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Fight week notebook: UFC on FOX 5 edition

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

SEATTLE -- Fight week is always a busy time, and given the relentless stream of news, Ronda Rousey's surprise introduction into the UFC, and the most anticipated network card since November 2011 actually remaining intact, tonight's UFC on FOX 5 show is no exception. But not everything can make it off the cutting room floor, so here's the best of the rest in regards to news, notes and numbers from an entertaining few days.

  • 81.9: the combined percentage of victories ended via finish by the eight fighters on UFC on FOX 5's main card. (MacDonald - 92.3%, Rua - 90.5%, Diaz - 87.5%, Brown - 86.7%, Gustafsson - 85.7%, Penn - 81.2%, Swick - 73.3%, Henderson - 58.8%.)
  • "Some people think that the moon landing wasn't real. There was no moon landing, that's their opinion. Who am I to say your opinion is wrong? You're entitled to your opinion. It's cool. I have no problem with you thinking that. If you think I'm a points fighter, or I'm this or I'm that, cool. Sounds good. Let's go get some grub." - Ben Henderson, jovially brushing off criticism.
  • "I hope one day UFC (allows) stomps. My opinion, elbows are more dangerous than stomps... Because it's easier to cut. It easier to cut and bloody. (Soccer) kicks are not used to open and to cut so easy." - Shogun Rua, reflecting back on the good ol' days.
  • 27: the combined number of Zuffa ‘Fight Night' bonuses earned by the eight main card fighters. (Diaz - 10, Henderson - 5, Penn - 5, Rua - 4, Swick - 2, MacDonald - 1.)
  • "Gluten free pizzas. Big ones." - Nate Diaz, revealing what he bought with those 10 hefty bonus checks.
  • "Me and him always lived together until this past year. I bought a house around the corner, it's about a mile away. He came with me, and then he went back. He was like, ‘I'm going back to my house. Forget this.' And now we're a mile away. But it's funny having our own houses, separate houses. Because it's like my house is his house, his house is my house. If doors are locked, I'm coming through a window." - Diaz, elaborating on he and his brother's current living situation.
  • 8: the number of The Ultimate Fighter alumni featured on the UFC on FOX 5 card, including Diaz.
  • "I'm ready for war, dog. I got everything with me. Zombies come, I'm out the back door with my guns." - Diaz, explaining why he's never seen without his backpack.
  • "I knew he would (fight me) because he asked Dana White first. Dana told me he was interested in fighting me coming out of retirement, so I took him up on it and made it public." - Rory MacDonald, revealing how his bout against B.J. Penn came to be.
  • "He texted me. The phantom texter. What happened is, I won't hear from B.J. Penn for a year, and then I'll get some crazy, four-page text from him. What he's thinking about and what's on his mind. And I love when I get ‘em." - Dana White, explaining how Penn contacted him to challenge MacDonald.
  • "We had Jay Hieron, Tarec Saffiedine, Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, Pat Healy and Josh Thomson. We had a lot of good guys to work out with. You know what, this is the most sparring I've ever done for a fight and I think this is probably the best prepared that I'm going to be." - Penn, talking training camp.
  • "I wish I did do those things. Hindsight is always 20-20. But in other way I look at it like, I kind of saved myself. I saved extra miles that I put on my body. And I'm still young... I've got a lot of plans, a lot of ideas. But everything starts with what happens Saturday, so let's see how this plays out." - Penn, wondering aloud what it would've been like if he dedicated himself like this throughout his entire career.
  • 205: the weight at which Mike Swick, a welterweight, competed at during season one of The Ultimate Fighter.
  • "At some point I was trying as hard as I could and it didn't seem like it was going to be enough. I think that was the frustrating part, because I've always been able to get myself where I needed to go, one way or another. It seemed for a while there, I might not be able to do it... I had some dark days. You don't want to give away your career, and walk away from the sport that you love and you've been a part of for so long. The thought of that crushed me." - Swick, reflecting on his two-year layoff.
  • "No doubt about it. And she's definitely better looking than Chuck Liddell." - Dana White, responding to the idea that Ronda Rousey is more marketable than the former UFC icon.
  • "It would be hilarious to see my coach lose his mind with other girls. I don't really give him that much trouble, but I can't wait for some girl to come up to him and be like, ‘I have cramps, coach. I can't practice.' I would just love to see his reaction." - Rousey, explaining a potentially underrated aspect of an all-female TUF season.
  • 8: the number of fights on Rousey's new UFC contract, according to Dana White.
  • "We'll see how it works. We're bringing in one weight division, 135-pounders, and we'll see what happens. This could last for years. This could last a year." - White, forecasting the future of the new women's division.
  • "No. I'm very hard to date." - Rousey, tersely answering a real question from a real member of the media scrum.
  • 16: the combined number of UFC title bouts fought by the eight main card fighters. (Penn - 11, Rua - 3, Henderson - 2.)
  • "People get hurt every single day. Right now I'm contracted to fight John Dodson on January 26th. My mind, yeah it's on John Dodson, but at the gym I'm always focusing on myself... Let's say two weeks down the road [Dodson] pulls a groin, and they're like ‘Joseph (Benavidez) will step in and fight you.' I'm not going to go, ‘Oh no, no, no. I've been training for John Dodson, I can't do that.' That's just me. My job is to fight." - UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, responding to champions not accepting short-notice replacement fights.
  • "It's so difficult, this whole injury thing. It's funny because we're going out of 2012 the same way we came in. So I'm hoping on this December 29th fight, that's the end of this s**t. This voodoo f**ing spell that's on us, I'm hoping it's over on January 1st." - Dana White, echoing the thoughts of every MMA fan.
  • 8: the number of injuries that affected the UFC on FOX 5 undercard, including Mike Chiesa's fight week illness and Tim Means' bizarre self-inflicted knockout.
  • "I don't think I'm a pyscho. I don't kill people or anything." - Rory MacDonald, scaring folks at the pre-fight workouts.
  • "He wasn't using performance enhancing drugs. There's a big controversy right now over whether guys who are caught smoking marijuana should be treated like a guy who used a PED. Marijuana isn't going to give you the physical strength to go in and hurt another human being... Seriously, this shouldn't be treated as a PED. There's no way in hell Nick (Diaz) shouldn't be given a license." - Dana White, signaling the apocalypse by agreeing with Bob Arum on something.
  • "Now I'm worried that Nick is in town." - White, moments later upon learning that marijuana just became legal in Seattle.