Archive for the ‘Endurance Sports’ Category

“I Played for the Penalty,” says Guerra

Hodges image: commons.wikimedia.org

The NRL judiciary looks set to determine another Grand Final.

Brisbane Broncos captain Justin Hodges will have his fate decided on Tuesday night, as he and the club look set to defend a grade one dangerous throw for his tackle on Roosters backrower Aidan Guerra.

But it doesn’t look good.

Not because of the tackle – Guerra himself admitts he was off-balance and contributed to the fall that saw him topple past the horizontal – but because Brisbane have only a seven per cent success rate with the blatantly partisan NRL judiciary.

Queenslanders have long known and seen the Sydney judiciary protecting their own – consistently rubbing out players from teams north of the border, while expressing leniency for NSW clubs. It is an outrage that has existed for such a long time it has all but been accepted.

In fact, the last time the Brisbane club had a player exonerated by the NRL judiciary was Karmichael Hunt back in the year 2000 (Hunt has swapped codes three times since then).

The Brisbane club have virtually given up contesting charges, realising the futility of expecting fairness from the judiciary. The last time they fought a charge was in 2013. Just once in 14 attempts has a Bronco’s player been acquitted by the board.

Aidan Guerra has offered to support Hodges at the hearing. In an interview with Fox Sports he was asked if he jumped off the ground as Hodges had suggested? Guerra said: “Yep, it’s a bit like that.

“To be honest, I played for the penalty.

“If I tried my hardest (to resist Hodges and fellow Broncos defender Ben Hunt) I wouldn’t have got spear-tackled, but I got the penalty and I really hope it’s left where it is.”

Jonathon Thurston, Cowboys Captain said, “You want to play the best teams at full strength and he needs to be in that team for it to be at full strength. It would be a sad way to end his career (suspended from the grand final).”

Kelly’s UFC 193 Opponent Switch

Dan Kelly images https://twitter.com/dankellyjudo

In the space of a few hours yesterday Melbourne MMA fighter Daniel Kelly’s training regime changed dramatically.

Kelly was scheduled to face 84kg, 180 cm Brazilian submission expert Ricardo Abreu on November 15 at UFC 193.

But Abreu was forced to withdraw with what is believed to be an injury.

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva scoured the list of available fighters.

The man he found couldn’t be any more of a different opponent.

Florida-based Steve Montgomery is a towering 193cm tall, he fights as a welterweight at 77kg, and he’s  a south paw.

Kelly took he change in stride.

It’s a completely different match-up, but we’re seven weeks out.

“There’s plenty of time to adjust what we’re doing so it’s fine.”

Within two hours of being notified of the change Kelly had already watched most of Montgomery’s fights.

“He’s pretty well rounded and has good knees in the clinch.

“He’ a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and his striking is not bad.

“He’s from a very strong gym America Top Team.

“I’ve watched one of his fights and that’s obviously only happened in the last couple of hours. But we’ve got a fair idea already of what we’re going to do.

“I’ll just make sure I’m fit and strong and I’ll go out there and enjoy it.”

But Kelly was cautious about his new opponent.

Dan Kelly image https://twitter.com/dankellyjudo

Dan Kelly image https://twitter.com/dankellyjudo

“Montgomery doesn’t have the power that Abreu had and he doesn’t have the pedigree that Abreu has on the ground. He’s tall and because he throws good knees as well, I’ll have to be careful going to double legs, but I’ll find another way to make it my game. It’s a different match-up, but they’re all hard.”

Kelly has experience with southpaws. He knocked out Sam Alvey in the first round and won a unanimous decision over Patrick Walsh.

“This is the third fight in a row where I’ll be preparing for a south paw,” said Kelly

“I’ll just keep working and progressing on the stuff we’ve already been doing,

Ticket Rush for UFC 193

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ticket sales for UFC 193 in Melbourne look set to break all stadium records.

At 10 am on Monday morning the vendors’ servers were smoking as fans rushed to book their seats for what will arguably be the greatest sporting event the southern hemisphere has ever seen.

Seat prices ranged between $100.60 and $468, with the later being sold out in minutes.

Corporate boxes and ringside VIP seats were selling for $18,000 and are all but gone.

Etihad stadium said that the seating capacity will be increased by around 15,000 to 70,800 for the event.

Should they sell out it will set a new world record for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, beating that of Toronto four years ago with 55,724.

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Headliner Ronda Rousey is wooing the city of Melbourne. She has been the darling of the media and fans alike. Her accessibility to media and fans has – and will continue – to only heighten interest that is already at fever pitch.

Rousey’s opponent, Holly Holm, is new to MMA but is a decorated boxer. Should she be able to elude Rousey’s takedowns and grappling she will present the incumbent bantamweight champion with some stiff competition and damaging punches.

Englishman Michael Bisping and his opponent Aussie Robert Whittaker have almost passed unnoticed. But make no mistake this will be an intriguing, brutal, and high-level battle between a veteran and an up-and-comer.

UFC 193 is going to be AWESOME!

Floyd’s Final Fight a Flop

Image: https://twitter.com/floydmayweather

According to some reports Floyd Mayweather’s final fight has been the biggest flop in a decade.

He may have retired undefeated, but the lacklustre opponent he chose for his swansong turned viewers away.

Reports put the viewing public between 400,000 and 550,000 – the weakest numbers in ten years for Mayweather.

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey told TMZ she wasn’t surprised.

“A lot of people were pissed after the Manny Pacquiao fight. Fans aren’t dumb.’

Rousey appears to have hit the nail on the head. Mayweather vs Pacquiao drew a record 4.4 million pay-per-view buys at an average $100 each. But the fight failed to live up to expectations.

Mayweather fought defensively to out point Pacquiao and win. But it was more a points fight than a real fight.

Mayweather had a winning strategy and superior movement. He fought defensively and landed scoring counter-punches without doing an real damage to Pacquiao.

But rather than attempt to win fans back with a real fight before retiring Mayweather chose an easy opponent and hoped his fame would be enough to buy viewers.

It wasn’t.

Boxing is fast losing legitimacy in the eyes of fight fans around the world. And it is doing so at a fast rate than ever now that the UFC is offering a viable alternative.

Fight fans want to watch fights. If you want to watch points being scored watch tennis.

Ronda Rousey is capturing world attention, She has posted the biggest pay-per-view numbers of all time at UFC 190. Her upcoming fight against Holly Holm in Melbourne is expected to be the largest sales promotion of the year.

MMA Fighters Boycott Nevada in Response to Diaz Sentence

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

The fallout from the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s handling of the Nick Diaz drug charge continues to worsen.

The Commission handed out a five-year suspension to Diaz (effectively ending his career) for testing positive to cannabis after his UFC 183 bout.

Fans and fighters were outraged at the excessive nature of the ban. And MMA fighters are making their displeasure known by refusing to fight in the state of Nevada.

The latest to add his name to the blockade is Henry Cejudo, an Olympic gold medallist.

Fast rising bantamweight Aljamain sterling tweeted that he is intent on doing the same, “ … let the NSAC know,” he broadcast on the 17th, “they need to be unbiased & give a fair process.”

They join female bantamweight Leslie Smith in expressing their dismay at the Star Chamber-like actions of the NSAC.

“This situation is just the latest example demonstrating the need for mixed martial artists to stand together,” said Smith. “(We need) to influence our sport and have our voices heard by speaking together as the mixed martial arts fighter association.”

These fighters are fervently hoping others will make a similar stand. Alone they will accomplish little; but should the stars decide to follow their lead the NSAC may actually be answerable to someone.

Heavyweight Matt Mitrione blasted ex-UFC fighter now executive Matt Hughes for his comments supporting the NSAC. UFC superstar Ronda Rousey has labelled the ban ‘unfair’. For Diaz to receive a penalty five times greater than that given to Anderson Silva. Silva tested positive for steroids in the fight against Diaz.

‘It makes no sense at all.’

She describes herself as a close friend to Diaz and is shocked at the suspension.

UFC Stars Front Media in Melbourne

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

UFC boss Dana White has fronted the media ahead of UFC 193 in Melbourne. Sitting beside him was MMA superstar Ronda ‘Rowdy’ Rousey, challenger Holly Holm, Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzehczyk, and her challenger the ever hopeful Valerie Letourmeau.

The air was literally electric with anticipation.

It’s been a running joke that White was initially reluctant to have a women’s UFC division. But since changing his mind, Ronda Rousey has become the franchise’s greatest drawcard and asset.

White chuckles about being reminded of his opposition.

“She’s broken through – it’s amazing,” he said to new.com.au. “She’s the biggest star we’ve ever had.”

And White has had some stars. Chuck Liddell crossed over from Strikeforce, Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva were megastars. But no one – and White confirms this – no one has ever been as big as Rousey.

“Normally it’s a f*@king nightmare to manage somebody like her. But the thing with Ronda Rousey is the more rich and famous she gets, the easier she is to deal with. It’s not supposed to be like that. It’s always the complete opposite. Any of these guys, if they get this much fame, this much money, they lose their mind. Ronda is the exact opposite.”

And it’s not just White who benefits.

Rousey was clearly jetlagged when approached by reporters. And while everyone would be wise to be cautious around the most dangerous female athlete on the planet they found her approachable and friendly.

After a recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show the popular talk show host felt she’d got the best from the UFC stable.

“She’s got unbelievable charisma,” White continued describing Rousey. “She’s intelligent. She’s literally the whole package.”

And Ellen DeGeneres agrees.

But Rousey adapts to her situation.

“She’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said White about the fighter Rousey. “She’s mean. She’s nasty. She doesn’t just want to beat you, she wants to destroy you. She comes out of that tunnel with bad intentions.”

All of her previous opponents agree.

First Ever American Ninja Warrior Wins $1 Million

Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-PC9CGpqSE

Isaac Caldiero, the first ever winner of American Ninja Warrior, has decided he’s not going to splurge after winning the US$1 million first prize.

“I might buy myself a nice shirt,” he told MarketWatch, a financial new website.

Caldiero managed to jump, twist, swing, and climb his way through the four-stage obstacle couse in the fastest time to become the inaugural winner of an event that has captured the attention of fans around the world.

But he clearly hasn’t let the prize go to his head, “You’re not going to see us driving around in a brand-new Ferrari. I’m going to be smart with the money and invest it.”

Only time will tell if the investment was a smart idea or a rip-off. But 33 year-old Caldiero will likely give up his job as a busboy.

“For the past six years, my girlfriend and I have lived on less than $10,000 a year.

“There have been times I’ve had less than $20 to my name. There were times I’d eat cereal and water for breakfast and live on ramen noodles and potatoes, and sleep in fhe front seat of my car or in the RV.

“Who needs all that consuming anyway?

“It’s a lot of sacrifice but it’s worth it to have the ultimate freedom we have.”

Caldiero and his girlfriend are avid rock climbers and search around the US for the most exciting climbs.

“This (prizemoney) is going to enable us to do some amazing things and go to some amazing places.”

Caldiero was only one of two people to finish all four stages of the obstacle course. It then became a race to scale a 23 meter rope in the fastest time.

Caldiero shot up the rope in 26.14 seconds; nearly a whole four seconds faster than his British opponent Geoff Britten.

Twonsville Holds No Fear For Sharks

http://www.nrl.com/nrl-finals-week-two-information/tabid/10874/newsid/89777/default.aspx

North Queensland Cowboy’s coach Paul Green believes the Cronulla Sharks are semi-finals favourites.

His comments come as the two teams prepare for their weekend do-or-die clash in the first round of the finals.

The match will be played in front of a sold out Townsville crowd, with both teams needing to win.

Green admitted the Sharks were the only team to have beaten his side in both games they played against each other this year. They beat the Cowboys 24-18 in June (in Townsville) and in round 22 won again 30-18 at Shark Park.

“They probably deserve to be favourites for this game,” said Green.

“They’ve beaten us twice throughout the year, they have knocked off the Roosters and done well against (the) top four teams.

“They play a tough brand of footy.”

Most recently they demolished the sliding defending premiers, the Roosters; while the Cowboys were beaten by the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium 16-12.

Arguably the most divisive man in the NRL, Paul Gallen said to Sky Sports Radio that playing in front of a sold out Townsville crowd held no fear for his side.

“A few of us were having coffee and speaking about this last week – both places hold no fear for us, whether we had to play in Townsville or Brisbane.

“We were saying how exciting it would be to play in Brisbane in front of 50,000 people.

“And in Townsville it would be more than 20,000 and we’ve had success there; so no, it’s not daunting.”

Nick Diaz Suspended for Five Years for Pot?!

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFC_183

The MMA world has gone into overdrive, outraged at the five-year ban to UFC welterweight Nick Diaz for allegedly testing positive to marijuana.

Diaz was also fined a ridiculous 33 per cent of his prize purse – $165,000.

If these penalties seem inordinately heavy when compared with the crime, it’s because they are.

The man Diaz fought before the controversy (Anderson Silva at UFC 183) returned a test positive for steroids. He received only a one-year ban.

Lucas Middlebrook, Diaz’ attorney, presented an aggressive defense to the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday. In an at times fiery session he questioned the very validity of the test results.

Middlebrook argued that separate tests by the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) and the World Anti-Doping Agency both showed Diaz had marijuana well below the 150ng/ ML limit.

The only positive test above the limit was returned from Quest Diagnostics, showing 700ng/ML for marijuana.

Middlebrook then called upon an expert witness to discredit the lone positive result.

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

“With all due respect,” said Middlebrook, “if the commission imposes discipline based on the complaint as written, which wholly igmores the two negative tests, thereby depriving this man of his earnings and his future ability to earn a living, it’s not only the highest form of administrative abuse of discretion, but it’s ripe for judicial review and reversal.”

 But the commission had the scent of blood in their nostrils and argued that Diaz had not claimed the use of marijuana on the pre-fight questionnaire – a document all athletes are required to sign.

Diaz showed his contempt for the proceedings by choosing to plead his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer the questions put to him.

MMA fans around the world were stunned.

Marijuana isn’t a performance enhancing drug (the way steroids are). Diaz certainly broke the rules, but banning him for five years effectively ends his career; and to recieve a penalty five times worse than someone using PEDs is absurd.

But what has outraged sportsfans most is the declaration made by Chairman Francisco Aguilar that the sentence is also for things other than the marijuana. “This is  not just a casee of marijuana,” he said. “I think this is a case of complete lack of disregard for the sport.”

But Diaz wasn’t on trial for his attitude.

And while he was also suspended in 2007 and 2012 for marijuana use it seems to be drawing an awfully long bow to say this equates to a ‘disregard for the sport’.

Fans Ignore Mayweather’s Last Fight

Mayweather image: en.wikipedia.org

Boxing fans gave Floyd Mayweather the send-off he deserves, ignoring his last fight against chump Andre Berto.

With the fight taking place today there were still hundreds tickets still available.

Mayweather hit the media in an eleventh-hour attempt to drum up interest. He declared the challenger a genuine threat, though those with even a passing knowledge of boxing will tell you Berto is a massive underdog.

Berto’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, also stepped in to beat the drum, hinting at ‘personal issues’ between the two fighters.

Both are well-worn avenues for attracting interest. But it appears to be too little too late.

Mayweather’s camp believed the simple fact of this being the champion’s last fight would be enough to fill the stadium. Upon this assumption they didn’t think it mattered who walked out from the opposite corner. Why then, would Mayweather choose an opponent that could actually challenge him?

It appears the boxing public are a little more discerning: Boxing fans go to watch boxing. Mayweather fans go to watch Mayweather. It appears there are more of the former than the latter.

 

Mayweather won against Berto without much trouble. This win puts him equal with heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano at 49-0.

Ticketmaster were offering hundreds of empty seats in prices between $150 and $1,500.