Bros. Here we are again. March Madness is underway. How are you brackets? In MMA, looks like GSP gonna do his GSP thing, whether Nick Diaz uses protest signs or slap volume. Hendricks finally on deck for him. This weekend is WSOF2. Arlovski and one-time welterweight Rumble squaring off. Bellator went off last night. UFC announced it's headed back to Seattle in July for a UFC on Fox show. A lot going on. What's on your minds? Let's roll...
Any chance Dan Henderson gets back in the title picture with a win over Rashad?
I don't know if a win over Rashad necessarily puts him back in that No. 1 contender's seat, but it might get him to within a fight of a title shot. The UFC didn't like the Machida/Hendo fight, but a lot of that had to do with Machida.
Get well soon, Dan Hardy!
Yeah, that's a shame about Hardy being scrapped from the fight with Matt Brown. Was looking forward to that fight the way I always look forward to Matt Brown fights (which is, sort of evil-grinny). But Jordan Mein/Brown is still flammable. Should be good.
Who do u think is going to win in the jones sonnen fight i hope sunnen wins reason he promesed is dad he would
I know what you mean about Sonnen. I think I had that sentiment a little bit when he was rolling in on Spider those times. But I feel like Jones is going to have his way with Sonnen. Can't picture a way that Sonnen gets it done. Can't imagine him dumping Jones on his back.
I got an idea: Urlacher as a Bronco. Like it?
Saw that a Denver Post columnist (a rabble-rouser) was suggesting that same thing. I'm all for it. If he's cheap enough, can't hurt to have a no-nonsense guy in there with his sort of old-school mentality. Would be like when Romanowski came over from the 49ers.
Is Conduit vs Hendricks an early candidate for fight of the year? Will the UFC still matchup Conduit and McDonald with Conduit coming off back to back loses?
That was a really fun fight. I liked that Hendricks essentially let the fight become exciting, rather than trying to hold Condit down. Great back and forth stuff. Might be in FOTY consideration, right up there with Grice/Bermudez.
Rumble or Arlovski?
Going Anthony Johnson. I think he'll get poked in the eye, give a half protest to the referee for a timeout, but the ref will ignore him. In will swoop Arlovski for the coup de grace, and just then, it's JOHNSON WHO THROWS THE WICKED PUNCH. Down goes Arlovski. (Such a generalization, I know...)
Do you think rhonda rousey is a good mma fighter? Because i like her.
I think she's fantastic. She's at least two-dimensional: Judo, and armbar. She dares all comers to stop it. So far, nobody has.
I am a former college athlete, who is quick, strong and scrappy (about 157lbs). True or False, I can LAST one round again Rousey
So long as you employ the Kalib Starnes way of fighting (in the Quarry fight), and just circle, move, get out of the way, circle, move, and get out of the way...like a svelte light-on-the-toes dancer? You'd last a minute.
Huge bummer Dan Hardy's injured & can't fight Matt Brown! What are your thoughts on his replacement Jordan Mein
Though both Brown and Hardy have shown new wrinkles in their games of late (such as "not just brawling"), there was a cool component there. But I would have hated to see either guy lose. With Mein, that's a tough, tough match-up for Brown. I think Mein has the advantage.
How do you feel about Rousey and the winner of the Tate/Zigano fight being the next coaches, with both men and women being in the house? I not that excited about it to be honest.
Getting some mixed feedback on it. A lot of people are into the idea, others think it veers a little too close to the Real World. I am right in between. Might be a refreshing new format for the show. I honestly can't imagine the trouble that will come out of the house. Those camera guys will be in some awkward situations. No problem with Rousey coaching against Tate/Zingano winner.
bummed about dan hardy having to back out of his fight against matt brown, but mostly because i think jordan mein is a horrible match-up for brown.
Pat, I sort of feel the same way. If Brown has taught us anything since 2012 when he resurrected himself from the ashes (again), it's this...don't count out Matt Brown.
Can we please get Michael Page in the UFC?
Might end up there before too long, Justin...four fights and four stoppages.
What percentage do you give Bigfoot Silva in his rematch with Cain?
With the heavyweights there's always a little more parity, given the power they're throwing around. One punch turns everything. But I still think Cain is tailor-made to shut down Bigfoot. Percentage for Bigfoot: 23%.
I also hear rhonda will be coaching real soon what became of this and how does it work.
She's coaching next season of TUF opposite the Meisha Tate/Cat Zingano winner.
chucky, you been crying for your boy elkins to get a bump-up in competition, and now he's got mendes. like his chances?
Yeah, I've been saying that both Elkins and Nik Lentz are these guys who are silently climbing up the rungs at feather (RJ Clifford calls Elkins the "anonymous contender," which is apt), and Mendes is a huge obstacle. Do I think Elkins wins it? I think he makes it a fight. But will give the nod to Mendes.
Is pettis scared of henderson?
Last time he ricocheted off the fence and down Henderson with a whiplashing headkick. Don't think so.
I know many have asked this, but I want to hear your point about GSP's recent fight. Is he no longer capable of finishing fights or is Nick just that hard to finish?? Thank you.
It's sort of both. I think GSP is capable of finishing fights. But he isn't willing to throw caution to the wind to achieve it. Nick is tough. The most unstomachable thing I am hearing from GSP detractors is that he has become a predictable tyrant who, when he takes guys down, is nowhere near a finish. I tend to feel that frustration. When GSP takes guys down, there very little feeling that the guy on bottom is in danger. Hardy was close, though.
Who should be next for Lyoto Machida? Even as a fan I can't argue he deserves a shot after his last performance.
Good question. If 2013 is truly the "year of the superfight," as Mike Goldberg boldly stated at UFC 156, Jones will need to beat Sonnen and then either take on Machida, or wait on Anderson Silva. My guess is he takes on Machida.
When will I get the opportunity to land on GSP's face? We looking at the end of summer? Come on end of July!
Depends now on this achilles injury that Firas Zahabi brought up to Ariel Helwani. In that conversation, Zahabi said he's like GSP to come back in six month. That would mean (using my fingers to figure out months)....August at earliest. I asked Dana White if the Milwaukee card might be the one, and he said GSP is on vacation, but that they'd talk to him when he got back. In other words, not "no." That's the card I think it happens on.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Chuck say it ain't so!! Hardy vs Brown is off! I had that pegged for fight of the year as we discussed last week! Interested to see Jordan Mein step in but I'm not pumped like i was for Immortal vs Outlaw!
I've got through all the stages. Anger. Denial. Acceptance. But now that you wrote in, I am back to anger.
Good day chuck, chuck josh burkman still fighting wow! I think he fought pat miltech way back? Next tank will be fight don fyre.
Tank is in the book writing business now, Chuck. He's a damn fine pen, too. Bukowski's Chinanski meets the Sons of Anarchy.
Look into your crystal ball: what will the legacy of GSP be?
Best welterweight ever (until the next best welterweight ever comes along. The question is, could that next great welterweight ever be his training partner, Rory MacDonald?...)
Chuck. Does hendricks have anything but a puncher's chance against gsp? Won't he be easily neutralized like everyone else?
He is a tough stump of oak, man. He's hard to move. People point up the Rick Story fight as his vulnerability, but honestly, I think he's come a long way since then. I think he's wrestling will keep GSP on his feet (for most of the fight). I think he presents a lot of challenges. If even one of those sneaking, counter-uncoiled lefts finds GSP's chin, could be curtains.
Gut feeling, do you think MMA will get approved for New York this time?
I am numb to it. I would love to say my gut says yes, but I'm not all that optimistic.
The "SUPER SAMOAN" appears to be very confident about his upcoming fight with JDS, are you giving an invigorated Samoan a good shot ?
How is Mark Hunt not the embodiment of salvation? My god, man. He was 5-7 and had just been tapped by Sean McCorkle in a minute...and now here we are talking about him as a legit threat to JDS and getting a title shot. I think that dos Santos is just the right kind of match-up for him. Willing to trade, etc. There'll be opportunity there for Hunt. Still taking Dos Santos, though.
Do you think people will be relieved when GSP retires? (relieved because of his boring fights)
Some people might. But that guy has a lot of fans. I am interested to see him fight outside of Montreal next time. Of course they love him up there, and cheer every takedown. What happens if he's in Vegas, or Denver, or Seattle? Will the reception be as warm?
Tdiddy has to go into a Tmeeting, so imma make this quick. GSP is the least exciting champion EVER in the UFC? (Tim Slyvia is no. 2!). Have a good weekend Chaz!
GSP is not without his detractors.
Buy or Sell: GSP fights Hendricks by August?
Right now, at 4:30pm on Friday, March 22? I am buying it.
Why does Dana hate Ariel H so much?
Does he hate Ariel? I don't think so. I think they are so familiar with each other now that it's sort of contentious from time to time, but there's a lot of mutual respect.
Seems to be a lot of flack going GSP's way after the Diaz fight. Same old stuff about him not finishing, but seems to be extra loud right now. Is this fair? We don't really say anything bad if a team wins the Super Bowl on a last second field goal (decision) rather than a blowout (ko), so why in mma? Or even better example, don't see too much negative talk about Money Mayweather winning most often by decision. All GSP does is dominate elite fighters. Where's the love?
There are plenty of people who appreciate GSP's domination, and I am one. Would I like to see a finish? Sure. If it wasn't wash, lather, rinse, repeat, it might be different. Having said that, I still tune in for his fights. He's so smart. And he did stand with Nick in there some. I feel like he wanted to finish, but he won't be incautious to achieve it. That third round with Condit got hairy for a minute.
Will Overeem evry possess the UFC Belt in your opinion?
Eh, it's possible. I don't like his chances necessarily against Cain Velasquez, but if he gets JDS or Mark Hunt or somebody like that? Overeem would have a shot. I don't think he will, though.
Would they really put GSP/Hendricks in Milwaukee? No disrespect to Milwaukee but I would peg it for either Vegas or Canada (NYC is not happening by then).
I think they would. It's a Harley Davidson bash, their 110th birthday...I think the UFC will try and give them a show.
Will Junior get another chance at Cain Velasquez
Yes, I think so. Both are favorites to win their fights and set up the trilogy. If not then, it'll happen eventually.
Called Ol' Miss, but had New Mexico in the Sw16...Do you think the UFC will be able to get rid of those excess 100 fighters through drug use releases alone? It seems users are getting caught more and more often...
I did an article sort of hitting on that theme today. The fighters are helping trim that roster down by getting popped for various banned substances. (Wish I could say I called Harvard over New Mexico...I had New Mexico in the Sweet 16 too).
Best talent that folded into the UFC...WEC, Pride, or Strikeforce? I would say WEC (Aldo, Pettis, Henderson, Cerrone, Faber, Cruz...)
Since we haven't seen the full scope of what Strikeforce fighters will do, I'd go that way too. WEC meant business when they came in. Pride was hit or miss, though a lot of those guys are still hovering around. Strikeforce is off to a good start.
What kind of showing do you think Mousasi puts on?
Tough match-up with Gustafsson. I think this is about as stiff as the competition has been for Mousasi, but I think he'll rise to the occasion. He's a guy I think literally got bored at some point, and stopped evolving. He'll be there for Gusty, and wouldn't be surprised if it's him getting his arm raised in the end.
think el nino has a chance aagainst bendo??? u can have urlacher... he's a bum who has no appreciation for the fans
I think Melendez will be game. We haven't seen Bendo finish anybody in a long while, and he certainly didn't dominate Edgar in either fight. Diaz was the only one he controlled from the gun. I think Melendez will get his, but ultimately it might be a statement for for Henderson.
It's easy to say the WEC brought the most to the UFC because they had 2 whole divisions that the UFC didn't at the time...
Has there been any proof to Nick Diaz saying he's never paid taxes? Seems bizarre (for anyone that isn't Nick Diaz).
Not that I've seen. I hope for his sake that he has been paying taxes.
Is it possible to consider Hendricks a favorite vs. GSP? He has a wicked left and his wrestling ability is very close to GSP's.
He won't be a favorite, but I bet that line is closer than what we've seen with GSP/Diaz, or GSP/Shields, or GSP/Koscheck, etc. This is the toughest challenge he's had since maybe BJ Penn at UFC 94 or (what we thought at the time) UFC 100 against Thiago Alves.
Is the superfight between Silva and GSP done if GSP loses to Hendricks. Also, I think that Silva doesnt want Jones until maybe the last fight of his career trying to bank as much money as he can. I would hate if UFC became like boxing with all these ducking of opponents. What do you think?
Anything's possible. There is a finickiness to matchmaking that always plays a role. GSP didn't want Silva this last time. Now there are obstacles all over. Hendricks is a viable threat to GSP, just like Weidman is to Silva. If everybody gets over their hurdles, Silva might get GSP or Jones...but it's complicated, irrational, practically impossible to figure out this far away.
Which lightweight do you think has the best chance of taking the belt away from Benson Henderson?
I'd say Gray Maynard. That's a big 155er right there with that wrestling at his disposal and power in his hands. He feels to me like a bad match-up for Bendo.
Your Denver Nuggets are flying under the radar more than any other team that's won 14 games in a row in the history of winning streaks.
Shhh. Still have no idea how they won last night against Philly. Down six with 14 seconds left, and somehow won anyway. Been a fun ride. They've got Sacramento (at home) and New Orleans (on the road) before visiting San Antonio. Could keep rolling along up to the Alamo, Mike.
Chuck, how is your bracket looking? Tell me you had the Harvard upset pegged!
Yesterday I got 11/14 right (missed on Belmont, Valpraiso and New Mexico). Today, looks like Wisconsin hurt me. So far, not too bad. But I had Wisco and New Mexico both in the Sweet 16, so those hurt.
Any chance we still see Rory McDonald against Carlos Condit nex
Still a good chance of it. Especially if Rory still wants that fight. It doesn't do as much for him as it would have at UFC 158. Then again, with GSP at the top, maybe MacDonald doesn't mind staying busy for a bit to avoid that conflict.
What's the status on GSP? I read that he might be out six months. If that's true, will Hendricks still be next?
He apparently has some lingering injuries (he hurt his Achilles before the Diaz fight, according to his trainer), and wants to take a little time before getting back in there. Hendricks in August makes sense. As for Johny, they appreciate his ongoing patience through the matter.
Any chance we see Jose Aldo against Pat Curran in the next year? I'm a big fan of Curran's, and think he could give Aldo a very difficult fight.
No chance. Curran just signed a new contract with Bellator that should keep him there the next couple of years. Spoke to him last night, and he's happy to be the face of Bellator, and very comfortable with the challenges that lie ahead of him there. He's got a toughy in a couple of weeks. Shamhalaev is carrying anvils.
Chuck, saw Josh Gross's piece on Cyborg. Not trying to be cute, just asking a legit question: who wins a fight against her and Fallon Fox?
Thought it was interesting that Cyborg was open to the idea of a fight there. Honestly, I haven't seen enough of Fox to make a prediction. And with Cyborg with her own question marks (the steroids, the layoff), couldn't say. I'd watch, though.
Over/under on how many UFC fighters will fail drug screenings in 2013: 12.5
There's been something like five so far this year (maybe more): Beltran, Bruce LeeRoy, Fukuda, Lavar Johnson, Riddle...I'll say (somewhat sadly) over.
Hey Chuck! What's the deal with Dan Hardy? Is he definitely out? Was looking forward to that fight. Will they replace him or scrap it?
He's out. Jordan Mein is in. Feel for Hardy, but that's a good scrap between Brown and Mein. Fine substitution.
Who do you got in the Anthony Johnson/Pitbull Arlovski fight? And who faces the winner?
I answered this earlier, but I am taking Johnson. By violent first round KO.
Remember in Rocky III, when he fights Mr. T... that was cool!
Which time? The first Clubber Lang fight was perhaps a wake-up call. The second, he came correct and started knocking that mohawk all over the place. I remember watching that mohawk snap backwards, and really understanding just how much power Rocky had. It crystallized for me then. In fact, I had him as only a slight underdog heading into the Drago fight because of that x-factor (plus iron chin).
Why would Rory fight Condit when Carlos has lost 2 straight. Does nothing for him...
Because he wants to avenge his only loss. If you talk to MacDonald, you'd know that it means a lot to him. But, maybe his view has changed. A fight with Ellenberger or Maia might be more in order (that is if Ellenberger and Maia and loosed on each other).
My Bracket is busted...So keeping with that theme, who is your biggest UFC bust this year? Please don't say Reem...
Hmm...Reem would be up there. He was all prepped for the showroom, and then got clobbered against Bigfoot. I'd have to say Reem.
Love that Rockhold/Vitor match up, that seems like an especially tough fight for Vitor.
Saw Rockhold in Montreal, and I was talking to him at the hotel bar. I am looking forward to that fight. We've seen Rockhold, and he has shown himself really well. But Belfort, in Brazil, will be a huge challenge. Should be a great fight. (Still think about how fun his battle with Jacare was).
Who is Dana giving the least respect to?
Out of anybody? Mazzaggati.
Chuck, are you and Brett O friends? It seems like you would hate the guy in real life.
Sure. Hung out with him in Montreal. He's a good cat. Always just as cool as anything from Blue Note.
I'd like to see Condit rematch Kampmann... Any word on what's next (or when) for Kampmann?
That's the fight that actually makes the most sense to me -- Kampmann/Condit. Count me among those who'd like to see it.
So many great fights within weight classes, who needs "SUPERFIGHTS" right now?!!!!
Yeah, these divisions are filthy. No champion has cleaned his out. The closest is Jon Jones, but since he has been so long between fights, there's new intrigue with Machida, and Gusty is rounding the corner.
Who is Dana giving the least respect to (not a referee)?
Fitch. The dude he sent packing despite a 14-3-1 record in the patented Octagon.
Who's in the Final Four in your bracket?
Louisville, Gonzaga, Georgetown and Indiana, with the Hoosiers winning in.
KZ in S.D. If you have no formal martial arts training and no wrestling background you will finished quicker than the next Great Divide IPA in my 'frig.
Ha! Those Denver cats know how to get down with the microbrews.
At this point, do you have any interest in watching GSP fight? I have always bought his PPVs, but it feels like a waste of money in the end. He just doesn't excite me anymore.
I still have interest, but I can understand people being turned off. He's a huge PPV draw, nonetheless. They are saying 800,000 or so for this Diaz fight. Diaz, of course, sold it.
I really like Damian Maia at WW. Wish he implicated his ju jitsu more though. Would you say he faces Ellenberger for #1 contender next and a shot for the title.. Assuming they don't make St Pierre/Hendricks into a rematch
Mankato, cool. Go Mavericks. Love the purple hockey. That division has a lot of versatility in terms of matchmaking. If I was the UFC, I'd give Ellenberger the Maia fight. That settles a No. 1 contender for after Hendricks/GSP. If for any reason GSP/Hendricks isn't going to be made, Ellenberger/Hendricks...in what would he Hendricks FOURTH defense of his No. 1 contender status.
Looks like it was Nick Diaz selling the Wolf Tickets after all.
Interesting plot turn, right? It was DIAZ selling the wolf tickets all along! I just hope Diaz gets back in there soon. His future is always such a hazy thing to contemplate.
Do you think jiu jitsu in mma is just on a down swing or has defence for it improved too much for it to be prominent again?
Defense has certainly got better. I think submitting guys from your back is getting rare. Guys are too good. The guys in the tops of their divisions aren't going out that way.
ELLENBERGER vs HENDRICKS would be one I would PAY TO SEE!!!
My 2nd Cain comment - guess who my favorite MMA fighter is?If Jones moves up to HW, whom do you pick in that scrap, assuming Velasquez still holds the belt?
That is a tough call. Right this second, I'd go with Velasquez. Size and strength, and his wrestling...I think if anybody was going to put Jones on his back and keep him there, it'd be Velasquez (or possibly Cormier). Won't be Sonnen.
Great article (BY THE WAY, A WEEK AGO ) on DIAZ'S crazy,contradictory, rambling rhetoric. Guy has some serious crazy going on .......
Thanks man. Was fun to write about him for a week straight.
OK, guys, I need to close up shop. Thanks for stopping in here today. Enjoy the WSOF 2 card tomorrow night, and let's do it again next week. Meantime, hit my Twitter, @ChuckMindenhall.