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June 29, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (3:59 PM)

Stuck between the residual effects of Clay Guida's fight with Gray Maynard from last week in Atlantic City and next weekend's big sequel between Sonnen and Silva. It's sort of the reflective quiet before the storm, so type fast and furious and let's see what's on your minds.

Marc (Chicago, IL)

I read the Forrest Griffin interview and it just made me like him even more. Do you agree that he is the most aware and articulate UFC star? I want to see him as an analyst... Tell ESPN to pick him up when he retires.... The two of you can work together on a show.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:01 PM)

I am a fan of Griffin's candidness. I liked in the Okamoto Q&A that you mentioned how he broke down his name-to-talent ratio being good. Griffin doesn't deceive himself, but he's also a better fighter than he sometimes leads on. His question has been motivation, and it ebbs and flows. I do like him in this fight with Ortiz, though.

Joe (Boston)

How many fights does Pat Curran have left on his Bellator contract? After watching his destructions of Sandro and Warren I'm convinced he could compete with the upper tier at 145 in the UFC, which isn't all that strong anyways.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:03 PM)

Not sure how many fights are on his contract (will check)...but I do know that Pat is a star in the making, and if he keeps doing what he's doing in Bellator and Aldo keeps doing what he's doing in the UFC, people will inevitably wonder. I think we'll see him in the UFC at some point, and the featherweight division could use the boost.

Jason (Corona)

If you were booking the heavyweight division, would you stick Overeem in the top contender spot after Dos Santos and Velazquez fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:05 PM)

Well, that's tricky. Overeem would represent the biggest business in that slot. But there is a trust issue that he'll need to resolve with Dana White beforehand. Could the UFC just plug him back into that spot after he essentially crippled a big card and squandered his chance? The answer is: Maybe. Right now he still looks like the most viable option, particularly with JDS/Velasquez not happening until mid-fall (most likely).

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Floor of a Seedy Las Vegas Barbershop)

What do you make of Anderson's flip out on the UFC media call? Is Sonnen in his head or is Andy just kind of finally hyping the fight.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

Could be a little of both. I am sure after two years of Sonnen telling his countrymen what a joke he is that it begins to gnaw at his gut. We also know that Anderson is emotional, so how this affects him we'll have to see. Either way, there's a sigh of relief from the promotion and probably from Sonnen that Anderson decided to finally sell the fight a little bit.

Ron (Chicago)

Great article about Fedor and his legacy. Was wondering if you thought he'd stay retired? These days retirement can mean "small break."

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

In Fedor's case, it's hard to say. Money talks, and as long as he's accessible people will be inquiring about him. But he is a deeply religious man who feels like he needs to spend time with his family. He's cut from a different cloth, so if he says he's retired, I tend to believe him.

Tyler (Mission Viejo)

What do you make of Frank Shamrock calling Dana White a "d-bag" on air?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:09 PM)

Can't say I was wholly surprised. Shamrock is one of those guys who calls it like he sees it, much like White. This makes for on air combustibility. I am sure White would have no trouble saying something similar about Shamrock, too.

Stan (San Diego)

Chuck, love the Friday chat. I'm a big WWE fan, and was wondering what it's like working with Todd Grisham?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:10 PM)

That dude is funny. He keeps things real light on MMA Live, and does a great job quarterbacking the show. Ask Pat Miletich. He's always cracking people up.

Eric (New York)

People aren't talking about him, but Brian Ebersole is 4-0 in the UFC. Is he in line for a top opponent next?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

Yeah, remember he was supposed to fight Rory MacDonald at UFC 140, and maybe he should thank his lucky stars he didn't. I do think Ebersole draws a peripheral top ten type next, and it's deserving. Waldburger is tough, as was Hallman. I know Ebersole was saying it was a dream job of his to coach TUF Australia versus UK, so maybe the UFC looks at him for that. He is, after all, a character.

Dan (Boston)

Give us your take on the Maynard/Guida fight.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

I thought that Guida's game plan was smart for the first two rounds: Stick and move and stay out of the danger zones of Maynard's big right hand. But then by round three, he just became evasive. And that's where it got bad. You kept expecting him to his the Guida switch, get in there and rough house from in close, yet it never happened. For as frustrating as it was to watch, imagine being Maynard in that situation. He was desperate to at least BE punched in the end.

Ted (PA)

Any word on Glover's next fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

Not yet. He was in Russia helping Pedro Rizzo prep for Fedor, but I'd assume he's down to the business of sorting out his next fight. If the UFC wanted him for Shogun, what would stop them from sticking him in there with Gustafsson when he's ready?

Andy (Chicago)

How much money is Silva making on this fight? Heard huge pay day.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

I've heard seven or eight million dollars. He will be well taken care of.

AL M (NYC)

Have you seen the Matt Serra Video Blogs for ufc 148? Hilarious!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

I caught one, and you're right...good stuff.

Eric (CA)

Rousey vs Kaufman...rousey by armbar...again???

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:18 PM)

I think so, Eric. Kaufman presents herself as a stand-up fighter who will drag Rousey into some deep water. Well, as optimists, we've all got to something to cling onto. But I see Rousey throwing her, pouncing and tapping her out quick. Don't you?

Rick (Kansas)

Can we now state Guida is a gatekeeper in the LW division?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:19 PM)

I think he's still slightly above gatekeeper status in feel, but ultimately, that's what he'll be for a bit. Two losses in a row, with one that Dana White viewed as a stinker...it'll be a while before we mention him in title talks again.

Kris (Los Angeles)

What's next for Rich Franklin?? I would love to see him fight Bisping!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

That's a pretty good match-up in my opinion, and exactly what I was thinking. Bisping hovers around the top contender spot, yet he's never quite there. He's coming off a controversial loss to Sonnen (and even if you scored it for Bisping, it's still a loss on record), so he'll need to beat somebody else. Franklin is a name. And Franklin, who answered the UFC's call yet again, might have some leveraging power to get an opponent like Bisping.

Aaron (fl)

Chael if your reading this chat you need to show up to the weigh in with a t-shirt that says MEDIUM RARE. But then again if your reading in this chat room I dont like your chances.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

Ha! If he's reading this chat, I at least have the chance to make him dumber.

Eric (CA)

You see the Victor Ortiz fight? He gets hit way too much to be fighting at 154 or higher.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

I didn't see it, but heard he was fighting with his mouth wide open. Not so good.

Seth (CA)

Let's be honest here, are you the man behind the The Tommy Toe Hold Show?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

I wish I was that innovative!

caveman from the 716 [via mobile]

Give. R.R alexis davis she can make it an ugly fight and has the jits to play safe on the floor

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:24 PM)

Interesting. And at some point, feasible. Who else is there for Rousey after Kaufman? Alexis Davis is on a short list. (Cyborg is the money fight, though).

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Do you think UFC 148 will go over 1 million buys?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:25 PM)

I think it'll be awfully close....I'd say it is just shy, but it's hard for me to gauge overall interest in this rematch from those people we call "casual" fans.

JD (VA)

Thoughts on Marquardt complaining about media constantly asking about TRT?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

I mean, when it's the last thing you've been in the news for then it's bound to come up. I am sure he'd love to put a fight under his belt so we have something else to talk about.

Dan (Hopkinton, MA)

What's next for Hatsu Hioki? Do you think he's as good as some say he is? If so, do you see him challenging Aldo at some point?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:28 PM)

I know we who vote in the ESPN Power Rankings were all pretty sold on him, and that was a pretty disappointing loss he took against Ricardo Lamas. For whatever reason, Japanese fighters just don't perform well in America. Hioki also looked suspect in his fight with Roop at UFC 137 in his debut. Will he ever challenge Aldo? Verdict is still out. He is better than he showed in Atlantic City, though.

Rick (Kansas)

Did you catch Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornholer talking about Anderson Silva's conference call on PTI? They should stick to talking about sports they actually know about.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

No, I missed it. But I did hear they were comparing his talk to Tyson's tirade about eating Lennox Lewis's children...and this isn't close. I just did a piece on trash talking, which is on the MMA page right now.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

For as horrible as the fight was, I thought Gray Maynard did his part to make it exciting with Guida. He TRIED to make it a fight, at least.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

Yes he did. What's crazy is that I spoke to Josh Thomson the night prior, who was in Gray's corner. He said the game plan was going to be to avoid chasing Guida around and tiring himself out. That game plan went out the window early, as Guida just wasn't going to engage. Maynard did try to make it a fight, though.

Aaron (fl)

Guida just fell out of my top 5 fighters i like to watch to fight.

AL M (NYC)

I bet the UFC doesnt mind about TOny and Mike Talking about Anderson Silva on PTI

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

In a game that's fueled by hype, as long as people are talking about the fight, all's good.

Sam (Orlando)

If Guida was running the whole fight, how did he end up looking like he got crushed by an SUV?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:33 PM)

That's because he got caught in the fourth round, and started taking his punishment. It's a doubly tough fight for Guida. Not only did he lose some fans by turning into a hell-bent strategist, but he lost the fight. At least if he'd won he could turn a deaf ear to it all.

Jeremy (portland)

Just a comment not a question. Wilbon & Kornheiser and just old school types who still (foolishly) believe MMA is more "barbaric" than boxing. In a generation this type of belief will be long gone

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

It's a slow process. Some people just don't like the sport. Some don't like it because they've never really watched it and tried to understand the nuances of what's going on.

John (TN)

You think Anderson retires if he wins?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

I don't. People keep talking about this, but why would he? He's 37 years old and hasn't looked it. He has won 14 in a row, with nine title defenses. If he beats Sonnen, there's a huge payday against Jon Jones he could take, or some winnable action against the likes of Mark Munoz, Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping. I think he keeps fighting.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Floor of a Seedy Las Vegas Barbershop)

Frank nicknamed himself "the legend." He needs to look in the mirror first before calling someone else a d-bag.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

I am still adjusting to Frank without the braces. I fixate on it so much I barely hear what it is he's saying.

david (reno nv)

When is mat mitrione aka meathead fighting again?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:38 PM)

I believe he signed on for a fight with Rob Broughton for the August 4 card in LA. That would be a big victory for him, if he can get it (and I have my doubts there).

Andy (Chicago)

Anderson/Chael better for the sport to win next week?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:39 PM)

I almost have a hard time fully imagining what the MMA world would be like with Sonnen as a strapholder. Can you imagine it? Then again, he has practically been a gentleman to everybody he's fought outside of Silva.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:40 PM)

But better for the sport? Will say Anderson. Love having an unbeatable figure thriving in a sport where unbeatable it's next to impossible.

Rex (FL)

A big if...Hendo beats Jones and the Spider wins, they will fight for the 205 title, right?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:41 PM)

I could foresee it. That's one of those fights that Dan Henderson would love to play back, as he said he had a bad weight cut and felt "funny" that night. I'd personally like to see it, but that's a big if. If Silva and Jones both win....I think we might see the UFC really try and put that fight together.

Jay (LA)

Hey Chuck, actually catching you live for once. What do you think of Belfort's "hit list" of Bisping, Silva (the MW belt specifically) and Jon Jones? I like Vitor, but I'm not optimistic about his chances...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:42 PM)

Dream big, Jay. Dream big. Vitor tends to be a little dramatic. I like the first part of his sequence, the fight with Bisping. Let's start there and see how it goes. I'm sitting here wincing at the punches Jon Jones would be landing on him.

Jenn (Columbus)

Let's assume Anderson beats Sonnen. Do you think the UFC would give Rashad Evans a fight with him next? Rashad's interested in moving to 185!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

I did hear about Rashad entertaining that idea, and I could see the UFC maybe looking into that possibility. But the problem with "name" guys bouncing around weight classes is they end up stepping all over the pecking order. If Silva beats Sonnen, and fights Rashad next at 185 pounds, what about Bisping, Munoz, Weidman, Lombard and all the others who hover in contention?

Johnny (los ángeles)

Since Edgar's game is mostly speed and endurance it is actually better for him to say at 155 rather than drop to feather, b/c feather's will be more likely to match his speed. Your thoughts?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:46 PM)

I've thought about that, and I agree. Part of the novelty of Edgar at 155 is that he has the quicks on about anybody. If he fights at feather, there are guys who will possess similar speed. I think Edgar has a lot of tools to go along with his speed, and he'd have to rely on them more at 145 pounds. Either way, great fun to watch him fight.

Andy (Chicago)

I assume Silva has an automatic rematch clause in the contract, right?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:46 PM)

Not sure, but if Sonnen beats Silva in an exciting, close fight, that's a very real possibility, too. Sonnen/Silva III.

Ty (Delaware)

How do you see the Silva/Sonnen II match going?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

It's tough with the image of Sonnen pounding on Silva for four and a half rounds so strong in the memory banks...but I think this time Silva catches him on the feet, and ends things quick. That's just how I imagine it going down.

Rich (Jersey)

Chucky! Is DW secretly hoping Chael beats Silva for a HUGE ppv draw for their third fight? U'd have to give the spider an immediate rematch, right?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:49 PM)

I would think they would. That kind of drama would be huge, particularly if the second fight goes anything like the first (yet with Sonnen getting his arm raised). Rivals like that are hard to come by.

Rrrrasterizer (Cleveland)

Biggest hits and misses in NBA draft go to...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:51 PM)

I just know that Evan Fournier -- the Frenchman that the Nuggets selected -- isn't going to strike fear into the hearts of defenses. Kid shoots 42% from the field and he's supposed to be a shooting guard? Pas si bon.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

Thoughts on Ronda Rousey being in the body issue for ESPN?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

Who better to shoot artistically nude shots of?

Peter (Dallas)

Tito says he beats Jon Jones in his prime. At what? Audacious comments?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

That's funny. Yes, I am sure he could beat Jones at audacious comments. The good thing about comments like that is, hey, people just assume you're in your dotage in your late-30s.

Ron (Chicago)

Chucky, with the announcement of Kaufman/Rousey, give me your over/under on this thing lasting a single round.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:54 PM)

I'm going under. I think Rousey makes quick work of Kaufman. First round submission, like she (nearly) always does.

Rex (FL)

Isn't it kind of crazy how much Fran and Ken Shamrock look alike but aren't blood related.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:55 PM)

There are a lot of strange brothers in the fight game. The Shamrocks, the Diaz's, the Buffers. The Miller's are the closest to a normal set of brothers we've seen, and they brew their own beer and want to live off the grid. Think about that for a minute, Rex.

Scott (Salt Lake City)

You going to Vegas next week?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

Won't be there next week, and that's for bringing that up, Scott. There won't be a chat next Friday, as I'll be on vacation. I will be back here on July 13 to pick up wherever we are...

Matty-Ice (Detroit) [via mobile]

Where would Belfort rank at 205? Top 5-10?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:57 PM)

He'd be up in the top ten. A lot of the 205ers are past glories who are on their way out. Vitor's been around a long time, but he's still bringing it. I'd think he could hang with a lot of the top guys in that division.

Brad (Long Beach)

With all this chatter about Greg Jackson guys being boring, does that mean we can expect Leonard Garcia to be that way next?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:58 PM)

No. Leonard Garcia is incorrigible. No amount of game planning will change what he does. He is the anti-gameplan.

Nathan (Fort Frances)

HEy Chuck, I liked your article on trash-talking, so who do you think are the top 5 trash talkers in sports history?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

Wow. In sports history? That's a long record of mouthiness. I will just say that Chael would rank up there with the best of them. I like that he can blur the lines of reality so well. If you can say something with authority and conviction, at least half the public will believe it. He's a master at this.

Ricky D (Atlanta)

Chuck, good seeing you on MMA Live. Now that Tito's not within striking distance of you, who are you picking in Ortiz/Griffin III and why?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:00 PM)

I'm taking Griffin in this fight. The first two times were split decisions...I think this time Griffin is motivated and wins a convincing unanimous decision, and sends Tito on his way.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

So, looks like Phil Davis got a fight against Wagner Prado and that should be a good stand....hey wait, who's Wagner Prado?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

Haha. Well, you'd like to think of this as a rebound fight, the kind that Joe Lauzon has been thankful for in his career (like Curt Warburton). But the way things have gone of late, the upstarts are showing up to displace the names. Who is Wagner Prado? He's an undefeated Brazilian fighter who has a chance to make a name very quickly.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey Chuck, thank you for the great coverage. Do you know what is up next for my favorite fighter GSP? Thanks!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

It still looks like he'll face Carlos Condit, mostly likely in Montreal this November, Craig. But he's healing from an ACL, so the thing is still up in the air. Fingers crossed he's back by then.

Aaron (fl)

Chuck so will you not be on the chat during the fight as well?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:04 PM)

I will be back to help cover the fight on ESPN.com on fight night, just not the Friday chat.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:05 PM)

OK, guys. I need to shut the mother down. Thanks a lot for stopping in here today. As mentioned, I won't be in here next week, so come back on July 13 and let's do it again. Meantime, hit me on Twitter @ChuckMindenhall, and enjoy the impossible spectacle that is....Sonnen/Silva II.