Category: Sports

UFC Fight Night on FOX Sports 1 Results & Final Thoughts

UFC put on a great night of free fights on FOX SPORTS 1 last night.  Let’s take a look at the main card and my predictions…

  • Michael Johnson vs. Joe Lauzon
    Prediction: Lauzon by decision.
    Result: Johnson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25) making me 0 – 1 for the night.
  • Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
    Prediction: Hall by TKO
    Result: Howard by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) making me 0 – 2 for the night.
  • Mike Pyle vs. Matt Brown
    Prediction: Brown by decision
    Result: Brown by first round KO (29 seconds) making me 1 – 2 for the night.
  • Yuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber
    Prediction: Faber by decision
    Results: Faber by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27) making me 2 – 2 for the night.
  • Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
    Prediction: Overeem by TKO
    Result: Browne by first round KO (4:08) making me 2 – 3 for the night.
  • Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio Rua
    Prediction: Sonnen by decision
    Results: Sonnen by first round submission (4:47) making me 3 – 3 for the night.

Final Thoughts:

  • Conor McGregor, who fought in the prelims in his first UFC fight, is getting a ton of hype.  While it’s true that McGregor won via a unanimous decision, is the hype warranted?  Uriah Hall, anyone?
  • Michael Johnson beat the brakes off of Joe Lauzon.  I was really surprised that Lauzon looked so bad.  Here’s hoping Lauzon bounces back.  Perhaps this fight was the start of really good things for Johnson.
  • Uriah Hall has really failed to live up to his hype.  While Hall looked like he’d be a top contender when he was knocking everyone out and sending them to the emergency room while fighting on The Ultimate Fighter, I thought the talk of him coming off the show and fighting for the title was crazy. It was.  Dana White has even gone so far as to say, Hall is not a fighter.  My guess is that White will give Hall one more fight to turn things around.
  • Matt Brown has won six in a row and is calling for a title fight.  I’d say he’s earned it.
  • Yuri Alcantara took Urijah Faber down within seconds of the first round of the fight.  Alcantara proceeded to put a beating on Faber and it looked like the fight was on the way to a quick end.  Faber showed a warrior’s heart and continued to fight back until he reversed the situation.  For the rest of the round and the next two, it was all Faber.  Very impressive win for the California Kid.
  • Alistair Overeem came out and as expected started to put a beating on Travis Browne.  Hard shots to the head and knees to the gut rained down on Browne… but he wouldn’t quit.  Both men looked tired towards the end of the first round and as Overeem came plodding in, Browne unleashed a front kick that landed square on Overeem’s chin.  As Overeem fell to the mat, Browne followed dropping a couple of hard shots before the ref could step in.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out… will the win help Browne more than the loss will hurt Overeem?
  • Chael Sonnen chokes out Mauricio Rua in the first round!  Sonnen is one of the most entertaining fighters outside of the ring and he is competitive with the best fighters in two weight classes.  Sonnen has to be loving life. I know his fans are.

UFC Fight Night Live: Predictions

UFC has a live card on FOX SPORTS 1 tonight starting at 6pm with the prelims and 8pm with the main card.  Let’s take a look at the main card and my predictions…

  • Michael Johnson vs. Joe Lauzon
    Prediction: Lauzon by decision.
  • Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
    Prediction: Hall by TKO
  • Mike Pyle vs. Matt Brown
    Prediction: Brown by decision
  • Yuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber
    Prediction: Faber by decision
  • Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
    Prediction: Overeem by TKO
  • Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio Rua
    Prediction: Sonnen by decision

Who is Highest Paid: Coach or Governor?

This infographic surprised me.

In most states, the highest paid state employee is usually a football or basketball coach.  I might have thought that in a few states that would be the case, but overwhelmingly, this is the standard.

The good news is that in most cases tax dollars are not paying (the bulk) of the coaches’ salaries.  I post this not to indicate my belief that coaches are overpaid, but because I was surprised that in almost every state a football or basketball coach led the way.

Thanks and a “Put me in the game, Coach!” to Deadspin.

UFC on FOX (and FX) Tonight – My Predictions

If you’re a MMA fan, then you’re probably looking forward to a full night of fights.  

Starting at 5pm EST we have the UFC Prelims on FX.  This portion of the card includes:

  • T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viani
  • Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
  • Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury
  • Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin
  • Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins

Then at 8pm EST we switch over to FOX for the main event fights:

  • Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
  • Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein
  • Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier
  • Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez

While I’ll be watching the prelims, my interest is in the main event.  So, let’s take a look at my predictions:

  • Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
    I’m not a fan of the Diaz brothers, but they almost always get the job done. Still, I like to root against them.  Thomson is a big underdog in this won.  I like pulling for the ‘dog. So since I’m not betting..
    My Prediction: Thompson with a decision win.
  • Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein
    Thoughts: Brown
    is tough as they come and on a four fight win streak… yet he is the underdog in this fight.  Well, you know I like pulling for the ‘dog.
    My Prediction: Brown with a decision win.
  • Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier
    Thoughts: Frank Mir
    is one of my all-time favorite fighters.  Mir is a HUGE underdog tonight.  Cormier is an Olympic class wrestler with knockout power.  Mir has struggled with big punchers, so he’ll want to take the fight to the ground.  Once there, he’ll find himself waging war with an Olympic class wrestler.  It looks like a tough night for Mir.  Of course he is one of my favorite fighters so…
    My Prediction: Mir wins via stoppage.
  • Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez
  • Thoughts: Henderson is slightly favored in what should be the fight of the night. Both men are warriors and I expect this one to go the distance.
    My Prediction: Henderson wins via decision.


Hanging with Olympic Medalists

That’s me, Ato Bolden, Allyson Felix, Joanna Hayes and Aries Merritt.  I’m in some pretty fast company, folks.  In case you didn’t know it, they’re all Olympic Track and Field Medalists.

  • Ato Bolden: 4-time Olympic medalist [two bronze 1996; bronze & silver in 2000]
  • Allyson Felix: 6-time Olympic medalist [silver 2004; bronze & silver 2008; 4 gold in 2012]
  • Joanna Hayes: Gold medal winner 2004
  • Aries Merritt: Gold medal winner 2012

These Olympians were in town for the USA Track and Field annual meeting and are all part of the “Win with Integrity” program sponsored by USATF.  They came to our school and spoke with our 8th grade honor roll students.  Their message focused on students staying in school, getting a good education and living life with integrity.  Our students were able to ask them questions, hold a real gold medal and get photos and autographs.

It was truly a pleasure to have these Olympic heroes on campus to speak to our students.

WWMAD? What Would Muhammad Ali Do?

Have you ever had the discussion with friends about whether or not you (or they) would give up years of your life to be famous actor/singer, world class athlete, or to have some super-human powers?  Discussions I’ve had and articles I’ve read seem to indicate that most would.  

Recently Dick Cavett wrote How the Mighty Are Fallen (Or, Where’s My Friend?) for the New York Post.  The article is about Muhammad Ali.  

Cavett asserts, and rightly so, that it was Ali

  • “not Elvis, not J.F.K., not Mickey Mouse, not Jackie, not Honest Abe, Mick or Marilyn

…who had the most recognized face in the world.  Further, Ali was perhaps the greatest athlete who ever lived.  

Muhammad Ali was a boxer… the only three time World Heavyweight Champion.  Boxing brought Ali both his fame and his fortune.  Yet, as Dick Cavett writes,

  • “Few doubt that Ali’s sad state was caused by head blows, akin to N.F.L. cranium-smashing.”  

The sad state that Cavett refers to, is the Parkinson’s Disease which many feel was caused or at the very least accelerated by many wars Ali fought in the ring.

Would Ali, given the chance to go back in time, trade away all of his fame and accomplishments for a healthy life?  

Would you?

Like Cavett, “I don’t suggest the answer is an obvious one.”  

Thanks and another round [non-alcoholic and non-boxing to Mark Evanier for the original link.] 

RIP: Smokin’ Joe Frazier

Last night the world lost one of the greatest fighters to ever enter a boxing ring.  Smokin’ Joe Frazier passed away at the age of 67 from liver cancer.

Joe Frazier only lost 4 times [twice to Muhammad Ali and twice to George Foreman] in his career which saw him crowned the heavyweight champion of the world.   Joe Frazier will forever be remembered as the first man to beat Muhammad Ali.

Although he fought Ali two more times [losing by decision in the first rematch], it is their third meeting, The Thrilla in Manilla that many consider to be the greatest boxing match ever.   After the fourteenth round, with Joe’s eyes swelling shut, his trainer, Eddie Futch called the fight.  Futch then said to Joe, “Sit down, son. “It’s all over. Nobody will ever forget what you did here today.”

And we won’t.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe Frazier’s family, friends and fans.

Chris Z Runs His 1st Half Marathon

Last weekend my son Chris, ran his first half marathon.  He was joined in the race by his girlfriend Mikala, and her mother.

Of course Chris’ mom and I were there for moral support.  [I’m the guy behind the camera.]

Before the race Mikala and Chris are all smiles.

In fact everyone is smiling…

Once the race starts Chris moves from smiles to all out laughter!

At the halfway point and he’s still smiling.

Chris about to pass the older couple in the blue.  ; )

My wife is terrible at taking pictures.  She always cuts off heads.  Perhaps in a past life she was an executioner.  Mikala and her mom are also all smiles at the halfway point.

Chris coming in for his final lap!

Mikala and her mom finishing the race!

Before the Lights Go Out

If you’re looking forward to the premiere of Lights Out, the new series on FX that premieres on January 11th, then you’ll probably want to check out the trailer below.  If you haven’t heard about Lights Out, give it a look and see if the show might be something you’d like.  Since you read this blog, there’s a good chance it will.

A Quick Look Back…

As we head into a new year, I always take a moment or two to look back.  Since today is the first day of 2011…   The top photo is of me taken during the middle of a tough game.  I was a sophomore at Mainland High School and played defensive tackle.

This photo is of me and Mike Singletary.  The Chicago Bears have always been my favorite pro football team.  Mike Singletary is one of my all-time favorite players [and he would have been even if he wasn’t a Chicago Bear].  Singletary was never the biggest player on the field, but he always played with the most heart.  I got a chance to meet Mike back in 1993 or 1994.  He had been brought in as an inspirational speaker and I was lucky enough to get some face to face time with him afterward.  Funny, but my hair doesn’t look as gray in that photo…