Chat with MMA Live's Jon Anik
A new episode of MMA Live, which debuted on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile TV in May of 2008, airs every Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. MMA Live can also be seen whenever it fits your schedule. Just head to the MMA Live video hub on ESPN.com. Anik is joined on the show by two lead analysts: Top UFC Lightweight contender Kenny Florian, and MMA writer Franklin McNeil. Suggestions for the show? Send them to email@example.com!
Anik started at ESPN in February of 2006 working for ESPN Radio, before moving over to the digital media platforms early in 2007. An avid MMA advocate and fan, Anik has hosted a boxing radio show in Boston for the last four years, covering more than 25 championship fights in Las Vegas and throughout the United States.
Send your questions now and join Anik in chat every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Jon Anik (2:30 PM)
Greetings, MMA Nation! Welcome to our first-ever MMA Live chat here at ESPN.com. We'll answer your questions and talk about all things MMA at 2:30 ET every Thursday, just before MMA Live airs at 3 ET. So...let's get to it!
Who do you think won the Forest Vs Rampage fight and how long before a re-match?
Jon Anik (2:31 PM)
Thanks for the question, Larry. I scored the fight a 47-47 draw, giving Forrest a 10-8 round in the second. As for a rematch, I don't think anything will be decided until Chuck Liddell faces Rashad Evans at UFC 88 in September. But I certainly think Rampage is entitled to a rematch.
Ken (Los Angeles, CA)
I think Richardo Alameda Won that fight over Patrick Cote at UFC 86. He Displayed Octagon control , and was attempting submissions all but the final round of that fight. When might we see American Fans start to appreciate the Jujitsu game ?
Jon Anik (2:33 PM)
I was actually a bit disappointed in Almeida. He dominated the first round, but then appeared to gas shortly thereafter. I gave Cote the final two rounds. That said, I agree that many fans don't fully appreciate the ground game. But if you can't appreciate the talents of guys like Lyoto Machida, I don't know what to tell you.
Kenny, do you think you will get a shot at fighting BJ Penn or will he move up and force you to fight someone else for the vacant title?
Jon Anik (2:34 PM)
Ken-Flo isn't here for the chat today. But he does address BJ Penn's possible move up in weight today on MMA Live.
Jared Tucker Bright, IN
Hey Jon, How do you feel about the ABC's proposed rule changes? The added weight classes would seem to muddle the sport altogether, and deplete an already talent-starved heavyweight division. What do you think?
Jon Anik (2:37 PM)
I agree with you, Jared. But I don't expect the changes to have a huge impact on the sport. There are 14 weight classes under the new recommendations, which is just outrageous. The UFC says it will likely stick with its current 5...thankfully.
Jon Wichita Falls, TX
Personally, I scored the Rampage-Griffin fight a draw. How did you score it, and how could a judge give Griffin the first round?
Jon Anik (2:39 PM)
A ton of questions coming in on the scoring for Griffin-Jackson. So, here is my round-by-round card: 1: 10-9 Rampage 2: 10-8 Forrest 3. 10-9 Rampage 4. 10-9 Rampage 5. 10-9 Griffin 47-47 Draw As for the first round, I was puzzled by the scoring. I thought the late knockdown assuredly gave Rampage the round. That said, I have seen far more egregious scoring in my time covering boxing and MMA. I'm not too bent out of shape about it.
How long until the promotional companies realize they need to work out a way for fighters from different organizations to fight each other?
Jon Anik (2:41 PM)
Solid question, Jason. I think you'll see that some of the upstart promotions, like EliteXC, will be more inclined to try to unify some of their titles. But the UFC has such depth in its divisions, that I'm not sure it makes any sense for them. For example, I think most of the UFC's top lightweights would have their way with KJ Noons, Elite XC's 155-lb. champ. I, however, am all for as many unified champions as possible across the sport.
Is there any truth to the rumor that if Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell both win their next fight they'll fight at one of the mega shows at the end of the year?
Jon Anik (2:42 PM)
Anything is possible, but Silva said this week he is more inclined to move back down to a buck-85. I would favor Silva in that match-up, were it to go down.
Does Big Tim have a chance against Fedor?
Jon Anik (2:44 PM)
Sure he does. Sylvia right now is a 3-to-1 underdog, but you saw the power he inflicted upon Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira before succumbing. Anything can happen in the cage, although I expect Fedor to hold serve.
and this is just to add to ken from Los angles comment, almedia wasnt even close to winning and to think he won is to me just as bad as thinking Griffin won the first round
Jon Anik (2:45 PM)
Figures the guy from Boston would be the voice of reason! Again, there were rumblings that Almeida came into the fight out of shape, and that is precisely what I saw.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Roy Jones Jr. suffered from going 175 to 205 and back to 175. Do you think Anderson Silva will suffer too?
Jon Anik (2:47 PM)
I think James Irvin is a calculated, chosen opponent by the UFC. The card came together quickly, and I can't even say with certainly that Silva even wanted to move up to 205. Still, the dude is so dominant, that I don't think he'll struggle in his expected return to middleweight.
Joe (St. Louis, MO)
Jon, speaking of judges, my buddies seem to think that judges can be considered "experts" and that they are trained to judge fights properly. I think most of the educated fans could score fights better than most judges. What do you think about the current judges and their "expertise"?
Jon Anik (2:48 PM)
I would say there are varying degrees of 'expertise' when it comes to judges. I also think its difficult that the fans are unaware of the criterion for point-scoring. Is a takedown worth the same as a knockdown, etc.? And given how knowledgeable most MMA fans are, I think the educated ones could absolutely do the job. You should try to become an MMA judge!
Mark (Boston, ma)
If a rematch isnt immediatly set in motion, i think it will turn some people off from the UFC. Myself included, after the Bisbing-Hamill desicion, now knowing how the first round of Griffin-Jackson went, not saying i think its setup, but then again how could it not be with scoring like that
Jon Anik (2:50 PM)
I think most MMA fans share your feelings, Mark. I certainly would rather see a rematch than a Liddell-Griffin scrap. And I expect the UFC to do right by the fans and stage the rematch. I also am not sleeping on Rashad Evans in September...call me crazy.
Jon, Hows the show doing by the way? Will we see you guys show up on an ESPN channel?
Jon Anik (2:52 PM)
MMA Live is going great, Matt, and thank you for asking. The viewer feedback and support has been phenomenal. There are no better fans than Mixed Martial Arts fans. I remain hopeful that MMA Live will land on ESPN or ESPN2 in the not-too-distant future. Keep hounding my bosses about it!!!
Have you heard anything about Tito Ortiz? Where is he fighting or who is he is fighting next? Affliction or Elite XC?
Jon Anik (2:54 PM)
Don't have anything concrete to report on that front. But Frank Shamrock, in an interview with Ariel Helwani at MMArated.com, mentions that discussions on a deal for him to fight Tito have taken place. Shamrock said he hopes Ortiz would land with EliteXC. Stay tuned...
Eric (New York)
How about this fight.....Lyoto Machida Vs. Anderson Silva?
Jon Anik (2:55 PM)
Only real issue there, Eric, at least right now, is that the two are training partners. And the Spider has been very careful to steer clear of all discourse about facing his friend. But both guys are must-see right now.
To clear up concerns about Anderson Silva moving back down to 185, for this fight hes not actually gaining any real weight, hes only cutting much less. When Roy Jones moved to heavyweight, he actually gained 30 pounds of muscle, which is much much harder to lose while maintaining strength and ability, hence his struggles after coming back down to 175.
Jon Anik (2:55 PM)
Important point, Rod. I'm telling ya...MMA fans = locked in.
I'm calling you crazy, Rashad is a 6 to 1 dog in my eyes. His wrestling and striking were equal to Ortiz. The equal of Ortiz doesn't get out of the 2nd round with Lidell.
Jon Anik (2:56 PM)
Fair enough. I always play underdogs, and may be a bit jaded. But Rashad is no pushover.
Joe (St. Louis, MO)
Were you at least a little bit suprised by Rampage's demeanor after losing his belt in controversial fashion?
Jon Anik (2:57 PM)
Yes, Joe, I was surprised that he essentially admitted defeat. He was classy as anything in doing so. But I also believe Rampage was disappointed in his own performance. He tells it like it is.
Doris (Rego Park)
What is the best part of doing an MMA show on ESPN and when are we going to see it on ESPN?
Jon Anik (2:58 PM)
Doris, the best part for me is that I am able to talk about a sport (MMA) that I am truly passionate about. It's also great to work with a top UFC lightweight contender in Kenny Florian, and a great reporter in Franklin McNeil. I very much look forward to Thursdays.
Any rumors going around as far as who Elite XC is going to feed to Kimbo Slice after that subpar performance in his last fight?
Jon Anik (3:00 PM)
First Kimbo Slice reference with just a few minutes to go in the chat! I was utterly unimpressed sitting cageside back in May. I expect his next opponent to be Bret Rogers, a more legitimate threat than 'The Colossus', James Thompson.
Joe (St. Louis, MO)
Do you agree with the UFC's tactics to air counter-programming against Affliction and EliteXC?
Jon Anik (3:02 PM)
We like in a cutthroat, competitive world. Dana White and the UFC are no different. If you have the depth and the resources to pull it off and potentially take some of your competitor's audience away, I think it's simply good business to do so. But Affliction will certainly get my money, with arguably 5 of the top 10 heavys on the card.
Denny (Rankin, IL)
What's the next move for Kos? GSP/Fitch, Hughes/Serra, Alves/Diego, and Karo/Yoshida coming up leaves only him and Swick in my UFC top 10. While there are other attractive matchups for Swick, most notably Dustin Hazelett, nobody makes sense for Kos except maybe Swick. I know they're teammates and don't want to but there aren't many options and if Fitch beats GSP, wouldn't Fitch/Kos almost be mandatory?
Jon Anik (3:04 PM)
I would hope if Fitch can somehow get by GSP (best of luck with that...), that Kos would get a shot at Fitch. Koscheck continues to improve, and is very dangerous at 170. I expect he'll get his shot, but we've got to be patient.
Joe (St. Louis, MO)
Let's create some drama on the show, who do you have, KenFlo or Huerta? Huerta has a ton of heart and won't quit, but I think Kenny is more technically sound. Your call?
Jon Anik (3:06 PM)
Honored to make a prediction for this fight. Huerta is on fire right now, no question about it. But you never have to worry about Kenny's preparedness or strategy, and I think his submission skills/intelligence make him the favorite. You can be sure everyone at the Worldwide Leader is behind Ken-Flo.
Tyler (Knoxville, TN)
Jon, How much of a chance do we have of seeing a fight between Kid Yamamoto and Urijah Faber happen? If not that, Faber vs. Torres?
Jon Anik (3:07 PM)
We can dream, Tyler, can't we. A fight with Yamamoto is probably a ways off, but Faber versus Torres could happen in 2009.
Ivan's question brings up my point again. Shouldn't matter where Tito fights, he should be able to make a match with whoever his promoter chooses. I agree about KJ not being able to hold up in the UFC, but I'd love to see what a guy like Fedor or Cung Lee could do against some UFC competition. If it's not hurting the sport yet, it's going to...
Jon Anik (3:09 PM)
Cung Le is ready for the UFC. Period. Now he justs needs to take off the make-up, stop hanging out with thespians, and get back to what he does best. I'm a big fan.
John (Saskatchewan, Canada)
What do you think of the potential for the UFC to stage a "US vs. the World" card? Could be some great matchups, and would allow the UFC to use national pride as a marketing ploy.
Jon Anik (3:10 PM)
You've got me all jacked up, John. I'm a patriot...love the Olympics, love the Ryder Cup...and you're right, it is certainly a lay-up as far as marketing goes.
How do you think Thiago Alves would fair against GSP?
Jon Anik (3:11 PM)
Some hate mail may follow this answer...but I think GSP wipes the canvas with the Pitbull. Perhaps I'm still harboring disappointment after Alves failed to make weight against Hughes, but I just don't think he's well-rounded enough to hang with one of the best fighters in the world.
Denny (Rankin, IL)
How do we watch MMALive actually "live"? It's 10 after and I can't find it.
Jon Anik (3:12 PM)
We effort to have the show for you right at 3PM ET every Thursday. Sometimes there are unavoidable technical interferences. Should be up shortly, if its not already.
Do you think that MMA could ever be an Olympic sport?
Jon Anik (3:13 PM)
Absolutely. But I think it's a long way off. MMA remains illegal in West Virginia and New York, and isn't fully-sanctioned in several other states. I would think that would have to happen first.
To expand on the Koscheck question, I think the other elite Asian prospect that the UFC just signed, Dong Hyun Kim, would be an excellent matchup for him.
Jon Anik (3:14 PM)
We get a lot of e-mails actually about Dong Hyun Kim. I may not be as familiar with him as some of you guys, but would love to see it.
what are your thoughts on dan henderson. do you think he will stay at 185 or 205 or possibly both as he did in pride?
Jon Anik (3:15 PM)
Thanks for chiming in, Raul. 205 is just so stacked right now, I think Henderson would have more success at middleweight.
Leo (Boston MA)
Ken-Flo is a great fighter, what are his thoughts on a possible rematch with Sean Sherk and if the UFC comes to Boston in November can we expect him to be on the card?
Jon Anik (3:16 PM)
I know Kenny would like to avenge the loss to Sherk, but his focus is the title. As for the UFC coming to Boston, there was a setback over the last 10 days. Watch MMA Live for details.
How do you become a judge for an MMA fight?
Jon Anik (3:17 PM)
That's a good question...didn't want to dodge it, even though I don't know exactly. I will research it later. But I'm sure, like anything else, there is considerable education/training, and credentials required.
Leo (Boston MA)
What do you think the chances are of a Lyoto Machida vs Wanderlei Silva matchup? You think it would a great fight to promote with a technically skilled well rounded fighter going against a "balls to the wall" style.
Jon Anik (3:18 PM)
Again, Leo...a perfect sylistic match-up. I thought Tito Ortiz gave Machida all he could handle, but I'd still favor Lyoto to wiggle past Wanderlai.
Jon Anik (3:20 PM)
Alright, fellas and ladies. Thanks so much for all of the questions today! Apologies if I didn't get to yours. We'll be back for another chat next Thursday at 2:30 ET on ESPN.com. If you have questions in the interim, you know where to send 'em: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the latest episode of MMA Live today, and we'll talk again next week...JA