Good day ladies. Happy to be back from Las Vegas and back with you for another chat. I'm starting a little early today...here until about 2 PM ET to recap UFC 114 and look ahead to the rest of the month in MMA. Let's vent.
Anik, what shakin' brother? First congrats on the extension through August - now in July we'll hear that it is going to be a permanent show on the roster. Second, good weekend for you Rashad wins, Hatsu Hioki beat Lion Takeshi for the SHOOTO strap - Good UFC, Good DREAM (Hellboy getting KO'ed), Very good Shooto event - - thoughts on the weekend overall?
I share your sentiments, Rob. Still haven't watched DREAM. 14, but I have it on the DVR and will get caught up Thursday night. As for UFC 114, Rashad did exactly what he needed to do to win. I re-watched the main event while here at ESPN on Monday night. Rampage whiffed on three huge right hands when Rashad was in trouble. Had any of those three punches landed, we could be having a very different conversation today.
What's next for Rampage? I would like to see him fight Machida. What do you think, Jon?
I think that is exactly what is gonna happen. I also hope to see Rampage and Evans rematch at some point soon.
Rampage vs Machida next? What does the winner of that get?
I think the winner could conceivably get a title shot against the Shogun-Rashad winner.
Franklin beats Liddell Couture beats Toney i got Franklin vs Couture November this year!!! Franklin will win that TOO!
Very real possibility. Franklin-Couture would've likely already been scheduled had Tito Ortiz not pulled out of the fight with Liddell.
What did you think of UFC 114? I thought it was a good card and good main event and don't understand the complaints.
I'm right there with ya, J.D. I thought it was a great card. A lot of action (Hathaway-Sanchez was ridiculous) and I thought the main event was entertaining, offered some nice back-and-forth. A lot of fans have no appreciation for Rashad's wrestling and the speed with which he executes his takedowns. I do.
Is ESPN going to consider airing MMA live before and after major events on a regular basis? Something tells me ESPN 2 would have brought in many more viewers had they decided to air MMA live before this weekends event instead of Lacrosse.
That's the hope, Joe. MMA Live at UFC 114 was our seventh live event, and hopefully at some point we have a major presence at all UFC PPVs and other big shows.
Do you find Rashad annoying?
Nope. He's much more humble than you'd think and has been consistent with me from day one. Plus, he takes his MMA Live television work very seriously. Always trying to get better and work on his game.
You seem to hate on the Celtics on your twitter page. Are you trying to reverse jinx them?
Hahahahahahaha. Oftentimes I'm disgusted when I tweet about the Celtics, but I am a fan and former season-ticket holder. As most of you know, though, I am an unabashed Kobe fan. My heart will be with the C's in the Finals, but there would be worse things for me than to see Kobe get a fifth ring. I want him to pass Jordan.
What's good Chost?? Great job Saturday night!!! Don't you hate hearing people say Evans should have stood and banged more with Rampage?!?! Don't you think his game plan was exactly the right game plan?? He fought to his strengths and not Rampage's and got a BIG win!
Hi Kate! Thanks for watching Saturday night. I couldn't agree with you more. I thought Rashad's game plan was tight, as was his execution. Win first, entertain second. It's gotta be in that order.
Does it seem to you that GSP is trying to fight as little as possible to avoid a marketing nightmare for his sponsers in the event that he loses??????? The California kid has lost some his marketable appeal after a couple of losses.
Perhaps that is part of it. GSP also doesn't fight that often because he wants to ensure that he is fully healthy and in prime form to win. He is ultra-focused on his welterweight legacy, and any loss would jeopardize his goal, to be the best 170-pounder of all time.
What's the latest and greatest on Dana attempting to sign Jake Shield?? I would love to see him fight Hardy in London!!!
I believe Shields is under contract to Strikeforce until June 15th. Wouldn't be surprised if he signed a UFC contract a day later. Ran into Jake cageside at UFC 114.
Great job as always on the post-fight show, Jon. What are your feelings re: Brilz-Lil' Nog fight? I had Brilz winning all 3 rounds and even getting a 10-8.
Thank you. I scored it 29-28 for Brilz. I've seen more egregious scoring in the past, but I certainly thought he won the fight. But you know what, the controversy actually may help him more than a win over Lil Nog would have. Now, people feel badly for the guy and will root hard for him. The majority of fans didn't know who Jason Brilz was before Saturday night. Now, they do.
Where does Belfort fit in the mix at 205? Give him Belchar? Tough to give him the next shot with such little UFC experience and inactivity.
I'd like to see him fight Michael Bisping.
What's up JA? With Pellegrino - Sotiropolos, Lesnar - Carwin, Silva - Akiyama, Sosynzski - Bonnar, Lytle - Brown there are five FON candidates on the main card alone. I can't ever remember being this amped up for a card. Outside of Lesnar - Carwin which fight are you most excited for?
Right there with ya bud. And thanks for returning to the chat! Pellegrino-Sotiropoulos tops my list. The importance of that fight at 155 is underrated by many. Winner will be in a great spot.
Where did you sit for the fights?
Sat with Kenny Florian, just a couple rows from the Octagon. Moved back up to the MMA Live set prior to Bisping-Miller fight.
Hey, Anik. Long time. Question about the show on ESPN 2. It seems like every episode since the switch to regular TV has been brimming over with great guests. Seems like a good problem to have, but do you feel the wealth of fighters all appearing on the same episode prevents you from spending the same amount of interview time with any one person?
Hi Peter. Time is always a factor, especially so now that we are on ESPN2. We only have about 22-23 minutes of content. So oftentimes you will see scaled down or shorter interviews. We still do an extended version for espn.com, but we are always fighting the clock. Hopefully down the line we will be on more than one day/week.
How does being at a fight compare to watching it on TV? I've never been to a live event, but I assume it's hard to see the action.
It depends on where you're sitting. But the UFC has huge screens throughout the arena that are helpful. It's definitely a different take sitting right on the cage, compared to on the MMA Live set. Sometimes I feel as though I catch more of the action when I'm home, but I'd much rather be in the building. That place was on fire Saturday night.
@ rodney - - there's nothing like it. The atmosphere is worth the price of admission.
Hey Jon do you agree with Dana when he said John Jones wasent ready for a title shot yet? Cause its funny cause John Jones has kicked everyones butt he's faced but Dana White gives Brock a title shot after just 2 fights in the UFC.
I think Jon Jones is ready to face the best 205ers in the world. I know he's young, but when you're ready, you're ready. He still has a lot to work on, but so does Rashad Evans. You never stop improving in MMA. All of that said, I understand why the UFC is proceeding cautiously.
any chance a Melendez vs Alvarez fight would happen? your pick please as well
Snacks. Good to have you back. I'm not sure a Melendez-Alvarez fight will ever come to fruition. Which promotion would it be contested under? Would both belts be on the line? Does Strikeforce have anything to gain by allowing Melendez to fight on a Bellator show? Just a lot of variables that would interfere with that fight being put together. Were it to go down, I would back Eddie Alvarez. Still got a little Bellator in my heart.
Brock was a full grown man w/ years of amateur wrestling experience. Jones is still a baby in the sport, there is no need to rush him. Rushing him and putting him in spots he isn't ready for will shorten his career.
That is true. But if he keeps wrecking dudes, eventually you gotta strike while the iron is hot. If he loses to Matyushenko, it may be 2-3 years before he sniffs the title picture again. So, there is some (albeit less) risk in waiting.
Hey Chost...how bout the performance of "The Snake" on Saturday? I picked him to win, but was a little nervous when he got dropped. Who do you think he gets next? He's 36 so the time is now to move him along.
Still haven't seen the fight b/c we were on the air when it went down. Feel great for Diabate and excited to see it.
Hey Jon love the show and the chat. I know Rashad is fast but Shogun is just as quick and throws vicious kicks, I think Rashad will have to come with a different game plan than darting in and out. Thoughts?
Thanks, Greg. I agree with you that there won't be the speed discrepancy if and when Rashad fights Shogun. But Evans will make the requisite adjustments. I still think wrestling will be at the core of the gameplan.
How awesome are Randy's ears in person?
Great ears. I'm sure it's fun for the audio guy.
Chost, Is Dan Miller really in danger of being cut? He's lost three in a row, but to top guys!
I don't think Miller will be cut. I love his toughness and versatility. He's been in a lot of high-action fights and, as you say, he's not losing to slouches. Plus, he had some outside-the-cage interferences that I trust will be taken into account. He should get at least one more fight in the UFC.
Jon, Great job this weekend. Do you think Dana's dislike for Kos is completely real? I am not doubting that he isn't best friends with him, but I get the feeling he's trying to sell him as a "heel" before TUF with GSP. Thoughts?
Good question, DJ. There is no doubt some of Dana's dislike is organic. But I don't think you can play up enough the heel angle. Anyone is a heel when they're fighting GSP, and I am genuinely excited for Season 12 of TUF and the fight between GSP and Kos.
What's gonna be the bigger feud on TUF 12, Kos/GSP, or Kos/Dana?
It'll be Kos-GSP. Koscheck will grind St. Pierre's gears, and I think we might see a side of Georges we haven't seen before.
1st Evans vs Shogun; then Rampage vs Machida- assuming J Jones gets by Matyshenko would it be out of line to look at him against the winner Rampage vs Machida? Or is that TOO big of a step?
You're talking to a guy who would like to see Jones on a faster track. So, no problem with it.
Would you vote for Chael Sonnen if you lived in his district?
Absolutely. Especially if he ran uncontested, as I believe was the case in Oregon. You might be seeing Chael Sonnen on an MMA Live set in the not-too-distant future.
Who's the best MMA-turned-thespian? Cung-Le was great in Pandorum. Gina Carano would look good on a view master. Iffy: Rampage, Rich Franklin, Randy Coutoure.
I think Rampage will be the answer, but the A-Team movie doesn't come out until June 11th.
Jon, is there any way the world can force Wlad and Vitali Klitschko to fight one another?
Hahaha. Won't ever happen. And I don't really care to see brothers fight each other, unless their last name is Lauzon. Let's get teammates to fight each other, and then we can work on brothers.
Do you get any time to hang out in Vegas? Do you even want to when working?
It's a business trip for me. I was able to unwind a little bit on Saturday after the post-fight show. But I've gotta be focused and I've gotta be fresh. That's why I went to Vegas for Mayweather-Mosley on my own dime, so I could relax and enjoy that great city.
No wonder Chael Sonnen is getting into politics. All he does is talk crap.
And he's pretty good at it...
Are you going to have my fav fighter the axe murderer on MMA live anytime soon.
We had him on at UFC 108. What a fan favorite that dude is. Hopefully, we'll talk to him before his next fight.
You know why no one roots for rashad? He talks about knocking a guy out for a year, but then leans on him against a fence for 15 minutes when he actually gets in the cage...
That's a fair point.
To Kieran in Syracuse: If you take the cuss out of your questions, I can answer them. Thanks.
Glad to be back in the chat. Any chance we see Rampage/Griffin II?
And we're glad to have you back. I think there is a great possibility we will see Rampage-Griffin II. I think it's a fight Jackson wants and will push for.
So what's going on with Luiz Cane? I had him almost on top of the lhw division until his 2 losses in a row via ko/tko due to strikes. How does he recover and what is next for him?
Back to the drawing board. It's been a precipitous fall from possible contender to fighting for his UFC life. He needs a win, and I'd imagine his next opponent will be beatable. Maybe he gets Jason Brilz.
So much for the Snuggie that Rashad sent to Rampage. He should have sent it to me for that boring display of running and clinching the entire time. I guess Rashad is just all talk and knows his stand up is OVERRATED like no others.
I think you bring up a good point, but it's also very easy for us non-fighters to criticize fighters. Part of Rashad's pre-fight commentary was calculated. And I'm sure you knew, as he did, that his best chance to win the fight was to take Rampage down.
come on chost you and your brother have never come to blows before?
I used to beat the tar out of my little brother, Dave. And I used to violate a lot of UFC rules in the process. Now, he's 6'1" and I don't go there.
how many buys did UFC 114 do?
Some have reported early numbers north of 900,000. I wouldn't be surprised to see the final number come in well over one million. Can't begin to tell you how many people in my life who aren't MMA fans approached me about this fight. Master promotion.
Jon, Do you know if Fedor vs. Werdum is a 5 round fight for that WAMMA belt? You are a "WAMMA Guy"...inquiring minds want to know!
No idea. I haven't associated with WAMMA in over a year. I'm sure someone in this chat room knows the answer.
Whats will all the Rashad hate? He decisively beat Rampage, when many thought he couldn't. This might actually be the best Rashad we have seen yet. Dude deserves respect.
Glad to have you in here to balance things out. Most impressive to me was the fact that he came back and won the third round after getting stunned. I scored it 30-27 for Evans and thought it was a terrific performance.
How impressive was Diabate, seemed like after he got his wake up call he couldn't miss with anything he threw...
So I've heard...was on the air while the fight was going on. Perhaps that's why it was loud and I couldn't hear Couture.
How is the post-fight prep different than how you normally get ready for Live?
Good question. We don't get a chance to look at the highlights, so that is somewhat challenging. Post-fight is usually pretty chaotic, because of all the adjustments that are made on the fly. But there is no rush for me quite like doing live TV. I'd imagine fighting is more of a rush, but I'm not a fighter.
Todd Duffee = LOL
LOL. Randy Couture said that could've been the biggest comeback in UFC history.
Diabate is a smooth criminal
Yeah he is.
Shaq vs Liddell 2012..who you got?
Diesel. Although, the Iceman appears to be rededicated for this fight w/ Rich Franklin. Dude is chiseled.
If you haven't heard I lost my parlay because of the bad scoring with the little nog vs brilz fight! How did you do on the ESPN Pick 'Ems? I was at like 80%. Not my most impressive performance. Who will be on MMALive tomorrow?
Wow. That's crazy. Had Brilz won, you would've hit your parlay? That's tough stuff. Feel for you. Haven't checked MMA Live Pick 'Em yet, but I didn't do well on the prelims.
Usual suspects tomorrow on MMA Live. Me, Kenny, and the F-Mac. Might also have Bellator welterweight finalist Dan Hornbuckle. Still fluid.
Jon - love the chats. General UFC question: Have they ever looked into making non-title fights more than 3 rounds? It just seems like so many times fights just start to get momementum, and they're over. Rampage/Evans on Saturday was the perfect example of that.
It's an athletic commission issue. I'd love to see all main events be five rounders. But I'm not sure we'll ever see it.
Did you see yourself on the Primetime episode yet? Looking sharp.
Hahahaha. Thanks man.
Pat Berry vs Cro Cop. Who do you like and why?
Will give you my UFC 115 predictions next week. Leaning towards the youth and power over the experience.
9-2 in the pick'em - - freaking duffee and rampage.....:shakes heads:
Wow. Good for you. I think we had 10-12 people who went 11-0. We need to hire them for MMA Live.
Buy/Sell: Winner of Kampmann vs. Thiago gets first crack at Jake Shields?
I'll buy it, but think the UFC might sell it. I think Paulo Thiago is a wrecking ball, and might beat Shields. That would interfere with a GSP-Shields encounter.
Chost, How big a step up in competion do you see the UFC giving Hathoway? I was impressed with the youngster!
John Hathaway is my new favorite fighter. Just wait until he fills out that frame. I'd like to see him fight Dong Hyun-Kim.
I live in Chicago and am now terrified of Russow apprehending me some day.
Hahaha. Go Blackhawks.
Shouldn't fans be angry at Rampage for not being ready for Rashad's takedowns instead of being angry at Rashad for playing to his strength?
...or they should be disappointed that Rampage showed up at camp pushing 250 lbs. As Jake Rossen points out in his blog this week, MMA is not a part-time sport/endeavor. Can't just take 450 days off and expect to win.
Chost, Looks like Evan Dunham is +300 for his 115 fight with Griffin. Nice value on that line...
Me getting a question answered is going to take a miracle the likes of which hasn't been seen since the third round of Russow-Duffee.
We're crowded today bud. Moving as fast as I can.
How about this idea.... James Toney vs Kimbo Slice..... FOR A JOB!!!! I love it!!
A lot of folks thought we would see that.
Stun Gun could make a serious run...his take downs and grappling looked very stellar vs. Amir.
He was definitely one of the nights biggest winners. Total domination.
think machida will get in rampage's head too? i like ramage to bully machida in the cage if that fight goes down
Rampage's biggest advantage in that fight could just be that he'll be a more active fighter. He needs to fight every 3-4 months to be at his best. That fight is high on my wish list.
I think Thiago gets Kos again regardless of the GSP fight outcome.
A distinct possibility. But Thiago has to make sure he doesn't lose in the interim. I see Paulo Thiago as perhaps the most legitimate threat to GSP's reign. He's just scratching the surface.
I'm happy the Korean Zombie seems to be a huge fan favorite now. The guy is awesome.
Yeah, and he got a nice bump from Dana White, who wore his fight shirt at the UFC 113 weigh-ins. Korean Zombie t-shirts were all the rage at the UFC Fan Expo.
What's the biggest single fight the UFC could put on with the current roster?
GSP-Anderson Silva or Lesnar-Mir III. Lesnar-Carwin is right up there, too. Shane has a lot of momentum, and just wait until you see how many experts will pick him to beat Brock. I also think Rampage-Evans II would do sick business.
hey Chost! Did randy realize Bisping had his headset on when he called him out about his "foot in mouth" comments that he shoots to fans?
No, he didn't. Made for good theatre though.
If BJ beats Frankie in Boston or should I say when BJ beats Frankie... will he make the permanent move to 170 or was the loss at abu dabi humbling/difficult enough to warrant his staying around at 155?
I think the loss warrants a longer stay at 155, regardless of how dominant he might be in the rematch.
who would you have Duffee fight next to get his confidence back?
Mike Russow again.
I'm going to keep sending this question till I get an answer. Why did you guys talk during half of the weigh-ins on Friday? You guys had talked for about 30 minutes about the same things over and over again, and then talked right through half of the weigh-ins. Dissappointing!!
Because we get a new audience on ESPNEWS, we reset the main event and cater to that audience. It's a balancing act, and obviously we haven't found the right solution. I'd prefer not to break away from the weigh-ins, but that's what we do right now and it's out of my control. Appreciate the feedback. We do recognize it's not ideal.
How was the Fan fest?
What a sick scene. Over 125,000 people were there. I stopped by for about an hour on Friday. Because it was at Mandalay Bay and the fights were at MGM Grand, I couldn't go on Saturday. Would've liked to. I got to meet a lot of MMA Live fans, which is the best part of the job.
Duffee's twitter account Sunday: What no mulligan?
Who would you say is "the face" of UFC right now? GSP? Brock? Dana?
It's one of those three. I do think Dana White is the biggest name in the sport and Brock is Brock. But GSP is probably the guy I would consider to be the face of the UFC. Good question.
Jon, thanks for a great MMA Live following UFC 114 for my graduation gift. Does the 115 card appear to look as deep to you as it does on paper? Any time Tyson Griffin is fighting on Prelims for free is a must watch.
Congratulations. Glad we could be a part of your night. UFC 115 is better than a lot of people are acknowledging, but the top of the card is a tad underwhelming.
JA, I couldn't believe the size advantage Hathaway had over Diego. If Rumble can get back down to 170, I think that is the match. What do you think?
Hathaway is gonna be a force for some time. Again, he can still put on a lot of size and has a great frame for MMA. Not sure he's quite ready for Rumble, but we'll see.
Paulo, Chost is the face of the UFC!!!!!!!
Hahahaha. Not. So. Much.
Is Strikeforce missing the boat on some of their prospects by keeping them on Challengers shows? Tyron Woodley, Roger Bowling and others should be on the undercard of the big shows, don't you think?
What do you think of the UFC offering a bonuses to any fight that doesn't go the distance? Just drop the Fight of the Night and give out $10,000-$15,000 to anyone who finishes their fight...
Diego didn't chant "YES!" and had a less then positive result. Coincidence?
Great observation. Was definitely a factor.
Don't tell Dana, but for the first time I think the prelims on Spike may backfire...if Dunham - Griffin was on PPV I would probably have to buy it, but without it, that card is just weak enough, and just close enough to 114 that I will pass. Thanks Dana!
Dunham-Griffin is certainly PPV-worthy.
Last call...and I mean it today. Got time for two more questions.
Best nickname in MMA? Worst?
Best nickname is The Arm Collector. Worst nickname is The Athlete. Or Ken-Flo. :)
Hey Jon! Do you think Jon Jones fighting Matyuschenko is a step down in the 205 division? Wouldnt it be more obvious for him to fight Griffin or Thiago Silva maybe? What are your thoughts?
As we say every week in here, the UFC is proceeding cautiously with Jon Jones. Building him up is not necessarily a mistake. I just hope he keeps winning, b/c there are a lot of dream matchups at 205 for Bones.
Better comeback: Le-Smith, Radach-Smith, or Duffee-Russow?
Love the question. For me, it's gotta be Scott Smith against Benji Radach.
Man, I've missed the chat for too long. What's with the Chost nickname?
Hahahahaha. Was given to me by my twin brother. It stands for chubby host. He's started an epidemic.
Who's on your "Mt. Rushmore" of MMA? I have Royce Gracie and Fedor, but the other two spots... Dana, Couture, Anderson Silva, Iceman, Penn?
Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell and Dana White. Fedor, B.J. Penn, and GSP all have strong cases as well. This is always an interesting topic, and there is no right answer.
id love to see my name in this chat
If James Toney shocks the world in Boston, does he get a title shot? Gotta strike while the iron's hot . . .
No chance. If he wins, I'd like to see him face Rousimar Palhares or Demian Maia and have them snap off a limb.
Chost - - - you gonna do me like that?
Isn't GSP already the greatest WW champion of all time? What else does his legacy need?
Some still think Matt Hughes holds that distinction. I gave GSP the nod for good after UFC 111.
Toney vs Rampage!!!
GSP would only be on Rushmore half as much as everyone else throughout the year...gotta protect that legacy, ya know...
I dont think I would order Mir Lesnar III without something else on the card
I think you'd be in the minority. Just give Mir five minutes on a Primetime show and you'll buy it.
How's Ken Flo's mindset for Maynard?? Florian, best fighter!
He's not revealing any trade secrets. But Kenny is as confident as ever. A lot of that has to do w/ the fact that he's more confident in his camp/trainers than ever before.
You never got my ? who wins? Fedor or the elite's in the UFC?
Good question. I think it depends on the matchup. What I can tell you is, if Fedor had to fight the likes of Lesnar, Carwin, Velasquez, Mir and Dos Santos, he would lose at least once or twice.
How can someone not root for Roy Nelson? Everyone knows that Dana hates him and is trying to throw him to the dogs, would love to see him gte Santos in the crucifix.
I would love to see Roy Nelson get by Santos. It'll be tough.
Umm...didn't Mir just get his face ripped off-- again?
Yes, and he's no longer in the top four of UFC heavyweights. But he's still dangerous.
What is THE MMA dream match up right now? Liddell/Franklin?
Definitely not Liddell-Franklin. In terms of the fights that are on the schedule, it's gotta be Lesnar-Carwin, July 3rd a UFC 116.
Roy Nelson ate my question.
Let's give Nick Diaz some love for his textbook sub on Saturday, and then inviting the Japanese fans to visit him in Lodi, CA. He's the best.
Huge Nick Diaz fan here.
Can I end the chat too? DVD Pick of the Week: PRIDE Total Elimination 2005 - - Overeem/Belfort, Hendo/Minotoro in a war, Shogun/Rampage (which we may still see the rematch) and WAND/Hidehiko Yoshida. Casuals would totally enjoy these fights.
Yes you can my friend. Thanks to all for the many submissions today. Another chat next Weds. at 1PM ET/10 AM PT. Hope to see you for MMA Live tomorrow at 1AM ET on ESPN2. In case you hadn't heard, MMA Live has been extended thru August on ESPN2. Thanks for the support. Y'all helped make it happen! Until next week, be safe. And don't text and drive. -JA
Chost its my B-DAY tomorrow!! I got myself fan expo and UFC 114 tickets. Can I get a MMA live shout-out? How about just a chat shout-out?
Happy Birthday! I'm out.