Hello ladies. Good to be here. No, great to be here. I thought I would start the chat a little early today b/c I've got a hard out at 2PM ET. Plenty to talk about with Strikeforce: Miami, UFC 109, and a bunch of fight announcements. Let's vent...
What's up JA! Any info on when, and against whom, Tyron Woodley might be fighting? Who would you like to see him match up against, because I think he needs to "graduate" from the Challengers series of Strikeforce.
Definitely time for graduation. But not a ton of welterweights to choose from. If Jay Hieron doesn't get the title shot against Nick Diaz, Hieron-Woodley is the fight I want to see. And don't really feel like waiting for it, either.
jon your chats are awesome do you think robbie lawler is ufc bound after what matt hughes said after robbie's fight
It's a possibility. Big picture, it was a huge night for Lawler's career. He clearly did his homework and was able to capitalize on Manhoef's aggressiveness.
Do you feel based on your professional and experienced understanding of Mixed Martial Arts, that if George St. Pierre destroys hardy, he should move up to light heavy weight?
Definitely not. Firstly, GSP is a welterweight, so he would only move up one division, to 185, not 205. No one knows exactly when St. Pierre will make the move, but it appears to be an eventuality. I still think it'll be 3-5 fights before he does anything.
Jon! No work today = my return to the chat. Any info on the other fights at Fight Night 21 in Charlotte?
Other than the Florian-Gomi main event, Roy Nelson will face Stefan Struve, and Nate Quarry versus Jorge Rivera. More to come.
Anik - whats happening Captain? Joe Warren v. Fabricio Pitbull, who's your Bellator FW champ?
That featherweight tournament is loaded, Robert. Sort of think Fabricio will be the guy who gets the eventual title shot against Joe Soto. But no easy outs in Bellator at 145.
Matt Serra is 6-6 in the UFC, is his job in danger if he drops this one to trigg?
As a former champion with some name recognition, I think Matt Serra will have a place in the UFC almost as long as he wants it. I know he hasn't won since the shot heard round the world against GSP (UFC 69?), but he hasn't fought that often, and can always sell a fight.
Jon who you like nogiera or velasquez
Velasquez HUGE. I've gotten a lot of e-mails asking me why, or how will he do it? And several others calling me crazy. Cain is a wrecking ball. He's the class of AKA, according to his teammates, and he is on a serious mission. With respect to Nogueira's greatness, I think Cain could knock him out in the first round.
If Strikeforce, Dream, World Victory Road and Bellator all merged, would UFC still be the worlds biggest and #1 promotion?
Good question. UFC would still be No. 1. That merged promotion would have a ton of depth/talent, but still not as many stars as the UFC.
Lawler was completely filthy on Sat, he was getting beat the entire fight until the knockout blow.
It was an awesome display. On film, he saw Manhoef's tendency to get careless when going for the finish and just set the counter shot up beautifully. Great comeback win.
Wow! KO in the first round? Pardon me, but Cain hasnt really finished anyone like that and Nog has only been KO'd once in his career. HUGE statement sir....but glad to see you are so confident.
Hey Jeff. I fully expect I'll continue to take heat for bold predictions. Just call it like I see it. And I'm wrong plenty.
Are you as tired as I am of the Daiz brothers saying that Nate won his fight? Does Dana need to have a talk with him a la Brock Lesnar after UFC 100?
Yes, I'm tired of the Diaz camp saying Nate won his fight. But I've suggested in the past that there be some reward for overall damage done in a fight. Ten years from now, maybe a doctor will be brought into the cage after a fight to assess damage and award a point or something.
Dont forget Cain has Hershall Walker to get him prepared
I know Herschal 'looked' great for a 47 year old man, but seriously, did Nagy throw the fight? That was a pathetic effort on Nagys part.
Huge props to Herschel. Nagy is really not good. At all. Not sure what else there is to be said.
Cain is able!!!
Yes! Snacks on a plane. Hahahaha.
Which scoring system do you prefer, UFCs 10 point must system, or Pride FCs judging the fight as a whole?
I don't think either system is perfect, but forced to choose I'll go with Pride. There is no easy solution to the 10-point must system. More liberal scoring of 10-10 and 10-8 rounds is the first step, but is easier said than done.
Roy Neslson vs Stefan Struve will be interesting but not sure it's co-main event worthy. Even for a fight night. What's your opinion? Am I being narrow minded? :)
It's a fair point to bring up. But I do think it passes the test as a Fight Night co-main event. Especially so when the UFC will stage three shows in a 10-day span. I think Roy Nelson might make a run here and I also think he deserves the showcase after taking care of business and winning Season 10 of TUF.
How about laying your UFC 109 picks on us?
No better time than now. Randy Couture by split decision. I like Nate Marquardt to finish Chael Sonnen with a late TKO. I'm definitely backing Paulo Thiago against Mike Swick. Haven't seen a line on that one, but Thiago has remade himself physically and hasn't even peaked yet. Also will take Matt Serra and Demian Maia, but Dan Miller will make it tough.
If I were the Celtics I would just want to avoid the 2nd round of the playoffs entirely.
Yeah it's not good right now. Without a healthy KG, it'll be tough to make a run.
Wouldn't you expect Hendo to DESTROY jake shields, especially since shields is a natural WW and Hendo fights MW to LHW? What would be appealing about that matchup....besides a chance to see Shields KO face?
Most fans and media guys agree with you that it'll be a Hendo destruction. And he certainly has a size advantage. But Shields is world-class, and it's impressive that he would take the fight without blinking. I'm always interested to see Shields, especially in this spot as an underdog.
Mike Swick: -220, Paulo Thiago: +175
And there you have it. I see quite a bit of value on Paulo Thiago +175. Just don't tell my boss I said so.
Nick Diaz is back with the thunder. Any shot he ends up back with UFC at some point? Love to see him wreck on WW's in the UFC
I do think Nick will eventually return to the UFC, but I'm not sure of his contract situation w/ Strikeforce. There are too many big fights waiting for him in the Octagon to not return.
Both Shields and Nick Diaz have been calling out GSP. Do you think either would even have a chance against him?
I wouldn't predict either guy to beat GSP. But have a chance? Absolutely. I think Dan Hardy has a chance. Of those three, I think Nick Diaz would have the best chance to upset St. Pierre.
Do you think suffering a bad concussion makes a fighter more susceptible to a KO? Mike Swick versus Dan Hardy, Michael Bisping versus Denis Kang.
Happy Wednesday Jon...Hope you got your money in on Trigg at +300 like I did because that line is at 110 now. I'm calling an uneventful lay and pray victory for Mr. Trigg.
Good to have you back, Erik. And that's good stuff on Trigg. I may not agree with that outcome, but best of luck kid, best of luck.
Jon, I would say Noguiera is the favorite for a reason. He is the best submission artist in the game at heavyweight and Velasquez has never fought anyone like Nog. I think Nog wins in a 3rd round submission
You are on the record. And for the record, the fight is now close to a pick 'em. Some cake comin' in on Cain! Must be the MMA Live chat buzz.
Cain has pillow hands so he is not KO nobody! He beat on Kongo for 15 minutes and could not take him. It took Mir "one shot, one shot, Kid"
We shall see, Roman. Velasquez may not have dynamite in his hands, but power is about technique and placement. And I think Velasquez, like Mir did, will land a big shot. I also think Velasquez is a much better fighter now than he was against Kongo at UFC 99.
Do you think Miletich - Shamrock will get done? Also what other 90's retro matches would you like to see?
I do think Shamrock-Miletich will get done. Behind the scenes, Pat has been talking about this fight for more than a year.
what happened to swick in his last fight? not so quick anymore
Rashad Evans brought up a good point off the air last week. He looks frail at 170, and perhaps never should've moved down from 185. I also think Dan Hardy never gets the credit he deserves. Huge test for Swick this weekend.
Will the loser of the Couture v Coleman fight retire after the loss?
Definitely not. Randy still has a handful of fights on a recent contract he signed. And Coleman appears finally dedicated to training. I doubt either guy will hang 'em up, short of a brutal KO loss.
ALways good to be back Jonny Boy! Always was a fan of Pac and Money. Hows does Pacs insistence against drug testing alter his perception? Your boy Rafeal is in downright denial.
Hey SteveMtz. It's disappointing that Pacquiao's current greatness is being at all clouded by this situation. But it's hard not to want to ask questions. And I have plenty.
will chuck lidell leave his next bout on a stretcher?
I don't think Chuck should still be fighting, but also don't think there's any way Tito Ortiz sends Liddell out on a stretcher.
Super Bowl prediction?
I picked the Colts at the beginning of the playoffs, so don't want to change my tune. I'll say Colts 31, Saints 30.
What route do you see the UFC taking with Chuck Lidell? After the the match with Tito, is it going to be a 2-3 fight farewell tour or will it be another shot at a title run?
I really would like to see him call it quits after the Tito fight, but Chuck wants to keep going. Perhaps a mega-fight with Kimbo Slice makes sense. But I worry about Liddell against most 205ers in the UFC.
Who were you most impressed with at Strikeforce: Miami?
Nick Diaz. Man is that guy fun to watch fight. His boxing gets better every time out. So accurate and fluid. Also impressed with Cyborg. If I punched her in the face as hard as I could, she wouldn't go down.
Couture and Coleman both have Chuck by 10 years
That's just age. Every body is different and Chuck's has taken some abuse. Randy Couture is much younger than Liddell, in mind and body.
What do you make of Scott Coker saying Sakurai may get first shot at Diaz's WW title? I mean, Heiron's been in line for awhile now and Sakurai's coming off 2 losses.
The title shot should go to Hieron. As most of you know, I don't like when matchmaking gets in the way of pure sport.
The difference between Chuck and Couture/Coleman is that Chuck makes his living standing and when the reflexes and speed go, you need to rely on other faucets of the game....Chuck never really evolved.
All true. And Chuck has made other, recreational decisions outside the cage that might have aided his decline a bit.
Who do you have as of today if it comes to fruition, Aoki or Melendez?
That's tough b/c you're gonna make me go against my guy Melendez. Shinya.
Which underdog has a better shot at the upset this weekend, Mark Coleman or the Saints?
Jon, I love the new theme song!
Did they completely change the MMA Live music? I thought it was just a tweak to the opening montage.
Mousasi v King Mo seems like it will happen. Who you got? I don't like King Mo's chances, yet.
No reason to pick against Mousasi, but I do think King Mo might be more ready than we think at this stage of his career.
Also love the new theme song but seriously, get those guys onto the submission work. All the KOs are great but we need some ground work too!
What's your pick for FOTN at UFC 109?
Leaning towards Thiago-Swick. I think it's a very close fight, and both could absorb some damage.
Gonzaga v Dos Santos is a sick fight on paper. I think Gonzaga may pull the upset.
Interesting. Right now, dos Santos is one of those guys I just won't predict against. Until he loses, I will pick him to win almost any fight.
hershel looked pretty stiff, but really impressed with his conditioning and wrestling
Exactly. Stiff as a board, but conditioned and athletic. He definitely showed that he's put in some time with his wrestling and jiu-jitsu.
Cain vs Dos Santos who ya got?
C'mon Dust! That's tough. You really gonna make me answer that right now?
Is it strange that the fight I'm most pumped for this weekend is the debut of Rolles Gracie?
Not at all. Rolles has a lot of momentum and rightfully so. His new opponent Joey Beltran fought once for Bellator and will not lie down for anyone. Good fight.
one has KO power, one doesnt. Dos Santos the pick.
Velasquez might show you some KO power at UFC 110. Or at least some TKO power.
What did you think of Simms classless comments in the post match press conference?
jon how do you feel about the ufc having women fighters.
No need right now. There aren't enough worthy challengers for the elite women. It's a problem. Who is Cyborg gonna fight now? Marloes Coenen was game and tough and all that, and she still got lathered.
Really Jon? Cain couldn't TKO Kongo and you think he'll TKO Nogueira who can stifle him on the ground?
Yes, I do. I know, am not I nuts?
Which happens first? Fedor loses or Wes Simms actually works out?
Definitely a Simms workout. When you look like that, stairs are a workout.
jon do you think the fighters will do well fighting outside at abu dhabi
I don't expect the temperature/fighting outdoors to be much of a factor. BUT, if I'm Frankie Edgar or Vitor Belfort, I welcome it. When you're challenging all-time greats like B.J. Penn and Anderson Silva, it can't hurt to have a foreign variable introduced, such as fighting outside, and in 90-degree weather.
vera vs jones, who do you pick?
Will let you know the week before the fight. Today, the lean goes toward Jonny Bones.
Over/Under: 450,000 PPV buys for UFC 109?
Under. I think you set the number accurately. I'll go 428,000.
Don't you think with Lil Nog being on the cusp of a LHW title shot it gives Big Nog even more motivation to make one last run at the HW Title. If the brothers held both belts that story would be HUGE.
That's an interesting point.
i don't like Forrest's chances against Lil Nog.
MMA Live preview please kind sir
The usual suspects (me, Florian, McNeil), plus Stephan Bonnar and Dominick Cruz will join us. Bonnar helps us break down Strikeforce and UFC 109, and Cruz will discuss his title fight against Brian Bowles at WEC 47.
What did wes sims say after their fight? A lot of us missed it. Also, who do you think will be Lashley's next opponent?
Made a derogatory comment about Lashley while also insinuating that he's a steroid guy. Internet should help you find it.
What Sims said shouldn't be repeated on the fine Disney family of networks.
Thanks, Marc in Qatar!
Who will lose first Cyborg, GSP, or the Spider?
David, you love this line of questioning. Of these fighters who never lose, who will? I have no idea. Today, we will go with anyone but Cyborg.
As always, thanks for the chat JA. Do you think Maia will have improved his striking since the last time we saw him, or will he always be submission or loss?
I think the effort will have been there to improve his hands and feet in the striking department. Just not sure if the results will follow. His submission game, as you know, is so elite, that I think a sub is more likely than a loss against most guys.
Heard any rumblings about Hieron jumping to the UFC? Apparently his contract ended with the Riggs fight.
If Strikeforce wants to retain Hieron---and they need him at 170---they had better give him a title shot. They don't have very many welterweight contenders, and he's an obvious one.
Would Gina stand a chance in a Cyborg rematch if she works on her defense?
Underdogs routinely come through in MMA. And Gina always has a 'chance' b/c of her Muay Thai. But I don't think any amount of improvement would make her a favorite to beat Cyborg, who is also improving, and likely at a faster clip.
Where do you think Karo Parisyan will end up? If he can get his stuff together I would love to see him rematch Diaz for the belt considering the last time they fought it was split decision
I've sort of become disinterested in Karo. Too unreliable for me to waste energy on, ya know?
Note to ESPN. The new MMA Live tune would sound even better on TV!
do you think gomi will make a impact on the lightweight division.
I don't think he'll make the impact that the UFC is envisioning, b/c I don't believe he'll get by Florian. And, if Gomi doesn't beat Kenny, he can't get a title shot before Kenny. Or at least it'd be awfully difficult. Hard to make a huge impact if your UFC career begins with a loss.
how realistic do you think it is for DC, not Northern Virginia, to host a UFC card? With all the action coming to the east coast and NY and Beantown getting hyped up, what about the love for chocolate city?
Be patient, Jeremy. It may take a little while, but if current trends and interest in MMA/UFC are any indication, the UFC will be at the Verizon Center.
just cuz your in love with kflo doesnt mean ya cant pick against him!!
I picked B.J. Penn to beat Florian, and will do so again if and when I don't think he will win.
What are the odds that Kenny gets another shot at BJ? I'm thinking 25%. And it will probably happen after BJ moves up for one fight at 170.
25% is probably accurate. I think it's more likely that Florian gets a shot at a vacant lightweight title than a second fight with B.J. Penn. But we'll see.
Jon, I am hearing Dunham vs T. Griffin at UFC 115, what do you think of that match-up?
Great match-up. Two Extreme Couture guys I believe. But the fight certainly could have major title implications at 155, and I'm happy Dunham is getting a shot against a top guy.
Anik when are the chatters gonna get a shout out on MMA Live?
I've shouted you guys out in the past, and will try to remember to do so again tomorrow!
Hey JA, should Aldo be worried about Cyborg?
Hahahaha. BT, you and I aren't the only ones curious to see how she would fare against some male bantamweights.
Did you win your basketball game last week?
Nah, we got trounced by 30. We're playing the best team in the league tomorrow night. We are 28-point underdogs.
Jon, are we ever gonna see Lorenzo on MMA Live? Because to me, he is the the real power of the UFC and probably the most interesting person, behind the scenes.
He's been on before, just not in Bristol. I will put the word in, and hopefully we can get him on the next time we're in Vegas, presumably for UFC 114 May 29th.
uh J.A., dont you mean featherweights? Aldo fights @ 145, not 135
Yes, you're right. I guess I just think Cyborg would be more competitive against bantamweights than featherweights. But she's never gonna fight dudes, so we can move on.
Never pick against El Nino. My dream is to see Ben Henderson vs Gilbert. Then Diego vs Gilbert (yes I know he's up a weight class but this is my dream so I can do what I want). Then Kenny vs Gilbert. And finally BJ vs Gilbert.
Hahaha wow. Is your last name Melendez?
There went the perfect chat...
Hahahaha. One of these days I will chuck a no-hitter in here. Certainly not today.
In honor of national signing day, which off-season Bellator pickup are you most excited about?
Great question, Danny. Most excited that Jorge Masvidal will get another shot in the tourney b/c I really want to see the Masvidal-Eddie Alvarez fight. But of all the NEW Bellator signees, I would say Dan Hornbuckle or Ben Askren was the most exciting for the promotion.
Joe Warren. Joe Warren Joe Warren.
Where do you think Roger Huerta will fight next? If at all
Oh, he'll land somewhere. Because the UFC has the right to match any deal, it might take more time than it otherwise would. I think Strikeforce is still the frontrunner right now.
Any thoughts on the UFC putting on no title fights for 3 months followed by 5 in 45 days?
It was largely circumstantial b/c of injuries. And the wait is almost over!
Hey Jon, How long have you been watching MMA?
I watched UFC 1, then took a break until about UFC 50. Have watched almost every major show in the U.S. and Japan since early 2007. So basically, not nearly as long as most of you.
Would you think that Dana would be peeved at seeing one of his top guys sitting rigside at the SF event, considering he wasn't there to corner anyone?
I'm sure he didn't like it. And liked it even less that SF showed GSP on camera.
Not complaining but what happened to your hard 2pm out?
I will soon (now) get a phone call telling me to stop chatting and come do work. But thanks for clogging up the chat queue w/ the housekeeping stuff.
If you could line up two NFL Players in an MMA war who would it be? James Harrison vs Somebody for me
Yeah, definitely James Harrison vs. Patrick Willis. Winner gets Jared Allen, who gets a bye.
Your overtime is always appreciated JA, even if the suits hate it...
Haha. Thanks. We appreciating you checking in every week from Scotland!
Outside of Shogun, can anyone else be a legitimate threat to Lyoto Machida?
Sure. Jackson, Quinton. Nickname: Rampage.
DO you think Blackhouse has the best MMA fighters Aldo, Silva, Nog Bros, Machida, Dos Santos among others. Everyone mentions Greg Jackson camp compare the two
Blackhouse has had a nice run, and you can definitely make an argument that it is the best camp right now. Jackson's will always be in the discussion. Great depth at Xtreme Couture, ATT and AKA. I usually dodge this question, b/c there isn't a right answer.
Your thoughts on Chael Sonnen bashing Spider Silva and Mark Coleman?
I find Sonnen's honesty to be refreshing. Some find him to be annoying. Some of it might be to get his name out there. But I think he really just shoots from the hip. He's a veteran, and understands there are benefits to saying what you feel.
In what order do you rank the 3 AKA WW's?
Fitch 1, Koscheck 2.
Gotta love that Rex Ryan huh?
Press is press for MMA. Love that an NFL head coach is attending a major MMA show. If I could ever get Bill Belichick to a UFC show, I might retire.
Sonnen sucks. His biggest win is a strung out Filho.
Don't tell me, Ronny. Go to the fight capital of the world and bet the mortgage on Marquardt.
Is the UFC going to do anything for Haiti victims that you know of?
I am quite sure they have made some sort of major organizational contribution.
Is there any fighters you know of that are from Haiti that were effected you know of?
MMA veteran David Loiseau and boxing champion Andre Berto.
Buy Belicheck a UFC sweatshirt and cut the sleeves off. Pin fight tickets to it. That will get him there.
That's a good idea! And you're homework is to spell Belichick's name right.
Couldn't resist. I believe she's a Dolphins fan.
I would pay to see James Harrison vs Patrick Willis WOW!
I always say football is more violent than MMA. And it is. But Harrison-Willis in the cage just might be more violent than football.
I spell it Beli-cheat.
Easy, Ken. And Hayden and Fred and the rest of you. Belichick is like blood.
you did not pick bj penn to beat your boy dont lie
Hahahahahahaha. Must've lied to you guys.
Seeing how much trouble he had w/ a mid-level guy like Forrest, I think Rampage Jackson would be a huge underdog against Lyoto, but I'd still pay lots of money to see it! He'd make it entertaining for sure.
He would be an underdog, but less of one if he came in of a big win over Rashad Evans. That alone could propel Rampage into a title shot against Machida (provided he gets through Shogun) and he'd have a ton of momentum with the fans.
Rampage has to get past Rashad first which isn't exactly a walk in the park.
You did pick kenny to beat BJ, you picked Kenny because he trained so hard.
Good point. Former EliteXC fighter Edson Berto, Andre's brother.
Any chance Vancouver gets a upgrade in the main event outside of Chuck and Tito?
Absolutely. Plenty of time for a great fight to be added to the top of that card.
Who do you like in a Coenen/Carano fight?
Coenen. But that may be b/c she is fresh in my mind. And Gina is idle.
Rampage gets hit way too much to beat Machida. His only chance is his crazy KO power. Puncher's chance at best. He needs to go back to slamming people like he did in Pride and needs to learn how check kicks.
Strong analysis, Jake. I don't disagree. But I would still love to see Rampage-Machida.
One fighter who won't be on the Vancouver, or any Canadian card...Brock Lesnar.
Of that you can be sure.
Do you see high schools or colleges starting MMA programs? I know wrestling is already a staple, ut maybe it is time to expand
I get that question a lot. I think there have to be plenty of MMA clubs across colleges and high schools. Just not sure we can expect school-sponsored programs anytime soon. It seems like an obvious step, but you'd have to get a ton of schools on board.
MMA programs in schools is a bit of a stretch, but how about submission wrestling/BJJ?
That might be more likely, but less popular.
Do you ever see the possibility of a cross promotional world wide tournament in the future to establish the #1 guy at every weight class?
Definitely not. From a pure sport standpoint, that is the ideal scenario. But it won't ever happen.
Will I see you in Montreal Jon? Great card
I believe I will be there. And very excited, I might add.
Jon Anik, now with 50% more chat!!
Hahaha. Three more questions.
Just heard on Sherdog that Huerta is officially with SF. I would pay to see a Melendez/Huerts fight.
Good stuff, BT.
In one year, do you see strikeforce gaining or losing ground on the ufc?
Strikeforce's goal is not to compete with the UFC. They just want to establish themselves as a major player in the space. I think they are on the right track.
Best chats on ESPN.com... they last longer than 40 minutes. :/
I would chat all day. Love doing this every week.
Last question: Kenny Florians entrance music at fight night 21. Give us the inside scoop!
Cannot disclose at this time.
When is the next MMA Live at a UFC PPV?
Could be UFC 111 in New Jersey. I will be there even if MMA Live is not, doing something.
"I've got a hard out at 2pm." You're a fibber Anik!
Now I'm really leaving. Thanks for the overtime, girls. If I didn't get to your question, try me on Twitter (Jon_Anik) or at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you all tomorrow for MMA Live with special guests Stephan Bonnar and Dominick Cruz. Until then, be well. And don't text and drive. -JA