By George Deutsch:
Koscheck: (On getting excited for the Hendricks fight)
It’s a big fight. There’s a lot riding on this fight for both of us. Winner goes on to a nice path toward the title shot, and the loser? Who knows. I feel like I’m ready to roll.
Hendricks: (On possibly beating Koscheck)
Yeah he’s a tough opponent. You don’t be #2 or #3 in the world for as many years as he did w/o being a tough fighter. That’s why I got into this division to see if I have what it takes to compete w/ these guys. That’s what makes it so exciting, is every fight, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. All you can do is train your best and prepare your best.
Miller: (On fighting at home)
I don’t really care where I’m fighting. I’m still fighting a tough, world class opponent. So it really doesn’t matter if I’m fighting in NJ or his hometown. It’s an advantage not having to travel, but what it comes down to, the meat of it, is it doesn’t matter. I’d be excited to fight Nate anywhere in the world. I hope to have a decent crowd there for me. I feed off the energy. If they give me a good cheer as I make my way to the Octagon, I’ll get goosebumps and hopefully ride that energy to a victory if I can.
Diaz: (On fighting on Miller’s turf)
I don’t know. I have to work for him and prepare for him. You know? We’ll see.
Hendricks: (On the hype surrounding the Koscheck fight)
I don’t take [what Koscheck says] personal. I’ll be the first to tell you I am fat in the off season. I love McDonald’s. I love Taco Bell. But when it comes fight time, I’m always ready. I got 12 guys that I work out with every day.
Hendricks: (On being away from his daughters)
Whenever I get home, I know my daughters will miss me. I can fight for my honor, my family, and make sure they get what they want. That’s all that matters.
Miller: (On his experience level)
Experience? Nate has experience. He’s fought a lot of tough guys. He fought Maynard as well. It’s gonna be a tough fight for either one of us. It’s gonna take the best of everything that I have to beat him. It’s a tough challenge. I’ve trained harder than I’ve ever trained in my career and feel better than I’ve ever felt. I’m super fired up and excited.
Miller: (On extending the fight and wearing Diaz down)
He’s shown he’s got great cardio. You have to keep the pressure on him. I’ll fight like I always fight. If I control the fight I’m going to win, and if I let him control the fight he’ll beat me. It’s doing things my way that’s gonna get my hand raised. I’m prepared for a 25 minute fight and am capable and ready to do it if I have to. But I’m looking for an impressive sub-finish or knockout finish. That’s what drives everybody. That’s what I’ve trained to do, to be dangerous. But I’ll be just as well off in the 24th minute of the fight.
Koshceck: (On training at his own gym and connection to AKA)
I’ve made a lot of changes. I have a couple of guys from San Jose coming in and out. I’ve had a lot of new hand picked training partners. I’ve had guys come in for 5-10 days and then get a new group of guys. This is probably one of the better training camps I’ve had in a while and the focus has been 100% me. I’ve had new striking coaches, personal time and attention w/ those coaches. I hired Alan Fried to be my wrestling coach. He’s one of the former greats in wrestling and a former OK State guy and one of the best wrestlers to come out of there. I’ve got a lot of people around me who actually care. Those are the biggest changes.
Diaz: (On submitting Miller to make a point)
I just train, train hard. I’m going out there to win, do whatever I can. We’re gonna have to see what happens come fight night.
Diaz: (On title shot if he wins)
That’s what I was told, that’s what would happen. I don’t see who else would get a title shot.
Miller: (On finishing Diaz on the ground as they’re both BJJ black belts)
I’m training to be able to stop him anywhere, on the feet or on the back. If I can create the opportunity to lock something up I’ll try my damned-est to finish him with it. But he’s a tough guy and he’s only been submitted by Hermes, and that was years ago. So we’ll see how it goes.
Hendricks: (On him and Koscheck trading punches, as wrestlers often do)
We’re both complete fighters. I believe it’s gonna be a little bit of everywhere. I think you’re gonna see that. You’re not gonna see another boring wrestling match. It’s gonna be a fun one for everyone to watch. I can’t wait.
Koscheck: (On him and Hendricks trading punches)
I don’t care where the fight takes place. I just know I’m gonna win. If it’s on the ground, whatever. If it’s standing up, whatever.
Miller: (On not being lured into Diaz’s fight)
Don’t let it happen. When we’re in there I’m gonna fight my fight. If he’s trying to push the pace or trying to use his length, I’m not gonna wanna do that. There are things I’m good at, and that’s where I’ll try to keep the fight. I try to go out there and fight and not let any emotion or outside stuff get into the fight. That’s what happened to Donald, he got caught up in the fight, and Nate punished him for it. I’ll go out and fight my fight.
Diaz: (On being neutralized like his brother was against Condit)
Maybe. I don’t know. That doesn’t make you as good of a fighter I don’t think. Who wants to see that shit?
Koscheck: (On the positivity in his current camp as opposed to AKA)
It’s good man. It’s good to be … to never have to travel and to stay at home and train in Fresno. There are a lot of positive people around. It’s good man, I’m in a great place. I can’t wait to fight and show that I made the right decision and I have the right training partners and coaches. I feel like I’ve added two more years to my career because of being able to not travel to training.
Diaz: (On his progression the past few years)
A lot of those fights were experience, stuff I had to learn. I already knew some of the stuff I shoulda done, but didn’t do ‘em. So I’ve been working since then.
Hendricks: (On working with NASCAR)
It was amazing. I watch them every weekend. To finally get to meet them and feel what they go through, it was a totally different experience. What they do is physically demanding on their bodies. Going through those corners, the awareness you have to have for three hours is amazing. I’m grateful the UFC is on Fox. Now one day maybe people will come train with me.
Hendricks: (On Ricardo Almeida being a judge in his fight)
I think that’s cool. He’s gonna know a little bit more about the sport and what positions really mean and when a strike actually lands. We need people like that stepping in there. They know what it’s like to jump in the cage. They know what it’s like to do all this stuff. I think he’ll be a great judge.
Koscheck: (On Almeida being a judge)
It’s good for the sport, to get the perspective of a fighter, someone who’s been in the Octagon, who knows jiu jitsu, who knows wrestling and understands the sport. As this sport grows we’ll see more fighters become judges. It’s a good start.
Miller: (On a possible championship match after a victory).
It all depends on how the fight goes. I’m just focused on our fight. Whatever happens after that is no concern to me now. If I can win impressively, who else are they gonna put in there? I’m not focused on it though; it’s the last thing on my mind. I’m just focused on Nate and getting a win.
Diaz: (On his less-successful run at 170 lbs.)
There’s a lot of obstacles I had to face lately, and that was one of them. I didn’t plan on leaving there. I just left the WW division thinking I was gonna have to fight guys that nobody knew. When I was fighting at LW I was fighting top contenders like Guillard and Guida, so that’s why I came back. I had tough fights against guys who didn’t have big names, like Kim Dong-Hyun and Rory MacDonald. It was kinda rough. So if I’m going to be fighting people with names at LW, I might as well go back there, instead of jumping all over the place and getting dicked around a little bit.
Diaz: (On growing up fighting alongside Nick Diaz)
It all kinda just happened. I started fighting right after. I don’t know. It just happened I guess.
Miller: (On stealing the show)
Thanks for the compliment. I just try to go out and fight and do what I’m good at. I know if I’m satisfied and excited then 95% of the people out there are excited. I just try to go and fight and fortunately, you know, I’m a little reckless, and sometimes it works out for me. So yeah I just do what I’m good at, and luckily there are a good amount of fans enjoying my fights.
Diaz: (On bringing people in to tighten up his wrestling)
I didn’t bring too many people in, but they started to show up. Josh Neer came by and helped me for a couple fights. Cody McKenzie is out here. Ronda Rousey came out, and just a lot of big names. It’s good to see people come to help me train. A little work, a little help everywhere from a lot of people.
Diaz: (On his weight)
I was kinda small for 170 but I can get bigger too. I feel good at 155.
Miller: (On fighting either Frankie Edgar or Ben Henderson again)
I’m a different fighter than when I fought each, so it doesn’t matter. They’re both very talented and I have a lot of respect for both. I’m a big fan of Frankie. I like watching him fight and I’m rooting for him. They’re both tough fights and really good. Either one is a challenge.
Diaz: (On working w/ Ronda Rousey)
She’s great. She had a lot of cool tricks and is really tough for a girl. I learned a lot from her. She’s a cool girl to hang out with. That was good work.
Miller: (On giving up reach and height to Diaz)
I won’t stay on the outside. He’s got the reach advantage. I train w/ a lot of guys who have an advantage. It’s about getting inside where I can land and they’re jammed up. Cerrone and I don’t have many similarities, so thinking the fight will go the same way is silly. I’m just looking to fight my way and my fight.
Diaz: (On Miller)
He’s a tough fighter. He’s lost to two of the best LWs right now so it’s going to be a tough fight.
Diaz: (On striking in training camp)
I did a lot of sparring and got a really good boxing coach, Victor Perez. It depends on what type of fighter you’re dealing with.
Miller: (On his wresting advantage)
The guys who have been able to beat [Diaz] have used their wrestling, but I expect him to get better and learn from his defeats. It’s all how I end up using it. I want to use strikes, wrestling and grappling and fight where I have advantages.
Diaz: (On possibly fighting Frankie Edgar, who’s a Renzo Gracie guy)
Frankie’s a real cool guy. He came down w/ Ricardo and a bunch of guys. I’d rather dodge a bullet on fighting Frankie. But I don’t know him; we’re not best friends or anything. But I would rather fight somebody else.
Koscheck: (On possible move to MW)
[I’m not interest in moving] right now. Nobody was stepping up to fight me at the time saying “I want to fight Kos,” so I figured what the hell. But now there are a lot of good fighters in the WW division that intrigue me to fight. There are obviously two champions at this division so hopefully that pans out, we get the division in the right direction so there’s one champion and I get a title shot.
Diaz: (On possible updates on brother Nick’s retirement)
It’s triathlon season. I don’t think he’s really interested in fighting right now. As of right now, no [nothing’s changed].
Koscheck: (On joining AKA)
I [joined] when I first started fighting. I still have Bob Cook in my corner. He’s always gonna be there. You know Bob Cook’s been coming down to Fresno and training me a couple days a week. I’ll always have him. Dave still comes down and trains me. I have Jasper who’s still in my corner. I got a lot of new faces but I still have some old faces still involved with my training. I have a new gym I’ll be fighting out of from now on.