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November 7, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Brett Okamoto

Brett Okamoto
  (1:03 PM)

So, anybody catch the first World Series of Fighting event last weekend? If so, what'd you think? If not, you just not interested at all? Tough climate for a new fight promotion to be entering, but I thought the show looked good and I'll watch Tyrone Spong. Get him someone a liiiitle better next time than Travis Bartlett, but he's fun to watch. Also, I somehow managed to have one of my worst weeks betting the NFL in what was one of the best weekends for bettors in years. So, that's depressing. Let's get to your questions.

Danny (Weeki Wachee)

What happens to Bisping/Belfort winner, with Anderson/Gsp fight most likely happening

Brett Okamoto
  (1:05 PM)

Gotta be Chris Weidman, right? Timing will play a major role in all of this. We don't know if GSP will beat Condit (although, yes I think he will) and then we don't know how much time he'll want to put on weight ... that is, if he takes the fight. I talked to Condit last week and he said, just his opinion, he kind of doubts GSP wants the matchup. But either way, we'll have to see how things shake out but Bisping/Belfort vs. Weidman would make a lot of sense.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:05 PM)

And of course, Weidman has to beat Tim Boetsch, which isn't a given.

Chris bassett va [via mobile]

I watched broke the espn film about sports stars in hard fincal times are there famous mma stars or mid card guys that are having hard times thanks

Brett Okamoto
  (1:08 PM)

Definitely. Jon Fitch talked about being in hard times financially heading into his fight against Erick Silva. Eddie Alvarez told me he was basically broke when he fought Shinya Aoki the second time because he had invested too much of his money and it wasn't producing returns quick enough. Undercard fighters don't get paid all that well and they have plenty of costs to get prepared for fights.

Nick (Perth (Australia). )

Hi Brett, WIth all the talk about Anderson's next opponent realistically which of Silva V GSP, Bones, Weidman is likely to happen. ALthough Dana's talking up Bones / SIlva, I cant see it happening.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:09 PM)

Yeah, right now the most likely is still Silva/GSP. I think the fan in Dana wants to see Silva/Jones like the rest of us, but Silva prefers GSP and that's a major fight for the UFC. Jones has a fight lined up in April, so we're not anywhere close to a Jones/Silva fight right now.

Skeksis (Thra)

If Condit pulls off the upset, do we get an immediate rematch? GSP-Diaz and Condit-Rory II sound appealing to me.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:10 PM)

That's interesting ... because you'd think immediate rematch but then again, everyone wanted to see GSP vs. Diaz so maybe the UFC would go ahead and make that and it could still be a PPV. The question would be, would interest in that fight still be as high with GSP coming off a loss? Of course a lot would depend on how Condit won, but I think we'd be in for an immediate rematch most likely. I like Diaz/Rory anyway, which you all probably know by now. I feel like I mention it every week.

Gage (Pittsburgh)

I read an article where GSP said he was getting beat up in the gym (when he first came back to training) to guys he would have destroyed in the past. What are you hearing about his training - is he the same GSP or has he lost a step?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:12 PM)

Yeah, he said that on Primetime as well. I haven't heard anything that confirms he's getting beat up in the gym ... this sounds like something GSP would say. I'm sure he had some rust when he first returned, but it seemed more like a Primetime story line than anything to be real concerned about.

Rick (Kansas)

Missed the last month of chats due to the birth of my first child. Keeping up on all the news has been difficult too. What's going on with Eddie Alvarez? Rumors he is staying at Bellator or leaving?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:15 PM)

Congrats on the newborn Rick, acceptable reason to miss a chat. Bellator has given Alvarez his release papers, they won't prevent him from signing with another organization. As to where he'll go, UFC is definitely the favorite. They are interested and in the UFC, Eddie can fight 3-4 times a year, which is important to him. Bellator can still match any offer the UFC puts out there and money is very important to Eddie as it should be, but Bellator's actions throughout this process suggest they won't get into a bidding war with the UFC. I'd expect news on him by the end of the month.

Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )

Hey Brett, Looking forward to some of the matchups this weekend. Kim and Thiago should be entertaining, especially as Thiago needs a win (I think he's got a shot) and be interesting to see which "Silva" turns up against Nedkov.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:17 PM)

Yeah, I was writing my preview for this weekend as I do with all the fights and right now, it's kind of sad, but you have to ask yourself the question, Is Thiago done? He's talented and still young so you want to say no, but he's got one win in three years with injury and suspension mixed in there. He looked terrible in the fight against Gustafsson. He should run through Nedkov if he's his old self. We'll see.

Tyler (Oklahoma)

Anybody on your radar from the UFC fights this weekend we should be watching for?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:18 PM)

Not really. It's a decent lineup of fights and obviously the UFC was looking to have Asian fighters on the card, but in terms of prospects ... it's pretty light. Franklin should win the main event relatively easy. Best storyline in my opinion is what I just wrote on Thiago Silva. That's the fight I'm tuning in for.

Tim (Brighton, MA)

Hey Brett,Does the positive testing (again), keep Bonner out of the HOF? Seems like he would have been a little on the fence even without this recent failed test. Also, how much do you see this affecting his announcing career with the UFC?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:21 PM)

It's a good question. Will be interesting what Bonnar says when he breaks his silence on it. Can't blame him for not doing interviews right now, he's just had a newborn, dealing with the frustration of the situation of course, but if I were him, I'd address it. People want to know why he did it because it seems like such a lose-lose action. I think it absolutely hurts his chances for HOF. Impacts his standing as an announcer less, I would think.

Zach (Durham, NH)

Hey Brett. Any update on the Silva-Seagal movie? Is Silva going to play a major part or just a cameo? I'm guessing we'll see at least 5 front kicks to the face.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:22 PM)

Honestly, I have no details on this but want to post this question just for the people who haven't heard that yes, Silva will be in a Seagal movie according to reports. Not sure how big his role will be.

Danny (Under your bed)

Why does everyone overlook JDS? He is easily 3/4 on any p4p list. He dominates EVERYONE, he went to decision twice, but he clearly won all six rounds in those two fights. What's going on with everyone Brett?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:25 PM)

When you're talking p4p, most of the time there isn't much to separate these guys. I still have JDS behind guys like Jose Aldo, Dominick Cruz even Frankie Edgar ... maybe just because we've seen other parts of those guys' game and really only seen one thing out of JDS. Is that fair? Because JDS is so dominant with one aspect of the sport that he falls behind guys who utilize different aspects, probably not.

Danny (Weeki Wachee)

Jones/JDS, Anderson/Jones, or Gsp/Anderson. What fight would you rather see between the three and why?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:27 PM)

Anderson vs. Jones. Not even close. Just the historical aspect of that fight. Anderson is considered the best ever right now, Jones is considered the one guy who could take that away from him. Even though Anderson is quite a bit older, he hasn't slowed down so it wouldn't be putting a guy past his prime against a guy in his. Jones vs. JDS we'll see eventually anyway, most likely.

Sandy (Gainesville)

Any idea when/who Mark Hunt will fight? I know he called for a rematch with Overeem when he returns. I'd like to see him against Struve or Big Foot.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:29 PM)

Yeah, I can't really see any situation where the Overeem rematch happens but Hunt is smart in calling for it. He's on a win streak, Overeem wants to fight right away and you have all the old school fans who will actually get behind the matchup. But still, I don't see it happening. I think Hunt vs. Big Foot makes a ton of sense.

Justin (Minneapolis)

When Carwin knocks out Nelson who does the UFC hand him next?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:29 PM)

He could be an opponent for either Hunt or Big Foot as well. I could also see him as a potential fight for Daniel Cormier when DC joins the UFC.

Chris bassett va [via mobile]

How far back is gsp ? condit alaways tough and exciting who are u picking thanks

Brett Okamoto
  (1:31 PM)

I'm definitely picking GSP. Excited for the fight. I wouldn't be shocked if Condit won, but I'd be shocked if GSP came in and looked bad. He'll be ready.

Stephen (Sacramento)

Hey Brett, will the Strikeforce events in Sacramento and Oklahoma City ever be rescheduled?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:32 PM)

I'm assuming you mean will they go to those venues again? There's obviously no guarantee at all, there are a lot of variables that come into play when booking a venue. I will say that I know Zuffa in general likes the Sacramento market, so if not a Strikeforce card, maybe an FX or Fuel card this year.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:33 PM)

*Next year.

Bob (the Counter)

Football picks? When will Red Ink be up?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:34 PM)

Just to let everyone know, ESPN wants me to move away from a gambling perspective on Red Ink and just preview the fight, but I am planning on doing gambling blogs from time to time that will also incorporate the undercards. The preview for China will go up tomorrow and it will be pretty obvious who I'd pick. Football this week ... I think my favorite early pick is Tennessee Titans.

Matt (Nashville)

If Rory MacDonald looks good vs. BJ, how soon will fans be clamoring for him to get a title shot?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:36 PM)

Pretty much immediately and I've always, always gotten the impression from Rory that he would fight GSP. If Johny Hendricks beats Martin Kampmann though, I think just from a resume standpoint he deserves the shot. A lot will depend on what happens with GSP, does he move up, etc. Will Rory get a title shot in 2013 though? That prop bet has gotta be something like ... Yes -140.

Austin (Cheeseburger West Side)

Cruz and Faber vs Dos Santos... who wins?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:37 PM)

Oh man. Are we judging rounds? Like a five round fight? I gotta go with Cruz/Faber but that's a thinker.

Josh (Southern Utah)

Brett- A couple things i'd like to ask, with the year winding down, looking back over this year what grade would you give the UFC and mma in general? And what intrigues you for the next year to come in MMA?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:39 PM)

It was somewhat of a down year for the UFC. The Fox shows failed to generate as much interest as you'd want ... TUF tanked for the most part ... injuries played a major part ... suspensions ... not a good year. What intrigues me next year and every year will always be the fights. That's why we watch. For great fights. And there are a lot on tap for next year. I could sit here for the next five minutes and fill this chat with intriguing fights. We could see a super-fight which would likely capture the attention of all sports fans. I see 2013 being a rebound year for MMA.

@PappaFeez (Scottsdale)

Call me crazy but I really enjoyed the WSOF card. I know the fights were mismatches but sometimes it is fun to watch good old fashion KO's. Spong is going to be tough against guys who can't wrestle.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:41 PM)

Yeah, no question about it. And he's so athletic that even when he goes up against a wrestler (not a premier one, but a decent one) I think he's going to be tough to take down. WSOF is going to match him up with nothing but strikers anyway at least for the foreseeable future.

Stephen (Ireland)

With the recent Lance Armstrong report, how can we believe what happens in the cage is legitimate when the UFC carries out zero out of competition drug testing?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:43 PM)

It sounds, from quotes coming from VP of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner, like they might in the future. The Nevada commission currently does out-of-competition testing and hopefully other commissions will do so in the future (depends on funding). Dana White has always deferred to the commissions but I think that will change over time. The TRT exemptions though are a different issue. It doesn't seem like the UFC is necessarily against that.

Matt (Nashville)

Assuming Gustaffson beats Shogun (dangerous, i know), who does he fight while waiting (possibly a while) for his LHW title shot?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:45 PM)

First off, I do think Gustafsson beats Shogun ... rather handedly. I've been told I'm crazy for thinking so ... seems like one of those spots where people will doubt Shogun and he'll go in and have a ridiculous knockout and we'll all feel like idiots for picking a still raw prospect over a veteran warhorse ... but that's what I'm sticking with. After that? Good question. The division is pretty thin. Maybe Glover Teixeira ... Rashad Evans' name will come up. Those are the two that come to mind.

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

What's the most meaningful fight on the UFC on Fuel card this weekend in terms of the winner making their way up a contender ladder? Gomi-Danzig?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:47 PM)

Bleh, there really isn't one. Gomi is finished. Even if he wins this, he's done as far as being a contender. Danzig really isn't going anywhere longterm either. Even though Paulo Thiago has been disappointing, I'd still say his fight with Dong Hyun Kim would fit what you're asking because those are two guys you look at as having the potential to shake up a division who are just on bad runs lately.

@PappaFeez (Scottsdale)

On Twitter you told me you were leaning Belfort in his fight against Bisping. What do you think the line will be and how do you see it playing out? Belfort 1st rd KO

Brett Okamoto
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah, I lean Belfort because of his finishing ability and Bisping does get hit. We all think of him as this technical boxer, which he absolutely is, but he's not a defensive expert. Brian Stann tagged him quite a bit in that last fight. Belfort is also hard to takedown. The only reason I'd hesitate on betting Belfort is Bisping's stamina. I think the line will be close, but in Belfort's favor. Like Belfort -145, Bisping +120.

Jake (Saint Paul)

How realistic is it to see Kevin Randleman back in the UFC to fight Matt Riddle after their recent (rather public) beef? Kevin says he'd make 185 and Riddle said he'd fight him. I mean, its a fight fan(s) want to see right? hahaha

Brett Okamoto
  (1:50 PM)

Actually, I'd watch it. Why not? Who else is Matt Riddle going to fight that you'd be more excited for? Who knows how accurate it is that Randleman could get down to 185? And Riddle would probably go for it because that's just his personality, but why have him leave the 170 division for one fight that only hardcore fans would know the beef about? I see this one blowing over.

Adam (Fargo)

Why no love for Chael? But for that ill advised spinning back fist, we are looking at the new Middleweight champ.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:51 PM)

Why no love for Chael ... against Jon Jones? Is that what you're asking? Totally different matchup. He has pretty much no chance, frankly.

Gabe (VA)

Is Bautista going anywhere as an MMA fighter in your opinion? What about Bobby Lashley

Brett Okamoto
  (1:52 PM)

No to both. Bautista is in his 40s. Lashley is 36. They're impressive athletes but no, they're not going to do anything significant in MMA at this point.

@PappaFeez (Scottsdale)

Is Shogun "done"? Too many wars, too much wear and tear

Brett Okamoto
  (1:52 PM)

I'm not ready to say he's "done." But he's slowed down.

Coleman (Baltimore)

Whats up Ninja? Gotta say im pretty disappointed that Pettis vs Cerrone isn't going to be 5 rouinds. Should have headlined an FX card

Brett Okamoto
  (1:54 PM)

I'm fairly outraged by it. I am 100 percent all for promoting the flyweights ... but in this case, Pettis/Cerrone is one of the best stylistic matchups you can put together period in the UFC. It's the kind of fight you want to showcase to fans on Fox. Gotta be a five-rounder.

Tommy (Denver)

Brett don't you dare bet against Miami. That's a horrible bet, 100$ b/t me and you? straight up?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:55 PM)

I'm in.

Kenny ((Oklahoma))

Brett, how many ppv buys do you see Jones vs Sonnen getting? Also, what do expect in terms of tv ratings for their season of TUF?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:57 PM)

The ratings on TUF should go up significantly in the beginning of the season. Not sure what they'll do as the season moves on. In terms of PPV ... Silva/Sonnen reportedly did around 1 million. I think it will be less than that ... maybe 750k-850k.

Ryan (NC)

GSP's striking is underrated IMO, most just talk about his wrestling. Do you agree or disagree?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:57 PM)

I agree. Of course everyone thinks about the takedowns with GSP, but I don't think Condit has a huge advantage on the feet.

Jake (Saint Paul)

Hey Brett, do you think this is the swan song for Gomi?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:59 PM)

It very well could be. He barely, BARELY, beat Eiji Mitsuoka in Japan. If I'm remembering correctly, Mitsuoka finished the first round with a sub attempt (maybe a RNC, can't remember exactly) that nearly ended the fight. Gomi is lucky to not be on a 3-fight losing streak.

Bob (IN)

Handicap matches are tough to judge, the Undertaker once took on every heel in the WWF in a title match in the mid-90's and would've won if they hadn't stolen the urn from Paul Bearer.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:59 PM)

Going to have to take your word on all that.

Craig (Santa Ana)

So now Cormier and Barnett are supposed to fight for Strikeforce in Jan 2013? They are the only two heavyweights that they have so who are their opponents? Mir and Arlovski?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:00 PM)

Arlovski is signed to a multi-deal fight with WSOF. You would think Mir is still an option, although I haven't heard anything on him resigning to that fight and I'm not positive on where he is with the knee injury.

Tim (Brighton, MA)

Brett, what's next for Korean Zombie. Seriously a top 5 fav for me, and he's left in the dark now. Aldo Edgar winner? Or what?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:01 PM)

Yeah, someone asks about KZ every chat. I think it should be Cub Swanson.

Jake (Saint Paul)

Rampage doubles back and takes the fight with Glover, I believe a convincing win for him and people will start ranking him top 10. Does that win put him in the discussion?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:03 PM)

Not for me. He's still in the discussion for Top 10 right now to some. Josh Gross and Chad Dundas both have Rampage ranked in the Top 10 in our ESPN rankings ... but I don't think he's Top 10 anymore and I don't think he'll beat Glover Teixeira. Just my opinion.

Miggy (Philly)

Chances of Koscheck- Diaz happening?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:04 PM)

I'd say good. Not at Super Bowl weekend like Koscheck tweeted ... unless Diaz has success with his appeal to the suspension in Nevada court, which I don't see happening. It would be a good fight for the UFC. Wouldn't be my first choice but I can definitely see it happening.

Kraw (Work)

Moto - where do you see Miguel Torres going from here? I feel he is done, and will be fighting on minor promotion cards and just making a living training the future UFC talent going forward...

Brett Okamoto
  (2:06 PM)

Yeah, it's not a situation where I'd say "Miguel has to retire." But more like, "Why not retire?" The glory days are gone. He's fighting weird strategies and he doesn't have the athleticism to get most guys on the ground, which is where his best shot is to win fights these days. He'll find something to do involved with MMA because he's so well-respected and liked, but his days of significant fights in the cage are pretty much over.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:07 PM)

Alright guys, we'll wrap it there. Thanks for joining the chat as always. Hit me on Twitter @bokamotoESPN for MMA questions or side NFL bets :). Enjoy the UFC on China card as well, remember it airs live early due to the time difference.