Happy Hanukkah. Good to have you back for our weekly chat. Quick note, MMA Live is a midnight ET/9 PM PT start tomorrow on ESPN2, so you may want to check those DVRs. Let's vent...
What does Strikeforce need to do get more mainstream recognition? They have a much better card this weekend but more will watch the UFC!
Strikeforce has always lacked promotional muscle. The fighters deserve more pub. It also wouldn't hurt if their stars were more active.
Brock will be back in action before summer,... True or False ?? His opponent??? Nelson, Kongo, Cro Cop??
True. If I know Lesnar at all, he doesn't want to sit around and dwell on the loss. I think there's a good chance it'll be Kongo, if for no other reason than to try to rebuild confidence with a win.
Chost, what are your thoughts on Greg Jackson's rebuttal about recent comments from Dana White that his fighters are boring? Was Dana White out of line when he made those comments w/o having any backup?
I don't read too much into the commentary. I can really see both sides of the argument, and they are obviously going to have different agendas. I understand Dana's stance on the need for fighters to be exciting and press the action.
Jon, I'm writing a final paper for school on violence in MMA, and was hoping to get a high powered person as one of my sources? What are your thoughts on the current level of violence in MMA, and how far has it come since, say the 1st UFC PPV?
Send me an e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org- Not enough time to get to that here. I will say quickly there have been major rule changes since UFC 1 in 1993 and the numbers suggest MMA isn't nearly as violent as other professional sports.
What's up next for Matt Hughes? Do you think he should retire or does he have more good performances in him? I'd hate to see him go the way of Shamrock or others that don't know when to quite.
I think Hughes would like to go out with a win, or at least not retire off of a 0:21 KO loss. But it's hard to think he would be able to hang with any of the elite welterweights right now. Perhaps we made too much of the win over Ricardo Almeida.
What hurts Strikeforce more: No Herschel Walker this weekend or the fact that they're still adding fights to the card this week? Total lack of organization.
Certainly some bad luck involved, but the card has definitely taken a late hit.
Hey Jon! Do you feel the persistent inactivity of Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emilianenko will be the death-blow to Strikeforce?
Hard to say, Ash. I know as a fan it is very frustrating.
when is Chael schedule for his hearing again?
Josh Gross is saying that Todd Duffee turned down fights for both Bellator and Strikeforce. What's the logic there? UFC whispering in the ear still?
That does surprise me. I very much doubt he would be back in the UFC without at least one fight elsewhere.
Hendo or Babalu?
I like Babalu, actually. Haven't seen a line on the fight, but I just think he is a tad more motivated at this point of his career. Henderson is in a much better way mentally and physically than he was before the Shields fight, but I'm just not convinced his heart is 100% there.
Chost, what are your thoughts on the weak fines/no suspension handed down from the NFL following the scrap between Johnson and Finnegan?
Shocked. Definitely thought they were deserving of 1-game suspensions. Horrible precedent to set going forward. I was floored when I heard the news. And if Cortland Finnegan likes to pick fights, he should try the UFC.
Jon, what are your thoughts on saturation of the market place in MMA with the proposed 30-31 events the UFC alone has planned for next year?
It's an important topic to bring up, Andrew, b/c we have already seen some watered-down shows in recent months. It is no fault of the UFC, but injuries are a huge part of the sport and oftentimes happen late in the process. Still, the UFC depth is strong, as are the profit margins.
Anthony Pettis, are you sold on him already, win or lose against Ben Henderson? His only loss is a split decision to Bart Palaszewski, and he certainly hasn't been just knocking down cans.
I am sold. Ben Henderson is the man, and there would be no shame in losing to him. But Pettis will be a tough out for anyone in the UFC's lightweight division. Great infusion of talent from WEC to UFC at 155.
Jon, just wanted you to know that MMA Live is the only mma show I watch. Just don't like the attitudes and other stuff on the other shows. Love the atmosphere, the attitude, the professionalism, and the insight from your show and team!!! Good job and keep it up!
Really appreciate it, Scott.
JA love the chat man. Hard choice this saturday between shows. If you had to choose which one you watching? Really want to see the TUF final, but Daley vs. Smith is gonna be electric!
Thankfully, there is a remote control. Really happy for my good friend Stephan Bonnar to get the main-event showcase at the TUF finale. And I also think the UFC card has 2 other great fights w/ Story-Hendricks and Grove-Maia. Overall, it has more for me.
Is it just me, or is the Daley vs Smith fight the best bout of the weekend?
Someone will be twitching on the canvas. Paul Daley joins us on MMA Live tomorrow, as does Stephan Bonnar.
who do you favor to win this season of TUF? and will any make an impact in the UFC? Personally I think Nam has the best chance but at 145 in the UFC.
I think Jonathan Brookins will win it all. Nam Phan and Michael Johnson will both get opportunities in the UFC. Phan can definitely cut to 145. I believe he did for a Bellator fight during Season 1. Could be off on that.
More likely to happen: Carl Crawford to the Red Sox or Gilbert Melendez to the UFC?
Selfishly, I hopes it's CC to the Red Sox. Like the question.
brookins already got the Jose aldo treatment, but that was awhile ago
Yeah, Brookins is a totally different fighter now. Really cool to see how coachable he is and how much he has absorbed from Georges St. Pierre and his team.
Jon what are your thoughs on the future of the fighters on the WEC 53 card? Are guys like the loser of Varner and Roller going to be cut?
No, I think Varner and Roller will get UFC fights, regardless of the outcome. Varner, as a former WEC champion, would have to have some value to the UFC. Or, so I'd think. He's also rarely involved in a boring fight. And fans have an opinion about him.
Mike Kyle vs Antonio Silva really!? Are we back in PRIDE? Talk about a size disadvantage.
I love Big Foot.
Over / Under: seven cuts from the Zuffa roster between now and January 3.
Over. Some will be done subtly.
Over/Under 3 Fights before Anderson moves up to LHW?
You've set the total correctly, I think. I will say over.
Smith and Daley is a nice matchup of two one dimensional fighters who don't really belong holding a title in a well rounded division. Should be exciting, but not exactly a matchup of titans.
Jon, does the equivalent of saber metrics exist for MMA. It seems like a perfect place for a statistical model since its a purely individual sport.
Good question. Wish I had more time to think before answering. There are a lot of fighters who take a very intellectual approach to their training, game-planning and fighting and many employ statistical analysis. Just not sure there is an equivalent. Need to ask someone smarter.
What weight class do you think Andre Johnson would fight at? 205? That guy could be legit.
Definitely 205. If he wants to start hitting the mat, you're right.
Hey Jon, what do you think about Miguel Torres's tweets, didn't know he was such a funny guy.
Miguel is crazy. I always tell him that's what we need when he is on the show. Dude is absolutely outrageous and one-of-a-kind.
Will Linland be able to hang with Lawler or has the sport passed him by?
Every time I seem to doubt these 40+ guys, they surprise me. But Lawler is one of more experienced middleweights in the world and he certainly knows how to finish. I think he knocks Lindland out cold.
Of the WEC additions at 155, what matchup against the current UFC roster would you most like to see?
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar. Also would like to see Kenny Florian against Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone against Evan Dunham.
If B.J. Penn beats Jon Fitch do you think he deserves a shot at the welterweight title?
What are you looking forward to more GSP VS KOS or Edgar VS Maynard?
GSP vs. Koscheck. St. Pierre really wants to finish him, and Kos will not go out quietly. The Bell Centre may combust.
even if GSP is still champ?
Another fight b/w Penn and GSP would be tough to sell. But the question was whether I thought Penn would be 'deserving' of a title shot with a win over Jon Fitch. Answer remains yes.
you gotta think KOS is playing the heel, right?
Absolutely. Just like you, Hayden. Koscheck went into heel mode immediately after the win over Paul Daley IN Montreal. He knew exactly what he was doing and didn't waste any time.
cortland finnegan the josh koscheck of nfl?
You are the 88th person to make that comparison and it never gets old.
When GSP beats Kos and when Fitch beat BJ, is there any reason for GSP to stay at 170? Why not just give Fitch the title and move GSP to a division where he can get a challenge?
Jake Shields. Other than that, not much for GSP to stick around for.
Is Grispi getting a raw deal now that Aldo is sidelined? He had a title shot and now has to pull off a win to remain in that conversation.
You are right. But winning takes care of everything and Grispi will win.
Fact or Fiction - Randy Couture officially retires in 2011?
I think Randy unofficially retired live on MMA Live at UFC 121. Fact. I think it is imminent.
Is Shields the biggest threat to GSP at welterweight right now?
I don't know. Some think a striker like Carlos Condit has a better recipe to stun GSP. Shields is hard to appreciate for some, but his ground game is really unbelievable.
Do you think Shields can beat Fitch, let alone GSP?
I do. Wouldn't be easy and I'm not sure Shields would be favored to beat Fitch. But I do think he could beat him, maybe 4-5 out of 10 times.
How many fights does Randy have left on his contract? Are there any repercussions for leaving the contract early?
No repercussions for leaving the contract early. I believe he has 3 fights left, but that part of it is not all that important.
Who has the best backflip in MMA?
Eddie Alvarez gets aggressive with it, but he's come close to injury in the past.
Will we ever see Anderson Silva vs Shogon Rua???
Hard to forecast what the future holds for Shogun Rua. Starting to wonder if the knee may end his career at some point in the not-too-distant future. But Shogun wants that fight and I know the fans do. Could happen.
Is it possible that the Fedor to Strikeforce situation could have gone any worse thus far?
If he had lost to Brett Rogers, it would've been worse. But it hasn't been good.
When do you think UFC could go back to Japan? I think Silva vs Okami would be a good way to go back.
Could happen at any time, but I'm not sure it'll happen in 2011.
I'm stunned at the number of people who think Shields is boring. He doesn't lay on people, like other wrestlers. He is constantly improving position and working submissions. His fight with Miller was unbelievably exciting.
I agree, Marc. But a lot of people don't watch MMA the way you do. I think as the sport and fan base grow, the appreciation for fighters like Shields will increase.
Does Bonnar win this weekend?
Yes. Excited to talk to him tomorrow. Bonnar needs this win and will be looking for the finish.
Will the UFC ever come back to Minnesota? Maybe for a Brock fight?
I don't see why not. That was a good crowd at UFC 87.
Is Fedor the only guy who lost so much with only losing one fight?
Perhaps no fighter has taken such a hit with one singular loss. It's why Floyd Mayweather seemingly is ducking Manny Pacquiao. I would just like to see Fedor get back in there and regain that greatness.
Jon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Other than the Main event, UFC 124 is a snoozer---- agreed??
Not as intriguing as UFC 123, but there are some good fights. Excited to see Charles Oliveira and also to see what John Howard can do against Thiago Alves.
From what you've heard regarding the Chael Sonnen appeal, do you expect him out a year or do you think he will get less time?
I think Thursday is shaping up as a very good day for Chael Sonnen. We'll see.
Any news on who the outlaw fights next. I dont know what i like more, his fights or the intro with him and buffer.
You know I'm right there with you, Dave. Dan Hardy is great for the UFC and the sport. Anxiously awaiting his return.
Do you think Edgar stands a chance against Maynard? Maynard is just too big and strong, it seems. I don't like the way he fights, just does enough to win by pushing, taking down, laying on top, etc. But I don't see how such a little guy like Edgar can have his way him, especially when KenFlo couldn't even handle him.
I will never doubt Frankie Edgar again. I'm picking him to beat Maynard. He's got 25 minutes to do so.
Cro Cop unofficially retired in the cage against Mir. Makes me sad.
He could have 1-2 more fights. But the latter portion of his career has been forgettable. Too bad, for his case, it won't be forgotten.
Depending on what happens tomorrow, wouldn't you love to see Chael as a potential TUF coach?
Absolutely. I'm just excited to have him back in the MMA Live rotation...
Once the appeal is heard and a decision is rendered, will the muzzle be off Chael?
That is my expectation.
most overrated fighter of the past 5 years: thiago alves. right?
I like the question, but I don't have a great answer. Nor do I want to get in trouble.
Any idea how Eddie Alvarez's contract is structured with Bellator? Is he stuck with them until he loses due to a "championship clause?" I don't think the co-promotion between SF and BFC is going to happen and this guy needs some better competition stat!
I believe there is a champion's clause that locks Alvarez in. But more importantly, Eddie is very taken care of and very satisfied with Bellator. Until that changes, he doesn't have the incentive to go to the UFC. If/when that day comes, I think Alvarez will be able to make it happen.
Hey man today sucks down here in the Capital...what do you do to blow off steam on an off day at work?
Drink. Nah, something mindless. Or I run 4 miles, albeit reluctantly.
Wow 7 years w/out losing to anyone not named Fitch or St. Pierre and someone would argue he is overrated? I am not sure of the answer, but clearly the answer isn't Alves.
I agree, although I understand why some would say he hasn't quite lived up to the appreciable hype.
Thoughts on Mike Goldberg? Is he legit or just comic relief?
I like Mike. A lot. Think he does a great job. I've been in that seat and it's not as easy as it looks.
Most overrated fighter is easy....... Brock Freakin Lesnar!
How dare you...
How will history judge Randy Couture? Not a fantastic record, but almost always fought for titles, but not always at times when the UFC was flush with talent, but he was competitive well into his 40s, etc. etc. Is he a great because he's an awesome old man fighter, or is he great because he's a great fighter?
Randy is a great fighter. He may not be one of the top 10-15 P4P guys of all time. But Couture won a ton of big fights, many of which he wasn't expected to win. Tremendous strategist and certainly maximized his every ability.
The knock against Alves isn't really his fight record, but the perception of weight issues. He'll never get the full respect he deserves from some fans because of those issues.
And he was listless in the rematch with Fitch and I think that turned a lot of people off. And of course, that performance was impacted by the weight cut.
Hey Jon... What are we betting for next monday's game?
My man! Whatever you want. Gimme the Jets with the points. :)
It's annoying people say Brock is overrated. He beat four very good fighters and when he loses (to the best heavyweight fighting) people jump all over his back.
Does the UFC have a new co-main event for Jan 1?
I know the Brandon Vera-Thiago Silva fight has been boosted to the main card. Not sure if another fight has been tabbed as the co-main event.
JA, talk to Theo Epstein. I'll take 3 years, $15-$20M to play for the Red Sox.
I've been trying to track Theo down to tell him to offer you 3 yrs./$66 million. $15 million/year to play 3B and the extra $7 million/year to not make any more clutch plays for the Yankees.
any word from Rashad after the fan bashing he got a couple weeks back on the chat?
Rashad doesn't read the chats, and I don't believe I've seen him since. But he takes it all in stride. The fans have been on Rashad at different times throughout his career. Just comes with the territory. All fighters are subjected to it at some point or another. Heck, you should see some of my hate mail.
While not ideal, do you feel the UFC should have an interim LHW title? Do you feel champs who are medically unable to defend the title should be stripped of the title?
I wouldn't strip Shogun, but I definitely would've attempted to stage an interim title fight, given all the elapsed time. I don't think interim titles are ideal, but I'm not nearly as offended by them as others are.
I was reading the older chats and you had guest chatters in some. Ever going to do that again?
Door is always open. Florian is too high maintenance. But soon, hopefully.
hate mail, let me at em!!!
How would you feel if I was asking questions to this chat from my cell phone while driving? Technically not texting...
Hahahahahahahaha. I shouldn't be laughing. And you shouldn't be anywhere near that phone while driving.
When will Anthony Johnson fight again because his last fight was back at UFC 106?
No idea, Tyler. Someone wrote to me that Andre Johnson is a more active fighter right now than Anthony. We all miss Rumble.
how about putting one great question on MMA live to cross promote both shows
We've done it before and I'm sure we'll do it again.
If Shogun is delayed again, why not rematch Evans and Rampage for the interim?
I am on board. Let's go.
Chost, how was your first Thanksgiving as a married man? Did you have to visit the in-laws?
It was great, thanks. Was at the in-laws place and then spent the night at ESPN.
Any news on Mir's next opponent? I need a dose of good trash talk.
He's the best gum-flapper in the game. Chael is right there, too. As for Mir's next opponent, I think a fight with Roy Nelson makes all the sense in the world. But Roy is dealing with a contract issue at present.
MIR dont want none!!!!
Any truth to the Lesnar-Kongo rumors?
I haven't read anything recently, but I've actually been talking about it since one of my colleagues, Mike Cupo, suggested it immediately after Brock lost to Velasquez. Makes sense.
ANIK, Hey what ever happened to Molly and MMA Live? Is she no longer in the plans?
Left to work for another network. We remain in touch - and we miss having her at ESPN and on MMA Live.
who wins vs grove and maia this weekend? and if Grove loses will he get cut?
I was surprised Grove was a 3-1 underdog. I think he'll spring the upset and I also like Rick Story at +185 against Johnny Hendricks. I think this card has a lot of appeal.
Are you and Josh Gross working together at all? How is it with him on board?
Not yet, but he's a great addition and a fine, fine journalist. I'm sure he'll grace MMA Live at some point soon.
Yes, I think Anderson Silva will beat Vitor Belfort.
2010 = the end of Chuck, Randy, Cro Cop, Matt and Tito...tough year!?
Well, Tito Ortiz isn't done yet. And I think we will see Hughes one final time. But I do think both Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture are done. Perhaps Chuck fights Tito once more in 2011 as the final bout for both guys.
Maia's gonna sub him, 1st round. Da Spyda is ovah.
Wouldn't surprise me at all. But forced to make a pick, I'll take Grove.
Tito has been done for many years you can't put him on that list!
He may be cashed or cooked as a fighter. But he's still on the roster. He has a fight scheduled with Lil Nog. And you know what, I like that matchup and will pick him to beat Nogueira!
any new info on the severity of Aldo's injury - hate to hear anything spine related
Nothing new, my friend. Really hope Jose Aldo is able to get through this and get on with his most-promising career.
I hope Hughes fights again!
He ain't goin' out like that.
What are your thoughts on the Cain vs JDS fight. who do you have winning the fight and why? :)
Velasquez. He doesn't possess the pure power that Dos Santos does, but I'm not sure the gap in their respective striking is that huge. I actually think Cain wins by TKO via ground-and-pound in the 1st or 2nd round. I think Velasquez is that good.
What one fighter outside of the UFC could come in and beat a UFC Champ in a given weight class?
Great question. Perhaps Eddie Alvarez or Gilbert Melendez. Alistair Overeem possibly.
What time is MMA Live actually filmed?
It depends, but usually earlier in the day on Thursday. Don't want to inconvenience K-Flo too much, ya know?
Just wanted to say very cool of you and ESPN to do these open chats. Thanks a lot for the entertaining afternoon and your time spent here!
My pleasure. Come back next week, Mark.
Yo Jon, your PBP skills came up in Jordan Breen's chat last week; looks like your skills are being noted. Are you under any type of contract that would prohibit you from filling in for PBP on a UFC or Strikeforce card, if the option were to arise?
I appreciate that very much. Jordan Breen is one of the most respected guys in MMA. I hope to have an opportunity to again do MMA play-by-play. Perhaps it'll be at ESPN!
Any news on Bellator's new TV deal?
Nothing I can share, brother. Sorry.
What has happened to Gegard Mousasi? Haven't heard from him in a while.
He's won a pair of DREAM. fights in Japan since the loss to King Mo back in April. He'll resurface stateside at some point. A lot of ability there. Just needs some good coaching.
Next Big Upset will be?
Rick Story over Johnny Hendricks Saturday night!
Rampage has to fight Forrest if he beats Franklin.
When Rampage was in Bristol to promote the A-Team movie, all he wanted to talk to me about was a rematch with Forrest Griffin and how we could push that fight. So you know the interest from Jackson and his camp is there to do it again.
Which fighter is most likely to buy you a Christmas present?
Stephan Bonnar or Rashad Evans. Florian might make me a mix, but he won't buy me anything. I would even take his hand-me-down suits that he doesn't wear anymore. Ya know, the non-Pradas.
Who is going to be the coaches on the next Ultimate Fighter? I would like to see Urijah Faber be a coach.
Faber is a possibility, but I think the only matchup that makes sense would be opposite Miguel Torres. Miguel has a fight February 5th and TUF Season 13 supposedly begins filming in January. That could be delayed, but the UFC would need a back-up plan in the event that Torres loses.
Rampage/Forrest Machida/Franklin sounds good to me
No problem here, either. Although, I do think the UFC would like to take advantage of Rampage's win and perhaps get him another title shot.
whos wins rampage or jonny bones
I'll say Jonny Bones 9 out of 10 times.
ZERO interest in 145 and below coaches for TUF.
You are not alone. Torres is highly entertaining, but I totally get it.
Hey Jon. Stephan made an interesting comment that he won't be allowed on the show if he gets busted up too bad. Is there a policy like that in place not to have fighters with face injuries on and what happens if that does happen? Do you have another fighter or commentator and standby?Also loved your work on ESPN3 boxing, hope you do some of the future broadcasts.
Thanks, Jason. There is no policy in place. Our make-up people work wonders and are experienced with covering up stitches, cuts, etc. Usually, a fighter won't be scheduled on the show the week right after a fight. Chael Sonnen was in Bristol 5 days after the loss to Anderson Silva. Make-up did some nice work there.
Did u really take the Jets in that bet... what a horrible fan jon cmon man
Hahaha. It's all strategy, Frank. I figure if I pick the Jets, the Pats will win...and cover.
Chost how you gonna go against the happy beard guy on saturday?!
You know I'm a Hendricks fan. But Rick Story is the business. That dude is just relentless.
What is the currently scheduled fight you are most excited for?
A lot of the UFC title fights are intriguing to me. I'd put Anderson Silva-Vitor Belfort at the top of the list. Also curious to see how B.J. Penn-Jon Fitch plays out.
Why no interest in 145 and below for TUF? Consistently great fights from the smaller weight classes. Also would infuse the smaller classes with new fighters.
One argument I here is that a lot of the fights involving bantamweights and featherweights tend to blend together. A lot of fans don't know who the fighters are, or just want to see guys bigger than they are in the cage. I know many of you think that is unfair or harsh. The WEC had dozens of 15-minute wars that were great, unbelievable fights. But some aren't all that distinguishable from each other.
If you could make one fight tonight between two fighters, regardless of which promotion they fight under, who would it be?
Cain Velasquez vs. Fedor Emelianenko.
Any news on the next MMA Live - Live event coverage? Honestly, it adds a ton to the whole experience.
Looks like we may not travel until February 5th, unfortunately. Hopefully, I'm wrong on that. But we should have some exciting stuff happening in 2011.
How do you see Rampage doing against the winner of Rashad/Shogun? He has lost previously to both but in very different fashions. Rampage is great for UFC and MMA, he is a crossover star. MMA needs that!
I think Rampage can beat either one of those guys on any given night. I really do.
Alright, gotta bust on outta here. You can follow me on Twitter - @Jon_Anik - and I will get back to your questions/comments there. Tomorrow night at 12AM ET/9 PM PT, MMA Live is on ESPN2 w/ King Mo Lawal, Stephan Bonnar and Paul Daley. Enjoy TUF 12 finale and Strikeforce: St. Louis. Until next week, eat something that tastes good and don't text and drive. -JA