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March 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Buzzmaster
  (1:00 PM)

Hey folks. Hang on a few minutes. Jon is just finishing up something.

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Sorry, folks. Was just shooting some fantasy baseball previews. Here now for at least 90 minutes or so. Let's vent.

Jake (Jersey)

Chost, how'd you score Penn - Fitch? I had it 29-28 Penn.

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Scored it 29-27 for Fitch. Second round could've gone either way, but I gave it to Fitch. Also gave him a 10-8 in the 3rd. All of that said, I don't have an issue with the draw.

Aaron (Chicago)

Buzzmaster sighting!

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

You know it. Thanks to our fine SportsNation crew for picking up my slack.

Jon (Providence)

Chost!! B-Stann killed it on your show this week. You have to get that guy on more often. Any word on when he'll be on again? Dude is polished.

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

Stann is terrific. Not sure when he is scheduled to be back, but he has certainly cracked the rotation, if not the Top 5.

Big Mike (Chicago)

Is Bisbing turning into MMA's version of Mayweather? Most of the public hates him and tune in to see if he gets his butt whipped.

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

Disappointing to see that lack of maturity, both during and after the fight. The illegal knee bothers me more than the spitting incident, but neither act is defensible. Putrid stuff out of Bisping on a night that should've been a giant step forward for him.

Chad (Middle of nowhere Arkansas)

Do you think Strikeforce will be around in 3 more years? They seem to be exceptionally disorganized.

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

Really a shame that the SF heavyweight grand prix has been pushed back 10 weeks or so. I would agree on some of the disorganization. Part of it is simply a lack of bodies.

ian smith (england)

hi boss,do u think the ufc will cut hardy if he loses his next fight? it will be 3 in a row.i think he will win fingers crossed

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

No. I am a huge Hardy backer, as many of you know. Perhaps he is a tick overrated as a fighter, but he is a very intelligent guy who knows how to sell a fight. And he's popular. That counts for something.

Fulch (Ohio)

Who do you like tomorrow, Sanchez or Kampmann?

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

Kampmann. I think he's the better athlete and the more well-rounded mixed martial artist. Never fun to face a guy as determined and relentless as Diego Sanchez, but I'll take the more skilled guy to win a decision.

Aaron (Chicago)

Chost - What do you need to see for a 10-8 round to happen?

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

Total domination. I am fairly liberal when awarding 10-8 rounds, mostly because there are only 3-5 rounds in a fight and we have to differentiate between a hugely one-sided round and a simple, clear-cut 10-9 round. In my estimation, the first round was clearly 10-9 Penn. If that's the case, how can the 3rd round also be scored 10-9?

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

...I think the only solution is to go back to the Pride scoring system and judge fights on the totality of what transpires, as opposed to round-by-round. Right now, the judges are handcuffed.

Tito (Quebec)

Who do you see next for Fitch?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Hopefully it'll be Jake Ellenberger. At this point, we just have to wait and see what happens with Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields. I'd rather not see a Fitch-Penn rematch, even though I was entertained.

Mark (San Marcos,TX)

Brian Bowles or Demacio Page?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Page.

Mike (NJ)

What do you think about the oversees UFC events? It seems like such a greater disadvantage to the US fighters than it does when those guys come here.

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

Good question. Fighting overseas is certainly an adjustment. And when you fight somewhere as far away as Australia, most fighters can't afford to bring all of their cornermen. There are also major adjustments with diet (food availability), training and time zone. For those reasons, a lot of fighters prefer to fight stateside and will even turn down international fights when offered.

Morgan (Work)

What did you think of Daley missing wieght? Embarrassing!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

I don't get it. Just doesn't take it seriously enough for my liking. I am confident he will make weight for his Strikeforce title fight against Nick Diaz on April 9th. I think perhaps he puts greater emphasis/value on the Strikeforce belt than he did the BAMMA title.

Rich (NYC)

JA - We gotta see bisping sonnen just for the prefight antics, right?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

Absolutely. Thankfully, Chael has already begun the campaign. Still awaiting word on a possible Bisping suspension and Sonnen's contract is frozen at the moment. So, a lot of variables. But the matchup makes sense in more ways than one.

Steve (NY)

Diaz will submit Daley 2nd rd... Rear-Naked...... lock it up !!

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

You are on the record.

Jay (Bloomington, IN)

What fight are you most looking forward to tomorrow night?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

The main event b/w Sanchez and Kampmann. Diego is never involved in boring fights. And the Hitman is what's up.

Kristian (Wall Street, NY)

When the UFC has their first event at MSG, legal hurdles pending, do you think they try and make it the best card ever?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

I think it'll be stacked similarly to UFC 100 or the UFC's upcoming first trip to Toronto. But I don't think you'll see anything too crazy, like 3 belts on the line. That is easier to do now with 7 champions instead of 5, but I still think you need to spread out the championship fights so that other cards don't suffer.

matt (minnesota)

Is it possible that Rivera will get suspended to for his antics?

Jon Anik
  (1:22 PM)

His antics were fairly innocuous in nature. Trash talk and pre-fight videos are a lot different than spitting in the direction of an opponent's cornerman. If I was the UFC, I would give Bisping a hefty ($75-100K) fine. Not sure I'd suspend him, though.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

The Hitman was involved in a pretty boring fight with Jake Shields.

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

That is true, but that is not the norm for Kampmann. His fights almost always deliver.

James MacDonald (Scotland)

In what way is Hardy overrated? He lost to GSP and simply got caught against Condit, who is a terrific fighter.

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

You don't have to sell me on Hardy, but a lot of his fellow fighters believe he was not worthy of the title shot and isn't nearly as well-rounded as you need to be to have staying power in the UFC. His next fight against Anthony Johnson later this month is a great test.

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Folks, the shorter and cleaner the question, the better chance it has of being answered. Huge traffic in here today, so I can't read novels. Extra questions can be sent to me on Twitter- @Jon_Anik. I will reply later today.

Aaron (Chicago)

Hardy shouldn't have ever fought GSP.

Ryan (Santa Ana)

How do you feel for the April 9th Strikeforce card? It seems pretty stacked for a Heavyweight GP being pushed back

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

I feel as though Strikeforce had to do something to soften the blow of the announcement that the GP was being pushed back. The 2 title fights (Diaz-Daley and Melendez-Kawajiri) are both highly intriguing for me. But I feel horribly for the heavyweights who have been pushed back and for the quarterfinal winners (Silva, Kharitonov) who now must sit idle until September or October. Bad.

Matt (Dallas)

Hendo or Feijao

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

Close fight for me. Was surprised to see Hendo as a more than 2-1 favorite. If Cavalcante can avoid the early blow, I like him to grind out a decision win and test Hendo's cardio. So I'll take Feijao. Don't tell Dan, though.

JD (VA)

Was there any reasoning behind the GP push back?

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

Story is up on ESPN.com/MMA. There were some logistical issues. Still, inexcusable, if you ask me. When you employ a tournament format, you can't have delays like this. As a former Bellator employee, I can tell you there is nothing easy about executing a tournament and, in Bellator's case, doing a live show 12 straight weeks. But once you commit, there is no going back.

Kiz (ATL)

Manhoef > Kennedy? (short enough?)

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

Hahahaha. Love it. Really interesting fight. I like Kennedy's overall game better.

Hutch (Boston)

How's the poker show going?

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

Going well. Thanks for asking. We are monthly right now but will be going weekly beginning in May. We'll also be doing a live show from Mohegan Sun on Thursday, April 14th. Come see us.

Matt (Chicago)

How did you score Penn/Fitch?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Answered off the top of the chat. 29-27 Fitch.

James (CT)

Love your work

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Love you.

Tyler (Oklahoma City)

Why did Gerald Henderson get cut from the UFC and do you think he will ever be back?

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

I do think Henderson will have an opportunity to fight for the UFC again. It was one of the stranger cuts we have seen in recent memory. Essentially, he was cut for refusing to engage in the final 10 minutes or so of his fight with Maiquel Falcao. There is more to the story, but don't have time to get into all of it in this space.

Senor MMA (Houston)

Is Siver the real deal or is GST just overrated?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

I think Siver is legit. Oftentimes in MMA we get way too caught up in past performances without factoring in possible improvement. Siver is a much different fighter now than he was during his first UFC stint back in 2007. Great execution on Saturday night. He was the night's biggest winner, in my opinion.

Eric (Oak Ridge, NJ)

The starting shooting guard for the Bobcats (Gerald Henderson) was in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

He meant Gerald Harris. Appreciate all the corrections.

Lane (PA)

That would be Gerald Harris JA

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

Word.

David (Spartanburg (SC))

Will F-Mac now be sitting in a thrown when he is on the show? LeBron who? He had to know that would get some attention. If anyone did not check out the MMA - Extra. Do so!!

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

Hysterical look for McNeil. If you missed our MMA Live Extra this week, you can find the video on my Twitter feed. We are gonna try and do at least one extra MMA Live video per week going forward.

Matt (NJ)

G-Sot needs to work on his takedowns, looked lost on Saturday.

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

Yes. He also needs to work on his ability to make in-fight adjustments. Once he got stung early, his gas tank was essentially emptied and his takedowns had nothing behind them.

Matt (Dallas)

What phase of grief are you at with the loss of Perk? NBA trade deadline was nearly a week ago...

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

I have moved on. I'm not a Jeff Green guy and will miss Perk greatly. But Danny Ainge has my complete trust. We'll see how it plays out.

Brad (Sacramento)

Should Lytle retire or fight on?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

I think he'll keep going and should. He entered this fight with a knee injury. Whether or not that affected his performance, I still think the veteran has enough fight left to keep at it.

Lane (PA)

How do you see the Dollaway/Munoz fight going?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Munoz via TKO due to unanswered strikes on the ground.

Reid (MS)

Penn vs Alves?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Alves has a big fight upcoming against Rick Story. But I have long been a proponent of a fight b/w B.J. Penn and Thiago Alves. Let's do it.

Matt (Seattle)

Any idea who might be next for Tito? Forrest or Rich?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

Or maybe Bonnar?

Matt (Dallas)

When is MMA live going to be at another event? UFC 129 in Toronto?

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

Fingers crossed for Toronto. I will be on hand at UFC 128 later this month. Not exactly sure in what capacity, but I'll be doing something for ESPN. And of course, I have to be there to see Jon Jones win his first UFC title.

Aaron (Chicago)

Has the UFC considered chaning to a totality scoring system? If so, what would it take to put it into place?

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

I'm sure the UFC has considered the merits and entertained the possibility. I'm not entirely sure if it's the UFC's decision to make. But something's gotta give at some point. Current system just doesn't seem to working.

Gary (Morgantown)

Hey Jon! I agree the judging was fair in the Penn-Fitch fight, but what keeps the UFC/SAC's from instituting a conditional OT round if a fight is a draw after 3? It's not like it would be needed more than once per card on most occasions. Keep up the great work!

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

No argument here. I'd imagine the wheels are spinning after what we saw Saturday night. Crazy to think the main event in 2 of the 3 UFC PPVs this year have ended in a draw.

Bradley (Regina SK CAN)

I'm gonna give some love to BJ here. He gave up 20 lbs to a top P4P fighter and controlled him for the first half of the fight. Fitch won b/c his gas tank is deeper, but BJ showed why he's regarded as one of the all time greats.

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Loved the way Penn started, but he's gotta put himself in a position to finish fights. As Bisping said this weekend, I can't understand for the life of me why fighters step in the cage ill-prepared to go a hard 15 minutes. That last round was pathetic for Penn.

Thomas (NY)

Fitch won because he just lays on you

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

C'mon, Thomas. The dude didn't stop throwing strikes over the final 3 1/2 minutes of the fight. That is not easy to do.

Ian (Birmingham)

vegas has shogun as a 5-1 underdog is it hard not to take that bet?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Everything thought I was crazy 8 months ago for saying Jon Jones would and should be favored against any 205er in the world. I feel somewhat vindicated. That said, betting Jones in this fight has become prohibitive. I don't think Shogun will win, but there is certainly some value there.

Molly (Rhode Island)

How much did working out with Matt Hughes help BJ Penn?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Perhaps it helped his confidence. But I still think he would've executed that early takedown even if Hughes hadn't been brought in.

Roman (CGY)

Assuming Faber wins, do you think he will fight for title or will he need one more win? How long is Cruz out for? Faber v Torres for title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

I really hope we get to see Faber-Torres before we see Faber-Cruz. But Torres has already accepted another fight, so you could see Faber get a title shot if he beats Eddie Wineland. No change on the initial timetable with Cruz, who said he'd be out 4+ months, if I recall.

Mike (NJ)

Who's crazier, Charlie Sheen or Diego Sanchez?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Both nuts.

Sebastian (CA)

What do u think of Dana White's comments on the post fight saying that Penn won that fight and how he's not impressed by Fitch's performance?

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Dana White has never been a Jon Fitch fan. Not surprised. He likes finishers. And, as a promoter, it's hard to argue with that.

Lou (Yonkers)

I cant get no love from JA today :(

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Keep 'em comin', Lou.

Diego (New Mexico)

YES! YES! YES!

***SteveMtz*** (New Mex)

Diego v Kampmann, BJ Fitch 2, Condit, Alves, and the possible upset by Shield! WW is finally sick again. How do we sort this out Jonny?!

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

Firstly, Shields isn't beating Georges St-Pierre, with apologies to all of my Skrap Pack heads. I think the Alves-Story winner will be in a great spot. Carlos Condit could be 1-2 wins away from a title shot, once he returns to health. You are right that the division will be in good hands if and when GSP moves up to 185 with finality.

Steve (NY)

if Sanchez wins what about Koscheck-Sanchez II ???

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

Koscheck is still gonna be out for awhile. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't fight at all in 2010. Nerve damage in his face.

Ben (Houston)

Is GSP for sure moving up if he beats Sheilds?

Jon Anik
  (1:50 PM)

About 95%.

James (MN)

Did you break into K-flo's car and take his stuff?

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

That is just wrong, Jimmy. If you hadn't heard, K-Flo and Ryan Bader had their van robbed in Australia. Kenny was livid.

JD (VA)

How long until we see a Bantamweight or Featherweight main event bout in the UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

I think you may even see a featherweight title fight headline a UFC PPV as early as this year. Unless there is another title fight on the card, the fight would have to serve as the main event.

joe streitenberger (grove city ohio)

when will we see brock on the show and any news on cain

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

Hopefully, Lesnar will be back on MMA Live leading up to the season debut of 'The Ultimate Fighter' on March 30th. Still status quo on Velasquez. My informed speculation has him returning in November.

Jake (Jersey)

damn....imagine the beating Ken Flo and Bader woulda put on those dudes if they caught em stealing...

Chad S (Chicago)

Any word yet on Shane Carwin's opponent?

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

Not that I have heard. As previously stated, I'd be very surprised if it's not Cheick Kongo or Ben Rothwell. Those are the only 2 names I have heard to this point.

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

How is Junior's English?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

Steadily improving. He understands English quite well. And I actually think his spoken English is easier to understand than Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's, who was subtitled during his stint as TUF coach.

Steve (NY)

Melendez fights again.... finallyyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Yup, defending against Tatsuya Kawajiri on April 9th. Nothing like having a full training camp to prepare for an opponent, huh?

Lane (PA)

How much bs was the Ring/Fukuda decision? Can't possibly see Ring taking that one at all.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Bad decision. Believe I scored it 29-28 for Fukuda.

Rich (NYC)

JA - You got an extra ticket for 128 I can have?

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Let me check.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

No.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

You are on the list behind my best friend and my wife.

Malik (Brooklyn)

Nice to see UFC sign another HW prospect in Dave Pee Wee Herman. They should bring back Todd Duffee and bring him along slowly this time.

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

I like Herman a lot. When he is invested, he is scary good. As for Duffee, he really ticked the UFC off. I'd be surprised to see him back anytime soon.

Rich (NYC)

Harsh, bro!

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Would love to have you, kid.

Zach (PA)

Melendez is very overrated.

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

Not the most athletic guy, but he maximizes his utility. Come see me after the Kawajiri fight. Will be curious to hear if your opinion changes at all.

Phil (NYC)

Jon, Is Dana a hypocrite when he says he will never do cross promotions, yet he was pushing hard for one years ago with PRIDE

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

I wouldn't call him a hypocrit b/c the MMA landscape is so different now. With all due respect to Strikeforce, DREAM., Bellator et. al, the UFC is in a class by itself. Totally dominates the MMA world, especially from a casual fan perspective. Not sure how it would possibly benefit the UFC to cross-promote with another UFC promoter.

Matt (Seattle)

Who is the favorite going into Phil Davis - Lil Nog?

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

Phil Davis will be a huge favorite, I'd imagine. If not, my wager will move the line in his direction.

Rick (Boston)

I think the Crusher takes him down and pounds him until the ref stops the fight. Kawajiri will be too strong for Melendez

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

Tough fight to pick. Glad to have a few weeks to chew on it.

James MacDonald (Scotland)

PRIDE had plenty to offer. M-1 had/have very little besides Fedor.

Chris (ID)

Not a hypocrite...things change.

Jeff (Boston)

Does K-flo get Aldo with one win or would he need to win a few fights at 145 first?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

He'll get a title shot if he beats Diego Nunes.

joe streitenberger (grove city ohio)

who wins tito or bonnar

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Bonnar on desire.

Kiz (ATL)

When is ESPN going to sign a TV contract to distribute UFC?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Hopefully tomorrow or the next day.

JD (VA)

Aside from the main events, which PPV you more excited for. 128 or 129?

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

129. I am giving Couture more of a chance than most against Machida. Also love the Mark Bocek-Ben Henderson fight. 128 drops off a bit more.

Dude (OR)

J-Chost, C'mon jonny boy, you gotta have an opinion on Rogan's lame interview with Bisping...

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Exactly what are you referring to? I watched the card on Sunday afternoon, so I may have missed it. Did he not ask him about the spitting incident or something?

Rick (Boston)

Whats your opinion on an eventual Anderson Silva v GSP fight? Most call a dream fight but I think it would be a slaughter with Silva dominating GSP soundly.

Jon Anik
  (2:03 PM)

I think St-Pierre has a great chance to win. He won't be favored, nor should he be. But GSP can take Anderson Silva down and keep him there. If GSP wins, it may not be the most exciting fight in the world. But St-Pierre wouldn't even entertain the fight if he didn't think there was a great chance for a victory.

Matt (NJ)

If Couture beats Machida, do they give him a title shot?

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

He'd certainly have a case, but I don't think Randy wants anything to do with Jon Jones. If Shogun wins, he'll probably face Rashad Evans. So Couture may just be looking at novelty fights at that point, even though he will have won 4 in a row.

Steve (NY)

Couture will beat Machida, then will fight Shogun after he loses to "Bones" Lock it up !!!!!!

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

Couture-Rua makes a lot of sense.

Ed (NJ)

Doesn't 128 have Bones on the card?

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

Yes. The question said 'aside from the main events...'

Mike (NJ)

How's Alan Belcher's eye coming along? Love to see him fight ASAP

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

He has been given medical clearance. Great news. Many worried the injury could be a career-jeopardizer.

Bill (Boston)

What's next for Alexander Gustafsson?

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

I don't know...but I care. Dude is a beast. Only career loss to Phil Davis. He could be a major player at 205, in my opinion.

Dave (NJ)

Melendez/Kawajiri isn't that tough to pick. He already beat the Crusher in Japan. Result will probably be the same. UD Melendez.

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

Most of the guys in the chat are going the other way. Curious to see a betting line.

Steve (NY)

Mitrione-Struve anyone ????

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

A distinct possibility.

Jarric (Kansas)

Think ebersol started a trend with the arrow on his chest saturday?

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

Hopefully not. Gross.

Jeremi (Dallas)

Is it just Josh messing up the GP or are there questions about Reems testing / licensing too? SF still has a card this weekend, and April - not having a venue / logistics in order is not a valid excuse for this push.

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

No issues with Alistair Overeem. Just maddening for Strikeforce to have a delay in the Grand Prix this early on. All quarterfinals should've been scheduled and confirmed well in advance.

James MacDonald (Scotland)

Any plans to have Rogan on MMA Live?

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Would love to have Joe on. Strange that he's never been on in 3 years.

The Ghost (Mpls, MN)

Weirdest question asked in chat?

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

Just a lot of the personal stuff. How much do I bench, etc.

Frank (Cleveland)

Have you met Bas Rutten? a legend of MMA who comes across as a super nice guy.

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

Never met the man. Would like to. He's one of the few legends in MMA whom I haven't crossed paths with doing this job.

Dude (Or)

He didn't ask about the knee or the spitting. Bispbing did his usual apology, but Rogan let him off the hook too easy.

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

That's on the producers as much as it is Rogan. Plenty of blame to go around. Certainly surprised they didn't ask about the knee, even if the question would be somewhat rhetorical (in that you'd know the answer).

Lane (PA)

How much do you bench?

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

A lot.

Matt (NJ)

So...how much DO you bench?

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

About 75 pounds less than Florian.

Dave (NJ)

Chost, you going to hang with us at Scully's before UFC 128? 1 block from the Pru center and an awesome atmosphere before the UFC. Come by!!

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

If I'm not working, that is affirmative.

Eric (Baltimore)

How much do you squat?

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

2-3 times/year.

Douglas (OKC)

OKC is going to be scary with a core of KD, Westbrook, Ibaka, Perk, Harden.

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

If the Celtics get bounced, all of my rooting interest will be with OKC.

Ben (New York)

I just have to compliment Kenny Florian. Saw him at Strikeforce in NJ greeting all the fans, taking pics, etc. Real stand-up guy.

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

An angel.

Matt (NJ)

Watched Lights Out yet?

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

Nah. But I read they take a lot of shots at MMA. Perhaps it's not for me.

Brad (Columbus)

Why didn't the UFC air the Spencer Fisher fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

It aired during the prelim coverage on ION and ESPNUK.

Steve (NY)

Too bad Kenny and Diego will never get a chance at a second fight

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

Never say never. But that would be too bad.

James (MN)

You said once that Forrest is a hard person to interview, who is the best?

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

Brian Stann or Matt Mitrione. Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson are great, too. A ton of energy. They get it.

Jason (Hollywood, FL)

Don't text and drive.

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

I don't.

Charlie Sheen (Mars)

Jon Jones favored over any 205er? I'm 205lbs of tiger blood bro. I will beat him with my mind. I'm an MMA star from Mars.

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Hahahaha

Chris (ID)

What makes FG hard to interview?

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

Well, we had our best interview with Forrest after UFC 126. Perhaps it helped that Bonnar was on set, but he was engaging and seemed to want to talk MMA. Oftentimes, Griffin isn't much interested in talking about himself as a fighter. That makes our job difficult b/c that is all we are really trying to extract.

Gregg (philly)

Fitch is boring. There is a big difference between using wrestling going for a finish and using wrestling in maintaining control. Phil Davis goes for a finish. I am an educated fan...and still the guy is boring.

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

That is a fair argument. And, even though I am less bored by Fitch than you are, I don't disagree.

James MacDonald (Scotland)

Genesis of the 'Don't text and drive' line?

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

Long story. Will effort to be quick. About 4 years ago, I was texting and driving and nearly took out 2 pedestrians. Thankfully, that was not my fate. I said 'don't text and drive' just ad-libbing one day on MMA Live and my boss told me to stick with it.

Matt (Chicago)

How do you see Santiago/Stann going?

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

I see one of them being finished by strikes or I see a Fight of the Night that goes the full 15.

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

Come on, if that were a 5 round fight, Fitch would have finished Penn. By the end of round 3 Penn was broken. I think it speaks tons about how great Penn is that he performed as well as he did against Fitch. But no way would have Penn finished round 4.

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

Still would like to see more from Penn in the 3rd round of a 15-minute fight. Gave himself very little chance to win with such a lackluster finish.

Steve (NY)

Will ESPN ever have a "meet the MMA Live crew" contest??

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

Hope so.

Jason (Hollywood, FL)

Really sucks for Rashad huh?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Yeah, the knee injury couldn't have come at a worse time. Good news for me is he'll be in Bristol Friday for MMA Live.

James (MN)

JA great job, you are excellent my friend. I'm out

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Thanks for being here. Alright, last call...

JC (Florida)

Who would you favor, Fitch vs Shields?

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

Fitch. But I don't feel all that strongly about it.

Shaun (Erie)

How did Duffee tick off the UFC? I don't recall

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Much of it wasn't reported. There were some entitlement issues there. Also believe he was said to have his priorities out of whack. He was filming a movie which got in the way and some UFC executives thought that began to take precedence over his MMA career.

Chris (ID)

Love Penn, but he's always had issues with serious conditioning. If he'd put all the heart he has for the fight into training, there wouldn't have been any question against Fitch. Disagree?

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

I agree. But that's just not the way Penn is wired. He could not train at all and roll out of bed and beat a number of fighters. Ridiculous natural talent. But he doesn't LOVE to train. And I don't LOVE to work out.

John (Colo)

If ebersol fights in the Northern hemisphere, does the arrow point in the other direction?

Jon Anik
  (2:25 PM)

Great question. And you're certainly not the first to pose it.

Ian (Birmingham)

where do you rank jim miller @ LW

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Just below Mark Bocek, whom I thought did enough to beat Jim Miller. If Miller beats Kamal Shalorus, we'll get to see him in a big fight.

Joe (CT)

I can't stand Fitch, he might have punched BJ for the last 3.5 minutes of that fight, but my 4 year old daughter could have taken those shots. He has no intention of ever finishing a fight. If I'm Dana White I would put Fitch on the prelims until he gets a finish.

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Strong opinions continue to come in on Jon Fitch. I, too, would've liked to have seen him mix in a submission attempt. But I do believe he was trying to finish the fight with strikes.

JC (Florida)

Penn v Maynard... ever happening?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

No. Gray loves B.J. and I don't think he would fight him.

josh (UTAH)

what is the outcome of the lesnar/dos santos brawl?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Really a tough fight to call. My initial instinct was to pick Dos Santos. But after speaking with several fighters who think it's a great matchup for Brock, I'm now firmly on the fence.

Chris (ID)

Thanks for fitting me in today. I must be starting to get the hang of this.

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

I was thinking of suggesting that you all post questions with your Twitter names (if you have one) and hometown. That would help me differentiate between Matt in New Jersey and Matt in CT and Matt in Boston and Matt in Colorado.

Matt (NJ)

Fitch outstruck Penn 136-0 in the 3rd round, and he STILL gets no respect.

jth (oh)

pretty sure penn's face showed the fitch round 3 damage during the decision being announced

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Yup. And Penn is teflon, like Anderson Silva. Just can't cut the guy open very easily.

Dave (NJ)

Over under on HR's for Adrian Gonzales in Bos: 35????

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Under.

No Ceilings (Mpls, MN)

What makes you 'tick'?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Women.

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

And doing live TV.

Steve (NY)

I feel badly for Okami... earns a title shot, now left at the alter...

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

I feel badly for him, too. But I don't disagree with the UFC in terms of how it has proceeded. Circumstance has punished Okami more than anyone else.

Eric (Oak Ridge, NJ)

Please explain the Bocek love... None of his UFC wins have come against fighters still in the UFC...

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Just think he is underrated and is only now starting to peak as a fighter. You are right about the lack of quality wins. I think we will see him rise up as the competition gets better. His next test is a very difficult one.

Jr (Work)

Any Bellator on MMA Live this week?

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

I would imagine so, yes. We have a UFC 127 recap and a preview of the Strikeforce card in Columbus, but we should have time. At the very least, it'll get some love on the extended version for ESPN.com.

Dude (OR)

Tell BJ I would have no problem training full time for the type of money he makes. He can come do my crap job for less than what a teacher makes.

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

Penn is not unlike a lot of elite professional athletes. He nearly beat the consensus #2 welterweight in the world and, by all indications, wasn't in anything resembling optimal shape.

josh (UTAH)

Is Chipper Jones going to contribute this year?

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

He will contribute to the Braves stat for player games missed due to injury. Hopefully he can stay upright.

ian smith (england)

cant wait for mma live on espn uk on fri. hightlight of my week top show

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

Appreciate it, Ian. Thanks for chatting with us as well.

Dan S. (Actually paying attention today)

Led in by the buzzmaster JA? Swag.

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

I was legitimately late today. Hope you guys understand.

@_yerhuckleberry (ID)

Sorry to ask again...maybe less busy now.Any thoughts on Pulver's "Driven"?

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Ahhhhh. Still haven't seen it. No excuses.

Jake (NC)

Ebersole looked impressive Saturday, should they let him fight Condit when hes healthy?

Jon Anik
  (2:38 PM)

I understand your line of thinking. But I believe Condit has earned a bigger fight than that. I am curious to see Ebersole again, however.

justin (chicago)

bisping has no chance vs chael.

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

I think Bisping is better than you do. Made Rivera look like he didn't even belong in the cage with him. I will probably pick Sonnen to win, but Bisping is better than you think, I think.

Kiz (ATL)

How awesome is it to have your job?

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

Very thankful.

Bill (Boston)

Best line to come out of Chael's mouth thus far?

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

So many to choose from, many of which come off the air when we are on set shooting MMA Live. Chael is inimitable. Love having him on the show. He'll go right at me.

Tito (Quebec)

If Brock wins, is he the n.1 contender?

Jon Anik
  (2:40 PM)

Yes. And he'd have the unenviable task of fighting Cain Velasquez again.

MIKE (NYC)

Who do i contact to explain that MMA live should be at ALL ufc ppv as it truly adds to the weekend experience!

Jon Anik
  (2:41 PM)

Appreciate you saying that. And I agree with you, if I can do so humbly, that it makes the weekend feel bigger when ESPN2 has post-fight coverage. Send emails to mmalive@espn.com and keep emailing other shows imploring them to talk more MMA.

psycho (LaLaLand)

did you watch the fighter?

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

Yes. If you liked it, just wait until 'Warrior' comes out on September 9th. I play myself.

MIKE (NYC)

is Tito done??

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

Nope. Just healing up from a cut that required 22 stitches. I still think he's competitive enough for a few more fights.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

Checking in late, couldn't think of a question.

Jon Anik
  (2:42 PM)

Still good to have ya. Appreciate the honesty.

Aaron (Chicago)

How 'bout Chael-Bisping for the next TUF?

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

Strong possibility.

psycho (LaLaLand)

what is Warrior about?

Jon Anik
  (2:43 PM)

Google it. A movie about MMA. Nick Nolte is in it...and so is MMA Live! September 9th, people.

@mikedassatti (NJ)

who's the best fighter to come out of TUF? anyone this season to watch out for?

Jon Anik
  (2:44 PM)

Rashad Evans. As for Season 13, for the first time in a long time, I hadn't heard of any of the participants.

Bill (Boston)

Who's chat at ESPN gets the most traffic?

Jon Anik
  (2:44 PM)

Bill Simmons, I'd imagine.

Bill (Boston)

Do the folks at ESPN not see the level of demand for More MMA coverage from you and your crew? You would think they would notice the opportunity they have with the fastest growing sport not just Domestically, but GLOBALLY.

Jon Anik
  (2:45 PM)

Doing all I can. As stated previously, I'd love to do MMA full-time for ESPN. Hopefully it'll happen eventually. Just gotta keep pluggin' away. Eyes on the prize.

@_yerhuckleberry (ID)

LOVE the idea of Chael-Bisping for next TuF. Potentially HUGE ratings with personalities alone.

Jon Anik
  (2:46 PM)

Uge.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Is Florian worried the weight cut will be too much. Making 145 is one thing, still being able to fight effectively is another.

Jon Anik
  (2:47 PM)

I'm sure there are some concerns internally. And those concerns, as you suggest, are more about being able to fight effectively and not simply making the weight. I am confident in his ability to do it, but excited for him to get that featherweight debut behind him.

Tito (Quebec)

Wheres the winner of Mir-Nelson ranked in the HW division in your book

Jon Anik
  (2:48 PM)

Near the top, if for no other reason than there aren't a whole lot of contenders. After Velasquez, Lesnar and Dos Santos, there is not an obvious next in line. I'd really like to see Carwin get back to the top. Hopefully, his back will hold up. And Brendan Schaub could make a run.

Ian (Birmingham)

what do you do besides MMA live?

Jon Anik
  (2:50 PM)

All sorts of stuff. Fantasy football and baseball shows, poker show, updates on The Scott Van Pelt Show and other ESPN programs. Countdown Daily NFL recaps w/ Cris Carter during the NFL season. But if it were up to me, I'd be able to spend more time on MMA.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Have you even talked to Britany Palmer?

Jon Anik
  (2:50 PM)

Yes. Multiple times.

Zach (Toronto)

What weight do you think Aldo walks around at? Compared to what K-flo will have to walk around at?

Jon Anik
  (2:50 PM)

K-Flo walks around closer to 175. Now, as a featherweight, he'll have to cut that down to 165. I'd imagine Aldo is around 160-162 right now.

Matt (NJ)

Why is it taking so long for Carwin to get an opponent?

Jon Anik
  (2:51 PM)

No idea. But the UFC usually has a good reason for doing what it does.

Tim K. (Chicago, IL)

How do you think BJ would fair against someone who doesn't have a wrestling base?

Jon Anik
  (2:52 PM)

That's a broad question. I would favor Penn against most pure strikers in his weight class. But maybe that's overstating it. I don't like him to beat Carlos Condit, for example.

Jim B. (Savage, MN)

Are the Strikeforce heavyweights better than the UFC heavyweights?

Jon Anik
  (2:53 PM)

I like the UFC's top 4 more than Strikeforce's top 4. But you can argue that SF's top 8 is better than the UFC's top 8. It's pretty close.

Jon Anik
  (2:54 PM)

Alright, must roll on outta here. Feel free to follow me on Twitter- @Jon_Anik - and I will reply to you over there. MMA Live is an 11:30 PM ET start this Friday on ESPN2. Rashad Evans is back. We'll recap UFC 127 and preview Strikeforce: Feijao v. Hendo. Until then, go eat some wings. And don't text and drive at the same time. -JA