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December 22, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (12:58 PM)

Hey guys, girls. Good to be with you. I'm here until 2ET taking your questions/comments on MMA and anything else that is on your mind. Also, MMA Live will be a 12:30AM ET/9:30PM PT start tomorrow on ESPN2. Let's go.

Evan (SLC)

What do you think of Dustin Hazelett being cut?

Jon Anik
  (1:00 PM)

Not surprised at all. He had lost 3 straight and was just 5-5 in the UFC. Only so many spots on the roster. Unfortunately, his recent performances haven't been worthy of one of those spots, despite some great submission wins in the past.

Kiz (Atl)

Chost, in your opinion, was the Pettis kick a sign of the things to come in MMA (leveraging your environment), or just a one time, flash in the pan. I'm thinking its similar to the Hail Mary.

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

That's a good question and I liek the way you phrased it. I don't think we will ever see an off-the-cage kick executed that perfectly again in MMA. It is now the kick seen 'round the world, and fighters will see it coming. What a way to go out for the WEC.

Wally Third Degree Byrne (Dublin)

When will European cards get the high profile fights like the American and Canadian cards do? I would go to see any UFC event but the European cards are without doubt a lot weaker than any other destination worldwide.I hope Dana does not get complacent with the British Market.

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

That certainly has been the trend of late and I don't have a good answer as to when it might change. I do think some of it is circumstantial, though. UFC 122 was a fairly weak card, but the UFC efforted to get bigger names on it. Things just never materialized.

Adam (Brookfield)

Chost, who are your current favorites for TUF 13 coaches?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

I think the best TV show might actually be Dominick Cruz against Urijah Faber b/c there is genuine dislike there. Miguel Torres would be a natural fit for that show, but he has a fight on Feb. 5th, so I'm not sure they can make that happen. And I think the UFC would like to have Chael Sonnen rematch Anderson Silva at some point in 2011, so perhaps they don't want to bog him down with 'The Ultimate Fighter.'. I think it'll either be Cruz and Faber or Faber and Torres.

Micah (Hartford)

Any word on my favorite fighter Brock? Who and when he will be fighting again? Every sport needs a villain and I always root for them.

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

Nothing yet, but there should be word soon on Lesnar's next opponent. And I share your anticipation.

angelo (texas)

hey chost, who do you think ben henderson will get matched up with first?

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

I would like to see him fight the loser of Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. That would seem to make sense. Mark Bocek and Jim Miller are two other guys who need opponents. It's too bad Henderson and Kenny Florian are friends and wouldn't fight each other.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I know Faber and Torres are popular choices to coach TUF, but when they finally fight, I want it to be a 5 round title fight, not a 3 round fight.

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

That's a great point from one of our most loyal chatters. The 3-round fights at the end of TUF (a la Rampage-Rashad) are just anticlimactic. Plus, Faber and Torres are cordial...and that's not what we're looking for, either. If the UFC thinks Cruz can shine in that spotlight (they know Urijah can), I think you do Cruz-Faber, culminating in a 5-round title fight between them.

angelo (texas)

was henderson/pettis the fight of the year?

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Not for me. I still gave the nod to Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen. BUT- voting continues at ESPN.com for our year-end awards. Your selections will be revealed on our first MMA Live show in 2011.

Rick (Milwaukee)

With all the new recent additions to ESPN and ESPN.com, is that a indication of anything? More shows, more coverage, a network deal for the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

Not sure exactly what it means or may mean going forward. I will say I am absolutely thrilled at the additions to the ESPN MMA staff and ESPN.com MMA page. Long overdue.

DFA (Edmonton)

Merry Christmas Jon! Thanks for all that you and the ESPN staff do for MMA and the fans! Hope to see much more of it in the new year

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

My pleasure, DFA. Merry Christmas to all of our great fans and MMA Live viewers. Can't thank you guys enough for the consistent support.

Derrick (Tacoma)

Jon, a report came out yesterday from MMA Junkie that UFC Fight Night 24 will be March 26th in Seattle, a scant 40 minutes away from me! Any ideas on what other fights could be on this card besides Tito/Lil Nog?

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

Haven't heard any other rumors yet. But at least the Octagon is coming!

zach (cumberland)

has faber done enough in the bantamweight division to earn a title shot? and what is the time table for Cruz, I heard he needs to take some time off to heal up.

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

Perhaps Faber should have to win one more fight, but I'm fine with giving him the title shot right now. He is the only fighter to ever beat Dominick Cruz and is also as billable/marketable as almost any fighter on the UFC roster.

Dan S. (Home for the Holidays :))

It wasn't a KO or a submission, but Pettis' kick has got to be MMA highlight of the year.

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Glad you're home enjoying time with family. It was indeed an unbelievable moment for Pettis and for MMA. And you will see it again - several times - tomorrow night on MMA Live.

Matt (Seattle)

Any news on what's next for Rampage?

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

Nothing yet. I think it'll be either a rematch with Forrest Griffin or a title shot against the winner of Shogun Rua and Rashad Evans. Also could see him facing the Jon Jones-Ryan Bader winner. A lot of options for the UFC when it comes to Rampage.

Jake (Jersey)

Is Shogun vs Rashad a definite for NJ at the Prudential Center?

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

Hasn't been confirmed by the UFC. But Rashad was here last week and he is proceeding as if that will be the date. Should be finalized soon.

Matt Flynn (Green Bay)

Did my poor clock management prevent your Pats from picking up a L Sunday night?

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

I was just glad my presence didn't result in a Patriots loss. All they do in that building is win. Had they lost, I definitely would not have been invited back.

Chuck (MD)

Fact or Fiction: Cain is the UFC HW Champ at the end of 2011.

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Fact.

Micah (Hartford)

Chost how about Lesnar fights Fedor most watched thing on televison ever! You have some pull make it happen!

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Dana White has much more pull than me and even he doesn't wield enough power to put that fight together. I just hope we get to see Fedor Emelianenko 2-3 times in 2011. I still think he is elite and I'd like him to have the opportunity to prove as much.

Dave (Saint Louis)

Chost, Hector Lombard the top guy at 185 behind Anderson Silva?

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

I don't think so. I certainly have Hector Lombard as a top 10 middleweight in the world. He might even be in the top 5. But he hasn't fought anyone on that level in a long time, so it's hard to determine where he should be slotted. Love watching him fight and, hopefully, 2011 will be a big year for Lombard. Will be interesting to see who Bellator signs to have him fight.

SchmoesKnow (Los Angeles, Ca)

Why all of the hate for Lesnar-Mir3? Agreed that Lesnar dominated both fights but after his chin was exposed, isn't Mir the type of fighter that could exploit that and make the third fight epic?

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

I guess I would just rather see both men have different challenges. Sure, Mir could find a way to win the third fight, but he'd be a tremendous longshot to do so. I'd rather see Mir against Brendan Schaub and Lesnar against Cheick Kongo. Perhaps down the line you can revisit a trilogy fight. But right now, it doesn't pique my interest at all.

angelo (texas)

shane carwin exposed his chin and still lost, mir cant get brock off of him

DC (Columbus)

Is there any inside news on whether the UFC has any new plans to acquire a flyweight and/or women's MMA division?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

I think a flyweight division is far more likely than a women's division. There just aren't enough elite women to make that happen right now. And, for what it's worth, the majority of fans I connect with are completely disinterested in women's MMA. I think the UFC is good with 7 divisions. I wouldn't even add a flyweight division, were it up to me.

Emanuel Foto (Kent, WA)

Whens the next TUF going to get on?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Taping begins in January. Season debut is April, I believe.

Andrew (Long Island, NY)

Do you think it's an unfair advantage when one corner is yelling to their fighter in a different language even though they know English so that way the other fighter is clueless?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Nothing unfair about it.

No ceilings (Mpls, MN)

How exciting would an Anderson Silva vs. Bones Jones fight be? Who would you pick to win and how?

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

It is a matchup that many have fantasized about. I have no idea who would win, but Jones' size advantage would be a factor. Would love to see that fight. I think we'd all like to see Jon Jones against any top guy.

Rick (NJ)

Fact or Fiction: Edgar is unified LW champ when all is said and done?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

It'll be a tough climb. Hard to envision him beating both Maynard and Pettis. But I am picking Edgar in a minor upset over Maynard on New Year's Day, so we'll see.

adriano (bronx,ny)

How many more fights before Jose Aldo considers moving up to Lightweight?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Several, I think. Right now, he is dealing with a neck disk injury. And, because the UFC now has a featherweight division, there is just less incentive for Aldo to move up to 155.

Dave (Saint Louis)

Chost,No post to get some Twitter followers? Just trying to get my mma picks out to the masses. @dgibbona

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Hahahahaha. You can also follow me on Twitter- @Jon_Anik. I will post some updates later today as to who will be on MMA Live tomorrow.

Eric (Indiana)

Fact or Fiction: Clay Guida has one shot at the title before his run in the ufc is over?

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Fiction. Just way too many tough outs at 155 for me to envision Clay Guida making any sort of lengthy run.

Scott (AZ)

You and other people are giving Bader no chance against Jones. Bader is the better wrestler and will use it to put your man-crush on his back and grind out a UD. mark it down.

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

What commentary are you reading? I am definitely giving Bader a chance, although I picked Jones to win. Re-read the chats the last few weeks. I've given Bader more of a chance to win than most. And you are on the record with your pick!

James (Minneapolis)

What are the holidays like at JA's place?

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

All we do is eat. Family is all spread out, so it's tough. Most of the family is in Florida. Looking forward to having a few days off this weekend. It's been a long football season and I need a blow.

Stoke (Oregon)

Jon,When will you seriously start to train in MMA. you're still young, you still have a shot.

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Hahahaha. Love it, Stoke. My schedule makes it tough, but that's a poor excuse. Perhaps I will take my first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class next year. Sounds like a decent New Year's resolution.

Aaron (fl)

wow. someone from az picking bader. shocker

Rick (NJ)

Did you think Henderson would have won the fight if not for the "Showtime Kick"?

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

I scored it 3 rounds to 2 for Pettis. I think the totality of that 5th round would've been enough to give Pettis the nod, even without the 'Showtime Kick'. Either way, it was highly refreshing to see a fighter go for the kill when the outcome was in the balance.

Scott (Northern Kentucky)

Do you feel that Chael Sonnen has completely vindicated himself and deserves a title rematch? I don't and Happy Holidays JA.

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

I'm not sure how else to penalize the man. He stated his case in the hearing, and the suspension was reduced. Perhaps the Nevada State Athletic Commission will make it tough for him to be re-licensed there. But I don't think the UFC should punish him any further. As you guys know, if it was my decision, I would have him rematch Anderson Silva as soon as possible...even if Vitor Belfort is the new champion.

Gary (RI)

What is Ricardo Arona up to these days?!

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

No idea.

No Ceilings (Mpls, MN)

You vs. Skip Bayless? Who wins and how?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

I am in pretty good cardiovascular shape, but Skip is a machine. I'm fairly confident he would outlast me, eventually winning when I tap due to strikes...

Tim K (Chicago, IL)

How does Chael Sonnen get away with the racist comments he makes on Twitter?

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Haven't read what you are referencing. A lot of UFC/MMA fighters take a lot of liberties when it comes to their personal Twitter accounts. No one is monitoring what they write and clearly, no one is penalizing them for what they tweet. I, on the other hand, have to be especially careful with what I post on Twitter.

Rick (NJ)

Show of the Year was:Card you're most excited for is:

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

I'm most excited for the Toronto show and they haven't even revealed the lineup yet. It will be the largest assembled crowd in UFC history and you have to think there will be at least one title fight. As for the 2010 Card of the Year, way too many to choose from. I think I would give it to WEC 48 or WEC 49.

Mike (DC)

Do you see Kenflo making a run at the title? Or is he moving more into the TV side?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

I think Kenny will attempt to make one more hard run at the belt. But this knee injury is a legitimate setback as far as that is concerned.

Roman (CGY)

Wanderlei Silva has had more work done to his face then Joan Rivers. When will he fight again? Would love to see him against Sonnen, Leben or Belfort

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

Not sure on a return date for Wanderlei. It'll be a high-profile opponent.

adriano (bronx,ny)

How long before Geroge Sotoropolis gets a title shot, it seems they dont think he is a legitmate threat.

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

Not true. The UFC definitely has high hopes for George Sotiropoulos. I don't have any issue with the way they are proceeding. Dennis Siver is a guy who is also on the cusp of contention. That fight makes sense to me. If GST gets through Siver, onward and upward.

War Machine (lock-up)

wanderlei's career is over, he couldn't beat a washed up Chuck.

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

I don't expect him to beat any of the top middleweights. But he still has tremendous appeal, and perhaps a bit more left in the tank than you think.

Jeremy (MN)

Do you think we see Strikeforce once again on CBS Primetime in 2011?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

Good question, Jeremy. I have my doubts at this point, in large part b/c of the way the last show on CBS ended. From what I hear, CBS still has genuine interest in being in the MMA game, but it may have cooled a bit.

Aaron (fl)

Do you like the Pac-man vs Mosley fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Not really. Sugar Shane doesn't have much left. I would've much preferred to see Pacquiao fight Andre Berto, who is in his prime.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Do you think the UFC made a mistake in releasing Paul Daley?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

No. You've gotta draw the line somewhere. If you don't release a fighter who throws a punch after the final bell, where do you draw the line? Perhaps the lifetime ban was a bit harsh, but that can be lifted.

TCwood (California)

Can a guy (me) who watches your MMA show and follows you on twitter get a hello or any thing to save as my background or screensaver for life?...your show is the BEST... thanks

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

TCwood rules. Appreciate you watching MMA Live, bud.

Julio (Tucson, AZ)

Jon....I thought there was a great turnout in Glendale for the Pettis/Henderson fight. What do you think are the chances the UFC coming to Arizona??

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

Turnout was just OK, or so I read. Either way, Arizona is definitely an MMA hot bed and hopefully, the UFC will eventually get there. We hear from fans all across the US and the world and they all want the UFC to come to them. Clearly, the UFC is trying to expand and hit as many markets as possible.

Tim K (Chicago, IL)

Do you think Couture will fight in the UFC one more time?

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

I do not. I think we have seen the last of Randy Couture. He told me he is only interested in novelty fights and won't fight for the belt again. I'm not sure there are any real novelty fights out there. Tito Ortiz? Cro Cop? Nothing really makes sense for Randy.

zach (PA)

is MMA live going to get a better (maybe featured timeslot) in the future. Love the show, wondering because as of now its condemned to my DVR do to my work schedule.

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Not sure, my friend. But the ratings have been a positive. SO, please keep watching, setting the DVR, and spreading the word. I think 2011 could be a monumental year for MMA Live. Or that's the hope, at least.

Matt (Dallas)

Bonnar vs Page?!?!? Is Bonnar nuts?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Well as you saw, I wasn't letting him leave until he called out at least one other fighter. Bonnar is very realistic about his UFC career. He knows he needs 2-3 more wins to be relevant in the title picture again. But who wouldn't want to see him fight Rampage Jackson? Bonnar is among the most consistently entertaining fighters in UFC history.

Teddyhasfleas (Detroit, MI)

Jones vs Rashad 2011 for title, fact of fiction?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Fiction. Both guys are on the record as saying they will not fight each other.

Shawn (NJ)

Kid Yamamoto is coming to the UFC! Kid Yamamoto is coming to the UFC! Kid Yamamoto is coming to the UFC!

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Yes.

Steve (New Jersey)

BJ Fitch predictions? Will it be similar to Penn Gsp 2?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

What a challenge for B.J. Penn. I think Penn needs to approach the Fitch fight with a similar mindset to the one he employed most recently against Matt Hughes. Ya know, just get back to being a kid and fight. Obviously, Fitch makes that very difficult with his style. But Penn need not overthink it...just go in there and let the hands go and see what happens.

Matt (Seattle)

Who does the Pitbull Alves fight next?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Still TBD. He fought less than 2 weeks ago. Open to suggestions. I'd like to see him face Carlos Condit.

Marc (Malden, MA)

So Bones Jones won't fight Rashad even if it's for a title...ridiculous.

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Don't want to take the chat down this path today. But largely, I agree with you.

Aaron (fl)

With the UFC going to Brazil do you think that would be the right place for gsp vs silva?

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Sure. But that fight won't materialize by August.

Jarric (Kansas)

How is dana going to try to sell us Fitch as a Main-event when he's been ripping Fitch's style for a long time? Can't wait for this fight to get closer just to see Dana White's hypocricy at its finest.

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

I think the sales pitch will have more to do with B.J. Penn than Jon Fitch. I also think it will be interesting to see how the rest of the main card shakes out.

Aaron (Toronto)

I heard GSP v Shields and Cain v JDS will headline the Toronto card. True?

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

Could happen. I read the same thing this morning, but I'm not convinced the UFC even needs to do that to have a mammoth show in Toronto.

Baumer (NYC)

Is Royce Gracie done? Could you see the UFC bringing him back for the Brazil card?

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

Supposedly Royce has already inquired about getting a slot on the Brazil show. Perhaps he could be involved in some sort of novelty fight or exhibition. We'll see.

Eric (Indiana)

ufc 125 predictions?

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

...in next week's chat.

Gary (RI)

Did Dana White ever approach Gegard Mousasi about coming to the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

I know they approached King Mo Lawal with a contract offer, but not sure about Mousasi.

Andrew (Montgomery)

Jon, does Strikeforce have the ability to regain their former stature or will they continue their slow decline into another also-ran?

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

Not exactly sure what 'stature' you speak of? I think Strikeforce is content right now with what it is. At some point, we could see them expand the staff and attempt to put on shows more consistently. The fight cards have been excellent. The problem is, they seem to kill their own momentum by a) taking too long in-between title fights and b) announcing shows to close to the actual date of the show. We are just hearing details about the Jan. 29th show now. Makes it hard on the fans to plan a trip, etc.

Burdman (NYC)

Is Shane Roller a legitimate threat in the UFC 155 division? He had two close battles with Bendo and Pettis and then takes out former champ Varner in the 1st round.

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

I think he will be given a chance. Not sure I would say he is as much of a threat as, say a Mark Bocek or Jim Miller. We'll see.

James (Minneapolis)

is Ben Askren a must have in the UFC? what is his contract like with Bellator?

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Not sure the length of Askren's deal. But all Bellator champions have champions clauses that are fairly prohibitive. Eventually, I think we will see Ben Askren in the big show.

Justin Lloyd (Texas)

After the injury, How many fights is Carwin from a match with Cain?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Could only be 1-2 fights away from a title shot. There are not a ton of heavyweight contenders right now. And I think a Carwin-Velasquez fight is on the short list of must-make-happen fights for the UFC. I think Carwin might be the current UFC heavyweight best-equipped to beat Cain.

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Alright, folks. Gotta bounce on outta here. Overflow questions can be sent my way on Twitter (@Jon_Anik). Be sure to vote for our MMA Year-End Awards today and we'll see y'all tomorrow night, 12:30AM ET/9:30PM PT for MMA Live on ESPN2. Merry Christmas to all! Enjoy the time with friends and family, and be safe. That includes not texting and driving. Peace and love. -JA