Faber Learns, Schwartz Shines, And Shields Wins At Submission Underground 4

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Faber Learns, Schwartz Shines, And Shields Wins At Submission Underground 4

Over the weekend, Chael Sonnen and the team at FloGrappling.com closed the books on another successful Submission Underground (SUG) event. SUG4 brought with it star power, top-level grappling, and a bit of drama. Urijah Faber was as charismatic as anyone who has ever competed at SUG, Phil Schwartz of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu secured the most exciting submission of the night, and Jake Shields versus Dillon Danis came down to just an 8 second difference to declare a victor. Through all the action, Faber, Schwartz, and Shields stood out as competitors who gained the most at SUG4.

Faber Left with Something to Prove 

Urijah Faber was certainly the fan favorite of the night. The “California Kid” was welcomed with open arms by the Oregon crowd who even sang the recent UFC Hall of Fame inductee Happy Birthday (Sunday was Faber’s 38th birthday). All of that support did not help Faber out grapple his opponent, two-time Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, Paulo Miyao. While Faber was able to avoid the leg lock attempts of Miyao early, his use of pure power and speed did not put him in position to have Miyao in any danger in regulation. With regulation a stalemate, the overtime periods began and this was where many expected Faber to shine, as escape time often relates directly to explosiveness, which he has in spades. Miyao’s technique proved too strong even for the athleticism of Faber, however. After the match, Faber said he would love the opportunity to train with Miyao and pick his brain a bit. Going further, he seemed very enthusiastic about the potential of returning to the SUG cage. He expressed a desire to have a more focused training camp and seemed motivated by the loss. With more time to prepare and knowing better what to expect, don’t be surprised if Faber returns to SUG to right the ship.

***Potential Matchups – AJ Agazarm, Gordon Ryan

Phil Schwartz’s Star is Rising   

10th Planet Portland standout Phil Schwartz undoubtedly took home the submission of the night at SUG4. Schwartz squared off against Torryn “The Falcon” Heffelfinger in a match that was pure action from the very start. The two traded positions until Schwartz was able to secure a triangle choke. The sequence that followed was masterful by the 10th Planet brown belt. Schwartz pulled down on his shin before switching back to his opponent’s head. He then shifted his hips to tighten the triangle and hooked Heffelfinger’s outside leg, forcing a sweep to the mount. Schwartz made an adjustment on the arm from mount, falling back and extending the arm for what appeared to be an arm bar and forcing the tap from Heffelfinger. After the match, I had a chance to speak with Schwartz, who told me it wasn’t an arm bar at all; it was actually a move that he created called the Schwifty Lock. This lock is a modified Americana that Schwartz sets up by making space in the choke for his opponent and freeing up the arm. He then torques the arm to out and back to create pressure on the shoulder. This was Schwartz’s third appearance in the SUG cage and he has only been more impressive each time back. Expect a huge step up in competition for Schwartz on the next SUG card; the undercard can’t contain him much longer.

***Potential Matchups – Bryan Nuro, Dante Leon

Jake Shields Secures His Place at the Top

Jake Shields proved once again that he is one of the best grapplers on the planet. He outworked Dillon Danis to secure a win via fastest total escape time. Not that the match wasn’t close; Shields only bested Danis by an 8 second difference. Danis did get a hold of Shields’ neck and worked the squeeze on a tight guillotine, but it was not to be. Shields and Danis spent much of the opening frame in a classic wrestling standoff looking for dominant positions. For Danis, this was a huge mistake as Shields has a fantastic wrestling pedigree. For all the hype surrounding Danis, no one took him more seriously than Shields, who repeatedly praised the skill of the recent Bellator MMA signee. After the match, Danis fled the ring and then the building, answering no questions and making no statement. Shields has now won two SUG main event slots and is in position to ask for just about any opponent he chooses. When asked about who he’d like to face Shields, said his dream scenario would pit him against former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

***Potential Matchups- Jon Jones, Georges St. Pierre

Seattle Storm Splits The Weekend To Start The WNBA Regular Season

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Seattle Storm Splits The Weekend To Start The WNBA Regular Season

The WNBA Seattle Storm bounced back from an opening day loss on Saturday to win their home opener 87-82 on Sunday against a tenacious Indiana Fever team.

The Storm opened the 2017 regular season against the defending champion Sparks in Los Angeles on Saturday. With turnovers piling up, Seattle lost 68-78 despite shooting 52 percent.

They headed home to KeyArena to what they knew would be the usual supportive and loud crowd to face off against the Fever on Sunday. It was a lift they took full advantage of.

“We definitely used the energy of the fans,” said Storm guard Jewell Loyd. “I mean, they were with us all the way down the stretch so it was great. You always want to protect home court.”

With the crowd pushing them on, Seattle had to overcome strong performances by Indiana, especially from guard Shenise Johnson and guard Briann January, who shot 24 and 23 respectively.

The Storm also had to overcome what has been their nemesis: turnovers. Turnovers were a bane during the pre-season and continued against the Sparks where Seattle gave the ball away 23 times. Though they brought it down a bit against the Fever, 20, it was still something the Storm knows they must fix.

“The biggest thing that’s hurting our defense is our turnovers,” said head coach Jenny Boucek. “So we’ve got to smooth out some things offensively but I think our defense…when we get it set is on the right track and we’re going in a good direction in that end of the floor.”

Another area of concern was how to turn it around after a loss the day before. Storm forward Breanna Stewart provided an answer that helped complete the win.

“I think the biggest key was we were the aggressors but also we finished the game,” said Stewart. “Yesterday (against LA) we were the aggressors but then we…let off the gas in the fourth quarter.”

It was a feeling felt by Coach Boucek as well, who knew her team had used up a lot of energy the day before.

“I didn’t think we played great—we didn’t have a lot of gas in the tank,” said Boucek. “We used a lot of it yesterday but they showed…a lot of toughness to figure out a way to grit that out when they weren’t feeling their best. “

Seattle played again without guard Sue Bird, who is day-to-day on her return from injury. This was Stewart’s first game of the season and she made a big impact.

Probably no more apparent than in the fourth quarter where Stewart had a monster block that brought the arena to its loudest and then dropped a three-point shot that gave the Storm the lead for good with 1:40 left to play.

For Stewart, making these plays is what she is here to do but getting that extra lift from the crowd is that home court advantage that propels teams to wins.

“When we hear (the fans) we know…alright this is ours, we got this one,” said Stewart.

Also making a contribution for Seattle were forwards Crystal Langhorne, who scored 17 points and had six rebounds, and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who came off the bench to add 12 points.

The Storm has a week of practice before facing off against 2015 MVP Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics at 4 pm on Sunday, May 21st at KeyArena in Seattle.

“Mitey” Micah Brakefield looking for 2nd straight Submission Underground win

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Submission Underground

“Mitey” Micah Brakefield looking for 2nd straight Submission Underground win

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Submission Underground (SUG) 4 is fast approaching and that means Portland will soon be flooded with some of the most exciting submission artists in the world. With jiu-jitsu players like Gilbert Burns, Jake Shields, Dillon Danis, Nathan Orchard, and Paulo Miyao participating, people are certainly expecting fire works. While it seems likely that anyone of those competitors could steal the show, the simple fact is the person who had most spectacular submission of the night at SUG3 is on Sunday’s card as well. “Mitey” Micah Brakefield is back for the second straight event and the last time he was in the SUG cage, all he did was finish his opponent inside of a minute with a flying triangle off the cage. I had a chance to sit down with him last week and get his thoughts about SUG4. Brakefield is ready to prove that he belongs on the top of this card and he just so happens to be feeling better than ever.

“The quick match [at SUG3]was kind of out of necessity. I had torn my groin five days out, before that last match. I almost considered pulling out but knowing I had paid my own way to get there I just couldn’t. The week before the match I was doing a shark tank and tore my groin, I couldn’t really walk…I was pretty stiff before the match [at SUG3]so I got it done quick.”

Brakefield is finally feeling like he will be able to show a bit more of what he brings to the table. A couple minor injuries aside, he is feeling great coming into Sunday’s event and he expects to be ready to put on a show and is confident he has a plan in place to best his opponent.

“I was never one to watch much game film before but I guess that might have been because I didn’t have awesome film to watch. Luckily I have fight pass and I was able to watch [Craig Jones’] matches from EBI (Eddie Bravo Invitational). The way Jones caught Nathan [Orchard] was really slick but I have been drilling leg locks and I think I’m ready for him.”

As far as his opponent goes, Craig Jones is a BJJ black belt and a very patient grappler. He has a style that plays well against other pure jiu-jitsu practitioners as he has no problem starting a match from a sitting position. For Brakefield, this is rather inviting since his background is originally in wrestling and he likes to be able to use his wrestling from the top to secure wins. What he brings to the table as a wrestler is experience, and he certainly doesn’t expect his opponent can match his credentials in that department.

“I don’t worry about the matchup, I wrestled all through college and everything. So I have 6 years of post secondary wrestling, plus all of high school, and even in elementary school a bit. And [Craig Jones] is from Australia and they can’t wrestle.”

Micah Brakefield is a showman through and through. His love of the suplex is well documented and his interviews are almost as strong as his slams. Should things go according to plan for the 10th Planet Coquitlam standout, fans will be seeing those slams and maybe even hearing a callout from the Canadian. If you are looking for the breakout star of SUG4, don’t look past “Mitey” Micah Brakefield, his star is on the rise.

***Submission Underground 4 takes place this Sunday, May 15th at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon. Please visit roselandpdx.com for event and ticket information.

“Mitey” Micah Brakefield looking for 2nd straight Submission Underground win

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Submission Underground

“Mitey” Micah Brakefield looking for 2nd straight Submission Underground win

BY 

Submission Underground (SUG) 4 is fast approaching and that means Portland will soon be flooded with some of the most exciting submission artists in the world. With jiu-jitsu players like Gilbert Burns, Jake Shields, Dillon Danis, Nathan Orchard, and Paulo Miyao participating, people are certainly expecting fire works. While it seems likely that anyone of those competitors could steal the show, the simple fact is the person who had most spectacular submission of the night at SUG3 is on Sunday’s card as well. “Mitey” Micah Brakefield is back for the second straight event and the last time he was in the SUG cage, all he did was finish his opponent inside of a minute with a flying triangle off the cage. I had a chance to sit down with him last week and get his thoughts about SUG4. Brakefield is ready to prove that he belongs on the top of this card and he just so happens to be feeling better than ever.

“The quick match [at SUG3]was kind of out of necessity. I had torn my groin five days out, before that last match. I almost considered pulling out but knowing I had paid my own way to get there I just couldn’t. The week before the match I was doing a shark tank and tore my groin, I couldn’t really walk…I was pretty stiff before the match [at SUG3]so I got it done quick.”

Brakefield is finally feeling like he will be able to show a bit more of what he brings to the table. A couple minor injuries aside, he is feeling great coming into Sunday’s event and he expects to be ready to put on a show and is confident he has a plan in place to best his opponent.

“I was never one to watch much game film before but I guess that might have been because I didn’t have awesome film to watch. Luckily I have fight pass and I was able to watch [Craig Jones’] matches from EBI (Eddie Bravo Invitational). The way Jones caught Nathan [Orchard] was really slick but I have been drilling leg locks and I think I’m ready for him.”

As far as his opponent goes, Craig Jones is a BJJ black belt and a very patient grappler. He has a style that plays well against other pure jiu-jitsu practitioners as he has no problem starting a match from a sitting position. For Brakefield, this is rather inviting since his background is originally in wrestling and he likes to be able to use his wrestling from the top to secure wins. What he brings to the table as a wrestler is experience, and he certainly doesn’t expect his opponent can match his credentials in that department.

“I don’t worry about the matchup, I wrestled all through college and everything. So I have 6 years of post secondary wrestling, plus all of high school, and even in elementary school a bit. And [Craig Jones] is from Australia and they can’t wrestle.”

Micah Brakefield is a showman through and through. His love of the suplex is well documented and his interviews are almost as strong as his slams. Should things go according to plan for the 10th Planet Coquitlam standout, fans will be seeing those slams and maybe even hearing a callout from the Canadian. If you are looking for the breakout star of SUG4, don’t look past “Mitey” Micah Brakefield, his star is on the rise.

***Submission Underground 4 takes place this Sunday, May 15th at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon. Please visit roselandpdx.com for event and ticket information.

Grading The Taijuan Walker for Jean Segura trade 30 games in

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USA TODAY

Grading The Taijuan Walker for Jean Segura trade 30 games in

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Back on November 23rd, the Seattle Mariners sent pitcher Taijuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and left-handed pitcher Zac Curtis. As with many off-season moves in baseball, when there’s nothing else to talk about in baseball, writers at many local and national outlets speculated about who had “won” the trade. Most of the discussion focused on whether Walker, a one-time highly touted prospect, would reach his potential with a change of scenery and whether Segura, coming off a career year, could maintain that level of production. A few astute analysts, like Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs, mused about whether the inclusion of Mitch Haniger in the deal was the real coup for the Mariners. So now that every team in baseball has played roughly thirty games, let’s take a look at how the pieces in the Mariners/Diamondbacks deal are panning out.

Two Pieces are in the Minors

Of the five players included in the November trade, two are currently in the minor leagues – Zac Curtis and Ketel Marte.

Curtis was expected to start in the minors, as he had only pitched 13.1 innings in the majors with the Diamondbacks in 2016 with a low 6.75 K/9 and an extremely high 8.75 BB/9. He clearly wasn’t ready to face big league hitting after just 19.2 innings at AA.

Marte, on the other hand, played 119 games for the Mariners in 2016. Granted, he generated -0.7 WAR by being bad offensively (3.9 BB% with .287 OBP) and, well, being bad defensively (-9.8 UZR/150 at SS). His presence in the majors last year probably said more about the lack of depth in the Mariners farm system than any great promise on Marte’s part.

So far this season, Curtis has pitched 14 innings for the AA Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League. He has recorded 3 saves with respectable 8.36 K/9 and 2.57 BB/9. He’ll turn 25 on July 4th, so there’s still a little more time for him to develop.

Marte finds himself in Reno playing for the AAA Aces in the Pacific Coast League. His .403/.448/.530 slash line looks impressive at first before you remember he’s putting up those numbers in the extremely hitter friendly PCL. Both Steamer and Depth Charts projections have Marte playing in about 25 games this season in the majors, so he’ll probably stay in the minors a full-season, joining the Diamondbacks after roster expansion.

How Has Taijuan Walker Faired in Arizona?

Chosen 43rd overall in the 2010 draft, Taijuan Walker was always considered a high upside starter in the Mariners organization. However, in a little over 300 innings in the majors Walker’s ERA remained north of 4 with FIP and xFIP pretty much concurring. After parts of three seasons, Walker had accumulated 3.2 WAR. But, going into the off-season, most Mariners fans assumed the 24-year-old would plug in as the two or the three in the rotation. GM Jerry Dipoto had different ideas, like shoring up the offense and defense at shortstop.

This season, Walker has started 7 games with the Diamondbacks, posting a 3.83 ERA. His FIP is half a run better at 3.36, but his xFIP is pretty similar to his ERA at 3.85. He currently has a 0.9 WAR, which if he were to make even 28 starts might approach 3 for the season. A nice number two for the D-Backs behind Zach Grienke.

Walker has pitched better on the road, including two starts in San Francisco and one at Dodger Stadium to post a 3.10 away ERA, compared to 4.58 at home that is probably a bit skewed by the 15-9 game against San Diego. So, all-in-all with the inclusion of some pretty pitcher friendly parks in the NL, Walker seems to have neither been a bust or a big steal for the Diamondbacks and definitely a justifiable and fair trade from their perspective.

How About the Hitters the Mariners Got?

One of the things that jumps off the leaderboard of Mariners hitters on FanGraphs is that the two pieces acquired in this trade are number one and number two, ahead of Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano. Now we are only talking about 100 PA or so, but the returns so far have been good.

As of the first game of the series on the road at the Philadelphia Phillies, Jean Segura, who has spent a short stint on the DL, is hitting .376/.414/.516. For the more analytically inclined (like me), Segura has a weighted on base average (wOBA) of .404 (interpret the number as if were the same scale as OBP – .404 is really good) and weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 167, where 100 is league average and 167 is roughly 67% better than league average. Segura leads the Mariners offensive players with a WAR of 1.4.

Again, it’s early, but it’s reasonable to assume Dipoto thought Segura could come close to repeating last season’s break out when he hit .319/.368/.499, with a 126 wRC+, and 5.0 WAR. His torrid pace will regress, but the offense seems to be genuine at this point. What Dipoto might not have been able to predict is how good Mitch Haniger has been.

Haniger is hitting .338/.442/.600 with an outstanding .444 wOBA and an absolutely Ruthian 195 wRC+, which he’s definitely not going to maintain – he has just 95 PA – but is a hot start and a harbinger of things to come. He’s barely played 50 games in the big leagues and the 34 in Arizona produced .229/.309/.404, but as the sample size grows, Haniger should turn out to be a really good everyday player.

The projections going forward by Zips, Steamer, and Depth Charts have Haniger playing 92-99 more games with 390-400 more PA, while hitting 13-15 HR, scoring 47-50 more runs, and driving in 45-50 more runs. As a .250ish/.320ish/.430is hitter going forward, he should remain above league average in wRC+ and finish the season with around 3 WAR. Not bad for a piece of a trade that was probably not the focus of the casual fan.

Grade on the Trade So Far?

With the caveat that it’s extremely early and grades could change, it appears both the Diamondbacks and the Mariners got what they were looking for, with the Mariners maybe coming out on top if Haniger continues to pan out with above average hitting and solid defense in right field.

The Mariners have improved offensively, ranking fourth in the majors with 6.3 WAR, behind only the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, and the surprising Cincinnati Reds. If Segura had enough PA to appear on the individual leaderboards, he’d be tied with Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians as the second most productive SS in baseball. And if Haniger qualified, he’d be tied with Steven Souza, Jr. of the Reds for third most offensively productive RF in baseball.

By FanGraphs defensive metric Def, the Mariners rank 9th in the majors and 5th in the AL.  Segura does have enough innings in this category to rank 8th in the majors and 4th in the AL, while Haniger does not qualify and the Def stat, (oddly, isn’t listed on the player’s page for comparison to the leaderboard).But, his UZR/150 of 5.7 would put him around 11th in the Giancarlo Stanton neighborhood.

Ironically, the staple of recent Mariners teams – pitching – isn’t there yet, although it has been improving of late. So, could the Mariners have used Walker this season? Certainly. but the improvements at short and in right currently tip the scale on this trade to the Mariners. But, it is early.

ZBO spotted rocking a Trail Blazers cap. What does it all mean?

ZBO spotted rocking a Trail Blazers cap. What does it all mean?

Way back in 2001 the Portland Trail Blazers drafted a young power forward from Michigan State by the name of Zach Randolph.  Randolph spent seven seasons in Rip City, before bouncing between New York and Los Angeles, eventually finding a long-term home with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Now the 35-year-old enters the 2017-18 season as an unrestricted free agent. To this point the story seems ordinary, but this is where it takes a turn. According to a video from TMZ Sports, Randolph was recently spotted rocking a Trail Blazers hat at Warwick in Hollywood. A free agent wearing the hat of a team he last played for a decade ago… conspiracy theories commence!

So what does it all mean? Is ZBO sending a message to the league and the Blazers, a team in need of a power forward this off-season? Is he just creatively celebrating a Way Back Wednesday? Perhaps he got dressed in the dark and grabbed it by accident. Whatever the scenario, it is always fun to see a Blazers star from the past rocking the pinwheel.

Your Favorite Fight – Episode 8 – Tyree Fortune

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Oregon Sports News

Your Favorite Fight – Episode 8 – Tyree Fortune

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This week on Your Favorite Fight, Oregon Sports News Senior MMA Writer David Golden heads to Gracie Barra Portland to sit down with 3-0 professional MMA fighter, Tyree Fortune. Tyree has a really fun favorite fight and he and David really dive deep on this one. They also discuss weight cutting, anime, and constipation. What’s Tyree’s favorite fight? Listen and find out!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

The Full Contact Fight Federation Presents: Rumble At The Roseland 92

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The Full Contact Fight Federation Presents: Rumble At The Roseland 92

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The Full Contact Fight Federation (FCFF) is back in action on Saturday, May 13th at the Roseland Theater in downtown Portland for Rumble at the Roseland 92. The FCFF has again stacked the card with up and coming amateur fighters from across the state. This night will not only feature these exciting young athletes but will also play host to the Submission Underground 4 main card weigh-ins. That means UFC veteran Jake Shields will be in the house to weigh-in for his match against recent Bellator MMA signee and BJJ superstar Dillon Danis. If that weren’t enough to get you out of the house and down to the Roseland, UFC Hall of Famer Uriah Faber will also be in the house to weigh-in for his match against 5-time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion Paulo Miyao. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get a picture snapped with the California Kid? This card has 10 scheduled matchups with one super fight and one title fight. The fight card is listed below.

170lb: Josh Scott (Animals MMA) vs Daniel Pesavento (Team Quest)

185lb: Devon Leslie (Oregon Martial Arts Association) vs Aaron Harvey (Mata Leao Combat Sports)

170lb: Nicky Porter (Portland, OR) vs Jantz Bullock (Impact Jiu Jitsu)

135lb: Chris Organiz (Animals MMA) vs Zach Martin (Portland Thai Boxing

155lb: Tony Savage (Echo Valor) vs Silas Yeak (Gracie Barra)

155lb: Braydon Akeo (Portland, OR) vs Zack Cox (Impact Jiu Jitsu)

155lb: Agustin Ortiz (Animals MMA) vs Brian Heenan (Straight Blast Gym)

125lb: Cody Westphal (Corvallis, OR) vs Keaneo Moyer (World Class Athletics)

170lb Superfight: Jeramy Burford (Portland Thai Boxing) vs Scott Baker (World Class Athletics)

Heavyweight Title: Jared Matthews (Bend, OR) vs Rico Martinez (503 West Coast Academy)

***Card Subject to Change

If this night of fights and famousness sounds like it’s about your speed, here are three things to watch for while you’re enjoying your night.

The Return of Keaneo Moyer

Keaneo Moyer will be making his return to the cage for the first time since a loss way back in 2014. Moyer has had several fights on the books between then and now but for one reason or another those fights never came to fruition. His return to the cage will also be his promotional debut for the FCFF. He is one of the more athletic fighters on this card; he is quick with his strikes and has confidence in his submission attempts off his back. Moyer has not proven to have the best takedown defense in his first two fights, so I would look for his opponent to try and exploit that weakness. Moyer is representing World Class Athletics and has worked very hard on his Thai Boxing in preparation for this fight, I expect him to come out fast and aggressive in this one.

A Pack of Wild Animals

Animals MMA is once again bringing a small stable of fighters to the cage for Rumble at the Roseland 92. Head coach Enoch Wilson has truly built a team worth watching down in Hubbard. On this card representing Animals will be Josh Scott, Chris Organiz, and Agustin Ortiz. While these competitors are all early in their career, the fighters from Animals consistently bring an old-school toughness that always translates in the cage. Bantamweight Chris Organiz used that toughness in his MMA debut this past March by our working his opponent from bell to bell. When you add to that toughness the speed of Organiz (4.46sec 40 yard dash), you have a devastating combination.

The Weigh-ins

This might not be one of the fights and it may only take a few minutes but there is nothing more exciting to me than Jake Shields and Dillon Danis squaring off in the cage. The last time these two were at the same event, a coffee and energy drink throwing festival broke out and the Nevada State Athletic Commission had to intervene but not before Shields hit Danis with a cup of coffee. Danis clearly hasn’t forgotten about this, and it will be interesting to see just how he handles himself as they weigh in and square off. Danis isn’t one to mince words and being a teammate and coach of Conor McGregor, I’d anticipate him bringing some hot trash talk to the weigh-ins.

Could Joshua bring heavyweight boxing back from the dead?

Could Joshua bring heavyweight boxing back from the dead?

OK, stick with me here because for some of you, this is going to be a new subject. But remember, Google is your friend and you can always get more background on this if you need it.

So way back in my youth there was this sport called "boxing." It was a combat sport kind of like mixed martial arts but without the cage. Now I know you're asking yourself, how can you keep a guy from running from the other guy without a cage to keep him there? I know, it seems impossible.

But stick with me here because this is where it gets complicated. Two people fought in a square area with ropes wrapped around it that they called "a ring." I know, makes no sense. They also called it a "squared circle," which is even more difficult to understand. And ropes? Well, they weren't really ropes but they called them that. They looked more like garden hose but were actually cables wrapped in some form of rubber or plastic, I think.

Anyway, it was pretty entertaining stuff because these guys were allowed only to punch each other -- not knee them, kick them or grab them and take them down to the "canvas." Yes, it wasn't a "mat" but a canvas -- which had nothing to do with painting.

They did this for 10 or 12 or even, in the old days, 15 rounds and it was, for a time, one of the most popular sports in the world. It's almost vanished in America these days, buried under Dana White's UFC. You may have seen some boxing in recent years but it was probably involving guys in the lighter weight classes. But let me tell you there is a very big difference between watching 145-pounders go at it and seeing two men about 250 pounds attacking each other.

And I must tell you, there's a real chance boxing could make a comeback. I watched a fight from London Saturday night that made me yearn for the days of yore when boxing was a big deal. I watched one of the best fights I've ever seen -- and I was on hand that crazy night in Las Vegas when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear off.

And no, people, that wasn't legal in the sport called boxing. Tyson just couldn't help himself. Hungry, I guess.

Anyway, this fight in London featured Wladimir Klitschko, a Russian who was the heavyweight champion (an amazing 64-5 with 54 knockouts) for nearly a decade, against the new champ, England's Anthony Joshua. When I tuned in, I didn't expect much of a tussle because Klitschko is 41 years old and lost his crown 17 months ago to Tyson Fury. And he hadn't fought since then so I didn't know how much he had left in the tank. I must confess, I'd not seen Joshua fight previously but found out right away he's pretty talented.

This epic fight aired on Showtime and I'm going to tell you to check your listings and find a replay if you can. It was an incredible battle held in front of 90,000 fans in Wembley Stadium. Joshua, 27, had Klitschko down and almost out. Then Klitschko knocked Joshua down -- for the first time in his career -- only to have Joshua get up off the canvas and win via TKO in the 11th round. And that doesn't begin to describe the intensity of this fight.

Klitschko went down three times in the scrap but just kept coming back for more. Joshua appeared at one time to be letting the whole thing slip through his fingers. These were two huge men fighting their hearts out and, again, you couldn't ask for a more entertaining bout.

You can find it somewhere on the web, I'm sure. And keep an eye on this kid Joshua. He's one tough fighter.

And who knows, maybe he can bring that sport back from the dead.