Thanks for being here. Have a hard out at 2PM ET today, so wanted to get going early. How about Jonny Bones, people?
Got to love a slow day at work and extended lunches with Jonny-boy
Who is the greatest welterweight of all time: Hughes or GSP?
I think it is probably GSP. Both great champions and HOFers.
Whats up next for Koscheck? 170 or 185?
I really think he is undersized at 185 lbs. Thankfully, fear has never been an issue. I believe there are still big fights for him at 170, but he had better hope that St-Pierre loses to Carlos Condit if he's to get another crack at the gold.
How big of a mistake did Machida make passing on the Evans fight? Seems like he is really out of the loop now.
Not sure exactly why Machida didn't accept that fight, but perhaps he wouldn't have been in the best position to win. The current layoff and lack of opponent isn't ideal, but he'll be fine.
Anik, nice performance in "Warrior" my friend! Hey, can you shed some light on my recent comment on ESPN's rankings of the LW division. Why are Aoki and Alvarez so high up when they haven't been challenged, yet Henderson and Guida are below them even after beating top 10 competition in Miller and Pettis?
I really don't like doing rankings. They are an inconvenient truth of covering MMA for a living. They are highly subjective. On Eddie Alvarez, I have been called out quite a bit for having him as the No. 2 lightweight in the world. But I stand by it. I have been cageside for 4 of his fights and believe he is worthy of that distinction. I also don't think it is fair to dismiss a guy like Pat Curran as a non-challenger. One thing I will say- it is certainly more difficult for the UFC lightweights to keep their ranking.
Rampage-Griffin in Japan?? Or does Forrest take an extended break and the Hendo-Rua loser make more sense??
A rematch with Forrest Griffin has been at the top of Rampage's wish list for some time. That said, I'm not sure Griffin is inclined to travel to Japan to make it happen. I'd be pleasantly surprised if Griffin accepted a 2nd straight fight on foreign soil. Brazil didn't go well.
What up JA! Thanks for taking the time. How good did Nate Diaz look. He dominated.
Best he has ever looked, for me. Great submissions, great stand-up. He'll forever have trouble with wrestlers and that is an issue. Gotta be able to stuff takedowns with consistency, or he'll never win consistently.
Buzzmaster, lets get that Auto Update turned on before all the panties get twisted...
Do you think you'll see Hughes fight again?
I hope not. If he wants to try to avenge his loss to Dennis Hallman, I'd be cool with that. But I'm with Hughes' wife in the camp of folks who have seen enough.
I'm here, Sensei. What should I watch this weekend? UFC or Wisc-Neb?
Maybe watch the game live and DVR the fights? The UFC main card this weekend is fairly strong, but I can't help but look ahead to UFC 136.
How "would you feel" if you were D. Cruz and headlining a free cable card as champion?
It is what it is. I don't believe Cruz is ready to carry a PPV. He needs to maximize the exposure on free TV. I also think it is imperative that he pursue a finish. Needs a highlight-reel KO or submission to help w/ promotion and marketability.
Seriously. My wife rarely turns away. When she hears a fighter say 'my jaw is broken', she turns away.
Any chance Vitor moves up to 205? Having already fought Spider, he can certainly make some noise at LHW.
I guess it's a possibility, but wouldn't be my recommendation. He's a killer at 185.
"Inconvenient Truth". I'll be expecting my royalty check in the mail.
Jon, do you feel that people are overestimating the buyrate for UFC 141? Lesnar is a draw, but the event is on a Friday and casual fans have no idea who Overeem is. I think 800,000 buys personally.
I think it will absolutely go north of 1,000,000 PPV buys. I think perhaps you are underestimating Lesnar's drawing power and consistency when it comes to UFC PPV buys. I also think the promotion the event will receive on the 11/12 FOX debut will help boost the number considerably.
Will Miguel Torres ever fight for the 135 pound belt and will he win it?
I do believe Torres will eventually find his way back into a championship fight. Winning it is a tall order, especially against a guy as seemingly dominant as Dominick Cruz.
UFC 136 or 137?
Back-to-back PPVs that are both worth the money. The UFC 136 main card is as strong, top to bottom, as any all year. And UFC 137 is almost as outstanding.
How do you think Edgar vs Maynard 3 will play out?
Most experts I talk to love Maynard in the fight. I don't necessarily see it that way. I think Edgar will get off to a better start and win by unanimous decision. Stick and move, baby.
Have you heard about the UFC's plan to host a Las Vegas event the same night as the Japan event? What do you think about this?
Hadn't heard that.
True or false, ufc 135 was the last time rampage will ever challenge for a title?
True. Would love to be wrong on that. Just not sure how long Rampage feels like fighting for.
JA!! What'd you think of Sat's card? I was pretty unimpressed.
Not a great main card, but the Jon Jones and Josh Koscheck performances made up for a lot of the previous action. They can't all be card-of-the-year candidates, I guess.
Jon, greetings from the North! When do you see Evans/Jones happening. Is it Superbowl weekend or are they the next head coaches of the ultimate fighter?
I think Super Bowl weekend is likely. A TUF season with those two would be epic, but I don't know if that is in the plans or not.
Who should Machida fight at ufc 140?
I'd like to see him face Alexander Gustafsson, but he already has a fight. Too bad Stephan Bonnar has that tough fight with Kyle Kingsbury. He'd love another crack at Machida.
Do you think too many people are getting caught up being prisoners of the moment in putting jones on the same level as A. Silva? 9 title defenses to 1...
No, I don't. He's still young and has a lot of room to improve. But his performances in the UFC have been flawless. Brilliant. The man never gets touched. As I wrote on Twitter, he is as cerebral as he is explosive as he is creative. And he uses his marked size advantage beautifully. With all due respect to GSP, Jon Jones is the No. 2 P4P fighter in the world for me.
JA, who do you have between the Axe Murderer and Cung Le?
Really hoping Wanderlei Silva can turn back the clock. Cung Le is by no means a complete mixed martial artist, so hopefully Wanderlei can dip into the bag of tricks and pull something out.
What was the first MMA fight(Main Event) you seen live?
The EliteXC debut in 2007. Main event was Frank Shamrock vs. Renzo Gracie. Renzo won on a disqualification. Other fighters on the card were Mike Pyle, Gina Carano, K.J. Noons (KO'd by Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett, and Smokin' Joe Villasenor. I've been hooked ever since.
Jon, what are your thoughts on "mighty mouse" and his chances against a top notch guy like D.Cruz.
Vegas has him as a mammoth underdog and, while I think he deserves a better chance than that, I just don't see him winning. I don't expect him to be able to take Cruz down with regularity, nor do I think he can keep him there long enough to do appreciable damage. I like Cruz on points.
Jon!! We owe it to you as fans to update your wikipedia profile!! Aniks Maniaks lets edit his Bio accordingly!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Anik
has the Joe Warren bubble burst?
I think so. Risky move by Bellator to allow him to compete at 135. Now, they have a featherweight champion who couldn't even make it out of the quarterfinal round of the promotion's bantamweight tournament.
This season of TUF looks to be the best in a while, if ever! Any favorites so far Jon?
I agree, but no favorites whom I could mention by name off the top of my head. Too early.
More legit bad blood: Jones/Evans or Evans/Rampage?
And in terms of the post-fight setting, I don't blame Jones for being peeved that Evans was brought back in the cage to confront him. But it wasn't Rashad's call. He did that already in New Jersey and the look on Rashad's face said that he didn't really want to upstage Jones or the moment. And, there is no upstaging what Jones did to Rampage.
Over or Under 3 more fights in the UFC for Lesnar?
Said you'd never pick agaisnt Hendo again, how far does he go in todays UFC @205?
I like him against most of the UFC light heavyweights, including Shogun Rua. Only guys I would favor to beat Hendo would probably be Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
Jon Jones' "single leg takedown attempt" at the beginning of the fight, then back drop at the end of Rd. 3: confident, cocky, or neither?
I don't see it as cocky. Jones is trying to win. He's confident and definitely has an ego (who doesn't). But frankly, I'm surprised at all the criticism being levied at Jon Jones. The dude is 24 years old and has Michael Jordan-type hype. I think he's handling it just fine.
Did you and your bro ever pull the switcheroo on a girl back in the day?
Once. She wasn't fooled.
Was really impressed with the way Rampage handled the post fight, giving Jones full credit. Also pumped that he is already angling for his next fight.....
Agreed. What else can you do but pay respect?
Everyone keeps saying Jones eventually moves to HW. Just dont see him doing damage there, thoughts?
I disagree. He'll be a lot thicker when he competes as a heavyweight. And even now, he doesn't look like a 205er. He looked huge in there with Jackson.
Jon, any truth to Spygate or all pre-fight hype?
Don't even care enough to have an opinion. Largely, I think it was a mind game. But even if there was some truth to it, it was never gonna be an impactful component to what transpired on fight night.
JA, As you know I love you work! However, whenever you have Mr. Sonnen on MMA Live you give him K-Flo eyes and I wanted to know why? He has questionable (at best) morals professionally and personally.
I'm kind of sick of defending myself on this front, Mike. The notion that I give Sonnen charity laughs and gaze at him is just ridiculous. MMA Live is not a morality test. And I believe he is one of the best analysts out there, even if he has an agenda.
What do you think about Kenny's chances against Aldo?
I think he beats him. Been getting some encouraging text messages from Team Florian. I strongly believe this will be the night K-Flo finally breaks through.
Don't listen to these boneheads, SONNEN is hilarious and informed, and an outstanding fighter!!
what do you think about a Travis Browne Matt Mitrione matchup. two very spry heavies that come to bang.
First, Mitrione has to get through Cheick Kongo. We are expecting to have Travis Browne back on the show this week. We'll ask him who he wants next.
How did you like doing play by play this past weekend? Any feedback?
One of the highlights of my broadcasting career for sure. There is just nothing like doing live events and, overall, I was pretty satisfied with how it went. If I can't be calling an MMA fight, I'd like to be doing football. What a thrill. And thanks to those who watched and shouted out on Twitter. Meant a lot to me.
Are you still leaning towards stann over sonnen and its almost oct will it be here soon
Yes. Rarely do I back fighters coming off of long layoffs. And Stann is undefeated at 185. This space says he stays that way.
Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller; you on board?
If overweight HWs like Broughton, Browne, Rothwell, and Hunt never fight at altitude again it will still be 1 time too many. Ugly fights.
Agreed. Hunt v. Rothwell was not a good showcase for the UFC.
If Leben gets by Munoz, who is next for him? Kos at 185? Winner of Santiago/Maia?
I don't believe it will be Koscheck. And the winner of Santiago-Maia, at least from a divisional rankings standpoint, would actually be a step down. Perhaps he could fight Vitor Belfort.
Jon, your BoSox making the post season?
I don't believe so.
Nice win for Kos, but it can't mean as much as if he beat him 4 or 5 years ago right?
Correct. But that said, Koscheck looked outstanding. He has really developed into a slick boxer. Most impressive for me was his accuracy. Nearly every power show finds its home.
Chost, admit it, if Spider fought Jones, you would pick Jones. That being said, doesn't Jones have to be your P4P #1?
Very generally speaking, P4P lists don't consider the future as much as the past and present. We don't have hard criteria guidelines for our ESPN MMA Power Rankings. If we did, I'd probably be forced to have GSP at No. 2.
so what does the future hold for kos?
Just has to bide his time at 170 lbs. and eventually big fights will materialize. I'd like to see him fight Diego Sanchez. And I do believe a catch-weight fight between Koscheck and Stephan Bonnar to have legs.
Will Nam Phan get revenge on Garcia?
I think so.
How did everything go in calling the college game?
Well, thanks. Damn fun.
If BJ wins against Diaz, buy or sell Kos vs BJ?
Works for me, but the GSP-Condit result will play a role in that decision.
Kos vs Ellenberger?
I like that a bunch.
I am in the dark on this one. What is the beef between Bonnar and Koscheck?
Had to do with Bonnar's now-defunct line of Trash Talkin' Kids t-shirts. A google search will give you more details.
Tim Boetsch vs Alan Belcher?
Matchmakers abound today...
If Edgar loses, does BJ give 155 another shot?
I'm not sure he's in any great rush to fight Maynard or move back down, for that matter. There are a ton of big - and winnable - fights for Penn at 170. I think he is where he belongs for now.
Jon Jones' first (real) loss will be to ______?
Anik! Just checking in. Sorry you can't be in DC Saturday. I'll send you pics!
Have fun, Robert.
Nate Diaz looked like a monster saturday. best boxing at 155 outside of frankie edgar.
He's in the convo.
Been a while since I last posted! With like 6 titles up for grabs in the next few months, who all do you think lose their title?
I believe Jose Aldo will lose his title. Also think Junior dos Santos has a great chance to close as the favorite against Cain Velasquez. But all of the expert picks on JDS have scared me off.
We all should have trash talkin Kids tees! Love it.
Bonnar brought me a collector's item 'American Wacko' one last week. Appreciative.
Fight of the year for 2011 so far?
Maybe Nick Diaz v. Paul Daley? Edgar-Maynard back on New Year's Day is also worthy, as are several others I trust I'm forgetting.
WTF is up with the 6 month medical suspension for Bones?
Don't read too much into it. Just needs a doctor's clearance and he can return prior.
Odds of Mighty Mouse pulling the upset? 25%?
I'd say 20%.
When Florian loses, does he retire?
Should Florian lose, I don't believe he'll retire. I'd expect him to move back up to 155 for a fight or three. And then I hope he comes and sits next to me in the TV studio full-time.
Thiago Silva could beat Jon Jones he has the predator attacking mind-set
He has the killer instinct and the fearlessness. But not the skills, nor the size to beat Jon Jones.
Keep seeing the Jones spinning elbow on Bonnar. Was that legal because Jones didn't target the back of the head?
I still believe it was an illegal strike. I don't believe the target matters as much as the ultimate location of the strike.
I heard that Forrest Griffin has a tough time making 205. He looked really thin and drawn walking into the cage against Rua. What do you think of him moving to heavyweight?
Oftentimes he balloons up to north of 255 lbs. But he hasn't missed weight in his UFC career. He's been kinda hittable of late and I fear that might happen even more frequently, were he to move up in weight. I believe he'll stay at 205 lbs.
I know you have picked Kenny (probably some bias in there ;)) to win but you haven't really said why. What advantages does he have in the fight?
Experience is one advantage. I also think he can give Aldo several different looks in the striking/Muay Thai department. He's a southpaw and very well-rounded. Very hard guy to put away. And I do believe his cardio is an advantage. It's happening.
Does Nate Diaz's prior win over Guillard put him that high on the 155 rankings?
Not really, no. He's lost several times since that win over Guillard. That was a nice win- don't get me wrong. But it doesn't do much for Diaz at present.
Seemed like there was some pretty serious animosity on the part of Jon Jones towards Evans thoughts?
No doubt there is bad blood there. Talk about an easy PPV to promote.
Guillard knocks Diaz out if they fight today.
Agreed. Melvin Guillard could actually be the best lightweight in the world right now.
I'm most interested in Rumble vs. Brenneman this Saturday, what fight sparks your interest the most from this weekends card?
That one. I think it is absolutely Rumble's fight to lose, but it's the fight on the card with the most intrigue for me. Huge opportunity for Brenneman to piggyback upon his win over Rick Story.
Chost, I'm a big KFlo fan and will be rooting hard for him at 136. That being said, this is probably his last shot for a title, right? He would be so far down the pecking order if he went back to the stacked LW division.
Yes. And that plays into my analysis as well. I expect a great sense of urgency from Florian and perhaps more of a willingness than in fights past to get knocked out. I believe Team Florian is acutely aware of the fact that this is likely their last shot at a UFC title.
Do you care to see Rampage fight ever again?
Sure. Can't bury the guy for losing to someone like Jon Jones. He did beat Lyoto Machida last year.
Where do you have bones Jones on p4p list?
At #2. And I had him there prior to this past weekend. To much criticism, I moved him to #2 after he bludgeoned Shogun Rua.
Guillard is the most overrated LW in the division. Many ppl scored his fights with Jeremy Stephens and Ronys Torres for Stephens and Torres.
He's just improved so much though, Pat. Even since then...
Would you say it's a two horse race for biggest up-and-comer at ESPN between Jon Anik and Lindsay Czarniak?
Hahahaha. She's got game.
When Rashad loses to Jones, does he finally go to MW? Also, why doesn't he like coming to ESPN anymore?
Two great questions. Guess he doesn't need the money. I'm not sure Rashad will ever be in any great rush to move down to 185 lbs., but a loss to Jones could pave the way for that move.
Lions or Bills? you buying the 3-0 starts?
Buying both teams. I think the Lions are a lock to make the playoffs. Really big week for Buffalo. Curious to see if there is any letdown against the Bengals.
Does the Bader/Brilz loser get the ax?
Just be honest with us MMA live will never go live again! Will it?
On location? I certainly hope so. As you know, it's not my call. Haven't done a remote since UFC 126. And I share your disappointment. A lot of the feedback we get is that it just makes the UFC PPVs feel that much bigger when you can watch a live post-fight show on ESPN2.
Does Victor Ortiz get the rematch and if so, how do you like his chances?
Not good. Finally got to watch the fight in its entirety. The Mayweather KO wasn't 'classy', but what the hell was Ortiz doing? Put your hands up, especially after the first strike. Don't look for Joe Cortez to bail you out. Epic fail. And Mayweather is much better.
Who has looked most impressive in defeat against Jones?
Maybe Bonnar, who some argue took a round from Jones.
Religiously here every wednesday....
Religiously appreciate that.
What do you think about my boy Sanu?? Kid's a beast right. And you did an awesome job too.
Thanks, Mike. Mohamed Sanu is the best college WR I have seen this year. He is coming to a fantasy league near you next year.
If I say I am "Jason from T-town", will you answer more of my questions?
Rarely if ever do I look at the who. I look at the what. Sorry, Kyle.
What do you think about Bellator's low ratings? I love Bellator and don't know why they can't draw more viewers.
Fights have been strong. Not sure why the numbers haven't been. I just think there are a lot of MMA and UFC fans for whom Bellator isn't even on the radar. Bjorn Rebney has done a lot of things right and I wish them the best.
Any interest in watching Bubba Jenkins mma debut?
What up JA? I made it! :)... Are there any Boston prospects to watch/root for coming out of Florian Martial Arts once Kenny is done?
Probably a question better posed to @KeithFlorian on Twitter. Tell him I sent you.
Flacco or Roethlisberger for the rest of the fantasy season? I feel like Flacco's been pretty lucky with all the TD's so far. Big Ben is racking up the yards now.
Good stuff JA. gotta roll!
Thanks for playing.
Barry-Struve that has to be the favorite for K.O. of the night right
I think you're definitely gonna get a finish there. My forecast is for a Struve submission.
How would Alexis Villa do against Cruz?
Still haven't seen enough of Villa to accurately opine. But so far, so, so good.
Last call for alcohol...
I heard Wilbon tried to jack Rashad's swagger last time in Bristol and thats why he's not coming back.
Wilbon had better not show his face here in Bristol with all of that MMA ignorance spewing out of D.C.!
JON, , if Guillard gets through, don't you love a fight with he and Ellenberger?? Might be better than the title fight with GSP!!!!
Guillard is a lightweight, Ken. Not gonna happen.
Larger in person, Overeem or Lesnar?
Definitely Brock. The width just blows you away. Overeem ain't small, though.
so picks for this weekend?
Cruz, Johnson, Struve and Wiman. And the Raiders over the Patriots. :)
YOU POST that ignorant question from Ken? Hey, Ken. GTFO!
Jay, I am an equal opportunity poster. I am roundly criticized whenever I post something from a casual fan. Hard to win in here, sometimes.
Was that bush what Reyes and the Mets did by pulling him in the first off a bunt single to try and clinch the batting title?
Didn't see that. Interesting decision. Batting titles are hard to come by, but I don't like the move. I remember when Nomar hit .372. There was no pulling him on the season's final day.
JA, thoughts on the Jones/Rampage getting FOTN? Rampage looked lost... Hate it when UFC gives bonuses to marquee fights over better fights on the undercard
Which fight deserved the distinction?
Who takes the Wild Card, Boston or Tampa?
Tampa Bay. Home-field advantage. Really hope to be wrong on that.
Jon, where is the love for Brady and the boys? You pick that offense losing to the Raiders?
Reverse jinx. That Darren McFadden is something else.
Jon Jones on Jim Rome next you going to listen?
Have a meeting.
Hey Anik, ignore the haters. You strike a good balance in here. I am a "new" fan (not a hard core lifer) and you are helping grow MMA awareness. Thanks.
Appreciate it, Troy. Good note on which to end. MMA Live programming reminder: We are on ESPN2 tomorrow night at 11PM Vegas time or 2AM Boston time. We will have Gilbert Melendez and Chael Sonnen in Bristol. How about Chael coming out here 10 days before his fight? Ballsy. If I missed your question, you can find me on Twitter- @Jon_Anik. Talk to you next Weds. -JA