Highlights from the UFC 120 post-fight press conference courtesy of MMA Fighting. Rundown of post-fight news, notes and quotes…
— UFC 120 set an European attendance record. 17,133 attendees packed into the O2 Arena bringing in a live gate totaling approximately $2.34 million.
— Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama ended UFC 120 with a bang, which netted them an extra $60,000 each and “Fight of the Night” honors. Carlos Condit was a no-brainer for “Knockout of the Night” for his stunning KO of Dan Hardy. And Paul Sass was awarded “Submission of the Night” for his slick fight-ending triangle against Mark Holst.
— FightMetric confirmed what the judges saw in the Bisping-Akiyama main event. Michael Bisping landed 118 significant strikes to Yoshihiro Akiyama’s 50 over the course of three rounds. Just like all three judges scored, FightMetric had it 30-27 Bisping.
— Michael Bisping admitted that first shot Yoshihiro Akiyama tagged him with really rocked him, but he was good to go after that.
“I’m still rocked now. I can still see little black spots… It definitely landed, and I was rocked. It was a good shot. He hits hard, he swings and he’s a good fighter. He caught me right off the bat with a good shot. I had to keep my composure and keep fighting… For most of the first round, I couldn’t see anything from [the right] side of my face. I couldn’t see anything. It was real blurry, and I had double vision, but that’s what you’ve got to do to earn the title shot, I guess… It was just that one shot right at the start. To be honest, I couldn’t tell you what it was. It obviously caught me off-guard, and I give credit to the guy… Other than that, I felt fine. I was never rocked after that.”
Bisping had hoped to finish Akiyama, but was relatively pleased with his performance nonetheless. He hopes a title shot could be on the other side of another big win.
“I was relatively happy tonight. I nearly put him away, but I didn’t quite manage to do it. But still, a win is a win… I want to fight the top guys. Whoever it is, I want to fight the best out there. I think one more win against a real credible opponent, I think that should get me a title fight. … Ultimately, that’s up to the UFC, but I feel I’m growing as a fighter. I said it leading up to the fight. I feel like I’m really maturing now, and everything is coming together in my skillset.”
One name Bisping mentioned was Wanderlei Silva. He said he’d like a rematch with Wand, and would even consider coaching a season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite the PRIDE legend.
— Former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit called his knockout win over Dan Hardy “the biggest of his career.”
“This was definitely the biggest fight of my career. Fighting on the co-main, fighting Dan pretty much in his backyard and at The O2 arena, this is the biggest win of my career so far.”
While Jake Shields will likely lock up a title shot with an impressive win against Martin Kampmann next weekend, Condit hopes he can somehow sneak in and fight the winner of that fight.
“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing who wins that fight between Kampmann and Shields. I fought both those guys, and I had decisions to both of them. I’d like to maybe get one of those losses back.”
Condit’s probably at least a fight or two away from a title shot, but if it does happen while GSP is still the champ, he has no problem fighting his Greg Jackson teammate.
“As far as ‘GSP’ being a teammate over at Jackson’s, we’ve never really discussed it very much. I think it would be foolish of me to turn down an opportunity like that, but I guess we just have to discuss that when we get to that juncture… It does pose some problems, I guess, but if it happens, it happens.”
If nothing else, that statement earned Condit a few brownie points with Dana White. His reaction? “Finally!”
— Dan Hardy was of course disappointed with how his fight turned out, but he still managed to bring his sense of humor to the post-fight press conference. Despite back-to-back losses to Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit, Hardy vows he will be back.
“They photographed my brain, and they said there’s one rat dancing around in there somewhere, so I’m good… I did envision at some point taking the fight to the floor. I just didn’t envision going there on my own, like what happened… I’m going to have to go back and watch the fight. I can remember parts of it. I also remember my coach having a word with me on the way to the hospital saying I wasn’t putting my combinations together and stuff like that… I got caught. That’s why it’s a sport. It was a good punch… Losing is, in my opinion, the worst feeling in the world. I’m sure in the rest of my life I’ll come across worse things, but it’s right up there with the worst. [The crowd support] softens the blow a little bit – pardon the pun… It’s a learning curve. 2010 wasn’t my year. I’ve had two losses this year, and I’ve only had two losses back-to-back once (before)… I’ll get back on the horse and keep pushing forward. I’ll be back.”
— Mike Pyle has struggled from the “UFC jitters” in the past more so than other fighters, but he appears to finally be over that hump. Pyle said proper mental preparation was the key.
“You train yourself on the focus mitts, right? Well, you’ve got to train yourself mentally, and there’s mental preparations for being inside of something this big… This is the biggest, best sport that’s going right now, and it doesn’t get any better. You have to do everything you can to prepare yourself physically and mentally. That’s what I did when I got the call. I stepped up and took care of business… It just took me a little bit longer to get over the UFC jitters. Like I said, this is the big show. It’s a lot bigger than any other show I’ve ever fought on. I have to train myself for that, and I’m taking all the proper steps… I’m seasoned. I train with the best. I feel that it’s out there, and I just knew that I would be able to outwork the kid, 100 percent. In my heart, I knew that I could beat him.”
— It’s been a long time since the UFC booked a championship fight on one of their cards, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future according to UFC UK head Marshall Zelaznik.
“It’s a bit of a business decision, but that’s not to say we’ll never have a pay-per-view here or we’ll never have a championship fight here… It’s a bit of a business decision, but that’s not to say we’ll never have a pay-per-view here or we’ll never have a championship fight here… A lot of it has to do with when the fighters are ready to fight, when our TV dates are, what’s the best for this sport overall. For instance, this fight will lead right into the Brock fight. As we were planning this calendar, we figured why not have a fight on Spike TV and have that fight really promote the next fight? Again, while this is really organic, it becomes pretty focused as we get closer. This [event] six or eight months ago may have been under consideration for a championship fight.”
— Did ESPN spoil the results for anyone? Apparently, they ran the results on their news ticker and pissed a lot of people off in the process.