Below you can read the keynotes from tonight’s ‘UFC On Fuel TV 5’ post-fight press conference hosted by Dana White which also featured a number of the big winners on the card.
– Dana is clearly delighted by the fights tonight, calling the event “outstanding” and says he is proud of all the fighters.
– White admits that he’s a big Brad Pickett fan. He thinks everybody stood out on this card though, mentioning Pickett again and Matt Wiman. He also says the buzz after the event was that Gunnar Nelson could be the next BJ Penn.
He also adds that Jimi Manuwa Vs Kyle Kingsbury would have been ‘Fight Of The Night’ if hadn’t been for how the heavyweight headliner turned out.
– Struve felt that his pressure in the second round paid off and Miocic slowed down which he capitalized on.
– With four finishes in his last four fights and six wins out of his last seven Struve believes that he’s only perhaps two wins or so away from the title.
Struve says he’d like to fight Fabricio Werdum next, believing he has a good chance against him.
White thinks Struve is in the heavyweight top 10 now.
– Matt Wiman’s not sure why he got emotional after the fight and admits he was a little embarassed by that! He feels his big advantage over Sass was his experience.
– White waxes lyrical again about Brad Pickett, praising him for staying in the pocket and having confidence in his punching power despite Yves Jabouin’s dangerous offensive onslaught.
– White jokes that Dan Hardy actually looked like a MMA fighter tonight rather than just a kickboxer.
– Pickett feels he was a bit more composed tonight rather than getting carried away trying to impress the crowd. He hopes he can get back “into the mix” at bantamweight soon.
– Gunnar Nelson doesn’t have a whole lot to say about anything when asked, so Dana steps in and praises him for taking out an experienced opponent like Damarques Johnson who came in overweight.
Dana, and in particular matchmaker Jon Silva, weren’t happy with Johnson not making weight for the fight even though he was a short-notice replacement. He says if you agree to fight at a weight limit you need to make that weight.
– Dana would like to see a title shot in Europe and suggests Michael Bisping as someone who could do so if he gets a chance to fight Anderson Silva at some stage in the future.
– Hardy admits he was a little cautious tonight and didn’t want to get to reckless and get to caught up in the atmosphere being generated by his hometown crowd. He’s realized that it’s not smart to get into all-out brawls with his opponents after getting KO’d by Carlos Condit.
– White agrees with the judges that Brad Tavares defeated Tom Watson, but felt that Andy Ogle did enough to defeat Akira Corassani.
– White confirms that Scotland is still a destination they are actively discussing targetting for a event in the future.
– Dana invites the UFC’s new European director Garry Cook to say a few words and says that he’s feeling more confident about the UK market now that he’s been installed since he’s got an impressive track record in the region. He thinks that the UK is still a big potential market for them and they’ll continue to work on it to make it a success.
Cook says that his predecessor Marshall Zelaznik is now heading back to the U.S.
– Dana thinks that ‘UFC On Fuel TV’ shows like tonight’s one are good ways to break into overseas markets, along with the international editions of TUF.
– White indicates that more fighters will get bonuses than those who got the offical ones due to the quality of the fights.
– Hardy never thought the UFC would come to his home town of Nottingham. He describes it as a special night and a dream come true.
– Italy is somewhere the UFC are “working on”. Lorenzo Fertitta visited their last week.
– Struve’s in no rush to gain more weight, pointing out that he proved tonight that he can finish opponents anyway. He thinks that since he’s 24 he’ll naturally fill out as he gets older, but he also wants to make sure that he doesn’t get so heavy that affects his athleticism.