Hey ladies. Great to be back with you for another MMA Live chat. Tomorrow's episode is stacked. Herschel Walker will be in Bristol in advance of his Strikeforce debut. Also appearances by two of our seven award winners, as we unveil the MMA Live hardware for 2009. Alright, let's vent.
What are the chances of a fight night before the main event in August here in Boston?
No chance. The UFC is bullish about Boston. But August isn't that far away and I expect the UFC will blow it out for its first trip to Boston. And that'll be the PPV on 8/28.
What about Couture's comments regarding Lesnar's health? If these are true isn't he doing a lot better than Dana says?
We are hoping to have someone from the Lesnar camp to kick off the show tomorrow. Encouraged that Couture spoke with Brock.
Jake Rosholt thought Jamie Varner tapped quickly. Who does BenHend get next, Cerrone again?
I remain a huge Cerrone fan, but I'm just not sure he deserves a title shot so quickly after losing to Henderson. As for Varner tapping quickly, I might've liked to see him go to the ground in a last-ditch attempt to get out of the choke. But it was in pretty tight. I thought Varner looked great, given the layoff.
Hey Jon, any word on who Henderson and Fedor will be fighting in June?
I still expect Hendo to face Jake Shields. This is the fight he has wanted all along. As for Fedor Emelianenko, I find it hard to believe it'll be anyone other than Fabricio Werdum.
Who has more heart, Benson Henderson or clay guida?
Hard to measure a man's heart. Both are gifted in that area, but Guida has far more experience at this point.
My favorite time of the week - mid-Wednesday. That means the week is officially halfway done, and my main man JON ANIK is in the house! You and Rafael are my favorite chatters of the week! You both deserve huge raises!
Thanks a lot, JP. Appreciate the support every week!
do you think Semtex has a shot at beating my boy Koscheck? I think Kos puts him on his back and either pounds him out or chokes him out
I think it's a great fight on paper...both guys are on a mission. Paul Daley still isn't getting the love, despite finishing two Top 10 UFC welterweights in under five minutes combined. He certainly has a shot against Koscheck.
Is Shinya Aoki's behind the back submission better than Toby Imada's inverted triangle?
Not in my opinion, no. Inverted triangles are very difficult to pull off in a fight. And, what made it all the more impressive was that Imada was getting his a** kicked before he pulled it off.
Hazellett is not a top 10 welterweight...only in Frank Mir's mind.
Not top 10 in the world, but I do consider him a Top 10 UFC welterweight. Or at least I did before the loss to Daley.
The Spring is looking good for fights what fight are you most looking forward too?
My answer to this question won't change until they fight: Rashad vs. Rampage.
Jon, do you know who might be on the card for the fight in Vancouver this summer?
There are a lot of top-heavy cards that need to happen before we'll have a great idea. But I expect some local talent/Canadians to be featured.
Do you think Strikeforce should try and beat UFC to the punch and host a show in Boston before the UFC does?
Won't happen. And I don't think Strikeforce is in the business of direct competition with the UFC. Also, because the UFC was so integral in getting MMA regulated in Massachusetts, I find it hard to believe another promotion would get the first crack at a major venue.
What are your thoughts on Mir's commentating skills?
I think Mir is tremendous, and I'm not just saying that b/c I work closely with him. He is a dynamic personality and highly knowledgeable. He lives and breathes Mixed Martial arts. MMA commentating is a thankless business.
Is the UFC able to run shows in Rhode Island or Conn?
Connecticut yes. Not sure about Rhode Island. The UFC has had a show at Mohegan Sun, and Bellator was there twice during Season 1.
Hey Jon! With all the big fights on 111, 112, 113 (Silva/Belfort, Penn/Edgar, Mir/Carwin, GSP/Hardy, Fitch/Alves, Rua/Machida, Rashad/Rampage) Who are they going to put on the 114 card being it's in Vegas w/ the Fan Expo??
I think Rashad-Rampage could still end up as the UFC 114 headliner, despite rumors to the contrary.
What are your thought on the Zuffa sale to Flash?
We are hoping to have CNBC's business guy Darren Rovell on MMA Live tomorrow to discuss what is a major story in my eyes.
How many fans do you think boxing lost due to the cancelled bout of Manny vs. Floyd
Definitely another blow for boxing, but I'm not sure the sport loses a bunch of fans. I still expect Mayweather-Pacquiao to happen at some point in 2010. And the fight will be even bigger than it would've been. That said, I'm not sure there are enough big names/upcoming prospects to carry boxing into the next decade.
Jon,What are your thoughts on the WEC going on PPV. As much as I like the Faber Vs. Aldo matchup, I dont think I would pay for it. Do you really think they can be a succuss on PPV?
At some point, you've got to try to take the plunge into the PPV world. And Urijah Faber is the biggest name in the WEC and would have to headline the first PPV show. Couple that with Jose Aldo's appreciable momentum, and I think it's as good a time as any to make the (experimental?) move.
How will Askren fare in Bellator? Is there a future in the UFC for him at 170 or even 185?
I think Askren will do quite well. But Bellator has really stacked the deck with new welterweights for Season 2. It won't be an easy path to the title with guys like Dan Hornbuckle in the mix. And, the champion Lyman Good is a legitimate challenge for whomever emerges from the tournament.
Just barely got to see Forrest v Huntington idiot on UFC unleashed, that is sad
Yeah that third round was pretty forgettable for Tito. Had literally nothing left.
I couldnt help but turn my attention cageside and notice that Big John had a better view than Dana White, any thoughts?
He did have a great view. Not sure if he was working for the athletic commission or what he was doing.
Is it likely that Nate Diaz would develop more punching power if he moved up to 170 or would he just end up being smothered by the really big guys?
Nate Diaz is hard to figure out right now. His chin always seems to hold up, but the power at 170 is decidedly different than at 155. I do think adding some muscle to that frame would be beneficial. He doesn't seem to be evolving much as a lightweight right now. Great heart, great chin, but not as exciting as he used to be.
What's the deal with no elbows to downed opponent in Strikeforce? I thought there were "unified" rules. That's a pretty significant change.
Several promotions have minor tweaks to the unified rules. During Bellator tournament action, there are no elbows allowed. But you can use elbows anywhere in non-tournament bouts. I know my guy Florian uses elbows famously, but if I were starting an MMA promotion, I wouldn't allow elbows on the ground. Rarely are elbows fight finishers and all they really do is create a lot of blood/cuts.
Is Gomi still a top light weight?
I don't think so. Looks like we will get to find out pretty quickly.
Hey Anik,do you think brock is really back training?
My opinion is only as good as yours, Kaemel. Should find out a lot more tomorrow on MMA Live.
any clue who is on the cover of the next UFC Mag?
I think they are deciding between me and Dan Hardy.
whats next for efrain escudero?
I think the loss to Dunham will be a valuable lesson learned. He emptied the tank going for the finish and, when unable to get it, he fell into some bad habits. It just shows you how difficult every fight is in the UFC. Very few pushovers.
...to that end, we asked the question the other day, 'Who is the worst fighter on the UFC roster?' Not a lot of empty spots there.
Jon? Your getting a cover? NICE!! Florian may give you some lovin tonight!!
Hahahahahaha. I ain't gettin' near that cover.
is kimbo slice ever gonna fight in the ufc again
Absolutely. I expect him to be on a Fight Night this spring.
Escudero vs Browning. Let's do it!
Junie's UFC days are done and Escudero is on to bigger and better things, even with the loss.
Haha Anik, the fans are ruthless with you and Florian.
Did you agree with the Lawler vs. Simpson decision? I was a little bummed out. How do you not give Filthy Tom rd 1 10-8?
Another example of why fights should be judged on the totality of the action, instead of just round by round. Florian and I both thought Lawlor won the fight. Definitely can make a case for a 10-8 first round. Some would argue for a 10-10 round in the second.
Any thoughts on Lawlor's entrance on Monday?
Heard about it, but haven't seen it. Tom's comedic value is very high. Seeing the 'Who Let the Dogs Out?' bit at UFC 100 was damn funny as well.
If that wasn't a 10-8 then I have never seen one
I hear ya man.
What are your thoughts on chris leben not even making the main card? I know he is not a contender, but he was a big name fighting for his career.
He's gotta work his way back up. An important win for him, even if it came during the prelims. At UFC 100, you had Stephan Bonnar-Mark Coleman as a prelim. A HOFer against a bigger name than Leben. Enough said.
Do you think it is a wise idea to have boxers step into the cage. The age of one demnisional fighters are over
I think the overwhelming majority of boxers would get destroyed---and quickly---in MMA. You need at least 18 months of training in all other disciplines to be remotely competitive. There are always exceptions to that rule, but MMA is another world.
Who gets the next shot at GSP if he gets past Hardy?
Could be Koscheck if he finishes Paul Daley. Could even be Daley if he finishes Koscheck. And, of course, the Fitch-Alves rematch winner will have fought the same night as GSP-Hardy and could have a case for a shot.
This may be premature, but if Randy beats Coleman in a few weeks, is his next fight against the Mir-Carwin winner?
No, Couture's immediate future is at 205, not heavyweight.
Can the UFC, if they wanted to, stop GSP from wrestling in the Olympics?
Jason, you know the UFC can do whatever it wants! If GSP has a chance to try out, I don't think the UFC would stand in his way. That would be a pretty special opportunity. I know part of the reason Ben Askren signed w/ Bellator was b/c they allow him to keep his other options open.
Who did you think won the fight between Diaz and Maynard? I thought Diaz won.
I scored it 29-28 for Maynard. But I slept through part of it.
Does the winner of Rashad and Rampage become the number one contender after Shogun and the dragon do battle?
Some have made a case for Randy Couture. But I definitely think the Rashad-Rampage winner deserves to be next in line.
is having gsp, silva and penn head and shoulders cleaning out there division a good thing. or is a division like the heavyweights and light heavyweights better with the turnover
I always think dominant champions are good for sport, whether it's the Patriots winning three Super Bowls in four years, or B.J. Penn being untouchable at 155. I know it's hard to envision the current champions losing, but eventually it'll happen. It always does.
Why do you think so many people Nate won that fight? I thought Maynard clearly won the first two rounds. Same as you( I saw your tweet).
It's always open to individual interpretation. I definitely didn't see Diaz winning either of the first two rounds. But MMA judging is (and may always be) an inexact science.
Amir can hang as a welterweight! I would love to see an Amir-Rumble Johnson match-up. Do you agree, Jon? I'll hang up and listen...
Love the hang up and listen reference. Amir is one focused dude right now, and must've gained a lot of confidence with that performance. Would seem to be a huge physical mismatch against Anthony Johson, but they are both around the same spot in the 170 lbs. pecking order.
Why isn't Frankie Edgar vs BJ in NJ?
Because you already have two title fights on the card. UFC 111 is drunk with talent, while UFC 112 needs a main event in Abu Dhabi.
Doesn't Frankie seem like the type of opponent who might have little enough hype to bring out Fat BJ?
B.J. Penn is far more mature and disciplined now. He won't be looking past any challengers. Edgar can change his life with a win against Penn, and B.J. knows that.
Why is Maynard not getting the title shot?
Because he hasn't finished anyone. At least that is my best guess.
bc Maynard is boring and cant finish a fight
I just wanted to see what the words "Fat BJ" looked like on ESPN.com
Do you think Aoki is the #2 lightweight in the world? How would he do against BJ?
He's in the top 5, but I don't think the match-up against Penn is a good one---for anyone at 155.
jon it looks like varner aggravated his knee and foot again. why is he turning into the "mini tito" with his excuses after losses?
I would agree that Varner continues to do himself (and his fighting acumen) a disservice with his post-fight antics. That said, I still think people are being too harsh. MMA is the most emotional sport out there. Varner was having his way with Henderson before getting caught and it must be so damn frustrating. I always pardon guys when they are interviewed immediately following a loss.
Since Jon Fitch last fought GSP, he has beaten Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago and Mike Pierce. If he can beat Thiago Alves again at UFC 111, will he be next in line to get another title shot?
It's a strong possibility. I'd still like to see the Daley-Koscheck winner get the next shot. Just one man's opinion...
7 of Edgar's last 9 fights have ended in decisions. That being said I still think he should get the Penn fight before Maynard.
Good information and good opinion. Edgar has still been the far more exciting fighter, even when winning by decision.
Still on the topic of Dynamite... It was a great card but what was the point of putting Mousasi against Goodrich? Why would Mousasi even accept such a match?
Are we going to talk about how RAD Blue Mountain State is? Love.It.
Hahahaha. I appreciate you supporting Blue Mountain State! Shameless plug- my step-brother in-law is crazy and is the writer and executive producer. He plays himself (Romanski).
Including the winner of Mir/Carwin, which UFC champ gives up the title first?
I get asked this question every week. I have no idea which UFC champion loses his belt first. Sorry dude.
I love guacamole!
I named a fantasy football team 'Guac'. That's all you need to know. It better have cilantro.
What are the chances that Frankie will get the "W" in the BJ fight?
Anderson Silva will lose in 2010
To whom? Vitor? I don't think so.
Varner is a crybaby. Whether it is grazing knees that render him blind or crazy opponents who engage him with MMA technique, he is just a whiner. Henderson however scored massive points with me by being the bigger man and letting Varner off.
Varner is a whiner. But there are a lot of whiners in sports. Kevin Youkilis whines, and is one of the best hitters in the American League. I wasn't as high on Henderson's performance as you were. I appreciate his calculated approach and his ability to go for and get the finish. But he was getting handled in the stand-up and didn't engage a whole lot. I guess that was, and should've been, the strategy.
When are you going to accept that your Patriots mailed it in on Sunday?
I mourned the season when Wes Welker went down. Brady seems to have lost that infectious leadership quality that was so evident a few years back. Colts will win it all.
Belichick era is over. It starts again in Kansas City with Haley, Weis, Crennel, and former Trojan Matt Cassell.
Anyone want to talk about MMA?
I love how Varner said he came to fight but Henderson came to grapple. Umm wasnt Varner going for a takedown when he got caught and had to tap
Again, not defending Varner's mostly lame post-fight speech. Just thought he fought well until the fight's final minute and will be back. I think he has some entertainment value and skill.
If I were the Celtics, I would not want to see the Hawks in the playoffs.
I agree and so do they.
Have they announced who Lashley is fighting in his first strikeforce match?
Yes. Yohan Banks. Don't know a ton about him. 2-0 in Strikeforce, but hasn't fought for them since 2008. Largely inexperienced guy who doesn't do a ton of sit-ups, I'm told.
When is Smokin' Joe fighting again??
Not sure. I'm following Villasenor on Twitter now, so I will ask him. Dude's gotta be more active! I know he's training hard.
Thoughts on Jermaine Taylor pulling out of the super six? I don't blame him, those last two losses were just brutal.
A sad demise for Jermain Taylor. It was only five years ago that he ended one of the greatest middleweight title runs of all time by beating Bernard Hopkins twice. Taylor never really embraced boxing, despite his natural ability. Didn't watch a ton of film-almost was the anti-B-Hop in that sense.
Dos Santos VS Gonzaga: Who ya got?
Why am I so intrigued by the Marquardt/Sonnen fight should be an easy win for Nate the Great?
Sonnen has a wealth of experience, and always puts up a good fight (the Demain Maia bout notwithstanding). I still think Marquardt is the middleweight best-equipped to scratch out a win against Anderson Silva and has to make a statement against Sonnen.
I feel bad for Mike Brown. He looked great on Sunday and had to watch himself get leap frogged by the California Kid. I don't see Urijah fairing much better against Aldo.
Mike Brown is an absolute beast and will eventually get a chance to avenge the Aldo loss. But Faber deserves the shot, in my opinion. He dominated a guy (Assuncao) who was 14-1. MTB beat a guy making his WEC debut.
whats next for anderson if/when he finishes vitor?
Hopefully Marquardt. But I'm not a matchmaker.
Any word on Fedor last opponent Brett Rodgers?
Surprisingly not. I think he'll land on the CBS show in April.
was 'Jackson's MMA' book worth the read?
More of a textbook for someone who is practicing MMA. But very thorough and interesting nonetheless.
Aldo will finish Faber...and his cornrows.
Most would agree. Shaping up as a ridiculous fight, and one I certainly would shell out PPV money to watch.
what fighter intimidates you most when talking to them?
Don't really get intimidated by fighters. Bellator's middleweight champion Hector Lombard is not someone I would want to upset.
Do you see Fedor as the baddest man on the planet?
He resides at the top of my pound-for-pound list. Not sure if that makes him the baddest dude on the planet or not.
if aldo could pack on 10 pounds, i think he could give bj his toughest fight at lw. what do you think?
Hard to say, Derek. Based on what we've seen from Aldo, it's easy to dream about him fighting at 155. But he's not a huge featherweight by any means, and I do think size would be a disadvantage if he moved up anytime soon.
What are the venues for the upcoming Bellator season? Are they posted?
Announcements will trickle in soon. And it's pretty exciting stuff.
Will Penn ever fight GSP again?
If he makes the permanent move up to welterweight.
Anyone else getting the impression that Aldo is getting too much hype too fast? This is MMA, where there is no such thing as a sure thing, right?
Maybe so. But I really doubt it, Mike. He's the real deal. Mir and Bonnar have been raving about this guy since the summer of 2008, almost two years. Rarely have I seen so many high-profile fighters all rave about a prospect.
Should the UFC set up a Yearly package to buy ALL PPV's for a discounted price?
Not sure how that would benefit the UFC. I like the idea, and it would provide a nice break for the hardcore fans. But the UFC knows the hardcores will buy the PPVS regardless, so I don't see it happening.
Kimbo vs Lidell after he beats Tito? what do u think Mr Anik?
I definitely believe a Liddell-Slice fight has been discussed internally by the UFC brass. Makes sense on a ton of levels.
You think Herschel Walker has a chance in Miami?? Is he there just as a draw or does he have the skills to be successful beyond Greg Nagy?
Looking forward to asking him tomorrow on MMA Live.
Since Rumble Johnson struggles mightily to make weight, would it be possible to have him face Bones Jones at a catchweight fight? I can't think of a more exciting matchup of strikers in MMA!
That would be moving up two full weight classes for Anthony Johnson. I wouldn't complain if that fight showed up on my HD TV, but that's a longshot.
Do you think GSP eventually faces Semtex and Rumble Johnson, or does he possibly move up to face the Spider before those two fights can happen?
So difficult to say, Marcus. I think there is a better chance Paul Daley gets a title shot than Anthony Johnson. Rumble is a fan favorite, but he's several wins away from contention.
Wouldn't Chuck be ashamed of sinking so far that it "makes sense" for him to fight Kimbo?
I think Liddell recognizes he's not ever gonna be elite again. So, why not fight a monster name like Kimbo Slice?
When does Tyron Woodley start getting some big names? He's more than earned the chance to compete with some of SF's higher up WWs.
No argument here. He will in 2010. He's ready.
Hope I'm not too late and this has been asked...any update on the podcast besides "soon?"
I wish I had something more concrete. But am planning to have a conversation with an ESPN MMA V.I.P. later this week.
why aren't you ever on the Sirius/XM fight club on Sirius Satellite Radio? They had Greg Nelson on yesterday and said Brock will fight again for sure.
Would love to be on the show. Listen to it on my way home a couple times a week.
When are tickets for Boston going on sale?
June, most likely.
Alright, time has expired. If I didn't get to your question, please send it to me on Twitter (Jon_Anik) or to email@example.com. Be sure to check out MMA Live tomorrow at 3 ET/12 PT. It's our year-end awards show. Two of the winners join us via satellite. Also, an update on Brock Lesnar and Herschel Walker will be in Bristol. Hope to see you all then. Until next Weds., be well and drive safely. -JA