Considering it took place a week before the UFC‘s final Pay-Per-View event of the year, UFC Orlando still included quite a few notable names and ended up delivering an entertaining night of action for fans.
The card’s loaded lineup of 14 fights didn’t leave a lot of time for Daniel Cormier to speak to fighters in the cage, but big winners from the event’s main card had a few things to say once they got on the microphone.
Rowe Is Inspired By His Mother
Phil Rowe and Nico Price were originally supposed to compete in the UFC Orlando featured prelim, but the pacing of the event resulted in the welterweights kicking off the main card instead.
The pair took advantage of the spotlight by putting on an entertaining scrap that Rowe won via TKO late in the third round, and afterwards “The Fresh Prince” cited his mother as being inspiration for the toughness he displays in the Octagon.
“DC, my mother, her name is Christine Rowe. She’s battling two forms of cancer at one time. She goes through chemo with a smile. These guys got nothing for me in here. If my mom can do what she do, ain’t nobody stopping me in here…My mom, her mind is bulletproof. She’s the reason that I can do what I do.”
Anders Calls Out Pickett
One of the night’s most impressive performances came courtesy of Eryk Anders, who snapped a two-fight losing streak when he stopped Kyle Daukaus in the second round.
The victory was the 35-year-old’s first stoppage win since 2019, and “Ya Boi” already had the name of his next opponent ready when asked by Cormier.
“You know, I was saying earlier I try to make things pretty. I’m pretty, but my fighting style is ugly, and that’s how I gotta do it. I know Jamie Pickett had an opponent he was supposed to fight next week that fell out, so I’m available.”
Dolidze Is Ready For Chimaev
In a matchup highlighted as the Sleeper Scrap from UFC Orlando, Roman Dolidze earned his third-straight finish when caught Jack Hermansson in a calf slicer before finishing him with punches.
The Georgian now has two impressive stoppage wins in less than a month, but Dolidze showed no desire to slow down considering the fighter he called out after his win.
“You know, it’s with all respect. Khamzat I think will not make 170 [any more]. Hey, I’m here, a Top 10 ranked 185er, and welcome. I’m ready for him, he will need for sure someone top ranked. I’m here.”
Nicolau Needs A New Contract
Flyweights Matheus Nicolau and Matt Schnell had a tough act to follow after Sergei Pavlovich stopped Tai Tuivasa in under a minute, but Nicolau rose to the occasion with a TKO victory of his own.
The 29-year-old is now on a six-fight win streak, but Nicolau told Cormier that he’ll need a new contract before fans can see him fight again.
“The truth DC, is that right now I am an unemployed fighter. I have no more fights on my contract. So now, let’s see if UFC still has some interest in me. After that knockout, I believe they have, and I showed that I’m ready for a big fight.”
Dos Anjos Wants McGregor
The UFC Orlando co-main event saw Rafael dos Anjos make his return to welterweight against fan favorite Bryan Barberena, who dos Anjos ended up submitting with a rear-naked choke in the second round.
After the win, the Brazilian used his time on the microphone to celebrate his own longevity and call for the rebooking of a fight that fell through back when he was the UFC lightweight champion.
“Seven years ago Daniel, December 2015, I was defending my title against Donald Cerrone in this very same arena. And guys like Usman, Francis Ngannou, they was on the prelim card. And here I am, still winning fights. And I think I have the right to call somebody. And I wanna call out Conor McGregor. Seven years ago, I earned this fight beating Donald Cerrone. He came up division, we supposed to fight. I broke my foot, but now here I am. He has couple months to clean his body of all the shit that he’s taking, and I’ll see you in July.”
Thompson Isn’t Slowing Down
Stephen Thompson entered the UFC Orlando main event as an underdog to Kevin Holland, but the 39-year-old ended up putting on a fantastic performance that saw him walk away with the victory.
“Wonderboy” snapped a two-fight skid by beating Holland, and Thompson made sure to let Cormier know that he has no intention of leaving the sport any time soon.
“My last two performances, I lost to grapplers. I wanted to show the UFC and the fans that ‘Wonderboy’ is still here. I feel like I’m 25. I’m still in for the long haul, and that I still got it…You’re gonna see a better Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson baby. I’m out here for the long haul. Everybody out here, I appreciate you. Thank you Orlando, I freakin’ love you, let’s go!”
What do you think of the Octagon interviews from UFC Orlando? Are there any quotes or callouts that stand out to you?
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