— Seattle is chock full of UFC fans. UFC Fight Night 24 set the attendance and live gate record for UFC Fight Night shows last night with 14,212 attendees and a $1,182,850 live gate.
— The Korean Zombie was a no-brainer for Sub of the Night after he pulled off the first twister in UFC history. Johny Hendricks earned KO of the Night honors for stopping TJ Waldburger. We didn’t see it, but UFC newcomers Michael McDonald and Edwin Figueroa apparently put on quite a show in the prelims. They each took home $55,000 Fight of the Night bonuses.
— Phil Davis got the job done last night against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but he didn’t look quite as “wonderful” as he has in past performances. It will quiet the call for Davis to challenge Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title, but it didn’t stop reporters from asking Davis about Jones after the fight. Davis said he’ll take it if and when it happens, but Dana White isn’t beating down his door with a bout agreement yet.
“The man that makes the decisions is not here right now. Listen, if Dana says fight him, I’ll fight him. He says, ‘Get him,’ I got him… (But)… He don’t say get him, I don’t got him.”
“I like that people bring me up when Jon Jones comes up. But I don’t want to be walking in his shadow, either. Then people have the same expectations for me as they have for him. We have different styles. He’s his own fighter, and I’m my own. I’m a young guy, and I’m coming up. When you don’t have as much experience, you’ll see a little bit less in the fight. But we’re working.”
Key takeaway from last night: Phil Davis is not ready for Jon Jones.
— Despite his guarantee that he and Dan Hardy would not go to the ground, Anthony Johnson spent the majority of the fight putting Dan Hardy on his back and beating him up from top position. Johnson said it was a simple case of exploiting Hardy’s weakness.
“I knew I could bang with him,” Johnson said at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference. “That was no problem. I knew I could do that, but I knew his weakness was his wrestling, and I know that’s one of my strengths. I just took it to my advantage and used it.”
“I was kind of disappointed in myself because I like to finish fights and this was just one of those times I didn’t finish it,” said Johnson. “Deep down inside, like I said, I wanted to finish the fight, but I just needed to win. After being out for a year and some change, I just needed to get back in the grove of things and just get the win. I didn’t really need to go for the knockout or the submission. And I’m not really a submissions guy, but I tried some stuff.”
Johnson dropped a reported 60 lbs. over an 8-week span for this fight. When it came down to it, Johnson made weight, but says he wouldn’t have if his coaches hadn’t locked him the sauna.
“I wasn’t hurting until like the last six pounds. I got down to 176 and my body was just like, okay, I’m not going to move anymore. But my coaches and stuff, they put me in the sauna and made me lose the weight. Like I said, I threatened my coach a couple times that if he didn’t let me out of that sauna I’d whoop his a–. But I’m glad that he didn’t. I’m glad they stuck by me, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have made weight.”
Johnson says he was a staggering 195 lbs. when he stepped in the cage last night, but since he hit his mark he’ll continue to compete in the welterweight division. He’s not sure who’s next, but hopes he gets to settle his score with John Howard, the one fighter he “hates.”
— Most fighters in the UFC would be cut after three consecutive losses, but it sounds like Dan Hardy will be spared. When MMA Junkie asked Dana if Hardy would be released, Dana responded, “Not necessarily. We’ll have to wait and see. I [expletive] love that kid.”
— Chan Sung Jung aka The Korean Zombie amazed us once again last night with his never-seen-before-in-the-UFC twister submission. Jung said he learned it watching old Eddie Bravo videos and drilled it in practice until it became second nature.
“It’s something that I saw a long time ago on the internet on video. It’s one of Eddie Bravo’s techniques. It’s something I practiced because it just looks fun, and so I do it quite a bit in practice. I always told people I was going to try it some time in competition and I wanted to do it in the UFC and I was able to.”
“With twenty seconds left in the second round, I got his back and I just figured I would try to do something. I didn’t necessarily think that I was going to go for the twister, but it just came out naturally from doing it so much in practice.”
Jung was obviously thrilled with the $55,000 bonus the UFC awarded him for the historical finish, but seemed even more happy that he’s finally off the WEC $5,000/$5,000 plan.