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January 27, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:00 PM)

What's going on guys? We've decided to roll out a Friday edition of the MMA chat, so we'll see how this thing goes. What's on your minds? Hit me with your questions/comments, and we'll get this puppy rolling....

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Thanks for adding another MMA chat.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:02 PM)

Happy to do it. If it was up to me we'd chat five days a week.

Tyler (Oklahoma )

Gilbert ranked higher then Benson? No way. Benson has been more impressive against way tougher competition, yet all most every expert has him ranked higher. I don't get it.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:04 PM)

That was a tough call for me. I've had Gilbert at No. 2 or No. 3 since before Henderson fought Jim Miller. He beat Miller and he beat Guida, but couldn't quite justify moving him to No. 2...was tempted though.

adam braden (van nuys)

Hey Chuck, what was the best knockout you ever saw?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

Live, it would be the Rashad Evans knockout of Chuck Liddell at UFC 88. Before Evans landed that shot the place was in a state of anticipation that Chuck was going to land it. Atlanta fell into a hush when the opposite happened. Crazy stuff. But best knockout I've seen in a long while was the Edson Barboza spinning heel-kick that turned the lights out on Terry Etim. Sick stuff.

ryan (cubicle)

John Dodson is gonna be fighting in the May Fox event, do you see this kid contending at somepoint in the featherweight division?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:07 PM)

You know, the flyweight division is in the process of creation right now, but Dodson definitely looks like he'll make some noise. He'd be the first to tell you, too. Will be fun to see Dodson fight the likes of Benavidez and Uncle Creepy.

Jr (Arizona)

Do you think MMA will ever be an olympic sport?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:07 PM)

Not really, at least not for a long time. It's still not sanctioned in New York, so there's a long way to go before we start talking Olympics.

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

Ecstatic there's another ESPN MMA chat during the week. Only thing that gets me through my week at work.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

That's what we like to hear, Jeff. Glad to join the ranks of Chost Anik and Brett Okamoto. Always enjoy(ed) their chats and happy to have this Friday gig.

Alex (DC)

Hey Chuck, what are the real scenarios for Phil, Rashad, and Hendo if Phil beats Rashad?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:10 PM)

I wrote a blog about this. Basically if Rashad Evans wins and he doesn't suffer a set-back with injuries (or otherwise), he gets the title shot next. If Davis wins, he needs to do so impressively to leapfrog Hendo. If he escapes with a decision, I think it goes to Henderson. A lot of "ifs" still in play.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Auto Update is off?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

I think they're fixing this.

Anonymous (Anonymousville)

What's your favorite Elliott Smith song and why

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

Ha. "Color Bars" is good. So is "2:45 in the Morning."

David (Spartanburg)

Are you in Chicago?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

Not in Chicago right now, but will be headed that way tomorrow morning. Looking forward to the fights. The undercard isn't getting a lot of play, but there's some good bouts going on there too.

David (Spartanburg)

Can we please come up with a nickname for Khabib Numagomedov. "The Russian" is not going to work. My vote is "Markorov". A Russian semi-auto pistol used by the Russian gov't as the sidearm of choice for the last half of the 20th century. Nice nickname for an up and coming Russian Lightweight. Tweet that out to everyone who can make it happen.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:13 PM)

That works for me. I still have no idea how to pronounce his name.

Chris (Boston)

If Chris Weidman wins, does the UFC consider giving him a titlte shot by end of 2012?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

I think if Weidman wins (and a lot of people think he'll beat Maia), he'd still be a couple of fights away. Maia is a former No. 1 contender who has won three of four, so that's a nice feather in his cap. But there's some traffic in front of him.

Jason (Somewhere)

Any word on a date for jds vs Overeem?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

I haven't heard anything new on this, but the last rumor was that it would happen in summer.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Will Chael be carrying his "championship belt" to ring tomorrow night and is that thing real?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:15 PM)

It's not real in the merit sense, and I doubt it's made of the same stuff that the UFC belts are made (they are gold-plated). But, who knows. Bisping says you can find them for $29.95 on eBay.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

What is your prediction on how and when Chael will win tomorrow?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

I like that it's "how Chael will win" rather than "will Chael win?" I think Sonnen does win, and I think it'll be a unanimous decision. Too strong of a wrestler.

David (Spartanburg)

Best part of UFC on FX: Kung Fu Panda being the lead in to UFC Primetime #perfect

Andy (Chicago)

So you think Davis will pull the upset? Based on what?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:19 PM)

Based on nothing more than a hunch, really. I do think he can neutralize some of Evans' strengths in there and work away from his hands. He's longer than Rashad, and I can foresee him getting Evans down and working some G&P. I am clearly in the minority on that pick.

Jeremy (portland)

so what happens with King Mo? Was he suspended? the win changed to a n/c? Am I stupid for sort of believing him?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:20 PM)

It looks like Lawal could be facing a year suspension, but the hearing hasn't yet happened.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

Guys, is the auto update on now?

Alfred (FL)

How deep can the Anon hackers penetrate the ufc website? Is their any real risk of them getting pass ufc security measures, and getting a hold of customers CC# ?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

The UFC says that none of the consumer information is vulnerable, but I know a lot of people aren't so certain. This whole thing has been strange, especially the way Dana White has handled it (egging them on).

Jay (Houston)

Hey Chuck, I love your work, keep doing what you do. I'm still new to the sport, but riddle me this - what's the biggest (read: most glamorous) location to catch a fight this year? I'd like to attend a few if I can. And I can.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

Hey Jay, thanks for tuning in. If you want to deal with the Brazilian consulate, check out the Sao Paulo fight in June. 100,000 people to watch Anderson Silva defend his title. Otherwise, one announced location is Stockholm, and you can't go wrong in Vegas.

Ry (Eugene, OR)

Do you see Dunham getting back in the contender mix in the near future?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:25 PM)

I don't know about the near future. The pair of losses to Sherk and Guillard still take the shine off a run. But if he beats Nik Lentz, he'll likely get a shot at a top ten fighter again, and that could jump him back on the lightweight radar with a quickness.

David (Spartanburg)

What's your story? What's your back story?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

I am getting variations of this question. I started working at ESPN.com in the fall of 2010, and before then was editing an altweekly in California. I started writing about the sport in 2007 or so, but followed it for a few years before then.

Louis (Arlington, MA)

Hey Chuck. Do you think James Hammortree is ready to fight sometime this year?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:28 PM)

Wow, didn't expect a question on Hammertree. I am not sure his status, but the last I heard he was fighting in another promotion, right?

Erik (San Jose)

What's Hector Lombard's current contract with Bellator and is UFC talking to him at all?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

I don't think the UFC is talking to him currently. I would personally love to see him in the UFC. Beating guys like Jesse Taylor to extend his streak is only so impressive. Like to see him against elite guys.

Greg (DC)

How quickly could Jon Jones become a top-5 HW if he moved up tomorrow?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

I would put him there now. Can you name five guys that are better than him at heavyweight?

Izzy (louisiana)

I would like to know when anderson silva is gonna fight again ?do you think silva vs sonnen 1 was a fluke ?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

I think the tentative plan is for Silva to fight in June in Sao Paulo, but obviously a lot depends on his injury status. As far as the first fight with Sonnen, it's no fluke. Sonnen has been susceptible to submissions and he got caught in one. To this day, if I'm in Sonnen's corner, I tell him to coast through that fifth round and stay out of danger.

Alfred (FL)

Since Eddie Alvarez lost his belt I'm guessing he no longer has a champion clause on his contract. Can he leave Bellator now?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

He's still under contract for a couple more fights from what I understand. I am hoping they figure out a cross-promo fight with Aoki. Still think that would make for a good rematch between a couple of top ten lightweights (in most rankings).

Greg (DC)

Would a Bisping win over Sonnen make Jason "Mayhem" Miller look better in the eyes of Dana White and Joe Silva?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:33 PM)

Good question. I am not sure if the matchmakers look at it that way, but they might. I think that Miller will get another chance because the outcry was pretty loud when the word "cut" was dangled out there. Dana is a man of the people.

Andy (Chicago)

I hunch doesn't turn my $100 into $260. Davis is a +160. But I kind of like The Viking getting by the local boy at 130. Thoughts?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:35 PM)

That's the way I lean, too. Russow is one of those guys who never looks great but wins regularly. But I like JOE to get it done in Russow's backyard.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Is the lead up to this fight the craziest stuff that you every seen?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

I don't know about the craziest, but it's up there. Just the whole whirlwind switch on eleven days notice, and the Evans/Davis feud ramping up. It's been fun. Hype is as much the game as the game itself.

Dan (PA)

Any chance the Spider shows up cageside?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:37 PM)

I am not in Chicago until tomorrow, but a lot of times in a title eliminator they'll have the champion on hand to greet the winner.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

What are some of your favorite MMA sites besides ESPN to visit for rumors and general stories?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:38 PM)

I bounce around all over the place. Still hit MMA Fighting and MMA Junkie a lot, but also Bloody Elbow, Cagepotato, Yahoo and too many others.

John (Easton, Maryland)

Chuck, will this be a weekly chat?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:39 PM)

Hey John, yeah, I think we're going to make this a weekly chat. Thought it would be good to open things up for discussion leading up to weigh-ins. There are supposed to be around 38-40 Zuffa cards alone in 2012.

Zach (St. Louis)

Whats up Chuck? Nice to talk with you. 1) When is Alan Belcher going to fight?? 2)How do you see Silva/Sonnen 2 going down?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:41 PM)

No word on Belcher yet, but since he fought in September I'd suspect he's about to get a dance partner soon. As for Sonnen/Silva 2, "if" it goes down I think we'll see Silva keeping the Silva keeping the fight on the feet more and at range.

Greg (DC)

Do you think Randy Couture in his prime would have given Jon Jones problems? Thats a dream fight I would have loved to see.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:43 PM)

So hard to say. Couture was always a great underdog, could make trouble for anybody...but Jones has been a beast.

Jason (Somewhere)

I heard bisping is having weight problems is this true?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

If so, that's the first I've heard of it. But I'm in here chatting. Will try and find out.

Izzy (louisiana)

chuck , do you think silva was really hurt in that fight and could not fight back like he always does in other fights and thats why he got his butt kicked for 4.5 rounds and do you think sonnen is better than silva ?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:46 PM)

Might have been a mix of both. Sonnen is so aggressive and I don't think Silva had the answers for it the first time around (until the 23-minute mark or so). Next time through, if it happens, will be interesting to see what changes he'll have made. Bring in Gray Maynard-type just like Aldo did?

Jarric (Kansas)

So is the plan to have winner of condit/diaz fight ellenberger/sanchez?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:47 PM)

That seems to be the thinking, but I just talked to Johny Hendricks today and he thinks he should be next. Timing might dictate who gets the next crack at the interim welterweight title. I think it should be Ellenberger (if he wins).

Brian (North Dakota)

Do you think Dan Henderson has a shot against Jon Jones?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

I know some media types have scoffed at Henderson's chances in that hypothetical fight, but I would give Henderson a chance. He's knows how to close the distance and work from the clinch. And he'd be the guy who sellout to fill everybody in on Jones' chin. I know he'd love that challenge.

Mike (Hawaii)

Will we ever see Todd Duffee back in the UFC?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:49 PM)

That guy will have to turn things around for himself. His training partners say that when he comes to the gym and trains he can be a beast. But he is a bit of a mental case. He'd have to commit himself to MMA to make it back to the UFC, and so far he hasn't shown that kind of commitment.

John (Easton, Maryland)

Who holds their respective title longer, Jones or Aldo? That scence in Rio was something for the ages.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:51 PM)

That was a fun scene. It was "Where's Aldo" when he disappeared into the crowd. Was fun to see Reed Harris try his hand at security. But anyway, to your question, I think Aldo holds his longer. But I say that based on the assumption that Jones will clean out his division and bolt for heavyweight before Aldo loses/moves.

Creepy McCreeperton (In the Shadows)

Tate or Rousey? And I'm not talking about who will win the fight! Giggity giggity

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:51 PM)

Well, what could you be talking about? (Tate).

Izzy (louisiana)

chuck if you could pick any middle weight in the world that can beat silva who would it be ?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

I'd still go with Sonnen, but he'll have to beat the asterisks and tune out 100,000 throaty partisans.

James (KY)

Who is your top prospect in the UFC?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

Love Rory MacDonald. That Jim Hettes sure turned some heads in his last fight, too. Barboza. There are a lot of intriguing fighters making their way up.

Rob (NJ)

You think Belator will go after Anthony Johnson to try and give Lombard some competition?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

That would be great. Wouldn't mind seeing Marquardt vs. Johnson either. Bellator is pretty finicky when it comes to the UFC's leftovers.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

What is the deal with Chael and Kenny Rice?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:54 PM)

I don't know. That was a tangent though, huh? Never know what's going to set Chael off in an interview.

Jay (Houston)

I haven't heard any updates on R.J. Clifford recently. Do you know if he's still up for a spot on Ultimate Fighter?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:55 PM)

Your guess is as good as mine. Would love to see Clifford on TUF.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

How is the wiegh in going to go today? Is there going to be any antics?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

Looking forward to seeing what happens in the Evans/Davis stare down. It's gotten incrementally more heated with each passing day. Good thing it culminates in a fight.

Drew (Vegas)

Can War Machine keep it together long enough to make a run at the Bellator title?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

Time will tell. Vegas should have odds on that, though.

Jarric (Kansas)

Are you a gamer? Any thoughts on UFC undisputed 3 demo?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:57 PM)

I am not a religious game (very casual). BUT, I did get a chance to play against Ben Henderson when he and Edgar did the demo in Toronto. That game is sick, from the likeness down to the walkouts and the techniques and commentary.

rb (sf)

who are you?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:58 PM)

Just some dude with an MMA chat.

Izzy (louisiana)

CHUCK what do you think will happen to Melvin Guillard sense he has lot 2 fights in a row ?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

I am not sure what they'll do with Guillard. He needs to work out the holes in his submission defense, so he might want some time off. But I'd love to see him and Cerrone mix it up.

David (Spartanburg)

Have you notticed any backlash against ESPN journalists since the OTL UFC pay scale story?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:00 PM)

None that I'm aware of.

Greg (DC)

Ant update on Daniel Cormier's hand and when we can expect to see him back in the cage? I'm looking forward to that Barnett fight.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:00 PM)

I think he's about ready to go, but Strikeforce moves at a mysterious pace. So much for resolving that thing in the first quarter of 2012 though, huh?

Louis (Arlington, MA)

Chuck, if you were going to pick your own fight song, what would you pick?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:01 PM)

I would take the Bad Plus's "Iron Man." So much potential for light play there.

CB (DC)

Who does Hendo get if Rashad wins tomorrow?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:02 PM)

Hendo might have a twofold interest in tomorrow's fights. There's the Davis/Evans fight which has implications, but don't forget that he could end up fighting Silva at middleweight. So, in the recurring words of Dana White, "we'll see what happens."

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

Alright guys, the weigh-ins are starting so I'll yield to the dehydrated men in their underwear. Spread the word about the Friday chat, and thanks for tuning in. If I didn't get to your question, hit me up at Twitter, @ChuckMindenhall. Thanks!