Thursday, February 13, 2014

Daniel Cormier Now Fighting Patrick Cummins at UFC 170

One day after Rashad Evans' injury caused the cancellation to his bout with Daniel Cormier, Patrick Cummins has stepped up, was signed by UFC, and will now face Cormier in Cormier's light heavyweight debut at UFC 170. The card takes place February 22.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Amir Khan Appears to be Floyd Mayweather's Next Opponent

Floyd put it up to a fan vote and the majority of fans who voted picked Khan. Will Floyd end up boxing Khan on May 3? We'll just have to wait and see.

Inoki Genome Federation Booking Two All-MMA Cards in 2014

Inoki Genome Federation is a Japanese pro wrestling promotion that also features MMA bouts and kickboxing bouts on their cards. IGF is now booking two MMA-only cards this year in what I can only assume is an experiment on their part.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Historical Significance of Super Bowl XLVIII

The Seattle Seahawks laid a beating on the Denver Broncos last weekend in Super Bowl XLVIII. The beating was so stunning and so convincing that I had to look into where it ranks in Super Bowl history.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Legacies of Pete Carroll & Peyton Manning After Super Bowl XLVIII

Both Pete Carroll and Peyton Manning have legacies that are complicated since both are still active in coaching and playing football respectively. Because of the events of Super Bowl XLVIII, Carroll's legacy got a little bit better while Peyton's will now get an unnecessary amount of analysis.

Friday, February 7, 2014

2013 MMA Awards Picks: Best Stories

My picks for the best stories in MMA from 2013. Some familiar names and familiar faces among those in the list, as well as one or two stories that may have been forgotten or have had their value forgotten since last year.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction

Today is the day. Super Sunday. One of only two football holidays for yours truly along with the Michigan/Ohio St. college football game. That is a three-hour holiday for me whereas today is an all-day holiday for this lifelong football fan.

For the first time in 14 years, I engaged in what was a childhood tradition of mine on Super Sunday: a marathon of NFL Films Super Bowl highlights. I chose to view Super Bowls IX through XVIII, the final ten Super Bowl films narrated by the great John Facenda.

As for the game, it's gonna be close and thankfully everyone who has publicly made a prediction (outside of a friend of mine) have expressed the same sentiment.

A battle between the best defense in pro football and the best offense in pro football is one of those bits of football nirvana for me. As the great Bert Sugar said about boxing, “styles make great fights,” and the contrast of an offense-minded team and a defense-minded team always fills me with curiosity and anticipation more than most style matchups in football.

To answer some of the questions that Mike & Tony on Pardon the Interruption answered Friday: Peyton Manning will throw for over 300 yards, Marshawn Lynch will run for more than 64 yards, and Richard Sherman will have an interception in the game.

Both teams are going to look to use their running game to its fullest. The Seahawks have the advantage with Lynch, but never underestimate the Ball & Moreno combination for the Broncos. The issue regarding the running game that I believe could end up deciding this game will be whether or not Lynch is overused by the Seahawks today.

Through a good amount of the season and all of the playoffs, the Seahawks have relied on Lynch to be the sole consistent force of their offense. Russell Wilson has played well at times, but also pretty bad at times during the season. And in the playoffs, it's been more about Wilson making a few big passes in the fourth quarter than anything else. Mainly because Wilson hasn't been able to do much else during the playoffs. Because of this, the Seahawks have lived and died on offense with the performance of Lynch against the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

The thing is, you can't only get big plays and a good performance from your quarterback in the final quarter of the Super Bowl and expect to win. Not everyone has Eli Manning's luck in The Big Game.

Defense wins games a lot more than people may notice, and the Seahawks definitely have the better defense in this game. They make more plays, force more turnovers, get to the quarterback better, and hit much harder. Because of all of this, plenty of people do believe that the Legion of Boom will be the key to victory for the Seahawks.

However, don't underestimate the ability of the Broncos' defense. While not the most potent during the regular season, they have come alive in the playoffs. In both of their playoff games, the Broncos stopped the run very well and absolutely brutalized Tom Brady in the AFC title game. They may not get to Wilson the same way, but expect the Broncos to sack Wilson a few times and keep Lynch more in check than the Saints and 49ers did. In other words, I don't see any big fourth quarter runs out of Lynch or big bomb passes out of Wilson in this one.

I believe that this game will be a close one throughout with both defenses playing strong. I believe that the inconsistency of the Seahawks' offense will doom them late in the game because it will keep their defense on the field much longer than desired. The Broncos will take the lead early in the fourth quarter, add a field-goal later in the quarter, and a late interception will seal the win for the Broncos and give Peyton Manning a second Super Bowl ring.

Denver Broncos 27, Seattle Seahawks 21

Herb Dean's Stoppage of Barao/Faber II Analyzed

Renan Barao became the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion, his rightful title. However, Barao's win was overshadowed, in my opinion, by referee Herb Dean's poor stoppage of the bout.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Luis Collazo Knocks Victor Ortiz Out

Victor Ortiz suffered a broken jaw during a bout in 2012. Because of that, Ortiz's bout tonight with Luis Collazo was his first in 19 months. The return ended up being a negative one for Ortiz.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

C.M. Punk Gone From WWE?

It appears that Punk told Vince on Monday he was going home, and then did. Pretty shitty news for wrestling fans if it is true. His loss would definitely give me one less reason to tune in, even during Wrestlemania season.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nate Diaz on Twitter = Awesome

Nate Diaz was evidently unhappy with what he saw on UFC on Fox 10 this past Saturday night. From the Henderson/Thomson main event to Anthony Pettis' suits to UFC bouts, Diaz had something to say on several subjects and did it in a style befitting the Diaz brothers.

Tito Ortiz Charged With DUI Same Day He's Cleared to Fight

Monday was crazy for the former UFC light heavyweight champion as he was officially charged with DUI stemming from his Porsche crash near the beginning of the year. Ortiz was also cleared by his doctor to resume his fighting career today as well. All in all, a mixed bag.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Manny Pacquiao/Timothy Bradley Rematch Happening April 12

After their horribly judged first bout, it's about time that Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley face each other in the ring again. That controversial first bout was nearly two years ago, but the pain still lingers for Pacquiao fans. Of course, both men have changed and gone through plenty since that first bout.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Will Vitor Belfort Get Licensed in Las Vegas?

Vitor Belfort's use of TRT is what some might believe is keeping him spry and fighting like a young Vitor as of late. It's also the very thing that could prevent a Belfort/Chris Weidman UFC middleweight title bout from happening in Las Vegas.

Hulk Hogan Not Wrestling at Wretlemania XXX

Hogan's place in wrestling hasn't been in a ring for years. Hopefully we'll get to see Hogan at Wrestlemania being what he should be: part of the business' past and a goodwill ambassador for the business. I'm not counting on Hogan becoming that second part, but it's wishful thinking and what he should be at this point in his life.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dan Henderson & Shogun to Battle Again

This was the fight of the year in MMA in 2011. A lot has changed with both men and their careers since that bout. I want this rematch to be good because I'm a fan of both fighters, but I have my doubts that it will end up being even close to the first.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2013 Boxing Awards Picks: Best Boxers of the Year

In comparison to MMA, it can be really hard to come up with the fighter who had the best year. So in fairness to all the weight divisions and the width of the talent and promoters, I'm picking five for boxing.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr./Brian Vera II Booked for March 1

After a controversial decision win over Vera last September, Chavez Jr. has agreed to a rematch.

I scored last year's bout for Vera six rounds to four, but do understand how a Chavez Jr. win could come up on scorecards. If Jr. is actually motivated, this could be a hell of a fight.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thoughts on Beckett Media's Gratest Athletes List

I have my issues with this list, but Beckett Media also got some things right with who they put in and where. For the most part, it's just like any other list: a good attempt, but it won't please everyone.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Riddick Bowe Still Trying to Attempt Pro Wrestling

This story surfaced last year when Riddick Bowe first expressed his desire to get into pro wrestling. This of course is because of Bowe needing money, but was something that I mostly ignored. Then Bowe took to Twitter and expressed his desire to get into the business and I had to write something about it.

CBS Sports Network To Start Airing Titan FC

In the past, CBS has aired EliteXC and Strikeforce cards. After a break from the sport, CBS Sports Network is jumping back in with their deal to begin airing Titan FC cards as of the end of February.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Travis Browne/Fabricio Werdum to be at UFC on Fox 11

The first two main card bouts for UFC's next nationally televised card have been announced. One is a big heavyweight bout and another is a pretty big bout within its division and has title implications within its division like Browne/Werdum.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

UFC 170 Card Finalized

The card for UFC 170 (on February 22) has been officially announced by the promotion. The two main event bouts will be Ronda Rousey defending her UFC female bantamweight title for the third time and Daniel Cormier's light heavyweight debut.

Boxing Matches Top Rank Could Make for 2014

Four of the most known and/or exciting boxers on the planet are Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, and Ruslan Provodnikov. This foursome of boxers are now looking to box each other this spring. Which bouts will be made is still an unanswered question.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Brock Lesnar's Choice: WWE or UFC?

The rumor is once again out that Dana White and Brock Lesnar are negotiating for Lesnar's return to UFC and mixed martial arts. That may sound good to some, but it's in Lesnar's best interests to continue doing what he's doing and stay retired from MMA.

Travis Browne's Contract Situation

Not a DEFCON 4 situation for UFC, but still something they shouldn't take too lightly.

Mirko Cro Cop/Remy Bonjasky to Headline Glory 14

The card thus far for Glory 14. There will be another one-night tournament, and a champion will be crowned. Also, there's a pretty big main event in name value.

Monday, January 6, 2014

National Championship Game Prediction

Florida St. 42, Auburn 28

I believe that the SEC's streak of seven straight national championships will end tonight. I am an SEC guy and have been a huge supporter of the conference in my writing for several years. Still, I wouldn't be sad for the streak to end this way. As much as Auburn's season is to be admired, I don't see enough outside of their two miracle plays (against Georgia and then Bama) and their fourth quarter heroics against Mississippi St. and Texas A&M to make me believe they are going to beat the Noles.

Strength of schedule is certainly on Auburn's side, but FSU has a much tougher defense, the Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback, and an offense that has mowed through all that have been in front of them. If Auburn's D can set a tone all their own early in this game, they've got a shot. However, if Auburn's D plays like they did in the fourth quarter against Georgia, against Johnny Football or in the SEC title game, FSU wins this game in a rout.

This isn't a bad way to end the BCS experiment in college football: with one of the final title game's teams being from the most dominant conference in college football over the last decade and the other team being in the title game for the first time since playing in the first three BCS title games. And it all ends at Rose Bowl Stadium. Yeah, I think this pairing and its location are just fine from a historical perspective.

As for the game itself, I see a repeat of last year's title game, though with a closer final result.

Dominick Cruz Out Again, Renan Barao Facing Urijah Faber at UFC 169 for Bantamweight Title

Another injury has prevented Dominick Cruz from returning to MMA. This time it's a groin injury that has forced Cruz to pull out of his bantamweight title bout against Renan Barao at UFC 169. Barao is now facing Urijah Faber, but it will be for the undisputed bantamweight title instead of just for Barao's interim title.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quinn Mulhern Retires from MMA

After losing to Katsunori Kikuno at UFC Fight Night 34, Quinn Mulhern announced his retirement from MMA. He was very successful in King of the Cage and Strikeforce before coming to UFC. He retires with a record of 18-4.

Vitor Belfort & TRT

Chris Weidman's first UFC middleweight title defense is likely going to be against Vitor Belfort. Without a doubt Belfort is the number one contender for the title, but his use of TRT has gotten a lot of negative attention as well as being something that could make a bout with Weidman difficult to make in the bout's intended location, Las Vegas.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome Results

The Wrestlemania of Japanese pro wrestling took place today inside the Tokyo Dome with New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome. A Tokyo Dome show from NJPW on January 4 has been a tradition dating back to 1992. The shows have been so good and/or have had such high-profile talent from other countries and Japanese promotions that this along with the decline in the business has made this event Japan's Wrestlemania without a doubt.

And for the record, I went 7-4 for my match picks for the show. Not too bad. And those results aren't from a promotion (WWE) who have had a major leaking problem in that department this year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 Recap

New Year's Eve in Japan has meant some kind of major MMA show. Whether from Pride, K-1, Dream, or elsewhere, there has been an MMA-themed show every New Year's Eve in Japan since 2000. The man who promoted the first show, Antonio Inoki, was the one promoting the only major MMA show this year. Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 also had pro wrestling bouts on the card, most of which involved MMA fighters or kickboxers.