August 19, 2019
UFC 241 Fills the Bill
Last Saturday night, UFC 241 had three fights at the top of the card all carrying high expectations and in the end, all three bouts carried their weight.
Beginning with Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero battling it out in the middleweight division, this was a fight that could have gone either way and it went in favor of the undefeated Coast who won by a single point on all three cards.
The fight was a war and a battle of attrition but Costa did the most damage and showed plenty of heart in narrowly defeating the dangerous Romero. This I can tell you, this dude Costa is an absolute beast. If you marvel at the muscularity of Romero, then you are amazed at the size of Costa. The man is simply a very large middleweight.
I can easily see Costa being the champion of the division one day soon. A fight between he and the current champion Robert Whitaker would be amazing. First Whittaker must defeat Israel Adesanya which I expect him to do. Costa was asked in the post fight press conference about fighting Adesanya and he said he would “kill him.” Costa added he’s just a skinny dude that he would break in half.
Next was Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis and this fight as well as the main event became a case of two fighters that underestimated their opponents and also came in way too cocky. For Pettis, he said he was going to expose Nate Diaz to the world. He said Diaz was not as talented as some were led to believe and he learned a hard lesson.
Nate Diaz is in fact one of the most talented fighters the UFC has and just because he hadn’t fought in three years does not diminish his skills In fact, after the fight he indicated he had never left the gym but he was simply waiting for the right fight to come along.
In this fight with Pettis, he simply schooled the former champion. He was more effective with strikes, dirty boxing, and the ground game. He was also too big for Pettis and with a broken foot following the fight, Pettis would be wrong to blame that for his loss. He is NOT the better fighter not on any day.
Finally there was the main event and again, in this one, the reigning champion Daniel Cormier believed that while the man he took the title from Stipe Miocic was a good fighter, he said he was not good enough to beat him. Stipe kept insisting the first fight that he lost on a TKO that he was the better fighter in that bout too but just got caught with a good strike.
On Saturday, Stipe started slowly and was being out punched by Cormier and for some reason the champion strayed from his bread-and-butter game of ground control and insisted on getting into a striking game. I had said that if this went toe-to-toe that Cormier would lose.
It seemed the fight was going in the champion’s favor until the fourth round when Miocic went to the body. It seemed to be a great body shot but then he went back to it again…and again…and again…and again. Seeing Cormier wince, Stipe knew it was working. It was a fantastic strategic move that weakened Cormier until Miocic was able to catch him with some head shots that put the champion to the canvas where the now new and repeat champion Miocic finished him.
One other fight worth mentioning for anyone from Pittsburgh, former training partners Khama Worthy and Devonte Smith went at it and Worthy who fights out of my home city of Pittsburgh scored an impressive TKO to win a bonus $50,000 for the night. Also, as I had predicted, experience was the factor in Derek Brunson’s victory over Ian Heinisch.
10 Year Repeat
10 years ago in December, former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry was involved in a domestic dispute with his fiancée and as she drove away in a truck, he climbed on in the bed of the truck to try to stop her only to fall out hitting his head on the pavement and losing his life.
This past weekend another tragedy struck the Bengals family when former running back Cedric Benson was onboard his motorcycle apparently driving too fast, losing control and slamming into a mini-van causing a fiery crash that took his life and his unnamed female passenger.
Benson was just 36 and ironically before heading out for the night posted in his Instagram a photo of his motorcycle and the words “my Saturday night.”
The Typical Bell
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase has given Le’Veon Bell the freedom to not play in the pre-season so we will have to wait until opening day to see the debut of the former Steelers running back make his debut in green and white colors, the first different jersey for the veteran back since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After complaining in Pittsburgh about being given too many carries and overworked, Bell has changed his tune and says he is willing to have 500 attempts in order for the Jets to reach the Super Bowl. Yea…OK Le’Veon…whatever.
Nothing changed over the weekend for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Another weekend series and another two out of three losses. Two straight in fact and seven of the last 10. They are now 21 games under .500 and 14 ½ games behind first place. Just pathetic.