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November 30, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (3:59 PM)

What's up guys? Another edition of the Friday chat, and plenty to talk about. December shapes up like the greatest display of mixed martial arts practitioners ever assembled in.....a December. Four UFC cards, plus Bellator and what have you. what's on your minds?

Jeff (Clearwater, FL)

Who do you have winning this weekend at UCMMA 31, Grove or Czerwinski?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:00 PM)

I like if Jeff. Shrug off the Zuffa stuff and lead with UCMMA 31. Going Grove.

Justin (Edina)

Over/under 1,000 men tweeting Rousey after hearing her comments on Jim Rome?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:02 PM)

I'd say over. We have heard for so many years in boxing the old adages about not having sex before a fight. Then Ronda comes along and says, not so. Have lots. She knows her demographic.

Ken (ca.)

Another good read re: weight classes. Champs need to fight contenders and GSP has a lot of them lining up. Silva TOO!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:03 PM)

Thanks, Ken...and you're right. I am not opposed to Silva/GSP, it's been burbling for a long time. But after 19 months on the shelf and a good showing against Condit, I think I'd lean towards Hendricks next. Have Diaz fight either MacDonald or Condit next. Then winners fight each other. But, if they get around to signing GSP/Silva, I will generate the right enthusiasm. Just like you. And everybody.

Brad (Long Beach)

What's the deal with MMA Live? Is it no longer airing?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:04 PM)

MMA Live is dark for now. We were hoping to roll it back out on television in January, but that's not going to happen. Soon as there are more developments, I'll let you know.

Jon (Brazil)

If GSP vs Silva superfight happens next year, will Hendricks fight anyone or will he just wait?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:05 PM)

He says right now that he'll just wait it out, and it's hard to blame him. But if Silva/GSP happens in May, he'll be waiting a long time. I think he'll fight again if that's the case.

Joch (Hamteron)

Please please how much spam tweet do I have to do to GSP and Dana to make the superfight happen?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

I can assure you that Dana wants the fight, just as Silva wants the fight. The hitch is GSP. He has real reservations about going up to even a catchweight, and he has the most to lose. If they can convince him with a large sum of money, it'll happen.

Dan (WV)

As a journalist do you aspire to write a full length biography or other nonfiction book someday?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

I wouldn't want to write a biography of a fighter. I know a lot of MMA journalists would like that, but not me. But I do think about a nonfiction book on MMA in the old literary vein of the Liebling's and Plimpton's and Mailer's (and even the Joyce Carol Oates's). Those are what I like to read, so that's what I'd like to write.

Mark (St. Louis, MO)

You think Aldo will leave after the Edgar fight? And if he does, who you got for the next champion?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:09 PM)

It's sort of strange, the Aldo/Edgar set-up. Edgar is going down to challenge Aldo, Aldo is treating Edgar as a gauge to see if he should go up. If Aldo wins and bolts, I think he'd have to be fighting for the belt right away. Would it be Bendo? Diaz? Or some third thing, not yet in the space? We'll have to wait and see.

Chris bassett va [via mobile]

Hi chuck' great story on fighters going from weight class to another.The fox card is stacked . What fight do u find most intering for me b.J. And shoguns fights i know the favorites the beauty of mma is human chess thanks

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

Thanks, Chris. It's odd with the BJ/Rory fight. It has never seemed like anything other than absurdity for Penn to call out MacDonald....until you start to catch wind of the version of Penn that is coming. He seems completely re-amped and remotivated for this fight. Being obsolete plays tricks on a former champ's mind, I guess. I think it's going to be a crazy fight. Still going Rory, though....

Colin (Birmingham)

Is this the most even NFL season in years? I can think of 8 teams who can possibly win it - like NY as a long shot and am on them.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

It's been like that this year. In the AFC you've got the four division leaders, and all of them are formidable. Broncos, for as hot as they've been on this six-fight win streak, may be the fourth seed in that division. Playoffs are going to be fun.

Joe (Albany)

In your mind, if Gustafsson beats Shogun and does so impressively, will he get the next crack at Jones?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

You'd like to think so, Joe, but doubt it. I know that having spoken to Eric Del Fierro, that's the assumption they are laboring under, but timing will play an issue in this. Jones is not fighting again until April. There's a chance Dan Henderson or Lyoto Machida could make a claim for that title spot, too, in that time. Doubt that Gusty will want to wait for seven or eight months for his shot.

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

Serious bummer that Weidman got injured. Anyway, what do you see next for Nick Diaz? And who will Nate fight next after he loses to Bendo (yeah, I said it) - Cerrone/Pettis loser?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:15 PM)

Captain Howdy, you always combine lies with the truth to confuse us. I think Nick Diaz will either get GSP, if St. Pierre lobbies hard enough for it (as a consolation for not fighting Silva), or either Rory MacDonald, Carlos Condit or Josh Koscheck. As for Nate, if he loses, Cerrone/Pettis loser would make a lot of sense.

Rick (Kansas)

The "re-motivation" of BJ Penn is what fans are fed before every single one of his fights. Then afterwards he always blames it on how unmotivated he was. What makes this time any different?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

I get that. We've heard it before. In fact, no other fighter is sort of hemmed and hawed over before a fight as BJ Penn, who has shown up out of shape and listless in the past. I just believe him this time.

Matt (NJ)

Aldo is going to have a lot to think about after Frankie beats him...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:16 PM)

Matt's on record. And honestly, this wouldn't surprise me.

rasheed rocky mount va [via mobile]

Hi chuck!who is a fighter or fighters that impressed this year ? U said wo didnt see that coming thanks!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

I know Okamoto was on Gross Point Blank chirping about Demetrious Johnson, and in this injury-ridden year where most fighters of caliber weren't very prolific, I'd say he stands out. Rousey would be the other one, just given how quickly she became a transcendent figure in MMA.

Jeremy B. (Utah Mountains)

Despite BJ's recent (re)commitment to getting in shape, I'm having a hard time seeing exactly how BJ beats Rory. Outside of Rory getting too amped and forgetting to move his head and taking a wild shot to the cranium, Rory is simply way too big, too long, too fast, and too diverse to lose to a lightweight (even if he is the GOAT). I heard someone say the other day that Rory will become the Jon Jones of the WW division - supremely athletic and when he gets you down it's game over. Thoughts?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:20 PM)

That's legit, Jeremy. I spoke to Rory MacDonald after he beat Che Mills, and he said he overtrained in that one and felt out of sorts (it didn't show). This is a fight that he had two training camps for, and the possibility lingers that MacDonald's the one who lets things down. If he shows up in his peak form, though, it's his fight. I think the sky's the limit for MacDonald. He says he wants to be champ in not one but two weight classes? Doesn't seem like hyperbole coming from him.

Justin (Edina)

If Shogun loses what is he going to do?Try heavyweight or middleweight?Retire?be a gatekeeper?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

I'd tend to think he's happily fall into that celebrity/gatekeeper category, fighting the likes of the Rampage's, and/or the up-and-comers who need a big clearable hurdle. Doubt he'll bounce to another weight class.

Rick (Kansas)

Brandon Vera wanted to be a champ in not one, but two weight classes too...ha

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

Yes, this is true. This is true. His case is still pending. (Ahem)

jacob (philadelphia)

Chuck, all this talk about Silva/GSP but not about GSP/Diaz. I personally would much rather see Diaz get a shot, and it seems like GSP's coaches want it. Think the UFC will consider it?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

I think that it's a possibility. It's a big PPV fight, it's a big fight in general. If you can't have Silva/GSP, that's a fight the UFC could look to make. GSP wants it (and has wanted it a long time). Diaz wants it. Hendricks doesn't want it, but he could be vetoed the same way Hendo was in Jones/Sonnen.

Rhett (Denver)

Do you think that GSP and McDonald will eventually fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

If it comes down to it, and GSP is still the champion at 170, and MacDonald is right there as the clear No. 1....yes.

Bobby (Canada)

I think Mark Hominick should keep his UFC job despite all the losses. He is still a favorite in Canada and he could get the role of the gatekeeper/jobber for incoming talent

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:24 PM)

That really seemed like the direction Dana White was going, too. I like Hominick. The loss of his coach Shawn Tompkins really set him back. I think he'll get another shot. He comes to fight each time out, too.

rasheed stanleytown va [via mobile]

Hi chuck! with so much talk of head injures today are there fighters u know who should call it a day ? thanks

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

There are always guys you speak with that you wonder about. It's a fine line. You always hope those closest to them will communicate when it's time to hang them up to keep them safe.

tryone martinville va [via mobile]

Hi chuck' great story on weight cutting.the fox card is stacked!with so many fights with big names ?who besides bendo has the most lose or gain? thanks

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:27 PM)

Thanks, Tyrone...any of those four main card fights are loaded with implications. If Diaz wins, he's the champion. If he loses, might be a hard paddle back to contention. If Gustafsson wins, a title shot may loom for him. I'd go with BJ Penn ultimately. If he loses convincingly to MacDonald, the writing may really be on the wall this time.

Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )

How can Nate Diaz beat Benson and what is the chance of being able to successfully implement this game plan?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

You know, the Ben Henderson/Anthony Pettis fight was a good one to look at to see where Diaz may find and advantage. Pettis kept the fight standing, and won some of the scrambles, etc. I think Diaz has the ability to keep the fight standing, and if he's taken down, he is mutually dangerous there. Thing is: Can he offset Bendo's strength? We saw him manhandled by bigger guys like MacDonald and Stun Gun at 170.

Ted (Boston)

Fighter that should hang it up due to head injury: James Toney, but is probably too late.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:30 PM)

Ted, you saw him first hand there in Boston against Couture. I trust your judgment on this.

austin (cheeseburger west side)

Best idea ever ;) if we get a GSP - Sivla Superfight... MacDonald vs Hendricks for the interim title and then the winner can take on Diaz for the super interim title and then the winner can fight GSP to consolidate the titles.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:30 PM)

That might be another avenue to look at. It would mesh schedules up.

Dan (Hopkinton, MA)

Who do you see as "elite" among all the potential strikeforce crossovers? Anyone of them will take the belt one day?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

I still think Melendez is an elite lightweight. And I know that Daniel Cormier is an elite heavyweight. I think he'll be a handful for any of the UFC's big men. There's intrigue with Rockhold, too.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Las Vegas, NV)

How long does Rory stay at Welterweight? Met the guy and I'm shocked he makes 170. Dude is THICK.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:32 PM)

He is massive for that class, but I think he'll hang around for a bit. If he does bolt to 185 pounds, it'll be because either he and GSP are inevitable (and he won't want it) or he'll just get to a point where the weight cut is too much.

Rick (Kansas)

No more MMA Live? I guess ESPN thought they needed that slot to show another rerun sportscenter. Can't have too much Sportscenter.

Jayson (Boston)

If the superfight does happen, are you in favor of creating more interim titles (even though it just happened with Condit) or will you have the challengers just wait it out.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

I don't know, Jayson. What's the point of a placeholder belt, ultimately? Particularly if they aren't going to defend them. I could see Bisping's point of making his fight with Vitor for an interim title, but the best that would do is guarantee a real title shot.

Tyler (Mission Viejo)

Hey Bro, which fighter are you most looking forward to from the Strikeforce roster to the UFC? I am excited for Gil, and his chance to prove those haters wrong.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

Jardine.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:35 PM)

I am kidding, of course. Melendez, certainly Tyler, and Cormier. Also Rockhold at 185, along with Jacare. Marquardt at 170 is very interesting, too.

sam (huntsville)

so is this strikeforces last show or not? will you boo-hoo about it when its gone?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:36 PM)

Yeah, it's the last show. Sort of a bittersweet moment, too. On the one hand, it comes to a merciful end. This thing has been so awkward throughout 2012. But on the other hand, it was a great sort of B-side to what the UFC was doing. At one point they had that great cult of names...Diaz, Hendo, Fedor, Melendez, Shields, et al.

Todd (Salt Lake City)

Broncos got Bucs this week. Don't sleep on D. Martin, especially after watching Jamaal Charles run through the D-line last week.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:37 PM)

That is a little concerning. But I think the Broncos will be stout at home. There is potential for an upset, though.

Stu (Nashville)

Quick prediction for BJ/Rory is....

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:38 PM)

Going MacDonald, but no longer think it'll be a walk in the park. I would just love to see Penn come in and really bring it to MacDonald. Then we could see the old Penn, while seeing MacDonald's resolve/skill through heavy weather.

Ron (Chicago)

Hey Chuck, like the coverage you did in Montreal. Was wondering if the media and fighters are friendly with each other when the cameras are off?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:39 PM)

It's all usually pretty cordial. Guys like Dan Hardy were on hand in Montreal, and he's social with the media. Same for Gray Maynard. You'll see a crazy assortment of media/fighters/ring girls/Bruce Buffer/fans in the hotel bar...all sort of co-mingling.

Kyle (Minneapolis)

If Nate Diaz beats Benson Henderson, who would he get next? Gray Maynard? Melendez? I'd personally like to see him again Aldo.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:41 PM)

It's too bad the first fight between Maynard/Diaz was sort of a stinker; don't think people will be clamoring for it. Aldo would be very interesting. Imagine Diaz/Aldo....that's a sick fight. Could be Cerrone, too, if he gets by Pettis (or vice-versa).

Ben (Houston)

You going to be in Seattle for Fox card? Sick card!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:42 PM)

Won't be in Seattle (Okamoto will be there for ESPN), but will be at UFC 155 in Vegas. Agree that Seattle card is sick. (I hope you mean that as an contronym, sick meaning "great").

Pat (Toronto)

Am I the only MMA fan alive who has no interest in Diaz vs. St. Pierre? I just don't see how Diaz makes it a competitive fight. GSP is not gonna stand in front of nick, he's gonna take him down and control him like he does to everyone else. Nick's jits is pretty good but I don't see him as a threat to GSP from the bottom. At least Hendricks has the defensive wrestling and a powder keg right hand.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

Definitely not the only one who sees it this way. When they were first rolling out the pairing at UFC 137, I remember a lot of people talking about this. I think Diaz would be in GSP's face the whole fight, and might be able to have his moments (even on the ground), but GSP is GSP. On first imagining, I see it going similar. The lead-up would be fun.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

Agree on Hendricks, though. Interesting match-up. Wrestling, with power and headiness. He'd present some unique challenges for St-Pierre.

Justin (Edina)

Follow NBA and whats going on with the spurs at all?Stern fining Pop would be like Dana fining fighters who drop out cuz theyre injured

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:45 PM)

I know that Pop has done this in the past, but this time it caught up to him because A) it was on TNT, B) it was against the high-profile Heat, and C) they weren't hurt. They were just potentially tired.

Aaron (Raleigh)

Where does a dominant performance leave Bendo in the pound-for-pound conversation? Seems like people are sleeping on him a bit for struggling with Edgar (but everybody struggles with Edgar).

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:47 PM)

ESPN has him in the top P4P rankings right now anyway, and a dominant win over Diaz would solidify that. Don't think he'd necessarily leapfrog anybody in front of him, though...(Cruz, GSP, Jones, Silva).

Rafael (Los Angeles)

Do you foresee Demetrious Johnson having a long run as 125lb champion? I can't see Dodson beating him.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

You got me. I do like him against Dodson (although that guy keeps winning fights when you least expect him to, doesn't he?). Benavidez was the guy who I thought would be there for a long, long time...and Johnson did work to him.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

If the UFC can make Sonnen-Jones, surely it can make Diaz-GSP.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

Diaz isn't the same kind of grifter that Sonnen is. But, ultimately, yes. They can do what they want. And they can justify it.

Fedor (Mother Russia)

I break you if you don't answer!Can JDS stop Cain again?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:49 PM)

Threats from Stary Oskol! Going JDS on this one for same reason: His ability to keep the fight standing. Simply put. If it's standing, he beats Velasquez.

Justin (Edina)

Hendricks is a wrestler with 1 good punch, like koshcheck, i see GSP jabbing his way to victory just like he did to josh

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:51 PM)

Hendricks is tricky on setting those punches up. He's got a great counter, and he's pretty precise. He might get worked with the jab, it's true, but I think he'd hang.

Brett (California)

Is Diaz the only fighter that GSP hates and really wants to fight? I think Georges will completely smash Nick. Thoughts sir?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

Diaz is the only guy that I've seen GSP's pupils get all black over. He had his moments with Penn, Serra, Hughes, but Diaz is a special animal. He really insulted/disrespected St-Pierre, and now he wants to do him bodily harm.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Would you please give Ronda Rousey my phone number?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

Yes. Of course.

Ken (ca.)

Did someone call you sir??

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:52 PM)

Look at the reverence, Ken....just let it wash over you.

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

When Siver pounds Phan and Korean Zombie gets healthy, what do you think about matching those guys up sometime in the spring/summer of '13? Any word on Chan Sung Jung's health, BTW?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:54 PM)

I do think Siver has his way with Phan. Not too sure where Korean Zombie is right now, but I do know that people are beginning to call him out. Last guy to do it was Darren Elkins.

Fedor (Mother Russia)

You answer...Now we DRINK!

Jonathan (Indiana)

What's with all of the talk of Diaz possibly fighting Cerrone? Didn't we already see that beatdown? What's the point of having that match again if both win or both lose their upcoming fights? That was a definite result in their previous match if I ever saw one.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

Cerrone wants the rematch. He's been calling for it. When guys do that it reignites things, both with the UFC and fans. Bottom line is, if Diaz beats Bendo, and Cerrone gets by Pettis, that's a fight I'd expect Sean Shelby to look at.

Matt (NJ)

What happens if BJ beats Rory?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:57 PM)

I'd assume he'd keep going at 170 pounds, and it sets up yet another title eliminator-type fight. I still think he'd be better off ultimately at 155 (particularly with no Edgar there anymore), so maybe he eyes that again.

Fedor (Mother Russia)

We drink...Now we FIGHT!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:57 PM)

Another drink first, please. A double.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Las Vegas, NV)

What do you think about Gil Melendez and Luke Rockhold conveniently getting hurt right before fights that didn't mean much? I don't doubt they are hurt but it smells ... a bit odd

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:58 PM)

Does have a peculiar smell, doesn't it?

Hammer (Toronto)

Diaz vs Kampmann would be a bloody and awesome fight

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:58 PM)

Hey, hey...yet another good one.

Justin (Edina)

Do you agree that the people calling GSP close minded and sexist for his comments on WMMA are taking it too far?He was just expressing his opinion

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

Way overblown. He doesn't have a taste for women's MMA. We finally pry him into saying something that's not calculated or rote, and we crucify him? His self-imposed gag order just got renewed.

Matt (NJ)

100% agree that BJ belongs at 155. If he beats Rory though, do you see him zeroing in on GSP?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

It's possible. That fight at UFC 94 was so one-sided that it becomes a tough sell. But, stranger things have happened.

Ken (ca.)

If anybody can get hurt so a better fight can happen, let's have Sonnen pull a hammy so Jones can whip up on Silva........

Ted (PA)

If we do not get Silva-GSP, is Silva-Diaz a serious option or do they shelve Silva for a while?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:01 PM)

No, I don't think it's a serious option. Diaz asked for the fight, but it makes no sense. I can tell you, though, that Silva would like his chances in a fight with Nick Diaz.

Chris (Boston)

How many of the Strikeforce fighters will end up in Bellator? And what is your take on Rockhold pulling out?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:02 PM)

Hard to say, Chris. I do think this swan song January card will be an audition of sorts for some of the guys. Roger Gracie, for instance. Tim Kennedy. The Smiths who are on the card. Etc.

Jason (Corona)

Hey bro! What's word on Ed Herman? He have anything lined up? Thanks for the chat!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:04 PM)

Herman is training Chris Leben right now in Hawaii with Robert Follis. I did see that he's ready to roll again, and is looking for a spring return. Good news for him is he's no longer coming off a loss...that Shields fight is now a now contest. He's still unbeaten for the last couple of years.

Jon (Brazil)

MMA has sort of plateud over the past year, Silva vs GSP will certainly bring back the spark and casual fan interest much more than any other fight

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:04 PM)

I believe that's part of the thinking. They want 2013 to be huge. GSP/Silva would fit the bill for huge.

Robert (Waltham)

What are you hearing about UFC's plans for the women's division? Will it be a full 135lb division or just Ronda Rousey getting a bunch of one off fights?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:06 PM)

Not hearing too much yet. I think they are in the process of assembling it. It's important to get Tate, Carmouche, McCann, Coenen and all the viable fighters on the roster.

jonathan (phoenix)

predictions on this Silva vs overeem match up? does a win over silva do anything for overeems legacy?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:07 PM)

I don't think it'll move his legacy too much, but at least it's a turnstile to fight for the title without controversy (unless he pops hot again). I think Overeem takes it, but there are some factors in play there that add some doubt.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:08 PM)

Okay, guys, I need to shut the mother down -- gotta bounce. Thanks for stopping in today...it was a fun chat. Let's do it again next week. If I didn't get to your question, hit the twitter feed, @ChuckMindenhall. 'Night.