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By Mike Johnson on 9/14/2017 7:40 AM


Florian Picks Rockhold Over Branch: “It’s going to be a close fight. Rockhold wins by a close decision.”

Rockhold on Branch: “When I’m patient, heathy and focused, there’s no one who can compete with me. I’m going to take my time, pick him apart limb by limb and finish him.”

Los Angeles – UFC TONIGHT was hosted by Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier, with Karyn Bryant adding reports. The crew interviews UFC middleweights Luke Rockhold and David Branch before their UFC FIGHT NIGHT headliner.

 UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones’s B sample also testing positive for steroids: “I think it’s crazy. USADA is being very straight line, saying he gets due process, but the reality is, you can’t fail a drug test. You can pass 100 tests, but you can’t fail one. We have to wait for due process, but what are we waiting for? They tested the A sample, they tested the B sample. If there’s anything, you can’t test positive. It’s unfair. I’m very upset about it.”

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on Jones testing positive again: “When we’re talking about Jon Jones against you, this is the third time he’s done it. In three fights involving your name, he’s tested positive for something. My understanding is Turinabol is extremely rare. For a supplement company having it in their supplement would be very expensive. So does it make sense that this would be tainted supplement? Given Jones’ history, it doesn’t look good for him. Being away from the sport for another four years, would not be good for him. ”

Cormier on what Jones should do next: “He has to fight it. It’s a death sentence. This is a very expensive drug. Something that’s not easily found in a supplement. I’ve been in the USADA process for 12 years, I’ve never had these issues. If it was a mistake, you’ve got to be more careful, especially with all the scrutiny on him after what’s already happened.”

Cormier on getting the belt back: “I lost the fight. That’s how I felt. But Dana White called me today and said if it’s a no contest, then the fight didn’t happen and because of that, the championship is getting returned to me. If he cheated, he could not have fought and won the fight. Financially, it’s a big difference if I don’t fight as the champion as opposed to fighting for the vacant title. I’m taking the belt. He disqualified himself before the fight. So it didn’t happen, and I get the belt back, which is the right thing to do. You don’t cheat the sport, cheat the fans or me. Jones, you have all the physical advantages. You’re 30 years old. You have an 85 inch reach. I’m 38 years old. I would love to wake up and take stuff so I don’t have to walk down my stairs sideways. But I don’t. Once again, this guy has made a mockery of the sport.”

VIDEO: Daniel Cormier 


Cormier on Luke Rockhold’s strengths against David Branch: “I believe Luke Rockhold the best middleweight in the world. But he has to fight at range, use his length and his kicks. He lost against Bisping because he was too close. He’s a phenomenal athlete. You don’t realize until you’re in there with him. He’s big and powerful. If Branch isn’t careful, he can take him out in specular fashion.”

Florian on Branch’s advantages against Rockhold: “I think Luke is big, but David is just as big. He takes little damage in there. He knows how to fight a southpaw and fought one in his last fight. He knows how big this fight is. He’s riding high on confidence with his current win streak.”

Cormier on Branch’s experience: “Branch’s last loss was against Anthony Johnson, and that went to a decision. So if people are saying he doesn’t deserve it, that’s not the case. Remember the last time Luke fought someone lower than him in the ratings and what happened?”

Cormier picks Rockhold over Branch in two rounds: “In this fight he has all his weapons. He can kick, he can grapple. I know David Branch is a phenomenal grappler, but I think he’ll struggle with the size of Luke Rockhold and his athleticism. David is a little slow fighting Luke and he’s a conventional fighter, so the left body kick will dig into the side of David. We’ve seen Luke finish people with that and put people in trouble. I have Rockhold in two.”

Florian on how Rockhold beats Branch: “I think David can roll with Rockhold, especially with the submission game. He might throw in a leg lock. He could surprise him. However, it’s going to be a close fight and goes the distance. Rockhold has a tough fight, but wins by a close decision.”

Luke Rockhold on training in Florida: “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. There’s some young and hungry talent there my size who I can feed off of.”

Rockhold on being off 15 months: “I had a torn ACL. There’s a healing process. I’ve had to heal up. I’ve been trying to fight a since June. Anderson Silva wouldn’t fight me, Gegard Mousasi wouldn’t. Yoel wouldn’t fight a five round fight. I tried to fight Shogun at 205 and Fabricio Werdum. But here we go. I got a top-10 guy.”

Rockhold on what he thinks about Branch saying Rockhold needs to cut out the alpha male act: “I don’t know. I thought he was the thug from Brooklyn. He thinks he can box, but he can’t box with me. He thinks he can grapple, but I’ll make him look like a white belt. He thinks he can wrestle. He has no idea what wrestling is.”

Rockhold on what happened when he lost the belt: “In the Bisping fight, I wasn’t patient. I didn’t focus. I tried to do too much. When I’m patient, heathy and focused, there’s no one who can compete with me. I’m going to take my time, pick him apart limb by limb and finish him.”

Rockhold on who he thinks will win between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre: “I’ve got no opinion on that fight. I think Bisping wins the fight. I think GSP is an inflated 155 pounder. He has no business being in the division. He’s small and weak and I think he’s going to get crushed. I think he needs to get the hell out.”

VIDEO: Luke Rockhold Interview

David Branch on being in his first UFC main event: “It’ll be a little different. The stakes are higher. My last fight was a great acclimation fight. I wasn’t my normal composed fighter, but it was a great warmup.”

Branch on if he needs to finish Rockhold: “I don’t need to finish to win, but the plan is to finish him.”

Branch on if he planned on the long winning streak: “I take one fight at a time. I don’t put any unnecessary pressure on me. Every fight has a different set of things to deal with. I’m dealing with this one now.”

Branch on if he’ll get a title shot with a victory: “If I win with a certain type of authority, that could put me in position. One of the three ways – by submission, knockout or TKO.”

               VIDEO: David Branch Interview

Florian on who should fight Amanda Nunes next: “Cat Zingano. Her last win was against Amanda Nunes. The fans love Cat Zingano. It would be a very exciting fight and the fans would like it.”

Cormier on who should fight Nunes for the bantamweight title fight next: “Rocky Pennington has won her last fight over Miesha Tate, she’s on a roll, she’s ranked in the top of the division and she’s deserving of the fight. It’s Raquel, she has a style that’s good for Amanda Nunes.”

 VIDEO: The powerful relationship between Brian Ortega and Rener Gracie

 For notes, coverage, bios, photography and more, visit the FOX UFC page on FOX Sports Press Pass.


UFC TONIGHT is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship on FS1. Veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian, former light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and veteran combat sports journalist Karyn Bryant bring you all the news and analysis.