Chat with Chuck Mindenhall
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, MMA blogger Chuck Mindenhall stops by to chat about the news from the octagon.
Mindenhall began covering MMA for ESPN.com in October 2010. He has worked as a features writer for FIGHT! Magazine, and contributed to many other publications, such as the LA Times, Village Voice and LA Weekly.
Send your questions now and join Mindenhall Friday at 4 p.m. ET!
Chuck Mindenhall (4:00 PM)
What's happening guys? Another Friday "Hey, Bro" chat installation. Got Bellator tonight, but will have to wait a bit for our Zuffa fix. Who's watching the inaugural WSOF card next week? Let's roll....
Paul (Bakersfield) [via mobile]
Why do people constantly overlook the fact that Chael is way overrated? And I'm not just talking about fans. I can see his antics working on the casual fan, but it obviously works on a lot of media and so called "experts" who continue to rank this guy as the #2 middleweight.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:01 PM)
Well, he's not just smoke and mirrors. The fact is he did earn his shots with Anderson Silva, and he did drag Silva to the deep side of the pool at UFC 117. Those things could warrant a top five ranking as a middleweight. I wouldn't put him over Chris Weidman, though. As a light heavyweight? Well, that's another story.
How do you like Bendo's chances against Diaz? I hope he smashes him!
Chuck Mindenhall (4:03 PM)
I think he'll have his hands full, but he'll be the favorite going in. I know he regretted fighting Pettis the way he did back in the day, so he'll look to use his athleticism and wrestling more against Diaz. Can't imagine he'd stand and trade with the Stockton Slapper.
with Ariel tweeting Ufc 156 is not in Brazil, but Superbowl weekend, u think we get Aldo/Edgar, Evans/Lil Nog, Bisping/Belfort in Vegas?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:04 PM)
Good question. I know they love to stuff that Super Bowl card with names, so I wouldn't be surprised to see those match-ups on there. Aldo/Edgar is the best of the three. That's just a great fight.
Danny (New Hampshire)
Rumors of Bisping vs Belfort at 156. What do about that fight? A potential co-headliner I view it as
Chuck Mindenhall (4:05 PM)
I think that's a very tough fight for Bisping, but then again, he's been looking pretty tough of late. I'd give the slight edge to Belfort, though. Question is, would the UFC dare label it a No. 1 contender bout? What about Chris Weidman/Tim Boetsch? Somebody is going to be left in the lurch, particularly if GSP beats Condit and Spider fights GSP.
Really looking forward to GSP v Condit, I think its gonna be an awesome fight, but the UFC didnt do that card any favors with the other fights besides the co main. Get me hyped about another fight on that card that people are overlooking.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:07 PM)
Well, the co-main is good. Martin Kampmann against Johny Hendricks. Both guys really bring it, so I think that'll be a good one. Problem is that the winner isn't necessarily getting a title shot. Also like Francis Carmont. But overall, not the greatest card, no.
Hey bro, do you think the broncos will cover the spread against the saints (-6.5)?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:08 PM)
Tough one, Dennis. I think they'll cover the over, whatever that's set at. Should be a shootout. I do think the Broncos will click in gear earlier in this game and win...probably by 10.
Aaron (Calgary, AB)
With Werdum, Barry and Nelson all saying they would step up to fight Cormier, how have they not found a fight for him yet?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:10 PM)
It's a mess, Aaron. At first they were in a pinch , and that's why they looked at Tim Sylvia, then booked Frank Mir. Now that the fight's in January, they have time to be more selective. I still think they book Mir in the spot, though.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:11 PM)
Indeed, he did. Only had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times, but he was one of MMA's pioneers, and his imprint is all over the sport. Check out Josh Gross's great piece today about him and his love of grappling.http://espn.go.com/blog/mma/post/_/id/14999/love-of-grappling-defined-jeff-blatnick
Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )
Pallarhes V Lombard - Lombards the favourite although I like Pallarhes especially if he get's Hector on the ground.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:12 PM)
Yeah, if this fight goes to the mat, look out...helter skelter. Palhares is a beast there. If the fight remains standing, Lombard is the beast. Love this fight.
Dana White says he boxing isn't doing itself any favors by just making the Main Event the only reason to by the card, but he keeps on watering down these UFC cards. I mean Hando-Bones on'y sold around 3500 tickets. It ain't because Hando don't attract, it's because these cards are watered down
Chuck Mindenhall (4:14 PM)
It's hard to argue that the cards themselves aren't nearly as deep in 2012 as they were in 2009 or 2010. There are plenty of reasons -- one being the inordinate amount of injuries this year -- but the UFC has been putting on top heavy cards of late.
Ric Flair (Charlotte, NC)
Do you think the UFC is "testing" Jones with a world class wrestler (Sonnen) to see how he might eventually stack up against someone like Dan Cormier?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:15 PM)
I don't think so....I think they are trying to breathe new life into TUF. And hey, not a bad spot for Jones, either. Not hard to be the good guy going against Sonnen.
If you were an MMA Fighter, What Gym is tops on your list to train at?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:17 PM)
So many good ones. Did an MMA Live hit this week that broke down the best gyms. I would maybe take a look at Trevor Wittman's gym in Colorado. Or Renzo's. Or Jorge Rivera's.
Brock vs Fedor....1st Round Brock charges out takes Fedor down and dishes some ground and pound, 2nd round Fedor cracks him w/ an over hand right and Brock goes to sleep, is that pretty much what would have happened?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:18 PM)
That's a pretty good guess at it. I think it was one of those intriguing fights. Fedor can take punishment to land his shots, Lesnar didn't like getting punched but he was a bull. I think your scenario sounds totally feasible. Too bad we'll never (likely) find out.
Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )
Hi Chuck, if you were Anderson Silva and there were 4 options (a) fight GSP (b) fight Chris Weidman (c) fight Jon Jones or (d) retire and be a well paid celebrity in Brazil...what would be the order of most attractive to least attractive given that fighting Michael Bisping isn?t an option? Mine would be (a) (d) (b) and (c)...
Chuck Mindenhall (4:20 PM)
Hmm...I think I would go A, B, C, D. The superfight with GSP should happen now if it's ever going to, and then you have to go back to defending the belt. I would love to see the Jones fight, and if he beat GSP and Weidman, that fight only gets bigger (presuming Jones takes care of Sonnen and Hendo).
Do you see a woman's fight in the UFC in 2013? Do you ever see a permanent division?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:22 PM)
So many factors. I do know one thing; Ronda Rousey has enchanted Dana White. He was bemoaning the lack of depth in the women's divisions, and now he's saying the UFC will "absolutely" have women's MMA. Nothing much has changed in the interstices, either. Rousey is just a star and he sees the potential.
Any inside info on GSP's knee- When I tore my MCL and played my first football game again, I was definitely different for a few months- both mentally and physically. Any word on GSP?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:23 PM)
From what I hear he is recovered and is strong. One good thing is this isn't football. The movements are different, and this is a contact sport versus a collision sport. But, as with all injuries of that nature -- ones that sidelines guys for so long -- it's wait and see.
If Silva keeps saying " I will not fight C. Weidman because I am not a fool" do you think at some point he should relinquish his belt to Chris?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:25 PM)
No. I think he'd fight Chris Weidman well before he'd do that. I do think he'd rather fight GSP, though, and part of that is because Weidman is like Chael Sonnen (only younger, with better wrestling, and without mistakes).
Chuckie! this may seem outta left field, but why has Jeremy Horn not come back to the UFC?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:26 PM)
Ha! He's been through enough, hasn't he? I know he corners a lot of guys, and is busy coaching. I also know he loves to compete. I think his UFC days are over, but what does that guy have, like 100 fights?
(Hypothetically) If GSP gets destroyed by Condit, do we still see him fight Silva?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:28 PM)
No. There's no chance. He wouldn't look like a challenge to Silva in that instance, and the collision of those long winning streaks wouldn't be in play. My guess is the UFC would look at a rematch if he loses, although, they might well stack him against Nick Diaz next. Diaz would love it, and GSP still wants to fight Diaz. Would make sense.
Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Las Vegas, NV)
I think people are forgetting one thing: Weidman isn't ready for a title fight right now. No one knows who he is and he looks 2-3 fights away from a shot. let him get to 8-0 in the UFC, get some big wins on big PPV cards, before he takes on Silva. His striking needs the work if he wants to hang with the champ
Chuck Mindenhall (4:30 PM)
Good point, too. He did beat Mark Munoz, who was considered the guy right there at the No. 1 contender spot. Not only that, but he destroyed Munoz, didn't even take one significant strike. But, would beating Tim Boetsch jump his stock more than it's at right now? Maybe not. But if he beats Boetsch, then the Belfort/Bisping winner, hey, then he can't be denied.
Lombard looked like a slow, plodding, sleepy beast in standup in his last fight.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:30 PM)
He looks that way in a lot of his fights. A little flatfooted and mantis like. But when he lands something, it's usually curtains.
Bisping should just face the winner of Weidman/Boetsch than fight a guy like Belfort and lose everything he's earned
Chuck Mindenhall (4:32 PM)
Yeah, Bisping is forever hovering in the vulnerable place of losing everything before getting that title shot. He is the MMA Sisyphus. I have a feeling he never gets a title shot against Anderson Silva, unless it's in a pinch, where somebody gets hurt.
why people hating on rampage? ufc says they love guys who want to fight and he volunteers to fight both griffin and texeira on the same night. isn't he an ideal employee?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:33 PM)
No question Rampage likes to fight. Problem is, Rampage likes to fight guys who are tailor-made for brawls. He doesn't like anybody who presents "boring" to him. I think he should just get Teixeira. Glover looks at Rampage as an icon, and he will give Rampage everything he wants in the stand-up game.
Chuck, you believe we've seen the last of Matt Hughes? I was hoping we might see him against Hallman again, but with Hallman getting cut doesn't look to good.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:35 PM)
Yeah, at this point I do think we've seen the last of Hughes. There were a couple of fights I thought might lure him back, guys like Dan Hardy or Hallman, but sounds like he's pretty content in his quasi-retirement, posting pictures next to fresh kills from his hunting expeditions.
True or false: Glover Teixeira will get a title shot in 2013.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:36 PM)
Well, Jones will be busy until April. That means he'd next fight in July. I will say, true. I think if Glover beats Rampage and then one of the top five guys, he'll be right there towards the end of 2013 ready to bring it to Jones (or whoever has the belt).
John (Bloomington, IN)
Hi Charles, was wondering which fighters are the nicest you've met? Any stand out?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:38 PM)
A lot of the guys are very accessible, and very pleasant to talk to. Joe Lauzon, Gray Maynard, Matt Brown, Chris Lytle, on and on. Most of them are pretty decent guys. Honestly, the sport is young enough where a lot of them -- even some of the "names" -- are surprised at their own celebrity.
I love Rampage, but given his propensity to not train hard I worry that Glover will punch him in the face a lot.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:38 PM)
That's a valid worry. Real valid.
Dave (superior wi) [via mobile]
Chuck I'm heading to Vegas for work first visit is wsof a good enough card to take in or should is it weak and Vegas has something better to offer? Also I need a recommendation on a place to eat. Thanks
Chuck Mindenhall (4:40 PM)
Yeah, you should take in the WSOF card. Honestly, for the prices they are selling tickets at, I think it's a great deal. And there are a lot of good names on there (Arlovski, Miguel Torres, Cavalcante, Spong, et al). Check it out. As for food? There are so many great places, but if you like Thai, go to Lemongrass at the Aria.
The reason boxing cards are thin is because all boxing cards are the same: people punching each other. MMA offers a variety of styles. Just because some un-educated casual fan doesn't recognize the names on a card doesn't mean the card is thin.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:42 PM)
True, Bob. There are a lot of cards that MMA diehards will recognize as strong, though casual people will shrug their shoulders at. However, the cards have been weaker this year, because a lot of guys who maybe weren't UFC quality are getting shots based on the volume of cards.
If Chris Weidman beats Tim Boetsch (which he will), shouldn't be get the next title shot? I mean, at that point he's the obvious No. 1 contender!
Chuck Mindenhall (4:43 PM)
I personally think he has the merit to get a shot. But if they put Silva against GSP, he will have to stay busy and wait his turn.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:43 PM)
Hmm....Special Ed? Too Short? All those old school dudes.
Hey Chuck,When imbibing an adult beverage, what's your drink of choice?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:44 PM)
I do like the microbrews. Favorites are Odells (Colorado), Long Trail (Vermont) and Dogfish Head. But there are so many these days. Jimmy Miller brews his own, too. I hear it's good.
Hi Chuck, love the chat. Saw your piece on Fedor/Lesnar. Count me among the ones who was holding out hope it might happen, or that Fedor would maybe find his way to the UFC. Bummed that it looks like it's not going to happen.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:46 PM)
There was a part of me that thought that they might actually arrange that fight. I thought if one of the two guys went on record expressing interest, the other would perhaps come aboard. Small pang of regret that we'll never see it.
How do your see the Cain/Jr fight going? How do you see Overeem doing against the winner?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:48 PM)
It's the same situation. JDS's stand-up is far superior to Velasquez's. JDS's ability to keep the fight standing keeps things in his comfort zone. I still think JDS will work Velasquez on the feet, and that Cain will have trouble moving the fight to the ground. As for Overeem? Don't particularly like him to beat either guy.
Aaron (Calgary, AB)
What are the chances that Barao defends the interim title before Cruz returns?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:49 PM)
Thought they'd be pretty good, given how young Barao is, and how hungry he is for action. I thought for sure the UFC would book Michael McDonald against Barao for December or January, but they don't seem overly eager. I do think he fights before Cruz is ready, though.
Got the New Orleans Saints coming to town. Think the Broncos can outscore them?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:50 PM)
Yes, but I think it'll be like a video game with the scoring.
At what point does the UFC do away with TUF? I would love to see them do what HBO does with its 24/7 Hard Knocks but instead get top Olympians (Burroughs, Harrison, Malloy) and show how you build a UFC/MMA fighter.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:51 PM)
If this next season were to bomb, back on a weeknight with Sonnen/Jones as the coaches, I can't imagine they'd continue it in the form we see it now. They have been very defiant about this, though, so who knows.
Slash (Milton, MA)
I know Dana said women's mma will definitely make its way to the UFC, but what are the other marketable fights besides Rousey v. Cyborg, or Rousey v. Anyone for that matter?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:52 PM)
Exactly, Slash. The names aren't there. There are plenty who could challenge (McCann, Carmouche and others) but they haven't been built up enough. The UFC would have their work cut out for them if they bring in a women's division.
Does the fact that Quinton Jackson turned down the TUF coaching gig change your mind about Sonnen/Jones?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:55 PM)
Not really. I will say that it shows the UFC was trying to do it right the first way. How much sense would it have made to pit Jackson against Sonnen? That would have been great. Very clever. And people wouldn't be talking about the travesty of having Sonnen in there for an undeserved title shot.
When day and channel can we see the WSOF? Looking forward to see my guy Torres back in action.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:56 PM)
It's Nov. 3 from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, on NBC Sports Network.
Sheesh, how many fighters in the UFC actually have had to win 8 fights in a row to get a title shot? I don't know why everyone wants to hold Weidman to a higher standard that anyone else.
Hey, Bro! What's up with Matt Serra? We ever going to see him fight again, or has that ship sailed?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:57 PM)
He said back in March that, if he had to guess, he thought we'd see him again. But he doesn't seem to be in any hurry. I'd like to see him again, but for as entertaining as he is as a fighter, he's really a better coach.
Nickel Steak (Boston)
Hey bro, why doesn't Grantland run more pieces about MMA? Seems like a good fit.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:58 PM)
Good question. I know they have ran a couple of pieces, but guess it hasn't caught on. Dave Meltzer had a piece on Overeem run on Grantland, but now he's with MMA Fighting.
With Pettis on the shelf a little longer, will Cerrone wait that fight out? If not, who should he fight in the meantime?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:59 PM)
I think that Duke Roufus was saying that Pettis will be ready for Cerrone in January. If that's the case, Cerrone will wait. But he gets antsy, and he likes making that money. If it goes beyond January, no way he'll want to sit around and wait. Maybe they introduce Eddie Alvarez against Cerrone in that case.
Super-heavyweight Matt Serra
Chuck Mindenhall (5:00 PM)
Yeah, they might have to introduce a new division. The pastaweight.
Tyler (Mission Viejo)
Point blank: Will Chael Sonnen make it a competitive fight with Jon Jones?
Chuck Mindenhall (5:02 PM)
I would like to say yes, that he can get in there, dump Jones to his back and do his thing...but I can't see it. I think that Sonnen's strengths won't carry as much weight against Jones as they did against Silva. Jones should beat him pretty convincingly. And maybe with menace, given that he will have been tortured for six weeks coaching against Sonnen beforehand.
In fairness to womens MMA I think both Miesha Tate & Sara McMann could be be bigger than any male fighters at 125 . Have credentials and Tate has the media savy.
Chuck Mindenhall (5:03 PM)
There are some names. But good point about the 125-pound division (or even this speculative 115-pound division that White has flirted with): There's not a lot of depth there, either. If they can build the flyweights, they can build a women's division at 135 pounds. (And maybe 145 in time).
bisping vs belfort for the number 1 contender then i say you put Lombard or belcher if they win vs. Weidman if he gets by Tim bo for next contender. sound good?
Chuck Mindenhall (5:04 PM)
Never know with the UFC...but what would happen to Belfort/Bisping? Belfort getting a shot at Silva would do big business in Brazil. Bisping would be marketable. Let's face it: To make a superfight between GSP/Silva, the middleweights will have to sort things out for awhile among themselves.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Forget Brock/Fedor, bring on Brock vs Undertaker
Chuck Mindenhall (5:05 PM)
Now that's an idea...
Is it possible that Overeem will get a guy like Bigfoot Silva? I know that people are a little down on Silva, but I think he'd give Reem a run for his money.
Chuck Mindenhall (5:06 PM)
If Overeem wants to fight before his semi-promised title shot, hey, a guy like Bigfoot would be a fine tune-up. Not sure I agree that Silva would make it competitive, but I'd be interested.
Chuck Mindenhall (5:07 PM)
Alright guys, I have to bounce out of here. Thanks for stopping in for the Friday chat. Let's do it again next week. And as always, if I didn't respond in here to your question, hit me on Twitter, @ChuckMindenhall.
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