UFC-Tonight-logoOn this week’s UFC TONIGHT, Gilbert Melendez guest hosts and helps Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen interview Benson HendersonDiego SanchezUrijah Faber and Johny Hendricks. They also preview UFC FIGHT NIGHT: HENDERSON VS. KHABILOV. Helwani and Bryant add reports.

UFC TONIGHT’s Chael Sonnen on Jon Jones not wanting to fight Alexander Gustafsson again: “You can call him scared. You can call him conservative. But make sure to include champion and the baddest dude in the planet in there, as well. Gus is the number-one contender and is next in line. Jones should fight him. Jones will show respect to leadership and will take the fight.”

UFC TONIGHT Guest Analyst Gilbert Melendez on Benson Henderson vs. Rustam Khabilov: “The Russians have arrived and they all have that special style, the Sambo. They know how to wrestle. They know how to grapple and they know how to put it together. Khabilov will try to push Henderson with the punches and get the takedowns. But what’s going to make the difference is the scramble in the takedowns. Benson is too slick and too smooth and once he defends the takedowns, then we’ve got a striking battle. Henderson is very tactical landing some kicks and scoring the points.”

Sonnen on Rustam Khabilov’s keys to victory: “He has to control the range, dominate the clinch and go for attacks. And stay off the bottom.”

Benson Henderson on if he mixed up who he was fighting: “Sadly that’s a true story. I saw a Tweet and I saw a Russian name and I thought it was Khabib Nurmagomedov because they had a hard time finding him an opponent.”

Henderson on fighting Khabilov: “He’s a great Sambo guy, a world class wrestler. Any time you’ve got two great grapplers going at it, it can end up being a stand-up war. We’re ready for anything, a lot of grappling or a stand up war, just throwing a lot of bombs.”

Diego Sanchez on fighting in his hometown after being in the UFC for so long: “It feels like I’ve come full circle, after all those battles. I’ve had 20 fights in the UFC. It’s a dream come true. I’ve been waiting to fighting in this high altitude for a long time.”

Sanchez on how he’ll beat Ross Pearson: “Basically, I’ve got the blueprint – the Matt Brown fight. Put the pressure on him and get him tired. Chase him down and cut the cage off. If I have the opportunity to take the fight to the ground, I will. I’ve been working on my striking and I’m going to look for the knockout.”

Insider Ariel Helwani on who Jon Jones will fight next: “On Thursday, Jon Jones and his manager will meet with the UFC in Las Vegas and will try to figure out this whole thing. I spoke to Alexander Gustafsson’s manager and I asked if he’d fight Daniel Cormier, and he said yes, but only for an interim title. Then I spoke to Daniel Cormier, and he said he’d delay any knee surgery to fight Gustafsson or Jones, but only for a title or interim title.”

Helwani on Anderson Silva possibly fighting Nick Diaz in early 2015: “I spoke to Diaz and he said he’d be interested in the fight. He had previously said he’d come out of retirement only for Anderson Silva or Georges St-Pierre. But it would have to make financial sense. He thinks it could be one of the biggest fights in UFC history. People in Silva’s camp really like this fight as well.”

Helwani on Cat Zingano’s return: “She’s eying a return in September, and looking at fighting Amanda Nunes. Nothing’s confirmed yet.”

Urijah Faber on if he’d fight TJ Dillashaw: “I don’t want to. Would you want to fight him? It’s a fight I wouldn’t want to do. It’d have to be a special circumstance.”

Faber on the rivalry with Nova Uniao: “We’ve got two camps that are two of the best in the world. I’ve got nothing but respect for those guys. It’s a real rivalry now. I’ve lost to Aldo and I’ve lost to Barao. Now we’ve got a belt and they have a belt.”

Faber on fighting Alex Caceres: “He’s a big guy and on a five-fight win streak. I’ve got my hands full. I’m taking this guy very seriously and I’m training like it’s a world championship fight.”

Johny Hendricks on who he’d like to fight next: “I don’t care. I’m going to have to fight one of them. It doesn’t matter.”

Hendricks on if he still thinks about his fight with Georges St-Pierre: “I don’t. I’d love to have a rematch. But if he never came back, it wouldn’t bother me. I’m trying to make my own legacy.”

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