Rothwell def Mitrione via TKO at 1:54 of round 1
“I feel accomplished but at the same time, once again, I knew this was going to happen. With my last fight, you can see that I’m just in a different place right now. I’ve finally become the martial artist I knew I could be.
I managed to flatten him out and as he recovered, his neck was wide open. People will see, if you leave your neck open for a second, I’m going to catch you. I think Stipe should get the next title shot, he’s established himself. Andre Arlovski is on a winning streak and ranked fourth, and I think him and I should fight for the next spot. The only fight that matters to me now is the No. 1 contender spot.”
“That was so stupid. Why did I do that?”
Dustin Poirier def Yancy Medeiros via TKO at 2:38 of round 1.
“It was incredible. I felt the crowd while I was walking out, I knew I’d have them on my side – they’re bayou people, that’s the way we are. I knew Yancy was going to be rangy, but he really didn’t have good head movement, I expected him to be a little bit more slick out there, he was moving in all the wrong ways. I thought I’d sink a choke in and submit him, but when I landed that body kick I knew I had him. He’s a tough dude though, I hit him harder than I’ve ever hit anyone in my life and he still wouldn’t go down.
I’m having fun, that’s the difference. I’m having such a good time. My wife and I are enjoying life again. When I was cutting to 145 it was stressful, it wasn’t fun, I was always worried about what I could eat – I wasn’t eating – but this is what I do, fighting is my life. I packed up a UHAUL and moved my stuff to Florida, I left Louisiana to become the best in the world, I changed my whole life for this. I love this!
I’ve got my family here, my mother and wife and in-laws, this is my house and it feels good to be home!”
“Nothing surprised me, I expected everything he did out there. He caught me with a great body shot and the ref stopped it before I could recover. Dustin is an awesome guy, he’s a class act, a standup dude and I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”
Ortega def Tavares via TKO at 4:10 of round 3
“I feel like we were in a crazy war. I’m ready to go home and see my family and my kids. We put up a big fight. Obviously, I was on the bottom, so I had to adjust and get used to that situation and make the best out of it from there – which were elbows and feet. I had to try to catch submissions. It wasn’t very close, he was beating me by points, but that last minute means everything. I know I have to work on my wrestling. It’s three five minute rounds, and you have to fight all of it. I don’t really remember the finish. He kneed me and that hurt, but I saw that he was tired. I knew that was my chance to get him. Rock ’em, sock ’em, baby. I’m in this game, and I want to prove I belong. I’m going to get back in the gym as soon as I get home and work on what I need to work on and keep coming back.”
Anthony Birchak def Joe Soto via TKO at 1:37 of round 1
“This is literally a dream come true. The fight pretty much lived up to my expectations. I wanted to come in and really lay my hands on him. My coach said, anytime you put your hands on someone – try to make them dizzy. I wanted to make him dizzy. I know the champ didn’t do that. He [Dillashaw] did it in five rounds, I did it in one. That was the thing coming into this fight, I was so eager to get my hands on someone, I needed to take my time, be patient and be poise, be mature. This is something I just want to do right here. be a bull and come forward. Joe Soto was a world champion, he’s fought for gold, so I trained for a champion basically. He brought the best out of me. I’m on cloud 9 right now.
I remember him ducking in under my left hook. As he came out, I threw my right, and I caught him right on the button and he dropped. Once I saw he recovered, he got me in heel hook position, so I made sure I got out quickly and got back in, I finished up with some solid punches. I started out just submitting people, my first five fights were all finished by submissions. I realized my weakness was striking, so I worked on that and started knocking people out. These strikes weren’t an accident. I really want to be in the top 15. I know I can compete with any of those guys, and I know I’m a good matchup for any of them up there.
I’ve met so many great people in this sport and in my weight class, so it sucks to call people out, but anyone in the top 15. Me and Aljamain Sterling were talking on Twitter, so I’d like to fight him once he’s better.”
Rivera KOs Caceres in 21 seconds
“I’m really emotional right now. Being hurt in camp made things hard, but more importantly, my mom moved back to Arizona so I didn’t have a full time baby sitter. I haven’t seen in my kids in weeks, I cry every night. This is the first time I’ve gone this long without seeing them. I just really, really needed this. You have no idea.”
Jordan def Lewis via TKO at :48 of round 2
“Any victory in the UFC is huge. To be able to compete at this level and do well, that’s just what I want to do. I want to keep winning and keep getting bigger fights. I want to get guys in the top 10. I did well, so I hope I get another opponent quick. He kept dropping his right hand, so I went on a whim and tried the kick and it worked out pretty well.
I loved those LSU chants. It was great to be in front of Louisiana fans!”
Akhmedov def Ebersole via TKO at 5:00 of round 1:
“Honestly, I wanted this fight to go the distance. It happened like this, and you never know. I’d like to get back in there as soon as possible.”
“I’m old everything hurts. Life time of wrestling takes a toll on you, getting your head pulled, knees banged up – I’m going to leave it to the young guys now. That’s it for me.”
I’m getting old, I’m getting up there. I planned on retiring in November after the fight in Melbourne, but we’ll call it a night tonight. I’ve had a long career in MMA, a long career in wrestling and this thing [leg] has been bugging me throughout my camp. It was just lingering stuff. You try to go harder, and things start to flare up. I’ve been very bipolar in my training camp: sprint, rest, and rest longer, then wake up and sprint. It’s been hard, a hard camp. The stress of worrying about being healthy and worrying about my performance.. it’s too much.
I’ve come a long way. I cheated the system. I was a wrestler my whole life. Once I quit wrestling in college, this [MMA] was the thing I turned to. I extended it another 15 years, I can gracefully hang ’em up and call it a day. The last couple of fights, I’ve really had to tough it out. Fighting rick story really hurt my lower back. I was seeing chiropractors every day for almost two weeks before the fight. That was terrible. Getting the win against John Howard, I thought about it, and was like; man, I’ve got one more year in me before I really settle down and life takes over and my wife wants to get back to work and resume her career. This year was me being greedy.
The highlight of my career, was probably the fact I cheated the system. I was a decent wrestler, but I never had the accolades of some of these guys like Cormier and Koscheck. It was good to come in here and have such a successful MMA career and to get through as many fights as I did, especially early on, without getting beat up. We see it now, when guys have two or three fights and that’s enough. We see guys have one fight and they don’t come back. There are guys who see who they’re fighting on amateur night and don’t show up to the fight. So to be able to push through and fight karate guys, fight boxers, fight big, scary heavyweights, and actually get through that and get to where it turned into an art, instead of a fight, really capped my career off.”
Wade def. Giagos via unanimous decision
“Getting a win over a tough opponent like that was a test to my will. It was a lot of back and forth. I thought my standup improved. I would say this was my best performance. I think I put it all together a little bit more. I’m still developing, I’m young in this sport. In November, it will be my fourth year in the sport total. I have a lot of growing to do and a lot of learning to do, but this was a step in the right direction.”
Proctor def Edwards via submission at 4:58 of round 3
“I didn’t know that was the latest submission finish until Jon Anik said it in the Octagon. Now that I know, I think it’s unbelievable to have my name in the record books. It was a really close fight, I think I won the first, I think he might have won the second and going into the third my coach told me it was all or nothing – go out there and work your butt off or never fight in the UFC again. I was paying respect to my grandfather with this fight, so it was nice to get the win for him. Joe Lauzon skipped his honeymoon to be here with me, that’s what real team is all about. I really appreciate everything Joe has done for me from The Ultimate Fighter through now.”
“It went how I expected. I wasn’t offensive enough, I sat back and waited for him to throw instead of taking control of the Octagon. I wasn’t being productive enough, but he was. And once he got the choke in, I knew it was tight, but I don’t tap to chokes, so I said: let’s do it.”
Collier def Abreu via split decision
It was a sloppy performance, but I’m happy with it. It was a good war. I just get so excited when I’m in there, and I need to calm down. I’m just a kid from a small town, and when I get in there, I just want to try everything I’ve learned in the last three months. It was good to win, but I was really sloppy.
I knew it was going to be standing, no offense to him, but his wrestling is not as good as mine. I knew if he got me down, I’d get back up.
It was a great fight. It would have been better with a different result, but it was a lot of fun. I knew it was going to be a striking fight, Jake was prepared for my takedowns. I wanted to put on a show for the fans. I didn’t want to participate in a fight with a lot of holding or that was boring – it was everything or nothing for me.
Quinonez def Morales via submission at 2:34 of Round 1
“I’m very happy. I had a game plan and I stuck with it and everything went well. We did Greco Roman, and secured our takedown. We worked on the guard, and got the submission. I thought it was possible to get the finish early, but I knew it would take hard work. Thank you, Mexico!”