Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 1, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:00 PM)

Here we are again with the Friday chat. This time instead of weigh-ins happening later, we've got the TUF finale. We've seen people in Jake Ellenberger's position slip on these kinds of fights. Let's here your thoughts....lets get this thing rolling.

Dan (Chicago)

Who do you like in the main event and the co-main tonight...and how?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:02 PM)

Right out of the gate I am making predictions. I am sticking to Ellenberger, but this is exactly the kind of fight that makes me nervous. Kampmann has renewed life after Alves. Taking Iaquinta in the TUF 15 clash.

BC (NC)

Who does Glover fight next? Bonnar?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:03 PM)

Seems like if the UFC has its way it might be Shogun Rua. Rua doesn't want a fight against a relative unknown, so we'll have to see. Bonnar is a very intriguing possibility though.

Joe (Taunton)

Is Kenny Florian going to be a future UFC HOF?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:04 PM)

I think he was 12-5 in the UFC, and he knocked at the door three times to become a champion. It's a great run, but I don't think it's HOF material.

Rafael (NYC)

Chuck, great job on MMA Live last night. Was wondering who you think deserves to fight for the welterweight belt next after Condit and GSP?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:05 PM)

I think that if Condit is waiting out GSP's timetable, then the winner of Ellenberger/Kampmann should fight Johny Hendricks in a title eliminator. It would make sense. Hendricks is sort of No. 1 contender A.

Jeff (Chicago)

Thanks for actually showing up to your mma chat...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

Of course. Wouldn't miss it. Why, did I skip one?

Matty-Ice (Detroit)

I thought Shogun was fighting Silva?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

Silva had to back out of his fight due to lingering back issues. So now they are looking for a replacement. Couple of names that have been talked about are Glover and Gustafsson. Maybe Bonnar?

SlayKatz (LA)

Heyyyy now! Realistically, if you had to put money on it, will the winner of Kampmann/Ellenberger face Johnny Hendricks to determine a legitimate 170 lb. contender? Ideally, I'd love to see winner of GSP/Condit fight the winner of Hendricks vs. Kampmann/Ellenberger.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

I think that's exactly how it'll play out, unless something happens to derail GSP's return in NOV. I think it makes the most sense. Some people are throwing the name Rory MacDonald in there, but I think he needs to beat a top five guy before he can complicate the title picture any further.

Dan (WV)

Would you rather see Glover fight Bonnar, Bader, or Gustaffson?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

Having thought about it for the last 30 seconds, I would like to see him fight Bonnar.

Tyler (Mission Viejo)

How impressed were you with Cain Velasquez? That dude looks hellbent on getting that belt back.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:10 PM)

Agree Tyler. I expected him to win, but not as easily as he did. Went back and watched it again and Bigfoot was on his back at the 5-second mark. He was eating mean-spirited elbows shortly thereafter. It was a bloodbath, and a great showing by Velasquez...now, to see if his hand's okay.

hector (chicago)

update on the xrays of cvelasquez hand?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

I reached out to his camp but have not heard yet. I know he was in New York yesterday, so he doesn't seem in too much of a hurry.

Jason (Corona)

Chucky! I thought MMA Live was tonight, but I see it was last night. Was it switched?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

Yes, it was switched from Friday to Thursday night. Hope everybody set up their DVRs.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Now that Carwin is ready to comeback who do you want to see him fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

I'd personally love to see him fight Josh Barnett. Two thick slabs going at it, both with something to prove.

Jr (Arizona)

Any guy on this season's TUF you think can make a title run?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

I would have said Justin Lawrence earlier, and I still think he has a shot at hanging around. Obviously Al Iaquinta is pretty well-rounded. Honestly, nobody truly stood out that you look at and thing "he might be a champion some day."

Brad (Long Beach)

Do you foresee either Al Iaquinta or Michael Chiesa making any meaningful impact in the UFC? I can't.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

I am with you on that, Brad. I know Matt Serra would beg to differ, and would point to his charge Iaquinta. We'll see, but I have my doubts.

Chet (Anaheim)

Ellenberger by annihilation tonight!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

He's certainly capable of ending things quick with those hands. And Kampmann can't help himself in those exchanges. I always remember UFC 88 in Atlanta when Nate Marquardt just chopped him down with pocket punches...and then later, at UFC 103 when Paul Daley did the same thing. Ellenberger's more dangerous than either of those guys.

Andy (Chicago)

Who you have as the biggest disappointment from 146?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

Two names. One would be Jason Miller. He came off that listless loss to Bisping and vowed a bunch of things, only to show up and fight slightly better than listlessly (the noogie was interesting, though). Then there's Edson Barboza. That loss to Varner was out of nowhere. Ouch.

Josh (Texas)

Who do you think B.J. Penn will face in his return fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:18 PM)

Your guess is as good as mine, Josh. Penn is even waffling on which weight class he'll return in. With no timetable, it's hard to say what would be an exciting fight for him when he does decide to roll again. Would like to see him and NATE Diaz at 155 pounds.

Jay (P-Town)

Since you posted that you don't think Florian is a Hall of Famer, is it safe to assume we won't see him on MMA Live with you anytime soon?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:20 PM)

I would love it if Kenny came back to his old stomping grounds in Bristol. But, he's an LA guy now. I just think if you make Florian a HOFer, you've got to make a lot of very successful guys HOFers who were never champions.

John (Iowa)

If Cain is hurt does JDS wait for Overeem?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

He'd be waiting a long time. I think the earliest they could put the Overeem fight together would be very late 2012, or early 2013 (more likely the latter). But honestly, there's nobody else that makes sense beyond Cain, Cormier or Overeem. Got to be one of the three, doesn't it?

Trevor (Dallas)

I think Cung vs. Cote is exciting... your thoughts?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

What an unexpected turn of events for both Le and Cote. Good for Cote to get back into the UFC, and this is a good style match-up for him. I think it'll be a good scrap.

Patrick (Seattle)

Do you think Anderson Silva will ever lose in the UFC?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:24 PM)

Well, if he gets by Chael Sonnen -- the only one to make him look vulnerable -- there's a great chance he never loses in the UFC. There's guys like Lombard and Munoz and Weidman coming up, but none look like foils to Spider. If he fought Jon Jones? Silva could lose.

Clubber Lang (Prediction: Pain)

What's next for "Big Country" Nelson? Pat Barry, Mark Hunt, Kongo-Minotauro loser?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:25 PM)

I think the Mark Hunt possibility is a good one. They might also look at a guy like Stipe Miocic, who fought on the same card.

Jr (Arizona)

UFC 147 should be free do you agree?

Andy (Chicago)

Is Dana really going to try and take $55 from me to get 147?

Fred (Springfield)

Over/under buy rate for UFC 147: 200,000

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:27 PM)

Not a lot of love for UFC 147 out there. What was supposed to be one of the greatest cards ever has now become like UFC 109...a jalopy of an event. I think the Franklin/Wandy fight will be good, and there's some decent fights under them, but I agree that it would work better as a free card. Definitely not worth a $50 splurge for casuals.

Ken (ca.)

Enjoyed the article on Rich Franklin, any inside info on his health, etc.?? Surprised to read he still has his goals on the title shot down the road.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

From what I heard he's in good shape. His camp was very hesitant to take the fight for a variety of reasons (the accelerated camp, fighting in Brazil, change of opponent), but ultimately thought Wandy was the better fight for getting back in the title picture. Yes, he still wants to make one more run at the 185-pound belt. He has three fights left on his contract. If he won a couple, maybe Spider isn't there anymore and he has that chance.

Aaron (Phoenix)

UFC should add a stipulation in every fighter's contract: NO MOTORCYCLES. Very sad about the Punisher.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:30 PM)

Indeed, very sad. And it's crazy, too. Motorcycles are the chief sponsors of many MMA shows and events.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Oh boy Country against Hunt would be awesome.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:30 PM)

Yeah, the more I think about that, the more it seems like a sensible fight. Depends on Hunt's health.

hector (chicago)

im even more confident that cain will be victorious vs jds. the shot cain took to the back of the temple would have put anyone way. he failed to put big cuntry and carwin away and mir is a fighter whose best days belong in the 90's era

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

There is a lot of intrigue in the rematch between Velasquez and dos Santos. We've all heard that Cain wasn't 100% going into that fight. I think dos Santos would welcome the chance to put an exclamation mark on Velasquez, too. Hope the fight happens.

JA (Vegas)

You better quit talking crap about my boo, Kenny.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

Could it be the real JA? Not talking crap. Love Florian. Just think he's not a HOFer.

Jared (South Philly)

Any chance Gegard Moussasi comes to the UFC anytime in the foreseeable future? Dude is still young and owns a win over Hector Lombard

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

Probably not for a while. I think what happens is that Mousasi gets a fight with Feijao next under the Strikeforce banner. I think both those guys are destined to find their ways to the UFC at some point. The 205-pound class could use them.

Aaron (Jamestown)

Cain's chin is the only question mark in his game. Unfortunately, JDS touches all chins.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:35 PM)

True. I said before Velasquez fought dos Santos the first time that I couldn't shake the memory of Cheick Kongo banging up Cain on the feet. "That's ancient history," I was told. But then he kissed him upside the cranium and that was that. Same queries into the rematch. Can Cain take a big JDS blow?

Rich (Jersey)

Any word on who next seasons coaches are going to be on TUF? Very disapointed it wasnt Bonnar & Griffin.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

Haven't heard anything other than speculation. My hope is they do another "comeback" season. I think that sort of drum up some interest. Guys with names who've fallen. And make sure Karo Parisyan is in there.

Marc T (the PHX)

If THAT Cain shows up against JDS, look out. THAT Cain beats any HW.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:37 PM)

Lot of chatter about JDS/Cain II. I admit, I'd be just as excited for it as you guys. Both those dudes looked great at UFC 146.

Bunny (Boston)

Sad to see Mir rolling around on the mat like a bumbling drunk.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:38 PM)

On the other side of it, how about dos Santos' poise? He didn't rush in for the kill late in the first one in the second when he staggered him. He slowed the fight, walked in and coolly put him away. Good stuff from JDS.

Jonathan (IN)

Kampmann sure isn't being given much of a chance. I'm not trying to pull any MMAth, but if you look at a recent common opponent in Sanchez, Kampmann sure looked a lot better (forgetting the bogus decision). In a 5 round fight, I like Kampmann a lot more than Ellenberger. I'm predicting a sub in rd 4 or 5.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:40 PM)

Interesting take. I do think people (and Vegas is the echo of the people's money) are taking Kampmann lightly. The five-round aspect could play huge. Kampmann, when he survives, can come on strong late. Ellenberger faded a little down the stretch in his fight with Sanchez.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Was the PPV last weekend the shortest in terms of overall fight time ever?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:40 PM)

I never did hear, and I kept meaning to look that up. Hit me with that question next week. I'll find out.

Aaron (fl)

Come on Chuck JDS put money on him finishing Mir in the Second that is the only reason he did not finish him in the 1st.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:40 PM)

This thought crossed my mind.

Fadi(Tustin) [via mobile]

Have you heard anything on who Dos Santos will face next? (please say Cain)

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:41 PM)

That's what it looks like, pending Cain's hand X-ray. If nothing's broken, that's the fight that'll be put together.

Jay (P-Town)

How do you feel about elbows in mma? They were a huge factor for Cain, but mainly cause of the blood they caused, not actually hurting Big Foot too much.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:42 PM)

I personally like the added dimension. People talking about Kenny Florian being in the HOF, well, maybe his elbows could be allowed entry. He cut open a lot of guys. I remember the Sherk fight and all the blood. And the humanity. Oh, the humanity.

Rich (Ft.Wayne In.)

When will we see Shane Carwin in the UFC.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:43 PM)

He posted that he was gunning for early fall. So, I'd guess in October.

Sam (Orlando)

Sounds to me like BJ is coming back. I think that he's making the circuits to get people talking again and lo, here I am talking about it.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

Yeah, he's been making some appearances of late. I do think it feels good for a guy like Penn who's been around forever to go around and hear people tell him they hope he comes back. If he's just soaking all that in (and letting the media twist for a while), good for him.

Capt. Howdy (Georgetown)

Cruickshank-Tickle sounds like a sex act

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:45 PM)

You knew they'd pair those cats after the little skirmish in the house. ("Captain Howdy, that's not very nice").

Rick (Kansas)

Hey Chuck! What happens if JDS beats Cain again? Where does that leave Cain in the HW division? Purgatory? Or will we be seeing Cain v. JDS annually based on the lack of depth in the HW division?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:46 PM)

I think then he'd join his AKA teammate Jon Fitch's purgatory. Nobody would want to see Cain/JDS III if the series is 2-0 for JDS. Not sure what that would mean, but you'd have to wonder if that would make Velasquez the deadliest gatekeeper ever to keep the gates. Nobody would pass.

Edgar (Miami)

I've been trumpeting up Junior Dos Santos since before he got in the UFC to my friends. Do you think he has a chance to be the greatest heavyweight ever in the UFC?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

Yes. If he defends one more time, he'll have already tied the UFC's record of two title defenses for a UFC heavyweight. If he wins again, he'll be entering unchartered territory. It's easy to imagine him winning two more in a row.

Coleman (Baltimore)

Brookins or Oliveira tonight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

Going Oliveira. I still think we've only seen a fraction of his true potential.

Jay (P-Town)

Bj v Kos.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:49 PM)

Koscheck tried, but couldn't lure Penn back so soon. Maybe down the line, though.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:49 PM)

I thought it was interesting that Koscheck said he'd have liked to step in and face Wanderlei. I know he's mentioned it in the past, but that would have been more compelling than Wandy/Franklin II I think.

Marc T (the PHX)

Outside of Cain and maybe Cormier, who else has a serious shot at beating JDS?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:50 PM)

No love for Overeem's chances? If not those guys, then Jon Jones when he finds his way to the big boys.

Jr (Arizona)

Next for Struve? Do you think he'll get 50 fights in the UFC like he said at the press conference?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:51 PM)

He already has more than people realize, but 50 is a lot of fights (though he is young). Who's next for him? Don't know. But they might just dial back Mark Hunt and see if he's ready for the fight that almost was.

Michael (Philly)

4 UFC Events in June - best fight to me is Guida-Maynard. Who do you like?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

Yeah, I've been looking forward to that fight. Will be in Atlantic City to see it, too.

Ken (ca.)

How about Brock Lesnar? He may be able to get JDS to the ground...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

Lesnar's presence at UFC 146 has stirred up a lot of trouble. I still think that would be a nightmarish match-up for Lesnar.

Coleman (Baltimore)

next for Dan Hardy? felt good to see him win

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:54 PM)

He's probably not quite there yet, but I'd like to see him fight Koscheck. Those too had a feud going before UFC 111 when Hardy was getting the title shot. If not, Amir Sadollah.

Coleman (Baltimore)

Edson Barboza lost some momentum last weekend. Too many leg kicks. Varner started tagging him everytime he threw one

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:55 PM)

I'm sure the whole thing will haunt him until he gets back in there. He's a focused guy, and he's young. I think he'll bounce back strong. Good stuff from Varner, though. Hard not to appreciate that.

Bunny (Boston)

PS thanks for chatting on a Friday afternoon.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

It's my pleasure. Happy to talk about the fights right before they happen.

Chris (Boston)

Any chance that Paul Sass gets moved to Strikeforce to take on Melendez? He has proven himself in UFC a bit and wouldn't object to moving to Strikeforce for a title shot

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:57 PM)

Interesting. Hadn't really thought about it. They'll have to line somebody up for Melendez, and I'd think they'd go after a bigger name than Sass. But, who knows? I do think we'll see Alvarez/Melendez before 2012 lets out.

Ken (ca.)

Like to see Ellenberger take on Nick Diaz when he comes back.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

Another good looking fight. Honestly, the welterweight depth is such that you could shake up the top ten and all of them look like good fights. Rory MacDonald, Nick Diaz, Johny Hendricks, Koscheck, Fitch, Penn (maybe), GSP, Condit, Story, Ellenberger, Kampmann, Sanchez, et al.

Kevin (Mile High)

If Kenny got in to the HOF, then guys like Koscheck, Fitch, Sonnen would all have to get in too, right?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

That's my point. A lot of guys who've had sustained success yet didn't win a title would then have to be considered.

Jeremy (Salt Lake City)

Very disappointed in Jon Jones - driving drunk is bad enough but being with two women instead of his fiancee makes it almost Tiger Woods worthy. I fear he's let success and fame get to his head way too fast. He needs to be more like GSP and less like an NFL WR.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:01 PM)

It's funny. Driving around with two women (and none of them his fiancee) actually made some people throw him a remote high five. But seriously, it'll be interesting to see how he responds to all of this. He talked the good talk up until this incident, and now he's forced to walk the good walk.

Ken (ca.)

Do you see Lombard being as destructive/successful in these next few fights?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:02 PM)

I think he can continue to have success, but it gets way tougher from here on out. No Jesse Taylors or Trevor Prangleys will appear on his docket. Having said that, I like his chances against Brian Stann.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Barbershop floor)

Wouldn't it be appropriate to just do TUF Season 1 for the UFC HOF and be done with it? Monumental but no one besides Forrest held a title ... BUT their importance en masse warrants it.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

Enshrine the whole seminal first season? I like it.

hector (chicago)

hey chuck... thanks for the friday chats!!!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

My pleasure, Hector. Thanks for stopping in.

Coleman (Baltimore)

who is your early pick for Cote vs Cung le?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

Haven't really thought about it, but early leanings towards Cote.

Captain Jack (Tortuga)

What a strange week in MMA when most articles revolved around Arianny Celeste and Jon Jones' mugshots.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:04 PM)

Yeah, that's not exactly the kind of press the UFC wants.

Patrick (Seattle)

On the subject of TUF 1, who's the best fighter from that season in your opinion? I would give the edge to Florian even though Forrest won a title.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:06 PM)

That's tough. I would go Florian, too. He sustained his success for a long time. Griffin was good. Koscheck's been great, too. Swick was on a roll there for a bit. Wonder whatever became of old Jason Thacker? The one they called "Strange Brew?"

adam (windsor)

who does roy nelson fight next? and when do you see him finally winning the heavyweight title?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:07 PM)

We were touching on this earlier...maybe a guy like Mark Hunt? That would be a pretty cool bit of matchmaking. As for Nelson in the title? Lord Nelson has a better chance than Roy.

Jenn (Columbus)

Is it just me or is UFC 147 barely worth even being a free card now, much less a PPV? Franklin versus Silva wasn't that great three years ago, and it's no better now.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:08 PM)

Not the greatest card. But the fight itself has the chance to be good.

Patrick (Seattle)

Jason Thacker probably is an accountant somewhere in Canada

Nate (Woburn, MA)

Chuck, now that KenFlo is retired, where are he and Chost going, to get away from it all and start their new life together.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:09 PM)

To the airwaves, my man. Those guys have it dialed in over there under the FOX tree. They've developed good symmetry over the years on MMA Live. Happy for both those dudes.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:10 PM)

OK, guys, I need to close the mother down. Have fun watching the fights tonight. By the time we reconvene next Friday, we'll have a clearer idea of what's happening in the welterweight division. Or...will we? If I didn't get to your question, hit me on Twitter @ChuckMindenhall.