Archive for the ‘Australian Sports’ Category

Greyhound Racing Officials Shot At!

Greyhound image: en.wikipedia.org

Greyhound Racing Victoria confirmed yesterday that a firearm was allegedly discharged in the vicinity of two GRV Animal Welfare Officers and two other GRV staff.

The altercation came as the four attempted to undertake a routine inspection of a property in eastern Victoria. After the firearm was discharged the four allege they were then subjected to an attempted assault.

Greyhound Racing Victoria said iy was “aware of and deeply disturbed by the incident.”

The Domestic Animal Act’s Code of Practice for the Operation of Greyhound Establishments allows for inspectors and their assistants to ensure registered owners are complying with the terms of the Act.

“If these allegations are proven to be correct,” said Bernie Carolan, Chairman of the GRV, then it is another example of the kind of behaviour that is not welcome in the Victorian greyhound racing industry or anywhere for that matter.

Mr Carolan was referring to the behaviour of certain members who, in February, were found to have been using live baits to train their racing dogs.

The subsequent investigation found some licensed trainers were using animals such as possums, pigs and rabbits as lures in their training of greyhounds.

The subsequent outrage forced the various state governing bodies to implement a 10 year ban for those convicted of the practice.

Referring to the incident yesterday Mr Carolan said: “To think that someone could do this to staff there to help them is unfathomable.”

Amanda Nunes Emerges as Possible Contender for Ronda Rousey

Amanda Nunes image: https://twitter.com/amanda_leoa

It might be consider rude to have already looked past Miesha Tate. But the MMA world is cautiously suggesting Amanda Nunes may be the only woman capable of testing Ronda Rowsey.

On Sunday evening, in Nashville, 27 year-old Nunes destroyed number 4 ranked women’s bantamweight Sara McMann in less than three minutes.

Nunes rocked McMann with a clubbing right hand early in the first. With McMann backing up Nunes was able to pour on the pressure and position herself to take the American’s back.

.Nunes didn’t want to grapple with the Olympic level wrestler; so she unleashed some powerful ground-and-pound to overwhelm and soften up her opponent.

As McMann began weaken Nunes lunged and secured a rear-naked choke, forcing McMann to tap.

The win makes Nunes a genuine title contender for undefeated champion Ronda Rousey.

Rousey has dominated her division so overwhelmingly many are considering her fight against Miesha Tate a mere card-filler and looking to Nunes to provide some real competition.

“My background is jiu-jitsu and judo,” said the Brazilian. “I love striking, but I come from grappling. I’m ready, I’m the lion. Let’s do it … The champion has a fight coming up, maybe I’m next?”

Rousey’s Olympic level judo has proved a problem for many women bantamweight hopefuls. Nunes can nullify that skill with her own.

Nunes is currently 4-1 in the UFC with her only loss coming at the hands of Cat Zingano, in 2014. A fight she almost won in the first round before losing by TKO in the dying minutes of the three round fight.

Fight Cared Announced for UFC Melbourne

Robbie lawler image: https://twitter.com/ruthless_rl

Australian MMA fans were thrilled at the announcement of the headliners for UFC 193 in Melbourne.

Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler is set to defend his title against former interim titleholder Carlos Condit. This is a fight all fans want to see.

Lawler (26-10) stunned the world with his comeback victory against Rory MacDonald at UFC 189. Trailing MacDonald 3-1 Lawler entered the fifth round knowing he had to finish Lawler to win. He unleashed an all-or-nothing flurry of punches against his opponent to win in what many ae describing as Fight of the Year.

Condit (30-8) is no slouch either. Of his 30 fights only two have gone the distance. Condit became interim champion by defeating the fearsome Nick Diaz in 2012. While the fight was boring and Condit was accused of fighting defensively he has shown when he senses blood in the water he’s as lethal a fighter as anyone on the planet.

More recently Condit was sidelined with a torn ACL from a fight last year against the hulking Tyron Woodley.

After 14 months recuperating he returned in May this year to finish the respected Thiago Alves in Brazil and earn his title shot.

Lead writer for the Bleacher Report, Jeremy Botter, described the Lawler – Condit match-up as a bit of a surprise. “Many expected Lawler to defend his championship against Hendricks. The two have already fought twice, with each scoring a close victory. Hendricks has been vocal about wanting the next title shot, and it seemed a lock that he would be the man to face Lawler next.”

While the date is set, 14 November, the venue isn’t. The UFC have to decide between Etihad Stadium or Rod Laver Arena. Australian MMA fighters Mark Hunt, Robert Whittaker and Jake Matthews are hoping to be included on the fight card. While American Matt Mitrione has called out Bigfoot Silva in a dialogue that escalated quickly.

Karmichael Hunt to Face Cross-Examination

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cocaine#mediaviewer/File:Cocaine3.jpg

Lawyers for the ex-footballer at the centre of the cocaine scandal have made an application to cross-examine Karmichael Hunt.

Chris Hannay said on Saturday: “We will be making an application to cross-examine witnesses and Karmichael Hunt has provided a witness statement.

“We’re looking forward to getting on with it because this has been a very stressful time for John and his family.”

Hunt was one of the first sporting stars named in a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation into a multimillion-dollar cocaine trafficking network.

In February Hunt sensationally rolled over and implicated other NRL and Gold Coast Suns in the scandal. His witness statement and guilty plea came in exchange for lesser charges; but sent shockwaves through the NRL Titans and AFL Gold Coast Suns.

Hunt’s witness statement also formed the centrepiece of the prosecution’s case against Tourma.

The Gold Coast Titans will see seven past and present players face court in October.

All seven have entered a plea of not guilty to supplying cocaine. They are accused of having done so at a player’s buck’s party and a Mad Monday booze cruise.

Horn Flies Into Invercargill for Fight With Plotnykov

Jeff Horn image: https://twitter.com/jeffhornboxer

Jeff Horn, a Brisbane boxer described by boxing great Jeff Fenech as ‘the hottest talent in the country’, has flown to Invercargill, New Zealand for the fight of his life.

When he steps into the 4000 seat Stadium Southland the man he will face is the hammer-fisted world number 10 Viktor Plotnykov. Plotnykov, 37, is a veteran with 32 wins from 34 fights. He has never been stopped in a career spanning 13 years.

But if Horn is to prove himself a contender for Floyd Mayweather’s welterweight (67kg) title belt he has to get past Plotnykov.

“The key to winning,” said Horn, “is not to let Plotnykov dominate from long range.” Plotnykov is a tall lanky fighter able to deliver damaging blows at a distance.

“He’s very tall,” Horn continued, “and rangy. Plotnykov has a great jab and right hand and he likes to sit back and control the distance.

“My job is not to let that happen, but take charge straight away. I feel I have the power and workrate to trouble him immediately.”

Both Horn and Plotnykov made weight at an identical 66.15 kg.

Horn has been preparing for the bout by sparring with taller and heavier opponents. He claims to have completed 60 rounds with larger opponents during the past two weeks.

The fight will be streamed live and free on epicentre.tv on the web.

Rousey Unbackable Favourite Against Correia in UFC 190

Image: en.wikipedia.org

This weekend ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey (11-0-0) puts her bantamweight title on the line against Brazilian Bethe ‘Pitbull’ Correia (9-0-0). The bout, UFC 190, will take place in Correia’s home country.

Rousey goes in as an almost unbackable favourite (with some bookmakers offering Rousey as 18-1 on to win), having sailed through her last three fights. But Correia is at least saying she can pull off the upset of five centuries.

If so, Correia will need to be extremely watchful of Rousey’s judo and armbar.

Rousey either dominates or at least equals everyone in her division in all aspects of the MMA game. But she brings something to the table they don’t: Olympic level judo skills and a go-to armbar that is almost impossible to stop.

Rousey has made it almost a habit of setting her opponents up with demolishing stand-up before getting  in close and hurling her opponent to the mat. Once off balance they become easy pickings for Rousey’s speedy transition to an armbar that ends the night.

Everyone knows the armbar is coming, but no one has been able to stop her.

Rousey has finished 82% of her fights by submission. While Correia has finished none in the same way. The Pitbull also gives away 2 inches in height.

Correia’s strengths are her strikes (6.07 significant strikes landed per minute on average) and her takedown defense (80%).

Correia’s KO/TKO percentage is almost par with that of Rousey (22% Correia, 18% Rousey)

Rousey has arguably become the most dominant athlete in any sport. She has often courted controversy, but no one can discredit her achievement as one of the greatest athletes in the modern era.

But, as Anderson Silva showed against Chris Wiedman, no one is untouchable inside the Octagon. Silva wore the mantle of most dominant fighter in the UFC until he was unceremoniously KO’d by Wiedman at 1:18 in the second round of UFC 162.

All it takes is a moment’s distraction.

Jeff Horn Cautiously Optimistic Ahead of Big Fight

Image for Plotnykov: boxrec.com

Australian Jeff Horn says he is fit and ready for the biggest fight of his life.

He is set to step into an Invercargill, New Zealand, boxing ring next week to face the terrifying Viktor Plotnykov, a wiry Ukranian giant-killer.

Horn has been battling his way through a line of taller, heavier sparring partners in preparation for the fight. His coach has had him practicing the skills they believe Horn will need if he is to emerge triumphant against the truly intimidating Plotynykov. These include: subtle feints, a right hand lead, weaving, and something only few boxers can do: switching from orthodox to southpaw stance midway through delivering a flurry of high speed punches.

These are all tools to put Plotnykov off balance.

Horn earned the right to face Plotnykov after defeating Ghana’s Richmond Djarbeng in New Zealand on 13th June. And the welterweiht Horn (67kg) believes he will have totaled close to 60 rounds against some of Australia’s hottest boxing prospects in preparation for the bout.

Horn has spent ring time with boxing royalty such as Sam Banney, Adam Copland, Nathan Weber, and Miles Zalewski. On Tuesday he went ten brutal rounds with Reagan Dessaix (79kg light-heavyweight) to prepare him for the much larger Ploynykov.

“All my sparring partners have given me great work,” said a barely out of breath Horn. “it’s a team effort when I fight, and I’ve got a great team behind me. I feel very fit and strong and I know Plotnykov will be in great shape and ready to give his best as well. I’m not underestimating him, he’s a terrific fighter, but I’ve always said I’m ready to fight anyone in the world.

“Plotnykov is going to be a tough challenge, we’re in no doubt about that,” said coach Glenn Rushton. “He just beat (former Commonwealth Champion) Denton Vassell in Belfast and has been ranked as high as number 7 in the world.

“I’ve had Jeff sparring bigger guys all throughout this preparation to make sure he is razor sharp for an opponent who is used to landing punches on the back-move. Jeff has done an enormous amount of work on his leg strength, using a weighted vest in training, to give him the explosive power he will need to cut off the ring against Plotynkov.

“He has been going though 10-round sparring sessions every second day so that doing 10 rounds on fight night is second nature to him.

This fight will be all about Jeff controlling the distance and shutting down Plotnykjov’s strengths: his jab, his right hand, and his movement.”

Horn is conceding 5cm in height to the Ukranian. Horn is undefeated in 11 pro fights, but Plotnykov has won 32 of his 34 professional fights and has never been stopped. His last loss came in 2012.

Mundine – More Elusive Outside the Ring than In It

Genady Golovkin image: http://boxrec.com/boxer/356831

Anthony Mundine continues to ask for fights he knows he will not get. At the same time he continues to refuse fights he knows he will not win.

And that’s the point.

After his open letter to Floyd Mayweather was deservedly ignored, Mundine has now expressed his wish to fight KO machine Gennady Golovkin.

There is absolutely no incentive for Golovkin to accept the fight. He has knocked out 30 of the 33 fighters he has faced and beaten the other three on points. He destroyed Daniel Geale last year in three rounds of absolute carnage; plus he once offered Mundine a fight – which Mundine turned down!

Granted, the offer from Golovkin was when the young Kazahk was still making his way into the sport.

“He (Mundine) wanted the fight to take place in Australia, under their television (rights) and under his terms; and even after I accepted those terms, it was still the same thing – he refused to take the fight,” said Golovkin.

Golovkin has since rocketed to the very pinnacle of the sport; while Mundine has continued to attract doubts and suspicions about his own fighting pedigree.

In similar news promoters for junior middleweight title-holder Demetrius Andrade claim Mundine is refusing to fight him. Andrade (21-0) had offered Mundine a fight, with both camps negotiating to meet in Australia in August.

“We agreed to terms with Mundine’s promoter, but we’ve heard nothing back since then,” said Andrade. “Mundine calls out Mayweather, but he won’t take a legitimate WBO world title fight at 154 pounds in his own country? Same old story I guess. Everybody wants something until they have a chance to really get it.

“I don’t understand. We offered this guy a chance to win the championship of the world, in his home country, and he looked for a way out instead? What kind of fighter is he? Any real fighter would do anything for that kind of opportunity.”

Mundine’s camp responded with the following statement:” The simple facts remain – we haven’t accepted the terms given by Team Andrade, which lock Mundine into three fights and low dollars.

“At this stage of Anthony’s career we feel we are being smart. We have to be calculated, as every deal we enter affects his legacy. And deals which detract from this strategy are bad deals for Mundine.”

Mundine’s legacy is already written – He’ll be remembered as a fighter who was more elusive outside the ring than in it.

Concealed Motor Accusations Plague TDF Leader Chris Froome

Motor image: http://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/04/hidden-motors-for-road-bikes-exist-heres-how-they-work/

It seems almost ludicrous, but the accusations of a concealed motor in the bike of Chris Froome (current Tour de France leader) won’t go away.

Froome is also battling allegations of using performance enhancing drugs.

Many believe the incredible accelerations created by Froome are only possible with the aid of a concealed motor.

And believe it or not, such things are real.

Chris Froome image: en.wikipedia.org

Chris Froome image: en.wikipedia.org

“It seems like the bike is pedalling itself,” said Cedric Vasseur, a former competitive cyclist now working for French television.

Concealed motors weigh less than 750g, can generate up to 200 watts of power, and hold a charge for anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes.

As outlined in this Cyclingtips article, the motor would only need to be used to supplement the rider’s power in crucial stages of a race. These crucial stages are usually the areas most lined with noisy fans. Any noise from the motor, then (and they’re pretty quiet) would be easily drowned out by the roadside spectators.

Similar allegations were made of Fabian Cancellara, the 2010 Tour of Flanders and Paris – Roubaix victor.

Union Cyclists Internationale: en.wikipedia.org

Union Cyclists Internationale: en.wikipedia.org

Brian Cookson, president of the international Cycling Union (UCI) said the organisation is taking the issue very seriously.

“We’ve done some testing already for concealed motors.

“We understand that although this subject sometimes causes amusement and derision we know that the technology is available: We have seen examples of it in laboratory conditions.

“We have no evidence that it has been used in competition, yet sadly we do know that in competitive sport sometimes some people will try to find ways of cheating.”

New UFC Policy Divides MMA Community

IV Rehydration Image: en.wikipedia.org

A controversial new rule change has the UFC community divided.

In its partnership with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) the UFC has announced IV’s containing more than 50ml of saline will now be banned.

Intra-venous (IV) rehydration was a commonly accepted practice for fighters to replace the massive amount of fluid lost through weight-cutting.

But the UFC and USADA drug-testers believe many fighters are misusing the IV rehydration program to blood boost.

This is where blood that has been taken from the fighter on a previous occasion is fed back in intravenously moments before the bout. There are super benefits to this: Blood carries oxygen, so having more blood means more energy fuelling the body.

There are also super risks associated with the practice: The fighter’s blood pressure goes through the roof! They’re vascular system is pushed to the limit as excess blood strains the carrying capacity of the arteries and veins.

The process was first used by competitive cyclists; a sport where a cardiovascular advantage means the difference between winning and being dropped by everyone else in the race.

But not everyone is happy with the ban on 50ml+ saline replacement.

According to an article in Bloody Elbow many influential fighters and trainers believe it will damage the health of competitors. Mike dolce, a famous and well respected nutritionist and weight-cut advisor, believes the IV ban will make fighters more susceptible to brain injuries.

Fluid serves to cushion the brain from impact. Less fluid means less protection.

“Someone will die because of that,” said dolce on Periscope Q&A.

“Let the USADA officials stand there and watch every athlete on a drip, that’s fine.

“I know they’re trying to get rid of drugs, which I think is awesome. But you can’t risk the health of the athlete. It’s just so close-minded. It’s dangerous.”

But not everyone agrees.

George Lockhart, a top MMA nutritionist, believed that when done properly oral rehydration is just as effective as intra-venous rehydration.

“There are a lot of potential downsides to IV rehydration,” he said to Bloody Elbow. “If you have too much fluid or too many electrolytes you can have some backlash, like diarrhoea among other things.”

“If you look at all the studies between oral rehydration and IV rehydration, if they rehydrate properly orally, they’ll gain the same weight back.

“If they don’t know how to rehydrate properly then it’s probably better to use the IV.

“But if they know how to rehydrate properly there’s no advantage to using an IV.”

The UFC fighters have been given until October before the ban will be enforced.