Gonna start a little before 1 to clean out some of the early questions. Will start taking live questions at the top of the hour.
Rashad opens up at -125 with Phil Davis being -115. If you were me, where are you putting your money?
That surprises me. Think there is a lot of value on Rashad Evans at that price, given his edge in high-level experience.
How many wins before Ben Henderson get a title shot?
At least 2. Probably more.
After seeing Miguel Torres' 2nd boring bout in a row (this one a loss), are more fighters going to head to GSP's trainers to learn how to be more conservative?
I wasn't bored by the Torres performance, nor was I all that bored with his win over Antonio Banuelos. I do get the point you are making, however. Miguel has completely altered his style and the result is definitely a more conservative fighter. For what it's worth, I thought he beat Johnson, 29-28. Was really surprised the decision was unanimous the other way.
i'm glad DW revised his reaction on Mir's performance. JDS put up the same numbers against Nelson and was praised for it.
Thought Frank Mir looked outstanding physically. Completely outwrestled Big County and also landed a handful of big strikes that would've put other heavyweights away. You've got to balance risk/reward and be careful you don't get finished. No issue with Mir's performance...but I'm not sure he has much for Cain Velasquez or Junior dos Santos.
June is going to be an awesome month of mma which event are you most looking forward to?
Hard to choose just one, but I'll go with the Strikeforce card on June 18th and the headliner between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum.
What do you think will happen to Big Country? Think Dana is going to put an ultimatum on the table? "Lose weight or lose your job."
Something has to be done. My wife was unfamiliar with Roy Nelson and thought it looked like a side show. The UFC is home to the best MMA fighters in the world. Right now, Nelson isn't one of them. Inexcusable to gas as early as he did.
Chost, where are you watching Bruins tonight? Prediction?
I will be watching at home and hopefully with some red wine to ease my anxiety. I think the series will go 6 or 7 and, somehow, I think the B's will shock the world.
I will be watching at home and hopefully with some red wine to ease my anxiety. I think the series will go 6 or 7 and, somehow, I think the B's will shock the world.
A motivated rampage would knock jon jones out cold, right or wrong?
So wrong. He 'could' knock Jones out, but that is certainly not my expectation.
Hey Jon. Brian Stann looks hard as hell. How close is he to getting a fight with Silva ?
Stann still needs 2-3 more wins to get into a title fight. But man is he a beast at 185. Couldn't possibly be happier for the guy. Now that he is in the right weight class and able to train full-time, he's an absolute force. Few 185ers will be asking to fight Brian Stann.
If condit wins his next fight, wouldn't you agree he should get a title shot?
He's right there. Perhaps it'll take 2 more wins. I'd like to see him fight the Marquardt-Johnson winner.
Do you think aaron simpson got screwed by getting his fight switched from a guy of the credentials of mayhem to a lesser known brad tavares?
I think he'll manhandle Brad Tavares. I'm sure there is some disappointment there, but Simpson has a bright future and will eventually find himself back in a fight you would classify as 'big'.
Jim Miller surely has proved himself in the Octagon. He deserves a title shot sooner than any one else. Agreed?
He is in a division that is very crowded at the top. But he's worthy of a title shot right now and will be even more so with a win over Ben Henderson (a guy I've called a future UFC champion).
Everyone keeps saying rashad is next but what happens if davis beats him will we see a non title fight between rashad and jones?
No. Jon Jones will continue to defend his title. I do think eventually we will see that grudge match between Evans and Jones. But Rashad has gotta take care of business against Phil Davis to keep that fight w/ Jones on his immediate radar.
Who would win in a fight joe rogan and dana white?
Rogan. More weapons.
Hey Chost. Just wondering how you think Hector Lombard would do in the UFC.
He'd certainly beat the likes of Brad Tavares (don't mean to pile on there) and I also think he could outstrike Chris Leben. There are a lot of tough matchups for Lombard at 185 in the UFC, but I think he'd be in the top 5-7.
Hey Jon, love the chat and MMA Live show. With Mayhem/Bisping set for tuf, who's next for Stann? Any chance we finally see Wanderlei if he beats Leben? Interest in Stann at peak now, next fight must be big time !!
Appreciate the love from Swampscott! I think Stann has moved beyond a fight with Wanderlei Silva at this point. I suppose if Silva beats Leben, the fight could gain some traction. I think a fight between Stann and the Demain Maia-Mark Munoz winner makes a ton of sense.
Hey Jon, any update on Brock?
Had surgery last week to remove a portion of his colon. Story is up right now at ESPN.com/MMA
Taking live questions now...
Anik. Hatsu Hioki will be at 131. excited? (for those who dont know him please YouTube, or however you want to go about it, his fights.)
Hate to quote a New York Jet, but can't wait.
machida should get the winner of forrest and shogun, right?
They may need him to fight Jon Jones, Angelo.
Do you think some of Rashads anger towards Jones is jealousy?
Perhaps, but I don't think so. I think it's more about betrayal and a lack of integrity that he perceives out of Jones.
who was your NBA finals pick?
Mavericks-Bulls. Got the tougher part right.
Dan Henderson vs Jake Shields rematch Who wins
I like Hendo in that rematch, but that fight has very little chance of ever happening. Hendo is moving up to fight Fedor and Shields has since moved down to 170.
Summmmmmmertime and the livin's easy. Whaddup JA? Good to be here
Good to have you. Happy June.
who is your pick in the stanley cup finals? and in how many games?
Bruins in 7. I've picked against them almost every step of the way (with the exception of the Flyers series). Go B's.
Where does Stefan Struve go from here?
That man went down hard. I think Struve will stick around, but he's gotta start measuring his risk a bit better. He is probably too willing to engage in slugfests against more powerful strikers.
Thoughts on Travis Browne? Do you see him fighting for the title anytime soon?
The UFC's heavyweight division needed some new names. Enter Travis Browne. Don't expect a title shot anytime soon, but he's very relevant right now.
Do you think Jose Aldo will ever move down or up a division? If so how do you think he will do?
Yes and he'll do well wherever he goes. But I really don't think it'll happen anytime soon and nor should it.
over under 2 round for guida vs pettis?
As FYI for Nelson's awful cardio, supposedly he's been working through "walking pneumonia" per Dundas on espn insider stuff
He needs to work harder on his conditioning. Period.
Pettis vs Guida this weekend. Who you got?
Pettis by decision. Guida could be very beat up at the end of this one.
Mir's next matchup: winner of Nog/Schaub?
Possibly. Mir put himself in a very good position with that victory.
Jon is it true you've been ducking my questions because this is the only way "you" (Boston) can beat "Me" (Canucks)?
Hahahaha. Certainly not. A lot of volume in the chat room today.
Chost let's get right to it. Picks for Saturday?
Pettis, Kyle Kingsbury, Jeremy Stephens, Tim Credeur and Josh Grispi. That's all I can remember off the top of my head.
More exciting fight when it's all said and done: Pettis/Guida or KJ Noons/Jorge Masvidal?
Noons-Masvidal is of great interest to me personally and has the potential to be great. So I'll go with that one.
Chost, since Shawn Thornton wont be playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, think we can get him as a late addition to the UFC 131 card? (It is in Vancouver)
He and K-Flo are tight. I entertained going to Vancouver for Game 5 (if necessary) on 6/10 and UFC 131 the next night. Cost-prohibitive.
Excited for Mayhem on TUF?
Sure. I think the Bisping-Miller season will be good. Also think it would've been a nice opportunity to showcase Brian Stann against Bisping.
Chost - Do you feel Rampage earned a shot against Bones with his performance Saturday night?
Well, he was offered the title shot against Shogun Rua back in March, so clearly the UFC thinks he's ready and deserving. And I would agree. I thought Jackson looked more than fine against Matt Hamill. Granted, he didn't get the finish, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. I thought Rampage looked strong and in great shape.
Is Rick Story a legit contender at 170?
Yes. I think a rematch with Jake Ellenberger (they fought outside the UFC in 2008) could be made.
Is it true that Rick Story is calling out Jon Fitch? What do you think?
Why not? Story has quietly won 6 straight in the UFC. He can call out whomever he wants, if you ask me. And you did.
What happens to Matt Hamill?
He's not gonna lose his job, but I think we have effectively seen the ceiling on Matt Hamill.
Who you got on the mayhem miller michael bisping fight
Can I watch the season of TUF first? Really tough fight to predict, especially this early on. I think Bisping will enter as a slight favorite.
So now that mendes is booked, who do you think is next for the champ?
Could very well be the winner of Kenny Florian and Diego Nunes. That fight is now 10 days away.
I count SEVEN fights at or below 155 on the UFC 132 card. What an awesome showcase for the little guys, don't you think?
Great showcase for the little guys, even if some of that was done out of necessity.
What does the UFC do with the loser of Carwin/JDS? Hard to keep them relevant as a contender with the division so thin once you're passed top 5-6
I think JDS would still be very relevant, even with a loss to Carwin. He still has time on his side, whereas Carwin has not only dealt with serious injury but he's also getting up there in age.
cruz vs faber who wins?
I really don't know. Early lean was towards Faber. Now, I'm thinking Cruz.
Enter Strikeforce.... The UFC HW division is looking just fine.
Right. We just don't know the when.
Do you think Kurt Pellegrino fights in the UFC again?
He certainly left the door open for a return, but that's not my expectation.
Speaking of... Any news on Kenny's weight. I have seen zero images of him. Is he a walking skeleton?
Not sure. I have let him be for the last few weeks. We'll have him on MMA Live before the fight.
Over/Under: 3.5 minutes for JDS/Carwin?
Do you realize Carwin's layoff has only been a month longer than JDS? You have mentioned it for Carwin several times, but not JDS
Layoffs were for very different reasons.
Are you still on the Khalidov bandwagon?
I found the Torres fight very entertaining. If you don't like exciting ground fights and only want to see guys standup, go watch boxing.
Right there with ya.
I'm surprised you thought Rampage looked good - he seems to have lost a step. I think that Bones fight could be a disaster, since Rampage won't try for the takedown.
I agree with you, Kevin, that I don't think he has anything for Jon Jones and that fight stands to be very one-sided. But I think that is the case for most guys against Bones. And that doesn't mean Rampage isn't the most worthy No. 1 contender right now. I definitely thought Rampage looked good, albeit not nearly as dominant as he once was.
Even though Couture is "retired" Doesn't a Couture vs. Fedor fight make more sense now than ever? A loss wouldn't hurt either guy's legacy at this point, and it is a fight everyone just wants to see.
Not sure the interest is really there anymore. And for Randy, there is really no incentive (other than a huge pay day) to take that fight. I could be wrong, but I believe the ship has sailed.
Would you rather see BJ Penn fight Shields next or a rematch with Fitch?
Who are your top 3 prospects outside the UFC/Strikeforce currently?
Ben Askren is the clear No. 1 for me. Also keeping tabs on Tom Watson. And I still think Patricio Friere would fare quite well against most featherweights.
Does the news of Okami training with Sonnen fuel Anderson Silva's fire even more for their fight?
Perhaps. I think Anderson Silva has plenty of motivation, though. He has put together the most dominant run in UFC history and he may only be a few fights away from retirement. I know he'd love to finish his career unbeaten in the UFC...and that's not out of the question.
Is Fitch ever going to get another title shot?
I think he'll find himself back in a title eliminator, but not sure he'll actually win that fight. But he'll have one more opportunity to get back to the top.
Is the next strikeforce event in Chicago?
Nope. They'll be in Dallas on June 18th. Their next big show will then be July 30th and that one is in Chicago.
prediction for UFC 131?
A subdued crowd after the Canucks lose Game 5 to the Bruins the night before in that building. :)
Parlayed your picks last Saturday,.....thank$$$$ anik!
Didn't think my picks were all that great. Glad you made some coin, however.
More entertaining fight: Werdum/Overeem or Barnett/Rogers
I think Overeem/Werdum will have a more highlight-reel-type finish, but I think Barnett/Rogers will be more competitive and more back and forth.
RE: A. Silva - Really no exciting fights for him left at MW. Does his rep take a hit if he doesn't move up to LHW?
Contenders always emerge, Matt. There are 4 guys I can think of right now (Bisping, Miller, Stann, Munoz) who haven't faced him yet and would take the fight to Anderson Silva. So I don't think he's in a huge rush to move up. A fight between Silva and Jon Jones would be enormous. Beyond that, I don't see any great incentive for Silva to move up.
JA are you goin to the SF event on July 30th in Chicago? I'm debating going and need a deciding factor to push me over the edge.
Wish I could be there, but it doesn't appear to be in the budget right now. If I were you, I would definitely make it happen. Fedor and Hendo are two of the most decorated mixed martial artists of all time. That'll be a fight we look back on for some time, I believe. And Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the world. Go.
People WANT to see Bisping get KO'd by...I mean fight Anderson Silva.
If you had to rank JDS, Carwin, The Reem, & Werdum. Where ya got em?
In fact, I have to rank them every month for ESPN.com. This month, I had them as follows: JDS, Overeem, Carwin, Werdum.
who ya got on tuf finally short fuse or crater?
Really haven't watched this season as closely as others, but I think Ramsey Nijem might actually win the whole thing.
Why is overeem even in the discussion? His best win at HW is Duffee!
Not enough time for this debate right now. But I know you're not alone in that line of thinking.
do you believe a dominant performance by silva against okami would force the ufc to move him to 205?
I don't think so. I also don't believe the UFC will force Anderson Silva to do anything he doesn't want to do. That move doesn't really need to be made right now. Down the line, that could change.
Stann vs Sonnen let's do it
Like it a lot.
I know it won't happen but how come more people aren't talking about GSP going to 155. I feel like there could be some awesome fights for him there.
He couldn't make that weight.
JA! Anyone besides the 3 big UFC Heavyweights you think can beat Overeem?
Not right now, no.
You wouldn't want to see me v. Anderson?
Always got an answer to everything don't you Chost!
You're the man, dude.
who would you favor in a fight between Overeem and Jon Jones?
Good question. I know who Vegas would favor. Jones.
is the Miller-Bisping season of TUF a last hurrah?
I don't believe so. At one point, Dana White told us 'The Ultimate Fighter' would be going away after Season 12. Here we are talking about a 14th season and there are also plans of international expansion.
Ever tried the smothered pork chops at the Corral? Be sure to ask for extra smotherings!
At the end of his Monday podcast Joe Rogan leaked that Rampage will fight Jon Jones this fall. He mentioned New Orleans as the possible event.
Thanks for passing it along.
How bout Tim Boetsch..Guy was a beast vs Grove do you like him at 185?
That's the one fight on the telecast I wasn't able to see yet. Certainly think Boetsch at 185 is more intriguing than him at 205, but need to go back and pluck that fight off the DVR.
How many fights do you think BJ Penn has left in him?
Depends on how many he wants. I still think he has several competitive years remaining.
Any word on the buyrate for 130? had to be disappointing.
Not sure. I bought the piss out of it, though.
Rampage gets the title shot? For beating Matt Hamill? Someone get me a shot of urine...NOW.
He beat you, too.
Any MMA Theme's going in the babies room?
Hahahaha. Definitely not. She's making me shave the beard, too.
How long before Brock Lesnar comes back? Are we looking at at least a year from today?
I don't think it'll be that long, but that's speculative. Dana White said early 2012 isn't out of the question. Hope he gets well. That is a scary situation.
Am I getting a title shot against GSP for my next fight?Don't be Scared Host-Homie....
I believe so.
What's up with Thiago Alves? Every fight I think he's going to dominate but he ends up with another tick in the loss column.
He is what he is, I guess. Y'all know it pained me greatly to pick against Rick Story. Big-time regret.
JA- Honestly, how do you think Brock's career will go from here? will he even fight again?
I think he will fight again, but I don't expect him to ever get back in a championship fight. I think fights against guys like Roy Nelson and maybe even Frank Mir again are more likely. And, if he strings together 2 wins, he could get a title shot. But I don't like him to beat Velasquez or dos Santos or Carwin.
Overeem now at -500 Werdum at +300, value on werdum?
I'll take your action on Werdum. Just don't see him winning.
JA do you like when people post as fighters? or is it somewhat annoying?
That's funny. Really depends on the remark, man.
Rampage followed a good performance in the cage with an inexcusable one outside of it in his interview with Karyn Bryant. NFL journalists didn't stand up for Olsen, I hope you don't follow their model...
Haven't seen that interview. I'm sure I'd be in full support of Karyn Bryant. She's a good egg.
asked you this via twitter, but why is there such dislike for rashad?
Some of it stems from his initial appearance on Season 2 of TUF. Some people just think he's arrogant and some don't like the way he fights. I think he has more haters than he deserves. But so do I.
June is rockin' with MMA. We have a good summer ahead of us. Will winter bring us a Heavyweight title fight?
Hope so, Alexis. Speaking of which, congratulations to Cain Velasquez for getting married this past weekend. Good man for getting married as the UFC heavyweight champion. He'll always have that.
If Rashad loses to Mr Wonderful I think he should get Matt Hamil? What do you think JA?
I'd like to see him rematch Stephan Bonnar. A Hamill-Evans fight doesn't strike me as exciting.
You get a pick of 131 132 and 133 to order? Which are you going with? 132 for me.
Without having the benefit of the fights cards in front of me, I think I'm still with you.
Hey chost any news on koscheck
Nothing new. I will reach out to his publicist after the chat and MMA Live will have any update for you over the next few weeks. Would really like to see Kos back and healthy.
showed up late, Johnny Bones is the man, when is his next fight and the outcome? thnx
TBD. Likely this fall against Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson.
I know it sounds ridiculous but Jon Jones may be 3 fights way from cleaning out 205...Rampage, Machida, and Evans/Davis winner.
Contenders always emerge, Cory. Some of the Strikeforce guys could eventually be in the mix, whether it's Dan Henderson, King Mo Lawal or even Gegard Mousasi. Not worried.
why are you called chost?
Twin brother gave me the nickname. Stands for chubby host. And I guess it stuck a little bit.
Given the extent of Kos's injury. Do you think they should be stopping fights where there is evidence of a potential orbital fracture?
I like the way you phrased that question. I think those decisions have to be case-dependent, but the idea has merit. Still have no idea how GSP-Koscheck wasn't stopped. Incredible.
Do you see any future title contenders coming from this year's TUF?
No. Nijem is a nice wrestler with a strong killer instinct. But I've been largely unimpressed with the field.
Chost did they interview you for the ESPN book that just came out?
Nah, kid. MMA gets no love!
Will MMA Live broadcast from inside the Octagon for Bonnar vs Evans 2?
Hope so. Frankly, I just hope we get to take this show back on the road, bud. Been too long. Gettin' antsy.
Could Bigfoot silva beat Cain?
Could he? Sure. Not my expectation, but Antonio Silva is one of the best (top 8) heavyweights in the world.
How many consecutive chats does that make in regards to the origination of the "Chost" nickname?
Too many. But dudes will ask until I answer...
When people write WAR Anik for example, what does WAR stand for?
It's just a positive battle cry that is used frequently in MMA circles. WAR Bruins tonite! Got it?
have you talked to Gross about why he was good with the Torres-Johnson decision? he seems to be in the vast minority
Haven't spoken to him directly about it. Very rarely do Gross and I disagree and I defer to him on most MMA matters. Not this one, however. Curious to hear his take.
Isn't it time to stop posting the "why are you called chost" questions? Put it in your bio at the top or something, nah?
Hahahaha. Definitely not adding it to the bio (trying to lose the chubby), but I think we can let it rest for a bit...
WAR Canucks!!! Bet you won't post this!
Whats for Lunch on Campus at ESPN today? Mac and Cheese over here
Nice kid. I brought my own lunch today b/c I knew I'd be chatting w/ y'all. Had a turkey sandwich and come carrots w/ hummus. Put on about 8 lbs. over Memorial Day weekend. Not kidding.
See you in Houston sir. Got a feeling MMA Live will be there.
Hope you're right, friend.
Rumble would manhandle gsp!!
I would LOVE to see Anthony Johnson v. Georges St-Pierre. Rumble better get thru Nate Marquardt later this month. File that under not easy.
Hey Chost love the chat, who will GSP fight next?
Probably Nick Diaz.
Kenny moves back up if he loses his fight; buy or sell?
JA can I be considered a MMA Analyst? and if the answer is yes can you skipe me into a Live show?
I already consider you an MMA analyst and a good one, albeit not one that we can use on TV. Unless, of course, you are James McSweeney or James Thompson or something...
Amazing how 1 loss has put G-Sot 5 fights away from a title shot. Such a deep division.
I might move to Stockton so I can use "209" as my location.
With the next fan expo in Houston....I was curious; do you have to pay for each autograph like you do at some collectors shows?
No. Mine is definitely free.
Is the common man able to get on ESPN campus at all? Any public tours or other opportunities to see the grounds?
This place is locked down like Alcatraz these days. We have to put in all visitor requests and need a badge just to enter the parking lot. Hopefully at some point, we can have some of the loyal MMA Live fans to Bristol for a taping.
Hey Jon, any word yet on whom Aaron Simpson is fighting now at 132 since Mayhem has been pulled to TUF? Thanks.
I believe it'll be Brad Tavares. So says one of our chatters.
Hey Jon, I backed your pick for Alves! What happened? Is Alves still relevant at 170? 13+ rounds I have seen him get out-wrestled
As stated previously, I was very reluctant to pick against Rick Story. Thiago Alves is what he is- a talented, top 10 welterweight. Don't think he's much more than that at this point, unfortunately. Always thought that guy had the stuff to be a UFC champion.
Jacob: prepare to stand in lines ALL day though if you want autographs, OR spend 200 for the "VIP" pass for the expo.
Jon Jones VS Rampage who win i think rampage
I think you are in the minority.
Ellenberger would win the rematch with Story....True or False?
False. No. True. I don't know, Jacob.
Has Jones faced somebody with Rampage's firepower yet? Can't think of time when anyone has gotten a hand on his chin
Hasn't faced anyone with Rampage's power. But his wingspan is 84" and he'll have a huge reach advantage once again.
How did you become ESPN's Voice of MMA? Was it intended as a Grand Prize or a Booby Prize?
Appreciate the compliment. I'm just happy to be part of a loyal group that fights for MMA coverage every single day at ESPN.
Do you give Rampage more a chance than you did Shogun?
Bring back Rossen!
Yeah, not sure where Jake went.
Who is the best fighter, not in the UFC/Strikeforce?
Eddie Alvarez, Bellator's lightweight champion.
with Michael's comment, when something MMA comes up on ESPN.com and there's no Chost, i'm confused, and then i realize you probably have a life that needs tending to. always appreciate the time/work!
Amen! I'd love to do it all. Right now, my role at ESPN extends well beyond MMA. Hopefully one day I'm covering MMA full-time for the Worldwide Leader.
Ever thought about including some questions from the chat on mma live?
I pitched the idea once or twice.
How do you think machida would fair against jon jones?
He's the 205er whom I think has the best chance to beat Jon Jones. That said, he ain't beating Bones.
You hear that Roy Nelson suffered from walking pneumonia during UFC 130 fight? Now that's a fighter!
Hope he gets better. Still needs to work out more.
Could Rampage keep the fight standing against Bones?
Alright, heads. Thanks for being here, as always. You can hit me up with any questions that went unanswered on Twitter- @Jon_Anik - and I will get back to you. MMA Live is back on ESPN2 Friday night. We air at 1AM ET and then again at 4:30AM ET. See you then. -JA