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September 26, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:00 PM)

Hey guys. I am filling in for Brett, who is en-route to Bristol to shoot MMA Live tomorrow. Josh is in France, twirling vintage red. I am what Joe Silva refers to as "Plan C." Let's get this thing rolling....what's on your minds?

Gary (Atlanta)

What's next for Jon Jones now? Seems like the 205 picture is a mess!!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:01 PM)

Well, the first thing is he needs to get healthy. That arm will likely need some time, and I doubt he'll fight again in 2012 (as he'd hoped). It boils down to Machida or Henderson for ready 205ers, and right now the UFC was talking about facing them off. People are throwing Daniel Cormier's name around. How crazy would that be?

Matt (Nashville)

Who would you say are the biggest winners & losers from UFC152 last weekend?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:03 PM)

I would definitely say the biggest losers were the three intrigue names that lost -- Charles Oliveira, Jimy Hettes and even Evan Dunham. The big winners were Vinny Magalhaes and TJ Grant, and of course Demetrious Johnson. That was a great performance.

Matty-Ice (Detroit)

This Fuel TV card I think is very underrated. It lacks big names, but it has some exciting fighters.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:05 PM)

I agree. Lots of great fights on there. I am into the Stipe Miocic/Stefan Struve battle.

Chip (Springfield, MO)

Who is Strikeforce looking at to replace Frank Mir on Nov. 3rd?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:06 PM)

It's not totally known. The suspicion is that somebody like Fabricio Werdum might get the call, but last I spoke to Werdum he said he hadn't been contacted (he's willing, though). Pat Barry also volunteered, but he makes less sense for Cormier, who is a top five guy. He needs at least a top ten name, doesn't he?

Nick (Cleveland)

You in England for this fights this week?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:06 PM)

Not in England, sadly. Will be taking in the action from my living room.

TJ (Auckland (NZ) )

Hey Bro, With Mir now crook, what about Mark Hunt as a replacement against Cormier? He hasnt fought for a while (Japan I think) or would that be too much of a "step up". Still like to see him fight Strudel who I think can beat Miocic this weekend.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:08 PM)

It would depend on his health, but that at least resonates a little. Hunt has won three in a row, and Cormier is definitely a step up in competition. Hmm...

James (CT)

I wish they would disband Strikeforce and put the fighters in the UFC.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:09 PM)

At the end of this year we'll have a better idea. There are those close to the situation who wonder if Strikeforce will be around. Showtime will have MMA one way or another, and so long as Zuffa is making money, anything is possible.

Adam (Long Beach)

How do you feel about a potential Silva v Bisping title fight in January? The timing would still allow for a GSP v Silva fight thereafter.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:10 PM)

Provided that Silva gets by Bonnar unscathed, I think the contingency plan will be Bisping. However, I do think that Silva and his camp will wait on GSP/Condit, to see what happens. Having spoke to Silva's management before Bonnar was agreed to, that's a fight they want...GSP at a catchweight. Bisping could sneak in there if things don't pan out.

Rick (Kansas)

Was it Jon Jones fault that the StrikeForce card got canceled?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:11 PM)

Hard to pin it on Jones, though I am sure his fresh crop of haters will give it the old frosh try.

peter (boston)

what do ou see as next for TJ Grant fight between him and Dunham was vicious and grant has looked great at LW

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:12 PM)

He did look really good, and it surprised me that he took it to Dunham like that. Three in a row (including that Shane Roller fight, which was also a good showing). Time for a good bump up in competition, to that next tier of guys. Like a Guillard or Guida.

Greg Jackson (Albuquerque, NM)

It was all my fault Strikeforce got cancelled. Now I'm off to tie Arianny Celeste to some railroad tracks and twirl my moustache!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:12 PM)

I knew it. I freaking knew it.

Rick (Kansas)

Have you been keeping up with TUF. Nelson is a terrible coach and Carwin doesn't coach at all, leaving it up to his Greg Jackson cronies. You see any reason to keep watching?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:14 PM)

Admittedly, no. I haven't seen the last episode. I did watch the first "fight to get in the house" episode, to see how Diffley would do, but I had the fast-forward button working. I find it just less than excruciating to watch these days. But I like tuning in for the fights themselves.

James (CT)

I would love to save Arianny from the train.

Arianney Celeste (Tied to some train tracks)

Help Chuck Mindenhall ... Greg jackson has tied me to some tracks and I can't escape!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:14 PM)

Not to worry, love. I have deployed Chad Dundas to save you. Should be there soon.

Brad (Philadelphia)

IMO, Jose Aldo is the most electrifying MMA fighter. Who would you rank as a close 2nd?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:16 PM)

Jose Aldo is certainly right up there. Wow, as far as bang for the buck goes, Anderson Silva still cracks. But if we're in the realm of electricity, guys like Renan Barao come to mind. Edson Barboza. Melvin Guillard (though he often comes out on the wrong end of it). Cowboy Cerrone.

@PappaFeez (Work)

Late at night don't you think Vitor wishes he would have broke Jones arm instead of letting up (even if it was just a little) when he heard it pop

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:17 PM)

I cannot fathom why he would let up. Actually, I can fathom it, but that sort of cringiness doesn't work in the cage. You have the second best P4P fighter clinging for survival, and you let up? That will keep a man up at night.

Alan (South Florida)

Chuck, who and when will we see Rashad Evans fight next? I wish he would go down to Middleweight, and face Silva.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:19 PM)

Not sure yet on Evans. Was out in Florida a couple of weeks back, and he wasn't sure. He would move down and fight Silva at 185 pounds, but I think that might be the only fight he's willing to take. Right now, that is. If the UFC said "fight Chris Weidman for a shot at Silva," maybe that would sway him. He doesn't know if he can make the cut (said he'd need a practice run). My guess is he stays at 205 pounds. Maybe get Glover Teixeira, if he beats Maldonado.

John (St. Petersburg)

Barboza- Guillard needs to happen

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:19 PM)

I co-sign.

Ed (NJ)

I heard Yves Lavinge was a ref in the Green Bay game?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:20 PM)

Hate to say it, but in this case we are cutting down Yves Lavigne. How insane was the end of that game? It was the perfect storm of folly.

Adam (Long Beach)

Any word on Aldo's injury status and whether or not we will still be getting Aldo v Edgar this year?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:21 PM)

Haven't heard anything yet on it. With the cards filling up to close out 2012, it's doubtful they'll dial him up. Then again, if he's ready (and Edgar is always ready), and a big spot falls through (as we've seen so many times this year), could happen.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Nottingham, England)

Maybe he felt it pop and let up because it's instinct ... in BJJ you can get in the habit of stopping before damage ..

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:22 PM)

Yeah. It takes a special kind of Frank Mir stomach to break somebody's limb. I still think GSP let up on Hardy with that Kimura, too, for the same reason.

Larry Sanders Joe (Nottingham, UK)

What do you think of Hettes' gameplan? To me it was like watching Frankenstein's monster plodding forward - disappointing considering his previous performances

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:24 PM)

Hettes is a young kid, and he looked tremendous in his first couple of UFC fights. I think he goes into a fight with a vague idea of what he wants to do, and unfortunately, Brimage forced him to stand. And he forced him to take a lot of punishment. I wouldn't have guessed Hettes was that...unseasoned...on the feet, but he has some holes. On the ground? Kid's dynamite. But he needs to round out his game.

Jim Bob (the Counter)

I had to tear up a $300 parlay ticket that would've paid 6 to 1 if Green Bay covered the 3.5 spread. Speak comfort to me my friend, and let me know if I should wager on Stipe over Skyscraper.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:25 PM)

A quarter of a billion dollars was swayed in that final play. Crazy. And 70,000 fantasy games on ESPN were always swayed. That's a lot of responsibility for a scrub ref. Sorry Jim Bob. I like Miocic in this one.

Chad S. (Chicago, IL)

If Miocic wins this weekend, who do you have him fighting next???

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:27 PM)

Stipe's the one guy in the heavyweight division who is coming up organically. I think he gets a bigger name next. Maybe if he comes out with a quick KO and doesn't get hurt, they stick him in there with Cormier. But that might be a stretch. Probably the winner of Browne/Bigfoot.

John (St. Petersburg)

What is the more competitive fight, Bisping - Silva or GSP- Silva?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:27 PM)

I'd go GSP/Silva. I just don't think Bisping presents anything to Silva that he can't deal with. GSP exploits weaknesses and has wrestling (even if he's giving up some size).

Jerry (Texas)

How long will Dan Hendo be out, will he be ready for the fight early next year?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:28 PM)

He said he thought he could fight in December, but my guess is he'll be out until early 2013. Just a guess. The question is, will it be Jones (who wants him), or Machida (whom Henderson doesn't seem too keen on fighting)? Or...Rashad?

Bill (Columbus)

Chuck, I liked you article on the flyweights. As usual, good stuff. After seeing Demetrious Johnson do work on Beefcake, who is out there to challenge him at flyweight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:30 PM)

Good question. The flyweight division isn't exactly stacked, but there are some guys who could give Johnson a run for his money. I think the Jussier da Silva ("Formiga")/John Dodson fight could be a No. 1 contender bout. Either guy in there with Johnson makes for a ridiculous scrap.

Jose (Lennox, CA)

Plan C, what's the status on Jon Jones' arm? Any word on what kind of damage, if any?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:30 PM)

I haven't heard anything definitive. I texted his camp, but nobody has gotten back to me.

Joe Benezidez's Mom (Joe's House)

Am I the only one that thought Joe won 4-1, giving Johnson the last round?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:31 PM)

Hi Mrs. Benavidez. I am sure there was some lonely off duty MMA judge out there sipping his scotch who had it scored exactly the same as you.

@PappaFeez (Work)

What is next for Vitor? Back to 185 against Lombard or Belcher? Or let him murder Wandy?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:32 PM)

I think he's definitely headed back to 185, and the Wanderlei fight makes the most sense. Especially after they showed Silva getting tracked down by lunging Vitor punches all week leading up. Wanderlei wasn't amused.

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

Three very nice TKO victories for Cub Swanson in a row. Who would be a good matchup for him in his next fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:33 PM)

Would like to see him fight a "name," somebody in that top ten. Hard to say. Maybe they saddle him with Eddie Alvarez when he comes over from Bellator? There are so many good guys in that division, there'll be no trouble finding him some trouble.

James (CT)

John Dodson seems like he could be as fast as Mighty Mouse.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:34 PM)

Guy is an acrobat...the meanest kind of acrobat.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:34 PM)

(and a fink....remember him on TUF?)

Nate (Woburn, MA)

Chuck, I was thinking of this during the unveiling of the Rocky Marciano statue in Brockton this past weekend, seeing Larry Holmes. You see boxers that are in their 40s, 50s, 60s now and you can tell the years of boxing have not been good to them. Do you think in the next 10, 20, 30 years we will see the deterioration of MMA fighters due to their years in the cage?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:35 PM)

The short answer is: Probably. Any time you are absorbing punches to the head for a living, the danger exists. Guys like Chris Lytle, who were in so many wars, and Chris Leben, Chuck Liddell, et al. Guys with that old school mentality to stand and bang. It's a real danger.

@PappaFeez (Work)

What % chance would you give Wandy against Vitor? I'd go with 1%

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:36 PM)

Don't like Wandy in the rematch, huh? I would go 15%. Off the top of my head. It's a standard gratuity.

Rick (Kansas)

So you think Machida is ahead of Gustaffson in the short line of Jon Jones opponents?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:37 PM)

I think the UFC has Machida placed ahead of Gustafsson. If Gusty beats Rua and makes a statement in December, that could change in a hurry. Shogun is Gustafsson's catapult to that title talk.

Randy (Boston)

Does the loss really hurt Vitor Belfort? I saw he dropped several spots in ESPN's rankings. Seems like he should get a pass for stepping up on short notice against JON JONES.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:38 PM)

Yeah, I was a little surprised to see Belfort slip in the middleweight rankings, given the circumstances. But it does go to show that there are no free passes when taking fights. Remember when Rick Story agreed to go ahead and fight Charlie Brenneman to keep the main event intact when the whole Marquardt thing went down? It should have hurt Story, but down the pipes he went.

Chip (Springfield, MO)

To answer Nates Question, No. Boxing endures a different type of abuse. Boxers get hit in the head far more often, then get a 10 count to regain their senses, only to get hit more. Its completely different than what MMA fighters endure.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:39 PM)

This is true. It's a totally different sport, and cumulative damage is far less in MMA.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

Chuck, good to see you in here on a Wednesday. Where's Brett?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:40 PM)

Brett was summonsed to Bristol to record MMA Live tomorrow. So he's en-route today. Josh would have stepped in, but he's in Europe for a wedding. Thus, you are stuck with me.

Jonathan (Indiana)

Do you sometimes suspect that Anderson really has no intention of fighting at MW again? That he'll fight his Kentucky Colonels fight with Bonnar, his superfight with GSP, and then retire as MW champion without having defended it again? At least that's what his disinterest with other challengers in his own division and concern with his legacy have me thinking.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:42 PM)

I do think he expresses his druthers more and more these days. The Bonnar fight is a stroke of genius; he steps up, fulfills perhaps the last fight on his contract, and gets a guy who has been treated as a heavy bag by lesser opponents than him. GSP is a huge payday, and I think obviously Silva's a favorite in that fight. If Bisping is the clear No. 1, Silva would be licking his chops. But do I think they're rushing to fight Chris Weidman, a dogged wrestler who doesn't mind telegraphing his intentions? No.

Greg (DC)

Would you rather see Jon Jones fight a heavyweight than looking down to the middleweights? I mean, they guy is supposed to be 'unbeatable' right?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:44 PM)

I think that Anderson Silva would be a megafight, but that it'll (very likely) never happen. Even if Jones came around to the idea, I don't think Andy would. But stick Jones at heavyweight and the floodgates open for great match-ups. Cain, JDS, Overeem, Cormier. People are even through names like Cheick Kongo out there for Jones. Lots of intrigue.

John (St. Petersburg)

Isn't Lombard-Palhares a terrible matchup? Why not do Lombard-Wandy?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:45 PM)

I don't know...I like that fight. It's the classic "who imposes their will on the other." Palhares wants the fight on the ground, where he can snatch a Cuban limb....Lombard wants the fight standing, where he can get back to snooze-buttoning people. PLUS, these dudes are yoked. The peck twitches will be epic in the center of the ring hand touch.

Jon (boston)

any word on cowboy vs pettis? And if thats gonna be a number 1 contender match? Not sure if i see either of thembeating bendo or diaz

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:47 PM)

Don't think they've set a date yet. I know Cerrone would just assume it happen next weekend. That guy loves to stay busy. That little foursome you mention of Diaz/Bendo/Pettis/Cerrone is full of plots of twists and rematches and foiled dreams. Will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

James (CT)

Would've been nice if Anderson fought GSP BEFORE the injury. Anderson likes to limit the risk.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:47 PM)

I would have liked the fight better if it had happened in 2010, but if GSP walks through Condit, we'll have new life into the match-up. *Unless Bonnar springs the upset of the century.

John (Austin, TX)

Hey Chuck, we still gonna get the regular chat on Friday?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:48 PM)

Yup, I'll be here Friday, too. Just filling in for Okamoto, who is traveling today. Guess his airplane doesn't get free wifi.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Nottingham, England)

Ahem ... Lombard is nuts. Palhares is nuts. Put two nutters in a cage against each and awesomeness will ensue.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:49 PM)

Good point. There's the potential for some inexplicable theater come fight night between those two.

@PappaFeez (Work)

In Mighty Mouse's 1st title defense do you think it would be a co-main on a PPV behind a non title fight or more likely to be a Main event for an FX or Fuel card. My casual mma friends hated the championship fight. Loved your article by the way.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:51 PM)

I think the best we'll see out of a flyweight fight is as a co-main event on a PPV, or as a free card headliner. Just too many people aren't down with the little dudes. It's more than an aesthetic preference, too...I think people just like the idea of imposition, that somebody can be knocked out instantly. And flyweights don't appear to bring that to the table (though don't tell that to Urushitani).

Marc (Malden, MA)

I was wondering if the UFC was mad at Stephen Bonnar, now I just think Bonner has HUGE brass #####.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:52 PM)

Yeah, I think ultimately they threw Bonnar a bone here. He wanted a big fight, somebody with more Twitter followers and all that jazz? How about Silva, in Brazil? Good luck Bonnar. (And kudos for not hesitating to be the sacrifice).

Jonathan (Indiana)

There are still some airlines with free wifi? Color me shocked!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:53 PM)

Maybe should have said wifi alone.

Guy (Aurora, Il)

Is it just me, or does pulling guard against Jon Jones seem like a fantastic idea? Of course you have to deal with the elbows and you'll probably get cut but in my mind that would happen on the feet anyways. Might as well get your hands on him where you have a chance of pulling off a finish.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:54 PM)

Depends. It's pick your poison with Jones. If that's where you deem him most susceptible, playing mean elbows off your temple while in your guard, then try and get it there. Nearly worked with that armbar attempt. Can't imagine Dan Henderson or Lyoto Machida following suit. Hendo won't holster the H-Bomb.

Michael G. (OKC)

Can you give us a time frame on when they will announce Cormier's opponent at Strikeforce?What are the rumors?Got tickets, and I'm sweating it.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:55 PM)

I'd have to think they will announce it soon, with the card a little less than six weeks away. There are no shortage of volunteers, but with the cross-promotion maybe there's red tape to get through.

Jerry (Texas)

Chuck, how in the world does Bonnar get a title shot against Silva, who has he beaten recently, not any top 5 or top 10 guys I can think of. There were much more deserving fighters like Weidman or Bisbing, heck I wouldnt mind seeing Munoz take on Silva?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:57 PM)

It's not a title fight. It's going to be contested at 205 pounds. This is just a high-profile filler fight between Brazil's greatest and America's pyschoist.

Andy (Chicago)

Did Belfort forget how to throw punches?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (1:59 PM)

I think, just like Rashad learned and everybody else, that the realization was that getting in close to land big shots comes with cruel punishment. Everybody always talks about closing the range on Jones, and landing that big shot, but it seems near impossible to execute without eating an elbow, a jab, and having your knee hyperextended by a side kick.

Nick (Ohio)

Chuck, do you have any advice for a guy wanting to start writing about MMA? Where would you start at?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:00 PM)

With the Internet visible to everyone, best to begin with a blog. MMA is niche enough where people with blogs make names for themselves, and some move on to bigger things. There are a lot of sites that are good platforms for beginning MMA scribes. The one thing I'd say: Stay away from fluffiness. Too much of it in the industry.

John (Austin, TX)

Short of pulling off a major upset, what would Bonnar have to do to have a good showing against Silva? Going the distance, making it to round 2, not getting knocked out, etc?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:02 PM)

One thing that Bonnar should have is a size advantage. If he can use his hulk to lean on Silva, take away the strafing punches Silva likes to throw, and make it ugly (on the cage, dumping Silva on his back, etc), then he gives himself a chance to survive. Bonnar can take a lot of abuse. He lasted three rounds with Jones, and began to wear him down a little in the third.

James (CT)

How well do you know Jordan Breen?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:03 PM)

Been on his show once, met him in Toronto at UFC 129. Nice guy. Smart guy. Too smart.

Andy (Chicago)

Is the Nov. 3rd Strikeforce card still going to happen?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:03 PM)

I haven't heard otherwise. They can't just keep cancelling cards now, can they?

Bob (IN)

Re: Bonnar. Not bleeding to death would be a start. His forehead is papier mache

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:04 PM)

Yes, he always looks like the lone survivor from a slasher movie at the end. It's more traumatic to look at than it is for Bonnar to cope with.

Alan (South Florida)

Chuck, if Evans stays at Light Heavyweight I wish we would see him fight Henderson or Rua. Both would exciting fights that could headline a PPV.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:05 PM)

A Rua/Evans fight would be great. Rua doesn't seem overly inclined to fight for the title again, so maybe it could happen. Evans/Rampage II? Another possibility.

Guy (Aurora, Il)

@Andy- 84.5 inches will make you forget how to throw punches real quick

Paul (SF, CA)

How about Vitor's BJJ? Always nice to see a guy who we're told has a black belt but never seems to use it show that he actually has those skills. Any takeaway about Jones' submission defense?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:07 PM)

Well, he got out of the armbar, but he left with his arm in a sling. My guess is that Jones works on his BJJ a little more. He said that would be an area of emphasis. Not to many guys at the top of 205 who are a threat to submit him, though.

Greg (DC)

Rashad Evans vs Daniel Cormier...sound good to you?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:08 PM)

Yeah. Actually, that does. Wrestler on wrestler. Evans has fought heavyweight before. Cormier talks about 205. Lots of versatility to make it.

Michael H (Memphis)

Since Rampage is saying he is healthy...how about him and Evans fight next...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:09 PM)

Not out of the realm of possibility, Michael. It's a shame that the first fight was mostly unexciting (there were moments, like when Rampage knocked him down late). They at least don't really like one another, so there's that.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (2:10 PM)

OK, guys, I got to close her down. Thanks for jumping on with me here today. Brett should be back next week to keep you company. I'll be here Friday to do it again. If I didn't get to you question, hit me on Twitter, @ChuckMindenhall.