Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 29, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Mindenhall

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:01 PM)

What's up, guys? Friday chat. Got the big college hockey tournament going on. I can see you guys busting at the seams to talk about it. Who's it going to be...the Pioneers of Denver? Or Quinnipiac? Dial in. Let's talk about it.

eric (curpus)

not much news this week so whats up chucky 4 part question 1 i like your story on cruz today if u were dana what would you do (2) do you think pat curen will get a imedeat title shoot when he comes over (3)i knpw what u think its too early to do a famile tuf coach but can you explan again why (4) first to win a champeniship justen verlander or michal bisping or nither

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:03 PM)

Eric, let's see about this four-parter. If I was Dana, I would strip Cruz of the belt (think he has to at this point). Curran would get a title shot pretty quick if he came to the UFC right now, but he'll be with Bellator for the next couple of years, so that's not happening. Female coaches on TUF? I thought it might be too early, but hey, UFC doesn't always listen to me (read: never). Going with Verlander on the last one. Bisping is a country mile from that title shot.

Stephen (Brooklyn)

Boston in August? What do you think? GSP???

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:05 PM)

That was my very first thought. Montreal isn't too far from Boston; GSP's faithful could find their way down. Depends on how Dana wants to define a "sick card." GSP does good numbers for the PPVs, so it would be something to have him headline the first Fox Sports 1 card...

Matt (NJ)

Slow week Chuck...so how about that Christian Morecraft retiring?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:05 PM)

He joins a growing group of guys who have called it quits right in their primes (essentially). Hominick, Denis, Brookins (maybe), Morecraft, Conrad...

Cam (Los Angeles, CA)

Any idea when Showtime is going to get back in the mma business?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:06 PM)

Haven't heard much on that front, but I know that they want to keep going with MMA.

Jackson (Reno)

What on earth has happened to Brian Bowles? Former champion now on a milk carton!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:07 PM)

Turns out they found him. He's going to fight George Roop Memorial Day weekend in Vegas. Just glad he turned up. Was getting worried.

tom (phoenix)

who are you taking in the mosasi vs Gustafson fight? would love to see mosasi make a big statment here.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:08 PM)

I took Gustafsson on the ESPN picks (which'll post sometime in the coming days). But that's such a toss up. Mousasi is a beast. His stand-up skills are amazing. This is the toughest challenge that either has faced, in my opinion, but I'm going Gustafsson in his home country.

Miggy (Philly)

What up Chuck? Who you got in the Final Four?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:09 PM)

You don't want to know, Miggy. My original bracket is a crime scene. I had Indiana winning it all, and we all saw what Syracuse did to that. I think three of my Final Fours are gone. What a mess.

Sandy (Gainesville)

Odds of Anderson Silva fighting either GSP or Jon Jones in November or December? And which of the two fighters is he more likely to face?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:10 PM)

Tell you what, Sandy, I think odds are getting slimmer. I did ask Dana White about it in Montreal, and he said that SHOULD GSP beat Diaz, and SHOULD Jones beat Sonnen, and SHOULD Silva beat Weidman, that a superfight between Silva and one of those two was still on the forefront of their minds. That's a lot of if's. Plus, Weidman is no slouch.

Ken (ca.)

It's Friday, the sun is shining, the girls are out, and the Mindenhall chat is rolling, things are going good today.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:11 PM)

Ken, you this thing about summing things up in just such a way. It does feel like spring.

andy (flordia)

what is your favorite nba team

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

Denver Nuggets. From Moe-to-Melo and into the Ty Lawson era.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:12 PM)

...and on a related note...

Sam (Orlando)

Nuggets win 15 games in a row then drop the next two. Typical. What's the deal, man? They going to surrender that 3 seed?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:13 PM)

Losing Ty Lawson for an extended period really puts Denver in a bad situation. They have tie-breakers with the Clips, Grizz and Thunder, but now it's a matter of hanging on. Lawson is the reason they play that breakneck speed. Take him away? Andre Miller be calling plays in the half court.

Nick (NYC)

How pumped are you for X-Man Xavier Foupa-Pokam's fight?!?!?!?!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:14 PM)

So pumped. In fact, he already won.

Tyler (Mission Viejo)

Buy or sell: Anderson Silva NEVER fights GSP OR Jon Jones...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:15 PM)

I am selling. I think he'll end up fighting Jones. At some point. Don't know about GSP, because the decision is all GSP's. If GSP decides he's going to call it quits, and wants to make the fight his last, then I can see that happening.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:15 PM)

Hendricks, though, might prove a formidable obsctacle for St-Pierre. He might knock the "super" from the superfight.

Derek (Helena, MT)

No way (or, little way) Askren beats GSP right now. Am I crazy?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:17 PM)

It's funny, Derek, a lot of people have been speculating on that. Some people say "Askren would crush St-Pierre," others say "GSP has his way." I tend to agree with the latter. I remember Jay Hieron giving Askren a run for his money. GSP too complete. Would keep it mostly standing and own the fight there.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

In 1983 we had Samantha Fox. In 2013 we have Fallon Fox. Progress?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:18 PM)

That does look like progress, doesn't it? Samantha Fox. Now that's a name I have heard in a long time. Her poster was a top seller at Spencer Gifts for years.

Miggy (Philly)

Who has the better shot at unseating the champ? Hendricks or Weidman?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:18 PM)

I'd go Weidman. I know he's green, but he has a tool set that plays directly into Silva's vulnerabilities. I think he'll be a hard out for Silva.

Kris (Los Angeles)

Emmanuel Newton: Buy or sell he's a one-hit wonder.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:19 PM)

Don't know enough about him, honestly, but that King Mo knockout was a nice feather. Let's see if he can win the tourney (and maybe watch his star blow-up bigger than Lesnar).

Ken (ca.)

Again, who needs "SUPERFIGHTS" when the divisions are full of great match ups and top contenders??

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

Right now, you're right. Particularly the welters. That division is 10 elite deep. Middleweights still have some comers. Jones, though, is closer to cleaning out things than anybody. He may bolt for heavyweight before we ever see a superfight materialize.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Las Vegas, NV)

I love Askren's takedowns, and think he'd get GSP down, but we forget how good GSP's striking is at times because his wrestling has become so over powerign

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:21 PM)

His striking is light years better than Askrens, and that's exactly what he'd exploit.

Joe (Boston)

Thought to keep on mind on the possibility of GSP fighting in Boston...don't forget how much us Bruins fans HATE the Canadiens....no home cage advantage for GSP here

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:22 PM)

That's true. But those Quebecois travel pretty well. Just speculating on that. Not sure White would really want to skip a GSP PPV.

@dneighbor (NJ)

Did you read the email exchanges between Nick Diaz's lawyer and the UFC exec w/ regard to the weigh-ins? What an attitude from the UFC!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:23 PM)

Haven't seen that yet. Will have to look it up.

Ben (Nashville)

If the UFC strips Cruz of his belt, doesn't that set a bad precedent? Not like he is missing time on purpose! He's been hurt, and still filling in with the UFC in another capacity (on television). Doesn't seem right to take his belt.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:24 PM)

Precedent has realistically already been set with Frank Mir back in 2004-05, when he was injured on the motorcycle and couldn't compete. The bottom line is, if they are promoting Renan Barao as a headliner for a PPV (UFC 161 in Winnipeg), then he needs to be the champ. Cruz can come back, take a fight or two, and get that fight by next year to get back what's rightfully his.

Matt (NJ)

What round does JBJ finish Sonnen? Bonus Question: Does Sonnen win a round before he gets finished?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:25 PM)

I would say that Jones wins this thing in the first round, so long as he's full-throttle from the word go. That probably answers your second question (which is "no").

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Las Vegas, NV)

So Nick Diaz and his camp are now protesting (however you call it) what happened. Any respect I had for Diaz and the Cesar Gracie team is done; own your loss like John Dodson did.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:26 PM)

It's kind of a screwy situation. I can understand griping to an extent, but the way the fight played out? Eh. Best to move on.

Paul (Columbus)

Love the Friday chat, Chuck! How do you think the new TUF will pan out as a co-ed situation?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:28 PM)

Sitting next to Ben Fowlkes on press row in Montreal, he said, "you think this will be the first season that they test for STDs?" It should be really interesting. You get the feeling that 16 guys in a house going crazy with no television, books, girls, internet, etc, really just boiled down to a single deprivation (girls). Hijinks will ensue.

Jason (Riverside)

You see Uncle Danas video blog this week? Dude was going 125mph on his bike with no helmet. That'd be a bad time for a minear's attack.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:29 PM)

What happens in Maine, hits the internet and goes viral. Was like watching frat brothers 20 years later, having fun with guns, motorsickles, and hot sauce.

Phil (Dallas)

Surprised at all to see Josh Neer cut from the UFC? I was a little bit. Seems like he's always willing to start a dogfight, which the UFC likes.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:31 PM)

Not really. He does bring it, but he has lost three in a row. Two of those he was finished in pretty early. The UFC is whittled down its roster, and my guess is three-fight losing streaks will be a bright red flag for (almost) everybody.

Kevin (Mile High)

I can't see Dana and Fox taking the chance that GSP would hold Hendricks down for a couple rounds of boringness. Johny's never been in the championship rounds, he could fade late.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:33 PM)

Good point about Hendricks and his cardio, but he held up okay in that crazy Condit fight. I am not sure GSP will be able to take down Hendricks as easily as he has others. Dude's built like a compressed accordion. Think that fight may pan out to be exciting (but that's just me throwing optimism at you).

Grant (USC)

Do you think GSP honestly tried to finish Diaz at all during their fight. We hear the "he was a tough guy to finish" excuse after every fight, i have stop believing him.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

First round I thought he was gunning for it, but as the fight drug on, the urgency sort of vanished. That's GSP's biggest problem, I think: It's not that he takes people down, it's that people don't believe he'll finish the fight there.

Chris (808 State of Mind)

Can we please stop talking about Nick Diaz.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:34 PM)

Have to admit, I do feel like I've been typing about Diaz for the last several hundred eons.

Miggy (Philly)

Jones V Cain. There's your superfight.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:35 PM)

That might well be the one that intrigues us the most by the end of this year. Can you think of a more nightmare match-up for Jones than Velasquez?

Brad (Long Beach)

What's the point of having Frankie Edgar fight Charles Oliveira? All those title shots and then fighting a mediocre prospect?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:37 PM)

They couldn't put Edgar against one of the top contenders at 145, for fear he wins and suddenly he's right back up there. They have to let Korean Zombie and Lamas have their moment. I totally get this bit of matchmaking.

jason (corona)

chucky, gimme your early read on phil davis and vinny mags. any possible way vinny gets this thing done?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:39 PM)

I feel like this is one of the more compelling fights on that card. Yes, Davis is strong, athletic, long and tenacious...but Magalhaes is a beast on the ground. He sweeps. He has that venus flytrap thing; invites you into a position, then turns the tables. Magalhaes....I think he could win this fight.

Kenneth (Marietta, GA)

Chuck, Newton won the tourney last night to get the title shot, I think you meant let's see if he wins the title.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:40 PM)

Yes, thank you. See him in the title fight, and then (watch his star blow up bigger Lesnar. Ahem)

Chico(work) [via mobile]

Will Hendo ever get to fight JBJ?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:41 PM)

That's why Machida was such a minefield...if Hendo slipped, he might not get a shot. However, if he beats Rashad Evans, my guess is he's right back near the top. Might have to beat one more guy (Glover, Gusty, somebody), but it's possible. Problem is, he'll be a year older than he is now...43.

Dan Hardy's Mohawk (Las Vegas, NV)

Any word on the Milwaukee card?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:42 PM)

Big bash for Harley Davidson's 110th birthday (SAMCRO salutes), and it'll be Aug. 31. But haven't heard anything about who's fighting.

Kenneth (Marietta, GA)

Have you been watching this season's TUF? Looks like a solid group with a number of potential UFC fighters. Who all do you like?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:44 PM)

Obviously Urijah Hall looks good (you can see Bubba's Adam's apple swallowing hard at the prospect of fighting him), but I think a couple of those guys might stick. Jimmy Quinlan, Kelvin Gastelum, Luke Barnatt...all seem decent.

Kevin (Mile High)

Do you think BJ Penn fights again? He tweeted the other day that he was back in the gym. Would love to see him back in the 155 mix.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:46 PM)

If he comes back, he has to be at 155. Has to. Not sure who I'd match him with, but there's little piece of me that wouldn't mind a reboot of UFC 84 when he fought Sean Sherk (that is, if Sherk is still coming back himself). If not Sherk, wouldn't mind seeing him and Nate Diaz or Gilbert Melendez (depending on how his fight goes with Bendo).

Will (Germany)

I think ww is so great these days with henricks and, ellenberger and maia (hes such a monster at ww, and/ because he has such a huge frame for ww).but but i dont like the idea of rory fighting in ww, because hes much too good for mid level competition and i think it doesn'T make sense to fight (perhaps elevat) top level guys if he doesnt want to fight george.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:48 PM)

Some good points, Will. There's a potential mess ahead here, but, word is from Tristar is, "they've got it worked out." Not sure what it means, but either St-Pierre has a number in his head for how many fights he has left (and feels confident that he'll be at that number before MacDonald reaches him), or MacDonald is planning to move up if he gets to that No. 1 contender position and St-Pierre is still the autocrat of the breakfast table.

alex (ct)

Boston card=Kenflo comeback!! Not likely but would be cool

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:49 PM)

Good point. If ever there was going to be a temptation for a comeback, that would be it. Boston. I saw that Joe Lauzon was lobbying pretty hard to be on that card. "Lobbying" is probably the wrong word. He said "I better be on that Boston card." My guess is, he will.

alex (ct)

I wish they wouldn't strip Cruz but at this point its the best decision to make from a fan's and Dana's standpoint

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:50 PM)

Agree, Alex. Tough situation. It's not Cruz's fault. I feel bad for him, particularly for spending nearly a year rehabbing only to have the cadaver tendon not work. Brutal stretch for Cruz. At least he's securing his post-fight future on television. And here's guessing he comes back in the exact form he left in.

Dennis (MI)

do high profile nike athletes have extra trouble with the law or general public? bones, pistorious, armstrong come to mind.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:51 PM)

Haven't thought of it, but does seem like a trend of late. Plenty of high-profile Nike athletes have behaved too, though.

Peter (Boston)

Is grant v maynard essentially number 1 contender fight? Maynard appears to be top guy and with cerrone coming off a loss, diaz already getting dismantled, and pettis bolting for 145 what other options are there?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

It would seem to me that it is, because if A) Pettis beats Aldo, he stays at 145 to defend that belt or B) he loses, and as such loses his seeding at 155. How crazy would it be for TJ Grant to emerge from that cluster of 155ers as the next contender?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

Grant's tough as nails (as the saying goes), but I can't think of a bigger threat to Bendo's belt than Maynard.

alex (ct)

Quinnipiac all the way

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:53 PM)

They are the top seed....would like to see them do well.

Ken (ca.)

Lamas vs Barao seemed like a great match up to me. Are you giving Wineland a good shot?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:54 PM)

Not really. I think Barao will handle Wineland. Too many weapons, man. Too blurry. Too much everything.

alex (ct)

Can't forget about Aldo possibly entering the 155 mix.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:55 PM)

If that happens, then I would suspect he'd trump Grant/Maynard. Good point. In the immortal words of Dana White, "we'll have to see what happens."

Chris (808 State of Mind)

HAve they signed anyone up for Maia yet? Would love to see him get a crack at the champ...and soon.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

Nothing yet, but suspect he'll either get Ellenberger or MacDonald. My guess is Ellenberger, with Condit and MacDonald still beefing about "unfinished business."

Wesley S. (Undisclosed)

Tell diaz to give my tax guy a call.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:56 PM)

I will. (But we're not supposed to mention the "D" word in here anymore).

Ken (ca.)

Are you giving Josh Thomson a good shot of beating Nate next month?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:58 PM)

I do give him a decent shot. He fought Melendez pretty well. I think he's a scrappy dude, and he's always dangerous. Thing is, Diaz and Melendez have had Thomson in their crosshairs so much, it probably feels like that Cesar Gracie owns his rights.

@dneighbor (NJ)

Are you traveling to Brazil to support your boy Nick Lentz?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:58 PM)

Doesn't look that way. I will have to admire (cringe, watch in mute horror, curl up in a corner) from afar.

Andy (Florida)

Who going to win the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert Guerrero??

Chuck Mindenhall
  (4:59 PM)

Guerrero has a lot on his mind right now. That's a mess he's in.

tyler (OKC)

Arguing with a buddy last night. He thinks Ryan Couture (on name alone) is going to be big in the UFC. It got heated when I said he wouldn't even get by Pearson this weekend. Who's right? Tell me he's just drinking the Kool-Aid!

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:00 PM)

I think you are right; Pearson might be the guy to dial back the Couture train a little bit.

Peter (Dallas)

What do you think of Condit saying there's "unfinished business" with MacDonald? I was surprised to see Condit saying that, when he as the winner the last time through. Seems like MacDonald should be the one saying that.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:01 PM)

I think Condit is about as fighterly as they come. He wants to fight, and that's it. If MacDonald is chirping his name out there, then Condit's mindset is, bring it. Besides, it's a shrewd move, isn't it? Condit loses two in a row and is nowhere near contention, gets MacDonald, who has a lot of spotlight as a contender? Condit wins that, he's right back.

Ricky D (Atlanta)

Chuck, nice piece on Cruz needed to surrender his belt. I've been saying that for a long time now. In your opinion, when he comes back and faces Renan Barao, who will be the favorite in that fight?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

So much figures into that. If Barao gets by Wineland (and I think he will), and Cruz comes back to face him immediately, I'd give a slight edge to Barao. He's been active. There would be a lot of question marks with Cruz. But if Cruz comes back, fights somebody else first, gets his bearings, and then gets Barao? Even money.

Alan (Oakland)

Rory Markham in for assault, Guerrero getting caught with a gun at the NY airport...what's going on with these fighters?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:03 PM)

It's almost like they've been hit in the head too many times.

Tom (Utah)

Don't you think it's too much of a risk for the UFC to have Condit with three losses in a row?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:04 PM)

That is a question. There's a chance Joe Silva says, hey, Carlos, you need to win here...but my guess is Condit will want the best he can get, and MacDonald is still volunteering.

Dennis (MI)

wheres the best place to eat in denver?

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:06 PM)

Depends on what you're looking for. Boulder and Denver are full of great restaurants. If you want Rocky Mountain Oysters, go to The Fort. If you want ambiance, hey, Casa Bonita. That's the cult favorite.

Peter (Boston)

Next for yushin "snoozefest" okami they should just keep feeding him irrelevant guys because hes a tough out but has no chance of even sniffing a title shot

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:07 PM)

Can't see him getting back to Silva again. Just won't happen. So, yes. He'll continue on in the Fitch mode.

Joe (Boston)

Early prediction on how TKZ/Lamas plays out? Tough fight to call

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:08 PM)

Going Lamas, but it's a tough one. I haven't fully contemplated it. That is going to be a great fight.

Brock L (Minn. )

is the easter bunny coming to your place this weekend? im not allowed to hunt anymore...

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:08 PM)

The ice should be off Lake Ida soon, my man. Bring home those spring crappie.

Chuck Mindenhall
  (5:09 PM)

Alright guys, I need to bounce out of here. Thanks for joining in on the Friday Chat (which needs a name...Hey Bro Friday didn't take). Hit my twitter feed anytime (@ChuckMindenhall), and let's do it again next week.