Rundown of UFC Fight Night 23 “Fight for the Troops 2” post-fight news, notes and quotes…
— Yves Edwards was the recipient of two bonuses last night. He and Cody McKenzie each earned $30,000 for Fight of the Night honors, plus Yves pocketed another $30,000 for Submission of the Night. Melvin Guillard took home the other $30,000 for demolishing Evan Dunham in the main event.
— Fund raising efforts for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund during last night’s show reached around $600,000 during the broadcast and millions more is expected to come in from the website. IFHF trustee Marty Edelman characterized the event as a success and anticipates a third “Fight for the Troops” event next year.
“Our relationship with Dana White, and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, has been both personal and professional and philanthropic for years now,” he said. “This is ‘Fight for the Troops 2,’ and you know how each UFC fight has a number? Well, we’ll do No. 3 probably next year, and we’ll just keep going until all the needs of our young, wonderful warriors and their families are taken care of.”
“We determine the need, and so far, we’ve never failed in raising the money we need,” he said. “So we just keep doing it until we have enough. We have about $13 or $14 million for research. We’d like to get to $20 million. And we’ll do whatever we need to to get there.”
— Following his beatdown of Evan Dunham, Melvin Guillard said that he should be next in line for a title shot.
“Honestly, I feel I should be next in line,” Guillard said. “It’s been a long time coming… When I hit him, I knew I hurt him. I saw the whole side of his face turn red, and I was like, ‘Oh, yeah. I got him. I know he’s hurt.’ I didn’t want to rush it though. The old me, I would have jumped in there and gotten crazy. He would have taken me down.”
Guillard said the difference between the old Melvin and the new Melvin is patience.
“[Dunham] took my back for a second. Some of you were panicking, I know, but I was confident… The difference now is that being at Jackson’s and training with Coach Greg (Jackson) and guys like Carlos Condit and Donald Cerrone, I have a lot of great guys to work with everyday. I even roll around with Jon Jones. He’s freaking huge. I don’t panic anymore. That’s the biggest thing between the Melvin of today and the Melvin you saw two years ago. I don’t panic. I just come out and fight and stay patient… I’m just proud to have a great team and a great team of coaches. When they come together, we make magic. That’s just what is. Call me the ‘Magic Man,’ I guess.”
Guillard’s trainer Mike Winklejohn echoed Melvin’s comments and alluded to him being a more mature fighter.
“Melvin and I constantly worked on coming from the outside and getting that slight angle on him, and hitting him with that right hand. Melvin has always had that [speed]. That’s his God-given ability. That was the plan, to knock the guy out, and we’re real happy… [Guillard] was just like a video game tonight. He basically did everything he was told. He’s actually a very intelligent fighter, and he’s coming into his own instead of letting his emotions take hold… I’m good with Melvin fighting anybody right now. His confidence is at an all-time high. There are some great fighters in the division, but I think that Melvin can be in there with anybody. I think he’s ready for a title shot.”
— Mark Hominick earned a title shot against Jose Aldo with his uber-impressive win over George Roop. His striking was on point and he wonders how Aldo is going to fare against it. He says Aldo has never faced anyone like him.
“This is huge, but the thing with me, I’ve been fighting professionally for 10 years. I’ve gone through the bottom, and now I’ve got a chance to go against the top – the best of the best. Those are the guys I’ve always wanted to face… Nothing against Jose Aldo. I think he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter, fantastic striker. But he’s never faced anybody with my striking capability. We’ll see how he does against it… He’s been making wrestlers look like poor strikers, and a lot of times, that’s not too hard. He’s not going to do that to me, and I’m going in there with that kind of confidence. I know he’s the best in the world, but he’s never faced anybody like me.”
— Following his win over Joey Beltran, Pat Barry said he has learned to brush off all the negative comments from the fans about his performances.
“I’ve already had bad things said to me as soon as I got out (of the cage). People said, ‘Good fight, but what happened in round one?… I’m already hearing negative (comments). I’m getting bad text messages already. That’s always going to happen. No matter what, some people are just going to hate your guts. It’s impossible to make everyone happy… It’s just life in general, not just the last fight. Everybody has a bad day eventually. Certain things just build up, build up, build up. I hadn’t had a cranky fight in a long time. Do I feel it’s behind me? No. I’m still hearing about kickboxing matches that I lost 10 years ago. It’s never going to go away… Am I past [the critics’ doubts following my last loss]? I’m fine with it. Am I still going to hear about it? Of course. That’s just how it goes.”
— Before choking out Cody McKenzie, Yves Edwards said he never felt threatened when McKenzie took his back.
“He’s so long and lanky. It’s kind of hard to move those guys around when they’re on your back, but I never felt really threatened. The two times he hit me with shots, I thought they didn’t even hurt. Then, I heard the ref tell me that I had to work or escape or something. I think I tried to spring right back up, to show that I was fine and wasn’t in danger of being taken out… It’s classic jiu-jitsu. If you lift the leg off the floor, then he’s not going to be able to use it to help himself move. Once I got to side position, I was going to try to land some elbows, but he started protecting his face really well. That exposed his stomach for me to slide [my knee] across and mount. As soon as he turned around, I tried to sink the choke in.”
— If you would like to make a donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, you may do so at FightForTheTroops.com.