Man, what a week in Mixed Martial Arts! Fedor Emelianenko loses for the first time since 2000. And this Saturday night, it's only the biggest heavyweight fight in UFC history at UFC 116. I want your picks on Brock Lesnar-Shane Carwin today. We will have both fighters on MMA Live tomorrow night, 10 PM PT/1 AM ET on ESPN2. Fabricio Werdum will also join us to talk about beating Fedor. Still feels wrong typing that. Alright, let's get going.
I am typing this for FEDOR. He always refused to join the chat but after Saturday he has no problem making a comment and clicking SUBMIT!!!
Hahahaha. Nice way to start us off, Snacks. Huge praise for Werdum and his world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Still can't comprehend why Fedor jumped into his guard twice. Just seemed impatient, and perhaps he thought Werdum was more hurt than he actually was.
Thanks for the chat, Jon. Big fan of Dos Santos, what does he have to gain from his fight with Big Country? He should be right there with Cain for the title shot. Big Country is a step back for JDS.
Thanks, Powerhouse. You are right that Dos Santos has more to lose than gain by facing Big Country. But Roy Nelson has done nothing but win thus far in the UFC, and he is on the fringe of being a heavyweight contender. Junior just has to focus on the present, and his title time will eventually come.
Chost curse continues. Never bet on your pick. Who you got for Brock vs Carwin?
I just finished interviewing Carwin. I'd like to reserve judgment until I speak with Lesnar tomorrow. But you guys need a pick now, so...I think Shane has a good chance to knock Lesnar out. But my gut still tells me Brock can overpower him. As long as the layoff doesn't prove too detrimental, I think Lesnar finds a way to get it done. Now, if I was betting on the fight, I'd probably bet on Carwin as the slight underdog.
Just for everyone's sanity, that did happen on Saturday night, correct?
Hahaha. Just a crazy result for MMA. Everyone eventually meets their match/loses in MMA. Just didn't expect that Fedor's loss would come to a guy that was very forgettable in the UFC.
What's next for Fedor, Brett Rodgers, Big Foot, etc..?
There are only 1-2 possibilities for Fedor, in what'll be his final fight on the 3-fight deal w/ Strikeforce. I think you've got to give him an immediate rematch against Werdum. He deserves it, just like B.J. Penn deserves another crack at Frankie Edgar. A fight against Big Foot Silva doesn't really move the needle, or prove anything. So I hope the rematch is made soon.
Fedor losing makes it more or less likely he fights in the UFC?
I got this question more than any other on Twitter (Jon_Anik) immediately after the fight. I'm not sure the result will be that impactful in terms of him signing with the UFC. But I guess it could help, b/c now Fedor really has something to prove. I still believe he can return to status as the #1 heavyweight in the world.
Put me on the record. Chris Leben will knock out Sexyama Saturday, putting together the best 14 day stretch in (modern) UFC history.
It's amazing how much the Vegas line has moved towards Leben. Opened as a huge dog, b/c he was taking the fight on such short notice. It'll be tough, but he's got a good chance to win.
Now that Fedor has lost in Strikeforce he is eligible for a title shot.
Hahahahaha. Exactly right. It really is too bad, b/c we all envisioned a fight between Fedor and Alistair Overeem. Now, that's an almost impossible sell for Strikeforce. You just can't give Fedor a title shot over Werdum.
Can we finally agree that Fedor is overrated? He hasn't beat anyone. I don't picture him hanging with any of the top UFC heavyweights.
I just don't think that's the case, Sam. I do believe, were he to sign with the UFC, that he would rack up a few losses. When you're fighting the likes of Carwin, Lesnar, Velasquez and Dos Santos in their respective primes, you are gonna lose. But I still love his overall game, his poise, his calm demeanor. I still think he's a Top 10 PFP fighter in the world.
And how cool was the single tap by Fedor? Once he knew he couldn't escape, just needed one quick tap.
Have you heard any news on Mir? Is he waiting for a possible Lesnar loss to set up a third fight?
I think that is probably the case. I'm sure Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir are both impatient for July 3 to arrive, just like Brock and Shane.
No, if Overeem wins, then Fedor can get the next crack.
There ya go. I still think he needs to have one fight in the interim.
Does the winner of Lesnar/Carwin become the #1 ranked heavyweight?
Absolutely. How could he not? Well, I guess Overeem would have a case.
Jon, who do you think Cain would prefer to fight, being as he is waiting in the wings?
Probably Carwin b/c he's a tick smaller. But I'm sure Velasquez thinks he can beat both guys. And I'm not sure I disagree. Many believe Cain is the best heavyweight in the world right now.
Money wise, How much is this gonna cost Fedor in the future?
I think he'll still be just fine. If the UFC still wants him (I'm sure they do), I'm not sure his price will even go down all that much. He is still the best MMA heavyweight of all-time, and to some, the best mixed martial artist in history.
Lensar will take Carwin down with his superior wrestling and mash him up. What are the rest of your 116 picks? I got Leben, Lytle, Sosynski, and Pellegrino.
Really think Lesnar-Carwin could go either way. Other picks are Akiyama, Lytle, Stephan Bonnar and Kurt Pellegrino. Kurt is in the best shape of his life, and needs the performance of his life to beat Sotiropoulos. And I think he's got it in him.
Werdum now has wins over both emelianenko's, alistair overeem, bigfoot, vera, and gonzaga (x2)..and he beat vera and gonzaga when they were both near title shots. Where do you have him ranked?
Certainly in the Top 10, but near the bottom of it. Just have a hard time putting him ahead of the UFC's Big 4 (Carwin, Lesnar, Velasquez, Dos Santos). And Overeem is in better current form, so I have him higher as well.
I didn't tap, I was looking for change in his pocket!
Hahahahaha. Just found it shocking that you'd go back into Werdum's guard after escaping the first time. How about standing up for a few?
What are your thoughts on the huge upset this week? Zoila Frausto over Rosi Sexton in Bellator!!!!!!!!
That was a sick KO, and a great card, top to bottom. Rosi is as nice as they come in MMA. Wishing her a quick recovery.
Is it likely that cutting weight twice in 12 days will further effect Chris Leban's performance? How much does he usually cut? It seems like having to cut so frequently causes all the gas outs on TUF
That's a possibility, but I think having just trained hard for a huge fight will work in his favor. He didn't have time to bulk up after the fight, and is still in great shape. What concerns me is just how hard he had to work to beat Aaron Simpson. It was a grind there for 10 minutes, and it's just hard to turn around so quickly.
You tapped, quiet down.
Is there any truth to the rumor that Brock was walking around at 265 for this camp? If so, you have to think he's in even better shape. Scary.
Closer to 275. But yes, it's true. And when I interviewed him two days before both UFC 91 and UFC 100, he was about 287-289. So the weight cut will be much easier for this fight. Scary for sure.
Jon?.What are the chances of you appearing on ESPN First Take or PTI to hype up UFC 116??
Thanks. I wish my man. Badger them with tweets and e-mails! Could be making an appearance on SportsNation later in the week. Will update on Twitter.
What were your thoughts on the Jan finney/Chistine Cyborg fight?
It's just gonna be so difficult for SF to find viable opponents for Cyborg. Jan Finney is one tough lady, but her face was a punching bag. And the referee, Kim Winslow, looked like she was hammered in there. MMA has come so far, and the sport just doesn't need that unnecessary beating on a major show.
How many more fights does Nick Diaz have on his contract? I'm not a fan of him, but he should come to the UFC, I'd love to see him take on GSP
Not sure buddy. But Diaz likes fighting in Japan and, under the SF banner, he retains that freedom. But as you probably know, Dana White continues to express interest in Diaz, and he will get a strong UFC offer if/when he becomes a free agent.
I can't believe these people are calling a guy who basically won 31 fights in a row "overrated". In a day and age where winning 6 fights in a row is a big deal, these people just boggle my mind.
I agree, JP. I came away from that fight with even more respect and admiration for Fedor. I just remain stunned that he was so impatient and borderline undisciplined early in the fight.
Can you think of any other legitimate outcome this weekend than a TKO victory for Lesnar/Carwin winner?
Not really, Jeff. Can you? Just no possible way it goes the full five rounds. And a submission is absolutely out of the question.
Cyborg is a beast! She needs to fight people who have a Y chromosome!
Hahahahaha. I really, truly believe she should fight Miguel Torres. Kenny Florian has already turned down the fight.
So Dana was asked about Carwin only making 40k to show, and he said something along the lines of, trust me the numbers not accurate, and Shane is making a lot of money for this fight. Is Dana making that up, or do fighters make more behind the scenes that us fans don't know about?
The UFC's generosity extends beyond the reported figures and fight bonuses. Now, Carwin is still below where most think he should be in terms of the base salary. But, no one forced him to sign the contract. And, when he signed it, the figures were probably equitable.
I'm taking a break from writing an essay for my english class for the chat! If Big Country KO's/submits JDS, does that put him inline for a title shot after Velasquez?
Glad we can serve as your respite! If Roy Nelson beats Dos Santos, even by decision, he becomes an instant contender. And don't put it past him, either.
What's next for the winner of Soto-Pellegrino? They'd have to be pretty close to a title shot, right?
For sure. It's a pretty short list at 155, in terms of names ahead of those two. You've got Penn-Edgar, Florian-Maynard, and Evan Dunham. So it's a huge, huge fight at UFC 116.
Whats on tap for the Live?
Interviews with Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin and Fabricio Werdum. Plenty of Fedor talk, as well. And Rashad Evans will be back in Bristol for the first time since his win over Rampage. MMA Live is tomorrow night, 1 AM ET on ESPN2. Set those DVRs! Please and thanks.
Hey Jon, can you ask Brock if he plans on making up for lost time by fighting every 3-4 months for the next year or two? There's plenty of fights we want to see!
I can tell you from past conversations that Lesnar wants to be very active. As you know, he doesn't get to make the call as to who he fights or when. But you can be sure, win or lose, that Brock will want to fight at least once before the end of 2010.
Jon, is has been a long time. Thoughts on Grove vs. Reljic?
Kendall Grove is enigmatic and inconsistent. Should've finished the job against Mark Munoz at UFC 112. Reljic is underrated. Pick 'em fight for me. I'll go with Grove, albeit reluctantly.
Chost, how bout you vs Cyborg at 145. She can only strike left handed, and you start out the 1st round in full mount. Your pay: 50k to show, 200 to win.
How long are you giving me to get ready? Cutting down to 145 would be no problem. But even in full mount, she would buck me off in two seconds. That said, I would take the fight. Make it happen. As long as Kim Winslow isn't in that cage with us.
Cyborg-Also, who ya got?
I'm tired of getting Nascar Tonight or the end of soccer games when I DVR what is supposed to be MMA Live! What is going on?
We are always at the mercy of live events here at ESPN. My best advice, if possible, would be to set your DVRs for at least a one-hour block. Last week, we were delayed 30 minutes because of the World Cup. I recognize it's not ideal (at all), and we appreciate you sticking with us.
Please tell mme how Matyushenko beats Bones Jones
It's gonna be tough. I think he's gotta find a way to force Jones into some bad decisions. Jones' cardio hasn't really been tested (he did go the distance with Bonnar), and if you can make him gas a little bit, who knows? Must try to extend the fight into the latter stages. Just not sure how you go about doing that.
Chost, I have MMALive set to record every time it's on. To bad most of the time it's Baseball tonight instead.
I know man. Just set the DVR for 90 minutes or so, and you'll get it whenever it airs. Apologies!
Until MMA snuffs out the prolonged ground game tactics that bog down a fight, it will not become mainstream. Do you agree?
I think referees are becoming increasingly more willing to stand up a fight that lacks action on the ground. It's a fine line, though, b/c we've also seen fights get stood up inexplicably, when a fighter is actually doing work on the ground. But you are right, that many, many casual fans, are turned off by the ground game. They don't understand it, nor are they patient enough or willing enough to learn about it.
I don't care what the ufc hype machine is telling us, but ufc 116 is a weak card. 117 and 118 are both twice as good, on paper
I agree that 117 and 118 have far greater depth. But who really needs more at UFC 116? You make the purchase for Lesnar-Carwin. Can't remember being this jacked up for a single MMA fight since we started doing MMA Live.
Is Lesnar really prepared to stand up with Carwin or is he going to take it to ground and pound every chance he gets?
I think his best strategy is to go for takedowns and try to work the ground and pound. Carwin is a better boxer, and might even have more power in his hands. But Brock has been working on the technical aspects of boxing with Florian's coach, Peter Welch. And even though I'm told there is plenty of work still to do, Lesnar has made strides. We shall see.
Over/under... 2mil PPVs on Sat
Under. But not by much. I say 1.8.
I know I ask this each chat....but are there any more rumors for UFC 119 here in Indy?
Nothing just yet, but should have something for you soon. McNeil has been tight-lipped with me of late! But keep asking...
Has big is Shane Carwin in person? Like, would you say he fills up a door way more than Mir/Lashley/someone like that?
Not quite as tall as Mir, but every bit as wide. As you may remember, I said it was amazing how much bigger Mir was than Lashley. Saw them both in the same doorway. Mir almost filled it. Lashley wasn't close. Carwin isn't an inch taller than 6'2".
You are predicting just under 2 mil PPV buys and not correcting a guy when he states that MMA isn't "mainstream"?
Depends how you quantify mainstream. Soccer isn't even considered mainstream by some, yet it's the biggest sport in the world. I actually think MMA/UFC has recently surpassed the NHL in terms of the size of the fanbase. But there is far more ignorance when it comes to MMA than there is NHL hockey. Make sense, John, or no?
Fedor-Lashley. Who WOULDN'T watch that?
Tell Lashley to take his shirt off then try telling me Mir towers him...
You tell him to take his shirt off.
How hard is it to rank the HW's now? Werdum beat 2 top 10's in his last fights but was so-so in the UFC, Fedor has only lost 1 of 30, Lesnar is only 5-1 and Carwin has a few cans on his resume... is the HW scene right now the hardest division to rank ever?
Not only is it difficult to rank guys, but much more importantly, the division is as deep and talented as it has ever been. These are good times for MMA.
Is Stephan Bonnar vs Krzysztof Soszynski REALLY on the main card? And Matt Brown? The MAIN CARD? Not the spike prelims?
Don't love the Matt Brown-Chris Lytle fight as a main card entry. But I do think Bonnar-Soszynski is worthy. The Polish Experiment is on a nice little tear, and Bonnar is a big name. I've heard the main event is a pretty good one, so I'm not as concerned with the rest of the fare.
where will Lebron end up? I say 2 year deal in CLE to save face, then bolts for the Brooklyn Nets
You must check out our ESPN Fantasy Free Agency Predictor. Closes at midnight. Get your picks in today! I think LeBron wants to play in Miami and he wants to play with Chris Bosh. I think they'll eventually end up in Chicago. If I were James, I would go to the Knicks. Resuscitating that franchise would be the ultimate win. May take some time, though.
Who cares about Lebron? Tell me how does Leben win?
Not unlike how he beat Simpson. Weather the early storm, and use his toughness to his advantage.
surprised to see Carwin at +120 considering Brock will have a lot of cage rust
The line keeps moving. Seems as though most of the money is coming in on Shane Carwin. And most of the media/fans I've talked to are picking Shane as well.
Have you heard if Mir is still considering an attempt to make 205? I don't see how he could possibly do so, but wish him success if he somehow accomplishes it.
Not gonna happen.
Will MMA Live be on XBOX live now that ESPN signed that deal with Microsoft?
Not sure, Nelson. Feel free to send that question to email@example.com and I will follow it up.
Quick reminder- the shorter your questions, the more likely they are to be answered. Don't want to waste your time by reading essays. Thanks.
if he did make the cut do you think it would be alot like james irvin who tried to go at 185
That's a good analogy. I just can't see how Mir cuts down to 205. Unless he just fasts.
Chost! The Iceman is still reluctant to retire. Do you think we will see him in the cage again? As a follow-up, who would you like Tito to face when he returns in the fall?
I find it very hard to believe the UFC will let Liddell fight again. I know Miguel Torres and others think he deserves to go out on a high note. But a third fight against Tito Ortiz is not a guaranteed win, and I just don't see the upside. As for Ortiz, I think he's cooked, too.
Rampage's next fight...Forest?Lil Nog?Machida?
I think it will be Forrest Griffin. Rampage told me point blank that's the fight he has asked for. But, I also have a reliable source telling me it won't be Griffin. So David, your guess is as good or better than mine.
any news about dan hardy and who he fights next?
Carlos Condit at UFC 120.
if shogun goes on the shelf for a few months..... does rashad stay active or does he just not risk losing????
If Rashad is guaranteed a title shot against Shogun, I think he'll be content to lay back in the cut and cash those MMA Live checks!
Is Couture going back down to 205 after Toney?
TBD. But that's the expectation.
PPV #s for Lesnar v Carwin will be below expectations. No hype from mainstream talking heads or radio, weak card = no PPV buys from casual fans.
I think every PPV that features Brock Lesnar is a slam dunk for 1 million buys. And, while I have been a little surprised at the lack of mainstream media attention, I think you'll see a big uptick this week. Not sure the weak card will play as much of a role as you do. What is your prediction for PPV buys?
I was gonna throw a big July 4th (3rd) party for the UFC event. W/ the card the way it is, I am going to a bar instead. Casual fans weren't that interested, even here in Brock's home state.
Respect your decision. But I am absolutely geeked for this fight, and I don't need a stacked main card to keep me amped. Actually gonna see a broadway show in NYC as an appetizer and to kill time. Then will rifle home for 116. Cannot wait.
FINALLY! Ready for Saturday Chost...is going to be like the old school Viking wars back in the day. If Carwin wins, how long until we see a rematch?
I'm not sure you will see an immediate rematch. Cain Velasquez has been kept out of action since February for a reason. And the great Kevin Iole said to me more than a year ago, he thinks we are gonna see several fights involving the troika of Lesnar-Carwin-Velasquez. Will be just like the old days in boxing when the best heavyweights kept running into each other.
...not sure if Lesnar has an immediate rematch clause. Would suprise me if he did, b/c of how they've chosen to handle Velasquez.
I think there was some overestimation of Brock's contribution to the 100 PPV buy and perhaps some underestimation of Mir's contribution. Casual fans seem less interested in Carwin than they were in Mir as Brock's opponent.
Fair point. Time will tell.
Lesnar should draw 1 million buys, but NOWHERE near 1.8 mill. Dana missed the boat here not showcasing Jon Jones, Phil Davis, etc. on this card. Heck, I would've put Thiago Silva vs. Tim Boestch on the main card of 116.
Like the passion and the opinion. We'll see.
if brock loses, would you want to see mir v lesnar 3?
Not really. I guess it would depend how he loses, but Lesnar has dominated Mir twice essentially, even though he lost one of them.
UFC 117 is Team America vs. Team Brazil. Sonnen, Fitch, Nelson, Hughes, Guida vs. Silva, Alves, Dos Santos, Almeida and Dos Anjos. It's the Ryder Cup of UFC!
Like it. A lot.
Any truth to Bautista going to Strikeforce? When did the WWE become the minor leagues to MMA?
Not sure. We've sort of steered clear of that story. Doesn't pique my interest at all.
Even your company isn't sending you to Vegas for 116. That's how unhyped it is.
There were a lot of variables and factors that I can't get into, but it's definitely disappointing. Florian and McNeil will be there, but there won't be any MMA Live coverage. I'm pretty crushed about it, actually.
When is Mir expected to fight again?
Before the end of the year. And Mir could be with us tomorrow on MMA Live. Would make sense- he's the last guy to face both Carwin and Lesnar.
ESPN UK is having massive coverage from what I read. Is that accurate?
Yes. Check out my Twitter feed (Jon_Anik) for the link to the exact schedule. ESPNUK is blowing it out with past UFC fights, MMA Live running twice, and of course the prelims and PPV. Wish I lived in England.
No love for the Dream.15 card? .Overeem, Aoki, and Mousasi. Thats better than some of the UFC cards this year
Plenty of love. Just hard to find time on MMA Live to give all the major shows the coverage they deserve. Even WEC 49, which I thought was the card of the year thus far, had to be pushed to our final block last week. We need an hour!
Do you see any broad-reaching effects of the MMA death that occured in SC over the weekend?
I think it's an important opportunity to educate. Even though MMA is not as violent or dangerous as boxing or football, it is still violent and it is still dangerous. I'm just thankful that instances like this are few and far between in MMA. I've covered at least one boxing death in my career, and this is only the second MMA death in a sanctioned event. Ever.
What's up with NY shooting down MMA? Their missing out on a lot of revenue, aren't they?
Progess is being made. I think by this time next year we will be talking about the first card at Madison Square Garden. And once that happens, look out. MMA will be all the rage. You watch.
Do you like the idea of Mir toying around with 205?
No. He's a massive, massive man. If he really does it, I'm gonna try to cut down to 130.
Do you like the idea of Mir toying around with 205?
do you think the UFC will have a big even in dallas again, hopefully at jerry world!!
Dana White has actually said the UFC will do a show at Cowboys Stadium before the year is out. That might be ambitious, but it's gonna happen at some point soon.
Chael Sonnen: best trash talker in MMA?
He's among the best. Still give the nod to Mir. His performance in the UFC 100 Countdown show was HOF level.
Is Mir off of covering WEC? Was he suspended or replaced by Kenny long term?
I believe Stephan Bonnar is the replacement for Mir. Kenny worked WEC 49 because Bonnar is training for a fight.
No, progress is not being made. MMA sanctioning was stripped from the budget proposal. Thanks Bob Reilly!
Must've happened in the last week or so. That's too bad. Last I read, the bill had passed through state senate by a vote of 30-26 and was moving on to another committee.
Chost, you're a betting man: HONESTLY, don't you think Fedor and M1 threw the fight to cash in on a mountain of rubles by betting the house of Werdum, before Overeem beats him?Thanks.
You are certainly not the only one to scream conspiracy theory. But I am not in that camp at all. Fedor's stunned reaction tells you all you need to know. He just played right into Werdum's hands. Overestimated how hurt Werdum was, and maybe underestimated his BJJ prowess/finishing ability.
Yeah it just happened the other day. It made it through the senate but died shortly after.
Does Kenny make the UFC HOF even if he doesn't win a title?
Good question. He's become one of the faces of the UFC, whether you think I'm all over his jock or not. I think he at least needs to get a third title shot to warrant HOF induction. And he might even need to win the belt. Good debate. What about Rich Frankli? Slam dunk?
fight of the night at 116?
Chances of you answering why MMA fighters have large heads?
Don't have an answer for ya man! Rashad doesn't have a big mug.
Does Kenny make the UFC HOF if he DOES when a title?
Yes. UFC record is terrific, and he's got a ton of finishes that really help his case.
I'm a huge KenFlo fan. But he would need to win and hold the belt a bit to warrant a vote from me for HOF. It's supposed to be for greatness. Not for very very goodness. He can do it though.
So what about Rich Franklin? Former champ. A ton of KO wins, etc.
Is Leben a contender if he wins 2 fights in 14 days?
Yes, in large part b/c those wins will have come against two highly-qualified middleweights.
Kenny makes the Anik HOF on the first ballot.
Brad I disagree! There are a ontof people in the HOF in Basketball, football, etc. who never sniff a title.
So does Chuck get one more fight? I watched his pride fight with Guy Meztger the other day and it's shocking how many huge shots he took from Guy comparted to the pitty pat KO from Franklin.
Don't think the UFC will let him fight again. But we heard that the last time, too.
Thanks for the extra time today, ladies. Gotta go prep for MMA Live. Lesnar, Carwin, Werdum, and maybe even Mir tomorrow on MMA Live, 10 PM PT on ESPN2! If I missed your question, fire it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or try me on Twitter (Jon_Anik). Enjoy Lesnar-Carwin, and we'll chat again next week. Until then, eat wings, and don't text and drive. -JA