Posts Tagged ‘Endurance Sports’

Chess Cheat Busted at Italian Match

Chess image: www.jisc.ac.uk

Italian chess player Arcangelo Ricciardi, ranked 51,366 in the world, has been busted for cheating.

In the Imperia Chess Festival in Italy Ricciardi began his first few matches by beating players ranked much higer than he.

And while this in itself wasn’t enough to draw attention, referees gave him a second look after he sat stone still with a hand under his arm for hours on end, and began blinking in a very strange way.

Jean Coqueraut, the tournament referee told La Stampa newspaper that Ricciardi’s ability to defeat such highly placed opponents were performances “that are impossible.” He was batting his eyelids in the most unnatural way. Then I understood it: He was deciphering signals in Morse code.”

When officials confronted Ricciardi he refused to open his shirt for them.

So he was told to walk through a metal detector. It showed a hidden camera hanging on a chain around Ricciardi’s neck. The camera was attached to a small box hidden beneath his armpit. The box was able to transmit video footage from the camera to an accomplice nearby with access to a chess computer.

The accomplice would then tell Ricciardi what moves to make by using Morse code.

But Riccardi denied any wrongdoing. “It’s only envy,” he said to La Stampa. “I always kenw my potential, but I was never able to express it. It’s all false. I’ve played for 30 years. It’s a genuine passion. But only now, thanks to yoga and self-training I managed to free my mind from tensions and emotions.”

In April, Russian Grand Master Gaioz Niglidze was expelled after he was found to be checking his moves with a smartphone hidden in a toilet rubbish bin.

He attracted attention when he continued to visit the same toilet cubicle for periods longer than 10 minutes at regular intervals.

McGregor talks About TUF 22 Coaching Role

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

UFC star and TUF 22 coach Conor McGregor has done the unthinkable (again) and announced his plans for the upcoming TUF season.

He has said he has no intention of actually coaching the members of his team. Instead he’ll concentrate on keeping them fresh and focused on a career in the toughest MMA franchise in the world.

McGregor was initially reluctant to do the show. But once he was convinced of its benefit (to him as well as his fighters) he decided to approach it in an entirely novel way.

McGregor believes the six-weeks is far too short a time in which to add to or change anything in a fighter’s repertoire. Attempting to do so might actually confuse fighters and be detrimental to their chances of winning.

“I’m simply going to provide the platform for them,” McGregor said. “I’m going to bring eyes to the screen for them. I’m going to provide coaches that I have come with, but really it’s a six-week run of fights, on and off.

“I’m not going to go in and teach them anything. I told them their training should already be done. You should already have your hard rounds done. Now it’s about keeping the body fresh because every fight you get knocks and bruises so it’s about maintaining those injuries and making it through those fights.”

FOX Sports 1 will be airing the new season of The Ultimate Fighter on Wednesday night at 10pm ET.

McGregor has already told his team not to expect him to be running practices – or even showing up for training sessions. He casts himself more as a life coach – preparing young hopefuls for the rigours for life in the UFC.

“I’m not going to be at every training session, if I’m going to be at any training session (at all).

“I’m just going to be there picking the fights and doing that obligation and I’ll be at the fights. I have my team of coaches that will be preparing them and I trust they will give them the right training.”

But McGregor saved the bombshell for the end.

He said The Ultimate Fighter isn’t about teams, it’s about the winner getting a head start in the most lucrative fighting franchise in the world, a start that could put them tens of thousands of dollars ahead of their competitors.

“Forget teams, forget all this other stuff,” said McGregor. “It means nothing.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk Named UFC 193 Co-Headliner

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Australian UFC fans are in raptures after Dana White announced another title defence for UFC 193.

Current women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her title against Canadian Valerie Letourneau.

Jedrzejczyk (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) was originally scheduled to fight Claudia Gadelha at UFC 195, but UFC powers have decided to open all the stops for Melbourne and asked Jedrzejczyk to share the card with Ronda Rousey.

Jedrzejczyk is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC stable and considered one of the finest strikers in all of women’s MMA. She earned Fight of the Night bonus with her bloody title defence against Jessica Penne in June and has destroyed any and all opponents placed in front of her.

octagon-750x400Letourneau (8-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is riding a wave of success after winning her last three UFC fights. She will make a name for herself if she can upset Jedrzejczyk who is coming off her own unanimous decision victory over Maryna Moroz.

The announcement of Jedrzejczyk and Letourneau pushes Mark Hunt and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva from the co-main event status.

Despite this the November 15 crowd is expected to blow away all previous records for an MMA event in Australia. 70,000 are expected – and they’ve got good reason to go.

Richie Vaculik Named on UFC 193 Fight Card

Image: https://twitter.com/RichieVaculik?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

If fans weren’t already excited about seeing UFC superstar Ronda Rousey heading the UFC 193 card in Melbourne, then they’ve just been given another reason.

In a card stacked with well-known and home-grown fighters the UFC announced today that TUF: the Smashes contestant and UFC Fight of the week co-host Richie Vaculik has been added to the card.

Vaculik made an inauspicious entrance to the UFC in the TUF: The Smashes house. The opposing Canadian team ran roughshod over the Aussies. But since then the Australians have blossomed.

Vaculik announced on Thursday that he will be fighting Danny Martinez in what promises to be a spectacular flyweight bout.

Vaculik is coming off a loss to Louis Smolka. But the 32 year-old has won 10 of his last 14 fights and says he will be ready for the dangerous Martinez. He flies out to Thailand on the 18th for his training camp in Thailand.

The disappointment of his most recent loss and the chance to perform in front of 70,000 screaming fellow Australians offers Vaculik huge encouragement.

Melbourne’s Etihad stadium will host what is expected to be the largest attendance and viewing numbers for any MMA event in the country ever.

Female MMA Fighter Beats Up Would-Be Robber

Triangle hold image: Youtube

Monique Bastos was on her way home from jiu-jitsu training with two friends on Tuesday when two men attacked their group. They demanded their mobile phones and money.

What they didn’t expect was for Bastos to fight back.

While Bastos may only weigh in at 56 kg, she does, however, have six fights to her MMA career – and she’s a killer!

“I was going to my jiu-jitsu training when they arrived on a motorcycle and said they wanted our phones,” Bastos said to MMAFighting.com. “I tried to hold my phone, and I realised they were not armed. When they tried to escape (after feeling the wrath of Bastos’ fists for a few minutes), I lifted the rear wheel of the bike and they fell on the ground. The guy who took my phone ran away, but I was able to get the other one.”

And Bastos showed him why crime doesn’t pay.

The man, later identified as Wesley Sousa de Araujo, was eventually ‘subdued’ with a rear naked choke. Bastos then held him in a triangle choke for 15 minutes until police arrived to arrest him.

At several points Araujo is screaming for sympathy, but he showed none when he was robbing his victims; fortunately he was shown none in return.

“I’ve been thought this a few times before,” Bastos continued, “and it’s the second time I fought back. There were two guys, and they were using knives, but I was able to use my jiu-jitsu and get my phone back. It’s a huge risk, but I did it to defend myself and my friends, so I used what I learned.”

Rousey Headlines UFC 193 in Melbourne!

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

Social media exploded yesterday. Women’s bantamweight champion ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey was announced as the headliner at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. Rousey will defend her championship belt against decorated striker Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm in what is said to be a coup for the hosting venue, Etihad Stadium.

UFC supremo Dana White made the announcement on ESPN’s SportsCentre in New York. Rousey and Hom will take the place of Lawler and Condit at the top of the bill.

“We’ll break all-time attendance record for an MMA event,” said White on Twitter.

Australian MMA fans are euphoric.

“Australia’s an important market for us,” said White to ESPN, “so we’re going to bring her out there in our first real big stadium show. And we know she’ll break the record out there.”

Ticket sellers were inundated at the news. Within seconds of the announcement online ticket sellers were reporting a blowout in sales.

Ronda Rousey is arguably the most marketable fighter in the world. She is without doubt the best.

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

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

But Holm is no slouch either. The 33 year-old from New Mexico has a 9-0 record, she has won 9 world boxing titles, and fast climbing the bantamweight ranks.

Her only chance against Rousey, however, is to elude the champion’s Olympic level judo game and keep the fight standing.

Holm lacks the grappling pedigree of Rousey. The champion’s almost patented arm-bar has ended more fights than both of Holm’s fists.

Only Miesha Tate has managed to take Rousey beyond the first round.

In her 12 career wins Rousey ended the last four in: 66 seconds (Sara McMann), 16 seconds (Alexis Davis), 14 seconds (Cat Zingano), and 14 seconds (Bethe Correia).

Most experts are predicting another early night for the champion.

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!

Chael Sonnen Speaks about Unfairness of UFC Drugs Policy

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chael_Sonnen#/media/File:Chael_Sonnen_at_UFC_115.jpg

Ex-UFC fighter, TUF coach, and MMA legend Chael Sonnen has spoken to news.com.au about the confusion and controversy surrounding the UFC drugs policy.

Sonnen blasted onto the UFC radar in his middleweight title bout against Anderson Silva. At UFC 117 Sonnen stunned the world by bashing the incumbent champion from pillar-to-post for four rounds. He was the clear winner going into the fifth, but one mistake allowed Silva to steal the match via an armbar submission.

In a post-fight drug test Sonnen tested positive to elevated levels of testosterone.

Four years later he retired amid more positive drug tests and allegations.

Anderson Silva also returned positive results shortly thereafter.

While many of Silva’s former opponents have sought to assuage their losses against Silva in the wake of the drug scandal Sonnen is more prosaic:

“I knew exactly what he was doing and he knew what I was doing, Sonnen said. “You’ve got to understand, there’s a misconception that the UFC had a drug problem. The reality of it is tht it had an age problem. The guys from my generation … things were different when we started, the rules were different, the rules changed over time and we did not change. We were set in our ways and we kinda said, ‘this is how we’ve always done it and this is how we’re gonna keep doing it.

“When the rules changed there were just a lot of guys who were caught with their pants down and there’s no excuse about it. That’s just the way it happened. [Silva’s] in a jam now because there’s a couple of things that were just ridiculous. He failed for three substances. None of the substances I had ever heard of and I doubt any of your readers had heard of them until he tested positive for them, so that’s a little underhanded.

“When you look close, two of the substances are over the counter at every store in the world. They are sleep-aids … I can tell you – in fight week you’re stressed out of your mind, you’re dehydrated, you can’t sleep, and if he took something that’s gonna help him fall asleep, if I’m gonna be his opponent, take more – take five times as much – its’ fine with me.

“To come out and say that stuff is banned with no warning ahead of time – there’s no list, there’s no one you can call and check, there’s no way to tell until it shows up and there’s a violation – that’s underhanded.

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.