Replay: All fighters but one make weight for UFN 36
Main Card (10:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1
Lyoto Machida (185) vs. Gegard Mousasi (186)
Francis Carmont (185) vs. Ronaldo Souza (185)
Takenori Sato (170) vs. Erick Silva (170)
Viscardi Andrade (170) vs. Nicholas Musoke (170)
Andy Ogle (146) vs. Charles Oliveira (143)
Prelim Card (7:30 p.m EST on UFC Fight Pass)
Cristiano Marcello (156) vs. Joe Proctor (155)
Rodrigo Damm (156) vs. Ivan Jorge (156)
Jesse Ronson (156) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (155)
Yuri Alcantara (136) vs. Wilson Reis (135)
Felipe Arantes (146) vs. Maximo Blanco (147.9)*
Ildemar Alcantara (171) vs. Albert Tumenov (170)
Douglas Silva De Andrade (145) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (146)
*Blanco was given one hour to cut the final 1.9 pounds
Mousasi: Machida dangerous if you lose control
"Sometimes I didn’t even need to cut weight, I was at 205," said Mousasi as transcribed by MMAFighting's Chuck Mindenhall. "The last fight I felt the size difference, so, being in the UFC, I want to go for the title shot, and I think the best way to get to the title is at middleweight."
"He is a very different fighter from a typical stand-up fighter, he’s more of a counter-puncher. But he comes he’s vulnerable for counter-punching himself.
"I understand better now how he fights. I would say he is much more of a smart fighter. He lures you in, he feints, so I studied him very well. I can deal with it."
"I’m getting the chance to fight Machida. I’m excited, you know, because maybe I can get a title shot after this. There’s not many contenders at middleweight at this moment I believe. This is a fight I must win. With that mentality I’m going to go into the fight. I’m more relaxed than I was a year ago."
"I heard from my manager that it could definitely be for the next No. 1 contender."
"You have to be smart and make no mistakes. He’s dangerous if you lose your control and you get too aggressive or leap into your punches. That’s when he’s most dangerous, so you have to fight smart."
"I think I’ll do fine. I did a lot of sparring for this fight, five rounds, five minutes per. I tried to replicate the fight. Of course, it’s going to be in Brazil with a hostile audience, but other than that I just need to be smart and keep my cool and everything will be just fine."
Georges St-Pierre: Francis Carmont doesn't know how good he is
“Francis is very good,” Georges St-Pierre said. “Francis is so good, he doesn’t know how good he is. He’s a lot better than he knows. He has a lot of potential. He’s well-rounded and an incredibly fast learner.
“When he first arrived in Canada, he was a kickboxer. But now he’s become a very good wrestler. He’s very good at adapting.”
Carmont (22-7 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and Souza (19-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) meet in the co-main event of Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 36 event at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The middleweight matchup will feature the grinding, powerful style of Carmont against the explosive jiu-jitsu of Souza.
The winner will be in an enviable position in the UFC’s 185-pound division ahead of May’s showdown between champ Chris Weidman and top contender Vitor Belfort. Souza stands as the oddsmakers’ choice, but St-Pierre, who trains alongside Carmont at Montreal’s Tristar Gym, thinks “Limitless” is primed for the upset.
“‘Jacare’ is one of the best in the world,” St-Pierre said. “He’s not only good in jiu-jitsu, but he’s good standing up. [Carmont] has got to use his reach and not be afraid of his ground game. If he sees a chance for a takedown, he’s got to go for it.
“Francis is one of the strongest guys I’ve met in my life. His grip is incredibly strong. When you don’t know him, it really surprises you. He needs to fight his fight and not over-respect [Souza's] jiu-jitsu.”
While St-Pierre is currently taking a break from active competition, the former champ made the long trek to Brazil to corner his training partner. St-Pierre said he’s looking forward to coaching his friend against such a high-level opponent and hopes he’s able to offer some worthy advice culled from his own time in pressure situations.
Perhaps that will ultimately be the role he chooses over fighting, but for now St-Pierre just wants to help Carmont to the biggest win of his life.
“I have a lot of experience in big fights and I’m a tactician, so I know ways to beat someone,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t know if I want to be a coach later. I’m not sure – I’m not there yet. I’m just doing it for fun right now. I don’t have a lot of friends in martial arts, but Francis is a good one, and I want him to succeed.”
Erick Silva switches from aggressive to patient after knockout loss
"I’m more mature now," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "Some people will be surprised with the way I’m going to fight because they’re used to see me always aggressive since the start, but I’ll be more patient and cautious now.
"That doesn’t mean I won’t be aggressive and explosive, though," he continued. "I’ll use it in the right time. When I find an opening, I’ll use it. I’ll hurt him before I explode. Getting there planning to finish the fight as soon as possible has a good side and a bad side, so fighting smarter gives me more chances to hurt my opponent without exposing myself too much."
Silva entered the UFC in 2011 and quickly became one of the hottest prospects in the welterweight division, but an official UFC record of 3-3 isn’t what some expected from him. He feels he’s ready to become one of the best with the lessons learned against Jon Fitch and Dong Hyun Kim, though.
"That’s a problem I had, but I don’t have this anymore," he said. "I’ve been training (wrestling) a lot since the Fitch fight. After that I fought High and Kim, two good wrestlers. I submitted High quickly and Kim knocked me out, but I was stopping all of his takedowns. I was doing great. Kim used to take everybody down and he couldn’t do that to me, and that shows that my takedown defense is getting better.
"I just needed the experience, so I don’t need anything now. We fixed everything that we needed to fix so I’m super excited, motivated and relaxed for this fight. I’m anxious to get out of the Octagon with the win."
Initially expected to meet Nate Loughran at UFN 36, Silva didn’t change much of his training when he was replaced by Sato due to an injury.
"Didn’t bother me at all," he said of the change. "At least I had a month to adjust what I had to. And I didn’t change much, actually, because they are both southpaws, so I just changed a little bit my strategy. This is the third southpaw grappler that I’m fighting, so I feel like I trained for him for over a year."