And New……?????

By Shawn Buck  (@buck4peace)

This Saturdays UFC on Fox 23 main event matchup between Valentina Shevchenko and  Julianna Pena is a clash between the number 1 and number 2 ranked Women’s bantamweights in the world.  The winner should undoubtedly be the next opponent of current champion Amanda Nunes.  As dominant as Nunes has been recently, the winner of this fight could be the one to dethrone her.  This weekends fight could be easily viewed as a championship in itself.

Shevchenko is a driven fighter who really wants to be the champion and if her first fight with Nunes had been five rounds, it may have happened.  When she fought Nunes she was able to weather the storm of the heavy-handed Nunes and actually had her gassed in the third and final round.  Shevchenko lost a unanimous decision in that fight.  Nunes went on to get a title shot against Miesha Tate in her next fight and destroyed her in one round while Shevchenko fought against former champion Holly Holm in her next fight. Shevchenko defeated Holm in five rounds by unanimous decision.  She was able to counter Holm often in that fight and also took Holm down a few times.  She was good on that night and her performance gave her a right to a rematch with Nunes for the title.

Pena has been excellent since stepping on the UFC scene.  After winning the first ever women’s The Ultimate Fighter challenge, she is 3-0.  She puts relentless pressure on all her opponents.  Her most recent win, at UFC 200, was against veteran Cat Zingano.  Zingano has a victory over Nunes.  Pena felt she also deserved a shot at the title after that victory.  She didn’t get it.  The champion waited on the return of Ronda Rousey.  Nunes blasted Rousey in less than a minute and now here we are.

These two ladies are more than capable of beating Nunes for the title.  Shevchenko already has given her a battle and Pena has dominated all of her UFC opponents.  Nunes has looked great defeating both Tate and Rousey in one round.  But Tate and Rousey had been at the top on the bantamweight division for some time.  Tate recently retired after losing to Raquel Pennington and Rousey after losing the title to Holm was on the fence about coming back from that loss.  It’s much harder to stay on top than it is to get there.  Rousey has been in several commercials and appeared in major films.  She has made a substantial amount of money through fighting and her outside endeavors.  Not saying that Rousey and Tate weren’t that good but their hunger may not be as strong as it was earlier in their career.  Former middleweight boxing champion Marvin Hagler summed it up by saying that it was tough to get out of bed to do road work at 5am when you’ve been sleeping in silk pajamas.  Shevchenko and Pena have no problem getting motivated to train or fight. They want that gold belt around their waist.  Nunes is still hungry also but hasn’t faced a fighter with that same desire since she fought Shevchenko in March of 2016.  That will change if she faces the winner of Saturdays fight between Shevchenko and Nunes.  This fight should be a good one.  You may want to tune in because you could possibly be watching the next bantamweight world champion.

I seriously think you should jump on this wave!

By Lawrence Edwards

OK, before I get started let me tell you that this isn’t a fad that will quickly fade out, nor is it a get rich quick scheme. It’s simple, I am not forcing you or trying to persuade you to do anything. I just want to share with you something that I know sports enthusiasts every where will enjoy and offer you the opportunity to be apart of something or get ahead of everyone else on a trend that is about to take the world by storm. From Football to Cricket we have something every sports will fall in love with. You have two options: Affiliate or Player. I will go in to great detail about both and most importantly the coming of a game changing sports app by United Games that is going to absolutely blow your mind!

Now what we are talking about here is an app that will let you enjoy your favorite sport interactively while watching the game. This app is going to bring a new dynamic way of playing of enjoying sports. It’s not just going to focus on the major sports but every sport.  The point is to get everyone to enjoy sports better, not just the people who have time for drafts and 4 different fantasy leagues or the ones who are good at selecting the right combination of players in order to enjoy the experience.

Now, as I previously mentioned you have two options to join this wave, either as a player or an affiliate. If you want to just be one of the first to enjoy the experience of this game changing app then sign up as a player for free. You will be a pre-registered player and once the app launches within the next 5 weeks you can begin enjoying your interactive sports experience and start earning some rewards and points. I don’t know about you but once I started playing fantasy football and basketball, the game became THAT much more interesting to me. I began to pay attention to things that I didn’t before. This interactive app will award every real sports fan the same experience but much better – did I mention that some of EA Sports former developers are building this thing? – Get ahead of the trend, this app is coming and it’s going to change the way we enjoy sports forever and it will be the first of it’s kind, share it with your neighbors, share it with your family, if they love sports, chances are they will love this!

Now if you are interested in becoming an affiliate of United Games and getting the opportunity to not only get ahead of the trend but earn some money while doing it, then this the route you want to go. Now let me tell you this isn’t a pyramid scheme or something wild like that, if you don’t want to be an affiliate then you don’t have to. We aren’t trying to recruit people for money, we are just offering an opportunity to earn some income based off of people just playing the game. Now when this was brought to me a few weeks ago I had my initial negative thoughts. I was told that I can become an affiliate for free, feel it out see if I like it and if I do I would have to pay a one time fee of $30 to stay an affiliate and $9.99 a month to maintain my affiliate site and if I don’t just simply cancel no harm done. Now I’m no easy person to convince to join things, so I did my own research before I agreed to sign up for anything. Now I hate selling things, I’m terrible at it, so the fact I didn’t have to sell a product and it was an app – I’m a huge tech junkie – helped me decide to really read up on it. So I did my research and found that this app could really be something special and I don’t have to pay my fee until the app launches in 4-5 weeks at the time of this writing. I figured, what can I lose? I can jump on board playing a new fantasy app and maybe earn some money while doing it. Every time you share the app and someone signs up, whether as an affiliate or a player, and starts buying or earning tokens, you get a piece of the pie, NICE! Another selling point for me was the fact that in order for you to earn income you have to fill out tax form 1099. That right there let me know it was legit. Now United Games is offering this opportunity only up until the app launches in 5 weeks. Once it goes live, the affiliate opportunity will be no longer offered. You will only be able to download and use the app.

Whether you sign up to be a player or an affiliate I can assure you that this app is going to change your sporta experience. The point of this blog is to get the word out that a Giant is coming and to offer, what I believe to be a grand opportunity to be apart of the next big thing. If you like what you heard here today feel free to drop a comment, email me (lawrence.edwards115@gmail.com) or if you got here through my Facebook link, just shoot me a DM and I will happily send you a link to be an affiliate or a free player so you will be all set to go when the app launches. Once you click the link there will be more information for you to read through to get an even better understanding. You’re going to love this!

Here is a one page info sheet you can look at to get more information. Feel free to contact me with questions.

 

The UFC Women’s Bantamweight Division Is Deep

nunes

By Shawn Buck (@buck4peace)

 

With the recent upset losses of Miesha Tate and Holly Holm, the UFC women’s bantamweight division has become more competitive than it already was.  Amanda Nunes’ first round destruction of Tate caused the championship belt to be placed on a different waist for the second consecutive time since Holly Holm shocked the world and beat the invincible Ronda Rousey.  Valentina Shevchenko dominated Holm to give her a second straight defeat.   And don’t forget Julianna Pena who recently beat Cat Zingano (who has a victory over Tate and Nunes).  This division is deep and there are so many fights that can be made.  Let’s look at some potential match ups.

 

Nunes vs Shevchenko 2

This would be a rematch of a fight in which Nunes won by decision.  Nunes seemed gassed by the third and Shevchenko came on late.  Most think if the fight was five rounds instead of three Shevchenko would have beaten her.  With Nunes being champ now, we would find out.  

 

Nunes vs Pena

Many believe that Pena should get the next shot at the title and understandably so.  She has looked good in her three fights since winning the Ultimate Fighter.  Nunes might have her hands full with this hungry fighter.

 

Tate vs Holm 2

This rematch could have happened at UFC 200 but Dana White elected to have Tate’s first defense against Nunes.  The first fight, Holm’s first and only title defense, was close.   Holm had a slight edge going into the last round before being submitted by Tate.  Both former champions are looking to rebound from losses and the winner would have a jump on getting their title back.

 

Pena vs Shevchenko

Champion Nunes suggested in a tweet that these two fight and the winner gets a chance at her.  It’s not a bad idea.  Both would be coming off victories over two high profile fighters and the winner would have to be considered the number one contender to the belt.

 

Zingano vs Tate 2

Zingano has lost two straight but don’t count her out.  At one point she was considered one of the best in the world before injuries set her back.  Tate would probably like a little revenge since Zingano beat her in their first fight.

 

Zingano vs Holm

Both fighters have lost two consecutive times and they need to get back on track. What’s a better way to do it than fighting each other?  Plus, Holm still has star power judging by the ratings of her last fight and UFC President Dana White loves that.  

 

Rousey vs Anyone

The world wait for Rousey to fight.  She has been quiet since her loss to Holm and some wonder will she ever step into the octagon again.  If she decides to fight again it will be a big event, no matter who her opponent is.  White has said that she would get a shot at the title if she wants it.   

The Comeback of Holly Holm

13823550_10206605368443422_358992297_n

By Shawn Buck

When Holly Holm upset Ronda Rousey last November it was the talk of the sports world.  Rousey had dominated the women’s bantamweight division.  She went past the first round once.

 

She was getting her opponents out in seconds.  Rousey appeared unbeatable.  But Holm proved otherwise.  Holm fought the perfect game plan.  She caught Rousey with solid punches before finishing her with a kick in the second round.  It was one of the biggest upsets in not only MMA but sports history.  Holm recently won the 2016 ESPY award for Biggest Upset.  She was on top of the world.  She did several interviews and was on numerous talk shows.   It was reminiscent of when Buster Douglas upset Mike Tyson in 1990.  The rematch was the word that most people would bring up when asking her questions. The rematch hasn’t happened.  Rousey took a break and Holm wanted to fight so she signed to face Miesha Tate.  

 

Tate and Rousey are bitter rivals.  Tate took Rousey to the third round in their rematch before being submitted by an armbar.   Tate would be a tough challenge for the newly crowned champ and she was.  Holm was winning going into the fifth and final round.  She made a mistake giving her back to Tate and was submitted with a rear naked choke.  Holm lost the belt and some of the benefits of it.  She hasn’t been on the tube as much.  She didn’t even get the call to be Tate’s first defense of the championship.  She’s still well known because of her defeat of Rousey but the momentum of that win took a hit from her loss.

This Saturday Holm, ranked number 2 in her division, has a chance to rebound from that loss.  She will be fighting on UFC on Fox in the main event.  She will face number 7 Valentina Shevchenko.  It’s a chance to get back in title contention.   With Tate losing the championship via of a devastating defeat to Amanda Nunes, the opportunity will be there if she can win Saturday.  Shevchenko will not be easy though. Her last loss was to Nunes and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.  The women’s bantamweight division is hot right now.  Even though Rousey hasn’t been active the division is still striving with fighters like Nunes, Tate, Julianna Pena and Holm.  If Holm wins on Saturday she not only can get a big fight next, but maybe even a title shot and get her seat back in this game of thrones. 

Check out our Facebook group here.

Competitive Edge

By Brian Jones

Getting an edge or trying to gain a competitive in the arena of sports goes back to the beginning of time it seems. Over time we’ve all heard or read “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying” and “Raider Rule #1: Cheating Is Encouraged” and other quips and sayings spell as much out for us. We’ve also seen cheaters get busted too – everything from Spygate and Deflategate to crooked referees fixing games and sometimes entire series between teams. One form of cheating in sports, especially in the last 15 to 20 years or so, has been the introduction of performance enhancing drugs (or PEDs) and their existence in today’s sporting landscape. Sometimes accidents happen and sometimes they don’t when it comes to athletes and PEDs as we’ll take a look at now.

Jon “Bones” Jones was set to take on Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 until word came down some 72 hours before the biggest event in UFC history that Jones had failed a USADA/UFC-mandated drug test and would be taken off the card for the event. Jones held a press conference stating that he would never take a PED or take a PED knowingly – and I tend to believe him when he says this (as does UFC President Dana White). However, as an athlete – particularly one in Jones’ position in this instance – HAS to know what is going into his body. Bottom line, period, no excuses. This kind of thing cannot happen, but it did and now Jones is potentially facing a two-year suspension that could effectively end his career in The Octagon. Again, I don’t think he purposely took something to fail the drug test. At the same time if you haven’t failed on up until now you have to look at what you’re doing, eating and using for training materials. This is one case where perceived innocence is going to get lost because, well, it’s a failed drug test. Time will ultimately tell how this will end.

On the other hand, you have those who play the “I didn’t know” card and defense and it flat-out doesn’t fly. Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts was suspended 4 games for a PED violation where he said took a fertility drug and wasn’t aware it was on the NFL’s banned substances list. The problem with his defense is that he’d never failed a test before, applied to have the suspension overturned on that “I didn’t know” basis and then withdrew it a short time later, accepting the suspension as is. Typically, if a player fights a suspension tooth and nail on the premise that they are innocent, something that Mathis chose not to do here. They typically fight it to the bitter end, they want their good name cleared. Sure, the argument can be made that he didn’t want a protracted battle or unnecessary steps taken to overturn it, but it just looks a little off that he didn’t fight the suspension harder before just giving in and taking it.

The Mathis situation may be a unique one, but is it not alone, not by a long shot. Boxer Alexander Povetkin played the “I don’t know” defense after he was found to have taken the banned drug meldonium and was removed from a fight against Deontay Wilder in May – the same drug that got tennis champion Maria Sharapova suspended for 2 years for a anti-doping violation (she also used the “I don’t know” defense). The World Anti-Doping Agency banned the substance last September and the ban went into effect January 1st of this year. The drug is used because it is said to increase blood flow and allow more oxygen to be carried to the muscles and would enhance stamina, something that boxers and tennis players (or any athlete really) would want to use against their opponents. They both pleaded their innocence, claiming they didn’t know it was banned when they took it or stopped taking it prior to the ban going into place, but the tests were run – tests they failed, obviously – and the time frame in which the tests took place don’t coincide with the alleged claims of their innocence.

Major League Baseball and its history involving steroids have been a problem for a while. Back in the 1980s you may have seen a drug suspension here or there for steroids, but the drug really didn’t come to the forefront all the way until the late 1990s. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire took the country by storm as they chased the (then) single-season homerun record during the 1998 season. Social media wasn’t nearly as prevalent as it is now, but back then, but they grabbed the headlines and had the country’s attention daily with TV cut-ins and coverage from CNNSi to Good Morning America. That season, McGuire ended up hitting 70 homeruns and Sosa 66 to break Roger Maris’ record of 61 homeruns in 1961. In 1999, they repeated their performances by hitting 65 and 63 homeruns, respectively, setting records all across the board. There were whispers of possible drug use by them but most just wrote it off and said a new era of baseball was at hand. In 2001, Barry Bonds hit 73 homeruns, obliterating all of those records – and that’s when the heat on baseball REALLY got turned up when it came to steroid use. More attention was paid to players and their physical appearances are more and more records began to fall. Meanwhile, more and more investigations began to take place, one in particular that showed that Bonds was tied to and connected with a Bay Area lab by the name of BALCO and its founder, Victor Conte. With this, ingredients like flaxseed oil, “the cream” and “the clear” all became part of the building trouble for baseball. By 2005 a Congressional hearing took place as the government was investigating not only BALCO and their dealings (that included track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, among other athletes) but if MLB players were, in fact, taking steroids to gain a competitive edge. Players such as McGuire and Sosa testified, but never directly owned up to taking anything illegal. Rafael Palmeiro went as far as to point his finger at the Congressional panel and angrily state “I have never used steroids, period.” This was in March. By August, shortly after recording his 3,000th hit Palmeiro was suspended for…. wait for it…STEROID usage (He claims it was B12 and got mixed up with a teammate’s supplement somehow)

Baseball, like other sports, has cleaned its act up since that hearing and in the years since. The penalties and drug testing methods back then were 10 days (like Palmeiro got) and a small, marginal fine. Today, with modified and stronger policies in place for baseball, a first positive test gets you an 80-game suspension, the second positive test lands you a season-long suspension and a third strike, like in the sport itself, means you’re out – for life. Other sports leagues have similar and stronger policies in place, but the fact remains that today’s athletes are always looking for that edge, that boost, that one thing that will make them better or stand out from the rest. The days of going just to the gym, pumping iron and doing push ups to get better are history for the most part.  In this day and time athletes will use and take anything to get an advantage and, sadly, a select few will turn to using PEDs. Some will use it for a game or two, some for a season, some for their careers. It’s hard to tell just by looking who is using them or not because they’ll mask it or won’t expose… but for those who do that them – knowingly, accidentally or otherwise – need to realize that using these drugs won’t always help them win or get better or become whatever it is they think they will by using them. Using PEDs may only help them cheat to win a game or topple an opponent, but at the end of it all, as far as their conscience and integrity is concerned, they really will only wind up cheating and beating themselves.

Check out our Facebook page here.

 

 

Jon Jones Out of UFC 200!

13579748_1115530395152755_1753980255_o

 

It was just announced that Jon Jones will not fight in UFC 200. He was supposed to fight Cormier for the light heavyweight belt. This fight had the opportunity to be epic, since both men can’t stand each other.

This isn’t the first time Jon Jones has been in trouble for testing positive. He tested positive before UFC 182.Then he was stripped for his title before UFC 187, because discipline reasons. He was the first champion to be stripped, because of disciplinary reasons.  He was tested back in June. Some people think this isn’t illegal drugs he was busted with, but some sort of PED’s.

The UFC has never cancelled a fight so close to the date before until today. This may have hurt Jon Jones career. He may also receive a two-year suspension.

Now the main event of UFC 200 is Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt.

Update: Cormier will face Anderson Silva Saturday. 

Check out our Facebook page here.

Julianna Pena: Future Champion?

pena

By  Shawn Buck

Julianna Pena, also known as the Venezuelan Vixen, burst on the UFC scene by winning the first ever women’s The Ultimate Fighter tournament in 2013.   It was the most watched season in the series at the time.  She was dominant in winning the competition.  Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate were the coaches and their bitter rivalry made the show appealing to watch.  They were set to meet one another after the season was over as all coaches do on The Ultimate Fighter.  Rousey beat Tate again in a good fight by submission armbar in the third round.  Rousey looked like she would be a dominant bantamweight champion and Pena looked like she would a big challenge for her in the future.

 

A lot has changed since then.  Pena was injured during training before she had a chance to show what she could do in the UFC.  Rousey is no longer the champion thanks to a knockout kick from Holly Holm.   Holm lost to Tate after she was winning for four rounds and made a mistake in the fifth and final round to get submitted by rear naked choke.   So now Tate is the champion.  Pena came back from her injury and she has won twice beating Milana Dudieva and Jessica Eye.  Pena has moved up to a number five ranking in her division.  She is back on track to get a shot at the title.  She faces a tough challenge in Cat Zingano on Saturday in UFC 200.   Zingano lost to Rousey in the first round in her attempt at winning the title but Zingano does have a win over current champ Tate in 2013.  She will be a good test for Pena.  The winner is sure to be a front runner for a shot at the champion.   

 

As deep as the UFC women’s bantamweight division is, this fight is critical to Pena.  She has a chance to justify her claim as a top contender by beating number three ranked Zingano.  The fight is taking place on the card of UFC 200, one of the biggest UFC shows ever.  She will be fighting on the prelims so a lot of people that won’t pay to see the main events can watch her.   If she is impressive, many will be calling for her to get a shot at Tate or Amanda Nunes, who fight one another for the championship on the same card.  Pena has the personality and looks of a champion.  Now she just needs the belt.  Winning on Saturday is a big step in accomplishing that goal.