What's good ladies? Thrilled to be back for another chat here at espn.com. We're talkin' MMA (and Olympics) for the next hour. Really hoping Cain Velasquez will come through for me this weekend at UFC 110. That's my opening statement. Let's vent.
Would you do dancing with the stars??? I think you would look good in a skimpy little skirt!!!
Way to kick us off from Singapore. I would do that show tomorrow. Just not a star, unfortunately.
Hey Jon, if The Axe Murder loses on saturday(which i hope he doesent) whats next for him? Is he out of the UFC? an who ya got for that fight Bisping or Wandy?
I wouldn't call it a must-win for Wanderlei Silva. But it is a must-win if he ever wants to contend in the UFC. I think Silva needs the win more than Bisping does, and Wanderlei will get the finish late in the third round.
Few MMA Radio shows are giving Chael Sonnen a hard time about not taking the fight with The Spider. I dont blame him for not taking it. Its a championship match not a regular match. Wouldnt you want to be 100% as much as possible. Its not like if he loses he'll get another shot at the champ. What do you think?
It's unfortunate that Sonnen is dealing with a cut and injuries, b/c when a title shot materializes, you'd like to be able to pounce on it. But in this instance, Chael couldn't possibly put in a full, healthy training camp. And to fight Anderson Silva at, say 80 percent, is a losing proposition. Most say it's a losing proposition when you're 100 percent. So you won't hear any Sonnen criticism here. He's a tough dude.
Bobby Lashley has some nerve. He wants to fight either the champion or keep fighting bums? He's a joke till he faces a legitimate contender. His career is turning into a bad wrestling storyline.
I would agree that the storyline is not at all ideal right now. It's time for him to face Brett Rogers, or someone on that level. I think he might get humbled a little bit there.
I'll give Cain 25% chance for defeating Nog. Tough to beat someone when you are not as skilled on ground, have not shown finishing power standing or on ground, and then combine that with fighting Nogueira. Big Nog, submission, round 3.
You are on the record. The oddsmakers obviously disagree with you. So does the betting public. And so do I. I definitely thought Velasquez displayed some finishing power against Rothwell, and if past improvement is any indication, he is a much better fighter than he was in October. I understand the challenge, but I think Cain will emerge.
My boss wants to know why my productivity drops on Weds. What should I tell him?
Sonnen cant take the fight the athletic comission put him on a thirty day no contact status for training...that doesnt leave him much time to prepare
Exactly. His hands are tied.
Since Kenny's fight is getting closer, who will you have to replace him on the show ?
I would assume it'll be a revolving door of the usual suspects. Rashad Evans, Miguel Torres. A lot of our regulars have upcoming fights, so perhaps we will get some new blood in there. I believe Florian's last show before camp is tomorrow.
When kenny gets hurt, do you shed a tear like adrian from Rocky?
Not a big crier. And Florian rarely gets hurt. But anytime one of our guys loses, it's disappointing.
Here comes the Nog bashing from Anik
Love Nog. Just see this fight differently than a lot of you. Gimme the younger guy all day.
Whats up with todd duffee??
Scheduled to face Mike Russow at UFC 114.
if maia some how pulled off the upset of the century would the spider get an immediate rematch?
I don't believe there is written language that guarantees a rematch. But he would have as strong an argument as anyone.
does kenny get into bar fights? seems like he would cuz he doesnt look like a fighter, prolly gets trashed talked, no?
Absolutely. Especially when he goes out wearing turtlenecks. It's like he's asking for it.
With a win over jardine, does bader prove hes legitimate?
Depends on the way he does it. But Jardine is an interesting challenge for Bader at this stage of his career, and it will show me something if he gets through it.
IF, and that's a huge 'if', Frank Mir loses - what will be next for him?
Frank won't lose.
whats the latest news on rampage, i keep hearing his fight with rashad is in may but havent really heard anything else about it.
He is in England training at Wolfslair and will be ready to go on May 29th.
Demian Maia might want to start perfecting his flying scissor heal hooks. It's really the only chance I think he has at not getting knocked senseless in the first two minutes against Anderson.
I would much prefer to see Chael Sonnen fight Anderson Silva. But most of us thought eventually Maia would get this opportunity. So let's see what he does with it.
The MMA Live Curse and now the Anik Curse? Mir's got no chance.
Will we ever see your honey Kenny and Diego coach on TUF?
Both parties are interested and it makes sense. They even had a brief discussion about it the last time they connected. I hope it happens.
Buy or Sell: Gegard Mousasi to the UFC after his April Strikeforce fight?
Happy Wednesday Jon...I understand the UFC brass want Couture to have another title run, but given the situation, I would've loved to Dana and Joe Silva put him against The Spider instead of Maia. What about you? Any better opponent?
I just don't think it's fair to put Couture in there with Anderson Silva---for a lot of reasons. I think Rich Franklin is the right opponent for Couture right now. If he wins that fight, it'd be hard not to give a 46 year-old legend on a 3-fight winning streak a title shot.
Is it far-fetched that Chuck Liddell is still a top 10 LHW? I mean his last 3 defeats (although pretty bad), came against elite competition. What do you think Jon?
I don't have him in that mix and probably won't ever again. Will always be thankful for what he did for MMA, and I'm just hoping it's Tito, Kimbo and then retirement.
Hey Jon, great show! Why does the UFC refuse to set-up a top ten ranking for their weight classes?
Limits their matchmaking freedom I guess.
Any chance the UFC will implement some kind of Grand Prix or tournament in the future? Those were always fun to watch in the Pride days.
Get asked this question every week. You will never see guys fight multiple times on one night. And I don't even think they would ever actually 'formalize' a tournament.
Bellator's tournament starts April 8th.
When the fights are here in the U.S. a fighter has all day to prepare for his fight that evening, in Australia they only have until noon. Do you think the schedule change will have a big effect?
Very interesting question and a very interesting variable this weekend. That's my built-in excuse should Cain Velasquez (he won't) lose to Minotauro Nogueira.
How exactly do you see Velasquez winning? I'm assuming by decision because Nog isn't getting KO'd by Cain and I really doubt you'll see Nog get submitted.
My prediction is that Cain Velasquez will win by TKO.
Does MMA really need a ranking system? College Football and Basketball have rankings and all anyone does is complain about them.
Fair point. I would just like to see more No. 1 contender's bouts to determine title shots. I want that angle played up, b/c it can change the dynamic of the fight when you know what is at stake. Perhaps it tweaked Marquardt a bit when Dana announced it as such so close to the fight.
Early prediction on Pac-Clottey?
Pacquiao. And early.
Hey Jon, what is taking so long for them to book another Akiyama fight? He has been out since UFC100. Any idea on his next opponent?
We are hearing Vancouver, perhaps against the Bisping-Wanderlei Silva winner.
Am I the only one that wants Jardine to win?
Rashad Evans. And when I don't have a friend fighting/rooting interest, I pull for the underdog. And Jardine is the dog.
who do you think will win joe daddy or sotoropolous
Joe Daddy. Huge step-up in competition and exposure for Sotiropoulus.
Jon, what is your prediction for the Koscheck-Daley fight?
Tremendous fight and not one I'm willing to predict just yet. Can see both guys winning by TKO.
Which fight will be more one sided---GSP vs. Hardy, Spider vs. Maia, or BJ vs. Frankie?
Good question. I'll say Silva-Maia. If Anderson wants it to be quick, it could be. But he can be stubborn.
What is the latest on Steve Cantwell? Will he be making a UFC return anytime soon?
Not a ton of information out there. They say no news is good news. Not sure that applies here.
Wanderlei Silva says that he is going back to his old aggressive ways how do think this will help or hurt
You've always gotta be careful in MMA, and Bisping has some power. But I think it'll only help Silva to push the pace and be relentless. Bisping isn't great defensively.
where is jon bones jones? dude is amazing, one of my favorites
He fights March 21st on Versus against Brandon Vera. Jones is a future UFC champion. Stamp it.
Going down the insane luge track in Vancouver or getting in the ring for one round with any of the UFC champions...which would be your prefered method for going out in a blaze of glory?
Keep me away from that luge track. B.J. Penn can choke me out and we'll move on.
Does Rothwell need a win over Cro Cop after the disappointing performance against your boy, Cain?
To stay in the UFC? I don't think so. I'm not sure a ton of people have thought about that. He is a big man.
Thoughts on Fitch v Alves?
Very excited to see it. I think Alves will bring out the best in Jon Fitch.
Give us your full rundown of picks this weekend???
Cain Velasquez by TKO. Wanderlei Silva, late decision or TKO. I think Joe Stevenson will get the finish. Also will go with Ben Rothwell and Ryan Bader. Although I could absolutely see Jardine grinding out a decision win.
Do you see the UFC growing stronger this year than last? It seems to me that the backend of the year was weakened considerably (injuries), but I see they have started off with a bang!
The UFC get through a brutal stretch of injuries and has the deck stacked for three months solid. It's unfortunate there were a lot of injuries that halted some of that UFC 100 momentum.
True/False: UFC 111 is the best card on paper since UFC 100?
Tough to give you a quick answer. True. I was a huge fan of UFC 102, but there were not any title implications and there were some injuries there.
How far is Florian from another shot at BJ Penn (with a different fight strategy)?
So hard to say. I sort of expect B.J. Penn to move up to 170 before that opportunity presents itself. But a win over Gomi would make him the No. 2 contender, in my opinion, behind Maynard, who doesn't want to fight Penn. Kenny is dying for a second chance.
Plus, Takanori Gomi gets an immediate title shot if he beats Florian.
Buy or Sell: The Spider retires as the Light heavyweight champ?
Sell. He might move up to 205 permanently, thereby leaving as middleweight champion. But there are guys at 205 that pose a threat.
You know I want that inside info on Kennys entrance music at Fight Night!
Will ask tomorrow. Been meaning to.
Mo Lawal reminds me of a young Rampage but with much better wrestling. I think he could be a massive star if he come to the UFC. Do you see him in the UFC in the next year or more like 2-3 years?
Massive star is right. I definitely think King Mo is UFC-bound. I understand his star power in Japan, but eventually that act needs to be in the biggest of shows. UFC = NFL.
How bout an MMA Live preview please and thank you!
Still fluid. Phil Davis will be on the show. Ed Soares is a possibility.
Alvarez/Neer megafight in May, who are you picking in this stand-up war?
Interesting matchmaking. Not sure Eddie Alvarez has a ton to gain in this fight. A loss, at whatever weight, would not be great for Bellator. But he won't lose---and hopefully it'll be a nice showcase for Eddie.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Josh Neer? Not exactly a super fight. A shame Bellator can't co-promote with Dream or Strikeforce and get Aoki or Melendez. And why a catchweight?
I think it's still a little farfetched at this point that U.S.-based organizations would allow their champions to fight on U.S. TV for other promotions. If I'm Scott Coker, not sure I'm dying to see Melendez-Alvarez on Bellator's FSN show. As for the catch weight, it doesn't mean much. Just means that Eddie doesn't have to cut to 155, which I'm sure he's happy about.
Has Jay Hieron signed with SF yet? I think the UFC should steal him.
Not that I know of.
Why would Rich Franklin want ot fight Randy? If he wins Coture was washed up, if he loses everyone will talk about how terrible he is.
Randy Couture is on the short list of 205 lbs. contenders. That is what Rich Franklin aspires to be. When Rashad was asked to fight Couture, it didn't make sense at the time. Now, Randy has won two straight. So Franklin can get right in the mix with a win.
Would you rather be SF welterweight champ/#1 contender or middle of the ladder UFC welterweight?
What's my paycheck? I mean, would I rather be Nick Diaz or Carlos Condit? Or Martin Kampmann? What do their girlfriends look like? I think, as a fighter, your dream is to fight for the UFC. UFC = NFL.
Bruce doesn't seem to realize that many MMA fans don't think of Randy as anything other than superhuman. It's hardly a blemish on your record losing to Couture.
Is the SF CBS event in April going to happen? There has been no official announcement by Coker. He has a lot to learn about promotion from the UFC.
Don't even get me started Will. We talk about it after every Strikeforce show. Gotta continue the momentum. The card will happen, but valuable promotional time is being wasted, as usual.
If Soares is on the show tomorrow, can u please remind him he IS NOT Joe Silva
Hahahaha. Will do my best.
Don't tell Rashad Evans that... He wanted nothing to do with Randy in a fight where he had "nothing to gain"
It was a different time. Say what you want about Couture's wins over Vera (questionable, although I scored it for Randy) and Mark Coleman (cooked, but beat Bonnar). But they are Ws.
Over/Under: 1.25 Mil PPV buys for Brocks return to the octagon?
Under. Even the great Brock Lesnar can't come back with that type of bang. Or can he? Good question, Nate.
Brighter future at LHW: Bones Jones or Mr. Wonderful Phil Davis? I like Davis' pedigree, but Jones' creativity puts him on top in my book.
Jon Jones. But I see them both as forces over the next 3-5 years. It'll be good to have Phil Davis on MMA Live tomorrow.
What is the betting line on Cain vs, Nog? All the fan polls I have seen are just about split 50/ 50.
Nogueira opened as the favorite. Now, I believe Velasquez is the favorite, around -125. For those that don't know what that means, start gambling. Basically means it's a close, pick 'em fight.
Against Mir: way over 1.25 million. Against Carwin: right around there.
There could be a ton of momentum for Mir-Lesnar III with everything that will happen across all divisions between now and July or August. But asking for 1.25 million buys is still a lot. I hope they do 1.5.
Where do you rank Gegard Mousasi and King Mo Lawal in the light heavyweight rankings? I think Mousasi is top 3 and Mo is top 10.
I'm fine with your rankings.
Nog: -110, Cain: -120
So Couture's road to the title was: A loss vs Vera the judges gave him, A win vs a fighter so bad he was forced to retire in Coleman, and a guy who has fought at catchweights more than LHW recently in Franklin? How does Dana justify that to the maynards, fitchs, etc of the UFC?
He doesn't have to justify it to them. And, as most of you know and as we always repeat, there are a number of factors that go into deciding title shots/contenders.
And honestly, Couture---of all people---deserves legendary treatment. Fighters might even tell you that.
Nog has mentioned wanting a rematch with Mir because he had a staph infection or something like that the first time they fought. What does Mir think of a rematch?
First things fight, Bruce. But it's certainly a rematch that could and probably will happen at some point.
Re: PPV buys for his return; Lesnar's health troubles seemed to get a lot of play on mainstream sports media, including ESPN. You think it could have actually increased his visibility for his return?
Curiosity will be at an all-time high when Lesnar returns, in no small part b/c of his scary bout w/ diverticulosis. But 1M PPV buys is still a ton. I'm sure the UFC would be thrilled with 1.25. Maybe his second fight back does an even larger number.
apparently one way to decide title contenders is to find ANYONE thats available. just ask maia. if belfort had been injured 3 months ago wed be seeing silva marquardt 2 at 113.
Joe Silva's job is not as easy as it seems. Yet 80% of this chat room wants that gig. Not me.
Who will the champions be in 3 years? C'mon crystal ball.
You love the future. How about some Cain Velasquez talk?
When should a 'banged up' fighter pull out of a fight?
It depends. If you are trying to build up your name, you've got to be ready to go at all times. Even if you're not 100 percent.
Some people would complain about Couture getting a title shot, but they would be in the minority. The UFC is a business, and Randy helped make it what it is.
Alot of people think Brock Lesnar is a jerk. But wasn't he a very nice guy during your encounters with the Champ?
Brock has always been great with us. Just a private guy and sometimes the emotions take over post-fight. I'm a fan.
So if Maia beat Sonnen, Marquardt beat Maia, then Sonnen beat Marquardt, whos the #1 guy?
Based on the order in which the fights happened, Sonnen is the #1 contender. But he is injured.
Amongst the fighters competing at UFC110, who would you say is in a most win situation? Jardine, Crocop, Bonner, Silva? Do you think any of these guys would be cut if they lose?
I don't think anyone of those four would lose their jobs with a loss. Perhaps a loss would end the Cro Cop experiment. But Bonnar, Wanderlei and Jardine are safe, in my opinion.
Do you know if you guys will be coming up to Montreal for UFC 113? It's a great fight town!
It is looking that way Darryl. Trying not to get my hopes up. Haven't frequented 'treal since 1994.
Frank Mir beats carwin then Lesner (big if, but we love frank) does he go down as greatest heavyweight in UFC history? Think about it big wins and some great finishes (tim sylva)
Good question. All I'll say is that one more win over Lesnar makes him a UFC Hall-of-Famer.
Whats Up Jon? I was just wondering GSP was at the last Strikeforce event on Showtime, any idea how Dana White reacted?
I'm sure he was asked, but I never saw his reaction. Send question to email@example.com and I'll get back to you.
WAIT, WHAT? Are you saying Mir isn't a HOF-er already???!!!
I guess you're right. 2-time UFC heavyweight champion.
do think pierre would fight wanderlei as a middleweight tuneup???
You guys love the future. I appreciate the way you think, but it's too hard to say. At that point, I doubt very much that Wanderlei Silva would be in a position to fight GSP. But who knows?
I'm a fan of Bellator and SF, and I know they're not directly competing against UFC. But wouldn't you really like to see all the best fighters against each other? If UFC=NFL, then the UFC would have Fedor, Mousasi, Lombard, etc.
You are right and yes I would. Fight game just doesn't work that way. And tickets/PPVs are also very expensive. But in my mind, it's a small price to pay. Nothing quite like the combat sports.
3 Things you can count on in life. Death, Taxes, and Anik going into OT in his chat.
Yeah we are. I better get back to the present though soon. All these questions about three years from now has made me forget who is fighting this weekend. CAIN.
Mir is a one time UFC heavyweight champion. One time Interim heavyweight champion. Which he won btw a month after Brock became the actual heavyweight championship.
Tell him that.
Does Koscheck get GSP next if he wins? (Assuming GSP wins too ofcourse). I would like to see that fight.
If 3 months from now, we are talking about Maia as Middleweight champ, Hardy as Welterweight Champ, and Edgar as Lightweight champ, what does this mean for the UFC and MMA?
I think dominant champions are great for sports/ratings, etc. So it wouldn't be good. That's a mind-numbing long shot, for those of you casual fans out there.
Get Jon Jones on in the next couple of weeks- he's not only talented but also a good spokes person and needs some pub. Also can I get a few replays of his fights on SPIKE please??? Di I need to see Ladell re-runs any more???
On it Tom.
Would the UFC ever "TRADE" a fighter with StrikeForce?
Is there anyone in the mma community that you dont like?
Fighters? Media? I hate 'em all. Nah, most of the fighters are great.
Why do you think Maynard doesn't want to fight Penn.
Because he's been so indifferent about it. He said B.J. Penn was a funny guy. Yawn.
Hey JA, it looks like the talk is Brock's comeback being in Vegas. What are your thoughts on who might be on the Boston card this summer? I'm hoping to get tickets and make it my first UFC show...
You should definitely get tickets as soon as they go on sale. I guarantee you Dana White will blow it out b/c it'll be the first Boston show. Brock is not guaranteed, but it'll be stacked.
How does Kenny feel about your new crush, Cain? I am going to root hard for Big Nog for spite.
C'mon, Jon. We all know you're itching to get in the ring with somebody. Would you say yes to a boxing match against Dana White at the next Bellator card????
When can we see your twin brother on the show?
The next time he comes to ESPN (he's only been once), I will see if they'll put him on set. But it might be a tough sell b/c only 15 people want to see that. Maybe 18.
Minneapolis needs another show!! Use all your contacts to get brocks return here anik!! Or at least a bellator show!
I enjoyed UFC 87. Good fans there. Fans that will be very cold at Twins games soon.
Gotta run folks. Apologies for not getting to a lot of you today. Please send those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you. Or put your e-mail in the show. You can also bother me on Twitter (Jon_Anik). Until next week, be well. And please don't text and drive. -JA