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February 20, 1:31 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

Greetings, MMA Nation! Good to be back with you guys and girls. As usual, tons of topics to get to...UFC 95, WEC 39, Hasim Rahman to MMA! I'm here for at least the next hour, so let's vent.

Steve from Syosset NY

What do you make of the rumblings of Fedor fighting Couture at UFC 100? Dana has said GSP vs. Alves is not the main event & I get the sense Dana has something up his sleeve?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Doubtful at this point, because MMA Weekly reported within the last two hours that Randy Couture has agreed to fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 101. Big Nog has yet to accept, but my expectation is that he will.

rob (jersey)

Hey Jon - sorry it's been a while - but got a new job contracted by the state and I'm in class....there can be no other bandwagons w/o first talking about Demian Maia - no Bobby Lashley, or King Mo, etc. Lets talk about the future Middleweight Champ of the World - and yes if they fought tomorrow I'd pick Maia....and can defend that pick. Keep doing what you do Jon - and hello to all the regulars!

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

We thought you got heel hooked or something. I think we are all excited about the possibility of a top contender's fight between Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia. Hard to figure out which guy was more impressive at UFC 95.

Steiny (NYC)

Shamrock vs. Diaz. Who will come out on top?

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Steiny, you know we don't offer fight predictions until the week before. But we do lean...towards Frank Shamrock.

Drew (Johnson City, TN)

Can we ask Rob in Jersey how he can let a little thing like work get in the way of his MMA chat duties?

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Inconceivable.

Brian (Scottsdale, AZ)

What's next for Forrest? Thanks.

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

TBD. He's coming off of surgery. My guess is that he'll return against another top guy at UFC 101 or 102. August most likely.

Jeff (Des Moines, IA) [via mobile]

When do you think we will see Phillipe Nover in the octagon? I wonder if Dana still considers him the next GSP.

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Phillipe will return at UFC 98 on May 23rd against Kyle Bradley. Bradley has lost two straight, and will get cut if he loses to Nover.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

I told you Sonnen wouldn't make past the first round!

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Yes you did. Hope this will suffice for your props.

Dario sanger,ca [via mobile]

My first time on love the show. Was it me or did the nightmare not impresive. All he wanted 2 do was box.

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

I agree, Dario. I was very underwhelmed by Diego Sanchez's performance. Didn't think his power translated down to 155. He wanted to make a statement. Not sure he did.

Justin (pittsburgh)

With Pennsylvania just recently legalizing mma this week how long will it be before a major promotion such as the ufc or wec holds an event in pa?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Great news for MMA fans on the East Coast! I think you may have to wait until September or later for a major show in PA. But rest assured, they are coming. And hopefully, so is MMA Live when they do.

Julian in Gaithersburg

Why has Amir Sadollah been inactive? When will he fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

Dude gets injured walking to his car, or so it seems. Next fight is TBD. He's already been scratched from two UFC fights. Unfortunately, most of his momentum is gone.

john (jersey)

What is next for Koscheck will he drop to 155 like diego since he has lost 2 of his last 3?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Johnny, Kos won't drop to 155. He just needs to get back to what got him here. Wrestle. Take guys down. Play to his strength.

Boston Matt

Hey Johnny Boy, only one name today!! So I heard a rumor posted on another blog of Hughes/Serra signed on to UFC 98.. Is there any truth to this rumor?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Yes, Boston Matt. Hughes and Serra will fight at UFC 98.

SmokeyNinja [via mobile]

With Rahman (a legitamate heavyweight boxing contender) announcing his desire to compete in mma will our sport finally get its respect from hardcore boxing enthusiasts. And if he wins or loses what impact will it have on mma, or boxing?

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

I guess I'm not really worried what hardcore boxing fans think of MMA. As long as their heavyweight champions want to compete in Mixed martial arts. What a huge sign of the direction of both sports.

Cody (sacramento CA) [via mobile]

What happened to Brandon the truth Vera (not sure if I spelt that right) but he did so good at the start of his career and now you hear nothing about him

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

Vera will fight Mike Patt in nine days at UFC 96.

Bob (buffalo) [via mobile]

Hey Jon. I'm going to keep asking untill it happens. When will ufc come to new york? And what's next for Joe daddy?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

When the legislators sanction the sport, Bob. A lot of opposition thus far. It is my understanding that the topic is on the docket for next week.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Hello Jon, who were you most impressed with at UFC 95? I personally thought Terry Etim looked like a potential title holder.

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Etim looked solid. But I'd have to say Nate Marquardt. Tremendous conditioning, versatile striking. Nate is a different beast than he was even a year ago.

Diego Sanchez (San Diego, CA)

YES!!!

Brian (New Milford, NJ)

who do you like in the garcia/brown fight? will faber get title shot next?

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

I am backing the underdog, Leonard Garcia. I think he is better in every phase of the game, except wrestling. Both guys are hungry, but I like Garcia to stop Mike Thomas Brown. Also would be shocked if Faber doesn't get the winner.

Josh Tennant, AR [via mobile]

Hey Jon, great show. There has been talk of a potential matchup between Marquart and Maia following both of there impressive victories to see who should challenge Anderson Silva next. Personally I am very interested to see how Maia would fare against Silva, but I don't know if I see him getting past Marquart... What are your thoughts on that?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

I sort of agree, Josh. Marquardt will be, by far, Maia's toughest test in MMA. His chin will be tested. And Nate is no slouch on the ground, as most of you know.

Will (Grand Rapids, MI)

Why should I buy UFC 96? I think Jackson will steamroll Jardine. So what should sell me on this card?

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

A huge heavyweight fight, Will. Gabriel Gonzaga against Shane Carwin. Also, the UFC debut of talented wrestler Mark Munoz against Matt Hamill. And also a realyl nice lightweight fight between Jim Miller and Gray Maynard. Wish I was going to C-Bus.

Brian (Wantagh, NY)

WHen you last saw Kenny did he show any disappointment that BJ turned down the UFC 99 bout?

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

I think Kenny is just happy that he is finally getting his title shot. Not thrilled about the layoff, but it is what it is. Episode #42 of MMA Live is already up, and Kenny addresses the situation during our Weigh-In segment.

Drew (Johnson City, TN)

Buy UFC 96 for Gonzaga-Carwin!

Jon Anik
  (2:38 PM)

Exactly.

Ryan (Philadelphia, PA)

With BJ recently saying that he doesn't want to fight until late summer.. what do you think should be done with the LW title? I'm a big Penn fan, but the division is way too talented to have the title on hold for over a year.

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

Ryan, several questions in the queue about whether the UFC should stage an interim title bout while BJ rests/recuperates/spends time with his daughter. I think the Penn-Florian fight is a huge moneymaker and very billable, and the UFC wants to make sure nothing interferes with that. And any sort of tune-up for Florian is not a risk worth taking.

Brian (Wantagh, NY)

UFC 101 is apparently going to be held in Portland, with Nog/Couture possibly being the co or main event. How do you think the UFC will do in Portland and what do you think about the fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

Portland is a great MMA market. UFC 91 was originally scheduled to be there before Couture came out of retirement, and the fight with Lesnar was just too monumental to stage outside of Vegas. The Rose Garden will be great for any MMA card.

Will (Grand Rapids, MI)

Follow up than...Does Carwin have a chance? He hasn't been tested by anyone near this level. And your right Gray Maynard/Jim Miller alone is almost enough to make me buy. Big mark for them.

Jon Anik
  (2:41 PM)

Yes, Carwin definitely has a shot. Vegas has him at +145, and I think he's a live underdog.

Kenny (CA)

It has seemed kind of un-precedented that even fighters are ignoring the fact that Silva actually fights Leites next. How angry do you think Thales is by the fact that Maia and Marquardt both said they want to fight SILVA next not fight for the title?

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

Fans and media alike are overlooking Thales Leites. No doubt. But as frustrated as Leites might be, I'm not sure it's gonna matter come April 18th. Hopefully, it will bring out the best in Leites. But even that won't be enough.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

MMA is now legal in Maryland! Any chance the UFC will come here soon???

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

Don't see why not.

Charlie, Philly

So does Smokin' Joe finally get back in there with Robbie Lawlor at the second Strikeforce event?

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

Well, we can now confirm that Joe Villasenor's contract was one of the 42 acquired by Strikeforce. And the fight with Lawler makes the most sense. We'll see. I'll try to talk to Scott Coker before next week's chat.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

Is Joe Stevenson officially a gatekeeper?

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

He may not even be that, after losing 3 of 4.

Carl (Seattle, WA)

I don't think hardcore boxing fans will give props to MMA because of Rahman moving over. He's been a joke throughout most of his career and got a name because of a lucky punch. Oh, and you can't forget that second head he grew against Holyfield.

Jon Anik
  (2:44 PM)

Yes, Carl. He's by no means one of the top 20 heavyweights of all-time, but he does have name recognition because he knocked out Lennox Lewis. Heath Herring, for one, has already said he'd like to fight him because people will pay attention to the fight.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

I know that Marquardt looked great against Gouviea (sp?) but I'm not sure how you could pick him to beat Maia if you think Maia is going to beat Silva.

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

Hondo, never said I thought Maia would beat Silva. I said I thought he was the middleweight best equipped to beat Anderson, because of his ridiculous jiu-jitsu.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Whoa! Go easy on my boy Amir!

Jon Anik
  (2:46 PM)

Didn't mean to sound harsh. I guess he still has some momentum because you guys are asking about him. I, too, became a huge fan of his during Season 7 of TUF. But he needs to find a way to stay healthy and capitalize on that mainstream exposure.

David (SC)

Best fight card out there that is already scheduled in your opinion.

Jon Anik
  (2:47 PM)

I tell ya, David, Strikeforce's Showtime debut is shaping up as a terrific card. As for a UFC show, 96 and 98 are both fairly loaded.

Marcus (KC, MO)

Hey Jon! With all this boxing talk what do you think of Sylvia taking on Ray Mercer in a boxing match?

Jon Anik
  (2:48 PM)

Certainly not appointment viewing for me, Marcus. Mercer is 47.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

Have you started training BJJ yet and when can I grapple you on MMA live?

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

Still have yet to have my first BJJ lesson. Keith Florian is losing faith in my desire. Been too busy with MMA Live and chatting with you guys.

Kenny (CA)

I know Dana would never let it happen. But how cool would an exhibition jiu jitsu match between Dustin Hazelett and Demian Maia be?

Jon Anik
  (2:49 PM)

Rousimar Palhares wants in, too.

Collin Los Angeles

Hey, it's the Amazing Jonathan! Two questions for you. First, I did appreciate Maia's performance, especially the fact that he was able to take a great wrestler like Sonnen down so flawlessly. But we still haven't really been able to see his stand up skills be tested. The outcome I'm predicting is Silva keeping Maia at a distance and picking him apart. Do you really see Silva allowing Maia to get close enough to him to take him to the mat? And on a seperate note, how pumped are you for the April 11 Strikeforce card? People have been looking for a real competitor to make the UFC sweat just a bit, this is definitely the biggest opportunity I see for any other brand to make a dent in the MMA world

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

Try to shorten it up going forward, Collin. Thanks. I can't wait for Strikeforce on 4/11. Frank Shamrock has that legendary status, like Randy Couture, that few fighters possess. Thomson-Melendez II should be a five-round war. Strikeforce has positioned itself to make a lot of headway.

Jeff (MD)

I'm late...What do you think of the proposed matchup of Velasquez vs. Herring? This seems like a big step up from the likes of Denis Stonjic.

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

It's about time, Jeff. Not you showing up to the chat, but that Velasquez face someone who can test him. I would still lean towards Cain in the fight, and I've been a Herring supporter. Velasquez will rise to the level of his competition. Stamp it.

Brian, Detroit, Michigan

I feel bad for Koscheck with his fight getting stopped to early. I think we would have gone on to win that fight otherwise. There were at least 2 other occurances of people getting knocked down even worse than Kos was and the fight continued. What's your take on it Jon?

Jon Anik
  (2:54 PM)

I did not think it was a premature stoppage, Brian. Yes, Kos looked like he might recover. But his head slammed into the canvas and his eyes rolled back. You have to err on the side of caution. Most serious brain injuries occur after the initial blow. And I don't think he was coming back to win that fight. I think Thiago would've finished him shortly thereafter b/c of the damage of the initial uppercut. Kenny and Franklin offer their takes today on MMA Live.

Justin (Boston, MA)

I pretty much asked this already but I'll give it another shot, I know you get a lot of questions. What is up with a slew of recent fighters getting knocked out and then acting like they were completely fine? It does not make the fight look good, and it certainly does not make the ref look good. It happened several times this past Saturday. Is the UFC going to do anything about this?

Jon Anik
  (2:55 PM)

I agree with you, Justin. Kos was not fine, even though he would like you to believe that he was. Not much the UFC can do about it. The referees just need to keep doing their jobs by protecting the fighters, regardless of any potential backlash thereafter.

Dana White ( Las Vegas, NV)

Hey Jon do you play videogames? If so what do you think of our new game (UFC Undisputed 2009) coming up?

Jon Anik
  (2:56 PM)

The last Madden I bought was Madden 2008. But my girlfriend is a huge gamer, and we are counting the days until Undisputed is released. I'll finally be able to smash Florian.

JB (Shreveport, LA)

Jon, have you watched the video made by BJ Penn regarding 'Greasegate'? Should he continue to pursue this and have you watched the video? Also, do you think he's tarnishing his reputation any?

Jon Anik
  (2:57 PM)

JB, I have not seen the video by choice. BJ needs to let it go. I buy the explanations of Phil Nurse, Greg Jackson, and GSP. Also wish Dana White hadn't come down so hard on the St. Pierre camp, b/c it gave the situation additional legs.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

C'mom. Kos was out. If Paulo Thiago had gone for the finish he would have killed Koscheck.

Jon Anik
  (2:57 PM)

I think most share your opinion, Guilherme.

Sammy (chicago)

big win sat for me 2nd round submission.with diego sanchez talking all this smack about your boy kenny florian.whats kennys take on this?

Jon Anik
  (2:59 PM)

I won't go into my off-air conversations with Florian. I think the issue he has is that his first fight with Diego Sanchez is a useful resource. It's not an accurate barometer or where either fighter is now. And, the fact that Sanchez continues to reference it is nonsensical. Objectively, I think Kenny absolutely beats Diego right now at 155. And I know, after UFC 95, many of you agree.

John (jersey)

jon i know your currently trying to read the blood in the cage that was previewed on mma live my question is what sort of impact does pat miletich still have on the mma game since the miletich fighting systems camp has pretty much gotten old with the big name fighters except robbie lawler

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

And another loss for that camp at UFC 95 with Rory Markham. Miletich is doing some good work with WAMMA these days.

Sammy (chicago)

wow....your girls a gamer,way to go anik...tipping my cap

Jon Anik
  (3:00 PM)

She'll be happy to hear it.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I don't think Maia is anywhere near ready for Silva. His standup is terrible and Silva will knock him out in 2 mins. Also, let's not forget Silva has a black-belt in BJJ.

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

Fair enough, Marc. In your eyes, who is the current middleweight best equipped to beat Anderson Silva? Hendo? Marquardt? It's a great debate. And I know Maia has holes in his stand-up game.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Does diego get the ken-flo/B.J. winner? If not what next?

Jon Anik
  (3:02 PM)

Perhaps he gets Sean Sherk, provided Sherk gets through Frankie Edgar. Not sure Diego deserves an immediate title shot, ya know?

Carl (Chicago)

Jon, I don't know about you but I'm getting tired of all this talk about GSP and the "grease". We have other fighters testing positive for various drugs and it doesn't quite get the same attention, and in my opinion that just as bad if not worse, what's up with that?

Jon Anik
  (3:03 PM)

Agreed, Carl. And I honestly did not see GSP's actions as blatant. Let's move on. Please.

Sammy (chicago)

who would you like to see fight rahman?

Jon Anik
  (3:05 PM)

Well, Rahman has zero ground experience, and I'm not sure he's patient enough to gain any. So, it would have to be another inexperienced guy, or some washed-up has been. Bobby Lashley, for example, would cause Rahman fits right now. A whole lot more to Mixed martial arts than just boxing.

Eric (Ohio)

I am not a hardcore mma fan but I watch it regularly when its on Spike. But have you heard anything on Andrei Arlovsky? like when and whohis next fight is going to be?

Jon Anik
  (3:05 PM)

He is actually set to make his pro boxing debut on April 11th. After that, perhaps he lands on Affliction's yet-to-be-announced third show sometime this summer.

Diego Sanchez

Yes!

Ryan (Philly, PA)

Where does Akiyama fit in the UFC's middleweight division? Who do you think he'll fight first?

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

A nice addition for sure, but your guess is as good as mine.

John (jersey)

sherk will get threw frankie edgar and the if he does fight the DIRTY sanchez the dirty better bring his A+ game cause there is a big difference with the pace that sean fights with compared to joe daddy

Jon Anik
  (3:06 PM)

Agree 100 %. I was surprised at all of the accolades Diego received for, what I thought, was an underwhelming performance against Joe Daddy.

Boston Matt

Jon, do you ever get tired of not answering my questions? Fabar will run through the next guy he faces, no matter who it is! And tell Kenny I watched his video on the "Hell"bow.. I hope you get a few of those in the office.

Jon Anik
  (3:07 PM)

This may be the last one I answer with your horrific nickname proposals for me. And I disagree on Urijah Faber.

Vince (WV)

Shogun or Liddell? Does the loser get cut from the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (3:08 PM)

Chuck Liddell will never get cut from the UFC. As for the fight with Shogun, I am not traditionally a waffler, but I admit to having waffled on this fight. Today, I like Chuck. Tomorrow, who knows?

Boston Matt

Hecka what? you picked that post of mine and not the one about Fedor getting sick of all the Brock talk? What say you? Do you think Fedor has finally gotten sick of the Brock talk and if he gets by Mir, Fedor wants him?

Jon Anik
  (3:09 PM)

I just think Fedor recognizes that Affliction may not be around forever, he only has one fight left on his deal and, yes, he would like to humble Brock Lesnar a little bit. But I also think Fedor is finally starting to get that itch to fight for the UFC.

Jason (NY, NY)

Maybe Shogun gets cut. Liddell gets an office job with UFC.

Jon Anik
  (3:10 PM)

And a Hall-of-Fame slot, and whatever else he wants. He is the most recognized Mixed martial artist in the United States. Other than Kimbo Slice, I guess.

Sam (Chicago)

Jon, you dismiss Faber too quickly. He made a mistake and paid for it. You ignore the tear he was on until that fight. He's going to be champion again.

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

Not saying he is not going to be champion again. And I love watching the guy compete. But I don't think the gap between Faber and the other top 145 lbs. guys is as big as you guys seem to. That's all.

Kenny (CA)

Hopefully Liddell takes Marty Codova's spot on Dana White's blogs when he retires...

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

Second that. Haha.

Charlie, Philly

I think Fedor is smart enough to know that fighting Brock now versus in a couple of years is a much, much easier proposition.

Jon Anik
  (3:11 PM)

Good call, Chuck.

Tom (NY)

It's a shame Fedor waited so long to get that itch... Besides Brock, what compelling match is left for him? Carwin, Cain V? Give me a break!

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

How about Frank Mir and Randy Couture?

nik (wichita,KS)

do you think i could beat kimbo slice in a fight

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

Depending on your measurements, yes.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell in an office job? bahahaha!

Jon Anik
  (3:12 PM)

Yeah, don't think he needs the money.

Fedor

I must Break Brock Lesnar..

NR [via mobile]

If all of your loyal fans that participate in your chat were thrown into the cage... who would come out on top? My votes on Cowboy Ron, although Steiny is persistent.

Jon Anik
  (3:13 PM)

John in Jersey is 6'7"!

Charlie, Philly

Jose Aldo is the WEC featherweight champ within a year's time - stamp it!

Jon Anik
  (3:13 PM)

Stephan Bonnar and Frank Mir would probably subscribe to that theory. Both are huge fans of Jose Aldo. Most expect him to steamroll Chris Mickle Saturday night.

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

Reminder: Episode #42 of MMA Live is up!

Sammy (chicago)

whos next for lyoto machida?

Jon Anik
  (3:14 PM)

TBD. We will know more after the Rampage-Jardine fight at UFC 96.

Jeff (MD)

Torres is the featherweight champion in a years time....stamp that!

Jon Anik
  (3:15 PM)

Another distinct possibility. I truly believe the WEC wants its first PPV to be headlined by Urijah Faber vs. Miguel Torres.

McLovin

When are we going to see Carano/Cyborg?

Jon Anik
  (3:16 PM)

Could be in May from Tacoma, WA. We should know soon when Strikeforce will debut on CBS. And that fight will be on the card.

Randy, TX [via mobile]

is McNeil ever gonna join you for a chat?

Jon Anik
  (3:17 PM)

He was here for the chat last week. I have him on speed dial, just in case. He has an open invitation, and he knows that. His sources = better than mine.

Adam (Houston, TX)

C'mon Jon, give Diego SOME props here. It was his first fight at the weight. Guys usually bomb when cutting down for the first time. I'm sure as he adjusts and he will gain more power. YES!

Jon Anik
  (3:18 PM)

We waited almost a full hour for someone to come to Diego's defense. I agree, Adam, that he will be better going forward. I just think he should fight once or twice more before being granted a title shot. Just one man's opinion.

Jonathan (Boston, MA)

I'm sure you will see the question a lot. Should Kos have been given a chance to survive that round. I personally thought the fight was stopped too early and I haven't seen proof of Rogan saying his eyes were still rolled back in his head. All pictures and video show the contrary. Thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (3:19 PM)

I disagree, Jonathan. I thought the referee saved Koscheck from potential serious injury. And I saw what Rogan saw. The eyes rolled back.

Garrett (Dayton, OH)

I know you like the biggest fights to be in Vegas, but don't you think Dana should throw some guaranteed money at some bigger name fighters so their Euro PPV's are not so lackluster, strictly from a standpoint of selling PPV's?

Jon Anik
  (3:20 PM)

I do, Garrett. UFC 93 and UFC 95 were both lackluster on paper. UFC 95 delivered inside the Octagon, but lacked star power. You bring up a fair point.

Jerrod(Columbus)

I sent this into MMA Live but since you guys get a billion emails ill ask here...Seeing as how we saw a heel hook destroy an ACL at UFC 95 should refs stop the fight once they see the hold is deep enough regardless of weather not the fighter is smart enough to tap?

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

Happy to report that your question made the cut and was answered today on MMA Live. How do you like them apples? And, the show is already up for your viewing.

David (SC)

Any Interviews/ Special Guests this week on MMA Live. Can I get an update on the T-Shirts. they available for sale anywhere?

Jon Anik
  (3:21 PM)

Just the usual suspects today. Hope that will suffice. Please send MMA Live t-shirt requests and demands to mmalive@espn.com. I've done all I can to urge the bosses to print more.

Noke (Brown Mills, NJ)

With the Carwin-Gonzaga matchup upcoming and the rumored UFC 99 bout between Heath Herring and Cain Valasquez, who would get a title shot with a win? Or would we see the winners face off for that shot?

Jon Anik
  (3:22 PM)

Noke, the most likely scenario is a title shot for the winner of the Gonzaga-Carwin scrap.

Bill (Philly)

With Jon Fitch burried on the undercard of a less than stellar UFC PPV, do you see him coming back into contention for a title shot? Watching GSP smashing one challenger after another makes that 5 round beating Fitch took look a little better these days. Or does his ties to AKA kill him with Dana still?

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

I think the AKA-Dana White mess is in the past now. And yes, Fitch will still be heard from at 170. In my WAMMA rankings this month, I still had Fitch slotted ahead of Thiago Alves.

Kenny (CA)

Start printing McNeil vs. Florian in '09 shirts...

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Hi Jon and regulars, Have you ever viewed "The Smashing Machine" documentary on Mark Kerr? I watched it again courtesy of Netflix and strongly recommend it. It makes me slightly more empathetic to guys like Ken Shamrock, Mark Coleman, etc. who helped make MMA what is is today, and then take criticism when they don't walk away from the game when fans prefer. Your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (3:23 PM)

Good to have you back in the chat, Ken, and thanks for the recommendation.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

KennyFlo torches an overwhelmed and suprised Sanchez. Diego is put in his place. Yes!

David (SC)

Just a comment. Good questions this week gang. Maybe that is why NONE OF MINE GET POSTED!!!

Jon Anik
  (3:24 PM)

Seems like a lot of our regulars need their bottles this week. There are 865 questions that have been posed so far. I can only post so many.

Jerry (TX)

Do you think Bobby Lashely is the next coming of Brock, a former pro wrestler tearing up the UFC, he is a physical specimen...

Jon Anik
  (3:25 PM)

Physical specimen yes. Second coming of Brock Lesnar? No. Lashley has promise, but I don't think he'll ever be as good as Brock will be.

Ryan (Philly, PA)

Just curious.. where were the past few "MMA for Dummies" segments taped? Is that a gym on the ESPN campus?

Jon Anik
  (3:25 PM)

Yes, we do have a gym on campus here at ESPN. Can't always make the trek to the Florian Martial Arts Center. There's your plug, Kenny.

Boston Matt

Need our bottles? You better look to defend a throat punch Mister!!!

Ryan (Jersey)

Jon, when you were talking about Fedor getting the "itch" for the UFC, do you think he'll finally tell his management what he wants and not the other way around? Thanks bro.

Jon Anik
  (3:27 PM)

Exactly. I think Fedor wants his legacy to be free of disclaimers or asterisks. If he retires without fighting for the UFC, he'll always have doubters.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

No he's right, we need our bottles.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

Why did you have Fitch over Alves in your ranking? My 1st thought when I read that was, "you're out of you mind." And I like you Jon, I don't want to think that you're crazy.

Jon Anik
  (3:28 PM)

It's very close, Hondo. And, for the record, the other WAMMA pollsters did not agree, so Fitch is No. 3, behind Alves. Perhaps I didn't penalize Fitch enough (in your eyes) for the one-sided loss to GSP. If Alves fares better against St. Pierre, even in defeat, he will pass Fitch. Hope that answers your question.

matt(Atlanta)

hey jon, great job! I think Rashad Evans is a gsp quality athlete. Do you think he would be the betting favorite against all challengers at 205?

Jon Anik
  (3:29 PM)

Good question, Matt. Because Rampage is a huge star, he could be favored to beat Rashad, especially is Rampage disposes of Jardine with style points. But Evans is everything you say he is, and could absolutely be the favorite against all other light heavyweights.

Jon (Nashua, NH)

Tell Kenny thanks for the MMA for dummies on the Key Lock. Was great to see it get used at 95 and the result was exactly what KenFlo said.

Jon Anik
  (3:30 PM)

Thanks, Jon. Wish I could say that was our foresight, but it certainly worked out.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

Jon, how can you make that prediction for Bobby Lashley??? I mean, the guy has less than a minute of MMA experience. It is impossible to predict that.

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

It's a statement on how good I think Brock Lesnar is and will be. That's all. It's really not a commentary on Lashley.

Jeff (MD)

Do you like the signing of Akiyama? Suddenly, the middleweight division is stacked with contenders to The Spider's crown.

Jon Anik
  (3:31 PM)

It is pretty amazing, Jeff. Six months ago we bemoaned the lack of middleweight and heavyweight contenders. Now, both divisions look pretty loaded.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Did Dana push Brock to hard too fast? What if Mir rips his knee and Brock is done forever? Isnt that a nightmare for the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (3:33 PM)

Don't think you can say he was pushed too fast because he beat Randy Couture. If he is submitted once again by Frank Mir, then I also will have been proven wrong. I think Lesnar's improvement will come through at UFC 98. Can't wait for the rematch.

Nicole Eugene, OR

MMA Live is not working, I was watching it, and then it just dissapeared, it's happened everytime that I've tried to watch. Any ideas as to why it's malfunctioning?

Jon Anik
  (3:34 PM)

I have alerted our editors. But I have the show up on a separate computer, and it's running just fine.

Rod (NJ)

Uh maybe Fitch should be ranked ahead of Alves because he beat him when they fought? I know it was a long time ago but its still a pretty good tiebreaker.

Noke (Brown Mills, NJ)

Where's Big Nog in the title picture? And who could be next for Lyoto Machida?

Jon Anik
  (3:35 PM)

Nogueira's loss to Mir was so deflating, but if he beats Couture in the proposed fight at UFC 101, he would be right back in the hunt. But, given what we saw (or failed to see) in his loss to Mir, that is a big if.

Erik (Austin, TX)

Hey Jon...do you think Forrest Griffin's performance against Rampage gives Jardine a nice blueprint to work with given what his strengths are?

Jon Anik
  (3:36 PM)

Perhaps, but I'm just not sure Jardine has the skills to make it happen.

Kenny (CA)

I would love to see Brock's standup get a little more fluid, he seems very stiff. Do you think this is more because of his size or other factors?

Jon Anik
  (3:37 PM)

He does seem a bit stiff, and he also must recognize that it is quality and not quantity. He loves to go to those hammer fists, but oftentimes, they don't do a ton of damage.

FEDOR

I think to make it interesting and to let someone have the chance to beat me that they should have me fight three times in one night... Randy 1st, Frank Mir 2nd, and Brock 3rd! Then maybe I will lose but probably not.

Jeff (MD)

I noticed on MMA Live they didnt show the finishes to the fights. Is that an agreement with the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (3:37 PM)

We are not allowed to show finishes. Correct.

Hondo (Boston, MA)

Rod (NJ), by that logic we should rate Diego over Ken-Flo and Mir over Lesnar, both of which are hard to imagine.

Jon Anik
  (3:39 PM)

In part, that is true. But the Florian-Sanchez result has little bearing because the fight was at 185. The Fitch-Alves fight was a long time ago as well, but it did happen at 170, the current weight class of both guys.

Jerrod(Columbus)

Ok Ok with the Kos thing being stopped early, yes he was hurt badly. But how many times have we seen big Nog get ROCKED and come back? i think it would have been different if the guy pounced on Kos as soon as he fell but he just stood there and looked at him. With refs having to see so much should the actions after the hard blow of the other fighter effect weather or not a fight continues?

Jon Anik
  (3:40 PM)

I am not budging from my stance that the stoppage was appropriate. But Paulo Thiago's reaction may have effected the referee's judgment. Thiago acted as though the fight was over when he should have, instinctively, pounced on Kos to finish the fight.

Boston Matt

Will Carlos Condit survive as a top 5 guys in the UFC? or even top 10? Julian gets tapped by arm bar, stamp it!

Jon Anik
  (3:41 PM)

I know you are not a Condit guy. I am not sure he is a top 5 UFC welterweight, either. You and I won't be the only ones watching his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann closely.

Will (Grand Rapids, MI)

What do you think of Maynard/Miller? Any predictions or is it to early? Does the winner enter title talk?

Jon Anik
  (3:43 PM)

The winner certainly vaults up the lightweight ladder and certainly becomes a top 5 UFC LW in my eyes. But I don't call the shots and that win alone won't guarantee a future title shot. It's a crowded picture with Sean Sherk, Diego Sanchez, etc.

Ryan (Jersey)

Do you think conditioning could be an issue with Brock down the line? He appears to muscle-up early in his fights which makes me think he might have a tendency to gas-out in the "championship" rounds.

Jon Anik
  (3:44 PM)

Brock insists that he expects to go 25 minutes every time out and will never gas. Some thought he tired against Couture, but I didn't see it that way. Because of his size, I do think it could be a factor in a 4th or 5th round. But it won't be due to a lack of preparation.

Jeff (MD)

If Condit wins, how about a match-up against McLovin?

Jon Anik
  (3:45 PM)

Jeff in MD is our MMA Live chat matchmaker. Undisputed.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

Ouch my arm hurts thinking about it! What are the odds on my grappling match with Jon?

Jon Anik
  (3:45 PM)

How about we box for now?

Rick (Saugus, MA)

Hondo, What other ways can we rate fighters? It's not as if Fitch's stock took a nose dive since the Thiago fight like Diego's did after the Ken Flo fight (which was in a totally different division anyway). Plus I don't find it difficult to imagine Mir over Lesnar, he beat him just last year and then beat Nogueira.

Kenny (CA)

Enough with the referees. If you have a problem with them stopping the fight then don't get rocked, its that simple. The only time that it should be this big of an issue is when they aren't consistent in a fight (Veach vs. Grice).

Jon Anik
  (3:46 PM)

Good example, Kenny. Just like I saw Forrest Griffin visibly tap against Rashad Evans, I saw Koscheck's eyes roll to the back of his head. And evidently, so did the referee in question.

Jeff (MD)

For the record, I thought the stoppage was justified. However, if you watch the footage, the ref didn't look like he was going to stop the fight until Thiago began to walk away, at which point, the ref jumped in and stopped the fight. Is this a case where the winning fighter unintentionally persuaded the ref to stop the fight?

Jon Anik
  (3:48 PM)

This will be the final word on this. We've had a lot of internal conversation about this here at ESPN. And I do think Thiago's reaction prompted the ref, in some part, to intervene. And I'm glad he intervened, regardless of what prompted him to do so.

Justin (pittsburgh)

Is big nog on the downfall of his career or was his last performance against Mir just the result of that staph infection he suffered a few weeks prior to the fight?

Jon Anik
  (3:48 PM)

Downfall. I think his best days are firmly behind him.

Zeppelin Tempe AZ [via mobile]

How do you feel about the guys who've come over from pride and most having losing records in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (3:49 PM)

I think a better question, Zeppelin, is how does the UFC feel? It's been a rough go for Wanderlei, Shogun, and others.

Robert (Milwaukee,WI)

Jon, I was really looking forward to UFC 95 and it didn't disappoint. I said prior to the event that the two winners of the 185 matches should fight for the top spot after bisping/hendo winner. Anyway, on to UFC 96 what do you think of the main event? Oddsmakers have Rampage at -400 right now, where as Silva is around -475/500. I give Jardine a way better chance of stunning Rampage than I do of Thales winning a round vs. Anderson. Thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (3:50 PM)

Agreed. I think Jardine has a better shot to upset Rampage than Leites does to dethrone Silva.

Ryan (Jersey)

By the way Jon I have to ask. They (ESPN) have Nascar Now, the Bassmaster Classic, Bowling, Pool and Spelling Bee's on their network. When is MMA Live going to get some TV time??? It makes no sense to me, it seems as if they're waiting to see where the sport goes. Done venting...

Jon Anik
  (3:52 PM)

Hopefully soon. My stance remains the same, though. Just try to control what I can control, which is the content and quality of the show.

Jon Anik
  (3:53 PM)

Alright, fellas. Gotta run. Thanks for the spirited chat today. Please go check out Episode #42 of MMA Live. Enjoy WEC 39 Sunday night on Versus, and we'll do it again next Thursday. Have a good weekend. -JA