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May 13, 11:51 AM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (12:54 PM)

Hey guys, girls. Great to be back with MMA Nation for another SportsNation chat! I'm here for the next hour, so fire away! Curious to get your thoughts on the E:60 piece on Dana White, another ridiculous finish for the Bellator Fighting Championships, and let's also crank up the UFC 98 discussion. Also, you can now follow me on Twitter (Jon_Anik). Let's roll...

Josh(PA)

Whats up Jon? Early this week Rampage agreed to coach season 10 of TUF with the other Coach being the winner of Evans vs Machida. If Evans gets past The Dragon, is the UFC getting what it wants then with Rampage vs Evans? Also season 10 is HW, and LHW right?

Jon Anik
  (12:54 PM)

Hadn't heard that Josh, but I'll take your word for it. I do think the Rampage-Evans fight is very attractive for the UFC.

Pete ( Montreal, Quebec)

Ken-Flo gets first pitch honors in Philly before Boston!! Whats up with that?

Jon Anik
  (12:55 PM)

Hahaha...I know, right? It's too bad we couldn't get it done at Fenway first, but what a great honor for Kenny. We'll have footage of it next week on MMA Live, so don't worry if you miss it tonight. We will definitely have it next week.

Chris (Danville, Ca)

Jon, how does the UFC work out the middleweight division right now? Wanderlei, Bisping/Henderson, Maia/Marquardt, oh and the Dan Miller/Chael Sonnen winner has an argument for Silva as well.

Jon Anik
  (12:56 PM)

Your guess is as good as mine, Chris. I think the Bisping-Henderson winner will get the first shot at Anderson Silva, followed by the Maia/Marquardt winner. Not sure how the Griffin/Silva fight will impact Silva's status, if at all.

Brendhan (Texas)

Can't stick around for the chat today but wanted to mention that I had a great time at Bellator VI last Friday! Sorry I didn't have a chance to stop by the booth. Excellent show, top notch production, and Bjorn Rebney is one helluva cool guy. Anyone with a Bellator show in their area would be wise to attend.

Jon Anik
  (12:57 PM)

Thanks, Brendhan. Sorry we didn't get to cross paths. Bjorn is a good dude. Hope to run into you at a future show.

Eric (Springfield,Missouri)

What is your Thoughts on BJ Penn Kenflo fight big fan of both but rooting for Kenflo think he is good for MMA

Jon Anik
  (12:58 PM)

It's a perfect fight for the UFC- Two highly marketable guys and two of the top 5 lightweights in the world. Of course, my heart will be with Team Florian, but you can definitely expect to see the best BJ Penn on August 8th.

Sam (Reno, Nevada)

That Bellator spinning back fist must've been sick up close! Does that guy (Reyes I think) have a chance against Joe Soto in the final? Keep up the good work.

Jon Anik
  (12:59 PM)

It was absolutely awesome. Feel privileged to have been on the broadcast. As for the featherweight tournament final, no one should count out Yahir Reyes after what he's done so far. But that said, I think Joe Soto is definitely the favorite and deserves to be.

John (jersey)

wow what a spinning back fist.... loved it it came out of no where

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

Ridiculous. The clip is up on the MMA page here at espn.com, in case any of you missed it.

Steve Dave - Sunny AZ

Ahhh, Anik, Giving into the Twitter pressures...! That would have made an excellent Buy or Sell segment, you could have added another Red X for Kenny and Franklin.

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

You're right. Too much pressure from Qerim...I eventually caved.

Larry (Charlotte,NC)

If the the "The Spider" faced Rampage Jackson who would win,and what would be the biggest draw in your mind? My vote is these two.

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

It's a tough fight to call. I think Rampage is as big a draw as the UFC has right now. My twin brother, for example, only buys select UFC PPVs. And, when Rampage is on the card, regardless of opponent, he buys.

Eric ( Springfield,Missouri)

Will we ever see MMA LIVE on regular ESPN schedule man I hope so

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

I really hope so, Eric. I think we made great strides in our first year.

Kevin: Middletown, OH

You were right on in saying that in back-to-back weeks Bellator put up what could be sub and KO of the year, perhaps that will wake up your boss and put you on the air.

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

Thanks, Kevin. All of us at Bellator feel very fortunate to have had two truly amazing finishes in our first six shows.

john jersey

larry my vote is brock vs fedor if it ever happens

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

Certainly a huge, huge draw. If you're asking me what the biggest fight the UFC could put on right now, I would say it is Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva. Not going out on any limb there.

Brendhan (Texas)

If not putting you on air, at least give you a headshot for your chats. Every great journey begins with the first step.

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

Hahaha...Duly noted, thanks.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Do you know if Dana White stays in contact with fighters leading up to the fight? With so many changes on 98 I'd think Dana is all over guys like BJ and KenFlo to make sure there isn't a sudden injury that he has to make changes for.

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

Yes, Dana remains in frequent contact with several of his fighters.

Brock Seattle WA

Who is Brock Lesner afraid of toe to toe?

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

Maybe a bear if he's in the woods without a weapon. But Lesnar may be able to take a few select bears.

The King

I am soooo happy I power MMA live. You guys should love me.

rob (jersey)

Jon - what's up brother - a little bit of info for the nation if I may. UFC 101 tix go on sale for Fight Club members 5/21, newsletter 5/22, public 5/23.

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

And they'll be sold out in a blink. Thanks, Rob.

Bobby,Cincinnati

It's time for Dana White to step aside as the face of the UFC. I think his foul mouth and shady business tactics are bad for MMA as a whole. I appreciate what he has done in bringing it mainstream but now it might be time to go in another role and let somebody else take over. Dana White could take a few lessons in how to handle yourself in public from Scott Coker.

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Well, Bobby, I would agree that White would be well-served to tone it down a bit. But I do still think he has a lot of value to the UFC. I am a little sick of him being 'bigger' than the fighters, but he is a gifted promoter, and really knows how to brand and sell the product. A lot of fighters are great guys, but they don't know the first thing about marketing or self-promotion. Dana just needs to find a balance. Not asking him to be David Stern-stiff, but a little sensitivity on occasion wouldn't hurt.

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

...and, of course, I'm not always the best person to ask, b/c my personal experience with Dana White has been as positive as can be.

Brian (Davie, FL)

Jon, with Ben Saunders huge reach advantage and greay Muay Thai skills how do you think he can fair against Swick, and what do you think his long term prospects look like?

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Great question, and a great fight. Saunders just needs to be consistent. I'd like to see how he'd fare against Anthony Johnson and Carlos Condit. The winner of the Saunders-Swick fight will be in a good place in the UFC welterweight division.

rob (jersey)

Jon - serious question. Do you feel the DREAM.9 card is getting a bad rap because of Jose Canseco? I mean that card is great (besides him) - and imagine the death potential if Canseco does win (by cuts, or freak injury) and has to face the winner of Mark Hunt/Mousasi.....

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

It's a great card, Rob, and I think the hardcore fans will certainly take notice. Kawajiri, Cavalcante, Mousasi-I'll be tuning in to watch those guys, not Canseco.

Greg, NY

Hey Jon how do you see the Machida Evans fight going. Im thinking stoppage by Machida in the 3rd round, but do you see this fight going the distance. Thanks

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

Rashad Evans will join us by phone tomorrow on MMA Live. I still am leaning towards the underdog in this fight, despite all of the public momentum for Machida. I think the fight could be very slow and methodical for three rounds, but eventually, if Rashad can hang in there, I expect his power to be a factor, and possibly end the fight. There's a reason both guys are undefeated.

Bobby, Cincinnati

Why does Kenflo say canola oil is the most heart healthy? I thought extra virgin olive oil was? Is training table on MMA Live to stay? I'm having turkey burgers and baked sweet potato's for dinner tonight!

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Hahaha...that's awesome. Training table will come and go, I think. No training table on this week's show. As for the canola oil question, I use canola oil because Kenny tells me to. But I've also heard good things about extra virgin olive oil. Can we get back to MMA now? I like fried food.

Chris (Danville, Ca)

With the rash of injuries heading into UFC 98, outside of Machida/Evans, which fight are you looking forward to most?

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

Serra-Hughes. Very excited for that one. Also intrigued to see if Frankie Edgar can get anything done against Sean Sherk.

Phil (The STL)

Jon, Give us a pick to click: Mike Brown or Urijah Faber?

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

I'll give you the official prediction the week before the fight. Right now, I don't see how Faber finishes Brown. So, leaning towards Mike Brown by decision.

jerad, cali

no one is really talking about GSP's next fight...what outcome do you see...and do u see a re match with penn even if he loses

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

No rematch with Penn, but perhaps a rematch with Thiago Alves, should he lose. I think the GSP-Alves fight has the potential to be one of the best of the year. Despite St. Pierre's brilliance, I still think Alves has a great shot to wrest the belt away.

Yushin (Japan)

Do you think I will ever be hea;thy again to be relevant? And if so, who do you see me fighting next (if at all) since I am still ranked #2 on Sherdog?

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Hard to say, Mr. Okami. I would still like to see you fight Dan Miller.

Scott (Des Moines)

UFC fighters on Dr Phil???

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Yeah how about that? Florian and Forrest Griffin will be on Dr. Phil later this week. Kenny says his part is short, but sweet.

rob (jersey)

Speaking of JZ - what a coup if he jumps to Bellator huh?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

It would be great. Alvarez, JZ, and Masvidal all under the same banner? Wouldn't suck.

D'Arcy [via mobile]

Hey... are you on twitter by any chance?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Haha...as of one hour ago, I have joined the masses (Jon_Anik). Hope to hear from you soon :)

Mike (Fort Lee NJ)

Hard to question a man who turned a 2 million dollar company into a billion dollar company in less than 10 years. Maybe Scott Coker could learn something from Dana White.

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

Good point, Mike. I just think MMA has its share of naysayers and Dana's appearance on E:60 may fuel those negative perceptions. That could've been a nice opportunity for White to help the sport. I just thought the piece portrayed him as so angry and I don't really consider him an inherently angry guy.

BT (Atlanta)

What do you think about the UFC doing 1 PPV and 1 fight night a month? Gives more fighters a chance to be seen and the UFC even more exposure over the other promotions.

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

Not a bad idea, and not really all that different from what they do right now. It's hard to put on more than 20 shows per year.

Eric (Missouri)

Who is your P4P best

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

Fedor Emelianenko.

Ripken (Des Moines, IA)

Jon, love the show. Hey, I heard Dan Severn is still fighting in the cage at age 54. Why do you think a guy with his name would still do that?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

Haha...Ripken, the dude is only 50. C'mon man. As for why he's still fighting, he still has the drive and his health. Severn makes his MMA Live debut (by phone) tomorrow. I will ask him that very question.

Paul (Cleveland)

Hi Jon,is it me or does Dan Henderson look a little subdued on TUF? Like he took one too many fights. I think Bisping is going to brutalize him when they fight.

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

I am leaning towards Bisping in that fight as well, but I wouldn't judge Hendo too much based upon what you see on TUF. When the bell rings, Hendo answers it, and he'll be more than game come UFC 100.

Pat (Chicago)

Any word on Shogun's next opponent?

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

Nothing yet. I am expecting the UFC to wait and see what happens between Machida and Evans. He could fight the loser of that fight or maybe Luis Cane?

John (jersey)

i dont think dana white turns away people lets face it we tune in not because of dana but because of the fights so if the ufc keeps putting on great cards we will watch no matter what dana says that we may not like or agree with

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

See, I think most of the hardcore fans like Dana and his attitude/approach. I find him to be quite amusing most of the time. I just think he should clean it up a bit. And the focus has to be more on the fighters. Dana White shouldn't be more ubiquitous than Kenny Florian.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Are you caught up on TUF? What are your impressions of Bisping? He's hilarious and his trash-talking is definately getting under the skin of some guys.

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

The show has really given Bisping a platform to shine and show off his personality. He's definitely a dynamic guy with a lot to say.

Mike (Fort Lee)

Completely agree with John from Jersey. If you are watching the UFC it is for the fights. The people who are turned off by Dana White and his honesty are the PC community who were never gonna watch the fights anyway.

rob (sitting on Smokin' Joes couch)

Hey Jon - sitting w/ your man here. He said he and Lawler should fight next so we (you and I) can finally settle our bet. What do you think?

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Bring it on! Once Villasenor gets through Cyborg, I think Lawler or Scott Smith would be next. Can't wait to watch Smokin' Joe on June 19th.

Bobby,Cincinnati

Dan Henderson on MMA Live tomorrow? Awesome! He is a true legend! After back to back losses, I'll be anxious to see what still motivates him after all these years.

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Dan Severn, not Hendo.

tom nj [via mobile]

Hi Jon. Do you think grapplers are the best fighters? Most fights seem to end with submission.

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Get asked all the time what is the most important/dominant MMA skill. I still think jiu-jitsu is at the top of the list, but wrestling is right there, too. A grappling background is key, in my opinion, b/c I think it's easier to develop striking skills than grappling skills.

BT (Atlanta)

Why is Jon Jones fitghing Jake O'Brien at 100? Isn't that a step down after he beat Bonner? Shouldn't the UFC give him a bigger name to see if he is for real?

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

I think the match-up is okay. Jon Jones is only 22, and will have plenty of time to shine. Plus, he's a guy worth building (has some star power), and I think the UFC's approach is diligent and keeps that in mind.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Jon, in watching the E:60 bit on Dana White the biggest thing that stood out to me was the NY politician (names escapes me) who basically said he doesn't want to sanction MMA because he doesn't like Dana... your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

Yeah, Bob Reilly. That stuck with me, too. It's amazing how grossly uneducated Reilly is on MMA, given how involved he is in trying to keep it out of New York. He's tremendously naive, ignorant, and close-minded.

rob (jersey)

By the way sorry I'm a week late but - Happy 1st MMALive! I hope I am speaking for the nation when I say we love this......

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

Thanks man. Hard to believe we've been at this for a year! As you guys would say, War MMA Live!

Vinod (New York, NY)

@ Jim in Acton: His name is Bob Reilly. I went to the open hearing here in the city a couple of months ago and you clearly get the picture that he's never going to get behind us.

Jerad, Cali

where do you see thiago dominaiting GSP...i think he will win, but i thing he will just out power him on the ground

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

I don't think Alves dominates GSP in any one facet of the game. I just expect it to be a close fight. I'll be looking at how Alves is able to avoid St. Pierre's takedowns.

Paul (Cleveland)

Hi Jon, it's crazy that so many states don't sanction MMA, but are happy to host boxing matches. Isn't this a supreme show of ignorance? Clearly, boxing is far more dangerous than MMA. It's like you can buy beer on Sunday morning, but not wine. Makes no sense!

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

I agree, Paul. I just did the Bellator show in Corpus Christi, TX and, a week earlier, there was a boxing death in Dallas. Boxing (and football) are far more dangerous than Mixed martial arts. The issue is ignorance, as you point out. Football and boxing have been societal staples for quite some time. MMA is new and, therefore, huge chunks of the masses are uneducated and easily persuaded.

MMA Live Chat

Over thirty minutes in and no Snapple Cap? I guess the better stuff they found isnt that good after all.

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

I've been waiting for it...

Charcoal Chuck (Freedom, NJ)

Jon, I'm such a huge fan of MMA Live and really think a lot about what it's like behind the scenes when you guys hang out. What are the dynamics like? Does Franklin really catch your razzing all day? Does Kenny really comb his hair for an hour beforehand?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

McNeil gets hazed from the minute he walks in the door...in large part b/c everyone here loves the guy. Florian spends a lot of time in front of the mirror.

Jeff (MD)

I know you think GSP/Silva is the biggest fight you could make but don't you think that actually Liddell vs. Griffin would actually outsell that fight. I am not saying it is better, but for casual fans, I think it fares better.

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

In terms of total PPV buys, yes, I would agree. At this point, no shot that fight goes off, as you know. No way the UFC risks Liddell's future well-being against someone in his prime like Forrest.

Jeff (MD)

Tickets on sale for UFC 101 next Saturday. I can assume you will be in attendance....but will MMA Live to show support for their favorite fighter?

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

I fully expect MMA Live to broadcast live from UFC 101 in Philly.

Jon (Brookline, MA)

Is it just me or is UFC 98 getting very little hype/excitement?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

It's a little slow Jon, you're right. We'll have Rashad on the show tomorrow, and then a full UFC 98 preview next week. I think some of the injuries have hurt the card's momentum.

Matt MN

UFC 98 I am looking forward to the Herring Vs. Valazques fight more than the LHW title match.

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

That Herring-Velasquez fight is actually next month at UFC 99.

matt(Atlanta)

Hey jon, if the monster wins, and wins impressively, could you see him becoming a champ for strikeforce? Also, who are u taking in a cage? Tom A or Dana?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

I'll withhold judgment until I see Randleman against Mike Whitehead, who is no slouch. If he looks impressive there, perhaps. As for Atencio vs. Dana White, I gotta go with the bigger man. Could you imagine if Dana lost to Atencio? He would never be able to live that down.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Oh jonny!! Submission of the year and the KO of the year in back to back weeks! Did you check out the E60 piece on Dana?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

Yeah man, someone is definitely smiling down on Bellator. Check earlier in the chat queue for comments on E:60 piece.

Bobby,Cincinnati

what do you think of Tom Antencio calling out Dana White to fight? Seems immature and very unprofessional to me. Funny thing is, you see it too much involving Dana.

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

It's a bit silly. But, if I'm Atencio, what have I got to lose?

jimmy (Nevada)

Do you think brock lesner is the real deal and will stay aroud for a while?

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

I think Brock is the real deal and is very committed to MMA. As for how long he'll be around, I'm just not sure. He's got plenty of money, and a UFC heavyweight title. So, after 1-3 more title defenses/fights, I wouldn't be surprised to see him step away. But it won't be because he's not committed.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Strikeforce is talking with Roxanne Modaferri and Kaitlin Young... do you see women's MMA getting to the level of having stocked separate weight classes that can sustain beyond Gina Carano's sex appeal?

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

I don't. I am glad women are allowed to compete in MMA. I just don't love watching it.

rob (jersey)

Open letter to Affliction: Please merge w/ DREAM and go to Japan. You have fighters who are ICONS in Japan - Aff. Hwy's + DREAM's LW = PRIDE all over again. If only wishing made it so...

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

Makes too much sense...

Rory (Chicago)

What's up with Huerta they ever gonna let this guy finish out his contract?

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

I am told Huerta is itching to fulfill the final fight on his contract anytime. The UFC has to be holding things up.

Jerad, Cali

Hey jon as a fighter im very restricted as to what i can eat...can you have kenny do a segment on breakfast im tired of egg whites and oatmeal..any suggestions.

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Fruit. I'll see what I can do.

Jeff (MD)

What advantages do you see for Rashad? Machida?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Rashad: power/quickness/wrestling Machida: everything else

Bobby,Cincinnati

If Brock has plenty of money why does he drive a Chevy Aveo? ha!

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Same reason he doesn't have the Internet.

Ben (Columbus)

Almost forgot about the chat this week! I thought the E60 piece was ok on Dana, but I think they tried to make him into a much bigger problem then he is. Why is it that everyone at the network (aside from the MMA live crew, and Michael Smith seemed to know a little) seems to have no idea what MMA is?

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

There is still a learning curve with regard to Mixed martial arts. And I would agree that the piece did make Dana White seem to be a far greater nuisance/problem than he really is. I just really hope people at ESPN and outside of ESPN allow themselves to be educated on the many merits of MMA. It's the purest sport in the world, and should be given its due by the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

Brian (Chicago)

Just saw a picture of two Bellator ring girls. Wow.

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Wow good, or wow bad? Reviews have been mixed.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

When affliction bellies up later this and if the UFC gets fedor doesnt the heavyweight division suddenly become pretty deep? Carwin, lesnar, valesquez, meer, congo I mean we could see HW's headlining a lot of shows next year!

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

I'm with you, Nate. In April of 2008, we sort of bemoaned the UFC HW division. Now, even without Fedor, it's pretty stacked. You didn't even mention the two legends Couture and Nogueira. I know they aren't in the title mix right now, but they both are still fighting and Randy moves the needle like none other.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Has MMA Live considered doing a monthly segment on some of the top gyms in MMA. I like to see the spotlight on ATT, Xtremem Couture, Kenny's place, etc.

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

We talk all the time about doing some stuff that focuses on the MMA gyms and training camps. Right now, it's a matter of time and resources. We may do a Pulse segment on it sooner rather than later. Find us some new sponsors, and we'll go all over the country, gym to gym!

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Mir, sorry! Dont want a nasty leg lock applied!

Frank Mir

I guess no one in Minnesota is smart - Mir not MEER. Read a book.

Gary Dell'Abate(New York)

I know K Flo was a soccer player, I am looking for some competition for the worst first pitch ever!

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

Kenny actually has been practicing for tonite's first pitch at Citizens Bank Park. He thought home plate was 90 feet away. He was thrilled when we told him it was 60 feet, 6 inches.

Ryan (Jersey)

Franklin's contacts supposedly told him that MMA would be voted through by the end of May. What did he have to say about that? What is he hearing?

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

Looks like June is now more realistic. It's fluid.

Bobby,Cincinnati

It's "Mur"

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

Hahaha.

Matt NYC

Want to give us predictions on the 2 Beallator tourney matches this weekend? How about Aina vs. Evangelista?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

Sure thing. I like Aina to overpower Evangelista early, but once Billy settles in, I think he'll be okay. I'll take Aina by late stoppage. As for the Bellator welterweight semifinals, I can't predict, b/c I am calling the fights. But I think Omar De La Cruz may surprise some people against Dave Menne. And Lyman Good should advance, depending on which Jorge Ortiz shows up.

Ryan (Jersey)

Sorry Jon, I meant to say in New York. Why are you guys so confident it will go through?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

I am not as confident as McNeil. His confidence lies with the new state athletic commissioner, Melvina Lathan (sp?).

Jeff (MD)

Any word on the Dean of Mean? A fight with Thiago Silva makes a lot of sense to me.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

I think that's been rumored to be going down at UFC 102.

BT (Atlanta)

Why do you think Paulo Thiago is getting so much love? I mean he was a relative unknown getting first rate fights (ie Kos and Fitch) and wasn't on any undercard. What do you think?

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

I think he may be in for a rude awakening. One loss, and he takes a precipitous fall down the 170-lb. ladder.

John (Victoria BC)

What do you make of the Silva fued (Anderson vs. Wanderlei) that seems to be going on. And now Rich Franklin is mixed into it. Is there some reall bad blood there and some history the we don't know about? Or is this Wanderlei just trying to create some interest to help him fast track a title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

I think it's the latter, John. Wanderlei looking to work his way into the headlines.

Alex (Boston, MA)

Bobby from Cinncy asked why Brock has an Aveo, its because he had the super star life style and he got sick of it and traded it all in. He use to drive a hummer. There was a documentry on him a few months ago.

Ben (Columbus)

I read an article on FIveouncesofpain.com that said "JZ" Cavalcante may be heading to Bellator! Care to confirm that?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Both sides are interested. That's all I will say.

Bobby,Cincinnati

Just imagine if the Bellator fights were on ESPN or the Deuce... So many more people would get excited about MMA and realize the UFC isn't the only thing out there. You can argue fight of the year from this tourney!

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

I hope it happens, Bobby. Fights have been great so far.

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Any idea what Kenny weights when he steps into the cage?

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Depends on the fight- around 168-170. He weighs 177 right now, but don't tell him I told you.

Jordan (Baton Rouge)

What up Jon! Just checking in brother keep up the good work of keeping us informed!

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Thanks, Jordan! Good to hear from ya.

Tyler (Sacramento, CA)

How do you see Alves stopping GSP's take downs?? If better wrestlers in Fitch and Koscheck couldn't stop his takedowns, what makes you think Alves is going to stop them??

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

Alves has recently disposed of two of the best wrestlers in MMA in Hughes and Koscheck. He's got a shot.

rob (jersey)

Personally UFC fanboys wouldn't care if MMA was on ESPN - if it doesn't have a UFC banner on it who care (to them) There is great fighting available now that no one cares about.....

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Some of that is true, Rob. BUT, part of what hurts MMA expansion and growth is that it is a hard sport to follow. If MMA was live on ESPN or ESPN2 on Saturday nights, the audience would be there, even the UFC-only crowd.

Kristian New York, NY

Hey Jon. Love the chat! Would you rather see Lesner vs. Fedor or Couture vs. Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

At this point, Lesnar vs. Fedor. With all due respect to Couture (and Frank Mir), I think the best heavyweight fight out there is Brock vs. Fedor.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

I should have proof read my comment! MMA nation is all over me! When does King MO fight next? Dude is an animal!

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

King Mo is injured my friend. Not sure on a return date. Think he had a knee or achilles issue.

Matt (Twin Falls, ID)

Another great night and highlight for Bellator! Any chance with all the great fights it gets upgraded to espn2 this year (if even just the finals)? Or is next year the best we can hope for? Thanks!

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Wish I had some inside info. for you, Matt. Unfortunately, I'm just the play-by-play guy. They keep me out of all the important loops.

john (jersey)

jon i bet kristian from nyc is hot she is talking HW and that's my weight class (im not fat)

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Hahaha...I know, you're 6'7". Our tallest chatter by several inches.

Jeremy (atl, ga)

So with both Forrest and B.J coming off long lay overs (1 due to injury and 1 to laziness) fighting 2 very busy fighters and determined to prove a point do you see KenFlo and Silva both ending their fights early?

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

I don't think so, Jeremy. I think Griffin will return in fine form, and he'll battle Silva for a while. And Florian and I both expect BJ Penn to enter the Octagon in the best shape of his life. Anything less, and he will lose to Kenny. If he shows up on the heels of a great camp, it'll be a war.

Jerad, Cali

WOW thanks i love fruit...so the Whitehead fight is official...if we look back i think i broke that one for you...your welcome.

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

Yes you did. I wish I could credit Jerad in Cali on MMA Live tomorrow.

Bobby,Cincinnati

All your host and guest host are UFC fighters so of course the UFC "fanboys" will be there. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Kenflo, Bonnar, and Mir but I also love it when you have guys like Militech and different fighters from different organizations for different perspectives. You get all that?

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

We've reached out to several non-UFC fighters- We've had Gina Carano, Miguel Torres, Pat Miletich, and others in-studio. We've also reached out to Scott Smith and a few other big-name guys, but scheduled didn't align.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

King MO, completely torn ACL! Any chance josh barnett comes back to the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

I doubt it. Barnett is Japan.

BT (Atlanta)

Shouldn't Velazquez be rated above Congo if he beats Herring?

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

You can make that argument, sure.

Ben (Columbus)

I am predicting that Canseco beats the Hong Man Choi. Oh wait I was living in a alternate universe.

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

Yeah, ain't happening.

Matt H (Phx, az)

Hate to be a party-pooper, but I hope GSP cruches Alves because I feel that Alves "cheated" in the Hughes fight.

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

I finally forgave Alves for the weight issue at UFC 85. Took me a long time.

matt(Atlanta)

jon, your picks have been pretty good, and as a gambler(legal of course) I appriciate it. I'll buy you a drink at 100, if you want. Can I get an upset special for 98? Thanks!

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Hahahahaha...Thanks man. I have a lot of fun with predictions. I wish they'd let me make them on MMA Live. As for a UFC 98 upset special, I think there's a lot of value on Matt Serra. And I like Brock Larson as well.

Jordan ( Baton Rouge)

Hey Jon! I heard Atencio said he wants to fight Dana. Who ya got? Dana vs Atencio

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Dana. He can't lose to the T-shirt guy, right?

Jonathan (Nashua, NH)

Can we ban the term "fanboy" from this chat going forward?

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Not a bad idea, Jonathan. I don't like it.

John (Victoria BC)

Have you heard anything about future shows by Affliction? They made a lot of noise initially and have some great fighters but with so long between shows the future doesn't look too bright to me. Plus if I was betting I'd say that they will lose Fedor after his next fight as he is only contracted for one more correct? And no Fedor means no marquee name anymore.

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

I am hearing August 1st for their third show. And it could be their last. They have zero momentum, and you can't build any staging cards once every 8 months. Not sure what the heck is going on there, John.

Boston Matt

Busy day here today Jonny Boy, almost missed the Chat. Don't have time to re-read it all, just wanted to give a Shout to Julian of Gaithersburg for getting back training and being less fat, good luck to the Evolve Academy guys fighting this weekend in Richmond, I hope Matt Hughes puts a whoopin on Serra, and Machida takes down Sugar!! Peace Jonny!! And Go Sox/B's/C's! Boston sports rules, you too Ken-Flo!

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

Ha. Good stuff, Boston Matt. Hope you enjoyed the 3 W's last night.

Bobby,Cincinnati

As i recall, Dana use to wear Affliction shirts from "that t shirt guy" all the time. lol Funny what happens when you cross Dana.

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

Yes, he did.

Vinod (NYC, NY)

Any word/updates on Belfort or Kid making their way over to the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

Nothing, Vinod. Feel free to send that question to mmalive@espn.com and I'll have McNeil chase it. His sources trump mine.

Robert (Milwaukee,WI)

Jon, how is Larson an underdog against Wilson? I thought for sure he would be a favorite and he will take out Wilson.

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

I thought so, too, but I'm being told by one of our esteemed MMA Live producers that Vegas opened Wilson as a slight favorite.

Steve New Mexico

Love the chats Jonny Bravo. Why no love in giving Diego the title shot over Gray. After his staph infection against Kos, he pretty much lost out on a title bid. Hes put together another nice run spanning 2 divisions.

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

Thanks, Steve. I guess I don't consider Diego's work at 170 when determining my list of contenders at 155. I think Sanchez has a great chance to be the future lightweight champion, but I'm not sure he should just leapfrog Maynard after two wins at 155.

Jeff (MD)

I think there is money to be made on Rashad. Machida has seemed to slow in the 3rd round of his fights while Rashad seems to be getting stronger. If Rashad is patient, I believe he wins late.

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

Jeff in MD agreeing with something I said two weeks in a row. That's high praise. I may retire.

John (amarillo tx )

Ufc undisputed comes out this coming Tuesday are you gonna get it?

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

I may have to buy a PlayStation 3 first. But yes, I will be making the purchase. My girlfriend is actually a gamer.

Jeff (MD)

The week is still early Jon....

Jim (Acton, MA)

How many fights will it take the Hughes/Serra winner to fight for the title?

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Not sure either guy is in that mix anymore. I think the UFC would rather start to give some up-and-comers a shot. A dominant win by Hughes or Serra could thrust them back to the top, but I'm not 100% convinced of that.

Ben (Columbus)

Either E60 or the Magazine called sherdog.com the "biggest" mma web site in the world. Thats an awfully big claim isn't it?

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Well, Sherdog has been around as long as any other, and really does serve as a bible for an MMA journalist like myself. I don't know what I would do without the Fight Finder in prepping for MMA Live and the Bellator broadcasts.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

Bellator annoucer, MMA live host and a GF who plays video games!! Who needs Carrano huh?

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

Hahahahahaha...

Robert (WI)

Wilson is -167, Larson +120. Crazy!

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

And there you have it...

Kevin: Middletown, OH

Where did all the bad blood come from with the UFC and Affliction, at least give me a direction and I will find the info myself?

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

Not really bad blood. It's just that the UFC will do everything in its power to make it difficult for its competitors to survive. That's why the UFC counter-programs Affliction shows with free content on Spike. As for Tom Atencio calling out Dana White, it's really meant in good taste. And, as said previously, Atencio has nothing to lose by doing so.

Rich

Any chance we will see A. Silva vs. Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

I highly doubt it.

Paul (Cleveland)

Isn't Dana's aim to have one fighting body for all MMA. And isn't this also the best for the fans. We need to know the champion is. Period. And you can only tell that if everyone is fighting everyone else.

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

The UFC can't possibly sign all of the elite Mixed martial artists in the world. And the number of professional fighters grows every day. We'd all like to see unified titles and champions, but it's a little unrealistic to think MMA could all be under one umbrella.

John (Victoria BC)

Just watched the Bellator with Imada's ridiculous submission on the weekend. Great play by play Jon! Wondering how much buzz there was after the fights about the inverted triangle. Imada seemed stragely unexcited by the move and his comments were like oh I do this all the time at the gym. Are you kidding me? I figure the other fighters must have been going nuts after this. You were there so how did it go over?

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

It was unreal, John, and thanks for checking out the Bellator broadcast. As far as I know, Imada was the first to ever pull off an inverse traingle choke in a high-level MMA fight. It was absolutely electric all night. The buzz carried over from the arena, to the hotel, then to the bar. I have a feeling it's a moment the entire Bellator family will remember for quite some time.

John (amarillo tx )

I wanna see Roy Jones in mma

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

There's a curiousity factor, but he'd get smashed by most average MMA fighters. No ground skills that I know of.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

I know bellator is doing well with espn deportes support, but how long you think it can keep going? If they get it on the duece thats gotta hurt the UFC if only a liitle.....

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

It's not about hurting the UFC. It's about the MMA fighters. Bellator is a new promotion with a new approach, and they truly focus on the fighters.

rob (jersey)

...and the only way Masvidal can remember it is by watching it on tape.

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Yeah, some say why didn't he tap? Because he was sleeping before he realized what was going on.

Bobby,Cincinnati

Call me crazy, but i want to be able to walk into my local bar and say "How about that Evans/Machida fight?" And everyone respond just like i asked "how about that Steelers game". For MMA to get on that level, antics like Atencio calling out Dana and Dana putting himself in the spotlight before the fighters, are going to have to change. I aprreciate the "hardcore" fan as much as the next guy, but I want want to see MMA continue to grow in a positive light.

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Point well taken.

Jerad, Cali

no credit needed just a friendly reminder

RyGuy (VA)

Jon do you think mma will ever provide a weigh in the day of the bout like boxing? I would love to see what most fighters weigh when they are actually in the cage instead of the day before.

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Boxing does the weigh-ins the day before as well.

Justin (Wilmington, MA)

I think Bellator on ESPN would help the UFC, similar to Sportscenter covering UFC highlights. The more exposure to MMA the better; and fans should have plenty of time to watch both.

Lapper (delaware)

What are the odds of TUF Heavyweight season w/ Kimbo and Bobby Lashley?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

The odds are long. Lashley was with us here in Bristol a few weeks ago. He said he wanted to try out for Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, but his management advised against it. As for Kimbo, he's cooked. He just wants to box. MMA is too hard for him.

rob (jersey)

Well said Bobby.

Nate (Minneapolis, MN)

I more meant at least as far as it lasting longer than most of the other promotions that go up against UFC. I love a good MMA fight no matter what production. Can you talk your bellator bosses into coming to minneapolis for me? Or anywhere I can email to lobby myself?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

We were supposed to be in Minneapolis for the show on May 22nd, but that didn't materialize, for whatever reason...will keep you posted.

Baumer (NYC)

I see you are doing the short recap clips for baseball on espn.com, any chance at espnnews or late night sportscenter in the future? if Coachman can do it, so can you.

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Thanks, Baumer. I really enjoy all the stuff I do at ESPN, but would love MMA to be my primary focus.

david (SC) [via mobile]

Agree or disagree. I think part of Dana's problem is that he does not underdtand some times you do things because it is the right thing to do. Pay for Tito's surgery, let Huerta finish his contract. Right thing to do, not because it is good for business.

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

Agree. I do a lot of things I don't want to do b/c it's the right thing to do, and I'm not a hugely public figure like Dana.

RyGuy (VA)

Yeah I know boxing oficially does the weigh ins the day before but they also have the fighters jump on the unofficial scale the day of right? wouldnt it be cool to see that on the tale-of-the-tape as well?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

Oh. Sure, why not? Don't see any problem with that.

KIMBO, MIAMI

MMA aint to hard for me...im to hard for MMA...break yourself fool.

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

HAHAHA.

Paul (Cleveland)

I'd love to see Ortiz or Shamrock in the booth. Both those guys are entertaining and I think I'll miss them now they are both almost gone from MMA.

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

When Frank Shamrock talks, I listen. When Tito talks...

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

...I have a hard time listening.

Rich

Instead of RJJ in MMA, I wanna see either Mayweather or Pacquiao in there with Pulver or Faber!

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

As long as Mayweather is fighting someone, somewhere...

Jeff (MD)

Do you think fighters should be tested for steroids during the lead up to a fight? I know they are test before and after the fight, but this stuff is so advanced now, most guys could easily have it out of their systems before a fight.

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

Unfortunately, it's a problem that won't go away. Your solution is a good one, but fighters can always alter their cycle in an effort to pass a test. And we haven't even gotten into the human growth hormone discussion.

Boston Matt

Jon, you want to come to the Red Sox/Nationals game in D.C. on June 23rd? I have a Suite! Bring Kenny, he can buy the beers! By the way, I am taking Forrest to win at UFC 101. And I am itching to see Faber fight again!!

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Remind me next month. I can't speak for Florian, but maybe we can make it happen. Appreciate the invite.

Jeff (MD)

Unfortunately, we will never see Money or Pacman in mma because they can make about 10x as much money boxing....

Vinod (NYC, NY)

Off topic, but since you mention it, who do ya got? Mayweather-Marquez Mayweather-Pacquiao Marquez-Pacquiao 3 Pacquiao-Cotto

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

I think Marquez will be a great test for Mayweather, regardless of the size advantage. I think Mayweather will get by that fight, but I'm not sure he will beat Pacquiao right now. Manny is a completely different fighter than he was when I began covering boxing in 2005. I think the 2009 Manny Pacquiao would KO the '05 Pacquiao in the first round. That's all I can do on the boxing without losing my chat!

Jorge Gurgel, Cincinnati

McLovin is perfecting the inverse triangle as we speak

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

Yeah he is. I wouldn't doubt it.

Scott (Des Moines)

Sean Sherk the second time around, Contender or Pretender?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

Contender.

Baumer (NYC)

After watching your anniversary show, I think you should have done a video montage of Florian's hair over the past year, at least 30 different styles.

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

And 28 of them were brutal!

Tito (Big Bear)

You didn't like when I said FEEdor knocked out Arlovski, then used big words I don't understand?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

Exactly.

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Alright, folks. I gotta run. Thanks for the extended time today. Be sure to check back here tomorrow for Episode #53 of MMA Live. Rashad Evans and Dan Severn on the program. I'm off to Chicago for Bellator VII- will be in touch on...dare I say it...Twitter...(Jon_Anik). Until next week, be safe and be well. -JA