Hey everyone, Jon's a busy guy today. He's finishing up a podcast and will be here as soon as he's finished.
I'm here, y'all. Great to be back for another chat. Have at it.
What's next for tito ortiz?
As long as it's not Chuck Liddell, I'm good. I just don't want to see the Iceman back in there, even if he wants to hit Tito. Perhaps Ortiz will face Lil Nog, when healthy. Clearly, he's not in the contender conversation any longer.
Hey Anik,Congrats again on Riley. Which of the upcoming fall fights interests you the most? For me it's Velasquez vs Dos Santos.
Thanks, Jared. I've been waiting a long time for this Sunday to arrive. I think the Jim Miller-Ben Henderson fight is gonna be outstanding. There is so much on the line and neither fighter has been known to hold anything back. Given their styles and given the stakes, I'm excited. And Chael Sonnen v. Brian Stann is near the top of my must-see list as well.
Jon, congrats on the little one. Any predictions on Hendo's future?
Future is bright, as Hendo approaches his 41st birthday. I wouldn't be surprised to see Henderson back in the Octagon before the end of the year. I'm sure he's still basking in the glow of finishing Fedor.
wow. gustafson looked awesome saturday. i'm officially on his bandwagon. who's next for him?
Gustafsson is still raw in a lot of ways, but there is no questioning the ability. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I though that was the lock of the card...and I hope you cashed in on the Swede at -165. As for a next opponent, perhaps someone like Stephan Bonnar makes sense. Bonnar will be here for MMA Live tomorrow. I'd be curious to gauge his interest on that fight.
Any word on when kos is coming back? I think rory McDonald would be a nice comeback fight.
I share your enthusiasm for that fight and it would be a great test for Rory at this stage. As for Koscheck's return, I have reached out to his management a few times on Twitter but have yet to hear back.
Didn't Dana overreact about Hallman? While I agree that it was visually unpleasant, it was no different attire than Dan Severn or Ken Shamrock.
Perhaps it was an overreaction in the moment, but I have no issue with Dana enforcing a dress code on the heels of Hallman's attire choice.
Any truth to the rumor of Brock being back late this year for a trilogy with Mir?
Hadn't heard that. A trilogy fight with Frank Mir remains a possibility. I'd be pleasantly surprised if they moved Lesnar's timeline up. I think 2012 remains more likely for Brock's return.
Hey Jon, which fight will get better buys on Pay Per View later this year: Velasquez against Dos Santos, or St. Pierre against Diaz?
I think it'll be GSP-Diaz. B.J. Penn's presence on that card will aid the PPV buy rate.
Will Hardy be cut on Monday if he loses on Sunday?
It's a possibility, but not my expectation. His drawing power and appeal in the UK is unmistakable. Unless he gets bludgeoned quickly, I think Hardy has a good chance to stick around. I'm picking him to bounce back with a victory...and maybe be featured at UFC 138 in the UK in November.
Hey Jon, were you suprised by Matt Hamill retirement?
I think anyone outside of Hamill's inner circle who says they weren't a little caught off guard is not being truthful. But in the cage, there were clear signs of regression and I think he is walking away at the appropriate time.
JA saw a sneak preview of Warrior, nice work my friend, movie could of used more of you.
Thanks, James. Very excited for the big-screen debut. I'm just honored to have been a tiny part of the movie...and thankful we didn't end up completely on the cutting room floor.
How do you see the Bendo against Miller fight ending?
I think it'll be some of the hardest 15 minutes we see in the Octagon all year and a difficult fight to score. Miller is a model of consistency and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Ben Henderson is absolutely electric and has as good a killer instinct as any UFC lightweight. The pick here is Henderson on points and the prayer is that Miller doesn't read the chat this week. Love ya, Jim.
will female MMA be popular soon?
I don't think so. Just doesn't have the volume of high-level fighters, nor any appreciable momentum.
Who are you taking in the Cerrone vs Oliveira fight?
Cerrone. There are very few guys at 155 I would pick to beat Cerrone right now. I think he'll find his way into a title fight eventually.
Hey Chost! I like the new predictions page that looks more like the NFL's. Will you be included this time?
Yes. Was unable to participate for UFC 133 because my wife was in labor. I've already submitted the plays for the Milwaukee show. Shout out to our editor Darius Ortiz for the new look.
Hey Jon, sleep deprived yet? So what's the scoop on TUF and my boy Mayhem? Do you like his chances against the Brit?
Sup dude. What is this sleep you speak of? Thankfully was able to get some good shut eye last night before getting back to work. As for Mayhem Miller against Bisping, I actually think both guys are on the underrated side. Bisping's loss to Wanderlei Silva last year was a real setback, but he's a top 10 guy and Miller has the talent to be there as well. I think Miller has a great chance to beat Bisping on points and I'll be curious to see how Vegas handles that line.
Do you see Rashad playing head games with both Jones and Jackson, now that he can sit and wait for the winner?
Rashad is never one to shy away from a verbal exchange, but I think he might just lay back in the cut and let them go at each other. After what we saw this past weekend, I think a lot of fans are more encouraged as to Rashad's chances against Jon Jones, should that be the fight.
What did you think of Rashad Evans performance?
Hard to look much better than that, no?
JA, What did you think about Bernard Hopkins going to UFC 133 and his re-statement of how gifted the MMA fighter is?
Not surprised at all. When I covered the Hopkins-Winky Wright fight (2006, I believe), Randy Couture was there as a guest of B-Hop's. Bernard may have taken a few shots at MMA over the years, but he has always been respectful about it when I've probed him on the subject.
Now that Rashad has some free time is going to be on MMA live more?
He won't be in studio this week, but he'll definitely be on the show, either by phone, Skype or satellite.
Rick Story wants somebody he can stand and trade with... and he calls out Stun Gun??
I think it's a fight Story believes he can win, but I'd agree that Kim won't be looking to exchange fists.
Where do you see the UFC in the next ten years?
More mainstream than it is now. I think there is huge growth potential. I believe it is already one of the strongest brands in sports.
So what is going to happen with Paul Daley? Is he not going to match up with Nate the Great?
Remains to be seen. I think a BAMMA welterweight title fight between Marquardt and Daley is a strong possibility.
The next new ufc champion will be?
Florian, Kenny. And a Gray Maynard victory over Frankie Edgar wouldn't shock me at all, even though I'm picking Frankie again.
Randy v Tito your thoughts?
Couture doesn't want or need to come back, especially for that fight.
Akiyama at 170?
He's gotta do something.
Hey Jon, Akiyama going to 170 who would you like to see him fight?
How long do you see Strikeforce lasting now that the big names are slowly disappearing?
Much of it has to do with the Showtime contract. I think we all can agree that Strikeforce being folded is an eventuality. As to when it will happen, your guess is as good as mine.
Can Brenneman beat Rumble?
Sure he can. But I love the matchup for Rumble. Seems like he'll have a nice size advantage.
THE NFL season is almost here. How about a way-too-early SB prediction?
Ravens-Cowboys. But I'd love to have the benefit of watching the preseason play out before going on the record.
Yo! I think Gamebred works gilbert all day, just too technical and fast with underrated wraslin! Did i mention I had a huge mancrush on him! Late!
You know I share your love for Gamebred. But Gilbert Melendez is just about the hottest fighter in the sport right now. I think Masvidal will have his hands full and had better not get frustrated early.
Jon, congrats on the baby. What are your thoughts and predictions for silva/okami and griffin/rua?
Already looking ahead to UFC 134. I like it. I will pick Forrest Griffin over Shogun Rua, in all likelihood. I'm not sure what to make of Shogun going forward. As for Silva-Okami, Yushin has some game, but I don't think he has anything for Anderson Silva. I expect the fight to go to the championship rounds before an eventual Silva TKO.
Big Nog-does he have enough in the tank to beat this young upstart?
I think Noguiera has a chance to beat Brendan Schaub. But it's asking a lot. Perhaps Nog can turn back the clock one more time, but I don't expect him to be able to sustain success at this stage of his career.
Jon, Props to Rashad! I must say if he always fought like that, he would have a lot more fans. Do you think he just didn't fear Tito's power, or is this the new Rashad?
I think it's a combination, which may seem like a cop out. Rashad has been tagged by Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida (of course) and even Thiago Silva. His chin has passed some tests and failed others. Clearly he didn't think the 2011 version of Tito Ortiz posed much of a threat and he was right. But I also think we're looking at the best version of Rashad Evans any of us has ever seen.
Is Faber vs Miguel Torres finally going to happen? Couple years too late maybe, but it makes perfect sense to me at the moment.
I was very surprised the UFC chose not to go in that direction right now and Faber will instead fight Brian Bowles. The winner of that fight will get a title shot against the Dominick Cruz-Demetrious Johnson winner. Miguel seems like the odd man out right now.
JA, did tito's medical suspension include a crushed chest cavity?? That knee was brutal!!
Hahahahaha. Brutal, it was.
As much as I like Jon Jones, I'd love to see Rampage beat him...Rampage is GREAT for the UFC agree or disagree?
Definitely agree that Rampage is great for the UFC. And many will argue that a Jackson win is better for the UFC than a Jones win. I think Jon Jones is the future and a signature victory over someone like Rampage could really vault him.
Rashad Evans look good in his win but do you really think he has a decent chance vs. Jon Jones? Jones is better at EVERYTHING. I give Rashad a 20% chance to win.
I would agree. I give Rashad about a 20% chance against Jon Jones. I keep coming back to the reach/size disadvantage. And I also believe the versatility in the striking game is an advantage for Jon Jones.
Who will in a fight? Vince McMahon or Dana White?
Ebersole against Hardy if Hardy beats Lytle?
I don't dislike that idea. Ebersole has put himself in a good spot.
Roman, Jones is a better wrestler than Evans?
Perhaps he meant functional wrestler for MMA. I think the wrestling is close.
Picks for this weekend...
Hardy (decision), Henderson (decision or TKO), Cerrone (viciousness), and Sadollah.
Phil davis v machida, thoughts?
That's a real possibility.
Jon, Ive bashed Rashad more than anybody. But, I have to give him his props. I hope he always fights like this, but I'm not sold that he won't go back to his boring style when he's fighting somebody he knows can beat him. Thoughts?
Rashad prioritizes winning over entertaining. The result is that he is 20-1-1 and a very rich man. He would love to have every fight be a Fight of the Night. But oftentimes the opponent and the style dictates the gameplan and thereby the performance.
Where do you see Rory MacDonald after another impressive victory?
I don't think anyone wants to fight that guy right now, except probably B.J. Penn, who will fight anyone, anytime. A Condit-MacDonald rematch isn't gonna happen right away, but it's a fight I'd love to see. I think MacDonald-Fitch has some merit.
Do you think getting away from Jackson's helps Rashad in long run?
I think change can be very positive for a fighter, especially at this point in one's career. Rashad learned a ton from Greg Jackson, but having different voices in one's ear can serve as a great source of motivation.
Jon, say it aint so. Your predicting the ravens to go to the sb? What about our beloved pats?
Certainly not rooting for that to happen. But I can't pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Don't want to jinx 'em.
JA, Hate to disagree with you, but you're dead wrong on blaming Rashad's opponents for boring fights. The guy doesn't engage and fights like Fitch when he's in a tough fight
I respect all opinions. Fighters always need to balance risk-reward. I wasn't as put off by the Rampage performance as others, but was disappointed in his finishing round against Thiago Silva. I think Rashad is in the best shape of his life and I'm hopeful that will result in more sensational performances going forward.
Chost, I'll do it: Eagles over Pats in the SB.
landed MJD in the 2nd round in my league. thoughts?
Like the value.
JA, I know he's your boy, but I must say you're flat out wrong in blaming Rashad's opponents for lack of "sizzle" The guy had a huge run of fights that many people fell asleep to. Man up JA, that's weak!
btw, the sleepless nights become a fond memory. My daughter starts school this year. I miss the long nights with my baby. Enjoy every minute! Congrats.
Thanks, bro. It's the most special feeling in the world. Was difficult leaving her to come back to work today.
Mac got taken down too easily by Pyle, I'm not on the hype train yet
Rory MacDonald looks to be using steroids. Tons of acne on his grill and back
Can't always attribute bad skin to 'roids, Kendrick.
I'm with Patrick. What planet are you on bro? Rashad is known as a boring fighter. I give him credit for last weekend, but blaming his opponents is a cop out JA!
When he got a little careless against Rampage, he got clipped and nearly finished. You can't just throw caution to the wind and throw bombs. Beating Rampage was the first order of business and the gameplan had to be deliberate and methodical.
Rashad is not a boring fighter, fighters usualy get called boring when they beat your guy!
Yo Anik, you must have seen Vitor's shots to the back of Sexyama's head. He was already out, but do you think a DQ or NC has some merit?
It's always difficult to exercise control and patience when a fighter is pursuing a finish and smells blood in the water. The pace was furious and Vitor was careless with his hands. The strikes were illegal, but I don't believe a DQ or NC is warranted.
Hey Jon, by Kendrick's logic I must be using steroids to because I have some acne on my face.
Jon, I hate to pile on, but I'm with the others. Rashad is known in the MMA world as a good fighter, but his matches will put you to sleep. Blaming his opponents is extremely unfair, and flat out delusional. Props for Saturday Rashad, lets hope it continues
I guess we'll all have to agree to disagree and hopefully you'll all be back next week. But if Rashad ends up fighting Jon Jones, he's gonna have to be extremely calculated and patient or he'll get in trouble. Fighters get very down on themselves when they fail to entertain and please the fans, but it's a tough balancing act.
Who does VITOR face next?
I'd like to see him face the Mark Munoz-Chris Leben winner.
Brett in Philly must be 14 years old or eats too many chocolate bars.
Seeing all these Rashad "accusations", isn't it bad form to have current fighters as analysts on MMA Live since anything positive could be interpreted as bias?
It's a tricky situation for sure, Chuck. But I've tried hard for 3 years now to not let personal relationships cloud my judgment. Perhaps I fail in that endeavor, but I try to conduct this chat with 100% veracity. I can assue you I'm not picking Florian to beat Aldo because he was at my wedding.
Frank Mir vs Alistair Overeem, Fight of the year
I would love to see it.
If Rashad wasn't on MMA Live with you, do you think there would be this many complaints about your statements? Shouldn't you guys use retired fighters/trainers as analysts?
I'm just the host and not a producer. As many of you know, MMA Live is the only regular program on ESPN or ESPN2 that uses active professional athletes as its regular analysts. It certainly sets us apart and I think it's great. But it does present its share of challenges.
Vitor vs Stann most exciting fight in the middleweight division ?:
Not sure if it's the most exciting, but I'd certainly lay down some cake to see it.
Vitor KOd Franklin and Akiyama with illegal blows to the back of the head.
The fight-ending strikes were illegal, but an argument can be made that he concussed both guys before even landing those strikes.
Thoughts on penn/condit? I love that fight.
Who doesn't? Impossible not to admire B.J.'s attitude and toughness. But I really do believe it is finally Condit's time to shine.
Did you say cake?!
Will Koscheck ever stop bleaching his hair? He looks like a Cabbage Patch Doll
The look seems to have worked. He's one of the most recognizable fighters on the roster.
Not buying the Rory hype just yet hasn't beaten anybody other than Diaz. Condit much better and already proved it! Thoughts?
At this point, I think Carlos Condit is the better fighter but MacDonald continues to close that gap.
When will we see a triangle shaped fighting cage?
I could go for a triangle-shaped cheeseburger right about now. Wait, what was your question?
Assuming Jones beats Rampage do you see Jones vs Evans headlining the UFC Super Bowl Weekend Show in Vegas?
Makes sense to me.
Is the UFC still negotiating a new contract with Spike or are they looking at a different network?
Not sure about negotiations with Spike, but I do know there was an update on ESPN MMA Insider Rumor Central about a possible relationship with Fox.
Does Matt Hughes retire win or lose?
That is my expectation, but Pat Miletich would be a better guy to ask. He's back on Twitter.
Like Jim Miller but something tells me he's sleeping on the canvas come Sunday night! Henderson is the real deal!
As many of you know, I believe Ben Henderson to be an eventual UFC lightweight champion.
How do you see BJ's career ending? Like Couture's or Chuck's?
Definitely more like Randy's. Penn is still sharp as a tack and will know when to walk away.
Do you think the UFC is putting out too many PPV/events? Is there a point where they will be oversaturating the market?
I get that question a lot. Just because the PPV numbers have gone down relative to 2010, it doesn't mean they aren't still making money. PPV will always be the most successful business model in combat sports. I honestly believe the UFC is doing a fine job balancing PPVs and free fight cards.
JA- congrats on the little one! Thoughts on Hamill hanging up the gloves?
Thanks, Mike. As stated previously in the chat, I think Hamill made the right decision at the right time.
Most hated UFC fighter amongst other fighters?
That's a good question, Kelvin, albeit one without a good answer. I talk to fighters about a ton of stuff off the air, but rarely are they criticizing their counterparts.
I may be in the minority, but I'm a big Jon Fitch fan. He is extremely talented & unfortunately the UFC brass just hates the guy. What do you think of possible Fitch fights w/ Hendricks or R. MacDonald
I have Jon Fitch in my top 10 P4P and he's another guy who prioritizes winning over all else. At this point, though, Fitch needs to just accept the opponents that are put in front of him. Perhaps he thinks he is beyond a fight with Rick Story or Rory MacDonald, but most fans aren't clamoring for more Jon Fitch. Thus, he needs to accept fights and move on.
Jon Jones. Easily the least liked fighter. I have a lot of UFC friends and they DO NOT LIKE HIM
What about Hamill at Middleweight?
He's done, Michael. Just doesn't have the motivation any longer.
How important is it for a fighter to be a TUF coach?
A coaching stint on 'The Ultimate Fighter' can be absolutely enormous for a fighter's career. Huge exposure and there is obviously a huge fight at the end of the season. It's an opportunity every UFC fighter would die for.
If they're not criticizing their counterparts, do they ever praise they're counterparts? Any fighter get mentioned more than most?
Hendo gets praised a ton for both his in and out-of-cage work. And Jose Aldo comes to mind as a fighter other fighters drool over.
Call me cheap, but I think Dana is doing an awful job of balancing free shows and PPV's. He needs to give the fans bigger and better free shows, and not put everything on PPV. The economy is horrible, we cant all afford 20-24 PPV's a year. Look at the numbers, they will keep decreasing except for the big time fights
I do believe internally there is an initiative to get more free fights on TV. But that doesn't mean there will be a decrease in the # of annual PPVs. And as you know, Paul, the PPVs have most of the big fights. I wish more of my friends were into MMA to lessen the cost. That's why it's incumbent upon all of us to help expand the sport and introduce people to it.
Went to my first UFC event this weekend. Thank god my tickets were free
Pretty cool live show though, no? Sorry you didn't enjoy the fight card.
Buy or Sell? Anik has more than 5 kids?
Sell. Siblings are the greatest blessing in my life, but it'll take some convincing for me to run it back again. Watching my wife go through that long labor was difficult.
JA- When will MMA LIVE next be at a UFC Event?? You guys truly add to the experience! BTW Brock and financial crisis= lower ppv numbers
Not sure, Mike. We haven't blown it out since February. I'm jonesin', too. Would love to take this thing back on the road.
Likely opponent for machida and will it be soon?
Hopefully we'll see him before the end of the year. Gotta see what happens in Brazil. A fight between Machida and Forrest Griffin has a lot of merit.
I try to spread the word about MMA as much as I can here at work, but unfortunately, I work with a lot of females. #notcatchingon
Interesting. My wife really doesn't like sports but, for whatever reason, she loves MMA. #ThankGod
you need to get on the Watch The Throne bandwagon. Sick album
On it. Thanks.
Are there any MMA fantasy games available on ESPN?
We did a pick 'em contest for UFC 113 and UFC 114. Nothing since, other than Streak for the Cash every now and then.
Wow i cant believe weve gone this long without a metnion of a Silva vs GSP or Silva vs Jones
Did someone really just say "unfortunately, I work with a lot of females?"
From your keyboard to Joe Silva's ears. Rest assured, Bonnar has made it known that he wants the fight. I just don't see why it wouldn't be made.
Two things: Everyone stop hating on JA because he likes Evans and there needs to be consequences for Vitor Belforts wreckless strikes.
I would like to see some consequences as well, but I believe a disqualification or no-contest, in this instance, is too stiff a penalty.
Stann or Sonnen?
I've worked with both guys quite a bit on MMA Live, so maybe I shouldn't pick the fight. :) The early lean is towards Stann. Just love his recent activity and improvement.
Sonnen by DOMINANT UD
No result in that fight would surprise me. Love Chael's fearlessness.
@ Marc in MA. Yes I did. you would feel the same way if you'd get a glance at these women. Social work women are nothing to stare at. hahaha
Ouch, dude. Let's keep it clean.
love the chats. Do u think griffin has a shot at the LHW belt within a year? Btw can u get the mobile version off mma updated? I'm always having to scrounge for my mma info
Will pass along the message. As for Griffin and the belt, he'll need to win at least 2 more fights. And that said, I don't think he wants anything to do with Jon Jones.
If Tim Kennedy doesnt get a shot at the gator they need to bring him into the UFC ASAP.
I would agree that, beyond a rematch with Jacare, there aren't a lot of options for Kennedy under the Strikeforce label.
i didn't have much to say today, but the chat was great as always! thanks for your time!
My pleasure. Appreciate you being here, Jordan.
Alright, folks. Gotta get going on MMA Live script. Show is back on ESPN2 tomorrow night at 12:30AM ET/9:30PM PT. Stephan Bonnar is back in Bristol and Rashad Evans will be on, likely by phone. I'll have more updates today on Twitter. You can follow me @Jon_Anik. And if I missed your question, please try me on Twitter and I'll hit you back. Thanks for being here. -JA