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November 18, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (12:54 PM)

Welcome. Great to have you here for another MMA Live chat here at espn.com! Tons of stuff on tap today with Brock Lesnar's illness, UFC 105, UFC 106, and WEC 44. Also, Dan Henderson will be live in-studio tomorrow for MMA Live. Alright, let's vent.

Evan (SLC)

Hey Jon, I'm finally here for the beginning of a chat. If Couture and Coleman fight, is there any upside for Randy if he wins? Will it get him closer to a title shot?

Jon Anik
  (12:57 PM)

I do think a win for Couture over Coleman will get him closer to a title shot at 205. How close? Not sure, but given his legendary status and, theoretically, back-to-back wins in the division, he'd be right there.

David (Dallas, TX)

Interested to get your thoughts on Brock...

Jon Anik
  (12:59 PM)

Very disappointing news, obviously. MMA loses big-time in this equation, as the biggest name in the sport is out indefinitely. Just hope Lesnar returns to full health and can resume his career. Also curious to hear from those who questioned the veracity of Lesnar and his camp with regard to the illness. Brock wants to fight and he wants to fight often. This is clearly serious stuff he's dealing with.

Vinod (New York, NY)

Hell of a fight in Vegas, huh? When do you think Floyd-Manny will come off and who do you like?

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

Manny Pacquiao is becoming an all-time great right before our eyes. I remember covering his fights when he weighed 126, and it's amazing to see him now, mugging top welterweights. It would be hard to bet against him in a fight with Mayweather, based upon what we saw Saturday night. But Floyd is a different animal and a different challenge.

kaemel williams (stony brook, ny)

I know this is your chat Anik, but i want to wish brock good

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

Keep it coming. Thanks, Kaemel.

Cory (Pittsburgh)

Hey Panik, can you explain why I started to root for Bisping during that fight? I for one have yet to figure out the answer.

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

I found myself in that same spot. The guy's UFC career was essentially hanging in the balance. He asked his corner 'what happened' in-between rounds, yet still found it within himself to fight through it and finish Kang. Great, great night for Bisping, and I can't imagine how thrilling it must've been to do that in Manchester.

David (Dallas, TX)

Is Dan Hardy most deserving of the next 170 title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

Yes. The Swick win proves he belongs in the conversation with the UFC's top welterweights. Even if I'm not optimistic about his chances against GSP, I am now curious to see what he could do against the other top 170ers, such as Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves. Love Hardy's deceptive power, which shook Swick early. Also like his poise and composure on fight night. Always seems relaxed...rarely gets rattled.

Roman (TX)

How many more fights does Mousasi have in SF? Does he have a championship clause that he can't leave SF as a champion? He needs to join UFC.

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

We forget how young Mousasi still is. Not sure how many fights remain on his contract. But I also don't think he's in any great rush to leave the UFC, b/c he's only 25. Strikeforce would be smart to keep Gegard happy for awhile.

Bryan (Ohio)

Do you think Denis Kang was overrated coming in to the UFC or has he just lost a step?

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

He's inconsistent, and perhaps the wear-and-tear is starting to catch up to him. He gave up pretty quickly there in Round 2, if you ask me. His next UFC fight is a must-win for sure.

rob (jersey)

So Renzo Gracie (the guy I look up to in BJJ/MMA) may very well come back to fight Hughes (and get revenge for both Royce and Serra), but supposedly as his 2nd fight? Dana is going to have to give him a can first right? Can't mess up that potential, can you?

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Hey Rob. Even if Renzo were to lose his first fight back, I'm not sure how adversely that would impact a Hughes-Renzo bout. The names are strong enough to warrant that fight, even if Gracie slips up beforehand.

Charlie (Philly)

Jose Aldo will be crowned the king of the 145 lb division tonight!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

I agree with you, but it won't be easy.

Jason (Owosso, MI)

Vera lost the fight - no controversy!

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

I scored it a draw. Vera certainly did more damage, but his striking was only in spurts---no volume. Even when he got Randy in the full mount, he failed to capitalize...not sure he even threw a single punch. Couture controlled the cage and the clinch and I wasn't at all surprised he won by unanimous decision. My scorecard: Round 1 10-9 Randy Round 2 10-9 Vera Round 3 10-10

Jeff (Alabama)

Randy looked like hot garbage. Controversy!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

I thought Couture had lost a step at UFC 102 against Nogueira, and continue to have that opinion after UFC 105. He is a warrior, and I'd say he did enough to win the fight, but acknowledged after the fight that it wasn't an exciting performance.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Vera should have pounced after the damaging side kick

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

Exactly. No killer instinct out of Brandon. Disappointing.

Leo (Boston MA)

Rumble vs Kos who do you like and will Rumble make weight?

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

I like Koscheck to find a way to grind out a win, but wouldn't be at all surprised if Johnson knocked him out. I think this fight is a coin-flip. I don't expect Johnson to make weight, but perhaps the quick turnaround will help the process.

Evan (SLC)

Bisping should just fight in England the rest of his life. For some reason he can't get it together in the states.

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

You're absolutely right. I think that Hendo KO is still gonna wreak havoc with the rest of Bisping's career. That win over Kang was all heart.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I thought either Vera won the fight or it was a draw. I can't believe the decision was unanimous.

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

MMA scoring remains such a difficult process. I would go back to the full mount---do we credit Vera for gaining the position, or give Couture points for getting out of it without sustaining any damage. To me, Couture executed his gameplan and Vera didn't. He was just too inactive on the feet for me. Joe Rogan was imploring Vera to create space to get his hands going, and rarely did he oblige.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

I wanna see Karo Parisyn fight again, still think hes got it?

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

We will find out this weekend. I know Parisyan is difficult to submit, but I like Dustin Hazelett to submit him.

Sammy (Chicago)

bisbing only lost 2 fights,lets not act like he just stinks up the joint in the states

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

True, but most would argue he also lost to Matt Hamill, and there aren't a boatload of quality wins on that resume. I understand why a lot of fans think he is overrated.

rob (jersey)

Excited for Tyron Woodley Friday night - - hopefully he has a GREAT performance and can show his skills against a Joe Riggs-level WW in SF.

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Pat Miletich called Tyron Woodley the best athlete in all of MMA right now.

Chris (Danville, Ca)

Bisping circled right into Kang's right hand when he got dropped. Does this kid not learn?! He showed a lot on the ground and could do well, but he has to fix some of these flaws.

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Well put. Great ground-and-pound display, but still proving to be a bit unrefined on his feet.

Leo (Boston MA)

I know it's a month away but if BJ gets by Diego what's next for him at 155?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Difficult to say. Gray Maynard, provided he gets by Nate Diaz, will have a great case.

Dustin Wardle (Utah)

Why is it such a big deal that Rumble did not make weight at UFC 104 have we all forgot that Thiago Alves failed to make weight against Matt Hughes. If Rumble makes weight at UFC 106 let's put that to rest please!

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

I think it's because Anthony Johnson missed weight by six pounds (I think Alves was 4 lbs. over) and we all knew he would miss weight.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

anymore free UFC fights planned?

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

UFC 106 prelims on Spike this Saturday.

Jeremy (Portland)

What's next for Cain? I'd like to see him and Carwin fight for the interim championship.

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

That's definitely what should happen. But Carwin is dealing with some injuries, and he isn't gonna fight Velasquez at less than 100 percent.

Bryan (Ohio)

Who you got in the Sadallah-Baroni and Nog-Cane fights?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

I lean towards Little Nog b/c of the experience factor. Looking to see if Cane's cardio will abandon him if it goes three. Also like Phil Baroni against Amir Sadollah. Again, I look at Baroni's experience, fighting some of the best in the world.

Josh (Cleveland)

Worse than Couture, all 3 judges scored 20-18 in favor of Roy Nelson? What were they watching??? I think the business man in Dana had something to do with that - he may hate Nelson (with good reason), but he knows he needs him right now. Thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

Another difficult fight to score, Josh. I'm with you and had it one round apiece. And it's highly disappointing for Justin Wren. But that second round he was brutal, and could've even lost it, 10-8.

Bill (ohio)

Will we ever see Fedor in the UFC?? I know Dana has made attempts, but says it's the Fedor camp holding it up.

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

I don't think Fedor will fight in the UFC. I think he's content to call the shots with M-1 Global/Strikeforce.

Rachel - MMAHotStuff (San Francisco)

if Baroni wins, what's next for Amir? Is he in the situation where this is a must win for him?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Hi Rachel. I think the UFC is invested in Amir Sadollah and he will be given the benefit of the doubt b/c of his myriad injuries. But any time you lose two straight in the UFC, it's a bad thing.

Charlie (Philly)

Justin Wren would never have survived a 3rd round anyway.

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

That was my feeling.

Jeff (MD)

You have been on the Ortiz wagon for awhile, I assume you look for that to start this weekend? How do you see the finish of the fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

Absolutely, Jeff. My only hesitation with Tito Ortiz has to do with the layoff. We haven't seen him since UFC 84 (April, 2008), and we just don't know if it'll take him a round or two to get going. Also, Forrest is taking the fight on short notice, which I believe favors Ortiz. I think it's destined to go the distance, but Tito could ground-and-pound him out in the third.

Bradley (Regina SK CAN)

Hardy/GSP will happen in England, right?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

I would imagine, but you never know. With St. Pierre fighting only twice a year, there might be some motivation to put him in Las Vegas.

Thanedub (Los Angeles)

Anik, why are you such a Rumble Johnson hater?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Haha. I'm not a hater. I just hate when dudes miss weight. I said on the radio earlier this week if I had a pistol to my temple and had to pick one UFC welterweight to beat GSP, it would be Rumble, b/c of the power. I recognize his potential for greatness.

Drake (Boston)

Jon, Pacmans superior offense vs Floyds superior defense, who wins? Bigger fight: Pacquiao-Mayweather or Brock-Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

That's a great question, Drake. As big as it could get in both sports right now. I think Pacquiao-Mayweather would do a slightly bigger PPV number, but I'd still like to see the Pacquiao-Cotto PPV total before answering.

Trevor (North Billerica, MA)

Hey Jon, are you gonna be at the signing w/Kenny on Saturday @ Kelly's HD in Billerica?

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

Unfortunately not, Trevor. But I already have Kenny's autograph.

Chase R. (New York, NY)

Jon, How high is the ceiling on Ross Pearson? His hands looked legit. Also, thanks for MMA Live...please put it on ESPN2!

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Extremely high, Chase. Striking was sharp as hell. As for MMA Live, at least I am happy to report we are now on ESPNUK!

Johnny (Minneapolis)

I know your a boston fan jon, so what is your take on that gutsy call made by Bill on 4th and 2.

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

I would've punted the football, but I completely understand why Belichick did what he did. He's a far smarter man than I. And taking the ball out of Tom Brady's hands and giving it to Peyton Manning (regardless of where you are on the field) is a recipe for an L. Tough day for Patriots fans, but the season is long, and I still think they will win the Super Bowl.

Sooch (NY)

Jon if pressed for an answer do you think we will see Lesnar fighting again?

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

Yes I do. We are hoping to have ESPN's injury analyst and licensed physical therapist Stephania Bell on MMA Live tomorrow to really break down what is going on medically. She would know better than I.

Brian (Greensboro, NC)

Reaction to Dana banning Clinch Gear from the UFC? Could you ask Hendo about it tomorrow please? I say it's a bush league move.

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

I hadn't heard that, but it's too bad. Not sure we'll ask Hendo on the air, but I'll try to get his take.Also, just a heads-up, SportsCenter is efforting to get Dana White on as we speak, so I might have to duck out at 2ET to tape a quick interview for MMA Live.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Interesting twist...Tito's return vs Forrest trying to avoid losing 3 fights in a row. What happens to Tito if he loses? If Forrest loses, will be the first UFC fighter to not get fired after losing 3 straight?

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Marc, I think you are gonna start seeing a handful of high-profile guys who are retained even with losing streaks. Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar both, you'd think, would have lifetime contracts. If Tito loses, which is not my expectation, it'll be a much tougher road back to the light heavyweight title. But depending on the performance and the fight, he could get a pardon b/c of the rust, etc.

David (Pittsburgh)

Love MMA LIVE Jon. Watched it every week for the past year. Where does this close loss put Vera in the division? Has he moved down the rankings or stayed in the same spot? Who would be the next logical matchup for him?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

I think that loss all but ensures that Brandon Vera won't contend for the light heavyweight title. At this point, he'd need to put together three straight wins, a very difficult proposition in that division.

Roman (TX)

Bonnar should get cut.

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

As you know, he's established a ton of goodwill there, and his fights are almost always exciting. If he loses to Soszynski, you might be able to make that argument. But Bonnar would get scooped up pretty quickly by another promotion.

Jason (Owosso, MI)

JA - thoughts on KO of the night @ UFC 105?

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

Roli Delgado was a custom-made opponent for Andre Winner. You knew that's exactly how that fight would end. Sick power.

Sammy (Chicago)

wec 44 jon whats your predictions?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

Due to time constraints, I'll give you two: Leonard Garcia and Jose Aldo.

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

Will be leaving at 2 ET to interview Dana White for tomorrow's MMA Live.

Isaac (Denver)

We've talked about where Vera's loss puts him in the divisional rankings but where does the win put Couture? Do past achievements in the division count or are we starting fresh? Either way, does Randy make the top 10?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

Well, we know that Mark Coleman is next for Couture at UFC 109. It seems to me that Randy just wants to get in there as much as possible. I think a win over Coleman would put him in position to fight Tito Ortiz, provided he beats Forrest Griffin.

Jerry (Texas)

Jon, you have been saying you think Kimbo will fight again in TUF, do you still see it that way with only a couple episodes left?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

It's starting to look less possible with every passing week. I still tend to think Mitrione will be forced to bow out, but your guess is as good (or probably better) than mine.

Evan (SLC)

If MMA Live goes to TV, will you still have it on the internet? I love being able to watch the replay since I can't watch it live. I also enjoy being able to watch the older ep's since I started watching about a year ago.

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

I would imagine, given our great Internet following, that the show would still be available at espn.com.

toesh (dearborn, mi)

how do u see the davis vs saunders fight playing out?

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

I thought Mike Swick exposed some of Ben Saunders' deficiencies. Therefore, I would expect a veteran like Marcus Davis to be able to find his range and take advantage. If Saunders gets his legs going, he can certainly damage Davis. But I like Marcus by decision.

Jeff (Alabama)

Who wins, Kimbo or Lesnar right now? I mean today, just got out of the hospital. No beers for Lesnar.

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

Hahahahaha. I guess this would be the only time that match-up would be remotely even, with Brock having just undergone surgery.

Brian (Greensboro, NC)

PLEASE ask Dana about the banning of Clinch Gear! As a fan, I'm completely fed up with this type of stuff from the UFC, and won't be spending another penny on their pay-per-views.

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

Entirely too much else to get to, with Brock Lesnar, UFC 105 and Tito's return. We only have a short window, and I gotta cater to the masses. Hopefully Hendo will provide some insight tomorrow, Brian.

JinxMan (Louisville, KY)

JA, what's up man? What's on tap for MMA Live tomorrow?

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

For those late to the chat, Dan Henderson and Stephan Bonnar will be in Bristol. And I'm taping a phoner with Dana White in about 19 minutes.

Sunny (Markham)

how bad is the lesnar situation really? there have been guys who have had some major injuries but have still come back in their respective sports. is the talk about lesnars fighting career being over for real?

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

I'd only be speculating. Hopefully, Dana will provide some answers. I can understand why the details are being kept internal for now.

Jeff (MD)

Of all the fighters fighting Saturday, who, in your mind, is the closest to a potential title fight with a victory? It has to be Luiz Cane right?

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Yes, Cane. But if Tito Ortiz looks dominant, who knows?

Todd (MD)

It seemed like the refs @ UFC 105 were very quick to stop and restart stalemates on the ground or cage. Is that just because they are different refs then the normal Herb's and Steve's we usually have, or did something come down from the top to stop and restart on the feet sooner?

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

All referees handle those situations differently. I thought it was refreshing to see the interruptions.

Matt (Spokane, WA)

Was it just me, or did it seem odd that it was presumed on last week's TUF that if Mitrione was out, Kimbo was back in? It was as if the matter had been decided even before Mitrione got hurt.

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

I understand where you are coming from, but did you actually think someone else would replace Mitrione. Kimbo Slice is a ratings juggernaut, and you can be sure the UFC would love to get the lights back on him.

Bradley (Regina SK CAN)

Is Manvel the Anvil going to get a shot @ the belt if he puts down Garcia?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

I don't think right away.

Evan (SLC)

People are very quick to jump on ref's stopping fights early. But that's also after they have seen the replay 5 times.

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Very true. And those replays, more often than not, are not in real time.

Jarrett (Louisville, KY)

JA, is it me or does it seem like UFC 105 over performed. I know a lot of folks who weren't looking forward to the card, but a lot of the fights ended up being pretty exciting

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

I agree, Jarrett. Up until the final two fights, it was electric. And I enjoyed watching Hardy.

Marc (Malden, MA)

It isn't like Lesnar broke a bone or torn a muscle. The guy has mono and a bacterial infection. If his life was in really in jeopardy, then his career is completely unimportant. I think it's great news that he was even discharged from the hospital.

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

Roger that.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I don't mind being the contrarion, I'll take Mike Thomas Brown to retain his title.

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

He's the favorite and there are PLENTY of people here at ESPN who are backing MTB tonite.

Roman (TX)

Dana hyped this season as the best ever. The fights have been unwatchable. is it time to kill TUF?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

I think after Season 12, they will punt. Dana has said as much.

chris (arizona)

Even though Brett Rogers lost to fedor, do you think he can be a force at heavyweight?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

I still think Brett Rogers is one of the top 10 heavyweights in the world. I just think he could improve the people around him a little bit. I think it's time to hook up with one of the elite camps.

Jeff (MD)

Where do you think Swick goes from last week's loss? I don't think he was prepared for Hardy's power.

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Definitely underestimated Hardy's power. Swick has 9 UFC wins and has never fought for the title. Now, it's gonna stay that way.

Sunny (Markham, Ontario (north of Toronto))

thoughts on aldo vs brown today? it feels like the WEC is building quite a name with top level fights. love to watch it for free but do you think it will go to PPV or maybe even a title fight on a UFC ppv?

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

Most, if not all MMA business models eventually end with fights on PPV. I expect the WEC to get there at some point, but I'm with you...don't mind the free fights for now! For the casual fans, WEC 44 is tonite at 9ET on Versus.

Abraham (NC)

Keep up the good work.. What is the biggest fight MMA can make now with brock injured??? Will UFC go vs. Pac vs. Floyd or concede the date?? Thanks

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

I'd be shocked if the UFC didn't go head-to-head with a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. As for the biggest fight you can make right now in MMA, I still think its Rashad-Rampage. The masses are clamoring for it. Of course, most woudl say its GSP-Anderson Silva, but that is far less realistic.

Jamie (CT)

I never really understood why UFC and WEC both have a lightweight division, since both are owned by Zuffa. Will the guys from WEC ever fight a guy like BJ?

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

I think eventually the UFC will take over the WEC's lightweight division. You'll see that before you see Jamie Varner fight some of the top UFC 155ers.

alex (canton ohio)

anthony johnson, josh koscheck... if koscheck wins would this also make him a contender

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

As Diego Sanchez would say, YES!

Brian (Umass)

I think its time for a TUF break maybe take a year or two off let some new talent develope. Then do it once a year and really spend time scouting guys who will come in on weight and in shape.

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

Sounds like a good solution to me, although I wouldn't be bummed out if it went away for good.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

wheres your BF kenny been hiding?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

He's training for Clay Guida on Dec. 12th. Actually, I believe Firas Zahabi is in Boston as we speak.

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

Update: Dana White is gonna be live on SportsCenter on ESPN shortly.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Alright, guys. Hate to cut it so short, but I've got to go interview Dana White for MMA Live. Feel free to send your other questions to mmalive@espn.com. And, you can always hit me up on Twitter (Jon_Anik). Enjoy WEC 44 tonite and UFC 106 on Saturday. Until next week, be well and be safe. -JA