Archive for the ‘Strength’ Category

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.

LFL Players in Court for Wages

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In a stunning admission the women employed in the Legends Football League (formerly the Lingerie Football League) have not drawn a wage since 2009!

The Legue’s founder and chairman, Mitchell Mortaza, said on Grantland.com: “If we paid a dime to a player, we wouldn’t sustain a season of play.”

Mortaza worked hard to get a Legends of Football League in Australia. But he was unable to secure a TV deal; without which the league’s success was doomed.

When he returned to the American league he walked back into a storm of controversy.

Mitchell Mortaza: https://twitter.com/mitchellmortaza

Mitchell Mortaza: https://twitter.com/mitchellmortaza

Despite an average attendance of 5000 to each game the players haven’t received payment since the inaugural season of 2009/10.

The players (incredibly) have to pay their own health insurance.

Despite the flimsy outfits this is a rough game, injuries do happen. But it’s the players who must pay for their own treatments and rehabilitation.

Mortaza points to the state of the league. It has shrunk from its original 12 teams to 6. Mortaza believes there isn’t any money to give.

Image: www.flickr.com

Image: www.flickr.com

Whether or not he is right will be examined by a court.

Lawyers are contesting the ‘contractural’ status of players.

“These women have to be there for practices, or they don’t play. They have to be there for promotional events, or they don’t play. They have to look a certain way. That’s not an independent contractor-client relationship. It’s an employee-employer relationship,” said a lawyer to Grantland.

These girls should at least be receiving the minimum wage.

Feminists are using the furore to push their own barrow. They decry the skimpy outfits saying they detract from audiences’ appreciation of the athleticism of the players.

Image: www.flickr.com

Image: www.flickr.com

Why is Edgar Not Being Given a Shot for the Featherweight Belt?

Edgar image: commons.wikimedia.org

Questions are being asked as to why Frankie ‘the Answer’ Edgar is being passed over – yet again – for a Featherweight title shot.

He was crushed to be overlooked when Chad Mendez was asked to step in for injured Jose Aldo at UFC 189.

Edgar would clearly have given Conor McGregor stiffer competition for the interim belt.

Edgar made sure to attend the event and make his presence known to McGregor.

“I do (believe I’m next I line for a title shot),” said Edgar after the fight at the MGM grand Garden arena.

“Who knows how long Aldo is going to take (to return to defend his belt).”

With the announcement of McGregor as coach for the TUF 22 series it seems as though the UFC are picking McGregor’s fights so as to groom him for the top spot.

And Edgar could certainly derail those plans.

“Credit to Conor,” said Edgar about the win over Mendez, “he was able to stay composed. He was able to get back on his feet. Chad seemed to slow down, get tired taking a fight on short notice like that, and Conor capitalised. He kept Chad at bay, but he was eating some big shots. I was just impressed how when he did get back to his feet – he was composed.”

But Edgar believes he offers a little more than Chad.

“I think my takedowns are there like his, and I feel like I got good ground and pound. I don’t really slow down too much, you know?”

Anyone who saw Edgar demolishing Hall-of-Famer B J Penn (twice) will be forced to agree. Edgar’s movement, angles, and power have made him one of the most destructive forces in the featherweight division.

A fight between himself and McGregor would be a fair contest for the division belt.

Blind Fighter Making Waves in MMA

Image: Youtube

Englishman Lee Michael Hoy is finding success in the most unlikely of places: MMA.

What makes Hoy’s success so unlikely is that he is blind – and has been since birth.

In a story first aired in the New York Post, Hoy explains how he was diagnosed with a condition known as toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite in the retina.

He can see a little, but that depends on glare, depth, and the distance of the object he is focusing on.

At the age of 24 he walked into the Bolden Lane (South Shields) Fighting Fit gym to learn self-defence. He soon fell in love with the sport.

In an interview with the Shields Gazette Hoy said, “I’m a totally changed person because of the sport. I can walk the streets with my head high.”

Feruz Hussain, the head coach at Fighting Fit, said, “It’s amazing to see what he has achieved. He didn’t believe he would be able to do any of it when he first started.”

Hoy has won bronze medals in his last two grappling competitions. He regularly trains with, fights, and beats sighted opponents. On August 8 he is scheduled to appear in a boxing demonstration and is hoping to inspire others – sighted and visually impaired alike – to take up the sport he loves.

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.

Controversy Surrounds TDF Leader Chris Froome

Chris Froome image: en.wikipedia.org

Tour de France race leader Chris Froome has lashed out at sections of the media, blaming them for whipping up a frenzy of innuendo and speculation about him.

About a third of the way through the beautiful 178km stage 14 (Rodez to Mende) Froome says he saw a fan ‘acting strangely’.

“I saw this guy just peering around and I thought, ‘That looks a bit strange’.”

“As I got there he just sort of launched this cup toward me and said (in French) ‘Doper!’

“No mistake,” said Froome, “it was urine.”

The day should have been a double celebration: South African Stephen Cummings won his first stage victory, coinciding with Nelson Mandela Day.

But the day was marred by the actions of a few.

Chris Froome’s Sky Cycling teammate, Richie Porte, also claimed a spectator hit him during the race with a ‘full-on punch’ during a climb on the Pyrenees.

Both men are laying the blame on over-exuberant journalists ‘whipping up all the rubbish that they are.’

“I certainly wouldn’t blame the public for this,” said Froome. “I would blame some of the reporting on the race that has been very irresponsible.

“It is no longer the riders who are bringing the sport into disrepute now, it’s those individuals, and they know who they are.”

Froome again raised eyebrows with another super-human acceleration on a fiercely steep final climb. He raced away from his competitors, taking one second from Quintana and more from his other rivals.

Reaction to Magalhaes Spitting is Nasty

Image: Twitter

The fallout from Caio Magalhaes brain-snap after his bloody loss to Josh Samman continues to gather momentum.

At The Ultimate Fighter 21 finale Samman rocked Magalhaes with a blow that had blood running from the Brazilian’s nose like a river.

Samman was then able to take his opponent to the ground, continue the barrage, and then force his opponent to submit via a rear-naked choke.

It was all one-way traffic.

But when the referee asked Magalhaes to shake hands things got nasty.

Samman is seen walking towards Magalhaes with his hand extended. Magalhaes taps his hand out of the way and spits a mouthful of blood at Samman.

To his credit, Samman merely walks away.

But not everyone has been so sportsmanlike.

The camps of both fighters are disgusted at his behaviour. And UFC boss Dana White is furious. White jealously guards the image of the UFC and such conduct does him and his sport no favours.

MMA fans around the world exploded on social media after witnessing the incident. Most of them have called for Magalhaes to be dropped from the UFC roster.

Weightlifter Collapses at Pan Am Games

Image: Youtube

Audiences at the Pan Am Games in Ontario were stunned recently when Genesis Rodriguez Gomez collapsed during a lift attempt.

The young woman was competing in the 53kg weight division for the clean-and-jerk. She appeared to be in control of 106kg weight, lifting it powerfully to her throat in the first part of the manoeuvre.

But before changing her stance for the final part of the lift Gomez buckled and feinted.

She fell forward, under the bar, and lay face down for a few minutes.

Medics were nearby and quick to assist her.

Gomez was lucky to avoid the 106kg weight as it fell. She avoided all serious injury. And was even cleared to return to the competition.

Not only that, Gomez increased her weight for her third attempt and was successful at 109kg.

For her efforts she claimed the silver medal for her division and the hearts of millions for her courage.

TUF Coaches for Season 22 Announced

Image: Twitter, Ariel Helwani

UFC supremo Dana White stunned the MMA world by announcing the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter season 22: Conor McGregor and Uriah Faber.

Where this differs from previous announcements is that the rival coaches usually face-off at the conclusion of the series. Not so this time. Conor McGregor has booked himself a fight against incumbent (but injury prone) champion Jose Aldo.

Fans seem quite happy with the announcement.

Faber has been an exciting, skilful and popular figheter, but is well past his prime. His recent loss against Frankie Edgar had White considering dropping Faber from the UFC roster – for his own protection.

Installing Faber as a coach without making him fight the lightweight contender appeases fans, gives the show’s contestants the benefit of Faber’s almost unique experience, while protecting the veteran fighter from further damage in the ring.

TUF-22 will feature two teams of lightweights selected along national lines. Faber will coach a team from the United States, while McGregor will coach a team made up of Europeans. Both coaches are articulate, strong-willed, and unafraid to say what they think – it should make great viewing.

The season will include a two-hour special and debut on September 9. It will run for 11 episodes and likely conclude with the title fight sometime in November.

Rumours suggest McGregor may face Aldo for the title as late as January 2. Faber may fight on the same card, but an opponent has not yet been selected.