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 (1:06 PM)
What's up guys? Welcome to the chat. Thanks for being here. Always plenty to discuss in the MMA world. Let's get right to it and have some fun today.
Tim (Brighton, MA)
Brett, is it time to close the curtain on Mr. Koch? He's lost 3 of 4 and hasn't looked good in all 3. His striking defense is non-existent, and I'm just not sure he's well-rounded enough to escape trouble. You don't have to be politically-correct and give me the "well he's still 25..".
Brett Okamoto (1:09 PM)
Man. I'm telling you guys, I was like the first guy on the Koch bandwagon. He and Poirier ... I was all about them in the WEC days. Then everyone jumped on the bandwagon with me ... and now it feels like they're ready to jump off. I think Duke Roufus is one of the best coaches in the game, but I just don't agree that Koch should be fighting at 155 if he can still make 145. Roufus told me he can make 145 but it's a struggle. He knows better than I do. But bottom line, my opinion on Koch is that he's got the potential to do big things still ... but at 145. I think he's doomed to a sort of .500 career if he stays at lightweight.
Taylor ATL [via mobile]
What up Brett. I just read bleacher report's article about the UFC's PPV numbers for last year and what they are projected to make this year with the absence of GSP and The Spider(in a nutshell). Do you think it puts pressure on UFC brass to make the Diaz(Nick) situation happen... Make the Carrono appearence happen... Make the Cyborg fight.etc.. P.S. Matt Brown is in for a beating no matter whom he faces in the top 10. GUT CHECK
Brett Okamoto (1:12 PM)
I don't think it puts "pressure" on them. Obviously they want to make as much money as possible, but the PPV business is sort of a roller coaster ride to begin with. You can't really force the issue. You can make matchups you believe will sell, but ultimately, a lot of factors have to come together for a PPV home run. I think the UFC would have done this anyway, but the lack of star power this year just places more emphasis on something like Fight Pass. A revenue generator not based on PPV.
Brett Okamoto (1:12 PM)
Also, it's hard to argue Brown will struggle against a Top 5 guy. But he deserves a Top 5 guy.
Marc Iveson (UK)
Ok B-Man here is how I see it. Woodley vs R-Mac winner fights Big Rig late this year. So what to do with the back log of killers? Ellenberger vs Lawler winner fights Winner from Matt Brown & Hector Lombard. Winner of that gets the next shot? What you think? Am I right or am I right? Im right, right? Right!
Brett Okamoto (1:13 PM)
I guess it depends on who stays healthy and when the fights are made. But I would say yeah, right you are.
Andrew (rochester,new york)
Brett,how high do you think the ceiling is for khabib nurmagomedov.he had destroyed everyone he has faced with relative ease,who has the style to negate his world class sambo skills?.
Brett Okamoto (1:15 PM)
Tough style matchup for Khabib would be another physical guy, like Gilbert Melendez. I would say that is the worst matchup for Bib there is. Ben Henderson, too. Obviously Pettis, but I actually think guys like Henderson and Melendez are tougher fights for him based on style.
Alex Peer Des Moines IA [via mobile]
Nick Diaz needs to stop playing games and fight Matt Brown that fight would have FOTY written all over it but I don't think Diaz will take that fight. And Brown needs to work on taking body shots this isn't the first time he's been hurt from them
Brett Okamoto (1:16 PM)
He needs to work on taking them or defending them? I actually think he takes them like a champ. That liver kick would have ended a few other welterweights. He needs to improve his defense in general. That's the concern with Brown when you think about Top 10 guys ... "Yeah, Matt Brown is great but he gets hit too much. Jordan Mein hurt him. Silva hurt him. Stephen Thompson hurt him. What happens when Robbie Lawler gets his hands on him?" Diaz ain't coming back for a Matt Brown fight. That would be fairly shocking.
Von K (Montreal CDN)
BJ Penn deservedly named The Prodigy primarily due to Jiu Jitsu.We know he can punch and we know he has a chin?..but why does he not really use his BJJ to his advantage especially with someone like Frankie Edgar, I'd like to have seen him go to the ground with Diaz?.etc!? (Yes he was smothered by GSP?..but surely he could submit most).Discuss thnxVon K
Brett Okamoto (1:19 PM)
You've got to be on the ground to use your jiu-jitsu. And let's be real, the elite fighters, the ones you're talking about, they aren't getting submitted. How many fights in the UFC do you see end in submission when it comes to the absolute best guys in the division? Very few. And a lot of those come when the guy has been hurt on the feet prior to it or has gassed out. I'm not making the "jiu-jitsu doesn't work!" argument, but I guess a good thing to share is, a ranked UFC fighter said recently, "if you get submitted in the UFC, you suck." I wouldn't necessarily put it that way, but I get the point he was making.
Josh G. (Mile High City) [via mobile]
Whats up Brett. Which of these are most likely to happen? Condit vs Brown, Pettis vs Aldo, Nurmagomedov vs Grant, Phillopou vs Belfort, Rousey vs Justino, And when is the UFC coming back to Denver? Thanks Brett.
Brett Okamoto (1:22 PM)
Yo Josh. Last UFC card in Denver didn't go as well as planned, so as far as I know, no plans to return right now. It's a bummer. Those were my favorite trips obviously since that's where I'm from. In terms of the fights you mentioned ... Philipppou vs. Belfort? Who wants to see that? Condit vs. Brown is highly likely at some point. They're both going to be around for awhile still. Pettis vs. Aldo is likely. Nurm vs. Grant ... not sure. You expect Grant to return in November on that Halifax card ... and you expect Nurm to fight before then. Will their paths ever cross? It's definitely possible, they're both near the top of the division. Rousey vs. Justino ... I do think that fight will happen at some point. It's all about the weight cut.
Taylor ATL [via mobile]
One more... Do you think Dominic should jump right in to a beat down from Barao, or do you think he needs a 'tune up'(Michael Mcdonald)? Do not count out HENDO for more reasons than just a right hand
Brett Okamoto (1:24 PM)
I encourage you guys to check out the story I posted today about Cruz. Spoke to Eric Del Fierro, his head trainer. A few interesting bits in there. Personally, if the choice is up to Cruz, take the title fight. Why not? Is a fight against a guy like McDonald really a "tune-up" fight anyway? Or Raphael Assuncao? If this were boxing, he could fight some can who would basically just offer an advanced sparring session. This isn't boxing though. Why take the risk of losing? I'm from the camp of thinking, "Never turn down a UFC title fight." Ever.
Brett Okamoto (1:25 PM)
And I'm sorry ... I think I'm counting Hendo out. Hate to say it but ... how's he win that? He doesn't.
Tim (Brighton, MA)
Hey Brett, two-parter. Does Benson have any chance of losing to this guy? And, if he takes care of business, what's next? It's not the Pettis/Melendez winner right? Khabib after that?
Brett Okamoto (1:27 PM)
Certainly has a chance to lose. Khabilov is a legit talent. I think it ends up being mostly a standup fight though ... and my early read on this is to favor Henderson's kickboxing game over Khabilov's hands. Khabilov not real tricky on the feet thus far. Aggressive, straight punches ... but nothing Henderson hasn't seen before. Henderson got owned by Thomson on the ground in the last fight, but don't think Khabilov can duplicate that. Not as slick.
Randy (Virginia) [via mobile]
How many PPV Buys does Bellator need Saturday to be considered a success? Do you think they will achieve that number? Also why do you think there is so much negativity in the MMA community toward this PPV (even before the Alverez injury). I think it's as good as an average UFC PPV yet everyone seems outraged this would be a PPV
Brett Okamoto (1:30 PM)
It's a hard question to answer with a lot of confidence ... but I would think if Bellator pulls 100k buys in this first go, it's a pretty landmark success. Especially with the main event falling through. I have no idea if they will achieve it or not. My guess is ... man ... it's a tough sell. Rampage has drawn great numbers on free tv, but he hasn't headlined a PPV since 2011. That PPV, UFC 135, did well relatively well though. When you talk about the negativity, do you mean consumers or media? I think media hasn't been negative, they've just expressed (accurately) there is a shot this won't work out for Bellator. If fans have been negative, it's probably because you're taking something that's free and making them pay for it. So of course they'll resist it.
Andrew (rochester,new york)
Hello Brett,i have been a huge fan of mma for years and was wondering if there has been any serious progress in legalizing it in new york.do you think it will be legal here by the end of this year?.
Brett Okamoto (1:31 PM)
That's another one that's impossible to predict. I will say that I agree with UFC execs in that I think if it makes it to a vote on the assembly floor it would pass ... but whether or not Silver allows it to be put to a vote would be pure speculation. It's pretty clear by now it's not an MMA issue ... it's a lobbyist, political issue.
Do you think Assuncao will face the winner of Barao/Dillashaw or will he fight again?
Brett Okamoto (1:33 PM)
Good question. He was 100 percent next in line. There is no buzz for that fight though. If he's healthy and ready to go, I think the UFC will have him fight again.
What's with Bellator giving so many interim titles? Champs get hurt. As long as it isn't an extended injury like Cruz then why create another belt?
Brett Okamoto (1:34 PM)
Desperate times. Bellator has been riddled with injuries this year. I might even say it's been worse than what happened in the UFC in 2010 (or was it 2011?). Every main event is falling through and it's always last minute. They are trying to pull all the stops out with this PPV, so just throw stuff at the wall and see if it sticks. Interim title? Sure why not.
What are you picks for the Bellator card?
Brett Okamoto (1:36 PM)
A preview of the event will post either later today or tomorrow. Pretty sure I'll pick all favorites. I think Chandler is pretty much a lock. Like Volkov. Like Rampage. I might get crazy and pick Tito.
What's the latest on Rhonda?
Brett Okamoto (1:37 PM)
Fighting Alex Davis at UFC 175.
Is it just me or does the Albuquerque UFC card look like a better card than UFC 174?
Brett Okamoto (1:39 PM)
I would say they are close on paper ... so in that sense, I guess the Albuquerque card is better because it's free. Personally, I love watching Demetrious Johnson. He's probably Top 5, at least Top 10 on my list of guys to watch. So, I guess I'd be a little biased towards the main event. MacDonald/Woodley is a pretty fascinating fight. They're close though.
Robert (Billerica, MA)
What are you hearing on Invicta? Are they going to get folded into the UFC or is there a chance they end up on a network?
Brett Okamoto (1:42 PM)
I don't think they'll get "folded" into the UFC. As of right now, I haven't heard anything about the UFC adding more women's divisions in addition to straweight and (just my opinion) I don't see that happening any time soon. Always a chance they end up on another network, there's a big interest in the MMA business from networks right now. It's somewhat peculiar they haven't announced their next event yet. Plans were pretty solid in place for Cyborg's next fight ... what's the holdup? We're already in May.
Hey Brett, can the Rockies send some vibes to the Dbax plz?! We need any help we can get right now. My real question, every six months or so, I here reports that someone asked Dana about the UFC in Phoenix, and he says "Oh very soon, probably within a year". I've heard this since 2011, any idea why we're being shunned???
Brett Okamoto (1:43 PM)
No idea. That's basically Dana's stock answer to that question regarding any city ... unless he knows for a fact they bombed there previously and then he'll say, "eh, that one's gonna be awhile."
Hi Brett....Awesome fight last Sat....I think I might be stretching it a little....but do you think nights like last Sat (i.e. a lot of surprising underdog wins) is due to the fact that UFC is trying to pump out too many shows, and some of the fighters (e.g. Wineland) wasn't focus enough against lower ranking fighter?
Brett Okamoto (1:44 PM)
I don't really think one has to do with the other. If Wineland was overlooking Eduardo, he would have still overlooked him if he was on the UFC 173 prelims.
What happened to the Carano-UFC discussions? Nothing has been said in the weeks since they were to have been in discussions.
Brett Okamoto (1:45 PM)
There is a lot of money involved in this one. Not to mention an athlete who is involved in a lot of other things ... and one who would have to make a certain weight for the first time in ages. So, give it some time. Even if you don't hear about it for awhile, don't consider it dead.
Tim (North Olmsted)
Are you ready for Johnny Football?
Brett Okamoto (1:46 PM)
Within 24 hours, I had built the custom home jersey, #2, with the name FOOTBALL on the back. $149.99. Wife told me I had to wait to order it. Probably hoping I'll lose interest and not go through with it. Clearly she doesn't know me at all.
Matt Brown has made me more money than any other fighter by far. Can you think of any other fighter who has won more times as a Vegas underdog?
Brett Okamoto (1:47 PM)
Honestly, I can't. Matt Brown is a go-to, never gets enough respect in the odds, betting option. Good for you on riding the hot streak. What makes a great better though is to know when to jump off when the value disappears.
You also said that about Hendo in all his other fights that he has won.
Brett Okamoto (1:48 PM)
Send me screenshots because I don't know if I believe you.
Broto, if you had to rank the top 3 fighters LEAST likely to lose in their current divisions, who would you pick? Renan Barao and Mighty Mouse are 1 & 2 for me...
Brett Okamoto (1:49 PM)
Hmm. 1. Rousey 2. Mighty 3. Barao 4. Cain 5. Jones ... 3/4/5 are basically a tie for me though.
Levi (San Diego )
Do you think thy we will see either Nate or nick Diaz fight In The UFC again and is so which brother or both of them?
Brett Okamoto (1:50 PM)
I still say both. Nate is more likely than Nick though.
Best guess on who Nurmagomedov fights next? Except for Melendez, seems like every worthy opponent is tied up.
Brett Okamoto (1:51 PM)
Melendez is tied up, he has the title fight. I would have loved to see him fight Josh Thomson, honestly. Of course, then my boy MJ got Thomson so not too upset about it. Having him fight Myles Jury makes no sense. Gotta talk Nate out of the contract holdout.
If Thomson was serious about thinking about retiring, Johnson doesn't seem like the type of fight he would come back for. It's a high risk, I won't so low reward, but minimal reward fight. What's your thoughts on the fight?
Brett Okamoto (1:53 PM)
Josh was never serious about retirement. I agree, I was a little surprised by that announcement. He's coming off a loss though (officially). Like I said, I would have liked to see him fight Bib, but MJ has been on a roll, he deserves a big fight and Thomson has to put that loss behind him. I think since MJ is getting some hype, there is reward there but yeah, I don't disagree completely with your take.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
If Cerrone manages to fight six times this year and wins them all, should be get a shot at the title in early 2015?
Brett Okamoto (1:54 PM)
Of course. Six wins in one year? That'd be insane. Deserves a title shot, a new car, commemorative plaque, and a new bull for his ranch. Whatever he wants.
Glad to see Struve getting back into the octagon! How high do you think he can go in the weak heavyweight division, especially if he recovers fully from the heart condition he had?
Brett Okamoto (1:56 PM)
Obviously, it's great to get another body into that heavyweight division. Can Struve rise up to a title shot though? I think he leaves his chin out too much to make a real consistent run in a division where one punch can end your night. Awesome to have him back though, opens up new matchups.
Crystal in VA [via mobile]
Give it to me straight...what are the real odds that Gina and Ronda will headline a card by year end?
Brett Okamoto (1:57 PM)
I don't have a lot of inside info on this one. Obviously they met, the meeting went fine, now it has to marinate. Does it happen by the end of the year? My guess is no. Does it happen at all? I really do think it's about 50/50. They've been very hush/hush on it.
Crystal in VA [via mobile]
Is JDS at official gate keeper status?
Brett Okamoto (1:58 PM)
I don't think it's official yet but he's dabbling in that end of the pool.
Bangor, Maine? Seriously? What kind of market are they trying to tap into there?
Brett Okamoto (1:58 PM)
Excuse for Dana to get some use out of his Northeastern vacation home.
Brandon in Detroit [via mobile]
How do you see the Bones VS Gus rematch going?
Brett Okamoto (1:59 PM)
Bones fighting a very different fight. Gus having his moments still because he's very good and has a style that can be difficult for anyone. But Jones controls the fight better this time. Uses his counter striking more effectively. I think he's able to score a takedown this time and if he puts Gus on his back and opens him with elbows, that's huge. Don't forget, that's ALWAYS a possibility in a Jones fight.
Troy (Spokane Valley)
I disagree with your answer to JDS as gatekeeper. Unless something unforessen happens to Cain, JDS will always be the "so close" guy. That is basically a gatekeeper, right?
Brett Okamoto (2:01 PM)
Thing about JDS is that there are holes in his game and there is no reason to believe he can't fix them. He's spent time with a new camp. You can't tell me if he doesn't make a few adjustments that he's incapable of giving Cain a competitive fight. Not willing to brand a guy with that kind of talent a gatekeeper yet. Especially since he's still No. 2, No. 3 in the division at worst.
I think the perfect fight for UFC would be Diaz vs Anderson Silva. Also perfect fight for Silva. Thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (2:02 PM)
Meh. I'm not enamored with Nick Diaz as much as everyone else. Don't get me wrong, I want him back. It's more fun when Nick is part of the sport and he's Top 10 talent at welterweight easily. But Silva is going to be interesting in his return regardless of who he fights. I really wouldn't call Diaz, Silva a perfect fight. Not a bad fight, but I'd rather see Diaz get serious about a title run and have Silva fight a guy in his own weight class.
What's your take on Rutten saying Jones a dirty fighter?
Brett Okamoto (2:05 PM)
I've always kind of thought that about Jones. The kicks he used against Rampage, I remember kind of squirming watching those. Asked Rampage about it right after the fight though and he said whatever, so I was like, "maybe I'm just being a wuss." There was another fight where he like, jabbed his chin into a guys chest when he had him down, my memory of it is a little hazy, but I think Herb Dean was refereeing and he warned him for it. Obviously, the eye pokes. Is all of this "dirty?" In any sport, great athletes bend the rules as far as they can to get an advantage. Doesn't really bother me about Jones, but it's there. It's definitely a part of who he is and how he fights.
Shane Falco (Scuba Diving)
Bro, Johnny is gonna tear it up, yo. Who cares about the WR suspension or lack of depth, pull some scabs off the street and watch the magic happen! John-y John-y John-y
Brett Okamoto (2:06 PM)
You're so right. That's it. I'm ordering the jersey now. Wife will deal with it. John-y John-y John-y!
Why is Bisping rated so high (no. 7) on ESPN's ratings? I know you've said in the past that he's mainly a "name" at this point for other fights to profit off of.
Brett Okamoto (2:08 PM)
The middleweight rankings need to be updated. Kennedy is still ranked underneath Bisping. Thanks for pointing out, I'll make sure it happens.
Who is the best functional wrestler in the UFC? If you say GSP I will put you in a reverse chicken wing and not release the hold. Ever.
Brett Okamoto (2:08 PM)
David Chokachi (Vegas)
ESPN just televised live heavyweight title boxing. How far away are we from MMA being live in prime time on the Mothership? You telling me Bellator can't get a deal with you guys?
Brett Okamoto (2:10 PM)
UFC deal with Fox is exclusive. If ESPN invests in MMA, I believe it be with UFC. As I've said in chat before, there will come a day when UFC is on multiple networks like other sports. Not sure when that day will come, but it will happen.
Amber (Yes, the color of my energy)
What was the one fight that essentially marked the turning point for you to become an MMA fan and now the lead and premier journalist in the sport. All respect to CHuck's hat, however.
Brett Okamoto (2:12 PM)
I started covering MMA for a Las Vegas newspaper, not knowing much about it. I wouldn't say there was one fight in particular that really made me a "fan" of the sport. It's going to sound cheezy, but watching guys train for fights and hearing stories on how they got involved and then how certain wins change not only their careers but their lives entirely, that's what really gets me to love it. If I had to tell you my all-time favorite fight though, it's probably Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard at UFC 125.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
Think you should grow a Charlie Blackmon beard...so do you think Bones is really a pretty good guy that has gottena bad rap, or is the public perception pretty accurate?
Brett Okamoto (2:15 PM)
I couldn't grow that beard if I tried. The haircut he's got right now ... that's a tempting look and I think I could pull it off. I don't think Bones is a "bad" guy. I kind of think trying to mark him as either "good or bad" is sort of a weird thing to do anyway. I will say that earlier in his career he was obviously not as cocky. He's gained some arrogance with success, which you'd expect. Earlier in his career he was borderline obsessed with his image. Over time he's sort of realized people will pick up on that, so I think he's gotten more comfortable just doing whatever. There still is a certain level of "fake" to him, but that's true of other professional athletes. Not sure if I answered your question. Basically, I would suggest not giving a crap who Jones is as a person and just watch him fight.
What is your favorite micro brew? Don't be lame, Brah. Answer the hard ones.
Brett Okamoto (2:16 PM)
Mighty Arrow, by New Belgium in Fort Collins. I went to college right down the street from that place so, I'm pretty biased. Mighty Arrow is solid though, find yourself one.
Speaking of GSP, any update on his recovery and/or return?!
Brett Okamoto (2:18 PM)
I haven't heard anything negative. I tried to get his thoughts on what's been going on with the drug testing scene in his absence ... the enhanced testing program the NSAC has implemented ... and I got no response. I'll be interested to hear what he has to say eventually, because everyone assumes that GSP must love what's going on since he spoke first about it, but he wasn't a huge fan of commission testing to begin with. If the NSAC starts to subcontract those duties to a third-party (as they are starting to discuss doing) I think he'll be more on-board with it. I wish he'd get out and talk about it since he was one of the guys who shined a spotlight on it. Finish the job, you know? These are big changes that have gone in the last few months. Speak about them.
Crystal dreading going back to work [via mobile]
I think Woodley has the knock out power to snatch the belt from Johnny. Your thoughts?
Brett Okamoto (2:20 PM)
Does he have more knockout power than Robbie Lawler? I mean, knockout power isn't going to beat JH on it's own. You have to ask if he has the ability to land those hard punches and deal with the pace and versatility of JH. Of course if he lands a step-in right hand to the jaw he could take him out. But can he land it? Who knows really? I'd pick JH in that fight though.
Ricky Bones (Milwaukee)
What is the worst main event you ever watched in person?
Brett Okamoto (2:22 PM)
Any time I hear "worst" associated with a fight or event, I'm conditioned to bring up UFC 149 in Calgary. That would have been Faber/Barao headliner. Was that the absolute worst main event I've ever seen? I'd have to go back through a list of events to say with certainty, but that's the first one that comes to mind. I was also in Dallas for Pacquiao/Clottey at Cowboys Stadium and I will never forget how awful that fight was. Terrible. Mayweather/Guerrero here in Vegas was also fairly atrocious to watch, and I love watching Mayweather. That fight was a chore though.
Troy (Spokane Valley)
Do you ever talk to Jon Anik? How is his gig going?
Brett Okamoto (2:23 PM)
Anik is one of the busiest dudes I know. The guy lives on airplanes. We've gotten together a few times to watch NFL. Hopefully it'll happen this year and we can take in the magic of Johnny together.
Harry Balzagna (Verona, NY)
When was the last MMA fight where you either got queezy or felt that you hoped it would get stopped in order to prevent the kind of moment that would end the mainstream run of this great sport? For me it was Round 4 and 5 of Hunt-Bigfoot. It was hairy, dude. And not Clay Guida hairy. Like call the morgue hairy.
Brett Okamoto (2:27 PM)
For me, it would be more of a specific moment than a round in a fight. That make sense? Like, one that comes to mind is Adlan Amagov knocking out T.J. Waldburger at UFC 166. Everyone I talk to who doesn't watch MMA and brings up the violence of it, I tell them, once you watch enough fights and you see these guys walking back to the locker room and you see how (vast majority of the time) they recover right away (and when they don't recover right away, they're taken to a hospital, just like an NFL player who gets hit in the head), the knockouts and blood don't bother you as much. At least that's my personal experience. A knockout like TJ/Amagov though, the visual impact of that one was like wow, take the camera off that guy.
Do refs let male fighters more chances to recover? Example: Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva fight and Rousey vs. McMann fight
Brett Okamoto (2:28 PM)
Hmm. Interesting question. I'm not just going to say "no" immediately even though I want to because honestly, I think there is some potential for that, yeah. On the other hand, I've seen female fights before where you go, "OK. Stop the fight. Come on. It's over. What are you doing?" Just like male fights. So ... I would say probably not in a real consistent way, but maybe a little.
Freddie (Flowerly Branch, Georiga)
Why would Bones move up in weight? He's not beating Cain, he won't become more popular by losing. Will he make more money?He can just stay at LHW and dominate over and over. He really doesn't seem like the person concerned with the thoughts of others or challenging himself. Plus, after Cain who else is at HW anyway?
Brett Okamoto (2:31 PM)
The notoriety that comes with winning belts in two weight classes. Jones is 26. Let's say he moves to heavyweight when he's 28-29. Wins the belt. Defends it a few times. I mean, he could retire at like 33 if he wants and let's be honest, if you're taking out the best in the world at any age after 33 ... you're pretty rare. I want to say that 32-33 is just about the time guys lose the ability to beat the absolute best. And who knows what other stars come along by then? Jones will make a ton of money in that time and if he really cares about being called the GOAT and dropping the mic and walking off at the end of his career, it would be at heavyweight after a few title defenses. That'd be a perfect career.
Is Weidman among the unbeatable champs in your eye?
Brett Okamoto (2:32 PM)
No. And that has to do with the weight class he's in. Notice the divisions in which I said the guys were unbeatable ... Rousey, not a very deep division. Johnson, not a very deep division. Cain, even though heavyweight punches are lethal, not a very deep division. Weidman has a ton of guys in there you can say he could lose to on any given night.
What's your favorite George Michael song? Mine's "Careless Whisper". Do you think a fighter will ever walk out to that song?
Brett Okamoto (2:33 PM)
Questions are starting to go downhill ....
Is there anyway the UFC can try to recruit better heavyweight athletes to get into this sport? Watching the state of the heavyweight division with Ruan Potts and Arlovski in the UFC is depressing.
Brett Okamoto (2:36 PM)
Have I not shared my new business plan with you guys? I need investors so please contact me if you have interest. I'm going to take a drive around the country and visit every junior college basketball and football program in the nation. I'm going to recruit every athletic 22-year-old I find, sign them to a manager-fighter contract for a four-figure amount (they're college kids, they'll say yes) and bring all of them to Vegas to train with a team I'll be putting together. How many heavyweights will I have on the UFC roster within 3 years? 10? 20? The entire thing? Get on this idea on the ground floor, I'm serious. No way this doesn't work out.
Natalie Portman (In the Library, Checkin' You Out ;))
But you've gone on record multiple times that Cain would be a favorite over Jones, so saying IF he did win it, isn't really accurate, much. Maybe Cain just gets older, or injured again
Brett Okamoto (2:37 PM)
How is me saying "if" not accurate. Jones winning a fight isn't a realistic proposition?
Teddy (Rhode Island)
How much longer do you think Dana is around for the UFC in such a prominent position? Nothing against the guy, but if they do want to be on multiple networks, maybe there will be a time when someone more diplomatic and media friendly will takeover, at least behind the scenes.
Brett Okamoto (2:37 PM)
Dana is not going anywhere.
Troy (Spokane Valley)
I am in on Operation: HW Repopulation! Put me down for investing $100.
Brett Okamoto (2:38 PM)
$100? Okay, you own 2 percent of my first signee.
With the lack of star power in the ufc and weak divisions that produce title fights such as barao-dillashaw, do you think the ufc should try to make more ppv's with 2 title fights? Seems like that may make up for some of the bad numbers on recent ppvs, even if doing those types of cards are more difficult to do
Brett Okamoto (2:39 PM)
No. You burn two title fights on one PPV, that makes the next PPV even more thin. Plus, consumers don't care about the co-main event as much as you might think. Not to say it doesn't matter ... but I don't think it's the co-main that is selling PPV. It's very much about the main.
TJ [via mobile]
Who's closer to another title shot benson Henderson or Joseph benevidez?
Brett Okamoto (2:41 PM)
....... That's a thinker. They both really need the champ in their division to lose, which is more likely to happen at lightweight. Let's just simply say, Who gets a title shot first, Henderson or Benavidez? I would put my money on Henderson.
The operation is a sham, he just wants us to pay for the jersey!
Brett Okamoto (2:42 PM)
I have to look good when I approach potential clients. And I will look damn good in a Manziel home jersey.
Tim (Brighton, Ma)
Sorry if it was touched on last week, but hate this fight for Anthony Johnson. This is the best Dana could come up with? Or is this just a guy for Anthony to pass the time, since it seems DC/Hendo comes after Gus? Would have loved a Johnson Evans fight instead...
Brett Okamoto (2:43 PM)
Johnson Evans was never going to happen. Evans not healthy and they are teammates. Yeah, this is a "pass the time" fight for Johnson. Maybe a "knockout over a guy with a name" kind of fight. I would have liked to see Johnson fight the winner of DC/Hendo obviously, but I get it. UFC needs contenders at 205. Don't want to burn one to build another.
You are confusing boxing with MMA when you say consumers don't care about the co-main event. I won't buy a PPV unless I like the entire card with at least three fights I want to see. I don't think I am alone.
Brett Okamoto (2:43 PM)
To the mass audience though, which is what ends up truly defining a PPV number, it's mostly about the main event.
Brett Okamoto (2:45 PM)
Alright, let's wrap for the day. Good chat. Thanks for the questions guys. Check out my full preview on the Bellator card this week. I'll have full picks, fight breakdowns, my take on the Rampage/Lawal beef. Maybe even a pick for Tito!?! And of course follow me on Twitter @bokamotoESPN. Spread the word out about this chat, let's blow it out next week. See you then.