Gonna clean out some of the questions in the queue. Will begin taking live submissions at the top of the hour. Good to have you here.
Hey Jon hope all is well. What does the future hold for Mayhem, do you see him entering the UFC and do you expect him to win his upcoming fight?
Jason Miller has signed with the UFC and will face Aaron Simpson in his first fight back. It's certainly a tough draw but a winnable fight. I think Miller is underrated b/c he gets so much attention for Bully Beatdown and his disposition. But in addition to being a dynamic guy, he can be a dynamic fighter. Looking forward to having him back in the mix at 185. Good to hear from ya, Kalbar.
ANIK. Shields by Kimura R4. Not the most intelligent pick I've ever made, but not now than never for GSP to lose at WW. Making the trip?
I will be there, brother. Unfortunately, we won't be blowin' it out MMA Live-style, but we'll be doing post-fight hits for ESPN.com and hopefully SportsCenter. As to your pick, best of luck. I think it's gonna be a very entertaining fight, but I'm not picking Shields to win.
You called it. Mayhem is now in the UFC. Early thoughts on the Simpson matchup?
Does Phil Davis really stand a chance against Evans? Evans is a much better striker and he is a very good wrestler. How do you see this fight ending?
Phil Davis definitely has a shot. You are talking about a 4x All-American and national champion wrestler at Penn State. I won't pick him to win the fight, but he's certainly got a chance. Definitely a decided disadvantage in the striking department.
give me a percentage of the chance machida gets cut if he losses to randy
5%. Maybe less.
Who is closer to a title shot Lyoto Machida or Phil Davis?
Phil Davis. If he beats Rashad, he will fight Jon Jones.
Should Lucic have gotten a game misconduct for that hit? Been debating it with my brother since last night. I'll let you settle it.
I was OK with the game misconduct, but anything beyond that would be too stiff a penalty. They need Lucic if they are going to win tonite.
I know your a busy dude JA but it would be nice to see a weekly mma podcast??
I've been trying to get the 'Anik Dotes' podcast going for 18 months or so, to no avail. We do have a pair of weekly MMA podcasts now, and I make a weekly contribution to the ESPN.com UK UFC podcast. But still would love to do one. Hopefully someday. :)
Lets not be late JA
10 minutes early today, son.
Chost, get it out of the way what are your picks
GSP by TKO, Aldo by TKO, Machida by decision (would not be at all surprised if Couture won), Brilz by TKO, Rory McDonald over Nate Diaz. And last but not least, I will take Mark Bocek by split decision over Ben Henderson. Henderson's edge in athleticism could very well be the difference, but this space says Bocek has the heart and the gameplan to overcome it.
You think Davis would jump over Rampage with a win???
Remains to be seen. I do think it's entirely possible. But I suppose, if Rampage looks impressive against Hamill, he will be next in line.
JA,Answer my question or I will come down on you like the Hammer of Thor and the gust of a thousand winds!!
That's an imperative. Don't see any question in there.
Shouldn't you, as a fellow American, be rooting for Jake Shields? How about a little patriotism, Anik?
Rarely do I have a rooting interest in MMA fights, largely b/c I cover the sport and try to do so objectively. But it'll be hard not to root for the American in hostile territory. And I never root for fighters based upon my predictions. Don't really even like doing picks. So, go Jake.
Who has the highest potential for an upset? Shields, Couture, Homonick?
I'd say Randy Couture.
Do you think its a coincidence jon jones got hurt? Or do you think the fight will still happen down the line?
The injury is legitimate. For what it's worth, we did the only post-fight interview with Jon Jones in the locker room after UFC 128. When I went to shake his hand, he couldn't have pulled it away any quicker and was in obvious pain. I didn't make much of it at the time, but clearly there is something else going on in there. As to whether or not a fight between Rashad Evans and Jon Jones will happen down the line, I would say absolutely.
Will MMA Live be in Toronto?
No. But I'll be there to do post-fight interviews and hang with the best MMA fans in the world. I know that is little consolation. Wish we could be there.
Who do you favor in Evans vs. Davis?
Do you think Phil Davis is ready for a top 5 guy like Rashad?because I dont think he is there yet.
I guess we will find out. You are right that it is a massive step-up in competition, even over Lil Nog.
Hey Jon, I need your help! How do you see the Diaz-MacDonald and Henderson-Bocek fights playing out? Great odds on these fights, but tough fights to call. Thanks
K-Flo told me Rory is a future UFC champion. That was enough for me to change my pick. Clearly, Florian sees something special in MacDonald. As for Bocek-Henderson, I definitely would lay off. Not a good betting fight.
Thoughts on Chucks executive featurette?
Highly entertaining. If you didn't see the 'Executive Iceman' clip, scroll down my Twitter feed (@Jon_Anik) and check it out.
When do you eat lunch? Before, after, or during?
Put back a few almonds before the chat. Will stuff my fat face post-chat.
Do you see a Silva-GSP super fight as an actual possibility should both fighters win their immediate bouts?
A possibility? Yes. A probablity? No.
Prediction on # of PPV buys for this card? Over/Under 750K?
Right around that number. The sports calendar is absolutely loaded this weekend (NFL Draft, NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB, etc.) and I would speculate that's a major reason why MMA Live will not be there. I will say under 750K but over 700K. Thankfully, the big rounds of the NFL Draft are Thursday and Friday.
Pat Barry follows me on twitter. Day = Made.
Nice kid. Keep skipping those classes.
Rashad and Mr.Wonderful don't train together do they?
The current line seems to indicate the oddsmakers don't give Couture much of a chance. Couture: +250. If this is his last fight, I'd think that's a decent bet. Agree?
My reasoning isn't based on the fact that it is likely his final fight. I do see some value on Couture at +250 b/c I think he has the style that could pose some problems for Machida. But ultimately, I think it's the wrong time to be facing Machida, who has lost 2 straight and needs a win in the worst way.
Aldo v. Hominick - Fight of the night?
Could be. They've got (potentially) 5 rounds to make it a fight of the night. I think the first round is absolutely enormous for Hominick, as he tries to bottle his emotions, forget about the crowd, and keep his front leg out of harm's way.
Does it hurt the sport to frequently have injuries to its star fighters?
It's not ideal, but the UFC has handled all of the recent injuries admirably. They spent a lot of time and energy with promotional campaigns for Cain Velasquez (leading up to UFC 121) and Jon Jones (leading up to UFC 128) and it's disappointing that neither guy will be able to capitalize on that immediate momentum by getting back in the cage. Thankfully, depth is a strength.
Thanks for the great chats. A. Silva was pretty forthcoming in his desire for a fight with GSP. Do you think that GSP has been downplaying the possibility of that mega fight to go along with his "Jake is not an underdog" mantra he has taken up for this fight?
I think GSP remains undecided on a permanent move to 185 lbs. He is supremely focused on the challenge that is Jake Shields, and rightfully so. If the Shields fight goes well and he gets the finish, I think he'll entertain a mega-fight with Anderson Silva and a move up to middleweight. Could be some telling commentary after UFC 129. If GSP wins, we'll have an interview with him here at ESPN.com.
Also working to have both GSP and Shields on MMA Live tomorrow. Will keep you updated later tonite on Twitter.
Jon,Are we going to have a pre and post MMALive for 129?
Nope. Scroll back in the chat for a more detailed response.
is dan hardy wise calling out lytle?
I think it's as good a matchup as any for Hardy at 170.
JA, are you going to the the theater to watch Like Water the Anderson Silva documentary?
I have a DVD in my possession. Heard it was solid.
Jon, given that almost everyone has GSP picked to retain the title, easily, do you think a) GSP is buying into the hype and maybe underrating Jake a bit? and b) This underdog role will serve to boost Shields' performance Saturday night?
GSP is definitely not one to buy into his own hype or take an opponent lightly. And Shields is a veteran who doesn't need naysayers to give him a boost. One thing I will say about Jake. He will not be fazed by the atmosphere or the opponent. If he's the better fighter Saturday night (not my expectation), he will win. I really think it could end up as the fight of the night, with a bunch of crazy transitions and submission attempts.
great chat chost.who ya picking haye or klitschko (boxing)
do you think its worth shelling out $270 for strikforce in dallas?
For 1 ticket? Seems kinda steep.
What was the issue with Shields in his first UFC fight? He did not look worthy of a title fight after that fight.
Not exactly sure. He admitted to being a little flat and had a very difficult weight cut. I think you'll see the real Jake Shields this time around. That fight with Martin Kampmann was a small part of what earned him the title shot. The 15-fight winning streak that spans 5+ years makes him more than worthy.
well that is for 2 tickets not ring side, ring side is actually more expensive for 1
I think $270 for a pair is reasonable. You get to see 'The Reem' live.
Chost, who are some heavyweight prospects out there that you think may be in the mix for a title in a few years? (the Cain, JDS, and Carwin of a few years ago)
Very few names come to mind. I do like Dave 'Pee Wee' Herman. He has a ton of physical gifts. I'm just not sure he's got the requisite desire to be great. Cole Konrad has a tremendous base, but he's got a lot of work to do with his striking.
Realistically will there be a strike force in 5 years?
I don't think so.
I know the fight at 170 hasn't happened yet, but would you give Shields the advantage if it was at 185? He's proven more comfortable fighting at MW.
No. Not against a bulked-up Georges St-Pierre.
What does Hominick have to do to pull the upset?
I don't think he has the recipe to beat Jose Aldo. He is one of the better strikers in the UFC and is highly technical. But much of his style is predicated on reacting and counter-striking. His best chance to win is to force Aldo to be overly aggressive early and to catch him on the way in.
You ready for your Bruins tonight?
Can't wait. Actually, I can. The Stanley Cup playoffs have been awesome, but it's very difficult to watch when your team is involved.
Where does a win put Machida in the light heavy mix?
It'll mean he is 1-2 over his last 3, but I still think it'll position him for a big fight against one of the bigger names. He's one of the few fighters who can lose 2 in a row and not suffer too much in terms of public perception and rankings.
Barca or Real Madrid? Game starts in 80 minutes.
You tell me. Need a pick to click.
Sup Chost, appreciate the work you put into the show, If Phil Davis defeats your boy Rashad, do you think he deserves to be the number one contender???
I think Rampage Jackson, with a win over Matt Hamill, would have a more compelling case for a title shot. But that decision will be made largely on how both of those fights play out. I'd like to see Rampage back in a title fight.
Bonnar opponent yet? Please?
I know he was disappointed to learn that Rich Franklin would be facing Lil Nog. I thought a fight against either of those guys made sense for Bonnar. Stay tuned.
Fast Five Coming out this weekend, U going to see it
Don't think so. I did enjoy seeing the great Mel Kiper Jr. in a spot to promote it.
When I saw GSP training in gymnastics I immediately put money on Shields. That's so weak!
So not weak. Any means necessary. Don't mess w/ GSP, dude. Just don't. If he thought wearing a dress to the press conference gave him an advantage, he would do it.
Stoke, try doing what GSP did on those rings....no shot
What are your thoughts on Nate Marquardt dropping to WW?
I think he'll have an easier time making the weight than some of these lightweights who are dropping down to 145.
Am I alone in being more interested in seeing Davis vs. Hamill and Rampage vs. Rashad II?
I'm sure you're not alone, but I'm certainly not on your boat.
why no bonnar vs bader?
Could feasibly happen down the line, but won't be the next fight. Bader is fighting Tito Ortiz, I believe.
Bonnar vs Machida if he wins???
Nope. Bonnar would tell you himself that he needs another win or two before facing someone ranked as high as Machida.
Bonnar vs. the Matyushenko/Brilz winner.
Distinct possibility. I just hope it happens relatively soon. Bonnar would like to fight in July.
You think Johnson will get past Marquardt?
Great fight. Difficult challenge for both guys. Not willing to pick a winner this early. But the early lean might actually be towards Rumble. Still love ya, Nate.
Vick or Hillis?
Vick. Never thought I'd ever support him in any way for any thing, but Hillis seemed kinda pouty when he was in Bristol.
Is Johnson/ Marquardt the biggest combined weight cut in UFC history?
Could be. I think Florian-Nunes might be in the mix. :)
Sheilds has no striking, Gsp was hard to take down by better wrestlers with better striking... How can he get it to the ground?
For Shields, I don't think it's necessarily a matter of him taking GSP down. It's a matter of forcing St-Pierre to make a mistake on the ground, either through a poor transition of leaving a limb exposed. Shields doesn't need a huge opening to capitalize.
What do you think about Nick Diaz moving into Pro boxing? Good or bad for MMA?
Don't think it has much of an impact on MMA. If Diaz wins, that would be a major statement. But I don't think a loss really hurts mixed martial arts in any way. I'll admit to being curious to see him against a recognizable name in boxing. I think Fernando Vargas makes more sense than Jeff Lacy. And please don't get me started on Sergio Martinez.
Anik, Is this the best card in UFC history? Especially with Coutures last fight?
Brilz-Matyushenko is on the main card.
Chost! Did you watch the New UFC PrimeTime Last night. GSP looked focused and prepared?
The dude was born focused and prepared. I have DVR'd the series and will watch all of them between now and fight night.
Put in the Diaz fight instead?
Absolutely. It's great that all of the fights will be viewable somewhere (Facebook, Spike, ESPNUK, PPV, etc.), but Diaz-MacDonald is main card-worthy.
Jon, do you own Affliction t-shirts?
No. But I've got some fight shirts from Florian and Rashad, as well as some Clinch Gear stuff from Hendo. I've been known to purchase a Tokyo Five T or two.
Jake Shields, 3rd round submission.
You are on the record. I'd much prefer a B's win tonite.
What is the chances that the judges are going to get video at UFC 130? I heard the UFC requested it.
That would be a huge step in the right direction. Next stop? Noise-cancelling headphones.
Kos vs BJ when both have healed up
I'd like to see that. Also wouldn't mind seeing Penn face the Story-Alves winner.
Is Chael fighting? or is he still currently out of the UFC?
Has a hearing with the NSAC in May. No fight lined up at present.
If Diaz lost to a completely shot Fernando Vargas, that would be a huge black eye to MMA. And the sad part is, Diaz would lose. Different game.
I wouldn't call it a 'huge' black eye for MMA. You said it yourself. It's a different game, even if Diaz has some pro boxing experience. I think the fight with Vargas would be more competitive than any of the others that have been thrown out there.
How is Kos doing? Did GSP retire him?
I think he'll live to fight another day, but at last check he was still dealing with nerve damage in his face. Hard for me to imagine he'll ever be the same fighter, but that's just my speculation.
Who are other MMA media people you follow and like? (Non ESPN)
Too many qualified individuals to mention. I follow all of them on Twitter.
Have you seen previews for the Warrior? I went to JR high with the leading lady? You should have her on the Live?
Hopefully there will be some cross-promotion of 'Warrior' on MMA Live. It hits theaters on September 9th and, if you hadn't heard, MMA Live has a cameo. I play myself.
"It's a matter of forcing St-Pierre to make a mistake on the ground, either through a poor transition of leaving a limb exposed." I just can't see GSP making a mistake like that. The man is a robot.
I'm not forecasting a GSP mistake. But if ever there was a challenger ready to capitalize on a mistake, Shields would appear to be the guy.
When I mentioned Vick for the Madden cover and the curse, I am STRONGLY hoping for a serious injury.
He's certainly not one of my favorites.
Geeked for Saturday night and I'm watching it on a TV. Where are your seats and how pumped are you?
I will be working the floor conducting interviews. Thankful that my bosses are sending me to Toronto, even though we aren't gonna do any live MMA Live shows.
OH yeah, thanks for the insider info. Have you screened the movie yet?
Have only seen the PPV. But Josh Gross saw an advance screening and said we made the cut...at least for now.
are you driving or flying to the event?
Flying. Do you want my flight number or are you good?
So what is, in your opinion, the best UFC main card ever?
I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. I remember UFC 92 being especially strong.
20 years from now how will Couture be viewed? Less than overwhelming record, but that is a bit misleading.
As an all-time great. Only curmudgeons focus on the record. His accomplishments are impossible to ignore.
Are there any possible legal ramifications that Kos could take with the DR's from the GSP fight? Watching the fight again a few weeks ago I couldn't believe they let him out to start the 3rd round? HORRID.
Good question, Dude. I very much doubt Kos could or would pursue legal action. I just wish doctors would err on the side of caution and not leave it in the fighters' hands. That's how careers and potentially lives get ruined. Can't expect fighters to be their own doctors. Too prideful to quit on the stool. And I don't blame them.
Just curious, Chost. What do you mean by Hillis seemed "pouty"? Seems like a weird adjective to through around about a ball player. Please elaborate.
Referencing his appearance on 'SportsNation'. It's inherently a funny, light-hearted show and I couldn't believe how seriously he took himself. Appeared to be like pulling teeth for the hosts.
I second ufc 92!!!
Couture says this is his last fight. Any chance he comes back to fight Fedor if Dana backs a Brinks truck to his door? I know they are both past their primes, but I'd still like to see the fight.
I strongly believe Couture will stick to his word. But, were he to be offered $5-10 million to face Fedor or someone else, it would be hard to turn down that coin.
Best UFC card...UFC 116 Lesnar vs. Carwin....you can put it on the boooooard....YES! Top 5 anyway
Let's say GSP beats Shields. If the Anderson super-fight doesn't gel, who is the next marketable challenger for GSP? Seems a marketing challenge of epic proportions?
There is no obvious next-in-line at 170. I think Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson could get a sniff, were he to beat Marquardt. I'd like to see GSP-Condit, but not sure the UFC sees Condit as being in the mix just yet.
hey anik i was wondering about Charles Oliveira and wondering if he has any fights coming up. i see him as a rising star with tons of potetional.
Can't remember off the top of my head as to whether or not he has a fight scheduled. His momentum was severely halted by Jim Miller, but he remains a fighter I will track b/c I think he's got a ton of promise and ability.
CONDIT VS. GSP CARLOS' ONLY RECENT LOSS WAS DEBATABLE
He is certainly the guy I would like to see get that opportunity. But he'll have to strengthen his case with 1-2 more Ws.
Chost, who's your top p4p fighter in the world?
what r ur picks for ufc 130
As always, we do fight picks the week before the card. The focus is firmly on UFC 129 right now. Gave my picks for this card earlier in the chat. Our more detailed predictions hit ESPN.com today or tomorrow.
when is brain stann coming back to mma live? rashad?
Stann won't be back until after his upcoming fight. I'd imagine we'll see Rashad in Bristol in May.
Chaz Oliveira is fighting Nik Lentz on 6/26.
Appreciate it, Ken.
Are you a forum poster?
No. I'd like to hop on the Underground at some point. Honestly haven't had the time.
BTW...I frequent a ton of different chats on ESPN.com, and yours is easily the best in my opinion....you don't bail after 30 min.
Appreciate that very much. Not always easy going head-to-head w/ Kiper and Ford. We do pride ourselves on being the fastest and most gramatically correct chat at ESPN.com. Try to get to as many questions as possible.
Chost, wheres the love man? Any word on Lebens next fight?
Love ya, dude. A lil hectic in here today. Leben is scheduled to face Wanderlei Silva this summer.
Who would you rather see win it all? The C's or the B's?
Great question. The C's need to win one more for this group to cement itself as a truly great 'all-time' team. But the B's haven't won in my lifetime, so I've gotta say the Bruins.
If there's no NFL this season, will that free up your time for more MMA coverage?
In theory, yes. But I'm sure they'll find something else for me to do. I've been able to increase my MMA role in the past 6 months and hope to continue to do so on other ESPN platforms.
Can we expect a UFC channel in the next 5 to 10 yrs?
Why wouldn't GSP move up to fight Anderson? What's left for him to accomplish at 170?
Perhaps because he doesn't think it benefits him or his legacy to make the move to 185. I also think his strategy to beat a guy like Anderson Silva would result in a somewhat boring fight. The hype behind that fight would be huge and the fight itself would have a hard time living up to it.
you catch the e60 last night on the backyard fighting? thoughts?
Did not, Zach. B's-Habs, kid.
Are we still betting lunch on GSP-Shields?
Whatever you like, Marc. I've got a big appetite.
Take a wild shot: first person to beat Anderson?
Chael Sonnen. Or maybe Jon Jones.
Jon Anik (1:30 PM)I think he'll have an easier time making the weight than some of these lightweights who are dropping down to 145.Is that a shot at kenny chost?
No comment, Frank.
Who do u think's better GSP OR Anderson Silva?
I have Anderson Silva as the #1 P4P fighter in the world, but not my much. I don't really know who is better. Maybe they should fight.
Sonnen? Didn't we already see him fail once already
He failed to finish the fight, but he dominated Silva for 23+ minutes. It was like nothing we had ever seen before (in terms of Silva in trouble) and remains the most memorable fight (for me) in UFC history.
do you think the spurs are done? i love them but its not looking good
I believe the Grizzlies will finish them off.
who was the main event for 92?
3 huge fights at the top of the card. I believe the main event was Rashad Evans vs. Forrest Griffin. Frank Mir fought as well.
Could Silva drop to 170 to face GSP?
Nope. Maybe a catch weight around 180-182. But Silva won't come down much further than that.
Hi Jon! Your opinion on Davis taking the Rashad fight after he said he wanted time to train/heal up?
Opportunity knocks. Gotta step up.
Runnin late but wouldnt miss, JA!
Honestly do you see sonnen dominating another fight with silva like the first? i think silva would end it in the first!
I don't see Sonnen dominating Silva the way he did the first time around. But I do think Chael would have a decent chance to replicate some of that success.
You are getting VERY fast at answering questions!
How would Eddie Alvarez do in the UFC? He seems to be improving with every fight.
I think he'd fare quite well. It's hard to envision him not losing a fight or two, given how many tough opponents he'd have to face successively. But I believe he would be a top 5 UFC 155er.
You nervous for Game 7? Who do you think the quick turnaround between games helps?
Not nervous b/c I'm not playing, but certainly a tad anxious today. I don't think the turnaround will be much of a factor. Adrenaline will take over tonite. The Habs are damn fast and seem to be more adept at capitalizing on scoring opportunities. I don't think the B's will beat Carey Price more than once or twice tonite. Paging Tim Thomas. Stop puck.
Pacquiao or Mosley?
Chost, six guys in the office vote we want more MMA chats.
Next time I'm in Dallas, I'm stopping by your office and we'll chat without computers. Thanks for the support.
Should I try to make it work with my fiance?
Do you have kids? If you have kids, most definitely try to make it work. If not, there are a lot of women out there.
And that post could get me fired. Dumb.
Aldo up a spot in P4P with impressive win coupled w/ unimpressive GSP performance?
Let's discuss next week. Anything is possible.
thanks anik! remeber everone utimate fighter tonight and primetime as well! ill be looking foward to mma live tomorrow thanks!
Appreciate the programming reminder.
Did you tear up when Josh Elliott signed off his last sportscenter?
That's my guy. Was really sorry to see him leave, but he's the next Matt Lauer and clearly has aspirations beyond sports.
Is there an over-under on how long before you can go after that guy's fiancee?
Let's not ask him today.
Do I get a fight with Shields if he loses to GSP?
Best UFC card was ufc 84. Penn/Sherk, Warderlei/Jardine, Gouveia Reljic, Machida/Ortiz, Thiago Silva/Antonio Mendes.Salaverry, Palhares, Sokodjou, Carwin were all on the undercard as well.
Not as memorable as some others for me, but respect your opinion.
Dos Santos or Lesnar? Who do you like?
Kinda like Dos Santos, but I won't make an official pick until the week before the fight.
great job as always, now answer my question!!!! If GSP beats Shields, and GSP doesn't want to move up, who's next?
We addressed this a bit earlier. There really isn't an obvious #1 contender after Shields. We mentioned some names earlier (Condit, Rumble Johnson, etc.). Perhaps Shields and GSP will go the distance in the Fight of the Night and the UFC will decide to run it back.
Would you like to see Hendo/Silva II?? I would.
Sure. I know Hendo would like to see it.
Love your show, although I wouldn't mind seeing the TUF segment scrapped. Could have covered the Bellator tourneys instead.
Not my call. I wouldn't cover TUF, either.
When people say best card ever are they going by name recognition or quality of fights?
I think it is some combination. UFC 92 was a great card, but also was sick on paper, even before the fights took place.
Nick Diaz got next.
Could be. I don't think there is much risk for GSP with that opponent.
What weight will the Hendo v Fedor fight take place at?
Heavyweight, most likely.
Alright, y'all. Gotta get outta here. If I didn't get to your question here, try me on Twitter - @Jon_Anik. I will reply with a direct message. And I'll update Twitter later today with details on MMA Live tomorrow on ESPN2. See you then. -JA