Connect with us

Sports

Hot Tweets: After UFC Paris, where do Ciryl Gane, Tai Tuivasa, and Robert Whittaker go from here?

Avatar photo

Published

on

Hot Tweets: After UFC Paris, where do Ciryl Gane, Tai Tuivasa, and Robert Whittaker go from here?

Howdy, y’all!

It was a big weekend in combat sports, what with the UFC making its debut in France at UFC Paris, so with so many important things having happened, let’s answer some questions.


Where does Ciryl go from here and will Ngannou’s return be against JBJ or Gane 2?

— Matt Munson (@matthewjmunson) September 4, 2022

This is a really good question because while Gane explicitly stated he doesn’t want Curtis Blaydes (smart man!), that is overwhelmingly likely to be his next fight.

The heavyweight division is in a bit of a quagmire at the moment, because for the past several years, the champion has not been particularly active. When it was Stipe Miocic, he basically spent three years fighting Cormier, and now Francis Ngannou is hurt. When you have so few title defenses over such a long stretch, that allows a bunch of fighters to put together title-worthy resumes and if the title changes hands during that stretch, it only further muddies the water. That’s where we are right now and the sad reality for Gane is he’s near the bottom of the totem pole in the interim title conversation. While Miocic vs. Jon Jones isn’t a done deal, it seems likely to happen near the end of the year, and the only other name that makes sense for Gane is Blaydes. Now, there is a world where either Miocic or Jones could try to hardball the UFC and then have Gane step in for either — remember, he’s already done that once — but that’s an outside shot.

As for Ngannou, I don’t think he’s coming back. I would certainly advise against it were I in his corner, because not only is it the most lucrative option available, it’s also the one with the most flexibility. If he re-signs with the UFC, Ngannou becomes beholden to the promotion for however long the terms are. That’s that. But if Ngannou doesn’t, then he’s free to do whatever he wants, for as long as he wants. He can box Fury and then, if there’s an appetite for it, box Anthony Joshua or something else entirely. Or he can return to the UFC. It’s not like they won’t re-sign him if he goes off on his own for a boxing match or two.

So given this, I simply don’t see why Ngannou would re-sign with the UFC at this moment. He bet on himself at UFC 270 and he won. The man should reap the full benefits of that.


If tai fight Francis can he get the ko Francis couldn’t stand with gane he kept shooting take downs to avoid it but tai goes out there and drops him Francis knock outs aren’t clean I think if he gets into a swinging match with tai it’s a 50/50 who wins unless Francis fights smart

— Dr sponge (@Dr_sponge7) September 3, 2022

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

Well, Ngannou couldn’t stand with Gane for very different reasons than you’re suggesting. Gane wasn’t seriously hurting Ngannou, he was just taking him to school — the same way Gane was doing to Tuivasa until that one big haymaker landed. Also, it bears mentioning, Ngannou had only one working knee in that fight, which may have played a role in his ability to stand effectively with Gane. That being said, I think Tuivasa has a better chance than most at unseating Ngannou because he hits so hard and is so damn durable. Would I favor him? No. But he’s got a shot.

The number of blows Tuivasa ate that would have felled a tree, much less a man, were too numerous to count. Gane is not the most powerful hitter in the division — not because he’s got pillow hands but because he rarely sits down on his strikes for tactical reasons — but he absolutely hammered Tuivasa with some monster shots and “Bam Bam” kept right on fighting. That head kick in the (I think) third round that landed flush and jolted Tuivasa upright should have decapitated him, and somehow Tuivasa had the wherewithal to still fire back heaters at him. If Ngannou rushes Tuivasa like he did Jairzinho Rozenstruik, there is certainly the chance the Tuivasa is able to hold up and land his own hammers back that Ngannou can’t take, but I wouldn’t bet on it for two reasons.

First, I don’t believe there is a man alive who can take a full power shot from Ngannou and stay conscious. It’s a matter of science. The human body cannot withstand blunt force trauma to that degree and remain upright. So if Ngannou lands on Tuivasa, that’s ball game.

Second, Ngannou himself has a damn good chin. The champ hasn’t had to eat too many big shots in his career, but you can go watch his first fight with Miocic and know this man is tough as hell, because Miocic hits hard and he couldn’t get and entirely gassed Ngannou out of there. That gives me pause in thinking Tuivasa could do it, and in the end that’s what cost “Bam Bam” against Gane. In the pre-fight build up, Tuivasa said “If I dink him, I sink him,” but that wasn’t true. Tuivasa landed as well as he could have hoped on Gane, and while Gane was in a world of danger, he held up and overcame. That’s the dynamic here: Tuivasa has no margin for error, where Ngannou has some. At least, that’s how I see it.


Do you think Tuivasa hit his peak here? Gane had a great game plan, showed excellent toughness getting back up after the big shot and then eviscerated Tai. I don’t think Tai holds up against Blaydes, Miocic, Pavlovich or Aspinall.

— Florida Man Chael (@FloridaChael69) September 4, 2022

No, which is a change from my earlier position.

Heading into UFC Paris, I was vocal in thinking that the clock was about to strike midnight on Tuivasa’s Cinderella run, and while it ultimately did, he showed me enough in this fight to believe that while he may not actually be a Top-5 heavyweight, he’s not far off.

To be a successful MMA heavyweight, you need three things: durability, athleticism, and power (these things are important for any weight class but you can be a good fighter without one of them in other weight classes, at heavyweight, you need all three or you’re cannon fodder). Tuivasa has them all, which puts him in a great position, especially since he’s only 29 years old. If Tuivasa can continue to add wrinkles to his game, he probably will be a guy who hangs around near the top of the division for some time, especially since he’s already a fan favorite, which goes a long way in the favorable matchmaking department.

That being said, at this moment in time I don’t think Tuivasa is a Top-5 heavyweight, but he is firmly in the Top-10. I would pick Ngannou, Gane, Miocic, Blaydes, and Tom Aspinall all to beat him, and probably even the two Alexanders, Volkov and Romanov. But he’s got a much higher ceiling than I previously thought.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

Man, that Bobby Knuckles is pretty good, huh?

Whittaker broke Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris, which maybe wasn’t a huge surprise to some but really took me aback. Vettori is not the best fighter in the world, but he’s an absolute hammer and even Israel Adesanya didn’t take the will to fight out of him. The problem is, Whittaker is now firmly in the dreaded Rich Franklin Zone — the limbo of MMA. Actually, Whittaker is arguably in an even worse spot than Franklin was because at least Franklin could occupy himself with interesting superfights or catchweight bouts, but there aren’t really many of those available to Whittaker.

Truth is, Whittaker is sort of just stuck for the moment, but fortunately, it won’t be for long. Alex Pereira has a decent chance to unseat Adesanya and claim the middleweight title. If that happens, Whittaker is first up for a title shot (I know kickboxing is not MMA, but given the promotion for that fight is entirely about Pereira beating Adesanya twice, it’s hard to see them giving Izzy an immediate rematch if he gets bolted). He could find himself as the middleweight champion by as early as next spring. Even if Pereira loses, Whittaker still might have a shot at the title by next year, because Adesanya isn’t long for 185. He’s already said he wants to move up to 205, and if he beats Pereira, I think he does it. There will be nothing left for him to accomplish at middleweight, and then he can start his pursuit of champ-champ status, leaving Whittaker to reclaim the title.

And for those saying “I’d watch Whittaker fight Adesanya again!” I mean, sure, if it happens that’s fine, but I honestly don’t have much interest in it. They’ve fought twice and I thought Adesanya clearly won them both. He’s a better fight and the style matchup massively favors him. If they fought 20 times, Izzy wins 18 of them. I am less interested in seeing Whittaker try to high-roll against Adesanya than I am in getting fresh matchups for both men.


What do you think the possibility of Colby vs Bobby knuckles for the next in line at 185 regardless of the championship outcome? Chael is on to something with Colby moving up to 185

— michael (@michael13709091) September 4, 2022

While I kind of enjoy the idea of just pitting Frankin-Zoned fighters against each other, that would be an atrocious style matchup for Covington and one I don’t think he’d take. Plus, with Leon Edwards having claimed the welterweight title, Covington’s path to the belt is actually pretty open right now. I see no reason for him to move up at the moment. However, there’s another welterweight I would love to see make the jump up: Kamaru Usman.

If Adesanya does vacate the middleweight division like I expect, then Usman is free to move up and chase a second title. Win or lose in the trilogy against Edwards, Usman vs. Whittaker for the vacant middleweight strap is something I am very much interested in watching.


This should be a fun one.Should Imavov take Till’s Spot in the rankings?(ufc’s)

— Double Dutch (@DutchDuboa) September 3, 2022

I’m unclear what rankings you’re talking about. In the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, Nassourdine Imavov is ranked No. 14, and Till is not ranked. Because why would Darren Till be ranked? He hasn’t won a fight since 2019, a split decision over Kelvin Gastelum who has also won one fight in the past four years. Like with Conor McGregor, having Till ranked is entirely indefensible and any rankings that do so are obviously hogwash.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

How does the UFC Paris crowd stack up historically to other international crowds?

— Mike Linden (@MikeLindenWX) September 4, 2022

Do we see the UFC make France a yearly visit in their schedule?

— Jordan Arakawa (@Dazzrikio) September 4, 2022

It was hard for me to judge how good the crowd was, not being there in person, but the French crowd certainly seemed to be pretty good. European sporting crowds are all good though. They’re just straight up better at sports fandom than Americans are. They have songs and chants and enthusiasm; America has the “woo” birds and “U.S.A.” chants, which are impossibly stupid unless it’s an actual international competition.

But I digress. I don’t know where the French crowd ranks except to say it was certainly behind the UFC’s London return in March. That crowd was one of the best crowds I’ve ever seen for a UFC event, so they’re tough to top. But France definitely held its own and I would be stunned if the UFC didn’t make this a year stop.


That’s for you to determine! Though I should’ve worded it, which European country that has not yet produced a UFC champion becomes the next one to do so?

— Eric Stinton (@TombstoneStint) September 4, 2022

Sweden. Khamzat Chimaev should claim the welterweight title sometime next year.


Thanks for reading and thank you for everyone who sent in Tweets! Do you have any burning questions about things at least somewhat related to combat sports? Then you’re in luck, because you can send your Hot Tweets to me, @JedKMeshew, and I will answer them! Doesn’t matter if they’re topical or insane. Send them to me and I’ll answer the ones I like the most. Let’s have fun.

Read More

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Latest

Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

Avatar photo

Published

on

Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers seemed determined to keep playing. And playing. And playing.

The teams opened their Eastern Conference final playoff series with Florida’s 3-2 victory in four overtimes early Friday, with the game ranking as the sixth-longest game in NHL history.

Matthew Tkachuk’s goal came at the 19:47 mark of the fourth OT to end this one, which marked the 15th four-overtime game in NHL history and the longest game in franchise history for each team.

The longest game in NHL history came on March 24, 1936, when the Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Maroons 1-0 in the sixth overtime on Mud Bruneteau’s goal at 116 minutes, 30 seconds of extra play.

Florida’s previous record for longest game was 104:31 in Game 4 of the 1996 Stanley Cup final against Colorado. Carolina’s previous record was 114:47 for Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup final.

The only good news for the teams is they had an extended break before this series began. Carolina closed out New Jersey exactly a week earlier, while Florida eliminated Toronto a day later.

But this game ended roughly six hours after Thursday night’s puck drop, and the teams have a Game 2 in less than 48 hours.

___

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Read More

Continue Reading

Latest

Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

Avatar photo

Published

on

Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

MADRID (AP) — The investigation ordered by Barcelona into its controversial payments for refereeing reports found no evidence of corruption by the club, president Joan Laporta said Monday.

Laporta reiterated that the club’s payments over several years to the company owned by the vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee were only for technical reports and not to influence referees. He said he believed there were no ethics breach and that Barcelona was the victim of a campaign to hurt its reputation.

“This is one of the most ferocious attacks in our history,” Laporta said. “I ask FC Barcelona supporters to be as united as ever in defense of our crest, our essence, and our ownership model. No campaign to discredit us will prevent us from continuing to be an organization of reference in the world of sports that is beloved and admired by millions of Catalans and by many more millions of people around the world.”

It was the first time Laporta spoke at a news conference to give explanations after it became public that the club paid 7.3 million euros ($8 million) from 2001-18 to the company of then committee vice president José María Enríquez Negreira. Prosecutors have accused Barcelona of alleged corruption in sports, fraudulent management, and falsification of mercantile documentation.

Barcelona opened the probe to look into the actions of all the different presidential administrations that made payments over the years, including Laporta’s first at the club. The investigation was conducted by an external company.

The club said the probe found that “no conducts of a criminal nature associated to sporting corruption have been identified, nor are there any grounds to investigate any form of criminal activity associated to bribery.” It added there was “official documentation on the invoices and payments” for the services of “scouting and advice regarding referees, which are common practices in the professional sports sector.”

“Consulting on technical-refereeing issues does not constitute any type of illegal act,” Laporta said. “Consulting, as is done by the big clubs, that was carried out transparently, with the corresponding invoices, at least in my first mandate as president.”

The probe found 629 technical refereeing reports and 43 CDs that the club received over 18 years for what Laporta called “market price.” More reports were likely lost over time, he said.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

“I reiterate with all my resolve, I am convinced that FC Barcelona has not committed any crime of sports-related corruption. I hope that sooner rather than later, it is fully exonerated,” he said. “Accusations must be proven. We live by the rule of law, which guarantees among its basic principles the presumption of innocence.”

He said that if there were any irregularities committed by Negreira, Barcelona would be a victim of them. He also said Negreira was not in a position to directly influence referees, and that it was Negreira’s son who actually produced the refereeing reports.

“I dare anyone to show an instance in which Barcelona was favored in a match because of these payments,” Laporta said. “We will allow the justice system to do its work and I’m sure that Barcelona will be cleared. I am fully convinced that FC Barcelona has never performed any act with the intention of altering the competition to gain an advantage.”

The Spanish league, Real Madrid and other clubs have been among those taking part in the legal proceedings against Barcelona. Laporta criticized league president Javier Tebas for making accusations against Barcelona, and also took a shot at rival Madrid.

“Everyone knows that Real Madrid is a club that is historically favored by refereeing mistakes,” he said.

Laporta said Barcelona has always been a club that takes pride in its values, and it would never want to win anything with outside help.

“Throughout its 123-year history, FC Barcelona has always been a model of fair play, both on and off the field,” he said. “If we have won for so many decades, it has undoubtedly been a result of effort, talent and knowledge.”

___

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Read More

Continue Reading

Latest

Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

Avatar photo

Published

on

Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Silicon Valley city councilman has been charged with perjury after he allegedly lied about leaking a grand jury report to the San Francisco 49ers last year that detailed a purportedly unethical relationship between the team and the city council, prosecutors said Friday.

Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker is accused of providing the secret report titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council” to the team’s former top spokesperson and a local media outlet in 2022, days ahead of its official release.

Becker then allegedly lied to the grand jury about the leak, prosecutors said, prompting the criminal charges.

The 49ers play in Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara, about 35 miles (56.33 kilometers) south of San Francisco. Santa Clara County is broadly considered home to Silicon Valley.

The city of Santa Clara owns the stadium and leases it to the team; fighting between the two groups has led to ethics complaints, legal disputes and years of bad blood.

Al Guido, the team’s president, and Larry MacNeil, the former CFO who worked extensively on the team’s stadium project, were named in the indictment as witnesses who spoke to the criminal grand jury for Becker’s indictment.

“The 49ers have cooperated fully with the District Attorney’s Office in their investigation, and will continue to do so,” team spokesperson Brian Brokaw said in a statement Friday. “However, because this is an ongoing legal matter, the organization is not able to make any further comment at this time.”

Prosecutors say the team has bankrolled Becker’s political career by spending $3.2 million through independent expenditure committees for his 2020 city council race, which he won, as well as his unsuccessful 2022 mayoral bid.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

The “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” report alleged that Becker and four other councilmembers regularly voted “in a manner that is favorable to the 49ers” and would routinely meet with the team’s lobbyists but not disclose what was discussed.

Becker faces a felony charge of perjury under oath, as well as a misdemeanor charge of willful failure to perform duty. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Becker did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

“Councilmember Becker violated the public’s trust,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “That an elected official would commit perjury and lie under oath before the grand jury strikes at the very heart of our justice system and requires accountability.”

Representatives for the Santa Clara City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read More

Continue Reading