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October 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Brett Okamoto

Brett Okamoto
  (1:01 PM)

Happy Wednesday fight fans. Thanks for joining the chat as always. Let's get right to it today ...

Marc (Chicago, IL)

I was already on the fence about Rousey (whether to root for or against her) prior to TUF, but now I am firmly in the Tate camp. How much has she damaged her brand filming the show? I know people will tune in either way, but she must be making sponsors nervous.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:03 PM)

I've only seen two of the episodes so far, just to throw that out there. I honestly doubt sponsors are nervous about her appearance from the show ... just the fact she's on the show makes her more marketable, regardless of how she comes off on it. I don't think it will be an issue for her, feel like it's been overblown ... kind of funny that cameras around her all the time sort of made her that way, yet she's becoming more of an actress by the day.

James (Albany)

Good article on Mike Pearce. Is there any more "under the radar" guy in MMA who get's the job done yet only probably get's recognized by die hards?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:06 PM)

Yeah, I'm sure there is ... If any other chatters want to throw some names out there we can group answer this one. Pierce might just be the absolute best example of it right now in the UFC. Francis Carmont is sort of like it actually, but I think that sort of changed after he won his last fight on a main card, people are talking about him. Mike Pyle sort of comes to mind, but I sort of had a suspicion on Pyle that his win streak would end when the competition rose.

timon berlin [via mobile]

Hey brett Over under 5.5 consecetive title defenses for cain if beats jds this month

Brett Okamoto
  (1:06 PM)

.... I mean, you'd have to take the over I think but that's one I wouldn't bet money on. Heavyweight is too volatile.

LarrySandersJoe (Newark, UK)

Hi Brett. Do officials check fighters' toenails before a fight? I know the majority of kicks land using the top of the foot but we do see the odd shot landing toe-first. Wouldn't fancy a kick to the ribs with a few millimetres growth

Brett Okamoto
  (1:07 PM)

Now there's a different question than we are used to. Yes, commissions check the nails. Good commissions at least. I've actually seen a commission member force a guy to clip his nails right before entering the cage, like after he walked out. You would think they'd check him in the back but they must have noticed late. Can't remember who it was.

kambera manir (worcester)

Do you think silva v weidman 2 will break the ppv record

Brett Okamoto
  (1:09 PM)

My guess right now is that it will come close, but not break it. Honestly, I think it depends on what kind of mainstream exposure the fight gets. I think the PPV number will obviously be affected by how much shows like Sportscenter focus on it. How much Fox builds it up on its network shows. It's all about getting the casual fan to buy, the non-MMA fan, so it needs that mainstream media exposure.

Keith Cardoza [via mobile]

Hey Brett, do you think Jones will go back to the drawing board in regards to his grappling game given Gus's success? If wrestling practice will Phil Davis can keep him off the ground I am sure anyone matching up against him will look to incorporate a similar plan to stay on the feet. Also Jones stated he trained boxing. Is this the end of Jones trying to beat fighters at there specialty? I mean it makes for excitement but long careers probably not so much that was a war.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:12 PM)

I don't think Jones really "tries to beat guys at their specialty." I think that's a myth, personally. It was built around him outwrestling Chael, but in my mind, of course he was going to outwrestle Chael. He's like, twice the size of Chael Chael is a middleweight, Jones could be a heavyweight. Even though Chael has better wrestling credentials, it made sense for Jones to clinch him and put him on his back. With Gus, I didn't see Jones trying to outbox him. He was kicking, looked for a couple takedowns. Anyway, that's how I feel about this idea that he tries to beat guys at their own game, I've seen it a lot and I just don't agree with it. In regards to him focusing on grappling, I think Jones is one of those guys just trying to get better at everything.

LarrySandersJoe (Newark, UK)

Hi Brett. Next time you meet the higher-ups at ESPN could you ask them to consider giving the Chat section greater prominence on the home page? I can navigate through the laptop fine but it's nigh on impossible to find through the mobile app. Thanks!

Brett Okamoto
  (1:12 PM)

Thanks for the tip Larry, I'll pass it along.

Hector [via mobile]

With the trilogy just a few weeks away... How are you leaning towards the Cain vs JDS throw down??

Brett Okamoto
  (1:14 PM)

............... (thinking) ................ I'm really 50/50 on it honestly. I know most people are leaning Cain, but we've seen what a guy with great striking and good takedown defense can do in the Octagon. I actually think I kinda lean JDS right now, but I'll probably change my mind.

James (Tokyo (JPN) )

Last week you were asked about BJ and said you'd raised it with Dana who didnt seem concerned. Given that Edgar / Penn is the next Ultimate Fighter and they're basing a series around Penn, I'd hope that they're confident / got some gtee's that he can make weight?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:16 PM)

Yeah, BJ wanted to fight Frankie and Dana has the type of relationship with BJ that he wants to do right by him. I agree, if you're going to build a show around it then you have to know the fight will happen at the end, but the reason I brought it up is because who knows, maybe as the fight gets closer BJ calls up Dana and says, "Man, the weight just isn't coming off. We have to do it at 155." I see the potential for something like that, but Dana claims he believes BJ will make it to 145.

Cameron (Auckland (NZ) )

In the sad aftermath of Leandro Souza's death, I was reading an interview with Mike Dolce where he basically said the do's and dont's of weight cuts. Do you see this forcing any changes (legally) and is there are % max that a fighter can (healthily) lose before weigh in?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:17 PM)

There's no real right answer to the max % a fighter can lose, not scientifically speaking of legally speaking. I don't see something occurring where a commission imposes a restriction on how much weight a fighter can lose ... you just can't. People are different, and it'd be a nightmare to monitor. It was just a tragic case man, and hopefully one fighters will learn from themselves.

sean austin [via mobile]

How do u think the 20th aniversary show stacks up against ufc 100

Brett Okamoto
  (1:18 PM)

On paper, not quite as good, but I think the fights will actually play out better than 100.

Nick (Melbourne (Australia))

Hi Brett, Re your article on the Light Heavies, I get the impression that DC was almost "first up" for Jon Jones but now he is possibly 3rd in line behind Gus and Tex. If he can make weight, who would you have him fighting first - maybe Machida or Evans or should he go for a title eliminator with Gus? (pity the loser though)

Brett Okamoto
  (1:19 PM)

I think it all depends on how long it takes DC to cut to 205. It's not coming off overnight for him. He's been in the process of losing weight for basically a year now.

Sandy (Gainesville)

Will Werdum fight the winner of JDS/Cain?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:19 PM)

That seems to be the plan, yes.

Sandy (Gainesville)

What do you think is next for Phil Davis, Alexander Gustafsson, and Gegard Mousasi, Lil Nog?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:21 PM)

Gustafsson vs. Davis makes a lot of sense but I don't see it happening. You kill off a contender, for one, and they're training partners now. I've never heard anything like, :"They're best friends now and would absolutely not fight" but I think they'd obviously push against it a bit and it's not a fight the UFC really, desperately needs. Mousasi is injured ... I think Dana said last week he could still be out an additional 5-6 months. Maybe Evans/Hendo plays into this. Let's say Hendo got the upset over Evans, he'd be a no brainer to fight Gus early 2014.

Thaddeus (Arizona)

GSP vs. Hendricks - Who wins and why?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:22 PM)

Glad you asked :) Hendricks, because of the left hand. We've hashed out Hendricks/GSP a lot on this chat. I believe in Hendricks ... but I've failed to persuade most of you to agree with me.

tom (utah)

I cut 20% of my walk around weight in college at 4% body fat....about 4 times a year. About the max I would think, but it is a body fat and natural weight thing. BTW I am a naturally chubby guy like BJ he can easily make 145.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:23 PM)

Coming from a naturally chubby guy himself, there you go folks. Yeah, looking at BJ he should be able to make 145. This late in his career though? And is he the same guy? Those are valid questions.

Jerry (Cortland, IL)

Evans/Chael, you mean?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:24 PM)

Yeah, Evans/Chael, sorry got that mixed up. If Hendo pulls off the upset over Vitor, he could fight Gus. Evans, if he beats Chael, could fight Gus. Those are actually probably the most likely options.

Chris (808 State of Mind)

Hendrix winging a left hand at the most well rounded mixed martial artist on the plant isn't going to convince alot of people....

Ken (ca.)

Some of us Believe in Hendricks, just not against GSP .......

Brett Okamoto
  (1:24 PM)

See what I mean?

connery (Boston)

Where does Machida go with a convincing win over Munoz? I know he won't fight Silva, so let's presume Wiedman's the champ. Do you see that win being enough with Belfort in no man's land fighting at Light Heavyweight and the TRT issue?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:26 PM)

You could make Belfort/Machida in Brazil if you're the UFC. That's pretty win-win. That would finally get Belfort over the hump and into title contention you would think. Machida being friends with Anderson, who is friends with Jacare ... all that doesn't help.

connery (Boston)

No disrespect to Rafael Natal, but do you think the UFC wishes it waited a couple more days to release Okami? Okami vs Kennedy is a better sell and better test for Kennedy...

Brett Okamoto
  (1:27 PM)

No, from what I was able to gather, and I'm putting pieces together this wasn't explicitly told to me, the UFC knew about BIsping's eye problem before they let Okami go. So, they let him go even knowing they were down a middleweight.

Aaron (Calgary, AB)

I still feel the Okami cut puzzling. Yet, fighters like Yoshihiro Akiyama, who is on a 4 fight losing streak (the last two of which he was manhandled) are still there. Is he really that big of a draw in Japan that they keep him around? Any word on what's next for Sexyama?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:29 PM)

He's another guy, like Mousasi, where it feels like he's been injured for decades. When he gets brought up to Dana, Dana says they'll be giving him a fight as soon as he's healthy. In regards to the Okami thing, the thing with Okami is just that we all knew EXACTLY what we were getting with him every time. There was no intrigue there anymore. That's not to say I'm a fan of cutting him, because he won fights, but it came down to a business position and Okami was just so vanilla, man. Vanilla in his comments, vanilla in his fighting style. He's been with the UFC for SEVEN YEARS. That's a lot of vanilla.

Andrew (Virginia)

Is a Mendes/Lamas match on tap?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:30 PM)

Still nothing on that one. I sort of expected Dana to talk about Jose Aldo when he took Anderson and Weidman to Brazil but there were no real updates on him.

Matt (NYC)

Hey Brett. Can we get your main card picks for Friday's Bellator event? Thanks.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:32 PM)

I pretty much like all the favorites ... don't know a whole lot about Mark Godbeer to be honest with you. I've reached the point with Cheick Kongo, where I'm actually still interested in his fights only to see what weird strategy he uses. It's like he comes up with the worst way possible to fight his opponents.

Jerry (Cortland, IL)

Where were all the Okami fans when he was in the UFC? They're coming out of the woodwork now that he's gone, but nobody was ever clamoring to see him fight. I get that this blurs the business/sport line, but the fact is, he was never a draw and at this point was probably paid a ton. It makes perfect sense in the Fitch mold.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:33 PM)

I don't think he was really "paid a ton." He was decently paid. I was more thrown off from the Fitch cut then this Okami cut. Not substantially so, but that Fitch cut sort of came out of nowhere. It's like I said, Okami was given a looooong opportunity in the UFC, he was a main card fighter ... and after all of it, he failed to develop a fan base and (if we're being honest) was never going to hold the title. I understand why the UFC wouldn't want to give up a roster spot for that.

Zach (St. Louis )

What up Brett. Sooo what are your thoughts on hendo and vitor? I'm really looking forward. I think dan will win.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:35 PM)

Tough to pick against New Vitor in Brazil. He's been an animal down there and his speed advantage on Dan is going to be insane. I can't co-sign your Dan pick, but you know Dan isn't just going to go down easy in the first minute. I'm expecting one of those tense, edge of your seat fights where it's not necessarily a back and forth dog fight, it's just that feeling of "something crazy is going to happen any freaking second here."

Jerry (Cortland, IL)

What do you think about Sergio Pettis? I've seen a few of his fights and think he can make some waves in the lower weight classes, whether its 25, 35, or even 45.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:38 PM)

Yeah, there's a lot to like. Well rounded, similar style to his brother, and has that same unwavering confidence that Anthony has. Star potential for sure. I hope he stays at 125, UFC needs flyweights. He is extremely young ... but he's got a lot of experience for his age ... you almost wonder if the UFC was waiting on Anthony to possibly win a belt before they signed Sergio ... just to give him that little extra boost. It does seem a little funny he's been good for a long time and wasn't signed, then big brother holds the belt and he's signed within a month, right?

Phil (Leicester, UK)

Was Jones-Gusatafsson #1 the UFC fight ever? And who won?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:40 PM)

I've thought about it and I'm comfortable saying it was the best fight ever. I mean, trying to name the best fight in UFC history is going to be difficult and we're all of course never going to agree. My list starts with Jones/Gustafsson, then Shogun/Hendo, then Maynard/Edgar II. Who won? I scored it 48-47 for Gus live, but was happy Jones won because he won the championship rounds. When I rewatched it at home, I thought 48-47 Jones was probably the right call.

J all day (Kansas)

Faber VS McDonald = Barnburner - what's your take? Mcdonald on the feet, Urijah on the floor?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:40 PM)

That's a real simple way of putting it but yeah, I basically agree. No odds out on that fight yet ... I'm willing to guess McDonald is about a -200 favorite though. Seriously.

Ken (ca.)

Not to belabor our conversation on the question you asked Weidman about the fight being "easy," but were/are you wondering, as I am, if he had not given up top position to go for the leg lock that he could have finished Silva with more GNP shots ?? Spiders don't like being on their backs !!

Brett Okamoto
  (1:43 PM)

That's the main question (well, one of them) heading into the rematch. It's highly unlikely the fight goes the same way, right? Possible, but unlikely. The question is still the same as it was in the first fight, can Weidman get him down and hold him there? I think he can hold him there from what I saw. He went for that leg lock and that was pretty much a dumb move. Let Anderson back up. Then he struggled to get him back down when he tried to do it. So much of the rematch hinges on his takedowns again. If he takes him down ... I'm pretty much sure he can keep him there.

paul [via mobile]

Who do you pick prime Iceman or Glover

Brett Okamoto
  (1:43 PM)

First of all, great fight. Great question. Prime Iceman.

bake (georgia)

when do u think Rory Mcdonald will wear the UFC Title?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:46 PM)

Hmmm. Interesting, my mind is going through all kinds of scenarios. If Hendricks knocks GSP out ... I mean, it depends on how the fight goes, but I think eventually they decide lets do a rematch in Montreal. Huge fight for the Canadians. They put Rory on the same card. If Hendricks maintains the belt and Rory keeps winning, then Hendricks/Rory in late 2014. Simple answer to your question ... I think Rory will hold the belt no later than 2015. I think he's that good.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Speaking of BJ's body tone..don't you think you can almost just look at him when he walks out vs. Frankie and know if he'll win or not? Last 2 times he has looked far out of shape...Natural or not..

Brett Okamoto
  (1:47 PM)

Man, I haaaaaaaate to say this. Truly hate it. BJ is literally one of my favorite fighters to cover in this sport, but I think I can tell you right now, sitting here, he's not winning that fight, regardless of how he looks when he walks out.

eric (Co)

Best way to be a poser...Tap Out flat bill hat, Affliction t-shirt or soul patch?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:49 PM)

.... No comment. I can't offend any of my readers here. That reminds me, guys, I got beer thrown on me for the first time ever at Jones/Gustafsson. Mark it down. Landmark day for me. They read the decisions and splash, beer all over my computer.

hector (chicago)

wow! after the bating JDS took from Cain and yet you still favor JDS. utterly confused

Brett Okamoto
  (1:49 PM)

I said I was 50/50 Hector!

Craig (KC)

The reason I do not like immediate rematches. If Anderson wins, do we see Silva/Weidman 3, and the top of the division gets held up for almost 2 years?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:50 PM)

Nah, if Anderson wins we throw Chris under the bus and say it was a fluke because Anderson was goofing around. Bring on Jon Jones.

Jerry (Cortland, IL)

Even if they strip him, do you think Cruz's first fight back would be against Barao? I'd really love to see that fight, but not with a rusty Cruz. I'd like to see him get his feet wet first.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:50 PM)

It's going to be Cruz/Barao when Cruz finally comes back. It just is.

connery (Boston)

BJ's my favorite fighter of all time, so I feel your pain on your last BJ question. Who would you have him fight if he was making a more conventional return to the UFC at featherweight?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:51 PM)

I wouldn't have him fight at featherweight, I'd have him fight at lightweight ... and I don't know, Donald Cerrone would be cool. Actually yes, I do know, it would be Donald Cerrone.

Tim (North Olmsted)

I guess you can say the Tribe won the Ubaldo trade - no way they make the playoffs without his post-All Star break tear.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:52 PM)

I don't know Tim, we did get a solid 9.85 ERA from Alex White before giving him to the Astros. And Drew Pomeranz looks like he's just about ready to not walk 5 guys/inning. You don't miss those guys at all?

Troy (Spokane)

If you continue to "lean" toward JDS, I would be open to a friendly wager. I think we will see a rerun of the second fight. JDS has a ton of heart, but Cain is just relentless.

Brett Okamoto
  (1:53 PM)

Ok ... if I end up picking JDS, friendly wager is on.

Sandy (Gainesville)

I know this gets asked frequently, but what the heck is going on with Todd Duffee!?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:54 PM)

I was honestly wondering that just yesterday. He posts the strangest things on Twitter. I used to try and read into them, but that just became a dangerous, weird game. I can't even remember who his last manager was, but I called him one day and he was like, Nope, Todd fired me. That guy is insanely hard to predict. I have no idea what's going on with Todd and anybody who says they do is a liar.

Sandy (Gainesville)

The welterweight division is stacked with contenders. MacDonald, Brown, Lawler, Condit, Maia. Which one of these guys do you think will fight for the title next?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:55 PM)

Tough to predict with the title fight coming up and all those guys sort of fighting each other ... I'd say Lawler is in an outstanding position if he beats MacDonald. Brown, Condit still a few wins away.

timon berlin [via mobile]

Greetings from germany Dana keeps saying that silva weidman will be the biggest ppv ever Franklin mcneil says the same about jones gustaffson ...i think both will be huge but neither will do better than ufc 100s 1.6 mio ppv buys Think they will do sth like 1.2 mio Thoughts?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:57 PM)

I already talked about 168 ... as of right now I predict it will come close to breaking the record but fall short, but that could change once I see how media outlets are covering it. I don't think Jones/Gustafsson beats UFC 100 numbers.

Marc (Chicago, IL)

Does your wife follow MMA/boxing, too? If so, who does she root for/against?

Brett Okamoto
  (1:58 PM)

Not really. She'll watch the Countdown shows, TUF and 24/7 because she's obsessed with any kind of reality show ... she knows who the fighters are but she couldn't really tell you their records or anything. She is a huge fan of JDS, just because she thinks he's a giant, violent teddy bear. Which he is.

Tim (Brighton, MA)

Hey Brett,Tough break for Bisping, I'm one of the few guys I know who don't hate the guy. He's undoubtedly a super tough guy, but hope he comes back strong soon. With that said, I like the Machida Munoz matchup maybe even better. Do you think Munoz is a guy who can catch Machida and get him down? At this stage in his career, plus having to deal with a cut he isn't used to, do you expect Machida to fight any differently than his recent passive and safe style?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:00 PM)

I don't expect Machida to fight any different, no. He fights basically the exact same fight, every single time, regardless of the situation or the opponent. I think Munoz is so intelligent that he'll come up with the right game plan ... but I don't know if he can execute it. Machida probably wins that.

Jeffrey Custer (Knoxville TN) [via mobile]

If all of the older guys that aren't ever going to get a title shot retired like we say they should (Rua, Franklin, Penn, Mir, etc...) Who would the new guys fight to make a name for themselves? We brush off anyone with a winning record against "nobodys" as untested.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:01 PM)

Was this a question, or an observation? Yeah, that's true. Always has been and always will be in combat sports. Veteran vs. the new guy.

Stoke (Oregon)

When Maia beats Jake we get to say bye to Jake, right?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:01 PM)

Most likely.

Theo (Las Vegas)

What is Warren's ceiling?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:02 PM)

He's pretty much reached it. A guy who will give you a fun fight and talk it up. A good enough wrestler to win the majority of his fights, but not really a super, super elite talent. I don't think he can win the Bellator belt at 135, if that's what you're asking.

Larry (Vancouver BC)

Glover instead of the Mauler??Understand how UFC may want to "slow cook" the rematch....but is it a risk worth to take??

Brett Okamoto
  (2:03 PM)

I think so. Gus and Jones are 26. They'll most likely fight again at some point anyway.

Bernard (Philly)

My son actually trains with Wilson Reis locally (a really great guy). Any thoughts on his future in UFC? He scored a nice upset win recently.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:04 PM)

Yeah he did, he looked good. I was honestly kind of waiting for him to get tired in the second and third rounds, I thought Menjivar could weather a storm and then outpoint him late, but it never happened. He was in great shape and he fought a smart fight. He could be a handful for just about anybody.

@PappaFeez (PHX)

Thoughts on Breaking Bad finale?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:05 PM)

No complaints. SPOILER ALERT ----

Brett Okamoto
  (2:05 PM)

No complaints, but you're telling me the Neo-Nazi gang isn't checking Walt's trunk when he drives in? Come on. They're checking his trunk.

Scott (Raleigh)

Brett, in your opinion, who are the best ex-fighters that have become commentators? I liked Frank Mir, but he's never on anymore. I like K. Florian too, but he gets little exposure. How does all that work?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:06 PM)

How does what work? .... How the UFC picks these guys? They audition for it. My favorite fighter-commentator would probably go in this order ... 1. Brian Stann 2. Dominick Cruz 3. Chael Sonnen 4. Daniel Cormier.

connery (Boston)

Who you got in the World Series?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:07 PM)

I'd like to see the Braves win it all. My brother in law is a longtime fan of theirs. Obviously, Dodgers are gonna be tough in first round.

V (CA)

Who ya got, Bradley or Marquez?

Brett Okamoto
  (2:08 PM)

I'm taking Bradley. Excited for that fight. I'll be live blogging it from Thomas & Mack for ESPN, stop in during that chat on Saturday if you can.

Brett Okamoto
  (2:09 PM)

Alright cool, let's wrap it there. As I just mentioned, I'm working the Timothy Bradley, JMM fight in Vegas next week so check out the ESPN boxing page over the next week and half. Should be a good fight. Enjoy the weekend. Enjoy Cheick Kongo's Bellator debut. See you back here in a week. Later.