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January 6, 6:29 AM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

Great to be back with you guys for another MMA Live chat. Certainly a lot to discuss after two weeks away, so I figured we'd start early. After the chat, be sure to check out Episode #35 of MMA Live. It's our 2008 Awards Show, and a bit of a surprise winner for MMA Nation's Fighter of the Year...at least in my opinion. Alright, fire away...

Mitchell (fargo)

Is Wanderlei Silva done for? Doesn't seem like he has much left in the tank. Thanks

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Mitchell, I'm not sure Silva has much left. But if there is money to be made, which there is, I do expect him to fight a few more times.

Brook, Hollywood FL

Who was your pick for Fighter of the Year? And you can't give it to KEN-FLO!!! I say Rashad Evans, hands down.

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

My Fighter of the Year was Frank Mir. Not only did he submit Brock Lesnar, but he became the only man to ever finish Minotauro Nogueira. I thought Frank was the Fighter of the Year without much debate.

David (SC)

Three weeks without chat, this will be a good one... Let's get it out of the way. Who you got UF or Okl. tonight?

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Welcome back, David...we were actually only gone for two weeks...glad you missed the chat! I think tonite's game could be an epic. And, since everyone else is taking Florida, give me the Sooners.

michael harlingen texas

i have been following lyoto since he came to the ufc i want to know if you think he will get a title shot

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

I do think Machida will get a title shot. If he beats Thiago Silva later this month, he could be next in line. I would be shocked if 2009 came and went without a title shot for Lyoto.

john (jersey)

jon who was the most disapointing fighter in 2008?

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Maybe Chuck Liddell. Injury forced the delay of the fight with Rashad Evans, and then he got knocked the heck out. Not a good year for The Iceman.

Ben , Hawaii

Who is the favorite in the Mir-Lesnar fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Haven't seen the opening line yet, Ben. But I would imagine Lesnar would be favored, despite the fact that Mir already beat him. Brock got a whole lot done in that fight before Mir caught his leg.

rob (jersey)

Happy New Year to you and all of the Nation. BOLD PREDICTION: UFC 100 on July 4th (Saturday) @ MSG

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Happy New Year to you too, Rob, and all of MMA Nation. How huge would that be, UFC 100 on the 4th of July at MSG? We can only hope. Talk about making a splash in New York.

Gabriel San Francisco CA

Will we see Brock Lesner lose in 2009?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

It's a good question, Gabriel. We only know of one opponent so far in Frank Mir. Don't want to predict that fight just yet, but I think there is a distinct possibility that Lesnar remains the champ into 2010.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, glad to see you back! What do you think about Freddie Roach's comments that if Fedor "fights us like a man," and stands and trades with Arlovski that Arlovski will KO Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Freddie Roach always has a lot to say. He was very vocal about Manny Pacquiao's chances last month against Oscar De La Hoya, and that forecast worked out. I do believe Arlovski has the striking edge, but Fedor is so well-versed across the board. I'd be surprised if Emelianenko stands and trades throughout.

Dan (Los Angeles)

Do you think the Nogeuira that fought Mir was the same Nogueira physically and mentally from PrideFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

Definitely not, Dan. Minotauro hasn't really looked great in any of his UFC appearances. Didn't look good against Heath Herring and Tim Sylvia punished Big Nor for awhile before eventually losing. Noguiera, to me, looks to be nearing the end.

Matt (San Diego, CA)

Jon, Welcome back bro! Do you think Rampage gets Evans next or do you think the UFC sets up the rematch between Page and Forrest?

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

I think the obvious title fight should be Rampage against Rashad Evans. I would love to see Jackson-Griffin again, but not now. Rampage deserves a chance to get his belt back, and he shouldn't have to go through Forrest first...even if he may want to.

Kevin Sartori (Vernon, CT)

Any comments on WEC's new Flyweight division? Anybody you want to see there?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Not really, Kevin. I have a hard enough time keeping track of all the talented bantamweights and featherweights.

Carl (Chicago)

Jon, love the show! I'm looking forward to the GSP vs. BJ Penn fight, but I think it would be bad for the UFC if Penn won, your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

I agree Carl. It would be best for all parties involved if GSP won. Then, the UFC could set up the Anderson Silva-GSP fight, or Thiago Alves could fight St. Pierre. And, of course, Kenny Florian and BJ Penn would likely fight for the 155 lb. belt. Definitely agree that the UFC is (silently) rooting for GSP.

rob (jersey)

To all the Bobby Lashley slurpers from a couple weeks ago - learn who "King" Mo Lawal is - he's a better wrestler, striker, and overall prospect (sorry Jon wanted to get that out last chat but couldn't)

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

Yes, Rob. King Mo Lawal is definitely a name to keep an eye on. But so is Bobby Lashley. He seems pretty committed. Obviously, Lawal has more skills right now.

Sam (ohio)

What's next for the winner of the GSP-PENN fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

UFC 93 hasn't even happened, and everyone wants to talk UFC 94 today! I think the next opponents for both guys depend entirely on the outcome. But if BJ loses, you'd have to think the UFC would make him fight Florian.

Harvey(Abuquerque, NM)

Nice to see MMA on espn. I know Anderson Silva has some losses on his record so there is no doubt he can be beat, but who's going to beat now or in the near future?

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Thanks, Harvey. At 185, I'm not sure anyone in the UFC can beat Silva. I'd give Dan Henderson another shot, if I were the UFC. If 'The Spider' fights at 205, I think there are a handful of guys with a chance to end his winning streak.

Tyler (Los Angeles)

Jon, Im a huge fan of the show and love what you guys are doing to cover MMA. My question was do you guys have any info on the upcoming UFC Undisputed video game? I thought maybe you guys would get a sneak peek of it before anyone else did.

Jon Anik
  (2:38 PM)

Thanks for the kind words, Tyler. I've seen behind-the-scenes snippets of the game, and the graphics look tremendous. But until we all get a chance to play the game, it will be hard to determine how good it will be. It's very difficult to make a great fight game.

David (SC)

Okay, I miss some chats, but people have to work to make the money it takes to be an MMA fan. Favorite Christmas gift sprawl T-shirt

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

You're excused. It really is expensive to be a combat sports fans. The PPVs are killer, especially when you share a cable bill with someone who doesn't watch the fights...

Baumer (NYC)

Lets save the GSP/Penn talk for a few weeks....Ireland is first and a big time fight between Franklin/Hendo, I personally see Hendo taking this one late in round 3.

Jon Anik
  (2:41 PM)

UFC 93 predictions next week. Hendo is the favorite, but I am leaning towards Rich Franklin. Ace looked terrific against Matt Hamill at UFC 88.

Sam (Tehachapi, CA)

First off I think Gerard Musasi (I know I spelled his name wrong) should get fighter of the year, second I don't want to Machida get a title shot, his fight with Tito was boring and I put most of that on his defensive style of fighting, and third do you think a WAMMA heavyweight title will ever get defended in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

Yeah, Florian thought Mousasi was a top candidate for Fighter of the Year. He raised a lot of eyebrows in 2008. As for the WAMMA belt ever being contested under the UFC banner, I sort of hope so. And that isn't because I'm a WAMMA pollster. It's because I want to see all of the major promotions recognize one set of universal rankings.

Bren (Texas)

Happy New Year! Who is the #1 Lightweight in the world - BJ Penn or Shinya Aoki?

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

Thanks, Bren. I think BJ Penn is still the #1 LW in the world, but Aoki is right behind him. A better question may be who is #3?

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, Shinya Aoki proved again that if you go to the ground with him, you should be prepared to get submitted rather quickly. How do you think he stacks up against the other 155lbers in the UFC, including the champ?

Jon Anik
  (2:44 PM)

Very favorably, Joe. Kenny always says off-camera that he wants to fight ALL of the top lightweights that are not necessarily in the UFC. That includes Aoki.

Eddie Alvarez

I'd fight Kenny to see who's #3 - since I already beat Hellboy

rob (jersey)

Buy/Sell Tito-Fedor in 2009......as sort of a publicity stunt/serious fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

Sell. Interesting concept, but I don't need to see it.

Sean (Morgantown, WV)

Happy New Year, please tell me who might be the headline fight at UFC 96

Jon Anik
  (2:46 PM)

Perhaps Jardine-Cane would be a co-main event. Chuck Liddell could land on the card against an opponent he definitely could beat...a guy who will stand and trade. But I don't expect any belt on the line in Columbus.

Matt (San Deigo, CA)

Jon, I know the fight is down the road, but I'm excited for Stevenson vs Sanchez! Curious on which way you lean, most think Diego will destroy Joe. I tend to disagree, and feel the weight cut will hurt Diego. Thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (2:48 PM)

Matt, I certainly think it will be a challenge for Diego in his first fight at 155. And that isn't because of his opponent. 155 is definitely not his natural weight. But, if the weight proves not to be as much of a factor, I favor Sanchez.

Leo (Boston MA)

Any word on if Coture vs Nogeuira will fight this year?

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

Not sure, Leo. I don't expect Couture to return until early summer. But Nogueira would seem to be the most likely opponent. Unless, of course, Lesnar beats Frank Mir. Then, maybe Couture and Lesnar rematch. I want to see Brock and Randy fight again.

Bren (Texas)

Don't you think giving Mir "Fighter of the Year" honors is a little unfair considering he won two fights in 2008 (against a guy who was 1-1 plus a guy who was coming off a staph infection and looked to be in terrible shape)? Mousasi was 6-0 with wins over a number of Middleweight contenders. KenFlo had a helluva year too.

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

I don't care about the staph infection, Bren. I don't care about excuses, really. Mir finished Nogueira. No one had ever done that. And the Lesnar victory gained a ton of steam b/c Brock then went on and beat Couture. And Brock is a force, regardless of his short record. Rashad Evans, Florian and Mousasi are all in the mix, too. But my vote goes to Mir. Just one man's opinion.

Rod (NJ)

Excuse me, the Jardine/Cane fight was reported on MMAMania.

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

Yes, Rod. Thanks.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Jon, True or False: Mirko Cro Cop will once again fight in the UFC.

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

False.

Fenn (L.A. CA)

How seriously do you take Anderson Silva's talk of hanging them up in 09?

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

He may hang up the 5 oz. gloves in exchange for some Reyes boxing gloves. Truthfully, I expect Silva to honor his contract (4-5 fights remain), and then retire from MMA. Likely in 2010.

Scott (Madison, WI)

Is it true that Jon fitch was released because he wouldnt allow his name on the UFC game?

Jon Anik
  (2:53 PM)

No. Fitch ultimately decided to sign the agreement, and will fight Akihiro Gono at UFC 94. On the preliminary card, though, not guaranteed to be on the PPV.

Finn (Seattle, WA)

Who are some of those possibilites for Iceman? Houston Alexander? When does James Irvin's suspension finish? Wanderlei again?

Jon Anik
  (2:54 PM)

Houston Alexander is definitely a possibility. I could also see a guy like Steve Cantwell, who would be elevated with a win over Liddell. Maybe Brian Stann, another WEC carryover.

Dave stockton.ca [via mobile]

Who do u got in the shogun coleman fight

Jon Anik
  (2:54 PM)

Shogun big.

Ian (Orlando, FL)

It was announced Jardine and Cane are fighting in April in Montreal. Word is that Chuck is going to fight the loser of Franklin Henderson, how do you see Chuck doing against either of those two?

Jon Anik
  (2:56 PM)

I don't think either guy will be ready to fight when Liddell is. And, even if Chuck rededicates himself as he says he has, that shouldn't be the first guy he faces. Liddell needs a confidence-booster, and I think both Franklin and Henderson are bad match-ups.

Scott (Madison, WI)

Do you ever see the UFC bringing back a tournament style competition?

Jon Anik
  (2:57 PM)

Nope. I seem to answer this question every week. It's just not realistic anymore, and most of the fighters do not like it. Preparation is a huge part of MMA these days, and you can only prepare for one guy at a time.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, I like boxing, just not as much as MMA. Over the past few weeks we've heard that Anderson Silva and Andrei Arlovski have both been training with Freddie Roach. What do you think of the MMA fighters making the cross-over to boxing, and do you think there's a market or even a chance for success for them there?

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

Boxing needs big-name MMA fighters to cross-over in the worst way. Obviously the Affliction-Golden Boy partnership might allow for it to happen sooner rather than later. And, if Silva and Arlovski were to box against fairly big names, I think it would have huge crossover appeal to both fan bases.

Gegard Mousassi

Joe - don't forget about me.....remember after the DREAM GP I said I wanted to box....

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

Duly noted...you called that you're dream.

Zach (Burlington, IA)

Why not pit Coture vs. Coleman?

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

I just think there are bigger and better names out there for Couture. Sure, it would be 2 HOFers going head-to-head. But Randy only has a few fights left, and I'd rather see him against other fighters.

Jeff (MD)

I thought fighters fighting twice is one night was prohibited in the States by the Athletic Commissions?

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

Could be, Jeff. Don't know the answer to that.

Leo (Boston MA)

No love for Miguel Torres for fighter of the year, he fought three times won the title and defended it twice?

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

He's definitely in the mix, Leo. Just not in my Top 3 for 2008.

sergio (Texas)

when can we see nick diaz in action again? Can rampage start slammin people on their heads again? please?! Any chance of torres meeting faber? Happy new year!

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

Sergio, there is a distinct possibility that Faber and Torres will meet. I'd be shocked if it didn't happen by 2010, latest. Perhaps the first WEC PPV headliner? Would make sense...

raul (chino,cal)

ishii where do you see him going ufc or somewhere in japan dream or sengoku

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

Good to have you back, Raul. I think it would be an upset if Ishii landed anywhere but the UFC. He wants to fight the best, and fight for the best.

David (SC)

Their should be more talk about the year Alves had. Karo, Hughes, Kos. 3-0. That beats Louzon, Huerta, Joe Daddy. Sorry Kenny.

Jon Anik
  (3:03 PM)

Tremendous year for Thiago Alves. Glad you brought him up.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

Do you think the winner of the Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva fight will get a shot at Rashad Evans and the light HW championship?

Jon Anik
  (3:04 PM)

I think Rampage will get the next shot at Evans. The winner of Machida-Silva would then be next in line. But I've been wrong before. Just ask the Las Vegas sportsbooks.

Sam (Toronto, ON)

hey john. i was wondering your thoughts on the faber/pulver rematch. does this really boost faber's status that much (as i assume he will win), will a loss cripple pulvers career? what is zuffa looking to get out of this one? thanks, very much

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

Sam, I'm not looking forward to the rematch at all. Faber dominated for 24 of the 25 minutes they fought last time. As for Zuffa's gain, they are two big, recognizable names, and their first fight was the most-watched bout in WEC history. But the rematch doesn't do much for me.

Bren (Texas)

Strikeforce recently put on an event with a one-night Middleweight Tournament (which Jorge Santiago eventually won by beating Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley) so the lack of tourneys isn't related to athletic commissions.

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

Thanks, Bren.

Jon (Dallas)

Jon Organik Anik, First of all, SMOKIN' JOEY VILLASENOR Second, I am really disappointed in the rumored Silva-Leites fight. Thales lost to a welterweight (Kampan) and luckily beat Marquardt (luckiest win of the year). Aren't there better options out there for the #1 fighter in the world?

Jon Anik
  (3:08 PM)

About time for a Smokin' Joe Villasenor reference. I share your lack of enthusiasm for the Leites-Silva fight. I want to see a Spider-Hendo rematch. But that doesn't seem to be anywhere near the forefront of the UFC's plans.

Brian Wantagh, NY

Joey Villasenor Hey Jon happy new year. who are your 5 breakout fighters of '09?

Jon Anik
  (3:09 PM)

The regulars know how to get their questions answered! Dustin Hazelett sort of broke out in 2009, but I expect his star to continue to shine. Keep an eye also on the new Sengoku LW champion, Satoru Kitaoka. Also, Jose Aldo, a very talented and scary WEC featherweight. Jake Rosholt may turn heads as well.

Craig - Mission Viejo

The Strikeforce tournament took 8 months to approve and was in 2007 - yes it is an athletic commission issue. http://sports.yahoo.com/box/news?slug=ki-strikeforce101407&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Jon Anik
  (3:10 PM)

And the MMA Nation chatters are going at each other! I'll be reading the article after the chat.

Adam (louisville, KY)

hey Jon!!! I was wondering....i've been hearing a lot about UFC 96 and i'm thinking of going but the fight card i've heard so far isn't really worth paying that much money for, besides the main event(Gab Gonzo vs. Shane Carwin), have you heard anything else that migt convince me to really want to go?? thanx

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

Adam, I honestly believe that every UFC PPV is worth going to. Some people aren't that excited about UFC 93, but I think the main event alone is worth the price of admission. Gonzaga-Carwin is a tremendous heavyweight eliminator. Go to C-Bus, man.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

I call BS on the "PPV's are killer" comment. As if you don't get them all courtesy of ESPN.

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

Actually, Bradley, I do not watch the UFC pay-per-views at ESPN. And my bosses won't even pay for them! I am like the rest of you, except that I can take it as a tax write-off. Boxing PPVs are the rip offs, not UFC.

Bren (Texas)

I stand corrected. November 2007. *slinks back into his corner*

Jeff (MD)

If Maia beats Sonnen is he next in line for Anderson? I know he is still a little green but Lesnar is green and he got to take on Couture.

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

I'd be careful to compare anyone to Brock Lesnar b/c he's just a different animal. As for Maia, he's as good a submission guy as I've ever seen. I would love to see him get a shot at Silva in 2009. People I talk to think Maia is still 2-3 fights away. I think he should be closer to the title shot, given the way he has finished opponents.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, Craig is right. It is against the commission rules, but with proper approval and the necessary precautions taken, they will allow it.

Jon Anik
  (3:15 PM)

And we'll let Joe have the final word on the 'tournament-style' cards in the US.

Robert (Milwaukee)

I was at Silva/Hendo and the atmosphere was amazing. Just being there and seeing the fights is worth it. Even without a big name main event, Carwin/Gonzo and Hazelett/Saunders should be great fights

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

Agreed, Robert. The only sporting event I've ever been at more electric than a UFC card was Mayweather-Hatton in Vegas. When Floyd shut up an entire country...

Jeff (MD)

True or False: Wanderlei fights at 185 in 2009.

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

True.

Bridget (Madison, WI)

3 fights you'd love to see in '09??

Jon Anik
  (3:17 PM)

1. Penn-Florian 2. Maia-Silva 3. GSP-Alves I could go on and on...

Jon (Dallas)

I agree; Maia should only be one fight away from a title shot. Remember, who gave Silva the most trouble in the UFC? Lutter; a submission guy. Maia is a better version of Lutter. Not saying Maia would beat Anderson, but it is intriguing.

Jon Anik
  (3:18 PM)

Good point, Jon in Dallas.

David (SC)

What is the line on the Fedor - Arlovski fight?

Jon Anik
  (3:19 PM)

Fedor -340 Arlovski +260. The only value is on Arlovski, unless you are in an entirely different salary bracket than me.

rob (jersey)

Jon, any inside news as to what Hellboy's "head injury" was, and do you see he and JZ fighting early in 09?

Jon Anik
  (3:19 PM)

No inside info for you Rob, but I do expect the fight to be re-scheduled.

Finn (Seattle, WA)

Still, trying to get regulated in New York City, etc. I don't think the UFC would be looking at a tournament anytime soon. Too many negatives associated with them... health wise (justified or not).

Jon Anik
  (3:20 PM)

Another major factor, Finn. The last thing MMA in the U.S. needs is guys fighting a second fight with one eye closed from the first fight.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Chuck will fight Coleman if he shows well in Dublin (wins or goes 3 rds). You heard it hear first.

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

You're on the record, Ken. I'm just not sure the calendar works. Liddell last fought in September. You'd think he would fight someone within the next 2-3 months.

Jeff (MD)

Maia vs. Palhares would be an excellent fight as well.

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

A dream match-up for grappling fans.

David (SC)

Any Special guests on MMA Live this week?

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

MMA Live is up! On the homepage at espn.com. Stephan Bonnar joins us from Las Vegas, and Dustin Hazelett checks in as well.

Robert (Milwaukee)

Speaking of Mayweather/Hatton, Thanks to Mayweather and all the Brits betting the line down, I was able to make some easy cash.

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

Hahahahaha...Bert Sugar literally told me to bet the 10th round KO, and I did. Probably my crowning moment as a sports wagerer!

Julian Gaithersburg MD

John do you have any martial arts trainging or just a fan? If you have trained in what art and what rank?

Jon Anik
  (3:24 PM)

I get asked the question a lot Julian. It makes me think I better start taking BJJ lessons, so I have a better answer. I have taken boxing lessons at different times, but never done any MMA training. Hoping to get to the Florian Martial Arts Center when my schedule lightens up.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Do you think Gomi will bounce back in 2009 or was 2008 a proper forecaster for the rest of his career?

Jon Anik
  (3:25 PM)

He says he wants to get back to basics, but I think Gomi's best days are firmly behind him.

raul (chino,cal)

if you could fight any espn broadcaster with mma rules who would it be

Jon Anik
  (3:26 PM)

The obvious match-up would be Brian Kenny...the boxing guy vs. the MMA guy. But...BK used to box, so he would kick my tail. Gimme Mike Greenberg. He's got cardio and length, but not much else.

Noke (Brown Mills, NJ)

Any truth to the rumor of Dana White maybe putting the Gina Carano/Cyborg matchup on in WEC?

Jon Anik
  (3:27 PM)

MMA Live was the first to report of Dana's interest in Gina Carano. Dana remains interested in featuring Carano, but only when a major challenger, like Cyborg, emerges.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

Do you think Ken Flo will fight again before he gets a title shot? If so what are the odds he gets to avenge his loss to Shawn Sherk?

Jon Anik
  (3:28 PM)

Kenny will not fight unless it is for the belt. Sure, he'd love to avenge the loss to Sherk, but only if the belt was on the line. Were BJ Penn to vacate the title, the Sherk fight would make sense to me.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Any news on the future fight for Matt Serra or Matt Hughes?

Jon Anik
  (3:29 PM)

April is fast-approaching, isn't it? Still no word on Hughes' health, other than what he posts on his website. That said, I wouldn't rule out April just yet.

Henry C

Jon Anik is a black belt in ju-chat-su. Show some respect.

Jon Anik
  (3:30 PM)

Amen, Henry...albeit a bit cheesy. But we appreciate the love.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Did you read the suggestion of a women's TUF to supply a women's division for Zuffa? Your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

Jim in Acton is all over the chat queue today. More special treatment for Massachusetts! I don't have much interest in seeing a women's TUF. And as much support as Gina Carano has, I'm not sure you can say the same for women's MMA as a whole.

David (SC)

Have you heard anything about UFC holding an event in New Orleans. I think it would do really well. Great place for fans to travel too and spend an extended weekend.

Jon Anik
  (3:32 PM)

Haven't heard anything, but I agree that New Orleans would be a great place for a UFC card, even a Fight Night.

Baumer (NYC(

Whats your normal schedule like? Film study? Reading articles? Interviews/conversations with fighers/trainers/promoters?

Jon Anik
  (3:32 PM)

All of the above. Right now, I devote about half my week to MMA. Hopefully at some point, it becomes a 5 day/week job. And, hopefully my bosses are reading the chat...

Julian Gaithersburg MD

What would be the outcome of a Jon Anik v Franklin McNeil fight? lol

Jon Anik
  (3:33 PM)

I have a decided cardio edge. McNeil has the devastating one-punch power, though.

Noke (Brown Mills, NJ)

How long til we see 'King Mo' Lawal in the UFC and how many fights before Dennis Kang gets a shot at The Spider?

Jon Anik
  (3:34 PM)

Kang needs to rack up at least 3 wins to get in that discussion. As for King Mo, he's becoming enormous in Japan, and quickly. Not sure what he's being paid over there, but the UFC has assuredly taken notice.

Jeff (MD)

Tell me your New Year's Resolution was to find out who Franklin's "sources" are!

Jon Anik
  (3:34 PM)

Haha...among many resolutions.

Bobby (Dallas)

What kind of threat do you think Machida will pose for Rashad Evans if he wins his next bout? How would Greg Jackson game plan for such a fighter?

Jon Anik
  (3:35 PM)

Machida is a legitimate threat to anyone at 205. But I think the fight you speak of could be a snoozefest, given how deliberate and patient both guys are. Rashad has sick power, but he takes his time gettin' going.

Ash (Victoria, BC)

Is Dana White and the UFC being too greedy when it comes to signing Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (3:36 PM)

It's hard to say, Ash. I do know that, in the past, the UFC has negotiated in good faith, and has put decent coin on the table. Fedor seems a bit stubborn to me, as well. I think both sides are culpable as to why the relationship has never materialized.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

Let me declare I am NOT a Kimbo fan but was wondering if we will see him in a cage again. I would like to see him get beat once again.

Jon Anik
  (3:36 PM)

Not sure his heart is totally in MMA, Julian. But I do expect him to compete again, likely in Japan.

john orlando

greenberg has length on you? What are you 5'2"

Jon Anik
  (3:37 PM)

Mike is about 6'0". I'm 5'9".

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Jon, this is becoming a 5 Round chat. You're the man!

Jon Anik
  (3:37 PM)

Trying to do a little OT today, b/c we took 2 weeks off for the holidays. It's the least I can do, given the way you all have supported MMA Live.

Jeff (MD)

Hopefully your bosses see that we want MMA Live on television...

Jon Anik
  (3:37 PM)

Roger that.

Brian, Detroit, Michigan

Any chance we will see weapons being used in the UFC octagon any time soon? I'm a big fan of samurai swords.

Jon Anik
  (3:38 PM)

Appreciate the comedy, Brian. These guys are all lethal weapons as is.

Matt (Fort Collins)

Hey John...thoughts on Rashard's little crotch grab during the fight last week? I guess until he loses, nobody can really say anything. But I wanted to knock him out when he did that.

Jon Anik
  (3:39 PM)

We got a TON of e-mails on Rashad's showboating. I don't like it, but he's not a malicious guy. Also, he did it when he was losing the fight. Once he got the W, you're right, no one can really say much. He backed it up. And, Forrest didn't seem offended. Griffin hugged him 17 times after the fight.

Jerry (TX)

When will Mir-Lesner II take place (date)?

Jon Anik
  (3:40 PM)

Hard to say defintively, Jerry. My best guess would be May, but that isn't based on any conversations with insiders.

Ash (Victoria)

If Arlovski beats Fedor do you think Dana would still want to sign Fedor or would the mystique be broken? How marketable would it then make Andrei. His stock would sure rise eh.

Jon Anik
  (3:41 PM)

It would definitely diminish Fedor in the eyes of the UFC, were he to lose to AA. But the Couture-Emelianenko fight is one that most MMA fans really want to see before their respective careers expire.

Andy ( MD )

who will be the next up and coming heavyweight fighter to get a short at either Mir or Lesner?

Jon Anik
  (3:42 PM)

Is Shane Carwin a fair answer?

Jordan (Jacksonville, AL)

Who are your UFC title holders at the end of 2009?

Jon Anik
  (3:43 PM)

Good question, Jordan. Kenny Florian at 155 (you all expected that one, right?), GSP at 170, Silva at 185, Rampage at 205, and Brock Lesnar will remain the HW champion. Didn't really go out on too many limbs there.

Bobby (Dallas)

Do you think Alistair Overeem should be a priority signing for the UFC? Or do you think they can afford to let him go to another organization like Affliction?

Jon Anik
  (3:44 PM)

I think they can afford to let him go to Affliction. He'd be a fine addition, but not a fighter they have to have. There are other guys I would think the UFC deems to be in the 'have to have' category, like Ishii.

Timo (Hilo, Hawaii)

what do you think would be next for BJ after he beats St.Pierre?

Jon Anik
  (3:46 PM)

Well, if Penn beats GSP, he would have a lot more control over his future than if he loses. I think Thiago Alves would be the likely opponent. Would BJ risk going back down to 155 to take on Florian? I'm sure if you're in Hawaii you think Penn would roll through Florian, but Kenny is a tough out for anyone at this stage of his career.

David (SC)

May!!! Uuh.. Both are healthy Why not earlier for Mir vs. Lesnar.

Jon Anik
  (3:46 PM)

I hope it happens earlier, too, David. But that is a Vegas fight, not a Columbus one. Maybe UFC 97.

Louie Taki (Buffalo, NY)

What's up with Cung Le? The UFC has interest right? He must not care about MMA at all and is focusing on his direct to dvd movie career.

Jon Anik
  (3:47 PM)

Yes, Dana White and Joe Silva do have interest in Cung Le. But he is 36 years old I believe, and focusing on his movie career, as you say. He also is loyal to Strikeforce, and has a handful of fights left on his deal. Remember, the UFC would never allow this prolonged inactivity out of a champion.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

Sorry I'm late, our server went down. I've been talking with some people in the know and they are telling me that they are now convinced Nog is blind in his right eye. Any thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (3:48 PM)

Interesting. I don't have any dirt on that one, Hondo. But because it comes from you, I am okay posting it. I will check with a few sources, and try to chase down something concrete.

Henry (LA)

How much does Tito Ortiz have left?

Jon Anik
  (3:49 PM)

I think he's got plenty left, Henry. Sure, Machida dominated him for 2 1/2 rounds at UFC 84. But then Ortiz attempted that triangle, and Lyoto almost got caught. Ask Machida if Tito is done...

Rod (NJ)

UFC 97 is in Montreal. 98 on Memorial Day weekend like you said or 100 on July 4th are probably the most realistic possibilities for the Mir/Lesnar fight.

Jon Anik
  (3:51 PM)

Yeah, you're right Rod. The Canadian MMA fans may be the most passionate in the world, but I'm just not sure you can have a heavyweight championship fight outside of Las Vegas.

Jeff (MD)

More likely in 2009....Tito in the Affliction Ring or Tito in the Octagon?

Jon Anik
  (3:51 PM)

Good question. I'm curious how you'd answer it. I'll say in the Affliction Ring, but I can make a compelling argument both ways.

Shawn Rights Biscuits (Bayside, NY)

Jon, I know they had the hearing for legalizing fights in NY yesterday, any word on the outcome?

Jon Anik
  (3:53 PM)

The hearing was yesterday, Biscuits. I've been busy with other stuff today, but I plan to call McNeil when we're done chatting.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

I know Nog has a degenerative eye disorder, but wouldn't he fail medicals if he was not able to see out of one eye? That's something that the pre-fight screenings would catch, I would hope...

Matt (Cincy)

If Rich Franklin Beats Henderson, Who do You think the UFC will match him up against?

Jon Anik
  (3:54 PM)

Looks like he would be a coach on Season 9 of TUF, and then he'd fight Michael Bisping. Part of me feels as though Franklin would be better off losing...then, he wouldn't have to coach on TUF again, and he wouldn't have the delay for his next fight.

rob (jersey)

Jon - Mousasi/King Mo around May @ 205 - Japanese promos seems to work together, and Mousasi says he wants to fight 205....

Jon Anik
  (3:54 PM)

I'll buy that. Why not?

David (SC)

End of '09 champs this is a limb... Sherk, Penn, Silva, Thiago Silva, Mir.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

Is it just me or does it feel like the shine has come off of Anderson Silva recently? Is it just that he hasn't fought in a while?

Jon Anik
  (3:56 PM)

I agree, Hondo. It's not that we are taking a shot at his ability. But his last major test was in March against Hendo. I'm dying to see him fight legit guys who can take his belt. With all due respect to Patrick Cote....and Thales Leites...

Kristian (Sacramento, CA)

Jon, You guys read one of my emails on episode 2, I asked Kenny to change his elbos to RSE's for Razor Sharp Elbows, any way to convince him to get rid of the horrible "hellbows" title?

Jon Anik
  (3:56 PM)

I remember that e-mail, Kristian. I'll remind him for you.

Jon Anik
  (3:57 PM)

Alright folks, don't think I can type anymore! Thanks for the great submissions and extended chat today. Enjoy our MMA Live Year-End Awards show, and we'll chat again next week. -JA