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November 9, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Josh Gross

Josh Gross
  (4:01 PM)

Hey folks, glad to be pinch hitting for Chuck Mindenhall today. Lots to discuss. What's the latest with Ronda Rousey and female mixed martial artists heading to the UFC? Is Strikeforce done? And there are fights this weekend. Bellator Friday, and UFC from Macau early, early in the a.m. Saturday. Hit me with your questions and I'll stick around as long as I can.

Marc (Chicago, IL)

What will the UFC do now that it signed Rousey and Tate? Are they going to just let Rousey fight? Will they have 1 weight class? I can't see them building up a full roster.

Josh Gross
  (4:05 PM)

Well, first things first. Though the rumors are strong and reports out there are confirming the news, we haven't been able to do so. Today Rousey told ESPN's Brett Okamoto that nothing is signed. Last night I spoke to Rousey's manager Darin Harvey and he denied a deal is in place. He said Rousey still has three fights remaining on her Strikeforce deal. That said, do I think this will happen? Yes, I do. Rousey has said she wants it to happen. Dana White said he wants it to happen. It'll happen, and Showtime won't be an impediment.Lots of questions remain unanswered, but it seems clear the 135-pound class will be the only one added for now.

hector (chicago)

wow.... alvarez vs melendez may finally get ot on; but for the ufc! aaint that a trip!!

Josh Gross
  (4:08 PM)

If the move goes down, I don't think we'll see the majority of Strikeforce fights head to UFC. It's hard to envision UFC expanding its roster depth per division.

Chris martinville va [via mobile]

How do u see gsp vs carlos condit unfolding big condit fan didnt like the game plan vs diaz thought diaz out pointed him what did u thank ? thanks

Josh Gross
  (4:11 PM)

Just over a week away. I think people are sleeping this fight. If you've followed my stuff at all you know I think Condit has a great chance of winning, and I'm picking him to pull it off.Condit is big and his takedown defense is underrated. I think he goes after GSP on the feet, pressures the champion, and fights takedowns as hard as he can. He's fine on the bottom, has terrific submission awareness and application, and can do much more than survive on the bottom.That said, this comes down to GSP. If the man is healthy and ready to roll, Condit may not be athlete enough to win.

BiggestFan9 (Australia)

Hi Josh, I just wanted to hear your thoughts on comparing Fedor's legacy with Anderson's legacy. Fedor was a chubby 220-230lb fighter. He could have cut weight and fought at 185 and yet he fought everyone at HW including monsters like Semmy Schilt. How can Anderson be considered the best pound for pound fighter when he 'abuses' the weight cutting system and fights below his natural weight. Anderson has only fought at 205 against slower strikers who have no wrestling. Anderson would have never fought Semmy Schilt.

Josh Gross
  (4:12 PM)

Silva also started his career at 167 pounds. Emelianenko is and always was a heavyweight. The idea that he could have fought at 185 is, sorry dude, laughable.I always said Fedor was the best fighter I'd ever seen, that is until he hit the skids and Anderson continued to pull off magic in the cage. Anderson's the man right now.

Matt (Nashville)

Can you give us your picks for UFC 154?

Josh Gross
  (4:14 PM)

Condit, Kampmann (but man that's a close fight to call), Carmont (like what I see from him), Philippou (seems to be coming on strong), and Hominick.

Michael H (Memphis)

Whats the chances Rampage have against Glover? Its should atleast be exciting

Josh Gross
  (4:15 PM)

If he's in shape I think Rampage has a good shot of beating Teixeira. Jackson can plant his feet and throw bombs against Teixeira. Glover doesn't move incredibly well (he's fine, just not elite footwork). Question is, what does Rampage have left and how much does he care? I don't know.

Cage roanke va [via mobile]

Seen hendo on t.V. Last night the one of few guys not to kiss dana's ring saying the could call jonesvs sonnen a cicrus match the guy with longest arms vs the guy with the biggest mouth also saying fans dont take fight serious i agree how can cheal win no anwers from fans and experts thanks

Josh Gross
  (4:16 PM)

Love the mobile questions, but you gotta throw a comma or period in there somewhere. Sonnen can't beat Jones.

John (Austin, TX)

Hi Josh, If Condit ends up losing to GSP, how strong will the criticism be over his decision to wait for GSP as opposed to fighting & avoiding cage rust?

Josh Gross
  (4:17 PM)

Oh you'll probably hear it, though not from me. Who was Condit supposed to fight? He made the right call no matter what happens on Nov. 17.

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

Hey where's Chaz? My question concerns Gustaffson. I think he's going to tear through Shogun but I think he will still need one more fight before getting a shot at the title. But against who? I think Rashad is a good option, but I think Rashad can beat everyone at 205 other than Bones and Machita. So who wants that? Thoughts?

Josh Gross
  (4:20 PM)

I'm only guessing here, but I'd say Chuck is off buying a new hat. I like Gustafsson-Rua a lot, though I don't think the Swede will straight up tear through Shogun. Gustafsson's length is his best advantage, and Shogun will take a punch or two because he doesn't do the defense thing, at least not when it comes to his head. If Gustafsson wins maybe he fights Teixeira off a win against Rampage. Henderson and Machida seemed lined up for next contender at 205, but who can say for certain these days.

@FakeJoeSilva (Parts Unknown)

Does Gilbert deserve an immediate title shot in the UFC?

Josh Gross
  (4:21 PM)

Based on what he's done, sure. But lightweight is as deep as it gets in the UFC. You have guys like Pettis who've been promised twice. I think Melendez has to win at least once before a title shot comes.

Chad S. (Chicago, IL)

Thanks for filling in Josh! It seems everyone is writing off B.J. Penn in his next fight, however, if he wins the fight against Rory what is next for him??? Thanks!!!

Josh Gross
  (4:23 PM)

I'm almost writing him off too, Chad. Rory MacDonald is a young, hungry kid with a ton of talent and size. I have a hard time seeing BJ putting MacDonald in his place. But if he wins, probably a high-ranking welterweight. Doubt it's Fitch again, though Jon will probably lobby for it.

Christopher (Atlanta)

Do you think the UFC, if GSP gets past Condit, that he will actually entertain taking the Anderson Silva fight? Seems like a terrible fight for him.

Josh Gross
  (4:25 PM)

Yes, he'll do it. Big money to be made. It's a catchweight and he's moving up. Look, St. Pierre is very fast and athletic. I don't consider it out of the realm of possibility that he can beat Silva. I really don't. I want to see it.

Cory (Arkansas)

First of All, Hector Lombard beat Tim Boetch. I still think Hector will make his way to a title shot. Are you part of the crowd that thinks Lombard is overrated? Sure, Anderson will destroy him but Hector is pretty damn good definately better than guys like Bisping.

Josh Gross
  (4:26 PM)

Lombard didn't beat Boetsch. If anything, neither guy "won." Also, yep, I think Lombard is overrated. I think Bisping tools him. Bisping's workrate is way too high for Lombard.

Ultimate Warrior (Parts Unknown)

How rampant do you think PEDs are in MMA?

Josh Gross
  (4:28 PM)

It's bad out there. That said, doesn't it seem like we see many more PED cases from guys in the UFC than other promotions. Who's the last Bellator fighter to test positive? All 20 guys on the WSOF fighting card last weekend were negative. Maybe this is more a UFC issue than an MMA issue.

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

Your choice for best main card out of UFC on Fox: Henderson-Diaz, UFC 155 and UFC 156?

Josh Gross
  (4:29 PM)

I'll take Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez. But Henderson-Diaz and Aldo-Edgar are awesome too.

Cory (Arkansas)

What do you mean it is hard to see them expanding their roster... do you not see how many events are being put on, this is exactly the boost the UFC needs to have better quality fights on their cards

Josh Gross
  (4:30 PM)

They've kept strict limits on roster size for a while. If the Strikeforce move goes down and they add a new weight class with women, plus bring over the top talent in other classes, obviously rosters grow. I just don't think you'll see them double in size or anything.

Christopher (Atlanta)

If Anderson Silva does focus on "super fights" do you think he'll relinquish the MW title so that the division can move on?

Josh Gross
  (4:32 PM)

Hard to say. How serious is he about fighting a few more years? Everything coming from him and his camp sounds like posturing to me, especially as it pertains to a Jon Jones fight.

Brock (Vancouver)

Why doesn't Cain's chin (Kongo/JDS part 1) get any attention, where GSP getting clipped 9 wins and nearly 6 years ago continues to plague him every fight!

Josh Gross
  (4:33 PM)

Reputations are hard to shake.

Dan (Detroit)

Do any of the Strikeforce champs get title shots right away in the UFC?

Josh Gross
  (4:34 PM)

Other than Rousey? Hmm, don't think so. Who has the best case? Melendez? There's a line of guys at 155 in the UFC. Luke Rockhold? Don't think he's ready. Marquardt? Naa.

Matt Stout (Rochester, NY)

How likely is it that WSOF signs a majority of the Strikeforce fighters that don't get contracts with the UFC? With a successful second event in January, their roster depth could be elevated, and a deal with Showtime might be possible, if they stay in the business.

Josh Gross
  (4:36 PM)

Lots of ifs there. Is it a scenario that makes sense the way you lay out, sure. But Showtime and Strikeforce haven't even resolved their status for 2013. I hear the reports and rumors, but this is what I know.Showtime will want MMA on the network. Perhaps WSOF is in position to deliver. It will take a while for them. Their first event pulled a paid gate of $82,608.22 with only 1,499 tickets sold. Over 4,000 comps!

Ultimate Warrior (Parts Unknown)

Would you rather watch a fight with Demetrious Johnson or Ronda Rousey? Me, I'm going with the Flyweights.

Josh Gross
  (4:37 PM)

What do you guys say?

Matthew Stout (Rochester, NY)

Thoughts on the UFC filling their Macau card with Japanese and Korean fighters? Obviously they don't have enough Chinese fighters signed to make match ups, and Zhang is the biggest. Is the UFC jumping the gun with global expansion?

Josh Gross
  (4:40 PM)

First UFC in Macau question! Hey, UFC put Bruce Lee on the poster. He's Dana White's favorite guy and all, but that seems strange.As for global expansion, don't read too much into China for the UFC. A plug, check out my podcast this week for the interview with Neil and Michael Mandt. They're part of the organization that runs MMA in China. Literally no one else can promote there and make money because the Chinese government says so.Other places will be easier for UFC. They're earmarked India as a hotspot and will push that in 2013. MMA can be and is a global sport, but most important for UFC (and any promoter) is having the fighters and fights to draw attention. That's the hardest part of the equation these days.

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

What happens to the Kampmann-Hendricks winner? Doesn't the winner get a title shot? If GSP moves on to a Spider superfight, the top contender is going to have a long layoff.

Josh Gross
  (4:41 PM)

Long layoff. But I agree with you, Kampmann or Hendricks should be next. Will it happen? Tough to say with Nick Diaz returning from suspension in 2013.

Julian (San Antonio)

If Nate Diaz wins next month and Melendez does end up coming over to the UFC, do you think he goes down or fights Nate when given the opportunity?

Josh Gross
  (4:42 PM)

Diaz and Melendez would never fight. And while I think Melendez can make 145 (he was there for a bit and looked really good) he shouldn't do it.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Do you think MMA should be an Olympic sport? There really isn't an outlet for young MMA fighters to showcase there talent.

Josh Gross
  (4:44 PM)

Yes, definitely. In a sense it already is, since it's comprised of wrestling, boxing, taekwondo, judo (among many other arts). But this is a long ways off. Nations need to form federations. The amateur program for MMA needs to be sorted out.

Melvin (Colorado Springs)

What chance do you give Cung Le tomorrow?

Josh Gross
  (4:45 PM)

Eh, he deserves to be an underdog. Franklin doesn't make mistakes and is the bigger fighter. I don't think Le wins.

Brett (Minneapolis)

If Frankie Edgar loses to Jose Aldo, which i see as very likely. What is next for him? 7 Straight title fights, a ton of brutal fights, can he keep this up for much longer?

Josh Gross
  (4:46 PM)

He'd have to regroup, settle on a division and compete his way to the top again. I think the move to 145 should help as far as wear and tear goes.

Brandon (Georgia)

Let'a say GSP explodes in as the old "RUSH" and KO's Condit in the 1st or 2nd with a very aggressive style?!!! Does that have any effect on the Superfight?

Josh Gross
  (4:47 PM)

Would probably fire people up to see him against Silva. It's the best case scenario for UFC.

Kristi ((Detroit))

Josh, how many ppv buys can a GSP/Silva fight get? What about the Jones vs Sonnen fight? Thanks!

Josh Gross
  (4:49 PM)

GSP-Silva is a huge fight for UFC. I think it approaches, maybe eclipses a million buys. Jones-Sonnen, even with the marketing that comes with TUF, doesn't come close to that.

Dan (Hopkinton, MA)

Who do you see Cung Le face if he wins this weekend? Will he ever be relavent again?

Josh Gross
  (4:51 PM)

Cung is 40. Look, if he gets past Franklin that's a great sign. But if I have to answer, no, he won't be relevant again.

Rico (Wisconsin)

Hearing that Mousasi/Bader rumors for 156. IDK if those are true but how is Mousasi's rehab going and when and who do you see him fighting in UFC?

Josh Gross
  (4:52 PM)

Mousasi is in Holland training with Stefan Struve and his crew. Struve spoke highly of Gegard. The guy is talented, but there's always the question of burnout (he started fighting at 16) and preparation. If he's finally with a good camp, then he can do big things. Mousasi recently signed with a good management group, Alchemist, the same crew that handles Struve, so that's a positive sign.

Matt (NJ)

I would rather watch Rousey. I know Dana would call me an idiot, but the flyweights as so smell its almost unnerving for me to watch.

@FakeJoeSilva (Parts Unknown)

I go with the flyweights. Women's MMA is in the phase the men's division was in the mid 90s. Big fish in small ponds.

Miggy (Philly)

I don't understand people's issue with the flyweights. Dodson and Demetrious are as exciting as they come. Really looking forward to that one. Who you got?

Josh Gross
  (4:53 PM)

I'm down with the flyweights. Give me Demetrious Johnson all day long against Dodson.

Matt Stout (Rochester, NY)

Flyweights all day. Too much Rousey, too fast IMO. She's got no one to fight! A polarizing personality and charisma only gets you so far.

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

I think Gustaffson will open eyes against Rua....Not much chatter about tomorrows card. Looks like a fun card. Danzig v Gomi Fight of the night?

Josh Gross
  (4:55 PM)

Reminder, tomorrow's UFC from Macau airs live on Fuel TV at 9 a.m. ET. It's an early call for us west coasters. Danzig-Gomi offers interesting possibilities, no doubt.

Josh Gross
  (4:56 PM)

By the way, thanks everyone for the great questions. Hoping to get to as many of you as possible.

Rob J (Central Ohio)

How do you see the Hendo-Machida fight going down? I see Lyoto possibly becoming the first to stop Dan via strikes. Too much speed, too much footwork and Lyoto won't brawl with Hendo. I don't see Hendo landing anything significant against a fighter as intelligent as Lyoto.

Josh Gross
  (4:58 PM)

I agree. It's really too bad Henderson isn't fighting Jones. The whole thing is a joke. That said, if Henderson is the true No. 1 contender, a guy that's worthy of fighting Jones, he should handle Machida. We'll see. Styles make it a tough one for him.

David (Denver, CO)

IF GSP/Spider happens at Cowboys stadium what other fight would they add to help fill that stadium? How many people do you think they could gte?

Josh Gross
  (5:01 PM)

It's interesting because the entire promotion would be about Silva-GSP, but you're right, the UFC would have to populate the undercard with at least 2-3 very compelling matchups. A lot would depend on how tickets are priced. I think the novelty of UFC in Cowboys Stadium plus a monster fight in Silva-GSP gets the building close to full. If not, it's a clear sign that UFC branded MMA isn't as hot a ticket as it used to be, and that will require some reflection from Zuffa.

Mike (Los Angeles)

What is the name of organization that runs MMA in China? It wouldn't be any kind of shady underground group that ruin Pride would it?

Josh Gross
  (5:01 PM)

No, Dream Stage Entertainment is long gone. The China group is Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation -- two Canadians and two Americans run the thing.

Rick (Kansas)

Please elaborate on your response to the very first question when you said, "It's hard to envision UFC expanding its roster depth per division." So are you stating Melendez and other valuable pieces from Strikeforce will not be picked up by UFC? Are you saying they will not go for Alvarez if they bring in the strikeforce fighters? What are you saying exactly?

Josh Gross
  (5:02 PM)

I'm saying the majority of fighters currently under the Strikeforce roster won't be picked up. Of course the top-end fighters and prospects will get a ticket to the show.

Miggy (Philly)

I don't know one person excited to see Jones Sonnen. I won't be buying....

Josh Gross
  (5:03 PM)

Anyone else feel the same?

Dan (Detroit)

Any word on if Eddie Alvarez is going to stay with Bellator or sign with the UFC?

Josh Gross
  (5:04 PM)

Bellator is letting Alvarez out of his exclusive negotiating period. I don't think it's settled where he ends up. Eddie has said he's going to the highest bidder.

@flipfloppirate (Oklahoma)

Forget the victory....will Sonnen get a takedown against Jon Jones?

Josh Gross
  (5:04 PM)

No one else has ...

Matt Stout (Rochester, NY)

Pros and cons of Strikeforce's demise? For fans, fighters, management, and the sport.

Josh Gross
  (5:09 PM)

Pros: ends the zombified nature of Strikeforce, fighters get to work when they're scheduled to, they get full Zuffa promotional treatment. A door opens for Showtime to elevate a new promotion to premium television or they go the boxing route and pay for individual fights.Cons: less choice for consumers. I don't see it as a competitive issue (fighters having more options) because Zuffa already controlled the talent, but a lot of guys who were making money to fight on Showtime probably won't anymore.

Josh Gross
  (5:09 PM)

Hey, Mike in Los Angeles, you're killing it with questions, thanks, but I'm trying to get as many people in the chat as possible.

Jeremy (Des Moines, IA)

Henderson made it a fight against Silva, why can't he do that against Machida when he doesn't have a weight cut to kill him? I realize he's older, but it doesn't appear to have slowed him down one bit yet.

Josh Gross
  (5:10 PM)

Never put it past Hendo to win any fight. All I'm saying is Machida makes it difficult stylistically.

David (Denver,CO)

I'll buy Jones Sonnen, so will Miggy. People on these chats and message boards always say they won't order this or that, then they are the first to post on a message board about the fights!

Josh Gross
  (5:11 PM)

Just a few more questions. Great stuff from everyone.

Ken (ca.)

If GSP and A. Silva fight, both of them should vacate their belts because of the depth behind them in their respective divisions. Champs have to fight contenders.......

Josh Gross
  (5:12 PM)

Disagree, but to each their own.

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

Flyweights, easy. Rousey has talent but I've got no interest in women's MMA at the moment. Maybe when there's more than 2 or 3 decent fighters at any given time.

Josh Gross
  (5:13 PM)

I like 'em all, maybe that means I have a problem.

Miggy (Philly)

David, I'll just come to your house to watch. Cool? I'll buy the wings.....

Mark (St. Louis, MO)

Something a bit different here. Thoughts on the Lakers & Mike Brown considering you are an LA Guy?

Josh Gross
  (5:14 PM)

Good to see him and his Princeton offense run out of town. Brown seemed too small for the position. I think the Lakers bench still sucks, but hopefully they're more exciting to watch. Everything was predicated on defense with Brown, and the Lakers couldn't play any. Bye bye.

Disco (New York)

If GSP loses, is it crazy to think he's more inclined to put on some weight and make a permanent move to MW?

Josh Gross
  (5:15 PM)

A little crazy. Losing to Silva at 180 would inspire him to try 185?

Cory (AR)

I will bring the beer to David's house to hang with Miggy and we can all appreciate Bones' dominance together.

Josh Gross
  (5:16 PM)

We're all making friends here, this is good.

Josh Gross
  (5:16 PM)

OK, last question goes to Sandy in Gainesville.

Sandy (Gainesville)

Mousasi, Alvarez, Chandler, Barnett, Cormier, Mardquardt, Johnson, Gracie. I want them all in the UFC, which ones do you think will sign?

Josh Gross
  (5:18 PM)

Mousasi, Alvarez, Barnett, Cormier, Marquart will end up in the UFC. Maybe AJ someday. Chandler isn't going to lose any time soon, so he's locked into Bellator. And I don't know which Gracie you're talking about. Probably Roger since he's the only one close to doing anything in MMA.

Josh Gross
  (5:18 PM)

Thanks everyone. We went 80 minutes, not too bad. Chuck should be back next week. Enjoy the fights.