Hey everyone, Jon's just finishing some stuff up and should be here in a few minutes! Hang tight.
I'm here. Sorry for the delay. Let's get this hog going.
You see anyone on the LHW horizon that can mount a challenge to Jones?
I think right now, Rashad Evans may be the guy best-equipped to pose a threat. That doesn't necessarily mean I am picking him to win. Phil Davis is a name you hear a lot. Hard not to like him, but I don't think he's ready for that challenge right now. About a year away.
Jon, did you hear about the Jon Jones fight?
So awesome that you mentioned buying the Bruins to Dana White...thanks.
My pleasure. Glad you caught it. He seemed to like it, too.
have talked to rashad? how he feeling??
Yes I have. He is doing well. Confident, as usual. He will be back in Bristol Friday for MMA Live.
what fight u looking forward to this sat?
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson.
Do you have a ballpark timeline for when Jones - Evans happens? Are they possibilities for TUF 14?
I don't think it makes sense to feature those guys on TUF. Build a UFC Primetime series around it and have them fight in August or September. No sense in delaying it 9-10 months. July is an outside possibility. But even though Jon Jones' x-rays came back clean, he wouldn't shake my hand in the locker room post-fight, so there is some pain there.
Anik, how do you feel about the comments Rashad said about Jones and Jackson?
I take him at his word. I don't believe Rashad is trying to play the victim. I believe that is the way it went down, that Evans didn't want Jones in that camp because he saw him as a threat. And Jackson didn't honor that request.
You mean to tell me Jon Jones subduing a thief and winning the 205 title in spectacular fashion doesnt warrant even a mention on sportscenter? Yeah, i prefer spring traing highlights and NFL CB updates.
The Jon Jones highlight did run on SportsCenter Saturday night, albeit at the end of the show. And a part of my pre-fight interview with him in his hotel room aired on SportsCenter Monday morning. I do share your frustration, but the sports calendar is a crowded place. Not much more I can do.
chost, what are the post fight locker rooms like? I bet it's crazy.
It was cool to be on that side of things, as opposed to being up on the MMA Live set all night. The lockers room are actually pretty quiet, as fighters unwind from battle and watch the other fights on the PPV. The Miller locker room was highly emotional. I'll get into that later in the chat.
How good did jim miller look? I think he deserves a title shot but I can't put him ahead of maynard or pettis
Hard to look much better. Kamal Shalorus needs to learn how to use his wrestling to his advantage, but Jim Miller is a great fighter. Maximizes his ability. And, despite signing with the UFC late in 2008, he already has the 2nd most wins for a UFC lightweight ever (tied with Florian). Provided he keeps winning, a title shot is not that far off.
What did you think of Cro Cop's performance?
He is a battler, for sure. But he just can't hang with anyone resembling an elite fighter these days. Watching it live and in person, I didn't even think Schaub connected all that flush with the fight-ending punch. But Cro Cop went down like a house on fire.
Do you think Faber is better suited as a bantamweight?
He is still having a few minor issues when it comes to getting comfortable at 135. Told me post-fight that he mismanaged his diet the day of the fight. But as long as he can continue to make the cut effectively, he will be more dominant at 135 than 145 in the UFC.
What kind of chances do you give Phil Davis against Jon Jones down the road ?
Gotta first see Phil Davis this weekend against Lil Nog in Seattle. I expect he will pass this test with flying colors, but he's still a year or so away from getting to that elite level. Eventually, I think you could see a nice little trilogy between Davis and Jones.
How do you see the Cruz/Faber fight going?
Cruz is a tremendous fighter, but I think Faber might have what it takes to beat him again. I think Faber is the more physical party and will use the 25 minutes to his advantage. Great fight.
jones in hw????
Eventually, as Jones' frame gets bigger, he'll likely have no choice but to move up. But right now, he makes 205 with ease. So, I don't expect a bump to heavyweight anytime soon.
Your picks for Saturday?
Will be posted in detail later this week at ESPN.com/MMA. I picked Davis, Hardy, Amir Sadollah and Leonard Garcia. I actually flipped a coin to make my pick for Garcia vs. The Korean Zombie.
What do you think it is about Rashad Evans that will create problems for Jon Jones?
It's not that I think Rashad will create 'problems' for Jones, necessarily. But I do believe Rashad is the more technical boxer and has more one-punch KO power. Problem is, I don't think he'll be able to get inside on Jones...or anywhere near his head, for that matter.
What's on deck for Shogun?
What a warrior that guy is. He'll be back. Can't say against whom exactly, but he'll be back.
I can't wait for K-Flo to fight again. Do you know how the weight cut is going?
Saw Kenny cageside Saturday night. He said the cut was going fine. The message from his nutrionists is that he is right on track. Perhaps he is more skeptical than they are, but he trusts that they'll put him in position to make the weight. Not gonna be easy. But that's as motivated a dude as I've ever met.
Rashad 5'11" tall, 74.5" reachBones 6'4" tall, 84.5" reachjust sayin
Can't argue with that. And it's for that reason that I referred to Saturday night as the beginning of a new era in MMA. I'm not saying Jones will never lose, b/c everyone does in MMA. But we have never before seen this combination of size, athleticism, creativity and overall skill. He will have a huge size advantage over almost anyone at 205. Hard to combat that, regardless of how talented you may be.
Show some love Chost. I am one of the oldest here. Believe it or not!
Love! I'm pretty old, too. :)
Even with the punishment by Jones, I did not think Shogun looked completely back to form coming off the latest knee surgery. What were your thoughts watching it live, Jon?
A lot of folks have questioned whether or not that was a 100% Shogun Rua or whether he was in optimal shape. I think Rua was as ready as you can possibly be for a guy like Jon Jones. I would imagine it's fairly easy to gas out when Jones is on top of you, elbowing you and throwing all sorts of different strikes your way.
Remember, the shorter the question, the more likely it is to be answered. No time to read full paragraphs. Thanks.
Any news regarding Anderson and his next opponent? and what about Shane Carwin's for that matter?
Nothing on Anderson Silva. I did touch base with Shane Carwin yesterday. He is flattered that you guys ask about him every week in the chat, even though he's been out of the cage for some time. It seems as though perhaps his next opponent is already booked for a fight, so the waiting game continues.
BONES VS CAIN?!?! Bones will look larger
Someday. But first things first. He hasn't even defended the light heavyweight title.
Bones biggest flaw of the night-Not coming out to Angry Johnny!Other than that, not much.
Yeah, he doesn't listen to me on that front.
After Silva-GSP is Cain - Jon the next big superfight?
A lot of people are pining for a fight between Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. I would think that fight would happen before we see Jones against a heavyweight.
With White straight up saying no to a TUF coached by Faber and Cruz, who would you want to see as the next coaches?
Easy question. Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen.
Has Lesnar lost more weight? ... he looks smaller in the TUF commercials than he was for the Cain fight
Haven't seen the commercials yet. Excited to report that Brock will be in Bristol between now and the TUF season debut on March 30th. I will have a concrete opinion on his weight after seeing him in person.
Is Silva-GSP off?
Well, it was never on, if you know what I mean. My optimism has certainly waned a bit over the last few weeks. I guess I assumed that, because Dana White had brought it up at a press conference in Toronto, that GSP was receptive to it. That may not be the case.
I'd personally LOVE to see Jones/Silva. What are your thoughts there?
I'd rather see GSP-Silva because of their respective UFC legacies. But I understand why fans might be more intrigued by Jones-Silva. It would be an amazing fight and a tough one to predict. I guess I'd back the bigger man.
Better prospect: Chad Mendes or Phil Davis?
Tough call. I picked Mendes as my breakout fighter for 2011. I think Davis might have more upside. Good question.
gsp is scared to lose!
I think it's more that he knows, in order to win, he would have to make it a terribly boring fight. The strategy would have to be to take Anderson Silva down and keep him there.
Any info on Jon Jones injured hand?
X-rays came back clean. But again, he flinched when I went to shake his hand in the locker room. So, it'll need some time.
What is up next for GST?
Sotiropoulos will face Evan Dunham. I believe it's penciled in for UFC 132 on July 2nd in Vegas.
Jon:Thoughts on the Penn/Fitch II 4th of July weekend? Will that be the headlining event or could we maybe expect a title fight on that card?
I expect a title fight to be added to the card. That 1st or 2nd weekend in July is traditionally a huge one for the UFC.
Any word on UFC event in Philly?
Heard a rumor 3 weeks ago about an August return to Philly, but nothing is concrete. And the calendar seems to be filling up with other destinations.
Can we stop calling George Sotiropoulos GST?
You can. Some of us get sick of typing Sotiropoulos.
Floyd Mayweather asked for $100m to fight Pacquiao. Sound like he's pricing himself out. For $100m, I'd fight Pacquiao.
I'd fight him for $500,000. My corner would throw in the towel 30 seconds in. Easy money.
Which Strikeforce opponents would be a good matchup against Jones?
King Mo Lawal is the first name that comes to mind. But Jones looks to be in a league of his own right now.
Assess the Pettis vs. Guida fight for me...
Guida is a very tough out and he'll have a sound gameplan. That said, I think Pettis will be too much. Diversity in striking and he's also got a good submission game. I like Pettis to get the finish.
Fedor v Jones...make it happen
I've heard that from a few people. Not near the top of my list.
Lashley is BACK! hahaha i thought that was dead and gone
You don't really care about Lashley, do you? I did at one point, but the commitment and the want to be great just doesn't seem to be there. This just in: MMA is not easy.
What do you think of the Shields commercial for UFC 129? Seems like GSP events get more theatrical treatment.
Don't know that I've seen the trailer yet. I would agree that there is a certain theatrical feel to GSP promos. He's an easy guy to promote.
When could we see SF fighters and UFC fighters start mixing it up?
I don't think you will see a whole lot of it until Strikeforce is eventually folded and SF fighters merge into the UFC. If we are to see any crossover, I think it is far more likely that UFC fighters will fight for Strikeforce, as opposed to a Strikeforce guy getting a UFC fight.
True/False: The US media is biased and unfair towards Bisping.
Good question. I think it's true. Bisping has made his own bed in a lot of respects and is a hard guy to defend right now. But I do contend that he gets a bad rap and there is actually a decent guy in there.
why does everyone say rashad has ko power? He knocked out lidell at a time when everyone else was
No, he knocked out Liddell at the beginning of his decline. Rashad began the end for Chuck. Evans has legitimate KO power. He really does.
True/False: Hendo back in the UFC within 6 months
Looked to me like shogun didn't press the fight like he did against machida..could it of been ring rust or injury?
I think it was more a byproduct of the opponent and the 9.5" reach disadvantage.
The post fight locker room scene had to do with Dan Miller's daughter right?
It was the anniversary of the death of the Miller bros. niece. Immediately after my interview with Jim, there was an emotional embrace between the two and they sort of lost it for a second. It was quite a scene and it gave me a newfound respect for both fighters. March 19th was a tough night on which to compete for them.
Do you ever contemplate being an MMA judge or ref?
I would love to be an MMA judge someday. Right now, just trying to focus on being a better TV host.
You could have 1 figher, Cain or Jon Jones, who and why?
Jon Jones. Size.
You dont actually think you'd be alive 30 seconds into a fight with pacman do you?
Good point. Gotta live to cash the check.
You think Nate Marquardt can actually cut to 170?
He doesn't walkaround much heavier than Georges St. Pierre does. But I have my doubts. I don't think a drop to welterweight is the answer for Marquardt.
Who wants Shogun/Forrest 2?
I wouldn't have an issue with it. But who is Stephan Bonnar fighting. Let's get the American Psycho a fight.
Other then Gottlieb who are the other ESPN notables that are into MMA? Keep up the good work.
Josh Elliott, Stuart Scott. Mike Hill is very supportive of me and MMA Live. And Michelle Beadle, too. Not sure if she orders the PPVs, but she's always seamless and prepared when talking about MMA on SportsNation.
Mancrushes on both masvidal and condit, love their striking!
I have a huge mancrush on Jorge Masvidal. But I do agree with Pat Miletich that the finish against Billy Evangelista appeared there for the taking. Would've liked to have seen Gamebred seal the deal.
Jim Rome made a solid pitch for MMA yesterday after showing some Bones highlights. Do you see bones becoming the UFC's biggest draw?
JA, love the new MMA short video's keep up the great work!
Thanks, James. Nice being able to do an MMA Live Extra every week. And it was great to be able to attend an event and do some post-fight hits, even when MMA Live wasn't in the building full throttle.
Is it logical for UFC to put on Superfights?
Case-by-case basis. I think GSP-Anderson Silva is a fight the UFC should capitalize on, b/c both have all but cleaned out their divisions.
How much of a chance you giving Hammill against Rampage?
Hammill is a powerful guy and certainly has a chance. But I think the fight is all about Rampage. If he is in shape and motivated, scary proposition for any 205er.
i second James. the MMA Live Extra vids are great.
Has Swick disappeared from the planet?
He is pretty skinny.
The Hybrid didn't come off too well at the end of his fight with Mirko. Thoughts?
You should go watch our locker room interview after the fight. Schaub was largely disgusted with his performance, but came through with a big KO when he needed it. Definitely didn't want that one going to the scorecards, given the point deduction in the 2nd round.
This used to be fun, now theres too many people. 8 dif questions and no response!
Sorry, Edd! I appreciate that you keep trying. And I will always get back to you guys on Twitter-you can follow me @Jon_Anik and I will reply to your questions there. Plus, my boss keeps giving me a hard time that I can't get to 50K followers.
Did the move to MTV2 hurt Bellator?
I think a big issue is the standard definition. Sports (MMA included) just isn't the same without HD. We are spoiled, but it is what it is. That said, the ratings for Bellator have been on an incline and the fights continue to deliver. So, I don't see the move as a mistake. Just wish the picture was better.
Quit your griping Edd.
Were you upset that instead of letting Jones have his moment they threw Rashad in there. A bit tactless if you ask me. The dude is the youngest UFC champ. Give him a moment.
Perhaps there is something to be said for that. And Rashad actually had no intention of being there initially. But I understand why the UFC does it. Gotta remember how many new eyes are on these PPVs these days. Gives the casual fans something to look forward to, some of whom may not be familiar with Rashad Evans.
Where will Rashad train for his fight against bones? Grudge? Tristar?
I'm sure it'll be a combination, with those 2 camps included in the mix. I believe he's in Florida right now. Coming to CT Friday for MMA Live.
Carwin vs Fedor?!
Don't think that is a good fight for Fedor. But we'll see.
I bet you $10 and a "Don't Text and Drive" bumper sticker that Rumble misses weight.
I won't take that action.
I am curious, however, where all the people are who picked Shogun Rua and gave me heat for championing Jon Jones for the last year. I just call it like I see it. No agenda.
Real professional to post sum1 arguin w me.
C'mon, Edd. Lighten up, dude.
I think Machida can beat Jon Jones. Styles make fights and this is a perfect fight for Lyoto
Interesting challenge for Jones, based upon Machida's counterstriking and overall savvy. But I will take your action.
I like the Carwin-Fedor suggestion...
I don't hate it.
Chost - How many robbers did you run down before this chat?
Hahahahaha. Zero. My only contribution to society was carrying Matthew Berry through our fantasy baseball shoot.
Jon, love the show and really enjoyed those UFC 128 post interviews on ESPN.com. My question is that if you had to guess, who do you think Jon Jones' next three opponents will be. Have some fun with this. Do they give him a soft one to showcase him after he sends Rashad to retirement?
I don't think Bones needs a soft opponent to showcase his skill set. He is that good. I think his next 3 opponents will be Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson and...why not...Anderson Silva.
i dont understand, how can being hit ruin your cardio? if you are in shape, youre in shape, right?
The cumulation of blows can sap your cardio. And it takes a tremendous amount of energy to contort your body out of harm's way. It's also tiring to have someone on top of you, depleting your oxygen with their body and with their hand over your mouth.
Thoughts on Barboza? Koch?
Huge performances for both guys. Curious to see who they face next.
JA gotta give you credit, most of your takes on up an coming fighters are spot on. Jose Aldo, Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez.
I appreciate it, Matt. But I'm really not looking for credit. I just take issue with certain fans who don't respect all opinions. There is no agenda. After Jones beat Brandon Vera, I said I thought he should be favored against any 205er in the world. I got mauled for that statement. A year later, he is -525 against the former light heavyweight champion.
NO ONE and I mean NO ONE carries my jock on a podcast. Be careful or I will slip you in the Million Dollar Dream.
Hey, I can't even get this 'Anik Dotes' MMA podcast off the ground.
How does Bader fighting ortiz help him move up the LH ladder?
I don't think it does, but when you get offered a fight with a guy who has that type of name recognition, you jump on it. For many casual fans, Tito Ortiz is synonymous with the UFC.
Do you personally order every UFC PPV?
Yes. I didn't order UFC 128, but oftentimes I will order the PPVs even when I attend the fights. Always good to go back and watch the fight from a TV perspective and listen to the commentary.
When will we see more MMA on ESPN? I WANT MORE lol
You and me both. I'm fighting every day.
Jon how is your bracket looking?
Not good. I went Big East heavy in the Final 4. I still have Duke as my champion, but both my wife and my mother are blowing me out of the water. My mother didn't watch 5 seconds of college hoop all year (until the tournament). She went 29-3 in the first round.
Who's higher on your P4P list... Aldo or Jones?
I have Jones at #4 and Aldo at #3. But I might change that before we submit our next rankings. They're both pretty good.
Faber has not earned a BW title shot and will get one only based on his name recognition. he should fight Miguel Torres next.
Name recognition is part of it. But I think a bigger part of the case is that he beat Dominick Cruz in 2007. I, too, would love to see Faber against Torres and hope we do see it one day.
How does it feel to have a Wikipedia page, Jon?
Ha! Probably the greatest thing to ever happen to me.
It needs work, actually. Not sure who created it. But thank you.
Jon, when is your boy KenFlo going to put his makeup kit away and come out and say he wants Aldo's belt? That guy still finishes fights, right?
Hahahaha. He hasn't been in Bristol in too long. Is he wearing make-up training with GSP in Montreal? As for calling out champions, I'd imagine he'll get a title shot with a win over Diego Nunes.
Any word on Thiago Silva's drug test?
Nope. Will let you know as soon as there is something to let you know.
You are going late today and have yet to answer my questions! When will we see the Zangief Kid in the UFC?
Sorry, Serj. Heavy traffic today. Who is the Zangief Kid? Pardon my ignorance.
Does Chad Mendes have a chance vs Aldo? Aldo dominated a great wrestler Mike Brown.
If Aldo gets through Mark Hominick, Chad Mendes is there waiting. The Florian-Nunes winner would then be next, conceivably. As for the matchup, Mendes-Aldo is stylistically outstanding. Mendes is a bull and will absolutely put Aldo on his back at some point. Mendes has a great chance to shock the MMA masses.
Over/under on how many people complain about not getting questions posted? 25.
Finally an easy question. OVER. I guess this is a good problem to have.
Diego Nunes has some incredible kicks, will Florian be ready for that?
I hope so.
Why doesn't the ufc go back showcasing matches with no weight classes. Hard time finding challengers from welter through light heavy
I don't think that is the answer. Right now, the sport is easy to follow and that is why the fan base has grown exponentially. I understand the desire for mega-fights, but I'm not sure that is the solution. Good thought, though, Dima.
i said to you last week jim Miller is a beast. Did he jump into your top 5 lw?
I think I've got him at #6, behind Edgar, Maynard, Alvarez, Melendez and Pettis.
Mendes wrestling pedigree is elite compared to both Mike Brown and Faber. He can keep Aldo down.
Bigger fight: silva v. gsp in Canada or floyd v. Manny in Vegas?
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is the biggest fight in combat sports right now. And it's not all that close.
Do you expect the winner of Fitch/Penn to be fighting for the WW title? No one wants to see either vs. GSP.
I wouldn't mind seeing GSP-Fitch II, but have zero interest in GSP-Penn III. I think much will depend on whether or not St-Pierre moves up to face Anderson Silva.
Too bad your boy Floyd is too scared of Pacquiao.
And he's becoming less 'my boy' with every passing minute.
Manny v Floyd would do 3m PPV buys!
2.5 million wouldn't shock me. 3 million sounds ambitious.
Can Dan Miller make any noise in the middleweight division?
Now there's a guy who looks like he could drop down to 170. He's a gamer and very skilled, but the elite 185ers just appear to be too much. Hope I'm wrong, b/c he's so damn easy to root for.
don't worry chost my boys thought i was crazy thinks jon jones was gonna beat shogun. Who's crazy now
Dana White said GSP/Silva is just a fantasy fight.
A fantasy fight that he would love to make happen.
Manny v Floyd is GSP v Silva: Neither will happen.
Two questions answered in one chat? Let's go for the turkey than... Jones/Davis fight over/under 1.5 years?
How many buys would Silva vs GSP get??
1.25 million. Perhaps 1.5 million.
U understand why Jones would be behind Spider in P4P. But lets face if, if they fought tomorrow at a catchweight you would pick Jones to win.
Alright, heads. Gotta go prep for this poker show tomorrow. Overflow questions can be sent my way on Twitter (@Jon_Anik). Must be following in order for me to send you a direct message. MMA Live is at 12AM ET Friday night on ESPN2 with Rashad Evans in studio. Until then, be safe and go eat some wings. -JA