Missed you guys. Good to be back for another MMA chat. Busy 2-week stretch ahead w/ UFC 120, UFC 121, and Vitali Klitschko-Shannon Briggs this weekend on ESPN. Here until 2PM ET taking your questions & comments. Fire away...
Thoughts on Strikeforce: San Jose?
Pretty solid card overall. Nice to see Tyron Woodley make a big statement. Was very entertained by the Thomson-Cavalcante fight. Diaz-Noons II was just OK for me, but I really like both of those guys as fighters individually and look forward to seeing how Strikeforce matches them up going forward.
Randy Moss vs. Tom Brady, who wins a MMA fight??
Randy Moss. Brady isn't nearly athletic enough for MMA.
Jon,Happy Wednesday Sir!! Are you impressed with Tyron Woodley?? Is he ready for Diaz??Thanks
I am impressed, but don't believe he is the #1 welterweight contender just yet. Stylistically, that fight makes sense. But I would make Woodley win 1-2 more fights before giving him that opportunity.
Would Diaz be a top 5 ww in the UFC?
Chost, do you think Bruce Leroy (TUF) is an act or do you really think he is that full of himself? Boys like that eventually get their clocks cleaned, no?
On Diaz, It's a crowded division, but I think so.
On Bruce Leroy, I think part of his shtick is just that. A huge part of TUF is getting camera time and exposure and whatever Leroy is doing is working. Say what you want about Junie Browning a few years ago, but we all know who he is. A lot of fighters on the reality show are very forgettable.
picks for UFC 120?
Bisping, Hardy, Hathaway, Kongo and Patrick. Really can't wait for the Hardy-Condit scrap.
Can Nick ever return to the UFC again?
Sure. He's got 2 fights left on his Strikeforce contract. I'm not sure how interested he is in a UFC return right now. But if he wanted to go in that direction, I believe the door would be open.
Whats up Jon, who is Carwin fighting next? Nelson or Dos Santos?
It won't be Dos Santos, b/c he's been all but guaranteed the next title shot. I think a fight with Big Country makes the most sense.
Is ESPN going to stop cutting into MMA Live? I hate starting it from the dvr and its some other program
Sorry about the delayed start last week. My best advice is to set the DVR for 90 minutes to ensure that you record the show. We've aired on time in 9 of the last 10 weeks, but I know it's a killer when we get pushed back. I really appreciate all of you guys sticking with us and hopefully one day, we are live at 2:30 in the afternoon where we belong!
JON! Long time, amigo. Do you think Vitor Belfort deserves a title shot against Anderson Silva considering he hasn't fought since '09?
...not to mention that his last UFC fight was at a catch weight above 185 lbs. But of all the names out there right now, I'd have to say that Vitor Belfort is actually the most deserving. Chael Sonnen's situation is still up in the air, and it's hard to make a case for any of the other top middleweights. By mid-November, we'll have a few other names in the mix (Marquardt-Okami winner, Bisping-Akiyama winner, etc.).
Damn straight, where we belong
if tito loses to the hammer like i think he will can he please just go away?
I wouldn't have a problem with Tito Ortiz going away. I'm just not convinced his body can still hold up. That said, he moves the needle. Not a chat goes by without at least one Tito Ortiz question.
Quick programming note, before I forget: Tomorrow on MMA Live on ESPN2, we'll interview Michael Bisping and Dan Hardy. We'll also have Eddie Alvarez and Lyman Good in-studio, as they prepare for their Bellator fights next Thursday.
And for you boxing fans, I will be calling the Vitali Klitschko-Shannon Briggs fight w/ B.J. Flores this weekend. Replay airs at 2PM ET this Sunday on ESPN. More details on Twitter- @Jon_Anik.
What kind of shot are you giving huerta against alvarez? And who ya got Grove or Konrad?
Cole Konrad remains raw (Busta Rhymes, anyone?), but I think his ground game will be enough to beat Grove. As for Alvarez-Huerta, Roger needs to fight the fight of his life to beat Eddie. Alvarez is a bull with no glaring weaknesses.
Hi Jon! If Randy Couture decides to fight again, who would you choose as his next opponent at 205? My pick would be Rampage vs. Machida winner.
I would've liked to see Randy fight Rich Franklin, or perhaps even do an interim title fight with Rashad Evans. I really think the Rampage-Machida winner deserves a title shot.
I really don't want to see Chuck or Tito fight again, except I really want to see them fight each other.
Fair enough. And that would work for me, too. I just worry about Chuck Liddell. Don't even want him to risk getting hit too hard in training. He's taken way too many hard shots over the last 18-24 months.
Randy would fight the winner of Forrest vs. Franklin
That makes a lot of sense, Morgan. And I think that will probably be the UFC's course of action.
If Koscheck beats GSP , could you see Jon Fitch moving up to 185 to fight for that title?
Sure. He wouldn't fight for the title right away necessarily, but I absolutely believe a bulked-up, stronger Jon Fitch could contend at 185.
Chost... so who deserves a title shot more then the Machida/Rampage winner or the Jones/Bader winner?
Oftentimes the most deserving doesn't get the title shot. If Rampage wins, I think he will deserve a title shot more than anyone else. Jon Jones also has a very strong case. But I'd prefer to see the Rampage-Machida winner be next in line, followed by the Jon Jones-Ryan Bader winner.
Of the following, who would you like to see in the UFC, and why? Hector Lombard, Lyman Good, Jose Aldo, Alistair Overeem
I would like to see them all in the UFC. Forced to choose, I would say Alistair Overeem b/c his presence would completely shake up the UFC's heavyweight division. And I think it needs a jolt right now. I also would love to see Hector Lombard get the exposure he deserves. He really is the Mike Tyson of MMA.
When is Fedor fighting next?
Not sure. Hopefully he will be on Strikeforce's first show of 2011. It's final show of 2010 is December 4th and Fedor is not on it.
Will Bellator have a 4th Season?
I hope so and believe so, yes.
Jon, ticket sales for UFC 102 in Portland were less than desirable. Any idea if this is hindering an event in Seattle? MMA is really big out here with plenty of prominent local products in the sport. Considering how well the Vancouver event went, what gives with no WA love?
It's a good question. I, too, was surprised at the ticket struggles for UFC 102, especially with Randy Couture headlining the card. I can't say with certainty that the Portland and Seattle situations are inexorably linked, but it's possible.
Jon - Faber at 35, Buy or Sell?
BUY. Still don't love him against Dominick Cruz, but I do against just about everyone else. And, of course, he beat Cruz at 145, but that was a long time ago.
Fedor, Tito, and Couture should all retire
I don't agree. Fedor still has plenty left. He just fought a stupid fight against Werdum. And Randy, despite being 47 years old, has won his last 3. I'd like to see 1-2 more fights out of Couture before he hangs 'em up. As for Tito, he's close to the end.
So GSP will be in Bristol shooting an ESPN commercial? any chance you make an appearance in it too?
Jon, What chance do you give Cain to beat Brock? By the way, awesome show!!!
I give Cain Velasquez a 50% chance to beat Lesnar. Fight is a pick 'em for me and truly could go either way. And if Velasquez loses, it'll be a spectacular finish b/c he is so hard to put away.
Those compustrike numbers couldn't have been accurate. No way Noons outpunched Diaz by 116.
No argument here. Those post-fight stats shocked me.
Any new news about Sonnen?
Nothing yet, man. It's very disappointing b/c he was gonna be a regular analyst on MMA Live. Now, I'm not quite sure when he'll be back in Bristol.
Are you following Scott Coker on twitter?
I believe so, yes.
How did you score the JZ/Thomson fight? I thought JZ won the third, Thomson the second, and the first was very close. Personally I thought JZ won... but how in the world did anyone give the third to Thomson? Even Thomson said that score was ridiculous...
I had it a draw. Scored the first round 10-10, second round for Thomson and the third was clearly a JZ round. I'm sure that is not what you want to hear, but I think it's the most accurate scorecard.
Gilbert Melendez say's he is number one, do you agree?
I have him at #2, right behind Frankie Edgar. Just think you have to give Frankie the top spot b/c he beat B.J. Penn (the greatest 155er of all time) twice. And the second time was even more convincing than the first.
I'm the guy that tweeted you that no one wanted to read your archived chats...it was a joke!...but I felt bad, so I printed them all out and they're now my reading material while I'm taking care of business. CONGRATULATIONS!
Hahahahaha. I was joking back with ya, man. Appreciate the readership!
Have you had a favorite live event that you have attended?
Hard to top UFC 100.
Who do you like in Gomi vs Guida?
Great matchmaking here. I tend to think Guida will dictate where the fight goes. I believe Clay is smart enough to avoid Gomi's power.
Would Dana White sign Fedor today if he was a free agent and willing to cut out the BS from before?
I think so. And the price would appear to have gone down.
Whats next for Nick Diaz?? Grudge match with "Mayhem", Woodley for title, or the Daley-Smith winner??
Difficult to decipher how Strikeforce will proceed with Nick Diaz. If Paul Daley wins, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a title shot. A third fight with Noons wouldn't shock me, either. I just would love to see the belt on the line again in early 2011. SF tests my patience sometimes w/ its matchmaking delays.
Do you think the Noons fight exposed Nick's wrestling?
Well, he certainly didn't look fundamentally sound when attempting those takedowns.
Not so sure about your Bisping pick, I think the crowd will sway him into getting into a brawl, especially after they hear Sexyama's intro...
We shall see, Joseph. I look forward to talking to Bisping tomorrow to see where his head is it. But I do believe the home crowd is more of an advantage than a disadvantage.
Thoughts on Hughes v Penn....winner? and whats next for the loser?
If Hughes wins, you have to consider him back in the mix at 170 and perhaps he would face somehow who we deem a contender. Maybe Hughes would get the winner of Paulo Thiago and Diego Sanchez. For B.J. Penn, I'd like to see him fight Thiago Alves or Dan Hardy.
Who will get upset this weekend at UFC 120? I have 3 in Bisping, Hardy, and Kongo?
A Condit win would only be a small upset, according to the Vegas oddsmakers. And many trusted experts are picking Akiyama. Underdogs win almost as much as favorites in MMA these days.
If you were MMA czar for the day, what would you change?
I would require every judge to watch the fights on an HD TV monitor. And I would make more #1 contender bouts to clearly determine title challengers. I would also eliminate elbows on the ground, b/c all they result in is a bunch of blood, which actually hurts the sport with the mainstream more than you guys could possibly fathom. And rarely do elbows finish fights. Sorry, K-Flo.
Martin Kampman is the underdog against shields, unrightfully so imo. If Jake wins he gets a title shot. What does martin get if he wins? A match against Hardy if he's the winner or a match against GSP if condit does?
I think a lot of folks are sleeping on Martin Kampmann. What he did to Paulo Thiago was pretty incredible. Just total domination of a guy I thought was a future contender. Kampmann could conceivably get a title shot with a win as well, especially with a KO or TKO.
Is Kenny still fighting Dunham or someone else?
It's gonna be Dunham, but the date could be changed.
I wouldn't have a problem with it, but who would be the #1 contender in that situation? The GSP-Koscheck winner is gonna need an opponent, and it'll likely come out of that pool of fighters.
Buy or sell - BJ regaining a title.
Sell. If he does regain a belt, it'll be at 155.
Since you have done both, what are the differences in boxing and mma play by play?
Hope you're not getting your jaw wired shut. Biggest difference for me in calling MMA and boxing is the amount of time to interject in the middle of a round is far greater in boxing. If you try to set up a storyline or a fighter's background in the middle of an MMA fight, you could get in trouble b/c the fight can end at any time. In boxing, there is a lot more holding, obviously, and far fewer finishes.
Kos wins Gsp immediate rematch.....
GSP is a 4.5 to 1 favorite. Doesn't a motivated Kos knowing that GSP is a great wrestler this time around warrant a wager?
I would advocate a small play on Koscheck. Why not? Or, bet the mortgage on GSP.
Jon jones ground elbows finish fights, just saying.
That is true. Rarely doesn't mean never.
If you could pluck 1 non UFC star in each weight class to start a promotion with, who would you pick?
I like that question. At 155, it would be Gilbert Melendez. At 170, Nick Diaz. At 185, Hector Lombard (without question). At 205, I'd like to see King Mo Lawal in the UFC. And at heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko (with apologies to Alistair Overeem).
If Kos does win, will GSP have to fight sooner? As the Champ, I would think Kos would be able to set a 3-4 month timeline.
I think you are right on that. Don't want to bog the chat down with my GSP inactivity frustrations, but I really, really hope, if he wins, we don't have to wait until July to see him again. These days, the only time I see Georges St. Pierre is in an Under Armour ad.
Who needs a W more.....Diego Sanchez or Paulo Thiago?
Diego Sanchez. But it's a good question, b/c both guys are in dire need of a W. That's why it is a brilliant matchup.
Who fights the Edgar/Maynard winner next?
A lot of possibilities. Perhaps George Sotiropoulos, provided he gets through Joe Lauzon. I also think Evan Dunham could be the guy with a win over Kenny Florian. Remember, Dana White believes Dunham got 'robbed' against Sean Sherk, so that loss won't be used against him.
Wouldn't you say (other than the Sera loss) Kos gave GSP the most trouble out of any "recent" GSP opponents? Are those odds just indicitive of how great everyone thinks/knows GSP is?
I think that is fair. Jon Fitch lasted the full 25 minutes, but he got mauled for 24:30 of the fight. GSP is just on another level right now and I'm not convinced that Koscheck's best performance is enough to get through GSP.
Chost, just read about Dan Henderson cutting 18lbs the night before his fight with Sheilds. For a guy who wanted a rematch with Anderson Silva, why such a bad weight cut? Think he'll ever go back to 185? Or permanent 205?
I just think at this stage of Hendo's career, it is hard to get up for fights. There is just no way he put in as thorough a training camp for the Shields fight as he did for the Bisping fight. Just no way. I think Dan only wants to fight a few more times. As one of the most accomplished mixed martial artists of all time, it is not about championships anymore.
You did not watch TUF last week did you. Shame, Shame,
I did! Have to watch it every week b/c we interview our TUF correspondent, Michael Johnson.
when is the next MMA live after an event?
We are headed to Anaheim next week for UFC 121. We'll do a full one-hour MMA Live Post-Fight Extra on ESPN2 immediately following the PPV. The first interview with Lesnar or Velasquez will be live on ESPN2 that night, shortly after the main event.
For anyone looking to make some scratch. Bet heavy on Condit and don't be fooled by his split decision win against Ellenberger. Ellenberger is a beast, you'll see!
A little gambling advice from Jersey.
What's up JA? You think women ever fight in the UFC? Quality is there, but is the quantity?
Quantity/lack of depth is the #1 issue facing women's MMA. A close second is simply that a lot of people just aren't interested in seeing women fight. And I'm one of them. I am thrilled that there are opportunities for women in MMA. But that doesn't mean I find it compelling or interesting or all that watchable. Good to hear from you, Rube.
Will the post-fight MMA Live show be online in the archives? It wasn't the last event you did.
That was a footage issue, I believe. Hopefully the kinks will be worked out this time around. Do you have a DVR? If so, please record!
Good, then answer this. I know, you get a billion submissions a minute. I am just Busting B***. If you are from Boston, you should be used to it. Has an assistant coach on TUF ever come across better than John Danaher? How does GSP get the rights to all these awesome coaches?
Danaher is the man. That dude is so locked in and informative. Love listening to that guy.
Do you think Nick Diaz would ever go back to the UFC seeing how his brother Nate and Sheilds are both welterweights? How does the Cesar Gracie camp feel about teammates fighting each other?
I think Diaz is content with Strikeforce right now. It affords him the opportunity to fight in Japan. And he also has won 8 straight fights, which simply wouldn't happen in the meat grinder that is the UFC. As for the teammate angle, every case is different. But I assure you Nick would never fight Jake or his brother.
Who would win in the octagon...Joe Rogan or Jay Glazer?
Would love to see it. Gotta back Rogan.
How many PPVs do you expect for Brocktober 23rd?
Do you think Lesnar's comparative lack of striking technique will play a factor in his match against Cain?
Well, hopefully Brock has continued to make strides under his (still fairly) new boxing coach, Peter Welch. But Velasquez has a clear advantage when it comes to technical striking in the stand-up game.
did you say who you got for Carwin VS Big Country?
I still believe Carwin to be a top 4 heavyweight in the world, and don't think he'll have much trouble with Roy Nelson, provided the fight happens.
It sounds like Couture's more interested in making movies these days. Could he be done fighting?
I don't think he is done. May only do 1-2 more fights, but I don't think his final fight will be the one against James Toney.
Any truth to the rumors of "Chost" being in the ESPN magazine 'Body Issue'
Perhaps in 2011.
How much better is Brock's wrestling than Cain's?
Technically, I think they are pretty close. But Lesnar's size advantage amounts to a big wrestling advantage, in my humble opinion.
10 more days!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You know it. MMA Live will do 4 shows next week, including 3 live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Can't wait to get to Cali.
Hi Jon, always love the chat!As far as current referees in the sport who's your top 3?
Josh Rosenthal, John McCarthy and Jason Herzog.
What about Wanderlei vs Couture at 205??? You interested???
Somewhat interested, but I don't think it is in the cards.
If Brock cleans out the division, do you think he will be considered the best HW of all time?
Depends how you define 'clean out'. If he beats Velasquez, Dos Santos, and perhaps Carwin again, he will have a great case as the #1 heavyweight of all time. But dethroning Fedor in that conversation will be tough.
Dissing Herb Dean?
No love for Herb Dean?
I think you forgot Herb Dean.
I have him at #4.
Cain's standup advantage won't mean much once Brock takes him down...just ask Shane Carwin.
Could be the case, but Velasquez has a much greater chance of getting up once taken down.
Percent chance we ever see Brock v Fedor?
You made an interesting fight with Penn vs Hardy. This would be very intriguing for both regardless of a win/loss in their respective bouts.
I hope it happens.
Is there a preference for the fighters in the various MMA organzations to fight in the US compared to Japan or are they fairly similar in the amount of money, fame, etc..?
Really depends on each individual. But generally speaking, an average fighter makes more money in Japan than the United States. As far as fame and exposure, nothing beats the UFC.
If you were building from scratch an MMA career from scratch what disciplines would you learn and in what order?
Wrestling would be #1. Don't much care about the rest of the order. That is the base I would want for MMA, and the recent results certainly make the point for me.
Do you think Couture would take a fight with a guy like Rampage or Evans to get in line for a shot at the title, or do you think he's just happy doing what he's doing?
Absolutely he would. Couture wants big fights against big-name opponents. Both Rashad and Rampage qualify.
My boss just caught me looking at the mma chat for the third time - i put my job on the line every wednesday for you jon; i want you to know that.
That is outstanding. Have your boss hit me up on Twitter w/ his complaints. I'll iron him or her out.
What kind of chances do you give brian stann against a fellow stand up fighter in leben?
When Stann was at ESPN, all he talked about was wanting to fight Chris Leben. Clearly, he thinks it is an ideal matchup for him. And I tend to agree.
How much of a size advantage does Brock have on Cain?
Brock will enter the cage roughly 30 pounds heavier than Velasquez.
If Big Country is not healthy in time for Jan.1, who would you like to see faced off with Carwin? I think Mitrione is the best option. Big Nog would get pummeled.
Mitrione would get pummeled.
The next title to change hands in UFC or Strikeforce will be..........
Strikeforce 205 lbs. belt.
Any early thoughts on who wins between Rampage and Machida?
Cannot wait for that one. So tough to pick a winner. Just a monster fight for both guys. It almost feels bigger than Rua-Evans to me. Call me crazy.
Will the Edgar/Maynard winner be the next coach of TUF against the next contender?
I would love to see it. But if Maynard wins, I'm not sure you can build a season of TUF around him. He's got some charisma, but verbally he's got a lot of work to do.
Big Question: Is Brock gonna still be rocking the beard for his fight? That's intimidation
I would imagine so. That beard rules.
Since we are talking betting lines. I think laying down some money on Mike Pyle is worth it when you look at the odds, even though Hathaway is superior athlete, experience is worth something.
I love Hathaway, but you are right that -600 is way too steep a price.
what's the general feeling among top-tier fighters between fighting live on spike vs. live on ppv?
Audience on PPV is much, much greater. Also has a totally different feel.
Will the crowd be pro Cain or Lesnar?
Lesnar is rarely the crowd favorite. And Velasquez is essentially the hometown fighter. It'll be a Cain crowd.
i know it is on spike but the germany card headlined by marquardt vs okami looks like a dud.
One of the more shallow UFC cards I've ever seen on paper.
Do you think that if Ben Henderson wins his next fight he should step up to the UFC?
I think it would be time, yes.
If Condit can beat Hardy, who might he fight?
Perhaps the Penn-Hughes winner, or the Diego Sanchez-Paulo Thiago winner.
When will Hector Lombard fight for the strap? Is his management team tough to deal with? Why isn't he more well-known in MMA circles?
He is under contract to Bellator as its middleweight champion. I think you will eventually see him in the UFC, but Bjorn Rebney will do everything in his power to keep Lombard under his control.
Is ESPN going to ever let you hit the road and maybe interview fighters during their training camps?
I wish, brother. Right now, my role at ESPN extends well beyond MMA. I like mixing it up, but certainly would love to be doing more MMA and attending more shows, camps, etc.
Alright, must get on outta here. Feel free to keep the questions coming my way on Twitter - @Jon_Anik and I vow to get back to you. Also, don't forget to check out my call of the Klitschko-Briggs fight this Sunday at 2PM ET on ESPN! And MMA Live is tomorrow at 1AM ET on ESPN2 w/ Michael Bisping, Dan Hardy, Eddie Alvarez and Lyman Good. Next Wednesday I'm back with UFC 121 predictions. Until then, be well and don't text and drive. -JA