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The A-Side Live Chat: UFC 234, Cormier vs. Miocic, Ben Askren, UFC Fortaleza aftermath, Jon Jones, more

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

Today on the show, we’ll talk UFC 234, which is headlined Saturday night by UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defending against Kelvin Gastelum. How will that fight shake out? What kind of champion has Whittaker been for the UFC? Is the Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva winner waiting in the wings?

We’ll also discuss the recent heat between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic. Will Miocic get his heavyweight title rematch? Should he? If not, where does Cormier go from here since it seems like he won’t retire in March as planned.

In addition, Ben Askren made his UFC press conference debut last week in Las Vegas, going at it verbally with Kamaru Usman. The two also had a confrontation backstage. Does UFC president Dana White still hold some ill will toward Askren? What does Askren bring to the UFC? How will Askren fare against Robbie Lawler in his debut at UFC 235?

We will also speak about UFC Fortaleza, which featured big wins by Marlon Moraes and Jose Aldo. Does Moraes get the next bantamweight title shot? Where does Aldo go from here? Is Johnny Walker the real deal?

Also on tap, we’ll chat about Jon Jones and his ongoing issues with drug-test abnormalities. Last week, Marc reported that Jones had long-term steroid metabolites in his system again in results stemming from Jan. 6 and Jan. 7 sample collections. What does this mean for his fight with Anthony Smith at UFC 235, if anything? Will this continue happening up until the fight? How are regulators dealing with it?

If there is time, we can also talk about Bellator Newcastle coming up this weekend, headlined by Patricky Freire vs. Ryan Scope; the back and forth between UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Usman at the UFC 235 press conference; White’s comments about the Nevada Athletic Commission; Colby Covington’s gripes with the UFC; and news involving Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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.

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