After an exciting night of fights the stars of tonight’s UFC 131 event in Vancouver took to the stage to talk to the assembled media to talk about their performances.
Here’s the keynotes based on what they had to say.
– Kenny Florian says he felt great tonight and got stronger as the fight went on. “That little guy’s fast!” he says of Diego Nunes. The long-time UFC servant says he was disappointed he didn’t finish the fight, but says that was a testiment to Nunes toughness.
– Dana White says Florian looked great tonight. While he doesn’t go as far as to officially confirm that Ken-Flo will be the next title challenger for Jose Aldo at 145lbs, he does feel that he’s done enough to earn the shot and believes that it probably will happen next.
– Dana admits he didn’t expect the Carwin Vs Dos Santos fight to go the full three rounds. He adds that it’s a credit to Carwin that he managed to go the distance despite the beating he took in the first round.
– Dave Herman is asked whether it was a specific strategy to keep his chin up and hands down to try to bait his opponent in to strike with him. Herman laughs and says he’d love to confirm that it was planned, but in fact during his training camp he had worked hard to try to keep his chin down and hands up.
– White says that Dos Santos Vs Velasquez will be a war and feels that the Brazilian will have a much tougher time with the champion who has the cardio to go the full five rounds with him.
– “It would be tough to dispute that tonight was a great night of fights,” states White who appears to have been particularly taken with the Dave Herman Vs Jon Olav Einemo battle which ended up claiming the ‘Fight Of The Night’ award. White notes that the entire card was good from the opening bout onwards.
– Mark Munoz praised Demian Maia’s improved striking, noting that he was punching a lot straighter than in his previous fights. The wrestler said he was confident when Maia began to shoot for takedowns a lot.
– White confirms that Michihiro Omigawa will get his win bonus after the UFC president, like everybody else watching apart from the judges, felt that he should have won his fight in the prelims.
– Sam Stout reveals his plan was actually to try to finish Yves Edwards in the later rounds. He credits his coaches for breaking down Edwards style and noticing little flaws in his striking such as his tendancy to bob his hands up and down which helped him to land the KO blow.
– Dana says Munoz defeating Maia is “a big deal”, particularly as the Brazilian also fought well. He stops short of saying he’s in the title mix at the moment though.
– Stout says he could tell from Edwards eyes that he was definitely KO’d so he felt no need to follow up with more punches. He jokes that he didn’t want to hurt him since Edwards seemed like a nice guy and shared an Oreo cupcake with him at the weigh-ins.
– Dana blody claims that Stout’s KO “is one of, if not the most vicious knockout in UFC history.”
– The UFC president credits Dos Santos for doing all the right things to become a champion, even outside of the cage such as learning English in the space of a year.
– White says he’s very happy with the state of the heavyweight division, and with new addition Dave Herman, noting that all the fighters in the division come to fight and don’t just lay and pray.
He didn’t get a chance to speak to Shane Carwin after the fight and doesn’t know what will be next for him, though he does says that he’ll probably need some time out after the damage he sustained tonight.
– Florian confirms that he will stay at featherweight, and he hopes to fight Jose Aldo who he feels is one of the best fighters in the world.
– Florian shrugs of White’s criticism following his last fight against Maynard, saying that he saw it as a compliment that Dana expected more of him, and he expected more of himself too. He took it as motivation to perform better in the future.
– Munoz says he’s not worried about being the No.1 contender, he just wants to keep improving and beating whoever the UFC puts in front of him. If he does that he believes his chance will eventually come.
– Cerrone wishes he had let his hands go a little more in his fight and proved that he is a good kickboxer. He’s philisophical about it though, shrugging as he adds, “you live and learn.”
– Dos Santos reveals he was a little bit nervous going into the fight given everything that was on the line. He said he fought “safe” by using his jab a lot and keeping the fight at range as he had to respect Carwin’s power.
He now feels that his biggest challenge is still to come in the shape of current champion Cain Velasquez. He pinpoints the champ’s wrestling and conditioning as his greatest assests but also notes that he too is learning wrestling “very fast.”
Though he admits he’s not a Demain Maia or Rodrigo Nogueira as far as BJJ goes, he does believe he has a ‘tough’ ground game.
– Herman says the payday he recieved, which included a $70,000 ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus, has “made his year.”
– JDS admits he did punch himself out a little bit in the first round trying to finish Carwin and so had to pace himself.
– Herman shuts down any talk of him cutting down to 205lbs despite being one of the smaller heavyweights saying that he doesn’t like cutting weight and he’s happy “fighting fat people.”
– White says that a super-heavyweight division never made sense due to the lack of talent and they’ve never given it any serious thought.