FLORIAN ON MACDONALD: “HE NEEDS TO MOVE FORWARD AND BACK SAFFIEDINE UP SO HE CAN’T UTILIZE HIS LEG KICKS.”
MacDonald and Fertitta Interviews on UFC TONIGHT
LOS ANGELES, CA – On UFC TONIGHT, No. 2-ranked light heavyweight Daniel Cormier joins Kenny Florian and Karyn Bryant in studio. The crew interviews No. 2-ranked welterweight Rory MacDonald about his headlining bout at this Saturday’s UFC FIGHT NIGHT: MACDONALD vs. SAFFIEDINE. Plus, they catch up with UFC CEO and Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta. Bryant and Helwani provide additional reports.
UFC TONIGHT Guest Host Daniel Cormier on what Tarec Saffiedine needs to do to beat Rory MacDonald: “He needs to use his kick boxing. I wouldn’t say he should stay at range against Rory. He needs to get on his legs and fight where he’s comfortable. He’s a very smart fighter. Rory will try to take him down, so he needs to defend the takedowns, and make Rory stand with him. He’s a very talented kickboxer. If Saffiedine can make Rory MacDonald stand with him, he's got a chance at the upset.”
UFC TONIGHT host Florian on what Rory MacDonald needs to do to win: “He’s very dangerous with the jab. He’s at his best when he’s using his variety of strikes and mixing in his takedowns. He needs to move forward and back Saffiedine up so he can’t utilize his leg kicks like he usually does.”
MacDonald on if a win will get him a title fight: “This is the fight that really sticks me in there as the number-one contender. I have to get through Tarec and he’s a dangerous guy.”
MacDonald on how he’ll beat Saffiedine: “I think that with all the training over the years, I’ve developed tools and skills I feel confident in. I think they’re going to work well against his style of fighting. I’m going to be myself.”
MacDonald on what it means to not be in the shadow of Georges St-Pierre: “It’s a little bit of freedom. Now there’s no stress between me and my goal. The only thing stopping me is myself. I have to go out there and win the fights that get me there.”
UFC CEO and Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta on if he and Dana White disagree on much: “We don’t disagree on business things very often. We’ll have a spirited debate, but we come to a compromise. One of our last debates was I was convinced that Roy Nelson would take down Mark Hunt, but he said no, it was going to be a stand up war. Just little stuff like that.”
Fertitta on if he was hesitant on women joining the UFC: “I wasn’t hesitant at all. I became a fan when I started watching Strikeforce. They’re tremendous athletes, and they should be on the biggest stage and make the same money as the men. I knew when we bought Strikeforce, but we waited for Dana to get comfortable with it. In the end, he has to sell the fights. He’s the guy out in front.”
Fertitta on Conor McGregor’s impact on the UFC: “When you look at it, we’ve never had an athlete come into the UFC with this much excitement and impact. Brock Lesnar didn’t have an impact on the show that much, that early. He wasn’t selling the shows and tickets. GSP took the long road to get there. Conor is incredible personality. He’s brash, and he backs it up. Dana said he had everything, but if he could fight this much, he’d be a big star. It’s been an interesting run. He backed it all up on Saturday night.”
Fertitta on the UFC going to Mexico: “Growing up in Vegas, I saw impact that Mexican boxing had on the market, and I knew the boxing impact in Mexico. We thought it would translate to us as well. We invested in developing talent in Mexico two to three years ago. We found a bunch of guys, and are doing the TUF Latin America show now. We’ve got a contract with a free over the air TV network. Plus, it doesn’t hurt having Cain Velasquez as heavyweight champion. Everything came together.”
Fertitta if on Cung Le testing positive makes the UFC look like it has a problem: “Actually it’s becoming less of a problem. We’ve stepped up our game testing. For the athletes, there’s nowhere else to hide. Now, we’re testing all guys on a card. It used to be random testing for a few guys on the card. The next step is to random test all 500 athletes, several times a year. We’re sending a message: if you’re cheating, you’ll get caught, suspended and fined. We want the sport to be clean.”
Fertitta on the UFC’s code of conduct: “We have a code of conduct that every fighter signs, and domestic violence is a breach of the code of conduct. We take it very serious and suspended Anthony Johnson when it came out that he had an allegation against him. We have a third party law firm go out there and get the facts and make a recommendation to us. Anthony is suspended until we get all the information. We’re watching how plays out with courts as well. It’s not going to be tolerated.”
Above Video: Lorenzo Fertitta interview
UFC TONIGHT Insider Ariel Helwani on what T.J. Dillashaw thought of Dominick Cruz’s victory: “T.J. was very happy for him. He thought Dominick looked great. But he said: ‘I thought his Alpha Fail line was a little uncalled for since I’ve showed him nothing but respect, but I’d be happy to put him in retirement.”
Helwani on Holly Holm’s UFC debut: “I’m hearing that Holly Holm will fight December 6 on UFC 181, right here on FOX Sports 1, against Russian fighter Milana Dudieva. And I’m hearing Danny Castillo vs. Rustam Khabilov is in the works for January 3rd.”
UFC TONIGHT is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship on FOX Sports 1. Veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian, veteran combat sports journalist Karyn Bryant and four-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani bring you all the news and analysis.
Follow on Twitter at: @kennyflorian; @arielhelwani; @KarynBryant; @DC_MMA; @UFCTonight; @FOXSports1
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