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February 8, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Brett Okamoto

Brett Okamoto
  (1:02 PM)

What's up guys? Thanks for joining the chat. Plenty to get into today ... especially that Condit/Diaz rematch announcement. For the record, I like it. Seeing a loooot of people on Twitter though who hate it. What say you?

LarrySandersJoe (Newark-on-Trent, UK)

Hi Brett. Astonished over all the calls for a Condit/Diaz rematch - a unanimous verdict backed up by the raw numbers. There was a huge clamour for Brock not to trade with Overeem and take him down instead, so I see no issue with Greg Jackson's gameplan for Condit, which worked to perfection.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:03 PM)

Nope, no issue with Greg Jackson's game plan at all. It was a risky one in my eyes, because if you're constantly backing up in MMA and countering, even if you're effective at it sometimes judges don't give you credit for it. Nevada judges obviously didn't overlook it.

Adam (Toronto)

Diaz is a baby. Because he moves forwards he acts like he wins without touching a guy. They need to make amendment to the scoring in MMA if all a guy has to do is move forward and stay in the centre of the cage to earn a decision. "baby kicks" or not, Condit was the only one hitting the other guy.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:04 PM)

I agree a guy shouldn't win for simply walking forward but I wouldn't go so far as to say Condit was the only one landing. Diaz found a home for the 1-2 multiple times throughout the fight.

Michael H. (Memphis)

Could we see Fedor in the UFC by the end of the year?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:05 PM)

Doesn't seem likely Mike. Good for him for bouncing back with two wins but let's be honest, it wasn't over the best competition. He'll still ask for a big contract because of who he is ... lot of hurdles to clear for a UFC deal.

decatur illinois [via mobile]

sugar rashad is in trouble when jon jones gets his hands on him....

Brett Okamoto
  (1:05 PM)

Everyone is in trouble when Jones gets his hands on him. I give Rashad a shot. At the very least, I'm very interested to watch the fight.

Tyler (Oklahoma)

My condit pick was right (not the finishing part) but Condit did win, shanchez is going to lose, so let's talk about the real fight to get excited over, Henderson vs Edgar! Last time I asked you about it your were on the fence, who are you leaning towards and why?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:06 PM)

Was I on the fence? I thought the situation was ... I was taking Ben Henderson but I admitted I've picked against Frankie Edgar in his last four fights and he's proven me wrong every time. So ... I'm taking Ben but I hate my own pick.

Paul B (NY, NY)

Hey Ninja- After watching the fight, do you still stick to your conviction that Diaz would pose a tougher challenge to GSP than Condit? Thanks.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:08 PM)

Actually, I always thought Condit would be a tougher matchup for GSP but I thought Diaz would win the fight. Condit is great at getting off his back. Diaz will work from his guard and I don't see him being quite as athletic as Condit, which doesn't matchup well against GSP's wrestling. And after watching the fight, I kinda still feel the same way. I think Diaz will win the rematch, but I think Condit would give GSP a tougher fight stylistically.

Action (Atlanta)

Do you know when TUF Brazil is supposed to air

Brett Okamoto
  (1:09 PM)

Last week of March I believe. Has it been confirmed it's on Fuel up here? I know they've been working on it but not sure if it's 100% yet.

Crabman (MD)

A Condit/Diaz rematch is BS! I guess the UFC will keep running it back until they get the results they want. Despicable!

Brett Okamoto
  (1:10 PM)

Here's my take ... I do agree that if the decision would have been announced for Diaz there probably wouldn't be a rematch and that, yes, would have been BS. I've got no problem with the rematch though. In the fifth round of the fight actually, I tweeted that GSP is out until November, have these guys do it again. And that was before I knew who was going to win. There was no clear winner in my eyes. I scored the fight 48-47 for Diaz but had no problem with the judges scores. It was a virtually even fight. You've got the time, do it again.

Nate Francis (Lewiston, ME)

Brett, just saw the news about Condit / Diaz v 2.0. How many more times will Dana White slap Carlos Condit in the face? They've announced he'd fight for the title, then made him back out. Then they changed his opponent. Then they paid him half the money to WIN that they paid Diaz to lose. After Lorenzo said they "couldn't do that to Carlos", re: Diaz rematch, now they announce the fight. What gives? Anyone who doesn't think combat sports means two guys just stupidly trading until one of them falls down knows Condit won that fight, and convincingly. Do you think this is the right move for any of the fighters involved?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:12 PM)

I have a suspicion Carlos is going to make more money in this next fight than the one last weekend. In the end, if he signs the contract then he's agreeing to the fight. I'm sure he has reasons for doing it. Lorenzo flat out said Carlos could wait.

Michael H. (Memphis)

Any word on if we will see Cain Velasquez in the octagon anytime soon?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:12 PM)

I talked to Lorenzo about that this weekend. He said Cain will be back in May and he knows the opponent but wouldn't say it publicly because it hasn't been signed yet.

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

Diaz won 1,2 & 5. Rematch is deserving. Your take?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:13 PM)

Those are the rounds I gave Diaz, too.

Josh (NYC)

Other than Dana really wanting a GSP/Diaz fight -- what's the point of the rematch? The fight last weekend was hardly good enough to warrant an immediate rematch. Heaven forbid we get a different title fight like Condit vs. Ellenberger (if he beats Diego). Too many rematches these days holding back divisions.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:14 PM)

I'm not against seeing other guys in the title fight. I agree with you, Ellenberger would be fun. Hendricks is up there. But personally, I admit I do see Condit and Diaz as the clear No. 2 and No. 3 in the division. They had a very close fight. I thought it was entertaining to watch even though it wasn't the slugfest some thought it would be.

Jr (Arizona)

Is Sanchez vs. Ellenberger 5 rounds?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:15 PM)

No. I it's three. I guess everything is scheduled for five rounds except Fuel cards?

Shaun (Erie)

While I agree Condit won the decision, he never once tried to finish the fight. Tried to escape with a win on points. That is the issue I have. Fighting not to lose

Brett Okamoto
  (1:16 PM)

Well, it's just strategy. And sometimes against the toughest opponents, it's necessary. Condit is not usually a points guy. He's one of the more dynamic finishers in the welterweight division. Sometimes you have to look at the matchup and go with the best game plan.

Chip (MO)

Where is Brett?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:17 PM)

On my couch. In Las Vegas.

@PappaFeez (Dallas)

What is next for Kos now that Condit/Diaz II is on tap?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:17 PM)

Maybe see who wins between Kampmann and Alves in March?

Ryan (Dallas)

What up Brett? I dont understand all the contraversy from the CC/Diaz fight, imo it wasnt even up for debate. CC did what he needed to do, and he won. If Diaz hadnt cried afterwards I dont think we'd have so much complaining. Thoughts?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:18 PM)

I think we'd still have complaining. On press row, it seemed that journalists were about 50/50 on who they scored the fight for ... maybe a bit of a lean towards Condit.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

What is your opinion on how the rematch will go? What will Diaz do differently?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:20 PM)

He'll divert from simply walking Condit down and throwing the jab. Even though I thought Diaz squeaked out the decision, he kind of developed tunnel vision. In the third and fourth rounds he was getting countered the entire time and he never switched anything up. He must have literally thought, "as long as I'm moving forward, I'm winning" because he didn't change anything even when Carlos was getting the better of him. I think he'll add dimensions to his game plan in a rematch. Look to grapple a bit more.

Brian (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brett, the UFC website lists the main card for UFC 144 as having 8 fights. Do you know if this is really the case?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:21 PM)

Hmmm, maybe they just forgot to update? It's a full slate in Japan.

Trevor (Mpls)

'Sup Moto? So why the change in Condit's desire for a rematch? All about $$$ or Dana nudges you to do something, you do it?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:21 PM)

Thinking both.

Jonathan (Mass)

Is the UFC pushing too hard to get this Diaz/GSP fight for the title?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:22 PM)

For obvious reasons, the UFC would like to see a GSP/Diaz title fight but it's not like they are setting up a rematch right after Condit knocked Diaz out cold in the first round. There are legitimate reasons, beside trying to get the Diaz/GSP matchup, to have this rematch.

Andy (Chicago)

Big Country has to be the toughest guy to knockout. But who the heck is his manager?? Only getting $20k for that fight. Really?!?!

Brett Okamoto
  (1:23 PM)

That's the Ultimate Fighter contract, unfortunately.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Brett, isn't it a bit simplistic to count up the number of strikes and automatically declare the fighter with the most strikes the winner? It's a lot easier to hit a target that is coming at you at all times. And it's a lot harder to hit a target that is backpedaling. I think that fight was incredibly tough to score because no one was doing legitimate damage, and I tend to lean in favor of the aggressor in that situation. I was hoping Diaz got the nod, but wasn't upset he didn't.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:25 PM)

I agree. You can look at the overall strikes landed in a fight but you can't go COMPLETELY by them. One guy might really outland the guy in the first round but then lose the second and third. He might still end up with more strikes, but he lost two of three rounds. Or one guy might land a lot of leg kicks but the other guy rocks him with one uppercut and nearly finishes the fight. Have to put these stats in perspective.

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

Werdum looked great. Is he that good or is Nelson that bad? What's next for Werdum, title eliminator with Mir?? Praying for that fight.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:26 PM)

Nelson looked pretty bad. Hate to say it because I like Roy and I know he's been working on some things, but he was flat footed and he was tired fairly early in the fight. Credit Werdum for knocking him around though, I didn't see it going that way. I also want to see him fight Mir.

Chris (Boston)

Do you believe that Carlos wanted the rematch? For the record, I had Diaz in rounds 1,2 and 5; but agree it was very close....

Brett Okamoto
  (1:27 PM)

I believe the UFC is making it worth his while to have the rematch. Let's be honest, if the UFC didn't kick in some kind of incentive, of course Carlos would want to wait. He's putting a shot at the title on the line.

Matty-Ice (Detroit)

Does Jake finish Diego?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:27 PM)

I'm thinking so.

Trevor (Mpls)

Can we please make it a rule for fighters to stop with the "I'm retiring" BS?!?! Couture, Penn, Diaz, etc...all said they were retired and were back or will be back. Just stop. Same goes for Dana: ______ is out of the UFC and will never be in the Octagon again!" 2 months later...

Brett Okamoto
  (1:29 PM)

Haha, emotions man! Getting the better of these guys in the moment. It won't stop ... but at least we've come to the point we can kind of see it, like, 'yeah, you're not retiring. Come on.'

Ara (Allis)

Looking past how Dana White and the UFC feel about it, who do you think is most hesitant to move up and fight a championship level guy at the next weight class - Silva, GSP or Jones and why?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:30 PM)

GSP is the most hesitant to move up in weight and he has the best reasons for feeling so. Unlike Jones and Silva, his frame isn't built to pack on a bunch of additional weight. He's kind of maxed out as it is.

Andy (Chicago)

You think Koscheck won that fight? I don't. Who do you think next? Hendricks?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:31 PM)

Yeah, Koscheck won. Pierce won R1 and Kos won the rest. I was impressed with Koscheck. Let's be real, there was no reason for him to care about that fight. So he comes in with nothing to gain, facing a guy with nothing to lose. It's a tough position. He made adjustments and won the final two rounds. I'd rather see Ellenberger, if he wins, fight Hendricks. That's why I was thinking maybe Kampmann or Alves for Koscheck.

Peyton (Nashville)

How can anyone be objecting to the rematch? Carlos could wait if he wanted. Carlos beat Ellenberger already and GSP has dominated Kos twice, what other option makes sense?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:32 PM)

I think the objections come from people thinking Diaz is a whiner and getting another shot at the title when he doesn't deserve one. From a fans perspective you're right though, this is a good thing. Did you want Carlos to be out of action for 10 months instead? This way, we get an interim title defense.

Ryan (NY)

What do you see as the ceiling for TUF 14 winners dodson and brandao?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:34 PM)

I actually think both could make it close to title contention. Dodson is going to a new division where the depth isn't quite there, so that helps him. Two, three wins and he's right there for a title already. Brandao is a bit wild still and I think that will hurt him against the top tier guys, but he's young and if he ever settles down a bit and finds a happy medium between aggressive but not careless, he's dangerous.

Chuggies (Parts Unknown)

These people against a rematch are annoying. I thought we paid to see two guys fight, not to watch one guy run from the other. What happens if Diaz stands put and waits for Condit to come to him? Do we get to watch Condit dance all night? He comes in to the ring acting like he's ready to put on a beatdown, and instead he's on his bike the entire fight. Disgusting!

Brett Okamoto
  (1:36 PM)

Counter fighting is still fighting. I see what you're saying about, what if Diaz doesn't come forward. But Condit knew he would come forward because that's what he does. It's why a lot of people hate the way Floyd Mayweather fights but at the end of the day, it can obviously be effective. It's really no different than lay and pray. If that's what your opponent wants to do, you still have to beat it.

Nate Francis (Lewiston, ME)

Brett, thanks for the response. A follow-up: Since major pressure was brought onto Condit by "the fans" for his game plan, how do you see the fallout if he succeeds with similar tactics in the rematch? Trying for a KO against Diaz is a lozing proposition - Condit and Jackson are both smart enough to know it. But it seems like anything less kills Condit with "the fans" and "the management" both. How do you approach this conundrum if you're Condit?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:38 PM)

It might be a conundrum but I don't think Condit will buy into it. There's too much on the line and Diaz is too tough of an opponent to worry about 'how' you're going to win that fight. Just win it. However you can. I do think, though, the second fight will be much different than the first just because both guys aren't going to want to come in with the exact same plan.

Tommy (Denver)

Enough Diaz/Condit. What's your early prediction for Jones/Evans?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:38 PM)

I think Evans wins a round! ... But gets finished in the third/fourth range.

DaAshMan (Toronto)

Werdum beat Overeem. Outstruck him easily. The flopping killed him in the judges' eyes.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:40 PM)

I was at that fight and I actually do remember thinking, hey, you could potentially score this fight for Werdum. Overeem had basically zero offense. But you're right, the flopping was ridiculous and I knew judges would go Overeem.

John (Denver)

I think many people are missing the major factor in why people are upset about Condit's game plan. Many of us watched the Prime Time series, and Condit kept telling us that this was going to be a war, and he was going to bring it. And then we see the game plan he goes with, and it was disappointing for many fans. I think if he had toned down the rhetoric about this being a war, and had maybe said more that he was going to fight a smart fight we wouldn't have had an issue with it. I know he can't give away his game plan, but turn down the "war" rhetoric. As that was not a game plan for a war.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:42 PM)

Maybe. Pretty much every fighter says it's going "to be a war" in a promotional video like that, though. I see your point though. You don't want to tip your hand if you're Carlos though. If he comes out and says publicly, I'm going to fight smart, stick and move ... Diaz hears it and takes it a bit to heart ... that's not a smart move as a fighter.

Mike (LA)

if Diaz squeaks out a close decision against Condit in the rematch, do you think its fair if he gets the shot against GSP? thats why i dont agree with a Condit v Diaz II, bc if diaz won it wouldnt tell us they're 1 and 1. this rematch to me seems as though the UFC and Dana White trying to preserve their money maker, GSP vs Diaz

Brett Okamoto
  (1:42 PM)

No doubt that is the worst case scenario for everyone -- a close decision win to Diaz. That would ... suck.

Jeremy (Portland)

Any word on whether UFC will be stocking the Strike Force roster? They have lost plenty of fighters and now with King Mo out....

Brett Okamoto
  (1:43 PM)

No. I still have heard nothing to suggest a UFC fighter is going to Strikeforce, and that includes a lightweight moving over to fight Gilbert Melendez. I haven't heard anyone say explicitly it will never happen, but if it got announced any time soon, I'd be fairly shocked.

Marc T (PHX)

Hitting Vegas this weekend, any cool UFC stuff you recommend to check out?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:45 PM)

Just gyms, I guess is the only thing I can think of? I once had like an hour conversation with my buddy about how we should open a UFC restaurant on the strip, show all the fights, have entrees named after fighters, have signings, sell merchandise ... it's never gotten off the ground floor but it was a fun conversation.

JRC (Illinois)

I hate Mir but he has been fighting great lately how about a Mir Werdum fight?Both have improved their striking and the ground game would be a crazy chess match, whats your take on that fight?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:46 PM)

Yeah, that's the fight I personally want to see. Werdum's stock is high since he did well in Strikeforce and just dominated Roy. I think that's a close fight, would list the odds at maybe Mir -130, Werdum +110. I'd lean Mir because he's worked so hard on his wrestling and I think he'd be able to control where it went.

James Jones (Hell, MI)

Hello Moto ... how come no one is mentioning in all of this that Diaz's corner cost him the fight by never adjusting to Condit's tactics, et al? For all the talk of incompetent judging incompetent corner work was more to blame.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:48 PM)

That has been discussed a bit, I know Josh Gross mentioned it in his report card for the event, but you're right it's flying a bit under the radar. He never adjusted. In the first two rounds, maybe not a reason to adjust. In the third and fourth rounds, he should have mixed things up a bit.

Ty (Delaware)

Shouldn't Carlos Conduit change his name from the "Natural Born Killer" to "The Runner"...You can't have such a cool name and run around the octagon. Thoughts?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:49 PM)

Everyone's been jumping on this 'runner' thing! Hey, you're all entitled to an opinion. For me, I saw it as a solid strategy and like I said before, this isn't what we're used to seeing from Carlos Condit. This was just one strategy for one particular fight.

dEANE 1974 (GA)

In th welterwight division.... what would be your ideal matches to take place with the other contenders while the (diaz,condit, gsp) situation gets resolved

Brett Okamoto
  (1:51 PM)

I love the Kampmann/Alves fight. I don't think we should sleep on that one. Like most of you, I think Ellenberger will get by Sanchez and then I think he should fight Johny Hendricks. Maybe give Koscheck the winner of Kampmann Alves and give Fitch the loser. Rory McDonald, if he wins two/three fights this year, will then be the next big thing for 2013.

Kid123 (NY)

What happens if Jones handles Evans and Hendo as easily as he did shogun and rampage? UFC move him up to heavyweight? Would Machida get a rematch cause he was the best of the bunch that got demolished?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:53 PM)

It would depend on what the rest of the division looked like. You never know, look how fast Bones rose to the top. There might be another guy come out of nowhere and turn into a real intriguing prospect. Honestly, what if Phil Davis wins his next three fights impressively? But, if the division looks about as it does now and Jones handles the two of them, they might move him up. Which is crazy because he's still so young. I didn't think that would happen for at least 2 years.

Eric (Oak Ridge, NJ)

I would have prefered Condit defend the interim title against Hendricks and have Diaz fight Fitch...

Brett Okamoto
  (1:54 PM)

Not a bad option but those matchups aren't as appealing for the UFC and again, is a rematch that bad? At least can we all agree, even if we disagree on the result, that it was a close enough fight it could have gone either way?

Matty-Ice (Detroit)

Predictions for Rampage/Bader? I'm leaning Bader UD

Brett Okamoto
  (1:55 PM)

Interesting. I think Rampage should win if he's motivated. How motivated is he? He just lost most likely the last shot at the title he'll ever have. He gets to fight in Japan like he wanted, but gets Bader and not the historical Shogun fight he asked for. I'm kinda like you, I think Bader could steal this.

Cody (Ohio)

who are you leaning to sanchez or ellenberger and how?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:55 PM)

Ellenberger TKO.

David (Chicago, IL)

What do you think about Stephen Thompson? I was very very impressed, definitely not all hype.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:56 PM)

The KO was sick. If you guys haven't seen it, you should. In the right matchups, he's definitely entertaining. We'll have to see on how legitimate he is as a threat for a title run but for pure, 'I want to see this guy fight' value, he's a sweet addition.

Matty-Ice (Detroit)

If Congo beats Hunt, do we need to start thinking about him in the title picture?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:57 PM)

That division is thin enough that yes, he'd be up there again. And he should beat Hunt I would think, don't you?

Tommy (Denver)

Cerrone gets Yves Edwards now? I know he got worked by Diaz, but this seems like a decent step backwards.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:58 PM)

It is but I don't see it as the worst thing for him. With all respect to Edwards, the styles point to a potential finish for Cerrone. If that happens, you can still say he's what, won 6 of his last 7? Then it's just one more win over a top guy and he could be in a title fight.

john (lakewood, co)

Two point deduction for the pair of groin kicks? Was that a bit too harsh? The replay of the audio from the first kick during the broadcast should be on hightlight reels for years to come. Gotta be a tough man to get back up from that and fight.l

Brett Okamoto
  (2:00 PM)

Yeah, I kinda thought a 2 pointer was harsh. I guess if anything warranted 2 points though, it was that. While I don't think Caceres was specifically aiming that direction, come on dude, three spot on kicks to the jewels? I thought the penalty was harsh but I wasn't outraged by it.

Marc (Phx)

You mention Cain has an opponent but they wouldnt say who. Who's your guess? Carwin? Big Foot? Mir? Or is Mir v Werdum all but set?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:01 PM)

Mir/Cain is being rumored. Obviously you can see the appeal in that fight for the UFC, but I have not heard directly that's what they're aiming for.

Nate (Madison)

Thoughts on Pettis' upcoming fight and if he wins where he goes from there?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:02 PM)

Yeah, kinda seems like this fight is getting somewhat overlooked right? Maybe as 144 gets closer we'll start talking about it more. I like Pettis in the fight, I think he does a lot of the things J-Lau does well, but better. Maybe if he wins this, that sets up a fight with what we were talking about earlier, Cerrone? That'd be an amazing fight and an easy sell for No. 1 contenders match.

Jeremy (Portland)

At this point what's looking to be the biggest fight of 2012? Jackson-Rashad or Silva - Sonnen in Brazil? Or maybe something else?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:03 PM)

If everything goes as planned, Silva-Sonnen will be biggest fight of 2012 by far. Not even close.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Do you buy into Cesar Gracie's comments that he thinks judges are incapable of ignoring their personal disdain for Diaz's antics? He's been on the wrong end of some really tough decisions in the past. It wouldn't surprise me if some judges harbored biases against the guy who open-handed slaps his opponents and runs his mouth during the fight. It's almost human nature to dislike that sort of behavior.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:05 PM)

Maybe. But you could see it going the other way too. If you're judging a fight and one guy keeps getting hit but continues to walk forward, acts like the hit did nothing, slap his opponent to almost say 'see? I can do anything I want to you,' I think it could work to his advantage, ya know? These judges are obviously supposed to be trained not to pay attention to any of that. I could see it working for or against you.

RYAN (IOWA)

what and where is this Condit didn't try and finish...go listen to Gross's podcast, Greg Jackson says at least twice that Condit threw several leg kicks that should bring just about anyone down. Why are leg kicks not give the respect they deserve, especially the couple Condit threw at Diaz's head? I think Condit tried to finish a few times...but just cause Condit didn't rush Diaz, anybody that does that is an idiot..what u think Brett

Brett Okamoto
  (2:06 PM)

He threw some head kicks that would have scored some serious damage, no doubt. He threw some flying knees, spinning elbows. He let loose a few times when he thought the time was right. Was he actively trying to finish the fight throughout the 25 minutes? No. But to say he threw nothing significant the entire time? Not accurate.

Stephen (Sacramento)

Hey Brett, do you really see Diaz retiring, or will there be a rematch with Condit after what happened Saturday night?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:07 PM)

Where you been Steve?! Haha, Dana announced last night on Twitter it's happening and it sounds like it will formally be announced Friday. We won't hold it against you, you must have had something to do last night.

Steve (Work)

With the new TUF season starting next month. Does Faber have it in him to make the adjustments to beat Cruz?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:08 PM)

Faber is a great fighter and I wouldn't count him out, but Cruz is just so impossible to beat right now. He's so difficult to get ahold of, to land strikes on. He's got to be one of the most frustrating fighters in the UFC right now to take on. I'm leaning Cruz in the rematch but in another close fight.

Marc (Phx)

Who is HW Champ at the end of 2012?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:09 PM)

Good question. Looks like it's possible there might only be two heavyweight title fights in 2012. At the most, three. Man, tough. I'd say JDS and Overeem are most likely candidates. Can't decide which one I like more today.

Jeremy (Portland)

Hey! Ceasar Gracie is saying the rematch will not happen?! Is your smart phone blowing up? What's going on?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:12 PM)

There is drama going on this morning. The UFC is definitely all in on making this matchup but Diaz's camp has made some strange remarks. We'll have to see how things develop. I'd be surprised if it didn't happen.

Alan (South Florida) [via mobile]

Brett, I think people underrate Rashad's chances against Jones. Rashad is a better technical striker as he is very accurate, and doesn't leave himself up to counter strikes. Also, he is slightly better at wrestling. His biggest roadblock will be the reach advantage of Jones.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:13 PM)

Jones will be able to match his athleticism. Something very few 205ers can do. Evans has also shown a few issues with his chin. Not glaring issues, but when he gets rocked, everyone in the audience and watching on PPV know it. I agree with you, people are not giving him enough of a chance, but Jones is just so good right now. I think it's more people are so impressed with Jones than down on Rashad.

David Y. (Chicago, IL)

Thoughts on Renan Barao? How impressed were you by him against Jorgenson, a top contender?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:14 PM)

Real impressed. His striking was on a higher level than Jorgensen's and he defended the takedown attempts EASY. That said, I didn't see enough that made me really think he's the guy to take the belt.

Nick (Toronto)

Ortiz - Griffin III?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:15 PM)

Look for that this summer.

Elijah (Strong Island)

are u excited for cruz and faber on TUF, has to be the best coaching matchup since Rampage/Rashad and its about time this guys get some attention.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:15 PM)

Real excited. No doubt best option the UFC could have gone with.

Steve (Philly)

Apparently the rematch is off now, citing an issue from the Diaz camp leading him to not accept it. Word is Carlos is going to Vegas on Friday to sign the deal for the GSP fight. Any truth to this?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:16 PM)

We're following the story. Stay tuned for updates.

Jeremy (Los Angeles)

Do you see Rashad trying to use his speed and boxing skills against Jon Jones or do you think he will try to hold him against the fence and possibly frustrate Jones with takedowns?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:17 PM)

We haven't seen Jones fight off his back yet. Maybe that's a weakness that's yet to be exploited. Considering Rashad knows Jones better than any fighter who's faced him, I'll be very interested to see what his strategy is. If it's obvious he wants to take him down, clearly that's a sign he's seen from his experience that Jones is less dangerous on the ground.

john (lakewood, co)

If you were training for a fight (5 rounder with Chost?) which fighter, past or present would you want as your trainer?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:19 PM)

I'd have to think about that one. Kenny Florian comes to mind. St. Pierre. Even Tito comes to mind.

Greg (Ellicott City)

Start the restaurant.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:19 PM)

Haha, I know. I gotta get on that.

Jeff (OH)

I will say this about Big Country - if I was building the prototypical MMA fighter in a lab somewhere, he'd have Roy Nelson's chin.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:20 PM)

Absolutely.

Trevor (Mpls)

Joe Rogan said judges don't even need to be in the arena. Watching it on TV would give them a lot better view of the fight, especially the smaller details of the fight. Though I've never sat cageside, he makes a pretty compelling case for what he sees/doesn't see live vs when he rewatches the telecast. Thoughts?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:21 PM)

It's not a terrible idea. Not only that, but you don't hear the crowd as much or, maybe more importantly, the cornermen. I wouldn't be necessarily 100% against it, but maybe I'm just old fashioned, I like them sitting right there, having three different angles on the action. Maybe one catches something even the camera failed to pick up.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:22 PM)

Alright guys, good run today. I'll be doing it again next week from Omaha for the Fuel card. Hit me up anytime on twitter, @bokamotoESPN. Later.