Thanks for finding us a little late today. Made it just in time. Here until about 2:20 ET.
CHOST!! Any inside info on the coaches for the next TUF? I would still like to see Bisping keep his spot, maybe against Mayhem.
As long as it's not GSP and Nick Diaz, I'm good.
Bernard Hopkins (1:18 PM) Who knows, if Pacquiao wants to move up and meet me at 170, I will fight him. Thoughts Chost?
B-Hop is the man. But know way Freddie Roach would have Pacquiao in that fight. Just too big a size discrepancy.
Bernard Hopkins will be here at ESPN for Friday Night Fights. I've got a tentative hit with the champ to talk about some MMA...and about the historical context of his win over Pascal at age 46.
do u think rua was right to retire an do u think watson will b in ufc someday
I think it was time for Ninja Rua to retire. As for the guy who sent him into retirement, Tom Watson, we've been hearing about him for a year now. Brian Stann was the first I heard to drop his name. Certainly looks like a guy who has a bright future and likely a UFC future.
Are you only saying that because Hopkins is sitting behind you in Chat Central?
He's nowhere near me. Wasn't even aware he was chatting right now. I knew he did a chat last week or the week before.
If Rampage wins, does he fight Jon Jones next?
That is a distinct possibility.
Will Sonnen ever fight in the UFC again?
I think so. A one-year suspension is the appropriate penalty and then I'd like to see the CSAC let him get on with his professional life. I think his arrogance and alleged lack of integrity were major factors in the process.
If Rampage loses, does he retire early?
I doubt that, but far be it from me to read that dude's mind.
Congratulations on the baby girl. Getting any sleep? Bruins...5 more wins.
Thanks, Marc. Wife isn't due until August, so I'm sleeping just fine. Let's go B's. I'll actually be watching in Boston tonite. Hope that does the trick.
Who is higher in the rankings Roy Nelson or Frank Mir?
I believe ESPN.com has Frank Mir higher right now.
JA, Can you shed some light on why the CA state athletic commission is the sanctioning party to let Chael fight?
Because that is where he fought when he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
Why is the line for Torres/ Johnson so even?
I haven't seen a line on the fight (I know, shocker!). A lot of media folks I trust are picking Johnson. I still like Miguel to find a way to win on points. Great fight.
Sonnen deserves his punishment. the guy is a criminal and liar, good riddance.
I think he deserves to be punished, but not to have his career suspended indefinitely. Sanction the guy and move on.
Better chance for Fight of the Night - Mir/Nelson or Struve/Browne?
I'll say Struve/Browne. I think there will be a feel-out process with Mir and Nelson. Wouldn't be surprised to see both parties open conservatively. I think Struve and Browne are just gonna try to smash each other from the opening touch of gloves.
Your thoughts on a third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez?
I understand the methodology behind it and there aren't many better options for Manny right now. But that said, I don't think JMM has anything for Pacquiao right now.
If Rampage wins and fights Jones next, where does that leave Machida?
Lyoto will have plenty of options. He's even got an outside chance to get the next title shot, were Rampage to lose or get injured.
JA give me your pick for fight of the night honors?
Brian Stann and Jorge Santiago.
Who WOULD you have chosen this weekend? Frankie or Gray. You know my answer. No pun intended.
Frankie. I picked Edgar prior to their fight at UFC 125 on New Year's Day. Nothing I saw that night would make me change the selection.
any comment on danas trashing of fernando vargas on twitter
Didn't see what Dana wrote. Don't have a high opinion of Fernando Vargas, though.
Aldo vs. Florian (with win) by the end of the year?
If Florian gets through Diego Nunes, I do think his next fight will be for the title. But it doesn't look like Aldo-Mendes is gonna happen before September. So, I think a Florian-Aldo or Florian-Mendes fight is more likely for Super Bowl weekend, 2012.
Anik, We have to smack our own. What is Rashad doing? The guy seems to say or "text" a lot of ignorant things.
I'm sure he'd like to have a text or two back, as would I. But I wouldn't classify him as ignorant.
What do you make of Mayorga talking all this noise about BJ?
Mayorga needs to shut the **** up.
Dumb comment or text from Rashad, what is he thinking?
Not his finest hour. But there is a lot of anger built up towards Jon Jones. He feels manipulated and lied to.
Why are you so against a TUF featuring GSP and Diaz?
Because GSP was a coach on TUF last year. It was awesome to see how vested St. Pierre was as a coach. He really put his whole self into the gig and I have huge respect for that. But, what is to gain by coaching again? I also have my doubts as to whether or not Nick Diaz would embrace the role.
no one needs to see GSP on TUF ever again.
Come on now, Adam from Boston didn't call Rashad ignorant - just a few of the things he has said. Don't be puttin' words in my boy's mouth!
It was a stupid text. Still don't think it's ignorance. Good stuff backing your boy, though.
Who do you like in GSP/Diaz? Think it will really happen Chost?
Love GSP in that fight. I expect Diaz to bring the action to St. Pierre, but I also expect he'll end up on his back repeatedly and eventually get finished there. Curious to see if Diaz will be less of an underdog than Jake Shields was against GSP.
who is on the live this week, are we getting Gilbert again?
has GSP/Anderson been all but taken off of the table?
It was never really on the table. It became clear that GSP wasn't in any great hurry to move up to 185 to take the fight. Anderson Silva then took a fight with Yushin Okami. I wouldn't say the door is shut completely on the Silva-GSP mega-fight, but it's not nearly as ajar as it had been in months past.
Anderson Silva would murder GSP!
The size disadvantage would be tough and Anderson Silva isn't a good matchup for anyone. But I think GSP could score a lot of points on the ground.
With the oracles telling us that Diaz/GSP is next, where does that leave Fitch? Who is interesting for him...MacDonald?
MacDonald reportedly has a fight with Mike Pyle. Fitch could feasibly draw Jake Shields or B.J. Penn when healthy.
Chost, I know your boys but is Rashad a racist? Tough topic, I know man.
I don't believe so. I've done a lot of stupid things in my life, so I'm not gonna be overly judgmental about one wayward text message sent in an angry, emotional moment.
Have you heard anything on who the UFC plans to set against Machida next?
Nothing yet. I think the UFC will wait to see what happens with Rampage and Hamill and then go from there.
JA do you have names picked out for your expecting baby girl?
We've got 1-2 in the hopper. Always open to suggestions. Hit me up on Twitter anytime - @Jon_Anik.
Chost, always love the chats man, great work. Keep it up.
Appreciate it, Matt.
Rampage Jackson, Roy Nelson, Brian Stann, Thiago Alves and Stefan Struve. My detailed UFC 130 selections will be up with the rest of the ESPN MMA squad picks on Friday at ESPN.com.
SF Overeem v Werdum card is the best Zuffa card until this fall. Tons of interesting matchups. Cormier will get tested by the Snowman.
That card is ridiculous. I am a huge Jorge Masvidal backer and look forward to seeing his fight against K.J. Noons. The whole UFC/Strikeforce calender over the next 6 weeks is absurdly good. We've got a show of significance every weekend between now and July 2nd.
dude i almost missed the chat today!
Chost enjoy the chats but i'm rooting for the Lightning to get to the cup, maybe next year!
Hope you're wrong, Morgan. Thanks for chatting.
Don't you think the use of PEDs by a combat sports athlete is more serious than in other sports due to the extra damage they could potentially inflict?
It's a good question and one I have thought a lot about, albeit without a great resolution. I think PED use in boxing or MMA should be taken just as seriously as other sports, even though it does have the potential to be more physically damaging.
ufc 134 has great co main event but I thought the rest of the card would be stronger. Your thoughts?
Is that the Brazil card? If so, there is plenty of time to round it out with more depth.
Has Miguel Torres wrestling improved?
Yes. To what extent I can't say specifically. But your wrestling isn't gonna get any worse working out at Tristar all the time.
Werdum v Overeem is going to be incredible! I got The Reem by brutal KO.
I like Overeem by TKO. Gonna be a good one for sure.
Does Carwin get a title shot if he beats Junior?
Chost - I've heard rumors Mendes wants Aldo in Philly for 133. Or possibly Edgar-Maynard may be added to the card? Any truth to those or is the card basically set?
I don't expect either of those fights to go down on August 6th. Aldo's timetable is looking like September and I don't think Edgar is gonna be rushing back from his back injury. We'll see what happens.
Could Rick Story get the next shot if he beats Alves?
I'd be surprised to see Rick Story leapfrog someone like SF champion Nick Diaz to get the next title shot. But a win over Thiago Alves would be huge for Rick Story. He's one of the few top welterweights (along with Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Jake Ellenberger) who hasn't had a shot at GSP.
Why did Joseph Benavidez fall so far down the ladder after a split decision loss to Cruz?
He's still ESPN.com's #2 ranked bantamweight in the world. His friendship with Urijah Faber makes things a little tricky. He has also lost to Cruz twice. But Benavidez is an absolute wrecking machine and I expect he'll be back in a title fight eventually.
Any exciting plans for the 3 day weekend, besides UFC 130?
I am happy to be off for 3 days! Will have some out-of-towners coming to CT. And I'll be watching UFC 130 on my couch, free of distraction.
Jonny Boy!!! After game 4, I'd take Dirk over Jonny Bones, Cain, and Spider all at once!!! Go Mavs.
Dirk is what's up. As stated previously, I'd love to see Nowitzki and Cuban get rings.
Best place right now to train for a mma career?
Xtreme Couture, Jackson's MMA. Those ATT guys look pretty good, too. AKA also in the mix. I know you wanted a more definitive answer than that...
Vegas is the Mecca for MMA
That's why I lean towards Xtreme Couture. Camp has been very successful of late, too.
if hamill were to pull the shocker, does he get a #1 contender bout?
No. And it wouldn't be that much of a shocker. I know not a lot of folks are picking him, but he's got a shot.
Chost, FYI in regards to a previous question, Mendes is fighting Rani Yahya now at UFC 133. Aldo has lingering neck problems he wants resolved before he fights again.
Right. Thanks. I expect Mendes to get through that challenge and preserve his title shot.
Do you think that Lyoto Machida is deserving of a title shot right now? Or even if he wins another fight over a top light heavyweight?
I wouldn't be opposed to seeing him face Jon Jones right now. I know he has lost 2 of his last 3 and the win was over Randy Couture. But he has a good a chance as anyone to beat Jones and his record speaks for itself.
why is tim kenedy having a go at bisping saying he would fight him for free!he also had a go at hardy.everyone calls out bisping
Bisping is a popular target. He's a big name and also a top middleweight, so it's no suprise that fighters want at him. I actually think a Kennedy-Bisping fight makes a lot of sense. Perhaps not right at this moment, but some point soon.
Does Wanderlei have anything left?
Not much, in this one man's opinion. We'll see what he has for Chris Leben later this year.
Any progress towards Cowboy Stadium having their own behemoth event like the Rogers Centre had in Toronto? If so, when?
I can't tell you when, but I can tell you the UFC's next behemoth event will be in that building.
Anik, or shall I say Rashad Evan's apologist? Your boy is getting smoked in the chat today. Thoughts?
It'd be easy for me to just ignore all of the Rashad posts and not address it.
Bigger impact on their respective sports: Phil Jackson or Randy Couture?
Randy Couture. Phil Jackson has joined Red Auerbach in elite air, but his greatness came as a coach. Randy's came as a player.
Mendes-Yahya I like it. Thanks Ryan. Can't wait for Philly. Chost - what happens to Mrs. Cyborg now that Zuffa owns Strikeforce. She scares me.
She'll be around as long as Strikeforce is. But I still don't think the UFC wants anything to do with a women's division.
Anik, Buy or sell Rampage gets the title shot before Rashad? Go LIGHTNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Buy. But that has more to do with the calendar than anything else. If Rashad gets thru Phil Davis, I fully expect his next fight to be for the championship.
Chost...Did Bonnar make you a Trash Talkin Kids shirt???
He told me I was somewhere on the list way after Joe Rogan. Perhaps he was lying and just trying to get me to tie his tie or something.
Which boxer do you think would have the most legitimate shot at crossing over in to MMA?
Never fails. It's a question I get asked every week. This week, the answer to any boxing question is Hopkins, Bernard.
Do you think that Rampage would accept the Jones fight?
what's chost mean?
Everyone's mad at Rashad but Jones sounds like the kid crying to mommy by posting pictures of texts on the internet
Just getting as many opinions out there as I can. I think Jones got sick of assertions that he was lying about the text.
Good or bad deal? $75 tickets for decent seats to watch Overeem smash Werdum and to see Josh Barnett finally fighting in the states again.
Great deal. What am I missing?
Thanks for the kind words Jon.
See you Friday, champ.
who is demain maia fighting next? after losing to silva he has been really under the radar collecting a few wins.
Mark Munoz. UFC 131, I believe. Tremendous matchup, if you ask me.
Best MMA organization talent-wise outside of the UFC and Strikeforce? If Bellator, who's next?
I'd say Bellator, followed by DREAM. or Sengoku.
Benevidez fights Wineland in Aug. Can you say, Barn Burner?!
Wow. Good fight. Tough matchup for both guys. I was in the locker room with Benavidez when Faber was fighting Wineland. I think Joseph is looking forward to the opportunity and he might get the finish that eluded Urijah.
Does the UFC provide any training to the fighters on how to deal with the media?
Yes. Perhaps it isn't formal training, but there is some schooling. They are very proactive when it comes to that stuff. They do a lot of stuff with social media training, too.
Re: Cowboy Stadium. You cant tell us why because the UFC doesnt know if Cain will be champ after Overeem wins the SF HWYGP, right? LOL.
No comment my man.
wiil u watch warrior when it comes out
Yes. MMA Live is in the movie!
Stann/ Bisping TUF coaches if Stann wins?
Works for me, John.
Serious question: Who will be the regional manager on The Office next season?
Now that's a good question. D'Angelo Vickers might get healthy and make a return. We'll see.
If offered a million would you fight Gina Carano?
Absolutely. I'd take the fight for 1/4 of that purse.
Is Melendez going to get his wish to fight in the UFC?
Bonnar finally has a fight! What took so long & what do you think of the matchup?
Not sure what took so long. On paper, it's a very exciting fight and a good opportunity for Karlos Vemola. Not sure it's the best option for Bonnar, who wouldn't gain all that much with a win. And a loss for Bonnar to a lesser-known quantity wouldn't be good, as he tries to make one more run at a title shot.
What is the Anik/ Carano line?
If Sonnen cheated against a more popular fighter (GSP, Jones) do you think the MMA community (journalists, fighters) would be as ready to forgive and forget?
I really don't think the community reaction has to do with the opponent.
How many "friends and family" tickets do fighters usually get?
Not enough. 2.
Since it as been spoken about everywhere else in the free world. any comments on the passing of "Macho Man" Randy Savage?
Such a devastating end for Randy Savage. I was never the biggest wrestling fan growing up, but he's one of the guys who always rings true. R.I.P.
JA... I have a confession to make... I am a Fedor fan boy... does my chubby russian have enough left in the tank to at least give us one more great battle against Hendo?
I think so.
Mayhem would be a great choice for TUF coach. Probably the best but the timing is terrible.
I just want to see some new blood on the show (Sonnen, Stann, Kennedy, Miller, etc.). I don't mind seeing Bisping again b/c he makes for compelling TV.
Who has the best chance at this very moment to one day unseat Jon Jones as LHW champ?
I have no idea. Rashad Evans is on my short list, as is Lyoto Machida. And Rampage, I guess. But I wouldn't favor any of them to beat Jones.
Where do you rank MMA in terms of excitement at seeing it live?
Attending a UFC show is an absolute must for any sports fan. It is the single-best live show in sports.
Have you had an mma chat with the PTI guys yet?
Do guys really "LOL"? Man card, revoked...
If offered a million would you fight Cyborg Santos? ...she is scary
That is a tougher proposition. Might have to fill out a will before accepting that fight.
Hey Jon, do I order 130 for the depth of the card or 131 for the huge main event.....trying to keep the budget tight!
I'd order UFC 130, if forced to choose.
What is the Santos- Anik line?
Vegas wouldn't even make one b/c they wouldn't get any action on Anik.
If Carwin had the finish on Lesnar, how big of a favorite would he be over JDS?
Good question. I think he'd definitely be favored, b/c he wouldn't have lost at that point. But the layoff is still an extended one and would therefore impact the line.
I'm gonna be the new regional manager on The Office next season. NBC already promised it to me. Well, they promised my management team. Alright, I bought the DVD box set. Alright, I downloaded it...
Good note to end on. Sorry for the abbreviated chat. We'll go at least 90 minutes next Wednesday. And remember, you can always catch me on Twitter with any questions or comments. Follow me @Jon_Anik and I will get back to you. You can follow MMA Live at ESPN_MMALIVE. See you guys Friday on ESPN2! -JA