Hey folks. Pleasure to be here. Gonna be an interesting show for us tomorrow with the news that Phil Davis is OUT of the fight with Rashad Evans. Rashad will be on MMA Live tomorrow. Stephan Bonnar will be in Bristol and we're also hoping to talk to Carlos Condit. We air twice this week on ESPN2 (Thurs. and Fri. nights, 11:30PM PT/2:30AM ET).
Let's get this party started right!!
Now that Phil Davis is out of UFC 133 who do you think should fight Rashad?
There are not a lot of options. It appears that both Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida have turned the fight down b/c of the short notice. And it's hard to blame either of them. As for realistic solutions, I'm at a loss. Perhaps they could pull Shogun Rua off the Brazil card (not something the UFC wants to do). Beyond that, not sure there is any viable candidate.
How badly do you think Rampage wishes he could fill Phil's spot?
He wants another shot at Rashad, but I doubt he wants it at the expense of his title shot.
oh man, auto update already on?! Odds Fitch gets a fight this year?
I do believe Fitch will get a fight in 2011, but he may need to accept whomever the UFC puts in front of him. It's never a good idea to start making demands with your employer.
Lots of hate for Tito on twitter and blogs for not taking Evans fight...but can you blame him?
Don't blame him at all. He worked hard to get off the schneid and back into the win column. If I were his manager, I wouldn't advise him to take a fight with Evans on such short notice. I would ride out the momentum a little bit.
condit vs penn, im stoked! are you chost?
Absolutely. As you know, we've been talking about a possible Penn-Condit scrap in this chat room for awhile now. I think it's a much more crowd-pleasing proposition than a Penn-Fitch rematch.
Hey Jon, love the show man, watch it religiously every week. But about Evans' new opponent, what about promoting Rich Franklin to the main event and pulling Lil Nog? Then the UFC can match up Lil' Nog with Tito maybe in Sept or Oct?
Franklin is a possibility, but I don't expect the UFC to go in that direction. Even given the circumstances, I'm not sure Franklin or Lil Nog has earned that opportunity.
Hey Chost, I believe Machda has accepted the fight with Evans.
Conflicting reports. Last I read, he has turned down the fight. Situation is very fluid and perhaps Machida can be monetarily incentivized to change his mind.
Where does Condit-Penn leave Fitch?
SOL, for now.
what do you think about hendo saying he uses TRT?
We will address this on MMA Live tomorrow. Seems to me that Henderson is one of a select few fighters who really may need it. But I'm still not in favor of therapeutic use exemptions for TRT and I think the issue of testosterone replacement therapy needs to be dealt with swiftly and quickly by the UFC/commissions.
What about Rashad Evans vs King Mo?
I've also heard Gegard Mousasi's name being bandied about. I'm just not sure the UFC wants King Mo's UFC debut to be a main-event slot.
Does Rashad want any part of Lyoto?
Rashad knows he needs to fight at this point and will accept any opponent. And quite frankly, I'm surprised at how few people would give Rashad a chance in the rematch. I think a second fight between Evans and Machida could stand to be a lot different.
USA women up 1 - 0 in 2nd half. Lay and Pray their way to victory?
Not a bad strategy. But I don't think they're done scoring.
How about Rashads luck. He cant catch a break right now. Or did he just catch one.
A fight against Phil Davis certainly isn't a guaranteed victory. And had Rashad lost to Davis, it would've been an appreciable setback. But that said, I do think Machida is a tougher matchup.
Here comes France. 1-1.
Has filming started on TUF 14? Curious to see if the clash of personalities.
Yes, filming is underway. But all involved parties are tight-lipped, per the TUF contracts.
If you could be Joe Silva for a day, who would you have Condit face next?
B.J. Penn. Think Joe Silva nailed this one.
Gegard is defending his DREAM belt this weekend, he's off the table. Evans-Janitor
Matyushenko is on the UFC 133 card, but not worthy of a fight with Evans right now. I'd actually prefer to see Alexander Gustaffson get the opportunity.
What do you think of Sonnen's triumphant return? Funny or over the line?
Chael is the best trash-talker in the game, but he's been spewing a ton of falsities of late. He's quick-witted and entertaining, but has a selective memory. All of that said, really looking forward to seeing Sonnen the figher back in the Octagon.
MMA Live is such a great show i believe they should play it at an earlier hour. Especially if your on the east coast.
I guess that is what DVRs and ESPN.com are for. But I do feel your pain.
Are you currently watching the USA match?
Yes. On my TV here at ESPN whilst I chat with you fine people.
I know its unlikely, and maybe he doesnt even deserve the fight, but i thought Griffin-Evans 1 was very exciting up until the end...wouldnt mind that rematch
Nor would I, but I'd be stunned if Forrest Griffin was actually in a position to accept a fight 3 weeks in advance of his scheduled fight. The man cuts a lot of weight and won't want to shorten his camp. And his last trip to Philly really didn't go well...
no way Griffin makes weight...
What does Hendo need to do in order to justify he's worth the money he was asking from the UFC?
Beating Fedor would be a good start.
JA, how about Bonnar vs. Rashad? It wouldn't disrupt any other ppv cards, and it would keep Evans busy.
Bonnar is dealing with a knee injury and therefore not healthy enough to fight. He is healthy enough to do MMA Live and is on a plane headed here as we speak.
Anybody in Strikeforce you want to see replace Davis last minute?
Not really, no.
Why is MMA Live is 4 segments now? Better when it's in the longer segment. Actually keeps me watching instead of loading another segment for some reason.
Has to do with content on television re-airing on the Internet. Nothing we can do.
Now that Nate Marquardt has been suspended by NJ, should his win over Dan Miller be overturned? He did cheat according to the rules anyways
Perhaps the fight will be ruled a no-contest. That would make sense to me.
How do you see Jones vs Rampage playing out.
Not well for Rampage.
How excited are you for Cerrone - Oliviera?
I'm always excited for Cerrone fights, regardless of opposition. Terrific matchup. Joe Silva's having a good month, injuries notwithstanding.
Chost, have you heard anything from Dan Hardy?
He chatted last week here at ESPN.com. Is said to have made some changes in advance of his Aug. 14th clash with Chris Lytle. We'll see...
Any chance Dana White asks Rampage to take one for the UFC and let Jones fight Evans now? Then Rampage gets the winner.
Doubtful. I understand the line of thinking, but a lot can happen in 6-8 weeks...namely, another injury.
Chost, how did Tito's victory make you feel? I've never been a Tito fan but after watching him on TUF, he seems like a genuine dude. Thumbs up for Tito!
Felt good for Tito Ortiz. He's got his warts, but happy he got a chance to taste UFC victory again. And I think it's good for the UFC that he is relevant again. May not last long, but he's relevant now.
nate marquardts suspension was lifted
In Pennsylvania? Thanks for the update.
Chost auction an MMA live experience for Jimmy V! Lunch with Chost and Florian. If Florian is cutting he can watch us eat!
Really wish there was an MMA Live experience up for auction. I have no doubt the MMA fans wouldn't have let us down. Not exactly sure how to make that happen, but we'll get that ball rolling and have at least one item in 2012.
Today is the on-air auction for Jimmy V. I say we start an auction here for a trip to watch a taping of MMA Live....40 minutes left in the chat, good money for cancer. If not then everyone should donate $5 anyway
I like the way you think, Baumer. Wish I had clearance to do that. Perhaps in one of our next few chats we will put something together and make it happen.
Nelson Cro Cop at UFC 137, thoughts?
Did that just get announced? I kinda wanted to see Nelson v. Carwin.
you think nate will take askren's challenge?
Despite Bjorn Rebney being non-commital last week on MMA Live, I've gotta think they'd prefer to sign Marquardt as a middleweight. Their welterweight ranks are doing just fine. They need 185 lbs. challengers in the worst way for Hector Lombard.
chost. how about popping forrest griffin in there? im sure he would love the rematch.
Addressed this earlier. Too much weight to lose to be ready by 8/6.
Stephen A. Smith vs. Chris Broussard: who wins?
Do you think the UFC gives Tito a fight with a big name with diminished skills to set him up for a title shot? The guy sells tickets.
Who are you referring to as the big name with diminished skills? There aren't a lot of those guys to choose from. As I've said from the outset, I think the opponent that makes the most sense for Tito Ortiz is Stephan Bonnar.
Chost, Thoughts on Big Nog 180 against B. Schaub? Im thinking Nog by sub easy.
I don't think there will be anything easy about that fight. Hard to determine just now much Big Nog has left. And I expect Brendan Schaub to look much better than he did against Cro Cop. He was largely disgusted when we spoke after that fight.
Other then ESPN's great MMA page do you have a favorite MMA site?
A lot of good ones...too many to name. Sherdog's Fight Finder is an enormous resource for show preparation.
Does the loser of Cro Cop/Nelson get immediately cut?
Impossible to say. We all thought Cro Cop was done and here he is in another relatively important fight. So, your guess = better than mine.
Have you or do you plan to train in mma?
I would love to get back to some striking training and take Muay Thai or kickboxing classes. Not in any great rush to roll with Keith or Kenny Florian just yet, but it would certainly help me do the job. I think it's an eventuality. Just gotta carve out some time.
Do you agree with F. Mac that the Stann/Sonnen fight is too early?
Looking forward to Stann-Sonnen. Like both fighters, but being in the military myself, i would love a f.o.y candidate with Stann winning a close decision
Huge opportunity for Stann. Hope, for your sake, he takes advantage.
Is Florian fighting Aldo in Houston?
No comment. Hope so!
why not brandon vera? or bonnar for rashad?
Brandon Vera is hanging by a thread. Can't give him that fight. And, as stated previously, Bonnar is injured.
Thiago Silva is the next name on espn.com's rankings.
He's suspended and already had his chance against Rashad.
Any thoughts on Kim Couture? That was awful on all parts
If you missed it, Kim Couture was submitted and had been unconscious for several seconds before the referee mercifully stopped the fight. One of the worst examples of officiating I've ever seen. Dangerous stuff.
Ryan Bader may still be in shape. Can they pull Miller/Bendo?
I don't think anyone cares to see Ryan Bader in this slot after what happened against Ortiz. As a last resort? Perhaps. But that is a very tough sell. I think moving the Ben Henderson-Jim Miller fight into the main or co-main event slot makes a ton of sense. Good call, Rob.
Have you heard who is going to be filling out the Houston card?
Nothing concrete. A lot of possibilities have been floated.
With 2 MMA lives this week are you filming 2 different shows?
Nope. Just getting an extra time slot on Friday night. Not sure why, but we will take it.
Any thoughts on winner of Stann v Sonnen matched up against Bisping (if he beats Mayhem) as a title eliminator in early 2012?
I think that is a distinct possibility, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Sonnen-Stann winner get an immediate title shot against Anderson Silva (provided he gets through Yushin Okami).
Love the espn mma page but how is Gilbert Melendez ranked above Gray Maynard in the P4P rankings but below him in the 155 lb rankings?
Probably because I have Eddie Alvarez as the No. 2 lightweight in the world and that pushed Melendez down to No. 4 on my list. I consider Gil a good friend and I believe he is a future UFC champion. But right now, I've got Frankie Edgar, Alvarez and Maynard above him.
U.S.A. scores go-ahead goal in 78th minute. Another Abby Wambach header. 2-1, America.
Given the ticket sales, how can Joe Silva not put Sonnen against the Spider if Chael beats Stann?
I'm with ya. I think Sonnen will get a title shot, provided he beats Stann.
What do you think of the idea of a Lightweight GP since everyone is kinda waiting around for Edgar vs Maynard.
The Edgar-Maynard draw, coupled with their injuries that postponed the rematch, really held up the UFC's lightweight division. But I don't think it's a bad problem to have, unless of course their 3rd fight is inconclusive. The division has a nice handful of worthy No. 1 contenders to choose from. Grand prix is just too complicated. Injuries are already wreaking havoc. Imagine trying to complete a tournament? Forget it.
I hope Chael gets his a## kicked. He used to be entertaining, now he's just obnoxious.
U.S.A. strikes again. 3-1. Ballgame.
how long untill we can see thiago alves vs paul daley?
Like the way you think.
I think Sonnen is hilarious so do you think he if beats Stann and get Silva, his trash talk would be even greater than the first fight?
It would be hard to best what the stage he set for the first fight. But if anyone is capable of ratcheting up the banter, it's Chael Sonnen.
Dont see the need for a LW GP. Maynard-Edgar will happen soon. Timeline just doesnt justify it now (maybe a few months ago)
Agreed. And the Miller-Henderson fight will anoint one contender and eliminate another.
Do you think Hatsu Hioki will make a big impact in the UFC?
I think he will win some fights. Definitely like him to win the debut against George Roop. But sustaining success against the likes of Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian and Mark Hominick won't be easy. Hioki will have every opportunity to justify his high ranking.
Does all of Mayhem's extracurricular stuff cause him to be underrated? Feel like most are assuming Bisping runs through him.
Absolutely. I have long said that Miller is a top 15 middleweight but gets far more exposure for his personality and Bully Beatdown. Golden opportunity for Miller to change that with a win over Bisping.
Are you agreeing with those who want to see Cruz-Faber III right back?
No. I'd like to see Faber face Miguel Torres for the right to fight Cruz again. I think Brian Bowles and Demetrious Johnson are both worthy of a bantamweight title shot right now. I'd give the nod to Bowles, because DJ's win over Torres was anything but decisive.
McCorkle is fighting this weekend. Can he win and get back into the UFC sometime soon?
He might win, but I don't expect he'll ever grace the Octagon again.
If Machida doesn't take the rashad fight, who's even left for him to fight? Phil Davis once healthy?
There will be plenty of options for Machida. Phil Davis is a possibility. And so are rematches with Rashad and Rampage. I understand why his camp isn't in any great rush to fight Evans on short notice. Just not enough to gain. Perhaps that can be negotiated...
Do you think Anderson Silva should try to fight Jon Jones soon since he is getting up there in age?
I don't believe Anderson Silva is in any great rush to face Jon Jones and nor do I blame him.
Anik, Jim Miller holds the 155 title within one year, buy or sell?
Sell. I love Jim Miller, but I've called Ben Henderson a future UFC champion. Winner of that tilt will be in great shape.
What a crappy situation for the UFC. Only choice they may have is either the janitor or thiago silva for a rematch.
Silva is suspended. Really feel for the UFC with this one. They have done a nice job handling all of this injury adversity. This injury might be one that just can't be easily fixed.
How about Leben - Rashad?
Leben fights at 185. I think it's a huge stretch to put him in a main-event slot against a top 205 lbs. contender. Just one man's opinion. Leben would probably take the fight, if offered. I highly doubt it'll be offered.
Is Thiago Silva's suspension over.
Jon u are the best Comntr in the Biz...Love ur stuff.. Do you see the fighters getting a union together any time soon?
Thanks, Nick. Don't see a fighter's union anytime soon. It's just such a huge task and daunting thing to get done. Plus, the highest-paid fighters won't want anything to do with it. Who is taking the bull by the horns?
Well Chost it can but Tito and Machida are looking out for themselves, not company men there
That's a fair point, but you've gotta pick and choose your spots when being a company man. Rick Story took the bullet twice for the UFC and all he's got to show for it, at least right now, is a loss to Charlie Brenneman. I would've liked to have seen Machida step up here on a month's notice, but I don't blame Ortiz at all.
Who do you think will win Cain vs JDS and how?
Velasquez. Not sure how.
Eddie Alvarez #2 in the world at LW? I don't have him in the top 5, barely in the top 10. Just think he is way overhyped. I wouldn't favor him over any of the top 5 UFC LWs.
Just one man's opinion. I've been cageside for 4 of Alvarez's fights and have been highly impressed with all of them. I understand the knock on him is the opposition, but obviously my opinion of a guy like Pat Curran is higher than yours. And with rankings, it really is less about who would win head-to-head and more about what they have done recently.
The UFC should open the call and the door. Rashad vs ____ . The winner gets a shot @ Jones / Rampage winner
No Machida, No Ortiz, next up the line randy couture. He seems like the kind of guy to bail dana and joe silva out of tough situations.
Not this time, Tom. Couture is always in shape, but I don't think he is in fight shape right now. If Randy accepted that fight, he'd really be bailing the UFC out.
Who do you like early in the Penn-Condit match? I don't think Condit brings anything to the table that Penn hasn't seen before. I predict a takedown and submission from the Prodigy in round 3.
Interesting. It's tough to pick against Condit right now, but I would agree that Penn has seen it all. My early lean right now is towards Condit. Just like his size advantage, I guess.
Jon, call your peeps. Evans vs. King Mo. Both wrestlers and both former champs. Make it happen!Btw, hope you're enjoying A-Gon, we miss/ need him here.
Love Goliath! Best hitter I've ever seen and glad he is a Red Sox. As for King Mo, I think it's at least worth exploring.
What fighter has the hardest/most intense workout routine you've seen?
They all work their a**es off. It would be foolish of me to say 'Kenny Florian', just because I've seen his workouts. Sean Sherk is notorious for killing his body.
Could Mark Munoz fill the spot?
Nope. Moved down to 185 for a reason. Not at all the time for him to move back up to 205.
Early pick for Sonnen-Stann.
Anything to give Bendo vs. Jim Miller more exposure is a good idea. It being comain under Lytle vs Hardy makes zero sense.
I really think Rob in Jersey was on to something there. Let's get this ball rolling to move Henderson-Miller to Philly!
I love the chat during work hours! Nothing like getting paid to chat MMA
Why do some people refer to you as "Chost"?
My twin brother has been calling me that ever since I got into TV. It stands for chubby host. He dropped it one week in the chat and dudes seem to have picked up on it.
Dan Hardy has an ugly task coming up against Chris Lytle; is this is "win or walk" fight for him?
I think so.
who is Rafael Cavalcante fighting next? Would he be a good matchup for Rashad?
Feijao is one of the better suggestions I've heard, which speaks to just how dire the situation is.
Here we go!
A Gon is the best hitter you have ever seen? Come on Chost. Guess you have never seen Pujols hit.
I get to watch Adrian Gonzalez almost every night. I'm sure if I got to watch 400+ Pujols at-bats, I'd see him as the better hitter. Gonzalez doesn't have quite as much power, nor does he have the body of work. But he's certainly No. 2, if Pujols is your 1.
Who is the best p4p in your opinion.
What about Belfort fighting Rashad? Has that been suggested?
I don't hate the suggestion, but you're still talking about moving a middleweight up to light heavyweight. And, in Belfort's case, he's coming off a devastating loss. I just don't see it.
Last call already? What happened to 2 hour chats Chost?
Work happened! We are shooting MMA Live on Thursday this week, so I've got a lot to do today. Also busy with World Series of Poker stuff this week. You can always find me on Twitter (@Jon_Anik). I'll take your question/comment any time.
Do you belive Aldo will be the lightweight champion this time next year.
Is there a man in the 185 division that can beat Anderson Silva?
Several guys have a chance, or a puncher's chance. I think we saw how capable Chael Sonnen is of beating Silva.
Call dana tell him i fixed ufc 133Rich franklin vs rashad, Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama miller vs. bendo, and brandon vera vs lil nog, Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya
As good an overall solution as I've seen.
Since I saw your piece on the Open Championship, wanted to ask - who ya got winning the Claret?
I'm leaning towards Luke Donald. Would love to see Rory McIlroy get 'er done.
I feel like Spider vs GSP has lost a ton of momentum. Wouldn't it still be the biggest fight in MMA history? I know its #1 on my wish list.
Has certainly lost some of its luster, but I still would love to see it, Brian. I think it's probably more realistic than a mega-fight between Jon Jones and Anderson Silva at this point.
How about my Brewers picking up K-Rod. Is there a better 8-9th inning duo than K-Rod and Axford?
Strong to quite strong. Doug Melvin knows what he's doing.
With your time covering boxing, have you had any experience working around Showtime sports, how was it?
90% of the events our boxing show covered were HBO PPVs. So dealt with HBO personnel regularly. Haven't had much interaction with Showtime, other than regular interviews with Al Bernstein and the late, great Nick Charles.
How about a new nickname for Donald "The Cowboy" Cerrone like Donald "Rice" Cerrone?
I like Rice for Cerrone. But he's pretty entrenched as 'Cowboy'.
@DAN - a little duo of Robertson and Mariano comes to mind
Thoughts on the Lara-Williams decision?
Absolutely putrid. I scored it 9 rounds to 3 for Lara. Shocking decision. Glad I didn't bet on Lara +300.
Who do you think would win the Aldo vs Cruz superfight.
Aldo has far more fight-finishing power, so I would lean in his direction.
The only solution is Tito or Lyoto stepping up to fight Rashad. No other. He is too high profile a fighter!
I tend to agree. I wouldn't be surprised if Machida eventually was convinced or enticed to step up.
I know Kenny has a verbal agreement with Dana for a shot at Aldo, but don't you think only having one fight at Featherweight is a little quick for KFlow?
Not sure what verbal agreement you speak of. I think Chad Mendes deserves a title shot, but he has a fight with Rani Yahya. To me, Kenny is next in line and he's available to fight now. I also think Florian brings a lot to the table in terms of selling and hyping the fight. Like it or not, that counts for something.
Any idea when the 5 round main card fights will begin?
Hard to say at this point. Seems to me perhaps it won't be as set in stone as we were led to believe. Otherwise, why didn't Shields and Ellenberger agree to a 5-rounder?
5 Round Main Events starting after UFC 133.
Not across the board, though.
Alright, heads. Gotta bounce on outta here. Thank you for being here, as always. You can ask me anything you want, 24 hours a day on Twitter. It's Twitter.com/@Jon_Anik. Plenty more on this whole Rashad Evans situation, including Rashad himself, on MMA Live tomorrow night on ESPN2. Hope to see y'all then. -JA