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April 20, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Anik

Jon Anik
  (1:01 PM)

Good to be here. Can't stay much past 2:00 today b/c we are shooting MMA Live on Thursday this week. Airs tomorrow nite at midnight ET/9PM PT on ESPN2.

Alex B (New Philadelphia, OH)

Hey Jon, I never get to make it to chats because of class but read every week. How would Shinya Aoki stack up against UFC lightweights?

Jon Anik
  (1:02 PM)

Aoki would hold his own, but I don't believe he would be a top 5 UFC lightweight. That is the wrong division in which to have sustained success.

Jim B. (Savage, MN)

Let's get this party started!

Bruce (Ohio)

How do you see Griffin-Rua 2 going down?

Jon Anik
  (1:03 PM)

The Forrest Griffin we saw against Rich Franklin looked to be one motivated dude. That win over Shogun Rua was the defining victory in Griffin's career and I don't think he wants to just give it back. Early lean towards Griffin. I think that Jones fight took a lot out of Rua.

Edgar D (Afghanistan)

Hey Chost,u think Dana is worried about crossover fights because he doesnt want UFC fighters losing to SF fighters?

Jon Anik
  (1:04 PM)

I wouldn't say he is worried or even concerned. I will say that it doesn't make sense for him to allow contracted Strikeforce fighters to cross over into the UFC. There is nothing to gain there. I do think, as stated multiple times, that you will see UFC fighters compete under the Strikeforce banner. Those decisions/fights will be measured.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Jon!!! Berto-Ortiz didn't exactly suck last weekend, did it!

Jon Anik
  (1:05 PM)

Awesome fight. 2011 has been good to boxing. I can't even fathom all of the upsets. Juan Manuel Lopez was -800!

brad (minnesota)

Any news when josh koscheck will return? I'd like to see a fight between him and bj. Or drop to lightweight.

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

I, too, would like to see a fight between Koscheck and B.J. Penn. Don't have anything concrete on Koscheck's return. May not happen until very late in the year. Still dealing with some nerve damage from those GSP jabs.

Joey (209 Atwater CA)

So who is fighting Royce?

Jon Anik
  (1:06 PM)

One name I kept hearing from different sources was Art Jimmerson. Now, it appears as though Royce Gracie might not even be on the card.

ralph san antonio [via mobile]

jon, what do you think of Jon Jones' comments claiming that his brother could smash Cain V.?

Jon Anik
  (1:07 PM)

Didn't read those comments. I have no doubt that Arthur Jones (currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens) would find success in MMA, were he to put in the requisite time to develop. But I don't think anyone will be 'smashing' Cain Velasquez anytime soon.

Connor (LA)

how do you see GSP-Shields playing out? Is it destined to be a boring fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:09 PM)

I'm not forecasting a boring fight. I think both guys are hell-bent on getting the finish and I don't expect it to go the full 25 minutes. If Shields is gonna win, he must get off to a quick start. Once GSP settles in and starts forcing the opposition to make mistakes, it's over. St-Pierre is so smart and technical and calculated. As long as he doesn't make a major mistake, I have a hard time forecasting a scenario whereby Shields wins.

MIKE (NYC)

Jon, Love your work! How bout an mma talk radio program starring you on ESPN radio?

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

Been fighting for more coverage of MMA on ESPN Radio for the last year or so. I think we may get over the hump, soon. Doubtful that we'd ever get an hour-long MMA show on ESPN Radio. But I do hope to be making more regular appearances.

Bruce (Ohio)

Shields thinks he has an advantage on the ground. Do you agree?

Jon Anik
  (1:10 PM)

He is one of the best grapplers in the world. I do believe his submission offense and defense is more sophisticated than GSP's. I just wonder if he'll even be able to get that part of his game going.

Dean (Portland)

Percent chance you give Couture to beat Machida? I say 30%.

Jon Anik
  (1:11 PM)

40%. Randy has wanted this fight for quite some time. There is a reason for that. Good chance you'll hear from Couture tomorrow night on MMA Live. Will keep you posted later today on Twitter- @Jon_Anik.

angelo (texas)

do you believe couture, when he says this is his last fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:12 PM)

Yes. These comments have been very telling. His retirement commentary in the past has left far more openings for a return. He seems decisive.

MIKE (NYC)

MMA live will be in Toronto right??

Jon Anik
  (1:13 PM)

I will be there doing interviews for ESPN.com and hopefully a hit with the GSP-Shields winner that could find its way onto SportsCenter. But regrettably, there will not be a Post-Fight Extra on ESPN2. I'm as bummed as you are.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Would you have liked to see Couture fight Hendo or Fedor?

Jon Anik
  (1:14 PM)

I'd prefer to see him fight Fedor, if for no other reason than we've heard about the possibility of that fight for years.

Jeff (Clearwater, FL)

Nick Diaz vs Jeff Lacy, who do you have?

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

That is a far more competitive fight than Diaz against Sergio Martinez. Would be curious to see a Vegas line on Lacy-Diaz.

Josh (Texas)

JA you need to get a Facebook page!

Jon Anik
  (1:15 PM)

Facebook seems pretty invasive.

Josh (UTAH)

Yo Yo Yo! Highlight of my week is this chat! nothing quite like this to break up the work day!

Jon Anik
  (1:16 PM)

Nice of you to say. One of the highlights of my week as well.

Erik (Austin, TX)

Hominick struck gold getting a CFL sponsorship. Who would you like to see your BoSox back? (other than your boyfriend)

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

Nicely done by Hominick and his management team. I'm not dating K-Flo, but he is the highest-profile Bostonian that is a UFC fighter. So he would be the guy.

Bruce (Ohio)

Couture will dirty box and grapple his way to victory. How do you see him beating Machida?

Jon Anik
  (1:17 PM)

Exactly that way. An absolute must is getting Machida up against the cage. And I think it'll happen at some point in the fight. The question will be - what can Couture do with that opening. Still undecided on who to pick in that one.

Michael (Philly)

Explain to me why Nick Diaz is a top 10 H2H guy and people would laugh if you said Diego was one. Diego won H2H, and is also 2-0 against guys who beat Diaz. Plus he was 11-0 outside UFC, better than Diaz has been.

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

Do you mean P4P when you say H2H? I don't think a lot of people have Diaz as a top 10 P4P fighter. I agree that his record would suffer if he had to face the gauntlet that is the UFC welterweight division. I'm not sure he would beat Rick Story or Jake Ellenberger. Just so many tough wrestlers at 170 in the UFC.

Jeff (Clearwater)

Could we get a fight between Nick Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi? Weight may be a slight issue, but that would be a crazy fight.

Jon Anik
  (1:19 PM)

I would enjoy that. And I'll bet the Magic Man would jump at an opportunity like that.

Jacob (Houston)

Machida's comments on Jones/Rua were simply a campaign for self preservation. The results would nearly be the same if Machida fought Jones. Agree or Disagree

Jon Anik
  (1:20 PM)

I think Machida is one of the few guys that poses a unique challenge to Jon Jones. That said, I don't think he's beating Jon Jones more than once or twice out of 10 fights.

Andrew (Newfoundland)

Been a while. Thoughts on Joe Warren's decision win over the weekend?

Jon Anik
  (1:21 PM)

I was working here Saturday night and then away on Sunday and Monday, so I haven't seen it yet. Will be watching the fight tonite as part of my MMA Live prep. Sounds like Warren got a gift. We will discuss tomorrow on MMA Live.

Jeff (Clearwater)

Bellator picks for this weekend?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

I like Richard Hale to piggyback on his momentum from that inverted triangle choke. Also can't wait to see Ronnie Mann's promotional debut. Haven't really dissected the rest of the card.

Steve (Windsor CT)

How do you think Nick Diaz matches up with Jeff Lacy?

Jon Anik
  (1:23 PM)

Lacy is a powerful guy, but Diaz isn't one to back down. Just very difficult to predict how Diaz will fare against proven, experienced boxers.

Adam (Brookfield)

Bisping one fight or two from a title shot? I think coaching TUF against Mayhem may be a step down for him right now.

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

That loss to Wanderlei Silva really hurt Bisping as far as his path to a title shot was concerned. I still think he is in the mix, perhaps 2-3 wins away. I don't see a fight with Mayhem Miller as a step backwards. I see it as a dangerous but winnable fight.

Andrew (Newfoundland)

Gift is an understatement! The fact a judge scored it 30-27 in his favour was appalling.

Jon Anik
  (1:25 PM)

Really looking forward to watching it.

Travis (Dallas)

Who would you like to see big nog fight in rio?

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

I really don't think Noguiera has much left. A fight with Brendan Schaub makes sense, I guess.

Sean Morris (Scotland)

Who would you like to see host the next TUF series and what would your preference be on international shows

Jon Anik
  (1:26 PM)

I am all for the international shows to spice up TUF. A show in the Phillipines, as has been mentioned, would be sick. As for coaches, I'd like to see some combination of Bisping, Miller and Sonnen.

Matt (Renton,Wa)

What upcoming fight are you most excited about? Hope to see Randy and Rogan in studio soon!!

Jon Anik
  (1:29 PM)

Would love to get Rogan on MMA Live at some point. A ton of upcoming fights pique my interest, but it's hard to look much past UFC 129 right now. And the choices in Toronto are many. Very excited to see what Shields has for GSP. And you've heard me talk for months about Bocek-Henderson. Such an important tilt. Loser of that fight faces a huge uphill battle at 155 and probably won't ever fight for the title. Winner would be right in the mix.

Ainsworth (Dallas)

I think TUF needs to do another Heavyweight show. The HW division is not looking as stacked as it did after that season. What do you think?

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

Heavyweight fights don't always make for the most compelling TV. Very difficult to find enough heavyweight talent to fill out a show. But the division does need a youthful infusion.

Dominic (NM)

Picks for the Freire brothers finals?

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

Both to win.

@IBAHoosier (B-TOWN)

I think any decent boxer would destroy Diaz in boxing, having good hands in MMA does not qualify anyone to be a boxer right?

Jon Anik
  (1:30 PM)

Diaz has some boxing experience, but I tend to agree with you. Again, it's hard to envision how it would go. Need to see it...and I'm confident we will at some point.

Frank (Chi)

TUF heavyweights was by far the best season yet... I was actually excited to watch each week.... they need to get more pro athletes that couldnt quite cut it in their sports

Steve (WI)

Hey Jon, did you hear that Fitch will now require surgery for his shoulder and will be out 6 months? What should BJ do in the meantime? Wait for Fitch or fight someone else?

Jon Anik
  (1:31 PM)

Penn is also dealing with an injury, but I doubt he'll wait around for a rematch against Fitch. I think a fight against the Rick Story/Thiago Alves winner or the Carlos Condit/Dong Hyun-Kim winner makes the most sense.

Brad H (OKC!!!)

# of fights till ben henderson gets another title shot??

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

Must beat Mark Bocek. That's the lone focus right now. If he does that, perhaps 2 more wins thereafter would get it done.

jimbo (so cal)

Ray Lewis would smash Jones' brother

Jon Anik
  (1:32 PM)

If he can stop a takedown or two...

Fai (Toronto)

Does Shields present more of a submission threat to GSP than BJ did?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

Perhaps only b/c he is bigger and stronger than Penn and therefore might be able to preserve more energy/strength if gets beat up early. Penn was just too compromised too early in the fight to get anything going.

Frank (Chi)

Think well ever see Mitrione vs Schaub?

Jon Anik
  (1:33 PM)

I don't see why not.

Brett M. (Auburn University)

Your thoughts on the Henderson vs. Fedor (rumored) fight coming up?

Jon Anik
  (1:35 PM)

I like the matchup. Think it's a good test for Fedor, as he tries to get untracked. Also love Hendo's attitude about moving up to heavyweight and I wouldn't count him out. I think Fedor will find more success at this stage of his career against smaller opponents, or opponents who are closer to his size. It's hard to beat 265 lbs. men when you weigh 225.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

How high do the Celtics must have your blood pressure ?

Jon Anik
  (1:36 PM)

Not high at all b/c my expectations are low. I think people misread my tweet last night. The C's are playing like a team that doesn't think it can make an extended run. They might beat the Knicks...could even beat the Heat, but there is little to no chance they will beat the Knicks, Heat, Bulls, and Mavericks, Spurs, or Lakers. Just not gonna happen.

Fai (Toronto)

Who would you favour if Jim Miller were to challenge Gilbert for SF LW title?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

I consider both of them friends and both are riding tremendous streaks right now. Just can't pick against Melendez in his current form.

Shaun (PA)

Jon, no question, just saying keep up the good work!

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

Love ya.

Matt (NJ)

Have you seen the new Anderson Silva movie?

Jon Anik
  (1:37 PM)

No.

@PappaFeez (Dallas)

Thoughts on Klitschko vs Haye finally being set for July 2nd? As exciting of a Heavyweight fight as we can have in boxing these days, right?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

Certainly more compelling than a lot of the past matchups.

Josh (UTAH)

over/under 3 rounds for the GSP/Shields fight?

Jon Anik
  (1:38 PM)

I think it'll end in the 3rd or 4th round, so you have set the line correctly. I will say over and predict a 4th-round finish.

Nick (Florida)

How far is Dong Hyun Kim from a title shot after he beats Condit?

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

He'd have to be right there in the mix, especially with a decisive win over Condit (not my expectation, for what it's worth).

Marc (Malden, MA)

In Game 1, Chris Kelly played more than Patrice Bergeron. FIRE CLAUDE !!!

Jon Anik
  (1:39 PM)

Still not punting on the B's chances, but Tim Thomas needs to channel the regular-season version of Tim Thomas. He needs to be spectacular. Game 4 cannot come soon enough.

Martin (Raleigh)

You included Dallas over Denver/OKC? Are you crazy? Dallas has zero shot coming out of the West. OKC/Denver are the 2nd/3rd most likely teams behind the Lakers if Manu isn't healthy

Jon Anik
  (1:40 PM)

Most of the ESPN NBA experts picked the Blazers to upset the Mavericks. If you read our chat last week, I picked a Mavs-Bulls NBA Finals. Can't backtrack now. I do think OKC and/or Denver could absolutely make a run, though. Didn't intend to omit them.

Jeff (NY)

Who do you think wins Edgar-Maynard 3?

Jon Anik
  (1:42 PM)

Edgar. I think he'll make the necessary adjustments and win on points. Crazy to think he will have had just 2 opponents over a 4-fight stretch. I wonder if that has ever happened before in UFC history, modern-day or otherwise.

@trevout (Billerica, MA)

Chost, what's up w/the new MMA page layout? Makes it look 2nd rate compared to all the other sports' pages on ESPN.

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Most of the feedback I've received from fans on Twitter has been positive. Please keep the feedback coming. You can follow me at Twitter.com/@Jon_Anik and I will reply to most of your questions/comments with a direct message.

Jordan (scotland)

regarding Edgar's opponent variation, see: Griffin, Forrest :P

Jon Anik
  (1:43 PM)

Will do.

JC (Florida)

After Toronto, Nate Diaz vs Dan Hardy - what say you?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Like it. But Hardy needs to round out his game or I'm done championing his cause. Still disgusted with his effort against Anthony Johnson. Not to take anything away from Rumble, but Hardy's wrestling seems to have regressed when it should be his primary area of focus.

derris (south carolina)

hey Jon buddy came to join your chat for support my first day joining since im on spring break

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Good to have ya, Derris.

Josh (UTAH)

so GSP by TKO?

Jon Anik
  (1:44 PM)

Official prediction in next week's chat, Josh. Hopefully, you'll be back.

Michael (Philly)

Is the UFC ever coming back to Philly? I heard whispers they were, but I am afraid people consider Pittsburgh and Philly to be similar.

Jon Anik
  (1:46 PM)

The UFC will definitely be back in Philly, and hopefully they put a few more KO artists on the card than you guys experienced in August of 2009. There are already rumors about a PPV in Philadelphia later this year, regardless of the Pittsburgh show in late June. The UFC is acutely aware of the fact that they are 2 distinct and separate markets.

Matt (Pittsburgh)

Thoughts on the upcoming Pittsburgh UFC show? As a casual fan I am not sure whether to attend.

Jon Anik
  (1:47 PM)

Must attend, Matt. The card is really shaping up on paper. LOVE the main event between Anthony Johnson and Nate Marquardt. And, for those cities that want the UFC to keep stopping there, you need to show your support by blowing the place out.

Brennan (Austin)

Hey Jon, enjoy MMA Live. Think the UFC tops 55,000 in the U.S. anytime soon?

Jon Anik
  (1:48 PM)

Doubtful. Even with a likely show at Cowboys Stadium in 2011 or 2012, I'm not sure it'll even be configured for 55,000+.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

Tell Matt he should definitely attend

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

An exhausted, out of shape Hendo lasted 4 rounds on his back against Shields. Shields is great at BJJ, but he is hardly death to everyone the second the fight hits the ground.

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

I concur. Really excited, as stated previously, to see what Shields does with this showcase. Such a deserved opportunity and, even though I believe dominant champions are great for sport, what a story it would be if Shields pulled off the upset.

derris (south carolina)

hey Jon can wait to see your new chrome dome shining bud!

Jon Anik
  (1:51 PM)

The hair has grown in a little bit. Not sure the bosses loved the Bic'd dome on Saturday night. :)

@IBAHOOSIER (B-TOWN)

Kongo Vs Barry official, What are your first thoughts?

Jon Anik
  (1:52 PM)

Barry's fight to lose, provided he fights smart. Feels like Kongo hasn't fought since my 21st birthday.

jason (Denver)

I think Dana white will kill MMA. He doesn't understand that the major sports promote their brand but more importanly they promote the product (players). Dana only promotes the brand. Agree? Keep up the good work

Jon Anik
  (1:54 PM)

Hard to envision that the man who had more to do with growing MMA than anyone will be the guy to kill the sport. I actually think the UFC does a lot to promote its fighters. They help them a ton with social media initiatives and are currently the only sports league that links all of its athletes' bio to their Twitter accounts through UFC.com. I'm sure a handful of fighters would agree with you, but I'm not sure I do. Would like to continue this discussion with you on Twitter, b/c I don't totally disagree with your sentiment.

Jr (Arizona)

You like the Barboza vs Pearson better than Barboza vs. Gomi?

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

Hadn't heard about the change. Not sure I like that matchup bettah.

cory (nc)

more likely next opponent after okami for the spider: gsp or sonnen?

Jon Anik
  (1:55 PM)

GSP. But that said, I really do hope we get to see Silva-Sonnen II. Silva-Sonnen I remains my favorite fight in UFC history.

jarric (kansas)

thoughts on bellator posting their worst ratings since going to MTV2?

Jon Anik
  (1:56 PM)

That's too bad. The product is certainly worthy of a better number, but I'm not sure MTV2 is the right home.

Vinod (NYC)

Have you ever picked Shogun to win a fight in the UFC outside of Coleman?

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

I'm sure you would know better than I would, V.

Clay (Denver)

Tell John in Sioux Falls that an exhausted guy on his back is much harder to submit (excluding punches) whose only concern is defending submissions than someone inside your guard and/or actively working an offense...much more of a chance and options to get caught

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

You tell him, Clay.

jason (denver)

I'll hit you up on twitter. Thanks for the reply

Jon Anik
  (1:57 PM)

Word.

TJ (DALLAS)

Did Cro Cop retire or anything? Did he get cut by UFC?

Jon Anik
  (1:58 PM)

Dana White told me following UFC 128 that Cro Cop would not be offered another UFC fight. He is cut.

Matt (NJ)

After Sonnen, are there any fights for Silva at MW that interest you in the least?

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

Not really. I guess I'd be mildly interested to see Silva against Alan Belcher, Michael Bisping, or Jason Miller. I'd love to see him face Strikeforce MW champion Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza. Just not sure how feasible that is.

Jordan (scotland)

is Tim Kennedy a UFC-caliber fighter?

Jon Anik
  (1:59 PM)

Absolutely. That's another guy I'd have interest in seeing against Anderson Silva. Not picking him to win, but I don't see it as being hugely one-sided.

Ian (Birmingham)

Just got milos for lunch. What is your favorite spot ot grab a bite?

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

Hillstone, formerly Houston's. I seek them out in every city.

Erik (Austin, TX)

At every UFC weigh-in Joe Rogan says "Dana White, without him, none of this would be possible." Enough said.

Jon Anik
  (2:00 PM)

And that is the truth. Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta deserve mention in that discussion as well.

Mike (Chicago)

You never going to answer my question??? Who do you have winning the Alistair Overeem vs Fabricio Werdum fight??? Also, do you think UFC will come back to Chicago this year???

Jon Anik
  (2:01 PM)

I think Chicago is a good possibility for 2011, but can't be certain. As for Overeem-Werdum, love 'The Reem'.

jarric (kansas)

What else would Rogan say, Dana White is his boss.

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Joe believes that to be true. He's not saying it to kiss up to his employer. And his job isn't in jeopardy whatsoever.

Robert (San Francisco)

could jones get a fight with anderson silva?

Jon Anik
  (2:02 PM)

Sure. Won't happen in the immediate future, but I could absolutely see it.

Evan (SLC)

Regarding what was discussed on last week's show: How can a commission allow a pregnant woman to fight?

Jon Anik
  (2:03 PM)

As far as I know, commissions aren't doing pregnancy tests. I find it more surprising that the woman who fought at 2 months pregnant could have absolutely no idea she was carrying a fetus.

Ian (Birmingham)

hard to get in today... Who will be on MMA live this week?

Jon Anik
  (2:04 PM)

Working on an interview with Randy Couture. Looks like Florian and McNeil join me in studio.

Aaron (Chicago)

Why is GSOT-Dunham looking like its going to be on the Main Card of 132 when the two guys that last beat them are on the prelims?

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

It's a good question, albeit one that I think you can answer. Dunham and Sotiropoulos have higher profiles and the UFC believes they deserve the exposure. I don't have a lot of criticism for the UFC, but I do wish that guys like Dennis Siver would be justly rewarded when they take out a guy who was being considered for a title shot. Siver deserved a better fight after beating Sotiropoulos.

Tiger (Toledo)

What car does Kenny drive?

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

A wicked nice SUV.

Andrew (Newfoundland)

Any word on Bonnar's next opponent?

Jon Anik
  (2:06 PM)

Nothing yet. Texting him now.

Jarric (Kansas)

Dana White offers you Goldberg's job right now, what are you going to do!?

Jon Anik
  (2:08 PM)

I'm happily employed and under contract with ESPN. And, Goldie does a great job and has been hugely supportive of MMA Live. But would it be a dream to call a UFC fight? Yes.

Matt (NJ)

Do you have a favorite weight class to watch?

Jon Anik
  (2:08 PM)

Light heavyweight.

Mike (Chicago)

Who do you having winning the Strikeforce Grand Prix?

Jon Anik
  (2:08 PM)

Overeem.

bj (upstate)

with matt hughes being on tuf tonight, do you think his career is over?

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

I wouldn't read much into him being on TUF. I think he'd like to finish on a higher note than being blasted in 0:21 by B.J. Penn. I think we'll see one more fight with Hughes and that'll be it.

Stev (Sask)

Could Melendez beat Maynard

Jon Anik
  (2:09 PM)

Absolutely. In fact, I think Melendez has many of the requisite tools to beat a bull like Maynard.

Sam (Red Crown)

Prediction on tonight's NBA games?

Jon Anik
  (2:10 PM)

Lake Show big. Grizzlies to steal another one in San Antonio.

Derek (Florida)

who do you believe bones jones or rashad evans about who got the better of who during sparring?

Jon Anik
  (2:11 PM)

Tough question for me to answer. I do take issue with some of Jones' recent commentary. That stuff really should've stayed in the gym and Rashad had no intention of putting any of that stuff out there.

Sam (Red Crown)

You forgot the Thunder/Nuggets game....

Jon Anik
  (2:12 PM)

It was the series I was most looking forward to at the beginning of the playoffs. Would love to see the Nugs even up the series at a game apiece, but I think OKC will take a 2-0 lead to Denver.

Erik (Austin, TX)

Speaking of Bones vs. Rashad, is this going to be a PR stunt or has the bridge really been burned between the two?

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

Bridge burned.

bj (upstate)

will the ufc offer couture a job like they did with the iceman and if so should it not be to head a fighters safety commision?

Jon Anik
  (2:13 PM)

I'm sure Couture will stay involved in some capacity, but he has aspirations in life that extend well beyond MMA. I'm sure he'll remain a key ambassador for the UFC and MMA, but he's a movie star now.

Ainsworth (Dallas)

Please stop asking Basketball questions in an MMA chat.

Jon Anik
  (2:14 PM)

Try to be an equal opportunity poster. I appreciate you sticking it out, Ainsworth.

Matt (NJ)

OMG Chost saying something kinda sorta slightly negative about his boy Bones!!!! *head explodes*

Jon Anik
  (2:15 PM)

I've spent a lot more time with Rashad than I have with Jon Jones. And I communicate a lot more with Rashad. You are right that I've been championing Jones forever, so this fight will be among my least favorite to predict. Hopefully MMA editor Darius Ortiz will let me obstain.

Ben (LA)

What happens in practice stays in practice. Jones bringing it up, true or not, was tacky.

Clay (Denver)

What did Jones say that should have stayed in the gym? Sorry, Chost. Somehow I missed that.

Jon Anik
  (2:16 PM)

Story is up on ESPN.com. Mentioned that he could've finished Evans several times in practice but chose not to.

Vinod (NYC)

Easier fight for Diaz...Lacy or Vargas? (We know Sergio would maul him)

Jon Anik
  (2:17 PM)

Diaz had better fill out a will before fighting Sergio Martinez. I don't think maul even begins to describe it. As for Lacy or Vargas, I think Vargas is more prone to making undisciplined mistakes. I'd love to see Diaz-Vargas.

Matt (NJ)

Hey Chost you were right about Jones being the best at LHW, just like busting on you about him because I was so wrong :)

Jon Anik
  (2:18 PM)

All good, Matt. I remain surprised at how many fans thought I had some agenda there. I really do just call it like I see it. And I'm wrong plenty.

James (Cooperstown)

No offense to the Natural, but he's a slightly bigger movie star than Cung Le, and would sell way more PPVs than movie tickets.

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

He is 47 years old. Not about selling fights anymore. He has a lot of money and a lot of ways to make even more money. I think it's time to beat Machida and walk away with a 4-fight winning streak, a legendary career, and all his sensibilities.

Evan (SLC)

Not sure Evans has a chance. Jones is too good.

Jon Anik
  (2:19 PM)

Rashad has a shot. But I think Jones is a much different animal than he was when the two were training together regularly.

J.R. (Tampa)

Practice...we're talking about practice...

Stev (Sask)

If Edgar loses, Should/Would he mover to FW?It would add some depth to a thin FW

Jon Anik
  (2:20 PM)

He has expressed reluctance in the past and he is in no great rush to move down. It's certainly an option, should he decide to go in that direction. Making the weight would not be nearly the issue for Edgar as it'll be for a bigger lightweight like Kenny Florian.

Pick My Question (Now)

tacky, schmacky. stop being so sensitive. babies.

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

Not losing sleep over it, but still don't think it's right. And I don't blame Rashad for being irked.

Nick Diaz (209)

I just read your comments about me earlier, people who say stuff like that get slapped!

Jon Anik
  (2:21 PM)

Then I guess you'll get make-up on your hand.

cs (woodstock,ga)

Can we please get another UFC event in atlanta? Also When do you see the jones evans fight happening?

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Likely September or October. As for another stop in the ATL, I get so many questions about possible UFC show locations. Hit Dana White or Lorenzo Fertitta up on Twitter.

Nick Diaz (209)

I just read your comments about me earlier, people who say stuff like that get slapped! I just want to get paid. Don't be scared homie!

Jon Anik
  (2:22 PM)

Love those 'Don't be Scared, Homie' t-shirts. Not scared.

Marc (Malden, MA)

How is Kenny's weight-cut coming?

Jon Anik
  (2:23 PM)

Hasn't really begun cutting weight, per se. He is extremely strong and lean right now. I think it's gonna be very tough. And I'd be lying if I said he was 100% void of anxiety about it.

Brock (Vancouver)

If Couture wins, does Dana entice him to stay with a future title-shot?

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

I don't think a title shot is enticing to Couture right now. And I don't think a fight against Jon Jones (theoretically) is enticing at all. The man has nothing left to prove to himself or to fans.

Nate Diaz (209)

Just read your comments about my brother earlier ... people who say stuff like that get slapped TWICE.

James (Cooperstown)

Has your wife ever asked you why there's a signed photo of K-Flo next to your pillow at night?

Jon Anik
  (2:24 PM)

She actually ripped it up last week.

jimbo (so cal)

Couture wants to go out healthy, not take a one sided beating from Jones

JD (VA)

If this truly is Couture's last match, wouldn't it be appropriate to have him main event next week? It would say so much given the two title fights.

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Couture will get his due from the 55,000 strong in Toronto. Would've been a nice gesture, but you just can't do it with 2, 5-round title fights on the card. Geeked to be in the building for Couture's final walk to the Octagon.

John (LA)

Does Rashad feel more disrespected by Greg Jackson or Jones?

Jon Anik
  (2:26 PM)

Jones.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Not feeling so good about Brock saying he doesn't need to improve his chin.

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

No argument here. A chin is not the easiest thing to improve. But you can become more conditioned to taking a punch. With that neck, he should be able to take plenty of heaters.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

What's up Anik?

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Sup dude.

Clay (Denver)

Jon Anik (2:21 PM)Then I guess you'll get make-up on your hand....Best comeback of the year thus far! I just choked on my turkey sangwich!

Jon Anik
  (2:27 PM)

Every now and again, I've got some comedic value. At least my wife thinks I'm funny. And Florian actually thinks I'm hilarious.

@wbradfordbishop (Sacramento)

Brock's chin is fine, its his reaction to getting punched that needs work.

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Truth.

Logan (Chicago)

Chost-in one! Do you know how UFC earning compare to the old PRIDE earnings?

Jon Anik
  (2:28 PM)

Not sure. I'd imagine the elite UFC guys do much better than the PRIDE guys did at their peak. But that is purely speculation.

Jr (Arizona)

Have you played ESPN Arcade Zoom 2.0: UFC yet?

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

Nah, Jr. Wish I had more time for video games. My wife is much more the gamer. And her brother lives for video games.

J.R. (Tampa)

This season of TUF doesn't seem as entertaining as most. I don't see any real contenders at this point. I'm just looking forward to the next season. Might get some real talented featherweights and bantamweights.

Jon Anik
  (2:29 PM)

I haven't loved what we have seen thus far. But last week's fight was terrific. Did I just use the word terrific? Toolbag.

Pat Kelly (Hell, MI)

It's not Brock's chin ... guys at HW hit kind of hard. Carwin and Cain aren't exactly light punchers.

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

All good points, fellas. I just would like to see a more composed Lesnar when he gets tagged. I understand losing one's balance, but don't see a great excuse for cartwheeling around the Octagon. Gotta be firmer on his feet.

Sal (Chicago)

You can't clinch in boxing or hit the deck and cover up the way Diaz did against Daley... and his chin holds up cause he knows where the punches are coming, a lot different when you can't see them, ala Mayorga

Jon Anik
  (2:31 PM)

Right. But he also won't be getting hit with 4 oz. gloves, either.

Marc (Malden, MA)

My mistake, it's not Brock's chin. It's him becoming a turtle when he gets hit.

JD (VA)

Did you get a chance to read the article that followed the inspector right before the Bellator fight? Really good read and didn't know all that went on behind the scenes.

Jon Anik
  (2:32 PM)

I did not, but it was sent to me on Twitter. Been a busy 10 days or so for me at ESPN with a lot of other initiatives (Golf, Poker, Fantasy, etc.). MMA is my focus for the rest of the day and tomorrow and I'll get caught up.

Michael (Los Angeles)

I feel like I'm the only one excited for the co-main event in Toronto...I mean that one is only hitting the ground in one way

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

You aren't the only one, Michael. But I agree there hasn't been a ton of conversation about Aldo-Hominick in the chat room. I imagine that'll change next week, when we offer up the UFC 129 predictions.

Rich (Manchester CT)

CHOST! Since Sonnen is out for a while and Marquardt is dropping to 170, Bisping vs. Palhares makes a lot of sense at UFC Rio, no?

Jon Anik
  (2:33 PM)

Sure. But no one wants to fight Palhares, and I don't expect Bisping will be jumping at the opportunity to fight that guy. High risk, low reward.

Scott (South Jersey)

Still going strong... Love it... What's your take of famous refs (Big John & Herb) collecting additional fees from organizations? Does this have any impact on how they judge, or could it?

Jon Anik
  (2:35 PM)

I always advocate having the best referees do as many of the high-profile fights as possible. Don't really have a take on their additional compensation. Power to Herb Dean and Big John for expanding their respective brands and becoming synonymous with MMA refereeing. No impact on them fulfilling their obligations in the cage.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Because Aldo is going to destroy Hominick.

Rich (Manchester, CT)

Offer Bisping the title shot with the win, see if he turns it down.

Jon Anik
  (2:36 PM)

Not sure a fight against a fringe contender like Rousimar Palhares should be the conduit through which Bisping gets a title shot.

Michael (Los Angeles)

When is the UFC coming to LA...we can get all the boxing matches in the world but not one MMA fight

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

I want to move to LA. But that wasn't your question. For the record, 2 of the last 24 PPVs have been in the greater LA area. UFC 121 was in Anaheim. And UFC 104 was at Staples Center.

Jacob (Houston)

Over or under 15 years before MMA is an NCAA sport? I guess Title 9 will be an issue, but would love to see this mainstream in that aspect.

Jon Anik
  (2:37 PM)

Over. Just don't see it happening, especially with all of the great wrestling programs that are losing funds. Get back to me in 2026.

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

Alright, heads. Gotta go stretch and attack this MMA Live prep. Looks like we'll be joined by Randy Couture and we'll begin our 2-week preview of UFC 129. Additional questions can be sent to me on Twitter- @Jon_Anik - and I will get back to you with a direct message. See you tomorrow night on ESPN2 for MMA Live at midnight ET. Go eat some wings for me, too. I'm getting too fat. -JA

Logan (Chicago)

CHIZZOST! How often do you read things people post in these chats and think, "god I WISH I could post that" but you cant?

Jon Anik
  (2:39 PM)

Often! Gotta roll. Peace, love.