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February 17, 6:29 AM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Hey ladies! Good to have you back for another MMA Live chat! UFC 95 is this Saturday night from London. A pretty deep card, and it's free! Also a bunch of other items to discuss as well. Let's do this.

Steiny (NYC)

Is it true that Fedor Emelianenko wants Brock Lesnar?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Yes.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

Good Afternoon, JA. Brazil back in the house! Easy one to start. Fact or Fiction: Chael Sonnen makes past the first round against Maia.

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

I'll say fact. But he eventually gets submitted, just like the rest of Maia's opponents to date.

Ryan (Illinois)

Why isn't Nate Marquardt in a title discussion? If he wins saturday will he get an immediate shot or will he have to face the winner of Henderson-Bisping?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

I think Marquardt is in the title discussion, Ryan. Of course he already had a shot at Anderson Silva, and others like Wilson Gouveia, Maia, and Bisping have not. But I think Marquardt could certainly get another shot at Anderson Silva, and get it without having to face the Henderson-Bisping winner. Saturday night is a very important card for several 185ers.

Leo (Boston MA)

Hi Jon, sorry I missed a couple of chats. Any word on who Coture is going to fight next? Could it possibly be Mirko "Cro Cop" or even Mark Coleman the 1st ever hall of fame vs hall of fame match.

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

He was offered Nogueira this spring, but had bone spurs removed from his elbow. He still could land on the UFC 99 card. My best guess is he fights Noguiera at UFC 100. As for Cro Cop, his future is murky.

Ahmed (Hanford, CA)

The Nightmare will destroy Joe Daddy on Saturday. Lock it up.

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

Ahmed is on the record. I am leaning that way as well.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Hey Jon, I am unfortunately going to miss today's chat, but the one thing I am most curious about is the Sanchez Stevenson fight... you seem to be leaning towards Diego winning, but with so many recent examples of fighters having difficulties in their first fight after dropping weight classes. Why do you think Diego is going to be different, or at least able to overcome it?

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

I think Diego Sanchez is just such a disciplined guy. I am very curious to see tomorrow's weigh-in. I've got a 1-on-1 with Sanchez today on MMA Live, which is up right now...early this week.

Danny R, Chicago, IL

Hey Jon. Rumor has it the Franklin/Silva fight is going to be at a catch weight of 195. How do you feel about the UFC doing pre-determined catch weight fights? Aren't there weight classes for a reason?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Danny, I am only a fan of catch-weight fights in circumstances such as this. Wanderlei is trying to move down to 185, and this will make that eventual transition easier. And Franklin can go both ways. But I would agree with you that most situations don't call for catch weights.

Ron - North Carolina

Alright Jon. Lets face facts Liddell, Ortiz, Couture, Shamrock are old or getting very old. Who should the UFC build themselves around for the next 5-10 years?

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

I think we've already seen the transition, Ron. Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson, Anderson Silva, Kenny Florian, etc. Plenty of viable candidates.

unfinishable (BigD, TX)

Everyone, including you, is really high on Maia. Why is he such a big favorite considering Sonnen's success against Filho and the similarities between Filho and Maia? Also, Ed Herman's GnP was largely successful against Maia and Sonnen is better than Herman.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

Simply put, he is the best ground guy in MMA right now. And that is not just my opinion. Most fighters I talk to marvel at his jiu-jitsu. As for Sonnen, he is certainly a worthy challenger. The unanswered question right now is - how good is Maia's chin? We should find out Saturday.

Charlie (Sacramento, CA)

Anybody notice Jon just said Franklin goes both ways? How would you know this? I thought you had a crush on Gina Carano?

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Charlie's head = firmly in the gutter.

Steve, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario

Hey Jon, great to see you continue these chats. I have great respect for everyone's work at ESPN covering MMA. It's very top notch! I don't really have a question for you this week, just wanted to give my appreciation and to say keep up the good work!

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Thanks a lot, Steve. We appreciate the kind words and the ongoing support.

J.R. (Tampa, FL)

Brian Stann was so dominant in his first 6 WEC fights before he was finally stopped. How do you think he'll fair at UFC 97 and in UFC's Light Heavy division?

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

Hey J.R. Good question. I like Stann, and I think his fight against Soszyznski at UFC 97 will be telling. Gun to my head, I say he loses the fight to Soszynski.

Jeff (MD)

Have you read Blood in the Cage yet? I am halfway through it and I can't seem to put it down.

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

Glad to hear it. Got my copy last week, and have just gotten started.

Matt (CT)

Thoughts on Diego basically seeing Kenny dominate at 155 and thinking since he beat kenny pretty easily he can own the 155 class?

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

Diego is supremely confident, and rightfully so. But I do think he has disrespected Kenny a little bit. Both have evolved as mixed martial artists, but Florian was so inexperienced the last time they fought. He's a completely different animal now. We'll have a much better idea about Diego's status at 155 after UFC 95 this weekend.

Jeff (MD)

I dont think Brock would be happy that you left him off the UFC build around question.

Jon Anik
  (2:41 PM)

Thankfully, Jeff in MD never misses a chat. Brock Lesnar is a huge building block for the UFC. Thanks for pointing out my glaring omission.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

First time writing in but love MMA live and the chats. When we look back on 2009 whos year is it gonna be? And get ken-flo on here!

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

Yeah, Florian dodges the chat room every week. I think there was a Prada sale today or something. As for 2009, it could be Lesnar's year with a couple of successful title defenses. I also think Rampage Jackson could emerge as the light heayweight champion. Also expecting big things from several WEC featherweights (Leonard Garcia especially) and Strikeforce's Josh Thomson.

Kelly Oregon City ,Oregon

are there ufc house shows and if so how do get a schedule ?

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

They have UFC Fight Nights that air for free on SpikeTV, as well as cards like this weekend (UFC 95) that are also free on Spike. Those are in addition to about a dozen PPVs per year. Any of the MMA websites, such as Sherdog.com, would be good resources for an updated MMA schedule.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

Now that it is at least partially resolved, would the UFC have held UFC97 in Montreal under thouse absurd rules?

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

Definitely not, Hondo. Can't have such major deviations from the unified rules. Imagine telling Anderson Silva he had to defend his belt but couldn't throw knees or elbows. Just preposterous.

Not Julian From Gaithersburg

Hey Jonny Boy, What is going on with the California Kid? he loses one fight and he falls off the face of the earth? Faber is machine, and great to watch...

Jon Anik
  (2:47 PM)

Well, he hasn't fallen off the face of the Earth. But his division is now quite deep. He'll get a chance to regain the belt in 2009. And I'd agree, he's about as exciting a fighter as they come.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

What do you think of ESPN's Bellator Fighting Championship? I think it will be surprisingly good.

Jon Anik
  (2:47 PM)

Very excited for April and the Bellator debut on ESPN Deportes. Hopefully, we at MMA Live will have some role going forward.

Jed (kalamazoo MI)

Whats your thoughts on Manny G dropping to 145, do you think he can hang with the WEC elite?

Jon Anik
  (2:48 PM)

As long as he can make weight, absolutely. But that is an 'if'.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

Will we ever see Tito Ortiz fight Fedor Emelianenko in Affliction?

Jon Anik
  (2:48 PM)

If you're asking me to buy it or sell it, I would sell it. But it could happen, sure.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Right now who would you have in maia vs silva bout?

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

Again invoking the gun-to-my-head situation, I would certainly take Anderson Silva. But given Maia's ground acumen, I do think he is one of the 2-3 middleweights out there with the best chance to dethrone The Spider.

JMonty (Boston)

What are the chances we see Penn/Florian at UFC 99? This fight needs to take place in boston, in my opinion.

Jon Anik
  (2:50 PM)

Dana White would love to put it in Boston, too. But full sanctioning in Massachusetts won't be done in time. Right now, I think it is looking like UFC 100 in Las Vegas on July 11th.

Brendhan (Texas)

Is it true that Kenny Florian's hair smells like "victory"?

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

He finally chopped the lettuce.

Justin (Saugus, CA)

Hey Jon, do you think Rich Franklin still has what it takes for another title run?

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

I do, Justin. I don't think he lost much steam in the loss to Dan Henderson. I would love to see him fight Forrest Griffin, or another top guy at 205. I do believe Rich Franklin will challenge for the light heavyweight title before calling it quits.

Ricky (LA)

How do you respond to Josh Barnett verbally ripping Kenny to shreds over his critiques on MMA Live?

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

I'm glad Barnett is watching the show! Kenny was just doing his job as an analyst.

Tom, Cincinnati

Smokin' Joe Villasenor! "Hopefully, we at MMA Live will have some role going forward." - Jon are yo dropping a hint that your time is limited?

Jon Anik
  (2:53 PM)

Not at all, Tom. That was just me shooting from the hip. I would love to be involved, in some capacity. But MMA Live isn't going anywhere, as long as you guys continue to watch.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

Fedor is widely considered top 3 P4P and the best heavyweight out there, but still largely an unknown commodity for casual sports fans. Does a fight with Brock offer him enough potential mainstream publicity to finally cave and sign with the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:54 PM)

Cyrus, I'm not even sure that Fedor is after mainstream publicity. I think he recognizes the hype surrounding Lesnar, and would like to further entrench his own legacy with a win over Brock. I do think you will see Emelianenko in the UFC in 2009 or 2010. The gap has closed.

Jeff (MD)

Good or bad for the UFC to have DOMINANT champions at 155, 170, and 185? All 3 of these guys could hold the titles for multiple years.

Jon Anik
  (2:57 PM)

Here's my cop-out answer. It goes both ways. When dominant champions are also marketable, it is a great thing. My guess is the UFC would love to see Georges St. Pierre reign for some time. Now, Anderson Silva is about the best I've ever seen in MMA, but he doesn't speak English well, and is therefore a relative unknown to casual fans. Overall, I think elongated title reigns (i.e. Bernard Hopkins in boxing) create legacies, and help the sport.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, you going to ignore me again this week? What do you think about Sonnen's clearly delusional talk about him and Maia being the top two Middleweights in the world right now?

Jon Anik
  (2:58 PM)

Hey Joe. I like Sonnen, but didn't understand that inane banter. Really looking to see if he can back any of it up on Saturday.

BJ Penn (Hilo, HI)

Kenny Florian sent my sister-in-law a singing telegram about GSP's greasing before fights. I swear.

Marc (Malden, MA)

How many more fights for Anthony Johnson before he is ready for GSP?

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

Depends who you talk to, Marc. If you're asking me, and I guess you are, I'd like to see him fight two top guys, see where he stacks up, and then worry about GSP. Rumble is a beast...just needs to be consistent.

Bob(buffalo) [via mobile]

Jon. Why do you hate me you never post my questions anymore! I'm giving you gold here. Take me back Jon take me back!

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

It's unintentional, Bob. Chat queue fills up quickly. Re-submit your question.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

I'd go with Kenny Florian against Josh Barnett by TKO in the first!

Ben (Columbus)

Do you think that the fact Fedor has stated the He wants to sit down face to face with Dana is a positive step towards getting him in the UFC? Or are you as doubtful as I am that he will ever step foot in the cage?

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

I think it's a positive step. The UFC has, in the past, negotiated in good faith with Fedor, but a deal was never consummated. I am not convinced that Affliction has any staying power, and I think Fedor may silently share my belief.

Ben (Dover)

First, I think I could take Tank Abbott and I am 76 years old, but can jog a mile in under 32 minutes, he can't. Second, Mike Easton/Chase Beebe, not a huge draw in the MMA world, but Easton has some skills. Who do you like?

Jon Anik
  (3:01 PM)

Certainly a hardcore question there, Ben. Don't know a ton about either guy, but Easton is a very good striker.

Sean (Morgantown, WV)

What is next for Josh Koscheck with a win this weekend at UFC 95?

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

Perhaps Karo Parisyan at UFC 98. But Karo's situation is up in the air. And Kos also must get through Paulo Thiago unscathed in order to be cleared medically for a May return to the Octagon.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Good afternoon, Jonny! Frank Shamrock was on the radio this morning here in Pittsburgh and said after the Nick Diaz fight, he hopes to be Tito's first fight back after his surgery. Then, he said he wants to try boxing. Didn't mention Cung Le once (nor was he asked about him). Same ol' Frank. Maybe he can box Spider Silva...ha! But anywho, do have a Smokin' Joey update for us this week?

Jon Anik
  (3:04 PM)

I have reached out to Scott Coker, but have yet to hear back on Joey Villasenor. You'd have to think his contract was one of the 42 that Strikeforce acquired. As for Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz is certainly at the top of his list. But Frank said last week on the conference call that he does want a rematch with Cung Le. Said he would actually fight an MMA fight this time around, instead of playing right into Le's hands. He also said Le is tough to build around because he has "a terrible personality."

Jeff (MD)

Rumble vs. Quick Swick. Winner gets Alves/GSP winner.

Jon Anik
  (3:04 PM)

Joe Silva posting as Jeff in MD today.

greg (apple valley, mn)

what does brock need to do in order to quiet all the haters?

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

There are plenty of haters, Greg. And most of them are uneducated. Brock just needs to keep winning. It sounds simplistic, but avenging the loss to Frank Mir would go a long way. Plenty of people don't think he can beat a submission specialist.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jon, do you think the athletic commission in Quebec disallowing foot stomps (stomps to the opponents feet) was just a way for them to save face after the pathetic display that came out the past few weeks? Saying they didn't even know the UFC staged an event there? Give me a break.

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

Quite possibly, Joe. Just a strange situation across the board.

Kelly O.C. Ore

Porland,Ore was scheduled for a p.p.v.,but later the venue changed any plans on a visit to the Rose Garden in the future ? Thank you so much excellent forum 5 stars.

Jon Anik
  (3:07 PM)

Kelly, it is definitely on the frontburner, and it's too bad a great MMA market like Portland didn't get a great show like UFC 91. But the stars will align again, I promise you. Maybe not a PPV, but I'd expect a Fight Night in Oregon before the year is out.

Bob (buffalo) [via mobile]

What's next for the ice man.

Jon Anik
  (3:08 PM)

Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua at UFC 97. He told me he wants a title shot before the year is out. And that's a long line. He'll really have to make a statement against Rua in April.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

Who poses the biggest threat to Rashad Evans in the LHW division? I think he is too smart to get caught up in a slugfest against the good strikers, has amazing takedown defense and also has a great ground game. I think he's gonna be the champ for quite some time.

Jon Anik
  (3:09 PM)

Rashad could certainly keep the UFC gold for a while, Guilherme. I think Rampage is very well-rounded, and poses a threat. As for Machida, I'm not as convinced. Rashad has nasty power, and I think he would be too much for Lyoto.

MattB is evolving

Hey Jon, I just got invited to go Deep Sea Fishing in the Outerbanks in April!! Yeah!! Anyway, what chance to you give a Spider/GSP fight in 2009 or early 2010? if at all...

Jon Anik
  (3:10 PM)

Just like you going Deep Sea Fishing, GSP-Silva will happen. The only obstacle: a loss by either guy. 2009 would be optimistic, though.

JB (Shreveport, LA)

Jon, big fan. Do you think Sonnen is doing just a little bit too mouthy? Maia's jits is sick, and I really don't think he wants a p*ssed-off Spider.

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

Thanks, JB. A ton of comments in the chat queue about Sonnen's wayward comments. And I agree with your points. But, we are talking about Chael Sonnen, so he accomplished something by speaking out. Press is press.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

True or False: Kenny never chats because he cannot type.

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

False. Actually, maybe true. I only see him use an iPhone.

Collin (Los Angeles)

Jon, no love for Joe Calzaghe's legacy? undefeated as a pro, most title defenses undefeated, and didnt go mainstream until he had nearly 40 fights under his belt. says something about a legacy. win enough fights, people will definitely start to notice

Jon Anik
  (3:13 PM)

Of course, Collin. I had him #1 P4P (ahead of Manny Pacquiao) when he retired. I just threw out B-Hop b/c he was the first guy I thought of.

BJ Penn

Kenny types! His email about GSP greasing is evidence!

Pete (Montreal)

I think Sonnen is trying to get an overconfident Maia instead of a pissed off Spider wit hhis constant praise.

UFC FANS

TRUE OR FALSE: WE WILL SEE FEDOR EMELIANENKO IN THE UFC OCTAGON AT SOME POINT IN 2009 0R 2010?

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

True.

Dylan (Seattle, WA)

Hey John do you think that the UFC will ever do a show in the Northwest specifically Seattle or Vancouver? There are many legit mma gyms up here and a great following as I have sampled many venues that show fights.

Jon Anik
  (3:15 PM)

Yes, Dylan. Any MMA hotbed, you can be sure, is not lost on the UFC. And don't sleep on Strikeforce either. A ton of talent under that banner, they know how to promote, and are expected to do a show in Tacoma in May. You should go.

Zach (Burlington, IA)

How do you think Man-vil stacks up against the rest of the WEC 145 lb.ers?

Jon Anik
  (3:15 PM)

I wouldn't put him #1 or #2.

Jason (Philly)

Is there even a slight chance that Emelianenko vs. Lesnar could happen as maybe a cross promotional unsanctioned match? The revenue would be unbelievable, I would buy the PPV right now.

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

I don't think so, Jason. The UFC just doesn't cross-promote. And they certainly aren't gonna let Brock Lesnar escape their grasp.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Buy or Sell: Fedor is not in the UFC unless Affliction/Golden Boy/Trump/M1 fails.

Jon Anik
  (3:17 PM)

Good question, Bradley. Buy. My Fedor prediction is predicated on Affliction going away. They've put on only two shows so far, both headlined by Fedor. Their approach is fundamentally flawed. Why else would Fedor go on the record saying he wants to meet with Dana White?

Peter WI

Who do you like Ace or Axe Murderer at UFC 99?

Jon Anik
  (3:18 PM)

Ace. Axe is cooked.

Pete (Montreal)

Hey John, really dig the show and appreciate the insight brought in by Ken-Flo, Mir & Bonnar. Is the another fighter out there that you think has the chops to work the mma live desk?

Jon Anik
  (3:19 PM)

There are several good candidates, Pete. We loved having Miguel Torres on set. No TV experience, but highly entertaining and knows the fight game. Jon Jones is young and shy, but smart and has the potential to be dynamic. I think Rich Franklin could do the job. Rashad Evans, perhaps. Rampage. Let's get 'em all to Bristol.

Dan - San Jose

I don't watch a ton of MMA (so pardon my ignorance), but I happened to catch the BJ Penn fight a few weeks back. Is he always that pudgy looking? Did he not train hard? The other guy was just ripped, and as it went, ended up beating down Penn. Are less-than-impressive physiques like Penn's usually this telling?

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

Glad to have you, Dan. BJ Penn has always had that soft look to him, especially when he fights up a division at 170. The physique oftentimes does not make the fighter. BJ Penn is so gifted, I feel he could role out of bed without training and beat half the guys in the UFC. Of course, Georges St. Pierre is a physical specimen, and that doesn't hurt his cause. Hope that answers your question.

Josh Barnett

Hey, Jon. Pick me, pick me!

Jon Anik
  (3:22 PM)

Pick..................on someone your own size.

Jeff (MD)

Do you think BJ would be better off training with a top team on the main land? As good as he is, he games never seems to have evolved. He was/is awesome, but he never seems like he is getting better each time out like a GSP/Florian/Machida. When he loses, it is conditioning but I think he hasnt done enough to keep up with today's fighters.

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

I do think BJ would be well-served to switch things up a little bit. It's hard to argue with his results at 155. But he better have the camp of his life before the Florian fight. Because you know Kenny is pulling out all the stops, and will be in the best shape of his life. He's poring over film and training as we chat.

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

Reminder: Episode #41 of MMA Live is up!

Marcus (KC, MO)

Hey Jon! Strikeforce announced this week a fight between Jake Shields and Joe Riggs a.) who do you like in this fight and b.) does this mean that Jake Shield is commited to Strikeforce and wont be in UFC anythime soon?

Jon Anik
  (3:24 PM)

Sill without clarification Marcus as to whether or not Shields has inked a long-term deal. I think the fight with Joe Riggs is a solid stylistic clash, but Riggs has a lot of miles on his tires. I like Shields in the fight.

Sean (Morgantown, WV)

Buy or sell, UFC 100 will be outdoor in Vegas?

Jon Anik
  (3:25 PM)

I've heard some rumblings, but I'm sweating. I mean selling.

jason saint paul mn [via mobile]

Hey jon. Thanks for the great work. When is ufc comeing back to minnesota.

Jon Anik
  (3:26 PM)

Can't give you a definite date. But they'll be back. We had a great time in Minneapolis for UFC 87. Really nice city. I had never been.

Hugh (JaCock, Az)

Hey Jon, the guy that was on the VH1 Reality Rehab show that was an MMA fighter, Rico Rodriquez, was he any good? when was he a champ?

Jon Anik
  (3:27 PM)

Yes, Hugh. He won the vacant UFC heavyweight title against Randy Couture in 2002. Has fought for smaller promotions over the last several years. Lost to Jeff Monson in December, I believe.

Zach (Burlington, IA)

Do you think that Condit has a chance to be successful against the elites of the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (3:28 PM)

Sure, Zach. I don't think he is a top 5 UFC welterweight, but he will undoubtedly get the chance to prove otherwise. His first UFC fight is a main event.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

According to Sheilds' father and manager, he has 2 fights left on his deal which was transferred over, and decided to fight rather than wage a legal battle to get out of it.

bobby(PA)

So did strikeforce actully sign Kimbo Slice? Will we see him fight anytime soon? Will it be a national televison?

Jon Anik
  (3:29 PM)

Still negotiating. I expect it to be resolved, and Kimbo will fight for Strikeforce. You'd assume he would be on the main card on Showtime or CBS, but definitely not in the main event. Been there, done that.

Kenny (CA)

With the looming return of Melvin Guillard (jailed again for cocaine) why do you think the UFC gives a guy like him so many chances but says Jesse Taylor and War Machine are bad for the sport

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

I hear ya. But each case is handled differently, Kenny. Jesse Taylor was given more than one chance as well. And Karo Parisyan backed out of a fight less than 24 hours before UFC 88, and was promptly rewarded with an 8-fight extension.

Johnny(Queens)

Do you think Afflictions next show will be its last?

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

I am asked that all the time. I don't know. Possibly.

Steven(Boston)

Bob Sapp vs Kimbo Slice! Who do you take in that one?

Jon Anik
  (3:32 PM)

Let me get my who cares folder.

Will (MI)

Looking at the Lightweight division here. If Diego wins does he get next shot at the belt after Ken-Flo? I'd like to see the winner of Gray/Jim Miller fight guida for a shot.

Jon Anik
  (3:32 PM)

I would like to see that scenario as well, Will. To answer the first part of your question, if Diego wins convincingly, I think he leapfrogs anyone else into the No. 1 contender slot.

Dylan (Seattle, WA)

Who you got going further into the UFC's heavyweight standings Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez?

Jon Anik
  (3:33 PM)

Solid question. Almost impossible to answer. Don't hold me to it. I'll go with Cain Velasquez. I wasn't nearly as down on his last performance as he or others were.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

What's your take on Gonzaga Carwin? I know Carwin is highly touted, but doesn't this seem like a little much? Gonzaga is really, really underrated on the ground, and obviously we know what he can do on his feet. Seems like a bit much for a guy the UFC is trying to build up.

Jon Anik
  (3:34 PM)

Gabe is extremely well-rounded. But, it's about time Carwin tested himself against a top-level heavyweight. He was handled with kid gloves long enough. May have to fly to Columbus for that one.

Jeff (MD)

You still ducking predictions for this weekend?

Jon Anik
  (3:36 PM)

Wow. Haven't gone on the record yet. UFC 95 predictions: Diego Sanchez over Joe Stevenson by 2nd round TKO. I'll take Rory Markham to knock out Dan Hardy. Nate Marquardt wins a unanimous decision or maybe even finishes Wilson Gouveia. I love Demain Maia to mute Chael Sonnen. And, an upset special, gimme Troy Mandaloniz over Paul Kelly.

Jeff (MD)

If you come to Columbus, my buddies and I would love to have some drinks, talk some MMA!

Jon Anik
  (3:36 PM)

Done deal.

Chris(Boston)

I cant wait for the day that KenFlo gets another shot at Diego Sanchez! I think Kenny will beat him as bad has Diego beat him in their 1st fight.

Jon Anik
  (3:37 PM)

Chris, Kenny would love that opportunity. Love.

Ben (Columbus)

I got 2 tickets 5 rows off the floor on the entrance Isle I will sell you face value! (For UFC 96)

Jon Anik
  (3:38 PM)

I think my media credential would be cheaper, and maybe even closer to the Octagon. I appreciate the offer, however.

Will (MI)

I'm a big Martin Kampmann fan. What would beating Condit do for him as far as Welterweight rankings? I know it's a deep division.

Jon Anik
  (3:39 PM)

It'd be a huge win for Kampmann. Look no further than the odds on the fight. The Hitman is a clear underdog.

Craig (Erie, PA)

Hey Jon, any chance the Parisyan/Kim decision gets overturned to a NC or something of the sort? I'm looking to get my "investment" on that fight returned to me

Jon Anik
  (3:40 PM)

Craig, you weren't the only one who was hoping to cash a ticket on The Stun Gun. I doubt the result will be changed, and doubt the sportsbook would return your investment. But, hopefully you saved your ticket, just in case!

Jim (Charlotte)

Wasn't the Kenny-Diego fight at 185? The result of that fight should mean nothing when/if they fight at 155.

Jon Anik
  (3:41 PM)

Exactly. Not to mention the huge experience edge Sanchez had at the time. Diego respects Florian to some degree, but he won't understand how much Kenny has improved until he faces him again. Maybe they would even be coaches on The Ultimate Fighter against one another.

Sean (Morgantown, WV)

I was excited to see McLovin in Columbus but he had to withdraw, when will we see another submission attempt from the young gun?

Jon Anik
  (3:42 PM)

Still no word on Dustin Hazelett's return date. But he's got a lot of momentum right now, and inactivity could get in the way of that.

Franklin McNeil

Hey Jon: Just thought I would add a little news to the chat. Joey Villasenor, Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano are under contract with Strikeforce. The talks with Kimbo and Carano are necessary to determine when they will be ready to fight. I spoke with Villasenor recently and he is eager to get back in the cage. No date set yet for his return, but April 11 is possible.

Jon Anik
  (3:43 PM)

You are the man. Breaking news in my chat! Thanks bud. Wish I had sources like yours.

Jeff (MD)

Is Stephan back to cover for Kenflo during his time off or will you guys have someone else?

Jon Anik
  (3:44 PM)

TBD. I would expect Bonnar to be in the mix.

Crawl: (Ft. Laud, FL.)

To the Window...to the wall...crawl...crawl

Johnny (Hardknoxville)

Do you own a subscription to maxim, Jonny?

Jon Anik
  (3:45 PM)

I do not, Johnny. I buy an issue every now and then.

Peter (WI)

When will Ben Askren fight again and when is the earliest we could see him in big promotion? 5 fights?

Jon Anik
  (3:45 PM)

I would say under five fights.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Thanks, Franklin!

MattB is evolving

Jon Jon Leprechan.. Question, if you could pick 2 guys in the last 25 years to fight in their prime who would you choose? Would a Prime Shamrock be a good fight for today's Spider? Or maybe a Prime Gracie vs. Prime GSP?

Jon Anik
  (3:47 PM)

Not ducking your question, but I'd like to have more time to think about it. Royce Gracie is an easy choice, b/c I would like to see how he'd fare against the true mixed martial artists of today. The sport has evolved so much since his reign. I'd like to see a prime Frank Shamrock fight a prime Dan Henderson.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

Sorry Jon, gotta keep buggin you about it. When will we see a Bay Area UFC? With Cesar Gracie's stable, and AKA, you've got some of the biggest and best names in MMA. A show in San Jose (as evidenced by Cung Le and Shamrock) or Oakland I'd imagine would do huge business.

Jon Anik
  (3:48 PM)

Send that exact question to mmalive@espn.com and we'll work on a better answer than I can give you right now.

Jeff (MD)

I believe Johnny was referring to Gina in Maxim....

Johnny (Hardknoxville)

3 words: Gina Carano pics

Jon Anik
  (3:48 PM)

Got it fellas.

Joey(Canada)

Were can you go to see a list of current fighters from affliction and strikeforce?

Jon Anik
  (3:49 PM)

Not sure where you'd get a complete list. Sherdog's Fight Finder is my #1 resource for individual fighters. I would try Google.

MattB is evolving

Thanks for taking my questions today Jon, and I know the last one is a tough "on the spot" one. I agree on the Gracie in his prime though. His fight with Hughes would be like Hank Aaron stepping to the plate against Josh Beckett right now. He may foul tip a few, but in the end he'll strike out!

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Maxim is the worst magazine in circulation.

Jon Anik
  (3:49 PM)

Ouch.

Rocko(NY)

Ken shamrock is back baby! What did you think about his dectruction over his last oppenent? He wants Tank Abbott next!

Jon Anik
  (3:50 PM)

Yawn. Did you see his opponent? What a joke. Mockery of a travesty of a debacle.

JB (Shreveport, LA)

Jon, either you or Frank know when we'll being seeing 'Bones' Jones in the cage again?

Jon Anik
  (3:51 PM)

Soon. Perhaps as early as UFC 98. You'd think they'd like to showcase him on a main card, given his last performance.

Guy Ritchie

Did you buy your GSP signature womans cut shirt yet?

Jon Anik
  (3:51 PM)

Nope. But I did buy a Rashad Evans Silver Star t-shirt. Mint.

Trevor (St Louis)

Finish this sentence: the next UFC champion to lose his title is. . .

Jon Anik
  (3:52 PM)

...ummm...you first.

Sammy (chicago)

sorry to miss the chat been training all month.got a fight sat.in indiana.if steveson looses is it over for him in the ufc?

Jon Anik
  (3:53 PM)

Best of luck this weekend, Sammy. Give us a shout with the result next week. Not sure that Joe Daddy will go from main event to the chopping block, but it's a possibility. Just so many lightweights under contract...can't keep them all.

Ben (Columbus)

A few weeks ago on MMA for Dummies K Flo had an MMA Live T SHirt on. Are they for sale somewhere?

Jon Anik
  (3:54 PM)

We've had several requests for the MMA Live t-shirts. We are going to have more of them made soon, perhaps with some adjustments. Should be available for sale or as prize giveaways within a month. Kudos to Josh Perry for the design.

Hugh (JaCock, Az)

I can't believe you put my name up on the chat... I am Rolling! Literally not figuratively, that is tonight! Anyway, do you see UFC grabbing up Bobby Lashley and pitting him against Brock? Both former WWE guys, but both monsters!

Jon Anik
  (3:55 PM)

Despite what Dana White says, I think the UFC has to take a strong look at Bobby Lashley. That said, he's a ways off from being at Lesnar's level.

Sammy(chicago)

what about bonnar is he going to be fighting soon in the ufc or is it over for him as a fighter?

Jon Anik
  (3:56 PM)

Oh, the American Psycho will be back. Stamp it. He just ran into a young, hungry fighter with a ton of raw ability. Stephan is tougher than nails, and will get untracked in his next fight. Believe that.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

...Brock Lesnar, when Frank Mir three strikes him to victory.

Jon Anik
  (3:58 PM)

I would say Rashad Evans, but only because his division is so stacked. It's tough to predict any incumbent champion to lose, ya know?

shawn (florida) [via mobile]

Who in the division gets GSP if he beats Alves?

Jon Anik
  (3:59 PM)

Well, there is the possibility that GSP's next opponent could be Anderson Silva at middleweight. But at welterweight, maybe Josh Koscheck. Carlos Condit may not be too far off. Also wouldn't mind seeing a rematch with Jon Fitch, but many disagree with me on that.

Jeff (MD)

Do frequent MMA Live chatters get free t-shirts???

Jon Anik
  (4:00 PM)

You'd certainly have a better chance than most. But when they came out, I only got three, and I host the damn show. They went to my two brothers.

Geno (Dover)

Who do you sit next to in the ESPN cafeteria?

Jon Anik
  (4:01 PM)

I look for the biggest celebrity in the room and sit next to him or her. I sit with Ken-Flo and the staff on MMA Live days. Other days, usually Paul Severino.

Trevor (st Louis)

Any chance of adding more divisions in the future so guys don't have 15-20 pound discrepencies if they are between natural fighting weights?

Jon Anik
  (4:02 PM)

Doubtful in the UFC, if that is what you mean, Trevor. If it happened, my best guess would be a cruiserweight division between LHW and HW.

Kelvin(Raleigh, NC)

Any chance that Joe Stevenson goes to the WEC with a loss to Sanchez?

Jon Anik
  (4:03 PM)

He's too big for 145. Maybe as a lightweight I guess. He would certainly give that division a boost in terms of name recognition.

Jeff (MD)

I aint to cheap to purchase. But we need those shirts! What better way to promote?

Jon Anik
  (4:03 PM)

Yeah, I agree. We just didn't order enough. Soon my friend.

Jon (Dallas)

Just got back from class and YES! The chat is still up. Hey Anik, what do you think of the rumored Fedor/Dana meeting in June. (don't berate me for not reading through the chat if you've already adressed this please)

Jon Anik
  (4:04 PM)

Glad to work you in Jon, just before we finish up. Scroll up the chat for a more complete answer. But I think it is a very encouraging development that Fedor is seeking out Dana White.

Bugsy (MD)

What were your thoughts on the Leopoldo arrest? Do you think it was a long time coming? It seemed that way..

Jon Anik
  (4:05 PM)

It's too bad, Bugsy. But I'll admit to not having followed his situation all that closely, so I can't say it was a long time coming.

JC

Any chance we see GSP against Vitor Belfort within the year?

Jon Anik
  (4:05 PM)

No. If Vitor signs with the UFC, it will be as a middleweight. And GSP won't fight above 170, unless its against Anderson Silva.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

For those who don't know, it looks like there's an MMA Live facebook group. What better way to create a buzz for ESPN to put MMA Live on tv than to show the vast number of MMA fanst?

Jon Anik
  (4:06 PM)

Yes, there is. Thanks, Cyrus! Please go join!

Will (MI)

I know I'm throwing a lot of questions out, but it's my first time in the chat. I'm excited about Saturday's card. What match that isn't getting attention could steal the show? I can't wait for Markham/Hardy personally.

Jon Anik
  (4:08 PM)

I'm really excited to see Rory Markham. Also intrigued by the HW fight between Junior dos Santos and Stefan Struve. Struve is a newcomer, but he's like 6'9" (UFC lists him at 6'11") and he's got a dozen submission victories. Hope to have you in the chat again next week, Will.

Ed (Philly)

Eddie Alvarez will be in the UFC in 2010, buy or sell?

Jon Anik
  (4:08 PM)

Sell. Seems like he's already locked up with more than one other promotion. Bellator, Strikeforce, etc.

shawn (florida) [via mobile]

whats your main card for ufc 100?What do you want to see most?

Jon Anik
  (4:09 PM)

I really think the Penn-Florian fight should be in Las Vegas. That, in addition to GSP-Thiago Alves. Also, you could have Randy Couture vs. Minotauro Nogueira, and perhaps Forrest Griffin's return from injury. Hopefully, MMA Live will be there to cover it, regardless of who fights...

Bugsy (MD)

I don't think anyone asked you this yet today.. Do you think Leites has any chance against Silva? Obviously he has a chance since he was matched up. But he seems to be a quiet threat, in my book.

Jon Anik
  (4:10 PM)

Yeah, I agree. Not much of a threat.

Marcus (KC, MO)

Where do you see Mike Swick in the welterweight division and any news as to when and against who we'll see him fight again?

Jon Anik
  (4:12 PM)

He sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, Marcus. Injuries have hurt him tremendously. He's 8-1 in the UFC. Saw him at UFC 94. Nothing definitive on a next opponent. Perhaps he gets the Condit-Kampmann winner.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Has the Lesnar/Mir fight been finalized?

Jon Anik
  (4:12 PM)

No, but expect it May 23rd at UFC 98.

Boston Matt

Will the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics all win the World Championships this year? If so then I believe we will see another Boston area title around KenFlo's waist to round out the titles!!

Jon Anik
  (4:13 PM)

Kenny and I are both Boston natives, and have certainly talked about that before. I told him if he wants to throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park, he needs BJ's belt!

Shawn (florida) [via mobile]

Thanks for answering...Kenny has:nothing on you! Except a belt here soon!

Jeff (MD)

I dont really like to bash fighters but Cote and Leites are just warm bodies for Silva. Who has the best chance, in your opinion, to beat The Spider, Hendo, Bisping, Maia, or Belfort?

Jon Anik
  (4:14 PM)

1. Maia 2. Hendo Call me crazy, but Maia is just a freak on the ground. If Sonnen beats him this weekend, I'm eating crow next week in the chat room.

Marcus (KC, MO)

Just want to say thank you for the steroid free chat today! When are you going to convince the ESPN powers that be that more people care about mma than who A-Rod's cousin is?

Jon Anik
  (4:15 PM)

Hahaha...Just keep watching the show, and keep checking back in for the chats. The bosses can't ignore the momentum forever, right?

Jon (Dallas)

Hey Jon, do you see Penn/Ken-Flo on 99 or 100; hard picking a main event for 99 without putting that fight on the card. Still nothing definitive that Couture will be back in time for 99.

Jon Anik
  (4:16 PM)

I just don't think a fight with the magnitude of Penn-Florian should be staged in Germany, with all due respect. You've got Rich Franklin-Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99. Also possibly Caol Uno. But that card definitely needs some meat right now.

Jon (Dallas)

Save a helping of crow for me; right now, I think Maia has the best MMA Jitz EVER DISPLAYED in the Octagon

Ryan (Jersey)

Do you think Fedor could end up in Strikeforce? Do they have the cash for that kind of move? Keep up the good work Jon.

Jon Anik
  (4:18 PM)

I think signing Fedor would deviate greatly from Strikeforce's business model. Do they have the cash? Quite possibly, but I think the money would be better served being split between several high-level guys.

Boston Matt

I know you are, that is why I said that. From now on I will use this as my name, I have used about 5 today! :) I am Boston through thick and thin. The only tough one to side with was the Lauzon/Florian fight, JoLo grew up 2 towns over from me. That would be a great tag team match if they had them. JoLo and KenFlo!!

Jon Anik
  (4:19 PM)

Boston Matt it is. Good to have you on board.

Shaun (South Orange, NJ)

Love the show. When are we going to get the UFC back in Jersey?

Jon Anik
  (4:20 PM)

We get a ton of emails and questions in the chat every week from the great MMA fans in New Jersey. Rest assured, the UFC knows how big the sport is there. Send your question to McNeil's attention at mmalive@espn.com. That's F-Mac's territory.

Jon Anik
  (4:21 PM)

Alright, guys. Thanks for all of the questions and comments. I'm no Chad Ford, but about 1,000 questions today! Go check out Episode #41 of MMA Live, as Diego Sanchez joins us live from London. Enjoy UFC 95 this weekend...free on SpikeTV! Until next Thursday at 2:30 ET...-JA