FOX Sports 1 UFC Tonight Show Quotes – 2/26/14

kenny florian - ufc tonightOn this week’s UFC TONIGHT, Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen preview the upcoming UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KIM VS. HATHAWAY. Plus, they interview UFC middleweight contender Lyoto Machida and former welterweight champion and coach Matt Serra. Karyn Bryant and Ariel Helwani add reports.

UFC TONIGHT Host Kenny Florian on John Hathaway’s skills against Dong Hyun Kim in their upcoming title fight: “Hathaway’s been out a while, but he’s very tough. He’s tall and has great knees and is very dangerous. Although he’s from England, where they’re not usually known to be wrestlers, he’s an excellent wrestler on the mat.”

UFC TONIGHT Host Chael Sonnen on Hathaway’s victory over Diego Sanchez: “Not only did he beat Diego Sanchez when people didn’t think he would, he won every round and he won 30-26 against Sanchez, who’s one of the toughest in the UFC.”

Florian on Kim: “What about Stun Gun knocking out Erick Silva in his last fight? He looked outstanding. With Stun Gun fighting in Asia, it will probably help him.”

Lyoto Machida on his injured foot: “My foot is almost 100 percent now. It’s doing ok. I have to recover soon because I want to dance again.”

Machida on fighting other Brazilians: “I have no problem fighting them. I can fight Jacare or Vitor.”

Machida on if Vitor Belfort can beat Chris Weidman: “I think the first two rounds, Vitor has a big chance. He’s very explosive early. But if it goes longer, Weidman can beat Vitor.”

Machida on if he deserves the next title fight: “I don’t know. I know I just have two fights at 185, and Jacare has more, but I can fight against him. I have no problem with that. I don’t want to wait for long time. I can do one more fight before I fight for the title.”

UFC TONIGHT Insider Ariel Helwani on TJ Grant’s return: “He suffered the concussion last year. He was supposed to fight for the title in August, and then in December, but couldn’t because he wasn’t recovered. He told me he’s about 90 to 95 percent and is taking it very slowly. There’s no timetable for his return. The UFC is going to Halifax, his hometown, in October 4, and that’d be huge for him to fight there. But he’ll leave it up to the UFC once he’s cleared to fight.”

Helwani on who Benson Henderson wants to fight next: “Henderson told me, looking at the rankings, the only guy who makes sense is Rustam Khabilov, who is ranked number 14. Henderson said he’d fight him. Henderson would like to return around May.”

Helwani on Matt Brown’s next fight: “I spoke to his wife yesterday, and he’s going to start training soon and will ramp it up to 100 percent if it goes well. The UFC is going to Cincinnati on May 10 and he’d like to fight on that card if possible. He’d like to fight Rory MacDonald. But MacDonald wants to fight for the title against the winner of the Hendricks – Lawlor fight.”

Helwani on Alistair Overeem’s injury: “He’s been on vacation in Jamaica and is still feeling discomfort in his ribs. He’s been doing some therapy and is going to Holland to get some tests done. He doesn’t want to agree to a fight until he’s about 90 percent ready, but he does want to fight as soon as possible. But he wants to find out what’s wrong with him first.”

Helwani on who Daniel Cormier wants to fight next: “He wants nothing less than a number-one contender match. He says he’ll be ok fighting the winner of Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson. If Jimi Manuwa beats Alexander Gustafsson, he believes he should get the next title fight. He wants number-one contender or title shot right away. ”

Matt Serra on what makes Chris Weidman so special: “The second Chris walked through my doors, I’ve never seen a wrestler transition to jiu-jitsu so smoothly. Longo got him in some sparring and he was just a natural and a freak and a good one. Me and Ray talked about it often and early on with his training. We knew this kid had the potential and very early on we predicted he’d be the champion, no matter who had the belt.”

Serra on Weidman’s next fight against Vitor Belfort: “The middleweight division is murders’ row. There are a lot of challenges. Vitor is very dangerous in the beginning of the fight. I believe Chris will break him. In a five-round fight, Chris has the advantage and I don’t think this fight will go the distance.”

Serra on the potential fight with Matt Hughes: “The funny thing is, I’m the victim here. There’s a girl on Twitter talking about a grappling match against Hughes. Then Hughes mentioned it. I said if we’re going to do it, I want to hit the guy. Then he says I have to lose weight. Look, I’m a ninja turtle, I’m at my school, and I’m training six days a week. But I like my pasta. I’ll put it down for the fight. I don’t need anyone make a name off me. I like a legit grudge match between two old champions. I’ll fight him for his job. What does he do? Who’s going to talk to that guy if he has a problem? GSP with his issues, if I was in that job, he’d still be fighting.”

Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives Sonnen advice on how to be the pace car driver this weekend in Phoenix: “You’ll be fine. You’re going to go about 60 miles an hour. There’s two walls on either side of the track, just stay in the middle of them.”

Earnhardt Jr. on if he’s into training MMA like his nephew Jeffrey Earnhardt: “When I was young, I had a boxing ring for years. And me and my buddies would get in there and go at it for ten rounds. My nephew wanted to get in better shape and went to train with some guys who were doing MMA. He did so well, they put him in a fight and he won.”

Earnhardt Jr. on who he’d like to fight in NASCAR: “I’d like to go against my friends. Martin Truex Jr., maybe Jimmie. That’d be fun to see who would win.”

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