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December 15, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (12:53 PM)

Good to be back with you for another Wednesday chat. MMA Live is tomorrow night on ESPN2 at 12:30 AM ET/9:30 PM PT, so set those DVRs! Still awaiting word on the final guest list. Will update you later today on Twitter. To follow me, it is @Jon_Anik. Alright, let's vent.

Jake (Jersey)

Chost!!!!!, which eye looked worse to you Margarito or Koscheck?

Jon Anik
  (12:54 PM)

Margarito. Both were ugly, but Margarito took 36 straight minutes of Pacquiao punches.

james (state college, pa)

Shields any shot against GSP?

Jon Anik
  (12:55 PM)

Every fighter has a 'chance' or a 'shot' in MMA. Just not exactly sure what Shields brings to the table that GSP hasn't seen before. Even if you think Shields is the best grappler GSP has ever faced, he's still not as good as St. Pierre. He deserves the title shot for sure. Just not sure we're gonna get a new champion that night.

JR (NC)

I just wanted to say thank you for your evident passion for MMA. I hope the rest of the ESPN crew becomes as passionate as you are, it's almost painful to hear someone talk about something that they have to talk about and have no real interest in. Sorry if I'm being rude.

Jon Anik
  (12:56 PM)

Appreciate it, JR. I think strides have been made when it comes to ESPN and its MMA coverage. But obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Josh Sparrow (England)

Sup Jon ! can i get a follow on twitter? Sparrow_UFC :)

Jon Anik
  (12:56 PM)

Yes. Later today, I'll give you a follow. Appreciate all of the MMA Live fans in the UK!

jimmy mac (chicago)

Can we now crown GSP the #1 P4P fighter in MMA? I know people love Spider, but GSP emasculated Kos and was unblemished himself. Eight dominant wins in a row. So what if he goes the distance, the only way he gets beat is if he gives his opponent an opening. Why do that when you're up 3 or 4 rounds to nothing?

Jon Anik
  (12:58 PM)

I think so. For me, GSP's performance puts him ahead of Anderson Silva as the #1 P4P fighter in the world. Many disagree with me, but the dominating nature of his wins gives him the boost. Hard to argue with Anderson Silva's unbeaten run in the UFC, but also hard to get the visual out of my head of him being bludgeoned by Chael Sonnen for 23+ minutes.

Tommy (Oregon)

Hey Jon, thoughts on GSP V. Anderson Silva...will it happen, can it happen? Can GSP move up and stay dominant and/or competitive? Who has the edge in this match up?

Jon Anik
  (12:59 PM)

I do think it'll happen. I'm just not convinced it'll happen before the end of 2011. For GSP, he would only take the fight as part of a permanent move to 185 lbs. Don't believe he is ready to do that right now. But that fight is the UFC's version of Mayweather-Pacquiao and it simply has to happen.

Reid (MS)

A horse walks into a bar, bartender says, "Hey, you wanna fight horse?", horse says, "Sure." Horse turns out to be GSP and the bartender is Anderson Silva, who wins?

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

I like Georges St. Pierre. I think if they were both natural middleweights, GSP would win. But Anderson Silva would probably be favored.

Matt (Seattle)

Dana said Chael and Silva aren't going to be the TUF coaches.. Cruz-Faber then?

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

I guess that is a possibility. I think Faber and Miguel Torres would be ideal, but Torres has a fight on Feb. 5th, and filming is supposed to begin next month. Cruz would need to successfully defend his bantamweight title this Thursday night in order to get that opportunity.

Travis (Texas)

When is the next big Heavyweight fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

Cain Velasquez will defend his title against Junior Dos Santos early in 2011. Could even headline the UFC's trip to Toronto at the end of April. Strikeforce also has some big plans for early next year, including Fedor Emelianenko's return.

Evan (SLC)

Good job on the 0610 podcast today, Jon. Too bad you didn't talk more about MMA though.

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

Thanks, dude. Was a lot of fun, especially being able to work some MMA in there at the end. Ravitz is a huge MMA fan.

Matt (Seattle)

WEC this Thursday.. who do you think puts on Fight of the night?

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

Kamal Shalorus!

angelo (texas)

how impressive was jim miller. he should fight kenny if he is healthy

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

I agree. Miller has clearly emerged as a lightweight contender. And I think an eliminator of sorts against Florian makes a ton of sense.

hector (chicago)

any word on the date of velasquez fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

Possibly April 30th in Toronto.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

Whats up JA? Do you see more fighters utilizing the jab more given how effective GSP was with it

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

Good question. It's a big area of focus for a lot of fighters who train with Firas Zahabi. In Kenny Florian's first fight since linking up with Firas, he jabbed the heck out of Takanori Gomi. I'm sure a lot of fighters took notice of what St. Pierre was able to do. Best use of the jab that most of us have ever seen in MMA.

Ben (Minnesota)

What is the chance of seeing a Tournament format in the Octagon again? I was a huge fan of UFC 1 and 2, watching with my father.

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

0%. It really is an antiquated concept, even though it can be very exciting. Injuries are a huge factor in MMA to begin with, never mind having fighters compete more than once in a night. Oftentimes, the UFC will have mini-tournaments to determine contenders, but they don't call them tournaments. For example, UFC 118 was a mini-lightweight tourney. Four lightweights squared off and the two winners will now face each other at UFC 125.

Derrick (Tacoma)

Chost, do you think GSP would take a tune up fight at 185 before stepping into the Octagon with A. Silva?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

Not necessarily, b/c a loss to another middleweight would really cripple the mega-fight. I just think GSP may take 10-12 months off to bulk up to 200-205, in order to cut down to 185.

Roman (CGY)

With Dexter and Boardwalk Empire done for the year, I'm looking for a new show to get addicted to. Suggestions? leaning toward Mad Men or Breaking Bad.

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

Heard good things about Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy.

Dave (Saint Louis)

I think the jab will be essential for fighters to keep wrestlers at further distance. Does Benson win to become #1 contender for UFC lightweight title tomorrow?

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

I think Henderson will win and will finish Anthony Pettis. This is a tremendous fight to officially close the book on the WEC. Miletich and Bonnar both picked Pettis to pull off the upset. I just think Bendo is still underrated, despite being the champion.

matth (Minnesota)

What's next for Brock now that Mir has a match with Schaub? How's Struve for brock?

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

I think Lesnar will face Cheick Kongo, as I've said for a few weeks.

Jake (Jersey)

Any news on the rumored Mir Schaub fight? when where?

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Nothing official. Could end up in New Jersey in March. Really think that fight makes a ton of sense. And I'm thankful it looks as though we won't get a trilogy fight b/w Mir and Lesnar, which, to me, didn't make much sense (other than financial).

Matt (Seattle)

Miletich and Bonnar both picked Kos as well!! haha

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

Yes they did! I was shocked, actually. Usually, I am made aware of our fighter predictions before we go live on the show. As you saw from my reaction, I was caught off guard.

hector (chicago)

gsp is in his mid to late 20's. as for silva... he's in his mid 30's. i dont think time is on our side to see a competitive fight if the fight is held sometime in '12

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Well, we may end up seeing the fight when Anderson Silva is in the back end of his prime. But the fight will have great value, in and outside the Octagon, and even if one of them loses between now and then.

Mitch (Calgary)

Does Schaub-Meathead make sense? I've wanted them to square off in the big show ever since TUF ended.

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Not right now. Schaub is on the fringe of contention. Mitrione just isn't there yet.

John (St. Peter)

Is Sean McCorkle done in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Not sure. He might get another fight, but certainly doesn't look like a guy who will make any sort of appreciable run.

Pat (Boston)

Which lightweight from this week's WEC fights other than the winner of Henderson vs Pettis do you see making the biggest impact in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Kamal Shalorus! Cerrone will also be a handful for many of the UFC's current 155ers.

James (Minneapolis)

I'm tired of people apologizing for winning, I mean can't someone just say HEY MAN HE WAS TOUGHER THEN EXPECTED. GSP and others please stop apologizing for winning!!!!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Agreed.

Snacks (North Bellmore, NY)

MTV2? MTV2? Is Bellator serious? Is their lead-in going to be 16 and Pregnant? Will Zoila Frausto fight Snookie? FX would have built around them like Spike and the UFC

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

Bellator's new TV deal was certainly an eyebrow-raiser. Biggest killer for me is that it is not in high definition. MMA in HD is a must!

Tom (Mesa)

Picks for the last ever WEC show ever tomorrow???

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

Henderson, Cruz, Cerrone, Shalorus, and Varner. I know, mostly favorites. But I've given you guys plenty of dogs over the last 2+ years, so I'm okay going chalk this week.

STEVE (PHOENIX)

Next Tuf coaches Henderson and Maynard/Edgar winner. Zuffa needs to expose Henderson to the UFC fans. Time table works and Henderson is that good. Your thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

I definitely don't hate the idea, and Henderson is dynamic enough to carry the show. If Edgar wins, I think it's far more likely than if Maynard wins. But overall, I'm just not sure there is enough star power or name recognition.

Craig (Tampa FLA)

Any word on Jose Aldo? we need to see this kid fight.

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

No. I think his camp will be especially cautious b/c of the nature of the injury (neck disk).

John (St. Petersburg)

How long is Kenny out for? 155 is so ridiculously crowded you have to go undefeated for 2 years + to even sniff a title shot

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Not too long. He will be here tomorrow and we will get it from him directly. Based upon our texts over the last week, a March return wouldn't be out of the question.

angelo (texas)

does vera/silva loser get cut?

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

Doubt it. Not to understate the importance of the fight, b/c it's a big fight. But both guys seem secure to me and, if cut, both would have a lot of value to other organizations.

Scott (Denver)

Thoughts on Joe Stevenson? Didn' t even look like he got hit very hard...

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

I just don't think he has it anymore. He's had over 50 professional fights and the grind has caught up to him. He still can plow through the division's bottom-feeders, but it would appear his days as a relevant fighter/contender are done.

Matt (Seattle)

When do you think a GSP v Shields could take place?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

I don't think it'll be April, despite GSP's request. Perhaps May or June? Need some time to build momentum and to brand Shields a little bit.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

Knicks vs Celtics tonight! I feel the Knicks actually might have a chance

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Maybe I'll bet on the Knicks. That would all but assure a Celtics victory.

Robert (Cali fresh)

Big fan of the show and the chat--you rock. Can I get a b-day shoutout? 26 years today, man.

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Much love, man. Happy 26th!

angelo (texas)

so does Dan Hardy get KOS now!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Surgery gets KOS right now.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Did you get any MMA-related gifts this year, Chost? Giving any?

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

I gave away some baby clothes that said 'Future MMA Fighter: From the Crib to the Cage'. Haven't received anything other than a 'Chost' T-shirt. Pretty funny, actually.

Krav (Philly)

More dominant, GSP or Phillies' starting rotation

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Now there is a good question. The Phillies rotation still has to go out and do it. GSP has essentially cleaned out an entire division. So I'll take Rush.

Sam (Red Crown)

How do my Bears rebound after that shellacking?

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

They will beat the Vikings. Stamp it.

Reynolds (library in Sweden)

Mac Danzig - my man. Your thoughts? Other than desperately needing a haircut...

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

Everyone is following in Tom Brady's footsteps. My twin brother's hair is almost down to his shoulders. Just obnoxious. Clearly something has clicked with Mac Danzig's stand-up, as he alluded to in his post-fight interview. Feel good for him. He was emotional after the fight.

zack (austin)

who would you like to see on TUF? coaches

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

Chael Sonnen always has something to say, and it's usually of high comedic value. So Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva would be good. But the drawback, of course, is that Sonnen would be out of action until the fall. I'd like to see Chael in a rematch with Anderson Silva ASAP.

ramon (Houston )

Who do you got on Bader vs Jones

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Jon Jones. But I am giving Bader more of a chance than most. Bader will definitely be prepared with a sound gameplan. That may not matter, but he'll be ready and will enter the cage that night expecting to win.

Phil (Cincinnati)

Any chance we Sonnen jumps over Okami for the next MW title shot or is Sonnen in the dog house with the UFC? Seems like he threw one of their guys under the bus at the hearing.

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Remains to be seen. If it were my decision, I would have Sonnen face Anderson Silva, regardless of what happens between Silva and Vitor Belfort. If Belfort wins, I would give Okami the title shot and then Silva can fight Sonnen in a No. 1 contender's bout.

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

Don't understand people calling out for Hardy against guys like Kos or Alves. Do people want to see him cut? He just hasn't shown he has belonged in the Octagon against top 10 talent.

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

I think the Hardy supporters want him to have that shot, b/c they believe he can beat Koscheck or Alves. I like a Hardy-Alves fight more than a Koscheck-Hardy fight.

Richard (Kendall Park, NJ)

Jon, do you agree that Danzigs KO of Joe Daddy, was almost identical to Daley's Ko of Scott Smith from the week before? Fighter A rushes in, Fighter B takes a little 1/2 step back and unleashes a left hook that lands perfectly. Fighter A doesn't see it coming and ends up unconscience on his face. Both were things of beauty!

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

A lot of similarities, for sure.

Ben (Minnesota)

What, exactly was Chael found to have violated? How did it happen? I am aware that he received "medically required" testosterone injections.

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

It ended up being a paperwork issue. He was prescribed for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), but failed to disclose that formally to the California State Athletic Commission.

Kyle (Chicago)

Wineland vs. Stone at WEC 53, who do you got winning?

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

Wineland. Don't know a ton about Stone.

angelo (texas)

thoughts on who rampage will fight next?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

I would give him a title shot against the Rashad Evans-Shogun Rua winner. Also would like to see a rematch with Forrest Griffin. He could also find himself against the Jon Jones-Ryan Bader winner. The UFC has a lot of great options at 205.

Brad (Columbus)

Jon, when should I get my 3 year old involved in Jiu-Jitsu or Muy Thai?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

Within 2-3 years. Some might say now!

JD (VA)

If GSP were not champion, would the way in which he wins matches deter him from getting a shot at the title, a la Fitch?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

That's a tough hypothetical to answer. See, I'm entertained by Georges St. Pierre's fights more often than not. His performance against Thiago Alves at UFC 100 got a great reaction from the crowd. I have a huge appreciation for his ability to dominate DI All-American wrestlers at their own game. His seamless transitions are a thing of beauty. Fitch is an absolute warrior, but isn't as aesthetically pleasing a fighter as GSP is.

James (Minneapolis)

Your thoughts on GSP not being able to finish? Gotta bring it up?

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

He is very technical and even more calculated. He's simply not gonna risk getting knocked out just to get the finish. If he thought he could finish Koscheck without being overly risky, he would have.

jamie (miami)

i didnt know that my boy rampage is boys with dr. phil. who knew!!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

Nice.

JP (Las Vegas)

I know you have a lot of questions to go through, but some of the questions you respond to aren't very good........

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

Doing my best.

Nick (Chesterbrook, PA)

I think Rampage jacks up anyone at 205 but Jon Jones. I'd really like to see him get another shot at Rua or Evans. I think he drops Evans in a rematch.

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

A motivated, in-shape Rampage is a tough proposition for anyone. And, because he has such mainstream appeal, you would think the UFC would want to showcase him in another title fight. We'll see what happens, but I really would hold him out and give him the winner of Rashad and Shogun.

Ray (Cortland NY)

Whats goin on with Matt Hamill? He's beating everyone he faces (aside from the Jones debacle) and I think hes a fan favorite.....How about Matt vs. Forrest? Or Matt vs. Loser of Bader Jones?

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Hamill is in the mix. Forrest Griffin is a good possibility. Could also see him against Stephan Bonnar, now that Bonnar has a little momentum. Maybe Brandon Vera or Thiago Silva, depending on how that one plays out.

Brett (Dallas)

What, Chost, no love for Ubereem! He looked awesome winning the K1 title. Do you think any other heavyweights can stand and bang with him?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

He is best heavyweight striker in MMA. I think Junior Dos Santos would try, but wouldn't be able to hang. What a weekend for the Reem.

Bob (Boston)

Condit/Lytle seems like a dangerous fight for Condit without much upside, right?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Not a ton of upside b/c Lytle isn't a contender. But plenty of financial upside if he can with the Knockout or Fight of the Night. I don't expect Condit to slip up in that spot.

Matt (Seattle)

Nobody seems to be giving Rich Franklin a chance... you think he can beat Forrest?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

I definitely give Franklin a chance. Rich is a serious cat and very serious about his craft. He has dealt with some injuries of late, but when he fights, you know he is as prepared and as in-shape as anyone. Crossroads fight for both guys. I wonder if Griffin's heart is still 100% in MMA.

angelo (texas)

you excited about the UFC going to Brazil

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Yes!!! Hoping MMA Live is along for the ride.

corey (maui)

jon, big fan! what do you think: gsp/spider in 2011?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Could happen at the end of the year, but I think 2012 is more likely.

jonathan (charleston)

I heard Bruce Leeroy was scheduled to fight Nam Phan at the Ultimate Fighter finale but got hurt. Do you know how he got injured and when he will be back?

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Not sure about Leeroy, but that would make sense b/c Garcia mentioned accepting the fight on less than two weeks' notice.

Marc (Malden, MA)

If Rampage does get the Shogun-Rashad winner, he's looking at a 10 month layoff at best. That can't be good.

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

That is the obvious drawback of my scenario.

Chris (Columbus)

Are you going to be in Vegas for 125? If so, where you going to celebrate New Year's eve?

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

I will be here in Bristol, CT, for Fantasy Football Now the following day. Hopefully, MMA Live will be back on the road for UFC 126 on Super Bowl weekend.

JP (Las Vegas)

Ok here's another try Jon Boy. Roy Nelson Vs. Shane Carwin TUF coaches. Both need time for injuries/other issues.

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

That has some merit. It would be compelling TV b/c they don't like each other. I'm just not sure Carwin would leave his full-time job to move to Las Vegas for 6-8 weeks. But I don't dislike the idea.

Greg (Ellicott City)

What happened Chost? You used to answer my questions... What are your thoughts on John Makdessi?

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

Didn't see his fight at UFC 124.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

I know hyping a fight is part of the sport, but, seems kind of silly to me that Kos and GSP are cool with eachother after all those months of trash talking.

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

I, too, thought their post-fight exchange was a bit much. Koscheck is a master at selling a fight, but I really thought there was some genuine dislike there. I guess GSP is hard to hate.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Please tell me we won't have to wait 6 months for GSP-Shields? Oh, and if Shields handles the weight cut properly, I'm picking Shields via submission.

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

It sounds as though GSP wants to get back in there as early as April. I'm hopeful.

luis (miami)

is hector lombard coming to the ufc any time soon?

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

Not what I'm hearing. He is under a long-term contract to Bellator as its middleweight champion.

Chris (Chicago)

So you're giving Sonnen as pass for "paperwork issues"? It's entirely possible the prescription was part of an attempt to mask steroid usage.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Definitely not giving him a pass. I was just outlining what he was found to have been guilty of. I think the positive test raises a lot of interesting questions. Don't have time to get into all of it here, but I'm not sure there should even be 'therapeutic use exemptions' for elevated testosterone. Seems like an unfair advantage, even for someone who has a condition like hypergonadism.

Lou (New York)

I called a Miller-Florian fight right after Miller won. I think it makes too much sense not to happen!! Miller deserves a top 5 guy and Florian needs a fight.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

You and me both, Lou. And Kenny has mentioned Miller in the past as a viable opponent.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

So Randy Couture is not retiring, but a proposed fight w/ Machida was pulled by the UFC. Do you think the Natural fights at all in 2011?

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

I really think Couture is done. He has so many opportunities to pursue outside of fighting. Unless the perfect fight materializes, his fight with James Toney may have been it.

Matt (Seattle)

Dominic Cruz has only lost one fight (Faber @145). If he wins, makes sense to see him and Faber for the title. Torres right behind if he keeps winning.

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

Definitely makes sense. We'll see how the UFC proceeds. Torres has to win his fight on 2/5 to be in the mix.

Dave (Saint Louis)

I have also heard about Big Country and Carwin not liking each other. Do you know the reason why?

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

They had a little back and forth on Twitter. Nelson took some 'steroid' shots at Carwin. Shane responded. Perhaps they are just building up a fight.

Chuck (MD)

Silva needed just 15 seconds of control, with a broken rib, against a roided up challenger, to win his fight. GSP dominates opponents, but do you think on a bad day, under the worst conditions, he could do the same? Silva is still #1 P4P.

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

That is a compelling case for Silva. Hard to say whether or not GSP would be able to handle that adversity.

Jon Anik
  (2:03 PM)

Alright folks, gotta bounce. If I missed your question, send it to me on Twitter (@Jon_Anik) and I'll get back to you. See you tomorrow night for MMA Live (9:30 PM PT) on ESPN2! -JA