Tag Archives: super star

Ronda Rousey Makes History At UFC 157

Defending 135lb womens champion Ronda Rousey beat Liz Carmouche in the first ever womens bout in the UFC. The victory came in the first round via armbar submission. Which is no surprise because her previous 8 victories were all delivered in the same fashion. There was however a point in the fight that Rousey looked to be in trouble. It came in the first minute of the fight when Carmouche was on Rousey’s back. Carmouche attempted to go for a choke and at one point had Rousey in a neck crank. Rousey stayed patient and was able to get Carmouche off of her and within a matter on minutes had her in an armbar. Carmouche quickly tapped and the fight was over.

Ronda Rousey applies the armbar on Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. (Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey applies the armbar on Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. (Getty Images)

With this fight history was made as it was not only the first womens fight in the UFC’s 20 year history, it was also the main event. Ronda Rousey will now be known as the first ever UFC womens champion. Rousey has definitely set her self up to become a mega star. Within 2 years she has gone from an unknown fighter fighting on low visibility Strickforce on Showtime events to main eventing in the biggest MMA promotion around. This is largely due to the way she has amassed her now 9 victories. All of her victories have come in the first round with an armbar submission, most of which came within under a minute of the fight. She has established the armbar as her finisher much like a pro wrestler has a signature finishing maneuver. This is a gimmick that could take her very far in the sport and also create a legend about her like Mike Tyson had in the 1980’s with his knockout punches.

Ronda Rousey will more than likely fight again by years end. The UFC does not have the other big name womens MMA fighter Chris Cyborg. Cyborg recently signed with Invicta. The UFC does have a fresh crop of talent to build up for her. Its pretty safe to say that her next fight regardless of the opponent will be a big draw. She has developed into a super star the like of which will overshadow the previous Queen of MMA Gina Carrano. It will be exciting to she where this crazy ride Rousey is on will end up.

“Sunday Ready” Robert Griffin III Makes A Succesful Debut

It used to be that a new NFL quarterback had time to develop and flourish over multiple season, not anymore.  There are many teams each year that need solutions for their QB position woes.  They want it fast and the best way to go now is with a top ten QB, rather than the veteran back up or fallen starting QB.  It is easier to go with a new QB and take a chance at their future.  The old system of getting a veteran QB is going away because teams just don’t want to be stagnate anymore.  Players like Cam Newton have done great things to changes the way teams look at top pick QB’s.

RG3 celebrates his 88-yard TD pass.
(Getty Images)

 

In April the Washington Redskins went in the direction that most teams are going.  That direction is with a top pick QB to be the future of their franchise.  With the second pick in the first round of the NFL Draft the Redskins selected Robert Griffin III (RG3).  RG3 had an incredible final season at Baylor in 2011 and won the Heisman Trophy.  RG3 has drawn many comparisons to Cam Newton, in terms of both athleticism and potential.

On Sunday RG3 made his highly anticipated regular season debut.  He led his Redskins into New Orleans to face the Saints and one of the best QB’s in the league Drew Brees.  Griffin got off to a great start completing his first 7 passes for 123 yards.  One of those passes was an amazing 88 yard pass to Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon.  Garcon was able to make it into the end zone for Griffin’s 1st NFL touchdown pass, which came in the 1st quarter.  Griffin’s 2nd touchdown pass came in the second quarter, a 5 yard toss to Aldrick Robinson.  Going into half time the Redskins were beating the Saints by a score of 20-14.

In the second half of the game Griffin led the Redskins down the field in position for 3 made field goal attempts.  The Saints tried to comeback in the second half but with a just a field goal, two touchdown passes and a 2 point conversion it was just not enough.  The Redskins won the game by a score of 40-32.

Griffin had an outstanding debut with 320 yards passing, 42 yards rushing, 2 touchdown passes and no interceptions.  The Redskins might just be back in a big way.  Griffin met all the expectations of the Redskin fans and his team, can he keep it up?  That will be the fun thing to watch for this season.

“The Fall Out” How Jon Jones Killed UFC 151

The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones helped make history this past week.  It was not good history by any means.  The UFC was forced to cancel their September 1st show in Las Vegas.  Jones is completely responsible for this cancellation.  When his challenger went down due to injury on Thursday a wild ride began that did not slow down until Friday afternoon.

Jon Jones
(Getty Images)

UFC President Dana White was able to get a replacement in Chael Sonnen.  Jones would not face Sonnen with only 8 days before the fight.  Jones’ Coach Greg Jackson tried to take the blame for not letting his fighter take the fight.  With that situation Dana White was forced to cancel the show and blamed Jackson for being a “sport killer”.

The next option for the fight was Lyoto Machida.  Machida was due a title shot but not this soon.  It was announced that Machida would take the place of Henderson and the fight would be moved to the UFC 152 show on September 22nd in Toronto.  Machida later declined and the UFC went after another former champion to fill the spot.  That former champion was Shogun Rua, he too declined the fight.

With no other options for a main event fighter for Jones, Dana White chose UFC veteran Vitor Belfort.  Belfort accepted and the fight will take place on the UFC 152 show.   Belfort has great hands but does not have the genetic gifts that Jones possesses.  Belfort is much like a Dan Henderson type fighter in the sense that he is a dangerous veteran that could win but will likely lose.  This 24 hour period of insanity is a true low point for the UFC.

Traditionally when a fighter goes down due to injury the replacement is usually accepted by the remaining fighter.  Jones did not want to follow suit.  Because of this he will drive his appeal down with a fan base that does not really see him as a star yet.  Jones is a fan favorite for the hardcore MMA fans but not casual fans who are the ones that really make or break a star and a champion at the ticket window.  Jones has gone Heel (a pro wrestling term for bad guy) but he is doing it the wrong way.

MMA has had its share of heels through its history.   The most recent being Brock Lesnar and Chael Sonnen.  Both of those fighters know what they are doing with their characters and play the role well.  They make calculated moves that make themselves the bad guys but still marketable and appealing.  Jones does not have the personality or the where with all to be a true heel.

Marketing was stated as a possible reason Jones did not take the fight.  Jones was worried that he may not keep his hot streak alive and possibly lose and hurt his selling potential.  If that was his concern he would have taken the fight with Sonnen.  Even if he lost and came back to another title shot he would be in a better light and position than he is by not taking this fight.  Sonnen was the perfect opponent, he had not been training and would be moving up a weight class.  Jones on the other hand would be peaking for the fight still and would have had 3 months of training under his belt.  Now Jones will be know as the man responsible for destroying UFC 151.

There are many victims from Jones’ decision.  The Cable companies who promoted the fight and where counting on their percentage of the PPV numbers.  The UFC has also spent a lot of money promoting the fight, they even had a huge billboard at Times Square in New York City.  The fighters who will have to wait on a pay day because their fight has to be moved to October or even November.  The most hurt will be the fans who have spent their money to fly into Las Vegas, stay in a hotel  and wait to have their tickets refunded by the UFC.

Jon Jones will likely become a villain from this situation, which for most fighters could be a positive thing.  Not for Jones who needs to be liked.  He recently signed a deal with Nike and when it come to merchandise if you are not liked people will not buy you things.  Jones has a long road ahead of him, can he shake this situation?  Maybe, he could come out on UFC 152 and knock out Belfort and everyone will forget about this like it never happened.  It could be something that sticks with him his entire career and effects his earning and drawing potential.

“Let’s Get Rowdy” Rousey Defeats Kaufman Via Armbar

Much like a pro wrestler has a finisher so does female MMA fighter “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, the armbar submission.  Rousey is a former Olympic bronze medalist in judo and comes from a tradition of judo, her mother also being a judo practitioner.  Trained by the great “judo” Gene Lebell and training with the Diaz brothers in California.  Rousey has ascended to the top of womens MMA in less than a year.  Rousey has a 3-0 amateur record and a 6-0 pro record, all of the victories came via armbar submission with the latest victory coming Saturday night.

135 lb Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
(Getty Images)

Rousey the 135 pound Champion defended her title against challenger Sarah Kaufman.  Many thought Kaufman’s experience and striking ability would be a tough challenge for Rousey to over come.  There was nothing difficult for Rousey in this fight.  She took Kaufman down early and got the submission victory at 54 seconds.  Rousey has only had one fight that went longer than one minute.  That fight was against Miesha Tate when the fight went 4:27, Rousey claimed the title in that March fight with an arm bar.

The next fight for Rousey will most likely be against former champion Cyborg Santos.  That would be an intriguing fight and would likely be a great one.  Santos striking is the best in womans MMA and we already know what Rousey is bringing to the table.  It could be the highest rated women’s MMA fight in History.

Rousey is very popular and her popularity will only get greater with her submission victories.  Not quit as popular as Gina Corano was a little over 3 years ago when she was on top of the division, Rousey is getting close to that level though.  The myth could grow to the point she may reach the level Mike Tyson in the 1980s.  The only thing that might hold her back has nothing to do with her fighting but rather how she acts outside of the cage.  She does not carry herself like a superstar, Rousey comes across more as an everyday person in interviews.  If she continues her demolition of the women’s division superstar appeal may not matter.  The eyes of the MMA world will be on her even more in her next fight and we will have to see how she handles all of the attention.

Andrew McCutchen, Best Bet For N.L. MVP

The Pirates have been changing the perception of their team this year.  After years of dwelling in the cellar of the National Leagues Central Division they seem to have turned things around.  The team currently holds a record of 51 wins and 40 loses and are tied for first in the division with the Cincinnati Reds.  Both teams hold a 5 game advantage over the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.  Superb pitching has a lot to do with their success but beyond the pitching is the incredible play of Andrew McCutchen.

The Pirates Andrew McCutchen is having an MVP caliber season heading into August.
(Getty Images)

McCutchen is having a great year and has shown himself to be the team leader.  He has the best batting average in both leagues batting .369 after 87 games played.  He also has 22 home runs, 65 RBI’s, 65 runs and 14 stolen bases.  Producing many walk off game winners and with the lowly Pirates not looking so low combined with his stats shows that he is in the running and possibly the lead to win the National League MVP trophy this year.

McCutchen was drafted by the Pirate in the 1st round of the 2005 draft with the 11th overall pick.  He is in prime position to turn this franchise around for good and be recognized as one of the best baseball players around.  He has added excitement to a team that had nothing to get excited about since Barry Bonds left after the 1992 season.  He has had a few good seasons already but none as dominant as he has been this season.  The fact that the Pirates are in 1st place in late July is amazing in its own right.  The city of Pittsburgh could be transferred from a football city into to a baseball city in just a matter of a couple more years.

The Pirates have a lot to prove still.  Can they make the playoffs for the first time since the early 90’s?  Can they advance in the playoffs?  Can they continue to be a good team year in and year out?  All of those questions ride on the play of McCutchen.  If McCutchen continues this run he will be the N.L. batting champion and should be the N.L. MVP.  Recognition of that level would be incredible for the Pirates franchise.   So if you have not been following this player or this team its time to open your eyes and believe what you are seeing,  its true the Pirates are for real and they have one of baseballs best rising stars.

Player Report: Bryce Harper’s 1st Month In The Bigs

Bryce Harper
(Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Highly touted Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was called up to the big league ball club on April 28th.  He was drafted 1st overall in the 2010 June MLB draft.  Harper has had a lot of hype and promise around him ever since he was featured in a 2009 edition of Sports Illustrated magazine.  He has been called a future legend by many in the sports media.  Harper has also been called immature and egotistical during his 2011 Minor League run.  Now we get to see how the 19 year old phenom develops into what could be an incredible baseball player.

Bryce Harper Has been at the Major League level for a month now.  So I figured it is time to take a look at the numbers and see how he has done.  The stats mentioned are compiled from his first 31 games at the big league level and took place between the 28th of April and the 2nd of June.

Harper has had 115 appearances at the plate.  From those at bats he has 32 hits, 16 base on balls and has been struck out 21 times.  His batting average is at .278,  at the plate he has fared pretty well for a player that just got to the show.  He has shown some power amassing 10 extra base hits and knocking 4 ball out of the park.  He has produced a good number of runs with 21,  Harper has also 11 RBI’s.

His debut came on the 28th of April in Los Angeles when his National faced off against the Dodgers.  Harper went 1 for 3 that night, the hit was for a double and he also batted in a run.  The Dodgers won that game by a score of 4-3.

Harper’s best game at the plate came on May 2nd against the Arizona Diamondbacks at home.  Harper went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 1 RBI.

He has been a really good part of the Nationals offensive production.  He has also been an asset to the club in the field.  Harper was brought up through his amateur playing years as a catcher but once drafted was converted to an outfielder.  Harper currently occupies the Right Field and has a rocket arm and really good fielding.

The most publicized event for Harper came May 6th when the Nationals played the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Phillies star pitcher Cole Hamels nailed Harper in the back with a pitch.  It looked intentional but Hamels left no doubt that it was on purpose when he admitted it after the game.  Harper handled the situation with all of the maturity in the world and shrugged it off.  When Harper was asked about it later he just said that they were both competitive players and sometimes that happens.

This last month of watching Bryce Harper play has shown us a few things.  He was indeed ready to be called up from the minor leagues.  He has been the player the Nationals need to continue to compete in the tough N.L. East.  He has played well on both the offensive and defensive side.  Most importantly he has shown that he can be as humble as he needs to be right now to develop and improve.  I believe Harper is going to continue to get better and in a couple of years could in fact be one of the best baseball players around.