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The A-Side Live Chat: UFC Phoenix, UFC 234 aftermath, Israel Adesanya, MVP vs. Daley, Nick Diaz, more

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This is The A-Side Live Chat on MMA Fighting.

Today on the show, we’ll talk UFC Phoenix, headlined by a huge heavyweight fight between Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou. Will we see the Velasquez of old Sunday in Arizona? Which version of Ngannou will be seen? And what exactly does this fight mean in the scope of the division?

We’ll also discuss the aftermath from UFC 234, especially the future of the middleweight division and its title picture. Does Kelvin Gastelum still get the next shot at the title? How long can we expect Robert Whittaker to be out? How much did Whittaker’s late-notice withdrawal due to needing emergency hernia surgery hurt the pay-per-view card?

In addition, Israel Adesanya has positioned himself near the top of the 185-pound division after his unanimous decision win over Anderson Silva at UFC 234. Does he jump the line and fight Whittaker next? Or does he wait for Whittaker vs. Gastelum to play out? How big of a star can the loquacious Adesanya be?

We will also speak about Bellator 216, which is headlined by a banger of a fight between Michael Page and Paul Daley. That is a first-round matchup in the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. How real is this beef between the two men? How is the fight likely to play out? Could this be MVP’s coming-out party finally?

Also on tap, we’ll chat about Silva’s interest in fighting Nick Diaz. Diaz doesn’t seem to be interested in fighting right now, but is there any chance it will happen. If not, who else would be a suitable opponent for the soon-to-be-44-year-old “Spider?”

If there is time, we can also talk about the rest of UFC Phoenix, which is a loaded card. The co-headliner pits James Vick vs. Paul Felder in a lightweight matchup. The main card, the UFC’s first-ever on big ESPN, also boasts the debut of Kron Gracie.

Bellator 215 is Friday night headlined by a heavyweight bout between Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov. Bellator 216 has a pair of big heavyweight fights, too — Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo vs. Vitaly Minakov for a shot at Ryan Bader’s title. On top of that, Invicta FC is Friday night, headlined by a women’s flyweight title fight between Vanessa Porto and Pearl Gonzalez.

There is plenty to talk about, so join us to discuss all of the above and much more. All is up for discussion. The chat will start at our time of 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

As always, we’ll post the video window as the event draws near and answer any questions you might have if you post them in the comments below. For the comments you deem the most deserving, please click the “rec” button. Comments in green will get first priority.

Please link this page and use the hashtags #theaside or #chatwrappers on Twitter when you’re watching to tell everyone you’re taking part with us.

Audio-only versions of the podcast can be found on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.