Happy Thanksgiving all! Thanks for checking in during the holiday week. I'm here for the next 45 minutes or so talking about all of these UFC 123 headlines. And don't forget, MMA Live IS on tomorrow night, 1:30AM ET/10:30 PM PT on ESPN2. Interviews w/ Phil Davis and Dan Henderson. Aight, let's vent...
Why was Gerald Harris cut?
I've been asked about this a lot on Twitter. Hard to imagine a guy who came into Detroit with 3 straight knockouts, 2 of them Knockouts of the Night, could now be out of a job. But there are only so many spots on the roster, and someone had to take the fall for a fight that ended with zero action in the 3rd. Harris will be back, though. Have texted with him a little bit today, and he's pretty down and frustrated.
Chost, Whats up? Last week when asked about who are you picking in the Hendo vs Babalu fight, you answered with is Hendo training? What's did you mean by that?
I just don't think he had a great training camp for the Jake Shields fight. I think his preparation for this fight has been more thorough. Couple that with the fact that he doesn't have to cut down to 185, and I think we'll see a better Hendo. Will make a pick in the chat next week after talking to Dan tomorrow.
Sherdog has Bader ranked higher than Jon Jones. I don't see it that way. You?
If I did rankings, I would have Jon Jones ranked higher. But I don't think rankings are all that purposive.
Jon are we getting off to a late start today?;)
Was here at 1:00 sharp, mate.
BJ vs Fitch??? how does that make any sense??? BJ is the smallest WW out there, against a bigger wrestler who grindes and lays and prays?? i see a 30-27 and boring dec for Fitch.. what do you think?
I certainly favor Fitch in the matchup, but hopefully B.J. will just hammer his takedown defense and make it an exciting fight. I actually like the fight a lot and am intrigued to see if Penn can get Fitch in trouble with his boxing.
Do you think the UFC will find a worthy co-main event for UFC 125 with the Aldo/Grispi fight out?
Hard to say. We are less than 6 weeks away from UFC 125, so to come up with a fight between big names will be a challenge. Thankfully, the card overall has some depth. Brandon Vera-Thiago Silva should be on the main card.
Is Dana sending a message with the release of Gerald Harris, that you need to be aggresive in the Octagon, especially if you should be in desparation mode? I thought he had potential!
Sotriopolous gets a title shot if he beats Siver, right?
Sotiropoulos is 1-2 wins away from a title shot. It depends on how the fights play out between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard and Ben Henderson-Anthony Pettis. Siver would also be in the mix with a W over GST.
Which is going to be louder: GSP vs Koscheck or a Montreal Canadiens home playoff game?
Good question. I've gotta say GSP-Koscheck. Kos may get bombarded on his way to the Octagon.
How surprised were you to find out your boy Gerald Harris was cut by the UFC?
Very surprised. But Dana White wants to set an example. Unfortunately, Gerald ended up being the fall guy. I fully expect him to fight his way back into the UFC.
Hey Jon, always look forward to your chats on Wednesday! Hearing today that Aldo is out due to injury for the New Years card, what do you think is next for Josh Grispi???
Perhaps Mark Hominick. A fight between those two would certainly produce a worthy No. 1 contender, even though I believe Grispi is already worthy of a title shot.
Mike Wilbon the other week was all fired up and excited about Sidney Crosby getting into a fight. I don't understand why he likes to watch two guys w/ no-skill rabbit punch each other when he could watch the best fighters in the world? Set him straight Jon!!
The P.T.I. guys just don't get the MMA stuff. Perhaps it's a generational thing. Thank God for Tony Reali, who is an MMA fan and a big supporter of MMA Live.
whats next for rampage
If it were my call, I would give him a title shot against the winner of Shogun Rua-Rashad Evans. I know the masses will disagree with that. But I think the UFC would like to give Rampage another crack at the belt. Even though the win over Machida wasn't decisive, it was a win. And a rematch doesn't interest me.
Rampage could also get the winner of Jon Jones-Ryan Bader, or the Forrest Griffin-Rich Franklin winner.
When are we going to see Cain vs Dos Santos? I thought it would headline UFC 127 in Australia
I think the UFC would like that fight to be in Las Vegas, the fight capital of the world. And I don't blame them. Also need plenty of time to promote it. My guess is April or May in Sin City.
I can't believe no one has asked how you scored the Rampage - Machida fight.
29-28 Rampage. Gave Jackson the first 2 rounds and Machida the third. If we had the old-school Pride scoring rules, Machida would've won. But we don't score the totality of the fight. We score it round-by-round.
What is next for Machida?
One of the guys near the top of the division. Could be the Jones-Bader winner or loser. I don't think Machida loses much, if any steam with the close loss to Rampage.
I think Rampage fights winner of Jones Bader. What do you think?
Machida went from never being touched to losing pretty much 3 straight. How does he bounce back?
I think he'll be fine. He remains exceedinly difficult to hit and can very much hang with the top guys in the world. That said, his style is sometimes unwatchable. He spent a lot of that fight backing up.
Who would you take in a Rampage-BonesJones fight?
I would take Jon Jones over any 205er in the world right now.
what did you think of the paul williams fight?
That was unbelievable. I'm a Williams fan, but good for Sergio Martinez. Haven't seen many knockouts like that in boxing recently, especially with guys at the top. Williams has a good chin! He just gets hit too much.
If Penn beats Fitch is he the No. 2 WW?
No. 2 or No. 3. Jake Shields has a case.
Any news on Brock Lesnar? Thought we'd find out what type of competitor he is.
Lesnar is a tremendous competitor who wants very badly to be a great mixed martial artist. I'm not sure it'll ever happen for him, but he still can beat the elite b/c of his size and wrestling. I think there will be an announcement on Brock's next opponent shortly after the new year.
are there any mma live shirts?
We ran out. Hopefully more on the way in 2011. A lot of big things could be happening with MMA Live next year. Excited.
I love the MMA and what the UFC has done for the sport. I think UFC and MMA fighters in general should form a union to protect themselves and their futures so they don't end up like boxers. What's your take on this?
Many agree with you. I don't necessarily disagree, but it's a whole lot easier said than done. And the UFC is just so successful, savvy and powerful that I doubt very much it'll happen anytime soon.
What type of BIG things?
It's a tease, Jimmy.
You think Karo Parisyan will ever come back? Props to ESPN for one of the better MMA articles in recent memory.
Karo is done. Might surface with a smaller promotion, but his UFC days are finished. How could they possibly give him another fight? I just hope Parisyan can get to a good place mentally outside of fighting.
Just signed up for an MMA gym...Start with Judo, Krav Maga, BJJ, or Muay Thai?
BJJ. And start wrestling.
winner of bj penn and fitch gets a title shot right it would be pretty hard to deny fitch a shot for the title if he beats bj
I think that could depend on who the champion is. Not sure anyone is lining up to see B.J. Penn face Georges St. Pierre again. If Fitch wins, he'd certainly have earned another title shot. But I think the UFC would be more inclined to give Jake Shields the nod.
CHOST, Why did I get a crappy E60 repeat instead of MMA Live last week? And do you still get credit for the ratings when I DVR your time slot even if it's not on? FYI...I taped an extra 30 mins and it didn't matter.
Dave, MMA Live is always gonna be subject to getting pushed back b/c of live events. Hopefully one day we'll have a nice, cushy afternoon time slot 2 days/week and you won't have to worry. For now, what I do is set a 90-minute window on the DVR. But all of the DVR recordings count towards the ratings, so keep at it.
Also, we are scheduled to be on earlier in December. I believe most shows are either 12:30 or midnight ET.
Dennis Hallman looked tough against a shell of his former self Parisyan. What do think about a possible 3rd match-up with Matt Hughes. He has beat Hughes twice already!
Hallman doesn't seem to want the fight, but it's the biggest fight out there for him right now. I expect Hughes to take at least 6 months, if not a year off, to hunt and regroup.
Most likely Network Television Partner for the UFC is?
No idea, Dust. Hopefully ABC/ESPN!
what were your thoughts on seymour's hit on big ben?
Uncalled for and undisciplined. And I'm a Patriots fan, so I don't line up to defend the Steelers.
I don't get the hate of Fitch. If GSP wasn't around he have spent the last couple of years as a dominant WW champ. He hasn't finished fights, but he does take chances (how many guillotines has the guy been in that you thought would put him out?) and his fight w/ GSP was a war).
I agree with you. I have an appreciation for Fitch's game and ability to win so consistently. Everyone loses in MMA. Jon Fitch almost never does. And speaking of finishing fights, I'm told that is GSP's focus against Koscheck. He gets the sense he needs to make a statement in the form of a fight finish.
First champion to lose in 2011?
I don't think it'll be Cain Velasquez. Perhaps Frankie Edgar will lose to Ben Henderson(provided he beats Anthony Pettis). I do like Edgar against Maynard.
What should I get my triplets for Christmas? They will be just past 10 months 2 girls and a boy?
I'm an identical twin. What a blessing to have triplets. I've been buying these T-shirts for people that say 'Little MMA Fighter- From the Crib to the Cage'.
CHOST!! As a fan i would love to see Rampage v Bones Jones but is it a little premature to say that jones will blow past bader. how do you see that fight panning out?
Appreciate you checking in from Afghanistan. I think Bader will put up more of a fight than people are forecasting. But Jones is just so unorthodox and will have a huge speed advantage. I think Bader spends more time in the gym and has the experience edge. He's gotta find a way to make it a dirty fight.
tell dustin to get his kids gloves and a bag
Hahahaha. Good call.
Have you seen GSP's SportsCenter commercial? I thought it was pretty funny. Wish you would have been the one asking for the post it note though.
Thanks, Jay. I have seen it. Maybe one day we'll get an opportunity to do something like that for MMA Live. I'd love to knock papers out of Florian's hands and then have him choke me out or something.
You can only watch 1 fighter in 2011. Who would it be? Bones Jones, Cain, Spider, somebody else?
So what happens when JDS beats Cain and everyone appoints him "unbeatable"...that term is being tossed around to loosely!!
I agree that no fighter is unbeatable. But I really think Velasquez will beat Dos Santos - and decisively.
Who will help you host MMA Live on Thursday?
No one helps me host. :) But Kenny Florian and Franklin McNeil will be here as our in-house analysts. Phil Davis and Dan Henderson both join us from California. Can't wait to see a swollen Hendo after his Thanksgiving dinner.
How excited did you get when Rampage looked like he was gonna slam Machida?
Blood pressure definitely changed. Machida did a nice job avoiding it.
What do you think of Falcao? Do you think he held back a little on purpose against Harris? It looked that way to me.
I think Falcao could be a stud. He really does have that Mike Tyson/train wreck quality. Puzzled as to why he took his foot off the pedal. Clearly, both guys respected the power on the other side.
Who is next for Mr. Wonderful?
Hopefully someone in the top 10. Public perception differs greatly as to just how ready Phil Davis is to face the division's elite. You know what side I'm on. Perhaps he'll get Matt Hamill.
Do you think there's a chance that was the last we saw of Matt Hughes in the octagon?
There is always a chance. But I find it very hard to believe Matt Hughes is gonna go out like that.
I feel like Rampage is overrated due to his draw power. Your thoughts?
When Rampage is motivated, as he was for this fight, you can see that he is still competitive against the best 205ers in the world. Might he get a title shot a fight or two before someone else because he is one of the biggest start in the UFC? Sure. But I don't have a huge issue with that, especially in this case b/c I think Rampage has a case for a title shot.
After 123 dana said he thought hes already made up the free event he promised to the fans for the 112 disaster. Is he serious?
Generally speaking, don't you think the UFC does right by the fans? Perhaps Dana hasn't done anything specifically to make up for it, but it's as fan-friendly and fan-aware an organization as there is in pro sports. Am I totally off?
Is there any fighter recently more difficult to figure out then BJ Penn? If he comes out boxing like he did against Hughes against Edgar, we would still be talking about Penn and Aldo.
I still think it's hard to make too much of a 21-second performance. I loved Penn's comments after the fight, that he wanted to fight like a kid and exude that old school fighting spirit. I still consider Penn to be elite. Edgar is just a horrific matchup for him.
Jon, Happy Thanksgiving! I am sick as a dog here. Hey, are you excited about the Dec 4 Strikeforce in St. Louis? I am going, and am all sorts of pumped. Gonna be a great card. You got Hendo winning?
Thanks, Lucas. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Glad you'll be in the building next weekend. Another deep card for Strikeforce. I'll make a pick next week. We'll be talking to Hendo tomorrow on MMA Live. Babalu is very hungry. Wonder if he's the hungrier fighter, as Frank Shamrock said recently.
Simmons mentioned that he felt the hardcore MMA fans were condescending towards newer fans. Do you get that vibe?
There is some of that, for sure. We even get some of that flack on MMA Live, as we try to balance the needs of the hardcore and casual fans. Many of the MMA fans who watch our show on ESPN2 don't know who Mark Munoz or Jake Ellenberger is. It's our job to inform and educate the masses, while also making sure the show has value to the hardcores.
What is next for Brian Foster? He looked awesome vs Matt Brown.
Foster is on quite a roll. Maybe give him Amir Sadollah. Not sure.
Who do you like in Lawler vs. Lindland?
Lawler. Lindland is old as dirt.
How does Matt Brown stay around after 3 losses in a row and Gerald Harris gets cut??
Matt Brown was cut.
What's the ETA for Alistair Overeem in the UFC?
Your guess is as good as mine. He would really infuse the division. I think he's a Top 5 heavyweight in the world.
Simmons wouldn't be condescending towards a new NBA fan who was arguing that Durant was the best ever, having never even heard of Michael Jordan?
MMA is in its relative infancy. The NBA has a 50+-year history. The UFC began in 1993, but the concept of MMA didn't truly gain steam until the mid-2000s.
Is Bellator done? I heard rumors that they were folding. Have you heard?
Not done. Will announce a new TV deal shortly.
How intriguing would Overeem vs Dos Santos be?
Intriguing. Really intriguing. As would several other fights between the Reem and the current UFC heavyweights. Carwin-Overeem? I mean, c'mon.
I'm excited about Struve vs Big Sexy. The battle of the giants. I'm taking Struve based on experience and age, but I think it will be a great fight. What's your pick?
I am always reluctant to pick fights, especially with this much time before the fight. Get back to me in December. I do share your enthusiasm for the matchup, for what that's worth.
Last call, ladies. Headed to White Plains, NY tonite...
After losing his third in a row, is it time for tyson griffin to drop down in weight classes?
I don't see Griffin as a 145er. I think it's just time for him to win a fight. Many thought he did enough to beat Nik Lentz. And the UFC would seem to agree.
Dana's free ticket give away on twitter is one of coolest things I've seen. UFC is all about the fans!
Overeem is 5-5 in fights that go past one round. Kind of hard to put him top 5 until he actually faces a HW test, no?
That is fair. I still have him at #5, behind Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Shane Carwin, and Fedor Emelianenko. But rankings are largely fruitless.
Where do I go from here bud?
Can we just get that appeal over with already? Maybe you'll win and be back in a rematch with Anderson Silva before the end of 2011.
Matt Brown was not released, gets one more chance.
I heard differently. Appreciate the correction.
Lyoto Machida has had one of THE TOUGHEST list of opponents. I almost wish they'd throw the poor guy a bone. Happy Turkey Day.
Hey Rach- I agree. Thankfully, his loss to Rampage won't hurt him too much. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.
What's the co-main event at 124? that card seems weak to me
No idea. Could be Miller-Oliveira. The main event is so anticipated that it will carry that card by itself.
How do you rate Overeem above Werdum when Werdum beat him in an openweight pride tourney a few years back and Werdum beat Fedor?
If they fought today, I'd favor Overeem in a big way over Werdum. As previously stated, not a big rankings guy.
Happy Thanksgiving from Jacksonville. Thanks for beating the Colts.
Thanks, man. I actually had nothing to do with the Patriots win over the Colts. All Belichick, with a little help from Devin McCourty and James Sanders. Jags gotta beat the G-Men Sunday. Gonna be tough.
Any Roy Nelson news? What is the latest on his contract dispute?
Nothing yet. You have to think eventually there will be a resolution. But all is quiet right now.
What's your take on Dana saying overeem ain't a top 10 heavyweight.
I understand Dana's line of thinking, but don't subscribe to it.
Heat vs. Magic who you got?
I like Orlando tonite. What's the line?
Is Pascal Krauss the next big thing at 170 pounds?
Only time will tell. Calling anyone 'the next big thing' is huge praise. I like him, but he's got a long way to go.
Thiago Alves vs. John Howard should be the co main event for UFC 124.
And that likely will end up as the co-main event, even if it doesn't have huge title implications.
why the hate for harris? Jardine had to drop 4 consecutive before he lost his job
Clearly, the UFC is sending a message by cutting Gerald Harris. Read the chat transcript. We've hammered this topic today. Right off the top.
Is the Fitch vs Penn winner the next title contender?
TBD. There's this Jake Shields guy...
tyson griffin is a decision machine who lost 3 in a row in an already crowded division that is going to get m0ore crowded with the WEC'ers and Gerald Harris gets cut? Doesn't make sense
Tyson Griffin was given the benefit of the doubt b/c a huge number of people, including one judge, thought he won all 3 rounds.
magic - 4.5
Still like Orlando. Wish the line was smaller.
Has becoming the face of the UFC made GSP too cautious when compared to his previous incarnations?
I think it may have less to do with being the face of the UFC and more to do with all of his lucrative sponsorship deals (Gatorade, Under Armour, etc.). Being the champion is very important as far as that stuff is concerned. I don't fault GSP at all for the way he fights. Just wish he'd be in there more often.
SHOULD MARTIN KAMPMAN GET THE LOSER OF GSP-KOSHCHECK
Yup. Kampmann deserves another big fight.
What does George Soto need to do to get a title shot?
Just keep winning. He wanted the Siver fight, but perhaps he should've called out someone who is a notch higher on the ladder.
The injury to Jose Aldo seems pretty serious. Do you know how long he is expected to be out?
Still uncertain. Given that we're talking about his neck, every precaution will be taken.
Does GST get a shot at the title in 2011?
Oh, I think so.
Penn/Fitch vs Shields for the next title shot. IMO
Works for me, but that would mean GSP/Koscheck would be out of action from December until the summer. Hate when champions are inactive.
Rankings will always be problematic because there is no agreed upon criteria. Some people go off recent results, some career results, some who they think would win right now or some combination of all three. Makes you wonder why people care so much about them.
Well put, Paul.
JA, where in White Plains are you gonna be tonight?!?!?!
Not exactly sure yet, Lou. I'll be posting on Twitter throughout the night, so follow me @Jon_Anik. Might get dragged to see this Harry Potter movie. No jokes, please. I'm livid about it. Don't even know who Harry Potter is.
Summer would fit right into GSP's schedule
Yeah, of fighting every 6-8 months. Yawn.
Does Evan Dunham get also get a shot at the title in 2011?
If Dunham beats Kenny Florian, I think you can make a case that he is next in line. Just not sure how the Sean Sherk loss will be viewed or potentially used against his candidacy as a contender.
Fitch vs Shields would be the most boring fight in the history of MMA
You are not alone in that sentiment.
SHEILDS IS OVERRATED I THINK WHO DOES HE FIGHT NEXT
When you win as often as Shields does, I don't think you can really be overrated b/c the sport is about winning. I think he'll be held out for a little while and will face the GSP-Koscheck winner.
Whatever you do Jon, do not Twitter and drive!
Wouldn't think of tweeting and driving...
So lesnar gets a fight in 2011, predict who it will be...
Long time no chat JA! Wouldn't dana be making a bigger point by cutting a boring fighter who wins, than a historically exciting fighter, with 1 boring loss?
Hey man. That's a fair point. But either way, I think the message should get across.
when is anthony johnson due back
Not sure. Seems like he's been sidelined since UFC 1.
I think Fitch vs. Shields might be an interesting chess match, because they mirror each other and jockeying for positions to cuddle...thoughts?
Could be, Duff.
Who do you think is the most exciting fighter right now? (from any organization)
If Dunham beats KenFlo, and Magic Pants(GSots) beats Siver in Australia, do we see a title eliminator between the two?
A distinct possibility.
Alright, y'all. Thanks for being here today. If I missed your question, send it to me now on Twitter (@Jon_Anik) and I will get back to you later today. And join us for MMA Live tomorrow night on ESPN2. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving. Eat yourselves into a food coma tomorrow. But when you're done, don't text while you're driving. Be well. -JA