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October 12, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:00 PM)

Sup, bros. Let's get this thing moving. Another Friday chat, and tonight there's fighting (Alvarez/Patricky), tomorrow there's fighting (Bonnar/Silva), and Nov. 3 there's less fighting (Strikeforce cancels), although the WSOF has its inaugural show in Vegas. Lots to talk about. What's on your minds?

Tyler (Oklahoma)

Read an interview with joe silva. You know what you and ESPN need to do, get more joe silva interviews. I know hes tough to get on record but I love hearing his insight. Hes a big part of everything that gets overshadowed all the time. Make it happen Chuck

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:01 PM)

I tell you what...Joe Silva isn't exactly JD Salinger hard to interview, but he's got severe allergies to recorders. I think he wanted to get the Johnson stuff off his chest. I've spoken to him plenty off record, and he's a great guy. Will never forget the pep talk he gave Karo Parisyan at UFC 123.

SteelersFan (Pittsburgh)

Chris Camozzi going to do work in Rio this weekend, yo!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:03 PM)

Yeah? I like his chances okay against Cane. And he might have some fate on his side. Luiz Cane was the only Brazilian to lose at UFC 134 in Rio when a Brazilian was stacked against an interloper (Nedkov)

Chris (springfield)

Why are all of the ESPN panelists taking Maia? I like Story because he's mean and he has wrestling, and he's never been submitted, nor finished.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:04 PM)

Story is a tough out. I forgive the Brenneman loss, because he was introduced to that idea just 24 hours before it went down and he couldn't have been anything other than disheartened by it. No big shame in losing to Kampmann. I was tempted to pick Story, but Maia is tricky, and I like where his head's at right now...and the new weight class.

Kid (Fla)

So Big Nog looks more out of shape than usual, you give Herman any shot tmrw night?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

I mean, he's got a shot. There are so many questions about Nog...so long off, the injury, the age. I still like him to outclass Herman, though. He was cleaning the floor with Mir before he made that mistake.

Andy (Chicago)

You see that Jones is tweeting that he may take a fight with Chael if that is what the fans want to see?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:07 PM)

Andy, I hope not. Honestly, that makes zero sense to me. Sonnen coming off a loss, and in a new weight class where there are contenders with actual merit? So what if Jones is coming around to the idea; fans shouldn't be. Not until Sonnen wins a couple at 205.

Peter (Dallas)

Should Big Nog beat Herman, will he be considered relevant again? I just can't see beating Herman meaning too much, but I know how marketing works. Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

Relevant is a funny word, especially in the heavyweight division. If he beats Herman, he'd probably get a top ten guy based on his name. But is he a threat to do anything in the division? No.

Richard(California) [via mobile]

Any word yet on when Pettis is fighting again?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

Cerrone's camp wants it to be in December or January, but my guess is January.

James (CT)

Does Alvarez roll?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:09 PM)

I think he'd better, if he wants to land in the UFC with a vapor trail behind him. Patricky Pitbull is tough. Should be a fun fight. Surprised there hasn't been more attention directed at it.

BDG (Orlando)

If Alvarez loses tonight, do you see hos leverage w/ UFC being really hurt to where he was a year ago - especially after the payday Lombard got and his awful debut

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

I know the UFC likes Alvarez, so I think he might end up there either way. But a poor showing would certainly take the buzz off of him heading in.

Kris (Los Angeles)

Where was MMA Live this week? Did I miss it?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

No MMA Live on television this week; show's on a hiatus until January, Kris.

Corey (Boston)

What's up with Shields? Have to figure he'll never get a title shot again, right?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:13 PM)

Hard to say in that division, particularly with the bottleneck situation behind Chris Weidman. He'll have to win a couple more fights. I don't think too many people are pining for Shields to get a title shot right now, not after the Herman fight (and GSP).

Dan (Hopkinton, MA)

Who might Glover Teixeira face next if he wins this weekend?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

He'd definitely get a top ten guy, maybe a Rashad Evans or a Ryan Bader type. The UFC is already big on him after one good performance, and if he makes it two he'll be like the Kool-Aid Man busting through walls.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:15 PM)

Auto-update should be on. Let me know if it's still not updating.

everyone (everywhere)

Good point on Chael-Bones. I mean, if all the fans want to see it why should they get it? Never, EVER give the fans what they want...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

Do fans really want to see that?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

In a pinch, that fight made sense. In logical booking, doesn't make sense (yet). Unless you just want to see Chael get beat up.

Alan (Oakland)

I know this is unpopular, but I'm a Jon Fitch guy. I think he makes a statement against Erick Silva this weekend. He has too much everything. But let's say he grinds out another victory, and wins a decision. Does he advance any with a win that way?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

If Fitch goes in there and "Fitch's" Silva, he will once again have batted down a big prospect. I think he'd make his way back into that contention talk, but he'd still be behind a few guys in the division. After UFC 154, however, things will be clearer there (as a couple of welters will fall). Fitch/Diaz come FEB?

Brian (Fla)

I see the majority of people picking Nate Diaz to be Bendo. I just don't see that happening, as I think Bendo outclasses him. You have a pick yet?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:19 PM)

I am leaning towards Bendo, but Diaz is a different beast at 155. And he has gotten a lot better from his first stint in that weight class. I know one thing...it won't be easy for Henderson.

wadd (orygun)

Chael has found a way to get into people's minds as Must See. I am a Chael fan and I don't want to see him get killed, but I do want to see this fight, even though he will get killed. Makes no sense to me either...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:20 PM)

Well, there you go. Jones is warming up to the idea of hitman in your scenario, so maybe the UFC will follow suit.

Ken (ca.)

Love the Fitch/Diaz match, please turn on auto update!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

I have it on, and will let admin know it's not working properly. Meantime, refresh I guess....

Dennis (MI)

on a scale of 1-13, how confident are you in denver over san diego?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

Must win game. Will say 9. San Diego is softer this year than they've been in previous seasons.

Jerry (Big D)

is there any reason NOT to have Pettis v Cowboy at my Cowboy Stadium? Obviously not the main event, but as the 2nd or 3rd semi main event?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

No reason that I can see, if the UFC books a big card there. Plus, home field advantage for Cowboy.

Kid (Fla)

I think we get Nick Diaz vs Rory MacDonald in Feb - should he beat Penn. Built in storyline w/ Nick trying to get to GSP thru Rory.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

I like that idea a lot. I know Nick would like to avenge his brother, Nate, too. And I know MacDonald would like to put the hurt on the Nick, being friends with GSP. Might be in the cards, Kid.

Matty-Ice (Detroit)

Ellenberger vs the winner of Silva/Fitch?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:25 PM)

That occurred to me, too. Could be. Ellenberger called out a Fitch a long time ago, so doubt he'd have any qualms with it. If it's Silva, Ellenberger would seem like a suitable opponent given his place in the division.

Kenflo (make up chair)

Anik never had these auto update problems....

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

Ha! I remember him having some trouble from time to time, but he fought through that adversity like a (keyboard) warrior.

Jay (P-town)

Better chance to win: Bonnar or BJ and why?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:27 PM)

Going Penn. For one, Penn has it in him to be great. Look at his resume. The time off might be of value to him, too. For two, can't figure out a way that Bonnar beats Silva. Just can't see it (unless Silva gets cut, or breaks a leg, or something fluky).

Andy (Chicago)

For the record I don't have interest in a Bones/Chael fight. Would rather see Hedo get a shot while he is still young.

Walter (Phils.)

Hello sir!! This people have good questions. Thanks for giving good answers!!Keep it Up!--

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:28 PM)

I am with you on that. Hendo is far more appealing than Sonnen right now. Not saying it'll be that way in six months, but right now...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:28 PM)

Hey Walter...out of order here, but thanks. You staying away from the balut?

nick (couch)

I would Like to see struve vs big nog if he wins

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

My first thought is that Struve would be taking a step backwards, but then again, if Nog wins and does it impressively...hey, hey.

wadd (orygun)

Are you really trying to tell me that the lead up to a Bones-Chael fight wouldn't be breathtaking stuff? Bones may even hire writers for it...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

It would be a fun lead-up, I am sure. Speaking strictly from merit here. Sonnen is coming off a loss in another weight division...doesn't he at least have to win a single fight before getting a title shot at 205? I think so.

Mike (LA)

any news on Diego Sanchez?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

It's wait and see. He tweeted recently that he wasn't sure yet who he'd face in his return to 155.

Ricky D (Atlanta)

Why weren't you on with Kevin James yesterday for MMA Live??

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

Yeah, he was on campus yesterday for the proverbial carwash. When they filmed the MMA Live segment, there were in a digital studio they call "the Closet," so there wasn't room for me in there with him.

mike (milwaukee)

chucky, so what if jon jones has come around to the idea of fighting c.p. sonnen, that fight makes no sense! please tell me you agree!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

Mike, that's what I've been screaming all chat. Where you been?

Brian (Orlando)

Diego vs Barboza is a fight that wouldn't suck. Like to see that potentially for Diego.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:33 PM)

Interesting. The lightweight division is so stacked they can make Diego a good fight with any number of guys. Jim Miller?

Mike (LA)

with the cancellation of a strikeforce card, yet again, do you expect the one in january to have Cormier v. Mir, Larkin v. Rockhold, Melendez v healy and a Ronda Rousey fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:35 PM)

I do think they'll stack it just like that. Wouldn't be surprised, anyway. Will be interesting to see if this is the last Strikeforce card, or Showtime plans on rolling with it.

Arturo (Mexico)

Hey Chuck, what do you think of Jimi Manuwa, nasty striker for the 205 div.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

I think we didn't see the best he has in that last fight, Arturo. Looking forward to seeing him do it again. Agree about the hands. He gets one on you, and it's deep six.

RUDY (TEXAS)

WHO WOULD YOU GO WITH IN A FIGHT THAT WILL HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER ERICK SILVA OR ROY MACDONALD?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:37 PM)

I'd go with Rory MacDonald. He was seconds away from beating Carlos Condit as nobody on that Vancouver card, and he's gotten a lot better. I think we'll be talking about him for the title in 2013.

@dneighbor (New Jersey)

I'm pretty sure you just said Kevin James is so fat you couldn't fit in the studio with him. Freak Fight New Year's Eve in Japan?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:38 PM)

I didn't say that, Neighbor. But if you saw this studio, you'd laugh at the notion of him and I in there together.

Ken (ca.)

Chuck, auto update is working again, you are a keyboard warrior!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:38 PM)

Amen.

Brian (Orlando)

Where are these comparisons to BJ Penn coming from, in regards to Gunnar Nelson? Nice debut for sure, but thats jumping the gun big time.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:40 PM)

Yeah, that's a little much out of the gate. It was a very nice debut by Nelson. But need to see him sustain that for a bit before we go all Glover Teixeira on his hype train.

Rickson (By Armbar)

Of all the ESPN.com MMA writers, who do you think would win an early UFC style one night tournament? Okamoto looks quick, like a young Dominick Cruz. I think Gross is more of a target in waiting, like that nerd Tamdon McCoury. McNeil is straight gangster, but old. Dundas is a wild card; no cardio. I got Chuck by Americana, because you are a patriot.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:42 PM)

Interesting question. It's funny how many people want to turn us loose on each other. I believe Gross has had some training. Okamoto has boxed a little (I assume he didn't mean folding pizza boxes). I like Dundas.

Ken (ca.)

Glover a little overconfident for this fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:43 PM)

Doubt it. He is about as humble as they come. Everybody hyping him up might be overstepping, but he's dialed in for tomorrow.

Ricky (Rochester, NY)

Condit will upset GSP via 5 round split decision. Am I wrong? I think Condit's game is good enough to get it done, barring getting man handled on the ground. Jake Shields was able to land some, no reason why Condit can't do the same. Your thoughts Chuck?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

I do think Condit's going to test GSP more than we've see St. Pierre tested in a long time. They are both smart fighters, too. Might be a chess match (which I know will offend people), but wouldn't be surprised if the fifth round -- if it gets that far -- is the deciding factor.

Alan (Oakland)

I know you get press credentials for events and have seen plenty by now, but what fighter are you still willing to pay and watch?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:45 PM)

You know, there are a bunch of guys who are always exciting (Matt Brown, Frankie Edgar, Donald Cerrone), but I'd go with Dan Henderson.

Rogerio (Rio)

Who is this Hywel Teague and is he new to MMA page on ESPN?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:46 PM)

Hywel is a writer based in Rio de Janeiro. He's sort of our MMA correspondent out there. He does a good job.

Aaron (work)

Chuck, loved your take on Mayhem Miller. Was wondering if you saw that he unfollowed all his Twitter peeps? And was there coded message in the "my life depends on it" tweet about seeing his movie?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

Good question, Aaron. Not sure what's up with that cat. I keep expecting the "gotcha" moment when he comes back out of this ill-conceived Lucky Patrick character and has a laugh. But it's just getting strange, and hopefully there's nothing ominous about his tweet(s).

Jason (Corona)

If Glover Teixeira walks through Fabio like he did Kingsbury, where does that put him at 205?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:49 PM)

I think the UFC would stack him against somebody like Ryan Bader or Rashad Evans. That's my guess.

Mayhem (Not really sure)

So apparently my act didnt go ever well, who would have thought?

tad (montgomery)

Top five fights for Nick Diaz when he comes back are....

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:50 PM)

Hmm...well, there are a number of guys, so okay: GSP, Rory MacDonald, Martin Kampmann, Johny Hendricks or Jake Ellenberger. Just off the top of my head. A rematch with Condit wouldn't be bad, either.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

Chuck, what does Bonnar have to do to win against Silva? Is there anything?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

Search me. I guess the only way I can envision him winning is to make it ugly against the fence, use his bulk, get him to the mat, stay in top position, and work the battery of elbows, hammer fists and blood streams. But that seems...unlikely.

Jenn (Columbus)

What's the big deal about cutting DeMarques Johnson when he lost three fights in a row? Regardless of the circumstances, everybody knows three losses in a row might mean expulsion.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

I think this spawned from an article that basically chided the UFC for axing people who step in on short notice for fights. Bottom line is Johnson said yes, and that he'd make weight. Joe Silva believed him, and took him at his word. Johnson came in overweight, and lost badly. So, UFC doesn't owe him anything in that scenario. Situations are always different, though.

francisco (nyc)

How was Foxboro? Broncos would have pulled it out if there were such a thing as five quarters.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:54 PM)

Foxboro was fine, and agree with you...no finer team in the NFL in the fifth quarter than Denver. It's like when Fitch said he was a fourth round fighter, remember that?

Ken (ca.)

If GLover and Chael both win their fights, ....... why not have them duke it out?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:55 PM)

Now settle down, Ken. Stop acting up!

Radio Raheem (Jamaica Queens)

Dude, Dana White be crazy. This stuff is so watered down. YOu see that deal they offer where you buy 6 PPVs and get 7th free? That is a sign of EXTREME trouble. Never before in PPV business do you ever give something away. First sign of trouble. They bit off more than can chew. They going to be horse racing in 10 years.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

I think the alarm bells of 2012 will quiet down in 2013. The UFC might have been a little ambitious this year, but they've been smart at adjusting on the fly for a long time. They'll figure things out.

Brett (Seattle)

How does this Strikeforce nonsense affect Ronda Rousey? If UFC allows her to fight in Octagon one time, then where does that leave her? They can't populate a division. So what if we see her fight Cyborg under UFC flag, next fight she'll be in Omaha under some minor league flag.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:58 PM)

You know, two things here -- one, Dana White was opposed to having a female division because of the dearth of talent. Well, since then he has introduced the flyweight division, which was started with a dozen guys. A women's 135-pound division could have a dozen names. The other thing, White loves himself some Rousey. She seems to have changed his view on the potential of women's MMA.

Cesar (Chicago)

I have Bonnar winning ALA hammil vs bones Jones!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

Ha! Yes, that's one way to get it done: Eat a few 12-to-6 elbows and get your arm raised while a macabre scene plays over your face.

Jeremy Stephens (Iowa)

Chuck, tell everyone I would've beat Yves had they just let me out of the cell for a few hours.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:00 PM)

I don't know, Jeremy. The more I hear about your case, the more I'm wondering if the cops weren't smart to keep you in the clink. Crazy situation.

Peyton Manning (Denver)

I throw alot of INTs vs the Chargers, just in case you didnt know.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:00 PM)

No need to admit it to me here, Peyton. (Just don't freaking do it Monday Night).

Dan (Hopkinton, MA)

Chuck, rumor had it that Showtime was thinking about cancelling Strikeforce shows in the future. Any insight on this?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:01 PM)

Well, they nixed Nov. 3 (predictably) and announced a big card for January. Between now and then? Expect to not know much.

MMA Jay Ball (Massachusetts )

Silva vs Bonnar ... If Bonnar wins ( chuckle) this fight, where does he win it Ground, Standing , or in Transition ???

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

He wins it on the ground, I guess. Can't imagine him winning it standing, unless a poison dart from the stands gets to Silva first, making him drowsy.

Eric Deffenbaugh (Hanau, Germany)

Why is nobody talking about a possible match between 2 of the biggest talkers in the game Sugar Evans vs Sonnen. This would be a good fight between 2 good wrestlers and would have lots of buildup.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:04 PM)

It was hit on for a minute there. Right now they are cozy together on the set of UFC on FX/Fuel, so don't think it'll happen. But, if Sonnen gets by Griffin, hey...why not? Lot has to play out first, though. Things change so fast in this sport.

Adam (Albuquerque)

Is Forrest done after the Sonnen fight? Don't really see a lot of viable options for him anymore, unless he and Rampage do a dual swan-song.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:05 PM)

That's about it. A Rampage/Griffin fight would be fun. Both guys would want it. Or Griffin/Bonnar, though that rivalry is best stored away in history. Why tarnish things?

Levi (On a bus threw the grape vine. Cali)

If and when Eddie comes to the UFC. Does he get a top five fighter an if he wins does he deserve a title shot?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:06 PM)

That division is stacked enough that he might not get a top five guy, but at least a top ten. Alvarez will have some hype (particularly if he beats Patricky in a stylish way tonight), and they can market a big fight out of the gate.

TUF (Las Vegas)

When can we finally put me out of my misery? I mean does anyone even watch me anymore?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:08 PM)

I don't, and not many that I talk to do. Not sure how much long you'll hobble along, but surely can't be much longer...(right?).

Truth Seeker (For Life)

Chuck, where are you chatting from right now and what does your surroundings look like?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:09 PM)

In my office at my house....this isn't going to be one of those "look out your window," and I see some shady character with binoculars staring at me, is it?

Dong Yueng-Kim (Boston)

Which fighter, at which exact point in their career, had the most clout and most star power in the history of the UFC? It has to have been after a win. Was it Couture after upsetting Sylvia? Lesnar after beating Carwin? GSP after owning Penn part deux?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:10 PM)

Good question, Dong. The high-water mark....I'd almost go with Lesnar after UFC 100. When he foamed at the mouth after smashing Mir up and said all that mess about drinking non-sponsor beer and hooking up with his wife (!).

Adam (Albuquerque)

Who will be the first headliner to fight in 2013? UFC 156 needs to begin getting built, right?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:11 PM)

Possibly Overeem, but they might just hold him off to see what happens with JDS/Velasquez. So will say Jon Jones....but, against whom? That is the question.

George St. Pierre (Montreal)

I am not impressed by your performance in this chat.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:12 PM)

I am leaving it in the judge's hands. I like to gamble. Gambling, as Norman Mailer once said, has its own libido.

Cesar (Chicago)

Picks for saturday? thinking of Going Fitch, Glover And Herman

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:13 PM)

Going Silva, Big Nog, Fitch, Teixeira, Maia. Looking most forward to Fitch/Silva. Those Brazilian fighters love competing in that home environment, and I can tell you, it'll be wild in there.

adam braden (van nuys)

you think bonner has a chance?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:14 PM)

Why, you looking to throw a benji on it, Adam? He feels lucky. He likes the No. 13. And it's on Oct. 13. So, going off of that, YES, he has a chance!

James (CT)

At least he said his wife and not Arianny or something.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:14 PM)

Wouldn't that have upped the drama by ten.

Matt (Vista, CA)

HI Chuck!! Thanks for the chat, quick question. Do you think Cub Swanson has the tools to beat Jose Aldo? I know he got demolished in 8 seconds by him the first time, but hey, everyone gets caught sometimes (especially by flying double knees) Based on watching him, he sure looks fast.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:16 PM)

He's definitely beginning to roll back up on Aldo's heels. I think Swanson would give Aldo a fight, but I'm still not sure he'd overcome Aldo's striking. Will say this, though...that fight gets more and more intriguing all the time.

Mark (Colorado)

Going Fitch? Can he take Silva to the ground, dont remember him gettig taken down recently?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:17 PM)

Yeah, going Fitch. Silva is the better athlete, but Fitch is a momentum killer, and if anybody can make it an endurance fight, on the ground, with his head burrowing into Silva's chest....it'll be Fitch.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:18 PM)

OK, guys, I have to get out of here. Thanks for stopping in. Let's do it again next Friday. Until then, enjoy the fights, and hit me on Twitter with additional remarks/insults: @ChuckMindenhall