UFC-Tonight-logoOn this week’s UFC TONIGHT, host Karyn Bryant was joined by analysts Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen in anticipation of this week’s The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 finale that airs live on FOX Sports 1 from San Paulo, Brazil, Saturday night, May 31 at 10:00 p.m. ET. The crew was joined for satellite interviews by newly-minted UFC Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw and No. 7-ranked heavyweight Stipe Miocic, who is slated to take on Fabio Maldonado for what is the headlining fight of Saturday night’s TUF: Brazil 3 finale. The show also featured an in-studio visit from No. 14-ranked heavyweight contender Brendan Schaub who faces Andrei Arlovski at UFC 174 on June 14.

UFC TONIGHT analyst Kenny Florian breaks down Stipe Miocic and how he’ll fare against Maldonado: “Stipe Miocic is a guy who is a very good athlete. This is a guy who really hits very hard and you’ve got to watch out for the 1-2 combination. He has been fighting with a lot of intelligence, a lot of great strategy as of late. He is very accurate with his wrestling, once he gets in on your legs, you are most likely going to be on your back. One of the keys for Stipe Miocic here is footwork; he has to make sure that he backs up Fabio Maldonado, because he is very good when he is going forward. And he also has to pace himself, that’s going to be very important. This is a five-round fight and Fabio Maldonado is a guy who gets stronger as the fight goes on. Stipe Miocic really has to put his whole game together and I think he will do that and get the win against Maldonado.”

UFC TONIGHT analyst Chael Sonnen discusses Fabio Maldonado’s keys to victory entering this fight: “This guy is known as the ‘Rocky’ of the UFC. First and foremost, he is a boxer. As far as keys to victory, I want to see a good, fast start out of him. There is no sense in pacing himself, I think that he really needs to go out there and sprint and go for broke, as they say. Secondly, he needs to stop the takedown. He is pretty good at this, but giving up the size advantage, there is no point in letting the bigger Stipe lay on top of him. And ultimately, on top of everything else, he needs forward pressure. He needs to go for it and he needs to fight that zombie style that he is so well-known for and hope for good things and good things early, if he wants to get a win this Saturday. I think it is a great match-up of two boxers, but I think it’s a Volvo vs. a Mack truck, there is too much size working against Maldonado, I got Stipe.”

Stipe Miocic on the disappointment of not facing his initial opponent, Junior dos Santos, who withdrew from their fight due to injury:  “I wanted to fight Junior, of course. I’m trying to get to the top and he was one of the guys that I had to get through to get there. I’m glad Fabio took the fight though, he’s still a tough guy, he’s still going to come to fight, so I’m ready for it and I’m excited.”

Stipe Miocic discusses what his strategy will be against Maldonado and whether he believes he his opponent can be knocked out: “I think by putting the pressure on him, he doesn’t fight as good going backwards. Anyone can be knocked out, it doesn’t matter. He’s got a good chin, but anybody can get knocked out.”

Heavyweight contender Brendan Schaub explains about how his fight against Arlovski came to be:  “This fight really came about because I was waiting for a big name and it didn’t end up happening. I was on the beach and had seven missed calls from my manager. I knew something was up because all big names were kind of matched up. We knew Dana White wanted to give us a big fight, I just didn’t see how it was going to happen. I finally got back to my manager and he goes, ‘We got one.’ And before he could even get the whole name out, he goes, ‘It’s Andre–‘ and I went, ‘Get the heck out of here.’ So, I’ve been a big fan for a long time, we actually used to train together at Jackson’s, so he was kind of the ‘The Hybrid’ before I even got started.”

Brendan Schaub discusses his preparation and strategy for facing Arlovski: “You just stay athletic on him. He fancies himself a striker. If he wants to keep it striking, great, let’s do it, I’ll take my striking over his all day. I think the best way you honor a legend like this and a former champ, is just to go in there and give them the best you’ve got and that’s the best way to go about things.”

UFC Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw says his upset title victory over Renan Barao has begun to sink in: “Day-by-day it’s getting more and more real for me. Especially when I got home and was able to watch the fight, four or eight times, I can’t remember, I’ve lost track. But yeah, it’s definitely kicking in and it has been a crazy ride.”


T.J. Dillashaw says he modeled part of his strategy against Barao after the style of Dominick Cruz:  “Absolutely. I tried telling Urijah [Faber] when I was cornering him the first time he fought Barao that he needed Dominick Cruz footwork to beat the champ. I thought that Cruz could beat Renan Barao if they were to fight. It’d be a tough fight, but if he was going to beat him, it was going to be because of his footwork. So by telling Urijah what I wanted him to do, I just kind of copycatted it and used that movement and that footwork to get out of the way and create my angles to keep myself elusive.”

T.J. DIllashaw on how he’d feel about his next opponent being friend and Team Alpha Male training partner Urijah Faber: “It’s not like I am dying to fight Urijah; I don’t want to go out and fight Urijah Faber. He is the one that brought me into the sport, he’s one of my best friends and we hang out every day. Obviously, we are both influenced by money, so let’s make it happen by getting us paid really well and having a smile on our face while we’re smacking each other.”

T.J. Dillashaw says he will wear the title belt at his upcoming wedding: “Absolutely. I said it before the fight, so now I’ve got to do it. It’s going to be awesome to walk down the aisle with that belt on.”

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