Hi. Outstanding to be back for another chat here at ESPN.com. Going 90 minutes strong today. If I don't get to your question, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter - @Jon_Anik - and I will be sure to get back to you there. Let's vent.
Thinking you should grow a Brock-like beard until Oct 23...will the bosses at the worldwide leader allow a scraggly Anik on air?
Kenny Florian can grow any facial hair he wants. I have to shave. So I rebel by shaving my head. I can grow a full beard in a week.
Happy Brocktober Jon! I'm ready for Primetime are you?
Born ready. For me, the only person in sports who is more compelling than Brock Lesnar is Bill Belichick.
Jon, any chance the UFC will be in Albany down the road? We are the capital of the Empire State!
I think it'll be some time. Must get the state of New York done first before entertaining specific regions. And you know the UFC's first show in NY will be at Madison Square Garden. And it'll be huge.
Is there any real challenges for Aldo at 145??? He should just jump to 155, join the UFC, and then the real fun starts!!
I would like to see him fight Josh Grispi, who actually has a WEC fight upcoming next month. But contenders have a way of emerging, and I don't think Aldo is ready to leave the featherweight division. I admit, it is hard not to think about all of the great matchups for him at 155. Life is a lot more difficult up there though.
Noons picked Diaz apart last last--- can he do it again??
I'm really excited for this fight. Diaz is just a machine. If he fights strategically and uses all of his tools, he should win. I think he needs to keep his distance on the feet and wear Noons down with his jab. A takedown or two would be nice. If KJ gets inside, he can finish Nick, who rarely gets finished.
KJ Noons will join us tomorrow for MMA Live on ESPN2. Also interviews with Josh Thomson and our 'Ultimate Fighter' Season 12 correspondent Michael Johnson.
What up chost! Great day in Minny and start of Brocktober! What chance do you give Cain to beat Brock, I see Cain as a weaker version of Carwin.
Was surprised to see the entire panel in this month's FIGHT! Magazine pick Velasquez to win the fight. I do think Cain is one of the few guys who, if he gets taken down by Brock Lesnar, can actually get back up. Cain is so relentless that it's hard to envision him not finding a way to win. But Brock is ENORMOUS. And, if Lesnar's boxing has come along, as expected, I think Lesnar can hang around on the feet ,eventually get Velasquez down and finish him with ground-and-pound.
Whats the word on KenFlo's next opponent?
I'd like to see it be Evan Dunham at UFC 125 on 1/1. Perhaps a rematch with Sean Sherk, but that is less likely to me. Hoping to get some more insight on it from Kenny tomorrow.
Will Carwin be fighting Big Country or Nog next?
Still TBD. There were also some rumors about Pat Barry. Regardless of opponent, New Year's Day looks to be the date for Carwin's return.
who should cerrone fight next?
It's a tough call b/c you can't have him face Ben Henderson again. Perhaps he would fight Kamal Shalorus, who has a fight scheduled in December.
Jon, I would like to thank you for claiming that Jose Also is the real deal before most MMA journalists. Clearly some of these people can learn from you.
I appreciate that, but I had an unfair advantage. Frank Mir and Stephan Bonnar have been raving about Aldo since I met them in early 2008.
Is Brock a possible addition to the New Years day card?? He is a willing champion who other champs, AAHEM..(GSP) should try and be as active. I know you agree. (He has to beat Cain of course)
You know I agree! It is certainly dependent upon the fight with Velasquez and Lesnar would like to fight every 3 months. But January 1st would be cutting it a tad too close, I think, even if the Cain fight lasted 2 minutes.
Will there be another CBS Strikeforce card?
I think so.
I think you are too harsh on GSP's inactivity. He had an injury after Alves and TUF ties him up for a while but his history before then was fighting 3-4 times a year.
He is the face of the UFC. Every 6 months is not enough. I really enjoy seeing him on TUF and this was the right time for that move and that showcase. But GSP does not fight enough. Period. He's in his prime. I'm not even sure how long Georges St. Pierre wants to fight for, so we need to see him as often as possible.
When will Ryan Bader and Jon Jones fight?
Reported for Feb. 5th I believe.
Thoughts on the Moss trade? Can't help the Pats?
It's not an upgrade in the short-term, although I like Brandon Tate a whole bunch. 2011 draft will be huge for the Patriots, with 8 picks in the first 4 rounds. Belichick can do no wrong in my eyes, and Moss was beginning to check out.
So, Bjorn Rebney says that Bellator will be making a lot more stops in PA and NJ. Will we see you at a few of the bouts?
I hope so, Peter. If I can drive there and I'm not working, I'm in the building.
jon jones doesnt seem as happy as everyone else about fighting bader
He's focused! I like Ryan Bader a lot, and like him even more after interviewing him for the first time last week. But this is Jon Jones we are talking about.
Good/bad idea: Jose Aldo fights Bendo/Pettis winner, and if he wins defends against ____, leaves the WEC as a 2-division champ. Would that give Dana more of an idea that Jose can actually fight @ LW, so he can put him on a UFC PPV.
I understand the line of thinking and perhaps that would be the way to do it. I guess I just don't like that every time Aldo or Henderson wins big, the talk is always of a move to the UFC. I don't think WEC/Zuffa is in any huge rush to have Aldo jump up to 155.
One UFC card to buy/watch the next few months? I need to get the wifes clearance... so I need to choose my battles.
UFC 121 without question. October 23rd in Anaheim. Card is absolutely loaded. And you can watch our MMA Live Post-Fight Extra on ESPN2 immediately following the PPV.
Say Chris Leben beats Brian Stann and then beats W Silva, he has a 5 fight win streak, would that earn his a rematch with Anderson Silva
Not sure. Depends how those fights go down and depends on other results at 185 (Marquardt-Okami, Bisping-Akiyama). Also, don't forget about Chael Sonnen. If he wins appeal or suspension gets shortened, he could be right back in the mix.
If Aldo jumps to UFC There will be no more WEC pay per views.
I would agree.
Fair, but I wasn't rushing Aldo to the UFC. It'd be a year before he would fight twice in the WEC LW + throw in Grispi (because I too want to see that fight).
Fair enough, but so much can happen in that time frame. Who will be the UFC lightweight champion? What is Ben Henderson loses his next fight?
As a former Bellator employee do you know of any future plans for them to stop holding tournaments and instead just produce cards like most other orgs?
I have no idea, Matt. I think doing a show every week for 2 12-week stretches/year is ambitious and impressive. But it's gotta cost a lot of money, too.
What did u think of George Roops Head kick
Tremendous. Korean Zombie's momentum halted just a tad.
You don't think Faber vs Torres is Pay per material?
I think they'll do a PPV with Faber-Torres and Aldo-Grispi. But if Aldo moves to the UFC in the near future (not my expectation), I'm not sure you can do a monster PPV number w/o Aldo. He's not on Urijah's level of mainstream. At all. But he's the human highlight film and the talk of MMA.
what do you think of merging the 155 class to the wec instead? they would get more ppvs options
I wouldn't mind that, but the WEC has done a nice job sustaining that division. It helps balance/fill out their cards. And it's nice to see some fights with guys that are bigger than me.
Warren vs Aldo Jon, is this even remotely possible?
Not right now. Both are champions in separate U.S. promotions.
Zuffa will make a TUF type reality show staring Faber and Torres in 2011. I am on the record!!!
Happy Brocktober Jon!Whatya think of Shaub's comments on Brock's weak training partners' I still worry about lack of quality training partners for Brock??? Go Twins right!
Go Twins is right! Having never seen a live Lesnar training session, it's hard to question his partners and the reps he is getting. Schaub is obviously in a better position to critique than I, as a fellow MMA fighter. But Lesnar spares no expense in preparing for his UFC fights, and I'm quite sure he's getting the stand-up training he needs. Has a great boxing coach in Peter Welch, who was only brought in within the last year.
Brock is training stand up with Pat Barry, doesn't get a whole lot better for HW stand up in the UFC.
Who do you think Herschel Walker is going to fight?
I hope someone who is really bad.
Jon, when will Chael speak publicly?
Not sure, but I can assure you he'll be back on MMA Live at some point.
Jon, any word on if Cro Cop will indeed retire after his last fight (if you can even call it a fight).
I think he'll have one more fight, for the pay day and to go out with a better performance. He'll have a full training camp, fight a lesser opponent, and probably still look like a shadow of himself.
Walker vs Canseco?
Would be fun to see Herschel smash Canseco. Just get him to the canvas and drop hammerfists on his chin. Canseco would love the opportunity to fight Walker.
Would you do steroids if it helped you be a better host?
Hahahaha. How do you know I don't use performance-enhancing drugs already? All I will say is that in all pro sports, the reward of taking PEDs would appear to outweigh the risk.
are my questions going through? I've had some good ones?
Heavy traffic today man. I'm here for another 50 minutes, so send it back in.
Or follow me on Twitter - @Jon_Anik
when is the next ufc, the free one!!!
UFC 120 on October 16th.
How do we go about petitioning ESPN to get MMA Live on at a more normal time slot?
You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. And e-mail/haze other shows at ESPN asking for more MMA coverage!
December will be the third strikeforce show in st. louis in a little over a year and half. When is the ufc going to put on a show here?
Good question. At least one of the major promotions has made St. Louis a frequent destination. I'm from Boston, where there has only been one major MMA show. Ever.
hey I need a good barber, any suggestions?
Clippers Barber Shop in Plainville. Tell Neal I sent you. He's a good man. $14.
Jon, what is more likely: a better time slot for MMA Live or the full version airing on ESPN?
No idea, Derrick. Would I rather a full-hour on ESPN2 or an earlier time slot? Don't know that I have the answer, but I always wish we had more time.
ESPN/Network TV deal for the UFC if the NFL has a lockout next year? They'll need to fill the void...
I would never root for an NFL lockout. But would be great to have the UFC on ESPN, of course.
were you impressed witht the chinese fighter that made his debut for the WEC
Sure. It's early and I'd like to see more. But sure.
whats with SF's heavyweights? The brass over there ever gonna take control and make some fights? Seems sketchy to not have big fights with all those names
SF roster has a few Top 10 heavyweights-Overeem, Fedor, Barnett. And Fedor and Overeem are in my Top 5. Just gotta make some fights. No argument here.
any thoughts on John Howard vs Thiago Alves?
Excited to see what John Howard can do with an opportunity against a bigger name/former No. 1 contender. Howard showed a ton of grit and skill in the loss to Jake Ellenberger.
Jose Aldo might be the best offensive fighter in all of MMA and he cant even use what maybe his best weapon - soccer kicks and knees to the head of a downed opponent! Some of his brazillian matches had scary good finishes!
Well, I'm glad that stuff is disallowed. But you're right. He also hasn't needed to use his Brazilian jiu-jitsu much. He looks more unbeatable to me at 145 than Jon Jones does at 205.
And y'all know for me, that is saying something.
Is there any chance Tito Ortiz will fight for the belt again? Do you know who he's training with for his upcoming fight? Thanks!
There is less than a 1% chance that Tito Ortiz will fight for the belt again. He's just way too far down the list right now. Not sure how long his back is gonna hold up. As for his training, I believe he is still w/ usual cast at Team Punishment.
did you love the hatred for Jamie Varner VS Donald Cerrone as much as I did?
It was definitely refreshing to see a fight between two guys with genuine dislike for one another. We're in an age of MMA when teammates refuse to fight one another and we've even seen friendly banter between fighters in the middle of fights. So, it was a spectacle to see Cerrone and Varner go at each other.
And quickly on Varner-Cerrone. Varner is damn tough and should be commended. Still not sure why he has so many haters. And for Cerrone, we've gotta see that killer instinct/reckless abandon against everyone, not just the dude you hate.
Chost, why is there so much coverage of baseball, but there numbers comeback ...not so good? Why not more MMA?
A lot of reasons. I can tell you that MMA Live ratings on ESPN2 have been terrific the last few months and we need that to continue on an incline. Please and thanks to all of you that support the show every week, set those DVRs, tell your friends, etc. IT IS making a difference.
Conan or Leno?
What is your favorite way to see a fight finished??
Submission. Don't even have a preference. Just like BJJ.
I think there should be a ban on touching gloves, we get it already
I normally am all for tradition, but I'm with ya.
Aldo vs. Sandro! Now that's a fight I want to see at 145
I totally see need for a change in judging, but shouldn't fighters be trying to take an opponent out, not trying to outscore an opponent
Judging in MMA needs reform, but it will never be perfect b/c judges are not robots. But yes, most fighters go in there with the intent to finish the opponent. They just have to be careful that the aggression is calculated, because wins are inexorably linked to their livelihoods.
Wisconsin represents so hard in this chat.
Only 275,000 PPV buys, Did the UFC mess up serving us Mir KO Cro Cop, is there ever a reason to cancel a show?
I don't think you'd ever cancel a PPV, especially if you are the UFC. So many fighters on the roster and they all need fights. Plus, the UFC almost never does fewer than 300,000 PPV buys.
was there a specific fight that sold you on being an mma fan?
First fight I saw live was Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett, as a large underdog, knock KJ Noons out cold in Mississippi. Haven't missed many fights since.
Does Josh Grispi get through Eric Koch? When he faces Aldo what kind of chance does he have and what should his game plan be?
Don't know a ton about Koch, but it's hard not to like Grispi from the sample we've seen. Great finishing instincts, and a good frame for the division. I think he needs to get Aldo off of his feet by any means necessary. Make it a dirty fight. Cheat!
Do you think fighters are underpaid? I know its a free market, but i see boxers getting like 500k per fight, not even Brock does that.
When all the checks are cashed, Brock Lesnar indeed makes more than $500K per fight. That said, I think some MMA fighters are underpaid. Not sure boxer Andre Berto should be making more than Shane Carwin, for example. Perhaps there are others who are overpaid though. And, the UFC doles out a lot of checks to its fighters that aren't reported.
Because Varner is a punk.
Jamie certainly has his haters. And I'm certainly not one of them.
What's up Anik? Where would my boy Mayhem Miller fit in the 185 picture in the UFC? Love that guy.
I'm with ya dude. I think Miller would be very competitive against some of the top UFC guys at 185- Leben, Bisping, Akiyama, etc. And there are a ton of matchups I'd like to see. Not as many opponents for Miller under SF banner.
What will the MMA landscape be 1 year from now? UFC on network TV? Noticeable strides for Strikeforce? Bellator and Dream still in business?
I wrote one thesis in college on whether or not the media undermines American democracy. This is a chat.
Does BJ hang it up at 155? leaving him to end his career at 170?
I think Penn will have at least one more fight, if not run at 155. That said, I think fighting Hughes a third time right now is the perfect move/opportunity for B.J.
how come mike brown got no love on the broadcast?
Easier said than done to always get your quick finishes on the TV portion. Wanted to showcase other guys, too.
Any word on Carwins next fight?
Looks like he'll return at UFC 125 on New Year's Day. More tomorrow on MMA Live.
Nick Diaz in the UFC by 2012 True or False??
Does that give me until December of 2012? So tough to project. It's also not so nice to Strikeforce to always be forecasting when their top guys are gonna leave. But I get it. And I'll say True.
ok so if you do go to Disney for ESPN the weekend can you let us know
Do you think Carano ever fights again? I thought she would want to avenge the cyborg loss
I thought for sure she would get back in there at some point. After a conversation with one media source last week, I have my doubts now.
Flat out: Lesnar or Velasquez?
I will make the official pick on October 20th right here in the chat. On October 6th, I am leaning towards the bigger guy.
who would be next in line for a title shot for the Lesnar/Cain winner? Dos Santos?
Yes, Junior Dos Santos.
Out of all of the MMA talking heads out there, who would you say is most knowledgeable? I'd say Breen, but Josh Gross brings it too.
A lot of good candidates. Tomas Rios is a brilliant MMA guy, as is Jake Rossen.
who do you like in the hardy vs condit bout
Jon, Franklin vs Griffin is officially set for Feb 5th! Think if Franklin wins, he gets an immediate title shot or has to fight Rampage/Machida winner first??
I don't think Franklin would be all that close to a title shot with a win. He would certainly have to get through another contender at 205. I think perhaps he'll fight Randy Couture. But he'll probably be an underdog against Forrest Griffin.
whos your pick to win the world series?
Cain is the next HW champion... when Brock retires or decides to suplex the Undertaker again. Cain's chin is not good enough to beat Lesnar.
We shall see. So fired up to see this one live.
Do you think Carlos Condit is underrated as a fighter. He's had some really good fights from what Ive seen, and the ex WEC champ, but he doesnt get much attention.
I think he gets more credit for his toughness than his skill. He just needs some big-name wins in the UFC and he'll be fine. Many don't even think he beat Jake Ellenberger, despite being rewarded with the decision. That was one hell of a comeback. Beating Dan Hardy would go a long way.
How important is this next fight for Rampage? If he loses, is this the beginning of the end? He's very popular, but how many losses can he sustain in a row before White bounces him?
I don't think Rampage is in any danger of being cut. If his heart and mind are in it, Jackson can still be the best 205er in the world. I think the UFC would love to get Rampage back in a title fight. And, a win over Machida (tall task) may be enough to get him there.
Jon, why do you keep referring to Brock's size like it is the only reason he has a chance against Cain?
Because I think it is Lesnar's biggest advantage in the fight. Plain, simple.
Does Overeem have a champions clause with Strikeforce?
I believe so. Not certain.
Cain took shots from a better striker in Kongo and survived and then pounded him for the rest of the fight. For brock to win he has to be a better wrestler cause Cain will pick him apart on the feet and despite his size, brock doesn't have 1 punch power. Agree?
Velasquez is also a much better all-around fighter than he was when he fought Cheick Kongo. I agree with much of what you say, and Lesnar hasn't shown us the one-punch KO power that Carwin possesses. But Brock is highly cerebral and does a nice job positioning himself to finish fights, especially with his hands on the ground. May not be flashy, but he's effective.
Thanks for the extended chat. Any chance you could do this twice a week?
Would love to do another MMA chat earlier in the week, say on Mondays. Right now, I've just got too many other obligations with NFL, Fantasy Football, NBA, boxing, etc. Maybe in 2011.
does your wife ever chime in on the chat?
Rarely. Maybe once she did during the summer. She's a math teacher, so school is now in session.
Why have Fedor as a top five heavyweight? He hasn't fought anyone that mattered since Arlovski, and was tapped by someone who was ko'd by the UFCs 4th best heavyweight.
It's a fair argument, and I've gotten plenty of criticism for keeping Fedor in the Top 5. It's just a statement about what he has done overall and what I think he will do in his next fight. I just think he fought a really stupid fight against Werdum and would still beat all but 3-4 heavyweights on most nights.
is there a chance that mma fantasy comes back for Brock/Cain?
There is a chance.
When Brock takes Cain down, will he be able to submit him like he did Carwin? That was very easy.
No. Or at least I highly doubt it. Cain is an animal and he'll die in there before he gasses out or gives in to a submission. Many are convinced that Velasquez can get up once taken down. I think that is the key to the fight.
when is rashad in the studio?
Can you people please get serious??? Brock is a monster. You don't have to be a skilled as your opponent when you can hold or move him to wherever you want in the cage. Brock finish Cain, 2nd round.
Love it, Nate. I guess you made the point better than I did. I've interviewed Lesnar several times. That size is just different when you are standing next to him. HD TV does not do it justice. Frank Mir is a huge man who fills a doorway at ESPN. Brock is much, much bigger.
How can FMac only be at a 6 for Brocktober? I'm at a 12.
Hahahaha. I love how geeked everyone in the chat today is for Lesnar-Velasquez. Did I mention MMA Live will be in Anaheim?
You shedding any tears over Moss?
None whatsoever. I have Belichick's face tattooed on my chest.
buy/sell brock in studio in the next 6 months
I'll buy it. Lesnar will be at ESPN between now and April.
Whats the deal with Jon Jones? At first he was humble n junk. Now he's talking about Ryan Bader like he has to go mow the lawn or something. I mean c'mon, confidence is one thing, but Bader still is nothing to sneeze at.
Jon Jones essentially knew that this was gonna be his next opponent. Not sure why he is down on the fight. Not sure if it is part of his game plan, to denigrate Bader during the pre-fight process or what. Either way, a win over Bader will get him one of the big 4 (Shogun, Rashad, Machida, Rampage). So just win.
How do you see McCorkle's career playing out? Eventual title shot?
Doubtful, but we'll see. The UFC's heavyweight division is loaded at the top, but there is room for fighters to emerge in the bottom half of that Top 10.
After Dos Santos who is there? Brock will have cleaned out the division already.
Well, I don't give Dos Santos as good a shot against Lesnar as I give Velasquez. But those are two big challenges for Brock. By that time, Carwin could also have worked himself into a rematch. And I also think we are gonna see Lesnar-Velasquez more than once.
I got bader beating jones down in the third round
I don't. But good for you.
How do you think Phil Davis will do?
Great. He's gifted.
On what body part is your K-Flo tattoo? /needed to be said//sure I'm not the only one
Who you picking to win TUF?
Our MMA Live TUF correspondent Michael Johnson, of course.
Brocktober is such a waste!!! I'm allready looking forward to the Dos Santos vs. Cain championship fight just like McNeil
Much like Machida vs A. Silva, Aldo vs Sandro will never happen as they train together!
After what i saw from Dos Santos against Nelson, I give him a 1% chance against Lesnar or Velasquez!
A lot of fans feel that way.
So after Lesnar beats Carwin twice, Cain twice, Dos Santos...who's next?
Just watch UFC 121. Cool?
jon jones should fight anderson silva. thats a better matchup than st pierre and silva
Where do I sign the petition for that one?
Think GSP will finish Kos or another decision?
I might pick Koscheck. I'm good at picking against GSP, bad at being right. But Kos has a shot.
Cain doesn't have KO power, Brock is a better Wrestler than Cain and Brock has great chin...how could Cain win?
You are only as good as your next fight.
When do think you the Shogun vs Rashad fight happens And do you think it takes place in Chicago seeing Rashad lives here
Quite possibly, but Vegas is more likely for that title fight. Hopefully we don't have to wait until May, but it could be that long.
its so awesome you do this every week. Question: do you believe there are any heavy weights outside of the UFC that could make the mix more interesting?
Absolutely. I think Alistair Overeem would disrupt (in a good way) the entire heavyweight division.
Alright, I gotta run. Thanks for the extended time today. You can also hit me up on Twitter @Jon_Anik and please also follow @ESPN_MMALIVE. Tomorrow, we are on ESPN2 at 1AM ET with KJ Noons, Josh Thomson, Michael Johnson, Kenny Florian, and Rashad Evans. Until next week, eat some fried food. Just don't text or tweet and drive. -JA