Chat with Brett Okamoto
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com mixed martial arts writer Brett Okamoto stops by to chat about the news from the octagon.
Okamoto joined ESPN.com in December 2010. Previously, he was the boxing/MMA writer for the Las Vegas Sun newspaper and has also worked with Sports Illustrated magazine and CNN.com.
Send your questions now and join Okamoto Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Brett Okamoto (1:01 PM)
Happy Wednesday guys. Plenty on the radar for this week's chat. Andy and Chael put their rivalry to rest. Munoz and Weidman meet up tonight in a nice midweek treat on Fuel, then a Strikeforce card on Saturday which is actually a fairly stacked one in my opinion. Right off the bat gotta tell you, I'm high on Luke Rockhold. I think he gives just about everyone at 185 problems when he gets his chance in the UFC. Tim Kennedy not an easy fight, but I think Rockhold will roll. Let's get going.
I don't buy the misfired spinning backfist (elbow) being the turning point in the fight. Sonnen was rocked earlier as Anderson slowly walked backwards and suddenly stepped forward with a straight right. Sonnen was clearly shaken by that punch and that is what lead to the desparate spinning move.
Brett Okamoto (1:02 PM)
Watching live, I was totally with you JP. I thought momentum in the fight had already turned big time and it seemed like Chael was trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to cover up that he was rocked. I was told later that in the locker room, Chael didn't even remember throwing the spinning backfist, his corner had to tell him about it. Rewatching though, man, it was a bad move. In the moment, it's tough to criticize Chael, don't know what's going through his mind at that point. But I'm sure he regrets it now when he watches it.
Johnny Bananas (Los Angeles, Ca.)
Any word on a return date or possible oppenent for Diego Sanchez ?
Brett Okamoto (1:04 PM)
No word yet ... he was talking about going to 155, which I liked. I asked him after the loss to Ellenberger if that was a possibility and if I remember right, he seemed split on the idea. I think it's one of those cases where it just depends on who they offer him at the different weights. You guys know I've been asking for a fight against Erick Silva, but something tells me he's serious about moving down and he'll be a lightweight in his next bout.
Jesse (Norwich CT)
I am going to miss the chat but want to know if anyone else saw Chael grinding his chin into Anderson's eye sockets (when he scored mount). Is such a technique expressly verboten?
Brett Okamoto (1:06 PM)
I would have to rewatch the fight, I never noticed him doing it. I would have to take a look at the rule book but I can't believe that's legal. You can't drive your chin into an opponent, I remember Jon Jones actually did that I think it was against Rampage and the referee called him on it.
Hey Brett, were you impressed with A.Silva on Saturday? Personally i wasnt, Im not a big fan of either guy...but i feel like Silva was manhandled the first round...then the 2nd round he was gift-wrapped the win cuz Chael is a moron and threw the spinning back-fist and fell right into a (T)KO 20 seconds later. Wasnt an impressive performance at all to me..what did you think??
Brett Okamoto (1:07 PM)
I've got to disagree. First of all, defending Chael's takedowns is very difficult to do and he did it in the second round. He was aided by a little illegal short grabbing, but if you can get away with it in a title fight, everybody's going to do it. The knee he threw was pinpoint accuracy and the straight punches that hit Sonnen before that were damaging. He got taken down in the first 6 seconds of the fight, but tied up Sonnen enough to basically take no punches even when he was in a terrible position. It was impressive to me.
Jesse (Norwich CT)
I think it's outstanding that Overeem has been talking about VADA testing for a bout with Junior, but even with blood tests on the comeback trail he will remain tainted in my eyes.. He used to be skinnier than Rampage.
Brett Okamoto (1:09 PM)
It was actually JDS who mentioned blood testing first. Overeem just responded to them, positively. People will of course have their opinion on whether or not Overeem was using before, but at least with the situation he's in now, it would be very difficult for him to cheat moving forward.
How would you grade UFC 148?
Brett Okamoto (1:11 PM)
Interesting question. The prelims were just plain bad. The Forrest/Ortiz fight wasn't the most technical of affairs and pretty slow motion at times, but still entertaining. The main event was good, with Chael starting off strong. I thought the knee was illegal watching live so I was immediately disappointed, but then the replay showed it was fine. When you add in all the buildup during the week, I'd give it an A-.
Jesse (Norwich CT)
Do you think the main event was a disappointment? I do not, but have heard from others who felt it was a let down.
Brett Okamoto (1:12 PM)
When it was over, I thought casual fans would be disappointed in it. If you're unaware of what type of fight it was, some people will see the first as a very boring round. Then a knee to the body is crushing and the accuracy Silva showed was terrific, but it's not a highlight reel KO. So, casual fans tuning in for the first time were probably a little disappointed.
What do you see next for Sonnen? I think a fight w/ Wandy makes alot of sense, as there's already a built in storyline and it should get Sonnen back in the Win column.
Brett Okamoto (1:13 PM)
Yeah, that's been thrown around everywhere and I do think it makes sense. Chael isn't a big puncher and I don't really want to see Wandy in with a heavy-handed guy. On the downside though, that could very well be Wand's last fight, and I don't know how I feel about having his last fight be a potential three round, on his back, under Chael Sonnen affair. That's how this guy is going to go out? Doesn't feel right.
Tonight's winner getting Silva either way or only Munoz?
Brett Okamoto (1:14 PM)
I think we won't know for sure until we see what Hector Lombard does. If Lombard destroys Boetsch in a minute, I could see an immediate title shot for him. In reality, and I can get more into this if it comes up later in the chat, I actually think Chris Weidman's style is a tougher matchup for Silva than Mark Munoz's would be.
Buy or sell - Anderson will fight again in 2012?
Brett Okamoto (1:14 PM)
Who is next for both guys from the UFC 148 main event?
Brett Okamoto (1:15 PM)
Hey Dylan, I already did Sonnen but for Silva ... I think a Jon Jones fight is a possibility. They say it's really not but ... we'll see. That's the fight most people want to see. If it's not Jones in his next fight, it will be either Munoz, Weidman or Lombard, depending on the circumstances of the next two weeks.
brett the ufc on fox card 4 seems to be better then some of the payper view events coming up your thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (1:17 PM)
I think it's about on-par with some PPV. I wouldn't say it's way better than these upcoming PPV's ... with the exception of 149. I don't really like the main event on Fox, but Bader/Machida isn't bad, I like Travis Browne and some good prelims ... Varner/Lauzon and Miller/Phan should both be entertaining fights.
I see lots of people bitching about Jones' comments y'day about not wanting to fight Silva. I agree those comments probably weren't the best, but the point is - it ISN'T going to happen anyway, as why in the world would Silva want that fight. Jones has ALL the advantages (age/size) and Silva's legacy is already set.
Brett Okamoto (1:19 PM)
The only argument I have against that, all good points by the way, is that if Anderson Silva wants to go down as the best of all time ... the only way to really, 99 percent secure that, would be to beat Jon Jones. Because Jones looks like the guy who will challenge for that legacy as the GOAT. If he moves up in weight and captures the heavyweight title, which of course we're getting well ahead of ourselves but let's pretend, years from now we'll look back and comparing Silva and Jones, the fact Jones moved up in weight might be the only thing that separates the two. IF Anderson is ever going to fight Jones, he might as well do it now because the longer he waits the less his chances are of winning. So, you beat the guy who might one day topple your legacy, to stop it from happening.
Who you got in the main event tonight
Brett Okamoto (1:20 PM)
I think I like Weidman. I was all Munoz up until a couple days ago, rewatched some of their fights. Changed my mind.
After you answered the same Chael/Silva questions for 2 chats in a row, this chat should be refreshing.
Brett Okamoto (1:20 PM)
The Friday chat was real heavy Chael/Andy. No doubt about it. Let's expand today.
Secretly don't you think Anderson Silva is rooting for Hendo to beat Bones? Anderson Silva would accept a (re)match with Hendo for a chance to win titles in 2 divisions. And it seems like he wants no part of Bones and vice versa
Brett Okamoto (1:21 PM)
It's possible. Hadn't really thought about that angle.
Is the Glover Rampage fight happening? If so, who is your early favorite?
Brett Okamoto (1:23 PM)
Yep, Glover meets Rampage at UFC 153. I like Teixeira. Just don't think Rampage's heart is in it anymore. Rampage is a very, very good fighter, but he's also slightly one-dimensional ... so if you add in the fact he doesn't REALLY care anymore ... that's a bad combination against a tough, hungry out like Teixeira.
Kevin (Mile High)
Is the winner of tonight's main event next for Anderson? What about Chael, Vitor maybe, rematch with Bisping?
Brett Okamoto (1:24 PM)
I just keep thinking they're going to have Vitor fight Lombard, because that's a dynamite fight. Chael isn't in that picture right now, he just fought Bisping so they won't make that fight again. Most likely, yeah, when all is said and done, it will be winner of tonight against Anderson, especially if it's Munoz.
The Bad Guy (NC)
If Rashad can make 185, why wouldn't he make the move to MW? He's not likely going to ever get another shot at Jones.
Brett Okamoto (1:26 PM)
I'm sure he would. But 185 just doesn't seem realistic to me for Rashad. And when I talked to Mike Van Arsdale in Atlanta before he fought Jones, I asked about 185 and he very plainly told me there was probably no way he's making that.
I think Chael proved his class in his conduct after the fight. He defended Silva from NSAC and defended the referee in the fight and paid homage to Silva. A true classy guy who knows when to turn his swag on and off.
Brett Okamoto (1:26 PM)
Chael's not a dummy. He knew at that point there was no need to be a sore loser. He gave the best fighter in the world a run for his money ... accept the loss. I wasn't surprised with how he reacted.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Do you think the ref stopped the fight a little quickly? Sonnen was still defending himself...
Brett Okamoto (1:28 PM)
Yeah, kind of. But Chael didn't protest it that much (usually guys do when they feel they had something left) and I spoke to Marc Ratner afterwards, who used to be executive director of NSAC and I respect his opinion a lot -- now works for the UFC, and he said the stoppage was good. I thought it could have gone a little further, but the end result was probably going to be the same.
Moto, since the topic of Overeem is coming up, why don't people talk about athletes getting bigger as they naturally develop and get older. In 5 years are we going to be accusing Jon Jones of taking steriods because he was a skinny 205er and then bulked up to a big heavyweight?
Brett Okamoto (1:29 PM)
It's a little different with Reem. His body changed so drastically. And very quickly. Then he did have problems with drug testing pretty much immediately after coming to the UFC. You really can't blame people for their suspicions.
Was Anderson really manhandled that first round? Sure, he was on his back, but Chael really didn't do any damage and probably wore himself out. I thought Anderson maintained great position on his back.
Brett Okamoto (1:30 PM)
I even tweeted during the fight that maybe Anderson is cool with the first round going like this, let Chael wear himself down just a bit and as long as he takes no damage, he's still got TWENTY MINUTES to win the fight. At the end of the day, it's still classified as a "good" round for Chael, but at the same time it wasn't a "bad" round for Anderson, in my opinion.
Lets assume JBJ beats hendo, then what? Who else is that division deserves a title shot right now? everyone is either coming off loses, looks too old, or havent had enough big time fights yet. Who's the next on the list?
Brett Okamoto (1:32 PM)
Nobody, that's why we've got to talk Anderson and Jones into fighting one another. As great as GSP is, in my crystal ball, the two guys in discussion for GOAT once we hit 2016 or so are Anderson and Jones. So, let's have them fight now before it's too late.
brett what hass happened to phil davis went from fighting title contenders to having one loss and now is fighting in the prelims of ufc on fox really?
Brett Okamoto (1:34 PM)
He got rushed too fast. In reality, he probably never should have had to fight Rashad Evans in the main event of the second Fox card ever in UFC history. That was too much, too fast. I agree he's slipped further than I thought, but what this guy needs is experience right now more than anything. Don't worry, he'll get elevated again pretty quickly I believe.
Marshall Law (Tekken movie)
What did you think of Cung Le's performance? Pretty much manhandled the Predator, but didn't finish...
Brett Okamoto (1:35 PM)
That's the best you're gonna get from Le I think at this stage in his career against high level competition. He's not real explosive, but he's crafty, he's unique, he dictates range. Don't expect too much more out of him than what you saw against Cote.
Melvin Guillard (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Did I do enough against Camoes to start making my way up the contender's ladder again? Who would you match me up against next?
Brett Okamoto (1:37 PM)
See, this is kinda what you do though Melvin. You get us all excited only to fall flat when the time comes to really hit the next level. I'd watch you fight Edson Barboza, today, right now. If you weren't friends and training partners with Michael Johnson, I think that'd be okay because we'd learn something about MJ. Those are the two that come to mind.
We should have known Chael was going to do something Careless (to put it nicely).
Brett Okamoto (1:38 PM)
He seems to have mental hiccups, from time to time.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Next for Tito? Taking his ball and going home?
Brett Okamoto (1:39 PM)
Yep. Peace out Tito. He did hesitate when someone asked at the press conference if he'd ever come back, but I think there'd be enough people telling him "no" that he won't.
Kevin (Mile High)
Once BJ beats Rory, who's up next for him?
Brett Okamoto (1:40 PM)
If B.J. were to beat Rory, I think they'd elevate him to top 5. No joke. It would be that impressive of a win and he's still got the name for it. Maybe they'd get crazy and do Erick Silva.
Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Vegas, Baby, VEGAS!)
Winner of Rockhold/Kennedy this weekend deserves to be a top 10 fighter. Buy/Sell?
Brett Okamoto (1:41 PM)
In the division? Buy for sure. I've already got Rockhold in the 5 or 6 range. He's real good, I'm telling you guys. Buy on Luke Rockhold. Keep an eye on him.
Michael (New York)
Does the UFC want to expose Lombard to Belfort/Sonnen and potentially lose a rare interesting Silva challenger?
Brett Okamoto (1:42 PM)
Yeah, I think so. Now like I said, if he destroys Boetsch, then they might run him straight to the title while his stock is high, but it's not like they've giving him easy fights. Stann wasn't an easy matchup for him and actually Boetsch is scary because it's a high risk, low reward situation. Boetsch can win that fight man, and then the Lombard train is derailed before it even left the station. So, short answer yes, they're not really babying him.
Scott (Salt Lake City)
Who should we all be looking out for tonight on the Fuel Card?
Brett Okamoto (1:44 PM)
Not a lot of future title contenders in there, but Carmont/Vemola should be a good fight. I also secretly like to watch Alex Caceres, he's not a tremendous guy but he's got his moments.
Jeff (Salt Lake City)
Suga wants Silva. I know he's coming off a lose at 205 but if he really wants it, I think the UFC needs to book that. That fight would sell a lot better than any other fight at 185 for Silva.
Brett Okamoto (1:46 PM)
I would absolutely love to see Evans/Silva, but I just have serious doubts he can make that weight. This is why at this point in Silva's career, I think he needs to be open to catchweight fights and super fights. Let's see Silva/Evans at something like 190 ... then possibly Jones at 205. Why not? If he loses, so what? Regardless, he'll be considered one of if not the best forever. While he's still got it, let's see some great matchups instead of more title defenses.
Money Mendes (Cali)
Do you think I did enough to rid the UFC of their least talented fighter - Cody McKenzie?
Brett Okamoto (1:47 PM)
Maybe but in defense of McKenzie ... seriously, why did the UFC even book that fight? I'm all for the concept of this is the UFC so you need to potentially be able to beat anyone on any given night, but that was just mean. What'd they think was going to happen?
Brett , are you doing commentary on tonight's card for those of us who can't get Fuel?
Brett Okamoto (1:48 PM)
We aren't running the live chat as we do with the PPV, but I'll be watching and posting updates on Twitter as always @bokamotoESPN.
why was cain vs jds pushed back?
Brett Okamoto (1:48 PM)
I honestly don't know. From what I've been told, Cain is totally healthy. I didn't get to hear if Dana said anything about it after 148 because I was writing ... it sounds like though it's not on a huge delay or anything. Hopefully by the end of the year.
Does Maia make a run in the 170?
Brett Okamoto (1:49 PM)
I think he's a tough out. His standup doesn't have a lot of layers but he's not been a guy who takes a ton of damage. He can swarm on an opportunity on the ground, he only needs a guy to make one mistake. I think he'll win fights ... whether or not he gets to GSP ever? I'd lean no.
Paul I. (Cleveland)
Hi Brett, there's no way Hendo beats Bones Jones. So why on earth would he want this fight? Is he entering the BJ Penn zone - where he has no clue what his limitations are?
Brett Okamoto (1:50 PM)
Well, I agree with you he doesn't have much chance in the fight, but what do you want the guy to do? He left Strikeforce a champion. He's won his last four fights, the last against Shogun who is still top 5-10 in the world in the weight division. If he's not in it to win the belt, then why be in it?
I know Overeem wants to fight JDS right away but should the UFC make him fight someone else first? After his failed test, you can't trust him to come back and not screw up again.
Brett Okamoto (1:52 PM)
If the UFC decides to make him fight someone else I don't think it will be because they are worried about another failed drug test. Seriously, if the guy fails another test, he's done. As crazy as it sounds, I think they'd cut him. I fully expect him to fight for the title in his first fight back and ... I don't really have a problem with it. If it were me making the decisions, I'd probably do the same thing.
I'm assuming Kevin mistyped though. Rory is going to walk through BJ. No disrespect but Rory is a beast!
Brett Okamoto (1:52 PM)
I've ran into plenty of fans giving B.J. a great shot to win the fight. Could be heart over head talking ... B.J. always has the ability to surprise though. We've seen crazier upsets.
Seems everyone has forgot about me, with all the talk about Silva and Jones being the best. After I beat Condit, is it time to move to 185 and take on The Spider since Bones Jones won't?
Brett Okamoto (1:54 PM)
Nah, the reason GSP is falling on the wayside of the superfight talk is two things in my opinion. 1. We all kind of know in the back of our mind GSP is just too small for Anderson. We didn't care, because that was our superfight and we wanted to see it. But now, we have Jon Jones, so that part that said "GSP was gonna get dominated in that fight anyway" is louder. 2. GSP has business to tend to at 170. Couple years ago, that wasn't the case. Now he's got Condit, Hendricks, prospects like Silva and MacDonald and the biggest one ... Diaz. That fight will still be huge when it happens.
What happens if rampage wins? glover is trying to be a top contender is a "weak" light heavy division. if rampage wins, thats gotta put him back up there with the top names again, but he said he was done after the next fight right? if glover wins, it waaas against rampage, who hasen't looked good in a while.
Brett Okamoto (1:56 PM)
If Glover wins, yeah, it turns into a marketable thing and that's it. Adds a big name to his resume to show in his video package. If Rampage wins ... I don't know ... we'll have to see. I could still see him walking away. He's got to know he's never getting back to the title. I think the Jon Jones loss was in a way the end of his career anyway. If he wanted to continue he obviously could, but he wouldn't be back in the title hunt by any means.
Paul Sass (UK)
If Melvin is looking for his next fight, I'd take that fight. Heard he loves fighting submission specialists.
Brett Okamoto (1:57 PM)
Big rule in MMA ... Be weary of calling out a guy unless you're damn sure you're gonna beat him.
Brett Okamoto (1:57 PM)
That's not really a rule, but it would be my rule if I fought. Tough hit to your creds when you call out a guy and then get owned by him.
Would Chael's wrestling be as effective at 205?
Brett Okamoto (1:58 PM)
That's probably a question he's asking himself right now. Plus, that division is wide open. I think he's obviously much better suited for 185 and ultimately I think that's where he'll stay, but you never know. It's easier to put on weight sometimes than lose it. We might see him at 205 ... I think against the athletic guys there though he'd have problems.
Who you got tonight? Is Dillashaw too expensive at -400?
Brett Okamoto (1:59 PM)
4-to-1 seems a bit high to me but I do expect him to beat Vaughn Lee.
Rutger Hauer (Hobo with a Shotgun)
Everything outside of the octagon aside... would you rather see JDS vs. Reem or JDS vs. Cain 2?
Brett Okamoto (1:59 PM)
Everything aside. JDS vs. Reem.
With Dana being pissed off at Forrest, I say feed Forrest to Gustaffson.
Brett Okamoto (2:01 PM)
That's mean Tiny. Gustafsson would hurt Forrest. I guess I could see it though, builds Gus. I asked Forrest if he'd be alright playing the "big name for a guy to jump start his career off of," ... he had mixed feelings about it ....
Chuck had a good article about Bones-Spyda not wanting to fight each other & the comparison to Magic-Bird. I am scared to think what the sports world would be like if guys only wanted to play with the guys they thought were the best and never wanted to BEAT the best. I hope this isn't where MMA is headed.
Brett Okamoto (2:02 PM)
Great point. It's actually something that would hurt the MMA game waaaay more than any other sport. You have the Big 3 in Miami ... but you can still create the Big 3 in other markets because there's lots of talent to go around and the impact is lessened because there are five guys on the court. If the top guys in MMA start making pacts, we'll miss out on great fights.
Billy (West Mich)
With all of this talk of champs moving up in weight who do you see as the first one to actually take that step? Jones? Silva? Aldo? I think If Joe B wins the flyweight title, He might just be in the right spot to move back to 135 for a title fight
Brett Okamoto (2:03 PM)
Nah, it wouldn't be Joe B. He already lost to Dominick Cruz twice. He's been waiting to fight at 125 for a long, long time. He"ll stay there and try to build his legacy as the first ever (and dominant) flyweight champ. All in all, I think it's Jones who ends up moving first is Anderson refuses.
true or false strike force card is better than ufc 149 and ufc 150 card?
Brett Okamoto (2:04 PM)
I like the Henderson/Edgar rematch, even though as you all know, I really really wanted to see Edgar move down. So, I'll say SF card is better than 149 but not as good as 150.
Do you give Hendo a chance against Jones or is he just too much for everbody in that division?
Brett Okamoto (2:06 PM)
You always give everyone a chance, especially a guy who can hit as hard as Dan. But Jones is going to be enormous in the cage compared to Dan. I don't think Dan will be able to get inside and land that right hand and Jones' wrestling completely nullifies Dan's, when you factor in the size. Even if Dan were to get him down, I see Jones popping right back up every time. If Rashad couldn't even come close to giving Jon a fight, I don't see how Dan can.
What's up next for Jon Fitch? I know he had to pull out of tonight's FUEL card with an injury, and the fight against Hendricks was...not good.
Brett Okamoto (2:07 PM)
They're going to give him a lesser-known opponent to start. That's just how it is. But longterm for Fitch, I think he goes on another winning streak. His stock is low now but the Hendricks thing can happen to anyone and this guy still has a nightmare of a style for a big portion of the division.
What do you think is next for Mendes after hisimpressive performance this past wknd? I think Oliveira makes sense - since he's already beaten Cub Swanson, plus it'd be an awesome fight IMO.
Brett Okamoto (2:09 PM)
Yeah, Chad is in that weird spot where he really can't fight for the title any time soon but he's probably gonna beat anyone you give him. I like the Oliveira idea, although I don't know if UFC wants a guy like Oliveira to get derailed by Mendes right now. I'd actually be in favor of Hatsu Hioki. Find out once and for all what we've got with Hioki, if he beats Mendes his stock goes way up and for Mendes, it's a solid win over a guy who isn't considered a title contender right now but a solid veteran in the division.
Brett what is the UFC doing about Alexander Gustaffson? I want to see that kid get a title shot before Jon Jones moves up in weight! I wouldn't mind seeing Sonnen or Silva move up and fight him. Or maybe have him fight Rashad even though he's coming off a loss.
Brett Okamoto (2:11 PM)
Yeah, the problem with Gus right now is he just doesn't have too many dance partners. That light heavyweight division is littered with Jon Jones victims, it's become kind of difficult to match guys up. I could see him fighting the winner of Bader/Machida. I could also see him getting that fight he was supposed to get against Lil Nog.
mark (no where)
give me 3 reasons y anyone would be dumb enough to buy ufc 149?
Brett Okamoto (2:12 PM)
Huge Urijah Faber fan. Has to see what Hector Lombard will look like in his first UFC fight. Hardcorest of hardcore fans who just has to buy every single one.
Kevin (Mile High)
Which mid-card fighter (as of now) will be surprising us by main eventing a PPV in 2013?
Brett Okamoto (2:12 PM)
Hmmm good question I'm sure I could come up with a great answer if I was given more time ... hold on let me think for a sec.
Brett Okamoto (2:15 PM)
Ah, I want to think about this more. Off the top of my head ... I'm high on Travis Browne. I think with the state of the heavyweight division as it is, this guy will get his shot at the spotlight. I'm very high on Michael Johnson. I think Rashad is having a major influence on him in Florida and athletically, he's got the tools to make a major run in the lightweight division going into next year. I think Zombie will continue headlining cards. I feel like there's a better answer than the ones I just gave you, but it's eluding me right now.
I think Hector Lombard is really underrated. He beat every decent non Zuffa Middleweight besides Mamed Khalidov. He has a great grappling base that people overlook because of his KO power. Do you think he deserves the hype?
Brett Okamoto (2:16 PM)
I had one coach who's got a prominent fighter at 185 describe Lombard as a "terrifying individual." I think the hype is warranted but we've seen these guys come over to UFC and do poorly before. We have to see it. But I do expect him to be successful.
Nate (Woburn, MA)
Anything on the horizon for Bonnar?
Brett Okamoto (2:17 PM)
Is there interest in a Forrest fight? You guys are the consumer, so you tell me. The fight makes a lot of sense for the careers of both guys. Definitely a possibility for something like the third fight on a PPV main card.
Richard (Cape Coral, FL)
picks for tonights Fuel card? any money line underdogs worth taking a shot on?
Brett Okamoto (2:18 PM)
I haven't really looked at the betting lines .... I like Njokuani, Cariaso, Simpson, Weidman.
Fight most under the radar you're looking forward to? For me its Herman vs Shields
Brett Okamoto (2:20 PM)
I'm going to go truly under the radar here ... Roger Bowling vs. Tarec Saffiedine on Strikeforce card in August.
I liek the idea of Rashad-Spyda, but shouldn't Rashad have a "Warm Up" fight so that his first attempt to fight at 185 or 190 isn't against the GOAT?
Brett Okamoto (2:21 PM)
He's been around the game long enough you don't do a warmup fight. Especially if it's a catchweight. You can't tell a guy, hey we need you to move to a catchweight to be a tune up for Rashad Evans. Those catchweight "superfights" are a one time, sign it and do it deal.
The gangsta from the mean streets of West Linn, Oregon has always wanted to fight the Karate Kid Machida. If Machida beats Bader, Chael could move to 205 for that fight.
Brett Okamoto (2:22 PM)
It'd be more likely if Machida lost to Bader though, wouldn't it? I'd be down.
Tag team UFC! What do you say, Brett?
Brett Okamoto (2:22 PM)
Uhhhh .... no.
Adam (Long Beach)
I see that you differentiate Jones and Silva because Jones will one day move up in weight. However Anderson started at 168 / won the welterweight championship over then undefeated Sakurai and has since dominated 185 and ventured into 205 to defeat a former champ.
Brett Okamoto (2:23 PM)
That's worth noting I suppose, but as I'm sure you'd agree the stakes are a little different if Jones moves up to the UFC heavyweight division. But ... worth noting.
What's the ceiling for Mike Easton?
Brett Okamoto (2:24 PM)
Title contention but probably never a champ.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Be honest, don't you feel silly (maybe even a little stupid) for picking against Anderson Silva? No offense.
Brett Okamoto (2:25 PM)
If I felt stupid for every wrong pick I'd be one depressed individual. Plus, in this case, it's not like I was picking Chael by a mile. I knew he had to fight a perfect fight. I was like 55% Chael is gonna win, 45% Anderson. The time I probably felt most stupid is when Lesnar lost to Overeem because I was like, man, I should have known Lesnar was going to walk. Should have seen that coming.
Brett Okamoto (2:27 PM)
I agree, let's end things there. Great chat guys, appreciate the questions. Enjoy the fights this week and have your questions ready same time, same place seven days from now. Hit me on twitter anytime, too.