Sunday, July 31, 2011

San Francisco 49ers: 5 Free Agents the 49ers Must Sign

Since the lockout has been lifted and the free agency period began, the San Francisco 49ers have been passive in their efforts to acquire players. 

As more and more free agents are signed every day it is time for the 49ers to become active and improve their roster.

San Francisco has needs at several positions and will need to make multiple signings if they plan to compete in the NFC West this season.

Here are five free agents the 49ers must sign this offseason.

Begin Slideshow


Choi Hong man Yoshihiro Akiyama  Colin Robinson Dan Hardy Rodrigo Gracie

Fedor's Legacy

Le's face it, it's tarnished. Yes, he was the best HW in the world at a time when the HW div. was the joke of MMA. That's the only place he shined....


Tito Ortiz Per Eklund Rumina Sato Ryan Bader  Mirko Cro Cop Filipović

Mike Easton makes UFC debut against Jeff Hougland at UFC on Versus 6 in October

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Talented bantamweight prospect Mike Easton will get his opportunity to step up to the big show this October, as the UFC announced late Tuesday that he will take on Jeff Hougland at UFC on Versus 6.

The last time Easton was in the cage was in October of 2009, where he defended his Ultimate Warrior Challenge Bantamweight Title against Chase Beebe in one of the most controversial decisions of the last five years. The bout was deemed the "Robbery of the Year" for 2009, but regardless of the controversy it brought Easton to 10-1 overall in his record.

Easton's sole loss came in 2007 when he suffered a broken arm during a fight, prompting officials to stop the fight. Since his fight with Beebe, Easton has battled injuries that have kept him out of action, and this fight with Hougland will be his first in two years.

Hougland began his career with a 1-4 record, but then posted eight straight wins in a six-year span before getting his call up to the UFC earlier this month at UFC 132. In his debut fight, Hougland posted an upset decision victory over Donny Walker for his 10th career win.

UFC on Versus 6 takes place from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 1, headlined by a UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson.

Penick's Analysis: This isn't a surprising signing for this card. Easton is a D.C. native, and will absolutely be a local draw for the card. Though the Beebe decision was an absolute robbery, Easton is still an extremely talented fighter. Hopefully the injuries he's battled over the last two years don't have a massively detrimental effect on his game, and if he can come in and impress, and shake off the ring rust at the same time, he could certainly establish himself in the division.


Keith Hackney Kultar Gill Valentijn Overeem Jake O Brien Dos Caras Jr  

8 Reasons Why Alexander Ovechkin Is the Greatest Hockey Player in the World

There's a lot of talk among hockey fans these days about who the best player is. Who is the best player in the NHL? Who is the best hockey player in the world? Who's better, Crosby or Ovechkin? With Stamkos now on the scene, does he join the conversation? Corey Perry just had a 50-goal season as the league MVP. What about the legends of hockey like Gretzky and Orr—how do these new players measure up to them?

Well, I have some answers. Alex Ovechkin, the Great Eight, is the best player in the world. While he wasn't around in hockey's early days to revolutionize the game like Orr and Gretzky did; while he doesn't have the wins on the big stage like Sidney Crosby does; while he's not as new and flashy (anymore) as Steven Stamkos, Ovie is the best player in the world.

To be up front, if you are looking for an article bashing Sidney Crosby, this is not a good read for you. Crosby is an incredible player—certainly one of the best the world has ever seen. Sure, a lot of people have problems with his attitude and a purported lack of sportsmanship and respect for the game and other players—I can be counted among them—but he is an incredibly skilled player.

Whether or not you like his attitude, you have to admire his work ethic with which he turns his world-class raw talent into world-class production and winning game play.

Crosby is a great player—there's no doubt about it—but Ovechkin is far better and here's why.

In honor of the Great Eight, here are eight reasons why he's the best.

Let me explain something about this slideshow—I'm not going to use statistical analyses or go on-and-on talking about what trophies and honors Ovechkin has won versus what trophies and honors Crosby has won. I don't care who has won what, and I definitely don't care about statistical analyses (right now, at least). 

Those things have a time and place, but I think we are all sick and tired of that age old debate over great players' statistical performances.

Instead of writing just another article of the type of which we are all sick, I'm going to refresh you. I'm not going to tell you why Ovechkin is the greatest player alive as much as I'm going to show you why he is the greatest.

In each of the following slides, I will write about one of Ovechkin's qualities that make him great. Each of these qualities will be accompanied by one of his highlight reel goals that showcases that particular quality. 

So, let's begin. I advise you run and grab a box of tissues right now, as this may leave you drooling and even crying over the sheer beauty of what you are about to witness.

Begin Slideshow


Ricardo Almeida  Hirotaka Yokoi Gegard Mousasi Dennis Siver Leonardo Lucio Nascimento

Dan Henderson expecting motivated and in shape Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce on Saturday

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Dan Henderson takes on one of his, quite literally, biggest challenges this Saturday night when he takes on Fedor Emelianenko in the Strikeforce cage on Showtime.

Henderson, who has fought much of his career at 205 lbs. and below, steps up against a heavyweight for the first time since his second fight to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2002. However, despite the size difference, Henderson feels confident in his game plan against "The Last Emperor" on Saturday night.

"I don't feel outmatched or small against Fedor," Henderson wrote in a blog entry for Yahoo! Sports. "I have a plan to not go right through his power, but I feel I can hurt him with shot and can move him around with my wrestling without needing to prove I am physically as strong as him. I've fought bigger, powerful guys before and used my wrestling to move them about.

"I think I can use the clinch to control him and will be looking to use my wrestling more than in other fights where I went pretty much for the right-hand KO. I will be looking to knock him out with the right, but I know I will need to set it up and use my wrestling more than in my last couple of fights."

Emelianenko has lost a couple of fights in a row, but Henderson doesn't think it makes his opponent any less dangerous in this fight. He assessed what he felt were Emelianenko's short-comings in his losses to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, and why that will give him more motivation in the fight this Saturday.

"It seemed like against Werdum, he got cocky with his submission defense and though he wouldn't get submitted," Henderson wrote. "I think he didn't do what was needed to get out of the triangle quickly enough, and he paid the price. We all make mistakes, and everybody can get caught. With the loss to Silva, I think he showed up a little out of shape and the size difference definitely got to him in that fight. Again, no one wins them all and it just happens Fedor has lost back-to-back fights.

"But I do expect Fedor to be more motivated and also think he'll be in better shape. I think he'll try to hit me with the same exact punches he would have tried to hit me with if he had won his last two fights. He's still the same dangerous fighter and still has that big right hand and his submissions."

Henderson believes he's got the skills to finish Emelianenko in this fight, and he says ultimately it's not a fight he would have taken if he didn't feel he could do just that.

"He's got a big right hand like me, so I am looking forward to standing and banging with him when it comes down to it," he said. "I think what has won me a lot of fans and a lot of fights is that I got to finish those fights. Fedor or not, I wouldn't have wanted this fight if I wasn't going to go in there to finish him."

Whether he accomplishes that goal or not remains to be seen, but no matter how it goes down it's an excellent matchup between two big names in the sport, and fans will absolutely be tuning in to Showtime this Saturday night.

Link to Full Blog at Yahoo!

Penick's Analysis: Henderson has followed Fedor's career as many have, and he knows what he's going up against on Saturday night. I think he's got a good line of thought as far as what led to Fedor's last two losses, but he's also right to expect a different fighter in this one. Emelianenko has changed up his training camp a little this time around, and by all accounts from the open workouts this week he's looking in great shape. But Henderson can win this fight. He's got very good wrestling, even if it's been underutilized in his recent fights, and he's got that big right hand that can put many fighters on their backs. This is going to be a big fight for Strikeforce, and I'm very much looking forward to it for Saturday night.

[Dan Henderson art by Cory Gould (c)]


Shad Lierley  Mark Epstein Patrick The Predator Côté  Chris The Pitbull Myra Rani Yahya

2011 Nebraska Football: Anything Less Than a National Championship Is a Failure

The days are long, the skirts are short and the temperature is hot.  Nebraska football frenzy is about to take full effect.

As a child growing up in the Cornhusker state, one of my most vivid recollections is being seven years old and asking my father who he thought we would play in the national championship game. The catch was that it was only the second game of the season.

There used to be a cockiness about Nebraska football. It was never a matter of "Can Nebraska make it to nine wins?'".  It was "Who is the one team that stands in our way of the title game". I say it is about time to bring that cockiness back.

As we enter the fourth year of the Bo Pelini regime, it is time to take the training wheels off of our expectations.  Ohio State is in the basement, Michigan doesn't know which way is up and a little critter called a Wisconsin Badger is supposed to be our biggest fear. Really? Where I come from, we use to take care of badgers with a garden hose and a shovel.

Tim Beck has been handed a loaded weapon on offense, and all he needs to do is aim and pull the trigger. Taylor 'T-Magic' Martinez is healthy and will be running an offense suited to his strengths, Jamal Turner is going to be the most electrifying true freshman in college football and Rex Burkhead is going to win the Heisman.  For the first time in a awhile, our offense has no excuses. 

On defense, Jared Crick is going to anchor the D-line, Cameron Meredith's mustache is going to land him the cover of GQ, Lavonte David is going to make himself a top-5 pick in the NFL Draft and Bo Pelini is going to work his magic to ensure that the nation's 5th ranked secondary doesn't skip a beat after losing its core to the NFL.

As we gear up for the 2011 season, it is time for Husker fans to raise the bar on our expectations. This is Nebraska football.  We are supposed to be national championship contenders every year. That is the way it was, is and always should be.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose. 


Karl James Noons Josh Barnett  Gleison Tibau Pedro Rizzo Randy Couture

Osi Umenyiora: Is He Worth the Giant Distraction?

Despite having two years remaining on his contract, at $3.125 million in 2011 and $3.975 million in 2012, Osi Umenyiora deserves a new contract.

After starting all 16 games last season, while recording 11 1/2 sacks and tying Justin Tuck for the team lead, and leading the league with 10 forced fumbles, he's certainly earned it, but the Giants' front office thinks otherwise. 

In the midst of his contract standoff, on Saturday, a disgruntled Umenyiora reported to training camp ending his brief one-day holdout.  

But despite Umenyiora's importance to the defense, at this moment, the Giants aren't budging, and Reese appears to be standing pat on his stance towards a new contract for the two-time Pro Bowler.

Unsure of what Umenyiora's arrival in camp means for his future with the team for this upcoming season and beyond, at least for one day, Giant fans were able to breathe a brief sigh of relief.  

But don't let Umenyiora's presence at training camp fool you in thinking this is a step in the right direction, because according to Umenyiora's agent, his client has no plans to speak to Reese "ever again"...a major cause for concern if Giants fans want to see him in a Giants uniform for the remainder of his career. 

Although nothing has changed between Umenyiora and the Giants, still wanting a new deal or to be traded, don't consider Umenyiora a diva, or that his future with the Giants is in doubt.

Through a sworn affidavit, the Giants promised Umenyiora a big payday, and while other big-name free agents and superstars are getting major contracts, it's not right Umenyiora isn't.

In April 2010, the Giants appeared to have drafted Jason Pierre-Paul to be Umenyiora's replacement, but more than 12 months later, Umenyiora is still unhappy, but he's still a Giant. 

Playing through pain last season, needing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, Umenyiora was the heart and soul of the Giants' defense.

Hey, it's not his fault former Giants punter Matt Dodge decided to punt the ball to DeSean Jackson, after ignoring specific instructions from his head coach to kick the ball out of bounds or away from Jackson.  He is the leader of the Giants' defense, and JPP isn't ready to step into the role, just yet.

Like Ahmad Bradshaw, Umenyiora will be an integral part of the Giants defense, if they want to compete in 2011.  After already losing defensive tackle Barry Cofield, and unsure if wide receiver Steve Smith, tight end Kevin Boss, or Bradshaw will be back this season, Umenyiora must return. 

There are too many uncertainties heading into this season, and Umenyiora's contract status and future can ill-afford to be one of them.  Although he reported to camp, if Umenyiora does not have a new contract by Week 1, who knows what his motivation to play will be?

You can call him a diva or a cry baby, but whether you agree with Umenyiora's actions or not, there is no denying he's the Giants' best defensive player, and that he deserves to be paid like it. 

Throughout Umenyiora's contract squabble, I have always believed a new deal would get done, and that Umenyiora would be at camp when it began. Thus far, I've been right about one thing.  I just hope, I'm right about the other thing, too. 

So after the Giants, hopefully, re-sign Bradshaw and Smith, the next order of business is to take care of Umenyiora.

Because as Teddy KGB said in Rounders, "Pay that man his money."

And in this case, that man is Osi Umenyiora. 


Clay Guida Pat Barry  Kit Cope  Achmed Labasanov Lyoto Machida

Stand Up

Punch, jab, and combinations. MMA standup technique. What works for you?

Statistics : 194 Topics || 2204 Posts Last post by qweelemekut


Rashad Evans Keith Hackney Kultar Gill Valentijn Overeem Jake O Brien

Tyron Woodley: I definitely think I'm fighting for the welterweight title after beating Paul Daley (Video)


Maurice Mo Smith Yoshiyuki Yoshida Ivan Titenkov Clay Guida Pat Barry 

MMALinker - Channel list

An MMA community for the fans, by the fans.

This channel list is listing the available RSS feeds.


Jens Pulver Lyoto Machida Kotetsu Boku  Bas Rutten Delson Heleno

British bantamweight Vaughan Lee meets Chris Cariaso in UFC debut at UFC 138 [UPDATED]

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

The UFC has signed another new fighter to their bantamweight roster, as British fighter Vaughan Lee will make his debut in the organization at UFC 138.

The UFC announced his signing on Wednesday, and a separate report from states that he'll make his debut against Chris Cariaso on the November 5 card.

Unbeaten in his last five fights, Lee is riding the second-best run of his MMA career. After losing his first three career fights, Lee won six in a row. Then he went on a 1-3 stretch before going 4-0-1 in his last five, including a three fight winning streak into this debut.

Cariaso has split his two appearances in the Octagon thus far, and the 30-year-old is an even 2-2 in four fights under the Zuffa banner. After a decision win over Will Campuzano in January, Cariaso dropped a split decision to Michael McDonald in May.

UFC 138 takes place from the LG Arena in Birmingham, England on November 5, headlined by a middleweight bout between Chris Leben and Mark Munoz. The event airs via same day delay on Spike TV in the U.S.

Penick's Analysis: This is a solid bantamweight signing for the UFC, and it should be a good preliminary card fight for the organization on this card. Debuting in front of his home country fans, Lee will have the home field advantage in his first fight in the Octagon. Cariaso will attempt to put together his first consecutive wins since he began his Zuffa career in the WEC in January of 2010. It should make for a good fight.

UPDATE: UFC officials confirmed the booking of this bout overnight and it will take place as part of the night's preliminary card in Birmingham.


Frank Shamrock Gilbert Yvel Tom Howard Takeshi Inoue Nam Phan

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Notre Dame Football: The Irish Defense Will Dominate College Football

Ask any Notre Dame fan, and they will tell you that by the end of the 2010 season, Notre Dame's defense kicked ass. Ask them why and you'll get a lot of mumbling about how they kicked ass. Ask them why they sucked at the start of the year and you'll get nothing.

Don't bother asking what scheme they run (a 3-4) or heads will explode.

The fact is, if you're Alabama and everyone on your roster weighs 285 and runs a 4.6 40, scheme doesn't really matter. You can run a 1-1-9 and just throw some meat on the field, and you've got a better than even shot at a shutout.

For non-SEC schools that don't negotiate price as part of the recruiting process or have a condo for momma five miles from campus, it's a little more complicated than that.

For Notre Dame, it gets way more complicated.


The Defensive Renaissance

Notre Dame's defense in 2010 was like a date with that homely girl that likes to sit at a bar and pound a few with you; at first she's not much to look at, but after a while, she's in the running for America's Top Model.

By the end of the night, you’re in love.

In 2010, Notre Dame had an early season stretch where they played three straight bowl teams and gave up an average of 33 points, along with 219 yards rushing and 252 yards passing per game. Needless to say, all three were losses.

Notre Dame finished out the season with two bowl teams and an 8-5 USC squad on the road and gave up an average of eight points, along with 95 yards rushing and 138 yards passing per game. Needless to say, all three were wins.

So did they get a good pep talk, or could it be even deeper than that?


The Shift In Defensive Philosophy

History tells us that if we don't learn from our mistakes, we are bound to repeat them, which is why I never touch Wild Turkey after an all-u-can-eat taco buffet.

But I digress.

To understand what happened to Irish football between September and November 2010, we have to first understand what happened going into the 2010 season...

A new coach (Brian Kelly) brought his new defensive coordinator (Bob Diaco) to convert to a new defensive scheme (from a 4-3 to a 3-4).

The key word here is "new."

Sounds simple enough, and in fact, it had already been done at this very university as recently as 2007, when Charlie Weis...

...brought in his new defensive coordinator (Corwin Brown) to convert to a new defensive scheme (from a 4-3 to a 3-4).

The Weis Experiment was not so great, as the Irish got lit up to the tune of 29 points per game on the way to their hopelessly inept 3-9 season.

Kelly's Experiment, on the other hand, worked pretty well, as the Irish improved game to game and finished up allowing 20 points per game on the way to a respectable 8-5 season. The last three games ND gave up 8.2 per game.

So what happened in 2010 that didn't happen in 2007? And what happened in November that wasn't happening in September?

To answer those questions you need to know something about a 3-4 defense.


The 3-4 Defense

The Players

The 3-4 defense formation is three-down linemen (two defensive ends and a nose guard) with four linebackers lined up behind them. Two cornerbacks cover the outside receivers and a strong and free safety make up the middle of the defensive backfield.

Corners tend to be a little bit bigger for them to jam receivers more often, but for the most part, corners and safeties in a 3-4 are the same as in a 4-3 or other conventional defenses.

In the 3-4 defense, the nose guard needs to be a player that can clog up the middle and savage double teams—think fat Godzilla. These are almost always the boys that eat cheeseburgers like tic-tacs, 330 lb-plus guys (like me holding three cases of beer but with a football scholarship in the other hand).

Defensive ends in the 3-4 are the size of defensive tackles in a 4-3. The primary job of the defensive end in the 3-4 is to be strong at the point of attack and be able to push past double teams on running downs and not be taken out of the play by chip blocks when rushing the passer so the pocket (and QB) cave in on a regular basis. 

DE's need to be big to tie up blockers and mobile enough to get to the QB. Linebackers love them for doing all the dirty work they get to clean up. (It isn't unusual for a 3-4 linebacker to name their first born child after a good 3-4 DE).

The job prerequisite typically requires DE's to check in somewhere around the 6'4", 285 lb and up range. 

Behind the DL Big Uglies (though mom will argue with the insult to her big ugly child), the 3-4 will have an infestation of stud linebackers, so much so you can't swing a shell-shocked QB without hitting one.

Without going too far into the necessary skill set, Outside Linebackers must be able to ignore the "S" on their chest and cope with an unruly red cape to drop into pass coverage, rush the passer or read and react to the run.

When it comes to the inside linebackers, one is generally a run stuffing player who is better able to handle offensive linemen and stop running backs when the offense features a running play, while the other is often a smaller, faster player who excels in pass coverage but can still plug a hole when needed.

All the linebackers usually range in the 6'2",245 area with superior athletic skills, especially on the outside where pass-coverage skills are a must. The very best must almost have Dan Stockrahm-like skills.

The Concept

The idea behind the 3-4 defense is to disguise where the fourth rusher will come from. Instead of the standard four-down linemen in the 4-3, only three players are clearly attacking on nearly every play. The 3-4 is primarily built to blitz the fourth dude (or not) from regions unknown and/or use the extra linebacker to disguise complex coverages.

A guzillion blitz packages are also available to defensive coordinators as blitzes can come from any of the eight spots in the defensive backfield.

The design concept of the 3-4 defense is to confuse the offensive line in their blocking assignments, particularly in pass blocking, and to create a more complex read for the quarterback.

(Authors Note: Really good QB's like Peyton Manning hate the 3-4 so much he sends it dead roses on Valentine’s Day.)

If you watch a good 3-4 team, the illusion they give you is that they're bringing six or seven guys, but they rarely bring more than four if the D-Line is earning their scholarships.


The Advantage of the 3-4 over the 4-3

As the theory goes, the 3-4 defense has an immediate advantage over the standard 4-3 defense with defending the pass because of the ability to have four linebackers drop into coverage instead of three and by having the ability to rush any combination of linebackers and defensive linemen.

With the right personnel, the 3-4 is also superior to the 4-3 in run defense by having the three big-boned and more mobile defensive linemen occupy multiple blockers, giving the linebackers free lanes to hit the hole and thereby promoting tooth decay among running backs.

For all of the truly wonderful visuals set forth, what truly sets the 3-4 apart from the 4-3 is the amount of versatility it gives to the defensive coordinator.

For example, on 3rd-and-long, the defense could come out with its base 3-4 defense, and midway through the snap count, two big ass, bone-crushing linebackers with intemperate dispositions could put their hands in the dirt that is really synthetic turf and rush the passer, or they could just as easily drop into coverage, or go for a smoke.

It's just that versatile.


Disadvantages of the 3-4 Defense

If it's too good to be true, it's probably a college defensive coordinator telling you if you install his 3-4, you will have an instant winner.

The big drawback of the 3-4 defense is that it's a personnel-based defense, meaning, if you don't have the personnel, you don't have a defense. The second drawback is that even when you have the personnel, you have to teach them how to run it.

From a personnel standpoint, if a team doesn’t have the linebackers who have the speed and size needed or lack defensive linemen who can sneer at the mere idea of blockers, the 3-4 is vulnerable to everything from the pass to the run and even the more common allergies.

Why you ask? With the wrong personnel, teams playing a base 3-4 not only sneeze profusely, but the defense will look worse than morning Snookie.

If the D linemen aren't good enough to draw double teams and cave the pocket, the offense has two extra lineman running free to hunt linebackers and corners or pick up the extra blitzer, giving wide lanes for RB's or all day passes for QB's.

If the linebackers aren't big and athletic, they can't plug holes and the slot back and tight ends will catch 57 passes apiece.

Rumor has it undersized and terminally slow 3-4's are even open to a sneak attack from the unincorporated territory of Guam. I’d heard that elsewhere but have not independently verified its veracity.

The result of these situations is that non-athletic teams that run a 3-4 defense often have bring a linebacker up as the fourth down lineman, often referred to in technical terms as a '4-3 with a linebacker grossly out of position.'

Putting that hand down pretty much moots the whole point of a 3-4, which would prompt me into writing an even worse article about the 4-3.

Both Corwin Brown and Bob Diaco were well aware of these concepts when they took the job.

So what happened to the 2007 3-4 squad that the 2010 3-4 Irish avoided? For one...


Size Matters


If you have that rare football player that has a heart big enough and a brain small enough to run naked through a brick wall, size isn't important, but ask any self-respecting Bleacher Report woman that reads about a 3-4, and she'll tell you, size matters.

The 2007 Irish had all players that had been recruited for a 4-3 defense, and it showed.

They played Maurice Crum, Jr. at ILB at 6'0", 220, Justin Brown at DE at 6'3",255 and Pat Kuntz at nose guard at 6'2", 272, supported by a host of undersized and athletically challenged role players. DE Trevor Laws (6'1", 305) was the only player that probably would have been recruited for a 3-4.

The 2007 Irish defense was a classic case of Aunt Martha opening up the kitchen cabinets and seeing all that's left is spaghetti noodles, a jar of Ragu and three pounds of Italian sausage, then tries to whip up shrimp scampi for dinner.

The line didn't command double teams, the linebackers were not capable of handling both run and pass responsibilities, and the blitzing schemes were useless as the D gave up close to 200 yards rushing a game, so nobody needed to pass if the game was played on a weekend.


The 2010 Irish version of the 3-4 on the other hand, featured DE's Ethan Johnson (6'4", 300) and Kapron Lewis-Moore (6'4", 295), backed up by Kona Schwenke at 6'4", 285.

Linebackers Manti Teo (6'2", 255), Anthony McDonald (6'2", 238), Prince Shembo (6'2", 250), Danny Sponds (6'2", 242), Darius Fleming (6’2”, 250), and Carlo Calabrese (6'1", 245) led a deep contingent of big, fast, athletic linebackers.

Ian Williams (6'2", 305), Hafis Williams (6’1”, 285), and Sean Cwynar (6'4", 280) were undersized at NG but held their own.

By the later stages of 2010, this group was almost as physically intimidating as Khloe Kardashian, though not as scary looking.


With Great Versatility Comes Great Responsibility

So I ask myself, "Self, with oh so many studs, why didn't ND dominate early in 2010?"

I'll tell me why: Because the 3-4 is a professional level defense that's very hard to learn, so much so, most college coaches just pass on it altogether. The learning curve is longer than the horizon. Of Jupiter.

Pro teams that run the 3-4 have more physically and mentally-developed athletes for longer periods of time with way more practice and film time, and they still screw it up.

The 3-4 defense puts heavy responsibilities on the linemen and the linebackers. There are lots of reads and it takes a long time to get them down. These responsibilities are not clear cut and vary dramatically from play to play and formation to formation.

Also with the quick play and misdirection offenses prevalent at the collegiate level, reading those offenses while dealing with the vast responsibilities of the 3-4 can be hard for players that have little experience in the defense.

It's not rocket science, but it's harder than brain surgery by a lot (You can't do it while drunk which is why I hung up my cleats and went back to removing frontal lobes and such).

That's why the defense started slow and kept getting better.

Early in the year, ND sat back on its heels and tried not to make a mistake, mooting some very good athletic talent on the defensive side of the ball and defeating the whole purpose of the 3-4 scheme.

A 3-4 is a sports car with lots of gears and tons of options—you have to drive it hard or performance sucks.

As the defensive personnel  became more familiar with the 3-4, there were less blown assignments, and the players could react quicker and do more of the things the defense was designed to do, like confuse O-Lines and QB's with disguised blitzes, mix coverages and jump short routes (see Harrison Smith, Sun Bowl).


Why ND's Defense Will Dominate Going Forward

By the end of last year, the defense was just starting to figure out how to play with their new toy. For 2011, ND has the pieces back with enough experience to exploit the advantages of the 3-4. 

This season, expect the Irish to release hell.

The linebackers are big, athletic and fast, enough to plug the run and still get back in coverage. The DE's are big and quick, capable of demanding double teams, stopping the run and pinning their ears back to get at the QB.

The secondary is experienced and very capable, and the NG (Nix) is a space eater that will compete for playing time with Cynar and Williams.

Except for the thin unit behind the DB's, there's depth and heated competition at every position other than Manti Teo at MLB.

Just as importantly, they have the prototypical athletes waiting in the wings that have the size and speed needed to learn now and play the 3-4 down the road or kick ass now if the need arises.

Aaron Lynch (6'6", 260), Stephon Tuitt (6'5", 260) and Ishaq Williams (6'5", 245) are freshmen that are already near the size and athleticism needed for the 3-4, and Kelly has recruited a number of solid athletes like Troy Niklas and Brad Carrico with big frames that can grow into a number of positions. 

As his own personal preference, Kelly has also targeted bigger corners that can fight with larger wideouts and more physical safeties that can bring the hammer to better compliment his system.

If you track ND’s recruiting class, Kelly doesn’t give a damn about the player’s press releases. 


Kelly Has a Plan

Unlike Ty Willingham that liked to do 18 holes of recruiting a day, or Charlie Weis who thought he was recruiting professional athletes that didn't need to be taught fundamentals or told to work out, Kelly has a specific method for building his team and has been around enough to know how to implement it.

Just as in every place he's coached, Kelly has a clear plan for this defense and it's working.

He has a body type he wants at each position, and a range of speed and athleticism that is required for him to recruit you. He targets his type of kids, and he recruits his ass off to get them.

Kelly demands complete commitment to the weight and conditioning program to develop bodies into stone, and one look at the Spring game will tell you the players are bigger, stronger, and in better shape than any time since the Lou Holtz era.

Kelly has a veteran staff that knows the drill. His coaches have a teaching system to develop the necessary skills for a complex defense, and they coach their kids up every week, both scheme and fundamentals. With every game, you see them growing into a nastier, faster, more aggressive unit.

With the athletes he gets at ND, Kelly is getting the right personnel for a personnel-based defense.

As a testimony to how competitive it is now, my 89-year-old mom is a terror off the edge (although admittedly a disciplinary problem when the whiskey runs out), but at 5'1", 185, she can't even get preferred walk-on status—Charlie would have given her a full ride in a heartbeat.



We've all been through the "new system" dance before, and none of us ever want to hear the words "schematic advantage" ever again, but this time's different.

The 3-4 is one of the predominant defenses in the NFL for a reason, it works, and it works well.

When you watch this defense done properly, it’s a thing of beauty. Tell me: When was the last time you wanted to see a Notre Dame team play defense?

Our D-Line isn't fat and slow anymore, they look like small mountains (big mountains in Nix' case) and run like skill position players. Our linebackers look like they could stop a herd of crazed Rhinos.

The defensive backs don't start 10 yards off the ball and then back pedal on the snap anymore. One out of three plays isn't a blown assignment with some 170-pound slot back running wild after a four-yard slant.

And there are lots of big hits by lots of big hitters.

What you see is a system that works, coaches that know how to make it work, and players coming in that were born to work it. 

And it's only going to get better


Umer W Chheena Thiago Alves  Anthony Torres Chris Lytle Kristian Rothaermel

Strikeforce Fedor vs. Henderson Results: Marloes Coenen vs Miesha Tate Round One

On Saturday, July 30 Strikeforce travelled to Hoffman Estates, IL for the Strikeorce Fedor vs. Henderson fight card. The five fight main card prompted Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker to say, during the media call, which Bleacher Report sat in on, that the event ??could arguably be considered the best top to bottom fight card in the history of Strikeforce.?

The fight card will be headlined by a bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson. The main event will be contested at the heavyweight limit; as such Henderson?s Strikeforce light heavyweight belt will not be on the line.

The co-main event on the card saw Marloes Coenen (19-4) defend her Strikeforce women?s title against Miesha Tate (11-2)

Before the fight began Coenen was edging toward the center of the cage, drawing a rebuke from the referee.

Tate took Coenen to the cage and delivered a heavy footstomp.

When the two broke Coenen delivered a nice left and followed that up with a knee. The fight then went to the cage and Tate worked a takedown that landed her in a Coenen choke that looked like it had Tate thinking about tapping, but she worked through it and popped her head.

Tate then got side control where she looked to land some elbows to the head. She then landed some body blows.

Very close round as Coenen had the submission attempt, but Tate had control for a long period of time.


Lyoto Machida Kotetsu Boku  Bas Rutten Delson Heleno Choi Hong man

If you could be any of these, which would you be and explain why.

Choose from the following and explain why, I may take a while with poll as I may think of more as I make it.

EDIT: And you have to fight all the...


Kit Cope  Achmed Labasanov Lyoto Machida Luciano Azevedo  Mike Kyle

Strikeforce done with Overeem, heavyweight champ reportedly dropped by Zuffa

Strikeforce done with Overeem, heavyweight champ reportedly dropped by Zuffa

There's a new sheriff in town and he's not messing around. Strikeforce fighters were sent a message tonight by their new boss Zuffa - play the game or play it elsewhere.

Back on July 18, the promotion's heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem got in a public beef over a fight date. Overeem said he wasn't available to fight on Sept. 10 on Showtime. It took less than 12 hours for Zuffa to pull him from the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix. Now less than two weeks later, he's a free agent as Zuffa released Overeem from his contract according to HDNet's "Inside MMA."

Sources close to the situation have told "Inside MMA's" Ron Kruck that Strikeforce has exercised its right to eliminate the one remaining fight on Overeem's contract effective July 22nd.

Also according to the source, Overeem has been dealing with more serious injuries than originally reported, including a broken toe and rib and elbow problems. Overeem will fight next in October in Russia for the promotion United Glory. �No word on who his opponent will be.

This is a terrible blow for MMA fans. Overeem is certainly one of the top five heavyweights in mixed martial arts. Fights against the likes of Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva or even Brock Lesnar would've been big sellers. It seems unlikely Overeem will be fighting under the Zuffa umbrella anytime soon.

Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, purchased Strikeforce back in March. The organization immediately got an overhaul in the front office and with some of the support staff.

Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
? The worst contracts in sports history
? Kobe to play in soccer benefit game
? MLB teammates argue in front of 30,000 fans


Kristian Rothaermel Royce Gracie Daniel Acacio Gregor Gracie Elvis Sinosic

Peyton Manning Contract Extension: Indianapolis Colts Make Calculated Risk

Casual observers will note today as a day that made sense for the Indianapolis Colts.

Instead of keeping quarterback Peyton Manning on the franchise tag for the 2011 season, they will save money in the short term by giving their franchise quarterback a contract extension worth $90 million.

For the time being, keeping Manning in Indianapolis was the only viable option for the Colts. This is a franchise which stands at a pivotal point for determining its future.

The Colts have regressed since winning Super Bowl XLI, and Manning is coming off of his second neck injury. For the Colts to travel down the appropriate path to maintain their high level of success since drafting Manning in 1998, it is crucial for them to think about the future.

While locking Manning for today is critical to this team’s success, the overall details of his new contract extension may not be.

Manning turned 35 in March. His new contract extension will ensure that he remains a Colt until he is 40 years of age.

Each of the last two seasons, Manning has had surgical operations on his neck. His current injury is a major concern, but many pundits and fans are brushing it off since Manning has yet to miss a start in his 13-year career.

Still, there is no quarterback-in-waiting. Hypothetically, should Manning go down with another neck injury, or any injury for that matter, who is expected to guide this complicated offense?

Presently, Manning’s backup is former Purdue standout Curtis Painter, and after Painter is the recently acquired Nate Davis.

Neither of these quarterbacks is thought to have what it takes to be a quality starting quarterback on Sundays. They are just standing on the sidelines to hold the clipboard.

Those who disagree say, “At least Painter is learning behind Manning.”

Well, that may be the case, but I will go tit-for-tat with anybody on that argument for days. Backing up Manning does not give one the key to success in the NFL.

Ask Jim Sorgi.

With the issues surrounding Manning, his age, and his health, it is concerning that the Colts would put this amount of money into a deal for the veteran quarterback.

Sure, Manning will go down as one of the all-time greats at his position. But the fact remains that this is a business, and business-savvy individuals do not invest bag loads of money into aging veterans that are showing a proneness to serious injuries.


This article was originally published at


Per Eklund Rumina Sato Ryan Bader  Mirko Cro Cop Filipović Tito Ortiz

X Games 17 Results: Nate Adams Reclaims Gold in Moto X Freestyle

X Games 17 Results for Moto X Freestyle

Nate Adams has been looking to win gold in the Moto X Freestyle again since he first claimed victory back in 2004. However, the prize has eluded him every year until 2011.

Adams didn't even need a third run to secure the victory after posting great scores in his first two runs.

After the event, Adams spoke with the LA Times,

Feels very good. Finally. In 2004, I don't know if I was young and dumb or cocky, but I thought I'd win it a few more times by now.

It is a bit shocking that he has only one X Games gold medal as he really is one of the premier Moto X Freestylers in the world, but he has finally ascended back to the top of the podium so he has to be happy about where he stands now.

GoldNate Adams


SilverAdam Jones
BronzeDany Torres
4.Taka Higashino


For more coverage of X Games 17, tune into Bleacher Report's Action Sports page.

???Matt Faulconer


Delson Heleno Choi Hong man

Season Eight

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir will premier on September 17, 2008 - December, 2008 - Light heavyweights and Lightweights.

Statistics : 90 Topics || 1308 Posts Last post by hepeAbemo


Josh Barnett  Gleison Tibau Pedro Rizzo Randy Couture Tony DeSouza 

Ground Game

Wrestling, jujitsu, ground and pound or submit your opponent for the victory

Statistics : 366 Topics || 3207 Posts Last post by GCDooD909


Mike Kyle Daiki DJ taiki Hata Caol Uno Sean Sherk Renato Babalu Sobral

UFC on Versus 6: Shane Roller vs TJ Grant fight announced for Oct. 1 in Washington D.C.


Daniel Puder Brock Lesnar Kenichi Yamamoto Andrei Arlovski Ken Shamrock

UFC 133: Verbal Warfare


Some please tell me there is a full video out there to this and not just a snippet.


Antônio Rogério Nogueira Maurice Mo Smith Yoshiyuki Yoshida Ivan Titenkov Clay Guida

Season Eight

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir will premier on September 17, 2008 - December, 2008 - Light heavyweights and Lightweights.

Statistics : 90 Topics || 1308 Posts Last post by hepeAbemo


Jake O Brien Dos Caras Jr   Anthony Pettis Hector Ramirez Murilo Ninja Rua

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finally Figured Out Why Dana White Met With Vince McMahon

When Extreme Championship Wrestling signed their deal with The National Network (Spike TV) back in the day, Vince did everything he could to hurt them and destroy credibility.

First he signed their champion Taz away to take credibility away from ECW/TNN.

Similarly, the first thing Dana did was sign WW champ Nick Diaz taking credibility away from Strikeforce/Showtime.

The next thing Vince did was squash Taz on Monday Night Raw to show the superiority of WWF mid-card wrestlers over so-called champions of small ponds, thus discrediting ECW as a viable organization.

Similarly, the discrediting of Strikeforce comes in the form of cuts (Overeem, Kharitonovo so far, likely others) and making a tournament seemingly fall apart due to the fighters and not management's manipulation.

Vince buys the competition (WCW) and buries it, whether it is good for the health of the industry or not.

Similarly Zuffa buy the competition and buries it, whether it is good for the industry or not.

I still think Zuffa/WWE are working on something together.


Don Barr Jon Jones Kiyoshi Tamura Mike Van Arsdale Sam Hoger

Strikeforce Fedor vs. Henderson: Coenen vs. Tate Dissection


Rumina Sato Ryan Bader  Mirko Cro Cop Filipović Tito Ortiz Kevin Kimbo Slice Ferguson

Lamont Peterson vs. Victor Cayo: Round-by-Round Results and Updates

From the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Nevada, junior welterweight contenders Lamont Peterson (28-1-1, 14 KO) and Victor Cayo (26-1, 18 KO) will finally meet in a bout that will determine the next challenger for the IBF title.

Peterson's only defeat came at the hands of Timothy Bradley while Cayo's lone loss was to Marcos Maidana. Peterson hasn't fought since his draw versus Victor Ortiz last year. Cayo has fought twice since losing to Maidana but hasn't fought in 2011.

Lamont Peterson vs. Victor Cayo


Eddy Rolon Rey Phillip Santos Lorenzo Borgomeo  Frank Mir Noboru Asahi

Backstage WWE Management News + Reks Update

– WWE producer Kevin Dunn sold 20,172 shares of company stock this past week for $203,132. He still owns $1,457,087 worth of stock. John Laurinaitis sold $81,587 worth of stock this past week and still has $607,919 worth. Also this past week, Triple H was awarded 5,000 shares of stock worth $50,500. Stephanie McMahon currently has 51,945 shares of WWE stock worth $524,644.
– Tyler Reks, who has portrayed a heel character since debuting last October on the SmackDown! brand, went on Twitter to defend himself for congratulating Rey Mysterio on ...


Pedro Rizzo Randy Couture Tony DeSouza  Oleg Taktarov Jon Olav Einemo

NFL Rumors: Nnamdi Asomugha Makes New York Jets Super Bowl Favorites

What was once a seemingly wide-open race for the services a Nnamdi Asomugha just a few days ago has seemingly boiled down to a single solitary team: the New York Jets.

The Dallas Cowboys were interested in the former Oakland Raider but have since devoted a chunk of what little room they have under the cap to re-signing Marcus Spears, per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.

The Houston Texans are still in the running, even after signing former Cincinnati Bengals corner Johnathan Joseph to a big deal.

That being said, the Jets continue to work vigorously to clear cap room for this year's biggest free agent prize, with Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network tweeting today that the team is busy reworking a number of current contracts to make sure they can pay Asomugha the beaucoup bucks he is seeking.

As they certainly should. Gang Green knows better than any team just how valuable a shutdown corner can be, especially in the postseason. One need look no further than the virtuoso performance put on by Darrelle Revis against the New England Patriots this past January for solid evidence of that.

Throw in yet another blanket-type coverage guy like Asomugha opposite Revis and the Jets defense instantly becomes impenetrable to opposing quarterbacks.

That kind of advantage would likely catapult Rex Ryan's team to the top of the AFC and make them one of a handful of favorites to finally bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy at season's end. With even minimal improvement offensively behind third-year quarterback Mark Sanchez, the Jets would be able to lean on their corners to funnel everything toward the middle, where their linebacking corps, led by veteran Bart Scott, would presumably be able to patrol a rather manageable swath of field.

Ryan hasn't been shy about his expectations of his team winning the Super Bowl, having blurted it out at every possible moment since Day One. With Asomugha on board, he'd finally have the team in place to put his money where his mouth is.

?Josh Martin 


Shad Lierley  Mark Epstein Patrick The Predator Côté  Chris The Pitbull Myra Rani Yahya

UFC signs undefeated British heavyweight Philip De Fries for UFC 138 bout in England

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

The UFC continues to fill up their November return to England with British talent, and according to multiple published reports, they've added an undefeated British heavyweight fighter to the mix for UFC 138.

25-year-old Philip De Fries announced via his Facebook page that he has signed a multi-fight agreement with the UFC, and according to reports the 7-0 fighter will debut on the UFC 138 card.

No opponent has yet been set for De Fries, but he'll likely be on the preliminary card portion of the event, coming November 5 from the LG Arena in Birmingham.

De Fries has won all seven of his fights by submission, six of which have come in the first round and five of which have come by rear naked choke. All seven fights have taken place over the last two years.

UFC 138 is headlined by a middleweight bout between Chris Leben and Mark Munoz, and airs in the U.S. via same day delay on Spike TV.

Penick's Analysis: The UFC can always use more heavyweight fighters, and an undefeated British prospect the likes of De Fries is a good addition. With serious submission skills and stopping all of his opponents, De Fries could come in and make an impression right away against the right level of opponent. I'll be interested to see who the UFC matches him up against in his debut, and either way I'll be looking forward to seeing how he performs in the Octagon.


Tokimitsu Ishizawa Masakatsu Funaki Fabricio Werdum Harold Howard Alexander Otsuka

Shinya Aoki vs Rob McCullough booked for DREAM 17 on Sept. 24 in Saitama


Tank Abbott Marco Ruas Jason Lambert Ronaldo de Souza Shane Carwin

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF)

Discuss The Ultimate Fighter.

Statistics : 117 Topics || 1279 Posts Last post by van1ty


Mikey Burnett  Antoine Jaoude Tank Abbott Marco Ruas Jason Lambert

NFL Free Agency: Why Nnamdi Asomugha WIll Go on Day 4 of Free Agent Frenzy

As of right now the two teams involved in the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes are the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers.  

For most of this shortened free agency period the Jets have been the leading candidates for Asomugha.  Most of the momentum has been swinging in their direction because of their head coach and players.

Rex Ryan is a guy that many players want to play for.  They love his confident attitude and the knowledge that he knows how to win.  The players help the Jets' case because some of the ones with higher contracts like Mark Sanchez and possibly Darrelle Revis are willing to re-work their contracts just to bring someone else in who requires some more cap space.

If Nnamdi is looking for a team that can win a Super Bowl in the next few years, New York is the place for him.  The offense has a great running game mixed with an average passing game.  The defense will be even better if it has the two best cornerbacks in the league and would shut down most offenses.

If Nnamdi is going to be like Antonio Cromartie and follow the dollar signs, then San Francisco is the place to go.  The Jets still have a few more players to sign and will not have as much room for him as the 49ers will.

As to why he will go today; negotiations will continue to heat up between the two teams and Nnamdi. What will add to the pressure is that training camp for these teams is essential and they will not want him to miss a single day.

Of these two teams that will probably land him, the Jets have the edge. With his addition they will have a championship caliber team.  They have one of the most liked coaches (liked by players) and a team hungry for a world title.  It will be an interesting 24 hours to see who lands the number one free agent but either way, he is going to a team on day four.


Eddy Rolon Rey Phillip Santos Lorenzo Borgomeo  Frank Mir Noboru Asahi

Gear and Equipment

Discuss the gear and equipment you have used to be successful

Statistics : 125 Topics || 966 Posts Last post by Legitsu


Michael Bisping  Marcelo Brito  Wagnney Fabiano Johnnie Morton Randy The Natural Couture 

Grappling is a street fight (video)


ummm... discuss? :icon_chee


Jaime Jara Mario Sperry Kazuyuki Fujita Tim Sylvia Jung Chan Sung

Internet Wasteland

A place for meaningless, repeated or just plain stupid posts

Statistics : 4539 Topics || 95437 Posts Last post by IKnowuWannaBeMe


Tom Murphy Anthony Perosh Urijah Faber Siyar Bahadurzada Wes Soldier Combs 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lightweight Champ Eddie Alvarez Faces Michael Chandler at Bellator 54

After a spectacular run through the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament, Michael Chandler earned a world title shot at Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez. The two will square off at Bellator 54. Read More >>


Lorenzo Borgomeo  Frank Mir Noboru Asahi Kazushi Gracie Hunter Sakuraba Kalib Starnes

Eddie Alvarez makes second Bellator Lightweight Title defense against Michael Chandler at Bellator 54 on Oct. 15

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez will defend his title for just the second time this fall, as the organization announced on Thursday that he will take on season four lightweight tournament winner Michael Chandler at Bellator 54 on October 15.

The event will air live on MTV2 from the Boardwalk Hall Ballroom in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Alvarez last fought in April, where he made his first successful title defense against Pat Curran. His five round decision win marked his seventh straight, and the 27-year-old now holds a 22-2 overall career record.

"Fighting this close to home on this big of stage is awesome,? said Alvarez. "I've never lost a fight in the States, and I certainly don't plan on losing this one. I've never had this much time to prepare for a fight, and you're going to see that preparation on display October 15."

?I watched the Lightweight Tournament very closely, and was really impressed with a lot of the competition. Knowing that Chandler is my opponent, I've already gone back and started to watch film, and I'll be ready. He brings a really good pace, and it's going to be a great fight."

Chandler entered Bellator in non-tournament competition during their third season, and then ran his record to a perfect 8-0 with three wins during the season four tournament. After submitting Marcin Held in the opening round, Chandler took decision wins over Lloyd Woodard and Patricky Freire.

"Eddie is obviously a world class lightweight, but in a lot of the fights I have watched, no one has really pushed the pace against him," Chandler said. "I want to put him on his heels, and make him respond to what I'm doing in the cage. I've got a few months to prepare, and I'll be more than ready for October 15."

"Anyone that has heard me speak on the topic knows I feel Eddie Alvarez is the best lightweight in the world," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "With that said, Michael's tournament run was one of the most impressive displays I've seen from any fighter, and their title fight on October 15 should be an absolute war. As a fan of the sport, this is a fight I can't wait to see."


Jake O Brien Dos Caras Jr   Anthony Pettis Hector Ramirez Murilo Ninja Rua

Miesha Tate Knows She?s Leaving Chicago with the Strikeforce Title Around Her Waist

Miesha Tate knows her opponent Marloes Coenen very well, and that's why she believes she'll be leaving Chicago with the Strikeforce bantamweight title around her waist.  Read More >>


Daniel Acacio Gregor Gracie Elvis Sinosic Ron The Monster Sparks Marzagui Ayoub




Efrain DeLeon vs Bobby Lee
Jacob Chagolla vs...


Jon Olav Einemo John Lewis Jeff Joslin Jay Silva Josh Thomson

Mick Foley-WWE In Talks, Big Show Taking Time Off

– We can now confirm that Mick Foley and WWE are in negotiations for a return. More as we get it.
– Note from Ryan Clark: This is just a heads up that I’ll be leaving at 8AM EST tomorrow (Thursday) morning for The Great Escape in Lake George, NY. I plan on being back here in the office by 5-6EST. With that being said, news will be a little slow during the day but I’ll be sure to update everything when I get back. Thanks for baring with us – ...


Travis Lutter Tom Murphy Anthony Perosh Urijah Faber Siyar Bahadurzada

Daley Operation: Paul Daley video blog for Tyron Woodley fight (Episode three)


Jan Nortje Karo Parisyan Roberto Traven Chad Akebono Rowan Josh Hendricks

Mike Easton makes UFC debut against Jeff Hougland at UFC on Versus 6 in October

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Talented bantamweight prospect Mike Easton will get his opportunity to step up to the big show this October, as the UFC announced late Tuesday that he will take on Jeff Hougland at UFC on Versus 6.

The last time Easton was in the cage was in October of 2009, where he defended his Ultimate Warrior Challenge Bantamweight Title against Chase Beebe in one of the most controversial decisions of the last five years. The bout was deemed the "Robbery of the Year" for 2009, but regardless of the controversy it brought Easton to 10-1 overall in his record.

Easton's sole loss came in 2007 when he suffered a broken arm during a fight, prompting officials to stop the fight. Since his fight with Beebe, Easton has battled injuries that have kept him out of action, and this fight with Hougland will be his first in two years.

Hougland began his career with a 1-4 record, but then posted eight straight wins in a six-year span before getting his call up to the UFC earlier this month at UFC 132. In his debut fight, Hougland posted an upset decision victory over Donny Walker for his 10th career win.

UFC on Versus 6 takes place from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 1, headlined by a UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson.

Penick's Analysis: This isn't a surprising signing for this card. Easton is a D.C. native, and will absolutely be a local draw for the card. Though the Beebe decision was an absolute robbery, Easton is still an extremely talented fighter. Hopefully the injuries he's battled over the last two years don't have a massively detrimental effect on his game, and if he can come in and impress, and shake off the ring rust at the same time, he could certainly establish himself in the division.


Josh Hendricks Darren M Jackson Ivan Serati Umer W Chheena Thiago Alves 

Conditioning and Strength Training

Conditioning, one of the most important aspects of your training. Strength, everyone needs it. Discuss what works for you?

Statistics : 437 Topics || 5404 Posts Last post by DaNiAc262


Mike Van Arsdale Sam Hoger Alexander Gustafsson Shad Lierley  Mark Epstein

Manchester United vs. MLS All Stars 2011: MLS Finds a Way to Get Embarassed

Manchester United vs. MLS All Stars Leads to Another Disaster for MLS

For the second time in a row Manchester United has dominated the MLS All Stars. United knocked off the MLS All Stars by a score of 5-2 in last year's game and followed it up by a 4-0 victory this year.

One of the only positives to come out of the game was former Manchester United star David Beckham who was the only player on the pitch creating consistent chances for the All Stars.

Beckham forced the keeper to tip a save over the cross bar and just missed on a free kick late in the match, he also challenged the keeper and made some pretty passes.

The best chance for the All Stars to get on the board came on a shot from Chris Wondolowski in the second half. His shot was saved but Omar Bravo had a chance to put the rebound home but instead missed from just 10 yard away.

Losing with an All Star team to a club team is quite embarrassing for the league, but it should be expected. United has more chemistry and a bit more talent than the All Stars. While the MLS has some quality players they don't have a player like Ryan Giggs or Wayne Rooney.

The MLS likely needs to take a look at changing this All Star Game format, they cannot afford to play against the best teams in the world but could face a team like Everton, Valencia, or Juventus in the future, where they stand a chance of winning.

The Red Devils received goals from Anderson, Park Ji-Sung, Dimitar Berbatov, and Danny Welbeck.

Check out Bleacher Report's World Football Page for all up-to-date news and analysis.


Shane Carwin Mike Nickels Rashad Evans Keith Hackney Kultar Gill

NFL Trade Rumors: Kyle Orton on the Verge of Becoming QB for Miami Dolphins

Once NFL 2011 free agency opened we knew the Broncos had to do something with Kyle Orton.

It looks like we may have our answer. is reporting that the Broncos and the Miami Dolphins are in serious discussion over a trade that would send Kyle Orton and his neck beard to south beach:

The deal isn?t done yet: It does not appear that the Dolphins and Broncos have agreed on what a fair price for Orton would be, and Orton, who is due more than $8 million this season, would likely need to agree to a new contract with the Dolphins. So there are some potential obstacles.

But the indications are that Orton is on the way to Miami

It?s a move that had previously made plenty of sense, but new Broncos head coach John Fox confused everybody by announcing that Orton was No. 1 on the depth chart heading into the season.

But the writing was on the wall.

Former head coach Josh McDaniels traded up in the 2010 draft to ensure he selected Tim Tebow in the first round and he wasn?t going to sit on the bench for more than one year.

He watched Orton hoist the ball for 13 games and accumulate a 3-10 record before Tebow closed the season as the starter with a 1-2 mark. Orton was among the league leaders in passing yards before taking a seat?but his numbers were extremely misleading.

The vast majority of his yards came in the second half of games that were blowouts. Yet he displayed the sort of arm that is capable of competing in the NFL.

The key word is competing.

Orton is never going to lead a team to the Super Bowl and the Dolphins are fooling themselves if they surrender anything higher than a second round pick for his services. They certainly will make him restructure a contract that is set to pay him $8M this upcoming season.

Expect a deal to get done at some point on Thursday or Friday after Training Camp gets underway.

?Eric Ball


Fabiano Scherner Phillipe Noer Eddy Rolon Rey Phillip Santos Lorenzo Borgomeo 

College Football 2011: Predictions on the Top 50 Games of the Season

We're now just about one month from the start of the 2011 season, and that can only mean one thing: time to ante up and place your bets on who will win which game this season.

There are plenty of lists out about the top games in the nation, and there will certainly be a whole host of must-see clashes from September straight through to January.

But let's go beyond the actual list of games we should watch, and predict who will actually win those top 50 games of the upcoming season.

Begin Slideshow


Tom Howard Takeshi Inoue Nam Phan Jordan Radev Logan The Pink Pounder Clark 

Matt Morgan Injury Update + The Miz?s Busy Week

– TNA’s Matt Morgan has been diagnosed with a torn pectoral muscle and will be out of action for six weeks. Morgan was lucky, because if the tear was worse, he would have required surgery and a much longer time off.
– The Miz has a busy week ahead, here is what he is up too this week?
* Today he throws out the first pitch at today’s Cleveland Indians game.
* Tomorrow he appears on the Lopez Show on TBS
* He will also host the post-game on this week’s Real World/Road Rules ...


Roman Webber Wu Haotian Daniel Puder Brock Lesnar Kenichi Yamamoto