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January 23, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Brett Okamoto

Brett Okamoto
  (1:01 PM)

Oh man. Lots of great MMA coming up in the next two weeks. Aldo/Edgar is one of my favorite fights the UFC could put together in its entire roster. Love Pettis/Cerrone. I'm an Erik Koch believer, so curious to see how his return goes. And that 156 undercard is stacked as well. Fitch/Maia is intriguing, Benavidez/McCall is a great matchup, and sticking with my love of Duke Roufus-trained fighters (Pettis, Koch), we get to see Chico Camus on the Facebook portion. King Mo in action tomorrow for Bellator also. Good stuff.

Marc Iveson (UK)

Showtime vs Cowboy.... call it? I say flip a coin...

Brett Okamoto
  (1:03 PM)

Anything could happen. As the fight draws closer, I feel myself leaning more and more towards Pettis, which is interesting because as recent as a week ago I think I was picking Cerrone. So, there ya go. That tells you I have no idea. I'll say though, I think Pettis is actually the better athlete in terms of natural speed, quickness. I think he comes in with less pressure than Cerrone, who spent all year calling him out. I've said for years I think Pettis holds the belt at some point, so I guess I should probably pick him in this fight.

Sandy (Gainesville)

Who is most likely to face Belfort next? Who is most likely to face Silva next?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:05 PM)

Bleh, I don't know. Bisping loses really changes things. First off, I don't see Vitor going back to 205, despite his surprising callout of Jon Jones. I think he'll stay at 185. I think stylistically, how do you pass on a matchup between him and Hector Lombard? For Anderson? I think it should be Jon Jones. He'd have to wait awhile because Jon fights in April, but he's been fine with taking time off lately. That's the fight, is it not? Will be interesting to see what 185-pound matchups the UFC announces in the next few weeks, we'll get a better idea of the big picture.

Tyler (Oklahoma )

Brett, Ive been telling you for a year now that Gilbert is overrated. We finally get to see it! I cant wait! Benson is gonna destroy. I wish I lived close to San Jose. By the way, sorry for the terrible crowd we had for that final Strikeforce show. If people here cheered for MMA like they cheer for the Thunder we might be able to get more then two shows in 4 years here.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:07 PM)

Appreciate your apologies for the Oklahoma crowd, although I will say it really was no worse than most of the other Strikeforce crowds I've seen. There just was never the excitement level of a UFC event. As far as Gilbert being overrated, I've basically agreed with those sentiments in the last year. I dropped him in my lightweight rankings from No. 2 or 3 to about No. 5 or 6. I will say, the matchup with Henderson isn't a terrible one for Gil given their skillsets, but I do think Ben wins.

James (Albany)

I liked Chuck's article on possible Silva opponents and think they should push for Chris Weidman. Sure he's not big enough (marketability wise) but of all the middleweights available, he's the most likely to take the title...The promotional spin should be around this and not whether he's a NAME that most people know if people think that there is good chance Anderson will lose! Thoughts?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:08 PM)

Weidman is very deserving but you have to look at this as a business. It's something we all get reminded of sometimes. If you're an MMA fan, you have to just accept it. If anyone is getting the 185 shot right now, it's probably Rockhold just because they can market it as a "champion vs. champion" fight. What you don't want, if you're the UFC and you're running a business, is an unknown guy like Weidman knocking off the man you constantly refer to as "the best fighter in the world." So, I'm with you, but I don't see it happening unless some other options fall through.

Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )

Hi Brett, Looking forward to Edgar / Aldo although I think Aldo will win. Where does a loss leave Frankie especially if Aldo then goes to LW as has been predicted?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:10 PM)

I mean, it's not good. That'd be three losses in a row. But it doesn't mean he's irrelevant anymore. He'd stay at 145 I have to believe, unless something goes wrong with the cut which I just don't see happening. He'd have to fight a few guys and then if he gets back into title contention, it would actually be good if Jose is gone because he'd fight for the belt sooner. Or, who knows? Frankie "the rematch" Edgar might win and they give Aldo the immediate rematch. Or, we get a controversial decision, and they give Edgar the immediate rematch? Would that surprise any of us at this point?

Mark (Sydney)

Hi Brett,What are the odd's of an all female TUF in the next year? I think that would rate although it would probably depend upon finding a suitable opponent for Rhonda Rousey?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:12 PM)

It's been brought up, but Dana has always said he would lean towards doing female coaches, but with a male cast. I think they'd want to test this female fighting thing out a little more before they sold a full series of it on FX. And remember, they'd obviously want Fox's approval of it as well and we haven't gotten a full read on what Fox things of female MMA yet.

Tony (Buda, TX)

Do you think the UFC is rethinking its PPV model? So many cards are so watered down. It feels like more and more UFC cards are like boxing with just one fight that people want to see.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:13 PM)

Nah man, did you see what I opened the chat with? The UFC 156 card is stacked, stacked. Benavidez/McCall is the opening fight? Overeem isn't a co-main? They blew that one out. Next card, you have Dan Henderson/Lyoto Machida as your co-main. In Montreal, Rory/Condit and Hendricks/Ellenberger fills out a card that's headlined by GSP. Last year we obviously saw a lot of injuries, now those guys are getting healthy again, suspensions are up for some of these guys, these cards in the early part of the year are great.

David (Perth (OZ) )

One of the other mma sites said that they'd like to see Nate Diaz against Khalid Nur*(^*&((

Brett Okamoto
  (1:14 PM)

Ah yes. Khabib Nurmagomedov (I googled). I think that's probably too big a step for the Beebster. Doubt Diaz would jump at it.

Eric (Cypress)

L3 part question last week someone asked u who u thought who the biggest weast of talent was u said Jamey Yeager what about brenden vara or palepa nover or at times check Kongo

Brett Okamoto
  (1:16 PM)

Good additions. Philipe Nover ... ehhh .... I think everyone just overrated that guy's skills on the show. Brandon Vera is a terrific answer. Cheick Kongo, you guys have heard me say this before, man, I don't want to be the guy on Twitter trying to tell professional fighters how to fight but geeeeez. That guy comes in with the worst game plans EVERY TIME.

chris bassett va [via mobile]

Brett,man the fox card is awesome!what fight interst you most? Thanks

Brett Okamoto
  (1:17 PM)

Gotta be Pettis/Cerrone. One of those fights where you don't even really try to pick a winner you just get the popcorn ready and see what happens. Both are tough, determined guys too. Man that's gonna be a great fight.

Eric (Cypress)

Sorry secend part if cheal wins do u see him faceing votar like he wants and in what deloshenal state does votar thik he is the champ last part way hasn't UFC cut lenerd garcea yet exciting but his on a what is it now 4 5 fight losing streek ask Dana about all 3 please

Brett Okamoto
  (1:19 PM)

Award to Eric for horrendously spelling all these guys names yet doing just well enough we know who he's talking about. I could see them making Vitor/Chael. Why not? Two guys you don't really want to give a title shot to (assuming Chael loses) but have an apparent dislike of one another. As far as "Lenerd" he's on thin ice. The promotion likes him because he's just a solid individual who puts on exciting fights and never gives up, but he probably needs to win his next fight to stay.

Big Mike (Chicago)

I'm going to UFC on Fox Sat. I think Rampage KO's Teixeira early and goes out of the UFC with a bang. I'm not that impressed with Teixeira like everyone else seems to be.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:20 PM)

Read my Red Ink preview that should come out early tomorrow where I break down all the main card fights. I'm with you Mike, I'm not completely sold on Teixeira yet. Is he good? Yeah, he's good. But some people are talking about this dude like a great challenge for Jon Jones and I'm not one of them. That said, I don't think Rampage KO's him. It's possible, because Teixeira stands in the pocket and I don't think he's able to just take Rampage down whenever he wants, but in the end I don't think Rampage is too up for this fight.

Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )

Hi Brett, Up to now I've enjoyed Dana's video blogs mainly for the flashes (glimses) of post fight backstage euphoria and heartbreak which you dont usually see on the broadcast. Recently there seem to be less of these and and overload of "Nick the Tooth". If he had a linkedin profile what would it list his occupation / qualification as being?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:21 PM)

I'll be real honest here, I don't know all too much about Nick the Tooth. As far as I can tell, he's just Dana's friend? There might be something more but sorry guys, you came to the wrong place for Nick the Tooth info, I don't know.

Joe (Deptford, NJ)

Would you prefer JDS Cain III or do you think Overeem deserves the shot if he beats Bigfoot? If so what's next for JDS? Werdum? Heavyweight division is so top heavy...

Brett Okamoto
  (1:23 PM)

I prefer Overeem/Cain (Not giving Antonio Silva much of a chance) just because I know we're going to see JDS/Cain III at some point anyway. So, why rush it? Let them both get going again, then have it. They're running into each other at least one more time. Who for JDS then? Werdum is busy with TUF Brasil. I've said winner of Lavar Johnson/Brendan Schaub. I know that neither of them pose that much risk to JDS, but he needs to fight someone and those are two standup fighters for him to go against. By the way, I thought of this potential heavyweight jewel this morning. Todd Duffee vs. Travis Browne. Eh? Eh?

Rob (Philly)

Any chance Anderson fights at 205 before a super fight with Jones can be set up?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:25 PM)

I'd say anything is on the table right now for Anderson. Maybe he does decide that while he waits for a big name to defend his belt against, he fights a slow 205er again like Forrest or Stephan. I'm not saying Anderson ducks hard fights, but I think he's usually okay accepting an easy one at 205 to throw another win on his record.

Jerry (Chicago)

When does Jon Jones fight next?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:25 PM)

April in New Jersey.

Matt (NJ)

Fair or unfair: Bisping is a choker

Brett Okamoto
  (1:26 PM)

Unfair. He got knocked out by DH right hand, but a lot of people have been knocked out by DH right hand. I thought he beat Chael in that fight, but it was close. Now he lost to Vitor. A fair statement though is he's just not elite. I think that's fair at this point. He's better than average, but not elite. And like I told someone on Twitter the other day, I feel for him because he was right there again, but this guy had no shot against Anderson Silva. So, in a way Vitor just saved us from having to watch a terrible fight between the two.

JP (London)

Hey Brett, assuming you saw last night's episode, are you back on the TUF wagon (as in, watching the whole show vs fast forwarding to the fights)?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:28 PM)

I'm cautiously back on. At least they've made some changes, which is the first step. To say I'm on the wagon might be a little strong, but I'm intrigued. I remember thinking to myself after the first five minutes ... hmmm, this is already better than the last two years combined.

Rick (Kansas)

Does Ben Askren actually get a finish tomorrow?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:28 PM)

Nope. Wrestlefest 2013.

Miggy (Philly)

What up Brett? Who you picking this weekend? Will your Red Ink have more than just the main/co-main event?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:29 PM)

Yep, it's got all four fights.

Bispings Ego from The UK [via mobile]

I let another title shot slip through my bloody hands!!! Brett, what do I do next?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:30 PM)

Well, you can't drop to 170 because you're already really lean at 185. 205 isn't an option. Although there's interest in a fight with Hector Lombard, I'd avoid him if I were you. You're not taking him down ... you might outcardio him but that's what we said about Vitor.

Rob (Philly)

If Anthony Pettis comes out Saturday and does Anthony Pettis things, will he still be passed over for winner of Benson/Gilbert if/when Eddie Alvarez signs with the UFC?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:31 PM)

No. If Alvarez is able to sign with the UFC he wants to fight right away and there are plans in place to have him fight right away.

David (Saint Louis)

Did you watch the new episode of TUF last night and what were your thoughts? I actually think Chael is going to be a great coach for these guys.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:32 PM)

I think Jon Jones said in an interview somewhere he felt most of the guys wanted to be on his team ... knowing them both, if I were on the show, I'd want to be on Team Chael. I bet he was a great coach on the show.

Crystal chatting between clients in VA [via mobile]

What are the odds that women in the UFC will be out by the end of the year?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:34 PM)

By the end of the year? I'd say not good. I think UFC will at least give it a year. If Rhonda loses though, things are getting weird. Dana has said title fights headline cards, but there's no way he's headlining ANY card with a Liz Carmouche/Sara McMann fight.

Nate (Woburn, MA)

I know it is only 1 episode, but I like the new sesaon of TUF. Almost all the fights went to a finish, which was different from last season, plus the filming gave it a refreshing look/feel.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:35 PM)

Yeah, it all starts with the talent really. I've been saying for a long time they need to make huge changes to the feel and format of the show, but if you don't have decent, in-shape fighters to film than it's a lost cause anyway. I've heard from people who were involved with the show that the fights are good this year.

Crystal chatting between clients in VA [via mobile]

TRT is becoming so controversial. Vitor looked great, but I think a lot of aging fighters in his realm are using it. This is totally not fair in my book. Your thoughts?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:38 PM)

I've always said that I'm still in favor of TRT just because if someone comes along who genuinely needs it for health purposes, I wouldn't want to see that guy not be able to fight because others abused it. Exemptions have to be more strict, though. For one thing, I don't think any fighter who has been suspended for PEDs in the past should be granted a TUE. And Belfort, is he is using TRT, has been.

Patrick (Milwaukee)

UFC announced Gustaffson vs. Mousasi in April in Sweden this week. Doesn't that sort of piss of Gustaffson that he has to fight a guy like Gegard? Shouldn't he have the chance to fight Jones real soon after dominating Shogun?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:39 PM)

No, I see Gustafsson as a guy still moving up the chain. People watch fights and see different things, but I didn't think Gus powered through Shogun. I think he got hit way too much and benefitted from Shogun's weak gas tank in the third round. Now, I'm not taking anything away from the guy, a win over Shogun is a great win. But I didn't leave the fights that night thinking that guy HAS to fight Jones or it's unfair. He's still behind a guy like Dan Henderson, in my opinion for a title shot.

JRC (Illinois)

Belfort hasnt lost at MW except for Silva, and lost to Jones at LHW(which he took on short notice and no full training camp) Why does it seem the guy gets NO credit for his wins and all the negativity for his 2 losses? I think after stepping in when Dana needed him against Jones he could atleast show thanks by giving him another shot at either Jones or Silva

Brett Okamoto
  (1:42 PM)

I wouldn't be completely against him getting another shot at Anderson. I don't know why he called out Jon Jones instead of Anderson. His chances at 185 are so much better than 205. Dude, you just lost to Jones, he has a fight scheduled four months from now. Anderson has nothing scheduled, you're a better fighter at 185 anyway, he was sitting in the front row that night ... what are you thinking? But then again, I don't understand much of what Vitor says these days.

Cam (Los Angeles)

What do you think will happen next with Shogun?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:43 PM)

I thought a Shogun/Mousasi fight would have been cool, but just as happy to see Mousasi face Gustafsson. Shogun is in a make or break spot right now. I wouldn't say he's "done," but I'd say he's just about done. I'm not being disrespectful here, Shogun is still a great fighter and he's got tons of heart, but his ability to knock off top -level guys? There's no guarantee those days aren't over already.

SlayKatz (LA)

A lot has been made about J. Hendricks being a legitimate challenger to GSP. I understand Hendricks has KO power, but he was stifled by both Rick Story and Kos (very close fight) when they fought. A guy who is taken down by Kos will be overwhelmed by GSP, no?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:45 PM)

Did he really get taken down much in that fight? It's not like I rewatched it a million times, but I think I remember there were maybe a few takedowns from Kos but it was the kind of takedown where Hendricks basically fell to his knees and popped back up and separated immediately. You're not going to hold Hendricks on his back for 25 minutes, basically is what I'm saying. The Story fight was just an off night for Hendricks. I actually do remember that fight. Can remember where I was sitting and everything and asking the reporter next to me, what is wrong with Johny tonight? He is a legitimate challenge to GSP for sure.

Matt (NJ)

May not be on next weeks chat, so just want to go on the record and say that Edgar is going to beat the incredibly overrated Jose Aldo.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:46 PM)

Woah, woah ... Easy Matt Sonnen. I might get behind you on Edgar beating Aldo, but let's not say he's "incredibly overrated."

Crystal chatting between clients in VA [via mobile]

I think Rampage will come back to the UFC within two years.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:47 PM)

Nice prop bet. Can we get a betting line on this, please?

Steve (Chicago) [via mobile]

You gonna be in press row at the united center on sat? How sick are those seats!? And what are your picks for fight, ko, and sub of the night?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:49 PM)

Not gonna lie, the seats are pretty sick. I won't be at this one, though. In fact, I won't be watching the fights live at all because I'm covering a boxing event in Vegas that night, so UFC will be on DVR. As far as the picks, those are always ridiculous to predict but let's see, FoTN Pettis/Cerrone, KoN Koch over Lamas, Sub ummm, Natal/Spencer?

Rob (Philly)

People may want to gripe and complain for (some reason) Johny Hendricks, but Diaz GSP is the fight more people truly want to see, right?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah, Diaz/GSP sells more PPV right now than GSP/Hendricks if that's our measuring stick. Is Hendricks/GSP the better fight? In my opinion, yeah. But casual fans will buy on Diaz.

Rich (Jersey)

Hey Brett, i know you're not a DR, but whats the difference btwn PED's and TRT. No one seems to call Chael out on him using but he has no problem saying it about others.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:51 PM)

Depending on who you talk to, some guys say TRT is basically a PED. But the way a commission views it, which is the best way to look at if we're talking about suspensions and such, TRT is an acceptable treatment for fighters who suffer from low testosterone levels. PED's are just steroids you're taking to cheat.

@Pappafeez (Dallas)

What fight at 205 would Anderson ever consider right now that is a "slower" fighter that has any name value?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:52 PM)

Oh, there's definitely at least one or two out there. (Pulling up UFC.com light heavyweight's ... )

Brett Okamoto
  (1:53 PM)

If Rampage wasn't leaving, he'd be choice No. 1. Shogun is an option. Thiago Silva and Wanderlei Silva are both longshots, like pretty sure it wouldn't happen but wouldn't rule it out either.

Rob (Philly)

Who ya got in the Super Bowl? Ravens at +3.5 seems pretty tasty.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:54 PM)

Don't even ask me. Terrible at NFL picks right now. The playoffs have not been good to your boy.

Ken (ca.)

UFC should just do the JONES/SILVA fight for April and then Chael and Vitor could fight on that card. TUF is still entertaining in the meantime and everybody fights who they should fight.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:54 PM)

The voice of reason. I like it. Don't see it happening though.

Willy Cheapshot (Hoboken, NJ)

Hey Brett, I wanted to hear your take on the weight cutting process the heavier fighters have to go through prior to making weight. Who cuts the most and what are some of the extreme strategies in cutting weight you have heard fighters use?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:56 PM)

The salt bath looks pretty brutal. It's pretty amazing what these guys can cut the day of the weigh-in. You've also heard stories about guys who cut the weight when they accept a fight on short notice. I remember in the WEC days, Daniel Downes (I think it was him) accepted a fight against someone on short notice and ate nothing but spinach leaves for like 8 days and cut something like 35 pounds. Amazing.

David (Spartanburg)

If you were Bisping would you be making a big issue about 3/4 loses comin against TRT users?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:56 PM)

I might consider it but ultimately, even though public sentiment is against TRT, you'd look like a cry baby.

John (NYC)

Did Sarafian have the worst attempt at a spinning back kick ever? and he tried twice no less.....

Brett Okamoto
  (1:57 PM)

Boy, I've seen some bad ones in my day. I don't really remember his, actually, must have erased it from my memory. Did it happen in the third round? He was gaaaaassssed in the third round.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:59 PM)

Alright guys, let's go ahead and wrap this thing for the day. Fun stuff. Enjoy the card this weekend, I'm expecting one of the better nights of fights in recent memory. Follow me on Twitter for all kinds of good boxing/UFC stuff @bokamotoESPN. We got Franklin McNeil and Chuck Mindenhall in Chicago, so make sure to follow their coverage heading into the fights, as well. See ya next week.