Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 11, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

Good Wednesday. What a weekend it was in Oakland. Wish I had been out there, but excited to finally get your thoughts on UFC 117. Also, Chael Sonnen will be in Bristol tomorrow for MMA Live (1AM ET, ESPN2)! Let's vent...

Jason (T-town)

Who is co-hosting with you this week?

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

Stephan Bonnar will be our lead analyst this week. We may try to have Chael stick around for the whole show after we talk about his fight. We'll also have interviews with WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, Randy Couture's son Ryan, and possibly Roy Nelson as well. Busy week...

Evan Frank (SLC)

What do you think of some people calling for an immediate rematch between Silva and Sonnen?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

I actually am in that camp of those who would like to see it. No one has ever done to Anderson Silva what Chael Sonnen did. Sure, Vitor Belfort has a case for a title shot. But I would like to see an immediate rematch and believe Sonnen deserves it, based upon that performance.

Rachel - MMAHotStuff (In the air... )

What do you think of the things Carlos Condit said about Shane Carwin... considering they've NEVER trained together?

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

I have been moving the last several days and am admittedly out of the loop. I got a few tweets about it but haven't actually read the comments. Enlighten me, if you would.

Bruce (Ohio)

I think that Anderson wants no part of a Sonnen rematch. What do you think?

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Clearly, Sonnen provides a great challenge for Silva. But part of me thinks Anderson would relish the opportunity to fight Chael again to right a lot of the wrongs. Even though he won, I think Silva would like to do so more convincingly. He got absolutely bludgeoned for 4 rounds.

Stephen (Newmarket, England)

I don't see how Belfort really has a case, not having even fought at 185 in the UFC, we might as well give Forrest a shot at lightheavy if he wants.

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

I agree. His case is that he was supposed to have a title shot before getting injured.

Adam R (Brookfield)

Who will the loser of the Brock-Cain fight likely fight next? Carwin?

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

That's a good possibility. I wouldn't want to be Shane Carwin's next opponent.

Ken (Ca.)

A. Silva will never fight Sonnen again. He wants to look good in a striking war with other strikers. No disrespect, just don't see him getting back in with good wrestlers.

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

We shall see. Wouldn't surprise me if the Silva camp tried to avoid that fight. But Anderson is a competitor and if that is the obvious fight to be made, Silva won't turn it down.

Chris (Ohio)

Jon, are you with me that if JDS fights like that against Brock or Cain he gets finished early?

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

Not sure he would get finished early, but in order to beat those guys, I think Dos Santos will need an early TKO/KO. We haven't seen JDS on his back. I'm not convinced he can thwart the takedowns of Lesnar or Velasquez, nor do I think he'll have an easy time getting up once taken down.

Joel Sebastianelli (Johnston, RI)

What's next for Roy Nelson?

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

What a tough man. Huge heart to not get finished. I think he's gotta focus on diet and cardio. I know his stomach can be used as an advantage, but overall it's not helping his cause.

Paulo (Sao Paulo)

Roy Nelson has skill and guts, but he has to lose the gut. If he wants to be a champion, he's only cheating himself

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Yeah, I think it's time as well.

Baumer (NYC)

If Anderson is out until March/April of 2011, I think Sonnen should fight Wanderlei for the #1 contender spot. The timing works out well. Plus the war of words between Silva/Sonnen would be amazing

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

We will ask Chael tomorrow when he's here at ESPN. It's rare for a fighter to be in-studio just 5 days after a huge fight like that. Honored that Sonnen has chosen to join us this week.

Leslie (Idaho)

I don't watch much MMA, but since when do you get rematches for getting finished?

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

Well, that is certainly the argument against Chael Sonnen. He had his chance, and was finished. But as stated previously, he did to Anderson Silva what no one had ever done. And he did it for 20+ minutes. To me, that counts for something. That was my opinion immediately after the fight and it hasn't changed.

Lance (Tulsa,OK)

Will you ask Chael if there is any way he can lie down on me for 23 minutes and not put a scratch on me? Thanks

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

It's interesting, Lance, that Sonnen beat Silva up for that long and yet it was Chael who looked as though he had taken the punishment. I've got a million questions for Sonnen. Near the top of the list is how do you go about becoming a finisher? He hasn't finished anyone since 2007.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I thought Anderson Silva looked old. Did you?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Hi Marc. He didn't look good. Old? Not sure I'd go that far, but perhaps he is starting to show signs of a decline.

Rick (NJ)

Jon Jones and Rich Franklin, is that next for both?

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

I think Jon Jones will get the winner of Lil Nog-Ryan Bader, which takes place next month in Indianapolis. Franklin is a possibility, though.

Paul (Cleveland)

Hi Jon - yet another painfully boring Fitch fight. Does he need a new trainer? Personally the ONLY Fitch fight I would watch again would be against Kos.

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

Well I definitely wasn't as bored as you were, Paul. I have an increasing appreciation for Fitch's ability to dominate elite welterweights, even if his fights aren't the most aesthetically pleasing. For once, I'd like one of Fitch's opponents to do something about it. As for what Fitch needs to do, I'm not sure a new trainer will result in him becoming a different type of fighter. I think he needs to pick his spots to be more offensive. But he's won 22 of 23 by being conservative.

krav (philly)

If Big Country loses the gut, at only 6', doesn't he then become a 205 -- with serious TKO power?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

Doesn't sound to me like something Roy Nelson would be willing to do. You're right that his frame suggests he could cut down to 205. But he he's had success as a heavyweight and likes to eat.

angelo (texas)

if fitch doesnt get the title shot who will he fight next?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Not sure. I guess he's gotta get the title shot. Fighting the loser of Shields-Kampmann doesn't accomplish anything, and rarely does the UFC set up fights between a guy who won his last time out and a guy who has lost.

angelo (texas)

do think cruz vs benavidez will go to a decision again?

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

I don't think so, Angelo. They've got 25 minutes to settle it, and I'm hoping for a finish. Both guys are offensive fighters. Sort of think we might be saying 'And new...' at the end of the night. Dominick Cruz will be on MMA Live tomorrow.

Vince (Hoboken, NJ)

Matt Hughes, very impressive finish, lucky shot that connected on Almeida's chin setting up the submission or a sign he's not as washed up as we thought?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Vince, I think Hughes is less washed up than we thought. His performance against Renzo Gracie at UFC 112 was sloppy. It was tired, and it seemed to be an indication that Hughes was nearing the end. UFC 117 represented a total 180. Almeida was a nearly 2-1 favorite. Perhaps we overrated Almeida a bit. But clearly Hughes is still an ox and still a factor, albeit not a contender.

Dan (Chicago)

JA, Back after a week in Mexico. I heard a rumor that UFC 123 is coming to Chicago. Any truth that you know of?

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

I've heard the same thing. Looking like a strong possiblity.

Kevin E (New Castle, DE)

If Anderson is out a while...why not a Belfort vs Sonnen for a title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Depending on the timeline for Anderson Silva, I would love to see Belfort first have to get through Chael Sonnen. But I'm also not sure how soon Chael can turn around and fight. That war had to have taken its toll, even if Sonnen was on the right side of the punishment for the balance of the fight.

James Toney (Las Vegas)

Hey I heard you been talking smack about me saying Couture gunna whip my a**. After I beat down Couture, then Dana White I may come after you sucka.

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Yawn dude, yawn. Don't be afraid to train for your fight. It's 17 days away.

Tommy (Jersey)

Why not Sonnen vs. Belfort for a title shot on free tv in Germany???

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

Only time will tell.

Ken (Ca.)

Jon, Dana said Hughes "is always a threat". Some of us think he could still whip everyone at welterweight except gsp.

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

I'm not in that camp. But after what we saw Saturday night, if he fought Jon Fitch, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I still think we could've seen some decline from Hughes had the fight gone into a 3rd round. He made sure it didn't, and with style points.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Do you think Anderson Silva had trouble with the weight cut? He does walk around at 220.

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

No I don't.

Steve ( Baltimore)

Imagine the trash-talking: Bisping v Sonnen aka USA vs UK

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

I've got a headache just thinking about it. Not a migraine, but close.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Hurry chost! I have to go! Silva about too old anymore?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

I don't think Anderson Silva is too old. But I wouldn't say he is smack dab in the middle of his prime anymore, either.

Jim (Acton, MA)

Any thoughts on Ryan Couture's debut this weekend?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Excited to talk to him about it tomorrow on MMA Live.

Finn (Seattle, WA)

Re: Franklin possibly being Bones next opponent. Franklin always steps up and takes whatever gimmicky fights Dana wants him to so he can sell a PPV... and Franklin gets rewarded with a fight against Jones?!? Rich: "Uh, thanks Dana"

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Good to have you back, Finn. Rich Franklin would definitely accept the fight and you're right that it would be another example of Franklin taking one for Team UFC. For Rich's sake, I hope there is another immediate plan for him.

D-Rock (Batavia-IL)

Only 30 day suspension for Daley on clocking Kos after the bell, seems a little low, no??

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

Hadn't heard that. Punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime. That blow after the bell was just so stupid and classless. I can't think of another UFC fighter capable of such idiocy.

John (San Diego)

Jon Jones vs Forrest Griffin is a done deal, UFC waiting to announce it officially.

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

If I were Forrest, I would accept the fight and then pull out with an undisclosed injury. Of course, it's a huge opportunity for Griffin. To be the first to truly defeat Jon Jones would be a tremendous accomplishment. Just don't think Forrest is the guy to do it.

Jonathan (Mass)

Is Alves the poster boy for guys fighting more around their normal weight? He looked SO sluggish in that fight.

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

I have grown tired of Thiago Alves missing weight and some of the excuses people make for his lackluster showings. I picked him to win the fight, but once he missed weight and couldn't cut the final 1/2 pound, I knew it meant trouble. He needs to move up to 185 with finality, or train harder to make sure he doesn't miss weight.

Bruce (Ohio)

Who has the best shot at derailing Bones Jones at 205?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

If I had to pick one current 205er to beat Jon Jones, it would be Lyoto Machida. Not saying I think he would beat Jones, but I think he's got the best chance to do so, based upon his style/skill set.

Johnny (Minneapolis)

In the first round of Sonnen vs. Silva, there was a point when Chael had Anderson rocked and was on Anderson's back. Any suggestions on why he didn't try to sink in a rear naked choke on an exposed and dazed Silva?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Probably because his rear naked choke isn't elite. If it was, perhaps he would've instinctively gone to that move in the moment. He needs to master 1-2 submissions/fight-finishing moves. Otherwise, he'll continue to waste great performances.

Nick (Calgary)

Hendricks looked great again. What's next for him? Matt Hughes?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

As long as he's on the main card, I don't care. Hughes is a possibility. Perhaps Jake Ellenberger.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

How come people are not giving Silva more credit for carefully planning the choke since Sonnen was getting sloppy?

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

I have given Silva more credit for his will to win and his heart than for his strategy. But he did a great job setting up the choke, and executing it, amidst all of that adversity.

Isaac (Denver)

Iole thinks Silva vs. Sonnen was the greatest fight ever in UFC history. Your opinion on the great-ness of the fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

My man Iole has a better historical framework for MMA than I do. But I have said it's the greatest UFC fight I have ever seen. It may not have had the requisite back-and-forth of other great fights. But to see Sonnen do THAT to Anderson Silva, only to have Silva come back was just incredible. Miraculous.

Jake (Colorado)

Ben Saunders....what's he gonna do now? Another loss and he could be called into Dana's office, and told to bring his gloves.

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

I agree. Ben Saunders has some work to do, and quickly. Not the most mentally tough or competitive guy on the roster.

Ezra (LA)

Anderson Silva just looked terrible with his hands. I think it was more of a sluggish performance than a great one for chael. I see anderson dominating in a rematch. I also see belfort beating sonnen.

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Certainly not the fluidity or power we have come to expect from Anderson Silva. His next fight will be very telling. As for Sonnen-Belfort, I would favor Chael, based upon what we saw Saturday night.

John (Florida)

Fitch is the least entertaining fighter in the promotion. He is booed every fight. He has no route to victory against GSP. Why does the UFC need him?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

That seems to be the opinion of the masses. I understand that winning isn't enough, but losing isn't the solution, either. It's a tough one. I know I appreciate Fitch more than most, but that doesn't mean I don't wish he was more aggressive at times.

Andrew (Montgomery)

Overeem vs. Antonio Silva is coming up. Is this proof positive that SF has depth issues?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

There are depth issues at the top of the heavyweight division for sure. I still would've had Fedor fight Overeem.

Nick (Dover)

More entertaining Fitch or Shields???

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

Most would say Shields, b/c he is absolutely a finisher.

Ray (LA)

Fitch is boring? Yes, but tell John from Florida to wait for the debut of Jake Shields. Then Fitch will lose that title.

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

And here I was thinking the entire chat would be positive today. UFC 117 was mint, people.

Cindy (Tampa Florida)

The only thing hotter than the weather in FLA is Chael Sonnen's ability to promote a fight. After the huge amount of ppv sales from UFC 117, is Chael now the pound for pound biggest draw as well as the biggest smack talker. I think so, which means he isn't beltless LOL!

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Cindy, Sonnen may be a top 5 UFC draw now. But he's definitely not #1. Brock Lesnar will have that distinction until he retires.

John (Florida)

Shields getting punched in the face is very exciting.

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Hahahaha

DaAshMan (Toronto)

Should Overeem have to vacate his title due to lack of fighting/interest?

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

I don't think so, and he seems to be in the process of changing that reputation. I also think Strikeforce absorbs some blame on that. They need to make their champion fight and defend the title.

Daniel (Olathe)

How long until you see King Mo coming to the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

Tough to say without knowing how much Strikeforce is paying him. But it'll happen, b/c Mo wants to continually test himself against the best in the world and is already running out of opponents. I'll say he's UFC-bound in 2012.

Mike (Temecula, Ca.)

Where's James Toney been? We have not heard a peep out of him for over a week now.

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

He was interviewed in Oakland on the UFC 117 telecast. Didn't look lean, as had been reported.

Sean (Portland)

Chael, work on your submission defense! You're killing me, buddy. My heart was in my stomach the whole next day.

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

Imagine where his heart was. Or imagine being that guy's significant other the next day.

Mikey (Rhode Island)

Jon I'm sending you some guido love. Speaking of guido ok Guida, whats next for Clay? Also, who do you like in the Lesnar vs Cain matchup? Fist bumps

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

What's up Mikey. I wasn't quite as enamored with Clay Guida's performance as others. He was sloppy in the first round, moved a little better in the second. Still don't consider him much more than a divisional gatekeeper. Would like to see him fight Tyson Griffin, even though Tyson is coming off a loss.

St. Clair (Charlotte)

Jon, please take one of my previous questions

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

I get about 30 questions/minute. Please re-post and I'll try to find it, sir.

John (Florida)

Who do you want to see Roy Nelson fight next?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

His temptation to eat poorly.

brad (harrisburg, pa)

what's next for charlie "the spaniard" brenneman?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

Good question. Maybe Ben Saunders.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

What's next for Phil Davis?

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

I think he will get the Jon Jones treatment for some time. Clearly, the UFC knows what they have in Phil Davis, and there is little reason to rush him.

Johnny (Minneapolis)

Which was the bigger comeback? Russow or Silva?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Great question. I've got to say it was Anderson Silva. It was a 5-rounder, a title fight, and he took more of a perpetual beating than Mike Russow did before coming back to stun Todd Duffee. Like the question, Johnny.

steve (ny)

Guida vs. Gomi Makes sense, right??

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Yup. A lot of sense, actually.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Chost, loved your highlights of the Pirates-Rockies game while UFC 117 was happening. Good focus.

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

Hahaha. Was multi-tasking as best I could. Admittedly, I missed a lot of the Guida-dos Anjos fight, and chunks of the Nelson-Dos Santos fight as well.

Vince (Hoboken)

The Struve comeback was pretty impressive right?

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

Sure it was. But his opponent, Christian Morecraft, is by no means a worldbeater.

K. Couture (Parts Unknown)

Womens MMA...sexy or stupid?

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

I would say C) none of the above. My stance on women's MMA has been consistent. Not my cup of tea, but I'm happy there are more and more opportunities for female fighters.

Drew Fox (Riverside)

is there any LW going to challenge Ben Henderson for the wec lw championship?

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

I think most of them reside in the UFC, but I do believe Jamie Varner can beat Henderson on any given Sunday.

St. Clair (Charlotte)

Jon, do you think Chael owes an apology to the Nog Brothers, seeing as he was submitted by their jiu jitsu?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

MMA is overflowing with great sportsmanship and classy fighters. But that said, I'm not sure Sonnen needs to apologize to anyone. It wasn't the brightest thing to say, but it was really just gamesmanship.

Jonathan (Mass)

Chael made it clear he isn't going to apologize to anyone.

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Nor should he.

Daniel (Kansas City)

Better Hands JDS or Shane Carwin?

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

JDS might have quicker hands, but Carwin has more power. Forced to choose, I'll take Shane.

Art B. (NYC)

Hey Anik, if a foul ball came towards you and you lost it in the lights, would you run away or protect your wife?

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

Run away. I'm on TV. And she's tough.

Oliver (England)

Will you be covering UFC 118? Really adds even more to the event when you guys are there.

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Thanks, Oliver. We will be there, with pre and post-fight coverage on ESPNUK!

josh (san diego)

all i got to say tyson griffin what a poor sport got ko and couldt even shake is hand after the fight what a pansy i seen it live i will never root for tyson again

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

No argument here. I can't empathize because I've never fought. I understand the emotional aspect of a fight, even if I've never fought. But that was a forgettable night all around for Tyson Griffin. Did look like a baby pacing around the cage and his reluctance to congratulate Gomi was disappointing.

Nathan (Orlando)

Do you thing Anderson Silva's rib injury came into factor during his fight? He had an interview saying he would've done 10 times better if he didn't get injured. He also said his takedowns are better then Chael's and Silva can stuff his.

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

Sounds like a lot of excuses to me, but only Anderson and his camp really know. But to see him dominated that way was very surprising. I still don't think, even at 100%, that his takedowns are better than Sonnen's.

St. Clair (Charlotte)

Jon, thanks for getting my question. Your doing a great job

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

Tryin' boss, thanks much.

Daniel (Missouri)

Better Wrestler Cain or Brock?

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

Both 2x All-Americans and both JUCO National Champions. Brock won a D1 NCAA title, so that might give him the nod. But in terms of the overall wrestling game for MMA, Velasquez could be the answer.

Sean (Bennington, VT)

How many fights away from moving up & on to the UFC is Jose Aldo?

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

Several, in my opinion.

Chris (Vermont)

Jon here's my repost...Comment on Silva's bow to Sonnen after the fight... My 40 years of martial arts says true respect. My problem is Silva's excuse at the press conference regarding his ribs was total disrespectful.

Jon Anik
  (2:08 PM)

My general stance on Anderson Silva is that he does certain things for the camera to pick up, but he doesn't really mean them.

Jonathan (Mass)

Did you think the ref had chances to stand Sonnen and Silva up? Esp. in rounds 3-5 I though Chael didn't improve position and really didn't do much damage.

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Perhaps. Hadn't given it much thought, but there was definitely a moment or two in the latter rounds that might've called for a stand-up. Overall, Sonnen was pretty busy on the ground.

Patrick (Dallas)

Will Zuffa ever merge the WEC into the UFC? It seems like doing so would significantly strengthen the abundance of UFC shows they company puts on now.

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

We've been asking that question for years and it hasn't happened. I'm really not sure, Patrick. I like the relative simplicity of the UFC. 5 division, 5 champions. And the WEC is highly successful. If it's not broken...

Sal (Chicago)

How bout Jon Fitch vs Matt Hughes?

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

Why not?

Dave (VA)

Pretty crazy that we've seen BJ and Fedor lose and Brock & Silva come darn close all in the span of a few short months, no?

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

Absolutely. I had a Twitter (@Jon_Anik) post about that on Saturday. Amazingly close to having all 4 of those P4P guys go down in a span of 4 months. This sport is just the greatest.

Daniel (Lisbon, Portugal)

Hi, first time writing and I have the following questions:1- Will you guys have more "MMA/Sports Science" on the show?2- When will Forrest Griffin and Cheick Kongo return ?3- Who wil Demian Maia face instead of Belcher?

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

Thanks for writing in, Daniel. 1) Sports Science will return within the month as part of our coverage of UFC 118. 2) Both should have a fight before the end of the year. 3) Demian Maia will now face Mario Miranda at UFC 118 (8/28).

Drew Fox (Riverside)

Thiago Alves missed weight and got dominated by Fitch is it time to move up?

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

Affirmative.

Dave (Clearwater FL)

Dustin Hazelett was mauled by Rick Story; more props to Story for being a beast or flak to Rollie Fingers for not being prepared?

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

Rick Story is a beast. Hazelett needs more tools. Not a 5-tool fighter right now.

Mike (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Props to Chael for backing up his trash talk, unlike boring Rashad. What's next for Chael, if he doesn't get a rematch?

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

Huge props to Sonnen for backing up every ounce of his trash talk. I think Chael deserves a rematch. But if it doesn't happen, perhaps he'll get the Bisping-Akiyama winner, or loser.

Sonny (Chicago, IL)

What are your picks for UFC 118 between Penn vs Edgar, Florian vs Maynard, Randy vs James Toney and Nate Diaz vs M. Davis

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

I will give picks to UFC 118 during our chat on August 25th.

Baker (Nashville)

Chost! How about that choke by Hughes, like most, never seen that before.

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

Just awesome. Happy for Hughes.

Chael Sonnen (West Linn, Oregon)

Good thing Aldo's considering UFC. He's ducked me for FOUR DAYS

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

:-)

Dave (Clearwater FL)

Koscheck shouldn't fight Fitch; Can you imagine having to battle Van Pelt for a package of highlights? It's the principle.

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

I would like to see the UFC come up with a system for teammates. Sit down with every UFC fighter between now and the end of the year. Have them tell you all the guys they won't fight and make a determination, based upon how close those relationships are. Then, going forward, you will have to fight anyone not on that list. So, if a new 205er starts training with Greg Jackson, he'll still have to fight Jon Jones or Rashad Evans. If a guy like Kenny Florian doesn't want to fight Ben Henderson, he better put him on that list now. That's what I would do.

angelo (texas)

Why not have Belfort have a tune-up fight against Okami first?

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

Could happen, but that would eliminate a top contender, something the UFC is likely not inclined to do.

sergio (texas)

ANY TRUTH TO DALEY VS MASVIDAL IN SHARK FIGHTS?

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

Nope. I'm hearing something different for Jorge Masvidal.

Sean (Cincinnati)

Hey Jon, how much does a fighter's ability to speak English play into your decision to have them on the Live?

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

It's one of our biggest challenges on MMA Live. Speaking English is a big factor when booking guests, but some fighters you simply have to have on. We've had both Fabricio Werdum and Anderson Silva on (and speaking English, without a translator) in the past two months. The interviews weren't all that pretty, but we've got to let the fans hear from the fighters that matter.

Bonehart (Chicago)

If Sonnen survives that last 1:30, does Silva get the immediate rematch after taking that 25 min beating?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Good question. I wouldn't think so. B.J. Penn got the rematch against Frankie Edgar b/c the fight was relatively close.

Sonny (Chicago, IL)

I just read this past weekend that Ryan Couture, Randy's kid is fighting for Strikeforce Challengers on Friday night vs Lucas Stark, do you have any information on Randy's kid

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

He will be on MMA Live tomorrow.

Baumer (NYC)

No offense Anik but that teammate proposal is terrible. The rule should be that you fight who the UFC says you should fight unless you are blood brothers. Teammates, friends, buddies....all fair game.

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

That just won't work, Baumer. Too many guys will simply refuse to take those fights. That's why, in my humble opinion, you need to sit down with each fighter individually to get their thoughts. One fighter might toe the company (team) line, but behind closed doors be very willing to fight a teammate. Either way, a rule needs to be put in place.

Mike (Arizona)

Shoot I'm late!

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Last call...

Brian (Charlotte)

I think Baumer's Idea is pretty terrible. This isn't tennis. How are two guys from the same team supposed to train for the fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Well, fighters can just go to a different camp for that particular fight. Evan Dunham left Xtreme Couture when he was preparing for the Tyson Griffin fight. It's easier to do that in Las Vegas than, say, Boston, but it can and has been done.

Jose (Miami)

I don't agree with that either Anik. What if a guy starts training at your camp and looks at you as a mentor. Just because he wasn't around at the time of your sit-down proposal shouldn't force you to have to fight him

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

My idea certainly isn't perfect, and the scenario you describe would be one of the issues with it. What I'm really saying is that, right now, there is just a lot of empty dialogue about teammates fighting teammates. The UFC has to be proactive and come up with a system. As MMA evolves, there will be more and more crossover, and the issue is only going to get more unsolvable.

Chael Sonnen (West Linn, Oregon)

Stop whining! This is a fight business if you dont want to fight someone, go to boxing and make up a weight class and create a title for yourself

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Once again, the voice of reason checks in.

Roy (Reno)

This is a SPORT, not a street fight. Fighters should fight who the UFC tells them to fight. There are plenty of training camps and fighters switch camps pretty regularly.

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

I agree, Roy. But I'm not a UFC fighter.

Jeff (Alabama)

wah wah wah. paid fighters are PAID to fight. ridiculous.

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Tell that to the fighters.

Ryan (West Des Moines)

The teammate thing could easily be solved with an internal ranking system at the UFC. Once you hit the top 5 in your weight class, no teammates can be avoided.

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Good suggestion, in theory. But the UFC isn't gonna come up with a ranking system. All that does is create headaches for the matchmaker, Joe Silva. His job is already scurtinized. If you had rankings, the UFC would waste a lot of time defending certain matchups.

Mike (NYC)

It's not about a sport- it's about not wanting to punch your friend in the face

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

There are only 2-3 of my friends who I don't want to punch in the face every now and then.

Cory G (Kent St)

If BJ Penn wins a close decision they couldn't really have a trilogy fight could they?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Totally depends on how the fight plays out. But I tend to doubt that will happen.

Alex (DC)

I think I could punch my best friend in the face for millions of dollars...Just saying.

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Money talks.

Alex (DC)

Mike - I offer you 6 figures to punch your friend in the face you going to turn it down? I'll punch my parents for that kind of cash.

Ryan (West Des Moines)

Very true. I prefer their method of making great fights regardless of ranking. However, it could just be a stipulation that once you hit a certain level, you can't avoid certain fighters. Just a thought.

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

And it's a sound thought, Ryan.

Johnny (Minneapolis)

Do you think that Dana will announce that the winner of the Florian-Maynard as the next in line for the title shot?

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

We've seen Dana do that quite a bit recently, announcing a fight as a No. 1 contender's bout just before it happens. He did it with Dos Santos-Nelson and Marquardt-Sonnen. I don't think he will do it for Florian-Maynard. May want to protect themselves by not guaranteeing the winner an immediate title shot.

Finn (Seattle, WA)

Maybe don't make it a "rankings" but a top 5 or top 10 pool of fighters for each weight class. That definitely gives Joe Silva some wiggle room/

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

There ya go.

Cory G (Kent St)

Don't sleep on Hard Knocks debut tonight Jon!

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Cable guy isn't coming until Sunday. Uncle.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Your boy Floyd Mayweather is a sissy.

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

He's killing me.

schmoesknow (LA, CA)

Winner of Nog vs Mir fights who? Loser of Brock-Cain?

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

Possibly.

Cory G (Kent St)

If you were GSP and saw what Sonnen did to Silva last weekend, you're feeling pretty good about your chances, right?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

I'm sure GSP was confident he could beat Anderson Silva before. But that fight couldn't have hurt his confidence.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

Alright, MMA heads. Must get going on tomorrow's show. If I failed to answer your question, you can reach me on Twitter (Jon_Anik) and I will respond. Also, don't miss Chael Sonnen in Bristol tomorrow for MMA Live (10 PM PT, ESPN2). Until then, throw down some Buffalo wings for me and don't text and drive. -JA