What’s next for UFC 200 winners?

Written by :
Published on : July 15, 2016

 

 

The UFC held their biggest event to date over the weekend with UFC 200, marking the promotions 200th pay-per-view card. UFC President and figurehead, Dana White, made sure to stack this card like no other before, but ran into a series of misfortunes when it came to the main event. Originally, the plan was to headline 200 with a rematch between legendary trash-talking Irishman, Conor McGregor, and legendary face-slapping American, Nate Diaz. But when McGregor refused to attend promotional events, the UFC stood their ground and pulled the fight from the card, replacing it with a rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight championship.

 

This was actually a more deserving main event, since Jones has proven to be the best fighter in the world and Cormier is also one of most accomplished athletes in the UFC. Not to mention these two have a longstanding hatred for each other that far predates the McGregor/Diaz rivalry. But this headliner also fell apart just days before the event when Jones failed a drug test administered by USADA.

 

The card was saved by Anderson Silva, who held down the title of greatest fighter alive for several years before Jon Jones took over. Silva offered his services to fight Daniel Cormier on just two days notice, allowing UFC 200 to boast five epic fights on the main card as they originally planned. While Silva is definitely past his prime, and it seemed very unlikely he’d beat Cormier on short notice, this was still an exciting matchup between two all-time greats. For MMA fans, it was kind of like learning your girlfriend who you want to marry is breaking up with you, but the cougar who lives across the street is down for casual sex. While the event didn’t really produce a classic fight, there were some very impressive performances and each fight had major implications for the future of the promotion. So what’s next for the big winners of UFC’s massive event?

 

Cain Velasquez

 

For most of his career, Cain Velasquez was a nearly unbeatable heavyweight. But in recent years, he’s struggled to stay in the octagon. Due to a series of injuries, Velasquez’ only fight since 2013 was a disappointing loss to Fabricio Werdum last summer at UFC 188. Leading up to his return to MMA, fans didn’t know if the once dominant Cain Velasquez would show up. He most certainly did. Cain annihilated Travis Browne, taking control of the fight early and scoring a knockout in the finals seconds of round one. Now we know the Cain Velasquez that once ruled the heavyweight division is back. As long as he can stay healthy, Cain should get the next title shot against the winner of the Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem fight, set to take place in Miocic’s hometown of Cleveland in September. Both Miocic and Overeem are excellent fighters in their own right, but no one in the UFC is stopping a full-strength Cain Velasquez from reclaiming his heavyweight belt.

 

Jose Aldo

 

Like Cain Velasquez, Jose Aldo was recently considered one of the best fighters in the UFC. Aldo had a stranglehold on the featherweight belt for almost four years before he was knocked out by Conor McGregor last December, in a fight that lasted all of 13 seconds. An ill-timed bathroom break meant $60 down the drain! Aldo clearly let McGregor’s months of hard trash-talking get in his head, as he charged Conor off the opening bell and was uncharacteristically careless. But Jose Aldo put the McGregor knockout behind him on Saturday night, and took full control of Frankie Edgar, who came in with a five-fight winning streak. Aldo stuffed all of Edgar’s takedown attempts, kept the fight in the middle of the octagon, and consistently landed clean strikes to earn a unanimous decision victory.

 

Aldo now holds the interim featherweight belt, which means his next fight should be the rematch against McGregor that he wants so badly. McGregor is taking a break from defending his featherweight championship to fight Nate Diaz two weight classes up, because McGregor wants to prove a point and McGregor gets what he wants (except UFC 200 I guess). As long as Conor is still interested in cutting back down to 145 pounds to defend his belt, that will be Aldo’s next fight. If for some reason McGregor decides to move on from the featherweight division and continues to fight in bigger weight classes, he would have to give up his belt, and Aldo’s champion status would change from interim to full-blown. In this case, Aldo would likely face Max Holloway, who has won his last nine fights in the division. Regardless, based on what we saw Saturday night, Jose Aldo and Cain Velasquez are looking like dominant fighters once again.

 

Daniel Cormier

 

Daniel Cormier is the Rodney Dangerfield of the UFC. He’s beaten everyone in his path except for Jon Jones, who is widely considered one of the best fighters in MMA history. Yet for some reason, fans never show him any respect. He was booed after beating Anderson Silva, which was partially because UFC fans love Silva, and partially because it was not a very exciting fight. But Cormier did his job. He smothered Silva for three rounds, using his expert wrestling skills to prevent the dangerous striking Brazilian from landing big blows. For all the fans complaining that DC is boring, his job is to win, which is what he does. And he has won some very exciting fights. If you want proof, watch Cormier’s epic battle against Alexander Gustafsson, where DC stood on his feet with the much taller striker and beat Gustafsson at his own game, earning a unanimous decision victory in one of the best fights of 2015. Cormier is becoming the Tim Duncan of UFC. He’s not the most exciting guy, he’s not the most popular, but he has quietly become one of the all-time greats and he has always gone about his business with class.

 

After defeating Anderson Silva, Cormier said his next opponent should be the winner of the Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira fight on the UFC 202 card in August. Whoever wins that fight would be the most worthy contender for Cormier, assuming Jon Jones is temporarily out of the picture, but beating Jones is the only thing left on DC’s bucket list before he hangs up the gloves. Unfortunately, Jones could be facing a two-year suspension. At 37, it’s hard to tell if Cormier is going to hang around long enough to get another shot at his biggest foe.

 

Brock Lesnar

 

Fake wrestler turned real fighter, Brock Lesnar, caused a major stir during UFC 199, when the announcement came out that he would be returning to the octagon for UFC 200. Lesnar’s brief, but exciting, previous run with UFC came to an end over four years ago after suffering consecutive knockout losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. Before those losses, Lesnar shocked the MMA world by knocking out the great Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight championship. He then followed up that victory with two title defenses. Now returning at 38, fans weren’t sure what Brock Lesnar they would see. Facing Mark Hunt, who’s known for his heavy punches and walk-off knockouts, Lesnar came in with a patient approach. He eventually took control of the fight by taking Hunt down several times and scoring shots in the ground-and-pound as he went on to win by unanimous decision. While Hunt was a top ten heavyweight and certainly not an easy out, Lesnar still looked a little rusty. Despite his god-like stature, his strikes weren’t doing a ton of damage for UFC heavyweight standards.

 

With his WWE stardom, Brock Lesnar is quite possibly the biggest draw in the sport. This explains why the same Las Vegas crowd that booed Daniel Cormier for smothering his opponent with wrestling techniques cheered wildly when Lesnar did the exact same thing. Former champion Junior Dos Santos called out Lesnar on Twitter, looking to cash in on a huge payday, but that’s a fight Brock would be wise to avoid. If Lesnar puts his massive foot down and says he won’t fight again unless it’s a title shot, the UFC would likely give it to him, knowing Brock’s return to the fighting could be brief and they want to take full advantage of it.

 

The smartest move for Lesnar, and he is a smarter than your average muscle head, would be to schedule a fight with Derrick Lewis, who just beat Roy Nelson in a controversial decision two nights before UFC 200, or the winner of the upcoming Josh Barnett vs. Andrei Arlovski bout. Derrick Lewis does have scary knockout power, but Roy Nelson (known for his incredible chin and even more incredible beer belly) was able to expose Lewis’ lack of takedown defense and endurance, which could give Lesnar the edge. Arlovski and Barnett are both seasoned MMA vets, but like Brock, they are both in their late 30s and their best days are behind them. Much like Conor McGregor, Brock gets what Brock wants. In this case, Brock would be wise to take another winnable fight before messing around with the guys in the top five.

 

Amanda Nunes

 

The only shocker on the main card came in the main event, as Amanda Nunes defeated Miesha Tate by first-round submission for the women’s bantamweight championship. Although we shouldn’t be too surprised, since Tate shocked the world when she beat Holly Holm last March, who had just shocked the world even more by knocking out the seemingly unbeatable Ronda Rousey last November. The constant passing of the belt is starting to become a trend in the women’s bantamweight division. At 28, Nunes is in her athletic prime and she’s riding a four-fight winning streak, so maybe she’ll be the one to break that trend. The question is, who will she face?

 

Dana White has made it clear that Ronda Rousey will fight for the title as soon as she’s ready to return from her personal hiatus that involves remaking Roadhouse and terrifying Paige VanZant. But Rousey seems to be taking her time, and Nunes probably isn’t a big enough draw to bring her back any faster. That leaves Nunes with two options: Holly Holm, assuming Holm wins her upcoming fight against Valentina Shevchenko later this month, and Juliana Pena, who just beat Cat Zingano on the UFC 200 undercard. Holm is the bigger name, due to the Roadhouse-style beatdown she put on Ronda Rousey, which means that’s bigger payday. This is also what the UFC wants, because if Holm gets the belt back, Rousey will most likely come back for revenge! (I wanted to make another Roadhouse reference here, but it wasn’t exactly a revenge movie…) As long as Holly Holm takes care of Shevchenko, she will be in position to face Amanda Nunes for the title. If Holm gets her belt back, it’s Swayze time! I mean Rousey time!

 

 


Hit it and Quidditch

Written by :
Published on : November 30, 2015

 

Quidditch is the coolest fake sport ever. Made popular by the Harry Potter series of books and films, quidditch combines polo, Australian-rules football and flying for intense sports action. Sure it’s not real but it’s super awesome. Imagine if broomsticks could fly and we had a pro league with teams in all the major cities. If you owned a quidditch squad which real life athletes would you want on it?

Well first let’s do a quick refresher on how quidditch works. The object of the game is to outscore your opponent. Each team is made up of seven players: 1 Seeker, 1 Keeper, 2 Beaters and 3 Chasers.

Chasers get points for successfully getting the Quaffle (a weird football shaped thing) through one of three hoops that the opposing Keeper protects. Two grapefruit sized balls called Bludgers magically dart around the arena smashing players off their brooms. The Beaters use a bat to redirect the Bludgers into the other players. All while the tiny Golden Snitch zips around elusively. The Seeker from each team tries to catch the Snitch, which nets you 150 points and ends the game. So now we know the rules, lets pick our team.

 

This kid knows what’s up

 

The Chasers

You want good versatility at this position. Someone with a nice combo of speed and strength with a knack for scoring. It should be known that the Chasers work together so being able to pass is just as important as finishing.

1. LeBron James, forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He can pass, he can shoot, he can do it all. Easy choice. James will run the floor and dish the Quaffle for easy baskets. He totally Quafflied.

2. Blake Griffin, forward for the Los Angeles Clippers. Blake can nearly fly now. Giving him magic only turns this hardwood terror into an arial monster. Plus his name fits the Harry Potter world nicely.

3. Calvin Johnson, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. His size and solid hands make him a perfect Chaser. Megatron’s ability to shake off punishment will force teams to pay extra attention to him, this will free up the others for easy points.

 

Step aside

The Beaters

These are your biggest and strongest. But we are still looking for precision here. You need skill to effectively use that bat.

1. Mike Trout, outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels. He has all the power you need, can cover great on defense and kills it with the bat.

2. Zdeno Chara, defenseman for the Boston Bruins is one of hockey’s best. He’s 6’9” and can swing that stick. I’m sure the transition to a bat will be easy for him. The Bludger is way bigger than a puck. I was going to put Brock Lesnar here but Chara seems more athletic overall. Also, Gronk wouldn’t be a terrible choice.

 

Get him a broom!

 

The Keeper

The brains of the outfit. The Keeper must decide which of the three hoops to defend. This job screams for someone with strong veteran leadership. Sports logic suggests maybe a soccer or hockey goalie but that is a very narrow translation of the job.

1. Travis Pastrana, motorsports and stunt competitor. He’s is super comfortable in the air, stays calm under pressure and can make those lighting fast calculations needed to pull off the impossible. Travis would own the broom and provide that stable backbone the rest of the crew would feed off of. Plus I hear he gets free Red Bull.

 

Soar Travis, soar

 

The Seeker

This is your fastest and usually best player. Being small helps but vision, guts and quickness is the real recipe for success. Like a mix of a fighter pilot and race horse jockey.

1. Harry Potter, Seeker for House Gryffindor. He is the best. Why would I pick anyone else? (eat it Viktor Krum) I thought about picking a NASCAR driver like Jimmie Johnson or Kyle Busch because those guys can go fast but are they really on Harry’s level? Don’t think so. Usain Bolt? Maybe. I do think Lionel Messi could probably do a solid job but he is only a wizard on the soccer pitch.

 

quidditch snitch

 

That’s my team. I feel pretty good about it. Leave a comment and tell me your seven. Can you dig it Cedric Diggory? Oh also, kids started playing quidditch on foot. I don’t like that. The flying is the cool part, take that away and it’s just a bunch of dummies running around with broom between their legs. Not magical, not cool. Get a job.

 

 

 


The Scariest Athletes of All Time

Written by :
Published on : October 31, 2015

 

In honor of Halloween we take a look at some of the Scariest Athletes of All Time. These are players that strike fear into the hearts of both opponents and fans alike. They are the hard-hitting, ass kicking, monsters of the game. You definitely DO NOT want to fuck with these people.

 

 

Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor was a reckless monster on the gridiron, who no one wanted to go up against. With 142 career sacks, he was damn near unstoppable for the better part of a decade. He could do it all, and he did it with an intensity and viciousness that led him to be considered one of the top outside linebackers of all time and gained him a spot in the Hall of Fame. There’s no doubt many a retired offensive NFL player that still see Taylor in his nightmares. Oh yea, he was pretty wild off of the field too.

 

 

Mike Tyson


All you have to do is watch the above video of brutal Mike Tyson knockouts to know why he is here among the “Sports Monsters Hall of Fame.” During his prime, Tyson was amazing to watch and terrifying to imagine going up against. He made it look so effortless to absolutely destroy opposing fighters. His short stocky frame could deliver brain damage at will and he even once said he wanted to “eat Lennox Lewis’ children.” If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.

 

 

Bill Romanowski

Known for his lack of self control, explosive temper and neck like a semi-truck, the 4-time Super Bowl Champion linebacker was a force to be reckoned with on the field. With no shortage of violent hits on opposing offensive players, he would make me shit my pants if I was a running back. This raving lunatic didn’t reserve his roid-induced rage just for the opposing team, and even once ended his teammates career but crushing his eye socket with a punch.

 

 

Bob Probert

As a well known enforcer, Bob Probert, did his best work with the gloves off. A throwback to the days of ‘old time hockey’ when fighting wasn’t seen as taboo. He was one of the toughest players ever to step out on the ice. He was willing to put his body through whatever it took to get the job done. If that was the case then imagine what he would be willing to do to you if you were unfortunate enough to get in his way? During the pinnacle of his career in the 1987-88 season, he amassed an outlandish 398 penalty minutes, and still managed to tie for 3rd on the Red Wings with 62 points. Rest in Peace, you beautiful beast.

 

Brock Lesnar


Just look at this guy and tell me he isn’t the scariest fuckin’ thing you’ve ever seen. He is an imposing ball of human muscle and raw animal aggression. He now resides in the fantasy world of WWE but when he was in UFC he could beat you with the submission or the knockout and has left more than a few of his opponents with soiled underwear. If you see him in an alley, run!

 

 


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