Archive for the ‘Australian Sports’ Category

Richie Vaculik Named on UFC 193 Fight Card

Image: https://twitter.com/RichieVaculik?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

If fans weren’t already excited about seeing UFC superstar Ronda Rousey heading the UFC 193 card in Melbourne, then they’ve just been given another reason.

In a card stacked with well-known and home-grown fighters the UFC announced today that TUF: the Smashes contestant and UFC Fight of the week co-host Richie Vaculik has been added to the card.

Vaculik made an inauspicious entrance to the UFC in the TUF: The Smashes house. The opposing Canadian team ran roughshod over the Aussies. But since then the Australians have blossomed.

Vaculik announced on Thursday that he will be fighting Danny Martinez in what promises to be a spectacular flyweight bout.

Vaculik is coming off a loss to Louis Smolka. But the 32 year-old has won 10 of his last 14 fights and says he will be ready for the dangerous Martinez. He flies out to Thailand on the 18th for his training camp in Thailand.

The disappointment of his most recent loss and the chance to perform in front of 70,000 screaming fellow Australians offers Vaculik huge encouragement.

Melbourne’s Etihad stadium will host what is expected to be the largest attendance and viewing numbers for any MMA event in the country ever.

Female MMA Fighter Beats Up Would-Be Robber

Triangle hold image: Youtube

Monique Bastos was on her way home from jiu-jitsu training with two friends on Tuesday when two men attacked their group. They demanded their mobile phones and money.

What they didn’t expect was for Bastos to fight back.

While Bastos may only weigh in at 56 kg, she does, however, have six fights to her MMA career – and she’s a killer!

“I was going to my jiu-jitsu training when they arrived on a motorcycle and said they wanted our phones,” Bastos said to MMAFighting.com. “I tried to hold my phone, and I realised they were not armed. When they tried to escape (after feeling the wrath of Bastos’ fists for a few minutes), I lifted the rear wheel of the bike and they fell on the ground. The guy who took my phone ran away, but I was able to get the other one.”

And Bastos showed him why crime doesn’t pay.

The man, later identified as Wesley Sousa de Araujo, was eventually ‘subdued’ with a rear naked choke. Bastos then held him in a triangle choke for 15 minutes until police arrived to arrest him.

At several points Araujo is screaming for sympathy, but he showed none when he was robbing his victims; fortunately he was shown none in return.

“I’ve been thought this a few times before,” Bastos continued, “and it’s the second time I fought back. There were two guys, and they were using knives, but I was able to use my jiu-jitsu and get my phone back. It’s a huge risk, but I did it to defend myself and my friends, so I used what I learned.”

White Effusive Over Rousey

Rousey image: https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

UFC supremo Dana White is falling over himself praising Ronda Rousey.

In an interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole he spoke of Rousey’s willingness to help him out of the UFC 193 jam.

Robbie Lawler’s injured thumb prevented his title defence against Carlos Condit in Melbourne. Suddenly White had an event with no headline fighters.

Rousey was already scheduled to fight on January 2, but White thought he might at least try to convince her to move the bout forward six weeks.

“I swear on my life,” said White to Iole, “I called her today when I thought something might happen and I said to her, ‘Hypothetically speaking …

“She interrupts me and said, ‘I’ll do whatever you need me to do.’

“So I laugh and I’m telling her how much I love that attitude and I’m going on and she stops me again and says, ‘Hey, so what’s up? What do you need?’

“She’s incredible. In 15 years of doing this, I’ve never seen anyone remotely like this woman.”

Fans’ reactions to the announcement of Rousey coming to Australia were off the charts. There, quite literally, is no one with her star power.

However, many are now lamenting the choice of Holm as an opponent. While Holm is a decorated striker, a veteran fighter, and an up-and-comer in the women’s UFC bantamweight division many think it is too early for her to step into the Octagon against the untouchable Ronda Rousey.

Rousey Headlines UFC 193 in Melbourne!

Rousey image: https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Social media exploded yesterday. Women’s bantamweight champion ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey was announced as the headliner at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. Rousey will defend her championship belt against decorated striker Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm in what is said to be a coup for the hosting venue, Etihad Stadium.

UFC supremo Dana White made the announcement on ESPN’s SportsCentre in New York. Rousey and Hom will take the place of Lawler and Condit at the top of the bill.

“We’ll break all-time attendance record for an MMA event,” said White on Twitter.

Australian MMA fans are euphoric.

“Australia’s an important market for us,” said White to ESPN, “so we’re going to bring her out there in our first real big stadium show. And we know she’ll break the record out there.”

Ticket sellers were inundated at the news. Within seconds of the announcement online ticket sellers were reporting a blowout in sales.

Ronda Rousey is arguably the most marketable fighter in the world. She is without doubt the best.

Holm image: https://twitter.com/_HOLLYHOLM?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Holm image: https://twitter.com/_HOLLYHOLM?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

But Holm is no slouch either. The 33 year-old from New Mexico has a 9-0 record, she has won 9 world boxing titles, and fast climbing the bantamweight ranks.

Her only chance against Rousey, however, is to elude the champion’s Olympic level judo game and keep the fight standing.

Holm lacks the grappling pedigree of Rousey. The champion’s almost patented arm-bar has ended more fights than both of Holm’s fists.

Only Miesha Tate has managed to take Rousey beyond the first round.

In her 12 career wins Rousey ended the last four in: 66 seconds (Sara McMann), 16 seconds (Alexis Davis), 14 seconds (Cat Zingano), and 14 seconds (Bethe Correia).

Most experts are predicting another early night for the champion.

Mason on Report After First Tackle

Mason image: https://twitter.com/mase21?lang=en

He has never been known as the sharpest knife in the draw. This week Manly forward Willie Mason showed just how stupid he is.

In his first game back following a two-week suspension for a shoulder charge Mason sunk his shoulder into the Rooster’s prop Dylan Napa in the very first hit-up of the game.

Napa is no shrinking violet. The 109 kg steamroller was met by three Manly defenders, one of whom was Mason.

Mason didn’t even bother to disguise his shoulder charge.

So with only seven seconds of the game gone the Roosters had their first penalty and Mason was once again on report.

Mason has been an outspoken critic of the new shoulder charge rule.

“I’m embarrassed to be a rugby league player at the moment,” he said after the first two week suspension, “with all the rule changes and everything like that.

“It’s a sad day for rugby league really if you have a look at it.

“I’ve seen bigger hits on the weekend in netball.”

And who can argue?

Rugby league is meant to be a hard-man’s game; getting rid of the shoulder charge from league is like outlawing the body check in ice hockey or the blindside hit in NFL.

I suppose we should be thankful the NRL management don’t run Formula One – everyone would have to drive at the speed limit.

Shoulder charge rule: “Is where a defender, without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the ball-carrier (or any opposing player) using the arms or hands, makes direct physical contact using the shoulder or the upper arm (tucked into the side).

“It will be considered misconduct, if any player affects a tackle in the manner as defined.”

Card Stacks for UFC 193 in Melbourne

Image: https://twitter.com/UFCEurope/status/628204426021330944

Melbourne fight fans are licking their lips as Stefan ‘Skyscaper’ Struve has been signed to fight American Jared Rosholt at UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium in November.

Dutchman Struve is a giant of a man, towering over opponents at 2.12 meters.

He was powering up the heavyweight rankings with a four-fight win streak; overpowering luminaries like Stipe Miocic, Lavar Johnson, Dave Herman, and Pat Barry before being forced out of competition with a heart condition.

Since then Struve lost two bouts; the first to Mark ‘the Super Samoan’ Hunt, the second to Alistair Overeem. He has since regrouped with a unanimous decision victory over the highly respected veteran warrior Anotonio Rodrigo Nogueira in August.

Rosholt, in contrast, is unranked in the UFC heavyweight division. He is rising fast, but still something of an unknown.

He was knocked out in the first round by Alexey Oliynyk in November.

But Rosholt has since defeated Josh Copeland and Timothy Johnson on his way to securing a 5-1 UFC record and a 9-1 MMA record.

The night will be headlined by the welterweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit.

Adopted Aussie Mark Hunt will meet fellow slugger, the hammer-fisted Bigfoot Silva.

Australian prodigy Robert Whittaker will get his first taste of the big time, being given the opportunity to fight the veteran but ever dangerous Michael Bisping.

Whittaker versus Bisping is expected to be a show-stopper!

Transgender MMA Fighter Continues to Divide Fight Community

Fallon Fox images: https://twitter.com/fallonfox

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has revised her position on fighting transgender athletes; she says she will decide whether to fight an opponent on a case-by-case basis.

Her revision comes as the MMA world is split over the question of Fallon Fox, known to be the first transgender athlete in MMA.

Fox opened up about her gender reassignment in an article published by Sports Illustrated.

“A reporter came after me,” she told the magazine, “and asked me questions about my past. I was scared I could be outed, I felt like I had it coming, so I got ahead of it.

“The scope of anger and vitriol that I received initially … That was disheartening, tragic. It was mind-blowing.”

Fox immediately divided opinion in the MMA world.

She was described by UFC fighter Matt Mitrione as a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak.”

While UFC commentator Joe Rogan was just as outspoken: “You’re a [email protected] man!” he raged. “And she wants to be able to fight women in MMA. I say no [email protected] way. If you had a dick at one point in time, you also have all the bone structure that comes with having a dick.”

Rousey initially refused to even consider fighting Fox, but has since reviewed her position.

Fox was born Boyd Burton on November 29, 1975. He showed signs of struggling with his gender from the age of 5; when he would sneak into his sister’s bedroom and dress in her clothes.

He later married his girlfriend, with whom he had a child. But the confusion continued.

In 2000 he came across the term ‘gender dysphoria’ and began to understand his condition.

Burton served with the navy between 1996 and 2000. Upon his release he began to seek treatment with a therapist.

But in 2006 Boyd decided to make the change and flew to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery.

She described having the procedure as ‘empowering’.

She returned to the US a woman and continued driving trucks for a living.

Then she came across MMA.

“You see things in movies with strong female characters that can fight; but seeing it in real life sucked me in. I saw these women in MMA and thought they were amazing.

Fox said fighting made her “feel like I was just like everyone else.”

She now has an MMA record of 5-1 (all against women fighters).

She believes her previous gender gives her no advantages.

“I’ve been through a lot of things to change myself from male to female … they decrease my testosterone levels to lower than any other female on the planet who’s not transgender.”

The medical fraternity back up these claims.

“Male to female transsexuals have significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass, than males,” said Dr Eric Vilain, director at the Institute for Society and Genetics at UCLA. Dr Vilain was integral in assisting the association of boxing commissions piece together its transgender policy.

However, UFC supremo Dana white remains unconvinced.

“Bone structure is different, hand s are bigger, jaw is bigger, everything is bigger. I don’t believe in it. I don’t think someone who used to be a man and became a woman should be able to fight a woman.”

Club Revolt in NRL Gives Ultimatum to CEO Smith

Image: www.youtube.com

NRL CEO Dave Smith has been given an ultimatum: Either you go or we do.

The threat comes from some of the most powerful figures in rugby league –  frustrated with the changes and inconsistencies implemented by Smith in his year at the helm.

Last week’s TV rights negotiations saw Fox Sports and Telstra effectively snubbed from the deal. This caused much heated discussion and finger pointing among club presidents towards Smith and Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman John Grant.

In response, 12 clubs are considering breaking away from the NRL in 2017 when their contracts expire.

The new 12 club league would leave out those clubs currently being supported by the NRL: Wests tigers, St George Illawarra, Newcastle, and the perennially embattled Gold Coast.

The influential figures were incensed when Fox Sports and Telstra were omitted from the TV right negotiations.

This fury was only multiplied when News Corp then partnered with the Seven Network to inject $2.5 billion into AFL through a revised television deal – money that could have gone to them.

These blunders are, however, just the latest in a long list of complaints against Smith: Inconsistent judiciary rulings, the insipid and unclear changes made to the shoulder charge rule, and the multi-million dollar blowout of executive salaries for certain staff employed by Smith have incurred ire at every turn.

The game’s powerbrokers, it seems, have finally had enough.

Green Wins 10 Rounder Against Bolonti

Green image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Green_(boxer)

Danny Green has made a decisive impact in his comeback fight against Argentina’s Roberto Bolonti, at the Hisense arena in Melbourne.

A fit and focused Green took a big step towards securing a multimillion dollar rematch with Anthony Mundine by overcoming the highly credentialed Bolonti in a bruising, yet entertaining encounter.

Fans of the green Machine might have been worried as green started slowly. He was looking to land his big right, but was given few opportunities.

But as the fight progressed Green settled into a comfortable range and rhythm.

Though 42 years of age (6 years older than Bolonti) and without a fight for the last three years, Green showed fitness and ring smarts.

Curiously, Bolonti did not capitalise on Green’s early inactivity. He pressed forward throughout the fight, often to his own detriment by walking into Green’s devastating rights.

“It was a very awkward fight,” said a relieved Green. “He’s survivor and he can punch. He’s a strong man, an ox.”

All three judges scored the 10 rond fight 100 – 90 to the Australian.

Green was elliptical about talk of challenging Mundine. “In his insular world he (Mundine) is king, but he needs to look outside his bubble.” Green believed the public didn’t really care to watch Mundine fight. He underscored this by saying he wouldn’t be fussed’ if the fight never went ahead.

“He needs a fight with me more than I need a fight with him.”

Green Faces Big challenge in Bolonti

Green image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Green_(boxer)

Boxer Danny Green steps into the ring against Argentinian powerhouse Roberto Bolonti at Hisense Arena on Wednesday.

Green admits it won’t be an easy fight.

His opponent has won 36 of his career 39 fights; with his only losses coming at the hands of world champion Jurgen Brahmer and leading contender Tony Bellew. Even then the fights were close and went the full distance.

Green, on the other hand, has spent the last three years fishing, surfing and making sporadic television appearances.

“It’s a risky fight,” said a very wary Green, “because Bolonti has been active, in real fights and I’ve only been training in the gym.

“He’s match-fit and won a title fight by knockout in Argentina only two weeks ago. He jumped at the chance to fight me on short notice so that shows how keen and confident he is. It only makes for a more exciting fight.”

Notorious fight-picker Anthony Mundine is watching the fight carefully. He is looking for an ‘adequate’ opponent for his last few money-spinning fights. Depending upon the form green shows Mundine may choose to step into the ring with him for the third time.

When the two last met (in 2006) the match became the riches ever on Australian shores. Mundine outpointed a surprisingly flat-footed Green in a rather boring 12 rounmds.

Green enters the ring against Bolonti with a record of 33-5 (28 KOs); while Bolonti boasts 36-3 (25 KOs).