Hey guys, Happy New Year. Let's get this Friday chat moving. We have a new (but familiar) heavyweight champion in Cain Velasquez, and Joe Lauzon's face is steadily healing (as shown through his Twitter photo series). A lot of end of the year awards going out this week. Who's your fighter of the year? What's your fight of the year? Submission? KO? Ring girl? Come at me.
What is the bloodiest fight you remember?
There are so many that come to mind. Miller/Danzig at UFC 100 made the canvas a lovely red (those were the day when they didn't paint over blood traces). Miller/Lauzon was right up there. Bigfoot/Velasquez was macabre. Dewees, when his hair turned red. Stevenson against Penn....so many bloody fights.
Fighter of the year is Ben Henderson - beats Frankie twice and then beats up a Diaz brother.
I agree. Benson fought three times and against top caliber guys. He gets my nod.
For all his talent, do you foresee Melvin Guillard bouncing back and making any waves in the 155-pound division?
Man, what a hard case Guillard is. He's fought a lot for his age, and you have to wonder about a variety of things. One is, does he have it in him to be a champion? He was on that streak back when he was at Jackson's, getting close to a title shot. Then Lauzon pounced on him at UFC 137 and that changed his course (maybe for good).
Who do you like as comeback fighter of the year? Hard not to pick Jamie Varner, isn't it?
I would lean towards Matt Brown (4-0 in 2012, after coming in having lost four of five), but Varner would be a close second. He's resilient, that's for sure.
I agree. Benson fought three times and against top caliber guys. HE gets my nod.
I agree. Benson fought three times and against top caliber guys. HE gets my nod.
I agree. Benson fought three times and against top caliber guys. HE gets my nod.
How many times will Michael Bisping say "Why they do that?" in the week before he fights.
No less than a dozen.
@Dan Hardy's Mohawk - except for the fact that at the most he beat Edgar once (still a bitter Frankie fan).
Yeah, there are some asterisks there. I thought Edgar won the second fight, but since it goes down officially for Bendo...
Chuck ? Man jon jone fighter of the year not in my view bendo, cain, just off top my head beating rasheed, in one the borest five round . victor my uncle tells about him back in the day? Thought,s thanks
If you're referring to the ESPN.com pick, that was actually a fan's poll. All four of those were voted on by fans. Jones had a good year (at least outside the realm of PR), but Bendo's was better.
Your list of 50 things was awesome, dude. Will that be an annual thing? But my more serious question: If Hendricks wins against Ellenberger, is it your understanding he gets next crack at GSP?
Sup, Buzz. Not sure if that'll be an annual thing or not, but it was fun to write. As for Hendricks, if he beats Ellenberger and GSP gets by Diaz (these are reasonable things to imagine), the UFC would have zero excuse not to put Hendricks in there for a title shot.
I liked JDS a lot before UFC 155, but I like him ever better now. Guy has a ton of heart.
Yeah, that was an amazing display of courage/heart. That big overhand right would have dropped just about anybody. But he lasted four more rounds after that. Velasquez looked great, though. Sets up a big third fight down the road.
And Brittney Palmer for ring girl of the year ... PLAYBOY!
I am not going to sit here and dispute you on that. (Because I can't).
Auto update isn't working proper and such
Let me jiggle the handle...
Hey chuck, liked the "50 reasons" piece. I saw where Daniel Cormier is planning to compete @ HW, but my question is which division would benefit more from having him...HW or LWH?
Both, really. But I would say LHW more so. For one, there aren't a lot of fresh contenders for Jones there. That's why Sonnen is in. But also because he does have a wrecking ball quality that piques the imagination against Jones. He can't be moved easily; he's like a hydrant. He puts guys on their backs. Etc. If he does go to heavyweight, we'll also be pressing him to fight Cain Velasquez, something he doesn't intend to do...so there's also that.
Will this be the year we see MMA in NY like Dana seems to be thinking?
I feel like we will. But that might just be wishful thinking.
Hi chuck , nice read on 5o reasons to love ? I like bellator but, man they need a big name two catch the newbe fans? Your thoughts ? Thank,s
Yeah, they could certainly use some household names. That's a tough thing to get done. They do have some guys who have potential to be stars. One is Pat Curran, and the other is Michael Chandler. They need to roll them off the showroom floor a lot more than they have, though. If they had booked Chandler/Alvarez II, that would have been the biggest fight in company history. They dropped the ball there.
Is there a chance that Bellator resigns Eddie Alvarez, seems like it's taking a while to get a new deal done.
Yeah, obviously there's some things going on that we don't know. Bellator has first right of refusal, so my guess is they are (very seriously) contemplating something here.
Chuck, did you see Sonnen on Rome's show last week, discussing how he graciously relinquished the middleweight belt to Anderson Silva because he knew he'd be moving on to 205? That Sonnen - great guy.
I didn't see it, but have heard. No shortage of head-shaking moments for Sonnen. Somebody should do a book collecting his quotations called "The Sonnen Also Rises."
Chuck, what crowd was the wildest this year ? I remeber watching hendo vs shogun last year they buzzing after a amazing war. Thanks
I'd still point to UFC 142 in Rio when Aldo went berserk and disappeared into rich section. That really had a pandemonium feel to it. Wish I was there for it.
is Eddie Alvarez coming to the UFC or not? I need to know right now.
Wish I could tell you, Wes. Sounds like Alvarez is frustrated by it all, too. He's the rope in the tug-of-war.
hi chuck, big fan.i was expecting a different fight (like everyone else, i assume) between jds and velasquez but nothing like that. although jds showed a ton of heart, he was simply "dominated". why did the fans booed him in the end, i did not understand.do you think that he will do better against overeem?
That crowd was booing a little loosely through the fight card. The fight did slow down a lot with two exhausted heavy bodies slogging it out, but didn't warrant boos. I agree, though -- I didn't see the fight going like that. I was convinced if they were forced to stand that JDS would have his way with Velasquez. Turned out to be the opposite.
Dig you on the MMA Beat. Make Helwani plug your weekly Friday chat.
You're right. I should. I will. Done.
Chuck, Dana has to consider a women's TUF doesn't he? To keep up the "expected" momentum that Bones and Sonnen will create, I think Rousey (assuming she wins) and some other fighter on TUF would be a good plan no?
I would think so. Honestly, that's a breath of fresh air into that franchise, too. 16 women in a house? That would make for a long six weeks. But great hijinks, particularly with Rousey as a coach opposite Tate...
How do you think our old friend Jon Anik did on Saturday night?
Didn't see it because I was there live, but heard he was tremendous. I have it on my DVR.
Chuck, thanks for the chat. Is Chris Leban done? I didn't expect him to look great against Brunson, but didn't expect him to look that bad, either.
I spoke to Leben before the fights, and he had a refreshed attitude. But that was a tough draw for the first fight back. Good on him accepting Brunson (a nullifying wrestler) on short notice. If it had been Vemola, who knows what I'd be typing right now, but Brunson's tool set always looked like trouble for Leben, no matter which version we were going to see. I don't think he's done; I think the UFC will give him a Leben-esque type brawler next.
The middleweight division is a bit interesting now. What do you think about these possible matchups? Weidman v. Rockhold, Costa v. Le/Carmont, Okami v. Lombard, or would you prefer another combination with those contenders?
Yeah, it's an interesting division. Rockhold into that mix just makes it a grab bag bit of matchmaking for Joe Silva. Lombard/Rockhold would be cool, but so would Okami/Lombard. Cool with Philippou getting a top ten guy. Weidman will need somebody, too.
Anything in the works for forrest in 13 and will he ever fully recover from the silva fight
Knees are tricky. I would think that he'd be on course to return at some point in the second half of 2013. I don't think he's done. Maybe they can roll him back out there against Quinton Jackson (when he re-ups on a contract)? Don't think he'll ever be right after that Silva thing.
Chuck, I asked this to Brett and he was as clueless as I am. What do you think becomes of Rory in 2013, if he beats Condit convincingly? He claims he won't fight GSP, but anyone else would be a step down after a win over Condit. Could he fight at 185 or do you think Rory changes his stance on a GSP fight?
He'd buy some time if Hendricks wins. There's no way he would leapfrog Hendricks for a title shot in that case (and I say "no way" knowing full well there are ways). I think he will fight GSP when it comes down to it. Just a gut feeling. I think he wants to be great. To be great in that division, he has to beat GSP. His want of being great will overrule his protection of friendship. (Plus: $$$).
Number one seed in the AFC playoffs. Chuck, your Broncos are set to do this THANG!
Can't believe they nabbed that no. 1 seed. Won't be a cakewalk, though. If New England comes to Denver, that's going to be a crazy football game. I just hope if that happens that the Broncos play from the lead. They are a lot better aligned to let their defense tee off that way.
You bailing on us again today Chuck? Can't have you toying with my emotions like that.
Sorry about last week. Was in Vegas, and interviews ran long.
Where is Melvin Gullard at now? Should he be cut or sent away to learn to defend against wrestlers or should the UFC just put him in fights against punchers?
I think he'll hang around. No need to cut him. But I think he way over-believes in his punching ability to end his fights. He always thinks he's going to knock guys out, and when that doesn't happen, he splashing around in deep water.
What's next for Matt Brown? Big win against Swick, but how high's his ceiling? Who would you like to see him fight next?
I'd like to see him get that Dan Hardy fight. Why not? Brown's not exactly in contention yet (he's hovering just outside the top ten), and a dust-up with Hardy would be fun. But the other part of your question....he's come a long, long way in the fight game. He has finally married his urge to "fight" with technique, and it's showing up against guys like Swick.
Chuck, what im wondering the most is what it is you like about the bro culture being a part of MMA as you mentioned in your 50 things to love about MMA article
Some of it was tongue in cheek, bro.
Chuck is my fellow Masshole Lauzon falling into a similar position as Ken-Flo did- The Good but not Great UFC fighter? He seems to get close and as the spotlight gets brighter he falls under the challenge.
I would like to see the Hendricks gsp fight but even if gsp cant get him down do you think his speed would be enough to avoid that left hand
Maybe, but I think Joe's fine with it. He's a smart dude. He collects end of the night bonuses and buys himself houses and video games. I don't think the belt is his primary focus. He likes to put on a show. And he nearly always does.
That last answer was meant for the other question. This thing's firing slow.
As for your question, Ray, that's the intrigue of the fight. Hendricks is big, has wrestling, and has a mean left hand. All that might add up to something unique against GSP. Some people point to Rick Story's handling of Hendricks as a blue print for how GSP would do. Hey, could go that way too....
Any love for Cain as FOTY? He demolished bigfoot and handed it to JDS.
I think the reason he isn't is because most people voted on FOTY before his fight on DEC 29. Not fair to him. It was a great year. Not only did he destroy Bigfoot, but he redeemed himself after 13 months of second guessing.
love me some jim miller. where does miller's win over j-lau put him in the 155-pound divison? back into contention? a fight away?
Miller looked great; he was aggressive, and he was opportunistic (maybe almost too opportunistic at the end, as he nearly got caught in that heel hook). I think he moves up a little, but he's not there yet. Now, if the UFC books him against Gray Maynard (the fight he wants) and he walks through the "Bully?" yeah, he'd he knocking on the door for a title shot...
I loved your "50 Reasons to Love MMA" piece man. That's why your the best at what you do. I would have added to that list "Anderson Silva." The guy has won 16 UFC fights, and it still tallying. But otherwise, true Mindenhall brilliance.
Wow, thanks Rod. I could have extended that list to 100 easily. It was hard to lop it down.
Leben will always be a good fighter to watch...if he's fighting another striker. Hopefully Joe Silva gets the memo.
Yup, I agree. Leben is cut from that old cloth. Put a striker in front of him (preferably one who doesn't get bothered by details like 'game plans') and it's on. I would bet he gets exactly that kind of opponent next.
If Belfort absolutely destroys Bisping (like Hendo did at UFC 100), maybe they look at Belfort? That would be a big rematch if held in Brazil. Otherwise, not too sure. Weidman would be the obvious guy...but there are barriers (his injury, timing, etc).
cain recorded the 1st triple double in ufc history.... 111 significant strikes and 11 takedowns.... that is pure domination!!!
Amen. That was a one-sided beatdown.
More worrisome to have as a champion: Overeem or Nick Diaz?
Man, that's tough. I would think both guys would be worrisome. Diaz isn't one for authority and obligations, and there's a great of those things that come with the belt. Overeem...let's just say he's prone to controversy.
Michael Bisping will get OWNED by Anderson Silva. That's not even a fight. Agree?
I tend to agree. I think Bisping is a pretty heady fighter, can make it ugly. But guys who "make fights ugly" with Silva (like Bonnar, say) only succeed at it for pockets. In short, I don't see him beating Silva, no.
Does Todd Duffee have what it takes to be a true heavyweight contender?
He had what it took to beat Phil De Fries at least. He did take some punishment in that fight, though. If that were Overeem clobbering him about the head as he stood up from that takedown, he would have went back down. I think we'll know more in a couple of fights, but right now the "prospect" tag is still on him.
Happy new year, Chuck. Was wondering what you though of Cowboy Cerrone sniping on his boy Jon Jones? I still think Jones should have fought Sonnen back in September, so I like him call it as it is.
Thanks, Peter. Cowboy's not one to pull punches, and why would his treatment of Jones be any different? Honestly, if Jones made that "million dollars a fight" comment, that probably struck a bad chord. And bottom line is: Cowboy wouldn't have turned the fight down (unless he was in a wakeboarding tournament somewhere).
What's next for JDS? Bigfoot/Cormier or an immediate rematch?
Possibly a fight with the loser of Bigfoot/Overeem. Maybe they look at Barnett?
Re: your Overeem on Duffee remark Chuck .. they've actually fought and yes Overeem knocked Duffee out in a match in Japan back in 2010. lol
That's right, they did. And he went down without much a fight. Though wasn't that thing thrown together sort of last minute?
So what the heck happened to Dos Santos? He was making Cain look silly at the beginning with his takedowns, than suddenly he was gassed. Something wasnt right.
That big overhand right was the thing. He never recovered.
Dude, tell me. What does the UFC do with Yushin Okami? The guys beats the excitement out of fighters.
Is Okami the new Fitch? A guy who is good enough to grind out victories over contenders, but never too attractive for a second title shot? I think the UFC will give him somebody like Lombard.
Love Cerrone. I 100% believe he wears his cowboy hat while wakeboarding.
yeah Duffee was a late replacement .. maybe with a camp he'd have lasted 2 minutes lol
Chuck, saw your interview with Phillippou from Las Vegas. You think he has the goods to make a run at the title, or is he still wait-and-see in your book? Keep up the good work.
I think he's looked good for the last five fights, and he's got a nice run going. But not sure how far up the rungs he has made it. I think he's still a fight or two from that kind of talk. But he definitely put himself on the map with his win over Boetsch.
I was very impressed with Cain's performance on Saturday, but I noticed a couple things that bothered me. First, after nearly finishing JDS in the opening rounds, he seemed to fade a little and spend the majority of time clinched on the fence. Second, he kept letting JDS grab a Thai plum on him. Fortunately for him, Junior only seems to know how to punch and did nothing with it. If he clinches with the Reem and let's him grab a Thai clinch, he's gonna need smelling salts at the end of the fight.
Having spoke to Cain right afterwards, he said he was trying to guard against gassing himself out after landing that big punch...trying to be calculated and not do what Shane Carwin did against Lesnar at UFC 116. I think ultimately he gassed by the end of the second round. But he gassed less that JDS, who had trouble even lifting his arms. Reem/Velasquez is a coin flip.
What do you think of the Struve vs. Hunt fight? Will Struve continue to climb the HW ranks?
I like the fight. If Hunt wins, would he become the most interesting turnaround story in the history of the UFC? Guy was the junk jewelry throw-in on the Pride purchase, and has made the most of his obligatory second chance. (If Struve wins, not sure that advances him too far up...but at some point you'd have to book him against one of the top guys).
What happened to Dos Santos? Dude got decked in the face, hard! I honestly think he was out on his feet for the next 10 minutes.
Slow motion replay of that punch was crazy. Head whiplashed. How he survived till the end is a testament to his heart.
With ESPNUK reporting that Cormier will continue to fight at Heavyweight when he makes the move over to UFC, where do you see him starting out in that division and what's his ceiling? Would he ever fight Cain?
I honestly believe him when he says he won't fight Cain. I know he would like to fight Frank Mir, though. So that could be made. JDS, Struve, Big Country. There are options.
Over/Under - Anderson Silva 2.5 fights in 2013.
I'll say under. I think he fights twice. Hope I'm wrong and he fights three times.
Agree or Disagree. Okami v. Weidman should be scheduled before Weidman gets a title shot
I think the UFC would be leery of that match-up. If Okami were to win, you know off a contender in Weidman and then have Okami knocking on Silva's door again (something I am sure they don't want).
Alright guys, I need to bounce out of here. Happy new year to everybody, and if I didn't get to your question, hit my Twitter feed @ChuckMindenhall.