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December 13, 7:45 AM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

We're back for another Sports Nation MMA Live chat! Hope you are too...A very busy month for Mixed Martial Arts continues. Let's get to it.

Andrew (Reading, PA)

I was curious as to whether or not Corey Hill being 6'4" and only 155 pounds factored into him breaking his leg, or if he really kicks that hard, or if he has some sort of calcium deficiency, or if it was truly just a freak accident? Also, kudos to Dana White and the UFC for paying for his recovery.

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

I certainly think the injury was a bit fluky, Andrew. But his height for that weight is certainly alarming, and his legs look like they would snap easily. And, unfortunately, one of them did.

Jason (Atlanta, GA)

If BJ Penn wins the Welterweight title, who would he fight first after with both Kenny and Thiago Alves waiting for a title shot in their respective divisions?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

BJ Penn sees to call a lot of shots in the UFC. I would think Thiago Alves if BJ gets to decide, but he should be forced to fight Kenny next.

mike (For t Lee NJ)

What are you hearing regarding the possible cancellation of the Affliction event?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Have 2 calls out there now, but you were the first to bring it to my attention.

Drew (Denver, CO)

Jon, I thought the TUF finale was pretty good. Your thoughts on the show? Also, do you feel Eliot Marshall will eventually make an impact in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

A whole lot of talent out there for the UFC to choose from. I think Season 8, with a return to the two-weight class format, was pretty deep. Wouldn't be surprised at all if Eliot Marshall is one of 5-6 guys who get a UFC contract of some sort.

john (Jersey)

All i want for the hoildays is for fighters to make weight

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

I so hear ya, John. No interest in watching what WIlson Gouveia does if he comes in at 189.

Rich (St Clair Shores, MI)

With you guys doing an earlier story about Chuck Liddel maybe fighting Anderson Silva at UFC 85, are there any updates of who is going to be the main event?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Still no definitive main event for UFC 95 in London Feb. 21st. Anderson Siva seems to want to wait until February. I have some information that I will try to share next week, should it become more concrete. Sorry...

David SC

What do you think of this idea. Couture fights the loser of the Nog vs. Mir fight for the First ever Cruiser weight title at lets say 230 lbs.

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

The UFC won't establish a cruiserweight division soon, in my opinion, even if a lot of folks are pining for it. I would, however, like to see Couture fight the Mir-Nogueira loser, even without a belt on the line.

rob (jersey)

Where is the Michael Bisping of this chat? (Joe/St. Louis) LOL!!!!! j/k

Drew (Denver, CO)

Going back to last week's chat, I've got the dude reppin' the STL at -115. Sorry Rob in Jersey

Leo (Boston MA)

Hey Jon, A good TUF finale continues the good streak of entertaining UFC fights. Can you give us your final predictions for the 3 main events at UFC 92.

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Now seems as good a time as any, Leo. We are unlikely to be chatting on Christmas Eve next week. So...I will take Rampage Jackson to finish Wanderlei Silva in the second round. I think Frank Mir will look good, but Nogueira will be too much for him. And, I am done picking against Forrest Griffin, but I do think Rashad Evans is a live underdog. I'll take Griffin to finish him, perhaps via submission, later rounds.

Jack (Jersey)

Jon, did you see the Frank Mir interview about TUF 8? Didn't he imply that a lot of the show is "sweetened", to say the least? There just seemed to be some tampering going on, from what I gathered.

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

Tampering might be a strong word, Jack. I would also say, with any reality TV show, the producers have the ability to frame the outcome. That's why nothing beats live sports, combat sports I should say.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you think the Celtics are getting too much attention?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

No. 24-2. But we talk MMA here.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, sad day for MMA fans. Former UFC, WEC, IFL vet Justin Levens was found dead in his home with his wife in an apparent murder/suicide. I've already started to see some backlash from the mainstream media casting MMA in general in a bad light. What do you think this story does for MMA in the short term?

David (SC)

It doesn't make sense not to have Cruiser weight. Depth at at above 250 and depth at around or below 240. Oh well.

Jon Anik
  (2:38 PM)

But remember, only over the last several months has the UFC heavyweight division started to round out. There aren't as many top natural 'crusierweights' as you think. I think eventually the UFC will add a sixth division. When it does, crusierweight would be a good choice.

Robert - the original Cin city in O-H-I-O

Jon, what's the latest on Pro Elite? Are they officially still out of business? Have they pulled a Noguiera and come back to life?

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

It looks as though a buyer is imminent. Read a report earlier today at fiveouncesofpain.com.

Aaron (NJ)

Could Affliction not gotten a better opponent for Josh Barnett... How about Tim Sylvia or even someone like Ricardo Arona?

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

Yeah Aaron, I think they dropped the ball there. Tom Atencio says Affliction will do 4-5 shows this year, so hopefully Barnett faces a greater challenge next time around.

Dre (Atl)

All the top Heavy Weight contenders in the UFC are grapplers. Where have the strikers gone?

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

It's an interesting point, Dre. Frank Mir calls Andrei Arlovski the best HW striker, and he's with Affliction. I think what you're seeing it is easier to become a great striker than grappler. A lot of the wresters have been grappling since they were very young. And a lot of them have found their boxing skills pretty easily. Kickboxing success comes later.

Andrew (Reading, PA)

I know people hate to hear about former WWE wrestlers making their transition into MMA, but I need to know what the chances are of Bobby Lashley ending up in the UFC. I know he's under contract with the IFL or AFL for two or three fights, but I'm pretty sure if he breezes through them like he did against Joshua Franklin and keeps opening up three inch gashes on people's foreheads, Dana White will invite him gladly.

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

I think it is a strong possibility that Bobby Lashley ends up with the UFC, and sooner rather than later. Not sure the exact terms of his AFL contract, but they aren't really staging fights. Don't count out Affliction, however. Just hard to read exactly what Affliction's long-term intentions are. And Dana doesn't often let a good thing slip away, which I believe Lashley to be.

Jim (Acton, MA)

If Affliction is doing 4-5 shows this year... I am putting the over/under on 17.5 reschedules.

Jon Anik
  (2:44 PM)

Check out the 'Tap Out' segment on MMA Live today.

rob (jersey)

Jon - bottle of the Goose on the Wand/Rampage fight? I got WAND!

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

My wagering days are over, for now. I lose too many picks! Sorry, Robert.

Rich (St Clair Shores, MI)

Adding on to Andrew's question, if Bobby Lashley does make it to the UFC, how good of a fight do you think it would be between Lashley and Lesner?

Jon Anik
  (2:46 PM)

Right now, not good. I think Brock would smash him. From what I read, Lashley, while at a great camp (ATT), hasn't even worked on his kicking yet. He's worked on submission defense and boxing. Brock is almost 2 years in to his training, I believe.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I must say I got both TUF finals wrong. I was shocked that Vinny made no attempt to take Bader to the ground.

Jon Anik
  (2:47 PM)

You're right, Marc. Vinny seemed much more aggressive out of the shoot against Soszynski in the semifinals. Bader didn't give him much time to get going, either. I'm sure all 4 guys will get contracts.

Wanderlei Silva (training with nog and forrest)

...and I'll even beat Smokin' Joe for free!

Jon Anik
  (2:47 PM)

Villasenor's just worried about 185. But, thanks. A lot of the chatters today are picking Wanderlei to beat Rampage for a third time.

Tom - England

If Dean Lister beats Yushin Okami, will this put him in the title picture as I believe Listers jiu jitsu would give any one trouble.

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

In the picture? Yes. But a top 1-2 contender at 185, not quite. The reality show could allow for him to have an earlier title shot than expected, however.

Jeff (MD)

Sorry for the late arrival. What are your thoughts on Junie's performance at TUF? Not sure how good Kaplan really is, but Junie looked 100% better than on the show.

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

Junie looked tremendous. One of the bigger winners from the weekend. And, as you know, he needed to win with style points. Mission accomplished. The apology didn't hurt, either.

Drew (Denver, CO)

I think Vinicius just listened to what others were saying too much. It seemed that he was a little too overconfident. Good to see Bader show more fire in the finals

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

Agreed, Drew.

rob (jersey)

Speaking of ATT - Olympic Gold Medal judo-ka Satoshi Ishii is starting to train with them - Jon would you think his transition would be as smooth as other world-class wrestlers/BJJ guys?

Jon Anik
  (2:50 PM)

We'll see, Rob. Certainly an exciting development for MMA. Before reports of his striking ability right now aren't great, obviously.

john (jersey)

ill take sean sherk to beat tyson griffin at ufc 90 oh wait i already did and still havent gotten my winnings lol

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

They've been in the mail for over a week. Not sure why. Keep me posted. And settle down...haha.

Baumer (NYC)

Any comment on Kenny's hair? Maybe I was mistaken but it looked a little mulletish last week.

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

Oh, Florian's lettuce is certainly discussed on the show today. He is growing it out, that's for sure.

Johnny(Queens)

Man, Bobby Lashley, Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar! Those are some big,tough,mean heavyweights! I wouldn't want to be in the same division as those guys.

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

Or the same room, Johnny. They made me stand on a stinkin' stool when I interviewed Brock.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, can you tell rob to face it? I'm the Matt Hughes to his Frank Trigg, I'm the Anderson Silva to his Rich Franklin, I'm the Wanderlei Silva to his Rampage Jackson, etc. etc.

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

Our rankings for MMA Nation chatters are tight at the top. I'm wondering why others haven't challenged Joe or Rob for the top seat.

Ahmed (Hanford, CA)

Of the two TUF winners, who do you think has the better career... Bader or Escadero? Seems to me that the LHW division is prime for guys coming out of the TUF show to be successful, so maybe a better question would be who would have a better career between Nate Diaz and Efrain?

Jon Anik
  (2:53 PM)

Good question, Ahmed. I cannot wait to see the Nate Diaz-Clay Guida fight. If Nate gets a win, he would seem to be on the fast track for a title shot. As for Bader or Escudero, I think 155 is so tough that Bader, actually, may have more success. Ryan is only getting better. Solid camp.

Andrew (Reading, PA)

Is anyone else annoyed with title holders going back and forth between weight classes? I don't like that Anderson Silva randomly goes and fights up at 205, and I know it's because there isn't much competition at 185, but I say he should still be defending that title every time he fights. I also don't like the idea of BJ Penn going back and forth between 155 and 170 if he happens to beat GSP. KenFlo deserves his shot.

Jon Anik
  (2:55 PM)

We discuss this almost every week, Andrew. Mega-fights are $$$$$$$$ and important for the sport, and that is why they happen. In a perfect world, beltholders would stay put for each fight, but it's just not realistic in the UFC. People want to see Anderson Silva-GSP.

Kevin (Worcester,MA)

Sorry I've been slacking Jon, I know its a little early but with Franklin/Henderson going at it at 205, do you think the winner stays at LHW to go for a title shot or is it just a temporary thing?

Jon Anik
  (2:56 PM)

I think both guys are very flexible. I definitely think Dan Henderson gets another stab at Anderson Silva at some point for the belt at 185. And Hendo deserves it.

Dre (Atl)

Just saw the Griffin - Jackson fight again this week on Spike. I still don't see why Griffin won. Why no direct rematch?

Jon Anik
  (2:57 PM)

No direct rematch, in large part, because of Rampage's rampage/traffic episode shortly thereafter. It just wouldn't have been right to give him the immediate rematch. But, given the closeness of the first fight with Griffin, I would like to see him get the rematch with a win over Wanderlei next weekend.

Arnie Enfield, CT

I would challenge for the top seat, but I am like the Brock Lesnar I am out trying to make some more money before I come in and dominate

Jon Anik
  (2:58 PM)

As long as you keep coming back. We appreciate our regulars, Arnie.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Jon, did Smokin' Joe answer your fan mails yet and send you the autographed picture of himself?

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

That's a good idea, Jim. I should send away for Villasenor's autograph. Hopefully I want have to and we'll have him in-studio after he signs somewhere.

Jason (Boston)

Hi Jon - Who do you think Joe Silva will throw at Diego Sanchez first at 155?

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

A good question. I hope it's not Kenny Florian. Diego should have to work his way up at 155, or at least fight someone other than the top contender. If I'm Kenny, I don't take a non-title fight at 155, no matter the opponent.

Matt (Fort Collins)

My questions asked to questions answered ratio is 100%. How many do I need to qualify for the top of the ranks? And how many different ways did they pronounce Efrain the other night?

Jon Anik
  (3:01 PM)

Matt, the pronunciations are a constant battle for those of us in sports broadcasting. It is a little bizzare, though, that Bruce Buffer sometimes pronounces names differently than Mike Goldberg.

Ahmed (Hanford, CA)

Who has the better BJJ in your opinion, Jon... Jake Shields or Dustin Hazelett? I understand Shields is more well-known and accomplished, but Hazelett is amazing and he's very young still.

Jon Anik
  (3:01 PM)

That's really a pick 'em, Ahmed. I'd lean towards Shields, but I'm barely leaning.

rob (jersey)

....see what we started - the more regulars, or the more people the merrier -its what will get MMA Live on TV!!!! come one come all....

Derek- Danbury CT

When is MMA Live gonna be on TV? Do you like Babalu or Sokoudjou in that fight? Thanks for answering my question

Jon Anik
  (3:03 PM)

Hopefully soon, D-Rock. I think both guys enter the fight very hungry. But I think Babalu would have to be the favorite.

David (SC)

Bad Guy's like Junie. Good or bad for the sport? I say good. Every MCEnroe is better with a Connors.

Jon Anik
  (3:04 PM)

Villains are certainly important for sport. But, Brock Lesnar or Floyd Mayweather, for example, are much better villain players than guys like Junie Browning.

Baumer (NYC)

Is this the last chat before the New Year? Lets talk about UFC 92, aside from the marquee fights, im looking forward to Lister/Okami should be a great fight.

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

Next chat will be New Year's day, Baumer, so yeah. A lot of people thought that Okami-Lister deserved main card inclusion. I just can't wait to watch the whole thing. 3 main events on one card. Really intrigued to see if our guy, Frank Mir, can get something going against a hugely motivated Nogueira.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Does anyone else notice that Bruce Buffer make an emphatic point towards the corner as he announces the fighters? Is this unintentional comedy, because I laugh everytime and my girlfriend asks if he is alright?

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

It's his shtick, and I think it has some comedic value. Doesn't bother me. I've always liked his energy.

Che: Macon, GA

With Brock Lesnar proving himself that he can win, and Bobby Lashley having been successful, do you see the guys in professional wrestling, the ones with real amatuer credentials, taking a chance with mma? I ask that because before the rise of mma there was just a couple of options for collegiate wrestlers, coach or WWE. What do you think?

Jon Anik
  (3:08 PM)

Che, I think there is a huge trend of guys with great amateur wrestling backgrounds going to MMA. WWE will always have money, but most of these athletes crave real, unscripted athletic competition. And, MMA is the best outlet for that.

Bruce Buffer

Introducing First..

Jason (Boston)

Even though I think Kenflo would frustrate and beat Nightmare second time around, i agree he needs to work his way up. How bout a matchup with Sean "the chode" sherk? Could be risky though for diego...

Jon Anik
  (3:08 PM)

Really like that fight, Jason. You'd have to think it's on Joe Silva's short list.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

What are the chances of the UFC signng Bobby Lashley and Brett Rogers when they are free agents? I think both if these guys will be big draws!

Jon Anik
  (3:09 PM)

Both guys could be 'up' for free agency at different times. But if you're asking me who has a better chance to land in the UFC, I would say Lashley. But both very well could get there.

Jason (Colorado Springs)

Machida, if he beats Silva, when does he get a shot at the title?

Jon Anik
  (3:10 PM)

Wouldn't you and all of his other fans like to know? I think a win over Silva would, at the very least, get a declaration from Dana White that Machida is the #1 contender...even if that doesn't always mean an immediate title shot. See Florian, Kenny.

John(Buffalo,NY)

Shane Carwin vs Gabriel Gonzaga for the rights of being the #1 contender after the Brock Lesnar vs Mir/Nogueira winner?

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

A distinct possibility, John. Although, I believe Franklin McNeil mentioned the UFC had other ideas in my mind for Shane Carwin next.

Mike Jackson

who do like in the Forrest Rashad Evans fight?

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

I like Forrest's ability to outlast Rashad in a war. Could easily be the Fight of the Night. UFC 92 = cannot come fast enough.

Baumer (NYC)

I think the UFC would wait several fights until they look to sign Lashley, they would been to be very careful with having two former WWE superstars on their roster.

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

Good point. But talent is talent. And drawing power is drawing power. If the UFC sees potential, who knows? It's like the minute Lashley wins one fight, there is already talk about him facing Lesnar.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

When Thiago Silva beats Lyoto Machida in January? What will his future look like? Will he get a title fight?

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

Having nothing to do with his ability, I think Thiago Silva is further away from a shot at the LHW belt. Were he to beat Machida convincingly, that could change. A win over Lyoto would really catapult him, and be huge for his career, to hand Machida his first L.

rob (jersey)

Since this is the last chat of the new years - K-1 has a card on NYE. Can we have your thoughts on Hellboy/JZ, Eddie/Aoki, (ugh) Mirko/Hong Man Choi (wtf?)

Jon Anik
  (3:15 PM)

Since we are running out of time, I will make it quick. Aoki will beat Alvarez. Didn't even want to predict that one. I'll also take JZ to humble Hellboy. And I won't even waste time with Cro Cop-Hong Man Choi. Actually, gimme Choi. What the heck.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Do you think that Dana White would look to drop Machida because of his uneventful fights?

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

Doubtful, especially if he keeps winning.

David (SC)

Who wins: Michael Buffer vs. Bruce Buffer. Who cares about the Shamrocks.

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

It is a more competitive fight, on paper. That Buffer-Buffer fight may be the only time boxing beats MMA.

Jason (Bmore)

Both Escodero and Bader were heavy dogs this past weekend. However, they just wanted it more. Not enough is said about this stuff. Regardless, both Nover and Vinicius project to be better pros.

Jon Anik
  (3:18 PM)

I agree, Jason, that heart was a huge factor at TUF finale. And you're right, not enough is said about the simple 'will to win'. I would also agree that Nover and Vinicius project better. BJJ rules the other disciplines, in my humble opinion.

Rod (Tampa)

With Lashley's win do you think that there is more interest for the UFC to have a potential big draw fight with Brock if he roles pass Nog and others

Jon Anik
  (3:19 PM)

First off, no one ever rolls past Nogueira. If Big Nog gets through Mir, it'll be interesting to see how people dissect Lesnar-Nogueira. As for Lashley, he's a name to keep an eye on. But a shot at Lesnar is far, far away right now.

Andrew (Reading, PA)

Uneventful? Machida is a doctor out there. His destruction of Tito Ortiz was a joy to watch, and I see him doing the same against Silva. He's going to move away from him and kick him a lot, throw combinations, and eventually knee him in the face until he can't move.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Because we have seen fighters struggle at first with dropping weight classes... is it more likely that Diego gets paired up with a second tier fighter first?

Jon Anik
  (3:20 PM)

From what I hear, not necessarily, Jim. But I would say that dropping to 155 could be a struggle for Sanchez. He will sacrifice some strength and wind the first time around, I believe.

Bobby Lashley

Everyone.....i fought a guy making his debut - can we calm down a little bit?

Ace Orlando, Florida

When is the new mma live gonna be up? cause its 3:19 where i'm at.

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

Shouldn't be long...

rob (jersey)

And since we're running out of time - Jon Happy Holidays and be safe NYE! Go Eddie - lol

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

Thanks, Rob. We know you are rooting for Alvarez!

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Last chat of the year... name your most impressive and most disappointing figters of the year. Forrest Griffin and CroCop for me.

Jon Anik
  (3:22 PM)

I was thinking we would do our 'Awards' chat on 1/1. Several fighters in the mix for Fighter of the Year, or most impressive. Gegard Mousasi, Lesnar, Florian.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Jon you have to predict Mousasi's (sp?) kickboxing fight at K-1 vs. Musashi.

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

If I must, Mousasi. No real insight for ya.

Baumer (NYC)

I think Molly needs to release rankings for Top MMA Chatters on episode 33.

el paso, texas

First off let me say im a big fan of your show, when is it going on tv!? Man I still dont see what forrest did to beat rampage, can you elaborate, and I would love to see jorge masvidal take on ken flo, any predictions?

Jon Anik
  (3:24 PM)

El Paso, we can't rehash the Griffin-Rampage result too much, because it dominated this chat for a month. All I will say is that public perception differed greatly as to how that fight should've been scored. I gave it to Forrest, ever so slightly.

Fedor E.

Why does everyone talk about Brock Lesnar...Sure he has been impressive so far buy I'm still the greatest and he wouldn't get out of the first round with me.

Jon Anik
  (3:24 PM)

Fair enough, but he is in the UFC, which is essentially the NFL.

Jon Anik
  (3:25 PM)

And he's the champion...with all due respect to WAMMA.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

I agree that BJJ dominates the other disciplines, but only with unlimited time. With five minute rounds a good wrestler can hold position against a good BJJer. (Bader's semifinal fight)

Jim (Acton, MA)

When I say uneventful... Machida wins decisions and doesn't finish fights... White has shown to drop good fighters before for not finishing fights.

Andrew (Reading, PA)

Impressive: Kenny Florian Disappointing: Charles Liddell

Zach (Burlington, IA)

what do you think about Amir Sadollah?

Jon Anik
  (3:26 PM)

I think he's very green and needs to fight. He will do so shortly against Nick Catone, and then I'll have more to offer.

Ahmed (Hanford, CA)

Jon, I know this isn't MMA related, but do you think De La Hoya threw the Pacquiao fight to try and get Pretty Boy Floyd to come out of retirement and set up a mega-fight with Pacman?

Jon Anik
  (3:26 PM)

No I don't. He has too much pride. But I'd love to see Mayweather return. Boxing needs him in the worst way.

Jim (Acton, MA)

More Molly please... we can only look at your three ugly mugs for so much over 30+ minutes.

David (SC)

Merry Christmas. All I want for Christmas is MMA on TV. 2008 was biggest year yet for MMA and 2009 even bigger starting with GSP vs. Penn rematch. WOOOO

Jon Anik
  (3:27 PM)

We share your enthusiasm, David.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Jon, will Gina Carano become the Anna Kournikova of MMA?

Jon Anik
  (3:28 PM)

Interesting submission from Ken to close out the chat today. I do think Gina may be a tad overrated as an MMA fighter. Not sure EliteXC gave her a ton of great competition after Julie Kedzie. Carano is a lion in there, but a destructive loss to Cyborg Santos could expose her a bit.

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

Alright, ladies and men. Thanks for a wonderful year of MMA Live chats. Truly a banner year for Mixed martial arts. Episode #32 of MMA Live should be up shortly, if not already. We won't be here for a chat on Christmas Day, but we do return on New Year's Day. You can nurse your hangover in the chat room... Happy Holidays. Happy New Year. We'll do it again...in 2009! -JA