Happy Friday friends. Let's talk about the week in MMA, with the Omaha fight card that just happened with Ellenberger/Sanchez, and the Japan card that's coming up with Henderson/Edgar...and whatever else is on your minds.
Stephan Bonnar had some momentum going. Almost had a match made with Rampage. Since then all has been silent. What's next for him?
Yeah, he does have a head of momentum going, and I thought he looked great against a very strong Kyle Kingsbury (even if he and some fans thought it boring). Who's next? Good question, but I know a lot of people have brought up a trilogy with Griffin.
Why are people agreeing with condits decision to wait for gsp. His first battle with ellenberger was a hotly contested match and what's the point of having an interim belt if you don't defend it? I for one would like to see a rematch giving both more face time to the general public before an end of the year showdown with gsp.
I am not sure why any fan would actively root for the welterweight belt to be put on the shelf for the bulk of 2012 (even if it's an interim belt). I'd much rather see Condit/Ellenberger II than nothing at all. And I agree with that assessment...what's the point of awarding the placeholder belt if you're just going to throw it in a closet?
Chuck, do you know why the UFC did not make the Fuel main event five rounds? Would have loved to see that fight go another two rounds.
I am not exactly sure why they didn't make it a five-rounder to begin with, but I know -- given what happened -- Dana White was kicking himself afterwards. I've said all along that I'd like to see consistency with that, and I think going forward all non-title mains will be five rounds.
Do you agree that every main event is now going to be 5 rounds no matter what? I think that should still only be for championship fights.
I think that it's better to be consistent one way or another. I was a strong advocate of keeping rounds at three to distinguish championship fights as five, but after Henderson/Rua I came around a little bit. No matter what though? What happens if there's a last second switch, as happened when Marquardt moved off the card and Charlie Brenneman and Rick Story fought? That should be three rounds.
Would you ever get into a fight on television?
I think I may have missed my window on that. But, no. No. I don't think I would. You?
Who do you think takes the Diego-Ellenberger fight if it would have been 5 rounds?
If you watch that fight, it sure looked like the tide turned there in the third round in Sanchez's favor. Would that have carried over into the fourth and fifth? Who knows. Had these guys trained for five rounds it might have played out differently, too. But I'd go out on a limb and say, if that fight carried on for two more rounds, Sanchez might have won it.
Did you see Chisora's slap? Bad move...
I did. Makes you wonder what kind of mental tortures he's trying to overcome.
Ellenburger doesn't stand a shot against the top 3-5. He loses to GSP, Condit, Fitch and I even think BJ. Your take?
The first time Ellenberger fought Condit it was awfully close. I think he could win that. And those heavy hands make you think if he's in there with GSP. Before the Sanchez fight he knocked Shields and Sean Pierson out.
Do you think Alistair will be successful in the UFC?
Well, he's off to a solid start. He TKO'd and retired one of the sport's biggest draws, and now he's in a title fight. Win that one, and he's very successful.
Is a fight between Dan Henderson and Shane Carwin seriously being discussed? Seems crazy 206-265
Where did you hear that? I doubt it, given two things: A) Carwin won't be ready for a little while, and why would Henderson wait for that when B) he could wait for Jones/Evans and guarantee himself a title shot? Besides, I doubt he'd fight Carwin with the 50 to 60-pound difference.
Now that there is no other events until Ben fights Edgar, I cant wait to read all the articles and see all the hype! I think its awesome there are 7 fights on the main card. This is gonna be a great PPV. Are you gonna give us an article about it Chuck?
I'm definitely looking forward to that card, and particularly that main event. Ben Henderson looks like a world-beater right now, and Edgar just doesn't lose. My guess is I end up writing many articles about it.
The boxing chat was earlier Ted.
Am I the only one that thought Chael didn't do enough against Bisping to earn a rematch with Silva? I think, given Hendo?s recent performances, a Hendo-Silva rematch is much more intriguing. I get that the Chael/Bisping winner was promised a title shot, but wasn?t Condit also promised GSP before the fans made it known they?d rather see Diaz? Let?s run a poll and see who would prefer Hendo fight Silva over Chael.
I know that Hendo agree with you here, Austin. But since the fight was promised to Chael Sonnen, and given the history of the two, that was the fight to make. That's a huge money fight, and could go down as one of the biggest in MMA history. Did I think did enough? Yes. Bisping is tough. He fought Evans the same way years ago, and people forgot.
If he joins up, who would you like to see Eddie Alvarez fight first in the UFC?
Wow, can you imagine Alvarez joining the UFC ranks? That would make Gilbert Melendez feel like he's on an island for good. There are so many fights for Alvarez there...Guida, Guillard, Cerrone, Maynard. Any of them would be compelling.
Chuck, whom do you think next is for Struve? Could my hometown guy Russow be? Thanks again for chatting..
That's an interesting idea. Russow and Struve would make a lot of sense from a matchmaking standpoint. I think they are in a similar place in the division, too.
I'd rather see Chael vs Silva, with Hendo vs Jones/Rashad winner
I would too. I think that's what most people are after.
What fight are you most looking forward to on UFC 144 in Japan? I am excited for Rampage/Bader.
That's definitely one of them. The main event between Henderson/Edgar is sick. Also very interesting in Hatsu Hioki versus Bart Palaszewski, in what may be the Iron Broom's chance for a title bid.
Would Alvarez be able to compete with top guys in the UFC? His last couple of fights he got rocked by guy in Bellator.
He takes a lot of punishment, but he can absorb it and dish it out. I think he'd be able to hang just fine. Would love to see it.
To be honest, I have no desire to see Forrest fight again. I say give Bonnar Thiago Silva.
That occurred to me, too. But they saddled Silva up with a rematch against Brandon Vera. And when Vera went down, they stuck Igor Pokrajac in there.
let's also try to remember what Sonnen did to Brian Stann. Maybe there is more to his rematch than 1 mediocre performance.
Yup, the Stann fight still stands out to me, too. And the first Silva fight, which is tainted but still a stylistic nightmare for Silva.
Do you think they will make Machida against Vera?
That would make sense to me, but I think Machida is about ready to go while Vera is still making his way back. Bottom line is, I think Machida needs to fight a non-top ten guy after losing three of four.
What is the UFC waiting for regarding matchmaking Maynard and Guida? They both don't have a fight, both coming off a loss, makes sense?
I am not sure what the hold up is, but, I spoke to both this week and each guy says they are looking for a June return. That coincides. Maynard said the target date for him was June, but not the Brazil card. Will have to see what happens.
You foresee Dan Henderson getting the winner of Rampage/Bader?
Honestly, yes. If Henderson wants to fight instead of waiting out Jones/Evans, the winner of that would make sense. Henderson told me he'd be interested in fighting Rampage particularly, to avenge the 2007 loss. But mostly because, he thinks it's a fight that people would want. And the other thing is, they could potentially schedule a fight with the winner of Rampage/Bader to get near the April date of Jones/Evans and jibe up the schedules.
Could the Shields vs. Akiyama fight potentially be a loser gets cut fight?
Was talking about this with Jorge Rivera yesterday. It's hard to believe, but yes. Akiyama for sure. He is getting another chances after losing three in a row because the fight is in Japan. And he's trying a new weight class. But if Shields loses to a guy that is meant to be his comeback...that would look bad. And it would be three in a row for him. Big fight for both guys.
Hey Chuck, TJ Dillashaw looked great the other night. Do you see him working his way up that division? How many more fights does he have to win before he gets a real opponent?
I do see Dillashaw making waves. That was about as one-sided a beat down as you'll get in a distance fight. 30-25 x 2 and 30-26? Walel Watson had nothing for him.
So how about Bonner v. Machida. Have a good weekend
Probably won't happen with Bonnar riding a three-fight win streak and Machida heading south having lost his last one and three of four.
Good job on MMA Live!
Thanks! Was a lot of fun.
I'm a big Mr.Wonderful fan, and I think with a little more development he could be the biggest challenge to Bones' legend and, fingers crossed, develop into a rival a la Ali/Frazier. What can Phil Davis due this year/what match ups would make Jon Jones reconsider going up to heavy before fighting him?
Interesting stuff here, Ian. People were quick to jump off the Mr. Wonderful bandwagon after Chicago, but good to see you sticking to your guns. Bottom line is Evans was too much too soon. Davis had no answers, even in the wrestling game. I think he needs to get better all around, but that striking has to improve a lot. Still very raw on the feet.
Bob Sapp is the best MMA fighter of all time :-P
Happy Hour must be full swing in Philly!
Any word on BJ Penn?
ESPN's Brett Okamoto just did a piece on Penn, and in the discussion he said he was in the process of finding himself. Still looks like he isn't sold on coming back. I think he will, though....at some point.
When are most of the fighters heading to Japan?
Frankie Edgar said he would be going a full week in advance to acclimate. Fortunately for him there's a direct flight from JFK. He did it once for the promotional tour, and said it wasn't too bad.
Who would you like in a Rampage vs Dan Henderson rematch?
I'd take Hendo this time, Jr. The first fight was close, but I think Henderson's head is in the game way more than Jackson's. I think he'd want it more.
With the Omaha fights being so successful do you think they will try to do some small arenas for shows like that?
Yeah, especially in regional areas where people drive in from surrounding cities. I like that intimate cards.
Is Werdum/Henderson a possibility?
I did a blog about who's out there for Henderson today. With him being open to a heavyweight fight, Werdum sort of makes odd sense. He's a little bit smaller of a heavyweight, and he looked good in his last fight. Seems like the kind of fight that might pique Hendo's interest.
What's the advantage of Dan fighting the winner of Bader/Rampage for the UFC? It takes out a potential Jones/Hendo fight with not many other contenders for Bones since he already has beaten Rampage and Bader...
Far safer for Henderson to wait, but he wants to stay busy (and make money). I think if Jackson wins and is unscathed, he'd look at that fight. If not, my suspicion is he'll wait.
Chuck,What is your opinion on the current state of women's MMA?
Great fight on March 3 in Columbus between Meisha Tate and Ronda Rousey....and then, not much else.
Are there any LHW's that are on the horizon who could challenge Bones in the future?
I take it you don't like Evans' chances, or Dan Henderson? Honestly, after those two guys there aren't a lot of prospects that look like they could challenge Jones. Gustafsson comes to mind, but he doesn't seem there yet. Maybe he'll raise some eyebrows in Sweden against Lil Nog?
Is the Nate Diaz/Jim Miller fight in May a title eliminator?
It sure looks like it. I spoke to Cesar Gracie and he said, though it hasn't been officially promised, that's what their thinking was on it. And if you look at Miller and Diaz, who they've beat, etc, it would make sense to give the winner of that fight the shot.
who is the favorite to win the first flyweight title? Some say benavidez but I like might mouse
That is so hard to say, but that's why it's exciting. I honestly can't wait for the flyweights. John Dodson is like watching those motorcycles circling around in the sphere of death. I guess I'd lean towards Benavidez, but not sleeping on Demetrious Johnson or Uncle Creepy.
who is the jeremy lin of MMA?
Not sure he has an equivalent. What do you guys think? Maybe Jimy Hettes?
If Gustaffson keeps rising, would a fight between him and Jones be Jones' last fight at LHW?
Possibly. If Jones beat Evans, and then followed that up with a win over Henderson, he may well have done what seems impossible to do, which is cleaned out the division. Gustafsson looks like he could be there at the end of the string, but he'll have to look good in his next couple of fights.
Early lean on Edgar/Bendo?
Man. As much as I want to pick against Edgar, I'm not going to do it. Just too much heart, ability, quickness, smarts. He adjusts so well. He's amazing.
I think Jones is the Lin of MMA. Came out of nowhere really to own a whole division.
Feels like people saw him coming though. A guy like Hettes nobody knew. Maybe Wonderboy?
Who wins in a 3 round fight, you or Brett Okamoto?
I know on good authority that, if you drag Okamoto into the later rounds, his goose is cooked.
Early lean on the Korean Zombie/Poirier fight? Looking forward to seeing that one.
Love that they basically declared war on each other on Twitter. Poirier picking his shots a little bit. Think it's a bad match-up for Korean Zombie, but with that cat you never know.
Alright, you have a different one every week. What would be your walkout song this week?
Obviously "Dot Gain" by Deerhunter.
Jones vs. Evans...who goes home with the belt?
I still think Jones, though Evans will make it ugly for a while.
Did you go pick up playboy today to see Brittany Palmer?
No, I didn't...but I did see the cover. Nice.
What is next for Cowboy? I was shocked he took such a massive dump against Diaz.
Not sure for Cerrone. Diaz brought it to him, and he accepted the fact. I would personally like to see him fight Guillard. They were training together at Jackson's and therefore off limits to each other...but not Guillard is a Blackzilian, so maybe it's open for discussion?
What did you think about the sweater Herman was wearing during the fight?
What a brute.
I'm not usually into watching middle schoolers fight, but I'm excited for the Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald fight for sure. What do you think about that matchup?
Ha! That's a good scrap. McDonald is no joke, and notching Torres would be big for him. I think it could be a catapult moment for him. If Torres wins, hey, right back into the proverbial mix.
What does the UFC do if Koscheck beats Hendricks? Suddenly he's back in line for a title shot? Personally I don't need to see GSP/Koscheck III.
Koscheck's case is the strangest of all. He was buried in the division after his loss/injury, then he scores a couple of wins just as GSP goes down and boom, he's back. Bottom line is, if he beats Hendricks, he's right there knocking for a title shot. I personally have no interest in GSP/KOS III, in the same way that I didn't need to see Franklin/Silva III.
BJ at 155 vs Nate D?
Intriguing. Another Diaz brother using Penn as a punching bag (or vice-versa).
Lost in all the talk of Diaz's pot bust was the fact that he retired. Any word on if he's sticking to that?
When I spoke to Cesar a couple of days ago and presented this very question, his answer was "I won't let him retire. We've worked too hard to be where we are, and I won't let him."
Whats up with Gleison Tibau? Hes on a three fight win streak and havent heard of anything about him for awhile.
I'm really not sure. That was a big win against Dos Anjos. Didn't hear of any injury; maybe he's taking some time off?
Cowboy Cerrone is scheduled to fight Yves Edwards on the next fox show, just so you know
There you go. That seems like a nice red carpet fight for Cerrone.
What did you think of Stipe Miocic's KO? Is he ready for someone like Pat Barry/Johnson winner or Schaub/Rothwell winner?
I think that was the Stipe Miocic the UFC was hoping for. His first fight with Beltran might have been slowed due to some jitters, but he looked good on Wednesday night. My guess is they bring him up slowly, and the Schaub/Rothwell winner would qualify as slowly.
Who is the best grappler in the heavyweight division? Mir, Werdum, and Barnett all have some serious skills. Who do you think would have the best shot at tapping out JDS?
I'd go with Mir.
Why didn't Diaz apply for a marijuana exemption with the NAC?
I think they thought he had his purging/cleansing ritual down so well that the point was moot. They were genuinely surprised he pissed hot.
Should Ellenberger be given a title shot after beating Sanchez? I thought he looked great.
I personally believe he should, but I thought Hendricks warranted the shot and they saddled him with Koscheck. Ellenberger/Condit had a close fight...playing it back would be great. And remember, that's a make believe belt. They'd essentially be fighting for the chance to fight St. Pierre. UFC is leaving it up to Condit, though...so we'll see.
What's up with Meathead?
Haven't heard too much on Mitrione. That loss to Kongo basically took the shine off him for the moment. Mitrione was the first to say he hadn't done anything yet, anyway, so my guess is he's rebooting and working on some things.
If Diaz is suspended is it from the sport, the state, world wide? Also heard that he has a medical card. Is Nevada the only state that checks for pot? Can he fight in other states and still do his thing?
As of FEB 13 he will be suspended by the NSAC, but that's just protocol. He will have his actual hearing in either March or April (Cesar wants March, and Kizer says that's fine). He can then present his case before the commission. The steepest penalty he's looking at is a one year suspension with license revocation, and a docked purse. Kizer cautioned that these are not automatic; this is just the steepest end of the penalty. Could be less. But this being his second offense, they will take that into account, too.
Since Mayweather got a license to box, do you think they will just as fair and understanding now that Diaz tested positive for marijuana...like we all didn't see that coming...
Interesting to see his numbers, how high over the threshold they were. In 2007, when he tested positive after beating Gomi, he was three and a half times over the legal limit. This time, it's expected to be much lower, which may or may not matter. He does have a prescription for it in California to use for medicinal purposes, so there are softeners in play for Diaz's camp.
What do you think Struve's ceiling is?
Higher than most people's, otherwise he'd scrape his head. :) But seriously, he's 24 years old and still growing into that frame. Talking to Jorge Rivera yesterday, he was convinced that one day Struve will be the heavyweight champion.
What do you think about Markes he looked like a light heavyweight in the cage?
That's exactly what I thought, actually...that looked like the same Markes that fought Vemola at 205 pounds. Thought it showed some heart to come back from that early big punch by A-Train.
I have NO problem with Condit sitting back and waiting for GSP to get healthy. He has already lost his title shot twice.
Yeah, it's hard to argue with him making that decision. Especially if the UFC is backing him 100% on it. Why not?
Please tell me that Smooth will finally end Edgar's improbable run at the 155 belt. Ben should be too big and strong for him, and by money is on Henderson to win this close fight..your thoughts?
Every time Edgar steps in there this seems to be the case. He's always going to be the smaller of the two fighters. But he finds a way to get it done. Having said that, Ben Henderson looks like his toughest fight yet. That dude has dominated some big names.
what kind of chance do you give akiyama against shields? I have a feeling he could pull the upset. What is the line on the fight?
He does have his countrymen behind him, and he's a star there. Will be a tough fight for sure, and nobody thinks he'll beat Shields. But he keeps coming, and I could foresee an upset.
Bottom Line is, that Ellenberger got to comfortable and got caught with a body kick that crippled him followed by a good punch. I think he would have recovered and won a decision 4-1 if it had gone five. Sanchez is tough though, gotta give him major credit
He is a tough guy. That walk out with the cross was something out of lore.
Sup Chuck! Whats next for mike peirce?
I'd think that they'd give him a middle-of-the-packer, but his performance against Koscheck was prototypical Pierce. He's a tough guy, so much strength.
people keep saying Bendo is too big and strong for Frankie, but those are the exact same things that people said about Maynard
This is true. This is true.
what is up with mma live? i have it set on my dvr and it came on last night at an odd time and didn't tape the whole thing. is it going to have a set time on espn?
Yeah, I heard a lot of people saying that it got pushed back by NFL Live. This was the first time back on ESPN 2 since the revamp, so glad it's going again...but best to set DVR for an hour in case it's delayed for any reason.
What is next for Sanchez? He may not win the big ones but he is always entertaining and that is what the sport is all about.
He was talking about maybe returning to 155 pounds. Not a horrible idea, and he's back at Jackson's for this stint. Last tine he was a lightweight he was in California training.
Do you think that the UFC will eventually expand another weight class in between Light Heavy Weight and Heavy Weight? There's a pretty big divide between 205 and 265
They've said they won't do that, but anything's possible down the line. I am just happy they are bringing the flyweights in as the eighth division.
Alright people, got to get out of here. Invite your friends next time, and if you have any questions I didn't get to feel free to hit me on my twitter feed @ChuckMindenhall. Have a good weekend, guys.