 to one. He is not a dummy. Anybody could lose, it is just that sport, but he is going to make a couple million dollars at odds I’ve never seen before. It is just disappointing for me. But, I just have to keep moving forward.”
Weidman on tweeting “ouch” after hearing the news about Silva vs. Bonnar: “Yeah, as soon as I heard the news I was just shocked. This whole time he and his managers’ were dead set on not fighting until 2013. They didn’t give a reason, but they were set. I thought it was fishy that they picked up a fight like it’s no big deal and I’m being called the number-one contender. They are saying it is not a marketable fight because I don’t have a lot of fights. But, I am the number-one contender, he should fight me. It is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it. I am going to stay confident and the only thing I am thinking about is my fight against Boetsch on December 29.
Weidman on if he would have fought Silva at 205: “I would have definitely fought at 205. Would I have fought him on this card? No, because I just had elbow surgery. I wouldn’t have been ready on this fight coming up. But anytime he wants to fight at 205 I’m down.”
Weidman on if he thinks Silva is ducking him: “I don’t know. I just think I am definitely a big risk for him on paper. I am a good wrestler with good jiu jitsu and I don’t think he has seen anyone like me with my athleticism. On paper, I am a dead match for him. I think I am a tough challenge. I think his managers, more than him, are keeping him away from me. They want me to get more fights under my belt. They are not jumping with joy to have me fight Anderson.”
Weidman on if he is still facing Boetsch: “It is still on. I am excited for that fight. He is a warrior. He is a tough guy. I am excited for the challenge to see what I can do against that guy. I am going to train my butt off, hope to be 100 percent healthy and go out there and see what I can do and hope for the best.”
“UFC Tonight” is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, airing every Tuesday night at 10:00 PM ET on FUEL TV. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and former UFC host and WEC Announcer Todd Harris. Two-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.
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