kenny florian - ufc tonightOn this week’s UFC TONIGHT, UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez joins the show as a guest host. Melendez, Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen interview Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa going into their UFC FIGHT NIGHT headliner bout this weekend. Karyn Bryant and Ariel Helwani provide reports.

UFC TONIGHT Guest Host Gilbert Melendez on his new contract and facing Anthony Pettis for the title: “I got fair market value on it, and I’m pretty happy. Anthony Pettis is an amazing champion. He’s been part of the evolution of the sport. But anyone I fight is going to become an enemy. I’m very competitive and he’s the same way.”

Melendez on coaching women on THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: “I have two older sisters. My wife fought for Strikeforce and was a champion there. I’ve taught women in jiu-jitsu in my gym. They’re a different breed of people for sure. I enjoy it. These are the top 10 women in the world and we’re going to crown a champion. I’m really excited about it.”

UFC TONIGHT Host Chael Sonnen on Jimi Manuwa, who’s facing Alexander Gustafsson this weekend: “Manuwa has finished everyone he’s fought and won every fight by stoppage. How do you not have a large amount of confidence with that?”

Melendez on Manuwa’s strengths in the fight: “What I like about him, he’s so composed in the pocket. He got great striking and he’s going to take some to give some. I like his technique. Hopefully he has the footwork.”

UFC TONIGHT Host Kenny Florian on Gustafsson’s advantages in the fight: “Gustafsson has great footwork and he’s in and he’s out. He’s not just a boxer. He can hit you with elbows and use all eight limbs. He can wrestle and is very good on the ground.”

Alexander Gustafsson on how long it took to recover from the Jon Jones fight: “I was back in training in just over two weeks. My body was ok. My motivation was tough, though. It was a defeat, and I hate to lose. It was the worst thing ever. But I got over it.”

Gustafsson if he’s thinking about a Jon Jones rematch yet: “I don’t want to look past Jimi, he’s a really dangerous guy and a lot of people don’t know about him. I know that. I’m not looking past him.”

Gustafsson on how he’ll beat Manuwa: “I’ve done my homework. I’m ready to go. I’ve had the best camp ever. I’m better than I was when I fought Jon Jones. Whatever he does, I’ll have an answer for it.”

Jimi Manuwa on if he can knock out Gustafsson: “I don’t think anyone’s chin can take my full power of a shot. Anyone can get anyone standing. It’s about landing the shot to make it affective.”

Manuwa on fighting a taller fighter like Gustafsson: “I fought Cyrille Diabate and didn’t have any problem getting in. I’ll get my job done.”

Manuwa on if he’ll have an advantage fighting at home in London: “I don’t look at it as an advantage for myself. The crowd doesn’t go in there with me.”

Manuwa on what he’s expecting from Gustafsson: “I think he’ll try to take me down. You never know what can happen. It’s MMA. It’s not a stand-up fight. It’s not a wrestling fight. Anything can happen.”

Manuwa on who he wants to fight next: “I’ve never called anyone out. My main goal is to get the belt and fight the champion. Whether it’s one, two, or three fights away, that’s my goal.”

Manuwa on how the fight will end on Saturday: “It ends with a stoppage, violently, within the distance.”

UFC TONIGHT Insider Ariel Helwani on rumors of a big women’s announcement: “Right now, UFC president Dana White said there’s nothing breaking this week. I asked about the rumors of Ronda Rousey against Gina Carano and he asked me where that came from? Something seems to be brewing, but there’s nothing official.”

Helwani on Jacare Souza’s recent surgery: “His manager said Jacare had a problem with his left elbow for the last couple of months and had surgery last week. He’s expected to be back in August. He would like to fight winner of Rockhold vs. Boetsch or Bisping vs. Kennedy fight, but is hoping for Bisping.”

Helwani on Brendan Schaub’s next fight: “I spoke to Brendan Schaub’s manager, Lex McMahon, and he told me they want to fight Mark Hunt next. He’s expected to come back in summer. I asked Mark Hunt about it, and he said fighting Brendan would be like going backwards, but if he wants go to sleep first, than sure, why not.”

Helwani on UFC 168 drug test results: “Typically drug tests come out a few weeks after a fight, but the UFC 168 results haven’t been released yet. I asked the Nevada Athletic Commission, and they said they all came back negative, except two from Siyar Bahadurzada and Dennis Siver, which came back inconclusive. This doesn’t mean they’ve failed the tests. They’re now testing the B samples and waiting for the results. I’ve reached out to both the fighters for a comment, but neither have gotten back to me.”

Sonnen on testosterone rule changes: “The first thing I need to do is reserve my right to change this answer in a few weeks if I need to. There are a lot of moving parts. I don’t have all the information. Bottom line is testosterone is out. If this retires guys, then it retires guys. The rules are the rules and they need to be followed. I’ve had to stop with the testosterone with the hope we can find a new ways of keeping my testosterone at the healthy levels. If it doesn’t work, I might have to stop the sport.”

Florian on testosterone rule changes: “It’s the right decision. Everyone needs to be at the same level. This takes away the loophole.”

Melendez on the rule changes: “It levels the playing field. Now, no one is exempt. I know the guy across from me is governed by the same rules and we’re good to go.”

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