Category Archives: Sports

Canelo vs GGG slug to a draw, predictably no one happy

In fight sports there is a popular parlance: “Never let it go to the judges.” If you need an explanation as to why just ask Gennady “GGG” Golovkin after last night’s controversial draw ruling. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went the distance against Golovkin in a particularly brutal match of even skill. While Golden Boy Promotions really wanted you to believe this was going to be an all-out, ugly slug fest it was anything but one. Golovkin and Canelo each put the other to the test in a very skilled match-up.

Both have been accused of looking good on paper but a.) in Canelo’s case having yet to beat a great, still haunted by the specter of his 2013 loss to Mayweather and b.) Golovkin, while a certifiable wrecking ball, had yet to contend against “elite” fighters. In this case, the bout was to prove both their claims as elite, if there was ever any serious doubt.

The fight was ruled by judge Adalaide Byrd 118-110 Canelo,  Dave Moretti 115-113 Golovkin and Don Trella 114-114 for the split draw. Most under fire is Adalaide Byrd who is probably not having a great morning right now. Last night Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, went ringside afterward to try and address Byrd’s decision:

Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I’m not making any excuses. I think she’s an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently [than the other judges]. It happens.

True we all have bad days. For example, I ripped my pants right down the middle bending down at work the other day (true story). Though to dismiss this as a bad day for Byrd does Golovkin and Canelo disservice, especially after the two gave no ground and took the fight 12 rounds. While Canelo played careful tactician throughout most of the fight, picking his shots and primarily acting on counter-offense, Golovkin had volume. The numbers don’t lie, Canelo slowed down and GGG simply did not.

To a certain extent the fight was very much a draw as neither man gave ground to the other. Canelo carefully chose his spots for counter-attack, but Golovkin was absolutely relentless with his jabs which proved too much for Canelo at times. Hard shots were thrown but both men knew the other had an iron chin. Canelo set a fast pace for Golovkin early on, but around the third/fourth round the tide began to change and Golovkin found his rhythm just stifling Canelo with his barrage of jabs.

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So went the majority of the fight, with Canelo finding enough gas within to push back against Golovkin, reminding him that he too hits fucking hard and Golovkin pushing Canelo back into the ropes with his barrage of hard jabs. Canelo for his credit faced Golovkin head-on nearly every time never having been knocked down once. He ultimately didn’t land or throw enough either. It did get a bit chippy though, with Canelo throwing a cheap shot and GGG immediately returning the favor.

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Oscar De La Hoya literally cannot wait for a rematch as he, of course, immediately demanded one. In all likelihood he’ll get what he wants, as it seems neither fighter was happy to let this be a split draw. Miguel Cotto wants his absolute final fight to be against last night’s winner but who knows how that’ll pan out now.

This was definitely the fight boxing desperately needed after this summer’s other spectacle, but not at all the ending it was hoping for. Hard to believe a rematch won’t loom next year, but in the interim, what do we do with my man Cotto? And will Adalaide Byrd find respite from being the rogue judge once again? Probably not.

Here are some choice moments from last night’s brutal bout.

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The Fallout: The Money Fight- McGregor vs Mayweather

Somewhere in the middle of a circus a fight broke out. That’s perhaps the best way to explain Saturday night’s “mega-fight” between UFC darling Conor McGregor and 49-0 “retired” champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. The expectations for the bout were wildly varying, maybe with each fan-base still too high on the inordinate of hype this fight produced. Either way you stood, the actual bout was a fairly impressive show from the Irishman who maybe actually didn’t receive the credit he deserved.

The bout began with McGregor going in furiously at Mayweather, landing a significant amount of powerful strikes. Mayweather played it off for the first four rounds, though frustration set when five rounds in McGregor was still landing some punishing strikes. This was probably the most hits Mayweather has taken in a fight since his bout with Marcos Maidana (which you can see here, forgive the dubstep).

Though to call this a boxing fight might be a bit of a misnomer. McGregor was allowed to get away with a lot of illegal hits which would’ve ended any other fight in a DQ, or at the very least some points reduction. Instead, the ref remained insolvent while McGregor gleefully go for a clinch then hammer fist. This wasn’t a few times either, this was almost each round. A pretty fight this was not. The crowd was pretty amazed McGregor was giving the grand champ such a hard time. Was it a sign he would take him off his feet? His confidence was swelling and he was landing a lot of good jabs, frustrating the smaller Mayweather.

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Still in the end it didn’t do McGregor much good. Come the 9th round, McGregor, very visibly exhausted, began getting absolutely battered by Mayweather who now was unleashing every bit of frustration McGregor had been causing him. The end came in the 10th when Mayweather battered him against the ropes, where McGregor looked momentarily helpless.

Some may argue the fight ended too early, as the ref saw McGregor not defending himself and pressed against the ropes calling the fight a TKO. McGregor contested after the fight being confused and tired is a natural thing, he would’ve recovered. And maybe that’s true. But for a solid minute Mayweather had McGregor looking real bad. If it wasn’t the 10th, it would’ve been the 11th. Either way, Mayweather still had the gas to go hard each round to the finish. McGregor simply didn’t.

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It’s unlikely there will be a re-match unless Mayweather changes his mind about retiring again. He reiterated at the conclusion of the fight that this was it for his career, no reason to chase win 51. But hey, Bernard Hopkins did it, Jay-Z did it, Eminem did it, so there’s precedence for retirement comebacks.

Either way, as it was always meant to work, McGregor still won even in defeat. First and foremost, the fight was always about the money. Fuck the pride, the notoriety, or the dumb argument about who would win, a pure boxer or mma practitioner in a boxing fight. It was always about that fat-ass purse waiting at the finish line. According to a report from ESPN, McGregor took home a cool $30 million while Mayweather took $100 million (remember, whole fight was under the Mayweather Productions banner).

This isn’t the end for McGregor in any case. While uncommitted to whether he’d continue in boxing, he did reassure he was going to return the UFC. He is, after all, still backing up the lightweight division after holding the featherweight division hostage to go up to lightweight. I’m sure the UFC will be damn glad to have McGregor headlining one a ppv again, considering they just recently lost Jon Jones after having him come back. For all intents and purposes, McGregor never got knocked down and was TKO’d on his feet. He can at least say he went toe to toe with boxing’s absolute best and came close to the distance.

We can finally lay this filthy beast to rest. Mayweather won. The world continues to spin. And today you’re a $100 shorter today.

The UFC is in a superstar tailspin and Jon Jones is likely suspended again

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By now you may have heard UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones tested positive for doping (substance unknown at current time). This puts the UFC in a tremendously shitty spot after it just reclaimed Jones from his previous suspension and Jones has been drumming the hype machine for a potential bout with Brock Lesnar (which could still happen, more in a minute), or bouts against the light-heavyweight divisions best like Alexander Gustaffson (whom Jones beat soundly).

Jones will face an immediate two-year suspension for testing positive for turinabol. This is a hard blow to the UFC, and most especially to Jones’ career which, while very premature to call finished, could be at its end where the UFC is concerned. Though you’d forgive the UFC of taking this slowly, since they’re not exactly flushing with sell-able stars at the moment.

One does have to wonder how many times Jones can catch a case and how many times the UFC is willingly to forgive it. Jones is an absolutely gifted fighter who technically is undefeated to this day despite the single loss. That defeat came via a disqualification in 2009 where a very hyped Jones used (maybe unknowingly?) illegal elbow strikes brutalizing opponent Matt Hamill.

The UFC has had a major problem with stars lately, namely the inability to keep them fighting for the promotion, and fighting on-time for that matter. It’s most valuable current star, Conor McGregor, is off having the highest-paid boxing fight of all-time in what may very well devolve into a D-list celebrity styled boxing fight or, maybe against all odds, a genuinely interesting fight. Either way, the UFC doesn’t have too huge a stake in this, and it doesn’t keep their MMA product going.

 

 

The NFL is here and it’s gloriously fucked up already

There’s just something about the NFL. Something about setting aside three hours of your time for two hours of commercials followed by an hour’s worth of actual play chronically interrupted by referees rendered helpless now that they cannot properly decide what genuinely constitutes a catch (a sad fact that even needs to be debated in the first place). The NFL semi-officially kicks off with the Hall of Fame week, where we have the inagural game that doesn’t mean anything, a bout between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinal’s B-squads.

Granted, I know we’re talking about pre-season here but boy, shitty things have happened already. I’m not even going to touch the offseason stuff, I’m talking about since the doors opened for business.

  • Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is, at least as of now, out for the season thanks to an already damaged ACL now a totally being damaged ACL. Tannehill is seeking a second opinion and the team refuses to say he’s totally done. However injuries like this rarely end well, so it’s fair to say Tannehill is off the table.

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  • Things are somewhat dysfunctional within the Seattle Seahawks camp, with pass-rusher Frank Clark instigating a fight with offensive lineman Germain Ifedi. According to sports reporter Gregg Bell via Twitter,

You’re likely either excited these guys are so eager to get violent with each other so soon, or your disappointed they’re eager to get violent with each other so soon.

  • Speaking of Cowboys, the first NFL pre-season game wrapped up with a 20-18 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Dallas backup QBs Kellen Moore and Cooper Rush both logged touchdowns, with receptions by TE Rico Gathers and WR Uzoma Nwachukwu.
  • New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has been named U.S. ambassador to the U.K., who will most assuredly attempted to push more sub-par North American football teams (coughJetscough) onto unsuspecting Britons. You poor bastards.

UFC 214: The Fallout

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Taken as a whole, I want to say, “Holy shit what a fantastic card!” but that wouldn’t be entirely true. To be sure, there were some low moments, perhaps none more lower than Tyron Woodley’s title defense, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s take this a step at a time. I’m just going to cover the main card.

Match #1 Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oedemir(w) LHW

Jimi Manuwa has made a name for himself knocking people out. Until he started getting knocked out. Newcomer Volkan Oedemir straight knocked Manuwa out within 42 seconds of the first round. Oedemir has now entered the UFC’s radar. Manuwa might be on an undercard next year or something.

Match #2 Donald Cerrone vs Robbie Lawler(w) WELT

Immediately began with Lawler charging at Cerrone and delivering an onslaught of punches, where the only reasonable response was a flurry of his own. The first round was a tug of war over momentum, with both men absolutely laying into each other. Lawler wanting to take Cerrone off his game and just overwhelm him from the onset.

The second round was much slower, though no less vicious. Cerrone attempted to keep Lawler at bay with leg strikes, though Lawler began pressing the fight harder. Cerrone, for his part, kept Lawler at bay by throwing fast combos in response. The third round saw Lawler seemingly waking up and going on the offensive against Cerrone, kicking him in the stomach. This seemed to stunt Cerrone, who afterward became much more cautious. Cerrone kept counter attacking, but ultimately the judges viewed Lawler as the unanimous victor.

This fight easily needed two more rounds, it had all the makings of a title fight, though it very likely carries with it potential title implications in the future. Though probably not the immediate future UFC brass hoping Georges St. Pierre agrees to fight Woodley (very likely with title implications).

Match #3 Cris Cyborg(w) vs Tonya Evinger Featherweight Title

Truth be told, people outside Evinger’s training camp probably didn’t think much was going to be made of this fight. After all, Evinger took the fight on short notice and went up a weight class to fight Cyborg at her best form.

Evinger did an excellent job of evading Cyborg’s power strikes while eating some lesser, though still stinging shots. The game plan seemed to be something out of Rocky, where she would hope to simply tire out the champion then make her moves. After all, she was most certainly not going to out speed or out strike Cyborg in a straight boxing fight. It would’ve been suicide.

This all lasted until the second round where Cyborg managed to wrestle Evinger into the cage then delivered a devastating knee strike right to her face. This sealed her fate and the fight, as she crumpled and Cyborg did what she has mostly done: deal punishing strikes. Fight was ruled a KO. Cyborg becomes arguably the women’s featherweight division’s first legitimate champion.

Throughout the fight I wanted to root for Evinger, who was doing her damndest to evade Cyborg’s very nasty punches. Cyborg clearly saw her as the lesser opponent though, many of her punches carried with it very bad intentions.

Match #4 Tyron Woodley(w) vs. Demian Maia (Welterweight Title)

The stinker of the night, unfortunately. Maia pressed the fight for much of it, while Woodley largely countered sparingly, but accurately. And the punches that were accurate gave Maia a very battered face, as he was visibly damaged by the fight’s conclusion. It was 25 minutes of frustration, knowing that it should be a tactical battle but instead was the type of fight no one’s going to want to re-watch.

Match #5 Jon Jones(w) vs. Daniel Cormier (Light Heavyweight title)

An intense match from start to finish, it absolutely did not disappoint. The fight lasted into the third round at the 1:57 mark. It began with Cormier relentlessly pursuing Jones, though Jones was able to use his length to force Cormier to miss most of his strikes. He was able to make some significant strikes to Jones, forcing him to play a bit conservatively. Very early on Cormier managed to punch Jones’ mouth piece out. Later in the round, Cormier and Jones butt heads causing Cormier to get a cut on his head. The referee ruled the incident an accident.

The second round saw Cormier become more confident, with Jones throwing strikes to Cormier’s head, but Cormier evading the punches, saying “Nope,” and shaking his head. Jones looked to be struggling at times, though he always managed to stay fast and elusive.

However in the third round, Jones began launching strong leg strikes that saw Cormier quickly lose his balance. Jones continued delivering fast strikes, not allowing Cormier a second to orient himself. This caused Cormier to fall to the mat near the cage, where Jones immediately descended and relentlessly beat Cormier into submission. The ref pulled Jones away and Cormier stumbled to his feet, clearly not all there.

The post fight was a surprisingly emotional scene for all parties involved. Cormier initially stormed out of the octagon, seen mumbling and teary eyed (given he was beaten pretty brutally that was understandable). Jones, who has been shit talking Cormier for a LONG time, instead was humble in victory and shout out Cormier for being his greatest rival.

Cormier, now outright crying, is attempting to compose himself while Jones took a second to challenge Brock Lesnar. Once Jones left, Joe Rogan very uncomfortably interviews a very visibly broken Cormier. Where Cormier goes from here is anyone’s guess, but Jones’ future is certain. The former champion has reclaimed the throne and everyone in the light heavyweight division has a VERY tall order ahead of them.

The UFC 214 Hype Station

Fight fans have fair reason to be excited for UFC 214. It’s a fairly stacked card featuring a rematch that’s starting to age like a fine wine. Cormier vs Jones is a year overdue, and only time will tell if Cormier can avenge his brutal loss to Jones. Before that we have two additional title defenses , the welterweight belt title bout between champion Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia; and Cris Cyborg and Tonya Evinger fighting for the vacant featherweight belt. Barring any injuries (jinx?) between now and the moment they’re supposed to get into the cage, 214 should be pretty lit.

Main Cards 10PM/7PM ETPT

1.) Jimi Manuwa vs Volkon Oezdemir (Light Heavyweight)

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Source: Getty Images/Zuffa LLC/Josh Hedges

A showcase of LHW talent, Manuwa is currently riding a two-fight win streak. Oezdemir is a relative UFC newcomer with two UFC bouts under his belt (both wins, the last a KO). Manuwa looks fairly good however his two UFC losses were to true top tier talents, Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson. Both knocked him out and earned performance of the night from him which is a dubious distinction to have. A fight that really can go either way. It will either add another notch to Manuwa’s belt or this will serve as a showcase of Oezdemir’s porfolio.

2.) Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerone (Welterweight)

Source: Getty Images/UFC

Another showcase but of the welterweight division. Both veteran fighters (Lawler being former welt. champion), this promises to be a damn solid fight. Cerrone is looking to rebound from his KO loss to Jorge Masvidal and Lawler is looking to rebound from losing the Welterweight belt to Tyron Woodly at UFC 201.

3.) Cris Cyborg vs Tonya Evinger (Featherweight Title)

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Source: Getty Images/Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Germaine de Randamie vacated the title refusing to defend the belt to Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Justino, one of the most feared women’s fighters through the years and synonymous with allegation after allegation of steroid use throughout her career. She’s ended careers (Gina Carano anyone?), owned Strikeforce gold, and now is looking to own UFC gold for the first time in her career. Standing in her way is relative UFC newcomer Tonya Evinger, who does have Invicta gold to her name. In theory, this should be Cyborg’s moment. Again, in theory.

4.) Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia (Welterweight Title)

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The co-main event sees Woodley defending the title to established veteran Demain Maia. Maia is a dangerous man in his own right as a very skilled BJJ world champion. He’s gone against the best throughout his long career and this may finally be his time to claim the belt for the first time. Woodley, however, is no slouch and is well known for his tremendous speed, power and explosiveness. It’s also hard to ignore the age difference between the two men. Maia may rely on his cunning and experience, but Woodley may prove too powerful for him.

5.) Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones (Light Heavyweight Title)

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Source: Getty Images/Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The long awaited rematch to what was a fairly one-sided fight which saw Jones’ hand raised in victory. The result did little to cool the beef between them. That was to be settled at UFC 197, though Cormier pulled from the fight due to injury. The fight was then rescheduled for UFC 200, though that too was cancelled because Jones lost his fucking mind. Promptly after the famous incident where he struck a pregnant woman’s car while in possession of cocaine, Jones was suspended. Free to fight again, many fans are hoping Jones can pick up where he left off: terrorizing the light heavyweight division again.

Barring God knows what, the fight is finally going to go down.

Prelims

FXX 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Ricardo Lamas vs Jason Knight (145 lb)
  • Aljamin Sterling vs Renan Barao (140 lb)
  • Renato Moicano vs Brian Ortega (145 lb)
  • Andre Fill vs Calvin Kattar (145 lb)

UFC Fight Pass 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT

  • Kailin Curron vs Alexandra Albu (115 lb)
  • Eric Shelton vs Jarred Brooks (125 lb)
  • Joshua Burkman vs Drew Dober (155 lb)

 

It’s all going down Saturday July 29th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.