2:27 ET on a Thursday...time for another MMA Live chat. Coming up today on the show, Stephan Bonnar live in-studio! Let's vent...
Not that I was a big EXC fan but I'll take all the mma I can get. I'm extremely disappointed about the Nov card being cancelled - any chance that we get some of those fights put on by another promotion? ie Diaz vs Alvarez in Dream?
Yeah, Charlie. I, too, was very disappointed to hear the news about EliteXC. I know some of the hardcore fans are celebrating, but we lose MMA on CBS and Showtime. The ShoXC cards on Friday nights didn't offer known quantities, but they almost always delivered. It'll be interesting to see where the top fighters land.
Who is the best EliteXC fighter that is now a free agent, in your opinion?
I think you'd have to go with Jake Shields. Rafael Feijao, and I'll always throw a plug out there for Smokin' Joe Villasenor, who also joins us today on MMA Live. I think all 3 have a great chance to end up with UFC.
Jon, What is it going to take for Tyson Griffin to finish somebody? He's a great fighter, but he always leaves you wanting the KO.
Hard to argue with victories, Greg. But that seems to be the criticism of Griffin. I don't think he finishes Sean Sherk this weekend, either. But I do think he wins.
Isn't it weird that "hardcore fans" are celebrating the demise of an organization that puts on fights? You would think "hardcore fans" or what I love to call them - UFC FANBOYS - would like EXC because of the fights - not who calls it - production values, etc.
I just think people, in general, like to complain. A lot of people are really good complainers. Never a good thing when the MMA promotion considered #2 in North America goes down in less than two years.
Hey Jon... After seeing Sokodjou's (sp?) defeat this weekend... is he overrated because of his Arona victory? Is he a young BJ Penn type that we ask ourselves if he wants it enough? Thanks.
Hi Jim. Sokoudjou's got a lot to work on to live up to the billing. A lot of experts liked the match-up for Cane, and I think you'll find the loss helps Sokoudjou going forward.
Of all the fighters you've had on MMA Live, who is the best to work with, and who are you closest to? Thanks for the show, and the chat.
I've gotten to know Florian the best, but all of the guys, and Gina Carano, have really excelled on the set. And what's great is we are one of the only shows at ESPN that regularly features active professional athletes on its panel. Not retired ones...
Shouldn't Strikeforce be licking their chops ? They could pick up a load of talent and name recognition on the cheap ! Sorry, but if I was them I'd be dancing in the streets.
Absolutely, Oliver. Many MMA experts (I'm not one) think that Strikeforce, and not Affliction, stands to benefit the most from EliteXC's plunge. Remains to be seen how deep the pockets are, for both organizations.
Buy/Sell Jake Sheilds fights in the UFC in the next 6 months?
Am I the only one that sees BJ Penn having no shot at GSP?
I am certainly picking GSP in the fight, but most MMA followers think it will be closer than you do. And BJ definitely has a shot. I think GSP is on a collision course with Anderson Silva, if he gets by Penn.
jon what should the bet be sir we have 2 make it
I have Tyson Griffin. You have Sean Sherk. Per your previous request, you will receive an autographed photo of the MMA Live panel, should Sherk win. If Griffin wins, I want major acknowledgement in the chat next week, and a Grey Goose on the rocks at UFC 91. Find a way to Vegas.
Do you think Thiago Alves will still be able to defeat Josh Koscheck even though he has to train for a different style?
I think the last-minute replacement variable in the fight favors Koscheck. But with that said, I still think Alves will be too powerful and wins the fight. And that is coming from a huge Kos supporter. Two great fighters.
How bout a shields/sanchez matchup??
Very plausible. And Diego Sanchez may actually be the lone top 5 UFC welterweight that Shields could beat right now. Don't think he's beating Jon Fitch, or the two guys fighting this weekend.
Jon, will we be seeing you on ESPNews reporting live from weigh ins like we see that big dude Rafael for the boxing ones?
I hope so, Mario. I'm hoping MMA Live is the first step of many towards expanded coverage of Mixed Martial Arts on all of the ESPN platforms.
where do you think somkin joe is gonna end up?
I'd say the UFC. Watch the show today to find out how he thinks it'll play out, and where he'd like to end up.
Jon, how much weight do you think Petruzelli's comments had in bring EliteXC down?
One factor of many, Joe. But the two Oct. 4th controversies: Petruzelli, and also Ken Shamrock's inability to fight, may have been the final blows, as Showtime, at that point, reportedly backed out of negotiations to purchase EliteXC.
Jon - thoughts on UFC 89? I think Bisping gets smoked by Franklin and Hendo. I think they're both awful matchups. Disappointed about the fight too, thought it would be more of a slugfest...
Bisping told everyone who'd listen that he'd employ a smart, patient approach against Leben. I would've liked a bit more action, but you have to win the fight, and Bisping did, despite how some saw it. I, too, would favor Hendo or Franklin against Bisping, at least right now. But those two still have to fight each other...
I am not one of the "complainer's" Jon. However, I find it difficult to believe Sherk regarding his steroid use. I mean just look at his physique! BTW, I also have a similar "feeling" about Alves. He is/was the biggest 170-180 lb. person I have ever seen when he fought Hughes. Please comment and thanks for being so accessable.
Thanks for chatting with us, Scott. You are not alone in your sentiments. As you know, no journalist is going to start calling out individual athletes as steroid users. But do I think it remains a problem in MMA, and all sports. Major League Soccer just suspended two dudes!
Hey everyone was talking about Tito Ortiz signing with Elite XC, now where do you think he ends up? Affliction is my best guess but i think EXC dying really hurts his main streem career, thoughts?
If you're lining up winners and losers in the EliteXC death, make room in the losers column for Tito. Affliction just gained a whole bunch of leverage.
Hey Jon Awsome show i hope in goes on air on ESPN so on. But my question is do you think fighter like Robbie Lawler and Nick Diaz is going to head over to Strikeforce or Affliction? Also if Lawler has a chance to fight Cung Le will the Title in this case unit?
To quote Kevin Garnett, anything is possible. A lot of it is guess work at this point. I see Lawler signing with Affliction, and Nick Diaz with UFC. But I wouldn't mind seeing Lawler and Cung Le exchange.
Sorry to harp on this, I do watch the UFC, know all the fighters, appreciate how much better they are talent wise BUT, if Strikeforce would take on the women ( Carano/Cyborg fight), even Kimbo ( they do have Tank on their roster, the sideshow lineup for fun), Diaz ( thug, but has name recognition) and Tito ( see above), overnight these guys become interesting to watch. I just don't get why organizations don't pursue this model instead of silly buyouts.
I see you in the chat queue, man. And I agree. Big names are very important, and that women's fight will be huge, regardless of who its contested for. And you can argue with Kimbo's MMA acumen, but you can't argue with CBS' ratings when he fights. I'm most curious to see how quickly the fighters are able to find new homes. How will their EliteXC contracts be handled, etc.
Do you think the "Pitbull" Andrei Arlovski will beat Fedor Emelianenko when they battle in January?
No. But I definitely expect it to go longer than Fedor's destruction of Tim Sylvia. Although that ain't saying much.
Jon, how much are you involved in the decision making and the direction of MMA live on ESPN? Are you just reading a prompter, or do you get to pick the topics and guests because I think you guys are one or two progressive moves away from being a great show. Sherwood looks like the "Comic Book Guy" from Simpsons.
Thanks, Mario. Definitely not just reading a prompter. Our producers compile the weekly rundown for the show, and I write it. Then, we have a pre-production meeting where the show is further scrutinized and condensed. I'm able to devote about two full days right now to Mixed Martial Arts...wish it was more.
Did you catch TUF last night? I was really disappointed with the fight. Neither of those guys could hold up even against the lower ranked 155ers in the UFC. And Junie was the #1 pick!
Only reason I've been dodging the TUF questions is because I have yet to see the episode. I have it on DVR. Will try to get caught up before next week's chat.
Any chance we will ever see Kimbo Slice fight atleast once in the Octagon? We know he can draw?
Just don't see it, John. Dana White has been so outspoken with negatives about Kimbo, that he'd have to really reverse course. Perhaps if Kimbo gets a few wins in Japan, the UFC would take a look.
Sorry for spoiling the TUF show. My bad.
No worries. Spoil away. I can't escape the results...I just would feel foolish commenting on something I hadn't seen.
Dana said he'd let him fight for a spot on TUF. That'd be fun to watch.
Kimbo can fight in the Octogon for us. He just must win the Ultimate Fighter first. So most likely no!
Now I know Dana White has said a lot of bad things about Kimbo Slice, but should we at all be surprised if he decides to sign him and bring him to the UFC for the fact that Kimbo is a big name? And if Kimbo doesn't go to the UFC where do you think he will end up?
Japan is a distinct possibility, but Kimbo may prefer to stay in the U.S. He has such name recognition that he can make money now in other arenas, not necessarily MMA.
I'll have you know that my name is Jeff Albertson, thank you very much.
Hey Jon, what about Robbie Lawler. What are the chances he comes back to the UFC. I'd love to see him against McFedries, Cote, and possibly Anderson down the road.
Just not sure on what terms it ended the first time b/w Lawler and UFC. But he's one of many quality EliteXC guys that are now free agents, so you'd expect Dana, Joe Silva and Co. to take a look.
Is Santos a good live underdog to pick against Werdum?
I don't think so. Fabricio is angry. But I don't know a ton about Cigano...other than his nickname.
Does CBS make a deal with someone else to fill that time slot now that EXC went under? Also now that Strikeforce is doing live events are they going to fill in the slot as the #2 promotion nationwide or will they stil be just a west coast affair.
Great questions in the chat, albeit tough ones. My best guess is that Affliction finds its way on CBS. Also think it's a critical time right now for Strikeforce. It's a well-run, thorough promotion with a nice stable of fighters. If they can open up the purse strings a bit and sign some names, I think they can make a move. Strikeforce has used a much more diligent, patient approach than the one employed by now-defunct EliteXC.
Jon, there are only a handful of fighters that I want to see carry over from EliteXC. One of the main ones is Antonio Silva. Do you think the UFC will try to sign him, or will the one year steroid suspension deter them?
I agree, Joe. I think Antonio Silva is a talented heavyweight, and he looks the part, if you know what I mean. With respect to his condition (gigantism), he really does have that Andre the Giant look to him. If any UFC division could use the depth, its heavyweight. We'll see what role the suspension plays...not sure.
That would be huge if Affliction comes to CBS? What are the odds of this happening?
You guys think I'm smarter than I am. I'd say 50-50, b/c I don't know exactly how CBS feels about MMA right now. I hope it happens, as do the rest of you.
If you got to choose my remaining five fights, who would you have me fight? (Any organization).
Georges St. Pierre, Dan Henderson, Gegard Mousasi, Forrest Griffin (or maybe whoever is current UFC LHW champ at the time), and...Bernard Hopkins.
Alright Jon, lets go for it and throw out your predictions for Saturday night; I got Silva by Sub Rnd 3, Alves TKO/KO Rnd 2, Werdium by Decision, Sherk by Rnd 3 Sub, in the immortal words on Mr. Kornheiser, Who ya got?
Prediction time. I think Silva over Cote by TKO in the 2nd; Alves wins split decision over Koscheck; Griffin unanimous decision over Sherk, and Werdum over dos Santos.
Jon, I think you are one of the freshest young personalities to join ESPN in at least three years. I think that ESPN can utilize you a lot more because you are clean cut and most fans can recognize talking sports with a guy like you. What do you give as advice for "making it" in the world of media?
Thanks, Jordan. Best advice would be to always be ready when an opportunity presents itself. We hope you'll keep supporting MMA Live.
What's up champ? I'd say GSP, Bisbing, Okami, Paulo, and rematch with Hendo.
Another good list for Anderson Silva's final 5 opponents. Sounds like a good MMA poll question...
Jon, anybody you know think that Thiago Silva will beat Lyoto Machida at UFC 94? I think he will beat him!
You, and two of our MMA Live staffers, including this dude Zach, who's a bit jaded. He loves Silva in the fight. We'll see. Someone's '0' will go.
When we gonna see Shane Carwin get a legit contender to beat up on? Maybe Kimbo Slice?
UFC is being patient with Carwin. I think he'd maul Kimbo.
What, no Villasenor-Silva?
Hahaha...you're right...what was I thinking? Missed a chance to give Smokin' Joe another plug.
DOug's list would really have him clean out the MW division, but since he wont fight Paulo, let's swap that out for whoever is LHW champ. That's a solid list right htere.
Easy question Spider. GSP, Hendo II, Liddell, Le, and a catchweight fight with Fedor.
Does Marc Coleman still have what it takes to fight in the Octagon let alone MMA?
We'll find out soon enough. It's been a long time since he fought, and he was born in 1964.
After B. Hopkins "shocked the world" at 43 yrs old do you believe that Randy Coture beating Brock Lesner would be bigger historically?
Had the privilege of sitting ringside for Hopkins' performance last weekend in A.C. He was unbelievable. As for a Couture-Lesnar comparison, it's hard to make one. For starters, Couture-Lesnar is for a belt, which Pavlik-Hopkins was not. Also, Bernard was +380 (a nearly 4-1 underdog). Couture will likely close as the slightest of underdogs, so it wouldn't be an historic upset, persay. Couture-Lesnar will do bigger PPV numbers.
Good piece on Brock by E60. What were your thoughts?
I enjoyed as well. Keep the MMA coverage on ESPN coming.
Do you see any major hybrid fight cards in the future (boxing AND MMA)?
Franklin McNeil seems very skeptical that it'll ever materialize the way Affliction and Golden Boy envisioned. The boxing main event can't be too big. Otherwise, it could stand along. But it can't be too small a fight either, or there is no point.
Are my questions that bad or are you mad that my prediction on the executioner last week was way off?
Just a huge volume of submissions this week, Craig. Thanks for stopping by...again. And I'm getting B-Hop's likeness tattooed on my arm. That's how impressed I was.
CBS and Spike are owned by the same company. When will Gus Johnson be calling UFC events?
I'm all for more Gus.
Jon, all the ladies down here at WOody's Saloon want to know what you do for fun when not watching MMA? And when are you coming back to our great state!!!!
The chat must be winding down...I'm sure all the ladies at Woody's want to know what I do in my spare time. I run and I eat a lot. And I watch MMA and read about it so the hardcore fans don't bury me.
With the demise for Elite XC, shouldn't Affliction jump at as many free agents as possible to bolster their other weight classes? Also, why doesn't all the small promotions come together and just combine rosters for to form a suprior #2 to the UFC? I know we see that sometimes(i.e. AA and Roy Nelson to Elite), but combine Strikeforce with Affliciton and some others, you'd have a major #2 with star power.
Bill, I think it is more likely that the organizations will work together than merge. But as stated earlier, there is a lot of talent out there, and some names know that casual fans are familiar with. All of the UFC chasers must capitalize.
big fight this weekend.do you think cote can make it past the 2nd round?
Into the 2nd round? Yes. Past the 2nd round? Doubtful. But stranger things have certainly happened in combat sports. Five days ago, I watched a 43-year old win every single round against an undefeated 26-year old. You never know...
Hey Jon- love the chats, bro. Finally the WWL shoes some love to the greatest sport on the planet!!! So, do you think Mir-Big Nog is just going to be a BJJ contest, or will they stand and bang a bit?
I think it'll go back-and-forth, as long as it lasts. But I expect Mir would rather have it fought on the ground. It's a monumental opportunity for Mir, but Nogueira just seems ultra-motivated.
I dont know which man crush is creepier Jon, yours for BHop or Rogan's for Randy, he prob already has a tattoo so hes got you beat out there.
Who are the 2 biggest free agents in MMA right now?
Gina Carano and Tito Ortiz. Honorable mention: Kimbo Slice, Jake Shields, Smokin' Joe Villasenor, and Ricardo Arona for Rob in Jersey. Who am I leaving out?
Who is the most famous hand you ever shook? I know a guy who's uncle once worked in the horse stalls at Santa Anita, and he once shoed a young Secretariat. I would say that has to trump anything short of a president, Ali, Jordan or possibly Emilio Estevez.
Most famous? Probably Oscar de la Hoya on numerous occasions. floyd Mayweather was a thrill. Meeting Randy Couture certainly felt like being in the presence of a legend. I have met dozens of Boston athletes over the years as well.
How many truly insane questions do you get a chat? Can we see some of those?
Haha...biggest challenge is not accidentally posting an insane question or comment. Some dudes are relentless.
When will Bisping get a title shot? I don't think he can beat Silva, but at 17-1, he deserves a shot.
First up is Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter, and if he doesn't get through his opponent after the show, he won't get the Spider. So, I'd say he's a reality show and a win away from a title shot.
Sorry, Eddie. I'd sign you in a heartbeat.
Who would win in a fight Fedor or a Hurricane?
Hurricane. But Bernard Hopkins > hurricane.
TRUE OR FALSE: WE WILL SEE THE SPIDER ANDERSON SILVA ON THE UFC 94 CARD OR SOONER?
I'll say True. I think UFC 94 is a very likely spot for Silva.
What if the Hurricane's name was Hurricane Ditka?
Who is the #1 MMA fighter in the world right now? The best of the best?
Anderson 'The Spider' Silva.
Hold on! Hold on! Hold on! What if the hurricane was Hurricane Fedor?
Fedor vs Ditka...DITKA
Am I up yet?
MMA Live is UP!
Jon, I know MMA hasn't truly popped yet on the mainstream, but do you ever get recognized yet for your work on TV with MMA or boxing? How did it feel?
In public? Absolutely not. Hoping to keep it that way. I sometimes wonder if Steve Levy can buy groceries without someone saying 'ESPN'.
Jon, Whats the deal with Brett Rogers? What promotion does he fight for or will fight for?
Another now-former Elite XC fighter who should get plenty of phone calls. Affliction, perhaps. I counted 198 fighters today at UFC.com. I just don't know what the cap is for them. Is it 200? 225? I used to think they wanted no more than 180 fighters.
give wilson reis a little love as an up and comer from elitexc that should go somewhere. and to that point, as much as i found elitexc's coddling of kimbo bordering on rigged matches, i think you have to admire that they had a good stable of talent that they seemed to want to develop. i get the feeling sometimes that UFC cares more about reality shows than actually developing talent. yeah?
Some good points, Gregg. Happy Wilson Reis got a belt before EliteXC collapsed. He should land on his feet. I'm also curious to see where Poland's Mamed Khalidov ends up. Has just one U.S. fight; came for ShoXC this month (win over Jason Guida), but he's a spastic, exciting ground guy.
Paulo Filho vs Anderson Silva would be nice to see? I know they are friends and this wont happen though?
Jon, do you ever read columns from opposing sites like Yahoo? I think Kevin Iole is really strong in his writing, although I felt when he took shots at Elite XC announcer Mauro Ranillo he was out of line. Since Mauro is a friend of the show, can you please stand up for him?
I read as much MMA commentary as I can get my eyes on. I read all of Kevin Iole's work, and know him from covering boxing events. I'm a huge fan. And I think Mauro does a terrific job. Probably the best combination of knowledge and energy out there.
Who would you rather see fight Anderson Silva? Tito Ortiz or Roger Huerta?
C. None of the above.
What about creating a cruiserweight division at 225-230 and then removing the heavyweight cap?
Interesting thought. But I'm sort of on Dana White's side with regards to the divisions. 5 is plenty. Kenny Florian is an advocate of modifying the weight classes.
Alright guys, gotta run. Solid 90 minutes today. Thanks for sticking it out. And remember, if I didn't get to your question, just send it to email@example.com. Until next week, enjoy UFC 90! -JA