Finally time for another MMA chat. Let's see ... good fights over the last couple weekends to discuss. Some new fight announcements out there. I would also suggest you guys read a story I posted on Monday, regarding enhanced drug testing in Nevada. The athletic commission randomly tested Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler while they were in Baltimore last weekend. Blood and urine. This is a bit of a first for the UFC and they paid for it. We are seeing movements on the drug testing front. Not always as exciting to talk about as a Jon Jones title defense, but equally important, really. If you haven't checked it out, please do. Now to your questions.
5 part question 1 any word from andra pedantis on aldos next opponent 2 will spike do a 2 fight master 3 any word on hindricks surgery next opponent 4 when will curen come over big fan 5 do you think Phil looked past rumble and finishing off best 5 fighters under 25
1. It will be Chad Mendes. 2. I don't think so. 3. Hendricks' surgery went well, I think he'll fight winner of MacDonald/Woodley. 4. Don't know his contract status off top of my head and he probably has a champion clause if he still has the belt. 5. Maybe a little, but I think Rumble was just very good on Saturday. 6. I don't want to take a ton of time looking up guys' ages but I will say some young prospects that come to mind ... Mirsad Bektic, Aljamain Sterling, Justin Scroggins, Sergio Pettis
What do you think about the pitbulls return? Do you think he can be a top 5 heavyweight or just a punching bag for upcoming heavyweights?
Probably more of the latter ... but as I've said in this chat frequently, the heavyweight division is pretty open. Frank Mir is currently No. 10, according to UFC rankings. Arlovski wouldn't be a punching bag for Mir ... and he's Top 10!
Brett, I'm sure it would some how hinder a fighters performance, but do u think there is any way we could see fighters miked up? How cool would it be to hear the trash talk, hear the sound of impact, maybe the wind getting knocked out, ect. Please pass along to Dana
It would be a safety issue that the commission would have to approve. A mic, depending on where it is, could somehow cut someone, poke them in the eye, whatever. I'm sure there are ways to make it as safe as possible, but that's just one more thing in the cage that can cause a freak injury. I don't see it happening.
HEY...MOTO....love the chat as always....how come no werdum vs allister....dosnt allister have two wins over him......btw. could mudana upset money may......idk. but he kod brooner. It'll be good who u got.....thx moto
Werdum deserves the belt at this point. I didn't think he deserved to sit on the shelf for like 1.5 years waiting for it, but now that he got in the cage and beat down Travis Browne, he deserves it. Timing makes sense, coach TUF, fight Velasquez in November. I'm cool with it. Overeem doesn't deserve a No. 1 contender fight right now, are you kidding? Can't wait for Mayweather/Maidana. I'll be there and actually everyone in this chat should join me on Saturday night in the boxing chat, I'll be doing play by play. Have to pick Floyd by UD, but excited to see it.
Continuous finger pokes are pretty rare throughout a match because the refs do a good job of warning and then penalizing fighters. But the Jones/Texeira match was pretty egregious bc Jones was pawing Texeira's face for most of the fight. Do you think that Jon Jones is now the Michael Jordan of the MMA world? Put another way, is he getting away with things that other fighters don't or was it just bad reffing? Or am I out of line (totally open to that answer as well)?
I haven't rewatched the fight yet ... I will say that from my spot cageside, it looked like Jones poked Glover pretty bad in the second? (first? I think second) round and Dan Miragliotta warned him. Then he continued to put his hand on Glover's forehead, but didn't really poke him the rest of the way. He was in that ballpark, but I didn't see Glover really reacting to an eyepoke after Jones was warned in the second round. You could still argue it's a dangerous tactic and Jones shouldn't be doing it even if he managed to not poke Glover more than once, but legally speaking, I don't think he did anything that constituted a foul after that second round. At least not that I saw watching live.
How about Anthony Johnson? I think what he did to Davis is far more impressive than DC's eventual thrashing of Hendo will be
Tough to compare the two since we haven't seen DC/Hendo, but I will say I give Johnson a ton of credit. Loooot of people been asking me, "did Phil overlook him?" Maybe a bit, but I lean more towards AJ is actually a legit light heavyweight, far more legit than I thought he was, and his stamina was on point. If he doesn't gas and he defends takedowns, he can win a lot of fights at 205.
I'm new to MMA fandom and I've read a few articles mentioning a 'catch-weight' fight between Rousey and Cyborg. What exactly does 'catch-weight' mean?
A compromise. Rousey fights at 135 pounds, Cyborg fights at 145 pounds, so to make the fight, they meet in the middle at 140 pounds.
Ummm... Rumble Johnson. That is all.
Indeed. He made Phil look downright tiny on Saturday in the cage. So much talk about AJ is based around his size because he's fluctuated so much ... but I still can't get past it. The man is enormous.
Is Rory Mac's 'Ares' moniker the lamest in MMA?
If it's not, it's riiiiight up there.
Does the McDonald-Woodley winner fight for the belt? And when would Hendricks be ready for another fight?
Dana White has refrained from making that official but yeah, I think that's the fight when it comes to determining contender at 170 pounds. Hendricks will be ready before the end of the year ... October was what he mentioned the last time I spoke to him. Not sure if that's changed since then.
With 20/20 hindsight, is everyone guilty of over-inflating Phil Davis? Aside from his staring contest with Machida, it's been over 3 years since he's had a meaningful win...
Nah, I don't think so. In my eyes, he should have been about a 2-to-1 favorite over a guy like Anthony Johnson. He deserved to be ranked where he was ... he had only lost one fight previously. I think we underestimated AJ more than overestimated Phil.
And to speak more on that, I mean, Phil is Phil. My expectations of him were never really a champion-type guy to begin with. I think he can hang around and win fights in the Top 10 for years to come. Will he hold the belt at 205? It's possible, but he's never really been a guy who we all say, 'Oh yeah, when Phil hits his prime he's winning a title no doubt.' He's still Top 5 material, but probably not a champ.
What did you think of the women's fight this weekend? Seems like Jessamyn Duke has no idea how to use her size?
I thought it was awful. I thought they looked like amateur fighters, which they basically are. The female bantamweight division is very thin once you get past the top 6-7 girls ... at the bottom, it's amateurs masquerading as pros. I don't mean to be a jerk, it is what it is. Duke and Correira have a lot of development to do, but since they are in a very thin division, they get placed in the middle of a card in the largest fight promotion in the world.
Can the UFC/Cain really make a big impact in Mexico? Most Mexican Americans I talk to say that boxing is just too big and that the UFC just isn't in the radar yet.
It's going to take time ... won't be like Brazil where it explodes overnight. I don't think the question is really, will MMA overtake boxing in Mexico? It doesn't have to. Can Mexico turn into a strong market for the UFC as it culminates local talent there? 500% yes.
Hey Brett,Who do you think Anthony rumble Johnson should get next but probably will get next?
He should get the winner of Daniel Cormier/Dan Henderson. Sorry DC, I know you want to wait for a title shot after Hendo, but dropping to 205 and beating Patrick Cummins and a fading Dan Henderson does not warrant you sitting on the sidelines for the next 9 to 10 months waiting for either Jones or Gustafsson. DC's big fight was supposed to be against Rashad Evans, unfortunately that didn't happen, so now his path gets longer. He should fight AJ. AJ is healthy and Jones/Gus isn't for at least 6 months.
Hey B, agree with almost all of your opinions and rankings. I feel Glover has been a little undervalued this whole UFC run. He has finished just about everyone, and put up a fight against Jones. Didn't get takendown easily and had his moments all while being injured the whole fight. I thunk after Gus, he put up the best fight against JBJ. Great rankings for LHW, just Rashad...he is not at that caliber anymore. Tex knocks him out.
I would not say Teixeira "put up a fight against Jones." I would say he was completely dominated for 25 minutes. If you want to argue that he would beat Rashad, it's a halfway valid argument. I don't know who wins that fight right now to be honest, but Teixeira just got whooped for five rounds and he only has one win over another Top 10 guy ... so dropping him in rankings is inevitable.
Last year I felt Bisping would have beat Rockhold, now I feel the opposite. Has one declined and one gotten better? Or was the perception just skewed?
Perception has been skewed. Guys, there is a reason Michael Bisping gets called out every day. What kind of opponent do you want to fight in the UFC? Someone with name recognition who you feel you can beat, right? That's MB. And I like Bisping, you know this if you follow the chat, but he's 2-3 in his last five ... He didn't look great in the win over Alan Belcher and I really do think he would have straight up lost to Brian Stann if Stann had been able to defend a few key takedowns in that fight. Rockhold will work over Bisping in my opinion. I take no pleasure in saying that because I think Bisping has had a great career and it's kinda sad he never fought for a title, but Rockhold smokes him at this point.
Can you and do you see Tyrone Woodley ever becoming middleweight champ?
Middleweight champ? No. I think you probably meant welterweight ... yes, I CAN see him becoming champ. DO I though? ... I would have to say no, if I was putting money on it, I don't think he'll ever win it, but he definitely, definitely could. That's a tough one.
Rockhold looks scary...how would he match up against Weidman? Also has he or Jacare improved more since they last fought?
Hmm, good question about Jacare. I would say Rockhold has improved more, but they've both gotten better it feels like. How does Rockhold matchup against Weidman ... you know, back when Weidman was still the undefeated "prospect," I wanted to see Rockhold fight Weidman right when the Strikeforce merger happened. It felt like they were at equal points in their career. Now, I don't know how much perception plays into this, but I feel like Weidan is well equipped to beat Rockhold. He's not easy to hit, he's mobile, intelligent, I think he's one guy who could actually put Rockhold in positions on the floor Rockhold doesn't want to be in. I would take Weidman in that fight.
Why is there no respect for the Light-heavyweight division in the Lbs for Lbs rankings? It seems to me that there isn't a more talented division in the sport; Daniel Cormier is undefeated, and a former Heavyweight champ; Gusgus is has only one loss coming against Phil Davis a long time ago. Yet neither yourselves, nor the UFC website have either of those two folks in their top 10.
I have to say I disagree completely with 205 being the most talented division in the sport. It's got some great fighters but as a whole, not even close to a division like 155. I think DC and Gus are "in the mix" of a P4P ranking, but I will say that it's harder for bigger guys to get into P4P because the smaller guys just do ... more. Their technique is generally better, pace is better, etc. That's just what happens in P4P rankings, heavyweights don't tend to get a lot of love. The one heavyweight on the P4P (Cain), he fights like a welterweight, you know?
Rockhold will fight for a title (fill in date). Is he doing the right thing calling out Belfort (will he ever fight clean?) and Bisping (why fight someone further down the rankings)?
I could see Rockhold fighting for a title in 2015. Will Belfort ever fight clean? Yes, because you would sincerely hope that Belfort will be heavily tested the rest of his career. Hopefully, he doesn't fight anywhere but Nevada. Nevada will test Belfort relentlessly. And Bisping, yeah it makes sense. Rankings matter for sure, but if Rockhold goes in and finishes Bisping in a one-sided fight, it actually does more for him than beating a lesser name who is higher ranked.
Hendricks vs. Woodley would be, legen...wait for it..dary. Ok maybe not quite that, but could see that as an all-out brawl..what would you guess as the line on that fight?
I don't have to guess! I asked an oddsmaker about it ... let me find the email, hang on.
These are from my buddy Nick Kalikas, a pro oddsmaker: Woodley +205, Hendricks -285.
MacDonald +170, Hendricks -230.
Those are estimates of course ... not official lines. He sent me those right after UFC 171.
How good of a matchup is LaFlare vs Nelson in Ireland? I know the hype, but haven't got to see much of these guys fight yet. Does this one excite you?
It does ... I'm not sure it's like "Fight of the Year" candidate ... I saw some people going craaaazy on Twitter about this one. It's a good fight but ... I'm not circling the calendar for it. LaFlare can be hit/miss in terms of being entertaining. Love watching Nelson fight anyone.
What are your early predictions for Cain vs Werdum. I have Cain taking him out in the 3rd TKO
Sounds about right. Maybe even earlier. I don't care that Werdum submitted Fedor from his back ... I just don't think you want to fight Cain from your back. Since Werdum is so confident there though, he won't defend takedowns like his life depends on it. He might work to defend them but when it really gets tough, when Cain is shooting for the zillionth time and it's only the first round, Werdum's gonna be like, whatever, take me down. And when that happens I think Cain opens him up with elbows and punches, wears him out and it's pretty much done.
Agree or Disagree? Conflict adds to a champion's mystique. The sharp corner from disdain The Spider received after the Maia fight to the respect he got after surviving Chael part 1, really was a great narrative to his legacy. The same can be said with Jones. He seems to be embracing conflict, but still fighting like a true champion. Thanks as always
I guess I would say that the Gustafsson fight was good for Jones' career in the long run. And having a "rival" to take on in a rematch that might be the highest selling PPV of 2014 is a good thing. I don't think Jones sniffs 800k PPV buys in October/November without Gus on the other side of the cage. So, in that sense, conflict has been good for Jones.
Hey Brett,Also any Gina Carano news?
Dana White believes he will get a deal done with Carano. It feels like he and Lorenzo Fertitta are kind of done giving day-to-day updates and will just announce it when it happens at this point.
What else can Benavidez do, he's cleaned out the division, other than Bagautinov, but he can't beat the champ... I can't see him being a guy who'd move up... your thoughts???
Keep winning and pray every night for a Demetrious Johnson loss. That's all you can do. He won't move to bantamweight, nor should he.
Another Chat Wed! Lets talk pound for pound; everyone unanimously has Jones as #1; the definition of pound for pound is if everyone weighed the same who would win. Jones and Cain are pretty much the same weight and I'm pretty sure you and I agree Cain beats Jones currently so why isnt Cain #1?
Well, I wouldn't say they are the same weight. Jones has to weigh-in for his fights at 205 pounds. Cain weighs about 242. That's not even close to being the same. Your point is not lost on me, though. I think Cain has gone through a little more adversity, like Cheick Kongo nearly knocked him out, JDS did knock him out ... whereas Jones, with the exception of one fight, just cruuuuuises though guys. That's probably where a lot of the difference comes from.
Thanks to some of your advice I went 4-4 on a monster MMA parlay this week Holloway, Benavidez, Miller, and Rumble $50 won $550... nice work Okamoto!!Where does Benavidez go from here, he's cleaned out the dvision and he can't be Mighty Mouse, any chance he moves up??
I answered the Benavidez question so just let me say, congrats on your parlay. I can take no credit for the Rumble pick though, unless I guess maybe you listened to me weeks ago about that fight. I picked Rumble early but by the time the fight arrived I was all over Davis. Anyway, congrats again.
Assuming no injuries, the plan has got to be DC/Hendo winner vs. Bones/Gusto winner correct? Or am I way off here. Personally haven't seen anything to suggest bones loses either fight regardless of the opponent
That appears to be the plan, yes. But I think winner of DC/Hendo should fight AJ.
Any word on who impressed at the TUF auditions this week? I've long hoped for a new weight class to be launched on TUF with the finals for a title and cannot wait. (This season is already a snore.)
No, I didn't attend the auditions. Been to a couple in years past but not this one. I saw on Twitter, sounds like Jessica Penne hit one or two submissions and collected some bonus money Dana was throwing around. I agree though, that season actually intrigues me, which I can't say about any of the other recent ones.
Tough loss for your boy Elliot, but dude seems to have a lot of game. Where does he go next, and also what does Benavidez do? Play gate keeper for three or four more fights and then try MM again?
Yeah, I mean, I'm not sure I understand the reasoning to put him up against Benavidez there. He only started training MMA in 2008. The guy has been on the fast track his entire career, think about it, fought Jens Pulver outside of the UFC, came in and immediately fought John Dodson, Ali Bagautinov, Louis Gaudinot and now Benavidez. Geez. You're gonna lose fights if that's the gauntlet you run through this early on. I'm not giving up on Timothy Elliott at all, he's still a sleeper pick of mine.
Do you think Jones vs Gus happens in Sweden? Do you think Jones should just hand Gus the belt? If he does at least he won't look like a pirate again.
Ha, the pirate joke. Yes. One of the worst jokes of all time. Literally a joke where everyone who hears it feels awkward and hopes the conversation changes immediately because you feel bad for the person who told it. At least Phil redeemed himself with some great one-liners during fight week. The UFC seems genuinely interested in having that fight in Sweden. I guess personally, I would bet on it not happening, but it looks like a real possibility as of right now.
Is it likely that we see Cerrone vs Nurmagomedov for #1 contender?
Well, Dana White said Nate Diaz is ready to fight again. They were interested in that fight once ... I'm sure they'd be interested in it again. I think Nurmagomedov vs. Diaz would be great ... and then I'd go Cerrone vs. Josh Thomson. Also throw T.J. Grant's name in the hat, but I think 'Bib will want to fight again before Grant does.
If Matt Brown destroys Silva this weekend, will the Erick Silva hype train finally stop? I don't get how a guy whose never beaten anybody even close to the top 15 gets a main event against a guy who was going to fight Condit, yet fighters like Wineland are stuck at the bottom of the prelims.
Fair point. You guys know that Silva is a -250 betting favorite in that fight? -250! I thought we might get Silva at like +140 or so, get some decent value on him. Nope. That line surprised me.
Will TUF Mexico be a fight pass product?
I believe so, yes. Focus for UFC obviously is being on Televisa in Latin America, but here in the States, yeah, pretty sure it's Fight Pass.
What is going to end up being Jon Jones' kryptonite? He's been able to stuff takedowns of elite wrestlers like Rashad and BJJ guys like Glover, but he can also stand and trade with the best of them. Cain is 3 inches shorter and gives up 7 inches in reach, so he's very similar in make-up to Teixeira. Does it really take finding another physical freak like Gusty to challenge him seriously?
Yeah, I think it's going to have to take a heavyweight. And a special heavyweight. A guy with the natural punching power and framework of a heavyweight but who can move like a light heavy. I just don't see anyone beating Jones at 205. He could probably break Silva's record of 10 consecutive title defenses no sweat and then move to heavy.
Glover vs 2005 Chuck - who wins? I say Glover.
You think he outwrestles him? I don't know if Glover's right hand to the left hook, repeat, boxing style takes out a prime Chuck Liddell. I would probably go Liddell.
Hey Brett, have you changed your mind yet about who the man to beat Minnie Mouse will be??
Ah, I see what you did there.
It is werid that while I appreciate the talents within Jones, and what he did to Glovers was ridicious...but for some reason I just couldn't like him
It's not weird at all. You don't have to like Kobe in order to love watching him play. Even better example would be Tiger Woods.
2 part question: 1. Who fights the winner of Brown-Sliva? Everyone ranked above Brown looks like they could run right through either of them.2. Who fights the winner of Dos Santos-Miocic? Bigfoot (when does he come back?), Barnett, or Browne?
1. If Brown wins, he's going to be chirping for a title shot or a big name opponent (as he should). I think you give him the winner of Ellenberger/Lawler. If Silva wins, you say nice job, great win, but you're still on the rise, here's a guy ranked around the Top 10-Top 15. 2. That's a toughie. This heavyweight division man ... so empty. I guess Bigfoot. Sure. Why not?
At what point does Lorenzo Fertitta step in and make Rousey vs. Cyborg? Seems that Rousey's PPV's are sinking badly because nobody wants to see a squash fight.
When Cyborg proves she can make the weight and they can come to a deal financially. Fertitta won't be opposed to making that fight if those factors come together, but neither are a guarantee.
Hi Brett, Given the roster size of the UFC, would they have been better off keeping WEC or even Strikeforce running as separate entities? Maybe to serve as a developmental/minor league system?
No. The money making brand is the UFC. To drop money into a "feeder league" makes no sense financially. They can sign prospects, keep them under contract and give them opportunities on the prelims. Funding multiple organizations with different broadcast deals makes no sense. Use the strength of that UFC brand name for every fight.
I read somewhere about possibly having a max cut for pro fighters to prevent health issues. Who do you think this would affect most if it was to happen today, and how far do you think we're away from such a rule?
It would affect a lot of guys, obviously. Anyone who's able to cut a high percentage of his/her natural body weight. I don't see it happening in pro sports ... forcing paid athletes to fight at a certain weight class? I just don't see it. There are other changes commissions can make to the weight-cutting process beyond this. I'm not saying it's a terrible idea, I just think there would be heavy resistance to it. At the very least, I think we're pretty far away from it being a widespread thing.
Who do you think has the better shot of actually beating Hendricks between Woodley and MacDonald?
Personally, I would say Woodley, but the oddsmaker who gave me those lines from earlier obviously disagrees.
When is Rashad Evans back? Any rumors about an opponent for him?
Hopefully later this year. I didn't get a chance to speak with him, but I would assume he's not in the gym yet. As far as opponent, he'll get a real guy first time out. Wouldn't be surprised to see a Ryan Bader-ish opponent.
Do you think Penn would beat Aldo? I think it would be an epic battle. Styles make fights
...... I think if Penn ever fought Aldo for reals and Aldo went 100 percent, that would be the last time we saw Penn in a cage.
Hello Moto, here is the elephant in the room, do you think race has anything to do with how Jon Jones is perceived amongst hardcore mma fans?
I've seen that theory. I'm not going to sit here and say race never has anything to do with Jon Jones. Race can have an underlying effect on anything, really. It's a part of our culture. Do I think it plays a significant effect on fans not liking Jon Jones though? No. I think Jones' perceived "fakeness" in the media, his very early success as an athlete against some very popular opponents, his at-times arrogant personality, some of his fighting tactics, things like the Instagram-gate and his DUI, etc., I think all of those have played a bigger role than race.
Hey Brett. Glover said he stuck to his plan during the Jones' fight and was just overmatched. With your knowledge, what do you think DC's strategy be if he got the nod to take on the champ?
Use more of the cage. Fight like a middleweight, even though DC used to be a heavyweight. Move around, a lot. Fight like Velasquez a bit, set a high pace, don't hang out at one set range too long. Definitely test Jones defensive wrestling. Even though DC gives up some physical advantages to him, look for takedowns inside. It would be a tough game plan to execute.
How's Matt Grice doing? Is he ever going to be able to fight again?
All things considered, good. Will he ever fight again? He wants to. I'm not going to tell anyone what they can and can't do, but I don't see any scenario in which he fights competitively again.
Who do you think the next champ to lose their belt will be? And who do you think they'll lose it to?
The thing about this question is that it's always influenced by which champ is coming up next, you know? Just in general, which champ is most likely to lose his belt ... I think Anthony Pettis has a hard road ahead of him in terms of hanging on to that thing. Weidman has a real tough one on his hands with Machida. The safest belts in the UFC are heavyweight, light heavyweight, women's bantamweight. Renan Barao pretty safe as well.
WHERE AM I????
Come back to us, Todd.
If Rhonda beats Alexis Davis and were to step away from the sport, who would UFC match up for the women's bantamweight title? And who would you see winning?
Well in no way shape or form can I envision Ronda stepping away from the UFC after only four fights (with the last one against Alexis Davis) and potential fights with Carano, Cyborg and Holm still out there ... BUT ... if she did ... whoever is deserving. The UFC would match up whoever is on a win streak at the time. On the current roster, who would hold the belt if there was no Ronda? Cat Zingano if/when she can come back. Sara McMann potentially.
Do you think no chin Cain will be afraid to take Werdum down
No, I do not.
Brett - Do you think "Big John" would have handled the "Jon the ophthalmologist Jones" eye pokes differently than what was allowed during the match.
No. I think he would given a stern warning like Miragliotta did and kept an eye on it. Would have been the exact same most likely.
Alright, cool. Let's wrap for the day. Thanks as always for the questions. Hit me on Twitter with anything I missed, @bokamotoESPN and we'll see you next week. Stop by ESPN on Saturday for the boxing chat from Vegas. Later.