Archive for Sports

UFC 116 – Pick’em

Posted in MMA with tags , , , on July 2, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

We have waited long enough.  Finally the biggest and most important heavyweight fight, in any sport, since Tyson-Holyfield is upon us this Saturday at UFC 116.  And’s the only headlining fight worth mentioning.

Lesnar-Carwin is so big that the UFC built special reinforced Octagon.

When these two mammoths were scheduled to fight the first time, I made my prediction http://rebelref.com/2009/10/19/ufc106-forecast-carwin-beats-lesnar/ Now that the fight is finally here, the potential outcome isn’t as clear as it once was.

Shane Carwin is entirely too focused on a knockout.  To recognize the negative effect of that, then look no further than Dan Henderson’s loss to Jake Shield in April.  When facing a wrestling machine like Lesnar, takedown defense can be your best friend.  Carwin has indicated he has worked on his wrestling but you can see it in his eyes that his striking has dominated his training camp.

Everyone knows he can punch so he’s not surprising anyone.  The same goes without saying Brock Lesnar will use his wrestling to neutralize Carwin’s striking.  It’s all the more reason for Carwin to emphasize on his defense so it can set up more knockout opportunities.

Lensar has left no stone unturned while training for his title defense.  His newfound maturity has evolved him both as a person and as a fighter. Instead of working on his strengths, Lesnar has elected to work on his weaknesses.  Becoming a complete fighter is the best foil for a man like Carwin.  Lesnar acknowledges this and has worked hard for his chance to prove it.  Lesnar has made the right changes in his camp which is a scary thought for challengers like Carwin.
With all that being said…

Pick:  Shane Carwin

Call me crazy but I still think all the training in the world can’t fix a chin.  I don’t believe Lesnar has one.  Even if Lesnar does get Carwin down and smothers him, I believe Shane will ultimately survive.  Carwin should have many opportunities to find Lesnar’s chin and test it.  It’s one test Lesnar won’t pass.  Carwin will tag Lesnar and Lesnar will crumble.  Just like all of Carwin’s victims.  Carwin will lose one day but he’s waiting too long for this one.  He’s hungry.  Carwin by KO.

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Suckerpunch: Fedor vs. Werdum

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley
The MMA overload continues.  Saturday’s Fedor vs. Werdum card both tested our patience as fight fans, and turned the MMA world upside down in one single night.  Needless to say it served as an opening act so to speak for this week’s Lesnar vs. Carwin heavyweight toggle.

The most appreciated aspect of the card was….

No ex-football players or former athletes on the card.  Every participant on Saturday’s card is a full-fledged mixed martial artist.  No freak shows or guest spots which is something fight fans really appreciate.

Cung Le won and….

was there any doubt?  He was dominating his first match with Scott Smith until he ran out of gas then found himself waking up to the ceiling lights.  It’ll be interesting to see whether he grants Smith a rubber match, or now that he has avenged his loss will it give him enough satisfaction to move on?  In any case he needs to quickly make up his mind.  No more pondering.

Enough already…

and make the Erin Toughill – Cyborg Santos match.  I don’t know what was worse.  Strikeforce’s sadistic matchmaking in this case or the referee’s decision to allow Cyborg to keep butchering poor over-matched Jan Finney. There was never going to be any Buster Douglas moment for Finney in this one.  She was just the latest sacrificial lamb for Cyborg.  Strikeforce has a legitimate and potentially competitive women’s championship match on their hands with Cyborg and Toughill.  There is no reason to keep prolonging it.

The WTF Award goes to…

Fabricio Werdum for submitting the world’s best heavyweight.  Talks of retirement and never watching any film of his opponent’s fights sent off alarming signals that Fedor Emelianenko may not h ave been totally focused for this fight. He’s neither the first grand champion to make this mistake nor will he be the last.  In any case Werdum shocked the world and deserves all the credit in the world for doing what many that was impossible.  The only person probably happier than Werdum himself is Dana White.

The X Man

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , on June 15, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

All the talk surrounding Chuck Liddell’s knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115 is that the show’s over for the future Hall of Famer.  Not too far behind is the mention that Dana White should refuse any request by “The Iceman” for another fight.

While this is true, there needs to be more emphasis on the one person in Chuck’s world that needs to step up the most if that situation presents itself:  John Hackleman.

It happens all too often when a fighter is finished but continues to fight on while the trainer goes along with him on his path of self-destruction.  The trainer loves the fighter and willing to go down with him.

That’s why Hackleman remains the x-factor in the Liddell retirement saga.

Chuck Liddell is arguably the most endeared fighter ever to grace the Octagon.  His contributions to the sport, not just the UFC, are in-measurable. No one wishes to see him laid out cold again.

Hackleman is not the polarizing figure as White is, but he is the most influential when it comes to the former champ.  The next time he and Liddell make a trip to “The Pit” it should to train the fighters of tomorrow.  He and the king of yesteryear’s MMA are ready the next phase of their journey together.

And just like before, it’s up to Hackleman to get Chuck ready for his next challenge.

Boxing’s Baddest – P4P

Posted in Boxing with tags , , , on May 24, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

1) Floyd Mayweather


It kills me to place him atop and as I predicted he would cruise through the overrated Mosley bout, BUT its extremely fair to say that he will win against Manny Pacquiao when or if they meet.  He has benefited tremendously from matches against under-sized, bloated and declining opponents alike.

2) Manny Pacquiao


He’s a fight fan’s fighter and never disappoints. Though he’s too small and gets hit too often to think he can defeat Mayweather.

3) Sergio Martinez

Schooled Kelly Pavlik to win the middleweight title and was denied a decision I believed he deserved against Paul Williams.  On paper it was a loss, but in boxing, fighter’s loses aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on half the time.  Martinez was the better fighter in both cases and is on the verge of becoming a star.

4) Paul Williams


The crafty southpaw got away with a decision against Martinez then had his match against Kermit Cintron end in truly bizarre fashion.  He passed on a rematch with Cintron which is puzzling considering their match was just getting started when it abruptly ended.  The bottom line is he was absurdly awarded a win when no contest would be in order just about anywhere else on the planet.  He received another win he didn’t deserve and apparently that’s good enough for Paul Williams.  Then he wonders why nobody cares him.

5) Juan Manuel Marquez


Say what you will about Marquez fading but the fact he remains he has fought the best on his way up the scale.  Often against younger, fresher fighters.  That can’t be said about other fighters such as Mayweather and Chad Dawson.

MMA Monsters – P4P

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

1) Georges St. Pierre


Regardless of whether you think he’s a safety 1st wrestler, the fact remains is that he always faces top opposition and always brings his best performance in the cage…every…single…time.  The complete fighter.
2) Anderson Silva

Has been reduced to strictly a counter striker.  He only excels when others come forward.  Against passive opponents, Silva has failed miserably.  He cannot push the action and his foolishness just illustrate his insecurities.  Looking to pick on smaller men like GSP is pathetic too.
3) Fedor Emelianenko

The only knock against “The Last Emperor” is the lack of activity.  If he fought more often he’d be #2.
4) Mauricio Rua

Because knocking out Lyoto Machida to win the light heavyweight championship should be enough to get you in anyone’s top 5.  Shogun was magnificent in both fights. He looks like the Shogun that tore through Pride and the UFC might finally have a dominant LHW champion on their hands.

5) Jose Aldo

Aldo may be the least known on the list, but he certainly deserves to be one of the most appreciated.  His fights look like an arcade game due to his stupendous skills.  After stomping Urijah Faber, the Aldo era has no apparent end in sight.

Kimbo Sliced

Posted in MMA with tags , , , on May 10, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

Finally Kimbo Slice’s time in the UFC has ended. It’s about damn time too. Promoters took an unfortunate stereotype and tried to develop Slice into MMA’s Mike Tyson. Instead what they got was MMA’s Mr. T.

The Kimbo Slice experiment did accomplish some good though. It proved that MMA is not glorified street fighting. Brawling in shipyards and warehouses does not equal Octagon success. Kimbo’s failure should serve precedent to any aspiring tough guy who think they can just walk in and do this MMA thing.

Kimbo didn’t deserve the all exposure he received. The only thing you can give him credit for is making the most out of his limited abilities.

Good riddance to Kimbo Slice. He got his 15 minutes.

UFC 113 – Pick’em

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , on May 7, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

The UFC’s mindset lately has been more quantity than quality.  Although every now and then in the UFC’s flooded PPV schedule you will find one that will not allow you to take any bathroom breaks.  UFC 113 is one of those cards and has been marked on my calendar for months.  No Kimbo talk here (because it’s not worth the space) but this card has fights really worth talking about:

Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley



Two loud mouth jerks.  One a bruising British striker.  The other an American wrestler who wants to be a striker (see Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans).  Each wishing to become the next in line to challenge, and I use that word lightly, for Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight championship.

Koscheck has been on the brink of a 2nd title shot for seems to be an eternity.  Paul Daley is one of the hottest rising stars in the promotion’s deepest division.  He’s left a path of broken and busted bodies since crashing onto the UFC scene.  Josh Koshceck has been up and down over the past few years. Although the current form of Koscheck arms the perfect foil for Daley’s championship hopes.  So who wins?

Pick:  Josh Koscheck

Simply put, Koscheck finally remembered his meal ticket has always been his wrestling.  By going back to the basics he thrashed Anthony Johnson.  Daley has plenty of trouble holding his own against strong wrestlers.  There is nothing that would have me believe Daley has corrected this problem.  Koscheck will use his superior wrestling and extinguish Daley from any talk about title contention.

Light Heavyweight Championship : Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua


This is what mixed martials arts is all about.

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida almost effortlessly tore through the division on his way to the top.  No one had been able to even brush Machida much less connect with a meaningful shot.  Then along came Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.  Shogun did what most people thought was impossible.  He made Machida look mortal.  He came into the 1st fight with a brilliant game plan pushed Machida to his breaking point.  It was a masterful performance by Shogun, but too bad it wasn’t enough.

The controversy that followed prompted an immediate rematch.  Fight fans are beaming for another fight between these two geniuses of the sport.

Pick:  Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida was thrown for a loop when Shogun approached the fight the way he did. It forced him to dig down deep and pull a razor thin decision.  That said more about Lyoto Machida than many of his other wins.  Shogun will undoubtedly have another surprising plan but Machida is maybe the most intelligent fighter in the UFC.  Machida will be more evolved, more aware and better prepared for anything Shogun has in store for the rematch.  He’ll be ready for anything and he will add to his growing legend by winning a clear decision.