Archive for the ‘Sportsmanship’ Category

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!

Joe Rogan Weighs Into Rousey-Holm Controversy

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

Veteran MMA analyst and UFC commentator Joe Rogan has disagreed with Ronda Rousey over her choice of opponent.

Rousey raised eyebrows by overlooking number one bantamweight contender Miesha Tate and selecting relative MMA unknown Holly Holm.

Holm is by no means a chump however.

“I’ll be fighting Holly Holm, who is actually the most decorated striker we have in all of mixed martial arts,” Rousey announced.

Holm was a 9 times world boxing champion and The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound fighter of the year before moving to MMA and the UFC.

But Joe Rogan believes Rousey has made a mistake.

“That Holly Holm fight … I don’t think that’s smart,” said Rogan in his Sunday podcast. “I would have gone with Amanda Nunes before Holly Holm. Amanda Nunes looked like a badass when she knocked out Sara McMann. That’s a more dangerous fighter … a more marketable fighter. [Holm] is only the best boxer in the world if Ann Wolf decides not to box.

“The Holly Holm fight is not as intriguing to me as Amanda Nunes would be. “Holm’s big issue is the grappling. Who knows though? You never know. Maybe Holly, because her stand-up is so much more refined, she’s been doing it for so much longer, maybe she can keep Ronda away from her.”

There is mounting speculation that the reason Rousey is so dominant in her division is as much because of the lack of talent as Rousey’s near freakish skills.

Rogan agreed.

 “I’m serious, I just think, honestly, the real problem is that there’s a lack of talent .

“Ronda’s going to have to do things now. She’ll have to do a judo match during the day and then have an MMA fight. Remember when Roy Jones Jr. would play basketball? He played basketball the day of a world title defense – the day of (the defense)!”

Rogan went on: “I think Amanda Nunes has real potential. If you look at Claudia Gadelha, she’s world-class, Joanna Jedrzejczyk – world-class. There’s a few: Cris Cyborg Justino, steroids or no steroids, take away the controversy, go by her performances – ferocious. That’s four. There’re four of them.”

Rousey steps into the ring to defend her bantamweight world title against Holm on January 2nd. It will be the main event at UFC 195 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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.”

Rousey Announces Holly Holm as Next Opponent

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Undisputed UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has stunned the MMA world – again. In defiance of public expectation she has announced her next title defence will be against American Holly Holm.

The champion was expected to fight Miesha Tate at UFC 195, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Januray 2.

But the superstar announced on breakfast television that Holm would be given the honour.

“She ‘s the most decorated striker we have in all of mixed martial ars,” said Rousey about Holm.

“Not the women’s division, not the bantamweight division. She’s a 19-time boxing champion. Holly Holm was The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound Fighter of the Year, and definitely my biggest challenge to date. I’m super excited about it.

“She’s not the average chick I would fight. She’s the best striker I’ve ever fought, and striking is something I learned much later in my career.

“I can take anybody. I prepare for a five-round war every time I get in there. No one’s easy until you beat them. Holly Holm is the type ready to go 12 boxing rounds.

“I don’t ever expect the fights to be easy and fast.

“A lot of the guys you see, the first round is more of a feel-out period, and they’re both kind of sizing them up and taking their time.

“There’s no feel-out period in my fights. It starts right away. You don’t know what’s going to happen, and the first exchange is the most dangerous.”

You can  say that again Ronda!

The champion’s last three title defences have lasted a combined 64 seconds! She holds the perfect record of 12-0 with only one of those fights going to the second round. Her last fight, against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 lasted a mere 34 seconds.

Holm is also undefeated with a UFC record of 9-0. She is four years older than Rousey, at 33; and has most recently won a decision victory against Marion Reneau.

Holm has slipped under the radar thus far. Her 33-2-3 (with nine knockouts) record from professional boxing hasn’t yet got the respect it deserves in the UFC.

It appears that’s about to change.

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.”

Rousey v Tate 3 – Worth Watching?

Miesha tate image: https://twitter.com/mieshatate

With the feud over fight-weight between Rousey and Justino seeming intractable (Rousey wants to fight at 135 lbs, Justino at 145 lbs) many are giving up on the idea of the two meeting.

That leaves the UFC roster: Many are wondering if there are any UFC women bantamweights who can even take Rousey to the first round bell? The champion has needed a total of 64 seconds to destroy her last three opponents, and never has never even looked threatened.

Enter Miesha Tate.

Again.

Miesha has fought and lost to Rousey twice. She coached opposite her in the during the TUF 20 season. And she is riding on a high after defeating the formidable Jessica Eye.

Could the third time against Rousey be a charm for Tate?

Tate thinks so.

Tate and her coach looked through Rousey’s recent fight against Bethe Correia – all 34 seconds of it. Even though it was a lopsided slaughter both believe Rousey was far from flawless. And she plans to exploit those weaknesses.

Furthermore, Tate is euphoric after beating a superior striker in Eye. “… beating someone at their own game – someone who was supposed to outbox me and be such a great striker and all of these awesome things – says a lot about the evolution of my striking game,” said Tate.

Tate has also changed her strength and conditioning training, moving to Phase 1 sports in Las Vegas. It’s training venue for elite athletes. Tate says she has dramatically improved her power and endurance.

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.”

Matador Gored in Groin

Image: en.wikipedia.org

The matador doesn’t always win.

Well-known Spanish bullfighter Franscisco ‘Paquirri’ Rivera Ordonez was taken to hospital on Wednesday after coming off second against a bull.

Paquirri was said to be in a serious, but stable, condition after being gored in the groin during a bullfight in Huesca, north-eastern Aragon.

The bulls horn was said to have sunk 25 centimetres into Pacquirri’s groin, but had missed his vital organs.

Footage of the fight went viral as the bull impaled Pacquirri on one of its horns and hoisted him into the air for a few seconds.

Pacquirri’s father, of the same name, also a bullfighter, was gored to death in Andalusia in 1984. While Paquirri’s grandfather, Antonio Ordonez, was reputed to be one of the greatest bullfighters in history.

But deaths from bulls don’t just come in the ring.

On Sunday a man who was using his mobile phone to film a bull run through the streets of Villaseca de la Sagra, in central Spain, was gored in the neck. He died very quickly in front of horrified onlookers.

Aldo-McGregor to Fight on December 12th

Image: Twitter, Ariel Helwani

It’s finally happened.

The date and venue have been agreed upon for the Conor McGregor/ Jose Aldo featherweight unification bout.

The two will headline for UFC 194 on December 12 at the MGM grand Garden arena in Las Vegas.

UFC head-honcho Dana White confirmed the speculation in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.

The UFC had considered hosting the fight at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as the MGM was unavailable for the proposed date of 5th December.

Hoever, officials at the MGM grand ‘moved heaven and earth’ (White’s words) to ensure the venue was available for December 12th.

And so terms were reached.

White added that the 12th actually works out better for his organisation as it doesn’t conflict with any other major sporting events.

However, t means the Ronda Rousey – Miesha Tate fight will most likely be moved to sometime early in 2016.

The Aldo-McGregor fight is expected to be one of the most watched fights in history. Even though Rousey has proven she is a massive draw for the UFC a third fight against Tate won’t have the interest of the first two.

UFC boss Dana White was adamant Rousey and Tate would have their own card (and not fight under Aldo and McGregor.

With the Aldo-McGregor fight now officially sanctioned and set the media are gearing up for what always is a lively, even controversial, promotion.