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 up guys? Coming to you from the baked desert of Las Vegas, on hand for UFC 162. This is a pretty damn good card. Lots to discuss. Is this going to be the weekend MMA's best P4P fighter gets taken down? The buzz here in Vegas is split down the middle. Some people are emphatically sticking with Silva, others are...not so sure. Let's get rolling.
If Weidman wins, is he the best pound-for-pound in MMA?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:02 PM)
You know, I've heard a few people debating this very thing. But, no, that's no the case. He doesn't leapfrog Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre (or even Jose Aldo). If he beats Silva, and does it emphatically, he definitely jumps into the top 10. But it could be that he just has Silva's number, and then the next guy comes along and has his.
any chance anderson silva fights roy jones??
Chuck Mindenhall (4:04 PM)
I heard Dana talking about that in the scrum, saying that Jones would be on hand at MGM Grand tomorrow night, and that they'll talk. But what about? Silva just signed a big contract. If that includes Jones trying his hand in the Octagon (which makes no sense), then fine. But allowing Silva to box, when as a promotion you're revving the "superfight" engine? No.
what is your take on the Anderson-Roy Jones situation? I feel it would only be compelling if it happens in a boxing ring and the UFC won't let that happen.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:05 PM)
I guess that we're talking about it means there's some kind of curiosity here. I agree that it only becomes intriguing if Silva fought Jones in the boxing ring. In MMA? Jones wouldn't last a minute.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:07 PM)
Heard a few media members saying that they thought he looked a little spooked at the presser. I don't know; I haven't noticed him shrinking in the moment. He wouldn't be human if there weren't jitters heading into this type of fight. And I am sure when he sees Silva roll in with his entourage, and all the Brazilians start chanting, it's a little bit like "so here I am. The time draws nigh."
Swanson vs Siver has FOTN written all over it. What a great fight to kick off the PPV. I got Swanson by TKO in the 2nd, you?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:08 PM)
That is going to be a great scrap, my man. I look forward to this one. Edgar/Oliveira could end up being something. The main event should be competitive. Lots of good action on this card. As for how Swanson/Siver comes out, I picked Siver...looks like I'm the only one. It's lonely on this small island.
The Anderson-GSP talks seemed to have died down. is it fair to put the blame on GSP for this one? if so is there a possibility that Dana would blast GSP for not fighting like he did with Jon Jones?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:10 PM)
The talks have sort of died down a bit, for several reasons. One, I think people really began to think Silva would beat him handily because of the size difference. Two, GSP balked at the idea, didn't really show any enthusiasm for it, and that was contagious. And three, it's complicated to get a free space when both GSP and Silva are available, and no No. 1 contenders are getting jobbed.
WHERE IS TODD DUFFEE?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:11 PM)
I believe he was injured, but at this point it's been half a year since that mean thing he did to Phil De Fries. I'd definitely like to see more of him. If he's at the Expo that's going on here in Vegas, I'll ask him and see.
How come we have not seen Todd Duffee lately?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:12 PM)
Lot of Duffee love in here right now. I will say it's tough for him to hide. I'd like to see him and Mitrione go at it (though Mitrione is locked up with Schaub, I think).
If Vitor can't get his shot with Silva, who do you think the UFC will put him against?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:13 PM)
Hard to say, but I know Gegard Mousasi is going hard to the paint trying to get that fight. That's a good fight, in my mind, even if it's one in which Mousasi has everything to gain in (and Belfort has everything to lose).
Chuck Mindenhall (4:14 PM)
It's funny with the Vitor situation. Dana said a long time ago that Belfort would have to win some fights and climb back up the rungs to get to Silva. So he has done that. Now Dana says it's a tough sell for Silva, which means the rematch could, essentially, never happen.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:15 PM)
(And Vitor got caught...he wasn't beaten down for five rounds. He got caught in the most spectacular fashion possible, but he got caught).
Davis (Boston )
Except for Ariel Helwani, how do the other MMA journalist feel about Steven Seagal? I feel he is taking credit for the fighters work to pump up his own ego.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:16 PM)
And even with Helwani, I feel like it's the old wink-wink nudge-nudge thing going on. I personally don't think about him too much. I interview him a couple of times, and mostly what he's saying comes off as breathy esoterica about the secrets he has.
Chuck, my man! For nearly a year I have been saying that Chris Weidman would beat Anderson Silva but as the fight gets closer I am beginning to doubt that will happen. Either way I am extremely excited for Saturday night
Chuck Mindenhall (4:18 PM)
I picked Weidman. But as the fight gets closer, there is a part of me that says "how ridiculous of you! Asinine! Dumb! It's Anderson freaking Silva!" But my cooler head still thinks that, if the long layoff doesn't effect him, and he can establish his wrestling and timing, Weidman will be a tough, tough out for Silva.
Prediction for fight of the night tomorrow __________________.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:19 PM)
I would lean towards Siver/Swanson, only because Cub Swanson is one of those guys that no matter who he's booked against it's like "wow, that's going to be a fantastic scrap." Siver has been more than obliging over his career for that type of fight. My guess: They'll put a match to the barn.
What do you think of Stephan Bonnar being inducted into UFC Hall of Fame?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:21 PM)
I think it was Mike Chiappetta's column that said something about it being more like a lifetime achievement award. That's my feeling. The UFC HOF is more about contributions to the growth of the company, rather than accomplishments in the cage. It's pageantry. So, knowing this, eh, don't care. At some point, would like to see a real HOF established, because Shamrock and Miletich and others belong in it.
Yo Chuck! Glad you're chatting. How stoked are you for Diego and Gil Melendez? That should be a great fight!
Chuck Mindenhall (4:22 PM)
Really interesting fight. How will Diego look after the layoff? How does Melendez respond from the loss to Henderson? Pretty good collision there. Early nod goes to Melendez, but Sanchez presents interesting challenges.
I am a huge MMA fan , and i wonder if I am the only one who does not want to see a superfight between Silva-St. Pierre - id rather keep on seeing someone try their luck at dethroning them and they are so different in body types. Jones-Silva on the other hand...
Chuck Mindenhall (4:24 PM)
I think this is the basic attitude towards the superfights right now. GSP-Silva isn't doing it for imaginative fans; but Silva/Jones, that becomes something else. That's the one I'd like to see. But I am with you, too, on the traditional mold. Have contenders come up through the weight classes and try to beat the guy at the top.
Gilbert Melendez is going to paint the Octagon canvas with Diego's blood. It will not be a pretty sight.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:25 PM)
Could happen. Remember when BJ Penn did that to Sanchez? Memphis has never been the same. So macabre. So bloody. I watched it with Dan Hardy, and I remember Dan Hardy saying "that gash is so big in Sanchez's head, I can see his thoughts!"
To your point of Jones not lasting a minute in the cage with Silva: agreed. But even an ancient, faded RJJ would knock Silva senseless in a boxing ring.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:26 PM)
To me, that's what makes a boxing match between them very interesting. An old Roy Jones Jr., and a non-traditional boxer in Silva...what happens? Just can't see them putting that together.
Brad (Long Beach)
Once Anderson Silva dresses Chris Weidman down, can we stop deluding ourselves that he has a parallel in the P4P discussion?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:28 PM)
I assume you mean that some people regard Jon Jones as the best P4P? Jones is up there. I still like Silva, because he's 16-0 in the UFC and padding the record books and still knocking guys senseless. Should he do that to Weidman, it's just one more reason to keep him at the top.
Erik (Austin, TX)
Happy Friday Chuck! I haven't heard a lot of talk about the Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig fight. That one has FON written all over it! Who do you like?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:29 PM)
It's been discussed here in Vegas a little bit. Leben is that old warhorse at this point. You know he wasn't pleased with his last performance, and he's been trying to turn corners in his life. Lots of question marks. But, knowing Craig likes a scrap, here's guessing you might be right. This could be classic Leben (getting tagged, getting hurt, them staggering forward throwing bombs until somebody drops).
Is Iguodala coming back to Denver or not? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:30 PM)
Sam, you sure are curious about the Nuggets from all the way out there in Orlando. You from Denver originally? I only know that Iggy was in Denver practicing with the team, and that the Nugz want him. Sacramento had a deal on the table, then took it off. My guess is he ends up in Denver, but why it's taken so long....who knows.
Sounds like Dana still wants a superfight. You think it happens in 2013?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:32 PM)
But I see that you have an MMA question in here, too. I do not see it happening in 2013. Regardless of Silva, GSP has a fight in November. Jones has a fight coming up later too. No way either will turn around and fight Silva quickly.
Ser Arthur Dayne (Sword of the Morning)
Who is next for Dan Henderson?Would he fight someone like Thiago Silva,Mousasi or even Belfort at 205?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:33 PM)
Everybody keeps asking Rashad Evans about a move to 185 pounds, but he won the fight with Henderson. As for Hendo, that's where he should go. If he still has title aspirations, that's the best (and last good) route. If he doesn't move down, Mousasi at 205 would be great, and I'd never criticize Joe Silva for a Hendo/Belfort rematch.
Iguodala just signed with Golden State
Chuck Mindenhall (4:34 PM)
Davage (fullerton CA)
Would you say Cain Velasquez is staying up at the top of the HW division for a few years if he dominates JDS again? What song does weidman come out to tomorrow?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:36 PM)
Yeah, if Velasquez beats JDS again, that rivalry is done for a bit. And then it becomes: Who can beat him? Cormier won't fight him. Overeem, don't see it. Nelson, Miocic, Mir, Barnett, Browne...none seem like imminent threats. The only one that might cause some trouble is Werdum.
What do you think of Mark Munoz having to cut all that weight? He have any shot against Tim Boetsch?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:37 PM)
I like Munoz in this fight. For some reason, and it's admittedly unfounded, I keep thinking Boetsch has overachieved at 185. Irrational, but Munoz, healthy, coming off that embarrassing loss to Weidman...I just think he'll work Boetsch and get the win.
James [via mobile]
I don't think Hendo can handle 185 anymore. Didn't he gas really badly in the Shields fight?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:39 PM)
He did gas in that fight. He also had knocked him around violently in the first round, knocking him down a couple of times. It was more of an adrenaline dump trying to finish him. I think he can make 185 and hold up, but he'd have to work at it at his age. I remember he said he didn't feel right with the Anderson Silva weight cut at UFC 82, too.
for the 20th anniversary of the UFC don't you think it would be a good idea to go to the place where it started from, Denver?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:40 PM)
Yes, I do. But I think the UFC looks at it like, Vegas is our hub, do it in Vegas. Denver did get UFC 150, which I guess was...something.
Davage (Fullerton CA)
Come on Chuck just say it! MMA live is not coming back. Whats up with ESPN not giving mma its due respect? They can air some lame sports science crap but not mma?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:40 PM)
Wish I could tell you otherwise, Davage...but it's on hiatus for now. Haven't heard any updates on it, so nothing new to report there.
Dan (New York)
Who is going to take the win in the Barnett/Mir fight? Also is august a good month for free UFC and MMA in general?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:42 PM)
August looks ridiculous. So many good fights. I really like Grant/Henderson. As for Mir/Barnett, compelling because they both have these ground games, and they both swing like biker huns on the feet. I think Barnett will make good on his return to the UFC.
Elrik Dharkstormm (The Ram/New York)
Any news on when Rampage is going to fight in Bellator and whats going on with Rumble in WSOF not haveing a fight lined up?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:42 PM)
Haven't heard anything new on either front.
Wouldn't Weidman be a great gauge on how Silva would fare against Jon Jones? I mean if he can't take Weidman out, he probably has no shot against Jones.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:44 PM)
True. If Silva can't take Weidman out, the whole superfight talk comes to an abrupt end, anyway. We'll be talking about Silva/Weidman II. I liked when I asked Weidman about being a monkey wrench in superfight scenarios, and he said "I look at it like I'm updating what we consider a superfight...just giving it a new twist."
Mike chiappetta had a interesting solution with the bonus money where you take half the bonus money and split among fighters and you have the other half and split among the fighters who finish there fights. i love that idea what are your thoughts?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:46 PM)
That's an interesting idea. The incentive has to be there for fighters to want to leave it all in the cage and swing for the fences. Many fighters care less about winning than they do putting on a good show. Many are motivated strictly by those bonuses. If they tinker with them, a redistribution might be the best thing to keep the fights exciting (and keep guys working for finishes).
Mr. Mindenhall, late to the chat, but kudos for picking of Weidman, I was wondering if you were gonna stick with him.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:47 PM)
When they asked for our picks, I sat there for a few good minutes looking at Weidman's name as the winner...and I thought, "push send, you crazy fool." So I did.
Elrik Dharkstormm (The Ram/ New York)
And yes that is my real name.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:47 PM)
For MMA to be a more recognized sport shouldn't we have a MMA hall of fame with inductees like fedor? Also shouldn't the UFC let the writers vote to see who gets n the HOF?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:50 PM)
An MMA Hall of Fame is the only truly creditable form it can be. Can't restrict it to UFC fighters. Though...it's true that future HOFers will most likely come from UFC, if they have the better competition.
Erik (Austin, TX)
Who would like to see take on my man-crush, Edson Barboza, after he wipes out Rafaello Oliveira tomorrow night?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:52 PM)
I had hoped for Donald Cerrone. But, with Donald fighting Dos Anjos, maybe they throw him in there with Nurmagomedov.
Sonnen won 5 out of 7 rounds with Silva. Jones dominated Sonnen. Jones beats Silva in the superfight!
Chuck Mindenhall (4:53 PM)
If only that deductive logic was fool proof in these fights, but I know what you mean. We have to get our cues from history.
Dan ( New York)
Just something about said about Belfort getting caught against Silva.The same thing happened to Cain and he got his rematch pretty quick after.Belfort has fought like what 4 or5 times since the Silva fight.So why would it be a hard sell ?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:55 PM)
That fight would sell in general. I think Dana meant selling it to Silva. To me, it doesn't hold that much water. If Vitor is next, Vitor is next. As for Cain/JDS, one of the reasons for the playback there was the dearth of contenders at heavyweight. Plus, belts had changed hands. But on whole, agree with you.
Davis (Boston )
Have you ever heard of possibly the newest member of the MMA beat Mr. NewYorkRic?
Chuck Mindenhall (4:55 PM)
He ain't ready for the big show, but I know he fancies himself the next Tony Reali.
Vitor appears to be getting screwed if he has to face Gegard. He has emphatically KO'd TWO top 10 guys in Rockhold and Bisping and faces a guy who last fought Ilir Latifi.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:56 PM)
Well, when you say it like THAT....
Where would you rank Chris Wiedman's MMA grappling skills among the elite guys - GSP, Sonnen, Jones, Rashad, Werdum, Mir, Anderson...The clinic he put on Maia was something i've never seen done to a guy at that level. I think if Wiedman was in shape he would have very likely finished one of those submissions.
Chuck Mindenhall (4:57 PM)
He's right up there. Yeah, it's crazy that he had cut 30 pounds in a few days and still beat Maia. That's not an easy task.
Dan (New York)
Thank you for the answers.Love the chats
Chuck Mindenhall (4:58 PM)
Thanks Dan. And I'd better close her down here. Need to hit the Expo for a bit. If I didn't get to your question, feel free to hit me on Twitter. @ChuckMindenhall. Until next week, enjoy the fights.