What's up guys, and happy Friday. Lots of MMA to discuss...this weekend's big PPV with Jones/Evans, Shinya Aoki in Cleveland (should be a sitcom), Chael and Anderson in Vegas instead of the Brazil (?). Looks like I'm head to head against the ATL weigh-ins, but for those of you with accusatory fingers, I'd hardly consider it counter-programming. Let me know if somebody doesn't make weight. Otherwise, what's on your minds? Let's get this thing rolling...
What are the chances of Jon Jones vs Anderson Silvia
As of right now, not great. Jones likes Silva. Silva likes Jones. They have made each other off-limits for now. Silva is 37, too. There'll be a point when the match-up will lose its shine. My guess is it never happens.
Hey wats up I have a lot of confidence that this fight is going to be a war I see evens knocking out jones in the 2nd round people dident give evens a chance whit liddel and look what happen
I am a little surprised that people aren't giving Evans a chance. But you know, you're right...he has some tangibles (and some intangibles), and last time in Atlanta he was a dog against Liddell. He knocked him out. I expect Evans to make it competitive.
If overeem loses his case against the NSAC do you see him getting cut or possibly just put on the shelf until the suspension ends? I'd hate to see him cut but I could understand if they had to make an example of him
I wouldn't be surprised if the UFC cut him. Dana White seemed particularly peeved with Alistair, and given their topsy-turvy past (and Overeem's constant suspicion), I could foresee it happening. But it depends on a lot.
If JBJ wins in dominating fashion, how does the UFC walk the fine line of promoting him as unbeatable LHW champ and challenging him in a move to HW?
It's true that a side effect of dominating the competition if that people can lose interest. If Bones dominates Rashad, you can expect the new line to be "he's never faced somebody like Hendo." If he did it to Hendo, too? I'd have to think they'd invited him to browse the heavyweight catalog. (Unless Gusty comes roaring up in such a way that we view him as a challenge).
Chucky, who u got tonight with Alvarez and Aoiki? Is it all but certain this is Alvarez' last fight in Bellator?
This fight has sort of been lost in the mix, eh? I am going with Alvarez. I like that he has twofold motivation, having lost his last fight to Chandler and also the poor showing against Aoki the first time. Plus, it's in America...and for whatever reason, most Japanese fighters don't do well over here.
Will my (wonder)boy take another step up the ladder tomorrow?
I think he will.
Could a legitimate loss bring out an even better Jon Jones in the future? I think it would make his lhw story even more compelling.
Interestingly, I think it would. I remember when Greg Jackson said that the only person who could beat Jones was Jones. I still think whoever he's facing would have to lend a hand. If Evans were to dominate Jones, take him to the mat and make him work from his back for five rounds, Jones would be forced to come back down to earth.
what are the odds Dos Santos title defense comes against someone not already scheduled to fight on the May card?
I think they will go with Frank Mir if Overeem can't go. I can't imagine who they would put up there in the title fight who's not on the card. Besides, out of all heavyweights, Mir would be next. And he is half-training for JDS at this point.
Hey chuck, who do you got for McDonald vs Mills?
I am taking Rory MacDonald. Just too hungry and too strong for Mills. As I mentioned in a piece a few days ago, this is a sort of showcase fight for MacDonald. A nice co-main to build some marketability.
John The Bull Makdessi is 158 .. giving up 20%
Uh-oh. We have somebody already overweight?
Who do YOU want to see as Hector Lombard's first opponent in the UFC?
Remember when Brian Stann welcomed a very tough Jorge Santiago into the UFC? I'd like to see him welcome a very tough Lombard, too.
There goes $100 for The Bull.
There are only two fighters who can hang with Jon Jones: Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. Discuss.
That's true. I think either of those guys could hang with Bones. Maybe Rashad (we can find out tomorrow). Somebody has to expose some area of his game to open up our imaginations on this.
hey chuck who do you got Alvarez vs Aoki?
Taking Alvarez. My reasons are irrational (superstitious almost). But I like that it's in Cleveland, and I like Alvarez's motivation.
Do you think Rashad/Jones goes past the 3rd round?
If it goes Evans' way, yeah. If Evans has things his way, then it could go the distance. Rashad has always been a pretty good recon guy...feel it out, counter, pick his spots. I'd expect him to be a little cautious here, too, and to start slow.
I've heard Vegas will likely grant Reem his license. Is it in the UFC's best interest to run the risk of Reem taking out JDS? A possibly tainted HW champ has to be a precarious position.
I wouldn't think it would be ideal, honestly. But I think if Reem is cleared to fight the UFC will let him fight. They'll deal with the other stuff as/if it happens.
Do you think both Jones and Evans will enter the Octagon crawling and started out in the crouched position?? That's going to be strange, no?
Both of these cats always get down real low for the opening bell. If they both come out crawling against each other, it'll be a minor spectacle. Maybe the old cliche of "every fight starts standing" will get tested tomorrow. Maybe Jones/Evans starts on the ground.
Really? Pedro Rizzo for Fedor. What is this 1995?
Ha. Not a lot of options out there for Fedor, so they roll out old Rizzo.
Pound for pound in the world where do you rank Bones?
Would put him No. 3 right now behind Silva and GSP. It's a little generous, given that he's so young and is still building that legacy, but he's been that dominant and is already on the verge of cleaning out a division (which never happens).
Chuck, I hear Silva vs Sonnen 2 is coming to UFC 148 in vegas July 7th. Since that card also has Faber v Cruz 3 do you see the event garnering over 1 million buys? I can't remember a card that stacked!
I am not sure it would get that many, but it might be the biggest PPV of 2012. Sonnen/Silva will be huge, regardless of whether its in Vegas or Brazil (where Sonnen says floss is still waiting to be invented...has he been to Copacabana Beach?).
If Condit beats GSP, should they give him Ellenberger for a rematch as his first defense?
Ellenberger needs to beat Kampmann, too. So much could happen in that time at 170 pounds. Somewhere in there Nick Driaz will come back, too. Rory MacDonald could be a player by there. But if Condit wins and schedules mesh and Ellenberger's still on his win streak? Sure. I could see that.
If Mir is moved to the title fight against JDS would UFC put Bigfoot against Velasquez as originally planned ?
That's a good possibility. I know there'd be some musical chairs. Not sure how many of the already made fights they'd want to tinker with, though. It's unfair to ask the bulk of the main card fighters to switch gears only a month out. But...you never know.
What do you make of Dana ripping Greg Jackson's? Is there bad blood there, or just Dana being Dana?
Dana is being Dana, but with Dana things are always loaded.
Who will be the first to enter a new weight class permanently, GSP, Anderson Silva, Bones Jones?
I'd go with Jones. I think he could literally be two fights away from bolting (Evans and Hendo).
I like Brendan Schaub and the way he fights, but fight it hard to watch Ben Rothwell. I think Rothwell gasses out and Schaub beats him unspectacularly.
I'm not overly enthused over this one. Rothwell hasn't look good of late. Schaub should own him.
BREAKING NEWS Chael doesn't like you media types. This has to hurt your feelings.
I never labor under any delusions that any fighter likes the media. Didn't dig the blanket statement, though. Plenty of news outlets had it exactly right.
FYI - large round of boos for Jones at weigh ins!!!!
Maybe he has not only replaced Evans at Jackson's, but as the man we love to hate. Evans used to get booed for no clear reason (other than having swagger) everywhere he went.
I know that Lombard's contract with Belator is up. Any chance he comes to the UFC? like to see him face some real competition...
I think he's UFC bound. And he adds some dimension to the middleweights. Right now there's a lack of intrigue behind the top five or six guys.
Which fight are we overlooking on this Atlanta car? I think it's Miguel Torres and Mayday.
I would say Makdessi/Njokuani, but now with Makdessi missing weight I am not sure. Torres/McDonald should be good, though.
Assuming Jon Jones beats Rashad. What chance do you give Hendo vs Jones?
More than a punchers. He has the wrestling and the Greco clinch, and he knows how to fight inside. I'd like to see the fight.
Is akiyama done in the UFC if he loses to the pitbull?
Dude's lost a lot in a row and is still there. I'd think so...but you never know. They like how he brings it. He's what Dan Hardy once called Josh Koscheck...and unflushable.
Any idea when UFC will be back at the Shark tank in San Jose
Might be a while for the UFC, but Strikeforce will be there in May, so not all is lost. My guess is the UFC won't be there until 2013.
Chuck, dont get me wrong I am still looking forward to it, but doesnt Silva-Sonnen 2 lose a little bit of lustre by not having 55,000 people rooting against Chael?
Yes. It loses some of the strongest intrigue, if you ask me. With between 60,000-80,000 partisans pulling for their guy to beat Sonnen, it would have been insane. Now in Vegas, it's a great rematch with a cool back story. History one way, big fight the other.
Are you able to watch movies like Bloodsport and Kickboxer knowing how poor the acting is for the fights?
It's become more comical since I've been inundated with MMA, that's for sure. However, the original Karate Kid holds up. Larusso.
Rashad is a good dude. I loved him on MMA Live and he's been funny in a couple of spots on Opie and Anthony.
I like him, too. He's very good at being Rashad.
Chuck!!! You daffy dude, what are your picks for tomorrow night's card? You're the man!!! Thanks.
I am going with Jones, MacDonald, Schaub, McDonald, Hominick and Bocek.
What do you think of Griggs vs. Browne? Seems like a close fight but Browne is just too big and more experienced against top level competition.
I don't know why exactly (gut?), but Browne feels like the lock of the night. Agree with what you say, Chris. Big, strong. And I think we are somewhat overestimating Griggs.
Chuck, is Torres in line for a title shot with Cruz/Faber with a win over McDonald?
I think he'd have to win one more to get a shot. He only beat Nick Pace since losing to Demetrious Johnson (though, to his credit, the loss to Mighty Mouse probably should have been a win).
Does Evans avoid standup with Jones similar to the fight with Rampage?
I don't think he'll be allowed to avoid it, but I think won't stand in Jones' orbit range the way Rampage did. I think the idea for him would be to work from inside, on the cage, some dirty boxing and body shots.
What's the next event you'll be at?
Will be at the UFC on FOX 3 card in New Jersey next. May might be busy.
Would GSP go up to middle for a super fight with the spider?
I don't know. He has said many times that he would need the necessary time to put the weight on correctly. The window for the Silva/GSP superfight is slightly ajar, but it could be closed before long.
IF Rashad had not gotten hurt and won the belt from Rua Do you think Jones would of left the team?
Good question. Things have went down in such a way that it's hard to imagine. But my guess is yes, he would have found his way elsewhere.
Did everybody else make weight?
Hey Chucky! So is Sonnen/Silva headed to Vegas for July 4 weekend?? Hope so!
That's what I'm hearing. I'll be happy it goes down one way or another, but not happening in Brazil takes something off the shine for me.
I think I am not giving Evans a shot to win because of his inability to finish Phil Davis. Does that make sense or am I discrediting Davis's skills?
He did dominate Davis, though. He has the ability to frustrate guys and take them out of their game plans...sort of nickel and diming. Can he do that to Jones? We say no, only because we haven't seen Jones in trouble before.
If Rashad proves he can get Jones to the ground in the first, will you change your pick?
Yes. I will change my pick each round as I gather a better sense of what's happening. That's how we do.
Assuming the fight goes through, what are your initial thoughts on Cain v. Mir and who do you like to win?
I'd go with Cain in that one. On the feet this thing is a toss up, and they have very different ground games. But I still like Velasquez if he gets top position to take care of Mir.
Groundswell of hatred for JBJ, I'm telling you. People are viewing him as too perfect/corporate.
He can come off a little calculated. He's been that way for a long time, though...not just since he's been champion. People don't always trust that sort of collectedness.
would Chuck Norris beat Jon Jones?
hat's up with Dana White being so sensitive towards CagePotato? Doesn't that seem like a petty thing for an obvious joke?
I assume Dana hasn't been to CagePotato too often, otherwise he'd see that the captions are always satirical (and usually LOL funny). Hate to see how the UFC reacts if the Onion starts in on them.
Gambling accusations, though, are hard to stomach...particularly if you are the UFC boss. Some jokes are lost on fans, and White made sure to clean up any misconceptions.
Why all the hype for Gustafsson? The only slightly relevant people he has beat is an aging Hamill, an aging Matyushenko, and a ring rusted Thiago Silva. Sure he has reach, but comparing him to Jones is a joke at this point.
The hype might be a little overboard, but he has looked pretty good for a 25-year old. Lots of poise and fight acumen. Comparing him to Jones is dangerous, but you know how it is...champions are always made into our gauges.
Rory MacDonald, assuming he wins, do you think he gets winner of Kos vs Hendricks?
It's possible. There are a lot of interesting fights at 170 pounds. That division is very, very deep.
You mentioned Bones comes off as a little calculated. What's your unvarnished personal take on the man and the fighter?
Young and learning (about himself, how to carry himself in the media, everything).
GSP returns, wins, then 185 for silva. True or False? Does it ever happen?
Maybe. He'd love to beat up Diaz still, when Diaz comes back. I'd say false, but it's a mad scene at 170 pounds.
Since Reshad last fought on FOX 2, your boy Gross is 19-4 in picking fights. his hot streak better continue this weekend.
2012 is his year.
Everyone made weight except Makdessi
Chuck, nice article on the Jones/Evans being inevitable. Best piece on fight week! who are you taking?
Thanks for the words, Headcase. Most of my fans have that name. I am going with Jones. Think he has the better chance of exacting his game plan, and will tag Rashad at some point to set up the end.
Not generous at all putting Jones 3rd p4p - if anything, it is not generous enough. Jones has never been manhandled for any period of time, let alone 4.5 rounds like someone else ahead of him has.
It's always a prickly little discussion, the P4P. Guys like Dominick Cruz should be higher than they are, because they are close to cleaning out their division. Yet he doesn't have the profile that a Jon Jones does.
I'm on the record Chuck - Rashad via 3rd round TKO
John is on record.
Who would win in a Royal Rumble between: You, Moto, Anik, J Gross, A. Helwani and in which order would people be eliminated? :)
I get some variation of this question every week (ahem). I'd go with Anik. He has quicks. Nobody could catch up to him.
WOOOOWWWW Hell of a stare down. Quick but intense, nose push Crowd goes bananas. Both make weight and looked in awesome shape. Who do I give my money too.
Can't wait to see the video of that....first time my chat has happened at the same time as a weigh in.
did you ever see Bones on the Leno show? That is why people don't like him. Be cocky in the cage, not outside of it.
I did see that. Can see what you mean. He rubs some people the wrong way, but he's a nice dude in person.
The only way Evans wins is if he goes all Fitch like and lays on Jones all 5 rounds. That is if he can get Jones down.
I think he'd take that type of win.
You won't have to change your pick each round because Bones destroys Evans before the first round bell dings. Rashad Evans ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
This will help me not to waffle. Thanks.
Who will win the bcs national championship in 2013
When is Anderson Silva next fight? And who are you going for this Saturday Jones or Evans ?
Silva fights Sonnen most likely in July (now). Not sure who's on the docket next for Diego. I know he's the type of name that might lure Matt Hughes back in, though.
I'd like to see Gust fight Badar or Machida. Test him to see if he has learned how to wrestle since the Davis fight or test to see how good his stand up really is.
Yeah, I'd like to see him against Bader. To me that fight makes a lot of sense. Both guys are about in the same place right now. What about Gustafsson/Bonnar? Maybe not top ten, but...
Can u tells us why the ufc is pushing the jon jones muhammed ali comparisons? Jon can't even win at talkin against rashad when ali was the best talker in sports history.
Not digging the comparison, either. Jones doesn't mind allying with the likes of greats like Ali, but in terms of it being legit? Not close. Ali was/is the center of much of what constitutes our culture. Jones has specific charisma and lives in less tumultuous times, with a name in a niche sport.
How will Rashad get inside of that huge reach and if he does isn't he in danger of Jones dangerouselbow strikes?
He'll have to take the chance. If you're going to be vulnerable, be vulnerable in the place where your opponent is too. From the outside, only Rashad is in danger.
Jones-Evans I: fight of the year?
Doubtful. That would have to require a back-and-forth type war, which is hard to envision.
The press seems to be drooling all over Jones. As a fan, I've liked him for a long time, and I'm not part of the Jones backlash, but it is brewing. Is there a sense Jones is becoming too perfect or corporate? Don't fans want Batman rather than Superman?
There's always mumbling about Jones being too this or too that. Ultimately, none of that matters if he keeps beating guys in the cage the way he does.
Who gases out first - MMA fighter in a boxing match, or a boxer in an MMA fight?
Depends on the fighters in question.
Chuck, I can only get one of the next two UFC PPVs. Do I go with the mixed 145 card with the great Jones-Evans headliner or do I go with the heavyweight-stacked 146 card??
Tough one, particularly with the Reem situation. On whole, I like the UFC 146 card better. The main and co-main (if unaltered) are good fights, and the other three have their intrigues.
Favorite ring-side announcers? I am going with Kenny Florian and Jon Anik. Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo drive me nuts.
What? You don't like the Bi-Polar Rock & Roller? I am not sure on this. I really don't have problems with any of these guys. In fact, one guy who continues to impress me is Jimmy Smith, the dude who colors up the Bellator fights. He's great at educating new fans and winking at diehards simultaneously.
Who needs a win in the worst kind of way to keep their job tomorrow night? I'd say Mac Danzig or Matt Brown.
Will say Matt Brown. But win or lose, he is immortal, so there's that.
Fight ends with Jones the winner by arm bar. How does Evans react post tap? Or KO?
It'll be interesting to see if they squash the beef. I think they will.
Okay, guys, need to get out of here. Thanks for stopping in today. Enjoy the fights this weekend, and we'll do it again next Friday. If I didn't get to your question, hit my Twitter feed, @chuckmindenhall.