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V.20 No.46 | 11/17/2011
Dos Santos pummels Velasquez in a quick, one-sided victory.
AP photo by Jason Redmond

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

UFC debut lasts 64 seconds, Pacman escapes Marquez, Lobo football finally gets hard earned victory

UFC on FOX

After all the controversy this past week, Saturday delivered an action-packed night of combat sports action. First up was the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut on regular TV, which featured a bout for the UFC Heavyweight Title. Along with the fight, hardcore MMA fans were curious about how FOX would introduce new viewers to the sport. For the most part, they delivered a professional broadcast, treating the fight as a legit sporting event instead of a punk rock show. Gone were the “gladiator intro” and generic rock music and in its place were highlights of both fighters and analysis from UFC personalities. As for the fight, reigning champion Cain Velasquez was rumored to be battling some nagging injuries headed into his bout with Junior Dos Santos. With Dos Santos’ KO of Velasquez taking only 64 seconds, it was hard to tell if injuries affected the former champ. Dos Santos has one-punch knockout power and can finish any heavyweight in mixed martial arts. The victory was impressive considering Dos Santos had a meniscus tear a week before and couldn't walk. Despite the short fight, fans should be happy with a knockout as a first impression to casual viewers rather than a boring five round decision. But FOX's choice to not air the Clay Guida / Ben Henderson fight was the obvious major misstep of the night. Henderson and Guida put on a fight-of-the-year-candidate that only aired on Facebook and FOX Desportes. They showed all the different aspects of MMA that makes the sport captivating and intriguing to watch. But as time moves on Henderson's victory will eventually be shown on television and Dos Santos had a star making performance, so the UFC’s first test run on FOX was a successful one, but not spectacular.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

Next up was the conclusion of the epic trilogy between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. Their first two matchups were controversial but thrilling fights that displayed what truly makes the sport of boxing special. After Pacquiao’s victory over Marquez in their second fight, Pacman's career skyrocketed into mainstream America while Marquez campaigned for another shot at Pacquiao. So after three years, Marquez got his wish and on Saturday took advantage of the opportunity. The first half of the fight was razor close with both fighters throwing punches with caution. But then Marquez started outboxing Pacquiao by landing crisp, hard punches. Pacquiao was shockingly tentative and couldn't let his hands go. With the momentum swinging to Marquez' favor, Pacquiao trainer Freddy Roach knew his fighter was behind and pushed Pacman to pick up the action. Pacquiao’s punch output increased and grew even stronger towards the end of the bout. When the fight concluded, most fans and experts had Marquez winning a close decision victory. But when the judges gave the result, one judge scored a draw, while the other two scored the fight for Pacquiao. Fans in the arena and Twitter users were outraged over the decision. Marquez clearly deserved the victory but in the judges’ perspective he didn't have a defining moment that made a case for him getting the win. As for Pacman, he escaped with the win and is unlikely to grant Marquez another fight and will now try to await a possible fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Lobo football

Despite the struggles of Lobo Football, it’s been a landmark year for Lobo sports. Both cross-country teams earned bids for the NCAA championships and the men’s soccer team has had a dream season going undefeated and winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title. So on senior night, the football team finally enjoyed the taste of victory with their win over the UNLV Rebels . For the first time this season the Lobos kept a lead for the majority of the game. Their 14-7 lead disappeared early in the fourth quarter but Lobo senior Carmen Messina caused a fumble and the Lobos recovered. Then quarterback B.R. Holbrook drove the Lobos down the field setting up a Demarcus Rogers touchdown. The New Mexico defense held steady and got the 21-14 victory. Despite having only two games left in the season, getting its first win will improve the team's confidence and could lead to the Lobos ending the season on a high note.

V.20 No.44 | 11/3/2011
Diaz was too much for BJ Penn.

Diaz retires Penn, Ravens escape Cardinals, Steelers hold off Patriots

UFC 137

Despite the UFC 137 main event changes, BJ Penn and Nick Diaz delivered an exciting bout featuring a back and forth, crowd-pleasing battle. In the first round, Penn was very aggressive by getting the better of the striking and momentarily taking Diaz' back. But in the second and third rounds Diaz' conditioning enabled him to give Penn the worst beating of his career. Diaz demonstrated pinpoint accuracy by nailing Penn with lethal combinations to the head and body. Despite Penn bleeding for the first time in his career, he still showed fighting spirit by not allowing the former Strikeforce champion to finish him. But getting beat up by Diaz forced BJ Penn to unexpectedly retire from the sport. No one knows for certain if Penn has truly retired, but if he has, Penn doesn't have anything to be ashamed about. Meanwhile Diaz’ performance was enough to convince UFC President Dana White to grant him a title shot against George St. Pierre. While GSP vs. Diaz will be a money maker for the UFC, Albuquerque fighter Carlos Condit lost his title shot and will be forced to climb the ladder again to regain his spot.

It wasn't all bad news for Albuquerque fighters as Lightweight contender Donald Cerrone destroyed Dennis Siver on the Spike TV prelims. Cerrone has gone 4-0 this year and can make a case to fight for the title. But his main goal is to stay active and now is rumored to face Nate Diaz at UFC 141.

NFL

Last Monday night, the Baltimore Ravens went through a nightmare when they got embarrassed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. So when the Ravens welcomed the Arizona Cardinals, many thought Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis would take out their anger on one of the worst teams in the league. Instead, the Cardinals humbled the Ravens defense by taking a 24-6 lead into halftime. But Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin’s seven receptions for 145 yards and running back Ray Rice’s three touchdowns helped fuel a 21-point comeback. The Cardinals tied up the game in the fourth quarter but Flacco’s pass to rookie Torrey Smith set up a Ravens game winning field goal.

Steelers vs. Pats

It's rare to see the New England Patriots get bullied by any team in the NFL. Often Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick push around and frustrate their rivals. But when New England traveled to Pittsburgh, the Steelers turned the tables and dominated the Patriots defense. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made Belichick’s defense look amateur by going 36-50 in the air with two touchdowns. Despite having long offensive drives, New England was unable to finish off their longtime AFC foe. Brady threw a red zone touchdown late in the fourth quarter to cut the lad to six. But a botched onside kick and a safety sealed Pittsburgh's 25-17 victory. With Roethlisberger finally finding his rhythm, the Steelers have recovered from their opening day disaster against the Ravens and look primed for a deep playoff run.

V.20 No.42 |

sports

Donald Cerrone and Leonard Garcia might be at their book signing tomorrow

(well, it's not exactly their book)

I was recently contacted by a publicist for UFC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Definitive Guide to The Ultimate Fighting Championship (October 2011), by DK publishing.

She told me that UFC stars Donald Cerrone and Leonard Garcia will be at Hastings Westside location (6051 Winter Haven Road, near Montaño Plaza on Coors), to promote and sign the book.

The book, by Thomas Gerabasi, came out early this week and has already garnered high praise, even from the ever finicky MMA blogosphere.

When I ran into Cerrone at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA last week, he said he knew nothing of the book signing. He’s due to fight Dennis Siver at UFC 137 a week later, and might have other things on his mind. Garcia, on the other hand, just fought (a decision loss to Nam Phan at UFC 136), so he has no excuse.

Cerrone and Garcia are scheduled to be there at Hastings from 1-3 pm, Saturday October 22.

And both Cerrone and Garcie might be at the Jackson’s MMA Series VI fight card at the Hard Rock Café that night as well. They both cheer hard for their teammates.

V.20 No.41 | 10/13/2011
Fielder and Betancourt celebrate Betancourt’s two-run shot
David J. Phillip

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

Brewers get beastly, Edgar makes another comeback, Patriots humble Jets

MLB Playoffs

There's no love lost between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. Both teams engaged in trash talk throughout the season, which came to a boiling point in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. St. Louis controlled the tempo with David Freese’s three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning. But the Brewers went into their signature “beast mode” and delivered a six-run fifth inning. Prince Fielder's two-run homer, Ryan Braun’s two-run RBI double, along with a Yuniesky Betancourt two-run homer gave the Cardinals pitching nightmares. The 9-6 win was huge for Milwaukee, but the series is far from over as the teams split their season series. Despite barely making the playoffs, the Cardinals still have the pitching advantage and could easily win their home games. But they'll have to find a way to win Game 2 without their best pitcher, Chris Carpenter.

UFC 135

Whoever said real life couldn't mimic Rocky movies has obviously never seen UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar fight before. Edgar fought Grey Maynard on Saturday night for the third time to settle their rivalry. On New Year’s Day of this year, both men fought to a controversial draw that saw Maynard almost knock out Edgar in the first round. Edgar recovered and did enough to convince the judges to rule the fight a draw. Their third encounter shockingly resembled their second fight with Maynard nailing Edgar with a huge uppercut in the first round. Edgar survived and Maynard failed to take advantage. During rounds two and three, Maynard was conservative, allowing Edgar to pull even in the fight. Then during round four, Edgar made Maynard pay for a takedown attempt and finished the fight with a dramatic knockout to retain the title. After two failed attempts, Maynard will have to climb back up the difficult rankings to get another shot at the title. Edgar may get matched up with Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez or fight the Ben Henderson-Clay Guida winner.

Also in MMA, it looks like Anderson Silva maybe seeing Chael Sonnen back in the octagon sooner rather than later. Brian Stann was poised to become breakout fighter of the year with a win over Sonnen. But the 14-month layoff did not bother Sonnen as he dominated Stann with his wrestling, eventually submitting him with an arm-triangle choke. However, the impressive victory was not enough as Sonnen insulted Silva and challenged him to a fight during Super Bowl weekend. Sonnen even put his career on the line if he lost, but with a victory told Silva he had to leave the Middleweight division.

NFL

The New York Jets struggles continue as the New England Patriots used their running game to frustrate the Jets defense. Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a breakout performance with a career best 136 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to the 30-21 victory. The Jets were down most of the game but managed to make a compelling comeback from 13 points down in the fourth quarter. But the Patriots used good clock management and sealed the game with a field goal with 1:03 remaining. Jets coach Rex Ryan shouldn't panic, despite losing his third game in a row; but losing one more could send the locker room into disarray.

V.20 No.39 | 9/29/2011
Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson

sports

UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage preview

When Jon Jones defeated former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Shogun Rua, many fans declared Jones the leader of the new generation of mixed martial arts. Jones’ physical characteristics and unorthodox fighting style has created signature highlight knockouts and submissions. MMA may be seen as a complicated science but Jones has passed all his tests flying colors. But on September 24th, he faces the most difficult test of his career when he defends the title against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Lately Jackson has been known more for intimating reporters and lackluster fights than his punching power and vicious takedowns. But Rampage claims he's in the best shape of his career after moving his training camp to Denver, Colo. Even his weight cut has gone smoother than normal by making weight a week early. Jackson has even gone so far as to use psychological warfare by claiming Jones has a spy in his camp. Jones denies the accusation, but based on fan uproar and unwarranted media attention, this story could work to Rampage's advantage.

Despite Jones destroying his competition, critics and fans question if he can fulfill his title as the future of MMA. Bones' ability to take a punch has never been tested and despite the submission victories, its unknown what ability Jones has when he's put on his back. Also since capturing the belt, Jones has attracted more mainstream spotlight by appearing in Bud Light and K-Swiss commercials as well as late night talk shows. Meanwhile, Jackson knows the pressure of becoming champion and losing luxuries such as privacy and anonymity. It's hard to predict if Jones can excel under the magnified spotlight or crumble under the pressure.

But Jones remains a 5 to 1 favorite for a reason and should win a decision victory. Rampage has more than a 'puncher chance' but Jones' natural gifts along with his conditioning will be too much for Jackson to overcome.

Co-Main Event: Josh Koscheck vs Matt Hughes

UFC 135 also has a co-main event featuring one of the greatest welterweight fighters ever against a top welterweight contender. Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes was set to face Albuquerque's own Diego Sanchez, but a hand injury forced Sanchez to withdraw from the fight. Josh Koscheck had planned to move to the middleweight division, but when hearing of the open slot, he jumped on the opportunity. Both men are looking to rebound off bad losses and Hughes faces a must-win situation. Hughes looked terrible against B.J. Penn and needs a win to keep his career alive. Meanwhile Koscheck looks to overcome his failure to capture the welterweight title from George St. Pierre and prove he's fully recovered from his eye injury. Koscheck has youth on his side and should smother Hughes with constant double leg takedowns en route to a decision win.

Editor’s note: Check out Justin Goodrum’s weekly MMA podcasts at http://thelowblow505.mevio.com/

V.20 No.38 | 9/22/2011
John Dodson
Sergio Salvador salvadorphoto.com

Sports News

The Lighter Side of Cage Fighting

Big opportunities for small fighters as the UFC warms up to a new weight class

MMA’s premiere league, the UFC, is catching on. President Dana White has promised a Flyweight division, possibly as soon as 2012.
V.20 No.25 |

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

Mexico surprises U.S., Kongo beats Berry in amazing UFC comeback

2011 Gold Cup
Soccer has gained more mainstream coverage within American sports the last couple of years—Team U.S.A. had relative success in the 2010 World Cup and there's been a growing interest in Major League Soccer. So when the United States faced Mexico in the finals of the Gold Cup, the U.S. was poised to give American soccer some much needed creditability. 93,420 fans filled the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., to witness the U.S gain a quick two goal lead. But Mexico turned up the pressure and overwhelmed the U.S with four unanswered goals to capture the title, 4-2. Along with the loss, many of the fans were rooting for Mexico, jeering the Americans with insults throughout the match. While Mexico earned a birth in the 2013 Confederations Cup, the U.S will look for answers to improve in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.

UFC on Versus
There was little excitement surrounding the original main event of Nate Marquardt versus Rick Story. And on Saturday afternoon the main event fell apart after Maquardt failed his medical tests. Then UFC President Dana White fired him and named Charlie Brenneman as the last second replacement. Despite all the troubles with this card, the fights delivered some awesome finishes. Former NFL standout Matt Mitrione KO'd Christian Morecraft and Brenneman pulled off the upset by earning the decision against Story. Pat Berry and Cheick Kongo moved into the main event and delivered one of the best comebacks in the history of MMA. Berry caught Kongo with a series of punches and almost finished him, but the referee didn't stop the fight. Eventually Kongo gained his composure just enough to nail Berry and win the fight. The comeback victory could give Kongo some momentum to make one more run at the heavyweight title.

V.20 No.12 |

sports

Behind the scenes with Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn

At 3 AM on fight night, the two legendary Albuquerque coaches discuss Jones' victory over Shogun Rua

Jon Jones, at 23, became the youngest UFC champion in history by defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a light heavyweight title match at UFC 128 on March 19 in Newark, NJ. A few hours after the fight I sat down with two of his trainers, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn of Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque.

Of "Shogun's" inability to mount any offense whatsoever, Winkeljohn observed, "He got Jones-ed."

V.20 No.11 | 3/17/2011

sports

Tomorrow: Alibi live-blogs from UFC 128 in Newark

On Saturday, March 19, I'll be live-blogging from UFC 128 in Newark, N.J., as two UFC fighters who train at Jackson's MMA here in Albuquerque will be competing. Nate Marquardt will face Dan Miller in a middleweight bout, and Jon “Bones” Jones will face “Shogun” Rua for the light-heavyweight title. Stop by alibi.com tomorrow for behind-the-scene updates.

V.20 No.5 |

Sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

Rodgers gets championship belt, Silva channels inner Seagal

Super Bowl XLV

Despite Christina Aguilera screwing up the national anthem and another horrible halftime show, viewers were treated to an entertaining football game. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers performed well enough to make even the most loyal Brett Favre fan embrace a new era of Packer football. Rodgers' three touchdown throws combined with three Steeler turnovers left too much for Pittsburgh—lead by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger—to overcome. “Big Ben” had the chance to lead a fourth quarter comeback but couldn't get past the top ranked Packers defense. The 31-25 victory marked the fourth Super Bowl victory for Green Bay.

Football fans should savor this Super Bowl as it could be the last game they see for a while. Labor talks between the owners and players are moving at snail-like pace and could lead to a lockout. Hopefully both sides can come to an agreement or it will be hockey and soccer highlights on Sunday nights.


UFC 126


Most fans expected the Anderson Silva/Vitor Belfort main event to be the most exciting title fight in MMA history. That or the longest staring contest even know to mankind. The result was a mixture of the two with both fighters gun shy for the opening minutes of the first round. Eventually Belfort exchanged strikes with Anderson only to be greeted by a massive Steven Seagal-esque front kick. In fact, Seagal gave Silva some pointers before the match. Silva landed a knockout that opens the door for a possible superfight with UFC champion George St. Pierre (a.k.a. GSP). Barring some miracle, GSP should beat Jake Shields in April and move up to middleweight to face Silva. A GSP and Silva bout could rival the hype of a Manny Pacquiao v. Floyd Mayweather fight.

Greg Jackson's fighter Jon Jones was expecting to move up the light heavyweight rankings with a victory over Ryan Bader. Jones' second-round choke of Bader earned him new recognition and a title shot against champion Maurício "Shogun" Rua. Former champ Rashad Evans had to pull out due to an injury in practice, opening the door for Jones. Evans injury (while unfortunate) maybe a blessing in disguise as Jones presents a more dynamic match-up against Shogun. Jones youth and unpredictability could aid mixed martial arts' break into the popular sports culture. No matter what happens, Jones potential is limitless.

V.20 No.5 | 2/3/2011
Melvin "Young Assassin" Guillard (left) and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, both UFC lightweights, only fight each other behind closed doors.
Sergio Salvador salvadorphoto.com

Feature

World-Class Ass-Kicking

Jackson’s gym defends the Duke City’s title as a stronghold for tough talent

Life—be it human, plant or animal—doesn’t last long in this scrappy landscape without barbs, armor or a few aces in the hole. Maybe that’s why Albuquerque has perhaps the highest density of professional cage-fighters per capita. Officially called Mixed Martial Arts, the sport’s biggest stage is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But its best fighters are not confined to the UFC: Smaller promotions like Strikeforce and Bellator have their share as well. Albuquerque is home to fighters in these and just about every other major promotion in the U.S.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.19 No.52 |

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup: Lobos lose in OT, UFC 125 Classic, NFL gets ready for Playoffs

Lobos Basketball

The Lobos had a rough start to begin 2011. The Dayton Flyers won the 2010 NIT tournament and have put themselves in a position to make the 2011 NCAA tournament. With the Lobos barely beating Texas Tech the game before, New Mexico had to overcome the Flyers three-point shooting. The game was sent into double overtime with strong performances by Dairese Gary and Kendall Williams.

Williams had 14 points and had a chance to send the game to another overtime with a three-pointer, but it bricked the top of the rim. The 76-73 loss sends the Lobos to 11-3 and searching for a win against Cal State Bakersfield at home on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

MMA

Many fans were dreading the UFC 125 main event between Frankie Edgar and Grey Maynard. After all, both men fought to a boring decision in which Maynard dominated Edgar with takedowns. However the rematch played out very differently, and Maynard hit Edgar with huge punches, almost finishing the fight in the first round. Somehow Edgar survived and responded by pushing the bout to a judges decision. With both men having strong moments in the fight, the judges ruled a draw.

UFC President Dana White at first stated Anthony “Showtime” Pettis would get the next shot but then changed his mind and booked an immediate rematch.

It was also a good night for Jacksons MMA fighters Brian Stann and Clay Guida. Stann knocked out the strong favorite Chris Leben and moves up the middleweight rankings. Guida had an impressive submission of Pride lightweight legend Takanori Gomi in the second round.


NFL

The last week in the season resulted in some anti-climatic results. The Jets, Steelers and Patriots destroyed their opposition and look ready to make a impact in the postseason. The Indianapolis Colts provided the only drama of the day, defeating the Tennessee Titans with a game-winning field goal. Colts lock up with AFC South and now face the cocky New York Jets in the wild card game.

V.19 No.46 |

Sports

Hangover Sports Roundup: Rampage barely tames Dragon, Lobos lose

MMA


Normally, Detroit doesn't have too much to cheer about. But on Saturday night UFC 123 took center stage in front of 16,404 MMA fans. The main event featured Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida locked in a three-round chess match. Jackson won a close decision despite getting thrashed by Machida in the third round. Even Jackson was surprised he won when UFC cage announcer Bruce Buffer read the result. Both fighters and the fans are open to a rematch but UFC President Dana White felt Jackson won the first two rounds and thinks a rematch is unnecessary. With UFC light-heavyweight champion Shogun Rua still recovering from a knee injury, White may not have a choice but to give Machida another shot at Jackson.

From the moment the bell rang, B.J. Penn looked determined to beat Matt Hughes by any means necessary. Penn was on a two fight losing streak and needed an impressive victory to keep himself relevant as a contender.

It only took 21 seconds for Penn to destroy Hughes and remind the MMA world why 'The Prodigy' is still one of the most dangerous fighters in the game today. Meanwhile, Hughes may see retirement looming on the horizon. Penn's impressive victory earns him a shot at tough contender Jon Fitch in Australia early next year.


Lobo Sports

The California Bears gave Lobo basketball their first loss of the season and a major reality check. With no home crowd to save New Mexico, bad shooting and turnovers allowed the Bears to score 51 points in the second half to capture the 89-64 victory. Lobo point guard Dairese Gary had a team-leading 16 points but also had five turnovers. The Lobos now turn their focus on Northwood for Wednesday's home game.

BYU continued to add to the nightmare of Lobo football. The Cougars are having a disappointing final season in the Mountain West Conference, but it did not stop the 40-7 beatdown. Cougar quarterback Jake Heaps totaled three touchdowns to make BYU bowl-eligible. Stump Godfrey continued to be the only glimmer of hope by throwing for 125 yards and a touchdown. Now the Lobos welcome BCS contender TCU to University Stadium for the season finale.

V.19 No.35 | 9/2/2010
Randy Couture. Yikes.

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup: Randy Couture, instant replay and Tiger Woods

UFC 118

Usually when watching the UFC, my stoke level is through the roof but with Randy Couture vs. James Toney, my excitement turned into anxiousness. If pro-boxer Toney somehow knocked out Couture, old-school boxing fans would quickly devalue MMA as a competitive sport.

Luckily Couture did his job and destroyed Toney with ground and pound before choking him out with a arm triangle in round one. Now Couture can move on and face top contenders in the light heavyweight division.

When the main event ended between Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn there was no doubt, Edgar had confirmed his spot as the No. 1 lightweight in the world. Unlike their first bout earlier this year, Edgar dominated Penn in every aspect of MMA. From takedowns to powerful striking, Edgar took the heart and will from Penn to win a lopsided decision and retained the lightweight title. Penn seemed confused and had little help from his cornermen to counter Edgar's gameplan. Now Edgar will collide with No. 1 contender Grey Maynard and try to avenge his only loss. Meanwhile Penn needs to reflect on his career and evaluate if he will continue as a lightweight, or challenge much bigger fighters in the welterweight division.

Boston heroes like Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and the new member of the Boston Celtics Shaquille O'Neal witnessed an average undercard. The fight of the night went to Nate Diaz and Marcus Davis, which featured a Diaz submission in the third round. Despite an ugly and un-fan-friendly style, Grey Maynard finally got his title shot by winning a decision over Kenny Florian. Also Demian Maia showcased textbook Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and overwhelmed Mario Miranda.

Baseball

The Little League World Series ranks as one of the most underrated sporting events in the country. It's refreshing to see these competitors playing for the love of baseball instead of money and fame. Japan broke the United States streak of five straight victories by defeating Hawaii 4-1. Major League Baseball should be paying special attention this year because instant replay made its debut in the tournament. From all accounts, replay was a success and will hopefully be used to review every close call in Major League Baseball.

Golf

Everybody said Tiger Woods would never win a major again and his career was over. But, as usual, Woods proved his critics wrong and had his best performance of the year at the Barclays Tournament. Woods didn't win but proved he's still a threat by shooting a 65 and 67 during the first and final round.

Even though the final round didn't feature Woods, Matt Kuchar made sure to add excitement by defeating Martin Laird in a playoff. Critics needs to cut Woods some slack this season and evaluate his career when his mind is fully committed to golf.

V.19 No.32 | 8/12/2010
Loser face on Chael Sonnen

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup: Chael Sonnen, Emmitt Smith, Tiger Woods

UFC

Chael Sonnen probably talked the most trash to hype a fight in the history of the sport. But once he stepped into the octagon, could Sonnen practiced what he preached? He’d have to beat up the man who, pound-for-pound, is considered the best fighter in the world, Anderson Silva.

Sonnen did exactly what he said he would and punished Silva with takedowns, and ground and pound for four rounds. Silva lost every round but only needed a couple minutes to pull off a comeback victory with a a triangle armbar. Once known for one sided beatdowns and boring performances, Silva will be remembered for one of the greatest comebacks in MMA history.

Dana White has an interesting dilemma. as he must decide between giving Sonnen a rematch or finally giving Vitor Belfort his title shot.

The main event was awesome, but the UFC 117 undercard featured compelling action with future contenders. Welterweights Matt Hughes and Jon Fitch had impressive wins. Heavyweight Junior dos Santos looked like a threat for the title regardless of the winner of Lensar vs. Velasquez.

NFL

Hall of Fame Weekend features the official start of the football season, but the main event is the induction ceremony. Despite my overwhelming hatred for the Dallas Cowboys, you can't help but respect Emmitt Smith's career. Smith's speech was emotionally engaging and respectful to his teammates, who help him achieve all of his accomplishments in the league. Jerry Rice was also inducted and during his speech stated he never took time to enjoy special moments of his career. Hopefully Rice and the rest of the Hall of Fame Class of 2010 can reflect and take pride of the impact they had to the game of football.

Golf

Tiger Woods continues struggle and many critics are enjoying his slow demise on the PGA tour. Woods finished 18 over par, second to last at the Bridgestone Invitational. This year should be viewed as a lost cause for Woods and not a representation of Woods' future golf game. Lets wait until next years Masters Tournament to determine if he’s truly lost his golf game.

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