Thanks for being here. A lot to discuss in the MMA world, as usual. Midway through the chat, I'll reveal the guest line-up for MMA Live on Friday (11PM ET on ESPN2).
Greatest chat of the week is here!
We do what we can. Appreciate the loyalty.
Chost, I think Big Nog is going to bring Schaub into his world in route to a first round tapout victory. Thought?
I'd imagine you are in the minority with that opinion. I worry about the layoff for Nogueira, not to mention all of the tread on his tires. Plus, Schaub was critical of his effort against Cro Cop and I think we'll see a much better version of B-Schaub in Rio. We'll see what happens.
Who does Bendo face next?
There are three UFC lightweights right now- Ben Henderson, Clay Guida & Melvin Guillard who all have some sort of case for a title shot. I actually think Bendo is the most worthy out of that bunch, but I believe a fight between Henderson and Guida to make the most sense at present.
whats the latest on overeem and the ufc
As far as I know, negotiations continue. But I don't believe a deal is imminent. We'll see.
How surprised were you that the UFC decided to keep Dan Hardy? Or were you more shocked in Lytle's retirement?
Wasn't surprised by either development. First on Lytle- he has taken a lot of hard shots, even though he hasn't been on the wrong side of a traditional knockout. I think he is walking away with his wits and at the right time. As for Dan Hardy, there is no doubting his dynamic personality, his ability to move the needle, and his fighting spirit. But to retain a guy who has lost 4 straight, in some sense, de-emphasizes winning. I understand the reasoning behind keeping Hardy. Can't say whether or not I would've made the same decision.
Do you think the UFC made the right decision to not cut Dan Hardy?
They are a business first and foremost. He would seem to have some value to other promotions if let go and he obviously still has value to the UFC.
Weekly plug for Warrior?
Thanks for the reminder, JD. The best MMA movie that has ever been made, 'Warrior', comes out on Sept. 9th. It's a Lionsgate film and a major motion picture. And MMA Live just so happens to be in it. Really hope you all will help spread the word and go see it in theatres.
Whose next for Miller? How far down the chain did he fall? Also auto-update is off.
I think Jim Miller will be just fine. It'll be tough to work his way back into contention anytime soon, given the still logjammed UFC lightweight division. But Miller is good enough, tough enough, and determined enough to make another run. He would seemingly have to face another fighter coming off a loss. Perhaps Mark Bocek or George Sotiropoulos. I'm open to suggestions.
Hey Jon! I read somewhere that if Alistair Overeem signs with the UFC that he would fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 140. Thoughts??
I'd love to see it. Who wouldn't?
JA, heard reports on Rampage spending a million on his camp to fight Jones. My question is who would you rather see beat Jones? Rashad or Rampage?
It was mentioned last week on MMA Live. I believe a win over Jon Jones would mean more, on a personal level, to Rashad Evans than it would to Rampage Jackson. Y'all know I expect Jonny Bones to reign for some time, but seeing Rampage get the belt back would be a win for the UFC, too. Tough question, James. I seem to have danced around it.
What's next for Donald Cerrone? Thought he looked great on Sunday. Winner of Stout/Siver or Guillard/Lauzon perhaps?
Cerrone is the man. I was roundly criticized for proclaiming him a future No. 1 contender. Certainly looked the part on Sunday. I think the Stout-Siver winner makes sense. A fight b/w Guillard and Cerrone is near the top of my wish list, but given that they both train under Greg Jackson, I'm not sure of the likelihood.
Has Kenflo started his training for Aldo yet or will he be making another appearance on MMA Live?
K-Flo is off of MMA Live until after the Aldo fight. I'm sure he'll join us at least once before the title fight, but he won't be in Bristol. He's grinding.
Giuda vs Henderson ... loser shaves his head !!!
Best of luck getting either party to agree to that. Those men love their lettuce.
JA, do you think it's a good thing for the UFC to sign a deal with Fox? Will we, the tv watchers, notice any difference in programming in your opinion? Thanks
I think getting the world's greatest MMA promotion on network TV is a huge win for the sport. I can't speak to specific changes in programming, but I think it's a sound deal for the UFC. And...the little girl is doing great, Jake. Thanks. Tried to have a boy...but wouldn't change a thing. Riley is the greatest.
Do you think Chael Sonnen will be successful in his attempt to turn the entire country of Brazil against the Silva's? LOL!
Chael is insane. Curious when we'll get him back on MMA Live.
Any Bellator picks for us?
I am a big Pat Curran supporter. Perhaps I saw a different fight than most cageside observers, but I was impressed at his gameness in going 25 hard minutes with Eddie Alvarez. Sandro is lethal, but I like Curran on points. Also don't expect Cole Konrad to have too much trouble with Paul Buentello. And I like Ricco Rodriguez to finish Seth Petruzelli. Were it not for the baby, I'd be headed to Mohegan.
Cerrone tweeted that while his training partners are his brothers he puts his career first and will fight anyone
That's what I like to hear.
Cerrone and Henderson are AWESOME. Love those guys.
I'm right there with ya. As stated back in April, I believe Ben Henderson is a future UFC lightweight champion. Hope you locked in on both of those underdog plays this weekend. :)
JA - Are you going to Bellator this weekend at Mohegan?
Unfortunately, not. Priorities have changed a touch of late.
Are you as sick of hearing about corrupt schools (OSU, da U) as I am?
I don't even click on those stories.
Ed Herman has been very impressive. Creduer is game and Noke hadn't tapped in 9 years. Thoughts ??
No argument here. Sunday was a big night for Ed Herman. It's all about what he does with it from here, though.
Hardy vs. Scott Smith... neither move their heads, would be a sick brawl
I just don't want to see Scott Smith fight anymore. He is a shot fighter and I'd like him to see him go hang out with his kids and avoid further punishment.
Have you tapped out during a diaper change yet?
I am unsubmittable when it comes to diapers, just as Ben Henderson is unsubmittable when it comes to MMA. Welcome back, Snacks.
Love the chat Chost. Just wanted to take the opportunity to express my condolences to Shawn Tompkins' family and friends. RIP
Indeed. And shame on me for not mentioning Tompkins off the top. I never met the man face-to-face, but have been touched by the outpouring of praise from our tight-knit MMA community. Tompkins was a passionate, emotional guy and one of the best striking coaches MMA has ever seen. He loved his fighters like sons and his legacy is a strong one. God Bless his family.
Whats next for Bader? Hopefully Cain holds up cause my ASU boys are on the decline! (Bader, Dollaway)
I think Kingsbury is on the rise, though. Bader has a lot of work to do if he is gonna beat any of the top 10 UFC light heavyweights. I would've suggested Hamill, had he not retired.
Why do you say bendo and Guida deserve the shot over Guillard?
Guillard has a strong case as well with his 5-fight winning streak and most of those wins have been very emphatic. I don't intend to diminish what he has done of late. It's just that when Guida beat Anthony Pettis, Pettis was 'the guy', or next in line. And when Henderson beat Jim Miller, Miller was 'the guy'. Those wins carry more weight than Guillard's victories over Evan Dunham and Shane Roller, neither of whom was in the top 10.
How much do you like the newly announced matchup of Kampmann vs Story? I love it!!
Are you going to the movie premiere for the Warrior? And where is it being held? Should be in VEGAS!!
My twin brother is getting married in LA on September 4th, so it'll be hard to make it back to the West Coast again for the premiere. I'm now responsible for a little girl.
Do you think Bellator could possibly get picked up by Spike with them now being done with UFC? Honestly, I'd probably watch more Bellator if it could be on an HD channel.
I think that is a distinct possibility. Bellator in HD is a must. Watching MMA in standard definition leaves a lot to be desired.
It took 7 wins for Jim Miller to be 1 win away from a title shot...how many does he need now?
Really depends who he fights and the manner in which he wins. I'd think he's at least 3 wins away from a title shot, given the logjam. Perhaps he could get a fight with the Edgar-Maynard loser and that would put him on a faster track.
If Pettis beats Stephens does a rematch with Bendo make sense?
It makes some sense. But I think Henderson has a case for a bigger fight right now. I assume he'll eventually get an opportunity to avenge that loss, but it may not be right away.
Reports of Fedor's next fight has very lack luster opponents. Do you think Fedor should hang it up and that his heart is not in it anymore?
I said prior to Fedor's fight with Hendo that he seemed to be a reluctant fighter. I have come off of that stance a little bit. I believe he has some fight left. He's just so reckless and undisciplined of late.
what do you think about the sanchez v hughes matchup? Early pick?
Interested to see what kind of performance we get out of Matt Hughes. Many believe it'll be his final UFC appearance and you know he wants to go out in style. I think he's lost some strength and that could stand to benefit Diego Sanchez. I think it's a close fight.
will mma live be making it to ufc 136 if so i will be there and i want an autograph chost
You can find me on Twitter and send me your address. I'll send you an autographed pic of MMA Live crew b/c you've been chatting with us from the beginning. Unfortunately, due to fantasy football commitments, it'll be difficult for me and other MMA Live staffers to get to Houston.
When is Condit Vs Penn happening?
October 29th. UFC 137. Vegas.
Whats your take on Kimbo working with Jared Shaw? Really, making a big deal about knocking out a 0-1 Boxer?
It's not on my radar.
Would Overeem/Lesnar be a terrible way to introduce Overeem to the UFC?
Why do you say that? I think Overeem should face one of the top guys. I'd love to see him fight Frank Mir.
When will the UFC be back in FL? We miss it here.
Good question. Wish I had a good answer for you. I've got a lot of family down there.
Does the fact that Lytle got Hardy to tap but GSP couldn't mean anything?
There was some traction on that storyline on Twitter after the fight. I'm not sure I make a ton of it, although clearly Hardy was a fighter GSP needed to put away. I actually think Dan Hardy was a better fighter in 2009 than he is right now. And that's too bad, if indeed it's the case.
For awhile you have said the Miller vs Henderson was your most anticipated matchup. Now that its over, whats fight are you most looking forward to now?
And Henderson-Miller certainly lived up to the billing for me. Now, I would say the aforementioned B.J. Penn-Carlos Condit scrap is at the top of my list. And you'd be crazy not to be intrigued to see what Jake Ellenberger can get done against Jake Shields.
Hey Chost. Congrats on the little one! Bendo made Miller look like a beginner! Does he go straight for the title or fight Guida first?
Best guess is that he'll fight Guida first, but only time will tell. I think the UFC might wait for Edgar-Maynard result before making any decisions.
Does John Howard have a legit beef about being cut?
When you lose 3 straight in the UFC, it's hard to keep your job, even if the opposition is strong.
Why doesn't UFC come to Ohio again since Ohio has had some of the top attendances in the states in UFC History?
They'll be back, Wally. The demand for the UFC is such that they just can't be everywhere every year.
Should the UFC consider bringing over some SF heavyweights to help pad their roster? Say... a Fabricio Werdum who was 1 basic game plan away from beating Overeem... and of course the Grand Prix winner.
I believe it's only a matter of time before we see some of Strikeforce's best heavyweights transitioned to the UFC. There are some contractual issues at play, but eventually it will happen. I'd love to see Antonio 'Big Foot' Silva make his way to the Octagon. Easy man to root for that Big Foot.
Could there ever be a time where UFC is no longer on PPV?
I agree that Howard should have been cut, but then the UFC keeps Hardy after 4 straight losses? With the 4th one being Chris Lytle?
Read my response earlier in the chat, if you would. Not saying I would've made the same decision, but I understand why it was made.
Has the UFC retired Bonnar or what??
Hahaha. Absolutely not. I can tell you that Bonnar's likely return date will be November 19th at UFC 139 in San Jose. And he'd love to fight Rich Franklin. Tito Ortiz could also be a possibility, but both of those guys are coming off a loss, which makes it tricky.
When is Bonnar vs Koscheck gonna happen?
Bonnar will have at least one more fight before a Koscheck bout materializes.
How do you see the Okami Silva fight playing out?
I tend to think it will go the distance. Anderson Silva really doesn't like that Okami cat and will pursue the finish. But Okami is hard to put away.
Any news on Hendo returning to the UFC?
i would pay double to watch bonnar fight kosh
Let your voice be heard to Dana White.
Will TUF be on FX from now on?
No idea, brother. Looks that way, but too early to say.
Okami has about the same chance against Silva as Rampage does against Jones.
I would give Okami a 10% chance to beat Anderson Silva. I think the Spider actually gained a lot of confidence in the fight with Chael Sonnen. If he can absorb that type of beating and rally to win, what can't he overcome?
Any ideas/thoughts on how well Bendo would hold up against wrestling of edgar/maynard?
Henderson is no slouch on the mat. I think he's ready for that challenge. Bendo has so many weapons and his athleticism will help him get out of bad spots.
MMA Live is Friday night at 11PM ET on ESPN2. Miguel Torres makes his return to Bristol. We'll also have Ben Henderson via satellite from Phoenix...
...and Chael Sonnen makes his return to MMA Live. The middleweight contender joins us via satellite from Oregon. :)
If the UFC does, in fact, have 4 fights on Fox next year will they be higher quality fight cards than those usually put on free tv?
I'd be shocked if you didn't see at least 1-2 title fights on Fox. But I'm not all-knowing. Just my opinion.
Hendo to UFC?
I do believe Dan Henderson will return to the UFC.
Heretofore, Ben Henderson is either 'Bendo' or 'Smooth One'. Just as there is only one Ricky Hatton, there is only one Hendo.
Do you have any pull with Cerrone? I'd love to hear him change his nickname to "Rice" for just ONE fight intro...
He's heard that message loud and clear. I don't think he's looking to be cute or funny when it comes to his MMA entrance/announcement. But I see the merit.
So, have you started to introduce Riley to MMA yet?! Gotta get 'em hooked early!
She was awake for the fights on Sunday night.
Is UFC planning a big show for super bowl weekend? Who could be a possibility?
I would imagine so and there are a lot of possibilities. I think you could see a lightweight or light heavyweight title fight on that card. Calendar also plays out nicely for a welterweight title fight.
JA, Fantasy Football Question I get 4 keepers out of these 5 who is the 1 you would let go... Brady, Chris Johnson, Lesean Mccoy, Jamal Charles or Calvin Johnson???
I'd love to be in your position. I might part with Chris Johnson, given all the contract stuff. No way I'd let Jamaal Charles or Calvin go.
I tend to agree with you. Go big or go home on network tv.
Bye Bye Lesean Mccoy!
What do you waste time answering stupid questions like "When is Condit Vs Penn happening?" Are you worried that people don't know how to Google "Condit vs. Penn"?BTW, when is Cro Cop fighting Roy Nelson?
JL, ESPN.com gets a ton of clicks from casual MMA fans. Gotta keep them informed as best I can. Hope it doesn't kill ya too much.
JL from San Diego=hypocrite
I think perhaps his question on Big Country-Cro Cop was meant in jest.
Any safety concerns for Sonnen in Brazil?
I'm with JL!!! Some stupid questions on here every week! BTW, why do they call you Chost??
Bro, can't just be about the hardcore fans. I hope you all can understand that. We don't operate a small MMA blog. This is ESPN.com.
I think more people actually are tired of the 'Chost' question. Hahahaha. It stands for chubby host. My twin bro has been calling me Chost ever since I got on TV. Good news is, I'm marrying him in September, so I've got a chance to get him back in a large way.
Speaking of Big Country, did he really say he'd like to fight at 205 someday? Better chance of him getting into a blue speedo before he'd make 205. With that image in my head, I'll go puke up my lunch.
Try to keep the lunch down, John. But you'd be surprised. If Big Country devotes himself to diet and cardio, he's definitely got the frame of a light heavyweight more so than a heavyweight.
Obviously Hardy is lucky to still be on the roster, but do you think he'll be relegated to the undercard now? I think he deserves to be on the undercard, at best, but he seems to still be a draw, so I could see the UFC putting him on the main. Thoughts?
Good question, Steve. For now, Hardy wants to take an extended break from MMA. I'd be surprised if he landed on a PPV main card, but could certainly be in a TV fight on cable.
To Nery in Oakland, your submission is way too long to post but I didn't want to ignore it. You guys can always find me on Twitter- @Jon_Anik, if I don't get to you here.
I don't get the fascination with Hardy, he doesn't bring anything to to an MMA fight other than punching.
He is definitely a one or two-dimensional fighter. He's got a dynamic way about him as a person, is eloquent and can sell a fight. Like it or not, that's part of the game.
Chost, I hope you give Chael some crap in the interview tomorrow about backing out on his interview last year where he told you he would answer any and all questions
As stated at the time, there were other factors at play. Given Sonnen's legal predicament, coming on MMA Live just didn't make sense. Anything he said could've been used against him. If the decision was Sonnen's, he would've come on. But Chael is ready for Friday. Of that I can assure you.
who does Belfort fight next?
Good question. I think he might hold out for the Munoz-Leben winner.
If Hardy wasnt a star in Britain how likely is it he was still be on the UFC roster?
Really don't know the answer. His nationality is a factor, no doubt. But he's got a big personality, regardless of where he is from.
What was harder for Sonnen to deal with, his last second loss to Silva or away from the media for a year+ ?
Definitely the last-second loss to Silva. He promised his late father he would be the UFC middleweight champion. He had it in his grasp. Had to wrench his gut.
What's next for Joe Benavidez?
Love Benavidez. Urijah Faber is kind of blocking his teammate at 135 lbs. And, of course, he's had two shots against Dominick Cruz already. He's in a tough spot, despite being the consensus No. 2 bantamweight in the world.
You have been involved with MMA for a little while now. What are some personal memories of Shawn Tompkins?
I never met the man, so I lean on my MMA media contemporaries when it comes to Tompkins. And hearing some of the reflections from his fighters tells you all you need to know about the man. He had a huge heart and a definite paternal instinct with his fighters. So young and so sad. I'm sure he's looking down on us and is touched by the outpouring of support and praise.
RIP Shawn Thompkins. MMA lost a good man!
Plenty of fighters from Phoenix-area and ASU (Hendo, Bendo, Cain, Varner, Bader, Dolloway, etc.). Do you see UFC coming to Phoenix?
Would they really give Brock Overeem. Another long layoff for Brock and fighting a top top striker.
Do you have other suggestions for a return fight for Lesnar? Most people don't want to see a third fight between Brock and Mir. Perhaps someone like Brendan Schaub or Nogueira makes more sense. But Lesnar wants to face the best if and when he returns.
I made it! Thoughts (positive and negative) on the UFC network deal with Fox?
Addressed briefly earlier in the chat. It's one thing to have your average MMA promotion on network TV. It's a whole different ballgame to have the UFC on network TV. Don't see too many negatives right now. Still a lot of details to be disclosed.
Last call, heads. Busy afternoon here at the Worldwide Leader.
Whats next for Mir & Fitch? There doesnt seem to be any quality fighters free @ the moment
I think Mir will face Brendan Schaub, provided Schaub beats Nogueira. As for Jon Fitch, I'd like him to face the Shields-Ellenberger winner.
Suprised to see Sadollah get dominated on his feet the way he did, despite a 6" reach advantage?
I was surprised to see Ludwig put that type of one-sided beating on Sadollah. Praise to Amir for his chin, but not much else.
When will we finally see Kos or Fitch fight again?
Don't have any info. on a Koscheck return. I think early 2012 is most likely for both parties. Kinda miss those cats.
I would love to see Brock whoop on the Reem.
Yeah you would. Easier said than done, though.
Any idea how well respected Rogan is within the MMA world? It does seem like most of the fighters like him.
Very well-respected. And you can count me among those who hold him in high regard.
Benavidez its the Fitch of the Bantamweights
I think it's an apt comparison. Many would argue that Benavidez is just more of a finisher and therefore more exciting to watch. But I'm a Fitch guy.
Cool to see the UFC listen to fans and give a title fight on free TV, helps make a weak card a lot stronger and give more visibility to Cruz.
Cerrone - Cole Miller. What is their beef about? I think it could be a good fight.
Not sure of the exact backstory, but I believe it goes back a ways. I'd like to see them settle it in the cage, but Cerrone is beyond that right now.
Okami's strengths? At what point does Silva lose a fight?
Size, strength, durability, wrestling, judo. He's well-rounded, experienced, and game.
what can i expect at the UFC fan expo in houston?
It's a spectacle, not unlike a live UFC show. A ton of fighter appearances and shwag.
Rumors of Machida and Mr. Wonderful fight. Thoughts?
I like it a lot.
Miller beat Leonard Garcia a while back and started talking smack after the fight, Garcia is Cerrone's best friend
What more is there to learn from yet another Primetime series about GSP?
GSP loves to reinvent the wheel (gymnastics prior to the Shields fight) and the Primetime ratings always seem to be strong when he is featured. I hear ya on the desire to see other fighters featured.
Chost, the winner of schaub-Big Nog has been promised the next title shot for what its worth
Understood. We'll see, though.
I really think Rashad dodged a bullet in not fighting Davis. I like him against a lot of the top LHWs.
I wouldn't have picked Davis to win and, based upon what we saw from Evans, I think Rashad would've gotten past him. But that was a very risky fight, and perhaps it works out for Rashad that he didn't have to go through with it. Also could work out nicely for Davis to not have to face Evans.
I used some of your help to a 4-0 night on Sunday (with Bendo especially). You seem to like Forrest as much as me at his price. Why is he such a large dog?
Glad to hear it. Not quite sure why the line is inflated like that. I think it's a very close fight. Shogun is looking for revenge, but I believe Griffin will survive any early onslaught and outlast Rua on points.
Whats your very early pick for the CFB national title game?
Boise State has an early test against Georgia and then not much else. Kinda like Oklahoma.
Do you think constantly being put on his back v Sonnen make Spider a little gun-shy in his Okami matchup?
I don't believe so. As stated previously, confidence is high. Silva is not a tentative fighter.
I have to disagree with Jonathan there. Davis is really raw on the feet and Rashad is a wrestler as well so I would say Davis dodged a bullet at this point in his career...
Who would you favor in match between Silva and Bones Jones??Is that the biggest fight the UFC can currently make?
Perhaps it's the most appealing fight the UFC could make. I still believe a GSP-Anderson Silva mega-fight would do more PPV buys. And I'd favor Jon Jones to beat Silva, largely because of his size.
I asked you a year ago who was the better fantasy keeper prospect - Hernandez v Gronkowski .. looks like you got that one right... Give me your Boston insight on Ridlay v Vareen
Hard not to like what we've seen from Ridley thus far.
Fantasy question- MJD or Mendenhall? Value your opinion! Thanks
Chael Sonnen cheated it would not have mattered if Silva didn't submit him last minute anyway. Sonnen failed drug tests and is a cheater. Lesson to kids short cuts dont get you anywhere, PED's ruin the game.
Leo chimin' in.
Is Roy Nelson seriously contemplating dropping to 205? That would be fascinating to see how he'd do if in shape.
Not anytime soon.
Does Miami FB get the death penalty?
If not, then I'm not sure any school ever will.
I'm I banned because of my simple ?
I don't 'ban' people from the chat. It's busy in here, Jimmy!
forrest will beat shogun take that to the bank
what ufc show do you think mma live will be at next?
Don't know, Angelo. Still think there's an outside chance we go to Houston, but can't be certain. I'm anxious!
Alright, gotta bounce. We hope you'll join us for MMA Live Friday night on ESPN2 (11PM ET, or shortly thereafter). Chael Sonnen and Ben Henderson are with us and Miguel Torres is back in studio. Any unanswered questions can be sent my way on Twitter- @Jon_Anik. Thanks for your time, as always. -JA