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March 26, 12:38 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (12:56 PM)

Hey ladies, fellas. Glad you found us in our new chat slot! The MMA Live chat is now every Wednesday at 1PM ET. A lot to get to today, as usual. UFC Fight Night predictions, Bellator debut, etc. Also a heads-up: Bobby Lashley will be live in-studio tomorrow on MMA Live. Here until about 1:45 ET today, so lets' get to it...

rob (jersey)

C'mon Jon - new time, new day....give us a special announcement - MMALive will be at UFC 101 in Philadelphia!! If not can I get a shirt for john(jersey) and I so we can rock them @ 98 in Vegas...Thanks Jon!

Jon Anik
  (12:58 PM)

Rob, Good to hear from you, and I'll glad you found the chat. Still no word on MMA Live t-shirts. Hopefully we get a new batch before UFC 98, and we'll get them in the mail. As for MMA Live at UFC 101, you'd have to think we'll be there, given that it's in Philly, and given the magnitude of the fight involving K-Flo.

John (jersey)

How pumped is kenny that he is fighting for the title on the east coast? and do you think gsp will be in his corner?

Jon Anik
  (12:59 PM)

Florian is beyond fired up! I think Philadelphia is the perfect destination for him. Doesn't have to deal with the pressure of fighting in Boston, yet still should have the crowd. GSP will not be in his corner. Kenny will go to Montreal at least once to train, but his corner will remain intact, anchored by his brother, Keith Florian.

shawn: (florida) [via mobile]

Hey Jon, whats your thoughts on King Mo? Any chance we'll see him in the UFC anytime soon?

Jon Anik
  (12:59 PM)

King Mo is making good money and becoming a star in Japan. I think the UFC is in his future, but not immediate future.

Scott (Des Moines)

What's the chances we see Anik in Kenny's corner...

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

Haha. Wouldn't that be nice? I'd only be there for moral support...wouldn't want to interfere with Team Florian.

Paul from Cleveland, OH

It seems like Keith Jardine is the gatekeeper at 205, and Joe Stevenson is the gatekeeper at 155. So who do you consider the gatekeepers at the 265 and 170 lb divisions?

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

That's a good question, Paul. Heath Herring is an obvious choice for HW gatekeeper. As for welterweight, Josh Koscheck is in danger of becoming that.

Brian (Phoenix, AZ)

Is the Tempe based AZ Combat Sports one of the top 3 training camps in MMA today? They got some real talent down there. Thx

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

The Lally brothers do a great job, and Arizona Combat Sports has a TON of momentum right now. If it is not in the top three, it is certainly close. But that camp has as much current momentum as any.

shawn: (florida) [via mobile]

Is the Penn/ Florian fight losing steam? It seams like Penn is running and hiding.

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

I don't think so, Shawn. I think the MMA masses are absolutely dying to see the fight. Once it is officially announced, it will pick up even more steam.

kevin az [via mobile]

Any chance of seeing Fedor and Cung Lee in UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

I would say Fedor is more likely at this point. Cung Le is very loyal to Scott Coker and Strikeforce, not to mention his inactivity of late. Still has a few fights to honor on his contract. As for Emelianenko, he only owes Affliction one more fight.

NB, NYC [via mobile]

Calipari and Pitino should just square off in the cage... who would win?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

I am a fan of both guys. I would take Calipari, though. They would both smash Krzyzewski.

Brad(Meriden,CT)

Hey Jon..Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Ryan Bader? Can Bader reach the same level that the past "bigger" TUF winners have reached? I don't see him being nearly as successful. Thoughts on Bader?

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

I really like Ryan Bader, but it's easy to say that after what he did as a heavy underdog against Vinny Magalhaes. You reeled off a bunch of guys that have realized great success in the UFC. I wouldn't put it past Bader, either. I expect him to plow through Marrero tonite.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you still think Junie Browning is the next Anderson Silva?

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

Never said that. Dana White thought TUF 8 had the second coming of Anderson Silva. Most infer he was talking about Phillipe Nover.

B.Law (WYO)

Sup Jon, first timer!!!Machida or evans? who ya got? then after that, who you got against Rampage?

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Thanks for joining us, B. Law. I never go on the record until the week before the fight. But I am still leaning towards Rashad, who is a heavy underdog.

Brendhan (Texas)

Buy or Sell - There will be at least one instance of a fighter consuming another fighter's bodily fluids on the upcoming season of TUF that debuts later tonight?

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Oh jeez, Brendhan. I hope not. Been there, done that, right?

Gurkan Yilmaz, London, England

How do you feel Fedor will fare in a cage? All his career he has fought in a boxing ring. It may affect his mental game, hence avoiding signing for the UFC. Loved the kitchen segment although the salmon looked overdone! Keep up the great work Jon.

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

It's a solid question, Gurkan. I think it changes the sport quite a bit, but Fedor should be able to adjust. A lot of positive feedback on MMA Training Table from last week. We've got another segment this week.

jp (las Vegas, nv) [via mobile]

Big fan of the show Jon. Would like to see it on TV soon. What's your thoughts about Brock Larson and him being on the undercard of a weaker fight night card?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

Don't know much about Jesse Sanders, but I would've liked to see Larson as the 5th fight on the main card, regardless of opponent.

David Fairborn, OH

Am I less of a man for not really getting into MMA, but accepting it as the next big thing?

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

Not at all, David. But I think it's hard not to get addicted, once you watch. It is the most exciting, compelling sport on the planet. I grew up a mainstream sports fan---baseball, football, basketball, but I got hooked on MMA.

Bobby, Cincinnati

Is it true that Fedor is going to talk to the UFC after his last contracted Affliction fight? What are the chances Fedor does fight for the UFC? Thanks

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

There are no plans right now for Fedor to talk to the UFC. But, I think he is more interested in fighting for the UFC now than he has ever been before. That is informed speculation.

Brian (Newburyport, MA)

Can Shogun Rua be the top LHW fighter in the world again? Whats keeping him from being on top? Is it the injury problems, or is he having a hard time adjusting to the UFCs rules? Clearly, he was a master of the soccer kicks and face stomps which are outlawed in the octagon.

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

It's a combination of things, Brian. I don't think Shogun will be elite again. Injuries are the biggest factor, from what I've seen.

sean dallas [via mobile]

How Likely Is It That Bj Retires After Kenflo Smashs Him In Philly

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

I am not sure how long BJ Penn is for MMA. But I don't expect he'll retire following a loss. Were he to beat Florian, maybe then he would hang 'em up.

joe (atlanta) [via mobile]

hey jon. first timer here. i love the show. i caught the tuf 3 marathon on spike over the weekendand it got me thinking whatever happened to kendall grove?

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

He's had a rough go of it in the UFC, but looked great last time out at UFC 96 in the win over Jason Day. Grove has all the physical tools. He's just been flat sometimes on fight night.

john (jersey)

jon, who do you see being next for nate the great?

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

Either Demain Maia or the Bisping-Henderson winner. I think Marquardt is in a holding pattern until we see what happens between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites on April 18th.

Brian (Newburyport, MA)

What ever happened to Ricardo Arona? For a guy to have beaten Wandy, Henderson, Sakuraba and Metzger at such a young age, you would think that he wouldnt completely disappear, right?

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

You're right. We get a lot of questions about Arona. As far as I know, he remains a free agent. Doesn't seem to be in any huge rush to get back in there.

Scott (Des Moines)

What's this April Fools joke the UFC played including Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Haven't heard about it.

Jasonk stockton, ca [via mobile]

In my opinion I think fedor is pound for pound the best... Yet why do some of the ufc fighters refuse to admit? I can't wait to see him vs fedor or Mir I think it'll be a walk in the park... This guy is just ridiculous in the ring...

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

I also have Fedor at the top of my P4P list, as does Franklin McNeil. But you can certainly make an argument for Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre. Some would even make a case for Miguel Torres.

Brad(Meriden,CT)

I fully expect Fedor to sign with UFC eventually. Or at least I hope! Would Fedor fight for the title immediately in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

It really depends on the timing and who is champion. But I'd expect him to either fight for the belt or fight Randy Couture.

Brendhan (Texas)

The UFC put something on their website about building a stadium in Russia. I think that's what Scott from Des Moines is referring to.

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Thanks, Bren.

Josh(PA)

Jon! Longtime fan, tune in everytime. Hope to become a regular! What did you think of Dana Whites April Fool Joke today? About getting a stadium in Russia, April 1 2010. Childish? Stupid? Im sure Fedor is gonna love this one.

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

Thanks, Josh. I am just finding out about it now, but I'm sure it was all meant in good taste. Just Dana White and the UFC brass having fun. No harm, as far as I can tell.

Dustin Pesquera, Glendale Az. [via mobile]

Hey John, do you think Phoenix will ever get a UFC event? Or have you heard anything? There is a huge MMA market here and the rules have changed for the better, no thanks to John Mc Cain.

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

Certainly no thanks to John McCain. I am not sure about MMA regulations in AZ, but it is certainly a hotbed for the sport.

Nathan (GR Michigan)

What is the toughest part of being a MMA Fighter is it the recovery after or the training before a fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

I am not a fighter, but I deal with fighters on a regular basis. Training before the fight is without question the most arduous part of the process.

Cole Miller

Why am I so mad and will I win tonight?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

I am unsure of the source of your anger. I just hope it doesn't adversely affect your performance tonite. But good news, if you want to call it that: I have picked you to finish Junie Browning tonite.

David Fairborn, OH

I know I mentioned earlier about not knowing much about MMA, and I rarely watch it. But I have a lot of crazy friends out in Portland OR and down in Cincinnati, OH that love MMA. What city or region has the most dedicated, enthusiastic MMA fans, in your opinion?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

It's a great question. I would say Canada.

Nathan (GR Michigan )

Thats what i was getting at because you see the fighters before and after a fight

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

Sure, Nathan. It's definitely the training.

john (jersey)

whats your thought on the vera matt hamill fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

A job well done by Joe Silva. I think a lot of UFC fans had thought about that match-up before it was made. I look for Hamill to build off of the momentum he established in that resounding win over Mark Munoz.

Josh(PA)

ahh getting ignored everyweek is good. Who wins Royce Gracie in his prime vs GSP now.

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

Don't me to pass over your questions, Josh. A whole lot of them in here. I would say GSP now is better than Royce Gracie in his prime. That has as much to do with St. Pierre's brilliance as it does the evolution of the sport.

Jon (Boston, MA)

What are your thoughts on the feud between Hardy and Marcus Davis. Who has the early edge in this fight and should Hardy really be running his mouth so much?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

I think Hardy should slow his roll a little bit. I think Marcus Davis has the edge in most disciplines.

Nick (SLC)

Have you seen that Bully Beatdown on MTV? If so, what do you think of it and do you know any of the fighters they choose?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Haven't seen it. I believe Jake Shields is the highest-profile fighter to be involved. I know the ratings are good. But that's just a by-product of how popular the sport is. People crave MMA programming of any kind.

Josh(PA)

my bad about the last post! Do you see Junie Browning as a legit contender in his weight class? or is there way to much there?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Sort of too early to tell. We'll have a much better idea after tonite.

Jon (New Hampshire)

We got the same name!

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Yeah we do! No 'H' needed!

Ryan (WA)

who was your idol growing up? and if you see this question and answer it...thanks

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

Nomar Garciaparra really got me into baseball. Remain disappointed that injuries derailed his career. But my favorite athlete growing up was Suns PG Kevin Johnson. I had KJ stuff everywhere. And, being in Boston, Larry Bird was okay, too.

gayle (Michigan)

i like you

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

I like you. Just hope you're not a dude.

Brent (Pa)

I wish Josh wasn't such a baby, haha

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

Hahahaha. He apologized for his impatience, at least.

Scott (Des Moines)

Buy or sell trash talking before a fight... And who has an advantage in your mind...?

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

I'll buy, Scott. I think it does a lot to promote the event, and I also think it can help guys get fired up. Floyd Mayweather is the master.

john (jersey)

alright canadian fans maybe die hard but who are the better american fans east coast or west coast?

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

You're really gonna ask me to take a stand in that debate, and run the risk of alienating half the country? Plus, I'm an East Coast guy, so it may not be the most objective answer. I will say this, honestly. New Jersey fight fans are off the chain. No doubt.

Jon (Boston, MA)

Am I the only one that is growing tired of TUF? Do you think the UFC needs to rethink the show and not have it as frequently?

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

I'm with you. I'm in it for the fights and the competition. I've grown tired of the format. That's why I think Bellator will be refreshing, b/c they will provide the backstory for the fighters. You'll really be able to learn who these guys are as people. TUF is a reality show and the focus is more on the house/antics than it is on the fights and fighters, at least until the end.

Jerry (TX)

Kevin Johnson is now Mayor of Sac town, pretty cool huh?

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

KJ = the man. Very underrated. Just didn't play long enough to be a HOFer. And didn't win a championship.

David Fairborn, OH

You're a cool dude. One of the more enjoyable chats I've been in in a while. Thanks. And you know what, I may stop in at a BW3's or two with a few of my friends to see if I really get into this stuff. Thanks again!

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Outstanding, David. Appreciate the support.

Nick (SLC)

Best fighter to come out of utah?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

You tell me.

Ryan (WA)

shout out to oly washington!!! woot woot!!

John (jersey)

good answer jon and jersey has franklin mc'neil and ill be in my backyard at ufc 101 since i am a philadelphia sports nut

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Good time to be a Philly sports fan. ESPN just showed the Kyle Kendrick April Fool's Day prank from a year ago. Hysterical. Good thing he wasn't traded to Japan. He wouldn't have a ring.

Joe(Ohio)

The first episode of TUF starts on Saturday right?

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Tonite, immediately following Ultimate Fight Night.

Nick (SLC)

don't know any!

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Send your question to mmalive@espn.com, and I'll put some feelers out there.

Scott (Des Moines)

Attending Florian's fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

Absolutely. Even if MMA Live doesn't have a presence inside the arena, I will be there. Cannot wait.

KJ (Sac town)

i'm fighting hakeem the dream at a catch weight ( tell him ill still dunk on his 7 foot a$$)

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

Hahahaha. Awesome. I remember the play well. How could I not, I guess.

Scott (Des Moines)

What do we have to do to get Franklin or Florian on the chat sometime Jon?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

Working on it. With respect to Kenny, he is just so damn busy. He's off to train with GSP this weekend in Canada. As for McNeil, we'll have him do one of the chats the next couple weeks. Stamp it.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

When will we see Bobby Lashley fight in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

Bobby Lashley will be in Bristol for the show tomorrow. I promise we will ask him directly, so check out MMA Live tomorrow, sometime after 2PM ET.

Ryan (WA)

did you make varsity or letter in any sports in high school?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

I was captain of my high school basketball team. Also lettered in tennis. Too soft for football, unfortunately.

John (jersey)

attending rob(jersey)and My tailgate party for UFC 101? either t hat or drinks at mcfadins after the weigh in

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

I'll do what I can, J-Bone. Not sure why I just called you J-Bone. Never even met you. Ha.

Charles (Ozone)

Why does Dan Rafael hate MMA so much?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

Just not his thing, Chuck. And MMA has a ton of momentum right now. Boxing is a tremendous sport (when boxing is at its best, perhaps nothing is better), but it needs an infusion of talent/new stars.

JR-Daytona Beach [via mobile]

What the heck? Why has the UFC put 2 people in the ring like Glass Joe Liddell and Grandpa Rua? He totally sucked against Coleman & in my opinion Liddell has turned into another Ken Shamrock. What is the purpose of this fight? to see who should retire 1st? GSP/ALVES would have been a better card under Silva/Lietes. What say u?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

I don't disagree with all of that, JR. Chuck Liddell had better put on a show at UFC 97, or he will never challenge for the belt again.

Brendhan (Texas)

Better MMA card slated for this week - Fight Night 18, WEC 40, or DREAM 8?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

I would say Fight Night 18, if only because the main event has the potential to be one to remember.

Jon (Boston, MA)

Thoughts on the Palhares-Sakara match-up at 101. Palhares - Contender or Pretender?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

Palhares has sick jiu-jitsu. Some of the best I have ever seen. I'll say contender.

Brent (Pa)

Any truth to the rumor that some organizations are kicking around a Tag-Team stlye mma type match? peaks my interest but I dont know how it would work. guess if a guy got rocked he could tag in a partner

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

Not that I've heard, Brent. Send me the link to the rumor at mmalive@espn.com

Chris (Chicago)

Kampman or Condit? If Condit wins, how far away is he from a title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

I'm actually going with Kampmann in this spot. I think it will be a close fight, but people are sleeping on the Hitman. If Condit wins, he could get a title shot very soon.

Justin (Wilmington, MA)

Thanks for the chats, Jon. Irish Jake O'Brien vs Bones Jones at UFC 100...is this fight going to be as good as I think it is?

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

Has great potential. I think Jon Jones is can't miss TV right now, regardless of opponent. My jaw was dropped the entire Bonnar fight.

Jeff (MD)

Man, i almost missed the chat! Is MMA Live moving to Wednesday's now as well?

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

Hey Jeff. MMA Live will still be on Thursdays. I just had to move the chat to Wednesday at 1PM because of another conflict. Glad you found us.

mark - san diego, ca [via mobile]

whats up man?

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

Yo Mark.

John (jersey)

Is there any fighter you havent been in attendance for that you would love to see fight live?

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Rampage.

Scott (Des Moines)

Will you check and see if Bobby Lashley is a Terminator or a real person too...?

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

I'll be sure to.

tedy blessed (arkansas)

jon i think ufc should stop using numbers & just call it ufc & the name of the ppv. they should adapt the ways of wrestling & use ppvnames & stick with it.

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

I'm sure it is something they have debated internally, Tedy. The numbers make it easy for me to keep track.

Jeff (MD)

I just saw that WEC re-upped with Versus. Don't you think WEC would be the perfect promotion for ESPN to get behind to slowly start transitioning to MMA?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

I hear what you're saying, but the bigger weight classes may have more appeal. Of course, Bellator is getting the first crack at MMA programming on an ESPN family network.

Josh (Carrollton, TX)

Hey Jon! I'm hoping Marquardt vs Maia happens real soon. It would clear up a lot of confusion as to whom is the number one contender after Okami gets his shot at Silva. Who do you see taking that fight? (I'll go with Marquardt and his decisive advantage in the stand-up) Thanks!

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

I'm with ya, Josh. Would love to see that fight. As for making a prediction, I may lean towards Marquardt, but I wouldn't be leaning with a whole lot of conviction.

Jeff (MD)

You make your picks for tonight yet?

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

Here and there. Short on time today, but I went with Kampmann in a mild upset, Ryan Bader early, and Cole Miller to quiet Junie Browning.

Finn (Seattle, WA)

Is MMA Live available as a video podcast? any chance of making that happen?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Send that request to mmalive@espn.com, Finn. I believe it may have been available in the past, but I'm not sure.

Jeff (MD)

Any truth to the rumors of Griffin vs. Thiago Silva and Vera vs. Hamill at UFC 101? Franklin got any inside sources in the know? I sure know I will be in attendance.

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Sources tell us both are distinctive possibilites.

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

Alright, folks. I gotta run. Business calls. Thanks for finding us in the new time slot. Heretofore, we will chat Wednesdays at 1PM ET. AND, don't forget to check out Episode #47 of MMA Live tomorrow. Bobby Lashley live in-studio, and Miguel Torres by phone, just three days before his title defense. Until next week, enjoy the fights! -JA