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August 18, 7:17 AM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Hello, MMA Nation! We are back for our weekly MMA Live chat here at espn.com. MMA Live hits the web later this afternoon. This week on the show, Rich Franklin joins us to talk UFC 88. We'll also talk about EliteXC and its future. And we've also got some interesting news on Tyson Griffin, and details on when the GSP-BJ Penn fight may actually do down. But for the next hour, your questions. Here goes...

Bobby (Boston)

Will Anderson Silva fight again before 2008 is done after he dispatches of Cote? Or will they save him for SuperBowl weekend despite his desire to fight all the time

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

How's Titletown treating you, Bobby? I think your forecast is a good one, for Anderson Silva to fight on Super Bowl weekend. We all know he wants to stay active, but unless he absolutely breezes by Cote, December would appear to be too soon for another fight.

Raul Marmolejo (San Diego, CA)

During the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, Dana White kicked Jesse Taylor off the finale due to his bad behavior giving MMA fighters a bad name. Why does Dana White view Rampage Jackson's acts different. Could it be because losing Jackson means losing money?

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

Raul, I think Rampage's situation is a bit different. I'm not trying to defend his actions, but we are still unsure of his overall mental stability. I, for one, don't like that there are already rumors about Jackson's next UFC fight when his legal situation remains so fluid. But I'm not sure there's much of a comparison to be drawn between Rampage's situation and Jesse Taylor's.

ERIC CATANAC: SANTA FE NM

I JUST WANTED YOUR GUYS OPPINIONS ON THE WAY UFC HAS BEEN PICKING THE BIG FIGHTS. PERSONALLY I DON'T THINK BJ DESERVES A CHANCE RIGHT AWAY AT GSP BECAUSE BJ'S PREVIOUS FIGHTS IN WELTERWEIGHT HAVE BEEN LOSES. AND ONE MORE THING. I ENJOY WATCHING MMALIVE ITS AWESOME KEEP IT UP

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

Thanks, Eric. Overall, I think the UFC does a good job of making the fights the masses want to see. But I am in your camp on BJ Penn. People are gonna think I'm a Kenny Florian homer no matter what I say, but I would like to see BJ stay at 155. The UFC's lightweight division is stacked...he should build his legacy further by cleaning it out.

rob (jersey)

Jon - good afternoon sir! What are your thoughts of KJ Noons (in essence) ducking Nick Diaz? If that fight can't happen couldn't you see Diaz/Alvarez (assuming Alvarez doesn't sign to fight HellBoy by the end of the year)?

Jon Anik
  (2:38 PM)

Hey Rob...I covered EliteXC's inaugural show, when KJ Noons got knocked out cold by Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett. Never did I think Noons would eventually end up as an EliteXC champion. Now that he is, I am appalled that he will not take the rematch with Nick Diaz. I may not be a huge Diaz fan, but he is the unquestioned #1 contender for the EliteXC lightweight title. Noons is under contract and he should accept the fight. I agree with almost everything Jared Shaw said. As for Alvarez, we've just got to take a wait-and-see approach there.

SHONEY -- MAINE

GIVE ME YOUR PREDICTION FOR THE FABER/BROWN MATCHUP.

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

Shoney, Mike Thomas Brown has been a tough out at 145. But...Urijah Faber ain't losing. Also think Faber is looking to finish, after going 25 minutes with Jens Pulver.

Leo (Boston MA)

Some site are saying Lesnar is fighting again at UFC 91, with the HW Championship being decided at UFC 92 is the UFC setting him up for a title shot?

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

I expect Lesnar to land on that UFC 91 card, presumably in Portland, Oregon. But even with a win there against, say, Cheick Kongo, I think Lesnar is still at least one more win away from a title shot. He's on the short list, but I don't know that he will get the first shot at the Mir-Nogueira winner.

John(Buffalo)

Do you think Rousmar Palhares is going to be one of the next big stars in the octagon?

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

He's certainly got a ton of momentum, John. And if he is able to get by Dan Henderson, his name and star power could blow up. That's a big if, but most are giving Palhares a legitimate chance against Henderson, who I still consider to be a Top 10-15 P4P guy.

Phillipe (Montreal)

Rumour has it that UFC is coming to Montreal again in December, how sick is that gonna be? also do you think you could hook me up with some tickets, it is impossible to get them

Jon Anik
  (2:46 PM)

It looks that way, Phillipe. And Montreal deserves another card. As for tickets, it's hard enough getting a media credential!

Lane (Kukuihaele< HI)

BJ's not the same fighter he was when he lost tose fights. He's more focused now. Beating Pulver, Stevenson, and Sherk should tell you something. Plus the PPV sales for the fight would be the huge. The public wants it. The fighters want it. Let's get it on.

Jon Anik
  (2:48 PM)

The BJ Penn fans have come out in droves today! Good stuff. And I know, Lane, that the masses want to see the fight. I just happen to think, overall, it would be better for BJ and the UFC for him to stay put. Doesn't mean I won't be all jacked up on fight night.

Scott (ocala, fl)

What do you think about a possible Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddel matchup?

Jon Anik
  (2:50 PM)

I think Chuck Liddell is a bit past his prime (Here come the 'you're a fool' e-mails). I just think Anderson Silva would be a handful for most light heavyweights right now, including 'The Iceman'.

Mike (Rochester, NY)

Last we heard from Tito Ortiz he said he had just signed a big deal with Affliction, only to have that news turn up false. Anything new on him?

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

Dann Stupp, from MMAjunkie.com and the Dayton Daily News reports Tito is amidst discussions with several promotions, including EliteXC, the AFL, and even the UFC. But...Affliction remains the frontrunner.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Good afternoon, Jon. Glad to be chatting with you again. There are rumors circling the web that Kenny Florians next opponent could be Joe "Daddy" Stevenson. Don't you think this is a risky fight for Kenny, and a no-win situation for either fighter? Stevenson has already lost to BJ once and Kenny has nothing to gain by beating him. I think this is horrible match making. What are your thoughts on this potential match up?

Jon Anik
  (2:56 PM)

Glad you're back with us, Joe. I wasn't enamored when the fight was announced, and, without speaking for him, I'm not sure that Kenny was either. I believe Kenny would have preferred to fight Frankie Edgar. There would've been more to gain in that fight, because Edgar beat Tyson Griffin. And anyone who doesn't think Kenny is the #1 LW contender probably thinks its Griffin. So that was the reason Kenny pined for the Edgar fight. But all of that said...Florian wants to stay busy and he wants to fight top guys. So even though Stevenson wasn't his top choice, he's still a borderline top 5 UFC lightweight, right?

mike (wichita, ks)

Is superbowl weekend such a good idea?

Jon Anik
  (2:58 PM)

I think the UFC could do huge numbers on Super Bowl weekend. Not a ton going on that Saturday night. We've got some interesting stuff on that potential card today on MMA Live, which I am told is already up for your viewing.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

What do you think about Antonio Silva testing positive for Boldenone? It's a recovery steroid, but doesn't this hurt EliteXC since their newly crowned champ is suspended for one year?

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

Potentially a huge blow for EliteXC. At least 20 questions into the queue already on Big Foot. I am being told his agent has denied the accusations, so we'll stay tuned. But the tough month for EliteXC continues.

Chris (Harrisonburg, VA)

Jon, with the latest news of Bigfoot Silva testing positive from the CSAC, do you see Elite XC stripping him of the belt?

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

I think EliteXC has so much going on right now that it will allow the dust to settle, and let Silva to try to prove his innocence first.

john (from the tito haters club)

breaking news: TITO still has a huge head

Jon Anik
  (3:01 PM)

He can still fight, though.

Mike (Wichita, Ks)

Whats up Jon. What is the latest news on the show making it to our tv sets?

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

Nothing is imminent, Mike. But as long as we continue to improve (which I think we are doing), I think the powers that be will notice, and hopefully act.

Bren (Texas)

BREAKING NEWS: The CSAC just announced Fedor Emelianenko tested positive for domination.

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

Hahahahaha.

Rich (Michigan)

True or False: play by play man and color commentator for UFC are none other than Jon Anik and Kenny Florian?

Jon Anik
  (3:03 PM)

We can all dream, right?

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

Who in the current Welterweight division poses the biggest challenge to GSP? Diego Sanchez, Thiago ALves, Mac Danzig, or Josh Koscheck?

Jon Anik
  (3:05 PM)

Well, Koscheck got his chance last year, so I'll say Diego Sanchez. He needs to not jsut win, but make a statement against Thiago Alves. And I think he will.

Mike (Rochester, NY)

Ozzy is expected to play at the next Affliction event. A step up over Megadeth?

Jon Anik
  (3:07 PM)

Dude...you can't go wrong with 'The Prince of Darkness'. I didn't know Megadeth was still playing.

Jason (Somewhere)

Tito can't still fight, are you crazy. Who has he beaten lately? His fights are full of split decision wins

Jon Anik
  (3:07 PM)

Go ask Lyoto Machida if Ortiz is cooked.

Ben (Columbus, OH)

John, do you find it odd that Elite XC still hasn't named Kimbo Slice's opposition for the next CBS card. Do you think it is because they know he is so beatable now and they are scared to put him in there with any talent at all?

Jon Anik
  (3:09 PM)

I sense your sarcasm. I think EliteXC is extremely reticent to put Kimbo Slice in the cage with someone who will beat him. And that is what is causing the delay. Otherwise, why not book Brett Rogers right now? Kimbo wants to take out Rogers, but EliteXC is probably fearful he won't be able to do it. Plenty more on MMA Live.

john ( jersey)

true or false in the next year or so affliction and elite xc will be out of business? i hope its false but think it might happen

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

I'll say False. I expect both to remain in business by this time next year. EliteXC may pare down some of its other commitments, but they'll be around. Now...if we're talking 2-3 years down the line, my answer might be different.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

While Stevenson is a top 5 UFC lightweight, I think the fight that makes the most sense right now is Kenny vs. Griffin. Edgar suffered a disappointing loss to Gray Maynard, and Griffin has been on a roll since losing to Edgar. I would've like to see Griffin vs. Florian for a title shot. Sherk vs. Stevenson to move up the ladder. I think I should give Joe Silva a call, what do you think?

Jon Anik
  (3:13 PM)

I agree with everything you say, Joe. But, unfortunately, timing remains a part of the equation. I know Kenny would welcome a fight with Griffin because he would have the most to gain in that fight. But he just doesn't want to take 6-8 months off.

john (NJ)

can tyson griffin beat sean sherk or is the muscle shark 2 strong for tyson?

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

I can't wait for the fight, John. I think Tyson Griffin will be favored.

Jon (Houston)

Jon, in the lightheavyweight division Chuck is fighting Rashad and we know Chuck will get another title shot if he wins, and many people are predicting a Rampage-Wandy fight, which will give either one of those two a title shot. So, when is Machida going to get a shot at the title (presuming he gets by Thiago Silva?

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

Some have inferred that Machida is being punished by the UFC for fighting in a non-crowd-pleasing manner. Not sure that is the case. But there must be some merit to it, because Machida, in my opinion, should be the #1 light heavyweight contender, especially if he beats a fellow unbeaten in Thiago Silva.

SHONEY -- MAINE

I THINK DIEGO THINKS HIS STANDUP IS MUCH BETTER THAN IT REALLY IS. AND WITH THAT BEING SAID WILL GET KO'D BY ALVES ID HE DECIDES TO STANDUP.

Jon Anik
  (3:17 PM)

I'll take your action.

Rashad Evans

If Tito didn't hold the fence - I would have lost.

Marc (Malden, MA)

When EliteXC goes under, the only important question is what happens to Gina Carrano.

Jon Anik
  (3:18 PM)

Hopefully she changes her last name to Anik at some point.

rickdawg(laredotx)

love da show jon quick who wins in a catchweight fight fedor or anderson?

Jon Anik
  (3:20 PM)

I gotta go with Fedor. He's just too big. I mean, what's the catch weight? Could Emelianenko even get down to, say 215? And how effective would he be? Lot of variables there.

john (NJ)

i dont see it that way.... Sean is gonna do exactly what franky did to tyson... I mean sherk has only lost to future hall of famers Hughes ,GSP, BJ Penn and dominated your boy ken flo as the fight gets closer maybe we can have a little wager

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

Sounds, good John. I'm sure a lot of MMA Nation agrees with you. I just go by what I see. And, even though I have been critical of Tyson Griffin's inability to finish, I think he's peaking.

Roger (Chi-Town)

DO YOU HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE USE ONLY CAPITALS WHEN ASKING A QUESTION?????

Jon Anik
  (3:24 PM)

It is a little off-putting, Roger. But we type a lot of our TV scripts in ALL CAPS, so I'm used to it.

SHONEY -- MAINE

WHEN THE HELL IS DANA GONNA SIGN FILHO? I'D LOVE TO SEE HIM AND SILVA FIGHT.

Jon Anik
  (3:26 PM)

We'll all be watching him fight on Sept. 10th for sure. And I think we'll see a lot more crossover between the UFC and WEC over the next 12-18 months.

Mike (Rochester, NY)

Do you think Arlovski is serious about a boxing match after his Barnett fight? He and Freddie Roach have said that is probably next, but if he wins I gotta think he turns his attention to training for Fedor.

Jon Anik
  (3:28 PM)

You're right, Mike. Arlovski was so, so impressive against Rothwell that he might have even surprised himself with the performance. I expect the boxing talk will be put on hold for a while now, as he focuses on Barnett. But I do expect Arlovski to make his pro boxing debut at some point next year.

Michael Phelps (Beijing)

Hey Jon, I need a new challenge, how would you like my chances at trying MMA?

Jon Anik
  (3:29 PM)

I'm a huge fan, Michael. But have you ever been in a fight? I'd stick to your day job.

john (CBS)

rumor has it that ken flo is opening his own gym? can u share more info with us

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

Yes, John. The Florian Martial Arts Center opens in Brookline, MA on September 2nd. Kenny, and his brother Keith Florian, are ecstatic. They'll be less ecstatic when I show up for boxing lessons with no skills!

ESPN.com (Bristol, CT)

Hey Anik, Enough MMA for one day...you have baseball highlights that need to be voiced!!

Jon Anik
  (3:33 PM)

Alright, guys. That is a wrap. Must go voice Royals-Indians highlight for ESPN.com. Please go watch MMA Live, available right now! Some interesting stuff at the end of the show from ESPN the Magazine's Ryan Hockensmith. Thanks for joining us today...we'll be sure to chat again next week. Peace. -JA