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April 29, 8:58 AM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (12:55 PM)

Hey men, ladies! Good to have you back for another MMA Live chat! No Florian or McNeil this week...just Anik, unfortunately. But I'm here for the next hour taking your questions on all things MMA. Also, don't forget 'The Chatterbox' feature, now on the MMA page at espn.com. It allows you to access past chats and transcripts you may have missed. Alright, let's do this.

Mitchell (fargo)

Forrest Vs. Anderson Silva UFC 101, WOW

Jon Anik
  (12:56 PM)

My sentiments exactly. Wow.

Oaks

Jon I have a few questions, What do you think about Bobby Lashley doing both TNA Wrestling and MMA? Do you think this was a money choice? And how do you see MMA competiting with WWE and TNA? I use to be a wrestling fan, but I'm slowly watching more and more mixed martial arts matches b/c theres less b-s. Thanks, Oaks.

Jon Anik
  (12:57 PM)

Hey Oaks. I don't see any real competition between pro wrestling and MMA, and I don't see any huge issue with Lashley doing both. He certainly risks injury, but so do all MMA fighters when training. I have no doubt that Lashley's #1 focus remains Mixed martial arts, b/c it is 100% real.

Nathan (Portsmouth, Oh)

If I can get past the ushers I'll stop by and say Hi on Friday. Can't wait for Bellator in Dayton!

Jon Anik
  (12:58 PM)

Pumped for Bellator this weekend as well. Great semifinal action at 155 with Eddie Alvarez and then Jorge Masvidal against a game Toby Imada. Come down to the cage and give a shout, Nathan.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

YES! I finally figured out the new time. I am UBER pumped for Forrest v Silva. I know in the past you've said you give Anderson the edge, but i honestly see Forrest dragging Silva to the ground and turning this into a cardio contest. I'm so excited I'll call it now, Forrest by 3rd round ground and pound...

Jon Anik
  (12:59 PM)

Good to have you back, Cyrus. I lean towards Anderson Silva, but Forrest is a cardio machine and tough as hell. I wouldn't be shocked if he gutted out a late victory. What a great match-up for the UFC to put together.

Leo (Boston MA)

Hi Jon, I know you don't like to make predictions until a week before the fight but what are your earlier thoughts on the HUGE Silva vs Forrest.

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

HUGE. The Philadelphia fight fans are getting a ridiculous 1st UFC card. Should sell out in 30 seconds.

Sean B., Eureka CA

Any semi-official word on if UFC 102 will be in Portland? Us Nor Cal guys can't afford Vegas all the time Dana to get our UFC live.

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

I would be shocked if it ended up anywhere but Portland, OR. The UFC owes you guys a card after what happened with UFC 91, and they know it...and want to be there.

David (SC)

What is up? Best thing about the UFC. Who saw that coming? Forest vs. Anderson. Bombshell dropping. Who does not want to see that fight!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

Well David, the UFC definitely strikes again. They hold all the power, all the cards, all the leverage, and most of the top fighters in the U.S. As great a match-up as it is, I still wish the UFC matchmaking was a bit more clearly defined. Not asking for complete fairness, but winning doesn't guarantee anything, like it does in all other pro sports.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Jonny, I cant believe I missed ken-flo last week! Dont worry I read the transcript. Who is hurt more with a loss Silva or Griffin? I say griffin because of the recent loss and depth at 205.

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

I would agree, Nate. Not sure a loss really kills either guy, but it would definitely knock Griffin down a peg or two at 205, which is crowded, as you mention.

Adam (Charleston, SC)

Will Florian/Penn still be the main event at UFC 101 since it is a championship fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

Yes.

Josh (PA)

Chances UFC's end of the year show is at MSG?

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

McNeil thinks MMA sanctioning will go through in New York within a month. But I think an October or November show at Madison Square Garden is more likely than the end of year show. Weather is a factor, and so is Vegas.

Brendhan (Texas)

Have you had a chance to play UFC Undisputed yet?

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

I have not. Heard it's pretty ridiculous. Have any of you guys?

Adam (Charleston, SC)

Jon, after Penn & Florian at the top, what is the pecking order in UFC's lightweight division?

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

Well, I think Diego Sanchez and Sean Sherk are both right there. Both have upcoming fights scheduled that they must win to stay on course. The odd man out, in my estimation, still seems to be Gray Maynard. Not sure when his title shot will come.

Ronnie (Illinois)

Is Kimbo going to be in the UFC undisputed 09 game ?

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Ha. Kimbo Slice won't be anywhere near the Octagon...in the UFC or the video game.

Adam (Charleston, SC)

I heard that Joey Villasenor is finally returning on Strikeforce's June card. Any ideas of who he's fighting?

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Smokin' Joe Villasenor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally. Looks like Evangelista Santos is the frontrunner, but Frank Trigg's name has also been mentioned, along with a couple of others. Just want to see Villasenor fight, regardless of opponent. Been too long...

Ben (Columbus)

D/L the demo on XBOX 360, you can only fight with Chuck and Shogun but it is amazing. Very first time I played as Shogun and knocked Chuck out cold with a right hook. Pretty amazing.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

PS3 has a free demo of Chuck vs. Shogun. Its a pretty sweet game and Chuck has a much better chin.

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Hahahaha.

Scott (Des Moines)

What's good Anik? Any special guests tomorrow??

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

What's up bro? We will have Kyle Maynard live via satellite. A pretty inspiring story, and a very impressive, articulate young man.

Johnny NY

Jon, help me end this debate. I say Gina Carano is a dime, while my friends say shes a nickle, your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

8.

Brendhan (Texas)

Chuck also has a much better six-pack in the game...

Brian: Orem, Utah

Undisputed is LEGIT!!! Its very realistic and not just a button masher's game. Can't wait for its release

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

Sounds like the reviews are strong to quite strong. I may have to buy a PS3 before buying the game.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Rampage is obviously getting the next title shot. Does the Silva/Griffin winner get the one right after that?

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

It's still difficult to predict, Marc. Anderson Silva won't fight Lyoto Machida, so a lot will depend on May 23rd. I do think Rampage and Anderson Silva will eventually fight. Somehow.

Scott (Des Moines)

Yeah What's Your Thought On The Kyle Maynard Guy, I Watched A Little And The Guy Just Kept Away Pretty Easy...

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

Don't have any real strong opinions on the fight itself. It's sort of difficult, b/c Maynard (as a congenital amputee) is considered a downed opponent at all times, so it limits both he and his opponent. I think Kyle will compete in BJJ and grappling tournaments, but not sure what his future is in MMA. A lot of variables. But the kid is truly an inspiration.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

Anik - what's the point of UFC 99. There is no 195 pound division and I don't think the winner of the main event really helps their cause much in whatever division they go to. It's sandwiched between several great UFC events plus Hatton Pacman so I doubt it will sell well. It's too bad Swick Saunders and Davis Hardy are on that card cause those are going to be great fights.

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

I'm with you, Cyrus. UFC 99 is the forgotten card. There are 3-4 fights that are worth watching, and the UFC diehards will dole out the money no matter how shallow a card may be. But 99 is a tough sell, if you ask me.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

So the Silva/Griffin matchup....How does that affect the GSP/SILVA match? Couldnt think of two better fighters to get the spider motivated

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

I think the UFC recognizes just how legitimate a threat Thiago Alves is to GSP. They certainly couldn't keep Anderson Silva waiting around. Now, at least GSP and the Spider can get on a similar schedule. And, if both guys win, you may see that mega-fight at the year end show. But Dana White has said all along that fight was more than likely gonna be targeted for 2010. I still have no doubt that it will happen, provided both guys keep winning.

Jason (Richmond)

If Swick takes out Saunders, is he next in line for a title shot? If not, then who?

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

He'd certainly move up the ladder. But Jon Fitch might get a rematch before Swick gets a shot. And I'd also think Martin Kampmann is higher on the depth chart than Swick. Other names that could eventually materialize at 170: Marcus Davis, Paulo Thiago, and Carlos Condit.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Why can't we just be excited to see Franklin vs Silva. This was a dream matchup from the UFC/PRIDE days. Why does every fight have to have a point? I just want to watch Franklin pick apart Silva.

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

And I'm glad you will enjoy the fight for what it is. I will, too. Maybe I am just drinking the Bellator Kool-aid a little bit these days. In other words, it is very, very intriguing when the fighters all control their own destiny. You win, you move on. It creates tremendous intrigue, b/c the match-ups aren't hand-picked.

David (Dallas, TX)

Is this a good enough challenge for Anderson Silva to care?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

You'd like to think so. And he better, b/c even though I like him to win, Forrest will keep coming forward. Griffin is never afraid to get finished, and that aggressiveness could help here.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

How can Ken-flo be so far down the WAMMA rankings? He was humble on MMA live but the guy is as technically sound as any lightweight out there!

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

He's right up there in the WAMMA rankings. It's Sherdog that has him at #7.

David (Dallas, TX)

So with a win, how close in Anderson Silva to a 205 title shot...Griffin is widely assumed to be very close correct?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Yes. It just depends on a) Machida and b) what the UFC has planned for the 185-lb. title. Do they want Silva to defend that belt, or move up to 205 with some permanence? Remains to be seen.

Brian: Orem, Utah

When are we gonna see you guys on our TV's instead of our computers? how many views does MMA Live get each week and when can we get some more on site broadcasts like you did for Couture v. Lesnar

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

I hope soon, Brian. Still no official word on MMA Live to TV, but I can tell you that we are planning to be in Las Vegas for UFC 100. Might also be there for UFC 98 next month, and live coverage in Philly for 101 is also a possibility.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Percentage chance of the final 2009 UFC PPV being in Boston?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

I would say 5%. But there is a 70% chance that a UFC PPV lands there in November. Just won't be the final card of the year.

Mike indianapolis

Will Rashad Evans ever get a Mega Fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

If he beats Machida, absolutely. Some might even consider the fight with Machida, a battle of unbeatens, a mega-fight. I'm not one of them, however. Rashad-Rampage = mega-fight.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Mark my words: Paulo Thiago is going nowhere at 170. One lucky punch. Karo the Cheat is more likely to get a title shot.

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

I don't disagree, Bradley. Good to have you back in the chat.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Can you talk to the producers of MMA Live. Every time I try to go back to a point in the show I have to listen to "MMA Live is brought to you by Burger King...have it your way!" It drives me crazy!

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

They are actively working on it, my friend. Thanks for your patience.

Brian (Michigan)

Should Dana White just shut up for awhile?

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

I actually find most of his commentary to be entertaining. Honestly. But he certainly puts his foot in his mouth on occasion.

Steveo

When will MMA come to NY? We're missing out here!

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

Hopefully before the end of 2009!

rob redondo beach ca

do you see rashad having more or less problems with machidas style like tito and tiago did

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

I think Machida is a huge handfull for anyone right now, in any weight class. BUT, I really like Rashad as a striker, and I think he is gonna surprise some people with his effectiveness.

Matt (Lowell, Ma)

Whats the point of Couture vs Nogeira, shouldn't they both retire?

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

Perhaps the loser will retire. It's not a real purposive fight in the heavyweight division, but is a match-up of two legends. And theoretically, the winner would be back in the hunt for a title shot. I think the UFC would do a Couture-Lesnar rematch.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Why do you think Rashad is so hated and Rampage is so loved by fans.

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

A lot of it comes down to personality. Rashad was a complete gentleman when I met him. But Rampage has 'it'. He's dynamic, infectious, and has a ton of comedic value, too.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Afternoon, Jon. What do you make of Chuck's trainer, Jon Hackleman, disputing Dana's comments about Chuck retiring? Is he just holding on for another paycheck, because it's clear that Chuck is done as a contender. No one, even Dana, wants to see him tarnish his legacy (a la Ken Shamrock), just to make a few bucks. Your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

Hey Joe (no longer regular). I thought I ticked you off or something! Haha. As for Hackleman's comments, I think he is just doing his part to make sure Chuck's options remain open. For Liddell, it's not about the money. I think it's about going out on a higher note than losing 4 of 5 and gettig blasted along the way.

David (Dallas, TX)

Who is most deserving of the next lightweight title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

After Florian? I would say Gray Maynard. But deserving means nothing in the UFC, unfortunately.

Chaz (St.louis, MO)

Hi jon who do you got for Saturdays mega fight The Hitman or Pacman! I cant believe nobody got to this yet.

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

I think Pacquiao will punish Hatton. I think he will outpoint him rather easily. I do think it will go the distance, however. It'll be the first Kentucky Derby weekend I haven't been in Vegas for in four years.

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

...Dayton, OH for some Bellator MMA is fine with me.

Leo (Boston MA)

Who at 205 could the UFC have fight Chuck to give a easier win and retire on high note?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

That's the difficult question, Leo. Would you like to see him fight Stephan Bonnar (former TUF pupil vs. coach)? I'd like to see it, but I think Bonnar would knock Chuck out. Are there any current UFC light heavyweights that Chuck would DEFINITELY beat?

Robert (Milwaukee,WI)

Jon, I'm going to be in Vegas this weekend for Hatton/Pacquiao. Any chance you talked to Bert Sugar again about who is going to win and what round?

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

Haha...Good memory, Robert. Bert gave me the play on Floyd Mayweather 10th round KO of Hatton. Haven't spoken to Sugar in a while. Too much MMA stuff goin' on.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Woah, Jon! You're a little fired up over the UFC today. Something happen? Who do you feel is deserving of a title shot that hasn't gotten one? Kenny is getting his shot at LW. Alves/Fitch got theirs at WW. Marquardt/Henderson got theirs at MW. Rampage/Rashad/Forrest/Machida all got theirs at LHW. And we all know about Lesnar/Mir/Nog/Couture at HW. Who am I missing that is deserving of a shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

By and large, I like and respect the way the UFC does business. I just wish fighters were more in control of their own destiny. You are right that the current contenders are all getting their shots. But it'll be interesting to see if Bisping and/or Maia get a shot at 185. And, if Diego Sanchez gets a shot at Florian-Penn winner before Maynard, I wouldn't love that.

Nathan (Portsmouth, Oh)

Let's not forget Sengoku 8 this weekend: Hatsu Hioki vs. Ronnie Mann, Nam Phan vs. Michihiro Omigawa, and Alexandre Ribeiro.

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

We'll give it some love on MMA Live tomorrow. I really like Hioki and, after what Omigawa did to L.C. Davis in the opening round, I'm looking for big things out of him.

Jordan (Baton Rouge)

Josh Barnett/Fedor if it ever takes place I think Barnett will take him your thoughts Jon?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

It's the Affliction match-up I would most like to see. I think Barnett has the best chance of any current heavyweight in the world to beat Fedor. But he won't.

Mike indianapolis

do you think cheick kongo is a legit threat for lesnar and will he get a title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Yes, and yes.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

Still not used to Wednesday.

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

Sorry, bro. Nor am I. Just think---now, you got the chat on Wednesdays, and MMA Live on Thursdays! Also, you can access chat transcripts now on MMA page at espn.com. Glad you found us.

David (SC)

Did anybody see Brock Lesnar on a Hunting show? Funny as could be. It looked like my fridge got painted in camo and was runing through the woods. He acted like a happy school girl when he hit the deer with his arrow.

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

What a hysterical video. Brock's the man.

Greg, NY

Hey Jon, thanks for the chat. How do you see UFC 101 turning out now with Griffin vs Silva? Also what do you think happens if Griffin wins, title shot at 205? Also do you think GSP would do TUF as a coach, I think it would be great to see him vs Anderson Silva if he can win. Your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

Hey Greg. Thanks for coming back. I think GSP would be a perfect coach on TUF. But Anderson Silva's English isn't good enough to translate for the TV show. As for the 205-lb. title picture, check earlier in the chat queue.

Scott (Des Moines)

Does your co-worker Frank Mir have a strong chance against Brock Lesnar??? And who are leaning toward... Don't be biased!! Haha...

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

Frank is already in phenomenal shape, and he certainly has a chance to beat Brock again. Also working in Mir's favor is Lesnar's layoff (about 8 months) and the fact that Mir is crazy. Translation: he'll snap your leg in half and not even blink. That is intimidating, even if you're 6'4", 290 lbs. like Lesnar. All of that said, I lean towards Brock in the rematch.

Drew (Johnson City, TN)

If Diego Sanchez gets a title shot before Maynard, I may just have to punch a baby. That would be awful (Both him with a title shot and me punching a baby)

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Ha.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

That's OK. I'm doing my best to get in the chat. I'm like Forrest... I just keep coming!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Yeah you do.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Jon can you see the UFC coming up with some sort of ranking system so its more clear who is where? How would it work? I think it would help draw in more mainstream sports fans, who all have standings for their favorite teams.

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Not gonna happen. They've had too much success with the current methodology. And, it allows them to manipulate the match-ups and pay-per-views. We don't have to like everything about UFC matchmaking, but it's hard to argue with their success.

Scott (Des Moines)

Yeah and maybe get us some MMA Live alarm clocks so we can remember the chat is on Wednesdays now...

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

We will try to post the link on the MMA page early on Wednesdays from now on.

Jordan (Baton Rouge)

Whose the most popular fighter in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Chuck Liddell or Randy Couture.

Greg (Crystal Lake)

I think MMA is terrible. I believe that all of it is staged and think they should just shut down MMA. It is a huge waste of money and boxing is a way better sport to watch. MMA is a disgrace to sports and teaches kids the wrong values.

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

Obviously, you are grossly uneducated on all things MMA. If you feel like being educated, shoot me a personal e-mail: jon.a.anik@espn.com, and I'd be glad to help. This is not the forum for a wayward, ignorant attack on the fastest growing sport in the world.

David (SC)

Yeah, voiceover TUF. I would be just fine with that. It would be like a Bruce Lee movie. Brazil vs. USA or Canada. I would totally be fine with that and they could get The Spider some more exposure.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

With all the talk about Maynard and Sachez getting the next title shot at 155, where does Sean Sherk stands?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Sherk is right there. I think if Florian wins, the UFC would work hard to rematch Kenny against Sherk or Diego.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

A nice troll job by Greg, he needs to find something better to do with his time. I don't like ballroom dancing, but you don't see me in a dancing chat.

rob (redondo beach,ca)

everyone is entitled to theyre own opinion

Jordan ( Baton Rouge)

I'm sorry i wanting to know the most popular fighter of the next generation? Not Glass Jaw Liddell!

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

I would have to say Georges St. Pierre. His English gets better with every interview, and he is as dynamic a guy as he is a fighter. I also think Rampage can carry the torch, as can a few of the Strikeforce guys.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Greg is clearly trying to get a rise out of the MMA community. Boxing and MMA are two different sports, just like Football and Baseball. They both involve running, but that doesn't make them the same sport. Grow up, dude.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

Anik - you're extremely easygoing, but when people like Crystal Lake Greg show up you need to go Dan Rafael on him and tear him a new one...

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

Not my style, Cyrus. But I appreciate the sentiment.

Kevin, Middletown, Ohio

Jon, Make sure you try Marions Piazza while you are in town this weekend!

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

Thanks for the heads-up. Will do my best.

Baumer (NYC)

BREAKING NEWS.......Anik vs Greg at Fight Night 19!!!

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Nice work JA. You just pulled the submission on Greg by flying armbar! Greg - you sir just go served!

RyGuy (VA)

With all that hype between Wanderlei and Anderson whats the chance the fight ends up happening? He now has a fight with Forrest, eventually GSP, and still defend his belt against the likes of Maia/Marquardt? What do u think?

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

I'm just not sure Wanderlei can build up enough momentum to warrant a fight against Anderson Silva. It's a great grudge match, but Anderson has just four fights left on his contract, and has to fight the best of the best every time out. Now, if Wanderlei can get past Rich Franklin, he'd have a much stronger case than he does now.

Tony (Austin)

Is Roger Huerta ever going to fight in the UFC again?

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

Huerta wants to fight now. He is ready to honor the final fight on his contract. I think it'll happen eventually, but on the UFC's clock, not Roger's.

Bob (Boston, MA)

Jon, Is Overeem too much of a step-up in talent for Rodgers or does he have more than a puncher's chance?

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

Hi Bob. I really like Brett Rogers. Overeem is certainly a test like none he has seen before. But I wouldn't count Rogers out at all. Good question.

Jeff (MD)

Chiming in late, trying to catch up on the chat. Liddell vs. Coleman...retirement match.

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

We threw it out there in the 'Tap Out' on MMA Live last week.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

Do you think the Spider wasn't motivated in his last two fights or did his opponents have styles that made for boring fights?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

It's a combination of factors. There are several others that you didn't mention, such as Silva wanting to go five rounds against Leites.

Dre (Atl)

Will Vitor Belfort ever be in the UFC again. Half the A Silva articles I read point to him being the hardest matchup.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

You'd have to think Belfort (a free agent) is the guy Dana is referencing when he says people will be 'blown away' with a future UFC middleweight signing.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

Does Amir actually make it to the cage at UFC 101?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

That's a great question. I wouldn't bet on it, but I'm hopeful.

Julian in Gaithersburg MD

Aoki v. Fedor grappling....Aoki's only chance a leg lock or some sort? I see Fedor powering out of everything else

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Yawn. I know they'll be giddy over it in Japan, but my interest level is low.

Dave (Flagstaff, AZ)

Hey Jon. Could you please settle a debate between a friend and I? Best pound for pound fighter - George St. Pierre or Rashad Evans?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

GSP. Far more versatile and polished at this stage of his career.

Jeff (MD)

Any word on when tickets go on sell for UFC 101? I absolutely can't miss this event now.

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

No word yet, Jeff. Just make sure you're a hawk about it, b/c we expect it to sell out in a blink. Not telling you anything you don't know but...

David (SC)

I just want to request more Pat Militich on MMA Live. I don't think their is anyone more articulate about the technques and brings such insightfulness. Nothing against Kenny, Mir, or Bonnar, but a trainer just sees all the details.

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Miletich is the man. I thought he nailed his Strikeforce debut, and he is a huge asset to MMA Live. Wish he lived closer.

Zach (Burlington, IA)

What is mind blowing about Vitor Belfort?

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

Just that he is one of the Top Ten middleweights in the world and the guy most consider to have the best chance (@ 185) to beat Anderson Silva. It was Dana's adjective, not mine. And all I'm doing is speculating- informed speculation.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

Gina Carrano V. Anik grappling...would you accept? you would get 16K if you win and 8K if you lose. Your prediction please? Amd why haven't you asked her out yet?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Yes I would accept, and I would lose. As for asking Gina out, she can do better than Jon Anik.

Jason (Richmond)

When is Arlovski's boxing debut?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

I believe it is June 27th against an opponent TBD.

John (Tampa)

What ever happened to Matt Serra?

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

He's fighting Matt Hughes at UFC 98 (May 23rd). And I give him far more of a chance than the Vegas oddsmakers do.

David (SC)

Does Kenny really watch his diet as close as he says? Have you caught him with some cheese or bread?

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

Kenny is very diligent about his diet. But after he beat Stevenson, he was crushing pepperoni pizza. Right now, he eats very well. Dude is supremely focused on BJ Penn.

Jeff (MD)

Non-mma for a minute but who do you got this weekend in the Hatton/Pacman fight? I lean towards Pacman but I think it will be a tremendous fight.

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Pacquiao. Don't think it'll be as close as you do.

Scott (Des Moines)

What's your thoughts on Bully Beatdown have you caught it yet???

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Not yet, my friend. I'm still not caught up on Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter. I'm on the road 3 days/week with Bellator, so I really have to budget my time.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Oh jonny, never gonna get a shot with that attitude!! Whats the hang up with a Cyborg/Carrano match-up? They both cant make weight?

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

Haha...you're right. As for the weight issue, both Carano and Santos have struggled to make weight in the past. I expect they will settle on a weight between 146-152 when they fight, so it shouldn't be an issue. Not sure Carano can still make 140, nor would she want to.

rob (jersey)

Finally out of my meeting - Jon I got your back vs. Greg....how p-ssed are you that Aoki/Fedor match is blacked out?

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

Hey bud. Not as interested in the Aoki-Fedor grappling match as you are, but certainly disappointed I can't at least check it out.

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

There are reports that Jardine will fight Thiago Silva in Forrest's place. Any thoughts on that?

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

I think it's a really good fight on paper. The UFC did a nice job in putting that together expeditiously.

Carl (The "A")

Belfort's got nothing for the Spider. Silva's biggest challenge at '85 would come from Mousasi. K-1 level striker, with top notch ground skills....

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

I'm with you on Mousasi, actually.

Andrew C. from Montgomery, AL

Jon, I love the show. I asked and never got a response, does Kenny even have a personal life or is he so busy, it just never enters the equation? Keep up the good work.

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

Hey Andrew. Kenny is certainly a busy guy, especially when he has a fight coming up. But yes, Florian does have a personal life, and is able to strike a balance.

Scott (Des Moines)

I'm confused about Kimbo now... Is he under contract for more MMA bouts, I know he is trying to go to boxing... And is it Strikeforce who has him? And when is he gonna fight then??

Jon Anik
  (2:08 PM)

Strikeforce has Kimbo. Not sure about any renegotiation, but I believe his deal is up after 1-2 more fights. I will chase some more concrete information for you for next week's chat.

Robert (WI)

Jon, just saw your boy Mamed Khalidov is fighting May 23rd in Poland. Looks like the fight is at 195 with intentions on him moving down to 185. He would be a great addition to the UFC!

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Love Mamed Khalidov. One of the best fighters even some hardcores have never heard of. Plus, my girlfriend is Polish, so we have a particular rooting interest.

Jeff (MD)

How excited are you about the prospect of having Bellator on ESPN or ESPN2 next season? I am PUMPED.

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Really hope it comes to fruition, Jeff. It's been an amazing experience so far. I hope you have all had a chance to check out our English broadcasts at www.bellator.com.

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

...and, if you speak Spanish, on ESPN Deportes!

MMA Live Chat

Where you at, Snapple Cap?

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

The Snapple Cap posted earlier, but the queue is so full that the question disappeared when I refreshed. Chime in, Cap!

rob (jersey)

Ricardo Arona has a fight in July (according to Bloodyelbow) Can I go on record and say he will fight Babalu for StrikeForce (and the belt)

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

You are on the record.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

I didnt wanna jinxx it but we are at the 75 min mark and your still going strong! Start your BJJ training yet? BTW I'll be at 98 hope to see ya there!

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

I'm here at least until 2:30 ET. Still haven't started my BJJ training. Jason Chambers is all over me about getting started. Glad you'll be at 98. I hope to be as well.

Snapple Cap

If you take the wings off of a fly, do you call it a walk?

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

Bellator's next card looks really good, man. I'm excited to see Masvidal again. He was a beast in his last fight.

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

Masvidal, Eddie Alvarez. Should be good. Toby Imada should provide a much stiffer test for Masvidal than Nick Agallar did in the quarterfinals.

Julian Gaithersburg MD

Since you have connections can you set up a Gina Carrano V. Julian in Gaithersburg MD grappling match?

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

On it.

Jeff (MD)

Which title fight are you most excited about in the next couple of months? I am sure the friend side of you says Florian/Penn but what does the fan side say?

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

Would you be shocked if the friend AND the fan side says Penn-Florian? I cannot wait to see St. Pierre-Alves. Confidence is high at ATT that Alves will spring the upset.

Bryce (ATL)

Anik, have you seen Fighting yet? it looks terrible.

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

I will see it, but haven't yet.

rob (jersey)

Nate in MN - John (jersey) and I are in section M10, come say Hey.

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

Good stuff. Will try to remember.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Which strikeforce guys can "carry the torch"?

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

I think Jake Shields can be an ambassador for MMA. Lawler doesn't really have the personality. Nick Diaz has the skills, but his attitude is off-putting to so many. Maybe not as many candidates as I thought. Of course, there is always Smokin' Joe VILLASENOR.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

So will Okami ever get his title shot? I think he'll probably beat Miller, although it's no sure thing. I think Okami gets snubbed more than anyone in the UFC, although nobody really seems to care.

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

You're right that he is a perpetual snub. I actually like Miller to beat him, too.

Snapple Cap

Anderson Silva will break Forrest's face

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

They got those in circulation quickly.

Carl (The "A")

Any idea who Strikeforce is building on to be the "face" of their promotion? Diaz, Shields, Lawler, Overeem, etc???

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Those names are in the mix, as is Gina Carano. Tito Ortiz could be a guy to help carry the torch. Overeem is a very nice guy and a terrific heavyweight. Just not the most outgoing guy in the world.

David (SC)

Do you guys inject Mir with Humble Juice before he appears on MMA Live. He comes across a hundred times less cocky on your show than in other interviews.

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

Haha. Maybe the forum has something to do with it. But I really do admire Frank's confidence. He's always been genuine to me.

Tommy (In Da House!)

Buy or Sell: Kimbo vs Lashley happens one day.

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

That's a tough one. I'd like to buy it, but I just don't know how long Kimbo plans to compete in MMA. I gotta sell.

Pat (Chicago)

Chicago seems to be getting snubbed in 2009, we are hungry for another UFC event. When will we get it?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Chicago is as good a PPV market as any the UFC has. I would imagine a return in 2010. Bellator Fighting Championships will be in Chicago in a few weeks. Check it out!

Mike(San Diego)

Jon, What do you think of the Smith vs Diaz matchup? I'm pumped for it, but think Smith is in over his head too soon after the battle he had with Radich. Thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Agree 100 percent. A great fight on paper, but I'm pretty certain Smith was concussed in the fight with Radach, and this turnaround is way too quick. Not to mention the quality of the opposition.

Adam (Charleston, SC)

Will the UFC do another primetime series (like the one for GSP/Penn) to promote any of the upcoming fights

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Eventually, yes. But I know it was pricy to do the series and, while it was extremely well done, I'm not sure if the response warrants the investment. It would really have to be the right fight, and the right two fighters. How about Mir-Lesnar?

Guilherme (São Paulo, Brazil)

If Lashley is serious about MMA, he shouldn't fight Kimbo. He shouldn't even fight Bob Sapp.

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

I agree.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Shinya Aoki being the WAMMA LW champ is a joke and a disgrace to MMA. Jon, please tell me why you're affiliated with these jokesters?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Joseph, I am a pollster. Nothing more, nothing less. I vote on the rankings, and support the WAMMA premise at its core. Obviously it's not a perfect system.

Ryan (Tillsonburg, ON, CAN):

What about King Mo as the middleweight signing that will blow everyone away? I know he enjoys Japan, but it'd hard to argue against fighting for the biggest promotion in the world.

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Good point, Ryan. Although King Mo really is a light heavyweight, no?

Marc (Malden, MA)

Maybe McNeil's sources can tell us why UFC Undisputed isn't available on the Nintendo Wii?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Yeah, I heard that. Too bad for you Nintendo folks.

Zach (Burlington, IA)

Ultimate Shocker of the day: Fedor Wins!

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

Sort of figured as much. Thanks for the update. Sorry if we spoiled it for some of you.

Pat (Chicago)

Shogun versus Thiago? Looks like the only fight for either one right now? What say Anik?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

MMA Junkie reports that Thiago Silva will fight Keith Jardine at UFC 102. I sort of expected Shogun to face Anderson Silva, but that obviously is not gonna happen now. Maybe Shogun gets Luis Cane?

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Cant pump out good enough graphics on the Wii

Danny R (Chicago, IL soon to be San Francisco, CA)

will the UFC ever go to a tournament type situation for a really stacked weight class? i think it would eliminate some of the talk about who is better than who and make these guys prove it.

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Wishful thinking, Danny. The UFC just doesn't need to do it. Good luck with the move.

Bradley (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Wii is for children, that is why

Jeff (MD)

Any word on the "next" Affliction event? Seems like the longer we go without hearing anything the less likely it seems.

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

Yeah, really hard to establish any momentum having 1-2 cards a year. I'm hearing August.

Zach (Burlington, IA)

I'd like to see Shogun vs. "Bones" Jones...

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

I'd like to see Bones Jones against anyone.

Jordan (Jacksonville, AL)

A hundred dollar bill says that even if Forrest "upsets" Anderson Silva, and Alves "upsets" GSP, Dana White will not call Fedor thee P4P king and will instead, give that title to the winner of Rashad/Machida. Would you agree, Jon?

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

Dana would rather die than anoint Fedor the best fighter in the world.

Zach (Burlington, IA)

Do you think Tito has a comeback in him to elite status? He hasn't really been relevant in 4-5 years, no?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

I actually think Tito can still be a factor at 205. I know he got dominated by Machida at UFC 84 (his last fight), but he was valiant enough to almost lock in a late triangle choke for the win. Ortiz is savvy enough and, in my opinion, still has enough left to win the Strikeforce title. We'll see, once his back heels.

Justin (Wilmington, MA)

Hi Jon, I'm interested in hearing more about the UFC coming to Boston. Does this still need to be approved? I know there are smaller-time fights in the area, but I would love to see the UFC at the Garden. There is certainly enough interest here.

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

Sure, Justin. Still not approved, but there was a meeting last week to move forward sanctioning legislation. No opposition/opposing view was present, and most think it's gonna happen in 2009. The smaller shows you see are not fully-regulated. As a Boston native, I'm dying to see the UFC at the Garden.

Joe (St. Louis, MO)

Jonathon...I apologize for coming off that way. I just read the Fedor/Aoki recap and realized that he's the WAMMA LW champ...just disgusts me. I apologize.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

No worries, Joe. I didn't take it as a shot. But I will say- when Alvarez and Aoki fought, you could make a case that they were 2 of the best 3 lightweights in the world. That was WAMMA's rationale. If Florian beats BJ Penn, who would be your #1 lightweight in the world?

Brendhan (Texas)

Take it with a grain of salt but there's talk that Affliction/DREAM might co-promote a show in Japan this Summer.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

Interesting. I like DREAM.

Scott (Des Moines)

Do you agree with Dana White appologizing for Anderson Silva's fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

No. Don't think he should have apologized. Every fight can't be Griffin-Bonnar.

David (SC)

Gina C. is hot, but Arianny is hottest girl in MMA, fighter or no fighter.

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

David is on the record. No real dissenting view here.

Jon Anik
  (2:38 PM)

Alright, folks. Hope you enjoyed the chat. Be sure to check back to espn.com tomorrow for Episode #51 of MMA Live. Kyle Maynard will join us via satellite, and we'll also preview the Bellator lightweight semifinals. Hope to run into some of you in Dayton, OH! Until next week, be well. -JA