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 (1:03 PM)
What's up guys? Thanks for joining me on this fine Wednesday. Sorry I've missed a couple, Toronto and then I was in the air for Bristol to film MMA Live, which, by the way, don't forget about, should be returning to the television schedule in January. So ... what we talking about today?
Gerry (San Francisco, CA)
Hominick doesn't have anything going his way in his last three fights: 2 hematomas and getting KOed in less than ten seconds. Is his next fight a must win?
Brett Okamoto (1:05 PM)
Pretty much, yeah. None of the Shawn Tompkins guys had an easy time getting over the loss of their coach and friend. It had an obvious impact on Hominick ... and Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki. Hominick is going to be in some trouble though if he loses four straight, even considering the circumstances. He does have something going for him though, in that the UFC loves throwing him out there to the Canadian fan base. That might give him some leeway, but if he gets finished here against Pablo Garza ... not good.
If Travis Browne looks good against Bigfoot, would they match him up with Struve next? or do they not want to waste one new contender for another?
Brett Okamoto (1:07 PM)
Well, remember we saw that fight last year. That's the only reason I'd say no. If they had never fought, then I think the UFC would go ahead and make it ... it was a decent fight leading up to the highlight finish ... Struve dropped his hands and threw a front kick and was obliterated by a Superman punch. That image is like burned in my brain it was such a crazy knockout ... but it wasn't necessarily a one-sided fight. We could see it again, but I doubt right away.
how bad is jon jones arm?
Brett Okamoto (1:08 PM)
I've been searching for details but unsuccessful so far. He was supposed to see a doctor the day after the fight, but then went to the NFL game instead, which would seem to suggest it's not too serious. Last I heard he was seeing a physician this week and possibly coming to Las Vegas to visit the UFC doctor as well.
Gerry (San Francisco, CA)
Being a previous boxing writer, what did you think of the Wladimir Klitschko / Corrie Sanders article from last week?
Brett Okamoto (1:10 PM)
It was good. Not shocking that Wladimir would say that. Sad story about Sanders' murder man ... just sad. For those who don't know, Klitschko talked about Sanders' role in the career he's now had, knocked him down four times in two rounds in 2003. Here's the fight if you want to watch it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqEANlBbhsA
Michael H (Memphis)
Who would possibly be Rampages last opponent in the UFC?
Brett Okamoto (1:12 PM)
Timing will have a lot to do with it ... Rampage openly admitting that he wants to be cut from the UFC and that he has other offers out there ... it's likely going to result in a situation where the UFC looks to send him out on a loss. Not that it will matter completely, because I think Rampage's appeal in other fight promotions goes beyond how he does in his last fight, but I doubt they'll do him any favors. Glover Teixeira, when you think about it, wasn't exactly a big favor. It will be someone tough, not necessarily a big name.
Nick (Perth (Australia))
Hi Brett, I've seen Stefan Struve before but never really "watched him". I've sat in bars and been amazed at some of his skills whislt many of those around me have laughed when he (a) connects (b) gets' hit or (c) does an amazing comeback - in other words he's been more probably entertainment value than serious contender. He's never in a boring fight. Until that UFC146 group (heavyweight) photo I never really understood how huge the guy is. The live feed came through from Notingham in the middle of the morning so I knew the results when we watched the replay 10 hours latter so I was really interested to see the whole fight and if he's improved. I dont know who he's coached by he still seems easy to hit and I cant' help but wonder if he was given to someone like Greg Jackson - he'd be a SERIOUS SERIOUS talent to maybe rival Jon Jones. On the fllpside he does have a habit of getting knocked out by the good big heavyweights and is still very young. How is he viewed by Zuffa (entertainer / challenger) and where do you see his long term future? He's obvoiusly too big to go to LHW.
Brett Okamoto (1:15 PM)
Yo Nick, thanks for the questions, let's try and keep them a little shorter in the future :) But I do want to talk about Stefan Struve more. You nailed his problem and that's he gets hit too much. He likes being a tough guy, which is cool and it will get you Twitter followers, but it will also shorten your career and leave you with losses, especially in the heavyweight division. I'd like to see him threaten with takedowns a little more just because so many heavyweights are scared of his submission game. If you get them thinking about that, striking opportunities will open up. I'd also like to see him stay off the cage (he likes to hang out there) and up his punching volume. When he's active, he utilizes that reach more and he's tough to deal with. I think he's good enough to make a title run ... not sure if he'd ever be a guy to hold it for 5 title defenses though.
Hey Ninja, you catch Chuck's piece on Forrest Griffin? If so, what'd you think about it?
Brett Okamoto (1:17 PM)
Yeah, Forrest is a weird guy. Like, everybody thinks he's weird but most don't even realize how weird he truly is. Hard to describe, fighting makes Forrest weird because the cameras are on him and the spotlight is on him which he doesn't like, but on the other hand fighting levels him out and he doesn't want to give it up. He's a complicated dude.
Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )
Hey Brett, From and odd's perspective what the chances of Brock / Fedor happening and under which banner? (Strikeforce, 3rd Party etc). I'd be interested in THAT fight but I dont believe either should be in the UFC as both will struggle against good heavyweights - their time has past - both should stay retired or in sports entertainment. I see it as maybe like the last Hearns / Leonard fight, and trilogy fights for some past UFC champs - nothing more. If it's marketed as a one off thing, I think it would work but if it happened, I hope the victor didnt see it as ticket back to glory. Thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (1:18 PM)
I'm sorry Cameron. This will never happen, for lots of reasons. Do you still really want to see it THAT bad anyway? I'd be down if it was 2009 ... but this fight would disappoint these days.
Ultimate Warrior (Parts Unknown)
Any good underdogs you like on the upcoming cards? The past 2 cards, I did well with Cub Swanson over Olivera and Struve over Miocic. Anything odds you think Vegas has wrong?
Brett Okamoto (1:19 PM)
Let me give them a quick gander ...
Brett Okamoto (1:20 PM)
I'd take a shot on Shane Roller over Jacob Volkmann at plus money and I'd load up on Michael Johnson over Danny Castillo at only -125. You guys know how high I am on MJ.
How about bringing Struve back quickly, and having him face Cormier?
Brett Okamoto (1:21 PM)
There have been worse ideas. Or, since people are just going up in weight to save cards these days, let's re-sign Anthony Johnson and have him fight Daniel Cormier. Thinking outside the box on that one but you kinda like it when you think about it, don't you?
Nate (Woburn, MA)
A) Welcome back Brett. B) Have not seen yet: Any news on "Bang"'s knee?
Brett Okamoto (1:22 PM)
He tweeted the other day it's a torn ACL. Dude has terrible luck. Wish him a speedy recovery.
Making it to Mpls this weekend?
Brett Okamoto (1:23 PM)
I am not, but the one and only Chad Dundas will be there. Hit him up on Twitter.
Tim (North Olmsted)
Why haven't they announced anything for Barao yet? Is he really going to wait until July for Cruz?
Brett Okamoto (1:25 PM)
I doubt it. The number of cards the UFC is putting on isn't decreasing and chances are they're going to need an interim title fight to headline something one of these days. The only fight that really makes sense to me is Michael McDonald and I hope they make it. Sure, you lose one of those guys to fight Dominick, but Cruz isn't going anywhere and both of them are young so there will be time to rebuild whoever loses.
Chris (Bathroom at work)
Regardless if Dana thinks I am a moron or not, I must say the 125ers don't do it for me. I'll agree they are highly skilled but entertaining, they are not. I hope the ufc thinks twice before considering a 115 division
Brett Okamoto (1:26 PM)
Fair enough. I like the flyweights but I agree they're not for everyone. I've had other fighters straight up tell me they think flyweights are boring, hard to argue with them.
Do you have a wish list to face Bones Jones? Mine is:1. Silva (duh)2. Cormier (let's see if Jones can throw elbows on his back)3. Velasquez (think he has a better skillset for this fight than Junior)Thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (1:27 PM)
Good list. Silva is No. 1 for me as well. Cormier is a very solid No. 2, but it's going to have to be at light heavyweight because I'll tell you right now Jones has no interest in moving up right now and I don't blame him. So, because of that, I'll pass on Cain just because I know it's not happening and I'll say Glover Teixeira is No. 3. I'm a believer in Glover.
Gordy (Los Angeles, Ca)
Upon Nick Diaz's return from suspension, who would you like to see him in the cage with next ??
Brett Okamoto (1:29 PM)
St. Pierre. I wanted that fight just like everyone else. Will that happen? Actually, it could. I know Lorenzo Fertitta wanted to see that fight and he co-owns this whole shindig so that makes it a good possibility. More than likely though, he fights some welterweight contender, maybe Ellenberger/Hendricks/Kampmann for a title shot.
Layzie (Los Angeles)
Whats next for Diego Sanchez ? If he goes back to 155 who would his next opponent be ? I say throw Matt Wiman his way. Any thought ?
Brett Okamoto (1:32 PM)
Yeah, you know, it's been awhile since we've heard from Diego. I hope his plans are still at 155 because that's definitely where he looks best. Wiman is a good matchup. I like watching Diego fight guys who are rising up the ranks but they're young and you're not quite sure what they've got when things get ugly. I know he just lost, but a fight against Edson Barboza would be cool.
Call me crazy but I feel the Fuel card was better than this upcoming FX one. Any fights on the undercard you're looking forward to? I like Stephens vs Edwards
Brett Okamoto (1:34 PM)
Not especially. As I mentioned, I'm real into Michael Johnson right now. I think he can be a dark horse in that division. Other than that ... I like Jeremy Stephens but he hasn't shown much fire lately, we'll see how he looks against Yves Edwards in a fight he needs to win.
Hey Brett, it's my opinion that if Jon Jones moves to heavyweight he won't taste gold. Can he strike with the likes of JDS? Can he stop Cain's takedowns and GnP? These guys just seem too strong!
Brett Okamoto (1:35 PM)
He's still growing ... he'd still have a reach advantage. The two guys you mentioned are the the two we don't know about. Any other heavyweight, including Alistair, I'd favor Jones over pretty heavily. But yeah, I could see JDS getting to the body and hurting Jon and I could see Cain cut him up with some elbows from top position. I'd say JDS would have the best shot at beating him.
Who's closest to the next MW title shot? Bisping, Weidman (with a win over Boetsch), or Belcher (with a win over Okami)?
Brett Okamoto (1:36 PM)
I'd say Weidman and Bisping are tied. If GSP loses and there is no super fight, Weidman gets the nod (unless it's a boring, lackluster win over Boetsch). If Anderson doesn't defend his belt, I expect those two to fight each other.
mike (san francisco)
whats your prediction for the GSP vs Condit fight? Any inside info on how GSP has looked training for the fight?
Brett Okamoto (1:38 PM)
Everything I've heard says he looks good and I actually think there could be something to what he's saying in these interviews about losing some of his fire in these fights. All these guys they've been putting in front of him ... none were realistically going to beat him right? So, I don't blame the guy for getting a little "bored" with the sport. Now he's coming off injury, he's got a guy with real momentum in Carlos Condit. I like GSP to win it but I think it will be a good fight.
Besides the main/co main event are there any gems on this card that we should be excited about?
Brett Okamoto (1:39 PM)
Last time, I promise. MICHAEL JOHNSON. I told you guys to get on the Cub Swanson bandwagon months and months ago, didn't I? I think the same thing is gonna happen with MJ.
Is Rashad being a Hippocratic for not taking the fight with Texiera but blaming Jon for not taking the fight with Sonnen? I believe they both were short notice, Jones being even shorter notice, and they both had the same reason...
Brett Okamoto (1:40 PM)
Meh, there are differences. Not to say Jones was wrong in turning down the fight, but Rashad was like 230 pounds when they called him up. He wasn't even close to fight shape and that fight is against a no-name guy in Brazil ... Jones was in shape, he was being asked to fight a middleweight basically, and he was already scheduled for the main event. Two totally different circumstances.
Ultimate Warrior (Parts Unknown)
Dodson or da Silva? Is da Silva just a submission specialist?
Brett Okamoto (1:41 PM)
Pretty much and Dodson is tough to control. Da Silva has always got a shot, he's awesome in transitions and in the scramble but I'm taking Dodson.
who is next for Dan Hardy and Jimi Manuwa? They both looked good in Nottingham.
Brett Okamoto (1:42 PM)
Too bad we couldn't have Dan Hardy turn around and fight Mike Swick in a rematch of that 2009 fight on the Fox card. I would have loved that. Matt Riddle really wanted a piece of Hardy, I'm cool with that. Riddle fought smart in his last fight, so did Hardy, they're both kind of growing and have a ton of potential ... let's do that.
Andrew (Bakersfield, CA)
Erick Silva appears to be a bad matchup for Jon Fitch. Other top-control-only fighters are being sent to the facebook prelims as of late. Do you think the UFC is actively trying to stifle the careers of these guys?
Brett Okamoto (1:43 PM)
Nah, I don't think this is a Jon Fitch conspiracy here. If Fitch wins, he beats a guy with a ton of hype around him and it elevates him back into title contention (of course, he'd have to win one or two more) but it's a fast track back to where he wants to be. Problem is, I agree with you, bad matchup for him. I think he's in trouble.
So the UFC released Charlie Brenneman.....is this Jon Jones fault?
Brett Okamoto (1:44 PM)
Haha, good post. Brenneman was milking that UFC 151 cancelation for all it was worth. How about focusing on getting better?
Brett... Isn't it about time that the UFC got rid of the PPV model? I feel like that's the one thing that killed boxing. No one wants to buy the PPV's anymore unless they are superfights. With the increased frequency of injuries changing cards, why not move to the cable tv model. The superbowl generates $275 million dollars in revenue off advertising. I think the UFC needs to look into advertising dollars rather than live gates and PPV counts
Brett Okamoto (1:46 PM)
I hear this from time to time but what's happening here is you're underestimating the amount of money the UFC is making on PPV. While it seems like to you that the PPV model has lost steam, it's still raking in money for the UFC. They are concentrating on having a stronger presence on network TV. You don't have to be a genius to see they REALLY want the Fox deal to start producing big numbers, look at how stacked the Dec. 8 show is. But to answer your question simply, the UFC will not move away from PPV model any time soon or maybe ever. It's extremely lucrative for them.
I seem to notice a lot of familiar names in these chats. Do you select certain people's questions based off of recognition of them chatting regularly?
Brett Okamoto (1:47 PM)
Nah not really. I think we've got some regulars in here for sure but I just pick the best questions I see come through the queue.
What's next for Werdum?
Brett Okamoto (1:49 PM)
Good question. He was doing PR work for the UFC in South America when Frank Mir went down. He seemed interested in the fight with Daniel Cormier. Then Dana White admits that Matt Mitrione turned down that fight, why go Mitrione and not Werdum? Struve wants to fight him now, which I think is a great fight. One of those two options has got to be next for him.
Marc (Malden, MA)
You wouldn't be excited to see Brock back in the octagon? Guaranteed there would be 1M+ PPV buys.
Brett Okamoto (1:50 PM)
I didn't say that. I said I wouldn't be excited to see Brock fight Fedor in an outside promotion. And actually, I should rephrase that. If it happened, of course I'm watching it, but I'm not one of those people who are losing sleep over the fact these two are retired. They're both past their prime.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Brett Okamoto (1:50 PM)
I worked at Red Robin in college and gotta say, love me the BBQ burger at Red Robin. There's also an $8 steak deal in Vegas that knows me by name.
Dana keeps saying how he sees Ronda in the UFC but then says the women's game is too shallow. When will the UFC do more to get women's MMA to be deeper like they have with men's 125.
Brett Okamoto (1:51 PM)
The UFC isn't going to invest a ton of money in women's MMA. They don't really need to. If other stars turn up like Ronda, they'll be interested of course. But they're not going to be the ones to build those divisions.
Brett, Brown / Big Foot seems like a very good match up for Travis. How does Big Foot stop the striking and movement?
Brett Okamoto (1:53 PM)
Yeah, I've got my preview coming out on ESPN either today or tomorrow and I wrote that this matchup is tailor-made for Browne. I rarely ever say that. But this is a bad fight for Silva ... I don't think he can really get Browne to the ground, or keep him there. He's going to struggle with Browne's athleticism in every area of the fight and he gets hit a lot. Best way for him to win is to do what he does best and that's get on top of a guy and ground and pound but I don't think he can do that to Browne.
Any rumblings on the plan for Overeem after his suspension? I assume he is at the very least in line for a #1 contender bout right?
Brett Okamoto (1:53 PM)
Haven't heard anything concrete because it's still a bit away, but I see Alistair sitting in the MGM come Dec. 29 and the UFC walking him in to challenge the winner of the JDS/Cain fight. Seems like a no-brainer.
Why not match up Kimbo, on a one fight contract, with Rampage for a finale. They both want to stand and trade punches, and someone is going to get KO'd hard. Agreed?
Brett Okamoto (1:54 PM)
Ha, I guess. People would buy it, I suppose. Seems like an obvious sideshow to me, something I should look into promoting in my backyard.
Who is Dan Cormier going to fight? First it was Mir, then Werdum was a canidate, then Matt Mitrione and now Pat Barry. At what point do they just tab Tim Sylvia since no UFC guys want to go to Strikeforce?
Brett Okamoto (1:55 PM)
Dana doesn't want to sign Tim Sylvia. It nearly happened before Frank Mir was even pegged and Dana shut it down. I wouldn't be against it, but it doesn't matter because it's not going to happen.
If Dan Hardy was to fight Koscheck or bring Hughes out of retirement does he have a chance against either?
Brett Okamoto (1:56 PM)
Good chance against Hughes. Close to no shot against Josh Koscheck as of right now, although give it some more time and then maybe.
Joey (Midland TX)
Hey Brett, just wondering after that knockout whats next for Cub Swanson? And whos this Gunner Nelson that I heard get reffered to as the next BJ Penn?
Brett Okamoto (1:58 PM)
Cub is on fire and people are starting to notice the guy. When Korean Zombie is healthy that's a possibility. I'd love to see him fight Erik Koch, that's a serious action fight. Gunnar Nelson, definitely a guy to keep an eye on, only 24, looks like a mini-Machida with his karate-style standup and very slick submissions. Fun fighter to watch, not necessarily interview.
Andrew (Bakersfield, CA)
Do you think that the UFC will ever hit the ratings they thought they would hit with the Fox networks? Seems like a huge disappointment so far.
Brett Okamoto (1:59 PM)
The first show did great numbers, they screwed up only putting on one fight and then got unlucky when that one fight lasted 64 seconds. They're still figuring out things in terms of how to put the show together and they're about to receive the bump that comes with advertisements that run during NFL games. So, I expect numbers to do well on this December show.
Seems like there is a big hangover from the Nottingham card, not much pub from the UFC about the card this weekend, it starts in 48 hours! Does Dodson get the #1 flyweight contender spot this weekend?
Brett Okamoto (2:00 PM)
Yep, it's confirmed winner of that fight gets the title shot. I agree, not much steam around this card right now.
Jake (Saint Paul, MN)
We've got a great card in the Twin Cities this Friday. It is an awesome card IMO, but may fly under a lot of people's radar b/c there aren't a whole lot of big names.. Which fight do you find the most intruiging on that card??
Brett Okamoto (2:01 PM)
There you go, Jake's into it. How's Minneapolis treating the event Jake? Good coverage in the papers? City into it?
After seeing what Vitor did in there with Jones, and remembering he was about a half an inch away from taking Silva's head off after the take down/scramble in the first fight, are there any doubts that Vitor would give Anderson a great fight the second time?
Brett Okamoto (2:02 PM)
Vitor is always dangerous ... and he did pop Anderson a few times in that fight ... but I'm not crazy about a rematch right now with all the other options Anderson has in front of him. Give me that Belcher/Vitor fight we were supposed to get.
Joe (New Hampshire)
Hi Bret, do you like Bigfoot Silva to win at 2.75 as much as I do? Who has Browne fought anyway?
Brett Okamoto (2:03 PM)
Hey Joe, think I got to this one when I went into the matchup. +275 would be nice ... but I don't think you end up cashing that one. Put it on MJ!
Jim Bob (the Counter)
Thanks again for the Red Ink. Any football plays for this weekend?
Brett Okamoto (2:03 PM)
I like the Rams at home ... and I think I like the Browns on the road.
I for one think there should be a 215 division for guys not big enough for HW like Roy Nelson, maybe Anthony Johnson, maybe Jon Jones in the future, what do you think?
Brett Okamoto (2:04 PM)
Nah Jerry, those divisions get spread thin enough as it is. I would argue with you, just with the names you mentioned, Roy Nelson could make 205 if he wanted to, AJ should actually be at 185 if you ask me and Jon Jones ... he'll clean up this light heavyweight if he can and then he'll fight guys at heavyweight where the two best guys only weigh 245 pounds anyway ... not 265. No need for 215 right now.
Jake (Saint Paul, MN)
Rua vs. Gustafsson. Who do you have?
Brett Okamoto (2:05 PM)
Haven't spent time breaking it down yet ... but early reaction says Gustfasson rollllllls Shogun.
A question from one Brett to another! What have you heard about the coaches for the next season of the Ultimate fighter? Any chance it will be Chael and Jones? I think that pairing could help bring the show back from the dead.
Brett Okamoto (2:07 PM)
I haven't heard any rumblings yet ... it's a little early for them to make that call. Sad thing is ... I don't know if even Jones/Chael could bring that show back from the dead right now. I watch ... but I watch thinking to myself that unless you are a DIE HARD MMA fun, you ain't watching that show. I think Chael is a better fit for the show than Jones just in general ... wouldn't be surprised to see Chael on it but not Jones.
Matt (Spokane, WA)
Brett-- please explain why my never-ending hatred for Bisping is misguided.
Brett Okamoto (2:09 PM)
He can be very different when there's not a camera in front of him. He is talented. Is he the best ever? No, but no one is really saying he is. I hear when people bring up the question "Who has he beat that's good?" but ... is that enough to hate the guy? He's consistent and if I remember right, he kinda got robbed when he fought Wanderlei and may have gotten robbed when he fought Chael.
My "friend" seems to think that the WWE is better than UFC. Could you please explain to him why he is horribly wrong?
Brett Okamoto (2:10 PM)
Brett, you know I gotta get your take about the flyweight title match. You and Franklin had really good takes on Joey B. and why you thought he would win on Gross Point but after wat you saw from DJ; who do you feel about him being the champ and the match as a whole? Also who do you feel they both get next? Dodson vs. DJ? (to make the "fastest paced UFC match of all time") Thanks Brett-good to have ya back!
Brett Okamoto (2:12 PM)
Big part of what I thought happened in the flyweight fight ... and full credit to Demetrious Johnson who fought brilliantly and I think he beats either one of Dodson or da Silva ... but Benavidez treated that fight like it was life and death and Johnson treated it like it was just another fight. He was calmer, his emotions were in check. I think Joe had a bit of an adrenaline dump. Johnson was just too technical, too, he got Benavidez frustrated at times, which got him to rush forward and lunge and that's when Johnson countered and did his damage. Rematch, I still think I'm picking Joe B, but DJ was the better man that night.
@dneighbor (New Jersey)
Dislike for Chael is forcing me to cheer for Forrest which is difficult. What are Griffin's chances of beating Sonnen? The odds have been close to 9-to-1.
Brett Okamoto (2:14 PM)
9-to-1?? Who's your bookie? Looks like the odds are a 2-to-1 payout on Forrest. I think Forrest has a real shot. His jiu-jitsu is underrated, which we know that can be a weakness for Chael, his wrestling is underrated and he'll have a size advantage. Chael will be much faster than him ... and Forrest's chin is starting to go. Forrest has to be looking at this like it's a winnable fight for him over a big name though, and there aren't a ton of those left out there for him so he should be motivated. If you can get 9-to-1 anywhere, get 9-to-1 and throw some on it for me, too.
how many fights till rumble is back in the UFC? He still needs time to mature at 205, but if he goe undefeated in his wsof deal think hell be back in the octagon?
Brett Okamoto (2:15 PM)
Yeah. Time heals all wounds, although Dana was really mad when that fight with Vitor almost fell through. But if AJ looks good and he's making weight at 205 (which good God, he better) they'll take him back.
Kenneth (Marietta, GA)
So, Guida is moving down to 145, who does Dana put in the Octagon with him? Will Dana punish Guida for his last performance by giving him a noboday or go for a tougher opponent (Poirer or Korean Zombie)?
Brett Okamoto (2:17 PM)
Just a guess, I 100 percent don't see him getting a prize like Korean Zombie. Lots of guys want to fight Zombie and Zombie doesn't need a win over a name like "Guida" because he's reached a point where plenty of people know him. I think Guida will get a lower level guy in his featherweight debut yeah. That Maynard fight ... we all still remember it too much.
Sally ((Cleveland, Ohio))
Brett, who do you see Jon Jones fighting against next? Will it be Sonnen, Henderson or another name? Also, when do you see the fight taking place, assuming his injury isn't serious?
Brett Okamoto (2:18 PM)
The talk about Henderson/Machida is legitimate. The UFC is definitely looking at that fight. We'll see what the details are with Jones' injury. If he can go whenever, it still wouldn't be until 2013 and that means we might see that Chael Sonnen fight before Jones has an opponent. And if that's the case, that leaves the door open for Chael to call him out like he did Anderson Silva and who knows at that point. JJ vs. CS in early 2013 is not a bad bet.
EVERYONE is writing Fitch off in this fight...lets not forget the dude was undefeated against non-GSP opponents for 8 years. The Hendricks fight was a fluke.
Brett Okamoto (2:19 PM)
Yeah ... I agree with you and trust me, I'm not basing my opinion on the 153 fight on that loss to Hendircks. Sometimes you get caught and that's it. Stylistically though, Silva has shown real solid takedown defense and I think he's a better athlete than Fitch. Guy is a on a roll, Fitch hasn't been fighting regularly, too many advantages for Silva.
Adam (Long Beach)
How do you see the Silva v Bonnar fight going? Does Bonnar turn it into an ugly fight or does Silva put on a show before another highlight TKO?
Brett Okamoto (2:20 PM)
I think Silva puts on a show. Bonnar reminds us all (even though we don't really need reminding) that he's very tough but not as good a fighter as Anderson Silva.
Do you think Florian would come back if a rematch with Diego was offered??
Brett Okamoto (2:21 PM)
My Fox 5 bonuses are Rua/Gustafsson FON, Diaz SON, MacDonald KON..thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (2:22 PM)
I don't have the card in front of me but ... Matt Brown is a Fight of the Night stud, so I'd be worried betting against him for that one and I don't think Diaz is beating Henderson.
Do you think that people are too high on Glover texiera too soon? he beats kyle kingsbury and people think he is ready for Rashad? im not sold
Brett Okamoto (2:24 PM)
Yeah, I'll agree with you that Rashad is a huge step up because I think Rashad is top 15 pound-for-pound, but Glover is the real deal. He's a bully, durable, heavy handed, manhandles guys from top position. Rashad is a tough fight for anyone, but he's definitely good enough to fight Rampage and I'd say he belongs in the same conversation as Shogun, Machida, Bader, Gus all those guys.
Erich H (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Have you heard anything about who will coach TUF 17? One rumor is Cerrone and Pettis.
Brett Okamoto (2:24 PM)
Have not heard, but that is one rumor I hope is true.
Brett Okamoto (2:24 PM)
Even though ... I'd rather just see them fight without necessarily a TUF season leading up to it. I'm ready for that fight now.
Brett Okamoto (2:25 PM)
And I think the UFC is probably ready for that fight now, too. Henderson fights in December, so how long you gonna put the belt on hold for to do the show?
Barao vs. Pickett for the Interim Title in February-March and have Big Nog fight Cormier for the title (I know he is fighting Pee Wee but that fight can be cancelled or give Pee Wee a new opponent)
Brett Okamoto (2:27 PM)
Barao/Pickett already happened, I don't really have a ton of interest in seeing that again. (Pickett got choked out in the first) I like your idea on Big Nog, although I think DC is probably a little too much for Rodrigo at this point in his career.
Can we assume Aldo/Edgar headlines a January card in Brazil? Barao co-main?
Brett Okamoto (2:28 PM)
Fairly safe assumption. If not January, February. Aldo's injury wasn't too serious.
Kevin (Mile High)
How about the Rox coming up strong and not hitting 100 L's..
Brett Okamoto (2:28 PM)
Way to save the season.
Dean (Prince George BC)
Has Brian Stann ever expressed any political aspirations? Every time I see him on camera, I can't help but think that he could easily use his MMA and military careers as a jumping off point into politics.
Brett Okamoto (2:29 PM)
Ya know ... I want to say ... maybe? I can't remember a specific time he ever did when I was talking to him. He has the non-profit he runs and now there is another organization established after his brother-in-law committed suicide so, he's definitely got the foundation for that sort of thing. You're right, he'd be good at it.
After watching the 30 for 30 "Broke" last night and seeing one of the major downfalls of a professional athletes bankroll is the entourage, it got me wondering. Do MMA fighters tend to roll around with a large entourage?
Brett Okamoto (2:30 PM)
Always depends on the fighter. Anderson Silva comes to mind as a guy with an entourage. For the most part, no, it's not like in boxing. Boxers tend to love entourages.
Adam (Long Beach)
Team Alpha Male might have to change their name to Team Runner Up. They must have a horrible record in title fights in the last 3-4 years.
Brett Okamoto (2:31 PM)
Yep, I know. I was talking about that same thing to a buddy of mine. Urijah loses to Brown, Aldo, Cruz. Joe loses to Cruz, Johnson. Mendes loses to Aldo. Even Dillashaw loses in the TUF Finale to Dodson. One of these times ....
Brett Okamoto (2:33 PM)
Alright guys, let's go ahead and wrap there. FX card on FRIDAY this week, not the usual Saturday, so don't forget that. I'm not huge into the Bellator heavyweight tournament this weekend, but Eddie Alvarez is back in action next week and of course we have 153 so plenty to talk about in 7 days. See you then.