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December 6, 8:26 AM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Salutations. Good to be with you guys and girls for another MMA Live chat! A lot to get to as usual, coming off a great UFC Fight for the Troops event and fight card last night. After our chat, stay here at espn.com for a new episode of MMA Live. Miguel Torres is live in Bristol. Let's vent...

Jamie (Boston)

Jon, new MMA fan and I love the show. Does the Rampage/Silva winner get the Evans/Griffin winner?

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Thanks, Jamie. A lot of the future there depends on the outcomes of both fights. From what I can gather, if Rampage and Forrest both win, there would be a rematch.

Charlie, Philly

Fight for the Troops last night turned about to be a pretty exciting card. Who's performance were you most impressed by?

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

I thought it was a tremendous showcase, Charlie. Ben Saunders' Muay Thai display was ridiculous. I thought Koscheck's KO was one he'll never forget. A lot of winners last night. Swick...tough to choose one.

john (jersey)

yesterday it was rumored that rodger huertas next fight would be against spencer fisher ( no disrespect to spencer) but back when rodger was asking for the big bucks dana white said he would have to start fighting the high ranked guys in the division... Why wouldnt they then book him against guys like sean sherk,tyson griffin, grey maynord?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Or Joe Stevenson? I'll withhold judgment until the fight is confirmed...

Leo (Boston MA)

Hi Jon, great card last night couple of quesitons. The Cantwell submission has to be the nastiest submission in UFC history right? Also what the over under on how many times is that clip going to viewed on Youtube?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

It is certainly right up there, Leo. Razak Al-Hassan needs to tap out there. Not a time to prove your toughness. I've already google'd Razak Al-Hassan today, and I know I'm not alone.

Craig (Erie, PA)

What a great night of fights for a great cause last night... Have you checked out the Corey Hill fight yet? Dude just can't catch a break.

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

I have not, Craig. But one chatter just described it as pretty gruesome...

Paul (San Diego)

Jon, Did you see the Cory Hill leg snap, I'm still quivering from seeing that?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Sounds like the nation wants me to stop the chat to go watch this. Maybe I'm better off passing.

Brian Wantagh, NY

Dumb or tough Al-Hussan not tapping to cantwell?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Dumb...although, several fighters would probably say otherwise. As one fighter put it to me, you can always get your arm fixed.

Craig (Erie, PA)

They arent booking Roger against top level fighters because he will get destroyed by them like in the Florian fight. The King is gonna give the El Matador back to back lossses

Matt (San Diego)

Jon, Who are you leaning towards in the major 3 fights at the next UFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

I lean towards Rampage and Nogueira, and that is all I will reveal for UFC 92 right now.

Mike (Dallas)

Best part about doing MMA Live is...

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

To date, it would have to be our coverage in Vegas for UFC 91. Brock Lesnar sitting next to me with the belt 8 minutes after he beat Randy Couture. Getting to work with all of the different fighters is certainly a thrill.

Fred (Austin, TX)

Jon, You obviously have some inside, but do you see Kenny just standing pat and waiting for B.J. Penn? Or do you think he takes a stay busy fight to stay active?

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

All I can tell you is that he is already watching BJ Penn's fights. He is preparing for BJ right now.

Brian Wantagh, NY

Corey Hill is out 12-18 months with a broken tibia. This means he is out of a job for what could be a year and a half? I know the UFC wont compensate for this, leaving the poor guy with no income for his family. You think the UFC should compensate there fighters when freak accidents like this happen?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

It's a good question, Brian. I don't think the UFC should have much obligation beyond that. I also, admittedly, haven't seen the fight in question. It's a tough question, and one to think about it.

Adam (Houston, TX)

Don't watch the Corey Hill fight Jon. It's just not right...

Anthony (Union City, Ca)

How do you feel about Steve Cantwell's comments after his fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

You mean that he's always sort of wanted to snap someone's arm back like that? Definitely organic, but not what we're looking for, as we try to educate the masses on MMA.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

SWICK! Talk about vintage Mike Swick. Great win, albeit against a guy with a chin made of tracing paper.

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Goulet went down in a hurry. Swick looked great, especially physically. Looked to be in phenomenal shape.

Yiro (The Islands)

Jon, What a KO from Koscheck!! Where do you think he goes from here?

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

It's hard to determine. He's already gotten opportunities against the top guys (the champion and #1 contender), and Jon Fitch is his teammate. Maybe one-more mid-level opponent, and then perhaps Jake Shields, should he sign with the UFC.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

Jon Jon, Whats next for Shane Carwin?

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

A step up in competition. At least you'd like to think so.

Gabriel (Puerto Rico)

Do you think Ryan Bader can be a Champion someday? After all, he only lays on top of his opponent for the whole fight.

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

I would agree that his style, at least right now, leaves a bit to be desired. He will improve, but he's in the wrong division to ever be a UFC champion. Not even sure he's champion material in a smaller promotion.

Matt (San Diego)

Jon, Who do you like in the fights at the UF Finale this weekend?

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

I think the Nover-Escudero fight will be outstanding. Interesting predictions from our panel on the show today. I'll take Nover via 2nd-round submission. Vinny Magalhaes 1st-round submission. And I like Junie Browning to beat Dave Kaplan.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

The world wants to know? Who's next for the "Spider" Anderson Silva?

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

Rumblings are that Thales Leites is firmly in the mix.

Franklin McNeil

Hey Jon! What are your TUF finale picks? Just thought I'd put you on the spot for once. This from your partner in crime.

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

How about McNeil checkin'? I better give 2 more predictions. Gimme Jason MacDonald and Anthony Johnson.

brian: wantagh, ny

Thoughts on Ben Saunders?

Jon Anik
  (2:44 PM)

Unreal Muay Thai display. As Joe Rogan put it, one of the best we've ever seen.

Leo (Boston MA)

I have seen some early lines have Vinny as a -145 favorite against Bader, isn't that way to low.

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

It looks low to me. Seems like an awful lot of value on Vinny. Sports gambling = not allowed in Connecticut. Me = out of luck.

Craig (Erie, PA)

I heard you guys had Miguel Torres in studio with you for the show today, what was it like working with the 135lb champ?

Jon Anik
  (2:46 PM)

He's the man. Comedic value is high. He was cracking jokes all day, talking to everyone. A real personality, and a terrific guy for the sport.

Johnny(Queens)

Roger Huerta vs Frankie Edgar! Lets hope this gets done!

Jon Anik
  (2:46 PM)

Wouldn't mind seeing that. May be a tough fight for Edgar.

Jeff - MD

I always hear how one dominant promotion (UFC) hurts MMA. However, the NFL, NBA, MLB all strive from one dominant professional promotion. Several promotions/organizations are what hampers boxing. What is your take?

Jon Anik
  (2:48 PM)

I think sometimes it hurts fighters more than it hurts MMA. The power the UFC wields helps the sport, because you can't ignore numbers. Rating, PPV buys, salaries, etc. But for a fighter like Smokin' Joe Villasenor, he wants to fight in the U.S. and the UFC. If they don't want him, it's hard to make great money consistently. That's why EliteXC, despite its myriad flaws, was good for the sport. Some EliteXC news on MMA Live today...

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

For the love of God I just saw the Corey Hill thing for the first time. That is worse than Theisman's knee, Bryant Young's leg, Garrison Hearst's ankle and Tony Saunders arms combined.

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

Man...I will be watching it after the chat. I guess the UFC had every reason not to replay that preliminary fight. Really too bad...

Frankie Edgar

A tough fight for a tough man!

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

TRUE OR FALSE: WE WILL SEE SHANE CARWIN VS BROCK LESNAR FIGHT IN 2009?

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

False. Maybe 2010.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

I thought having veterans on the card was one of the classiest moves last night?

Jon Anik
  (2:50 PM)

The whole night was classy all-around. A banner effort for the UFC. I'd love to see them do something similar every year, perhaps with a new charity each year.

Corey Hill

Look, just stop talking about it! It hurt.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Hey Jon, Big fan. Given the current state of the economy, do you think Dana and Co. should promote a title fight on free TV (dare I say Network) to expose more fans to the sport at a time when shelling out $45/month is not affordable?

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

Thanks, Ken. I think the UFC does a great job putting high-quality, free cards on TV, even if they don't involve title shots. With the PPV, you also get all of the in-corner stuff, without commercials, which really makes a difference when watching a fight. Last night was great, but it's tough not being able to see the fighters in-between rounds. It is expensive to be a combat sports fan. No doubt.

John(NJ)

deigo sanchez is moving down to 155 and my boy the muscle shark has already said he wouldnt mind be his first fight.... how do you think this fight would go if it went down?

Jon Anik
  (2:53 PM)

Would love to see it. I think Diego will have to work very hard to beat a natural lightweight/top contender right out of the shoot.

rob (jersey)

Sorry I'm late Anik-dote......DO you think StrikeForce will put their hat in the ring for the services of Kos?

Jon Anik
  (2:54 PM)

I would think most promotions would be interested in Koscheck, if it ends with UFC. He likes to fight a lot, though, and Strikeforce certainly stages more cards than Affliction.

Sam (chicago)

what was your opinion on the delahoya pacquiao fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:55 PM)

Not sure what Oscar was doing entering the ring at 147. His only advantage was size. Looked slow and flat from the outset. Pacquiao is a machine. He toyed with him.

Brian Wantagh, NY

Jim Miller futrure of the Lightweight division?

Jon Anik
  (2:55 PM)

He looked awesome last night, especially taking the fight on one week's notice. He was gassed at the end, but was active for the first 12-13 minutes of the fight, and dominant.

Ben (Charlotte)

I've been watching a lot of Pride FC on some internet streams, and I gotta say, a nopen weight grand prix (or even just a weight division tourney) would be awesome to see in UFC ... any chance this happens?

Jon Anik
  (2:57 PM)

No. A lot of people pine for it, but most fighters I talk to are luke-warm on the concept. Too many variables. And preparation is a huge part of MMA these days...opponent-specific prep...

Tony (Maine)

Jon, what are your thoughts on a fight night between each of the top MMA schools in the Nation?

Jon Anik
  (2:58 PM)

That sounds like a great concept. But it'd be virtually impossible to make it happen, given fighters' contracts, etc.

Baumer (NYC)

Which fight are you most looking forward to seeing on the TUF Finale?

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

Definitely Nover-Escudero, because public perception differs greatly as to who will win. I like Vinny, but most people expect him to win rather easily.

john (jersey)

is affliction doomed because of bad timing and a crappy economy? they're next fight is gonna going head to head with boxing on HBO and a week later we have BJ penn gsp 2.... everyone who likes mma is pumped for that fight

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

I really don't know what to make of Affliction, John. They've staged one card, and re-scheduled another. If Trump can't pump $25 million into the thing and say 'go get it', I'm just not sure they can have any sustained impact.

Baumer (NYC)

Agreed on the finale, MacDonald Gouveia should be great too. Vinny/Bader will be a copy of the Krystof fight.

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

Baumer is on the record.

Sam (chicago)

why is golden boy competing against affliction? doesnt this hurt both companies?

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

It's very strange. You would think competing in the same market (LA) would be suicide. It seems to me that both parties realized that boxing and MMA fans are two separate groups. Mixed cards sound great, but they're hard to consummate. I think it may end up being a clothing/apparel deal and nothing more.

Ben (Charlotte)

Yeah, but aren't the "unknown factors" what makes tournies so compelling? not being to prepare for one opponents style, extra endurance needed to survive multiple fights, just seems to put a very different spin on a MMA contest and i think the fans would go CRAZY for it. couldn't they put a serious purse prize and find enough fighters to participate? love the chats, thanks!

Jon Anik
  (3:03 PM)

There are certainly benefits to tournaments. I just think, for better or for worse, the sport has moved beyond it. Or, at least the UFC and the other major U.S. promotions have.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Any updates on Carano/Cyborg?

Jon Anik
  (3:04 PM)

None yet, but the contract status of several EliteXC fighters should be determined within the next few weeks. Stay tuned, and watch MMA Live.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Does your buddy Mir know you're picking against him? Is this just to get him fired up?

Jon Anik
  (3:04 PM)

I haven't officially picked against Frank yet. Let's keep it down...

Tony (maine)

Whats with people boo'ing when fighters are working the clinch?

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

When certain parties/individuals are exposed to MMA for the first time, booing can often get out of control. I didn't think last night was too bad. Another note on that---while Chicago may be a great PPV market for MMA and the UFC, the fans' display at UFC 90 was a joke. That booing was really out of control (Maynard-Clementi, etc.).

John(jersey)

Did the ufc pay Matt Wiman 30,000 extra jusst for being handsome?

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

I bet he was thinking in the third round...if I can just go the distance and not get finished, 30K...

John (Watertown, SD)

If GSP beats BJ, they can't possibly give him Silva until he has beat Alves, no? It isn't fair to hold back a division that long in order to create a super fight is it?

Jon Anik
  (3:08 PM)

The key word in your question is 'fair'. Life isn't fair, nor is MMA matchmaking, for the most part. But yes, I would like to see BJ and GSP defend against the top contenders before another 'mega-fight'.

Ben (Columbus)

The De La Hoya v Manny card is exactly why I love MMA and am moving away from boxing. I spent $64.99 to watch 2 first rond ko's 2 second round ko's and a 1 sided main event. Every UFC card has 2-3 great matchups, and the undercards often steal the show!

Jon Anik
  (3:09 PM)

It was a really bad night for boxing. Dreadful undercards have become the norm. Last night's MMA card was free (if you have cable), and wildly entertaining from start to finish. I am a boxing fan, but there is just no comparing the two sports right now. Going in opposite directions.

Baumer (NYC)

Any chance of seeing Keith Florian step into the ring? I know he is accomplished in BJJ and a great strategist. Does he have any interest in fighting?

Jon Anik
  (3:10 PM)

We got asked this question quite a bit after Keith's appearance. I think he is content as a No. 1 trainer, co-owner of Florian Martial Arts Center, and running his own business. He could certainly hang in the UFC, but it won't happen.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Speaking of Pride, do you think the UFC is utilizing its aquisition of the Pride library effectively? They could make a "Best of" Wandy, Rampage, Coleman, or Big Nog Unleashed, and the sell factors for their upcoming fights would be increase significantly. A lot of new fans do not know the history (or greatness) that was Pride FC. (Dana has probably burned the Fedor footage, no doubt). They can atleast show the Ryo flying scissor-heel hook to show that A. Silva is not super-human.

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

Agreed.

Jeff - MD

What is the latest on MMA Live on live TV???

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

Nothing new to report, unfortunately. Will keep you posted.

Chris (Oakland, CA)

Jon, watch the show every single week. Would Ken-Flo be much better against Diego Sanchez if they fought a second time?

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

I certainly think so, Chris. He is a vastly improved fighter on every level, and Diego is not a natural LW. I think Sanchez will need to get used to fighting at 155.

Robert- Chicago IL

GET MMA LIVE ON TV! Who do you like,Thomas Denny or Miletich? I like the wildman in an upset.

Jon Anik
  (3:13 PM)

Not a bad call, Robert. I think Miletich will win a decision tonite at Adrenaline MMA's second show. Are you going?

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Sorry I'm late Jon, how impressed were you with Koscheck's performance, and does he walk or stay with the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (3:13 PM)

I will be talking to McNeil later today to get his dirt on Koscheck's future. As for the knockout, wow. Is Yoshida still on the canvas?

Tony (maine)

Shamrock vs Shamrock?

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

You want to see it? I want Ken to go away (with all due respect) and I want Frank to fight top guys, because he's still good.

John (Watertown, SD)

Since no MMA live on TV, how about at least moving the MMA link to the front page and not under other sports. You cannot tell me that MMA doesn't get more clicks that Women's BB, High School, Tennis and Boxing.

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

As long as you can find it, Johnny.

chris ( jersey )

jon, do you think GSP vs A. Silva would be perfect for UFC 100 if GSP gets by B.J.? And do you think it will ever happen?

Jon Anik
  (3:15 PM)

Why not? I do think GSP-Silva will eventually happen. Can't promise you it will all align for UFC 100, however.

Jeff - MD

Should Cantwell drop to 185? He looked good last night but no way he hangs with the upper echelon of 205ers....at least not anytime soon anyway.

Jon Anik
  (3:15 PM)

Yeah, he does look a bit small for 205. But Al-Hassan is big, too. He had a 5 1/2" reach advantage.

Jeff - MD

Any word on everyone's favorite huntington beach bad boy?

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

None whatsoever. But don't rule out the UFC.

John (Watertown, SD)

Mir gave an interview where he said he couldn't beat Fedor, but he thought Nog could (given unlimited time to catch him in a sub). MMAth's transitive property means that he is picking Nog over himself, so you don't have to feel guilty for doing the same. Nog is better on the feet and the ground, unlikely Mir pulls this fight out.

rob (jersey)

May I vent for a sec? "Fans" love the UFC (over boxing) because they have 2-3 great fights on a card - but dismiss other promotions because of one thing or another - yet have TREMENDOUS cards (EXC, StrikeForce, ShoXC, etc.) - make up your minds.....

Jon Anik
  (3:17 PM)

Fair enough, Rob. I really enjoyed a lot of EliteXC and ShoXC cards as well. Where is Mamed Khalidov, anyway? Back in Poland I guess.

Jon Anik
  (3:18 PM)

Actually I believe he is training in Vegas now. Not sure.

Jake (Woburn MA)

Will you be watching Adrenaline MMA tonight?

Jon Anik
  (3:18 PM)

I do not get HDNet. But I will be getting DirecTV 2/1. I will watch the fights at ESPN later this week.

Sam (chicago)

where is keith florian's gym? gotta get above 500....1-1 record

Jon Anik
  (3:19 PM)

It's Kenny and Keith's gym. It is in Brookline, MA., outside Boston.

John (Watertown, NY)

Last night's show was a lot better than expected! That Cantwell submission was sick (even worse during Rogan's 3-4 replays) and Saunders was a monster!

Jon Anik
  (3:19 PM)

Agreed, John. What a card. Great submissions and knockouts, and a lot of money raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Jeff - MD

Do you have "sources"? Or do you rely on the Internet for your MMA information?

Jon Anik
  (3:20 PM)

A combination. But yes, I have a handful of sources. Checking up on me?

Ken (Pittsburgh)

If New York legislature has not OK'd MMA by UFC 100, what do you think the UFC will do? I hope they do it large, like Wrestlemania 3/Pride style and pack the RCA Dome, Ford Field, or SkyDome with 80,000+ screaming MMA fans watching the biggest card in MMA history. I'm getting pumped just thinking about it...

Jon Anik
  (3:20 PM)

Let's think positively and say it will be sanctioned in NY in 2009.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

Jon have you started taking classes with the Florians yet?

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

No, I'm snacking. I mean slacking.

Adam (Houston, TX)

Jon, I know you had Torres on and I want to know if any of you guys mentioned or discussed the posibillity of him moving up in weight? He gets no respect in the P4P talks. Forget about "The Next Anderson Silva", Torres is beyond him IMO.

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

See I think he DOES get respect in the P4P discussions. The Faber fight is definitely one that Miguel wants, and I think it will happen.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I want MMA sanctioned in Massachusetts.

Jon Anik
  (3:22 PM)

Don't we all. TD Banknorth Garden. Keep the banners up.

hon china

why is your sport barbaric and disgustin?

Jon Anik
  (3:22 PM)

Why are you grossly uneducated on our sport?

rob (jersey)

Mamed was supposed to fight Saturday in Poland - but broke his hand.....

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

Love the MMA Nation updates. Rob just vaulted ahead of Joe in St. Louis in our MMA Live chat rankings.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

What are the worst nicknames in MMA in your estimation?

Jon Anik
  (3:24 PM)

I need to get back to you on this, Hondo. I know you think about it a lot!!! Not a big fan of 'Handsome'. I know which nicknames I like...Irish Hand Grenade...Rush...

Sam (chicago)

i train with torres and i know for a fact he would love to fight faber!!!!do you see this happening anytime soon?

Jon Anik
  (3:25 PM)

What is soon? Sometime in 2009? My best guess, based on Torres having to defend his belt, etc., would be 2010. But the fight is an eventuality, not just a possibility.

rob (jersey)

I wasn't there before??? LOL!!! j/k

John (Jersey)

jon did cc sabaitha donate last nite? wow 161 million

Jon Anik
  (3:25 PM)

Hahaha...yeah, CC had better throw down for the soldiers. I hope all of you did, too.

Adam (Houston, TX)

Jon, I see why you're a big Joey Villasenor fan. He was on Inside MMA with Bas and Kenny and he's just a class act. He's really in a crappy situation right now and I hope he gets a fight some where soon.

Jon Anik
  (3:26 PM)

Amen. Smokin' Joe.

Jeff - MD

No nickname list is complete without War Machine....oh wait, that is his legal name.

Drew (Denver, CO)

Hater Hurter....awful, just awful

Drew (Denver, CO)

Hey Jon, my cable company just got HDNet and I was watching the highlights of the DREAM Middleweight GP. I had only seen Mayhem Miller fight once or twice before, but that guy is funny and talented. Any chance the UFC picks him up again?

Jon Anik
  (3:27 PM)

Doubtful. Just one man's opinion. The UFC doesn't have the need to recycle any talent. As is, it is having to cut quality fighters to make room for new ones.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Jon, if you can implement one thing into MMA, what would it be?

Jon Anik
  (3:29 PM)

I think most people would say a rankings system, so that all of the fighters who deserve title shots would get them. Also, mainstream media coverage. MMA Live is a huge starting point, but until MMA is on SportsCenter regularly when there are big fights, it won't have truly arrived. For example, UFC Fight for the Troops (with respect to Carmelo Anthony) was the most exciting sporting event on TV last night. But SportsCenter didn't go near it. I understand why...not enough mass interest.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Actually, Mayhem Miller retired recently. Take that ROB!!!

Josh Koscheck

I've got the best nickname. It's unbelievably creative.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Alright, that does it, rob and I are throwing down at the first ever MMALive 1: Fight for Redemption. Winner takes all!!

Robbie Lawler

Fight me Smokin Joe - -

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

Hopefully that fight happens, no matter where or for whom.

Drew (Denver, CO)

Thanks for your hard work and insight. Manic Jon Anik is the Man

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Mine would be: longer mandatory chats with Jon Anik. Just kidding.

Jon Anik
  (3:32 PM)

On that note, we've got to step away. MMA Live should be up shortly, if it is not already. Miguel Torres is live in-studio! Thanks for all of the submissions, and if we didn't get to you, hit us up at mmalive@espn.com. Enjoy all of the fights over the next three days. Until next week...-JA