UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson analysis

On Saturday, September 20, 2014, at 3 a.m. E.T. in Saitama, Japan, Mark “The Super Somoan” Hunt takes on Roy “Big Country” Nelson in a 5-round heavyweight mixed martial arts contest. This is a big fight between two big guys, and it should be a good one. Although Mark Hunt is the favorite, UFC Fight Night 52 looks to offer a very good and close fight. This should be an action-filed bout between two of the toughest MMA fighters in the UFC.

In the UFC, Hunt (9-8-1) had a rash of losses before he was able to notch some victories. He can get into a losing streak funk. His last fight against Antonio Silva ended in a draw, and before that he suffered a knockout loss to Junior dos Santos.

He has not fought since UFC 33. Hunt will try to batter and bruise his way to victory, while staying out of the grasp of the savvy veteran Nelson. He will take a beating and ably battle his way back, which means this fight could go the full five rounds.

Nelson (21-9-0), who had lost two in a row before his most recent fight, last mixed it up in UFC 39, where he scored an amazing walk-off knockout over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Big Country may not look like an athlete, but the fact is he’s strong, tough, resilient, skilled, and crafty. But he’ll have to mix it up to win this one. Hunt will be readily absorb that great punch that Nelson throws, and The Super Samoan should rebound against and attack with a solid counterattack.

You can say it’s about who wants it more, or it may be about who appears to want it less. These two guys both have “I don’t care attitudes” that they use to their advantage. There’s no fear about losing, at least on the surface, and Hunt and Nelson are both extra large packages who can give and take it. Nelson has a devastating right hand, but Hunt has a chin that can stand up to severe punishment. The Super Somoan, who has had his share of ups and downs, can win this one, as he can match Nelson punch for punch and take a beating. When it comes to grappling, you’ve got to love Nelson, who certainly has the skills and technique to score a victory with a takedown. Hunt can easily find himself down and out if he grapples with Nelson.

When it comes to a KO or TKO, both fighters have seen 67% of their fights end in that manner. Hunt has not won a fight by a submission, while Nelson has been victorious in 19% of his bouts via the sub. On the other side, that is decision, the big edge goes to Hunt 33% to 14%. If this goes the full five rounds, then The Super Somoan has the edge.

Whoever wins this one will see their UFC stock rise, while the loser will need to recover quickly and fight again to validate their stature as a worthy fight card candidate. Both are fan favorites.

Match Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, at 8:25 p.m. E.T., the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) play their first away game of the new season, as they visit the Atlanta Falcons (1-1). The Bucs two losses came against St. Louis and Carolina, neither of which had starting quarterbacks. The Falcons had an unexpected OT win against New Orleans (37-34) in their first game and an expected loss when they visited Cincinnati (10-24).

On paper, Tampa Bay offers a defense that is a little under average, a running game that’s in the top third of the league, and a passing attack led by QB Josh McCown that is 31st overall. The best news for McCown is that he’s going up against one of the worst Ds in the league.

McCown has tossed 2 TDs, thrown 3 INTs, and been sacked 4 times. His favorite targets thus far have been veteran wideout Vincent Jackson, who has 87 yards, and rookie receiver Mike Evans with 86 yards. The Bucs run a lot and will rely on third-year RB Bobby Rainey. RB Doug Martin is questionable for the game, and TE Seferian-Jenkins is out.

The Tampa Bay defense, like the offense, will have to prove that they can keep up with their opponents. It won’t help that DT Gerald McCoy is questionable and LB Foster is out. This is a very vulnerable group that will most likely have a tough time stopping Atlanta’s top-ranked passing attack.

New coach Lovie Smith has his hands full. Plagued by injuries, he’ll need some extra effort from everyone to stay in the game. Kicker Matt Bryant, with an 85% success rate overall and a 100% success rate in 2014, could be a difference-maker.

The Falcons bring a contender to the field on offense but field a less-than-effective squad on defense. The good news is their attack can put points up; the bad news is the D has a hard time stopping opponents from doing the same.

It has been a decent year for the Falcons thus far. QB Matt Ryan is having a good season, however, he is prone to mistakes. He’s tossed 3 INTs while hitting for 4 TDs. His favorite passing target is Julio Jones (14 REC, 204 REC, 1 TD, 1 FUML). This season, veteran Steven Jackson anchors the running game, posting 98 yards in 23 ATTs for an average of 4.3 YDS/CARRY. Jackson is also a solid receiver.

Atlanta is 26th against the run and 31st against the pass. This is a major problem going into this game, especially with Rainey starting to heat up at running back for Tampa Bay. Atlanta’s corners are weak.

Although I like Matt Ryan and what he’s able to do, the Falcon defense is very questionable. Home field will help to a degree and scoring early will too. But no half-time lead is safe in the NFL.

In this NFC South rivalry, there’s a lot on the line in that one loss can play a key role in a team’s ability to make the postseason. This game will rise and fall according to how well the Falcon defense plays. If the Buc’s running game and their QB can exploit the holes in Atlanta’s D, Tampa Bay wins. The Falcons are favored by 7.

Lebron James Was Rated Higher Than Cover Athlete Kevin Durant in NBA 2k15 Video Game

10639516_10154585425405305_1378786861694310136_n2K Sports revealed its player rating in the upcoming video game NBA 2K15 with Lebron rated higher than cover athlete Kevin Durant.  Also,  2K Sports has chosen to completely switch up the way they rate players in the upcoming game, with only four players rated higher than 90.

Lebron James tops all current rating at 98, which is down from 100 last year. Kevin Durant follows at 95, and Tim Duncan at 90. The newest Cavaliers member, Kevin Love came in at 89.

Players with more well-rounded skill sets seem to be getting greater credit in the overall ratings this year than in the past as opposed to those that excel in some areas but are weaker in others

98- LeBron James
95- Kevin Durant
90- Tim Duncan
89- Kevin Love
88- Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, Russell Westbrook
85- Kawhi Leonard
84- Serge Ibaka
83- Andre Drummond, Manu Ginobli
82- Monta Ellis


Cavaliers Win NBA Lottery

The Cleveland Cavaliers owner’s son, who has a nerve disorder, has struck the lottery again. And the Cavaliers will pick first overall in the 2013 NBA draft on June 27 after winning the NBA draft lottery Tuesday in New York. This will be the third time in 11 years the Cavaliers pick first.

“It’s huge for us,” Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said immediately after the pick. “For us, it’s about the city of Cleveland and giving them more hope as we build the franchise to the level we want to go to.”

Had the lottery worked itself out mathematically, the Cleveland Cavaliers would’ve had the third pick in the draft. But this time the Cavaliers have hit it lucky again, the kind of luck you would expect to see at an online casino like Gaming Club.

As the Cavs were revealed as the winner, Gilbert, in his traditional bow tie, pumped his fist and grinned at his father sitting in the studio audience with the Cavs contingent that included hip hop artist Machine Gun Kelly, Iron Chef Michael Symon, Cleveland broadcasters and two fans who won contests to accompany the group.

“It’s what’s not to like 2.0,” Nick Gilbert said, updating the memorable phrase he uttered when the Cavs won the lottery in 2011.

The Cavs hope this No. 1 pick will put them back in the playoffs again after a three-year absence, even if there is no obvious top choice.

“There’s a lot of great players up top, but there’s no clear No. 1,” Gilbert said. “For us to have the choice I think is tremendous. It will give us not only a boost this year, but we’re going to put together a young core of guys that are all under 22 years old.

Aside from the Cavs, the big winners on Tuesday were the Washington Wizards, who bumped up four spots and will have the enviable decision of choosing among a group of players that could include Porter, athletic four Anthony Bennett and defensive dynamo Victor Oladipo. For a team that played .500 ball over the last 50 games and already features John Wall and Bradley Beal, those four spots may be the difference between another losing season and a playoff run.

Mike Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers are getting back together

It was three summers ago that the Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach Mike Brown in a last-ditch effort to persuade LeBron James to stay.

Brown, who coached the Cavs to the playoffs in each of the five seasons he coached them, from 2005 to 2010, has agreed to a five-year, $20 million deal. The Cavs have a team option for the fifth year, which is partially guaranteed for Brown.

Brown will return to the job the Cavs fired him from in 2010 despite back-to-back 60-win seasons. He was the Cavs’ top choice for the job and the only person they interviewed, though they did reach out to former Lakers and Bulls coach Phil Jackson to gauge if he had any interest.

Brown met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Chris Grant this past weekend in Detroit.

A major factor in Brown’s decision to accept the job is his family, which had planned to move back to Cleveland this summer after he was fired as coach of the Lakers early this season. Brown also has a strong and longstanding relationship with Grant.

The Cavs wanted to move fast to secure Brown. Sources told ESPN.com that Brown already had turned down the Phoenix Suns’ coaching position and could have become a candidate for other jobs in the coming days.

Sources say Brown views the Cavs’ position as one of the top jobs available because of the presence of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and the club’s substantial amount of salary-cap space.

“I’m happy for him, very happy for him,” James said Tuesday before Game 2 of the Heat’s first-round series against Milwaukee. “I think he’s a really good coach, very defensive-minded coach. It’ll be good for the young guys that they have.”

Brown was fired by the Cavaliers after the 2009-10 season and hired by the Lakers before the 2011-12 season. In his first season, the Lakers went 41-25 and lost in the conference semifinals. He was fired five games into this season but had two years and $11 million left on his contract. The Lakers have been informed they would get some relief from the $6.5 million-$7 million they owe Brown over the next two years. It was unclear how much it would be, but it was not expected to the full amount.



Anderson Varejao needs surgery, could miss two months

Anderson Varejao needs surgery to repair a torn leg muscle and could miss two more months. Varejao got hurt in a Dec. 18 game against Toronto. The injury was initially diagnosed by team doctors as only a bruised right knee, but as his symptoms persisted, more tests were performed and revealed a “longitudinal split” between Varejao’s quadriceps and knee. Also, ultrasound imaging revealed tissue underneath the muscle tear was herniating.

Cavaliers coach Byron Scott is hoping Varejao can return this season. Scott said he has not spoken to Varejao.

“I may just go up to him and give him a big hug and tell him it’s going to be OK,” Scott said at the team’s morning shootaround.

This is the third straight season that Varejao has been sidelined for significant time with a serious injury. He missed 51 games in 2011 with a torn ligament in his foot and 41 games last season after breaking his wrist. One of the NBA’s scrappiest players, Varejao was playing at an All-Star level when he banged his knee last month and went down with what appeared to be a routine injury.

“It’s real tough,” Scott said. “You’re disappointed, frustrated and (ticked) off. You have so many different emotions going through your head, but what can you do? Everybody in this league has to deal with injuries and we’ve had to deal with them for three straight years. You just got to keep playing hard with the guys that you have.”

Cavs to make Quicken Loans Arena More Accessible For the Disable

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed an agreement with federal prosecutors aimed at making Quicken Loans Arena more accommodating to fans with disabilities.

The Cavaliers agreed to continue making available 110 wheelchair spaces at arena events, unchanged from the current offering and exceeding federal requirements. (bet on NFL Browns vs Redskins)

The settlement came as a result of a lawsuit brought by a fan in a wheelchair who encountered problems at the arena.

The Cavs also agreed to train box-office employees on making sure fans using wheelchairs are treated fairly.

As part of the settlement, the Cavs agree to:

  • Provide at least 110 wheelchair spaces at the arena, with an equal number of companion seats, located at different locations and at various prices.
  • Include captioning on scoreboards and video monitors to provide hearing-impaired patrons with equal access to all of the information provided over the public address system.
  • Modify websites to ensure that vision-impaired people using computer screen-reader software are provided equal access to information and transactions.
  • Ensure that people with disabilities are provided accessible seating options.
  • Train ticketing staff to ensure that disabled fans are treated the same as non-disabled customers.

“The Cavs are to be commended for taking these important steps to improve the experience for their customers who have mobility or sensory disabilities,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach in a news release. “This agreement will make it easier for everyone to enjoy the excitement of a game, concert or other event at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs have demonstrated a real commitment to equality and accessibility at The Q and on the web.”


Cavs Play Lakers Tonight, Irving is expected to play

Tonight, the Clevleand Cavaliers will face off the Los Angeles Lakers for ther only season matchup and the Quicken Loan Arena.

Both teams are hoping to end a loosing streak. Unlike the Browns who won 3 games in a row and a great bet on NFL spread check it out at Sportsbettin.ag. The Cavaliers are looking to end their 5 game loosing streak while the Lakers are looking to end their two game loosing streak.”

The one thing going for the Cavaliers tonight is is Cavaliers point guard, Kyrie Irving, is expected to play after missing the last 11 games with an injured finger. Before his injury, Irving was averaging a team-high 22.9 points and 5.6 assists.

Despite a slow season start for the Lakers, Kobe is putting impressive numbers and leading the league with 28.6 points per game while while Howard has posted averages of 18.4 points and 11.7 rebounds.

Six days ago in New Orleans, Kobe Bryant surpassed 30,000 points for his career. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to 30,000 points in NBA history. In the Cavaliers last game on Saturday, Gee finished with a near double-double of 12 points, a season-high nine rebounds, one steal and one block in 38 minutes. He is averaging a career-high 12.1 points this season and leads the team in steals.

Irving was cleared to practice after missing 11 games with a broken left finger and the star point guard.

“It’s been very difficult,” Irving said after Monday’s practice. “But I’ve gotten a chance to really break down the game and it’s given me a chance to get a different outlook being on the sideline. I’m really happy to be out there and be competing again.”

Cleveland went just 2-9 without last season’s rookie of the year, who broke his finger Nov. 17 in a game against Dallas. He played the following night at Philadelphia before medical tests revealed a non-displaced fracture. The Cavs thought Irving would be out for at least one month, but he’s returning after just three weeks. Irving will play with a protective splint on his finger, but said the brace won’t affect his play.

Coach Byron Scott said the news that Irving was ready to return was just what the team needed.

“I think all the guys are looking forward to having him back out there because he does make most of our guys’ jobs a lot easier because he can create so much for himself and for his teammates,” Scott said.

While the Cavs are getting Irving back, they’re still without rookie guard Dion Waiters, who has missed four games with a sprained left ankle and will sit against the Lakers.

Scott said Waiters also has a bone bruise and is “still a little ways away.”

“He’s just now starting to do some running,” Scott said. “If it was a regular ankle sprain, he probably would have been able to practice, but the bone bruise obviously makes it a little more difficult for it to heal. It’s going to take a little time.”