Thursday, June 30, 2011
Muzzy Daud vs TC Vreeland
Best gimmick in WWE history not named Undertaker
Muzzy Daud's article here
I'm not really sure why we had to include the "not named Undertaker" part in the topic of this competition. Quite frankly, as far as gimmicks go, The Undertaker is pretty terrible.
Take a look at him. Whether you take the "Deadman" or the "American Bad Ass" gimmick, you end up with a hokey character that just doesn't feel real to anyone. In order to have a successful gimmick, it must be one that the fans truly believe in; one that the fans will either cheer for day in and day out, or one that they despise with every ounce of hate in their body. And although the fans can truly get behind and support their favorite superstars, there is no more powerful feeling than the felling of hatred.
That is why CM Punk has the best gimmick in WWE History.
Though he has changed very little about the original gimmick that he used when he first arrived in WWE back in 2006, Punk was not always the superstar with the best gimmick in WWE. In order to achieve that status; he had to undergo a heel turn.
He debuted on ECW with the same straight-edge lifestyle gimmick he had used for years in ROH, one that mirrors how he lives each day in real life. However, being a face with the straight-edge superstar gimmick gave Punk relatively little to work with, and it simply wasn't as effective as it could have been.
That all changed at Extreme Rules in 2009, when CM Punk cashed in his second Money in the Bank briefcase on the fan-favorite champion, and newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion, Jeff Hardy.
Finally, Punk had something to work with. As a heel, Punk would claim to be better than Jeff Hardy due to his drug-free lifestyle, a way of life that Jeff Hardy would never be accused of living. Even though you would think that someone living without alcohol, tobacco or drugs would be considered a model citizen, Punk was still looked upon as the bad guy for calling out Jeff Hardy's lifestyle. Many times, Punk would proudly bash Jeff Hardy and Hardy's fans, claiming to be better than everyone else, smiling as he accepted each and every "boo" and "you suck" that was thrown at him.
Shortly after defeating Jeff Hardy in a "Loser Leaves WWE" match and ridding the company of a drug-addicted mess, CM Punk started what was one of the most creative and hated groups in WWE, The Straight Edge Society.
Punk started the SES after claiming that he had converted Luke Gallows, who was formerly known as the mentally challenged wrestler Festus, to the straight-edge lifestyle, thus ridding him of all his mental troubles.
Punk continued to spread the word of the straight-edge lifestyle, converting members of the audience who would enter the ring and have their heads shaved, symbolically ridding their bodies of the drugs that were previously destroying their lives. It was during one of these conversion sessions where Punk found a new member of the SES, Serena.
Punk took on the additional gimmick of a cult-like savior, even receiving comparisons to Jesus in the way he let his hair, beard and chest hair grow out. He claimed that he could save anyone from a life of filth and decay if they converted to the straight-edge lifestyle.
He went as far as to give several sermon-type lectures during matches where there was a break in the action. One of the best versions of this came at the 2010 Royal Rumble (see video), where he tossed superstar after superstar and continued to claim that his lifestyle choice made him better than everyone else.
Punk was so hated during his time with the Straight Edge Society that he was involved in several fan altercations. At one house show, an elderly woman reached out and slapped Punk, telling him that "you're not Jesus." Punk took it in stride, genuflected, made the sign of the cross and continued on his way to the ring.
Punk was also involved in a fan altercation with a young fan, who Punk was instigating at a WWE Live event. Punk told the 10-year-old boy to slap him in the face repeatedly, which he did, only to have Punk grab the young fan by the shirt, claiming that the fan had scratched him in the eye. Though this was based more in real-life, it no doubt contributed to the hatred that the fans had towards him.
If you are evil enough to get these sort of reactions from the fans, even at house shows, you have to have one of the most powerful gimmicks in WWE. Punk has proved time and time again that he can portray one of the most evil characters in WWE history.
Punk was also involved in a feud with Rey Mysterio, which brought Mysterio's children into the picture. Punk sang happy birthday to Mysterio's daughter Aliyah and claimed that he wanted to fight Mysterio in front of his family. It was one of Punk's most evil moments.
Currently, Punk is in the midst of one of the biggest feuds of this year. If you haven't seen or at least heard of what happened on last week's edition of Monday Night Raw, I suggest you take moment and click here. What you are about to witness is pure magic on the mic.
So after all of this, why should you believe me when I tell you that CM Punk has the best gimmick in WWE history? After all, what is so special about it?
What makes CM Punk so unique is the fact that he has taken his own lifestyle and turned it into such a powerful character, as opposed to portraying someone completely different than who he truly is.
He wasn't a school teacher who became a monster in the ring because Vince thought it would make a good storyline. He didn't develop a persona in WWE and become an egomaniac who still thinks that he is the same relevant character he was 20 years ago. CM Punk is his own character; the same one you see on television is the same one you will meet on the street.
Sure, he probably takes his heel remarks on television farther than he might actually feel, but CM Punk has said it before, and he'll say it again...
"I'm Better Than You."
CM Punk is such a great character because he believes that he is better than all of us. Quite frankly, we all probably do too.
Usually, coaching hires take a couple of years to see results. That is what separates these 5 from the ordinary crop of coaches. They should make an immediate positive impact on their teams. Whether it is simply rejuvenating a disinterested fan base, making a bowl game, improving the talent on the roster or taking that next step among the college football's elite, these coaches have what it takes to be great.
Bellator season five bantamweight tournament kicks off at Bellator 51 with Warren, Soto, Beebe, Galvao and more
No city or venue has been announced for the card, but the four tournament quarterfinal bouts will air live on MTV2.
Bellator's current Featherweight Champion Joe Warren and former Featherweight Champ Joe Soto will each take part in the bantamweight field, as will former WEC Bantamweight Champion Chase Beebe. The quarterfinal matchups are set with Joe Warren vs. Alexis Vila, Eduardo Dantas vs. Joe Soto, Ed West vs. Luiz Nogueira and Marcos Galvao vs. Chase Beebe.
"To say our Season Five Bantamweight tournament is stacked is a gross understatement," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "Warren-Vila is going to be absolutely explosive for as long as it lasts, and the inclusion of Dantas, Nogueira, Chase, Soto, Ed and Luis makes every single fight in this tournament a pick'em adventure. This should be an unbelievable tournament for our fans watching live on MTV2."
Before Warren enters the tournament field, he'll defend his Featherweight Championship against season four tournament winner Patricio "Pitbull" Freire at Bellator 47 next month. Warren defeated Freire by decision in their first meeting in the finals of season two.
Chael Sonnen, who is finally done serving his suspension from the California State Athletic Commission, has torn into fellow middleweight Wanderlei Silva recently.
“The Axe Murderer,” who is set to fight Chris Leben in what promises to be a slugfest at UFC 132, has responded back to Uncle Chael.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Silva told Ariel Helwani:
"Sonnen... I kill him. I kill him fast. This guy talks a lot of bull----, he talks s--- about a lot of fighters," Silva remarked.
The former Pride stand out continued with: "Don't talk it about me because that's dangerous, one day we'll see each other again. I'm gonna want to know why you just hide behind a computer."
Sonnen has went off on Wanderlei via his Twitter account, insinuating that Pride was a fake fight league where wins were insignificant, comparing it to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Silva, who has also been called out by Vitor Belfort during his 16 month absence from the cage, made it clear that he has no problem fighting either Sonnen or Belfort in the future.
In response to whether or not he’d accept a fight with Sonnen, Belfort responded:
"Of course, I'll have him and I'll have Belfort. Two good names. I'll fight both. I'd fight Brian Stann but not right now. I don't like Sonnen or Belfort—it's better for me."
Belfort is currently set to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133, after suffering an embarrassing knockout defeat to middleweight champion Anderson Silva in February.
Meanwhile, Sonnen, despite almost a full year of inactivity, is still considered by many the number two fighter in the world at 185 pounds.
While the beef between Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva has been brewing for several years now, a fight between the two never really made much sense.
However, if Silva were to take out Chris “The Crippler” Leben at UFC 132 and Sonnen is able to resume his fight career as planned, a fight between Silva and Sonnen all of a sudden becomes a very real possibility.
Whose interested in seeing Sonnen square off with Wanderlei before the end of the year?
Oliveira has appealed the ruling via Portal do Vale Tudo who spoke to his trainer Ericson Cardozo (translated by Tom Mendes):
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
There are many great players in the MLB, but there are only a few that are dominant at their positions.
When you think of best players in the league you think of Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay and even Tim Lincecum.
I think Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball and the best player in baseball because he dominates at his position which is a starting pitcher, and he constantly gives it his all every fifth day he is on the hill.
He is like no other pitcher in the fact that every game he goes out and pitches, you have to sit down and watch him pitch because he may pitch a perfect game.
Last season, he pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins and a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, which was Game 1 in the NLDS.
He knows how to win important games and win important battles in key at-bats.
Roy Halladay has no World Series rings but has only been on the Philadelphia Phillies for two years and may win a title this year. He was on the Blue Jays for 12 years and still did his best and dominated at his position.
This year, he is sixth in ERA with a stellar 2.40 ERA and is 10-3. He flat out wins games.
Yes there are many pitchers that are good but none as good as Roy Halladay. He pitches with heart and never shows a smile which tells you he is focused.
He is second in the league with five complete games and has 123 strikeouts this year so far.
He has 179 career wins with 89 loses. Halladay will most likely win the Cy Young in the NL as long as Jair Jurrjens pitching performances falter.
Since Albert Pujols is out four to six weeks with a wrist problem, his 45 plus home runs and 120-plus RBI won't happen, and he won't be the Albert Pujols from the past.
Tim Lincecum is a great pitcher, but he is only 6-6 this year and has a 3.16 ERA this year.
Halladay isn't having his best year yet but will lead the NL in strikeouts and will lead the league in wins. I think he is the best pitcher in baseball and best player because of what he does for his team unlike a lot of players.
Even if his team gives him one run of support, he will keep them in the game with his pitching performances.
App Users Click Here For Video: http://youtu.be/qsLuwM16X2Y
Wimbledon 2011 To See Someone Take Command Of Men's Tennis
Forget for a minute all the mathematics and whatnot. I think whoever wins this year's men's Wimbledon deserves the world's top ranking.
A quick caveat: that comment implies that neither Feliciano Lopez, Bernard Tomic, Mardy Fish, or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will upset their quarter finals opponents....although if one of those four manages to get through this prestigious bracket and claim the title, it would be something special.
But as far as this "Big Four" in men's tennis--Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray--the winner should be considered the world's best player.
Nadal currently owns the top spot--with Djokovic, Federer, and Murray trailing right behind--so a win, especially on his banged up foot, easily would let him retain his top spot.
But if Federer wins in London he'll have followed a runner-up to the greatest French Open player ever (Nadal) with an awesome seventh Wimbledon title in seven years.
As Djokovic, if he wins his first Wimbledon title it would mean he's taken two of the season's first three majors and lost just one match through more than six months of the season, an incredible display.
And then there is the case of Murray. Even if he does triumph before millions of his countrymen and claim a first ever Grand Slam title, he won't ascend to the top spot on the world rankings. But if he does that, it will likely mean he defeats both Nadal and either Federer or Djokovic. That would probably be an achievement greater than a relatively meaningless top world ranking anyway.
I've watched a lot of baseball in my young life. I've seen things that are frustrating, nauseating and heartbreaking take place on the diamond.
In my time, I've come to a conclusion: there are few things in the game more sickening than watching a struggling pitcher try to regain control of a situation when he's in over his head.
In this slideshow are the 25 most painful MLB pitchers to watch—based on anything from control problems and the inability to deceive opposing hitters to being repeatedly shelled or looking out of place on the mound.
Enjoy this list, but don't read it right after lunch.
On the Versus broadcast, Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan made a big deal, and deservedy so, about Rick Story having won twelve of his last thirteen bouts. Charlie Brenneman had also won eight of his last nine fights into the event. Some would argue that Story had better competition and Brenneman certainly doesn't have a win against Thiago Alves, but he does have wins over Jason High and Amilcar Alves, both UFC vets, and his only loss in this stretch was to former NCAA national champion wrestler Johny Hendricks.
Brenneman wrestled at NCAA division I powerhouse Lock Haven, while Rick Story attended NAIA's Southern Oregon. Not to take anything away from the Raiders of Southern Oregon, but certainly Brenneman was the more polished wrestler, and he showed it Sunday night.
Story took the fight against Nate Marquardt on three weeks notice. He literally went from training for one of the best welterweight strikers in the UFC (Thiago Alves) to possibly the best jiu- jitsu practitioner (2nd degree black belt Marquardt) to a very good wrestler (Brenneman) in that short period of time.
How could Story have been prepared? No one could prepare for an elite striker, an elite submission artist, and then an elite wrestler in three weeks. This fight was made for Brenneman. Not only did Story have to train and adapt to three very different styles, he still came extremely close to winning against Brenneman, twice being an eyelash away from a submission.
While no one should ever want to take anything away from Brenneman's win (he also took the fight on a day's notice and won against a top welterweight contender) I don't think it is time to take Rick Story's contender status away. His next fight will answer a lot of questions (and so will Brenneman's) but at the end of the day the fact is that most fighters at this level refuse to take fights on as short of notice as these two had. Perhaps we caught a glimpse on Sunday night of why that's the case.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
UFC President Dana White made his intentions clear surrounding Nate Marquardt after the former UFC middleweight contender failed to get medical clearance for his main event bout against Rick Story at UFC on Versus 4.
As a result, Marquardt is no longer employed by the UFC, and White confirmed it's permanent.
"He’s been cut from the UFC. He won’t fight in the UFC ever again,” White told MMAWeekly.com regarding Marquardt's release.
The outspoken UFC president has had a past tendency to give second chances to fighters who were outcast from the company for one reason or another, but White was adamant regarding Marquardt's actions.
Furthermore, White said Marquardt should give an explanation as to why he was cut. While the news was very sudden and unexpected, White said fans would understand his reasons for letting him go.
“Nate Marquardt is going to have to man-up and come out and tell the world why he didn’t pass his medicals. And when he does that, I think everybody will understand why he was cut from the UFC,” he said.
And man-up is exactly what Marquardt did.
During an appearance on "The MMA Hour" with Ariel Helwani, Marquardt, alongside his manger, Lex McMahon, confessed that he underwent testosterone replacement therapy. After learning of the results, he was suspended indefinitely by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission and released by the UFC shortly after.
An emotional, visibly distraught Marquardt was honest and sincere during the interview and he was very sorry for his actions. He addressed his fans this past weekend via Twitter.
“I’m sorry to all my fans and the UFC for not passing the medicals for tonight’s fight. I’m heart broken I couldn’t fight, but I will b back,” he said.
But when and, more importantly, where he expects to be fighting again is anyone's guess.
Statistics : 80 Topics || 1281 Posts Last post by happy
– TNA is also looking at talents outside the company for this PPV.
Open Casting Call Looking For Human Canvases For Tattoo Competition Reality Series
Are you all inked up and...
Monday, June 27, 2011
I went back training today after another 3 month break.
And I got owned. I expected that, but what I didnt expect is one of...
Going for the kill can be a double-edged sword. Pat Barry found that out last night against Cheick Kongo. The Frenchman in absolute survival mode landed a right hook and a right uppercut to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Kongo left Barry on the ground with the dreaded stink eye.
Referee Dan Miragliotta was all over both fighters and came close to stopping the fight on at least one occasion, but Kongo kept moving and scrambling.
During the postfight press conference, Barry wouldn't blame Miragliotta..
"I can almost recall Dan Miragliotta's leg almost touching my arm, he was so close," Barry said during the UFC on versus 4 postfight press conference. "So for a split second, a split second I thought 'this is it.' The way he was falling around. I've seen fights get stopped before. This looks like a fight that would get stopped. [...] That didn't cause me to stop."
Give Miragliotta credit, he let the fighters decide the ultimate outcome.
How badly was Barry knocked out? When he "woke up," Barry thought he'd won.
"I've never been knocked out before, so this is a weird feeling man to lose two minutes of your life. Honestly, when I was laying on my back and (coach) Marty Morgan was standing over me, the first thing that came out of my mouth was, 'Yo man, I killed him!' So I thought I had won the fight," Barry told Sherdog. "I don't remember nothing. I remember the entire fight up until I got punched."
It was also a no-brainer for Knockout of the Night. Kongo banked an extra $50,000 for his efforts. This has been an amazing year for sick knockouts.
Statistics : 24 Topics || 14823 Posts Last post by rascalraidex
Main Televised Card
* Pat Barry (243) vs. Cheick Kongo (234.4)
* Charlie Brenneman (170.6) vs. Rick Story (170.4)
* Matt Brown (170) vs. John Howard (170.2)
* Matt Mitrione (261.1) vs. Christian Morecraft (261.4)
Facebook Preliminary Card
* Manny Gamburyan (145.8) vs. Tyson Griffin (145.8)
* Joe Stevenson (146) vs. Javier Vazquez (145.8)
* Joe Lauzon (156) vs. Curt Warburton (155.6)
* Rich Attonito (170) vs. Daniel Roberts (170.6)
* Nik Lentz (155.6) vs. Charles Oliveira (153.8)
* Matt Grice (145.2) vs. Ricardo Lamas (145.4)
* Edward Faaloloto (155.4) vs. Michael Johnson (155.2)
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Now, after spending a few years in the UFC under the more restrictive rules than what he faced in Pride, Rua would like to see stomps brought back to the fold in the UFC. Speaking with ESPN, Rua briefly discussed the UFC's return to Brazil and made a case for stomps to be made legal.
"In Brazil MMA is ready for the UFC now," Shogun said. "Many people have seen the UFC, many people like MMA. It's very popular now, and after UFC 134 on August 27 it will change even more because people will see this big show.
"I hope for a change in rules. The stomps... my opinion is elbows are more dangerous than stomps."
The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion meets fellow former Champ Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro in a rematch of his UFC debut in the fall of 2007.
Link to Original Source Article
Penick's Analysis: They look extremely brutal and violent, but foot stomps and soccer kicks were a huge part of the arsenal of several fighters in Pride, and it can definitely be argued that being unable to use them have hurt them under the unified rules. And if you take a fight like Saturday's Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum bout, having stomps legal would have made that a very different fight. If Overeem could stomp down on Werdum's head when he was pulling guard, he wouldn't have been so quick to do just that. But as they continue to try to get the sportregulated everywhere, the UFC can't make a push to relax some of the rules to allow for the extremely violent-looking kicks and stomps, or knees to the head of a grounded opponent. It's something to look back on in a few years once the sport gets more established into mainstream sports consciousness.
Statistics : 62 Topics || 878 Posts Last post by KeyboardPacifist
***********Beware before you open it!*******************
– Former WWE star Luke Gallows worked a tryout match for TNA prior to tonight’s iMPACT! Wrestling taping in Orlando, Florida. He lost to Gunner.
– TNA will have three events this weekend, as seen below:
Thursday 6/16 in London, Ontario at John Labatte Centre:
*TNA champion Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle .AJ Styles vs. Scott Steiner
*TNA Tag Tag champions James Storm & Alex Shelley w/ Robert Roode vs. The British Invasion
*TNA X Division Champion Abyss vs. Kazarian
*TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James & Tara vs. Angelina ...
Statistics : 237 Topics || 3782 Posts Last post by Tek9
The UFC has signed Swedish judo specialist, Papy Abedi (8-0), who was the #1 ranked middleweight on...
Bellator 46 results and LIVE fight coverage for 'Curran vs Palomino' TONIGHT (June 25) in Hollywood, FL
After a very good Season 4 featherweight tourney, won by Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, Bellator quickly threw together another 145-pound tournament for the summer and it looks to be loaded. Ronnie Mann and Nazareno Malegarie opened up this tourney with dynamic victories at Bellator 46 in Hollywood, Fla.
Mann, a nasty striker, crushed Adam Schindler with a left and knocked him out on the ground at 4:14 of the first while Malegarie (pictured) rolled through a variety of submission attempts and finally made good on a guillotine choke at 1:25 of the third.
Both fighters advance to the semifinals. As long as they came out of their fights unscathed they'll be fighting on July 22 at Bellator 47 in Canada.
Mann's a pretty accomplished fighter on the international scene and it showed against the American Schindler. Born in Thailand, Mann, 24, grew up in England. Before this dominant win, he'd made a name for himself in both Japan's Sengoku and several British promotions.
Just 20 seconds into the fight, Schindler actually rocked Mann with a nice combination. Mann (20-2-1) has too much experience to freak out and came back seconds later with a three-punch combo that stopped Schindler in his place. It got worse from there.
Schindler would close space and throw hard shots, but nothing really landed. Meanwhile, Mann, still in pocket, blasted away with straight punches.
With 55 seconds left in the first round, Schindler was dropped by a beautiful left hook. He fell to his back and got crushed by a right hand as Mann pounced. "The Ninja Kid" then got off eight vicious hammer fists before referee Jorge Alonso stepped in. Schindler was out cold.
"I knew he was going to come in wild so I wanted come straight down the middle. So yeah it worked," Mann told MTV2's Jimmy Smith. "All I heard was my cornerman [Shawn Tompkins saying], 'use that left hook!' So I threw it and caught him."
Malegarie was just as dominant, but used his jiu-jitsu game and improved wrestling to wear down Jacob Devree. The Argentinian training out of Brazil got the fight to the floor whenever he wanted.
He worked for a guillotine submission for over a minute early in the first round. In the second, Devree fought off another early guillotine attempt and then survived the mount position from Malegarie. He was still alive entering the third, but all that submission defense wore him out. Just 25 seconds into the final round, Malegarie scored an easy takedown. Then Devree finally got sloppy with his defense. He pushed Malegarie off to create some space, but left his head exposed. That's death against a Brazliian jiu-jitsu black belt. Malegarie landed another guillotine choke and flipped so he was on top. Devree tapped inside of five seconds. Malegarie, 25, moved to 20-1.
"This is the real Nazareno Malegarie that you've seen tonight," the winner told Smith.
He's probably right. Malegarie lost to Daniel Straus in the first round of the Bellator Season 4 tournament. Straus, a huge featherweight, went on to the final and lost going the distance with very highly-touted Pitbull.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
There is no doubt that Georges St-Pierre has dominated the welterweight division the past three years.
Some would even argue that he has cleaned out the division and want him to move up to middleweight in order to challenge Anderson Silva. Others argue that it is impossible to clean out a division when there is a constant influx of new talent.
St-Pierre has defended his belt six times since he regained the title from Matt Serra. All of those wins have been decisive, leaving little fan interest in a rematch with any of those opponents. He has avenged the only two losses of his career. He has even “avenged” the only split decision of his career.
St-Pierre has a dangerous matchup with Nick Diaz this October. If Diaz wins, there is a plethora of established names that he could take on. If St-Pierre wins, who would be next in line for a title shot? St-Pierre will have beaten all the established names in the division.
Fortunately for the UFC, there is a wave of exciting, new talent in the welterweight division. Anthony Johnson, Rick Story, Brian Foster, Johnny Hendricks, John Hathaway and Jake Ellenberger are the future at 170 lbs. However, it is debatable whether any of them are ready for a title shot and their names do not resonate with the casual MMA fan.
Joe Silva originally matched up Anthony Johnson against Nate Marquardt for UFC on Versus 4. Back-to-back wins over former No. 1 contenders at 170 and 185 lbs. could have served as the springboard for Johnson to challenge St-Pierre. If Marquardt won and looked comfortable at 170 lbs, then his resume at middleweight could easily generate enough interest to warrant a title shot.
However, Johnson had to pull out with an injury. Rick Story didn’t hesitate to take his spot despite the fact that he fought as recently as Memorial Day weekend. If Story won, then he would have two wins over former No. 1 contenders just as Johnson would have. But now, Marquardt is out of the fight, and it appears that he is out of the UFC as well.
Charlie Brenneman has stepped up to face Story, but a fight that had title implications in its first two incarnations now has none in its third. No matter what the outcome of Sunday’s fight, Joe Silva will lack a compelling challenger for St-Pierre. He will have to set up a fight for the No. 1 contender spot sometime this fall.
He has three options for this fight. He can match up two former contenders such as Fitch and Penn, he can match up two newcomers such as Story and Johnson or he could match up a veteran and a newcomer. The ideal scenario for the UFC would be Johnson or Story getting the win against a veteran, but the fight game is anything but predictable. The UFC will have to balance the risk of matching GSP up against an established welterweight that he has already beaten decisively or against a dangerous opponent that has little name recognition.
When you consider the quagmire that Marquardt’s withdrawal puts the UFC in, it is understandable why Dana White is so upset. The UFC needs a bridge between its most marketable star and a slew of extremely talented welterweights who may not be quite ready to take on the champion. Nate Marquardt was supposed to be that bridge, and without him, the UFC will have to take a big risk this fall—one way or the other.
2009 offensive lineman Stan Hasiak, a four-star recruit, is no longer on the UCLA football team.
He was ruled academically ineligible for this year like he was last year. Hasiak, who only played three games as a freshman for the Bruins, will enroll in a junior college.
Stan was one of the top offensive linemen in the nation when recruited during coach Rick Neuheisel’s first season at UCLA.
Hasiak flip-flopped on his commitment to different schools during his recruitment.
Stan wasn't sure where he should start and three out of the five top recruits from the 2009 class, who were flippers, are no longer at UCLA.
In 2009, the 6-5, 301 pound Hasiak was off the team to deal with issues. In 2010, he was ruled academically ineligible for the season. There were even rumors that Hasiak would transfer, perhaps to Hawaii.
This development seriously impacts UCLA’s upcoming 2011 season because the offensive line was already thin in depth as well as suffering a number of injuries to the starters. The starting line was set for Jeff Baca, Sean Sheller, Kai Maiava, Chris Ward and Mike Harris.
This spring Kia Maiava, who was out for the season last year with a fractured ankle, reinjured the joint on April 7 and if this reoccurs, the lineup may change to Jeff Baca, Sean Sheller, Greg Capella (a backup), Chris Ward and Mike Harris.
Shortly thereafter, Sean Sheller broke his hand April 9, which would modify the starting line to Jeff Baca, Stan Hasiak (a backup), Greg Capella (a backup), Chris Ward and Mike Harris. Then Jeff Baca broke his ankle April 26.
This changes the starting lineup to Connor Bradford (a backup), Stan Hasiak (a backup), Greg Capella (a backup), Chris Ward and Mike Harris. So Stan getting booted off the team is a serious situation for the Bruins.
Sheller may be back sometime in the fall; however, if he moves to Baca’s position, and another backup, Wade Yandall, fills Sheller’s old spot, and if Maiava returns from his repeated ankle injuries, the Bruins still will be thin on the offensive line.
There won’t be much quality depth and those who recover soon enough to play will be susceptible to more injuries. So Hasiak’s lack of dedication to academics has really put the UCLA season in jeopardy. That includes Rick Neuheisel’s job.
Basically, UCLA is starting this year off with offensive line problems, like last year.
UFC officials announced his illness on Wednesday. With very little time before the event, they were unable to find a replacement opponent for Brenneman, and thus he has been removed from the card as well.
It's an unfortunate turn of events for Brenneman, who had already lost his originally scheduled opponent in Matt Riddle due to injury. He'll hope to get booked on another upcoming card as soon as possible after posting a 2-1 mark inside the Octagon thus far.
The preliminary card for Sunday's event will now feature seven fights, with the main card being headlined by a welterweight bout between Nate Marquardt and Rick Story.
Penick's Analysis: This would have been a good preliminary card fight, but it's simply one of those situations that can't be planned for, and unfortunately it has cost Brenneman his fight. It's possible the UFC will still pay Brenneman his show money, as they've done in the past for fighters removed from a card at the last minute. The Facebook prelims still have a lot of good fights on them, and this wasn't on the main card, so it won't be a huge hit for the card, but it's certainly too bad for Brenneman when he's healthy and able to fight but won't be able to.
QUOTABLES: UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones favors Bantamweight Champ Dominick Cruz against Urijah Faber
-UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones talks to Luke Thomas at SBNation.com and discusses the UFC 132 main event fight between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.
Penick's Analysis: He's being honest about the fight and how he sees the match up, which is a nice change from simply picking friends just to pick friends. Faber may not react kindly to the comments, but regardless Jones is right about the fight. Although he's wrong about Faber's last two fights. He choked out Takeya Mizugaki two fights ago before his decision win at UFC 128. But Cruz has come a long way since losing to Faber four years ago, and regardless of Faber fighting at a high level of his own, this is the most difficult fight he's had since facing Jose Aldo. It should be a fantastic fight, but for Faber to capture the UFC title for the first time it's going to take a career-best performance.