Good to be here, as always. Quick programming reminder off the top: MMA Live is off this week. First time we've been idle since we starting this thing in early 2008. We'll be back on ESPN2 next week. Alright, let's vent.
Will Diaz EVER fight Mayhem?
I think it'll happen at some point. Right now, the weight classes just don't match up.
Hey Jon, do you think Shogun will be able to handle Rashad's wrestling? Based on his history doesn't look like he faced anyone with as good wrestling as Rashad.
You can be sure that has been a big focus for Shogun Rua in getting ready for this fight. If Shogun can land a big shot early, he might not have to worry about his takedown defense. I think the first round will be huge in this fight.
Will UFC 126 be the biggest card of 2011 it is stacked
Certainly a tough act to follow. You've got 3 high-profile fights on the main card, in addition to Miguel Torres' UFC debut. Happy to report that MMA Live will bring you live coverage of UFC 126. We'll be in Las Vegas with 3 shows in 2 days, including a 1-hour Post-Fight Extra immediately following the PPV on ESPN2.
How do you rate UFC 126 to any UFC cards in 2010?
On paper, it's about as deep as any card we had in 2010.
Jon,Why is ESPN canceling MMA Live?
Umm, not being canceled. We have gone 140 straight weeks since we started. Just taking a breather. We will be back on ESPN2 next week.
Chost! What are your thought on DREAM being "broke" according to Bob Sapp?
Not surprised to hear the news/allegation. We have heard for some time about DREAM fighters not being paid. I remember Gesias Cavalcante making a similar claim nearly 2 years ago.
Hey, Jon love the show. I know you guys sometimes do post-fight shows. Any plans to start covering the post fight conference and interviews with Dana White and the fighters on ESPN?
We always have a handful of the winning fighters on our post-fight show. And we've had Dana White on 7 of our 9 live post-fight shows. Logistically, there are some challenges b/c the presser is going on as we are doing our show. But it has been discussed. We'll see what happens in a few weeks. Hopefully, we can at least incorporate some sound from fighters who aren't able to make it up to our set.
BJJ use to be the base for fighters to learn. Now it seems most people would recommend wrestling. Do you think the recommend fighting base could change in the next decade?
It's an interesting discussion. I was talking to Kenny Florian and Frankie Edgar about this very subject after we taped the show last week. There is no doubt that the modern-day mixed martial artist is more well-rounded. But Edgar was saying that, nowadays, fighters who are entering MMA may not be as elite at one particular discipline. My thesis statement has always been that wrestling is the best base for MMA.
is roy nelson fighting frank mir?
That's what I'm hearing.
Who deserves next shot at 205?? Bader/Jones winner, Rampage/Silva winner or the Machida /Couture winner??
A lot of solid options for the UFC. If Jon Jones finishes Ryan Bader, I would think long and hard about giving him a title shot. If Bader finishes Jones, he'd have a great case as well. Personally, I have campaigned for Rampage Jackson at length and think he'd be very deserving with a win over Thiago Silva.
After all the ground rules have been laid out for the Strikeforce Heavyweight tourney, do you think it has lost some of it's allure?
Certainly a bit strange that the title ramifications have changed since we had Scott Coker on MMA Live a few weeks ago. But as previously stated, as long as we get to see a fight between Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko, I don't really care what else happens.
DW and the UFC should insist Jon Jones must use "Angry Johnny" as his walkout music every fight. Such a fitting song... Love it.
It is perfect.
Jon,Sanchez or Kampmann....who do you like ??
Depends which Diego Sanchez shows up. Against Paulo Thiago, Sanchez simply wasn't gonna be denied. But overall, I think Kampmann is more athletic and a more well-rounded fighter. So the early lean is toward the Hitman.
what happen to your pats?
They played mistake-free football for 3 straight months. Too bad they saved all of their mistakes/lack of execution for the playoffs. Disgusted.
If you can only pick one, who is your pick to win the Strikeforce HWT GP?
Overeem. I don't think anyone can strike with him right now.
Jon, I don't think the fans are ever going to see GSP vs. A. Silva.
I understand your pessimism, but I disagree. It all comes down to timing. Eventually, Georges St. Pierre will run out of challengers at 170. At that time, the expectation is that he would move to 185 with finality. His first fight at middleweight could very well be against Anderson Silva.
is anderson looking past vitor?
How do you see Brock Dos Santos fight going?
Florian thinks it's a great matchup for Lesnar. Clearly, Dos Santos' wrestling isn't nearly as strong as Cain Velasquez's is. But Junior's hands are the best I've seen in the UFC's heavyweight division. First 2 minutes of the fight will be huge. Can JDS thwart the early takedown? If so, I like him to win.
Jon, do you think the labor disputes and probable work stoppages in both the NBA and NFL will help MMA?
If the work stoppages happen, it will be a boon for MMA. But I wouldn't call the work stoppages probable. The NFL will get a deal done.
What percent chance to you give Big Foot over Fedor?
Hey Jon thanks for the chat. What are your thoughts about UFC 128? I think its a pretty good card.
Still needs one more big name, in my opinion. But I am geeked for the main event. Rashad has been talking about this 'favorable' matchup for almost a year. Just excited to finally see them fight.
After Sheilds, there is no more for GSP....... GSP vs. Silva... MSG.. End of 2011 PPV You will see...
I think that is pretty ambitious, Steve. Knowing GSP, he may want more time than 6-7 months to bulk up to 210 or so, so as to cut back down to 185. I do hope you are right, however.
who you picking for the superbowl now?
If you read our chats weekly, you know that I projected a Packers-Steelers Super Bowl back in Week 2. I am sticking with it, even though I think both the Jets and Bears have great chances to win on Sunday.
Are the "nosebleed" seats worth it for a live event? Seems a lot of subtlety would be lost.
No matter where you sit at an MMA show, you lose something by not being able to listen to the commentary. But the UFC's in-arena show is the best I've ever seen - in any sport - and they do a great job with replays, etc. There are also tons of big screens around the arena on which to watch the live action. It's definitely worth taking in a live UFC show at some point.
Pellegrino stole your boyfriend!!!!
Yeah, those two are really going at it on Twitter. They're kind of like making out.
Can Guillard get past Dunham?
Of course he can. Anything can and does happen in MMA, not unlike the NFL. It's my expectation that Dunham will fight a smart, controlled fight and will win by decision. But this version of Guillard is the best, most disciplined we've ever seen. Great main event Saturday night for the UFC Fight for the Troops show at Fort Hood.
Jonny Boy! Long time no chat. Hate to break it to everyone but Gotta say Pettis is gonna whoop on maynard or edgar. His skill set is too much for either
I know a lot of high-level MMA people who agree with you. Pettis really is that new-breed of MMA fighter, combining athleticism with versatility in all disciplines. If you feel this strongly about it, there will be money to be made. I forecast Pettis to open as the underdog against either guy.
I don't see a cage rusted Forrest Griffin beating Rich Franklin.
Perhaps that is why Griffin has been installed as a +140 underdog.
You forgot Jake Ellenberger at 170. After he beats Rocha in 2 weeks, give him Shields so he annihilate him and send him back to Strikeforce, then give him GSP. Jake can then bring the belt home to Omaha
Ellenberger is certainly a name to keep an eye on at 170. One of my favorite moments as Bellator commentator was his quick KO of Marcelo Alfaia. Ellenberger took the fight on less than 24-hours notice, then proceeded to send his opponent out of the cage on a stretcher. I'd like to see Ellenberger vs. Carlos Condit.
Cyborg...... Daley......Woodley..... Mayhem..... Then can Nick Diaz please come back to the UFC????
He just signed a long-term extension. Diaz is not UFC-bound anytime soon.
Where has Jake Rossen disappeared to?
Not sure. I will e-mail the man after the chat.
What is next for Carwin? All the top HW's are matched up already. I heard he will start training with Fedor.
I am hearing it'll be Cheick Kongo. Perhaps a guy like Ben Rothwell would be in the mix as well.
can I bet 1,000,000 dollars on Shields vs. GSP going to decision?
Not sure what the max bet is in Las Vegas. I'm sure you could. But I really think St. Pierre has a good chance to finish Shields, so I wouldn't advise it.
Is Strikeforce's following enough that they could do a PPV for Overeem/Fedor?
Hard to say. I think an Overeem-Fedor PPV could do 150,000 buys, perhaps even 200,000. The question then becomes 'is that # enough to warrant a PPV?'.
Does Pat Barry get a W on saturday?
I think he does, but don't sleep on Joey Beltran, who is one tough kid and a better striker than you think. Beltran will not be put away easily. That much I can tell you.
Now a Shields vs Fitch fight is a guaranteed decision.... especially a 3 round fight
That, I will buy.
Whats it gonna take for Paul Daley to get back to the UFC?
I really don't think it is gonna happen. Dana White reserves the right to go back on his word (lifetime ban), but I don't think he will anytime soon. Daley would have to roll through Strikeforce's welterweight division. At that time, perhaps the UFC would be interested in bringing him back. But in my opinion, Daley needs the UFC far more than the UFC needs Daley.
In MMA you hear about "hardcore" and "casual" fans. Why is this not said in other sports? Because of the sports relatively infant stage?
That has a lot to do with it. But you bring up a good point. I know a lot of casual MLB fans, but we don't refer to them as such. I just think with MMA, there is a large segment of the fan base who has never heard of Jake Ellenberger, my twin brother included.
Who do you think is the favorite in the Bellator WW tourney? And will the winner beat Lyman Good?
Well, Ben Askren beat Lyman Good to become the new welterweight champion. Good is now back in the field for this next tournament. I like Good to win this season's tournament and earn a rematch with Askren. Wouldn't be surprised to see Dan Hornbuckle make another run, as well.
Condit has emerged as a top guy at 170. what do you think his realistic ceiling is in the division? May be a lil small for gsp but should gsp decide to move up to 185, what then for Condit?
I think Condit has the potential to be the welterweight champion. He is almost impossible to finish and always seems to be improving. Hard to envision him beating St. Pierre, but I'd like him against almost anyone else right now.
Any value on Tim Hague +220? Mitrione although he has looked good and improving, he's only had 3 pro fights.
I think so, absolutely. Frankly, I was surprised at how dismissive our analysts were last week of a Hague victory. They all picked Mitrione without even blinking. Mitrione still has holes and is at a decided experience disadvantage. I consider Hague a live dog.
Do you really think Condit could beat Fitch?
Today, I would probably pick Fitch to beat Condit. But sure, Condit could beat him. All he's gotta do is land a big shot.
My fiance' is the " Mir girl" in these chats !! Can you pull some strings and get Mir on MMA Live?? She's dying to see him !!
The man doesn't live to fly. He was a staple on MMA Live in our early days. We miss him.
What does Vitor need to do to win at UFC 126?
Be patient and take Silva into deep water. Given the type of beating Chael Sonnen put on Silva (without the desired result), it's just hard to envision Anderson getting knocked out. But, if any middleweight has the power to do it, it's Vitor Belfort.
If you are Dana White... What kind of coaches challenge do you put together for Lesnar/Dos Santos? haha!
Haha. So many great possibilities. I'd love to see Lesnar play hoops or bowl.
When and who is the axe murderer fighting
Looks like it'll be Brian Stann, but the UFC has yet to confirm.
If he doesn't think they make distinctions between fans in other sports, he apparently doesn't understand the divide between SABR oriented fans and casual fans in baseball.
That's a good point. Another chat reader mentioned something about the ability to access information, which is another valid point. It's a lot easier to get information on the NFL than it is MMA, unless you go to the Internet. Oftentimes a full week may go by and you won't hear a single mention of MMA on ESPN, aside from MMA Live and now Friday Night Fights.
Who you got in a Lyman Good and Ben Askren rematch?
Askren. But I'd love to see it again. Lyman remains underrated by the MMA masses.
Bears or Packers?
I picked the Pack at the beginning of the season, so I tempted to stick with it. BUT, the fact that everyone on this ESPN campus seems to be picking Green Bay makes me like the Bears.
Are you a cable, DirecTV, or Dish Network guy?
Right now I have Comcast. Used to have AT&T Uverse, which meant I had HDNet. I miss Michael Schiavello. When I move, I will be switching to satellite.
Who do you think will be next to throw down with bones jones after he steam rolls bader?
I don't think he will necessarily steamroll Bader. But as for a next opponent, Jones could very well get the winner of Rampage and Thiago Silva. If Shogun beats Rashad Evans and Jones beats Bader, Jones should fight Shogun for the belt. Period.
Pats or Steelers?...wait...nevermind...
Dan Hendersen vs Machida? Who wins? I like Henderson!!
I'll take the younger, fresher, more-in-his-prime fighter. That is Lyoto Machida. Intriguing matchup, though. Too bad it'll never happen. Henderson will never be back in the UFC.
Who do you have winning the Royal Rumble, my pick is John Cena?
Don't even know what that is.
Jones won't fight Evans..... what if Jones destroys Bader and Evans wins???
You could see Rashad against Rampage, provided Rampage beats Thiago Silva.
DO you think GSP will ever Fight Anderson Silva? And when? love mma live i ve been a viewer for 18 months...
Appreciate it, Javier. I think GSP-Anderson Silva will happen in 2012, earliest.
So I know you were never on the Bader wagon, but is he a legit top 10 LHW? I don't think he beats Jones, but IMO that only proves he isn't the best 205er in the world.
I agree. Not unlike the aforementioned Lyman Good, Bader just doesn't seem to get the credit he deserves. Hanging with Jon Jones for the full 15 minutes would go a long way in proving Bader's worth. He's strong as an ox and tough to finish. Can't wait for that fight.
Rampage KO's Silva in 2nd Rd
Matt is on the record.
Tiger Woods vs. Tom Brady in an MMA fight? Pick one.
I wouldn't pick Tom Brady to beat anyone right now. What an awful performance.
So you answer 3 questions on GSP-Silva, but cant tell the people whats up their King? King Cole that is...
Over or Under 3 more fights for Anderson Silva in the UFC?
Over. I think GSP may retire before Anderson Silva does.
How long is Dominic Cruz out for?
Probably 6 months.
Does Joe Warren get beat in his first title defense? I say yes
Definitely a tough field there at 145. But I would pick Warren to beat most of them.
If Brock loses in spectacular fashion, do you think he is done in MMA?
Could be. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to Brock Lesnar. But one thing I can guarantee you, he will not stick around if he can't hang with the top guys. He won't hang around to fight the Ben Rothwells of the world.
Who is Jose Aldo fighting next and when? I love watching that guy!
If Mark Hominick beats George Roop this weekend, Dana White has said Hominick will be next for Jose Aldo. The title fight against Aldo would then take place in May or June.
Dream matchup... Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar! agreed?
My dream matchup is Evan Dunham vs. Anthony Pettis. But I'd pay to see Faber-Edgar as well. Don't love that matchup for Urijah.
Aldo goes to 155 after __ defenses???
Maybe 4-5. Public opinion differs greatly as to how motivated Aldo is to move up. Now that the UFC has a featherweight division, I wouldn't rush it.
how far can phil davis go this year in your opinion? loads of potential, him vs bones jones would be good!
Phil Davis is a stud. Could conceivably end the year as a top contender. Hard not to fantasize about a fight between Davis and Jon Jones. Davis is one of the few guys that actually has the size to match up with Bones.
Anderson Silva v Jon Jones would be matrix like. Silva by KO.
Another dream tilt.
Jon, is Joe Soto in the Bellator FW tournament this year?
I'm not sure. May want to reach out to Bellator on Twitter (@BellatorMMA) or check their website.
I also encourage you to follow me (@Jon_Anik) and the show (@ESPN_MMALIVE) on Twitter. Constant updates on the show and more.
What are the chances of a Urijah Faber v. Dominic Cruz as coaches in the Ultimate Fighter season 14?
Is there enough legit contenders at 145 for Jose Aldo? It seems like everyone he fights is just a sacrificial lamb.
I don't think Mark Hominick is a sacrificial lamb. I'm also intrigued by Dustin Poirier. But Aldo has made other worthy challengers look unworthy, so we'll see.
SAT question for you: Fitch is to GSP what Davis will be to Jones. True or False?
I like the question, John. Could be. Hard to say until they get in there.
Who is the most attractive fighter in mma? Least?
There are a lot of hot fighters.
How good is Hector Lombard? I say VERY
EXTREMELY. Just needs some challengers.
Tell me you'd rather see Spider v Shogun instead of gsp v spider. cant say im even remotely interested in watching gsp get laid out. no matter how much weight he puts on, his wrestling aint as good as chaels
I wouldn't, SteveMtz. What intrigues me about Shogun vs. Anderson Silva is the fact that Shogun really wants the fight. But to see the two best fighters of this (or perhaps any) generation (GSP, Silva) in there together would be a sight to behold. It trumps almost all dream matchups for me.
Who is next for Damian Maia? Seems like he is out for another 4 months at least.
Not sure, John. I know Brian Stann would love to fight him, but it appears Stann will get Wanderlei Silva.
I am bringing tiger uppercut to Strikeforce. Beware.
I know that Scott Coker has said he wants to build his product from within but don't you think he should think about signing a Brandon Vera to boost his depth at 205?
I agree with my colleague Josh Gross in thinking that Vera doesn't appear to have much left. But Strikeforce can always use a guy with a following and some name recognition. So why not?
John in St. Petersburg:Answer is best looking - Gina Carano/Miesha TateUgliest - James Thompson and as of 01/01/11 Brandon Vera
How impressed are you with Mike Brown this weekend getting back in the cage only 21 days after losing?
I am always impressed by fighters who are active. As y'all know, I am highly critical of fighters who are healthy, but instead choose to take 6 months off. Brown needs a win, for sure, and that obviously added to his sense of urgency.
Chael used to always text fans and go off on twitter. Where is chael? has anyone spoken to him yet?
Can you blame him for laying low? Anything he says now can and will be used against him. I think it's a good time to be quiet.
your thoughts on ryan bader saying he's gonna finish Jonny Bones early?
I think that is the way he needs to approach the fight. Can't be conservative against Bones or you'll be on the wrong side of a finish - and quickly. Only other strategy would be to test Jones' cardio late, but that is a whole lot easier said than done.
Will Cody Mckenzy win again... by guillotine?
Josh Gross is insane! Vera just hasn't stepped his game up and done what he needs to do to be great, that being said, who wants to hire someone with an effort issue?
He quit against Thiago Silva. It was a pathetic display. Hard to envision Vera getting a second wind at this stage of his career. I also thought his lack of urgency in the first two rounds against Randy Couture was pathetic. He's enigmatic.
I have Comcast and HDNET is now on there and has been for a couple of months. somewhere in the 790's
DUDE. I've gotta check that out. I checked a few weeks ago and it was nowhere to be found.
I love Bader's confidence, but I think he's crazy!!!
No mention of Penn v Fitch thus far? I'm a big Penn fan, but it's hard for me to imagine any other outcome than him being 'fitched' i.e 15 min lay n' pray...
I'm sure there will be a ton of Fitch-Penn talk leading up to the fight. We're more than 4 weeks out right now.
Who has the best entrance music?
So many good ones. Rashad coming out to Mobb Deep's Shook Ones Pt. II comes to mind. Jon Jones to Angry Johnny by Poe. We could do a whole chat on entrance music.
Grappling only. Who u got jon BJ or G Sot?
Good question. GST.
Im with dude from Oregon, I have comcast and I have HDNet, and I am still waiting on an answer about King Cole, you posted my question dude and didn't answer...
Sorry, dude. Not familiar with King Cole.
Please tell me that there is no truth to that slob James Toney fighting in the UFC again...I heard he called out Rampage...what a clown
James Toney was one and done in the UFC. He won't be back.
Any chance MMA Live will be at ESPN the Weekend?
I wish. We're way too far down on the totem pole to get that call. But I'll keep the celly on, just in case.
Bonnar comes out to Eminence Front by The Who....always been a fan of that
How about Roy coming out to Weird Al. That put a big smile on my face.
does brock work his stand up and let people punch his face? if so, who does he bring in?
I'm not sure it's about bringing someone in anymore. I think it's about getting out of his comfort zone. Perhaps going to spend a month with Freddie Roach would be a good idea. But ultimately, I just don't think Lesnar was born to strike. I think his frame is somewhat prohibitive. Don't ever expect him to be an elite MMA striker.
Is Couture in the title picture with a win over Machida? Despite how stacked LHW division is, he would kind of have to be right?
For sure. That would be his 4th straight win. And a win over Machida could even warrant a title shot.
Come on man, Penn won the Mundials. He'd own George.
Jon, what is your wingspan/reach?
Not sure, dude. But I do have abnormally long arms for a 5'9" guy.
Pretty sure Jason from Philly meant Cole Konrad, who has terrific wrestling and... Well, he has terrific wrestling.
Cole Konrad I know.
Why hasn't King Mo fought, and when will he and Mousasi fight for #1 contender status?
Had knee surgery, I believe.
Florian v Edgar...Edgar takes it right? Seeing them on MMA Live last week made me wonder...
Kenny is much bigger and I know he has wanted that fight for some time. I like that fight a bunch.
Alright, ladies. Gotta run. IF I MISSED YOUR QUESTION, follow me on Twitter- @Jon_Anik - and I will get back to you in good time. Remember- MMA Live is off this week, back on ESPN2 next week. And we'll also be back to chat next Wednesday, 1PM right here. Until then, be safe, eat some wings, and don't text and drive. -JA