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 (1:00 PM)
Sorry for missing you guys last week. Good stuff to catch up on today. Machida at 185, illegal knee stuff, Chandler/Alvarez rematch and RAMPAGE VS. BELTRAN! Honestly, I'm intrigued. Mostly because of the high stakes. What if Rampage loses? I'm not saying Bellator would fold, but sleep will be lost leading up to that fight. I'd take a split screen shot of Bjorn Rebney during the entire fight please Spike TV, is that possible? I think we need that. Anyway, ask me anything as always.
Simon (Oakleigh )
How big a problem is it for the UFC that the majority of the HW division put on good fights, but not in the league of JDS / Cain? At the end of the PPV Dana and Joe Rogan seemed to be talking up Werdum but I remember him really struggling against JDS. So what is the solution?
Brett Okamoto (1:03 PM)
No solution, really. On one hand, having a dominant heavyweight champion in the UFC might be nice for business. We don't know for certain what effect it would have because it's never happened before. On the other, if Cain goes out and just dominates everyone and there's no drama, that can't be all that good. I'm willing to say that somebody in this heavyweight division will rise up and at least give Cain a challenge. I'm not willing to just crown him the heavyweight champ for the next 3 years just yet.
Should Aldo fight Pettis at LW or FW and who would have the advantage at each weight? Winner potentially becomes 2 div champ which doesnt (esp in Pettis case) to be in same league at BJ and Randy. Thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (1:05 PM)
If Aldo leaves featherweight, that division becomes far less intriguing, but from the UFC's standpoint ... I'd want him at lightweight. He's not getting a whole lot of attention as the featherweight champion anyway. His PPV's don't sell particularly well and he's not a huge draw in the US. A move to lightweight would probably help with that a little. I believe a permanent move by Aldo to 155 is inevitable and will happen by the end of next year.
paul [via mobile]
Would you prefer to see BJ vs Gil instead of this featherweight crap
Brett Okamoto (1:07 PM)
Actually no. I'm not a big fan of the B.J./Frankie fight as I've said here before, but BJ vs Gil? First of all, he doesn't deserve that opportunity from a rankings standpoint and second, why feed him to Gil after a long layoff? If I were going to have BJ fight anyone, it would be a lightweight coming off a loss, like Donald Cerrone. Nate Diaz. Jim Miller. Somebody like that. Even Ben Henderson.
How many wins in a row does JDS need before he can fight for the title again ( assuming all by KO)?
Brett Okamoto (1:07 PM)
And assuming Cain is still the champ? Four.
Realistically, how long does Cain hold on to the belt? Just from the looks of it, he'd probably manhandle Bones when he goes up to HW, no?
Brett Okamoto (1:09 PM)
Right now, yeah I'd take Cain over Bones. But Bones will definitely grow from the Gustafsson fight, he's that type of guy. I can tell. I mean, we all still forget this guy is probably at about 50-60% of his potential. So, give him another year at 205 and if he and Cain are both still champions, that will be the super fight.
chris ceres CA [via mobile]
Hey there brett. So JDS gets beat up again, and suddenly cain is the worlds greatest. I dont see a heavyweight currently on the roster that will test him. Anyone?
Brett Okamoto (1:10 PM)
Lots of heavyweight questions. Honestly, no. I said I believe someone will step up to that challenge, but I'm not sure who it will be. Cain is likely to be around a 6-to-1 favorite over Werdum is what one oddsmaker told me ... We'll have to see. I'm sticking with my prediction someone will give him a fight (not necessarily beat him), but I'm not sure who it will be.
paul [via mobile]
Why do people think Cain is better than Fedor? Fedors ability to fight out of tough spots is better than anything Cain does.
Brett Okamoto (1:12 PM)
I wouldn't really make that your argument ... fighting out of tough spots is great but I could counter, it's better to not put yourself in tough spots to begin with. You know? And Cain has overcome adversity, with the one exception being that one-punch knockout. If I were asked who is the greatest heavyweight of all time I would still say Fedor because of his body of work, but if Fedor and Cain were in their prime and fought? I'd probably have to side with Cain.
Tim (Fremantle )
What did you think of Hector Lombard and was he asked about the (ease) of the weight cut? Hope we get to see him in December . Who would you give him?
Brett Okamoto (1:15 PM)
Yeah, Lombard was kind of lost in the shuffle of a busy month but let's take a second to say, Wow. Hector. Slow clap. He looked phenomenal. He said the weight cut wasn't bad ... if you know Hector you know he's not going to say much, so even though he said that I really have no idea how the weight cut went. The important thing is he made the weight and looked terrific. Dream matchup? If he fought Robbie Lawler that would be outstanding. He could fight the winner of Lawler/MacDonald and I would be happy. Other than that ... Jake Shields?
With Anderson Silva unwilling to fight Jacare, Machida, and with him already having beaten Belfort, should we be hoping Weidman wins again to open up the division?
Brett Okamoto (1:16 PM)
Maybe. But if Anderson wins, I believe we'll see a super fight in 2014 involving him.
T. Browne, Stipe, and Overeem are all opponents that I think will give Cain a real test. Stipe has the striking/kicking to keep Cain off of him.
Brett Okamoto (1:18 PM)
You think? Stipe's striking looked good against Roy Nelson ... Nelson and Cain are two very different beasts. With respect to Stipe, I think Cain blows through him. I give Travis Browne a better chance and Overeem an even better chance, if he gets on TRT. Which, by the way, I am 100 percent not in favor of, just saying.
Marc T (Sherman Oaks)
Why do people constantly compare everyone to Fedor and other previous fighters? The sport has evolved, guys now are so much more well rounded. Pride guys were warriors but guys now are much more skilled, have game plans, etc.
Brett Okamoto (1:19 PM)
Good point. Completely different eras. The question of, "Who is the best of all time" though exists in every sport. Always will.
Is Machida the best counter striker in MMA? And if so, why do you think a fighter a counter striker style boxer like Mayweather who is precise and uses defensive tactics to win gets praise for his style of fighting and a person like Machida is a lot of time despised for that very style?
Brett Okamoto (1:21 PM)
I would say Mayweather is equally despised for his counter style as Machida is. The only time I've ever criticized Machida's style is when it cost him fights. I was in Detroit, watched him fight Rampage Jackson live, haven't rewatched that fight in a long time but my memory of it is that he totally, completely gave away the first two rounds. When he finally let his hands go in the third, he dominated Rampage. When you're so committed to your style you're willing to lose the fight to keep it, that's not good.
Why do so many people question GSP's chin? He was one KO loss going on 7 years ago and has withstood the KO power of guys like Condit, Diaz, Hardy and Alves since then.
Brett Okamoto (1:23 PM)
Diaz, Hardy and Alves never really hit him. They're all good strikers and it's easy to say, "GSP survived them," but they all had wrestling deficiencies and never got to use their striking. Condit hurt him badly but GSP did a great job recovering. I don't think people say Georges has a "glass chin," but is his chin as good as Johny Hendricks' in this next fight? No.
Nick (Ft. Myers)
What's next for Chael if he defeats Rashad? Move to middleweight?
Brett Okamoto (1:23 PM)
Chael is going to coach TUF Brazil opposite Wanderlei Silva, win or lose.
Brett, thanks for the chat as always...Can't say I'm overly excited about the Fight for the Troops. I guess the military connections of at least Kennedy and Carmouche might make for good theater, but no real implications. What are your expectations?
Brett Okamoto (1:24 PM)
Pretty weak card. The fight to watch is Rustam Khabilov vs. Jorge Masvidal. This is the kind of card where it would be awesome to be there live because of the military atmosphere, but watching these fights on TV? Not terribly exciting.
Harry Balzagna (Tarrytown, NY)
Brett, will we ever see Randy Couture inside the cage with Bellator? Give me one reason to stay here, or I'll turn right back around.
Brett Okamoto (1:25 PM)
Yes you'll see him. In the corner of his son, giving him advice between rounds.
Marc T (Sherman Oaks)
Can we quiet the talk of Machida should get a title shot please!! He won ONE fight. Let him earn it like everyone else, I think he should have 2 more before he gets it.
Brett Okamoto (1:26 PM)
I think he should have one. Vitor Belfort. And I'll just except the fact that fight would take place in the U.S.
Father Giuseppe (Henderson, NV)
Brett, my boy, give me the best case scenario for Bellator business wise in terms of who wins and how in Saturday's three big fights. Speak truth to us Brett. It shall set you free.
Brett Okamoto (1:28 PM)
All I speak is truth, Father! From a business standpoint, if I'm Bellator, I want a fight that rivals Chandler/Alvarez I. Has to be just as good and I want Eddie Alvarez to pull off a miracle win. Sets up the trilogy. I want Muhammed Lawal to knock Emanuel Newton out, on the feet. Not after taking him down. And I want Pat Curran to create space and stay away from long clinches against Daniel Straus, and finish him inside three rounds.
Jon Anik (No Text, No Drive)
Give me the name of one retired UFC fighter who you would still be interested in seeing fight should he come out of retirement?
Brett Okamoto (1:30 PM)
Good question ... first name that comes to mind is Brian Stann actually. Any of the truly older ones are just too old now. No wait, I got it. Easy, easy call. Brock Lesnar.
Jim Bob (the Counter)
Been taking a beating recently. Any football picks?
Brett Okamoto (1:32 PM)
I am not the man to ask this year. Taking a beating as well. Maybe Chargers +1 at Washington? I like Golden State -12.5 against the Lakers tonight.
Kenny Florian is a recently retired fighter that would be fun to see one more time.
Brett Okamoto (1:33 PM)
Maybe, but he's got injury issues. If we're just picking any retired fighter and saying we could magically make him healthy, that changes the question a bit. Florian would be up there. Hey I got a trick answer ... Nick Diaz.
The 169 card is suddenly a must-see already with only 3 fights, but have you heard any rumors of bouts that may be added?
Brett Okamoto (1:34 PM)
Nah, it's far enough away they wanted to announce the main event to drum up interest in ticket sales but beyond that, no real rush to fill up that specific card. There are others before it.
If GSP dominates Hendricks do you even consider ranking him #1 p$p?
Brett Okamoto (1:35 PM)
Yeah, you'd have to at least consider it for sure. If he puts on a clinic? Makes him look silly? Swinging and missing, then he takes him down, possibly submits him in a late round? He could be No. 1.
Nick (New York)
Prediction for the GSP Hendricks fight?
Brett Okamoto (1:36 PM)
Nick! You must be a first timer, welcome welcome. I've picked Hendricks to win by knockout and I think everyone in this chat thinks I'm going to be wrong. I think he finds him with the left sometime in the first or second round, gets the finish inside three rounds.
Jose R. (Orlando)
We all knew Tito wouldn't make it to the fight, didn't we? Any truth to the rumors of low sales and PPV buys for this Bellator card? I think it is an awesome card for free tv.
Brett Okamoto (1:38 PM)
Maybe I'm naive, but in no way do I subscribe to any conspiracy theory that Tito "did Bellator a favor" and took a dive to stop this from being on PPV. You lose the TIto/Rampage fight, and now have Rampage/Beltran? That's a loss. It is an awesome card for free TV, you are right on that. It's a big reason why the next three Bellator cards aren't so awesome ... they loaded this one.
Hi Brett. Where will the UFC women's division(s) be in five years. I think it's a fad, myself.
Brett Okamoto (1:40 PM)
Five years ... I would maybe agree with you just because I really don't see another star coming out like Ronda Rousey. I obviously think she's unique and there won't be another one like her for awhile ... but I can't really say it will be in any worse state than the UFC flyweight division. It's sad, but people aren't invested in the flyweights and we're over a year into them now. Demetrious Johnson doesn't talk much outside the cage but he's fun to watch inside, and people don't care. They probably care about the women more. So, I don't see any major steps forward for the UFC women's division in five years, but I don't really see any major steps forward for the 125 and 135 pound men's divisions either.
I think a dominate heavyweight would be awesome for the UFC. You can always make someone look like a contender with a video package. Look at what boxing does with all of the cans that Mayweather fights. People actually thought he may lose this last one.
Brett Okamoto (1:41 PM)
Video packages are magical, I agree 100 percent. And yes, the baddest man on the planet tag will be used in full force, plus Cain is Mexican-American, which should help the UFC with that demo. Still, you want to see a guy challenged. Nobody in the States cares about the Klitschko brothers ... but that can be equally blamed on the way they are marketed here. I agree, dominant heavyweight is a good thing for business.
How is it to meet the mister Dana White in persons?
Brett Okamoto (1:43 PM)
I guess the best thing I could say is that Dana has a passion for this sport that you truly do feel when you talk to him. He throws out some promoter bull from time to time as they all do, and he has to, but you forgive him for that as a reporter because he really does love this stuff. He ran over to press row at UFC 166 after the Sanchez/Melendez fight just because he was so excited about it. It's cool to cover a sport where the commissioner/president loves it that much.
Im not sure if you've watched the broadcast of the Machida card or saw it live? If you saw the broadcast you should re-watch the Anik and Rogan interview before the main even. It was pretty comical Anik seemed to struggle with when to look at the camera and when to look at Rogan.
Brett Okamoto (1:44 PM)
That is one astute observation Frank. I will have to revisit and see it.
If Anderson blasts Weidman and GSP dominates Hendricks and we begin 2014 with the usual 3 faces, what is your superfight of choice in 2014?
Brett Okamoto (1:45 PM)
Might as well go Anderson/GSP first, then Jones/Anderson if Anderson wins. Jones has some fun fights lined up in the meantime.
Nick (New York)
Do you see Sergio Pettis rising to the top quickly? Very exciting fighter like his brother.
Brett Okamoto (1:46 PM)
The potential is there for sure. He's talented and he has the name people will recognize. Have to win the fights though, and he's young. Even though people don't care about flyweight as much as they should, there are some tough guys there to get through. I don't have Sergio ranked Top 10 yet. He'll be making big steps up in competition.
Dude, no one cares about the Klitschkos because...did you see his last fight? That was the most egregious cheating I've ever seen in a fight that didn't include low blows or a body slam. That ref should be fired. It was embarrassing and unwatchable.
Brett Okamoto (1:46 PM)
I didn't see it. Heard about it. Wladimir hasn't done that his entire career though, and Vitali has had exciting fights. You can't blame the US's indifference to the brothers entirely on what he did in his last fight.
Rafael (Sao Paulo)
Give me a reason why it's ok that Machida won't fight Anderson? In Brazil, it is different. We fight our brothers at drop of hats. I fight you today Brett if you question my judgement on clothes and matters of finance. How come they not fight in those same terms? I respect only mens who fight. Not talk. Not friend. No friends in life. Just opponents.
Brett Okamoto (1:48 PM)
I don't think it's necessarily a cultural thing. It's an individual thing. Some guys in the US won't fight each other, others will. Some Canadians won't fight each other, others will. I don't think it's a Brazilian or American thing. Machida fought Munoz and they are friends. Something different about his relationship with Anderson. For the record, I would fight you if you questioned my judgment on clothes as well.
Given they're both in the same tier right now in their respective divisions, who's most likely to get another title shot, assuming current champs hold on to their belts: JDS or Henderson?
Brett Okamoto (1:50 PM)
You're talking Ben Henderson I'm assuming, not Dan? I'd probably go ... Ben? They have different things going for them. JDS will knock guys out, whereas Ben will decision them. JDS has a shallower weight class to navigate than Ben. But Ben hasn't fought Pettis three times. Probably Ben, but pretty close.
Someone please throw a life preserver to Bjorn. He says CHandler is best lightweight in the world. Um, no. He says Alvarez-Chandler is best fight in the history of MMA. No.
Brett Okamoto (1:51 PM)
That's that promoter bull I was talking about. Dana does it, Bjorn does it, Scott Coker kinda awkwardly did it, Bob Arum does it, Oscar De La Hoya does it, Don King ... that's all King knows how to do!
Tell me what it is like when you and Josh Gross and Franklin hang out? Who is the alpha dog? Who picks up the tab? Who can handle their liquor?
Brett Okamoto (1:53 PM)
Haha. Good question. You know, the three of us have only hung out ONCE. I've hung out with Franklin bunch of times, Josh bunch of times, but all three of us? Once in Bristol, CT. We went to Outback Steakhouse. I was the only one who drank a beer. We inevitably end up talking about fights, which is good times, but yeah. Outback Steakhouse. That's how we roll.
Alfresca (Longmont, CO)
Brett, in honor of 20th anniversary of UFC, give me the three WORST moments in the promotion's history. And don't dodge this question out of fear for your credential. We expect guts from you, Brett.
Brett Okamoto (1:56 PM)
The three worst moments in UFC history .... hmmm ... kind of a tough question off the top of my head ... I would have to say being banned in NY in 1997, John McCain labeling it "human cockfighting" (which he has taken back now with all the regulations) and Dana using inflammatory language in video posts years ago.
Outback Steakhouse (Bristol, CT)
On behalf of our restaurant to the three of you, yes, indeed, that was the lamest "hang out" session our restaurant has ever hosted. Although it was fun to see Franklin remove his top after he drank that lemonade.
Brett Okamoto (1:57 PM)
Now that you mention it, I'm 80% certain Franklin did drink lemonade that night.
Johnny Bravo (The Left Coast)
Will Fedor ever fight again for any organization? Can we assume he is set for life financially? How come he never took the sport seriously enough to lose his gut?
Brett Okamoto (1:58 PM)
Fedor strikes me as a guy who worked hard in the gym, learned different crafts, loved it ... but was simply not drawn to the weights, conditioning, nutritionist part of the sport. And he never really needed to lose the gut you could say, because he won so many fights with it and let's point out it wasn't really a Roy Nelson gut. It was a standard heavyweight gut, especially for his era. No, I don't believe he'll ever fight again. I hope he doesn't. His last few fights were sad to watch.
sean, Monrovia, ca [via mobile]
do u really think there is a chance machida and the spider actually fight? And if there is any way u have a little juice with dana, could u tell him to book jds vs shaub? I think everyone enjoys seeing shaub go to bed in the octagon
Brett Okamoto (2:00 PM)
I asked Machida last week on the phone, "Lyoto, I'm sure you'll get this question a lot, but you've been pretty clear to me that the goal is 100 percent to hold the title. Anderson might be holding it at the end of the year. What happens then?" He said, "Maybe Anderson will retire by then. I think he's close to retiring." So, make of that what you will. That's all he said. And as far as JDS/Schaub, why the Schaub hate? I like Schaub.
Bk ETown [via mobile]
Explain to me how Hendricks and Koscheck are different. A few years ago, people said Kos' big right and his wrestling would be the kryptonite to beat GSP. I just don't see much difference
Brett Okamoto (2:01 PM)
To keep it simple, I think there is a difference between Koscheck's right hand and Hendricks' left.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Dana....Personally, I think he's the luckiest man in pro sports....not particularly likable, and not particularly bright. But he took a risk and it worked, with someone else's money....old friends....
Brett Okamoto (2:02 PM)
I would disagree with you on the likable and bright part. Really, the truth is he's the perfect compliment to Lorenzo Fertitta. Their styles mesh well into one business front. He is lucky to have fallen into the opportunity he did, that is true, but the guy works extremely, extremely hard. So, he didn't waste his luck, which some people do.
Calamari (Bristol, CT)
Hi Brett. Why won't you live in CT to work at ESPN? I would like to hang out with you and be your spotter in muay thai. I will hold your pads if you hold the beat of my heart.
Brett Okamoto (2:03 PM)
Tempting. I will consider your offer.
Over and over and over people say the next guy is the one to defeat GSP. This is just be one more chance for him to prove he is not only the best WW of all time, but maybe the smartest figher ever. His planning is too good.
Brett Okamoto (2:04 PM)
.... I don't think (not positive, but halfway sure) I've picked against GSP since I started covering the sport in 2009. This will be the first time.
Do the Nuggets make the playoffs this year?? Do you see Aldo fighting Pettis at LW if/after they both defend against Lamas/Thompson next??
Brett Okamoto (2:06 PM)
Yes, the Nuggets make the playoffs this year but we'll see how they struggle early going from an up-tempo team to a half-court set. I love Ty Lawson, favorite NBA player at the moment. And no, I don't think we'll see Aldo/Pettis next. Pettis is a new champ and I think you can have Aldo fight Mendes again, even Cub Swanson.
Brock Lesnar. If he never had diverticulitis. Would he still be champ today after beating Cain. In a rematch. What say you?
Brett Okamoto (2:06 PM)
Nope. Cain was a terrible matchup for Brock. Brock might still be Top 10 ... He wouldn't be Top 5.
Brett Okamoto (2:07 PM)
That's somewhat tough to gauge though, because who's to say Brock wouldn't have eventually gotten used to getting hit? You know? If he had stayed healthy, how much would he have improved? Still, I'm sticking with maybe Top 10.
Say Chael beats Sugar. Then he goes and coaches TUFF Brazil. I mean Bones may not be the 205 lbs champ forever in fact maybe not very soon. If I was Chael I would quit asking for the lay ups and start campaigning for title contention @ 205 when Jones loses. This guy can not end his career and not be a UFC champ!
Brett Okamoto (2:08 PM)
Chael knows exactly what he's doing. High profile fight at 167 against a guy ranked Top 5 in the division. Then an even higher profile grudge match against a guy who isn't Top 10, but feels Top 10 because of how much everyone loves him. It might seem like he's not on a path back to the title ... he very much is.
Man, years later Brock is still a lightning rod. Would you agree that if he was someone that trained MMA from the beginning, he would be right up there with Cain?
Brett Okamoto (2:10 PM)
He was a phenomenal athlete, so you would have to lean yes. All those years of WWE I'm sure were an absolute nightmare on his body. A terrific wrestler with legitimate 265-pound strength will win fights in the UFC. No question there.
Where can we watch TUF Brazil with Chael and Wandy? That sounds like must see TV.
Brett Okamoto (2:10 PM)
Not sure if they've announced broadcast plans in the States. You should be able to watch it online though I would think at UFC.tv or The Ultimate Fighter has its own website, maybe you can see it there?
By the way, kudos on your "Cain grew after each JDS fight and JDS didn't" angle. I wholeheartedly agree. JDS impressed me with his heart in both losses, but the object is not to get beat up and show you can take it, the object is to figure out how to win. While I love Cain, I also love competition. JDS needs to round out his game.
Brett Okamoto (2:12 PM)
Yes, I was disappointed by JDS and his team. Amazing heart and physical gifts, but you have to be willing to adapt in all sports. He didn't change at all from fight to fight. Some say his wrestling improved and he landed a few elbows from the fence ... okay ... he was still fundamentally the same guy with the same game plan.
TRUE OR FALSE?: The UFC only reached it's absolute 2008-2010 apex because of Brock Lesnar's crossover appeal, meaning it wouldn't have happened without him. He headlined 4 of the top 9 cards in UFC history. The numbers back it up. Rub it on your gums, Brett.
Brett Okamoto (2:13 PM)
I like the enthusiasm. I'm not going to disagree, although I still think it hits that apex, mainstream appeal point around the same time frame, just wouldn't have pulled the same exact numbers on those events.
I would think more MMA fighters would try to mimic GSP's training regimen, he has been so consistent and dominant and it's obviously a big part of his success. Truly Great Mixed Martial artist.......
Who is next for Diego? I think tha if he would have continued to hit Melendez instead of going for the submission, he could have knocked him out. They were too slippery to go for a submission that late in the round. What are your thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (2:16 PM)
Dana said that too. Said it when he came over to press row immediately after the fight was over. I agreed and disagreed. You gotta remember, fighters are basically trained to react to certain situations, for example, guy shoots, you sprawl, clinch, separate, THROW THE KNEE. You know? Throwing the knee is like, automatic for them. So, when Diego followed Gil to the floor, I believe Gil sat up and reached for him to grapple and Diego's automatic reaction was to transition to a better position. You throw in the fact he had taken like, a billion right hands to the chin in that fight, he was sort of on autopilot, with probably no real thought to the time or situation in that exact moment. So, I don't really blame him for reacting the way he did. That's just my take.
Armindo (Waterbury, CT)
Would you recommend moving to greater Las Vegas for a young couple with children? I hear the market is great but, dude, you're in a desert. Talk about this or cease to exist.
Brett Okamoto (2:17 PM)
Random questions today and I'm loving it. Vegas is cool. Cost of living is dirt cheap. You are in a desert. There is no way around that. You can play golf all year round and get a sweet tan, but the scenery is gravel. I've heard school systems are pretty bad. Don't have kids so can't say from experience.
Your CD Player (Nevada)
Which five bands are you going to give me the most in the next week?
Brett Okamoto (2:18 PM)
Who listens to CDs?
I can't remember if I have asked you this or not but how many times has GSP been hurt in a fight besides Condit and Serra? Didn't Kos land some good leather in the first fight?
Brett Okamoto (2:20 PM)
I don't think GSP was ever "hurt" in that fight. I think his face was even bad after the Nick Diaz fight, but he wasn't hurt in that one either. Only times I really remember GSP hurt was Condit and Serra. Even when he fought BJ the first time, I don't think BJ ever had him in big trouble ... although I haven't watched that fight in a loooong time. I might be forgetting it.
Andy [via mobile]
You make predictions for this weekend? Good bets?
Brett Okamoto (2:21 PM)
Nothing really pops out. If I were going to bet on the Alvarez/Chandler, I'd probably take Alvarez at +200 but ultimately I'd say stay away from that one. I'd probably take Rustam Khabilov at -170 and Michael Chiesa -150 on Nov. 6.
Would machida be favored against weidman? Who would you take in that fight?
Brett Okamoto (2:22 PM)
Now that is a good question ... who would be favored in a Machida/Weidman fight RIGHT NOW ... Wow. I'm not entirely sure. I actually think oddsmakers would be tempted to go Machida -110 or so. That's a tough one.
Nate (Woburn, MA)
Ninja, who you got tonight: Sox or Cardinals?
Brett Okamoto (2:23 PM)
I honestly haven't been paying real close attention to the series, but if I had to pick a winner tonight, I'd have to go Sox.
1. I listen to CDs, though I gave up my cassette collection a while back.2. Loving the Brock questions. He and Fedor are the most polarizing HWs ever, in my opinion.3. Who is the best athlete in the UFC? Like, so good he/she might make it in a completely different pro sport? (I don't really follow the other promotions closely, or I would have asked about all of MMA.)
Brett Okamoto (2:26 PM)
Keep fighting the good fight on CDs. The absolute best athlete in the UFC ... Melvin Guillard is an incredible athlete. Jose Aldo. Jon Jones. Demetrious Johnson. JDS. You could go for days. My pick today, would probably change tomorrow, Aldo.
Marcucci (New Jersey)
Why do the Shamrock's assume people care about their weird brotherhood and the fact they want to fight each other? If Ken Shamrock would have disappeared and literally fallen off the side of the earth in like 2006 we would have fond memories of him as a "legend." But instead he'll fight a cab driver at the Texas state fair if you buy him dinner. He's a joke to this jokeful sport.
Brett Okamoto (2:28 PM)
Tell us how you really feel! There are truths to some of the things you said, you also have to remember though Shamrock kinda missed out on a lottery ticket. His time came before the time where fighting (and more importantly, being a polarizing figure in fighting) equaled huge paychecks. I'd be slightly bitter about that, too.
By the way, very entertaining questions today: "Talk about this or cease to exist." "Rub that on your gums." Good stuff.
Brett Okamoto (2:29 PM)
True. The Gross, Franklin hangout question was also great. Keep them coming.
paul [via mobile]
Remember when Brock took cain down? Do you think cain would have been able to get back to his feet against a pre sick brock
Brett Okamoto (2:29 PM)
Stat Boy (Around The Horn)
Sorry to correct you Brett but James Toney entering an Octagon was actually one of the three worst moments in UFC history. What. A. Joke.
Brett Okamoto (2:31 PM)
I'll never forget it. John Morgan of MMAjunkie.com was sitting next to me on press row, Toney was walking out, and he was like, "Dude, I'm actually kind of excited about this." I told him, "I'm happy for you John. I'm not. This will be terrible." He knew what was about to happen but he got caught up in the magic of those video packages we mentioned earlier.
DC (Fox, LA)
Ben Askren went out and dominated the 2 time NCAA champion last weekend in an actual wrestling match. Tell me who could withstand his wrestling and just dominating guys on the ground? I am not saying he would be P4P best or anything but there can't be a guy in the world that would want to get in a cage with him by choice. It might be the one guy GSP couldn't have an advantage with on the ground.
Brett Okamoto (2:33 PM)
I see this point being made all over the place and I'm sorry, I just don't agree. Obviously, Ben Askren is a world class wrestler, but what are we really talking about here? I hear all the time how well he'd do against the elite welterweights ... maybe? But why are we talking about it so much? Phil Davis was an amazing collegiate wrestler. Amazing. Rashad Evans whopped him for five rounds because he hadn't built it into his game seamlessly yet. Askren hasn't either. That's not entirely a fair comparison because Askren is probably better than Phil on the ground, but you can't compare him to Daniel Cormier either because Cormier is dangerous on his feet too. Askren is not. I think people are getting a little too carried away with how good Aksren is.
Brolaxa (Wolcott, CT)
How would Michael Chandler do in the UFC's division? I say not even top 8. So many special people change. Where were you while we were getting high?
Brett Okamoto (2:35 PM)
Now we're just throwing things at the wall and hoping they stick. I disagree with your Chandler opinion though. Chandler is for real. Great wrestler, solid gas tank, technical striker and he's embraced submission grappling. He's full package and starting to hit his peak. He's definitely Top 5 lightweight.
Dumb question (Randomville)
Calvin Johnson + 3 months of intense MMA training vs. Matt Mitrione in a 3-round HW match. Who ya got?
Brett Okamoto (2:36 PM)
Three months??? Mitrione.
Love the chat today! For me one of the worst moments in UFC history didn't even happen. The canceling of the pay per view last year.
Brett Okamoto (2:37 PM)
Yeah, some other chatters wrote that in as well. Not a huge deal to me, honestly. Happens in boxing, because those cards are built completely around one fight. You reschedule it and move on. The undercard guys were put on other cards. Dan Henderson definitely missed out and that sucks but I wouldn't put it in Top 3 worst moments.
Why did bellator cancel the PPV after Tito got hurt? Would the numbers have changed that much? That was the worst fight on the card. The Tito/Rampage fight was for casual fans, do casual fans watch or even know what ballator is?
Brett Okamoto (2:38 PM)
Casual fans know Tito and they know Rampage. They don't know Alvarez/Chandler. You can't retain the PPV name of Rampage vs. Tito with no Tito. They had to cancel. It was basically their only option.
Brett Okamoto (2:38 PM)
And yes, the numbers would have changed significantly. A PPV headlined by Alvarez/Chandler II would have sunk.
Full card picks for the Fight for the Troops? Not yet?
Brett Okamoto (2:40 PM)
Anything for you Bob ... Kennedy, Carmouche, Markes, Khabilov, Chiesa, Krause, Roop, Bermudez (like that fight against Steve Siler by the way), de Randamie, Larkin, Edwards, Baczynski, Brunson.
My brother-in-law is in grad school and never EVER watches MMA and he was bummed that the Rampage/Tito fight was off and was planning on ordering it. Casual fans matter.
Brett Okamoto (2:41 PM)
Exactly. Average Joe cares more about Tito/Rampage than probably Cruz/Barao, as criminal as that sounds.
Brett Okamoto (2:42 PM)
Alright, good times. Loved the questions today. We should do this again some time. Next Wednesday, same time same place. Hit me on Twitter too, @bokamotoESPN. Til then, take care of yourselves and each other.