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April 21, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

Good Wednesday! It's my favorite time of the week, and hopefully yours, too. We're here for the next hour fielding your MMA questions and comments. So let's vent...

Jake (Long Island)

The news of GSP being shelved until Nov-Dec thanks to TUF makes me hate that show even more. So much for Dana White saying that "our champions fight 3 times per year."

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

I'm right there with ya, Jake. Georges St. Pierre really should be forced to fight more often. Barring injury, all five UFC belts should be contested three times per calendar year.

Chris (Ohio)

How close is Strikeforce to being done a la Affliction, EliteXC?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

I think it's more likely that SF would return to its roots as a California-based, local promotion as opposed to just folding up shop. There just seems to be an overall disorganization and it's alarming. A lot of procedural issues led to that post-fight brawl. It was unfortunate, but not disastrous.

Brian (Arlington, MA)

Who do you think is at fault for the Strikeforce brawl?

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

I blame the promotion. Just way too many bodies in the cage after the fight. A lack of security and overall awareness. I just think Strikeforce has a lot of issues to iron out, procedurally, and from a television event and production standpoint as well.

MJ (Farmingdale, NY)

Jon have you read BJ's book. Pretty interesting view point he has in regards to his negotiations with Dana, and his views toward Kenny Florian...

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

I have a copy, but haven't read it yet. Very curious to do so.

eddie mia [via mobile]

JA what's going on ... So is jake shields that good or did hendo took that fight for granted?

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

It's a combination of things. Jake Shields is that good, in my opinion. He has now won 14 straight, and not one of them could be classified as a tomato can. He has beaten several high-level guys, and many of them have been bigger guys, too. Shields is a top 10 P4P guy, in my opinion. As for Henderson, I'm not convinced he put in the greatest training camp in the world. Not to say he took Shields lightly, but he's been very busy since UFC 100, he's 39 years old, and perhaps he's nearing the end.

Sean (New York)

Do you think Jake Shields is headed to the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Yes.

Chris (Ohio)

Wait a minute, you are saying it's not disastrous, but that they go back to being a regional promotion. Sounds disastrous

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

Not disastrous for the sport of MMA is what I meant. But I do think Strikeforce has bit off more than it can chew with its current staff and operation. I think they can still be very successful as a local promotion. Not to say that is gonna happen right away, but eventually that is my expectation.

David (Dallas, TX)

I never ask a what's next for this guy question, but where is Sherk hiding?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

No idea with that guy. He seems to sign a fight agreement, only to pull out with an undisclosed injury shortly thereafter.

Sylvain (Calgary)

Hey Chost, I was fortunate to meet Mauro Ranallo at his radio show yesterday in Toronto and he was very upset and dismayed with the actions of Jason Miller....pretty much questioning if this act alone would remove the past few years of progress MMA has made into becoming mainstream..What damage do you think Miller has done since this was only the 4th MMA event ever on network TV????

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

I wouldn't go quite as far. It's unfortunate that a lot of sports fans who were exposed to MMA for the first time had to see that. It's too bad, with a broad CBS audience, that the brawl happened, b/c it really isn't the norm in MMA. But I expect the story to die down within a few weeks. I think more troublesome were the overnight ratings, and the lack of action in the fights.

Joseph (DC)

You looking forward to seeing Mayorga get destroyed?

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

Yeah, he's got no shot against Din Thomas. Mayorga looks huge. And awful.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

any publicity good publicity?

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Not always. But from an MMA Live point of view, we've certainly got plenty to talk about tomorrow!

Jason (Owosso, MI)

Nice work on the Sherdog Radio Network!

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Thanks my man. Those guys hit hard!

Chris (Ohio)

Jon, what do you think about Gus Johnson? I like him, but not really for MMA. It is obvious he has a limited knowledge of the sport.

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Having done play-by-play for MMA, I have a huge amount of respect for the challenge that it is. And I do think Gus can have value as an MMA announcer. Just needs more repetitions. I'm sure Gus regrets some part of his reaction, but there are no do-overs. He made a generalization that most MMA fans and media don't believe to be true, and he's feeling the heat as a result. But as a broadcaster, we get far more criticism than we ever get pats on the back. You just try to enhance the live event and blend in.

Chris (Ohio)

Word association Jon, give me your first thoughts when I say: Kimbo Slice

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Not a UFC-caliber fighter.

David (Dallas, TX)

Bigger upside at 205, Bones Jones or King Mo? Do they ever meet in the ring?

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

Impossible to say whether or not they will meet one day. I do think King Mo has UFC aspirations, so it's quite possible their paths would cross. In terms of upside, gimme Jonny Bones all day.

crystal [via mobile]

Why are wec payouts always way lower than the ufc?

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

There are many reasons, most notably that the UFC's overall profile is much higher.

Jerry (Texas)

Whats next for Gegard M., rematch or whose his next opponent?

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

I wouldn't mind seeing a rematch, especially with the dearth of light heavyweight contenders in Strikeforce. I was disappointed in Mousasi's takedown defense, but still think he is a GREAT fighter and extremely fun to watch.

Tyler (North Carolina)

Let's say Shields signs with the UFC, does he get an immediate title shot? Or do they make him face someone like Fitch?

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

I would give him a title shot right out of the shoot. GSP only fights twice a year!

Jeremy ((San Marcos))

LESNAR Vs CARWIN!!!!!!!!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

On my birthday in Vegas. Counting the days...

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Is Gil Melendez the best 155er in the world right now?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

No. It's still B.J. Penn in my opinion. I think he will beat Edgar in the rematch.

Mike C. (Portland, Or.)

Was the stoppage in the Askren fight the worst that you've ever seen, or just up there on the list?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

Absolutely not. Not even sure it's in the top 10 of worst stoppages I've ever seen. But I am happy that Ryan Thomas found his way back into the tournament.

Danny (NYC)

Is Dan Henderson the next opponent for King Mo? there is no one else at 205 in SF!

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

That's a possibility. Of course, much will depend on what happens with Shields. If he stays, not sure you want your potential 205 lbs. champion to have a recent loss against your middleweight champ, ya know?

Chris (Bristol CT)

Bellator 15 April 22nd Mohegan SunThe crowd chantsCHOST CHOST CHOST CHOST

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Hahahahaha. Very excited to be in the building for the Bellator show at Mohegan tomorrow night. How many of you will be there? Chris?

Tyler (North Carolina)

Did Aoki prove that his ranking as the number 2 lightweight in the world was pretty soft? I think Thompson would beat him.

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

I definitely think Aoki is overrated. I also think we are starting to realize just how different MMA is in Japan compared to the U.S.

Rachel - MMAHotStuff (San Francisco)

Are you buying the WEC PPV? I am, but probably for different reasons than most. For those that think it's a little over priced what do you tell them?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

I'm buying. I tell them that Aldo-Faber truly could be a fight that we are talking about for years to come. The atmosphere in Sacto will be absolutely electric and I think the action will be right there w/ the crowd. It's just expensive to be a combat sports fan, and there is no getting around it.

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

...I dropped $1300 on tickets to see Mayweather-Mosley next weekend. And I'm not even close to the ring. But worth every penny to me...

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

There are fights in every sport that involves physical contact. And sometimes without any physical contact. Like Nascar for instance. People see fights in Football , Soccer , BAseball , and BAsketball all the time. 4 of the most high profile sports in the world. Look how many post fight AND pre fight melee's there have been in boxing. I think the Strikeforce post fight brawl has been blown way out of proportion. Do you agree?

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

The difference, Bobby, as my colleague Jake Rossen points out, is that those sports have a much longer history. Thereforce, instances like this are more accepted. But I agree with you that too much is being made of the brawl, and I feel badly for guys like Melendez and Shields, who should be the toast of the sport this week. Unfortunately, we're talking about Mayhem Miller.

Blake (Lexington)

Who ya got, Faber or Aldo?

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Urijah Faber to pull off the upset! Provided he can weather the early storm, I like Faber's experience, intensity, and cardio to prevail. Also think he might have the biggest heart in the sport.

Craig (West Bend, Wisconsin)

Does Dana White look to punish Nate Diaz due to his role Saturday night or does he allow the Tennessee Athletic Commission to do their thing?

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Dana says he has already spoken to Diaz and will not be punishing him for his role in the altercation.

Kevin (Chicago)

Can we talk about the UFC and fights coming up or what?

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

What do you want to talk about? Can't wait to take MMA Live on the road for UFC 113!

Steve (Sault Ste Marie, ON)

Who is going to be at the MMA Live booth at the Fan Expo for UFC 114?

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

Still to be determined. You can count on the usual suspects at some point that weekend- me, Florian, McNeil, Qerim. Will have more details as UFC 114 approaches.

Gino (Boston?)

Did Huerta make a mistake in signing with Bellator?

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

I don't think so at all. Do you? I think Hendo made a mistake in signing with Strikeforce. Bellator needs time to grow. But at least they are organized and have a sound methodology to what they're doing.

Kevin (Chicago)

MMA Live needs more big name guests. Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, ets. Make it happen!!

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Thanks for the feedback, Kevin. We are the only show at ESPN that has regular contributions from ACTIVE professional athletes. But that also has its drawbacks---can make it tough for guys to get to Bristol, while also training for fights and training teammates for fights.

Adam (Long Beach)

Who do you have lined up for tomorrow's MMA live?

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Interviews with Urijah Faber and King Mo Lawal. And Kenny Florian makes his return. About time on that.

Kate (San Diego)

Why don't you have a Wikipedia page??

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

I'm not sure, Kate! Maybe you can help me create one :). Although I'm not exactly sure who'd be reading it!

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

why isnt the superbowl PPV then?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

Don't give the NFL any ideas...

Matt (NYC)

What are your other picks for WEC?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

I like Donald Cerrone to grind out a win in the rematch with Henderson. So I'm taking both underdogs in the two title fights.

Tyler (North Carolina)

If you were allowed to pick any MMA fight to call, which one would it be?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

Fedor-Lesnar. It would be a thrill to call a fight involving either one of those guys.

Joseph (DC)

Why is the UFC dragging it's heels on the WEC merger?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

I think they are still figuring out the best way to proceed. I still think the WEC serves a distinct purpose and was actually the most consistent promotion in 2009 (in terms of delivering action and high-level fights). I'd like to see them eliminate the 155 lbs. division (move the top guys to the UFC), but still exist with bantam and featherweights.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

you really think faber wont break any hands?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

That's the idea, Hayden. No way he beats Aldo without both hands.

Ashley Hyatt (Dallas Tx)

You must be Swamped I asked a on of good questions and not one response?? WOW!!

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

Sorry! I always give priority to the ladies. Although, Ashley might be a dude?

Kate (San Diego)

All your female fans would be reading it!!! Trying to find out if you're married:)))

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Hahahahahaha! Thanks Kate. I'm not married. That could be changing soon, however.

Cory (Pittsburgh)

Anik's Wikipedia page should just have one word: Chost

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

Ha! Exactly. My twin brother is so geeked up that you guys have started calling me Chost. Every time he calls me, he says 'what's up, Chost?'. It gets me every time. But I'm actually trying to become less chubby. Then, I'd need a new nickname.

Jay (ohio)

CHOST!!! ENOUGH SAID!!!!!!

Kyle (Chicago)

Why don't boxers have sponsors on there shorts and stuff like MMA fighters do?

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

Some fighters will have a sponsor or two, but you don't see logos all over the shorts like you do in MMA. I know Shane Mosley is sponsored by Affliction, and his fight shorts reflect that. But it's a good question. Wish I had a better answer.

Chuck Liddell (San Luis Obispo)

Do you think that I can beat Rich Franklin??

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

No, I don't. But I've been wrong before. I don't doubt that you will put yourself in a position to win. Just think Franklin is the fresher fighter at this point.

Morgan (Massena NY)

Who do you think has a bigger man crush You on Florian or Franklin McNeil on King Mo? I think it might be McNeil!!!!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

LOL.

Jarrett (Louisville, KY)

Who has better wrestling? King Mo or Bones Jones?

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

King Mo has better wrestling credentials, but I think Jones' style is more conducive to MMA success. He is unorthodox, and therefore very difficult to prepare for. Good question.

Jay (ohio)

Did you think Hendo looked a bit soft and out of shaped?? He didn't seem to look as good as he had in the past at 185. Heard he cut like 20 lbs in a a few days.........

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

Yeah, I do think conditioning was a factor for Hendo.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

Who do you see next for Frank Mir? Dos Santos sounds good to me.

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

Looks like Roy Nelson is the frontrunner right now to face Frank Mir.

Chris (Alabama)

much love for MMA Live.my question is, do you think they need to do a major overhaul on the judging in MMA.The King Mo fight really showed me how much they give for a take down, and give little to nothing for damage done.I do not think Mousasi won the fight, but It should have been 3 rounds to 2 IMO.Whats your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

I wish the points system would be more clearly defined. As you point out, how exactly do judges quantify takedowns? And, if you get taken down but get up quickly (as Penn did against Edgar), do you get points for that? But I don't think you will see a major overhaul anytime soon.

Fedorbryant (Texas)

With Randy Couture beating Vera how come he isnt given a better fighter like Jon Jones even though hes not in the title hunt

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

I thought Couture and Rich Franklin made sense, but the Tito situation got in the way. At present, Randy doesn't have a next opponent. I think Jon Jones is just too young and too quick.

Amber (Raleigh, NC)

So what's up with CHOST? Where did it orginate?

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

My twin brother Jason thinks he's hysterical. He made it up---it stands for chubby host. Now, he's got my whole family calling me Chost.

jeff (new orleans)

I was pretty disappointed in the quality of action in the Strikeforce fights. Do you think that will scare CBS away in the future?

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

I think CBS is all about ratings. They want great action, but the ratings are the end game. Period. It's definitely too bad that, with three title fights, you didn't get a single finish. But that's rare, and you won't hear me blaming the matchmaker. Just unlucky.

Love Sauce (Sunny Phoenix AZ)

GSP vs. Jake Sheilds..this is gonna happen CHOST, who would you take and what would happen (hopfully not headbutting each other from both trying to take down : )

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

I would take GSP. I don't think Shields would be able to stop his takedowns.

James (San Diego)

Aldo over Faber, Henderson over Cerrone, Brown over Gamburyan. What you think?

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

I think you like chalk!

Daniel (Tampa)

I think Couture vs. CroCop would be an intersting fight between two legends.

mark (demver)

why is everyone making mayhem out to be the bad guy? alves and others have came into the ring before.. it was the diaz brothers that got it all out of hand

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

A lot of people agree with you. There were just too many members of Cesar Gracie's team in the cage. That is why things got out of hand. But what is Miller doing in there anyway? I appreciate him wanting to get the exposure, especially since his fight wasn't shown. But he doesn't really deserve a rematch with Shields. Just a bizarre scene. And I look forward to talking about something else soon.

Ryan (Boston)

Why am I the only one that's upset about the bogus BJ decision. Bouncing around does not equal effective striking.

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

You certainly aren't the only one. Did you hear Pat Miletich last week on MMA Live?

Gino (Boston)

If we put CHOST in our question does it automaticlly get answered?

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

LOL. No.

Phil (NYC)

Jon, fat knots for ties are out. get a new look.

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

You guys are tough. I've actually been going smaller the last few weeks, but I will always rock the windsor, or half-windsor. Not even sure what it is. But if it's so 'out', why did Rashad Evans ask for a tie-tying lesson from me?

Adam (Long Beach)

Thought you just said earlier you were going with Faber... I need clarification Chost!

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

That other dude picked Aldo. I picked Faber.

Rick (Slinger, Wisconsin)

SF had a really bad rating Saturday night. What do you think led to that? The 20 inning game? NBA basketball? The UFC replay, or maybe MMA isn't as big as we all want it to be? What do you think? Would UFC on CBS/ESPN/Fox do better?

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

You mention a lot of the key factors. But I would also add a) no Fedor Emelianenko, b) no Gina Carano and c) still not enough promotion. The hits during the NCAA Tournament were nice, but there weren't enough of them.

Justin (Brick, NJ)

Did I miss something? Is GSP coaching the next TUF? WHo is the other coach??

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

The UFC has hinted as much, and even more concrete confirmations are starting to trickle out. The opposing coach would be the winner of Koscheck-Daley at UFC 113.

Jeff (MD)

Rashad is a fighter not a tie expert!

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Wow, dudes are down on the tie. Where is MMA Hot Stuff when I need her?

Marc (Charlotte)

If it is a fat knot it is a full windsor.

Rachel - MMAHotStuff (San Francisco)

Jon, do NOT listen to Phil (NYC). Your ties are hot. Very Trump. And he rules his world.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Hahaha. Thanks.

Matt (Las Vegas, NV)

Is it me or does Jake Shields have the best single-leg takedown in MMA right now? He nailed it almost everytime he tried on a world-class wrestler.

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Shields is a great fighter. Still wondering when he will get the credit he deserves from the MMA media. Fans are finally starting to come around.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

Will Carwin vs Lesnar be the biggest fight in UFC history? I bet it will be billed as such.

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

I think it's already being billed as such, and certainly has the potential to be huge. Too bad the fighters aren't all that big themselves.

Cory (Fort Richardson, AK)

What do you think is going to be the game plan for Shane Carwin to take the title from Lesnar?

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

Punch him early and often and test that chin.

rob(jersey) [via mobile]

T/F: The only way Faber wins Saturday is if he can hold Aldo down and win 3:00 in 3 different rounds, and hope Aldo doesn't 10-8 him or straight KO him.

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Probably true. But Aldo's mettle will be tested if Faber can get the thing to the championship rounds. Isn't there some line about underestimating the heart of a champion? Faber has been there and done that many times, and will not be intimidated.

Kraw (Work)

Over/Under on TUF lasting 17.5 seasons

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Under. Please.

VB (Denver)

I leave for a while but it seems you're as sharp as ever! Is putting WEC on PPV a bad move for Zuffa? It feels like they're over-saturating the market as it is with a few UFC's every month. At what point do they hit the law of diminishing returns?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Good to have you back, VB. I think this WEC PPV is largely experimental and may not become a pattern. They have a hugely billable fight, and the timing is just right to do it. I think they will be happy with 120,000 buys, and I expect them to be right around that number. But I don't expect this to be the norm for WEC. Maybe 1-2 PPVs/year.

Tyler (North Carolina)

Will the WEC PPV have more buys than the recent Jones Jr/BHop fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Not sure what Jones-Hopkins did. But I would imagine the numbers would be pretty similar.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

What's the deal with the UFC taking the LW division from the WEC? Have you heard any news on this?

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

Only what you have heard and read. It's an eventuality. Just not sure what the time frame is for Zuffa to pull the trigger on it.

rob(jersey) [via mobile]

The Heart of a Champion was just a Nelly song! But seriously, heart can not block ridiculously fast punches. I think Faber can only win by using his hips, so to speak (IMHO).

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

We shall see.

justin (Brick, NJ)

Shields may have great take downs, but he has some of the worst Ground and Pound I have ever seen. He had the fullmount at least 5 times and should have finished the fight. It looked like he was hitting Hendo with pillows

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Agreed. Needs work.

Andrew (Yardley)

Buy/Sell Carwin beats Lesnar for the title?

Jon Anik
  (2:03 PM)

If you're asking me today, I'll sell that. But I won't go on the record until the week before the fight.

Adam (Long Beach)

I know you're with me on this one. Florian over Melendez, I think Florian's skill set is far more refined.

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

It's a fight I would like to see. And yes, I would favor Florian in that one. Kenny's really closed the gap in wrestling over the last 6-8 months.

Ben (CBus)

Jones Bhop did between 90,000 and 135,000 depending on who you believe. Dana said it would be a shame if WEC doesn't double the 90,000 number that he believes to be correct.

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

Thanks, Ben. I think 150,000 buys is a realistic goal for WEC 48. 180,000 is pushing it.

Jeff (MD)

The brawl has marred all the talk, but who was the most impressive for you last weekend? I thought all 3 winners were outstanding in their approach to the fight, regardless of the entertainment value.

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

Tough to choose. But I'll say King Mo. Mousasi's game plan was to allow a few takedowns early with the hope that Lawal would gas. When King Mo got a second wind, Mousasi couldn't do anything about it. The fact that King Mo could dominate Mousasi in just his sixth or seventh pro fight is remarkable. Y'all know how highly I think of Mousasi.

Erik (Phoenix AZ)

When and where is MMALIVE debuting on television?????

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

The debut is Thursday, May 6th at 1 AM ET/10 PM PT! We will also do a live preview show from the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sat. May 8th at 9 ET/6 PT. We need and appreciate all your support!

Jeff (MD)

Buy/Sell Florian is STILL the second best LW in the world?

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

I have Florian in the top three. And maybe George Sotiropoulos in the top five as well!

Kraw (Work)

Maynard is so scared of Penn its ridiculous... all of a sudden after he thought he 'wasn't ready', now he wants a shot at the title? I hope Florian knocks some sense into this wussy.

Jon Anik
  (2:08 PM)

I agree. I went back and transcribed Maynard's interview after the Diaz fight and compared it to his comments after Penn-Edgar. Very hypocritical.

Greg (NY)

Hey Jon, thanks for the chat. Do you really see Josh Koscheck standing up with Paul Daley or just outwrestle him to get a shot at GSP?

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Given all that is at stake (coaching on TUF and a shot at GSP), you have to think Kos will return to his roots and use his wrestling to get it done. But Koscheck loves to box, loves knockouts, and might just be stubborn enough to test Daley in the stand-up.

Jason (Owosso, MI)

back to work... have a great week, enjoy the fights!

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

You too, bro. Thanks for being here, as always.

Scott (Des Moines)

Ouch 1AM ET... Pretty rough but i'm in...

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Set the DVR. And have a viewing party for the live show before UFC 113 on May 8th!

Jeff (MD)

I know you wont smack talk the announcers, but Shamrock and Mauro were definitely toeing the company line Saturday night. Playing up Mousasi as if he was landing killer shots from the bottom, Shamrock blasting Shields, Mauro talking down to Aoki....sure makes me long for Rogan and Goldie...or even Chost!

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

It's a tough gig man! I just hope to get another chance to call fights at some point. There is truly nothing like it in broadcasting.

mark (denver)

who do you want your pats to draft?

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

A linebacker.

Evan (Chicago)

Do you believe Dana's theory that SF sent Miller in there as motivation for Shields to sign back with them?

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

No I don't. Find it almost impossible to believe that Strikeforce would've faciliated that.

Jeff B. (Torrance)

Shields' missing ingredient is powerful striking. That may be why he may not get all the credit he deserves.

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

You're right.

David (Ottawa)

Chost, I'm guessing you have Mitrione KOing Kimbo? Is that a testament to Mitrione, or Kimbo not being the Tyson-esque puncher so many people wanted him to be?

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

It's much more a statement about Kimbo than it is about Mitrione. I just haven't seen much (any) improvement in the Slice man.

Jeff (MD)

6 games for Big Ben. Thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

Thought is was a little steep. But it'll sure be easy to root against that guy now!

Scott (Des Moines)

Reason for saying "Don't text and drive"?

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

I said it one day after MMA Live at random. The executive producer really liked it, and told me to stick with it. I also am serious and passionate about the cause. I almost took out two people last year while texting and driving, and I think it's a hugely important lesson and public service announcement.

Ben (CBus)

Your honest opinion: Did Strikeforce bring in Dan Henderson to beat Jake Sheilds? Gus Johnson sure seemed to think so and Kudos to him for saying it.

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

That was a huge part of the Henderson signing. But they also needed to have an American face of the promotion. Fedor doesn't speak English, and there are some management issues there as well. Nick Diaz is a great fighter, but not necessarily a face-of-the-promotion type of guy.

Zach (NC)

texting and driving can be even worse than drunk driving

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

Amen Zach.

Kimbo Slice (In the VIP)

Jon Anik , see if I ever come on your show again.

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

LOL. Just trying to tell it like it is, or at least as I see it.

angelo (texas)

who is also fighting on the may 29th card with rashad and rampage

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Lil Nog vs. Forrest Griffin. Todd Duffee is back against Mike Russow. Bisping is on the card, as is Diego Sanchez. Great lineup.

angelo (texas)

do you think MTB will get a rematch with aldo if they both win?

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

I do.

Ben (CBus)

You seriously did not see an immense wrestling improvement in Kimbo for the Alexander fight? He suplexed him 2 times! And he has been doing nothing except working on ground game with ATT.

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

I'll give you that, but note the opposition. He did that against Houston Alexander.

RJ (Boston)

I know it's a slippery slope for fight reporters, but the sherdog lady who did Mayhem's post-fight interview shoulda known better. A guy like that is easily encouraged... don't you think she had at least a little bit of a lesson to learn here too?

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

I've gotten a ton of questions on this. I've got to be honest. I haven't heard the interview yet. Just didn't want you to think I was dodging your questions.

Roy (Reno)

Why all the hand wringing over the Strike Force card, the brawl excluded this was a top notch show...on CBS! Why all the talk of them becoming a regional promotion?

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

They are just disorganized, in my humble opinion. They don't seem to have a big enough staff to effectively run a national promotion. Guys don't get enough fights. Cards don't get enough promotional backing. I mean, why haven't Frank Shamrock and Pat Miletich fought yet? Both guys want the fight. Let's go already.

Brendan (Afghanistan)

Chost, you will be converted to a Shogun believer on May 8th! What?s with the Japanese fighters coming to the USA and losing? Jet lag? Too much noise from the fans? Are USA fighters a couple steps ahead right now?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Hey Brendan. Hope things are going well in Afghanistan. Shogun has a great chance to prove me wrong next month! On the Japanese fighters' struggles of late, I do think the MMA in the United States is a few steps ahead. Maybe two years ago there wasn't such a gap.

Kraw (Work)

I missed you on sherdog radio, is there a podcast of you somewhere?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Go to Sherdog.com radio page and you should find the archived show from Monday.

Gino (Boston)

Sorry not get off of MMA, but I think the Pats should take Dez Bryant, the explosive WR out of Oklahoma St.

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

That would also be fine with me. Would prefer to see a LB they can slot alongside Jerod Mayo. Sort of bummed I will miss the first round tomorrow night. Will be at Mohegan Sun for Bellator Fighting Championships. And hope to meet some of you there.

Ben (CBus)

you just said you saw no improvement. Before that fight he seriously has 0 ground game at all. He showed drastic improvement regardless of competition. And Mitrione has no ground game either. Kimbo is not an elite talent but if he keeps getting these matchups can string some victories together.

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

I'm not convinced dude.

Chris (UK)

How do you think the WEC lightweights would do in the UFC? I see both Henderson and Cerrone being able to have success over someone like Maynard

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

I think Cerrone, Varner and Henderson would all be competitive.

Charlie (Philly)

What happens first... the snapple cap return to chat or Smokin' Joe steps back in the cage?

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Hahaha. I think it'll be Villasenor. Supposedly he's fighting Jacare. Don't like that fight for Smokin' Joe.

Ashley Hyatt (Dallas Tx)

Why you Dodged all of mine? @RJ (Boston) "Just didn't want you to think I was dodging your questions."

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

There are so many great questions today. Every time I answer one, 20 more come in. Doing the best I can.

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Alright, last call...

Jeff (MD)

I think Ben forgets how big Meathead is....

David (Ottawa)

C'mon Anik, Mitrione isn't exactly a wrestling or a BJJ whiz...

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

You're right. And he's also not the most reliable guy in the world. You remember some of the antics on TUF w/ injuries, etc. I just don't think Slice should be favored to beat any UFC heavyweight, that's all.

VB (Denver)

Just saw the latest sherdog rankings. Still no love for your boy, Lombard?! What gives?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

In Sherdog's defense, Lombard hasn't looked great in his non-Bellator tune-up fights. His time will come.

Chris (Bristol CT)

Out of all places in the world why is espn in bristol?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

More importantly, who do you live here? Bristol is centrally located b/w Boston and New York. And I have to imagine ESPN got a good price on the land.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

SPeaking of Diego , is John Hathaway going to be a "give me" fight for Sanchez's return at WW?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

Don't know a ton about Hathaway.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

Anik when you become a big star on ESPN 2 at 1 am , will you still do chats?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

LOL. We may eventually move the chat to Thursdays at 1ET, but I'm not going anywhere.

Ashley Hyatt (Dallas Tx)

Just messing with ya! Your doing a great Job! Especially with the show! Although you should shut Franklin down more! I like when you do that!

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Thanks Ashley. I gotta pick my spots. Florian should be ripe for the picking this week though. Hasn't done the show in months...

Jeremy (Portland)

Jon, hope you can help me with this as I've been busy and missed the news. What happened with Ortiz to result in Franklin taking his place? Tito being Tito? or was there an actual trigger that caused the shake up? Thanks

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

The UFC still hasn't revealed exactly what happened. All we know is that Franklin replaces Ortiz on the show and in the fight against Liddell.

edward (denver)

i like seeing mma high lights on espn shows such as sports nation, top 10 plays and pti. what do you think?

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

I'm with ya, Edward. I've had the privilege of going on SportsNation the last few weeks to talk MMA. Hopefully they keep my number on file.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

Hathaway has yet to lose a fight in his professional career. 3-0 in the UFC

Kraw (Work)

Do you ever get in a conflict of interest? Like you provide analysis to ESPN on MMA that they pay you for, but would they ever not let you go on the radio or voiceing Bellator? Like where is the line?

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

It's a good question. Can't go into too much detail. In a perfect world, I could still do Bellator and work at ESPN. Right now, it's not in the cards.

Cory (Fort Richardson, AK)

I'm still wondering why the UFC has Tito Ortiz signed? I'm so sick of his accuses and he is so unsecure about himself.

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

He moves the needle. It's as simple as that. People ask about him, talk about him, hate on him, etc.

Steve (Denver)

is Stuart Scott really so cool?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Never met the man.

John (LA)

I think Ben Henderson could beat Aoki. Agree?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

After this weekend, sure.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

My two cents: Japanese and other foreign fighters have dificulty defending takedowns and controlling fighters who primarily wrestle. Superior jits and striking, inferior wrestling experience (no wrestling teams in school, etc.).

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Important point, Ken.

Chris (Porterville, CA)

Kimbos all show, no substance.

Dan (Parts Unknown)

You can only get one, UFC 113 and UFC 114, which one would you get and why.

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

It would have to be UFC 114. That grudge match between Rashad and Rampage is gonna be ridiculous. It's crazy to think it's only 4-5 weeks away.

angelo (texas )

who is the biggest name at espn you have met?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

Athlete or ESPN personality? As far as ESPN talent goes, probably Chris Berman.

phil (buffalo, ny)

Do you know when jon jones or thiago silva will be fighting next?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

Hopefully each other at UFC 116. But that's pure speculation.

Ben (LA)

Call me crazy but Mousasi just didnt look like himself on saturday. None of the killer instinct we saw against Babalu. I think that had more to do with the fight than king mo.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

I hear you loud and clear. Looked a bit disinterested, or maybe frustrated. Or maybe just fatigued and helpless against a great wrestler.

Scott (Des Moines)

Machida/Shogun 2... eh? or yeah!!

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Yeah! Excited to see Machida's adjustments lead to a convincing W.

Jon Anik
  (2:38 PM)

Alright, MMA heads. Must go prep for MMA Live. Tomorrow, we'll have interviews with Urijah Faber and King Mo Lawal! Check it out at 3ET right here at espn.com. If you have more questions, hit me up on Twitter (Jon_Anik). Until next week, enjoy WEC 48. And please don't text and drive. -JA