We are back for another MMA Live chat! We take your questions for the next hour, and then stay here for Episode #19 of MMA Live. Before we start the chat today, I just wanted to say how thrilled I was to hear the great news earlier today that welterweight boxer Oscar Diaz, two months after slipping into a coma, is now alert and breathing on his own. Diaz underwent emergency brain surgery to reduce swelling after his fight on ESPN2 back in July. Alright, let's get it started.
2 questions, answer whichever you like. Dana White as set up a Heavyweight Tournament with Lesnar, Couture, Mir, and Nogueira. Set up a 4-man light heavyweight tournament for us. Griffin and Evans obviously, who are the other 2? Also, make a prediction for the date and opponent of the next Tito Ortiz fight. Thanks! Love the show and Ken-Flo deserves a shot!
Bradley, I do expect Tito Ortiz to be on Affliction's re-scheduled PPV card, presumably in January. But I don't expect he will fight Fedor Emelianenko. I think Babalu is the most likely opponent. And, if the UFC were, hypothetically, to set up a 4-man light heavyweight tourney, my final two would be Rampage and Lyoto Machida.
With Clay Guida's impressive victory last night, what do you think the future holds for him? A possible rematch with Roger Huerta, perhaps?
Could be, Jason. It'll be interesting to see how the UFC handles Huerta, given that his contract will shortly expire. Had to be Guida's best showing in the Octagon. I was surprised, frankly, he didn't win 30-27 on all 3 judges' cards.
What are you hearing about the rumored fight between Koscheck and Yoshida at the UFC Fight Night at Fort Bragg? I think that this would be the perfect card for Brian Stann's UFC debut.
Hi Charlie. I'm probably hearing what you are, that Yoshida-Koscheck is being bantered about for that Fort Bragg card on December 10th. Count me among the fired up for that one!
Hi Jon! Great job with the show, it gives me a break from work every Thurs. On the subject of Rich Franklin, how likely is a re-match with Machida? And if A. Silva somehow loses the title, do you think Franklin would move back down to 185?
Thanks, Darek. We appreciate you chatting with us again. Trying to figure out Franklin's next opponent is giving me fits. He's in a really tough spot. I think a rematch with Machida is a possibility, as is a fight with Chuck Liddell. As for a move back to 185, Silva ain't losing that wrap.
Hey, nice to talk with you as always Jon. I'll try and bring better questions that usual. What are your thoughts on the Rampage/Silva fight? Do you believe Rampage is getting thrown into the ring too quickly or do you believe he should have gotten an immediate rematch with Forrest?
Greetings, Joe. I am on the record as saying Rampage deserved an immediate rematch with Forrest. Of course, his legal issues got in the way of a lot of things. I like Rampage to get by Silva. His boxing is much-improved, and I like his chin. The cage as opposed to the ring could also benefit Jackson.
hey whats up jon mma thursday chat is finally here..... So what's your thoughts on golden boy joining forces with affliction I think it's either gonna be a hit or a big time miss....
I am excited about the partnership, as you might expect. I am sure Golden Boy got a pretty good deal, especially given that Affliction was forced to postpone its Oct. 11th card. It'll be interesting to see how the boxing purists and the boxing media react. But I think it could result in some pretty exciting PPVs in 2009. And, it at least means Affliction will be around for a little while, and competition for the UFC is important.
Great news about Oscar Diaz - Shinya Aoki secured Todd Moore for DREAM 6 - why couldn't a Aoki/Alvarez fight be worked out - and buy/sell seeing another "aoki-plata" soon?
Rob, last I read Alvarez was still taking some time off.
Jon, you ALWAYS skip this question when I ask it: How do you think a 1995 version of Royce Gracie would do in today's MMA?
Royce Gracie would be just fine, if not quite the dominant guy he was in his prime. Royce would evolve with the sport, and probably morph into a great striker, too.
Jon, If Michael"Count"Bisping knocks out Chris"Crippler"Leben in England? Do you think that makes Michael Bisping the #1 contender to face Anderson"Spider"Silva?
He would certainly have to be near the top of the list. But I think you bring up the best point: He needs a knockout, or a stoppage of some kind. Style points matter. Just ask Rashad Evans...and Lyoto Machida, for that matter.
Jon, love you as a host man but everytime you say Travis Wiuff as "Vi-You" makes me cringe. I figured Kenny or somebody would have threw you a bone and helped you out so since they haven't, I will its pronounced Travis "View" lol maybe I just saved you a couple hundred emails of the kind. Love the show man.
Thanks, Josh. One of the toughest things about my job is pronunciations. At ESPN, we have pronunciation guides for almost every sport, but not MMA. And, in fact, I cross-check all of my pronunciations with Florian before the show. But I will take your word for it on Wiuff. Thanks. Keep the feedback coming.
Jon, I have so much respect for your staff and their knowledge. But I wanted to ask about KenFlo. You guys appear to be good friends on the air. Do you guys ever hang out after work or does he "Big-Time" you once the director says..."Cut!"
Haha...Kenny and I have gotten pretty close over the last 6 months or so. I'd say we communicate (text, etc.) more than we hang out. But hopefully we'll throw a few back in Vegas come November, as long as he gets by Joe Stevenson.
What are you thoughts on the UFC not officially recognizing the loss of Evan Tanner last night? It took the mention by Red for Goldberg to comment. I think its disgraceful.
I did notice that, Baumer. And I was as surprised as you were that there wasn't some sort of tribute.
Love the show. Do you guys think you can get this thing on the air by early '09 or is that too soon?
Our token, 'When is MMA Live getting on TV?' question for the week. Thanks, Nikita. As for early 2009, all I can really say is that I hope so. I'm honestly just trying to get better, and be patient.
Actually, at the beginning of the Broadcast, there was a graphic that said "In memory of Evan Tanner" with Tanner's picture.
Yeah, I think a lot of fans were hoping for a more elaborate tribute.
Any word about Shogun's return yet? How do you think a healthy Shogun matches up with Machida?
Shogun told tatame.com last month that he had verbally agreed to fight Quinton Jackson. That isn't gonna happen, as we all expect the UFC to soon announce the Silva-Rampage fight. But I like Rua a ton, and think, when healthy, he is definitely a top-5 UFC light heavyweight, and would give Machida all he could handle.
After watching Guida not make weight last night on TUF what is the common feeling amongst the mma journalists and fighters on failing to make weight weight?
We hate it, Mike. There is simply no excuse for not making weight. As one example, it's no easy task for Florian to make 155. But has he ever failed to make weight? He sees it as failing to do your job. It'd be like not prepping or showing up for MMA Live. It is part of the sport. Guida should be ashamed, given the opportunity that was in front of him. I still haven't forgiven Thiago Alves from UFC 85.
Hey Jon any chance they match up Chuck Liddel vs Anderson Silva at 205 at there superbowl weekend card that has gsp vs penn?
Highly doubtful, Leo. I expect Silva to stay put at 185 for his next several fights. I still believe he only came up to 205 as a favor to the UFC, to help take eyes away from Affliction's PPV debut.
Jon, Apologies if you've answered this before, but what is the general feeling from other fighters about Brock Lesnar getting a title shot? Are they aggravated to see someone get a shot after 3 fights, or do they see it as a huge draw to MMA in general?
Happy to answer it again, b/c we get so many inquiries on Brock. I know several fighters who don't think Lesnar is deserving. But at least guys like Frank Mir recognize why these decisions are made. And for those that don't think Lesnar is worthy, I ask you this: Who is more deserving at heavyweight? Mir and Big Nog are already tied up. And I'd also ask...Doesn't Lesnar have the best chance of any UFC HW other than Nogueira to BEAT Couture?
Have you read Thomas Hauser's article "MMA in New York Still in the Cage for Now"? I love how all of his quotes are from MMA opponents except for two from Mark Ratner about the legal process. Agenda much? Anyway, do you know anything about Mr. Hauser and what are your thoughts on the article. Thanks.
I know Thomas from my time covering boxing. Gifted writer with tremendous insight and connections. I thought the article was informative. Hauser was examining that particular side of the argument. That is why there weren't a whole lot of quotes from lawmakers on the other side who support MMA.
Hey Jon, really impressed with Nate Diaz last night, what do you think his future is as a lightweight contender, and could you see him going down to 145?
He's awfully tall to be a featherweight, Jon. But making weight doesn't seem to be a problem. I still think he's a bit raw on his feet to compete with some of the top 155-lbs. strikers, but he's on the cusp.
Jon, what are three most important things to consider when wagering on MMA?
Depends who you ask, Danny. I, for one, only like to play underdogs. So, even though I thought Nate Diaz would get by Josh Neer, I thought there was good value on Neer +200. And admittedly, I didn't know a whole lot about Eric Schafer. But I thought Houston Alexander, given his recent struggles, was way too big a favorite, especially against a BJJ black belt.
Not to disagree with you, but I think Fabricio Werdum would definitely have a shot against Randy. I would still pick Couture, but Werdum presents many of the same problems that Big Nog would.
Absolutely valid, NCJ. No real argument on this end.
Jon, we all know there are ways to "cheat" in boxing when the ref can't see (just like Bernard Hopkins). Are any of the same tactics done in MMA?
Why you giving my man B-Hop a hard time? Haha...I know you are probably crediting Hopkins for being crafty/getting away with it. In MMA, there are certainly tactical things you can do when the referee doesn't have a good angle, etc. But tactics like that are less commonplace in MMA, especially given all of the rules that are now in place.
Update: MMA Live Episode #19 is up, and it's also on the ESPN.com homepage!
What is the chances of me beating BJ Penn Superbowl Weekend?
Strong to quite strong.
Is this the end of the line for Houston"I think we have a problem" Alexander in the UFC? I think he should go to ELite XC and face Kimbo Slice?
Still no definitive word on where this latest loss leaves Houston Alexander. I expect him to compete outside the UFC in his next fight, but wouldn't rule out a return thereafter. He isn't young, however.
Jon, can we finally shut up all those Europeans that wouldnt' stop flooding the chat room with comments about Martin Kampmannn. The guy obviuosly sucks and so do other fighters from that area. GSP can stop any of them and I personally can stop any of their fans rear naked or darce choke.
Appreciate your passion, Pierre. But I don't think your assessment is entirely fair. I like Martin Kampmann a lot, but Nate Marquardt is one of the best middleweights in the world, and was expected, by most experts, to beat Kampmann. Let's discuss Kampmann again after his next fight. As for GSP, I'm with you.
how long do u think it will take for rampage to get another light heavyweight title if so do u think he will get it back.
As long as Rampage can keep it together mentally, another title shot shouldn't be too far off. Of course, he'd better get by Wanderlei Silva. But if he does, he deserves the Rashad Evans-Forrest Griffin winner, in my opinion.
Jon, what do you think about all the issues coming out regarding Juanito Ibarra? Apparently he has been black balled, your thoughts?
It's still a developing situation, Joe. Ibarra's side of the story hasn't really surfaced yet. But I do believe, from what I've read and heard, that he exploited Rampage financially. As for Cheick Kongo's exit, it's probably linked in some way to the Jackson departure. As for him being blackballed, I think that may be an overstatement.
JON, WHO WAS THE GUY THAT GAVE FEDOR EMELIANENKO HIS ONLY LOSS IN HIS MMA CAREER SO FAR?
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka back in 2000. Also a no-contest against Nogueira at a PRIDE event in 2004.
Whats next for Kimbo Slice when he beats Ken Shamrock? Brett Rogers, Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, Other?
Well, Gary, IF he beats Shamrock, I do think Elite XC will effort to make the fight with Brett Rogers. Rogers is slated to fight for EliteXC on Showtime November 8th. But much of it also depends on Kimbo's performance against Shamrock. How dominant? How improved is he on the ground, etc.? Keeping Kimbo unbeaten remains a priority.
Jon, it seems many of my questions get answered before I have a chance to ask, that is great. Obviously you have knowledge of the fight game, have you ever trained or competed in any combat sport, or are you just a big fan?
The questions come in fast and furious b/c MMA is blowing up, as you all know. I just do my best to answer as many as I can. I have taking boxing lessons several times, but have never trained in MMA. I'm gonna start taking a fitness class soon at the newly-opened Florian Martial Arts Center. But I'm training with Kenny's brother Keith. I can't afford Ken-Flo.
Why do real MMA fans don't like me? I have not loss a fight and if I was in UFC I would be the UFC Heavyweight Champ.
With all due respect, Slice, I don't think you could win the UFC's lightweight title, never mind 170, 185, 205, or heavy. Keep at it, though.
Jon Anik will you marry me?
Yes. But what if I ask you to stop fighting?
Jon, I thnk the show is greatest thing to happen to me and my friends and this chat is my favorite thing at work. I take my full hour break in order to do this. I wanted to know if in MMA it matters if a guy is a south paw kind of like how it does in boxing?
Thanks for the kind words, Oscar. Much-appreciated. The southpaw question is a good one. I think it's certainly more of a factor in boxing, and several guys in MMA switch from a conventional stance to a southpaw stance when fighting. I'm gonna pose this to Kenny this week. He'll have a better answer.
Jon, I hear that Kohsaka used a illegal elbow in that fight vs FEdor? And that Fedor wasnt allowed to fight? Than Fedor TKOed Kohsaka in their rematch? To me Fedor is still undefeated in MMA?
A lot of people share that sentiment. I wasn't locked into MMA back then, and I have no problem admitting as much. Now, I'm completely addicted to the sport.
Jon, have you made an official prediction on Lesnar/Couture yet? If so, I may have missed it, but who do you like?
Brock. Big time.
Jon, I think women taking part in combat sports like martial arts that are mixed is horrible and exactly what is wrong with society and your generation. Would you like to see rules limiting striking once the action hits the mat? How about they clean up the sport and have striking on your feet and wrestling/submission on teh ground?
Greetings, Reverend. I am not the world's biggest fan of women's MMA (just have never liked watching women get hit), but I certainly support it. As far as striking on the ground goes, the rules are not likely to change. Casual/new fans of the sport always tell me watching a grounded opponent get hit is the hardest thing to accept. But I don't expect it to change.
Jon hear of any plans of the UFC coming to CT?
Nothing is imminent, Chris. But I expect a UFC Fight Night to eventually land at Mohegan Sun.
There was an instance last night where they were in a clinch and one guy used his shoulder to strike his opponent's chin. Why doesn't that happen more often?
I saw that, Marc. Nice, solid shoulder strike from Nate Diaz. It is certainly legal, and a lot of the more experienced fighters will employ the strategy if the situation calls for it. WEC Bantamweight champion Miguel Torres will certainly throw a shoulder, if there's an opening. He'll hurt you with any body part.
Anik is a beast! Hey Jon, I think you would agree that KenFlo is a better pound-for-pound fighter than Frank Mir. But who, in your mind, is the better analyst?
How can I possibly answer that, Ripken. Here's what I'll say. Mir is a bit more aggressive, less reserved. Ken-Flo is a bit more calculated and thoughtful. But both guys are naturals, and have their own styles. I wish we could have them both on the show every week they are not training.
*withdraws his membership from Rev. Smith's church*
A lot of the folks in the chat are now firing away at the Reverend. And I do agree with some of you in trying to stick up for the sport. And I really enjoy the ground-and-pound component to MMA. But... when I have my mother watch an MMA event, the only time she turns away is when a fighter is getting hit on the ground. Like it or not, that particular part of the sport holds MMA back in certain arenas.
A lot of people thought Werdum would be the next challenger for the title after the Mir/Nogueria fight... now there's the heavyweight tourney... and I'm guessing he'd be in line to fight the winner. My question is, now he has to keep taking fights and hoping he doesn't lose to lesser opponents and lose his shot. WOuldn't he be better off just hanging out and waiting for a title shot?
Finn, I think Werdum would get the winner after the 4-man tourney is decided. But I would think he'd have to fight at least one tune-up beforehand, b/c the tournament won't be decided until April of 2009, at the earliest.
The Schafer/Alexander fight was great. I couldn't believe Schafer didn't get knocked out early from those 2 knee lifts.
Terrific fight. I think even Schafer's corner gained a newfound respect for him after he took that early punishment, and battled through it.
Jon, do you think we will see a truly landmark fictional movie documenting the heart and courage it takes to be an MMA fighter? Kind of like "Rocky" for boxing, "Hoosiers" for high school basketball and "Flashdance" for adult dancing?
Yes. I believe it's only a matter of time before MMA hits the big screen. I can't wait for the Renzo Gracie documentary next month. The trailer looks sick.
Jon, I can't disagree with the point you and that priest made about ground striking being tough to watch, especially when a fighter is merely covering up. I think there is a greater problem that 60% of MMA fans dont even respect the artistry of submission wrestling and they are just blood thirsty. Casual fans have ruined this sport and most of the people at the live events are blood hungry lower-thirds of society that keep the food chain links intact.
Some good points in there, B Dog. Most frustrating for me is that if you just utter: Martial Arts. What is the word association? Honor, discipline, lifestyle. Positive. But the word association with Mixed Martial Arts, too often, is violent, brutal, cage fighter, etc. Casual sports fans need to recognize that MMA is an art form, and should be as respected as any other sport. It's really all about education. And those of us on this side of the fence have to do a better job of informing the masses. I get sick of defending MMA all the time to the naysayers, but I feel it's my duty.
I can't see anyone taking the belts from Anderson Silva, GSP, or BJ Penn, but as for Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight I see this changing hands many times.
Agreed, Tony. And I think, off the record, Forrest Griffin would agree with you. He's talented/capable enough to have several successful title defenses, but the division is so stacked.
Jon MMA already hit the big screen with a little movie called Never Back Down, i believe it won a few Oscars
Never heard of it. But now I have something to rent.
B Dog (Oklahoma City, OK) that was a great. Though I agree with the majority of what you said I feel the "casual" fan helps keep our sport alive. Just like Brock Lesnar fans. As much as I am annoyed by those rednecks they bring $ to our sport helping it flourish.
Mike brings up a good point, even if I don't appreciate the redneck reference. The casual fans are vital to the future of the sport. I'm sure a lot of you hardcore fans already know a lot of the information we present each week on MMA Live. But it is our obligation to find a balance between the hardcores, and the casual fans. If this show ends up on ESPN, we had better make the show watchable for folks that are fairly new to MMA.
Please do not rent Never Back Down - instead get Redbelt - - never back down is like stomp the yard equivilent to MMA
Duly noted. Rob in Jersey = always looking out.
IS Stann leaving the WEC?
I haven't heard that, but a lot of questions on Stann are coming in, so maybe it was reported today.
Robert from Portland is being sarcastic. Never Back Down was universally panned, though I hear Redbelt (Mamet's movie on MMA) is fairly good.
Robert in Portland having some fun at my expense I guess. Thanks, Bren.
Part of the problem is society is not as rugged as in the past. People don't fight as much in regular life, so even sports like boxing are looked down upon as primitive now. And MMA (to the masses) is like a bloodier version of boxing. Anyway, I'm becoming a big fan of Damian Maia (sp?). Is he seen as an up and comer?
Well put, Tim. Damian Maia is terrific. One of the best up-and-coming submission guys in the UFC. He's one of Frank Mir's coaches on this season of TUF.
Jon, has wearing a "gui" officially been outlawed at some point in UFC?
As far as I know, you cannot wear a gui in the UFC. Not sure when it was outlawed. I'm sure someone will chime in with the answer.
Stann is a light heavyweight. Might they just be referring to the merging of WEC's LHW division into the UFC's?
Perhaps, Finn. We still don't know exactly when the merging of those two divisions will go down.
What did you think of Nate Diaz calling out guys who are ducking his brother?
Sort of thought it was funny. He was careful not to drop an 'EliteXC' in there.
Love the chat and the show. Any possibility of you guys covering local MMA gyms to show us how the small-time guys train?
Thanks, Samuel. Right now, our ratio of ideas to time is way out of whack. In other words, there are a million things, such as your suggestion, that we would like to do on MMA Live. But we have certain limitations: time, resources, etc. But...as the show grows and our resources expand, we hope to make that happen.
Who you got in the CroCop / Overeem fight on Tuesday? And do you think we will ever see the Pride CroCop ever again?
I like Overeem. I think he's much closer to his prime than Cro Cop.
I am pretty sure the gui was no longer allowed at the same time the unified rules were implemented. It is the same reason you don't see guys wearing wrestling shoes or shirts anymore. The gui gives the BJJ user extra traction when applying submissions. It can be an unfair advantage.
MMA Nation bails out the host of MMA Live once again.
Wasnt having fun at your expense Jon, i thought you knew about Never Back Down and how terrible it was and how it made hardcore fans groan
No worries, Robert. Just messing with you. Actually had no idea about Never Back Down.
Do you ever see the UFC doing a 24/7ish type show (not just the countdown shows)? I think one for the Couture/Lesnar fight would be great and could help hype that event even more then it already is.
Already in motion, I am told. There will be a three-part series in the '24-7' mold for the Couture-Lesnar fight.
Floyd Mayweather always talking down about MMA. What is the chances of Dana White offering Floyd a deal to fight me in the cage?
Floyd Mayweather has actually backtracked from his anti-MMA statements, and has been respectful. But Floyd would have to shut down everything else in his life, and train in MMA for 3 full years to compete with average lightweights, never mind BJ Penn. I am a huge boxing fan, and an even bigger Mayweather fan, but he will never take part in Mixed Martial Arts. Too much to learn, and not enough time or willingness to learn it.
Alright, ladies and gents. Thanks, as always, for stopping by. War MMA Nation! Another chat next Thursday at 2:30 ET. Now, go check out the spankin' new MMA Live. We discuss the Affliction-Golden Boy partnership, offer up some highlights from UFC Fight Night 15, and also preview the Strikeforce card Saturday at the Playboy Mansion. Until next week...-JA