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March 9, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:00 PM)

And so here we are again. What's on your minds at week's end? Got Bellator going off tonight with Joe Warren/Pat Curran, Edgar gets his rematch with Henderson, Russow/Werdum anybody (??) and TUF Live kicks off. Peyton Manning to Denver? Why not. It's natural for Colts to grow up and be Broncos. What else? You tell me, peeps.

Matt (Oceanside, CA)

Hey Chuck, regarding Hector Lombard...I don't see how he is considered a top 10 ranked middleweight, even with the relatively perceived shallow nature of the divisiion in the ufc...I mean the guy lost to Gono, and drew with Kyle Noke, seems like he would be outclassed by any number of ufc middleweights. Thoughts?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:02 PM)

I see this type of thing a lot, and for good reason. The Trevor Prangley's and Jesse Taylor's of the world don't add up to top ten status. But it's the sure length of Lombard's streak that raises eyebrows. He hasn't lost since 2006, and he's finished seven of his last eight fights. Would love to see how he stacks up with UFC elite. (And he fought to a draw officially with Noke).

Chad (oh) [via mobile]

Is John c Reilly the father of josh koshcheik?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:03 PM)

Unofficially, maybe. I can see how you came to that conclusion. Blood tests need to be conducted before we get too involved with the speculation.

Fadi(Tustin) [via mobile]

Is Cain getting his belt back!?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:04 PM)

When you consider that he had a torn ACL when he fought JDS, you have to think we didn't see the best Velasquez there. It's a tough fight with Mir, but one I think he should win. That puts him right back up there, and a healthy Velasquez still looks like a monster to me.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

TUF Live starts tonight. What are you most looking forward to, the Cruz/Faber rivalry playing out on TV or the live fights?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

I am looking forward to seeing a different format (the other was tired), and to the fights playing out live. The Cruz/Faber stuff, eh. How many times can you hear about Cruz signing his name over Faber's face before you become numb to it?

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

What doest he UFC do if Edgar wins in a CLOSE fight? Would you have done the rematch?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:07 PM)

This is a very good question. If we're dealing in what's right/fair, then why shouldn't Ben Henderson demand a rematch with Edgar if he ekes out a win? I am guessing the UFC is hoping that whoever wins makes it definitive.

Fadi(Tustin) [via mobile]

Hey Chuck, loved the STP reference in your UFC Title Album article. On that note do you think we'll see two UFC heavyweight title fights this year?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

Good possibility of it, so long as the strapholder stays healthy after Memorial Day weekend. There's still half a calendar year after UFC 146...plenty of time for another heavyweight title bout.

Jenn (Columbus)

What match that's been made for 2012 are you looking forward to? Mine is Alistair and JDS.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:09 PM)

That's a good one. I'd still go with Sonnen/Silva II, but wish they'd nail down the venue and make it official.

Samuel (Melbourne, Aus)

Hey Chuck. Why do you think that no Japanese fighters have really lived up to their billing coming into the UFC?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

Good question, and not sure I have a good answer. Some of them have blamed the travel for poor performances, but the Japanese fighters didn't hold court at UFC 144 in Saitama either. Some of them were warhorses from Pride who'd seen better days. Might be training, training partners, or too much emulation of Takanori Gomi's style. Not sure.

Ricky D (Atlanta)

How nasty was that armbar that Rousey put on Tate? I could barely watch that.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

That was a nasty moment. I was there live, and you could feel the crowd cringing when she torqued that thing. Tate must be made of gum.

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

Any word if Condit is defending his title before he takes on GSP? I can't recall what camp you are in. Group A (includes me): Strip GSP of the title because he is not able to defend the title for 18(!!!!) months, and give him an automatic title shot when healthy. Or Group B: This whole 'interim title' hullabaloo.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

No word yet on if Condit will defend or not, though there's a nice queue of willing opponents forming. I am not sure why they made the Diaz/Condit fight an interim title bout if there was the possibility that Condit would sit on it waiting for GSP. That's where things are right now. If GSP can't return before November, I expect Condit to defend the placeholder strap.

Ron (Chicago)

Chucky! Gimme your take on Edgar/Bendo II. Who has the advantage in this one?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:15 PM)

You have to like Edgar from a motivational standpoint. We were so breezily making Rocky comparisons before Bendo, so now he's in a true Rocky place. I think he'll come back and fight similarly, but he'll have to score on those takedowns. And, he's got to avoid that damn upkick.

Cody (OH)

What's your early pick for mir-cain and jds-overeem?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

Right now I'd lean towards Cain beating Mir, and JDS defending against Overeem. But as we get closer that could change.

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

Any word on Carwin's return yet?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

Haven't heard anything new on this. Will check in this coming week and see where things are at. He was projecting a summer return.

Kris (Los Angeles)

Who you got in Bellator tonight? I got to go with the Baddest Man on the Planet (Mista WARREN)

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:18 PM)

I was inclined to go with Warren, too, coming off that KO loss to Alexis Vila. But the more I think about the tough, gritty nature of Pat Curran, fighting essentially in his own backyard, I'm leaning that way. Curran by decision.

Brad (Long Beach)

Uncle Creepy won that fight. What a joke that situation became!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:19 PM)

I thought he won the fight, too, but narrowly. I gave him the first based on the takedowns with fairly even striking. The second was Johnson's definitively, and the third was Creepy's (though it wasn't a 10-8). It's a shame they miscalculated because A) we'd have had a historic first flyweight bout for all the right reasons and B) the division's already at a momentary stand still.

Jay (LA)

Hey Chuck, you think Dan Henderson's making the right choice sitting out ? Seems exactly like the scenario he was in post UFC 100...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

It wasn't Hendo's choice. He wanted to fight, and ever opened himself up to the idea of three different divisions (heavy, light heavy, middle), but they couldn't find him a fight that made sense. So, he's doing the smart thing now, and that's just wait out Jones/Evans.

Stan (San Diego)

What's up with that Nazi in Strikeforce? How does that happen? Do they not do background checks?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

Brandon Saling (the guy we're talking about) was a late addition to the card, and he essentially fibbed about his past on the application. So, he slid in as a convicted sex offender by lying. The Nazi tattoo...you'd think that would have raised some eyebrows before he made it to the cage.

Cody (OH)

whats next for rampage? shogun? do you think he is fighting only once more?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

I foresee Rampage fighting a handful of times, against Shogun, Forrest and possibly, down the road, Hendo. Rematches that are good paydays and fan friendly. His days of belt chasing are over.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:24 PM)

Touche.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Which should I watch tonight Bellator or TUF?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:24 PM)

Pick one and DVR the other. That's what I'm doing.

DaAshMan (Toronto)

Yo Chuck! Besides gettin' paid, which is fun, why on earth does a top-5 HW in Fabricio Werdum agree to fight Mike Russow?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

What's up, Ash? As crazy as it sounds, the fight makes sense given the landscape of the division. Who else is out there for Werdum right now? Russow is extremely undervalued. He's 4-0 in the UFC. His style is a little blah, but at some point he deserves a step up in competition...and Werdum was available.

Andy (Chicago)

Agreed McCall won. I was pissed laying $330 on a +265. Anyway, does Benevidez just wait around until those two fight again?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:27 PM)

I think he will wait around. It sounds like the UFC will expedite the rematch between McCall/Mighty Mouse (both were healthy coming out), and that could mean he might only be waiting about six months. That's not all that uncommon for UFC fighters anyway.

Jr (Arizona)

Diego Sanchez vs Thiago Alves anyone?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:28 PM)

That would be a fun fight, just like all Sanchez fights are. You have to wonder about the mental state of Alves. Kid was on a torrid streak heading into his title shot with GSP at UFC 100, and now he's lost four of six. This last one stung, given the way he lost it. The UFC may throw him a gimme next, just to right the ship.

Andy (Chicago)

Thought Big Country was dropping weight? How come he has Big foot now? He going to drop to 205 - Little Country

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

Yeah, that was confusing. One minute he's going to drop down if he gets 100K Facebook likes, then next he's fighting Bigfoot. Tough draw for Nelson, but if he employs the Cormier tact, could be his night.

Dan (Hoboken)

Can Miller submit Diaz or do you see Diaz boxing his way to a victory?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

I don't put anything past Jim Miller. Here's a guy who submitted Charles Oliveira just as we were taking his impossible jitz. Diaz will get his, too. Should be a great little dust-up, but I'm going Miller.

Ricky D (Atlanta)

Who wins the featherweight tournament? I have McCall beating Johnson in the rematch, then upsetting Benavidez.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

That sounds reasonable to me. Although, I still go with Benavidez. Just so good everywhere. How about him showing his hands off at 125 pounds? Great to see a flyweight knock somebody out.

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

Looking forward to Sonnen/Silva 2, but they can't have it in Brazil can they? If Sonnen wins I honestly believe he would'nt be able to leave the arena alive. I'm serious! It sounds crazy but do you think the UFC feels the same way?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

When they first brought up the rematch happening in Brazil, I did a blog about that very thing: What happens if Sonnen wins? But the UFC has since talked about security and has downplayed the situation turning ugly, and has moved forward with the idea that it will happen in Brazil. Seems there are still sticking points, though. On UFC Tonight, it went from Sonnen/Silva happening in June to Silva/Sonnen possibly happening in July.

Cody (OH)

whats next for gilbert melendez? i want to see petis go down and fight him

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:35 PM)

I don't know what's in store for Melendez. My guess is, at this point, no existing UFC fighter moves ovr to Strikeforce. Not after hearing Dana White's hand's off approach to things going on over there. So, Gilbert remains an island with a sack of worthless promises. If they make him go against Thomson again, that's, um, not the greatest scenario.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Florian and Hawani had an interesting debate on whether or not fighters should be subjected to a 2nd weigh-in and be limited to how much they can put back on. What side are you on in that debate? I can see both sides.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:37 PM)

I can't foresee them having guys weigh in only hours before fighting. The toll it takes so many of them to make weight is too great. It's still entertainment. If the guys fighting are showing up in poor conditions, that takes way from the fight. Bottom line is, if they make weight on the scale 24 hours before the event, then they've made weight. It didn't help Alves to put on 27 pounds in two hours in the end.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Have you heard any rumors on Fedor coming to the UFC?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:39 PM)

I've heard the rumors, but I checked in with his peeps and they said "at this point it's only a rumor." Fedor wants to compete in America. America is the UFC and Bellator. Don't see him going to Bellator. The one intriguing possibility is this extra heavyweight fight that will go on after the grand prix wraps up. Maybe that's where Fedor surfaces next?

Rick (Cincinnati)

I can't believe Thiago Alves made such a dumb mistake by giving Kampmann his neck. You ever seen a crazier turnaround?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:41 PM)

You mean besides Tim Boetsch's comeback over Yushin Okami a week prior? Or Mike Russow flattening Todd Duffee? Or Drew Fickett that time choking out Josh Koscheck? It happens sometimes. It's still a fight, for the full fifteen minutes. Alves was going for the finish. Kudos to Kampmann for hanging in there.

Chet (Anaheim)

Where's Todd Duffee these days?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:42 PM)

He's going to fight in the Super Fight League, an India-based venture. They signed a few UFC castoffs, like Paul Kelly and Trevor Prangley to boot.

Andy (Chicago)

Timeout, what are you talking about extra heavyweight fight after the grand prix??

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:43 PM)

There was an allusion to one extra heavyweight fight after the grand prix wraps up, back when it was announced that Strikeforce was closing down the division. What it means exactly, we'll have to wait and see.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

Any chance that Fedor comes to the UFC with the heavyweight division ballooning up this summer?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

There's always a chance. Even though Dana and the UFC are still bitterly mad at him and his handlers from the time they dangled off the charts money at him, all it takes is a phone call and some contrition.

Jonathan (Indiana)

I always thought the craziest finish to a fight was Scott Smith/Pete Sell...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:45 PM)

YES. That was one of the classic comebacks. Loved that fight.

Andy (Chicago)

Not cheering against Eager but if he loses do you think he then makes the drop to challenge Aldo?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:46 PM)

My suspicion is that when Dana White agreed to let Edgar rematch Henderson, that he did it on condition that Edgar drop down afterwards (whether he's champ or not). Edgar has changed his tune a little bit on the possibility of feather and even bantamweight.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:47 PM)

I will say, too, that how intriguing would it be to have Pettis go down and face Aldo now that Edgar's out of the equation? That would be a massively entertaining fight. And I think Pettis could make it.

Coleman (Baltimore)

Who is your early pick for Koscheck vs Hendricks

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

I won't say that Hendricks is "Mr. Lucky Punch" like Koscheck said. He did the same thing he did to Fitch with Amir Sadollah to kick off his UFC career. I like Hendricks. He has the hands, the wrestling, and the hunger.

Ric (Kansas)

Tim Sylvia is begging to be in the UFC. I can't imagine it happening. Last time I saw him fight he was over 300 lbs and lost to a TUF HW castoff. Think Dana will give him another shot?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:50 PM)

I don't think Dana will give him another shot. Lots of acrimony going back to the day, I suspect, but also because Sylvia hasn't been a world-beater on other circuits.

Dan (Hopkinton, MA)

If you are Anthony Pettis. What would you be thinking right now and who would you consider fighting if you don't get an immediate shot?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:51 PM)

It's interesting. If I was him, I'd inquire about that featherweight title tilt with Aldo. If not, then there's guys out there like Gray Maynard, but that's exactly the kind of opponent who'd make for a nightmare match-up. Melendez would be fantastic, but not going to happen.

nigel (va)

i think peyton manning is going to go to the broncos or the dolphins

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

Hope it's the Broncos. Tebow could use a year or two apprenticing behind a guy who can throw like that.

jeff from the 716 [via mobile]

Diaz all the way 2 similar guys in all areas better boxing wins it. Not to many people can follow the condit game plan agianst the DiaZs boys. 716 homie don't be scared

DaAshMan (Toronto)

Does an unremarkable 2-1 record in the insanely competitive LW division really warrant a direct path to a shot at the title for Pettis? Shouldn't he, at least, have to pass Guida/Maynard first?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:54 PM)

No, it doesn't. But that's only part of the matchmaking process. He was coming off a big knockout win over Lauzon (who was claiming he should be next in line with a win), and he was on the same card as Edgar/Henderson, so the schedules meshed up. Besides all that, there is the back-story of Pettis having been the last man to beat Bendo...him being the No. 1 contender then losing a stay busy fight with Guida...the kick off the fence. Drama was there, but merit wasn't.

Greg (Ellicott City)

Kongo taking out Pat Berry was the craziest comeback.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:55 PM)

Also a crazy turn of events. I was cageside for that one.

Ric (Kansas)

Thanks for the Hector Lombard take early in the chat. From my understanding Bellator will have the option to match any offers from other organizations within 30days. Do you think the UFC will offer a big enough contract that Bellator won't be able to match it?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

Remains to be seen. The UFC definitely likes to kick out the legs of competitors. I am sure there will be interest, but sometimes the UFC turns cheek when you least expect it.

Josh (Detroit)

Do you give the Lions a realistic shot come next season to be a legitimate super bowl contender?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:57 PM)

They definitely were a world better this past season. Still some holes on D.

Mark (St. Louis, MO)

Looking at from top to bottom and not just the champion, how would you rank the divisions from best to worst?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

I assume you mean depth-wise. From weakest to strongest, I'd go: Flyweight (too new), heavyweight (though it's fortifying), featherweight, light heavyweight, bantamweight, middleweight, welterweight and then lightweight. The lightweight is spilling over with talent.

Brad (Long Beach)

Chuck... do you watch Spartacus? Did you see that Matrix kick they hid in there? Ha!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:00 PM)

Haha. I did see that, and I commented to my wife that the choreography there looked "Showtime-esque."

Coleman (Baltimore)

Love the chat. Does the UFC match Pettis up with the winner of Diaz/Miller now that the rematch is happening

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:01 PM)

I think the Diaz/Miller winner will fight the Edgar/Henderson winner. But that's just if everything comes off clean and easy. If it's a close fight between Edgar/Henderson and Edgar wins, what am mess that will create.

Chad S. (Chicago, IL)

Any news regarding B.J. Penn. Is he enjoying retirement or do you think we will see him fight again in the octogon?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:02 PM)

Last I heard he was "finding himself," and didn't sound overly eager to get back in the octagon. I suspect he will return at some point, though. He's really not that old, and he can still bring it.

Chad S. (Chicago, IL)

Any idea what the co-main event is for Jones/Evans? Is it going to be McDonald vs Mills. Great spot to put the rematch of McCall/Johnson...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:04 PM)

I am sort of hoping they go with McCall/Johnson II, if not as the co-main, at least on the card. The McDonald/Torres fight is great, and MacDonald/Mills has potential. Add Uncle Creepy/Mighty Mouse? Entertaining stuff top to bottom.

Alan (Oakland)

What's next for Ronda Rousey? You think she's going to be a star?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:05 PM)

She's already a star with that performance. Now to keep her away from Steven Soderbergh and Hollywood millions.

Sam (Orlando)

Is MMA Live going to be in Atlanta for UFC 145? That's a sick card!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:06 PM)

It should be a good card. There is some discussion about possibly taking MMA Live on the road again, and UFC 145 was part of it. Haven't heard one way or another yet, but I hope so.

Tyler (Mission Viejo)

There are so many MMA shows out there now, which is great... but how come MMA Live doesn't get a better time slot? Come on!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:07 PM)

Hey man, preaching to the choir there. Right now I am happy it's back on ESPN 2. Wouldn't be surprised if in the near future it locks up a better time slot. (But I am an optimist).

Cody (OH)

if thiago silva wins, is he one fight from the title?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:08 PM)

He's definitely getting up there if he beats Gustafsson. Either way, the fight between Thiago Silva/Gustafsson is a lot more compelling to me than Lil Nog/Gustafsson. There's also the question of how Silva looks after so much time away and his travails.

Jenn (Columbus)

So much talk about judging and scoring... with all the different states and athletic commissions, how would they even go about changing the scoring system? is that up to the promotion? or the athletic commision?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:10 PM)

It's up to the athletic commissions. I know NSAC's Keith Kizer has been strongly opposed to changes in the 10-point must (even with Doc Hamilton in his ear about the half-point revolution). Would like to see more fighters get into judging.

Ray (NY)

Why is Bellator programming on Fridays? They are gonna get murdered going up against Spike's TUF repeats, TUFLive, NBA, NCAA, ESPN2 Boxing, WWE, etc... Seems like a poor strategy.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:12 PM)

Friday's aren't Saturday, which Zuffa has on lockdown. Friday's probably the best alternative, but you're right, it'll be head-to-head with a surplus of choices.

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

With Lauzon's loss, do you see Dana giving my least favorite fighter, 'the young assasin' the rematch he's bellyaching about.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:14 PM)

Haven't thought of that, but I guess it's a possibility. Lauzon is peeved that Guillard didn't give him the proper respect, too. Nice two-way street.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:14 PM)

Okay, people. Need to get out of here. Thanks for hopping on the Friday Chat. If I didn't get to your question, feel free to hit me up on the Twitter feed @ChuckMindenhall. Enjoy the Bellator fights and TUF Live, and we'll see you next Friday.