Love Wednesdays at 1. Good to be here. Curious to get your thoughts on the TUF finale as well as UFC 131 this weekend. MMA Live is Friday night at 1:30AM ET/10:30PM PT on ESPN2. Looks like Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will be back in Bristol...
So is Jones fighting Rampage?? On Jones page it says its official but no word from websites...
Nothing has been confirmed, but it's look as thought that will be the fight. Think it'll probably go down in New Orleans.
Who wins game 4 tonight?
Really hope it'll be the Bruins, but the Sedin twins have yet to be heard from and that makes me nervous. If the B's can force a Game 6, I'll be in the building. So fingers are crossed.
Going to UFC in Pittsburgh, thank god for Rick Story stepping up BIG in a tight window
Agreed. Story is an absolute warrior. Tough fight. I don't think the quick turnaround will be much of a factor. He's just fighting a very skilled opponent in Nate Marquardt.
ANIK. Why has Barnett not applied for a license in Texas yet?
Chost, was it me or did Maldonado seem totally disinterested in fighting during the pre-fight introductions. He had a look like he wanted to be anywhere but the cage right before the fight!
I try not to make too much of what a guy looks like pre-fight, but it's hard not to. Frank Mir looks like he's on an acid trip sometimes, staring off into space. He is a picture of relaxation. I've talked to Kenny Florian about this at length- he had a calm irritability when he walked to the cage against Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida and he went on to smash those guys. Interesting question.
How about them MAVS!!
Two more, Dirk. Come on.
I wonder when the last time K-Flo ate a real meal?
He's got to be starving right now.
Is the Guida win impressive, or is the compitetion that stiff in the UFC? Pettis looked super frustrated? What were your thoughts on the fight?
I was certainly more entertained than the majority of my Twitter followers, many of whom told me to not even bother watching (b/c I was unable to watch live). A lot of Guida's takedowns were kind of soft, meaning Pettis allowed himself to be taken down. I scored the fight 30-27 for Guida. Pettis needs to realize how takedowns are scored in MMA. He was active off of his back, but he spent far too much time there.
Where is Gross Point Blank this week?
Not sure. But I did a 37-minute hit with Josh this week, so I hope it gets up at some point.
So when is the chat going Insider?
Won't let it happen, Charles.
Mayhem Miller over Brian Stann, I think that is a big mistake in casting coachs. What do you think JA?
I would've loved to have seen Brian Stann get the nod and I think he really would've maximized the showcase. Mayhem Miller is an entertaining cat who will certainly drive ratings. I'm confident Stann will have another opportunity. And the good news for him in not getting the coaching gig is that he can get right back in the cage.
still sporting the beard? keep it as long as you can
The beard lives. My old boss here at ESPN told me to shave it. Thankfully, he's not my new boss. :)
New Orleans is a fight night, Bones-Page is rumored for Ufc 135 in Denver i thought
We'll see what happens.
Carwin or dos Santos?
I'm going with Shane Carwin, in some part because everyone seems to be picking Junior Dos Santos and Carwin needed some backers. I have always been high on both of these guys. As long as Carwin keeps his hands up and conserves some energy, I think he can get it done. I think a 1st or 2nd round TKO isn't out of the question for Carwin.
Buy or sell: 10 UFC wins for entire TUF 13 roster
Good question. I will sell that.
What did you find entertaining about the Guida/Pettis fight? Love both guys, but that was a bore. Guida wasn't even trying to advance his position. Pettis was slick on his back, but no way he catches Guida.
I guess I'm just entertained by Pettis and his activity in the cage. I wasn't offended by the fight, as many people were.
Hi Jon, keep up the great work!! Do you think we'll get a UFC event soon here in our immaculate new arena, in which the Magic play?
I really hope so. I have a lot of family down there and they say the new Amway is gorgeous. Gotta think Shaquille would be cageside.
Stann will either get Maia/Munoz winner or Belfort if he beats Akiyama.
Strong possibilities. I'd like to see him face the Maia-Munoz winner. Speaking of which, might need your help in picking a winner for that one.
Is the initial weight cut gonna hurt K-Flo?
Remains to be seen. Here was Kenny's e-mail to me this week: "Feeling great so far. I look like a different guy. Been best camp of my life. Now just hoping for a nice weight cut week. Miss ya man."
He misses me. So cool.
Ken-Flo shedding a tear over how his boy Thornton brought the Big Bad Bruins back Monday evening?
I just hope the weight cut goes well for him and he can relax and enjoy Game 5. Doubt he'll be rinkside the night before the fight, but you never know.
Grispi's mojo has been stripped off completely in his past 2 fights. Maybe the nickname "The Fluke" was more accurate than I figured. Thoughts on him going forward?
Well put. Don't have many (positive) thoughts on Grispi going forward. Certainly disappointing, given where he was a year ago. Always root for the New England guys.
Chost get em all out of the way, picks please
As always, my more detailed picks will be posted on ESPN.com/MMA on Friday. I'm going with Carwin, Florian, Dave Herman, Mark Munoz, and Donald Cerrone.
I heard Kenny looks like Ally McBeal.
He's a little thinner than her.
Right on...do you give Rampage much of a chance against Jones??
I actually enjoyed watching Pettis/Guida. I was amazed at how many submissions Pettis was attempting while on his back, although none of them worked!
Have you heard anything about koscheck? There's so many good fights for him right now, i hope he comes back soon.
Per your requests last week, I reached out to his manager this week on Twitter. Have yet to hear back. Will let you guys know, either here or on Twitter (@Jon_Anik) as soon as I get word.
What Do You Think About The Floyd Mayweather fight? I Think It's A Better Fight Than Pacquiao.
Better fight than Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez? Perhaps I'll buy that, but no one would rather see Floyd against Victor Ortiz than Floyd against Pacquiao. Victor Ortiz deserves this opportunity, based upon his last fight. I just don't think he's got what it takes to beat Mayweather, or even win a handful of rounds. We'll see.
Fitch makes me sick. Says he will only fight someone who has or has held a title. Guess NOBODY should want to fight him then huh?
I think eventually Fitch will come down from that perch and accept a fight. Once he is healthy, he needs to fight, a fact of which Fitch is acutely aware. Fitch remains in my P4P Top 10, but he doesn't necessarily control his own destiny.
Do you think ESPN will ever become the one and only place for the UFC?
Would be nice, but I think that is doubtful. You're asking the wrong guy, though. I am far removed from those discussions, if they are even going on.
170 is loaded with "not quite there yet" potential.. Story, Ellenberger, McDonald, Condit, Kim...Division is in good hands
Yes, it is. Condit-Kim is a huge fight, as is Story-Marquardt. The winners there could be looking at title shots in 2012.
Sorry for repeats JA... my chat isn't updating live ....
Others seem to be having issues as well today. Wish I could troubleshoot for ya.
The chats still not live whats goin on?
No idea, Frank. Sorry for the technical issues.
Have you ever heard a fighter say they didn't have a "great camp" or "best camp ever"?
Rarely will you hear a fighter say he hasn't had a great camp before a fight. But Kenny doesn't always say 'best camp I've ever had.' Actually, I've only heard that out of him once before, so I do put some stock in it.
Next for Mir... Dos Santos/ Carwin loser or Nogueira/Schaub winner??
Good question. I think it could depend on those actual results. I'd like to see him fight either Schaub or Dos Santos. Don't have much interest in seeing him rematch the other two.
Jason Macdonald, future UFC champ?
The Athlete? No. Rory MacDonald perhaps. But not Jason.
What do you think about mayweather ortiz? Give ortiz any shot?
He's got a shot, but not much of one. Mayweather clearly wanted this fight, which means Floyd's confidence is high.
Do you think UFC 134 needs one more high profile fight to round the card out nicely?
In a perfect world, yes. I'm focused on 131 this week. Don't have the 134 line-up in front of me.
Will you please turn on automatic update??
I don't have any control over that, dude. I have alerted the chat folks.
What is going to be next for Miguel Torres with his recent loss?
I'd like to see him rematch Demetrious Johnson. The result was controversial and inconclusive.
Has there been much talk about a possible brain injury with Liddell? His speech seems much slower and even slurred somewhat nowadays...
Haven't heard talk about a specific brain injury, but it does seem as though he's been compromised a bit from taking so many hard shots. Certainly used to be a more lucid communicator.
everyone has the best camp before fight but always some serious illness or injury after the fight.
I read a comment Alistair Overeem made that if he wins the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament he wants to fight the UFC champ next. Sounds like a good plan to me!
The whole landscape changed with Zuffa's acquisition of Strikeforce. You'd like to think they will complete the SF Heavyweight Grand Prix, but who knows? I certainly would sign up for Overeem v. Velasquez.
Auto Update is working now!
Thanks to our man Jeremy Dominick for the assist on fixing the chat!
I'm just sitting here wondering when I'm fighting and who I'm fighting next, you know?
No shortage of possibilities at 170...
What first got you into watching mma?
Covering the EliteXC debut with my boxing radio show in 2007. I had watched a handful of PPVs up to that point, including UFC 1 back in 1993. But it wasn't until I attended a live show that I really got the bug somethin' fierce.
Who wins in an MMA fight, Christian Bale or Mark Wahlberg?
I expect Pitbull Fiere to beat Joe Warren... you?
Warren will probably be the favorite and will be trying hard to put his last performance behind him. I kinda like Freire as well.
Anik, what are your thoughts on the sam stout vs yves edwards fight? Potential fight of the night?
Stout is no stranger to fight bonuses. If it goes the distance, it figures to be in the mix for FON.
what did you think of tony's win over ramsey?
Thought Ferguson looked great, but Nijem looked out of place. Just doesn't look the part of UFC-caliber fighter. Sloppy.
Thanx JA chat is now Live !!!
A little early I know but who do you favor in Miller/Bisping?
Really though fight to pick. A lot of similarities between those two guys. Early lean towards Bisping, but it won't be easy.
I'll take Penn vs Shields, in a BJJ match.
Get your mind on the Bruins, kid.
king mo vs roger which prevails wrestling or bjj
Wrestling. I still think King Mo is gonna be a major force to be reckoned with when all is said and done.
Tons of interesting fights at 170 for BJ. Would love to see BJ fight Shields.
As would I.
JA, perhaps Chuck's slurred speech is a result of his hard partying ways rather than blows to the head.
Could be, but that is pretty speculative.
How do you see gsp vs Diaz finishing? Please don't say gsp decision, nobody wants that
I like GSP by TKO.
MMA Live TUF curse! Michael Johnson lost in the finals so did Ramsey
Does K-Flo get a title shot with a win on Saturday with Mendes fighitng in August?
To be determined. If he squeaks out an unspectacular decision, it'll be hard to make a case. If he wins emphatically and gets his 11th UFC finish, the title shot should be his.
How close is Bisping to a title shot after beating Miller? Is he all the way there because of his marketability?
He should be close. The fight with Miller will be his 15th UFC appearance. That loss to Wanderlei Silva really proved to be a setback but eventually, this space says Bisping will fight for the belt.
Ferguson looked really good. Could he be a future contender?
If he evolves, perhaps. But he has a long way to go in an awfully brutal division.
So will the ufc put a title fight on free tv?
Werdum-Overeem? Who do you have? Does the loser match up against a UFC HW in their next fight?
I like Overeem. As for future opponents, it's just too early to tell. That said, it's hard not to get excited about all of the possibilities once Strikeforce is folded and the worthy talent is merged into the UFC.
Werdum vs Mir.. thats a fight I'd like to see....
Love your boy K-Flo, but even you know both Aldo and Mendes would beat him.
Both are tough matchups, I agree. Not sure I would pick Mendes to beat him, b/c it's hard to quantify how much Florian's wrestling has improved since the Maynard misstep. But I'd probably take Aldo over Kenny right now.
Any upcoming non title fights coming that you would like to see go 5 round? Ben Henderson vs Jim Miller?
I am against 5-rounders for non-title fights and have spent a lot of time on this in previous chats. Henderson-Miller might make sense as a five-rounder but, as stated previously, where do you draw the line. If the UFC wants to set up true No. 1 contender bouts, only then would I advocate 5-rounders for non-title affairs. You just can't do it for all main events. Marquardt-Story has no business being a 5-rounder.
Has Kenny sent you and twit pics to show off his body to you? How's he looking?
Hahaha. No. I'm sure he looks hot, though.
Bones and Dana did a Bud Light commercial for the Battle on the Bayou. Title shot could be likely.
Joe Rogan also hinted at New Orleans on his podcast. Time will tell.
have you reconsidered your stance on Bendo being a future champ after watching Pettis-Guida? Pettis stalwarted all of Ben's td attempts which is his best asset, and Guida is no Maynard and was able to take him down at will....
Absolutely not, Chase. I really think people have selective memory when it comes to Henderson-Pettis fight. It was anyone's fight entering the 5th round. Further, look at how Bendo responded to what was his 1st career loss. He was scary dominant against Mark Bocek, who is one tough SOB. Ben Henderson WILL be a future UFC champion. And hopefully that declaration works out as well as the Jon Jones one...
opinion on gina not being able to fight
Disappointing, but not a huge deal for me. I'm not a huge fan of women's MMA. My focus was much more on the two heavyweight grand prix fights and the lightweight tilt between Jorge Masvidal and K.J. Noons.
If rampage and bones are official... Who is your pick and how do you see the fight ending?
It's not official and I won't give a firm pick until the week before the fight. Impossibly early to make a pick. That said, I don't think Rampage has much for Jones.
Jon, who's next for guida? and would he have any chance against maynard or edgar?
I'd like to see Guida face the Miller-Henderson winner and have the winner of that fight be guaranteed a title shot. As for Guida against Edgar or Maynard, I wouldn't pick him to win. But any chance? Sure.
Whats next for Pettis?? A welcome back to 155 fight with Nate Diaz seems pretty solid??
I like that.
how is mma live involved in warrior
We filmed about 8 scenes, some of which were to advance the plot. I had 6 wardrobe changes, so hopefully a handful of our scenes end up in the movie. Warrior comes out September 9th, by the way.
What red tape did the UFC have to cut to sign GSP vs. Diaz? How soon until we see more crossover fights?
They signed Nick Diaz to a new multi-fight deal. And from what I've been told, the new contract does not afford him to right to pursue boxing opportunities. In terms of crossover fights, the future is uncertain.
Ray lewis vs patrick willis in a mma fight, who ya got?
Ray Lewis is one of my all-time favorite athletes and that comes from a Patriots fan. But Willis actively trains in MMA. Gimme the younger guy.
Can Rick Story beat the bigger Nate the great?
Can he? Yes. Will he? I'm really not sure. Haven't seen Marquardt at 170, so it's hard to know how he'll adjust. I think it's a tall task for Story, but he's got a ton of momentum and self-belief.
Ben Henderson will beat Jim Miller and thwart his title contention. Mark my words!!!:)
Jim Miller is one of my favorite guys in the sport. But I think he'll have to fight the best fight of his life to beat Henderson on points.
When is Kos making a return. I think a Kos vs BJ Penn makes a nice fight for both guys.
Addressed earlier in the chat. Hoping to have an update for you this week on Twitter.
Ortiz is a more solid opponent than anyone Manny has fought since Cotto. Young, coming off a huge win, and stepping into his prime.
Always love your boxing analysis, V. I didn't intend to discount Victor Ortiz as an opponent for Mayweather. But I very much doubt Mayweather would've accepted this fight if he thought he was in jeopardy of losing. Are you saying Floyd deserves some credit for accepting the Ortiz fight? If so, that would be a welcome change for Mayweather.
If Tito loses his next fight do you think he retires?
Perhaps the UFC will retire him, but I still believe Tito wants to fight.
I can't believe I'm asking this, but has Clay Guida put himself into title contention?
I can't believe I'm answering this, but yes. After seeing him get thoroughly smashed by Florian and then Diego Sanchez, who would've thought he'd reel off 4 straight wins and vault into contention?
Barry vs Kongo, Barry by leg kicks of death or Kongo by groin shots?
Hahahaha. I like Pat Barry, provided he stays focused. Perhaps Barry needs to have less fun in the cage or something.
Is Pac Man that good or is he benefiting like Lennox Lewis did, no quality oppenents in his "era"?
I think he's that good, even though his opponents of late have left something to be desired.
Thoughts on the new season of the Bachelorette?
Too many to share.
Bonnar got a raw deal with Vemola.. he wins.. so what, he loses, all momentum is halted not fair for Bonnar IMO
Internally, you've gotta think he is disappointed. But as I'm sure you know, Bonnar is a consummate company guy and not one to turn down an opponent. I just hope he gets through this challenge and gets a trilogy fight with Forrest Griffin sooner rather than later.
If I'm gone from the UFC, is Bellator an option?
I think Mark Munoz makes a statement against Maia, via a big KO. Thoughts?
Not out of the realm of possibility. I believe I picked Munoz by decision, but he could certainly stun Maia and finish him off with strikes on the ground. I think you'll also see a much-improve Demian Maia, though. Wish I didn't have to predict this one.
Chris weidman...gonna dominate bongfeldt and become a star, or fade along the way to the top?
I think Weidman might be the surest bet on the card. Like him a lot.
If rashad displays the same striking power he did against liddell and griffin he will smash davis and jones
No one is smashing Jon Jones anytime soon, in my humble opinion.
Is Donald Cerrone one of the UFC's most underrated fighters?
I think Cerrone gets his due. He is definitely more underrated than he is overrated, but Cerrone has a lot of supporters. He is so intent on putting on a show and sometimes that hurts him.
Hey Jon, I love MMA Live and wanted to say you are great for doing these extended chats, best they have at ESPN! Who do you think Jon Jones biggest match up will be? You NAIL the picks on the show!
Thanks, Tom. I think the guy best-equipped to give Jon Jones a tough fight is either Rashad or Lyoto Machida. With Rashad, there is some familiarity there, but Jones has evolved a ton since those two last trained together. I do think Rashad's wrestling could be a factor against Jones, but can he really take Jones down repeatedly and keep him there? I doubt it. As for Machida, he's just unorthodox and tough to prepare for and Jones' chin has gone largely untested. But, with Jones' reach advantage, can Machida even get inside?
I guess that's true it just seems like people forget how good Cerrone is. 2 of his 3 losses were controversial decisions that a lot of people scored for him
I hear ya.
Jon,Early prediction for the Fedor/Hendo fight? Keep up the great work!
I promised Hendo I'd never pick against him again. So...HENDO.
After I go through ortiz like I did Mosley... Pacquiao is next... Do you agree?
You tell me. Some reports say you turned down $65 million to fight Pacquiao. I kinda think you're duckin' Manny and want him to get some more miles on his tires before you fight him.
What do you think of Hioki's chances at 145. I think he gets exposed.
He will certainly be at a strength disadvantage, but I think he matches up favorably against most of the guys in the bottom half of the top 10.
How well would Overeem do against the UFC's top 10?
Mayweather will work Pacquiao if Pac ever gets off the HGH and fights "Money"
I have a wedding to attend on June 26 but thats the same day as UFC on Versus 4...can only do one of them...help me decide
Groom has to go to the wedding, Snacks. Just text Rick Story and tell him you're sorry.
Overeem vs. Roy Nelson!
Big Country had better fill out a will before the fight.
Put in 2 questions yesterday..still no response
And my Mom lives in Delray Beach! Sorry dude. A lot of questions in here. Try again, or hit me up on Twitter- @Jon_Anik - and I vow to get back to you.
T/F: Dana wants Cain/Overeem to headline a Cowboys Stadium show...
I'm sure Dana would love that, but he also wouldn't mind Velasquez-Carwin or Velasquez-Dos Santos. In due time, there will be a ton of huge heavyweight fights, with or without Brock Lesnar.
JA, How can u call GSP by TKO when diaz has awesome chin and GSP stops nobody mostly?
Simple. I was asked for my prediction and that is the way I see it going down. GSP needs a finish in the worst way (we've been saying that for a few fights now). He's fighting a guy in Diaz who is ultra-aggressive and can be overly aggressive. I think GSP will have top position for much of the fight and will ground-and-pound his way to victory. Do you remember how close Paul Daley was to finishing Diaz?
I would give my life savings to see Jones vs. Silva!! Will this ever happen Chost?
I'd say there is a 40% chance. It's really up to Anderson Silva. Does he want to move up for that fight? Similar scenario to GSP-Silva...it's all about the lighter guy and his willingness to move...
So what you're saying is - Cain is a necessary component to maximize attendance in Arlington...
Not necessarily. I just think Velasquez will still be champion when the UFC blows it out in Arlington. We still can't be totally sure how big a draw Velasquez is, despite the appreciable push by the UFC in Cali for UFC 121.
What do you think about Ryan Bader overall as a fighter?
Think very highly of him. Two-time All-American wrestler and wrestling is the best base to have in MMA. Only career loss to Jon Jones. Bader needs to get smoother and more fluid on his feet, but he's a good fighter.
Really high on Bendo, huh? I think he is the one that needs a near perfect performance to beat the ultra tough Jim Miller.
Fair enough. Not discounting either guy. Just happen to be a bit more bullish on Henderson.
When do I get my MMA Live swag from our MacDonald - Diaz bet?
I took MacDonald, homey.
I think Carwin's wrestling plays a huge factor in the striking game vs JDS. Thoughts?
Yes. He's gotta be able to take JDS down at some point, unless he gets an early KO or TKO.
I've read brock surgery could cause drastic weight loss, is he done?
Quite possibly. I really hope Lesnar isn't done, but I do believe his days of competing and ultimately beating the top heavyweights in the world may be done.
In regards to your aversion moving up statement... If he moved up for forrest, why won't he for jones? Scared perhaps?
You tell me, Phil. Would you move up to face Jon Jones? Me neither. A handful of light heavyweights have turned down a fight against Jon Jones. And Rampage, even though he will assuredly accept a title shot, is lukewarm to the idea. He seemed to call out every 205er not named Jon Jones after UFC 130.
I think Carwin gets KO'd by JDS. Carwin was stunned BADLY vs Gonzaga. JDS is WAY more dangerous.
Definitely could happen.
Is there any chance GSP actually makes this fight entertaining? MMA's most exciting fighter vs. MMA's most boring fighter could be like matter colliding with anti-matter
Love all of the differing opinions on Carwin-Dos Santos. Vegas had JDS as a -175 favorite.
True or False - With a win over werdum, overeem is top 3 heavyweight and 1 fight away from ufc title shot?
I like the way you think, but that is hard to answer. I believe I have Overeem at #4 right now in our ESPN.com MMA Power Rankings. If Dos Santos loses to Carwin, that could move the Reem into my top 3. But I don't have any way of knowing how soon a UFC title shot could materialize.
You think Guida and Guillard will have to fight each other if Jim Miller defeats Benson Henderson? And would they be ok fighting their own campmate?
That is a realistic possibility. I do believe, because both Guida and Guillard only recently (within the last 2 years or so)transitioned to Jackson's camp, that they would be willing to fight. But can't say with certainty.
Whats up Jon!! What do you think of Fitch passing up on a fight with Story, and who do you think would win if they did fight?
He wasn't offered the Story fight. Rather, he just stomped all over the challenge from Story. If they did fight, it would be very close. Story has the momentum, so I might actually lean his way, despite my high regard for Fitch.
In the UFC 130 post fight press conference, Rampage said, "I want to break some bones." So he did sort of call him out at one point...
Fair enough. But when you are as close to a title shot as Rampage seemingly is, it's just not the time to keep asking for the Forrest Griffin rematch. We already know Jackson wants to avenge that loss badly...and so does the UFC.
Any word on when we might see Edgar-Maynard 3?
September or October is the best-case scenario.
My girl doesn't like watching contact sports like MMA. What upcoming fight could I get her to watch to change her mind? Heard you went to college near here
Gettysburg, son! My Mom has had a hard time watching MMA b/c of the blood. The sport is superficially violent and a lot of people can't get past that. Not sure what to tell ya, bro.
Who does Chael draw in his eventual first fight back and how soon might that be?
No idea. It'll likely be a top 5 middleweight, but the timeline is very much uncertain.
Gotta run, folks. Thanks for you time, as always. Your question not answered? Try me on Twitter this afternoon. You can follow me @Jon_Anik and follow the show @ESPN_MMALIVE. See you on ESPN2 Friday night! -JA