On this week’s “UFC Tonight,” Host Todd Harris and Analyst Kenny Florian look ahead to Saturday’s UFC ON FOX fight in New Jersey, which features lightweights Nate Diaz and Jim Miller facing off in the Octagon, plus we have an exclusive interview with Miller. We also have a preview of another UFC ON FOX event in August, with newly announced fights that include Brian Stann facing recent UFC signee Hector Lombard. Jay Glazer has a new “UFC 101” with Dan Henderson that features the art of “dirty boxing.”
Quote of the Week: “UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian on Diaz vs. Miller: “Nick Diaz is very good at keeping his opponents on the outside. He has a long reach and knows how to use it. He is tied for having the longest reach in the lightweight division. He always throws a high volume of punches. Once he finds his range, he throws a lot of punches, and he wears his opponent down until he gets what he wants. Miller is going to have to get inside of that long reach and push Diaz up against the fence. Miller does great work on the mat. He has the submission skills to beat Nate Diaz.”
Florian on if Miller can mimic Condit’s approach against a Diaz brother: “There is no doubt it was an effective strategy that Carlos Condit used, but Miller is a different kind of fighter. He doesn’t possess the same reach as Condit. He isn’t the same striker as Condit. He is not at that level. What he does possess is some high-level wrestling and that has posed some problems for both Nick and Nate in the past.”
Florian on if Miller or Diaz should get a title shot if either wins this fight: “I think so, these guys are two of the best lightweights in the world. Both of these guys have fought at a very high level against a series of opponents and both have a great resume.”
Jim Miller on the pressure of the upcoming fight: “I’m not really feeling any pressure, just the excitement and energy of being in the main event on FOX.”
Miller on prepping to fight Nate Diaz: “I’m prepared for a physical fight. I’m going to make a point to fight my fight and make him feel uncomfortable.”
Miller if he prepared to fight Nate Diaz from watching Nate’s brother, Nick, lose to Carlos Condit: “What I learned from watching Condit is how to have a well-planned-out game plan. Nick and Nate are similar, but I don’t like comparing brothers. They’re different fighters and have different styles.”
Miller on whether his wrestling background gives him an advantage: “It’s one of the biggest advantages that I have. I’ve been working on my striking game over the last few years. If I can use my wrestling to dictate where the fight goes, I will, but I hope I don’t have to.”
Miller on who he’d like to fight next if he wins? “I’m not really thinking about it. I have a big fight against a tough opponent this week. I’m just working on that right now.”
Florian on co-main event featuring Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks: “It’s interesting. Both of these guys come from a very good wrestling background. When you have this strong of a wrestling background, it’s hard to take each other down. Both of these guys are going to have to watch out for the KO.”
Hendricks on his fight against Koscheck: “I just can’t wait. I thought I was excited for Fitch, but it’s this fight I’m really excited about. Koscheck was on my radar. I knew if I didn’t get a title shot and Condit wanted to wait, I knew I would have somebody else to fight. I believe I am better than him, no matter where the fight goes. I just can’t wait to hit him.”
Florian on Erik Koch getting the fight against Jose Aldo: “I am a little surprised because Hatsu Hioki is ranked higher, but he didn’t want the fight against Jose. Koch is an interesting choice. I think style wise it’s an interesting fight because he is a tall, lanky, and very technical striker, who definitely can pose some problems for Aldo.”
Florian on Hector Lombard fighting Brian Stann: “Hector has an impressive win streak, which is obviously a hard thing to do in the sport, but that is outside of the UFC. Fighting in the UFC is a completely different level and here he finds himself fighting against Stann, who is one of the top middleweights in the world. It’s going to be a very interesting fight, because Hector is good in the clinch. Lombard could knock out Stann. Stann has more to lose in this fight than Lombard has.”
Florian on a possible super fight between Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, taking place at 195 pounds: “That’s a super fight. I would love to see it, and many other people would love to see it, but it’s not going to happen at 195. Jon Jones is not made for 195. It could happen at 205. Silva has fought a couple times at 205 and he looked great at that weight. I think it would be a huge super fight for these guys to go down as legends. They will go down at legends anyway, but if you are talking a super fight, it’s Anderson Silva and Jones.”
Florian on a fight to watch for this weekend: “One fight to watch for is Rousimar Palhares against Alan Belcher. It’s going to be a great fight and it’ll have big implications at 185.
“UFC Tonight” is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, airing every Tuesday night at 10:00 PM ET on FUEL TV. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and former UFC host and WEC Announcer Todd Harris. Two-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.