From FUEL TV:
Evans Breaks Down Shogun vs. Vera and Machida vs. Bader; Plus Exclusive Interviews with Shogun, Vera, Machida and Bader
LOS ANGELES, CA – The following quotes are from the UFC Weigh-in on FUEL TV for UFC on FOX: SHOGUN vs. VERA, hosted by Karyn Bryant. UFC Light Heavyweight Rashad Evans offered analysis. Two-time MMA Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani conducted backstage interviews.
UFC on FUEL TV Weigh-In Analyst Rashad Evans on why Shogun Rua is so dangerous: "Pretty much plain and simple, his tenacity. He is one of those guys that goes forward and he can fight at any angle. He can do standup. He has the mindset. He showed that he is the old Shogun again."
Evans on Brandon Vera: "Right between the shoulders and in his head, that’s what made him promising. He believed he was the best fighter and somewhere along the way it transformed and he doesn’t believe it anymore. But we’ll see if he can do it."
Evans on Lyoto Machida weighing in at 201: "Lyoto Machida at 201. He is making a statement that making it at 201 is easy."
Insider Ariel Helwani asks Mauricio Rua if he gets good vibes being back at Staples: "Yes, I am a very happy fighting here again and I have many friends in LA. I am very motivated for tomorrow."
Rua on what he is trying to prove tomorrow night: "I win this fight in my dreams. I trained a lot for this fight. Brandon Vera is a good fighter. It is good for the fans and for the people."
Rua on whether he believes Vera is on his level or not: "Yes, I believe in Vera because he is a good fighter. He is a top fighter in the UFC. He’s fought at heavyweight and light heavyweight and tomorrow is a great show because he is a good fighter."
Evans on how a fighter bounces back: "It is hard to say with Shogun. He showed some vulnerability when he came back from being injured, but with Shogun he fights tough and he comes back tough. He showed that he is the old Shogun, that he can go out there and fight and put on really good shows."
Evans on Shogun’s ability: "Shogun is extremely well rounded. His standup game is really what he is known for, but he is also really good on the ground. He really makes it a mixed martial arts fight. He goes all with it. His upper cuts are really hard. He catches people when they don’t expect it. He gets on top. He works all grains of MMA."
Evans on Shogun’s kicks: "You know his kicks were measured and they were measured to be the strongest kicks in MMA. When you are kicked by Shogun, you know it."
Helwani asks Machida about weighing in at 201: "I always walk around at 205, 210 maximum. I don’t worry about this. I keep my diet all year round."
Machida on whether he is thinking about dropping down to 185: "Maybe, if Dana White makes a good fight and invites me, I will."
Machida on his game plan: "For me I will try to keep this fight standup, but it is a classic fight because it is a wrestler vs. a striker. I am a different striker. Maybe he is not used to fighting a karate guy."
Machida on if he would fight Anderson Silva at 185: "No, no. Anderson is my friend, we are on the same team, same manager. He is a true champion."
Machida on his last fight at Staples: "That fight was very hard. I got a lot of kick in my leg. I have to win. I have to win this fight."
Machida’s words to Ryan Bader: "Be ready because I am going hard."
Bader on Machida: "I hope he comes hard. He has been coming hard the whole time and so have I. If you’re not going to go hard, then what are you doing here? I am ready for it. I have been training hard. I have the right people around me. I am more technical than ever. I am ready for it."
Bader on what he has done to prepare for tomorrow’s fight: "I had to change everything up after a few losses. I got a head coach. I got a boxing coach. I made myself more technical. I made myself do a lot more things like footwork, head movement and I focused exclusively on that."
Bader on going against Machida: "Going against a guy like Machida, you can’t just go in there and rush for the takedown immediately. He is expecting that. He is illusive, he has good footwork and he'll bait you. You have to have controlled aggression. You can’t be timid. His kicks are going to be successful and you have to be in the right space to stop them - mixing up your punches and takedowns."
Bader on if he would rather fight Dan Henderson or Jon Jones next: "Jones would be nice because it is a little redemption. I’ve lost to him before. All respect to him. All respect to Henderson too. I came from a wrestler background and so did he. I followed him back then. Even fighting Henderson would be amazing. But I am focused on this fight. I have a tough fight ahead of me."
Bader on Machida’s takedown defense: "His takedown defense is really good. He is just good all around. That’s what makes him so tricky. You can’t learn wrestling in one camp and you can’t learn the intricacies of 18 years of wrestling. You can’t just go in there and rush things. Would I like to take him down and get him on the ground, yes, absolutely. But, we got a thing going and obviously I’m not going to give too much up."
Bader on if he believes the fight will end quickly: "You never know. He said he’s coming out hard, he could be right in my face…so could I. But at the same time, you have to be smart. He waits for the best time to strike. So you never know."
Evans on Joe Lauzon vs. Jamie Varner: "Well I think Lauzon is more well-rounded because he does play a jiu jitsu game and that allows him to be better with his hands, because he catches people unexpectedly."
Evans predictions on Varner vs. Lauzon: "It’s going to happen with a submission or a knockout. I am impressed with Jamie because he is learning to fight again. He gets in there and learns how to fight. He puts pressure on them and he is learning to believe in his power to knock people out."
Vera on how being a Shogun fan will help him in tomorrow’s fight: "I think it helps me tremendously. Every time I have had to face my heroes, my favorites, someone I look up to…I always preform the best. It brings out the best in me because I am so nervous because I have always wanted to be them. When I fight someone of this caliber, that I’ve looked up to and respected, my whole game is focused on this person. I watched film on Shogun three nights a week for an hour long a week. I call training partners and coaches over to watch with me, to see what he does and it gets me focused on what I should be doing."
Vera on what a win means to him: "The world. It would mean redemption. The good, the bad, the ugly, all the haters - I would be able to tell them to pick their finger. It would almost be as if I never left."
Vera’s prediction on the fight: "It will end with my hand raised in the air at the end of that fight."
Evan’s word to Vera: "He will get it done by making it a mixed martial arts fight and don’t be afraid to let it get ugly. Make it get as ugly as it can be, but go in there and do it."
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