Chat with Brett Okamoto
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com mixed martial arts writer Brett Okamoto stops by to chat about the news from the octagon.
Okamoto joined ESPN.com in December 2010. Previously, he was the boxing/MMA writer for the Las Vegas Sun newspaper and has also worked with Sports Illustrated magazine and CNN.com.
Send your questions now and join Okamoto Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Brett Okamoto (1:01 PM)
What's up! Another good Wednesday to talk about fights. We even have a live card tonight. Good stuff. Good stuff. Let's chat.
Hey Brett,What's your parlay selections looking like?
Brett Okamoto (1:04 PM)
My 2014 resolution is to settle down and make smarter bets. That's not even really pertaining to MMA, I get carried away and start betting NBA halftimes like an idiot far too often. But, I feel like I should apply my resolution to MMA picks in general and having said that, no lines pop out to me on this card. They all seem relatively on. I think Rockhold is a lock, but you have to pay -380 on him ... I sort of like Isaac Vallie-Flagg at +145 but I don't love it. I'd sit this one out, honestly.
Jordan (South Florida)
Who do you think will come out on top in the Jones vs Teixeira fight in April. Is Alexander Gustafsson next in line for a title shot?
Brett Okamoto (1:04 PM)
Jones and yes.
Big Mike (Chicago)
Brett, Why won't the UFC make superfights? The public doesn't care if there is a title on the line or not. I feel they are making the same mistake boxing did with Manny vs Floyd.
Brett Okamoto (1:06 PM)
I want to say they were getting very, very close to making a super fight until Anderson Silva lost. He was the glue that kept those super fights together. Now he's lost twice ... if you want to make a fight between Silva and GSP, that's fine. It's not a TERRIBLE fight, but I'd rather see GSP fight for the belt if he returns as opposed to a relatively meaningless super fight with Silva. There was a time to do it and it's passed.
Fight night. Was the preview you posted the new format for Red Ink?
Brett Okamoto (1:06 PM)
Sort of. It's a work in progress. We are doing away with Red Ink, it wasn't a good format for mobile devices. Plus, I get to say more in the new format. We're adding things to it. Keep checking in before fights.
Paul [via mobile]
Do you still consider Silva GOAT over Fedor?
Brett Okamoto (1:07 PM)
I do, yes.
Rick (St. Louis)
What do you see in Ben Askren's future? I'm hoping UFC is in the cards.
Brett Okamoto (1:09 PM)
Yeah ... I still believe it could be ... but any loss he might suffer would have a big impact on that and the fact is he's getting paid extremely well by ONE FC.
Last week you called UFC 149 the worst ever card. I always thought that distinction went to 147, the PPV that featured Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei in a catch weight bout where the only other "name" fighter on the card was Fabricio Werdum, who faced Mike Russow. Isn't 147 also the lowest selling UFC PPV ever in the "modern" era?
Brett Okamoto (1:12 PM)
147 was not a good card, no, but I can not stress enough how terrible 149 was. The James Head, Brian Ebersole was just weird. I remember Ebersole kept throwing his karate chop thing at Head's thigh but that was it. It was like he had forgot every other technique he'd ever learned. Kongo and Jordan literally hugged for 15 minutes. Boetsch used a stick and move game plan against Lombard. Tim Boetsch. Stuck and moved. Then Urijah broke his rib in the first round and the whole main event looked like a sparring session. It was terrible. I don't know how it could have been worse.
Marc Iveson (UK)
Hey man. If you asked me a year ago if I'd be excited to see Faber fight for a title you I would have said "hell no!" A year on and he got my vote for fighter of the year. I think he has faced tougher guys since he last fought Barao & I'm excited to see what adjustments both have made since the first fight. I'm hoping the short camp won't be a factor. Not worried cardio wise just preperation.
Brett Okamoto (1:13 PM)
Yeah, I wrote a full column on that topic. It's amazing. He's earned the right at a title shot and actually gotten people excited about it. I'm excited for that fight. The casual fan probably won't be but it's a great fight.
Who do you got in this weekends nfl match ups?
Brett Okamoto (1:13 PM)
I like the favorites.
Who needs the win more tonight? It's hard to envision Costas as anything more than gatekeeper if he drops this one. Then again, Rockhold beginning 0-2 in the UFC feels like one loss away from fighting for the WSOF crown vs Okami by next fall...
Brett Okamoto (1:15 PM)
I'm not saying this to be a jerk this is just my analysis, it's hard to envision Costas as more than a gatekeeper even if he wins. He's just not going to catch up to the likes of a Jacare, Weidman even a Munoz when it comes to grappling. That hole is too big. As far as Rockhold to WSOF ... I really don't see him losing this fight. I guess if he does, goes 0-2 ... man, I don't think even if he went 0-3 in his first three they'd cut him. Too talented and marketable.
Taylor (ATL) [via mobile]
Brett... Why do you I think it is okay to compare Ronda Rousey to Royce Gracie. You are by far my favorite ESPN MMA writer. But you are wrong about that subject. Hoyce would achieve the unthinkable and beat fighters that people thought he had no business even fighting. Ronda beats 'fish'. Every one knows she is being shielded from Cyborg because of the money and attention Rousey is bringing to the sport based off of her looks and amazing judo and jitz game. Name one legit striker she has faced in the UFC. What do you think the odds are they make the super catch weight fight we're all waiting for. I don't see any chances of Cyborg losing the weight or the UFC creating the heavier division... Nick Diaz is LEGEND. Not a bust
Brett Okamoto (1:18 PM)
The reason I compared the two was because nobody knows how to deal with Rousey's Judo in a similar way that nobody knew how to deal with Gracie's BJJ. It was completely foreign to them. I'm not really comparing their accomplishments, the fight game is completely different now than it was then. I believe the UFC will make a hard push for Cyborg at some point and it will be a huge developing story. I am a fan of Diaz, he is a fighter I would pay money to watch fight, but he has been a bust since returning to the UFC from Strikeforce. 1-2, retired twice, didn't give GSP a challenge at all. That is a bust, considering the expectations on him.
Obviously there is more to it than PED testing for why GSP left the sport (at least temporarily) but how do you feel this will affect future relationships with the UFC? GSP is (kind of) saying that the UFC doesn't really take testing all that seriously.
Brett Okamoto (1:19 PM)
The UFC isn't happy when one of, if not the biggest stars, it ever created comes out with those types of comments. Having said that, does it mean Lorenzo Fertitta isn't going to be in the GSP business anymore if he wants to return? Of course not. Does it mean GSP would want to fight elsewhere? Of course not.
Are you surprised there was a response from the UFC at all to GSP's comments? Does this make you at least consider that GSP is done for good?
Brett Okamoto (1:20 PM)
I've already considered GSP might be done for good. I don't think it will happen. I'm pretty sure he comes back, but I'm not saying it's a certainty. No, I wasn't surprised Fertitta gave me a response. When this kind of situation happens, I don't think hiding from it would have been the best move.
Regarding Bellator's first card in 2014: Why are they simply recycling old HW's from past tournaments that have no chance at beating Minakov? They really can't find any others?
Brett Okamoto (1:20 PM)
No. They really can't find any others.
So what's the deal with Nurmagomedov? Apparently everyone is ducking him besides your boy MJ. But I think the Eagle deserves to be fighting Melendez or Diaz for sure and then fight for the title. His wrestling is unmatched at lightweight, and I think he'll be champ. Who do you think he ends up fighting?
Brett Okamoto (1:22 PM)
I kinda think he ends up fighting MJ! The Melendez, Diaz thing ... neither of those guys are "scared" to fight the Bib, but they see it as a potentially dangerous fight with not a toooon of upside. You know? Like Melendez could fight Cerrone, which I pitched last week, and it's probably an easier fight with a higher exposure level. So, those two are resisting the fight a bit, or at least asking for higher compensation for it. MJ steps up, Bib responds, I think they could make that fight. There's growing interest in it now.
Nice to be chatting again Brett, I love Yoel, and thought it was nice to see the pre fight coverage give him his props, what's his ceiling?
Brett Okamoto (1:24 PM)
I think a Top 10 guy, but not a champion. He is real fun to watch. One of my favorites at the moment. I hate to be an agist here, but the fact is he's 36. He's still really, really fast for that age so it's not a concern really, but if you think best case scenario he's about one year away from fighting for the belt anyway. That puts him at 37-38 ... it's a shorter window for him to win a belt.
After next week's dud, I'm psyched for the UFC's announcement of Browne/Werdum & Tate/Carmouche on the next Fox card. Since neither one are headlining though, any speculation what the main event will be? With the timing, I think I smell Mighty Mouse again...
Brett Okamoto (1:25 PM)
Ha, that's probably as good a guess as any.
Adam (Long Beach)
How much damage do you think is coming from GSP's critique on the UFC's unwillingness to do anything about PED's? Isn't this the kind of thing the media usually rallies behind?
Brett Okamoto (1:27 PM)
Yeah ... I don't think it causes the type of damage it could though for a few reasons, the biggest one is that while GSP has a good cause, the way he went about it (trying to talk Hendricks into VADA testing and getting mad when Hendricks declined) is hard to rally behind. Nobody can blame Hendricks for not wanting to do VADA testing after some of the details came out and it appeared they had somewhat of a working relationship with St. Pierre.
Dan Hardy's Mohawk (MMA Purgatory)
Buy/sell - The loser of tonight's main event is out of the title picture at 185 permanently
Brett Okamoto (1:28 PM)
Sell. Rockhold could lose and eventually rebound down the road. He's got plenty of career left.
Gil Rodriguez (San Antonio, TX)
With the likes of GSP & Anderson Silva being away from the UFC this year, who do you believe will emerge as the poster boy in 2014 for the UFC?
Brett Okamoto (1:29 PM)
Poster Girl: Ronda Rousey.
Matt (New York)
Too much being made of GSP's comments? Employee/employer relationships sometimes get contentious and neither side is saying anything that rings as completely untrue or malicious.
Brett Okamoto (1:31 PM)
Fair point. For GSP to say PEDs are a "problem" in MMA, that's pretty major considering he's one of the biggest icons of the sport's history. For me though, it feels personal to GSP. Like, he was upset the UFC didn't get behind his specific case when it came to Hendricks. Is it more about this big problem in MMA (which it could be, don't get me wrong) or is it more about his personal feelings towards how they handled that situation?
What non-huge star already(AKA Ronda) do you think could become the next GSP/AS, in regards to star power?
Brett Okamoto (1:32 PM)
I still think Rory MacDonald has a lot going for him, competitively and from a marketing standpoint ... hard to say though. I think it's just harder in this modern MMA for a star to become as big as GSP or Silva.
Broto, do you think the UFC will modify Fight Pass in any way after learning what the WWE Network includes?
Brett Okamoto (1:33 PM)
They were going to modify it eventually anyway. This thing is in its infancy. It will look completely different five years from now. As far as making an immediate change to answer what WWE did? No.
Would you consider Jones vs Cain a "superfight" if Jones beats Glover and Gus again and fights Cain immediately after?? Seems like that one would be big news.
Brett Okamoto (1:34 PM)
Yeah, any champion vs. champion fight would be super, right? That one is a possibility, as is Aldo vs. Pettis.
Haven't talked much about the Bendo-Thomson fight this week. Who you got? And is Stipe a lock this weekend too?
Brett Okamoto (1:35 PM)
I'm pretty sure I've got Ben Henderson. That's not an official pick yet though. Is Stipe a lock? 100% no, he is not a lock. He's good, I like his potential, but Gonzaga has tricks and Stipe is still developing.
Brett, for some strange reason i think Faber is finally going to win his UFC belt, do you have a prediction yet?
Brett Okamoto (1:36 PM)
I'll probably pick Barao ... the challenge for Faber will still be to get in the inside and land something. I think he has to do something on the feet, because Barao is too big, strong, technical to drag down and outgrapple. Faber has to look good on his feet and I think he will, but close rounds go to champions, Barao will dictate more where the fight goes ... hard to pick against Barao.
Seems like its been a while since we have seen Cub Swanson fight...can we just make a Swanson vs Mendes fight happen already?
Brett Okamoto (1:37 PM)
I'm in. The only reason not to do it is that it would burn one of the contenders at 145 pounds, but who cares? They've both lost to Aldo previously anyway. That's a great fight, I'd love to see it.
What do you think about Rhonda being a "villian"?
Brett Okamoto (1:39 PM)
I don't think it lasts. I think she'll be a sweetheart again by the end of the year. She's a chameleon man, she'll be what she needs to be. She's got a good balance -- she can be shy, get the dimples going when she smiles, look at her feet during an interview -- and she can attract the Diaz crowd by throwing middle fingers at Miesha Tate. She can do it all.
Daniel (Portland OR)
Why is no one giving Philippou a shot? I feel like he just needs to touch Rockhold once!
Brett Okamoto (1:40 PM)
I really don't think he can wrestle. Anybody with halfway solid wrestling credentials have held him down and Rockhold can be a finisher on the ground.
What up Moto. I'm thinking of driving to Chicago for the January 25th UFC event. Any advice on best place to sit to see the action without paying $300+?
Brett Okamoto (1:41 PM)
If you don't want to drop a ton of money, just get whatever. You're mostly paying for the crowd atmosphere, say you were there elements anyway. You'll end up watching the screens a lot. This is just my personal opinion, but to me, there's not a huge difference between the seats once you get away from about halfway up the first section.
It seems that everyone has forgotten about UFC 119 with Mirko Cro Cop and Frank Mir. That was a borefest and a complete waste of 45 dollars. It was truly awful. Frank got the KO, but only after he laid on Mirko for 13+ minutes.
Brett Okamoto (1:42 PM)
Yep, that was bad. Bad main event. Not as bad as 149 though.
NATE THE GREAT (BROOKLYN, NY)
I JUST HAVE ONE QUESTION... WHERE IS TODD DUFFEE?
Brett Okamoto (1:43 PM)
Boom. We hit our Todd Duffee quota for the day. Well done guys. Best wishes to a quick recovery go out to the Duff.
Paul B (NY, NY)
Hey Brett- Thoughts on Dillashaw Easton?
Brett Okamoto (1:44 PM)
I like Dillashaw. Not a ton, but Easton sort of has that Diego Sanchez mentality sometimes where if things aren't going his way, he'll put his head down and just walk forward with power punches and hope for the best. That shows heart, but Dillashaw has the skills to handle that pretty easily. I think both guys are going to want to start fast.
What is up with Phil Davis? Haven't heard a word about him, why do all the top guys have matches except the hottest 1 who is on a 3 fight win streak? Wheres Wonderful???
Brett Okamoto (1:46 PM)
I just think there hasn't been a ton of guys for him to fight. Nobody wanted the Davis/Evans fight again. And I can understand why the UFC wouldn't want a Davis/Cormier fight. Davis is healthy and he's put it out there he wants Shogun. That is definitely not a surprising call out. Smart move by Phil. Maybe he gets that.
At what point does the UFC do another TUF heavyweights? That division is getting very thin and also a bit long in the tooth (Nogueria, Barnett, Mir, Overeem, etc)
Brett Okamoto (1:47 PM)
You gotta find the heavyweights to fill it. That's the problem. Like Sandy asked earlier, why doesn't Bellator get some new ones? There aren't many to find right now.
Regarding all the PED talk, everyone will get to see a true champ take out a PED user when Weidman dominates Belfort and shows how having a complete MMA game makes all the difference.
Brett Okamoto (1:47 PM)
Can't wait for the buildup to that. Belfort applying for a TUE in Nevada alone will be high drama.
Why has Gustaffson gotten a shot at Jones, he lost and is getting another shot before Mr. Wonderful who pummeled the Swede and made him tap out...? Does Dana White make these awful matches and rankings?
Brett Okamoto (1:49 PM)
Mr. Wonderful would have gotten a shot by now had he not been completely punked by Rashad Evans when they fought. That proved beyond any doubt he wasn't ready. That's been a long time ago now and Davis is a different fighter, but he's benefited from the chance to build his game. Gus almost beat Jones, so ... it's hard to say he didn't deserve a shot.
Could GSP be the guy to finally form a union?
Brett Okamoto (1:49 PM)
Definitely crossed my mind yesterday while all that was going on.
The strikeforce article got me thinking. Do you think another promotion outside of the UFC will ever have as much talent as strikeforce did?
Brett Okamoto (1:51 PM)
Hmmm, I would say no, most likely. In this environment, it would be tough to match what they had.
Ultimate Warrior (Parts Unknown)
BJ Penn - over under 40% chance at winning vs Edgar (pics from Brazil look like he's already at ~155)
Brett Okamoto (1:51 PM)
..... I'd go under.
Ian (Santa Cruz)
I totally buy the idea that Olympic athletes are on a different level technically and athletically than the average pro athelete (one of the reasons I'm worried about the threat Cormier represents to Bones' title). Considering that Rousey also knows this, do you think she tries to force McMann to stand?
Brett Okamoto (1:53 PM)
No. You take a lifetime wrestler and put them on their back, it's a different story. Most wrestlers are very uncomfortable on their back when they transition to MMA. Rousey will be Rousey. I think she makes slight technical adjustments of course, and I think she really tries to tell herself to be more calculated and not go after McMann as aggressively as some of her previous fights, but for the most part the game plan will stay the same.
Ultimate Warrior (Parts Unknown)
Middleweight champion 1.5 years from now? Machida, Belfort, Jacare, or Weidman?
Brett Okamoto (1:53 PM)
I'm going upset and taking Jacare. Could be any of those though, really. I guess in order I'd predict Jacare, Weidman, Machida, Belfort. But they are all extremely close to one another.
Paul [via mobile]
Why is everyeveryone so high on Woodley? I can't forget what Nate the Great did to him.
Brett Okamoto (1:55 PM)
I will tell you. It's a good question. The reason is that Woodley has finally started to put everything together. Even when he fought Marquardt, at that time he was still just potential. A lot of potential but unpolished. Now he's becoming polished, his mind is right, he's turned a corner. I was not a Woodley believer for a long time, but he's putting things together now.
Is it just me, or is the charisma bar among UFC champs at an all-time low? As a fight fan, I'm motivated by performance in the cage. That said, losing guys like GSP & Silva combined with the sterility of guys like Cain, Mighty Mouse, Weidman and recent champ Bendo and guys we barely get to hear from like Barao and Aldo make the landscape seem a little more boring than when we had champs like Chuck, Brock, BJ, etc.
Brett Okamoto (1:57 PM)
No doubt about it. The "cool" thing in MMA right now is not caring. "I don't care. A fight is a fight. I'm trying to get better every day. It's not that exciting." Come on man, people want exciting. Show some emotion. GSP was kind of like that but he benefitted from getting to the game early, building a huge fan base in the beginning and then obviously just his dominance.
I've seen several mentions recently about Costa Philippou having good striking, but I just haven't seen it watching his prior fights. Everything I've seen of Philippou's striking seems sloppy with very poor technique. Sure, he throws his punches with a lot of force but he never lands squarely. In his 7 UFC bouts, he has decisioned every fight with the exception of 2 TKOs, where one of those was a TKO via headbutt/eye poke vs Boetsch and the other was vs glass-chinned Jared Hamman. What am I missing here? Philippou seems *highly* overrated.
Brett Okamoto (1:58 PM)
I think people are just questioning why it feels like NOBODY is giving him a shot in the fight. Cuz hey, he punches hard. But you're right, his combinations are solid but I don't think they're anything Luke Rockhold hasn't really dealt with before. Even if the fight stays on the feet I think Rockhold wins.
Brett, stop sticking up for Hendricks for ducking the testing. Also, working relationship? VADA does that for all athletes that complete their testing. Hendricks referenced GSP picture on website, so was all other athletes. He's guilty in most public eyes, except his lovers like you.
Brett Okamoto (2:00 PM)
Dude, you've never tested positive for a banned substance in your life and you've been through more rigorous testing than GSP has during your time in NCAA wrestling. You've waited for a title shot, waited, waited, earned one, and now your opponent wants you to do third-party testing through an agency of his choice, which is offering to cover some of the costs and stick your opponent's face on its website. You'd feel comfortable with those set of circumstances? Really?
Over/under: Number of fights left in the UFC for Big & Lil Nog combined: 2.
Brett Okamoto (2:01 PM)
Combined? Gotta go over. They'll hang around longer than they should, like most do.
Hendricks agreed to it Brett then he backed out, how does that look good?
Brett Okamoto (2:03 PM)
He didn't know VADA had agreed to cover most of the costs. It was like a publicity move for VADA and it started to smell wrong to him. I'm not saying VADA would have acted inappropriately or that GSP was in the wrong for advocating for this ... I'm just saying you can't blame Hendricks for saying no. He was tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It's not like no drug testing was going to be involved. He's like, I'll do what every other GSP opponent has done.
A good friend of mine is a huge wrestling fan (not so much MMA) and loaned me their copy of Real Pro Wrestling. I was happy to see King MO, DC and Arron Simpson and a few others, it is worth checking out and seeing these guys way before there MMA days and what they did to build their character/brand in such a short lived but awesome show. Have you seen it Brett?
Brett Okamoto (2:04 PM)
I have not. Not a pro wrestling guy. Just not my thing.
Hendricks doesn't even know the facts, he constantly messed up the WADA and VADA. Props to GSP for attempting to do something positive for the sport. Except people like yourself back Hendricks, ridiculous.
Brett Okamoto (2:05 PM)
The NSAC got involved, got all the parties on the phone and it was actually GSP's camp that was wavering on certain the details, who was paying for what, etc. At that point, Hendricks' team was like, we don't like this, we're out. We have zero obligation to do it.
Your weekly BJ question: if he was to pull off the upset and beat Edgar, how would it need to play out?
Brett Okamoto (2:05 PM)
BJ catches him with something on the feet and then either knocks him out or submits him on the ground. That would probably have to be the most likely scenario.
Do you would pick any middleweight against Ronaldo Jacare? Do you think the striking of Ronaldo Souza is now as good as Weidman's? Do you see any holes in his game?
Brett Okamoto (2:07 PM)
No, I don't see any holes in Jacare's game. I probably would pick him against pretty much every middleweight honestly, but like I said before all the guys at the top of that division are so close. Weidman could beat Jacare on any given night, same with Machida, Belfort. It's just very balanced at the top of that division right now, which will make it all the more impressive if one of them is able to hang on to the belt for 4-5 fights.
Will Uriah Hall ever develop into a contender for the middleweight belt?
Brett Okamoto (2:08 PM)
Even though he won his last fight, I kinda don't think so. He was still circling towards Leben's power in that fight with his hands down ... I don't know. I was just waiting for Leben to land a shot but Leben couldn't make up for the speed difference. At this point there really is something mentally holding Hall back and I'm not sure after this many opportunities to correct it that he ever will.
Captain Howdy (Georgetown)
Better UFC card, top to bottom: 169 or 170?
Brett Okamoto (2:10 PM)
Tough call. I guess if I could only be at one, I'd want to be in Newark.
Do you and your fellow colleagues still make picks? Mcneil and Ortiz edged you out by one match in 2013. Yes, I kept track.
Brett Okamoto (2:11 PM)
We're working on a potential addition to the site that would allow readers to pick against me all year. I'm advocating big time for it.
Ok i have this theory that Bisping would do well against Weidman. Your thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (2:12 PM)
Meh ... I can't cosign on that. I will say I'd give him a much better shot against Weidman than I would have ever given him against Anderson Silva. And it's probably actually a better matchup for him than either Belfort or Machida.
Belfort won't be dealing with Kizer anymore when applying for his TRT exemption in NV. Will that have any effect on the results?
Brett Okamoto (2:14 PM)
It could. We'll see who the commission replaces him with. And Keith had influence but in regards to the Belfort matter it will still come to a commission vote. Kizer had pretty harsh stances on Alistair Overeem and Chael Sonnen, but the NSAC didn't come down too hard on those guys. So, Belfort is still up to the commission members who own a vote.
Ultimate Warrior (Parts Unknown)
Lots of Hendricks bashing, how about the fact that GSP asked what they'd be testing for before agreeing. If you're so clean, why does that matter? Also there was scheduled testing. Not bashing GSP but bashing Hendricks is dumb. Especially since NSAC advised him against it.
Brett Okamoto (2:16 PM)
Correct. Like I said in the beginning, GSP has a good cause but given all the facts, you can't attack Hendricks for not agreeing to it. And that's accurate, at one point the NSAC stopped responding to GSP's management team because they were asking questions like the one you just mentioned.
Moto, I don't have a beef with Hendricks, but to me the UFC loses its credibility with the way they have treated Belfort. You can't say you are serious about having a clean sport and then keep sending Vitor to places where you know he can cheat.
Brett Okamoto (2:18 PM)
I agree. I've wrote previously they needed to have Belfort fight in the U.S. I've heard some people suggest that if Belfort isn't given a TUE, the UFC would rebook the fight to another location. I cannot see that happening. They would shred their credibility if they were to do that.
Brett Okamoto (2:19 PM)
You guys are killing me on the GSP/Hendricks topic. I don't mind still discussing it, but will I lose the rest of you? I feel like I'll be forced to keep repeating myself if we keep talking about it.
Mike Chandler is the future of the LW division, pending his future legal hell getting out of Bellator. Look at how ridiculously well-rounded he is, given his experience level. There are very few other legitimate triple threats (wrestling, striking, submissions) even in the upper echelon of MMA at LW and above...then factor in all of his physical gifts and you have something truly special. I feel like you've always under promoted him a bit: after he beat #4 alvarez you said he was "11-13".
Brett Okamoto (2:20 PM)
He was still so young in his career at that point. And lightweight is so stacked. I wasn't knocking on him, I just thought there were other guys with more polished games at that time. And that didn't even turn out to be untrue, some of his holes were shown in the second fight with Alvarez. He's real tough, athletic, well-rounded, but he had adjustments that needed to be made. If he makes them he can climb up the rankings for sure.
Glumble (West Palm Beach FL)
Hey Brett, what do you see happening in the Gustafsson Jones 2 fight?
Brett Okamoto (2:21 PM)
I think Jones will improve more than Gus. I think Gus will have a similar game plan to the first fight and just tell himself he needs to execute it better, Jones will come in with new tools, he'll develop a counter jab, his footwork will be different and he'll win more convincingly.
Who does Vitor get once he knocks out Weidman? Machida or Jacare (assuming everyone wins...which they will)
Brett Okamoto (2:22 PM)
In that scenario ... probably Machida. Bigger name. Especially if he's coming off a knockout.
Two questions: Werdum or Travis? Who have more chances againt Cain?
Brett Okamoto (2:23 PM)
.... (thinking) .... Today, I'm saying Werdum wins. I could change my mind tomorrow. Better shot against Cain ... I'd actually say Travis.
Do you think the UFCs expansion finally catches up to them this year to the point they make less total profit? Will the number of events and countries finally hit a plateau?
Brett Okamoto (2:24 PM)
I don't think PPV will do as well as it did last year. Things fell into place in the second half of 2013 and there were some easy fights to market. The business model of UFC is changing, just like the business model of WWE has changed. They will likely make less profit than they did last year just because they are still operating on a PPV model, but they are transitioning away from that.
Who does Anderson Silva fight when he finally returns?
Brett Okamoto (2:25 PM)
Highly ranked middleweight contender.
Hey Brett. If Rashad loses against DC, how far is he from a Jones rematch? And if DC wins/loses, where does that put him in the title hunt?Thanks!!
Brett Okamoto (2:26 PM)
If Rashad loses? We'll never see a Jones/Rashad rematch if he loses. Even if he wins, it's a fight the UFC really wants to make. For DC, he's behind Gustafsson in line for a title shot and he knows that. He'd probably take another fight in the meantime if he were to beat Rashad.
You're getting killed due to your one sided stance and obvious support for Hendricks who sounded clueless during it all. I know you like Johny, but can't be professional?
Completely agree with you about the testing with VADA in regards to hendricks and GSP. it baffles me how people can't understand that.
Brett Okamoto (2:28 PM)
Well, I guess we'll all agree to disagree. Enjoyed discussing it with you all as always. If you want to keep chatting, hit me any time on Twitter @bokamotoESPN. Enjoy the fights if you watch them tonight. We'll have a report card out on the event later in the week. Til next time.