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April 13, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (12:58 PM)

Best part of my week is here. Hope y'all enjoyed that Strikeforce show Saturday night. How could you not? MMA Live is on ESPN2 Friday night at 11PM ET. And you can follow me on Twitter at @Jon_Anik. Let's vent.

Ian (Birmingham)

do you think gilbert should jump right into title contention in the ufc or beat a top contender first ala siver,pettis,my boy miller, or loser of maynard edgar?

Jon Anik
  (12:59 PM)

If Pettis beats Guida, he will get the next title shot- and rightfully so. I would like to see Jim Miller challenge Melendez at that point, perhaps for the Strikeforce title.

Abram (Guanajuato, Mexico)

Chost, Thanks for doing these every week, you're the best. Do you think we will see a current Strikeforce Champ taking on a current UFC champ anytime soon?

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

Not my expectation that we will see it before the end of the year, but things could change quickly. I do think you will see a UFC fighter cross over into Strikeforce within the next few months.

Brad (Sacramento)

At least 1 MMA site has Melendez #1...thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

I still have him behind Frankie Edgar, largely b/c Edgar beat B.J. Penn. Twice. But Gil is right there and I don't take issue with those who have Melendez #1.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Did you think Diaz/Daley was an early stoppage? I think it was.

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

I didn't have a problem with it. And, the fact that Daley was stumbling thereafter only cements the point that he was dazed and confused. We all would've loved to have seen a 2nd round, but I am fine with the stoppage.

Andrew (Montgomery)

Jon, I have missed these for a month! Man am I glad to be back. Do you think GilMel gets a shot at the UFC LW title or will he have to wait behind Pettis?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

He is definitely behind Pettis, provided Pettis beats Clay Guida. And I think that is the right course of action.

Vince (Pittsburgh)

Jon! How about those 2-9 Red Sox?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

Wretched.

angelo (texas)

who is king mo fighting in dallas?

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

I believe it's Ovince St. Preux. Not necessarily what I would've done. Don't believe he is ready for the challenge that is King Mo right now.

Jr (Arizona)

Does Royce Gracie have anything left? Who would he fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

I think it's nothing more than the UFC throwing Royce a bone. We all know Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta are against sideshows, and allowing Gracie to fight could be described as such. But Royce was vital in building the UFC brand in the early days and, if he wants to experience the Octagon now that the UFC is huge, I don't have an issue with it. As for an opponent, I have heard a fairly concrete rumor, but not at liberty to share it.

Brian (NJ)

Thoughts on Mousasi? I was very disappointed to say the least.

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Takedown defense was awful. Hard to envision him making any sustained run against the best 205ers in the world. Just not a smart enough or complete enough fighter.

Matt (Seattle)

Jon.. which heavy favorite do you see having a more difficult fight.. GSP or Aldo?

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

Good question. I think GSP will have a tougher time with Shields than Aldo will with Hominick.

Matt (Seattle)

Nice tease JA!

@PappaFeez (Dallas)

Royce vs Ken Shamrock III

Jon Anik
  (1:08 PM)

No.

JD (VA)

Am I alone with my lack of excitement over Fedor and Hendo?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

I'm sure you are not alone, but I'm not with ya. When Hendo signed with Strikeforce, a possible fight with Fedor was a big reason why. I think the fight makes a lot of sense right now, given Fedor's struggles and given the lack of obvious light heavyweight contenders for Hendo.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

Where does Jardine go after that draw?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

He has certainly lived to fight another day under the Zuffa banner. But I don't think he has much left.

David (Spartanburg SC)

Since you brought it up; who would you have Jim Miller or Gilbert? That is a great idea and a fight I would love to see.

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

After what Melendez did this past weekend, I can't envision myself picking against him. But it's a great fight to think about.

Bruce (Ohio)

How do you think Hendo will fair against Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

Well. I promised Hendo I wouldn't pick against him in his next fight.

Josh (Richmond)

Would you give up the prospect of a superfight to have one decent card where all fights do not go to decision? ...a real go-for-broke showdown

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

Not really clear on the question, Josh. Are you advocating a show where all fighters fight until one guy is finished? We could be there all night.

Bruce (Ohio)

Diaz v. GSP? What would that look like?

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

I don't like that fight for Diaz. I think Nick would have a hard time with several UFC welterweights. Not sure I would pick him to beat Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, or even Rick Story.

Kenny (Boston)

You better not ever pick against me either! Even if it is against Fedor.

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

I got Diego Nunes.

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Remember, the shorter the question, the better chance it has of being answered. Nick in Chesterbrook, PA, I love ya...but can't read that full paragraph. Thx.

Matt (CT)

WHOOOH almost missed you today as it shows the chat at 3pm today! Anyways, did Daley earn another fight under the Zuffa banner?

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

We are always at 1PM ET on Wednesdays. Not sure why the page said 3PM but they got it fixed quickly. As for Daley getting another fight, he is still under contract to Strikeforce and will live to see another fight w/ them.

MattC (Dallas)

Chost, who do you feel the best opponent for Nick Diaz in the UFC would be?

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

Best opponent for him to fight or beat? I'd like to see him fight the Rick Story-Thiago Alves winner. Or maybe a guy like Anthony Johnson. Y'all know Diaz is one of my favorites, but life in the UFC welterweight gauntlet would not be easy for him.

Josh (Richmond)

Sorry for the confusion. I meant a card where each fight was a decisive victory, instead of going to the judges. Each fight being explosive, versus the recent string which some classify as "boring"

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

That is easier said than done. You can't always forecast what is going to happen, so I would always advocate for the most compelling, high-profile matches.

Matt (Ga)

Royce vs Renzo.

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Nah.

Matt (PA)

Mayhem Millers chances of landing TUF?

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Strong to quite strong. Would love to see him get that showcase.

Kraw (Work)

Sup Chost, what are your thoughts on online dating?

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

It works. I tell all of my single friends to get after it.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Jon, did you catch the Weekend of Upsets in boxing? Lemieux & Kirkland shockingly both got dusted. And Morales...wow, he took it to Maidana. Great weekend!

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

Unbelievable weekend for the sweet science. I was at ESPN Saturday night and was able to watch the final 5 rounds of Morales-Maidana. That Kirkland result was crazy. When boxing is at its best, nothing is better.

Coleman (Baltimore)

how likely do you think Sonnen vs Bisping is?

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

Chael still has to iron things out with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It appears as though he's committed to a resolution. Hopefully the NSAC is as well. I think you've got a 40% chance of that being the next fight for both guys.

drew (tulsa)

werdum vs lesnar 2012?

Jon Anik
  (1:18 PM)

It's a possibility. But I can think of several heavyweight matchups I'd rather see than that one.

joe streitenberger (grove city ohio)

have you decided on who your picking between lesnar and jds.

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

Nope. I don't like doing picks to begin with, so there's no way I would do one in April for a fight in June. I know Florian thinks it's a good matchup for Brock.

Ladd (Toronto)

Will you and the crew be in Toronto for UFC 129?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

TBD. Hopeful.

rob(jersey) [via mobile]

Friendly addition: Mike Afromowitz confirms King Mo/OSP is not happening June 18.

Dominic (NM)

Better submission ace Aoki, Palhares, Maia?

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

Can't go wrong with any of those 3. How do you rank 'em?

andy (GA)

carwin 2 wins away from title shot?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

Sounds about right.

MattC (Dallas)

Mayhem Miller vs Diaz, we need that fight Chost!!

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

We do need that fight, Matt.

Kristian (Wall Street, NY)

Since it was only one round, tough to say Diaz-Daley was fight of the year, but has to be round of the year thus far, right?

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

Yeah, I don't think it'll hold up as the fight of the year. Round of the year? Sure.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Tyron Woodley isn't ready, so who will Diaz get next?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Your guess would be as good as mine. I would agree that Woodley isn't quite ready, nor do I think he's deserving of that opportunity just yet.

Ben (LA)

Severn vs Gracie 2? Hughes vs Gracie 2?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

Neither of those guys was the name I'm hearing. And frankly, I'd be shocked if it was someone like Hughes. I think it'll be a carefully selected opponent against whom Gracie has a great chance to win.

Kristian (Wall Street, NY)

Favorite UFC moment of all-time?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

For me, it'll be tough to top UFC 91. It was MMA Live's first live remote and Brock Lesnar's win over Randy Couture will always be memorable for me. In terms of pure viewing, it would definitely be Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen last year. Seeing Silva in deep water like that was incredible, as was his comeback.

angelo (texas)

gracie vs james toney?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

Nah. Toney's UFC days appear done.

Drew Fox (Riverside, CA)

Do you still wanna see rampage fight for the title if he beats matt hamill?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

Yes.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Royce v. Miletich. Book it. Standing O's and bows all round.

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Doubtful. Would love to see Pat get that opportunity, but it's not gonna happen.

Dan (Michigan)

Will Aoki sign with the UFC now?

Jon Anik
  (1:24 PM)

Not sure the length of his Strikeforce contract. If he's a free agent, the UFC is certainly a plausible landing spot.

Baumer (NYC)

Fedor/Couture makes a lot more sense than Fedor/Henderson

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Except for the fact that they fight for different promotions.

@trevout (Billerica, MA)

Chost, all takedowns are not equal, so why does it seem like they are scored like they are? Should there be points awarded for quick escape from a takedown to offset that?

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

I addressed this briefly on Twitter. I feel as though takedowns (generally speaking) are overly rewarded in MMA and overall damage is undervalued. The scoring system needs modification. I just wish fights could be scored on their totality. That would be my first amendment as commish.

MattC (Dallas)

Any word on Bonnars next fight? He's a warrior.

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

A warrior without an opponent right now.

brandon (dc) [via mobile]

would you classify diaz' performance the other night as reckless and disrespectful or exciting or something else

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

I wouldn't call it disrespectful. A tad reckless, for sure. He's definitely in the conversation as the most exciting fighter in MMA, but was perilously close to losing his belt.

Coleman (Baltimore)

buy or sell yves edwards being a contender before he retires

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Sell.

rob(jersey) [via mobile]

I want to guess the name you heard.....Murilo Bustamante

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Incorrect.

Josh (Texas)

Pat Barry isn't really an elite heavyweight is he?

Jon Anik
  (1:27 PM)

Definitely not. He lost to a shot Cro Cop.

John (LA)

Who is next for Melendez in Strikeforce?

Jon Anik
  (1:28 PM)

My best guess is that he'll fight Josh Thomson once again, or Jim Miller will be brought over to challenge for the title. I'd prefer the latter.

angelo (texas)

do you think fedor and hendo is ppv worthy?

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

I do. I'm not sure what they'd set as a goal in terms of the PPV buys. But with the Zuffa promotional machine behind it, coupled with the name recognition of those two fighters, I don't think 300,000 buys is out of the question.

wow (uve lost a reader/fan)

Ull print some *** *** **** like gracie vs James toney I talk some **** about gsp u black ball me.......f@$k you an ur opinion I'm out hope they fire u

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

We have been chatting for 30 minutes, and there are over 600 questions in here. Didn't see any of your previous posts. You are one mature dude, though.

Ainsworth (Dallas)

UFC shows are scarce for the next two months. Are you jonesin' as much as I am?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

It's actually a nice breather. As many of you know, we only have 23 1/2 minutes of total content each week on ESPN2. So we're thankful to be able to spend a few weeks really breaking down UFC 129. Oftentimes, the schedule is so drunk with shows that we don't have nearly the time we need to break them down. We welcome the gap in the schedule.

Coleman (Baltimore)

81-81 for my orioles this year???

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

I think that is reasonable. I root for the Fighting Showalters against everyone but the Red Sox.

Josh (Texas)

When will the UFC come back to Dallas?

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

I think Cowboys Stadium will happen in 2012.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

Does Okami have a shot at beating Silva this time?

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Sure. Everyone has a chance in MMA and Okami will have a gameplan that puts him in position to succeed. I won't pick him to win, but he absolutely has a chance.

Josh (Texas)

Who will Diego Sanchez get next?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

He wants Nick Diaz, but that's not my expectation. I'd like to see him rematch Martin Kampmann.

Adam (Manhattan)

If you had to handicap Silva/Jones right this minute, what'd the line be?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

Pick 'em, or Anderson Silva -120.

Andrew (Montgomery)

I notice that we (like I work for ESPN) are doing a lot more MMA news on the internet, when is it ever going to translate to TV spots?

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

Hopefully soon, my friend. I am always in the building with suit and make-up on, waiting for the call. Hope to be back on SportsNation before the Toronto show, at the very least.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Bruins open tomorrow, I am not confident.

Jon Anik
  (1:34 PM)

Nor am I, but I'd rather face the Canadiens in the first round than later. I think the B's best chance to beat Montreal is early. Let's get it.

Rick (NJ)

Could it be Gracie vs Hughes?

Robert (San Francisco)

so are any talks of silva gsp out the window now?

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

I wouldn't go that far, but it doesn't seem to have much traction. We should have a definitive answer at the end of the month.

Canario (NY)

Edson Barboza's next opponent?

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

...will probably lose to him. Love that kid.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

Is there a reason for a lack of opponent for Bonnar given all the openings that were out there for a while?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

Not a good reason. I thought they were waiting for UFC 126 to unfold. Now, I'm not so sure what the hold-up is. I know Bonnar would love to fight July 2nd in Las Vegas. We'll see.

Pat Barry (Hell, MI)

Your buddy mistreats his woman (cheats, et al) and they split ... how long before you can pursue her? Or can you?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

That territory has always been off limits for me. But his mistreatment of her opens the door, I suppose.

James (CT)

Thoughts on the Celtics?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

They are not beating the Heat, Bulls or Lakers. They might beat the Knicks, but confidence is low.

@Hiroprotagnist72 (NJ)

Fight of the year right now starts and ends with Edgar/Maynard 2

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Certainly has my vote right now. I'd have to think about it to even come up with the runner-up at this point. My short-term memory is worse than yours.

Greg (Brockton MA)

Who will Jon Jones face next?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

What's up Brockton? It'll be Rashad Evans.

Phillip (LA)

I wish you really could ban stupid people for posting ignorant things, thanks for always doing that chat and spreading mma as much as possible!!!

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

My pleasure. I can always choose not to post the attacks. But sometimes I like for you guys to see what type of stuff is out there. Lot of haters in here, for whatever reason.

Bruce (Ohio)

What upcoming fight are you most excited about?

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

UFC 129 has a ton of 'em. I can't wait to see Ben Henderson vs. Mark Bocek. Also looking forward to Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum. Can we please see The Reem fight twice in the U.S. before the year is out? Thanks in advance.

Snacks (is Back)

What do you think of Eddie Alvarez saying he gets paid more where he is? Ultimately wouldn't he make more with bonuses and increased sponsors in the UFC or Strikeforce?

Jon Anik
  (1:41 PM)

Perhaps. Even if the UFC started him at 50/50 ($50K to show, $50K to win), he'd come close to what he's making now. Alvarez seems like a loyal guy and Bellator has given him a nice platform, if not the highest level of opposition. I certainly don't think Alvarez is ducking the best fighters in the world, but his prime is only so long. Good to have you back, Snacks.

bj (upstate)

ben askren best wrestling in mma? dude fought for the ncaa national championship 4 times WINNING 2

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Askren is incredible. He's absolutely in the top 5 in terms of wrestling in MMA. Could be top 3. Would love to see him face Jay Hieron, b/c a win over Hieron would really catapult Askren into relevance.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

A guy like Askren needs to join SF asap.

Zellner (Atlanta)

How often do you host this chat?

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Every Wednesday at 1PM ET for almost 3 years. We've only missed 2 weeks.

Coleman (Baltimore)

alvarez vs melendez who you got?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Heads is Melendez. Tails is Alvarez. It's heads.

Jake Rosholt [via mobile]

I'm fighting. I won 3. I think there's a Bellator HWY that has a claim too.

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Indeed. There are a lot of great candidates. I've just been most impressed with Askren. He is rounding out his game, but has been able to dominant some pretty good opponents (Dan Hornbuckle, Lyman Good) with his wrestling. Relentless doesn't even describe it.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

The Sedin twins creep me out. Is cloning illegal in Sweden?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

As long as the Anik twins don't creep you out...

rob(jersey) [via mobile]

Excited to see the results from Askren training w/ Duke Roufus' camp?

Jon Anik
  (1:45 PM)

Most definitely.

bj (upstate)

why the love for overeem v werdum, you think werdum can drag him to the mat

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

It's more a statement about Overeem. Can't wait to see him fight with more regularity stateside. I don't think Werdum has much of a chance.

vidal (ellensburg)

Have u met Jose Aldo? I read nothing but good things about him.

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

Yes, we met briefly at a UFC show last year. Good man.

Drew Fox (Riverside, CA)

Did you find out what final fantasy your gf plays?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

I think it's 13 or something. I did ask her. She said 10 was her favorite, if I'm not mistaken.

Fai (Toronto)

Sakuraba - Royce 3?

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Again, not the name I'm hearing.

joe streitenberger (grove city ohio)

who would you pick to win between big foot silva and brock lesnar

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Now that's a fight I'd really like to see, albeit a tough one to predict. I like Lesnar to be able to impose his will and take Big Foot down. Question would be if he can keep him there for an extended amount of time.

James (CT)

Do they have an official date - that won't change - for Overeem/Werdum?

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Can't guarantee that it won't change. But June 18th looks pretty solid.

Tburgle (Boston)

Hendo vs Fedor realistic? And if so, who ya got?

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

Very much so. Not sure who I'd pick. But after Hendo shoved my Feijao pick in my face (repeatedly), I'm not picking against him. Not worth it...

Marc (Malden, MA)

If we guess correctly, will you tell us?

Jon Anik
  (1:49 PM)

I would at least let you guys know that an accurate guess had come in. Thus far, that hasn't happened.

Bruce (Ohio)

Rashad gets booed no matter what he does. Does that get to him? He seems sensitive.

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

No one likes to be booed at their core. I don't like getting hazed in this chat or on Twitter, but I do take solace in the fact that people have an opinion. Rashad would much prefer to be a fan favorite (who wouldn't), but I don't think it bothers him all that much. I think he is sometimes frustrated with it and doesn't quite understand its origination. But he's as even-keeled as he is sensitive. He shrugs it off.

Zach (Toronto)

Have you heard anything in regards to the date of Evans - Jones?

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

Nope. I think October is the most likely month. But that is pure speculation.

James (CT)

I never understood the hate for Rashad. His fights are generally exciting. Funny dude...where can I re-watch the MMA Live episode where his mom called in?

Jon Anik
  (1:53 PM)

Just google Rashad Evans MMA Live mother and it should come up. It's on YouTube as well. As for the Evans haters, many would disagree with you in terms of the excitement level of his fights. I also think he alienated some fans with his stint on Season 2 of 'The Ultimate Fighter'. By and large, I don't quite get it, either.

Andrew (Montgomery)

Where does Kenny see his career right now, particularly since he is nearing the mid-point of his 30s.

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

He is confident in his ability to make 145 for the fight with Diego Nunes. But he's very curious as to how his body will respond on fight night. There are no guarantees that the weight cut won't sap him completely and result in a lackluster performance. Despite his age, Kenny hasn't absorbed much punishment and is intent on making at least one more hard run at a UFC title.

Travis (Dallas)

Royce Gracie vs Frank Shamrock

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

Not the name I've heard, nor do I think that's even remotely a possibility.

M-Rod (LA)

Diego Sanchez and Nick Diaz would be EXCITING!!! Who do you got jon?

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

The fans win.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I actually thought it was funnier when Rashad did an impression of his mom, telling him not to fight Anderson Silva.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Both had good comedic value.

Danny (Sacramento)

Rashad isn't popular because he feuded with Rampage, who is a funny, charismatic fan favorite. Not really fair to Rashad, we can't all be Rampage, but there it is.

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Good point, Danny.

Josh (Utah)

How big of deal is this UFC event in Brasil going to be for the sport?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Not quite sure how to quantify it in terms of what it'll do for MMA. But you can be sure every Brazilian fighter on the roster is dying to be on that card. And I'd imagine several American fighters are hoping they don't necessarily get the call to fight a Brazilian in Rio.

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

Robert in San Francisco has chimed in with the correct name of the man I've heard could fight Royce Gracie. I will leave it at that.

Matt...Tyler (Seattle)

What are your initial thoughts on Condit v Kim?

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

Good matchup that makes sense for both parties. I think Condit could bring out the best in the Stun Gun. I think the UFC really fancies Condit as a future contender.

vidal (ellensburg)

Do you ever see the UFC in Japan? MMA is a mess over there.

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Not anytime soon. I think they've got other initiatives internationally that will take precedence.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

post it under the chat Robert in SF!

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Kindly don't. :)

David (Spartanburg SC)

What is the plan for MMA Live this week?

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

Still fluid, b/c the show isn't until Friday. Kenny Florian will be here. I'd imagine we'll talk to Melendez again, or another Strikeforce winner. I will update guest list later this week on Twitter (@Jon_Anik). The show handle is @ESPN_MMALIVE.

Robert (San Francisco)

you can't be serious. i was joking jon

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

I know it, bro! Don't shoot the messenger. And let's keep it down, for now. Not sure how viable the lead is, even though it comes from a tremendously reliable source.

Michael (New York)

Huge Rashad Fan: Did he uncover a 'Weak Bone' in Jon Jones's Game during their training sessions?

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

I don't know about all that. I would also add that Jon Jones is a much better fighter now than he was when the two were actively training together. The size disadvantage will be awfully tough for Evans to overcome. Fight hinges upon whether or not Rashad can consistently take Jones down and control him on the ground.

Lou (Yonkers)

i need to know what robert said....this is messed up JA

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

I will ask my source after the chat and post the rumor on Twitter, if he agrees. I'm sure it'll come out within the next few days. Oftentimes people confide in me b/c they know I'm not a reporter looking to break stories all the time. And that's why I get the information.

Panama (Charlotte)

Chost, I know Rashad's your boy, but I don't think he has a chance against Jones. I think you need someone equally unique, like a Machida, to give Jones a run for his money. A wrestler isn't going to do it in my opinion.

Jon Anik
  (2:03 PM)

I've got Rashad in my ear, so it's hard not to buy what he's selling. But I tend to agree with you in thinking that Lyoto Machida is the light heavyweight best-equipped to take the belt from Jones.

Travis (Dallas)

Why cant we know if its just speculation right now?

Jon Anik
  (2:03 PM)

Because it was passed along to me off the record. Seems as though the interest in Royce Gracie's opponent validates the UFC's (likely) decision to feature the HOFer on the card in Brazil.

James (Minneapolis)

My wife and I just had a baby boy, my guess is 2035 Middleweight champ.

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

Congratulaions! What did you name him?

Ken (Pittsburgh)

I don't understand the Rashad hate either. I have respect for every man who steps into the cage. Except Sonnen. He lacks character.

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

I've seen a completely different side of Sonnen than the one that is on display for fans. There is some strong character and a respectable man buried in there. But Sonnen has made himself a star with his mouth as much as his performance against Anderson Silva. And I'd agree that all of these fighters deserve your respect. Amazing how much tougher and more disciplined they are than most of us.

Kenny (Boston)

If I ever have a son I will name him Jon.

Jon Anik
  (2:05 PM)

You won't.

alex (ny)

Is it BJ Penn?

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

No. I don't think the UFC would give Royce Gracie an opponent who is anywhere close to his prime.

David (Spartanburg SC)

Nick Diaz: Crazy like a fox or just plain crazy?

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

He is crazy. And tremendously captivating, in my opinion.

Matt...Tyler (Seattle)

Will you ask Kenny on his weight again this wk? Dude looks big for 145!

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

I will ask him off the air, but I think we've exhausted that on the air for now.

kenny (boston)

if i ever have a girl i will name her jon

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

More like it.

Zelsdorf (Charlotte)

Matchups you most want to see from the UFC / SF merger (even if not probable)?

Jon Anik
  (2:07 PM)

Cain Velasquez vs. Alistair Overeem - far and away- tops my wish list. Also intrigued by Melendez vs. Edgar and Miller or Diaz against any elite UFC welterweight. Possibilities are many.

Bobby Buckeye (Cincinnati)

IF Kenflo never wins a title in the UFC , will he look at his MMA career as a failure?

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Dirk Nowitzki addressed this very question this morning on Mike & Mike. I think Kenny's response would be similar. He'll never forget those previous opportunities and will always be frustrated - in particular - with his performance against B.J. Penn. But for a guy who didn't started training in most MMA disciplines until he was 28 years old, his progress has been remarkable. I think he'll take some solace in the fact that he became one of the best lightweights in the world, even if he never reaches the top.

Fai (Toronto)

Would Kenny consider going for the Strikeforce LW strap?

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

Sure. I still think he'll end up back at 155.

Eric VT (NY/NY)

Who is MMA's Bert Sugar ?

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

Not sure MMA has a historian quite like Bert Sugar. The media is littered with guys who have a much better historical framework for MMA than I do. I watched UFC 1 in 1993, but didn't watch much MMA at all between 1993 and 2006.

Jim B. (Savage, MN)

Is Nick Diaz the best conditioned fighter?

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

He's in great shape, but it's subjective. Not sure I'd put him at #1.

Bruce (Ohio)

Some people with Kflo's athletic abilities might not even make it to the UFC. You have to respect his tenacity and his commitment to his sport

Matt...Tyler (Seattle)

Is Nate Diaz at 170 for good or will he return to 155?

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

I think he's more than willing to bounce around. He just wants big fights.

Tburgle (Boston)

I wish we could get "The Voice" from HDNET to do more fights

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

Schiavello is one of my favorites. I have a much different play-by-play style, but hugely respect his approach. And he's a much more knowledgeable MMA guy than I'll ever be.

Zelsdorf (Charlotte)

Is the contract with CBS the biggest hurdle to UFC and SF quickly merging?

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

Contract is with Showtime. If it wasn't in place, Strikeforce likely would've been absorbed much more quickly.

Dave (Natick, MA)

Thanks for the chat! Off topic, but who you got in the NBA Finals and winning 'em?

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

Bulls-Mavericks. Bulls win it all. I lived in Natick for 5 years, by the way. Right off of Speen St.

Zelsdorf (Charlotte)

I think you should replace Goldberg by Joe Rogan's side. You've got my vote Jon.

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

Appreciate the sentiment, but Goldie does a great job. And he's always been so gracious with his time and helping me out when MMA Live is on the road. Great guy.

Eric VT (NY/NY)

Jon for someone like you who did not get into the sport until 2006 and who is so accepted by not only MMA fans but hardcore fan base did you have to do alot of research into MMA past and the fighters to know all you do now ?

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

No doubt about it. The learning curve was steep and continues to be steep. I hosted a boxing radio show for 4 years before getting an opportunity in MMA. Biggest challenge right now is that MMA is only 40% of my week at ESPN. So much of the work I put in to watch fights/read commentary is done off the clock. Hopefully one day I will be covering MMA full-time for ESPN.

James (Minneapolis)

Who is the Tuff corespondent?

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Ramsey Nijem.

Ian (Birmingham)

does hominick have any chance vs jose

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Sure. As I say each week about this time, anything can and does happen in MMA. Hominick is deceptively powerful and a very technical striker. I just think Aldo will be way too much.

Jim Jones (South America)

Nick Diaz in MMA Live Studio. Buy or Sell?

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

Hopefully someday. It would be more feasible if we did the show in LA. But Diaz doesn't love doing a bunch of media stuff, whereas Gilbert Melendez is all about it.

Jim B. (Savage, MN)

Anything at ESPN you haven't covered that you would like to?

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

Good question. I've had the chance to do some boxing play-by-play, but would like to do some football or basketball live events.

Eric VT (NY/NY)

Anik I would Love to see you get your own MMA radio show, any chance in the future ?

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

It has been discussed here internally. Hopefully we can put something together. Radio was a huge part of my life for a long time, and I'd love to get back to it a bit.

Dan S (Really Late Today)

You outchatted Kiper and Ford today, just sayin.

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

Honored. You guys drive this chat and deserve all the credit. Tough stuff going head-to-head with those two giants.

Eric (The Couch)

Anik-Dotes FTW

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

We've definitely got the name already picked out. Wrote a column in college entitled 'Anik Dotes'. Makes some sense.

James (Minneapolis)

Where did you go to college and what was your major?

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Majored in political journalism. Also went to American University in D.C. for a semester and worked for 'The George Michael Sports Machine'.

bj (upstate)

would love to hear interviews with trainers and lesser known fighters

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

And I'd love to do them. Just hard right now, given the time constraints (not only on MMA Live, but with my schedule).

Dan S (Really Late Today)

With the first pick in the MMA Draft, the Boston Anikdotes select....?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Jon Jones.

vidal (ellensburg)

How many times have u been invited to train?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Many. Keith Florian is my head trainer, even though we haven't trained together yet.

M-Rod (LA)

Diego Sanchez and Nick Diaz....future coaches on TUF agaisnt each other??

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

I guess I'd rather see someone like Mayhem Miller. Diaz entertains me, but I fear his act would get tired for some fans. If he embraced it, then I'd be all for it.

Panama (Charlotte)

2nd pick?

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

Ben Askren. Basing that on future potential. Get some.

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

No, I don't think Askren is better than Anderson Silva.

vidal (ellensburg)

Thanks Anik, u are the man! Great work.

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

Appreciate you being here.

Andrew (San Luis Obispo)

Seems ESPN really ramped up its MMA coverage on the site. Will we see rankings??

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

We unveiled our first batch of rankings last month. I'd imagine we will update them this month.

vidal (ellensburg)

Does Diego make a legitimate championship run?

Bob (Sacramento)

I am thinking of doing MMA for a living, how much can a fighter make between sponsors and fights?

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

It's just hard to get to that level, where you are making consistently good money for appearances and with sponsorships. Sometimes appearances can land fighters upwards of 10K, but the odds are stacked against you in trying to get to that high-profile level.

Ryan (DC)

No way you're a Bullet. Red Devils my friend. Red Devils.

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

:)

Ian (Birmingham)

I went to shippensburg college down the road from you

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Nice, kid. I went there for an Adam Sandler concert and to chase tail my freshman year.

Taylor (Alabama)

has Nick Diaz ever made you nervous?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

No. I'm old. Have been doing this a long time and have interviewed a lot of different athletes across a lot of different sports.

bj (upstate)

go for it bob you only live once follow you dreams

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Indeed, go for it. Just be mindful when thinking about quitting that day job.

Jimmy G (Des Moines)

So far you've posted comments from James in Ct and James in MN and from Jim in South America and Jim in Savage MN. Where's the love for Jim in Des Moines Iowa?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

LOVE.

vidal (ellensburg)

Which sports did u play growing up?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

Basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf. Was captain of basketball team in high school. We finished 5-17. I got worked by Dan Gadzuric.

Eric (The Couch)

what is the biggest bonus you have heard of being given out by zuffa?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

$160,000 to Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann at the UFC Fight Night in Louisville last month.

Cameron (Caldwelll, ID)

jon jones brother who plays in the nfl, it is said that he could be a better fighter then jon. Doesn't it sound like he could fight in the ufc soon?

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

He'd have a lot of weight to cut to get down to 265. But athletically, he is gifted as hell. I wouldn't put it past him to one day start an MMA career.

Phil (Cincinnati)

How long you going today? I have a meeting at 3, always schedule them late afternoon on Wed or early morning to avoid missing the chats!

Jon Anik
  (2:30 PM)

Appreciate that, Phil. I'm out in 5.

Jim B. (Savage, MN)

If you were guarding Gadzuric, your coach should of been fired.

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

I was dropping back in the 2-3 zone and got dunked on. He had 34 at the half, I think.

Zelsdorf (Charlotte)

Why no title shot for Guida if he wins?

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

I would think a win over Pettis would be enough, but not my call. Dennis Siver beat George Sotiropoulos, but is now facing Matt Wiman. If you beat 'the guy', in theory, you should take his place. But there is more that goes into it...

Matt...Tyler (Seattle)

Thanks for the chat Jon.. appreciate the MMA weekly talks!

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

Appreciate that you guys keep coming back.

Jordan (Round Rock, TX)

What is your take on all this media credential issues that happened over the weekend? i.e Josh Gross? Lorena Hunt?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

I stay removed from that equation, Jordan. I feel for Josh and Loretta, but it really has nothing to do with me.

vidal (ellensburg)

I would like to see Carlos Condit against BJ

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

As would I.

Josh (Utah)

Last thoughts we should know before you go?

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

I'm having turkey meatloaf for dinner. And I don't feel like exercising today.

James (Dallas)

FOR EVERYONE FROM DALLAS IN THIS CHAT THERE ARE AMATEUR MMA/MUAY THAI FIGHTS THIS SATURDAY AT THE STUDIOS OF LAS CALINAS IN IRVING AT 7 PM

Jon Anik
  (2:34 PM)

Great message, horrific CAPS LOCK.

Jim B. (Savage, MN)

Your thoughts on Manny Ramirez?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

Hall of Famer. Unfortunate end to a phenomenal career. Go check out his career stats. Remarkable. If A-Rod is going to Cooperstown, so too should Manny.

vidal (ellensburg)

Is it true ESPN has its employees watch their weight?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

True. They make me weigh in every Monday. It's pretty invasive.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

Joking.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

UFC makes its first trip to Pittsburgh in June on Versus. The card needs some pop for a 19k arena though. Bonnar-Griffin III perhaps? Drinks on me if you make the trip, Chost.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

That makes some sense. Hope to see you there.

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Alright, gotta get on outta here. Overflow questions can be sent to me on Twitter - @Jon_Anik and I will get back to you with a direct message. Hope to see you for MMA Live Friday night (11PM ET) on ESPN2. Until then, be well. Thanks for your time, as always.