UFC on Fox 4: Dana White Flips Like a Gymnast

I was going to write a post today about how ridiculous it was for Dana White to give the winner of the Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua vs Brandon Vera fight a title shot against champion Jon Jones (assuming Jones defeats Dan Henderson on Sept 1st).  But then, while I was at work, a funny thing happened.  Dana White changed his mind (imagine that!).  It’s not the first time that it’s happened and won’t be the last, but the abruptness of the switch was what caught me off guard.  The title contender status has been extended to cover the Lyoto Machida vs Ryan Bader bout.  Despite each of these fighters having lost to White has said that whomever impresses him the most out of the two bouts will gain the next title shot.  The implication in this 4-way mini-sweeps is that Rua will get the shot at Jones if he beats Vera.  If he falters, the winner of the Machida – Bader fight will get their second shot at the champ.

I like Brandon Vera and I’m excited to watch this matchup up Muy Thai practitioners, but to give him the chance to be in a title-eliminator bout would have been an absolute folly.  He was once touted as an up-and-coming, undersized heavyweight but never materialized as the title-contender some thought he would become.  He dropped down to light-heavy and has been underwhelming to say the least.  His greatest win was over Frank Mir in 2006, when Mir was still on the mend after his near career ending accident.  In his last 3 fights he had been destroyed by Jon Jones, in his run to the title, and Thiago Silva.  Both fights saw Vera’s face rearranged, but the Silva loss was overturned after he failed a drug test.  Not much in his resume to warrant a top-ten ranking, let alone a title shot. Continue reading

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Olympics: Who Can Care?

The Opening Ceremonies of the XXXth Olympiad, the London Olympics, have finished and I figured I should post something about the colossal event, just to feel like a part of something global.  The big problem is that the olympics do nothing for me.  I’m more of a team sport kind of guy.  The fastest man in the world race is always fascinating, but is over in a flash.  Gymnastics, swimming, fencing…could care less.  Now that they’ve done away with baseball (can’t figure out why…I mean….how many countries cross-country ski while shooting things?) I’m left with two events to watch: basketball and soccer.

Euro 2012 finished about a month ago.  There’s really only so much soccer I can watch, especially when it’s national teams.  The whole world knows that club soccer far outranks country in all measurable ways.  Unless your Serbia and Croatia, these games are about as meaningful as nipples on men. Continue reading

UFC 149: When is a Title Fight Not a Title Fight?

UFC 149: More boring than Calgary itself

Answer: When the champ doesn’t fight.

Reading the Wikipedia page for any UFC event lately sounds like a soap opera.  X was scheduled to fight Y, then the fight was moved from card Z, then X was hurt and now Brian Ebersole‘s chest hair has stepped in to fight.  The entry explaining how the card was put together and what the card went through is twice as long as any information explaining how the card played out.  It goes to show just how many injuries there are in today’s fight game.  What we end up with is a card that has Urijah Faber vs Renan Barao in the main event, for the interim title, with Hector Lombard vs Tim Boetsch as the co-main event.  Admittedly, this is not the most exciting card that we’ve had.  But this was the state of UFC 149. Continue reading

Linsanity: Round 2

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t believe that Linsanity has taken flight once again.  The Houston Rockets have offered Jeremy Lin a $25 million, 3-year deal and he has signed it.  The offer has a so-called ‘poison pill’ in that the third year is for nearly $15 million.  This would make him one of the top paid point guards in the league.  This leaves the New York Knicks in the unenviable position of having to risk punishment under the new CBA that came into effect.  The new rules harshly castigate teams that go over the luxury tax threshold, and the more you go over, the more severe the punishment becomes.

Aside from the relatively small sample of strong play in February of last year, there really isn’t much to go on.  We all know how big of an impact Lin had on the Knicks last year.  But, when you look deeper, the impact was more of a financial and cultural impact.  He does not deserve top 5 at his position kind of money.  He may earn his way up to that type of contract but at this point, he’s not worth that money.  $5 million a year, which is what he’ll make in the first two years of the deal, sounds more like it.  In the first 12 starts of his career, going in to last years all-star break, he averaged 22.5 points per game and 8.7 assists per game.  That alone is worth some money based on future potential. Continue reading

83rd Annual All-Star Game: Who Cares?

2012 MLB All-Star game. Please don’t let a Giant get injured. Please! (Photo Credit: mlb.com)

In a few hours, the 83rd annual MLB All-Star game will begin in Kansas City.  The big question surrounding the game is who cares?  Seriously, does anybody care anymore.  When I was a kid, in the 80’s, there was some excitement to the game.  Adulthood has taken a little off of the luster of the game but so has the state of the modern game.  Previously, the only time you would get to see some players was in the All-Star game.  Now, with the internet and modern broadcasting, you can watch any team, any time.  There was also the added treat of watching players compete against each other who would otherwise not.  Interleague play has taken that away from us.

Aside from a complete and utter lack of excitement or meaning, there is the injury worry.  I’m a San Francisco Giants fan and my worst nightmare came true.  They named Matt Cain as the starter for the game.  The starting pitcher is the only pitcher who will generally go for more than an inning.  Even if he comes out of the game unscathed, I’d rather have him not pitch 3 innings on his day off.  There’s really no way for them to go half speed, and each inning on the mound increases the risk.  It’s rare for it to happen, but ask Ray Fosse (see below) what can happen. Continue reading

Nice to Have Known You Chael Sonnen

UFC 148: Will Chael Sonnen please leave town? (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

UFC 148 has come and gone, and, as anticipated, it was the largest draw of all time.  Chael Sonnen has been the perfect antagonists for GOAT Anderson Silva for the better part of the last two years.  There’s no doubt that his mouth has helped rev up both ticket sales and PPV sales.  It’s been entertaining and I admit to being excited by the mainstream coverage, but let’s all hope this has finally run its course.

If you remember, and I know how short memories run in the modern world, Chael Sonnen wanted a loser leave town battle.  He had just defeated Brian Stann at UFC 136 in October of 2011, and, while being interviewed by Joe Rogan, grabbed the microphone and challenged Silva to the WWF-style rematch, while also calling him a coward.  Silva shrugged it off and Sonnen has since rescinded the offer, but I’d like to ask Sonnen to be a man of his word and leave town. Continue reading

2012 NBA Draft: View from a Losing City

Can a player be a bust after one year? Can a 6-2 shooting guard shoot 38% from the field? Ask Jimmer! (Photo Credit: NBA.com)

I’m actually writing this post from the international terminal at the Auckland Airport so I don’t know what the view of the draft is like from here.

This Thursday evening June 28th, is the annual NBA draft.  This is the day when the hopeless get hope.  Unless, of course, you’re a Sacramento Kings fan, then you know you’re getting screwed.

Last years draft was a debacle.  The drafting of Jimmer Fredette was a last-ditch effort to attract a crowd to Sacramento home games in a ‘contract year’ for the team and city.  In case you hadn’t heard, the Kings were on the verge of leaving Sacramento at the end of the 2011 season, for the greener pastures of Los Angeles.  They were given a one-year extension to try to work out a long-term deal to keep the team in town.  Knowing that the team had a year to make a good impression, they picked Fredette to try to spark the home crowd into attendance.  He was one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball history and initially, when all of his jerseys sold out, both in stores and online, it appeared to be a success. Continue reading