Hi folks. Starting the chat a few minutes early, b/c I can only stay until 1:30 ET today. Gotta go tape some Fantasy shows, so I apologize right off the top. Try me on Twitter (@Jon_Anik) later today and I'll reply ASAP. Alright, let's vent.
Do you use an oxygen canister inbetween MMA Live segments ala King Mo and KJ Noons?
Snacks is back. I've only used oxygen once before MMA Live and it threw me off. So now, I'm all natural. Or, almost all natural.
The time has finally come. UFC in beantown. How does it feel? Bigger hometown ovation by the crowd......Ken Flo or Lauzon?
So excited the Boston card is finally upon us! As for your question, you are probably asking the wrong guy. Joe Lauzon has a ton of local support, but Kenny is one of the bigger names in the UFC and he's on the main card. So the answer is K-Flo.
What are your picks for UFC 118? Does Toney stand any chance?
Your predictions are just as good as mine, if not better. I think I'm gonna start flipping a coin instead of giving picks. But I'll take BJ Penn, Randy Couture, Kenny Florian & Nate Diaz. Definitely gonna be a tough fight for Kenny and he knows it, but he'll find a way.
Jon, what's the MMA Live schedule for this week? You guys pre and post-game? Weigh-ins?
We are doing 4 shows this week. Thursday, we are in Bristol. Tito Ortiz will be here, along with Rashad Evans and Stephan Bonnar. Then, 3 more shows from Boston, all live from the TD Garden. Our post-fight show is a full hour and will be live on ESPN2 immediately following the UFC 118 PPV at 1AM ET/10 PM PT.
ANIK...How can Dana let St. Pierre fight only 2x/yr and let a title fight happen a year late(Evans/Shogun) without putting up an interim? He's always been a 'what fans want' kinda guy...this ISN'T what fans want.
The St. Pierre thing is tough. Georges doesn't have any great desire to fight more than 2x/year, and the coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter gave him an out. I wish GSP would fight more often b/c he's right in the middle of his prime. As for Shogun/Rashad, I'm just not sure who would fight if you put an interim belt on the line. Only interim title fight that makes sense to me would be Rashad vs. Jon Jones.
Hey CHOST, sounds like Sonnen gets an immediate rematch against Silva. What are your thoughts on all the recent title fight rematches? Seems bogus to me
I am usually not a fan of immediate rematches, but in the case of Sonnen-Silva and Penn-Edgar, I think they make sense. Sonnen did to Silva what no one had ever done, and a second fight between them just makes more sense to me than giving Vitor Belfort a title shot. Just one man's opinion...
Who had a worse last few days, King Mo or you at the ESPN fantasy football draft?
Easy Snacks, or I'm gonna stop posting your submissions. I had a fine Fantasy Football draft, thank you. Maybe you need to stop stalking the Chost.
So Jon, is my boy Chris "Cat Smasher" Leben (best nickname ever) a lock for Comeback of the year
I think he actually might be the frontrunner for Fighter of the Year at this point.
Whats going on with Leben??? He should fight Belfort, with the Winner getting Sonnen, with that winner getting Silva. Your thoughts???
That makes sense. But Chael basically guaranteed us on MMA Live that Silva's next opponent would be him. Sonnen could take a fight while Anderson gets healthy, but clearly the UFC wants to make the rematch. And a Sonnen loss would certainly get in the way of that.
Who do you think has a brighter ceiling Jon Jones or Phil Davis?
I get this question a lot. I think Jon Jones is the better finisher right now, but expect Phil Davis to make strides in that area. Clearly, they are two guys who can carry MMA into its next period of growth. I think Jon Jones has more talent, but it's close.
Is Gray Maynard afraid to be in the same building as BJ Penn or just afraid to be in the same cage?
Hahahahaha. There is definitely a respect there, but Gray's arrogance seems to dissipate when discussing BJ Penn. I am highly curious to see this Florian-Maynard fight. Hugely tough fight for both guys.
Hi JA - really love MMA LIVE on ESPN UK ..... any idea if the post fight MMA Lives are going to be shown on ESPN UK any time soon .... we get pre-fight lives but not the good post fight analysis.
Not sure, Weslo. The preview show will definitely be on ESPNUK, one hour before the UFC prelims. Remind me on Twitter and I will try to get you the answer later today.
Are you walking out with Ken-Flo? I know you are friends, but it seems like a conflict of interest to me.
Hahahaha. He asked me to be in the corner (no he didn't), but I've got too many MMA Live obligations to make the quick wardrobe change.
So the only marketable fight left for Bobby Lashley would be against Dave Batista? WWE Steel Cage Match?
Hang on, let me grab my Who Cares folder.
Anik you should come out with Ken-flo and then start a post-fight brawl. That would up the buyrate.
...and then one of you guys could take my job.
Will the weigh-in and preview shows be on ESPN2?
Unfortunately, not. Weigh-in show will be simulcast on ESPNEWS, and we will do some hits for SportsCenter. But we do not have clearance for the Preview show on ESPN2. Good news is we are not going head-to-head with UFC prelims. So, you can watch our preview show on ESPN.com at 8ET/5PT. It's an hour earlier than normal.
Has there been any new info on the Shane Carwin Steroids Scandal?
Not to my knowledge.
Do you give any credence at all to BJ saying he wants to fight as often as he could? No way he fights 6 times/yr like he says, but is 4 times/yr possible?
I think it's easier for BJ to stay in prime shape when he doesn't have extended layoffs in between fights. I think 3-4x/year is realistic. 6x/year is not. I just wish all champions (I know Penn isn't one right now) would be forced to fight 3x/calendar year, barring injury. The belts should really be on the line every 4 months.
On the preview videos it doesn't look like Toney is anywhere close to 265. Am i right?
Toney will weigh in around 240. Randy told me today he'll be at 217-218 or so.
How ya doin Jon? So Strikeforce promoters couldn't have been too stoked about Saturday's results, huh? Ha!
Well, at least Feijao's English is good. And he really is a tremendous fighter and worthy world champion. King Mo is certainly the more marketable guy. He's also too talented and too intelligent to be down for long. And even though Tim Kennedy got some things done, I still thought Jacare won.
Big John McCarthy, Herb Dean, Josh Rosenthal are the only referees who should be allowed in the cage.
There are a few others who should be allowed in there, but by and large, I agree. Jason Herzog does a nice job.
Jon boy..Long time! Did you see Vera's recent comments about Jones? He thinks Jones is overrated and doesn't see all the hype. Apparently, his dislocated cheek bone has also caused dementia.
Good to have you back. Well put, as usual. Nothing to add, although clearly there are a handful of fighters that think we are overhyping Jon Jones. And Jones just keeps backing up all of our talk.
What fight you most looking forward to this weekend at 118? Ridiculously good main card from my point of view .... all those fights are competitive and with interesting guys.
I am curious to see how BJ Penn approaches the rematch. He was just so listless the first time around. Edgar was slick, but Penn didn't look like he even wanted to be there. Looking forward to a more aggressive Penn this time around. And very excited for Florian's fight, obviously.
Who has the shorter chat: Dana or Anik?
Ugh. I usually go at least an hour. Today will be my shortest chat in over 2 years. Sorry...
Will Jake Shields be more of a factor in the WW or MW division?
WW. And I think there is little debate on that, actually.
Have you heard what Toney will make for this fight?
Jon, with all the talk about concussions and head injuries in football, not much is said about mma. Do you hear fighters talk about it much (at all?)
We talk about it quite a bit here at ESPN. Clearly, head injuries are a factor in MMA. What's nice about MMA is that once a fighter is concussed, the fight is almost always stopped before further damage is sustained. In boxing and football, guys may be concussed multiple times in one game or fight. That's why MMA referees must continue to err on the side of premature stoppages to prevent serious injury.
To answer Aaron's question: Toney will make TOO MUCH for this fight!
That's probably true. Let's just hope he loses.
Chosty,Good work on the fantasy foosball podcasts.When can we expect another UFC event at the Rose Garden?
Thanks, Chris. I really enjoy doing the Fantasy Football stuff. Allows me to get back to my radio roots a little bit. Portland is a great MMA market, but I'm not sure the UFC show did all that well out there. My memory could be off on that.
UFC 123 in Chicago?
Still no official announcement, but rumblings are good.
Hey Jon, So Stoked to finally get to an event it's going to be Wicked!!I've noticed MMA (more specifically UFC) has been getting more and more coverage on Sportscenter. 2 days in a row. Yesterday Dana, today Couture. Last event they had Sonnen all over. They even plugged your show today! Things are looking up my friend!
Yes sir! As you may have noticed, SportsCenter has covered almost every UFC PPV since MMA Live first aired on ESPN2. Definitely moving in the right direction.
Are you friendly with Dan Rafael? Does he constantly tell you how much he hates MMA?
Used to be very close with Dan when I hosted a boxing radio show in Boston. I've probably interviewed him 30 times. He doesn't get off on bashing MMA, but he's not a fan.
Why are you going to cut it short today?
Studio issue with Fantasy Focus shows this AM, so we got pushed back. Nothing I can do, mate. It's a big fight week, and I'd love to chat for 2 hours. Out of my hands.
JA, I feel MMA is in a no win situation when it comes to the Toney/Couture fight. If he wins, which he should it was an MMA match. But if he loses, we won't here the end of it from boxing fans. Btw, if this was a boxing match, would there be any doubt?
I would agree that there isn't much for MMA to gain by putting on this fight. But I also don't see it as MMA vs. boxing. At all. If Toney wins, perhaps he has some future in Mixed martial arts. But that's not my expectation.
Schedule another chat later this week. Baseball and football get daily chats. Not fair that we only get one MMA chat per week.
We have talked about doing this chat 2 days/week. Just won't be this week b/c of all my obligations in Boston.
Have you ever thought about chatting during the UFC events like Dan does during some Boxing After Dark shows?
I've done two chats following UFC PPVs and will do so again down the line. Right now, my time is split b/w a lot of different things. Wish it could be all MMA, all the time.
Speaking of which, I gotta bounce. Tomorrow on MMA Live, interviews with Dana White, Frankie Edgar and Randy Couture. Tito Ortiz makes his studio debut. And then it's off to Boston for UFC 118. Send overflow questions my way on Twitter (@Jon_Anik) and we'll do a 90-minute chat next Wednesday. Until then, enjoy UFC 118...and don't text and drive. -JA