Posts Tagged ‘arm strength’

Enter – Taishan Dong


China is making its presence felt in all areas of global endeavour. Now it is the turn of professional boxing to sit up and take notice.

Meet Taishan Dong: He’s 20 years-old, 7 feet tall, and weighs a trim 129.7 kilograms – all of it muscle. He has carved a swathe through the heavyweight ranks in his own country and now moved to the US to train with and fight the best in the world.

The US boxing franchise snapped, Golden Boy promotions, snapped up Dong. He’s had two fights for two victories, both of them Kos. And he’s only going to get better.

This weekend he fights Roy McCrary (3-2, 2Kos). His height, reach, power and methodical approach to fighting have punters believing he’ll extend his winning streak.

“I don’t get nervous before a boxing match,” he told reporters. “I focus and ponder on the strategy to follow, what I need to do in order to beat my opponent. I chose boxing because it’s a challenge for me, and I love challenges.”

The challenge, one would think, is all for McCrary. Dong only needs to protect his body as most fighters either can’t reach his face or have so little power in their punches by the time they do it makes headhunting the Chinese giant pointless.

Dong has attracted many admirers, both at home in China and abroad. Among them is boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya, one of the first to show interest in cracking the Chinese market for fighters.

Generating widespread interest in boxing throughout China would yield incalculable revenue. Pay-per-view rights, sponsorship deals, marketing opportunities follow the success of athletes. And Dong, it is predicted, is on the road to success.

‘Pot Roast’ Fined for Being Overweight


Terrance ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton has been fined yet again for missing his team weight markers. Over the course of his playing career he has amassed a staggering $300,000 in fines for weight-related issues.

His current team, the Denver Broncos, is intent on a shake-up. And Knighton is on the list. Team management believe his weight problems are now affecting the success of the side.

“The Broncos will undergo a number of changes in the coming days and weeks. John Elway (the general manager) won’t sit back and chill. He will be aggressive in fixing the team’s problems.

“One of those issues is Knighton.”

Knighton is listed in the players’ report as weighing in at a trim-taut-and terrific 152 kg. But everyone knows that’s not true. It’s more – maybe a lot more.

But after forking out $300,000 it seems obvious that fining him isn’t working. Elway will need a new strategy.

Knighton is arguably one of the nicest and most respected players in the NFL. He laughs about his weight problem and tells how he got the nickname ‘Pot Roast’:

“It was dark on the plane and everyone was sleeping. The stewardess was walking down the aisle saying, ‘Pot roast? Pot roast?’ and I raised my hand, as if that was my name.

The guy sitting behind me, (former teammate) Clint Ingram is probably the biggest comedian I ever played with – he said, ‘I’m going to start calling you Pot Roast.

“I was like ‘Yeah, whatever.’ But it stuck with me.

“I’m just glad I ordered that instead of the shrimp Alfredo. I just thought it was going to be something to laugh about for the week. But five years later we’re still talking about ‘Pot Roast.’”


Dana White Vows to Break Australian Market

Mark Hunt. Image:

UFC President Dana White has vowed to host events all over Australia, saying: “We will get in everywhere down there.”

The UFC is currently banned in both Victoria and Western Australia; but not because of opposition to the violence. Incredibly, some arcane rule forbids combat sports in anything but a boxing ring. Opponents against cage fighting seized upon the Octagon shaped ring of the UFC to prohibit it under the current rules.

The Victorian Opposition Labour Government has vowed to overturn this ridiculous rule should they be voted into power.

White wouldn’t be drawn on whether he was using the massive Pay-Per-View ratings to pressure Melbourne officials. However, he did promise a spectacular card at Etihad should the ban be rescinded.

Reporters then asked White about the recent Mark Hunt – Fabricio Werdun fight in Mexico City.

“If Mark had won,” replied White, “we would’ve done him and Cain (Velasquez) for the heavyweight title in Australia.

“Becomes a bit of a downer now, I know.” (Hunt lost by KO in the second round)

The UFC is hoping to hold two events in Australia in 2015.

“We know we have big fight fans down in Australia,” said White. “And we always have good luck with our fights there – always have great cards. So it makes all the sense in the world.”

But the UFC still has opponents around the country. Andrew Scipione, NSW Police Commissioner, and his Victorian counterpart Ken Lay are vocal opponents of the UFC.

Scipione described UFC fighters as akin to “caged animals”, while Lay brands the sport “extreme violence”.

In Lay’s case, however, full contact mixed martial arts is already legal in his state; and the UFC is just one part of it.

Tug-Of-War Making a Resurgence


You might think tug-of-war is a past time suited to country fairs and youth programs, but you’d be wrong.

Tug-of-war, once an Olympic sport, is seeing a resurgence in popularity around the nation.

With eight team members on each end of the rope you might think this is the ultimate test in brute strength, but again you’d be wrong.

Graham Egan, coach of the Brisbane Bulldogs admitted there was a lot of gamesmanship in each contest: Signs of failing strength, a slight slack in the rope, the height of the rope and timing all play crucial parts in determining the outcome. And the coach is part of the team.

“The coach is watching not only his team, but also the opposition as well; he is trying to see if the other team is getting tired, to put in a good heave,” said Egan to Weekend Warrior Chris McMahon.

“When that happens, he is concentrating on making sure the team isn’t lifting the rope up, the rope needs to stay at a low height and keep body weight on the rope.

“Once you start raising the rope it will stop and you will start going the other way.

“If we think they are getting tired what we will do is give in the knees a little bit and the might take a couple of inches.



“They will start moving their feet and then we will answer with a big heave and hopefully take a meter or so.

“You just need to take little increments all the time.”

In the health conscious and socially fragmented society of today tug-of-war offers a great deal: Exercise, camaraderie, and the development of skills both as an individual and within a team.

The Mountain That Rides Wins Europe Strongest Man Competition

You might know him as The Mountain That Rides, Ser Gregor Clegane from the hit HBO series

Hafthor Bjornsson Wins Europe's Stronest Man Competition. Photo:

Hafthor Bjornsson Wins Europe’s Stronest Man Competition. Photo:

Game of Thrones; but Hafthor Bjornsson walks-the-walk as much as he talks-the-talk.

The 25 year-old Icelandic giant (a towering 2.06 meters) recently won the Europe’s Strongest Man competition.

These men lift truly mind-boggling weights, in a variety of ways. One event had competitors lifting two I-girders and racing along a 50 meter grass track. Another event pitted two competitors in a race lifting, carrying and throwing full kegs of liquid into the back of a truck. But it was at the Lifting Stones Ser Gregor – sorry, Hafthor Bjornsson – drew away from his rivals.

The Lifting Stones requires competitors to lift six huge cannonball shaped stones and deposit them on a barrel. The height of the barrel is around 1.50m. Each stone is heavier than the one preceding it. Not every competitor can even complete the event – and these are some of the strongest men in the world. Bjonsson sailed through the event even having enough time to rev-up the crowd between lifts.

To give you some idea of his strength, consider this: The New Zealand All Blacks boast two players who can squat 230 kilograms (itself an incredible feat). Hafthor Bjonsson can bench press that! He can squat 350kg!!! (more than half again as much as the strongest members of the best rugby team in the world). And deadlift an almost unimaginable 420kg!

But Bjornsson showed he also has a flair for TV. After flying through the Stones Lift, and winning the competition, he ripped the t-shirt from his body and roared at the crowd. A diminutive English reporter took her life in her hands and approached him for an interview. Her blonde head barely reaching his chest, she looked up at him and said, “You’re King of the Stones and you proved why there – completing all six stones … tell us how different that challenge is to the conventional, classic (lifting)?”

Bjornsson completely ignored her.

“I am the future of strength!” he roared. “I am the King of Stones!”

He then turned away and stomped off.

See event and interview highlights here:

Life as a Sumo Wrestler – for a Westerner

Takanoyama Shuntaro (aka Pavel Bojar) is one of few foreigners competing in Japan’s sumo series. He was born in the Czech Republic and discovered sumo after years spent learning judo.

After years learning the ancient sport of sumo Bojar placed third in the Junior World Sumo Championships. He then made the biggest decision of his life and left his homeland to live and train in Japan.

Foreigners get a rough time in the sumo schools. Like all novices they begin at the very lowest rungs in the order. At this level they receive training, but act as servants to higher sumo and doing the most menial of tasks.

“Westerners who come to train in Japan need to know that they’re (Japanese sumo) going to go twice as hard on you as they normally go,” Harley Flanagan, another Westerner to live and train in a sumo school, said about the attitude towards foreigners.

Pavel Bojar. photo:

Pavel Bojar. photo:

What made it all the more difficult for Bojar was that he was a 98 kilogram man in a world of 150 to 180 kilogram giants.

Avoiding training injuries in this type of situation is a real skill. To that end Bojar has implemented a lot of judo technique to use the bulk and force of his opponents against them. To lift and throw an athletic guy who weighs half as much again as yourself would otherwise be impossible. In 2011 Bojar broke through to the Makuuchi division – one of only 42 men able to do so. However, he struggled against these opponents who were as well-skilled and wily as they are big and powerful. Bojar has since bounced between the second and third divisions of the sport.

But Bjar is loving his life as a sumo in Japan, “Whether I win or lose,” he told The Mainichi Daily News in 2011, “I’ll just keep trying to perform good sumo.”

Australian Rowing Gets Nasty Surprise at Lucerne

Australian rowing crews have been given a nasty surprise with a less than shining performance at the final regatta of the 2014 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The Australian team managed a mere three silver medals in an event dominated by New Zealand and English crews. Ahead of the Commonwealth Games this poor performance will have Australian coaches deliberating over last minute changes.

Rowing World Cup in Lucerne. Photo:

Rowing World Cup in Lucerne. Photo:

New Zealand won the series with 141 points. Victories from Olympic sculler Mahe Drysdale and world scull champions Erich Murray and Hamish Bond set the Kiwis up for a strong performance. Emma Twigg continued her ascendency, overpowering Australian Kim Crow in a hard fought and thrilling race. Such crucial wins sent shockwaves through the Australian squad – especially with the Commonwealth Games so soon to begin.

Australia finished the series with 125 points on the back of second places to Crow, and the crews of Alice McNamara – Ella Flecker and James McRae – Sascha Belongoff.

Great Britain edged out the Aussies for second place in the series with 126 points. However, it must be noted the Great Britain team did not compete in all of this year’s regattas – sitting out the first round in March.

Australia’s men’s and women’s eights finished last in the finals. A disappointment keenly felt as much by them as by all Australian rowing fans.

Lead up to Calcio Fiorentino Final

Calcio Fiorentino. Photo

Calcio Fiorentino. Photo

As the bruises fade from this year’s Calcio Fiorentino and the match between the Santa Maria Novella/Rossi (the Reds) and Santo Spirito/Bianchi (the Whites) is talked about and dissected, we at Outrageous Sports lament the sad state of football in Australia.

What am I talking about?

Calcio Fiorentino (also known as ‘historic football’ or the ‘Florentine kick game’) has just been decided in the Pizzza Santa Croce in Florence. The game is played over three matches between teams from each quarter of the city. The teams are Santa Croce/Azzurri (the Blues), Santa Maria Novella/Rossi (the Reds), Santo Spirito/Bianchi (the Whites) and San Giovanni/Verdi (the Greens). The three matches take place in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence in the third week of June, with the final having just been fought out on the 24th of June.

Reds vs Blues in Calcio Fiorentino. Photo:

Reds vs Blues in Calcio Fiorentino. Photo:

And when I say ‘fought out’ I mean it.

Matches take place within a 50 minute time period on a field twice as long as it is wide. The field is divided into two identical squares with a goal net along each end.

Each team is comprised of 27 hardy souls with no substitutions are allowed. A Pallaio throws the ball towards the centre line, a canon is fired, and the contest begins. Players on either side try ‘by any means necessary’ to shoot the ball into their opponent’s goal. Tactics like head-butting, punching, elbowing and choking are all part of the game. Sucker punches and having more than one opponent attacking another are frowned upon and now attract immediate expulsion. With each goal the teams swap sides, the Pallaio throws the ball along the centre line and the brutality begins again.

The 27 players are divided into 4 goalkeepers, 3 fullbacks, 5 halfbacks, and 15 forwards. Each team’s Captain and Standard Bearer sit in a tent, in the centre of their goal net, and do not take part in the carnage. However they may organise strategies and step in to separate players should the fighting get out of hand.

Calcio Fiorentino. Photo"

Calcio Fiorentino. Photo”

The game is controlled by a referee, six linesmen, a Judge Commissioner, and Master of the Field. Players are not permitted pads, mitts, mouth pieces or any type modern body protection equipment.

This is the Great Grandpappy of football. It is football for men. The players of Calcio Fiorentino are amongst the fittest, most highly trained fighters on earth. There is nothing else even remotely like it. All other codes of football are but prissy, weak, pale reflections.

Australian Neil Robertson Hangs on to Win Wuxi Classic Snooker Tournament

In a see-sawing battle Australian Neil Robertson held his nerve to outscore Joe Perry 10 – 9 to win the Wuxi Classic Snooker Tournament in China.

Neil Robertson defends Wuxi Classic. Photo:

Neil Robertson defends Wuxi Classic. Photo:

The 32 year-old Australian (ranked number three in the world) edged ahead of his rival early. He had a comfortable buffer of 8 – 6. But Perry hit his form to win three games in a row.

Looking to close out the title, and leading 9 – 8, Perry made a gut wrenching error in the 19th frame. From the break he amassed only 14 points before missing a red. Robertson seized this unexpected reprieve and shot a break of 78 to claim the title for the second year in a row.

This was a quality match fought out between two players at the height of their powers. Even though Robertson was at one point able to create a two game buffer he was never able to relax against Perry.

This year’s Wuxi Classic seethed with quiet tension throughout the match. The comeback from Perry from two games down was a thrilling spectacle; as was his uncharacteristic – and costly – last frame mistake.

Dana White Outraged at TUF Competitor’s Lack of Passion

Already struggling with plummeting TV ratings, UFC boss Dana White has lashed out at thisDana White season’s competitors of the Ultimate Fighter. Even though the season has not even finished he has excoriated the fighters for their lack of commitment and passion.

This is the 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter. One would expect the franchise to have the formula for success down pat at this stage. But it seems quite the reverse is true. In an interview with MMA Junkie Dana White said, ‘You can’t blame the coaches,’ (BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar, UFC Hall of Famers and opposing Head Coaches), ‘you can’t blame this or that,’ White continued, ‘you blame the guys and how bad they really wanted it.

White lamented season 19 as a total failure. He called it the worst season ever.

Any MMA fan with even a passing interest in the TUF brand will point to the Australia versus Canada TUF series as being infinitely worse. The lopsided match-ups between these teams made the fights unwatchable. Even the Canadians were embarrassed with the ease of their victories. There were no fighters or stories about the fighters with which viewers could identify, no displays of determination or passion, no technical fighting brilliance or inspiring demonstrations of skill.

As MMA becomes more professional the fights become increasingly dull. They become more about technique than desire. Everyone can identify with desire. Only some can identify with technique.