So, we meet again. Action-packed weekend with Bellator tonight and Strikeforce tomorrow. Cormier/Barnett finally settle the heavyweight grand prix that started 15 months ago. Meanwhile the UFC 146 card continues to shape-shift before our eyes. Upset by it? Intrigued? Like Lavar Johnson/Struve? Let's get this thing rolling....
Do you know happened with the co-main event Tuesday? I thought it was booked to be Cowboy v. Stephens. But we got Sadollah v. Lopez...??
I was under the impression it was because Sadollah was from Virginia. But that was a mistake. Cerrone/Stephens was never going to be dull. The other one? It was 50/50, and it ended up being dull.
Who are you taking between Dos Santas/Mir? I am going against the grade and taking Mir. I think just when people count him out he comes through.
I am taking dos Santos in this one. I just think he'll keep it standing and pick apart Mir, and do it quick.
Is Anderson Silva scared on bones Jones? If not do you think they will fight?
I don't think so, but at the same time I'm sure the prospect of fighting Jones doesn't make him giddy. I think the UFC would have to talk Silva into the fight. Last I heard he was no longer interested in 205 pounds.
Hey chuck so is the UFC ever coming to arizona we have alot of mma fans here ya know
What's up, Ant? I would think the UFC would make a return trip to Arizona sometime soon....particularly if Benson Henderson holds onto that belt. At some point have him defend it in his home state.
dont really see how if jones moves up to heavy why everyone thinks he will steam roll...do you think he'll beat jds and cain??
No, I don't think he'd walk through either of those guys. Particularly Velasquez and his size and ability to wrestle. That's a whole different scene at heavyweight.
How do you see Cormier/Barnett playing out?
I really go back and forth on this. Barnett is so good at fishing out those submissions and getting the fight into his world, it's hard to pick against him. But speed and explosiveness goes to Cormier. I picked Barnett. But not confident in that pick.
You in San Jose this weekend?
Won't be in San Jose this weekend, but we have Brett Okamoto on the scene.
What was the most memorable live event you attended and why?
I've been to some good ones, but I think UFC 134 in Rio is still the one. The noise level in that building, particularly when Paulo Thiago came out, was off the charts. Beers were flying when Brazilians WON. Not sure what would have happened had one of their own lost. But that was a mad scene.
Why did hendricks get a title shot before ellenberger
Combination of things, I guess. Circumstance and timing might have played the bigger hand, but also the UFC thought that Hendricks beat the stronger competition. Ellenberger's hit list is pretty crazy though...Shields and Sanchez aren't easy outs.
Who do u got belfort or silva I got silva
Man, with the influx of cards I haven't given it a lot of thought yet. But I am taking Vitor. I think he'll land something big and close the curtains on Wandy early.
Over or under ufc 146 finishesh with more decisions then finishes
Given that it's all heavyweights, many carrying anvils for hands, I am going to say that there are more finishes. I think four of the five fights end in finishes.
Hey Chuck. If Hendo upsets Jones, where would you rank him All Time? Would you put him ahead of Anderson?
That's a good question. You'd have to consider him one of the best of all time. You look at the guys he's beaten over the years, and then add Jones to that, and he's up there. I'd still have Silva No. 1 though. He beat Hendo head-to-head.
Chuck - I picked "The Korean Zombie" to win by some type of a rear choke, do I win anything? Who did you have?
You were smart to make that choice. I have to admit, that version of the Zombie came out of nowhere for me. I saw his quick work of Hominick and the twister of Garcia, but he was so well-rounded and poised in there against a guy who'd been dominant for the last couple of years. It was supposed to be a showcase for Poirier, and ended up all about Jung. Good stuff.
think the pettis vs diaz will take place?.... undercard for the jones vs hendo scrap... yikes!
I do think that Diaz/Pettis will take place. In the moment, Diaz said he'd be inclined to wait. But that's a long while to sit around waiting for Bendo/Edgar. And sticking that fight as the co-main under Jones/Hendo is good by me. Book it.
How would the Silva/Hendo fight have gone at 205?? Hendo was drained from going back and forth between two divisions.
I wondered that back at UFC 82 when they fought. I had been around Hendo that whole week in LA then Columbus, and I know he had a horrible weight cut. He overshot the mark. He said afterwards he didn't feel right in there. Would it have made a different at 205 pounds? Maybe. Maybe he replays that first round five times. Who knows. But Silva handled him, so that's that.
Im hungover at work trying to get through this last hour, thanks for the chat Chucky!
Happy to be of service. Plenty of fluids. And then the hair of the dog.
On Jones moving to heavyweight: Do you really think that anyone could take him to the ground? I know everyone doubts him at heavyweight, but isn't that the same as everyone doubting him against Machado, Jackson, Evans, ect. He would still have a longer reach and be quicker than everyone else. How can everyone seem to point put a weakness, but no one can expose it?
I don't know if it's a weakness of Jones' (far as I know, he doesn't have a weakness), but the guys he'd be facing would have 20-30 pounds on him. Guys like Velasquez would have a much better chance of using that weight advantage. I personally think Jones would hold up fine wherever he fights, against whoever. He's a beast.
How long till rory mcdonald gets his title shot......him vs ellenberger to decide next shot after hendricks......Wat ya think......rory a stud best of the three
There are so many guys hovering at 170 pounds, and Rory is the latest intrigue. Problem is that he doesn't want to fight GSP. In fact, he said he'd bolt to 185 if the situation came up. I still think he's a couple of fights out anyway, but how fun would an Ellenberger/MacDonald fight be? I wouldn't mind running back Condit/MacDonald either.
It's only a matter of time before vitor Belfort makes his way up 2 no.1 contender again and has face Anderson silva in a rematch. He got caught the first fight! That stuff always happens in mma. Vitor has da best hands in mma!! Hands down!! Left or right hand, all he has to do is land one and it's lights out!.. Disagree?
If Vitor touches you, you go to sleep. He did get caught (spectacularly) against Silva. I know the UFC isn't in any big hurry to see Belfort/Silva II, but at some point Vitor may make the thing inevitable.
Chuck, Condit vs Ellenberger wouldn't be bad again either....
Agree. There are so many great looking match-ups at 170 pounds. MacDonald, Hendricks, GSP, Condit, Ellenberger, Kampmann, Penn (soon), Fitch, Koscheck, Simpson...Sanchez...on and on.
How do you like JDS talking a little smack about Mir...basically saying he's a front runing punk who got lucky vs Big Nog... I love it, Mir is overrated and will get KO'd by JDS in round #1...
It's unusual to hear JDS talk any form of smack, in any language. That guy is a teddy bear. The "no heart" comments may have missed their mark a little bit. Mir did persevere through a beating at the hands of Big Nog and came back to win. Not to mention he wouldn't be fighting at all if he didn't have heart, having come back from that motorcycle accident.
Do you think the UFC is worrying about the low ratings from Tuesday?
Internally, maybe. The public face is defiant though.
Mark Hunt is out and the Heavyweight card changes once again...How do you think Lavar Johnson handles Struve in such a quick turnaround?
At least it's an intriguing replacement, particularly after seeing Johnson sock Barry into dreamland. I am picking Struve, though, maybe via second round TKO...right as Johnson gasses.
Which HW replacement at ufc 146 has the best night? Mir, Silva, Herman, Stipe or Johnson?
Good question. I think it'll be Stipe Miocic. That's a tough customer he's got in Del Rosario, but I think with his power and his wrestling, he'll handle himself fine and raise the collective eyebrow by night's end.
The one thing everyone keeps forgetting about Jones to HW is that guys hit WAY harder for the most part ... Jones eats some shots at LHW that'd be lights out at HW
That's true too. Heavyweights may run into the same problem as the light heavies there, though....they may not get a chance to land the heavy shot. Jones reach is still an advantage even against those slabs at 250-265 pounds.
What's up with these fights? Phil Davis vs. Griggs & Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie?
Yeah, didn't see Griggs/Davis coming. I think it at least has some intrigue with Griggs coming down to what looks like a better weight class for him, and Davis rebounding from a loss that showed how green he still is. As for the other fight...dude, you got me.
Why did Penn decide not to fight Kos? Not a big Kos fan, but have to admit I'd pay to see that one.
From the sounds of it, it's because Penn's just not ready to come back yet. That fight had some appeal to me. Smart move by Koscheck to call out the name brands as he slips from contention, though.
U think Cain gets the next shot when he beats Bigfoot? Btw do u guys ever order the fight atthe espn studios?
It'll be real interesting to see what happens if JDS handles Mir and Velasquez gets by Bigfoot. Would they run back the rematch between the two right away? That would be my guess. I keep wondering if the Strikeforce GP winner might slip in there for the next shot, but that remains a murky deal.
What do you think about Dan Raphael's tweets from the event on Tuesday? Is he now an MMA fan?
I think he enjoyed himself (he was sitting with our own Franklin McNeil), but I don't think he'll ever come over to this side. He did seem to appreciate some of the fights. If the Sadollah/Lopez fight didn't scare him away, there's hope.
What's better: Chris Leben beating Aaron Simpson and Sexyama just two weeks apart, or Lavar Johnson beating Pat Barry and Struve in a three weeks?
I though of that, too. This is a quick turnaround for Johnson, and you've got to love guys who are willing to get right back in there. I'd still lean towards Leben's accomplishment. He was an underdog in those fights, and bagged them both two weeks apart.
Love the Friday Chat, Charles. Wondering if you guys miss Jon Anik at MMA Live? Still getting used to the new guy.
Anik is missed for sure. A lot of people talk about him in Bristol whenever I'm in there. Chost was loved on campus. He's a friend, but I never actually got to tape a show while he was hosting, which would have been fun. Both Todd Grisham and Max Bretos are great though.
whats next for melendez if he goes thru thompson? seems like this is his last fight at SF by his continual praises towards his bosses
That's the million dollar question. If Melendez wins (and I suspect he will), there's not much left. Pat Healy is out there with his four-fight winning streak. That might be a direction to go. Otherwise, Zuffa may have to assist in finding him a challenge. One thing I'd like to see is, when Eddie Alvarez's contract is done with Bellator in October, that Zuffa bring him in to fight Melendez fight. That fight was talked about at one point and still strikes me as a good bit of theater. Agree?
If any fight what fight would sell out cowboy stadium?
It'd have to be a superfight. Either GSP/Silva or Silva/Jones. Can't think of too many others.
Jake Ellenberger would eat Hendricks lunch, dinner, and dessert.
He's the Juggernaut. I could see him beating Hendricks.
Did the UFC announce yet who is fighting the California Kid??
They are announcing it tonight. With Michael McDonald reportedly hurt, I suspect it'll be Renan Barao. Unless the UFC has something up their sleeve.
Which MMA fighter is the best smack talker in your opinion?
Got to be Sonnen, doesn't it? He pales everybody in talking.
Hey chuck..... do you think if Barnett wins the grand prix final... will he contend for the UFC heavyweight belt right away or will he need a contender fight first???
I have no earthly idea. I will say that Dana seems to have thawed a little bit on Barnett. If Barnett walks through Cormier like he did the Rogers and Kharitonov, it's possible the UFC would look at him for a title shot. Possible, but with this mysterious extra heavyweight fight in Strikeforce, that's all speculation.
Sonnen just Won the Smack off today on the Jim Rome show today.
There you go. Can't think of anybody who'd compete with him. Koscheck gets credit for being a good smack talker, but he's mostly just cocky.
Who do you foresee Alexander Gustaffson getting next? Given his one weakness appears to be his wrestling, a bout against Ryan Bader makes sense?
That's exactly who I thought he would get, but then the UFC doled out Machida to Bader. I really don't know who is next for Gusty. Most of the top guys at 205 have engagements. One name to watch: Feijao. If he beats Kyle this weekend, might make sense for the UFC to bring him over to fortify the division.
Koscheck isn't a smack talker, he's just an a-hole.
And of course there's that.
Not a Barnett fan, but I definitely could see him beating JDS.
He poses some problems for JDS for sure. I'd be interested in it. In two weeks, that might be the pairing that's most in vogue for all the matchmakers out there.
What happened to your Nuggets?
Didn't get it done. But they battled. Like the young core of Lawson/Gallo/McGee/Faried. Think they need a sniper from the three point line.
You think that's legit that Tom Lawlor was broke heading into his fight this past week? Don't fighters of his caliber making a LITTLE more than that? That was his seventh UFC fight!
I do think it's legit. These guys incur a lot of costs to train full time. I remember when Lawlor won submission of the night against Dollaway at UFC 100 and he picked up that $100K. Guess he couldn't make it stretch. Glad he picked up some change last week.
Haven't seen a fighter take a loss so emotionally as Poirier did. How do you think that loss will affect him in the near future?
Good thing is that Poirier is only 23. He'll bounce back. I think he has the right focus, skill set and desire to make a run at the title before long. He'll learn from the loss.
What are your thoughts for this "extra" heavyweight fight that's being planned for Showtime? Is it the winner of Cormier/Barnett that fights again?
It throws a monkey wrench into all my speculations, Sam. Not sure what's in store. Would rather see both Cormier and Barnett in the UFC.
Is The Korean Zombie ready for Jose Aldo?
I don't think so. Another fight, maybe. But he looked vastly improved from, say, the first Garcia fight when he had a brawler's mentality. Loved his poise and his adaptability in there with Poirier. He's not quite ready for Aldo, but at the same time, who is?
What up Chuck?!?!?!? Have a good weekend you daffy SOB.
Likewise, Matt. Enjoy the fights.
What fight in the next month or so are you most looking forward to?
If you're talking about May only, I'd go with Mir/JDS. If you're talking within the next 30 days, the McCall/Johnson fight should be off the hook (again). Hard not to get excited for that.
James Toney needs a comeback! Haha
Don't give him any ideas.
Are you a soccer fan and if so who is going to win tomorrow's CL Finale? I think Bayern has to much for Chelsea.
I am not. But I am surrounded by those who are. Ask Josh Gross, Todd Grisham or Max Bretos. All those guys could talk to you about it for as long as you'll listen.
Why is there so much hate for Amir? I think he's one of the best and most challenging in his weight class. as an up an coming fighter I enjoy mimicking his technical striking.
I like him too. Out of all the TUF contestants, he always stands out to me for coming back after getting worked. I still think he's got a lot of promise. I agree with you.
Will Kenny fight again or just retire to his gym and calling fights?
I think he's done. Got a cushy gig now talking about fights on television. Plus, he's on the west coast now loving life.
Didn't it seem weird to hear Cruz talk about beating people up on TUF? He hasn't finished anyone since 2006!
Didn't see that. Was it the last episode?
I don't know about you, but that Kyle/Feijao fight looks like a war.
Agree. That fight is flying in well under the radar, but should be a sick leather trade.
Tougher match-up for Struve, Hunt or Lavar Johnson?
I really wanted to see the spectacle of Hunt/Struve, but Johnson is a great consolation. I think Hunt felt more imposing (at least to me) with the head of steam he was bringing into the fight.
Hey Chuck, nice job on MMA Live last night. Is Cormier not the coolest cat ever? Dude just seems unbothered by anything.
Yeah, and to think he woke up in San Jose at 5am to shoot it. Guy is one of the most down to earth fighters out there.
Man, this UFC 146 is playing out like "As the World Turns." What's next, JDS breaking his hand at the weigh-ins?
Every single main card fight has changed from the original. Knock wood that nobody else falls off before we get there. It's only eight days away. Everybody left on the card should be made to carry a rabbit's foot or something.
Let's have your picks for this weekend. I need to hit a parlay, and you owe me one for tripping me up last week. :)
Going Barnett, Melendez and Feijao. If you win, remember where you got those picks. If you lose, you didn't heard it from me.
is it a fore-gone conclusion that e alvarez is ufc bound??
No. Bellator has the right to match any offer he gets, and I think they plan to. This is a fine situation to be in for Alvarez, who has been chummy with Lorenzo Fertitta of late. Get a big offer from the UFC and leave it up to Bellator to decide. Either way, he's going to cash in.
Yo Chucky! Unlike a lot of people I'm excited to see Melendez/Thomson III. My big problem is where does Melendez go after that if he wins again? Who's left?
Addressed this earlier. Not sure who's left. The clearest candidates as of 5:10pm EST on May 18 are Pat Healy...or, optimistically maybe somebody like Alvarez.
Alright guys. I need to shut the mother down. Thanks for hopping on the Friday Chat. Let's do it again next week. If I didn't get to your question, hit my Twitter feed @ChuckMindenhall. Enjoy the fights this weekend.