Rundown of post-fight news and notes from UFC 124…
— UFC 124 broke the North American attendance record with 23,152 attendees, but it fell short in breaking the worldwide gate record for MMA as Dana White promised. The gate receipts totaled $4.586 million.
— Mac Danzig, who was facing a pink slip following UFC 124, got a $100,000 bonus check for knocking out Joe Stevenson. Mark Bocek and Jim Miller split $100,000 for the sub bonus. In the “Fight of the Night” category, the UFC let the fans vote on which fight deserved the award for the first time, but it ended up backfiring on them. Instead of picking which fight was actually the best, it turned into a popularity contest with GSP vs. Koscheck, an extremely one-sided decision, getting the most votes. Dana White joked that the fans “blew it” and they won’t do it again.
— Georges St. Pierre said his dominant win over Josh Koscheck was a product of strategy and stacking the odds in his favor.
“My first fight with [Koscheck], I wanted to beat him with wrestling. This fight, I wanted to beat him with boxing. It’s a good strategy to do something unexpected. That way the opponent doesn’t know what is coming. Mixed martial arts is like a chess game. You want to be strategic… Josh Koscheck, he throws his punches circular,” St-Pierre said. “I knew to beat him, I needed to stay on the outside behind my jab standing up. If I stayed in the pocket with him and started throwing circular, it would be the same thing if I took a coin, flipped it and see who would land first on the target and risk getting knocked out. My gameplan doesn’t rely on chance. I don’t gamble when I fight. I try to put all the odds on my side. That’s why I tried to stay on the outside with my jab.”
Still, Georges was adamant that he wanted a finish, not another decision.
“I wanted to finish with a knockout or a submission. He’s very tough. I closed his right eye, so I was going a lot with the hook and the high left kick,” said the victorious champion. “He’s very good. My punches didn’t land on his chin as much as I wanted. It was a good fight, but I wanted to finish him. That was my goal.”
— So what’s next for GSP? Well, everyone seems to want him to fight Anderson Silva, but GSP continues to give the same answer he has been giving all year.
“It’s complicated. If I go up, I’m going to have to put more muscle on my body, because I think I’m too small [for 185]. If I go up, I want to stay at 185. When you go up and down — you see what it happened to [former boxing champion] Roy Jones — it messes up the reaction time. In boxing, [weight classes] are like seven pounds. In MMA, it’s 15 pounds.”
Dana White is open to the idea but a super fight against Silva wont be GSP’s next fight. Dana confirmed with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that Jake Shields will in fact be Georges St. Pierre’s next opponent. Many people think Shields is boring, but not GSP. He appreciates Shields’ meticulous fighting style.
“He’s one of my favorite guys I like to see fight. He’s a very, what you say, meticulous fighter, a very technical guy, a brilliant submission artist. He’s one of the guys I like to see fight the most. He beat everyone at 170 and 185. He’s amazing.”
Dana couldn’t say when and where, but UFC 131 in Toronto seems like the most likely destination if GSP’s ready. He says he is, but it’s up to the UFC.
“I would love [to fight at UFC 131], but it depends on the boss. If the boss wants it, I’m in… I think I’m OK. I will see the doctor. I have some bumps and bruises, but I’m healthy. So far, with the adrenaline, I feel good. We’ll see in a few minutes when things slow down, but I think I can go back to training in maybe two or three days. It’s up to the UFC. I work for the UFC. I love my job. I love fighting.”
It seems Dana has another big title fight in mind for UFC 131 as well. He hinted that the next UFC heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez & Junior dos Santos could also headline the big Toronto card.
— Despite getting slammed to the mat in the first 30 seconds and nearly having his arm ripped off, Stefan Struve said it was nice to get a win in an “easy fight.”
“It’s good to keep my face intact for once. My last three or four fights were wars. I got a couple new scars from that… It’s good to win an easy fight… The fight was easier than I thought it would be. Everything I tried, I succeeded.”
— Jim Miller reiterated at the post-fight press conference that he wants a title shot.
“Coming into this fight, I was trying to gain a little respect, to be honest. [Oliveira] was the favorite, and I didn’t understand that. I’m 7-1 in the UFC, and my only losses are to guys who are number one and number two in the division. He’s got a big future ahead of him, but I’ve got wins over two guys on this card [Mac Danzig and Mark Bocek] who are coming away with bonuses. I was trying to leave my mark and do what I’m capable of doing… A little bit. I’m not going to lie. It does eat at me a little. I’ve done nothing to show I shouldn’t be number three. I’ve beaten all other comers. I want my shot at revenge [against Edgar and Maynard]. Even being friends with Frankie, I want to fight him.”
Dana White agreed that Miller has worked his way into the mix.
— Thiago Alves looked spectacular last night, and he gave most of the credit to The Dolce Diet for helping him get on weight the right way.
“I felt really, really good. I trained really hard for this. I’ve been through a lot. I regrouped and teamed up with the right people, teamed up with the right camp… The Dolce Diet helped me out a lot. It’s not just a diet. It’s a life choice. Everything that he tells you, you’ve got to surround yourself with healthy people that are going to help take you to where you want to get. I always train hard. I’ve got a great camp with me, but it’s pretty much the diet and the life choice that made a huge difference in this fight.”
Alves told Ariel Helwani after the fight that he wants Jake Shields next, but it looks like he’ll have to wait for that fight now that Shields will be fighting for the title.
— Joe Stevenson may have lost his second fight in a row in an increasingly competitive weight class, but that doesn’t mean Dana and Joe Silva are going to cut him loose just yet.
“Here’s the thing, and (UFC matchmaker) Joe (Silva) and I were talking about this tonight, we like guys that fight. We like guys that come in and lay it on the line… Joe Stevenson has had a bad run, but it’s just so tough to cut a guy that comes in and does what he’s supposed to do. He’s one of those guys. He got knocked out trying to knock [Danzig] out tonight. That’s what happened. We’ll see what happens with Joe Stevenson. I respect him. Joe (Silva) respects him. We like him. I wouldn’t say he’s getting cut.”
— Mac Danzig avoided imminent release with his victory, but he doesn’t feel like he can “rest” now. “There’s no break. It’s back to the gym.”