What's the good word? Pumped and jacked for another MMA chat here at ESPN.com. Quick programming note- MMA Live is on ESPN2 tomorrow night at 1AM ET/10 PM PT. I've got a 1-on-1 with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and we'll also be joined by heavyweight contender Big Country Roy Nelson. Alright, let's vent.
who will fight the loser of roy nelson and jds
Shane Carwin is a good possibility.
Hey man, what ever happened to the MMA Live pick'em game?? I loved that game
Hopefully it'll rear its ugly head at some point soon. Perhaps for UFC 118 in Boston. The participation has been strong. A lot stronger than my predictions.
Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones in 12 months. Who you got?
Good question. If you factor in Jon Jones' expected improvement, he'd have a great shot. Heck, he's probably got a decent chance if they fight right now. Tough call.
With jon jones now destroying everyone that entered his path, do you see him fighting the winner of the rampage/machida fight? Or will they just match him against a lower ranked 205 such as griffin, bader, or maybe even lil nog?
I think the most likely next opponent for Jon Jones is the winner of the Lil Nog-Ryan Bader fight. Of course, that would amount to a pretty decent layoff for Bones. Other possibilities are Forrest Griffin and Thiago Silva, neither of whom I expected to be in a huge rush to take that fight.
Did you see Chael this morning with Josh Elliott. More MMA limelight!
I didn't, but will watch it later. Ever since MMA Live hit ESPN2, the SportsCenter love has been pretty consistent. Most telling was that Jon Jones was on SC Monday morning, after fighting Sunday night on a non-PPV. Progress.
Why isn't anyone giving Frankie Edgar the respect he should get for beating BJ and, with the confused look Penn had because of Frankie's speed, why do you think the fight will be different?
I would agree that Edgar deserves more respect, even if I'm one of the guys who hasn't given him as much credit as others. Clearly, he fought the perfect fight. Just not sure he'll be able to beat B.J. Penn twice. I think the difference in the second fight will be Penn's aggressiveness. That could work against B.J., but I expect it'll work in his favor. Edgar was borderline brilliant the first time around. Penn didn't even look like he wanted to be there.
I'm 37 today so answer this for me. Who wins Fitch/Alves and why? Thank you good sir.
Happy Birthday, Mike. I have already waffled on this fight a few times this week. Forced to choose, I will take the slight dog, Thiago Alves. Despite the layoff, I think he will get it done.
Hey JA, is Chael's WWE routine good or bad for UFC and MMA in general? He's gaining the interest of casual fans, but doesn't this set up title shots for the best trash-talkers, not the most qualified?
Hey Bradley. Regardless of his gum-flapping, Chael Sonnen is the #1 middleweight contende. He beat Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt convincingly. And, with Vitor Belfort injured, the title shot should be his. That said, I think the commentary is a bit over the top. At first I found it entertaining. Now, it's seeping into the annoying category. All of that said, it has added to the intrigue of the fight quite a bit.
Any news on the UFC renewing Jacob Volkmann's contract?
Rarely do guys get cut after victories. He's not a finisher, but he comes from a strong camp and I think he can get a lot better. Would be surprised if the UFC punted.
Josh McDaniels. I don't want to hate him. But he makes it easy. As an aside, I have to ask: Who you like, Saunders or Hallman?
Just wait until he force-feeds Tim Tebow the ball on the goalline and he gets stuffed. Then you'll really hate him. As for Saunders-Hallman, I'll take Saunders. Needs to have a sense of urgency early and I think he will.
I know Shaq is an MMA fan. Is there any safe way to have an MMA fight? He does boxing on ShaQ Vs. with headgear and big gloves so he won't get hurt. But I don't see any "safe" way he can challenge an MMA guy on his show.
I've said in the past I think Shaq will have a UFC fight when his NBA playing days are over. Any MMA fight on his current show would be much more of an exhibition.
who is on tap for tomorrow's show?
Anderson Silva, Roy Nelson, and perhaps Brian Stann on the extended version for ESPNUK and ESPN.com.
Who talks the better trash game , me or James Toney?
I'll go with C) Frank Mir. All are very strong in that department, but I still think Mir is the best.
Will Dana cut me??? If so, is MMA Live hiring??
I think you're getting cut, man. As for a spot on MMA Live, we like winners!
Hey jon long time reader. So what are your official picks for this weekend. I think Sonnen is gonna get destroyed.
Hahahaha. I think that's a distinct possibility. I like Anderson Silva by 2nd round TKO. I am a large Roy Nelson fan, but I think he'll succumb to Junior Dos Santos' power. Also backing Thiago Alves by split decision over Jon Fitch. And Rafael Dos Anjos to submit Clay Guida.
who u got J.A fitch or alves??
Alves. Ask me tomorrow, I may go Fitch. Essentially a pick 'em fight, and for a reason. Key factor is how Thiago starts/responds to a 13-month layoff.
Which fighter do you look forward to watching more, Jon Jones or Brock Lesnar?
Good question, Oliver. There is just something so unique about seeing Brock Lesnar in the Octagon. He looks like a superhero. But Jon Jones is a close second, and I think most of my readers would answer Jones to this question.
Anik, what possible ways do you see that Nelson can win this fight? Possible crucifix? And how funny will it look to see Nelson and Lesnar face-to-face?
You mean face-to-chest. Roy Nelson is very well-rounded and does have some deceptive power. I think he's gotta find a way to get top control and use that midsection to his advantage. Imagine having that joey on top of you.
Was your remarks about being a "large" Roy Nelson fan more of a crack on you for being a Chost or him for having a huge belly?
Haha. I'm actually just a huge fan of the guy. It's been nice to see him prove himself to Dana White and UFC fans.
Who do u feel Dana White would prefer to go up in weight? Jones ,Silva or GSP?
Right now, I don't think he wants/needs any of them to move up with finality. I definitely believe Jon Jones will be a heavyweight one day, and Anderson Silva could easily make a run at 205.
How big of a force will Jake Shields be at welterweight? He did tap Fitch in a BJJ match in under 5 minutes.
Remains to be seen. There are no easy outs in the UFC's welterweight division. Martin Kampmann will give Shields all he can handle, and could conceivably beat him.
chris lytle has been on a pretty good roll if he beats serra could he possibly get a shot at GSP
Not yet. He's been on a roll, but he's more in the Ellenberger-Howard-Condit-Thiago pack right now than he is in the Fitch-Alves-Shields-Kampmann pack.
I'm pretty new to MMA, so I'm not that familiar with the ins and outs. On average, how long is it between bouts for a fighter?
Welcome to the greatest sport in the world, Andy. Most fighters prefer to fight every 3 months, or 3x/calendar year. But injuries are a huge factor in MMA, as you would expect. And some fighters, like UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, prefer to take their time in between fights. GSP is fighting only 2x/year these days. And I don't like it.
Jon, if Carwin get a rematch with Lesner (if he beats Cain), who are you picking? I am picking Carwin.
I can certainly see why. I would probably lean in that direction as well.
A couple of weeks ago you said you thought Overeem was the best Heavyweight striker, but I would debate that Cigano is much better on the feet and has more mental fortitude. Overeem is more versatile with his knees, but I think Cigano would smash him in a K1 match or any stand-up match..
Fair enough. I like the conviction behind the opinion. We've seen a lot more of Overeem than we have of Dos Santos. But both are in the discussion.
How tough is John Howard to keep fighting with that eye swelled shut?
Tough. You know the stoppage was an eventuality once the eye completely shut. Both Howard and Ellenberger are highly entertaining.
who are your top 5 fighters right now??
In no particular order, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Jose Aldo, Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar.
Any truth to Ortiz/Hamill in Anaheim??
A-Rod just blasted HR #600.
Chost, are you a gas or charcoal guy when it comes to the grill?
I just wish I had a grill. They give all the money to the fighters.
Don't you think Jon Jones needs to fight a top 205 with name recognition for the casual fan? I think a win against a Forrest Griffin builds his ability to sell PPV
Sure he does. But that's not up to Jon Jones. It's up to the UFC. And if I'm Forrest Griffin, I would accept the fight and then pull out with an undisclosed injury.
What fighter do u see posing the biggest threat to knocking off Bones Jones?
At 205? Probably Lyoto Machida.
Looks like Phil Davis will be sending Rodney Wallace packing out of the UFC after handing him his third consecutive loss. How far off is Davis from a big fight?
He looks the part, but still has a ways to go. He's in a crowded division. And, as you've seen with Jon Jones, the UFC is very careful when proceeding with its high-level prospects. Their handling of Jon Jones has been masterful. Now, he's earned his shot at the division's elite, and I hope he gets it.
Lets call it like we see it, Rashad wants NO part of Jones...
I've gotta see Rashad tomorrow.
I can't fathom Griffin fighting Bones Jones...that Anderson beat-down is still to fresh in everyone's minds to tempt a repeat.
I got an extra ticket to the OSU/Miami game on Sept. 11th at the The Shoe. You in Chost???
You're the man, Brady. Would've loved to have taken you up on that. I've been to The Horseshoe, but not for a game. Gotta work that weekend, unfortunately. Thanks for thinking of me.
Whats next for jon Jones?
You tell me, Oscar. I think it'll most likely be the winner of the Lil Nog-Ryan Bader fight, which'll go down in mid-September in Indianapolis.
Bones Jones v. Rich Franklin this fall.
A good possibility, and you know Rich would accept the fight, even if it's a losing proposition.
How big of a fan of MMA is the new wife?
Huge, actually. She's not much of a sports fan, but loves MMA. And I really didn't force it upon her.
Bones vs. Rampage, nice
Rampage has a fight with Lyoto Machida first. If he gets through that test, perhaps.
Will Gomi become a legit contender again?
Not my expectation. But what a great night for Takanori Gomi on Sunday. And an equally bad night for Tyson Griffin.
Jon Jones is a punk and he's been ducking me for years.
LOL. That mouth has no mute button.
Where did ARod's HR land? Was there a big fight for the ball?
Landed on the netting that protects Monument Park in straight away center field.
Is Bones vs. Randy a possibility?? Why not?? Maybe a 215 catchweight??
Many have asked about that fight. Don't think the UFC would do that to Couture. How you gonna make a 46-year-old man fight that phenom?
If I'm Chael, I'm remembering to duck myself come Saturday.
You think Anderson Silva wants to punch him in the mouth at all?
We all know the fans want the Kenny Powers of MMA Media on your show. As for a question, why does anyone think Hughes can beat Almeida? Am I the only one who saw he couldn't get Renzo down?
Hahahaha. You are definitely the Kenny Powers of the MMA Media and we're honored that you would enter this chat room. No argument here on Hughes-Almeida. I'm told Hughes has lost a whole lot of strength and motivation of late and it's hard to blame him. That Hughes-Renzo fight was a joke. You might call it something less politically correct.
Chost, there are 5 welterweight fights on the card Saturday. Who do you like: Hughes-Almeida, Hazelett-Story, Hendricks-Brenneman?
Almeida for sure. Kinda like Rick Story over Dustin Hazelett. Just think Story is a bull, but his BJJ defense will be tested. Tough to pick a winner in Hendricks-Brenneman. Let me flip a coin...
Heads is Hendricks.
I'm a new fan of MMA and have been catching old fights on Spike. In the grand scheme of things, are the fighters today leaps and bounds better than the fighters say 10-15 years ago? How would a Shamrock, Royce Gracie, etc. perform in today's game?
Leaps and bounds. The sports has evolved exponentially since the 1990s. Royce Gracie would have a whole lot of work to do to be a factor in 2010.
is rashad gonna wait on shogun r take another fight to stay active?
Waiting on Shogun.
Who's coming out with more winners this weekend... Brazil or USA?
I like the way you think, Tim. And I like Brazil.
Who would you rather have as your coach, Kos or GSP?
Another good question. Both are highly dedicated guys with great camps and experience. Forced to answer, I'll say GSP b/c he really intellectualizes MMA like few active fighters. Huge reliance on strategy, game-planning, etc.
whats next for roger huerta ?
Expected on one of the Bellator shows in September.
I hope Frankie wins at UFC 118. But If BJ wins back the title, I think Maynard will back off the title like he did when he beat Diaz. He's all for fighting Frankie but wants none of Penn.
Well, Maynard won't have anything to say if he loses to Kenny Florian. And that's my expectation. But you are right that he wants nothing to do with B.J. Penn. His interview with Sherdog after beating Nate Diaz was puzzling and his commentary since has been hypocritical.
I can't believe from the hundreds of "Who you got saturday?" questions not ONE mention of Hughes v Almeida. Who you got?
Already picked that one, Chris. I like Almeida in a big way. Think he will tire Hughes out and submit him. Might even retire him.
If Chael Sonnen wins, who is his first title defense against?
Vitor Belfort. If he's not healthy, perhaps Yushin Okami. But don't rule out Anderson Silva getting an immediate rematch, a la Penn-Edgar.
Could you pass the conditioning test that Haynesworth cant seem to pass?? Heck Golic passed it....
Absolutely. Cardio has never been my issue. I'm just weak.
First time chatting but been reading chat forever! Any news on any of the MMA Greats brothers? Ninja, Aleksander, Jason Guida any of them fighting anytime soon?
Glad to have you, Mikal. Don't have anything off the top of my head, but I appreciate you chiming in.
Whats up with the lawsuit Zuffa filed against Bellator? Think this is their last season?
I don't think the lawsuit is all that big a deal. But you just don't want to piss off the UFC. I have it on good authority that Season 3 will not be Bellator's last. The promotion is in a good place right now, even if it could've done without this obstacle.
Melendez vs. Alvarez (Maybe December). Who wins and why?
Well Kevin, I don't expect the fight to happen. But if it does, I like Melendez. Alvarez is a more fluid striker, in my opinion, and is more athletic. But Melendez is more well-rounded and just relentless. Alvarez's takedown defense would be tested. And of late, Gil has fought much better competition.
If Jardine loses a match with a smaller promotion, will we ever see him back in the UFC?
Even if he wins in a smaller promotion, I don't think a return to the UFC is happening.
Who fights outta American Top Team?
Who doesn't? Thiago Alves, Hector Lombard, Jorge Masvidal, Cole Miller and numerous others. Certainly one of the best camps in MMA.
Who would you pick in a match between your boy Rashad and Jon Jones?
Jon Jones. Shhhhhhhhh.
I am sending Joe Silva telepathic messages that Gomi needs to fight Nate Diaz later this year. Do you like the match-up, Chost?
I do Chip, I do.
WOW i got two questions in. YOU DA MAN CHOST! THANKS
And now a comment! Pleasure.
How do you see European fighters developing as the sport starts to grow this side of the pond? Will they start to challenge Americans (north and south) in all areas or do you see their current weak-points always being present without being based stateside?
I think the gap is starting to close. Was interesting to have Ross Pearson here last week. His wrestling improved quite a bit with just a handful of stateside training sessions. More and more, you are seeing European fighters make the effort to get to the U.S. to work on their weaknesses. Plenty of work still to do, but the evolution is firmly underway.
If Penn wins the belt back what would be next for him
Likely the Florian-Maynard winner. But, if the Edgar fight is great, close or controversial, there is a slim possibility you'd see a trilogy fight right away.
Chost, will the MMA Live crew be making their way to Indy?
Not sure yet, Justin. Wish we could be at all of the UFC PPVs and major MMA shows. Someday.
Who is going to be on MMA Live tomorrow?
Anderson Silva and Roy Nelson. Rashad Evans and the F-Mac in studio.
Hey Chost. Love your work. It was great to see Big John McCarthy back in the octagon. Do you think he's back to stay and will he get some high profile fights?
It's really much more of an athletic commission issue/decision than it is a UFC decision. Was definitely nice to see Big John in there.
Hey Jon! Why does the referee feel behind the fighters' necks and arms and shoulders right before a fight?
I believe to make sure no one is greasing.
Big John had his run-ins with the Vegas Commission. Pride aside, the guy is the best and needs to be in there protecting the fighters.
If you could have anyone's job in the UFC, who's would it be? Buffer? Silva? Dana? Rogan?
I love my job. But doing play-by-play for a big MMA promotion would be a dream. Doing Bellator's first season got me the bug somethin' fierce. Nothing like calling fights.
When is Shogun coming back?
Most likely in the spring.
I've got a hard out at 2:00ET today. So last call...
Who has a more dominant career: Aldo or Jones?
Strong question. I will say Jon Jones.
Do you think Rampage will beat Machida?
Hmmm. I won't go on the record until the fight approaches. Oftentimes with Rampage it's a matter of what kind of shape he is in. Right now, I lean towards Machida responding to his first professional loss with a W.
will frank mir ever get another title shot?
Not my expectation.
Scrambling to cover A-Rod's 600th? Let them know that nobody cares!
Hahahahahahahahaha. Y'all know I'm a Red Sox fan, right?
BJ drops down and pretzels Aldo? Creates a cross between UFC & WEC? Hot, huh?
Hot like Arizona, Mike. Don't see it, though.
Jon, how do I get your job?
No idea. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you want it (please don't, kindly). Working hard might help as well. A little good fortune wouldn't hurt, either.
Jon, give me your job.
If we switched seats, I could get away with tweeting murder.
If Jon Jones ever fought James Toney, would Toney get out of the first round?
Nice showing from Charles Oliveira, huh?
Why do you keep saying Mir is better at smack than Sonnen or Toney or Floyd Mayweather? I mean he is ok but can't hold none of their jocks. Chael is the king of smack right now.
Mir's performance in the UFC 100 countdown show was the stuff of legends. I also just find Mir's commentary to be very amusing. And it's not because we're boys, necessarily. I think I like him more than he likes me anyway.
Seems like Greg Jackson trains half the UFC.
Roster is deep for sure.
If Kampmann beats Shields would he be in line for a title fight?
Final question. Will Chael spend the night in Oakland Memorial Hospital on Saturday night???
Even when Chael wins (see Marquardt victory), he oftentimes takes a pounding. This one might be quick, though.
KOS needs to be in the discussion for trash talkers for sure
Oh, he is. The way he lit up that Montreal crowd after UFC 113 was mint. My first comment to him on the MMA Live Post-Fight Extra was 'best of luck gettin' outta here tonite.'
To Chael's point...Anderson has no personality and rarely answers a question, why have him on when you have so many more relatable fighters on this week's card?
Because he is arguably the greatest mixed martial artist ever.
How bout Bones Jones vs. Thiago Silva?
Strong possibility. Best of luck, Thiago.
Aww Jon I heart you very much!
Frank Mir is too analytical... We all know he's smart... what he needs is to add his gonads into his fight game overall and then he wouldn't get steamrolled by the wrestlers of the weight division.
I bet he don't lay there again and smile while I'm on top.
See how polarizing Frank Mir is?
Mir is the most arrogant fighter, I'll give you that.
How much does Joe Silva take into account the fans' desires when making fights? Does he know that a majority of fans want Anderson Silva fighting for the 205 title?
It's a balancing act, Marc. And it's not as easy as we think. Not only do you have to account for fan interest, but the matchups have to make sense in terms of the divisional landscapes. And then you've gotta factor in fighter schedules and injuries.
OT for Anik! Again!
Seriously gotta bounce soon. MMA Live producers hate me right now. Gettin' behind schedule.
Evans v Jones for the interim belt? Shogun is out until Spring 2011, why keep the belt on ice?
Even though Evans and Jones haven't trained together all that much, they are teammates. And, right now, neither seems to have any desire to fight the other.
First live UFC event this weekend. What should I expect?
Very happy for you. Greatest show in sports. And this card is so good on paper, I don't think it could possibly not deliver.
When is Florian coming back to MMA live?
After his fight against Gray Maynard at UFC 118. Been texting back and forth. He's killing it in training.
You mean Rashad has no desire to fight Jones. He looked intimidated by him on the show.
Thanks for another great chat, GL on MMA live!
If Anderson Silva ever goes up in weight again, will his first fight be a title shot?
Very possible. A lot of depending factors, but could happen for sure.
Any news on StrikeForce and who Overeem is going to fight?Same question on Fedor and Werdum.
SF is in a tough spot. I know the Fedor camp is pining for a Werdum rematch, but he's got some injury. I'd like to see Fedor-Overeem yesterday.
What do you do @ ESPN when your not hosting these chats or MMA Live?
A lot of different stuff. Fantasy Football/Baseball shows, podcasts, NBA Daily Dime, highlights for ESPN.com, and hopefully soon, ESPNEWS. They keep me busy. Sometimes I wish it was all MMA, all the time. Sometimes, it's nice to switch it up.
What do you see as being more vital in the Heavyweight division: Finishing power a la Lesnar/Carwin or cardio similar to Cain?
How often do you eat wings?
As much as possible.
What happened to a hard 2 Chost?? Chael is going to shock the world on Saturday night...ok maybe not!!!!
A good note to end on. Remember, MMA Live on ESPN2 tomorrow night at 1AM ET/10 PM PT. I'll do a 1-on-1 with Anderson Silva, and we've also got Roy Nelson on the show. If I didn't get to your questions, hit me up on Twitter (Jon_Anik). Until next week, eat some wings, enjoy UFC 117, and don't text and drive. -JA