Good Wednesday to you fine people. Thanks for checking back in for another SportsNation MMA Live chat here at espn.com. A big night in MMA beckons with the 2-hour season finale of 'The Ultimate Fighter' on Spike. Tomorrow on MMA Live, we will recap it all with Marcus Jones. Rich Franklin and Miguel Torres will be in Bristol, and Gilbert Melendez joins us via satellite. I'm here for the next 45 minutes or so. Plenty to discuss, so let's vent...
Who's next for Kos?
Paulo Thiago rematch at UFC 109.
Just heard about Jardine and Bader fighting in Australia next year, looks like it should be a solid card. Do you think Bader can make the jump up in competition? Will Jardine be ousted if he loses?
It's a perfect test for Bader at this stage of his career. We will see exactly where he is. As for Jardine, I think he has a lot of value to the UFC and could be retained even with another loss.
Jon, It's rumored that the potential mega fight of Pacquiao/Mayweather would be Mar. 13 or May 1. Both dates are tentatively scheduled for UFC 111 and 113. You think Dana would dare to go head-to-head with what will be the biggest fight ever?
I don't think it would be smart to have a PPV go head-to-head with Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Jon, thoughts on UFC finally getting clearance in Massachusetts?
Hallelujah! Kudos to Deval Patrick for recognizing this was long overdue. As a born-and-raised Bostonian, I am thrilled.
Any news on Henderson?
Nope. I would imagine MMA Live will be among the first to find out. My best guess is that he will sign with Strikeforce, provided they are willing to match the UFC's current offer. Doesn't seem like the UFC is willing to budge.
Do you really think Rampage is done with fighting?
Absolutely not. I expect him to have a UFC fight at some point in 2010.
So when do I get to replace somebody on TUF??
Don't think it's happening. The fight with Houston Alexander on Saturday will have to do.
So Jon,Are we going to see MMA live at the UFC event in Boston next year?
You know it man. This is gonna sound trite, but it will truly be a dream come true for me to do an MMA broadcast from Fenway Park or the TD Garden. Summer 2010 can't come soon enough!
Assuming Kimbo fights Alexander, what are the chances he wins and how?
If he wins, it will be by TKO or KO. Houston Alexander can certainly be knocked out. I haven't seen a line on the fight, but I would imagine Alexander will be more than a 2-1 favorite. I give Kimbo a 20% chance to win.
Angry Jonny, I was surprised by the release of Rosholt who I thought they were grooming. If they do kill off TUF shortly, do you see them just signing guys or still trying to build up a farm system with more fight nights or what? Seems like sooner or later a SF or someone will make it harder for them to just jump on upcoming talent and this might bite them.
Hey Gregg. I agree. Was quite surprised that Rosholt was shown the door. You can be sure other promotions are moving quickly to sign him. As for TUF eventually going away, I think you will see some sort of UFC reality show in its place. The ratings are still very strong, and there remains a huge appetite for a weekly MMA reality show. The Zuffa production guys are very talented and I have no doubt they'll get creative and come up with an entertaining alternative.
Any news on Clay Guida? I hear Kenny talk about splitting up the Jackson camp...
Greg Jackson will indeed corner Guida and Firas Zahabi, Jackson's good friend, will be in Kenny's corner. And given how many fighters are looking to hook up with both Jackson and Zahabi these days, I think you may see this more often going forward.
Will we see Velasquez vs Carwin for the interim HW championship?
Certainly a possibility. But Velasquez will have to first get through Nogueira at UFC 110 to keep that alive.
Very excited for the UFC in Beantown........u think they pull off Fenway?
Probably not for the first show, especially during the Red Sox season. But you can be sure, given Dana White's close ties to Boston that eventually a card will be staged in front of the Green Monster. Pretty sick stuff.
Very excited to see my boy Fitch again next week, does Pierce pose a legit threat?
I'm a huge Fitch fan as well and he should hold serve in this spot. But everyone in the UFC poses some sort of threat and Mike Pierce is no different.
Jon, do you think that MMA can gain viability as a network sport?
It already has. The ratings on CBS were strong once again. And most encouraging for me was that CBS, despite the Kimbo Slice/EliteXC debacle, got right back in the MMA game with Strikeforce. And beginning in April, Bellator will have a slot on NBC. It's all very promising and a reflection of the sport's popularity and exponential growth.
who you got hamill or jones.Who would the winner fightin their next fight
I like Jon Jones, but fully expect Hamill to make him work for the win. Provided Jones gets the W, it would be time for a top five guy at 205.
And a non-MMA question. Have you seen the Blindside? One of the few movies that I walked out of feeling like I got my 10.50 worth. Great popcorn flick.
I will be seeing it on Sunday night.
Being a Bellator guy, what fight most intrigues you: Eddie Alvarez v Hirota or Alvarez v Kawajiri II?
Good question. Alvarez vs. Kawajiri II. You all know what I think of Eddie, and Kawajiri is electric to watch. He pushes the pace like few other 155ers. Just a relentless, violent, reckless style.
How excited are you about the possibility of Manhoef stepping in to fight Lawler?
Manhoef is certainly a nice addition for Strikeforce and there are a lot of match-ups that make sense.
What's keeping MMA from making it to Sportscenter/ Televised ESPN programming?
The sport is still in its relative infancy. I think ESPN has made a lot of strides recently in covering MMA. Instant analysis on SportsCenter, MMA Live Weigh-In coverage simulcasting on ESPNEWS as well as MMA Live SC hits following UFC 91, 94 and 100. I just think as the masses continue to be educated about MMA, the coverage will expand. I really hope MMA Live hits ESPN2 at some point in 2010.
Who has more problems: War Machine or Tiger Woods?
War Machine. That was easy. Although Tiger's approach to this whole situation is beyond puzzling.
Jon, safe to say we can stick a fork in Roy Jones Jr, yes?
JP, the speed will always be there. But if that KO doesn't have him thinking about the end, I don't know what will. Pretty curious to see Bernard Hopkins fight tonite on Versus.
between war machine and tiger, I choose junie browning
You're hot. Are you single?
What are your predictions for TUF tonight?
I'm predicting a finale between Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub. I predicted Schaub to run the table at the beginning of the season. But b/c I've gotten to know Marcus Jones on a personal level, it'll be hard not to root for him tonite. Exciting night of combat sports ahead.
He's not single, and Florian is a jealous bf so watch out!
I'm impressed with myself I remembered the chat this week. Just a statement: whichever date Manny/Money choose - everything else should be cancelled. Work, MMA, and any other events happening.
I agree man. Thanks for gracing us with your presence!
wow jason gets 3 questions answered and i get none.fail.
Just trying to post as many as possible and answer as expeditiously as possible. Oftentimes, I don't even look to see who has submitted the question. Will try to be more fair. Because life is fair, ya know.
Be glad to know that this chat is what I'm doing insted of studying for my math test.
I am glad to know that, Jeremy. Your priorities are firmly in order.
Florian bf jokes every week get pretty old. Maybe it's just me.
Hahahaha. You should see the ones I don't post!
im risking losing my job for this
Reward far outweighs the risk, especially in this economy, right?
So is TUF on tonight and the 2hr finale tomorrow or saturday?
Two-hour 'season' finale tonite, and then the actual finale Saturday night, which will be headlined by Jon Jones-Matt Hamill fight.
Jonny Boy, Never miss the chat, but usually in class. Spain still showin mad love to mmalive... oh yeah, love the nba coverage you do. Spreadin the gospel haha
We appreciate it, Steve Mtz! I hope most of you know now that MMA Live is on ESPNUK every week! Check your listings for showtimes, b/c they air it more than once/week.
Anderson Silva vs. Danny Green?
Hahahaha. I said before the RJJ KO loss that Anderson Silva would outbox him. Now, it's hard to imagine the Silva-Jones Jr. fight ever going down.
What's Rashad still doing at 205 ? He's a clear 185'er ...
I wouldn't say that, Mark. He's been a very difficult out at 205. Could he make the cut to 185? Perhaps. But he's in no rush to do so b/c he's had a lot of success at light heavyweight. Former UFC champion, etc.
Will you attend Pacquiao/Mayweather?
Depending on my MMA Live/UFC obligations, yes. I have already laid the groundwork to cover Mayweather-Pacquiao. I'm a huge Floyd fan as you all know, but I'm afraid he might lose.
Whats up with the two differnet ways to say fedor name?? what do u call him?
Oh, there are more than two ways to say his name. The correct pronunciation is Fyodor, but ESPN (across the board) uses Fedor, so I fall in line. CBS/Strikeforce also calls him Fedor, for what it's worth.
Id call him sir just in case or maybe Czar Fedor
Yeah that works.
So does that.
What are your thoughts on the rumoured Belfort vs Marquardt contender match at 109 ? And if it were to be confirmed ... would it be Main-Event or will they make the mistake of letting Randy and Coleman headline the Superbowl event?
I love the Marquardt-Belfort match-up. I am in favor of any fight that clearly determines a No. 1 contender. As for its status as a main event, I'm not too concerned with it. Best guess is that Couture-Coleman would headline.
Penn vs. Sanchez?
Cannot wait. But can't offer up a prediction until next week.
Closer to a Title Shot Jon Fitch with another W or Josh Koscheck with a W over Paulo Thiago this time?
The answer largely depends on results. If Koscheck makes a huge statement by finishing Paulo Thiago, I think he would be a notch above Fitch. Part of that is b/c Fitch had the last crack at GSP amongst those two guys.
If Henderson signs with Strikeforce do we see an immdiate fight with Mousasi?
I think Hendo would start his Strikeforce career at 185 and try to take Jake Shields' belt. And then eventually move on to Mousasi and perhaps even Fedor.
Jon, very excited about a summer UFC at the TD Bank Garden...let's hit up the Fours or the Grand Canal before, I say MMA live should set up a booth from Canal Street!
You're gettin' me all jacked up, Justin. I remember being a partial Celtics season-ticket holder in 2003 and hittin' up 'The Fours' before every game. To do a broadcast there would bring me back to my days on 1510 the Zone and 'The Diehards' with Pepe and Russillo! Miss those days...
Do you actually see Hendo signing with SF?
Pistol to my temple, that is what I think will happen, yes.
Yo Jon! How do you think Henderson feels about the belfort/Marquardt matchup?
I know the clip was only a preview so things are lost in translation, but how scary was it seeing Marcus Jones all up in Matt Mitrione's face? That dude angry would scare the wallet right out of my pocket!
Yeah when Marcus wants to intimidate, it's not hard. I think the fact that he is the single nicest human being I've ever met may hurt him in his MMA career.
Ortiz vs Griffin III in Boston ?
With all due respect, please give the great fight fans in Boston a main event that actually has some title implications.
Strikeforce has no LHW division and therefore Hendo is a bigger help there...the MW division is suddenly stacked with Shields, Cung Le, Scott Smith, Lawler, Manhoef, radach, Jacare and Lindland
But you're forgetting what Hendo's individual aspirations are...certainly they need depth at 205 more than 185. But I don't expect Hendo to start there, if he signs with Strikeforce.
Shouldn't Fitch headline in Boston?
I think Kenny Florian will headline in Boston. Fitch is not from Massachusetts. Could be wrong on that, but I didn't think he was.
That would be awesome Jon. I think a double main event would be great in Boston. Florian vs. the loser of Penn/Sanchez and perhaps a title fight? Interim HW maybe?
A lot of possibilities. You can be sure local guys like Florian, Joe Lauzon, Gabe Gonzaga, and Marcus Davis will be featured.
do you think alves should move to middlewieght?he's a beast in welterweight
As long as he continues to be able to make the cut to 170, he should stay there. I think he would be successful as a middleweight, but not as successful.
Who do you have this weekend Jones or hamill? I'm calling for a hamill upset.
Wouldn't shock me. But I'm going with Bones Jones to finish him late third round.
What UFC title fight would you like to see in Boston ?
I'm a Bostonian and I'm greedy, so I'll say Lesnar's triumphant return!
With all do respect...If Hendo fights Fedor it is a clear tragedy. Stick to MW and maybe LHW.
I respect your opinion. All I will tell you is that a Fedor fight is of interest to Dan Henderson.
Is the UFC going to be having an event at the garden in boston this summer???
Looks that way.
Winner of Kimbo vs Houston faces Forrest Griffin. What a stand-up battle that would be! Any chance?
I doubt it. If you saw our interview with Forrest last week, you know that he has greater aspirations and wants to face contenders.
Im a big kenny fan but hes not really what I would call a huge draw. I'd love to see him on the card but he can't carry a ppv. co-main event unless it's a tittle shot
We shall see. His presence on the UFC 101 card led to a huge PPV number. Definitely not giving him all the credit, with BJ Penn, Forrest Griffin and Anderson Silva on that card, but Kenny's profile has increased quite a bit over the last few years. All because of MMA Live hahaha!
If Kimbo loses quickly to Alexander is he out of the UFC?
Nope. I think Kimbo will be given at least three UFC fights. If he goes 0-3, they would then cut him loose, in my opinion. But he'll be on at least one PPV before they punt.
Its easy........Florian/ Sanchez TUF 11 leads into them headlining in Boston
Not sure the TUF calendar lines up for that, but we'll see.
how come no fight announcements yet for Torres comeback or Bowles first defense?
Not sure on Bowles, but Torres is taking a few months off. I will ask Miguel when I see him tomorrow. Really liking that Snacks nickname by the way.
Even if Kimbo loses all his fights, he'll still be a huge draw. People love him.
...and love to watch him.
If Matt Mitrione developed his cardio, could u see him being a legitimate Heavyweight contender in UFC. For the way everyone cracks on him u would think the guy sucks, but I think his hands are tremendous and hes a big natural HEAVYWEIGHT.
That's a big if, but I did like what I saw with his hands. And he's certainly got the size.
Edgar or Veach?
Perhaps the Rampage saga will be settled in time for the Boston show.
who gets the next title shot after belfort
Looks like Belfort will fight Marquardt to determine the No. 1 contender while Anderson Silva gets healthy.
Jon A. vs. Molly Q. who wins?
Depends on what the competition is.
will we ever see Faber vs Penn?
I don't think so, nor do I think Urijah would be all that competitive against the best lightweight in the world.
How late are you going today? do I need to reschedule my afternoon?
Unfortunately not. Way behind on MMA Live prep for tomorrow. And I'm up against the clock, with TUF 10 tonite and my man Bernard Hopkins fighting on Versus. Busy day. Gettin' outta here in 5-10 minutes, unfortunately.
Does Jon Anik have a nickname
My identical twin brother Jason calls me Chost. It stands for chubby host. Wish I was kidding.
Do u think Cerrone is catching up with Urijah with the WEC fans?
I'm a huge Cerrone fan, but not sure he's closing that gap. Urijah has a huge, huge fan base.
Anik, I love MMA Live u guys do a great job. As 4 my question, Do u think Floyd Mayweather could win UFC fights with his standup alone? B4 u say no, look at A.Silva.. He deff has a ground game but he's had 2 use it once since being in UFC. Some guys hands are 2 good 2 be taken down
Floyd would have to spend at least 12, if not 18 months working on takedown and submission defense in order to compete in MMA.
Nathan, they call him the Anaconda!
How do you see strikeforce developing? it seems that they locked up some good talent, they spent big money on fedor and now probably gonna spend big bucks on Hendo. Looks like they're playing it smart and could be around for a while. Legitimate threat/competition to the UFC?
I like what Strikeforce is doing. The big challenge for them is keeping momentum going after CBS shows. They gotta get back on CBS ASAP.
There's more than one Anik? And he is in better shape than you?
Have a twin brother, Jason, younger brother Dave and sister Tracy. And I'm actually in pretty decent shape despite some of my Twitter (Jon_Anik) references. Just like to be self-deprecating.
Who would u like to see Cerrone fight in the ufc
Do u think a good matchup 4 Kimbo if he wins, is The Dean of Unconciousness Keith Jardine? Respectable enough 2 wins 2 get Kimbo a shot at a bigger name guy which is what the UFC must want.
I like the way you think, Petey.
Who would be a good match up for Cerrone in the ufc?
Any top ten lightweight.
will we ever see gagard mousasi in the ufc
Silva has used his ground game at least twice....Hendo choke and Lutter triangle...perhaps he hasn't used it cause everyone knows well enough not to test it
You have a twin set him up with that girl who posted earlier
He's engaged. Good lookin' out though.
Can he cohost or Co- Chost, as the case may be, MMA Live one week?
Hahaha. He came to watch MMA Live one week and the producers wanted to put him in my seat.
What fight would you most want to see in 2010?
Rashad-Rampage will be the answer to any question like this until they fight.
Whats next for Forrest
Watch MMA Live from last week. He says he wants a top guy and is only 50/50 on the proposition of fighting Ortiz a third time. He said if he never coached TUF again for the rest of his life he would be more than okay with that.
Oh no engaged? Hope he doesn't back into a fire hydrant and tree soon!
How many PPV buys do you think Pacquiao/Mayweather will get?
Over two million.
Pick a winner Rashad or Rampage
who is your favorite non-mma sports announcer?
I am a huge Mike Gorman fan. He does the Celtics TV broadcasts. Gus Johnson's energy is pretty infectious. Also like Brent Musberger b/c he likes gambling references, just like me.
Jon, read your tweet about your brother getting 10-1 on Chris Johnson leading the league in rushing! Can you ask your brother when Brock will be back, considering he can see into the future and everything?
Hahaha. That was pretty good foresight, huh?
Do u think Kimbo takes steroids? The dude has biceps the size of Soft-Balls!!
Nope. He's just gifted genetically.
JOn, can you guys sponsor a trip to Bristol and a tour of the MMA Live process and guest chat experience for something like the Jimmy V charity that ESPN does every year?
Great idea. Please send that suggestion to email@example.com (attn: Anthony Mormile)!
gus johnson as in the guy that commentated the strikeforce event?
Gorman over Tommy?
King Mo says he's gonna make Mousasi move down to 185. Is there any way that is ever happening? I know he's a showman but does he really have it in him?
I doubt it, Zach. Mousasi has no intentions of going back down there, and it's hard to blame him, given the success at 205.
Did you pick a Penn vs. Sanchez winner?
Will do it next week.
I got 60-1 that the giants would win the superbowl early in the year when the pats looked unbeatable in 2007. muahahaha. Sorry Anik.
Do you see Kimbo fighting at 205!
He said he could make the cut when he was in Bristol a few months back.
Can you make sense of what the UFC is doing with Rich Franklin? Usually guys who take one for the team eventually get something but it seems like hes not in any of top guys plans. What does he do next?
Rich will be on MMA Live tomorrow. May not have a chance to ask him during the show, b/c we are loaded. But I will ask him off set and get back to you guys next week.
As you guys know, I'd love to do this all day, but I gotta run. Be sure you tune in to MMA Live tomorrow with Rich Franklin, Miguel Torres, Marcus Jones, and Gilbert Melendez! Enjoy TUF and Bernard Hopkins tonite, and we'll do it again next week. Until then, be well and be safe. -JA