UFC On Fox 10 Video & Recap: Demetrious Johnson, Jessica Eye & Tyron Woodley Q & A
Saturday, 25 January 2014 09:00
By Steve Juon, Wrestling Observer
On Friday, UFC held a pre weigh-in Q&A for their devoted fans, and as tends to happen at these events, the fighters recognized some of them before they even stepped up to the mic. (A few - such as a man wearing an American flag scarf - were repeat questioners.) Demetrious Johnson was billed as today's guest, but he was joined by two extra fighters as a special surprise -- UFC welterweight Tyron Woodley (#10) and UFC bantamweight Jessica 'Evil' Eye (#5).
Johnson was asked to rank his two toughest opponents as a fighter. Not surprisingly he chose two men he has lost to in UFC - Brad Pickett and Dominick Cruz. He also expressed his regret that Cruz had to vacate the bantamweight title, though he felt confident that Cruz would be able to recover from his latest injury and return to fight for the belt that used to be his. He also welcomed the idea of Pickett potentially moving down to flyweight if that was his choice, saying the two would put on another great fight if it happened.VIDEO: 10 GOOD MINUTES WITH JOHNSON, EYE, AND WOODLEY
Johnson is a big advocate of staying humble as a fighter, noting that coach Matt Hume routinely breaks down the things he did wrong even after his big wins. He also noted that UFC fighters have a finite amount of time at the top, and that they both need to maximize that time while they're competitive, and have a game plan for their life outside of fighting. It was almost a "don't quit your day job" type of speech, although thanks to sponsorship from XBox he's able to devote the time he needs to being a professional fighter. (He also noted that his current favorite XBox One game is Killer Instinct.)
Woodley was asked if he feels that GSP vacating the title has given welterweights an easier road to the top than was previously available. Woodley praised the top contenders for the vacant title (Hendricks and Lawler) but noted he had always mentally envisioned himself defeating St-Pierre and that no man in fighting is ever unbeatable. Not surprisingly he promised that regardless of who turned out to be the champion in the end, he'd fight his way to the top.
Eye was a fan favorite both during and after the Q&A, drawing a long line of fans for photographs. One questioner didn't really ask her a question at all - instead begging her to beat the heck out of Ronda Rousey. Eye promised several times that we "hadn't seen Evil yet" and that she was going to "bring the Evil out" in her future fights. She also denied being intimidated by the possibility of fighting Olympic medalists. "It's just a medal. I'm a gold medalist in MMA. I'm a superstar, and I'm the best!" Eye is certainly not lacking confidence going forward, though she's got a tough test against Alexis Davis at UFC 170.VIDEO: CHECK OUT MORE THAN 25 VIDEOS FROM UFC ON FOX 10 FIGHT WEEK
The weirdest moment of the Q&A came when a fan told Johnson he was in his personal top ten P4P fighters of all time at #3, then noted that Chael Sonnen was ahead of him on the list. He proposed bouts between DJ and Cain Velasquez, and between DJ and Sonnen, both of which Johnson turned down. He intimated that Sonnen would "destroy" DJ if it ever happened, to which DJ replied they could "have a fun scrap" even though it's clearly unfeasible. This wasn't enough for our Weird Fan of the Day (Dana White's never giving a bonus out for that, folks) - he wanted DJ to stroke his goatee while he rubbed on his bald head. Johnson seemed okay with it at first until the fan ended with "I love you." Johnson EMPHATICALLY rebuked the amorous affection.
All in all it was a successful Q&A, as is par for the course with UFC special events before live weigh-ins, and the fighters all showed their charisma and ability to be ambassadors for the brand in particular and MMA in general. The lines for autographs and photos did not dissipate until minutes before the weigh-ins were scheduled to begin, so the UFC should consider it a home run. Videos from the event are attached. I'll be back tomorrow with a post-UFC on FOX 10 report as well as any post-fight media scrum that takes place.
As for the weigh-ins themselves, two fighters needed a towel to come in on weight on the scale - Alex 'Bruce Leeroy' Caceres and (somewhat surprisingly) Benson Henderson. Both made the weight, although Henderson needed the one pound weight allowance. In a five round title fight that would be a problem, but in a non-title fight, he can skate on the extra weight. None of the fighters came to blows during the weigh-in, although Henderson and Thomson got so close that Sonnen would have said they were kissing.