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UFC s toughest Cowboy set for career fight vs. McGregor

By Dan Gelston, Associated Press Donald Cerrone posted a booze-fueled photo to hype his anticipated fight against Conor McGregor: A bottle of Cerrone's preferred cheap American-style beer vs. the Irish fighter's own whiskey. Cerrone has eschewed McGregor's Proper No. Twelve whiskey, but the winningest fighter in UFC history finally takes his shot at the hard liquor's founder in a January fight at least five years in the making. UFC fans have buzzed for years about the potential brouhaha between McGregor, the biggest star in the sport, and the hard-living fighter better known as "Cowboy." Once the fight was announced last week, the prospect of some four-letter-word trash talking between two of the biggest mouths in the sport was dimmed — at least for now — when McGregor went on social media and wished Cerrone's family a happy holiday. McGregor's friendly acknowledgment came with a steely caveat, " See you in 20/20 with bullseye vision."         View this post on Instagram                   Let this Soak in! This will be my 51st MMA fight and I plan to add new numbers to all these list come January 18. I hold the all-time UFC record for wins with 23. I hold the all-time UFC record for finishes with 16. I hold the all-time UFC record for post-fight bonus awards with 18. I hold the all-time UFC record in knockdowns with 20. I hold the all-time UFC record with seven knockouts via kicks. A post shared by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on Nov 29, 2019 at 3:27pm PST "This is the fight that everyone wants to see," Cerrone said. "I don't even know why we have to have a media tour. This fight is going to sell itself. He's done a great job of promoting himself and becoming Conor McGregor." The 170-pound bout is set to headline UFC 246 on Jan. 18 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. McGregor will fight inside the octagon for only the second time in 38 months and the first time since he was choked out by Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018. Cerrone will continue to add to his legacy as MMA's busiest fighter — he fought four times in 2019 (2-2) and holds the UFC career record for wins (23) and most finishes (16) in company history. Cerrone doesn't necessarily believe his grind-it-out schedule holds an advantage over McGregor's elongated rest period. "I don't know if I believe in all that ring rust stuff," Cerrone said. "I don't know if that's an actual thing. He's very talented, won two world titles, went in there with Floyd Mayweather. I don't think a year or a couple of years off is going to matter. Who the (heck) knows? I'm coming in full guns a blazing, man. My camp's excited about this fight." His cowboy hat always on, Cerrone has grown into one of the more popular fighters in UFC with his fight anyone, any time style and who always seems up for a good time. The 36-year-old Cerrone (a +190 underdog) has done it all, except win a UFC championship. His method of cramming as many fights as he can into the shortest window has perhaps at times prevented the patience necessary needed to wait for a major title shot. Cerrone's losses this year were to Tony Ferguson (on a 12-fight winning streak and set to fight Nurmagomedov) and Justin Gaethje (three straight wins and a regular fight of the night winner). "I'm like my own worst enemy, for sure," Cerrone said. "My coaches say all the time, don't take that fight. I definitely could have had better opportunities if I was sitting and waiting. But I love it. I love chasing this crazy feeling." He waited out McGregor for what is expected to be the richest payday of his career. The seeds were planted when Cerrone first called out McGregor when they shared the UFC Fight Night card in January 2015. They shared a dais in 2015 to promote upcoming UFC cards and promptly took aim at each other. Cerrone continued through the years to pressure McGregor to kickstart his comeback and fight him. "This fight was going to happen three or four times," Cerrone said. "Everyone would get their hopes up and then it wouldn't go through. It was like, yeah, right, it's not going to happen. Then the contract came sliding across, and I was like, oh (wow), here it is." Cerrone is ready for a "fun as hell" fight night in a matchup that might have been more enticing two or three years ago. The fight has already seemingly become more about how McGregor will look in his return than what a win would mean for Cerrone’s career. But while McGregor has been caught up in a string of legal woes during his time off, Cerrone has remained in about an endless cycle of training. "My wrestling is far superior," Cerrone said Monday by phone on his way to a swim workout outside his training camp home of Albuquerque, New Mexico. "My pace, my cardio, I plan on really putting on the pressure." Cerrone signed a new mutli-fight deal as part of the McGregor bout and has no plans to slow down, no matter the outcome. He's dabbled in acting and says he wants to put his UFC records far out of reach for the next generation of stars. He trains at the BMF Ranch, part of another nickname that's made him one of the more respected fighters inside the cage. Up next, the fight of a lifetime. "What I want to do is get all of America to back me like Ireland does him," Cerrone said, laughing. "That's what I want. If there's a guy for America to stand behind, it's the blue-collar, beer-drinking Cowboy. I think I'm the man.".....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnDec 3rd, 2019

UFC President Dana White on Manny Pacquiao vs. Conor McGregor rumours: “I don’t care about any of that s**t”

Back in 2017, Irish MMA star Conor McGregor faced undefeated American boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a big-money superfight, arguably the biggest combat sports event of that year.  McGregor was, at the time, at an all-time high in his UFC career and was coming off a demolition of Eddie Alvarez to become the UFC’s first simultaneous two-division UFC champion.  Looking for even bigger paydays and an even bigger spot in the limelight, McGregor set his sights on Mayweather Jr, and the two ultimately agreed to a 12-round boxing bout.  During the lead-up to the bout, one of the people actively promoting the event was none other than UFC president Dana White. McGregor was the UFC’s biggest star at the time, and his superfight with Mayweather Jr. definitely helped draw eyes onto the world’s largest MMA promotion.  Three years later, McGregor is once again the topic of conversation after some mysterious tweets.  The Irish superstar tweeted the Filipino phrase “Tinatanggap ko”, which means “I accept” in english. Many believe that it’s a not-so-subtle dig at Filipino boxing star and eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao.  This comes after McGregor and Pacquiao already had an interesting exchange on Twitter a few weeks back.  It looks like “The Notorious” is once again angling for a big-money boxing bout against one of the world’s best. The difference now however, is that he’s retired from the UFC.  Which is why when White was asked about the McGregor-Pacquiao rumours, he had a simple answer: “I don’t care about any of that s**t.”  White’s response is understandable, given that McGregor, who last fought in the UFC in January, defeating Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds, is supposedly no longer connected to the North American mixed martial arts giant.  Should the Pacquiao-McGregor fight actually come to fruition however, would White remain as unconcerned as he is now? .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says Manny Pacquiao continues to fight because he has to

A little over five years after the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout, people still wonder if there's ever going to be a sequel.  Since that highly-anticipated 2015 bout between arguably two of boxing's biggest stars, Pacquiao and Mayweather's careers have gone in vastly different directions.  Following his 12-round loss to Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in a trilogy bout, retired for half a year, and then came back to beat Jessie Vargas and capture the WBO Welterweight World Championship. Pacquiao would lose that title to Jeff Horn in a controversial decision in Australia, before bouncing back by beating Lucas Matthysse to become a world champion once again. Just last year, Pacquiao put on two impressive performances in his title defense over Adrien Broner and his WBO (Super) Welterweight World Championship-clinching win over Keith Thurman. Now, at 41 years old, Pacquiao is still in the conversation of top opponents for welterweight stars like Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.  After beating Pacquiao, Mayweather Jr. wrapped his career up with a win over Andre Berto to retire undefeated in 2015. Two years later however, Mayweather Jr. came back and claimed his 50th professional boxing win after defeating UFC star Conor McGregor by tenth-round TKO in a big-money superfight. Save for a three-round exhibition bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on New Year's Eve of 2018, Mayweather has remained retired.  So whenever Pacquiao earns a big win or whenever Mayweather does anything remotely related to a boxing ring, rumbles of a rematch always begin to appear.  Asked if he was interested in a rematch however, Mayweather sort of shot the idea down.  Asked if a rematch against McGregor was on his radar, Mayweather told rapper Fat Joe that he was more interested in fighting guys who has whole countries behind him.  "I’m a businessman now. I already proved, years and years ago, that I was the best, period. I’m talking pound-for-pound, I already proved all of that," Mayweather Jr. said. "At my age now, I’m a businessman, so I’m not gonna be out there competing and fighting guys that only got a small city behind them. You got a lot of American fighters that are good, but they got little cities behind them. I’mma fight guys that got a whole country behind them. So, I know I can demand and get what I want to get."  "So that's Pacquiao?" Fat Joe responded, looking for clarification.  Mayweather Jr. responded by saying that he made more in the McGregor fight.  (READ: Pac-Mac at super middleweight? Conor McGregor has interesting response to Manny Pacquiao's birthday greeting) "Listen, I made more with McGregor," Mayweather Jr. said. "My faculties and everything that I got comes first. We just talked about “Your health is your wealth”, and that’s why I got this towel on, I was working out today." "Money" followed up by saying that the difference between himself and Pacquiao is that Pacquiao needs to keep fighting.  "Pacquiao fight because he have to. Once again, I fight if I want to, so there’s a difference."  Was that a no? Was it a maybe? What did Mayweather Jr.'s statements mean?  Mayweather Jr. also hit back at those saying that Pacquiao wasn't in his prime when they met back in 2015.  "We keep on saying ‘at our prime’, I’m older than Pacquiao by two years. We keep on saying ‘in your prime’. When I beat Pacquiao, they say he wasn’t in his prime. I’m older than [him]. When I fought Oscar de la Hoya, me and Oscar, we both was in our thirties. They keep on…no matter what happens, it’s never good enough for anyone." Right now, it appears that the 50-0 fighter is happy staying retired, but he did share that he has something cooking alongside Japanese promotion Rizin for this year.         .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2020

MMA legend Tito Ortiz says he s been offered a fight with Mike Tyson

Since videos surfaced of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson working out and getting back into shape for his reported comeback, names of potential opponents have been popping up left and right.  Even former rival Evander Holyfield fanned the flames of a third meeting with Tyson after posting his own comeback training video.  MMA legend Tito Ortiz however, claims that someone actually called him up and offered a fight against "Iron Mike."  (RELATED: Mike Tyson works out with MMA legend Vitor Belfort) Talking to TMZ Sports, the 45-year old Ortiz, a former UFC Light Heavyweight World Champion and UFC Hall of Famer said that he received a call days after seeing Tyson's viral training videos.  “I was watching Mike Tyson hit pads with my old trainer Rafael Cordeiro, and Tyson looked like the old Tyson. Fast, and speed, and powerful, just like, wow. Is Tyson gonna make a comeback?” Ortiz shared.  “All of a sudden, two days later, someone asking me ‘What do you think about fighting Mike Tyson?’ I was like ‘Really? This is an opportunity of my life. I’m in!’" he continued.          View this post on Instagram                   .@MikeTyson - Legend Vs Legend on PPV! When are we doing it? Just so you all know I was called for this fight. What if someone called you , “would you fight Mike”? Me,”YES”! A post shared by Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz1999) on May 21, 2020 at 2:25am PDT Tyson, 53, has been retired since 2005, with his last professional boxing bout ending in a sixth-round retirement loss to Kevin McBride. During his prime however, Tyson was known as 'The Baddest Man on the Planet' and had multiple runs with the IBF, WBA, and WBC Heavyweight World Championships.  Ortiz on the other hand, was one of MMA's earliest stars and captured the UFC Light Heavyweight title in 2000. Ortiz held the title until 2002 and successfully defended it five times.  “I’m not sure if it’s going to be MMA or boxing, it hasn’t even gotten that far, I think we both got to be cleared by athletic commissions, that’s the biggest thing," Ortiz stated.  Either way, the man best known as 'The Huntington Beach Bad Boy' feels confident in his chances, whether the proposed bout be boxing or MMA.  “Either or, I’ve been boxing for 20 years, my boxing skills have gotten better and better. It may not be in the same level as Tyson, but has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 15 years? No he hasn’t, and have, and I’ve been able to subdue everyone I’ve competed against in the last four years.”  Ortiz has remained fairly active in his career, competing four times in the last five years. Since leaving the UFC in 2012, Ortiz has won five of his last six fights.  Ortiz clarified however, that he wasn't in any way trying to disrespect Tyson with his comments.  “First and foremost, before everything, I respect Mike. Mike’s an amazing man, he’s an amazing individual, in general. What he’s gone through and what he’s became, I gotta give him nothing but respect. I’m not trying to disrespect him at all. Anything that I say from this point out on, I really want to let him know, Mike you are the man, you are one of the best in the world, but I was one of the best in the world in my own game too.”  Should a bout with the boxing legend indeed materialize, Ortiz believes that it could draw better numbers than the last big MMA fighter-versus-boxing crossover bout between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.  “What Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather did, I think we can double that. I just think it would be amazing, it would be fun. I think it would be a great opportunity for both of our brands.” When asked if he really thinks he can beat Tyson in boxing, Ortiz said that it's really just about gameplan. “Well, do you think Evander Holyfield stepped up and said ‘That’s Mike Tyson, I’mma be afraid of him. I’m not gonna be able to tie up with him and tire him out and then knock him out in the seventh or eighth round’? No. It’s all a gameplan, it’s all what you’re going to do to make the fight interesting, and I’m the person to make that happen!”            .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2020

ONE Championship: Heavyweight champ Brandon Vera all praise for challenger Arjan Bhullar

When the world finally gets back on its feet and sporting events become allowed once more, Asia-based mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship will have a ton of must-see matchups on tap, and one of them is the ONE Heavyweight World Championship bout between reigning titleholder Brandon “The Truth” Vera and top contender Arjan “Singh” Bhullar.  (READ ALSO - Brandon Vera preparing for new kind of challenge: fatherhood) The Vera-Bhullar encounter was initially scheduled for ONE’s return to Manila on May 29th, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced ONE Championship to postpone their shows for May as well.  When the fight does finally happen, it will likely be worth the wait, especially since Bhullar could be Vera’s toughest test yet, and ‘The Truth’ himself knows it.  “I’m very excited to be fighting Arjan Bhullar and to defend our ONE Heavyweight World Title. I think he is probably the best candidate to come face me,” Vera told John Wolcott of ONE Championship.  “This guy is the real deal. I respect this guy tremendously. His wrestling is ridiculous. He comes from a school just like where I came from – huge pedigree,” he added.  The Indian-Canadian Bhullar, like Vera, made his name in the UFC, compiling an impressive 3-1 record before jumping to ONE. In his promotional debut with the Asian martial arts giant, Bhullar dominated former title contender Mauro Cerilli en route to a unanimous decision victory. Prior to becoming a 10-1 professional mixed martial artist however, Bhullar was a standout on the wrestling mats, representing Canada in the World Championships on multiple occassions, as well as on the Commonwealth Games, the Pan American Games, and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.  While Bhullar’s wrestling has been well documented, Vera says that the 33-year old also has some dangerous hands.  “This guy has amazing boxing that nobody’s talking about,” Vera noted. “This guy’s boxing is ridiculous. His head movement is crisp. He’s fast, and he likes to stay in the pocket.” The biggest weapon that Bhullar may have against the Filipino-American champion however, is the ability to go to deep rounds without fading. Good cardio is often one of the best qualities of a top-level wrestler.  “Arjan has more gas than most heavyweights, and that’s something really different about him,” Vera added. The reigning heavyweight king has yet to go the distance in his ONE career, with all four of his wins coming in the first round. “He knows how to pace himself. Most heavyweights don’t know how to pace themselves. “I’m going to have to push and test and poke in different places that he is not used to,” he continued.  With arguably his toughest test ahead of him, Vera believes that this fight could, and should end in exciting fashion.  “We’re [going to be] in a championship fight. It needs to be decided between us, not the three people watching,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2020

Cowboy didn& rsquo;t show up for McGregor fight

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone confessed that he just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when he fought Conor McGregor at UFC 246 last January. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 1st, 2020

Struggling Suns try to stay in playoff race

By David Brandt, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker is playing some of the best basketball of his career and starting center Deandre Ayton is back in the lineup after missing a long stretch because of a suspension and an ankle injury. But the Phoenix Suns are still struggling to win basketball games. It's been a frustrating month for a franchise that's hungry to get back to the playoffs after a nine-year absence, which is the second-longest current drought in the NBA. The Suns have dropped 11 of their past 14 games and now have a 14-23 record, which ranks 13th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference. “Coach always says that everything you want is on the other side of hard,” Booker said. “I think we're in the middle of that right now.” The team's toughest loss might have been the last one on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), when the Suns fell 114-103 to the Sacramento Kings. Phoenix had a 21-point lead late in the third quarter before coughing up the advantage and losing its second straight game at home. “It feels bad when you lose games the way we've lost them,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “But as I've said before, I was under no inclination that this would be an easy task. I still feel that way. It's just going to take time to get to the point where we're playing consistently and feeling good about ourselves.” The Suns were among the worst teams in the NBA last season, finishing with a 19-63 record, but a flurry of offseason moves had the franchise excited. They added veterans like Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes and Dario Saric and re-signed Kelly Oubre Jr., who has played well since he was traded from Washington last year. Then Phoenix started this season with a 7-4 record and optimism soared. But Booker said the main traits that led to the early success — especially a gritty, physical defense — have been missing. He added that there's nothing the coaches can do to bring it back because it's on the players. “That extra 10% from everybody is what we need,” Booker said. “I don't think we're talented enough to go in there, go down by 10 and then say we're going to turn it on and win.” Booker scored 34 points in the loss to the Kings, continuing his run of prolific scoring. The fifth-year guard is making a convincing case that he should be an All-Star for the first time in his career after scoring at least 30 points in seven straight games, which is a franchise record. He's averaging 26.2 points per game and shooting a career-high 51% from the field. But it's clear he needs more help. Ayton's recent return from a 25-game suspension was supposed to provide that help and statistically the second-year player has been productive, averaging 15.4 points and 11.9 rebounds. But his return to the starting lineup has meant other players — like Baynes and Saric — have had their roles change and the adjustment hasn't been easy. The good news for the Suns is they're still very much in the playoff race as the season nears the halfway mark. Just 2 1/2 game separate the six teams between the 8th and 13th spots in the Western Conference. But the wins have to start coming soon. “I still am pleased with the way we fight and battle and compete,” Williams said. “We give ourselves a chance every night. We've just got to learn how to close the deal.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2020

Usman batters Covington, Volkanovski claims title at UFC 245

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kamaru Usman brutally stopped Colby Covington with 50 seconds left in the fifth round at UFC 245 on Saturday night, retaining his UFC welterweight title with a spectacular finish to their grudge match. Alexander Volkanovski took the UFC featherweight title from Max Holloway and became the second Australian champion in the promotion's history with a tactical unanimous-decision victory. Amanda Nunes defended her bantamweight title with a grinding unanimous-decision victory over Germaine De Randamie at T-Mobile Arena. Usman (16-1) closed out an occasionally slow fight with Covington (15-2) in thrilling fashion, knocking down the challenger twice with precise punches and then finishing him on the ground. Usman and Covington took a personal animus into the cage, and the Nigerian-born Usman made good on his vow to derail the career of the divisive Covington, whose grating personality and eager embrace of President Donald Trump have made him a sharply polarizing figure in mixed martial arts. "This one is not just for me," Usman said. “This is for the whole entire world.” Volkanovski (21-1) picked apart Holloway (21-5) with leg kicks and movement for five frenetic rounds, controlling the bout with style and persistence. The 31-year-old challenger born in a tiny coastal town in New South Wales joins New Zealand-born middleweight Robert Whittaker as UFC’s only Aussie champs. The judges favored Volkanovski 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45. Holloway struggled to land consistent strikes while dodging Volkanovski’s barrage of leg kicks, but the long-reigning champ still appeared surprised and disappointed by the judges’ verdict in just his second loss since 2013. “It means the world,” Volkanovski said. “I have two kids at home. Everything is about my family. Spending time away from them kills me, but this is for them, a little early Christmas present for them.” Volkanovski became just the fourth featherweight champion in UFC history, joining Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor and Holloway, who had reigned since 2016. Volkanovski earned his title shot with 17 straight victories, including seven since joining the UFC, capped by a win over Aldo in May. “Featherweight has always had great, respectful champions who always fight the next contenders in line, and I appreciate that,” Volkanovski said. “There’s a lot of people who have earned their shot and aren’t given it, so I’m going to make sure everyone who earns it, gets it.” Holloway has been one of the UFC's most popular and most durable fighters of the 2010s, winning 13 consecutive bouts before he moved up to lightweight and lost a decision to Dustin Poirier for an interim title last April. He returned in July with a featherweight defense over Frankie Edgar before agreeing to a shot for Volkanovski. Covington and Usman started with two busy rounds of striking in which Covington appeared to be landing more blows, but Covington poked Usman in the eye during the third. Usman responded by bloodying Covington in an impressive third-round flurry, and Covington subsequently told his corner that he thought his jaw was broken. Usman took control from there, gradually finishing Covington in his first defense of the belt he took from Tyron Woodley earlier this year. Covington (15-2) won an interim title last year, but then missed a full year of competition due to injuries. Nunes (19-4) earned her 10th straight win and fifth bantamweight title defense over a half-decade of UFC dominance, but the two-division champion had to rely on her wrestling skills to dominate her 135-pound rematch with De Randamie (9-4), the former 145-pound UFC champion. “My game plan was to go five rounds and work the takedown,” Nunes said. “I almost got two submissions, but I made some mistakes and I have to fix that. Just a little bit of the technique was off, but I will fix it and next time I will get it.” After Nunes nearly finished in a one-sided first round, De Randamie surprised Nunes with several effective strikes in the second. Nunes wisely landed multiple takedowns to control the rest of the bout, keeping De Randamie on the mat and unable to land a home-run strike. The judges favored Nunes 49-46, 49-45 and 49-44. “Honestly, I was a little bit off tonight,” Nunes said. “But I’m the champ. I always have Plan A, B, C and more.” Nunes added the featherweight belt last December with her 51-second thrashing of Cris “Cyborg” Justino, cementing her place among the sport’s greats. Still only 31 years old, Nunes has said she will defend that 145-pound belt in her next fight, which would make her the first UFC fighter to defend two titles simultaneously. De Randamie was the first UFC women’s featherweight champion in 2017, but she moved down to bantamweight after she was stripped of the belt. The Dutch kickboxer was stopped by Nunes in the first round of their first meeting in 2013, but she tested Nunes much more extensively this time out. Earlier on the pay-per-view portion of the show, Aldo (28-6) lost a split decision to fellow Brazilian contender Marlon Moraes (23-6-1). Russian bantamweight contender Petr Yan stopped Urijah Faber with a single head kick in the third round. Yan (14-1) battered and bloodied the 40-year-old veteran with two knockdowns in the second before finishing Faber and then calling out two-division champ Henry Cejudo afterward......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2019

Clippers outlast Celtics in OT in successful debut of Kawhi, George combo

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- It took three weeks and 15 games into the season, but better late than never for the Clippers to finally hold their real Opening Night. They were finally whole on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George shared the floor together, suiting up against the Celtics. Before that, the only significant time spent in each others company in uniform was last summer when they were introduced as the newest and most important members of the franchise. It was an event that shook the league and made the Clippers the title favorites; given the club’s zero championships, that glowing projection had never been written or spoken by anyone before. And, predictably, the league will not be conquered in a day or more accurately, a night where the Clippers defeated a Boston team holding the best record in the East but did so haphazardly at times before showing enough spunk in the fourth quarter and overtime to confirm their arrival as a team to be believed. Perhaps these sketchy performances will be expected from the Clippers here in the early season because George missed the first 11 games and Leonard six. Therefore, the Clippers will reek of training camp smell until their stars develop better harmony and the rotation gets in sync. Because at times in the 107-104 win over the Celtics, the Clippers passed up shots and were careless with their decision making and also their passing, perhaps in an effort to please one another. George and Leonard are the clear alpha dogs and not only were they too deferential to each other during stretches, so were their teammates, mostly to a fault. “Twenty-three turnovers,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, with a sense of resignation. “We were so sloppy. We were trying not to get in each others’ way. We need a lot of work. We’re trying to get the ball to guys instead of trying to score.” It’ll take more practice sessions to clean that up and gain a clearer understanding of roles and situations and flow. Because of injuries, the Clippers, George and Leonard simply haven’t had that chance. “We were thinking in the office earlier today if we ever had two (stars) getting ready to play in a game, and they never had one practice together,” said Rivers. “We couldn’t come up with one.” Well, don’t be misled; the Clippers’ glass is not exactly half empty. There was another aspect to the Clippers in their sneak preview “opener” that left much to be admired. They turn scrappy when cornered and fight when threatened. This was apparent when the Celtics snatched a 10-point lead late in the fourth and were rolling. In these situations, teams tend to discover what’s in their DNA and whether their desire level belongs in elite company, even here in mid-November. Here’s the results, then: George is at the very least Leonard’s equal as a scorer; Lou Williams can take over games even from Leonard and George when necessary; Pat Beverley never runs empty on energy or fire; and Leonard as he showed last spring always seems to deliver in the clutch with a decisive play. “Once we got started,” said Williams, “we saw how special this team can be.” Williams helped erase the Celtics’ lead by scoring 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and caused major problems in the final few moments of regulation. Remember, he’s a lethal scorer in his own right and in last year’s playoffs, without George or Leonard, he carried the Clippers late in games. George finished with 25 points and drew double teams, which created open shots for teammates. It has been a torrid start for him this season since returning from shoulder surgery and rehab; he has 123 points in 110 minutes and hit the game-winner a few days ago against the Thunder. One of those who benefited from the extra attention given to George and Leonard was Beverley. The Celtics picked their poison and their scouting report, no surprise, told them to let Beverley beat them. Ordinarily that’s the proper strategy; Beverley isn’t a scorer nor does the ball usually find him in tense moments. But Beverley punished Boston with four three-pointers (in seven tries) and was an all-around menace, with a career-high 16 rebounds, seven assists and two steals with his 14 points. His feisty tenor set the tone for the Clippers defensively late in the game; the Celtics have the best offensive efficiency in the league yet managed a rather tame 30 points in the fourth quarter and five-minute OT. “They were trying to leave guys open,” said Rivers. “They left Pat open. They took the risk. He single-handedly willed that game for us.” Finally: At the OT buzzer, Leonard reached and deflected Kemba Walker’s potential game-tying shot. The development of the Leonard-George combo obviously will play huge in whatever success the Clippers have this season. It seems a match made in basketball heaven. Both bring similar styles and are unselfish. They can shoot the mid-range or three. They can attack the rim -- see Kawhi’s poster dunk Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) that set social media ablaze -- and besides averaging over 25 per game, they obviously bring the goods defensively. George is a four-time member of the All-Defensive Team while Kawhi is twice the Defensive Player of the Year. Kawhi and George are no longer assigned the toughest assignment every night. They can take turns guarding the other team’s big scorer; George didn’t have this luxury in Indiana and Oklahoma City, and Leonard for much of his time in San Antonio and all last season with the Raptors. And they can switch on and off in the same game. For example, expect to see this happen Friday when league scoring leader James Harden comes to town. Last week, Harden torched the Clippers for 47 points. This time, he’ll see Kawhi in his grill for stretches and then get George, with a little Pat Bev thrown in for irritant’s sake. The elephant in the room is Kawhi’s health. Nobody expects him to play every game the remainder of the season, but he’s already on pace to miss 30. Last year in Toronto he missed 22. The good news is the Clippers can win without him provided George remains healthy. The better news is the Clippers are finally intact and complete right now, even though there are kinks to straighten and flaws to correct and a system that needs to be reset. “We want to figure out how to win games and then become a good team,” said Rivers. “We’re a work in progress.” Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang eager to test himself against Eddie Alvarez

When American mixed martial arts legend Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez signed with ONE Championship back in late-2018, one of the athletes most excited about the news was Filipino MMA icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.    Alvarez was one of the Singapore-based martial arts promotion’s biggest signings to date and was an exciting addition to the already-deep ONE lightweight roster.    Folayang, being a perennial contender in the division, knew that one way or another, he would share the cage with the former UFC and Bellator titleholder.    Fast-forward to mid-2019, and true enough, Folayang and Alvarez are set to compete in a highly-anticipated feature bout at ONE: Dawn of Heroes on Friday, August 2nd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.    Already a main event-caliber matchup, the Folayang versus Alvarez bout will have even more at stake, as it was elevated to a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-finals matchup following an injury that forced Russian Timofey Nastyukhin to withdraw from the card.    Now, aside from bragging rights, Folayang and Alvarez will fight for a spot in the lightweight tournament final opposite Turkish knockout artist Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev at ONE: Century in Tokyo this coming October.    For Folayang however, this test against Alvarez - probably the toughest of his career - is more than just moving a step closer to a third run at the ONE Lightweight World Championship, but it’s also a chance to test himself against a man who has won two world titles in two major organizations.    “Siyempre, si Eddie Alvarez, nakita din naman natin na legit na champion si Eddie sa dalawang malalaking MMA organization, so hindi ko tine-take for granted itong laban na ito,” Folayang told ABS-CBN Sports.    Making the matchup even more potentially explosive is that both fighters are coming off devastating losses at ONE: A New Era back in March, and both of them are hungry to get back on track.    “We are both coming from losses so talagang yun pa yung nagpapa-init ng desire naming dalawa na bumawi for this important fight. Kailangan talaga mag-handa ng maayos kasi ayun nga, yung desire, yung willingness mo talaga makabalik dun sa title picture, yun talaga yung mga factors na tinitignan naming dalawa,” Folayang said.    “Sa akin, siguro more na excited ako kasi nakita mo yung resume niya, coming from that kind of backround, alam mo na mate-test ko yung sarili ko, kung paano ako mag-aadapt or mag-aadjust sa ganung taas ng level. I am grateful na dumating yung opportunity for me to test him and to test myself,” he continued.    It’s also a chance for Folayang to solidify his place even more as a world-class mixed martial arts talent.   “People will be convinced kapag nakikita nila yung mga resulta, na talagang nakikita nila yung mga pinag-daanan mo. It’s one of those ways na ma-solidify ko pa yung naging, at pagiging world champion ko.”   A win for Folayang on Friday night sets him up for possibly another run at the lightweight title.    To get there, however, he will first have to take out “The Underground King”.      Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, August 2 LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestream will be available on the ABS-CBN Facebook Page and on iWant  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2019

Pacquiao parries retirement talks anew

Manny Pacquiao just took the 71st fight of his storied 24-year professional career — one of the toughest he has had in while. Still, he has no plans of stopping anytime soon......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 21st, 2019

Ferguson beats Cerrone by TKO

"If me and Cowboy (Cerrone) don't fight again, I want that title shot. I've had that title, I feel that's why it's such an emotional roller-coaster. I've increased my value after this fight tonight. If Poirier cannot do it, I'll go to Abu Dhabi (UFC 242) and do it myself, and if (Conor) McGregor wants to dance, I have a tune for him too, so regardless I'll be ready," - Tony Fergusson #UFC.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJun 9th, 2019

Ronda Rousey gets knocked out in 48 seconds in comeback fight

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ronda Rousey was stopped 48 seconds into her comeback fight Friday night, losing to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on Friday night. Rousey (12-2) returned from a 13-month absence and never managed to get her footing against Nunes (14-4), who rocked Rousey with her very first punches. Rousey staggered and stumbled backward while Nunes relentlessly pursued her and landed multiple shots. Referee Herb Dean stopped the bout with Rousey still on her feet, and Rousey briefly protested the stoppage before leaving the cage in her mother's arms. Cody Garbrandt also won the men's bantamweight title in the penultimate bout, battering champion Dominick Cruz to earn a surprising decision victory at T-Mobile Arena in the UFC's traditional end-of-the-year show in its hometown. Rousey couldn't compete in her first fight since losing her belt to Holly Holm 13 months ago in her first career defeat. Rousey became arguably the world's most famous female athlete and a combat sports trailblazer while she rocketed atop the UFC, but a year away from the sport apparently did little to heal the holes in her game. Nunes claimed her belt with a violent stoppage of Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in July, completing an unlikely ascent for a Brazilian veteran whose skills have improved in recent years. Nunes lost three fights earlier in her career to opponents beaten easily by Rousey, but Nunes' work ethic and toughness propelled her into the biggest fight in the women's game against Rousey. Rousey hadn't fought since November 2015, when Holm stopped her with a head kick in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Rousey had never lost or been in much trouble while the former Olympic judo medalist rocketed to the top of her sport with a series of one-sided victories, but Holm's veteran striking made Rousey look amateurish before the dramatic finish. Rousey nearly vanished from public view after her loss, taking time away from the gym and attending to her acting career. After the bantamweight belt changed hands two more times in her absence, Rousey agreed to return for a shot at reclaiming her title. The UFC also was sold during her absence to WME-IMG, the entertainment conglomerate that also represents Rousey's career. But Rousey refused to promote this pay-per-view show, leaving Cruz and Nunes to do most of the work. While Rousey's media blackout will hurt her cut of the pay-per-view revenue, it didn't affect her guaranteed payday of $3 million, matching Conor McGregor for the biggest disclosed check in UFC history. Earlier, Garbrandt (11-0) remained unbeaten with a virtuoso performance to claim the belt held for the past 11 months by Cruz (22-2), who ended up with a gaping cut over his left eye. Garbrandt used precise striking, multiple takedowns and remarkable charisma to win over the judges, who all favored him by scores of 48-46, 48-46 and 48-47. Cruz hadn't lost an MMA fight since March 24, 2007, winning 13 straight bouts in a career marked by multiple comebacks from major injuries. The 25-year-old Garbrandt is a native of Uhrichsville, Ohio, who trains in the Sacramento-area gym of veteran fighter Urijah Faber. Cruz and Garbrandt taunted each other repeatedly during the promotion of their bout, and their genuine dislike translated into a frenzied five-round fight. Garbrandt lived up to his boundless promise with a resourceful effort against Cruz, who was favored to defend his belt. Instead, Garbrandt landed more shots and did more damage from the opening round. Both fighters landed significant strikes in the first two rounds, but Garbrandt turned the fight in his favor early in the third round during the exchange that opened the cut on Cruz's face. Garbrandt put on a performance in the fourth round, repeatedly knocking down Cruz when he wasn't dancing away from the champion. The unfriendly rivals congratulated each other after the bout, but Cruz didn't appear surprised when Garbrandt's hand was raised. After receiving his belt, Garbrandt wrapped it around the waist of Maddux Maple, a 10-year-old leukemia survivor from northern Ohio who has been his motivational talisman. Garbrandt's first title defense could be against T.J. Dillashaw, who dominated John Lineker in a unanimous-decision victory moments earlier at UFC 207, winning 30-26 on all three cards. Dillashaw (15-3) showed off precise striking and a superior ground game to trounce the Brazilian brawler. 'Come try me!' Garbrandt shouted at Dillashaw afterward. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2016

Pacquiao keeping a keen eye on McGregor s UFC bout

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will be glued to the television this Sunday when UFC superstar Conor McGregor steps back into the octagon against Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 at the Fight Island in Abu Dhabi......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 20th, 2021

Pacquiao vs McGregor excites experts

Filipino martial arts practitioners would love to see the Manny Pacquiao-Conor McGregor fight, foreseeing an exciting duel should it push through......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 31st, 2020

Action-packed Pacquiao fight expected in & lsquo;21

Veteran Filipino Martial Arts practioners Monsour del Rosario and Alvin Aguilar expect a thrilling and exciting boxing bout between Senator Manny Pacquiao and Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar Conor McGregor next year in Dubai......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 30th, 2020

Experts: Pacquiao-McGregor fight to inevitably bring fireworks

Veteran Filipino martial arts practitioners Monsour del Rosario and Alvin Aguilar expect a thrilling boxing bout between Sen. Manny Pacquiao and UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year in Dubai......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 29th, 2020

Phogat sees tough challenge from & lsquo;really good& rsquo; Torres

Indian national wrestling champion Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat believes her next fight is going to be her toughest yet. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 1st, 2020

Pacquiao-McGregor ‘definitely’ going to happen, says Paradigm manager

  By CARLO ANOLIN       The fight between Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and former UFC champion Conor Mc Gregor is “definitely” down the line. It’s only a matter of when and a few contract issues before the megafight would be finalized. Audie Attar of Paradigm Sports Management gave updates on what became […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsNov 24th, 2020

Conor McGregor inks deal for January comeback

Conor McGregor is set to reverse his latest flirtation with retirement with a fight against Dustin Poirier in January, the Irish mixed martial arts star said on Th.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 20th, 2020

LeBron: Bubble season my toughest challenge

Orlando---LeBron James says leading the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA Finals after nearly three months inside the league’s “bubble” in Orlando ranks as the biggest challenge of his career......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 30th, 2020