Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 22, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (3:56 PM)

Coming to you live from Atlantic City, where I'll be covering tonight's UFC on FX fights. Let's get this thing rolling because I will probably have to cut it short to get over to the Revel (don't want to miss Matt Brown against Ricardo Funch). What's on your minds?

Steve (Home)

Chuck! Are you like me and worried that Barao poses a real threat and we will never get to see the trilogy fight between Faber and Cruz?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (3:58 PM)

Yes, I am with you on that. Barao hasn't lost since his first fight, and he's still trying to prove himself. Who better to do that against than Faber? That should be an interesting fight also because...where's Faber's mind? He was supposed to fight Cruz in Vegas, now he's fighting Barao in Calgary.

Brad (Long Beach)

With the UFC showing on FX tonight, who's watching Bellator?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (3:59 PM)

I'll be DVRing it for sure, Brad. Kick off of season 7, and look who's resurfacing...none other than Brett Rogers. Risky proposition bringing him on board. Looking forward to some of the fights there.

Kris (Los Angeles)

If Hatsu Hioki wins tonight, is he the autobid for the next title shot at 145 pounds? He was offered once and turned it down, will he do it again?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:01 PM)

Crazy that Hioki, to be in such a position as a No. 1 contender, is sort of buried on the prelims of this card. If he wins, you'd think he'd be next in like behind Koch. But, with Aldo injured and no real timetable yet, there's a chance Hioki stays busy and fights again if he beats Lamas. After all, he didn't seem to be in a big rush for a title shot after UFC 144.

Marc (Chicago, IL)

It seems like the fighters at 155 and 170 are being rewarded for inactivity... Condit needs to fight. They can't give re-matches at 155 every time.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:02 PM)

Yeah, there's not as much urgency as you might expect from the UFC there. But then again, they told Condit early that he could wait if he wanted. He's been a trooper through all the bait-and-switches.

Justin Beiber (Hollywood)

Rich Franklin stole my hairstyle! Will it help him pull off a victory in Brazil?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:03 PM)

Still trying to get used to Franklin's new look. He does look younger. If he does indeed start up on TRT, I have a feeling his voice will be cracking in another year or so.

Alan (Oakland)

Pedro Rizzo didn't look to good in there against Fedor. Think that kid retires after that KO?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:04 PM)

Yeah, in all the hubbub about Fedor retiring I guess poor old Rizzo gets a little lost in the shuffle. He's 38 and that was his first fight in a long, long time. I think it was a foregone conclusion that he was done. But, you just never know.

Dennis (MI)

Will Guida braid his hair for tonights fight? From the picture at the weigh in yesterday it looks like it wasn't. Also do you feel that long hair is a distraction to the opponent? Thanks!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

He will braid his hair tonight. I don't think he's overly happy with it, because it's his trademark Tasmanian devil look. As for the distraction, it seems like it would be more of a distraction for the guy with the hair than the guy fighting him. Somehow, though, Guida has the sheepdog's ability to see through his bangs. It's uncanny. Will be strange seeing him looking like Alexis Davis.

Joe (Owings Mills, MD)

Hey Chuck, If Anderson Silva survives against Chael Sonnen, who is left in the middleweight division for him to fight? Or does he need to change weight classes to find his next opponent?Thanks!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:07 PM)

There are still names out there that have long been gunning for Silva, guys like Bisping and Belcher. Are those sexy enough names for him to continue on should he win? We'll have to wait and see. Speaking to some people in the media and within the organization last night, some are speculating he may retire after this fight if he wins. It's not out of the question.

James (CT)

The Last Emperor has retired. There are no more Emperors.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

This is true, James. Vader threw the First Emperor overboard in Return of the Jedi, and Fedor has left the building.

Nick (Perth (Oz) )

Obviously Siva / Sonnen 2 is coming up. Whilst I have a feeling that Anderson will win easily this time (by ko), another part of me can see Sonnen winning by DQ (illegal kick) if a kick is mistimed. Whilst I love watching Anderson and admire his precision and movements, part of me wants Chael to win so they can have a rubb er match in rio?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:10 PM)

It is interesting, Nick. A close fight in Sonnen's favor would automatically begin the calls of a trilogy. Since Sonnen is Silva's lone rival, I could see that happening. Whether they put it in Rio or somewhere else in Brazil or not is a good question. I would think they'd at least explore it, given that that was what was on their mind the first time through.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:10 PM)

I do know that Sonnen is a little upset at having to do all the promo for this fight. Silva is reluctant to do anything to sell it, from what I hear.

Will (Dallas)

Chucky, love the chat. Looks like the Thunder didn't come roaring back as you thought they might.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

Those cats are young and will be around for a long time. It's an old cliche, but I think it was valuable experience for them going forward. You could be looking at a dynasty in OKC. You could be looking at OKC/Miami on repeat next year and the next in the Finals.

Jenn (Columbus)

Which fight are you looking forward to on tonight's card aside from Maynerd-Guida?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

There are a couple of good ones. Ross Pearson and Cub Swanson should be fun. Matt Brown almost never disappoints. I think Sam Stout and King Fisher will put on a good show. Could be Fisher's last fight...I am sure he wants to go out with a bang.

Marc (Chicago, IL)

Is UFC 147 the worst PPV ever? If not, which one is worse (on paper at least)?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

I see this question a lot. It definitely looks pretty underwhelming, and not worth $50 for North Americans. The sad thing is that just everybody else around the globe gets it free, but Americans -- the ones most disenchanted with it -- are asked to pay. I think the PPV buys will be very, very low.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

I can't do it, but I assume you have to. Are you buying UFC 147?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:15 PM)

Ah, now you see there? I have to buy it. And honestly, I like watching fights, so even if I didn't have to I am sure I'd still be contemplating going in with some buddies on it. In fact, I may watch with MMA Live host Todd Grisham at a Buffalo Wild Wings. That might be the play right there.

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

Did I miss something with the UFC or is it an athletic commission making the calls tonight? Why does Guida have to braid his hair?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

Maynard's camp filed a complaint with the NJ athletic commission, asking him to braid his hair. Rather than fight it or make a big deal of it, Guida just agreed. It smacks of psychological gamesmanship. Maynard says he never asked. (But somebody in his camp did).

Steve (Work)

Am I crazy to think Anderson finishes Sonnen in under two rounds?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

I think Silva will finish Sonnen in less than two rounds, so if you're crazy, so am I.

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

Who are you taking, Silva or Franklin?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

I took Franklin. You?

@Pappafeez (Dallas)

Over/Under 100K buys?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:18 PM)

We keep lowering the limbo bar with the number. Before it was over/under 200K, now 100K. I will guess over, but not by much. I think there's enough diehards out there that will purchase anything.

Lovell (Baltimore)

How do you see the Silva/Sonnen rematch playing out? I know Chael has a lot of believers now, but I still can't get past the fact that Silva on his worst night beat Chael on his artificial best night.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:20 PM)

My main man Lovell. I think a healthy Silva will thwart the take down a little bit and beat Chael to the punch. Something will land to rock him in the first or second round, and it'll be academic from there. I am taking Silva via TKO fairly early.

Ken (ca.)

Chuck, I honestly think Franklin/Silva are going to put on a good show........you?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

I think they will, too, but it might be spotty. If you remember, at UFC 99 both guys gassed out a little bit in the second round having swung for the fences in the first. That's a possibility, given that they are three years older now. It's also possible, knowing it's five rounds, they play it a little more cautiously. But aside from all that, I still think it'll be a fun fight.

Tommy (KC)

If Wanderlei wins where will he be in the 185-pound division? Top ten again? Surely not top ten again.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

No, he wouldn't be top ten. But he would be viable again in the division, which is a far cry from where he was when Chris Leben knocked him silly not that long ago.

Stan (Phoenix)

What does a win do for Fabricio Werdum? Beating Mike Russow, even though he's 4-0 in the UFC, doesn't seem like it moves him much in the division. Does it?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

A lot of people saw this as a crabwise match-up for Werdum, pegging him well about Russow's station. I tend to agree...to an extent. At some point Russow needed a step up in competition, and Werdum was available. If Werdum wins, I think he stays pretty close to where he is in he rankings, but he'll get a big fight next time through.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:24 PM)

Better question is...where does a win stack Russow in the picture? People keep sleeping on him, but what he lacks in technique he makes up for in heart.

Tyler (Oklahoma)

I think Guida and Maynard are better then Pettis and Diaz and should have the title shot before either guy. I know the type of marry go round those guys have gone through with each other as far as wins and losses, but both beat Diaz and Guida beat Pettis, and the only guys Guida and Maynard have lost to recently is the two fighting for the belt. I know its all about who s done what most recently, but at what point does Joe Silva and Dana look at past fights against one another and weigh those into the decision of who gets title shots? Melendez wouldnt beat any of them at this point by the way.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

It's a pretty intense muddle going on at 155. Diaz is the most marketable fighter out of everybody, and that plays a big hand in the decision making. I do think the winner of tonight's fight between Maynard and Guida would have a pretty compelling case to leapfrog him, but I think it'll fall on deaf ears. One possibility though is that Diaz faces the winner, and tries to avenge himself.

Ken (ca.)

Chuck, let's remind all the chat folks that Chael Sonnen dropped A. Silva with a very nice straight left, and he can do it again. TRT levels elevated or not.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

It's true, he did. He surprised him a couple of times on the feet at UFC 117.

Tyler (Mission Viejo)

Happy Friday, Chuck -- a lot of people taking Maynard, but I don't think he'll get past Guida's cardio. Make a case for Maynard beating Guida tonight.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:28 PM)

Having spoke to Josh Thomson last night (a Thunder fan in mourning), he said that the team and Gray had been working on cardio. Cormier's been in there, and what Thomson described to me was pretty intense. He also said that Gray would be a little more reserved, not trying to chase Clay around, and that if he got dumped, he'd get back up. All of this is game plan stuff, but there's only one way to find out for sure, and that's to see them fight.

Tim (Santa Barbara)

Thanks for the Friday chat, Chuck. How's the weather out there in Atlantic City? I think tonight's going to be a good card.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

It was 100 degrees in parts of New Jersey, and about 90 down here on the beach. Hot. Today there's some clouds and thunder rumblings. Cooled down a little. As for the card, yeah, I think this one will be pretty good.

Nathan (Fort Frances)

Hey Chuck, Awesome night of fights, if Stout beats Fisher where does that put him in the 155 pound division. And also how did you get started as a journalist for ESPNmma?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

I think a win for Stout would be a good thing, but it won't deliver him to far up the rungs. That's a stacked division. Plus, he just lost to Thiago Tavares, so he's still on the outside looking in.

Dan (Richmond)

Hey Chuck, saw your article on Wandy/Franklin and thought it was an interesting take that Franklin is the UFC's hatchet man. If he knocks out Wandy quick, is that it for Wandy?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

Possibly. If Franklin went in there and dropped him with a combination right off the bat, I could see the outcry from both fans and Dana White that Silva is done. That chant got started back when he lost to Leben, so it'll rev back up.

Alex (Marlborough)

Trying hard but can't get into these FX undercards. Whats the chance that Zuffa just buys out the Strikeforce contracts and brings everyone over? Seems like UFC is just throwing bodies now that are just healthy

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:33 PM)

Strikeforce still has that Showtime deal, which goes through 2012. After that, I really don't know. A lot of fighters don't know. It would be great to consolidate the promotions, given that Strikeforce just doesn't have any depth.

Marc (Chicago, IL)

If the Maynard-Guida fight goes 5 rounds, who has a better chance of winning (or tying, haha)? Maynard gets tired and Guida has great cardio... still can't see Maynard losing.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

The longer the fight goes, the more I like Guida. If Guida takes one of the first three rounds, and it goes into the fourth, it could be Guida's night.

Ron (Chicago)

Who needs a win tonight the most? It seems like Matt Brown does, if he ever wants to graduate from the bottom tier guys in his division.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

Brown's at least rebounded from his woes and won a couple of fights in a row. I would go with Dan Miller, who has fought some monsters as a middleweight and he's trying his hand at 170. Obviously a third loss in a row for a fairly unexciting fighter would be hard to stomach (though it doesn't mean he'd automatically cut).

Sam (Orlando)

Do you think UFC 147 will be the lowest buy rate in Zuffa-era UFC?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

I'm not sure of previous lows, but I'd suspect it's going to come near the record.

John (Boston)

I'm a Fedor fan and am sad to see him retire without ever fighting the UFC. What are your thoughts on that?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:37 PM)

He's 35 years old and has been through a lot of fights. He feels like he doesn't see his daughters enough. I think he just felt like it's time. One thing about Fedor is, you don't get the sense that he's a wishy-washy guy when it comes to retiring (like so many others). He'll stick to it.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:38 PM)

I would love to see you against JDS, just for the reward of watching what would happen.

Ken (ca.)

Thanks for the chat on a busy (fight) day, Guida's emotions seem to get the better of him in big fights. I think he will take some big shots tonight like he did against D. Sanchez.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:40 PM)

If he does, it'll be interesting to see how Maynard handles it. Will he rush in and try for the finish (as he did twice with Edgar), or will he try and be certain with his striking. He has preached poise.

Jeff (Salt Lake City)

Hip hip hooray! hip hip hooray! Fedor's finally gone. Can we finally stop talking about a guy that hasn't fought (or won) a relevant fight in 5 years??

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:41 PM)

We'll be talking about him still, because there will be all the "where does he rank historically" conversations.

Dave (Canada)

One way to solve the logjams at light and welter weight is to stop promising title shots to fighters just hours after a good performance. Give it a few weeks or a month to see the lay of the land before putting contenders in a holding pattern for extended times. This has been happening too often - Diaz, Condit, Hendricks. What do you think?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:42 PM)

Fights are better sold when title eliminators are in play. Problem is that the logjams you mention make for a lot of confusion and talks of meritocracy and all of that. It doesn't help that the media in every singe post-fight presser asks "what's next, what's next, what's next..."

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Las Vegas, NV)

Clay Guida just cut his hair. POsted it on Twitter. Whoa.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:43 PM)

Did he really? Come on. Pic?

@Pappafeez (Dallas)

What are your "official picks" for all of the major fights this weekend?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:43 PM)

Official picks are Guida, Stout, Ebersole and Pearson...and Werdum and Franklin tomorrow night.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

OK guys, sorry to shut this mother down early, but I have to get over to the arena. Will be back next Friday, and if I didn't answer you question hit me on Twitter @ChuckMindenhall. Enjoy he fights this weekend, and if you purchase UFC 147....hope for the best.