Friday chat time, and there's (finally) a Zuffa card to think about. What goes down in Sweden? We've also got Jones/Evans closing in fast, plus Bellator tonight, and there's the possible shifting sands of UFC 146...and whatever else is on your minds. Let's get this thing rolling....
Who is better suited for their featherweight move: Ross Pearson or Dennis Siver?
They are both built just as compact as accordions, but I'll go with Pearson. Obviously will need to see Siver fight at 145 to get a real taste, but he had to take extra time to get down, so rocky start.
I keep hearing/reading that GSP will be back in November and that he will be able to train at full-strength/speed in 2 months... why the delay? Is it because they want him to fight in Canada? I want to see him unify the belts ASAP.
Marc, I think it's less why the delay than it is why Rush? (Pardon the pun). Bottom line is, they have a card that is perfectly tailor-made for him in Montreal that gels up with his time frame. GSP will only fight if he's 100%, and that card is his goal.
I just read on Caged Insider (Bas Rutten) that Overeem actually has a shot at fighting JDS? Some type of BS TRT explanation...What?!?!?!?
I don't know the exact specifics on these loophole scenarios, but I'd still think it's a long shot that he fights on that card. The UFC must be somewhat optimistic if they are waiting out the hearing. Will have to see. But it's ultimately a commission issue, and it doesn't look good.
Chuck!!! What are the chances the NSAC grants Overeem a TRT exemption and let's him fave Dos Santos...under 10%? I hope they don't, it would kill all legitimacy the UFC has been trying to build up with the sporting public.
I'd have to think it's like 1%, but again...I am not entirely familiar how Overeem will defend himself. It starts to feel like a joke if he can just sidestep every bit of red tape.
When's the next flyweight fight? Is it John Dodson? That little dude was the happiest fink ever on TUF.
I believe that is the next scheduled flyweight fight, which happens on May 5. However, I have heard through the grapevine that his opponent, Darren Uyenoyama, may have suffered an injury to force him off the card. Haven't confirmed that, but Dodson may have a new opponent.
what's up with jake rossen? that dude still alive?
It's funny, since I began at ESPN in 2010 I've heard people inquire into Rossen's whereabouts. He surfaced this week in the New York Times, a really good article about the struggles of amputees in MMA. He talked with Nick Newell.
Hey Chuck if Frank fights JDS what are the chances Cain fights Verdum? Who would you take in that fight?
There are so many open air what if's going on with UFC 146. If Reem can't go, and Mir is upgraded to the main event, it wouldn't surprise me to see them stick Werdum in there against Cain Velasquez. That fight is interesting...both are dangerous on the ground for different reasons. Werdum has some sleight-of-hand going on. Would still take Velasquez.
Who will be the breakout star of UFC 145?
I'd go with Michael McDonald. If he beats Michael McDonald, that's huge for the 21-year old. But honestly, it could be Rashad Evans. For as big of a name as he is (former champ), beating Jones would catapult him to real star status. Hardly anybody's picking him.
I like your hat.
Thank you. Got that one at the Peacock in Memphis.
How would the karate legends (Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, etc.) in their prime fair in today's UFC?
You come up with some good ones, Marc. I'd think Bruce Lee would be a dynamic striker, but would struggle with wrestlers. Norris, I think he'd have a good chin, but too many big shots would cut short his career. By "etc"...I assume you mean Daniel Larusso. He'd be like a TUF winner. One and done, or a perpetual preliminarist.
What do you think of MMA Uncensored? It's grown on me since the first one.
It's a good show. The feature on Nick Newell this week was great. I like they are ask straight questions on there...although, they had Reem taped talking about everything but the thing on people's minds (those stratospheric T:E levels).
What are your picks for this Saturday? This card is pretty stacked for a Fuel TV card
Going to take Gustafsson, Siver (somewhere less enthusiastically), Stann, Thiago and Johnson.
Johnny Lawrence could've been a great fighter if his coach wasn't a psycho.
This is true. That kid had all the potential and very little guidance.
What do you think about the Demarques fight tomorrow.
Tough one to call. Going with Johnson, but Maguire looked good in his debut.
Not a lot of people talking about Aoki vs. Alvarez. Who wins that fight? I am leaning towards Aoki.
It's a shame that this fight is lost in the Jones/Evans shuffle, because it should be good. I am taking Alvarez, just because I think that first fight stuck in his craw for a long time and he's determined. It's on US soil this time (Cleveland), so there's, you know, that.
If Mir gets bumped up to the main, why not Hunt/Cain in the co-main? If the Australian can beat Cain he ought to get a title shot, if not Cain gets a quality win.
I'd rather see Hunt/Cain than Hunt/JDS. I just don't think Hunt warrants a title shot, even if it's a guaranteed "fun" fight. There has to be a merit chain in play here. Hope they leave Hunt/Struve alone, as that's a stunning visual.
Tell me they aren't seriously thinking about Hunt for the heavyweight title fight? That PPV will be massaquered if they do.
By "they" I think you mean the gray masses. Or, the small pocket of fans who are sentimentalists. There is this Hunt Rally going on, but I feel safe in saying I doubt Joe Silva/Dana White share their enthusiasm. (You never know, though).
What kind of chance would you give Siver vs Aldo at 145?
Not great. Aldo too fast. Siver to bunched. Would be target practice for Aldo.
Hey Chuck, big fan. Wondering who you got in the Evans/Jones fight? Can't believe it's finally almost here. Seems like we've been talking about this fight for ages.
It does seem like this fight has been burbling for a long, long time. And it has. Since last spring. All the betrayal, all the speculations, the secrets they possess on the other. It's finally around the corner. I keep hearing it's flying in under the radar. Maybe why people are reluctant to fully talk about it for fear they'll jinx Rashad, who has a way of losing his footing in big spots.
Siver barely made it, and seems he had a Bad weight cut. Does this change your pick?
Still going with Siver. He wrecked some good guys at 155 before losing to Cerrone, and I don't think Nunes brings anything that he hasn't dealt with before.
Charles...you going to Atlanta? If so, let me know where you'll be hanging so I can buy you a beer.
Unfortunately, no. I've been to Jones' last seven or eight fights, but this one I'm not attending. We have Brett Okamoto there, as well as some of the MMA Live crew. So, plenty of representation if your want to spring for them a brew.
What up Chuck? How many ppv buys do you think UFC 145 will do? I think it can hit 800,000 buys. Agree or disagree?
I think it'll be lower, but there are some factors. For one, this is the first PPV since February. That means there might be some disposable cash around. But after Jones/Evans, the card isn't great. Che Mills/Rory MacDonald as the co-main? Hmm.
How close is Stann to being cut with a loss?
Not close. He only lost to Stann recently, and though it was one-sided, he's a fun fighter to watch and he's one of the UFC's more marketable cusp contenders. He'll be around for a long while.
Chuck it was nice to actually be able to watch MMA live last night at a decent hour.
Yeah, nice to have that time slot. Hopefully we'll see more of that going forward.
Hey Chuck! Love the chat. What do you think of the Fitch/Simpson match-up? I am surprised Simpson is dropping down in weight.
Kind of caught me by surprise. I thought that Simpson did look very undersized against Ronny Markes, but Markes might have just looked enormous having cut from 205. At any rate, can't hurt to try those waters...that's a tough first draw against Fitch. Couple of wrestlers, but Fitch is 0-1-1 in his last couple. Think he'll be motivated?
Any chance its Hendo vs JDS?
I suppose there's a chance of it. Hendo is open to the idea. Problem is, would dos Santos be? And you also have Frank Mir openly lobbying for the spot. Hard to jump Hendo to the top of the chain on circumstance alone.
If Overeem isn't allowed to fight JR Dos Sanos, who should get the fight??
Should be Mir.
Why is the Sonnen V Silva 2 fight on a Friday night? Will that hurt the PPV buys?
Is it on a Friday night? I thought it was for June 23, a Saturday? If it's on a Friday, it's hard to say about PPV buys. With Sonnen/Silva at the top, should do good business.
Why does Mir think he's the logical next opponent for JDS if/when Overeem gets pulled? He should have lost to Big Nog (but did pull off a stunning win...only because Nog screwed up). Beat a sick, wheezing punching bag in Nelson and KO'd a washed up Cro Cop which was a dud of a fight until KO...I think Werdum makes as much sense or more. Beat a healthy and fit Nelson handily, looked great doing it. Lost to Overeem, but was really winning if he didn't do the dumb lay and pray (he won't ever do that again) and beat Fedor when that was the most unbelievable thing ever...I like a Werdum vs. JDS match better than Mir...what say you Chuck?
I can see your point. Werdum has been fairly underrated for much of his career, and he looked good (and surprisingly violent) against Nelson. To Mir's credit, he did make the comeback on Nog, and he did find a way with the others. Bottom line is he won, and he's a two-time champion looking at a third. He broke Nog's arm, which is dos Santos' friend. So there's back story, too...
Hey Chuck who do you take between Grey Maynard and ben hendo?
That's a tough one. I actually think that Gray Maynard would match up pretty well with Bendo. Henderson's been fighting out of his mind of late, but I'd almost lean on the Bully in that one. Who knows, at some point in 2012 we may find out.
Chuck!! Am I missing something as far as this Overeem thing goes? Who the hell cares if his testosterone is high out of competition? Dont they test him again closer to fight time and/or the night of the fight? If so, what is the big deal if it wont help him on fight night?
He was subjected to random drug testing, going back to his issues ahead of the Brock Lesnar fight in December when it took him a month to respond to a mandatory test. What's unfathomable is that he had to know that, being in Vegas for a press conference, with the commission on hand, that might be a great chance for them to do a pop test.
Who do you think has the best ink in MMA?
Got to be Ian Loveland's rainbow trout tattoo, doesn't it? From the looks of it, caught with a caddis in a high mountain lake.
There are a lot of newcomers on the UFC card this weekend. Who should we keep our eye on?
I want to say Yoislandy Izquierdo and Razi "Mad Dog" Madadi...but Francis Carmont is a stud, and GSP's in his corner.
Chuck, a legit card that kicks off 17 weeks of action! And last but not least, fights in HD! No more settling for standard tv, at least for a few weeks.
Your eyes can stop bleeding, Tyler. It's all coming clear.
Who wins tonight on TUF Live Proctor or Tickle?
Joe Lauzon swears it'll be Proctor. So will take his good word.
Tell me a bit about Tom Deblass. He's a big favorite over Cyrille Diabate, but I don't know much about him
I really haven't seen much of him, but know he's undefeated and he beat Sean Salmon back in the day.
They should just put the prelims on Fuel too, except Facebook has about 100 times the audience.
Not a fan of the Facebook broadcasts. Had too much trouble with it in the past.
Who do you think Aldo will fight next? I know they're trying to feed to us that there are several fights for him but in my opinion, if Edgar doesn't drop down, Aldo already HAS to move up.
I still am holding out that it could be Erik Koch. He doesn't have a fight lined up and he wants it. They'd stand and trade. If not Koch, I think they'll look at the winner of Korean Zombie/Poirier.
Odds of Jon Jones winning against JDS on short notice at this point (and weight)?
I'd say 55/45. It would be short notice for JDS, too. That fight would be something to behold.
If Overeem gets an exemption, what is to stop a group of fighters (Lawal, Diaz, Sonnen, Cyborg) from filing a lawsuit against the NSAC? It would basically be say if Overeem gets licenses; failing a drug test before the fight is okay but after is terrible..
This is a messy situation if Overeem doesn't fight...just as it's a messy situation if he does. One way or another, people are going to be upset. And in either case, rightly so.
Chucky! Saw the piece you did today on UFC Sweden. Which fight are you looking most forward to? I like think the Gustafsson/Silva fight ends in somebody getting knocked out.
I think the Brad Pickett/Damacio Page fight should be good. Both coming off of losses, and both of them bring the fight. I look for Page to have a good showing.
Any news on who Jose Aldo will be fighting in Canadia?
No official word. Speculation is Koch...though Poirier, Hioki, Korean Zombie all in the mix. Maybe the UFC has something up their sleeve.
Sup Chuck?? Whats next for Jones if/when he defeats Evans and Henderson?? Pretty safe to say that once those two names are taken out who's next ??
As crazy as it seems, if Jones beats Evans and then Henderson, there won't be much else. Gustafsson maybe. And there's a chance one of the old guard becomes appealing for a rematch, but I think if he beats Evans and Hendo he might move on to heavyweight. It never happens...but Jones could legitimately clean out the division before 2012 ends.
Is there an update from Sweden about Siver making weight?
He did make it on subsequent tries. So he doesn't sacrifice any of his purse.
Is the current UFC model sustainable or will dominant champions clean-out divisions too quickly?
GSP and Anderson Silva have been fighting for a long time, and neither guy has cleaned out their division. I believe the feat is very difficult, particularly given the nature of MMA. A guy like Dominick Cruz is flirting with it, but Jon Jones is the closest to actually doing it.
Did that conference call today between Rashad/Jones get you fired up? It did me!
This thing's been festering for a long, long time. It's a hugely taxing, necessary evil type of fight that both guys have had to accept as inevitable. That's how it feels now...almost there. Jones will play up the zen detachment, and Evans will use the hurt as motivation.
How come these smaller organization fighters, for example Bellator, can fight three times in 3 months yet these UFC fighters are fighting less and less these days? Do they really need 6 months off in between fights?
Bellator works in seasons, and uses a tournament structure. So, once a tournament gets started, those who advance are humped back out there pretty quick (usually a month) to keep it rolling. Most fighters are the professional level prefer 3-4 fights a year.
Any chance if Overeem gets suspended, they bring in Josh Barnett to face Dos Santos?
No chance. Barnett/Cormier are fighting in May on Showtime. UFC won't/can't pry.
Sexyama/Alves early prediction. I know if Sexyama loses he's 100% gone, right?
At this point, I don't know. I'd have sworn they were giving Akiyama one more fight just because it was UFC 144 in Japan (and he's a draw there), and he was dabbling at welterweight. Now they are giving him Alves, who is coming off the most crushing defeat imaginable to Kampmann. Both of those guys are on the brink. (Seemingly).
UFC 150 at cowboys stadium?!
Doubt it. I know it won't be in Vegas, though.
Chuck, I'm going to UFC 145 next weekend (first live UFC event). What can I expect as far as what will be going on pre-fights and post-fights? I've seen UFC posting pictures from Sweden about all the other things going on, but I can't find anything for next week except the weigh-in. Are there any chances to meet fighters?
There are usually chances to meet fighters before the event, particular when the UFC hosts fan expos. For Atlanta, there will be a fighter Q&A and some of those types of appearances before the weigh-ins, and there will be parties/signings all week. Hit me on twitter and I'll look into what's going on.
What's going on with Ace?
Got a fight with Cung Le coming up, and (to hear him tell it) one last run at the 185-pound crown. Guess he's counting on somebody to dethrone Anderson Silva, because nobody would want Franklin/Silva III.
What title will change hands first?
Tough one. I'll go with lightweight. Maybe narrow victory for Edgar, setting up yet more controversy for rematches. If not him, then Pettis might get it done. Or Maynard. So much parity at 155.
Will UFC ever come to AZ? Tons of great fighters from here and train here, plus great weather, lots of venues. Get it done for us Chuck!
I will place a call to the UFC to get this arranged. You prefer Phoenix, or Glendale, Tempe, Mesa...maybe Snowflake? Whatever you want.
But seriously...so long as Ben Henderson as the champion, they'll get back there pretty soon.
Chuck, have you heard anything about the main card for UFC 147? I know that Werdum, Belfort and Silva are fighting at the event, but are there any other Brazilians fighting on the main card?
Haven't heard too much else on it.
OK guys, I need to bounce. Will try and stay longer next week as we get set for Jones/Evans. Have a good weekend and enjoy the fights. If I didn't get to your question, hit me on Twitter @chuckmindenhall. Thanks for chatting.