Over this past weekend, we saw major action in the UFC, College Football MLB, and got some much-awaited updates on the next NBA season. Another week of NFL past and despite some big upsets my wallet was left in better shape than in the past, (only took seven weeks). At this current time in sports, I am sad to see professional baseball and basketball come to a close, but the next few months will bring back the return of college basketball, a better idea of the top contending teams in the NFL, and the return of all Power 5 conferences with hopes of a College Football Playoff still in the air. Here's a quick recap of everything that happened over the past week in sports:
Khabib Nurmagomedov Defends Lightweight Belt, Retires from UFC at 32
This past Saturday the UFC Lightweight Title fight took place during UFC 245 at Dana White's pandemic location of choice Abu Dhabi's Fight Island. Defending champion Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully kept the title belt against interim champ Justin Gaethje after winning by submission early in the second round with a triangle chokehold that saw Gaethje completely lose consciousness. The UFC world was shocked at the reaction of the usually stone-faced Khabib as he broke down to his knees and started tearing up after the victory, followed by the announcement of his retirement from the UFC. However, the events leading up to Khabib's title fight paint a different story:
This past July, Khabib's father and lifetime coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died due to complications with COVID-19. Khabib had promised that this would be his last fight ever to his mother citing that he could not continue fighting without his father in his corner. To make matters worse, Khabib had entered the fight following a broken foot injury he had sustained three weeks prior and had two broken toes visibly taped up during the fight.
If this is really Khabib's last fight he would end with one of the greatest careers the sport had ever seen with a perfect (29-0*) record, 13 straight wins in the UFC, and regarded as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter by Dana White himself. The sport will definitely miss him, but after leaving an incredible legacy on MMA fighting like this crazy motherfucker Khabib did, I'm sure his impact on the sport will live on for years to come.
World Series Tightens Up as Dodgers Win Game 5, Lead Series 3-2
(Image via CBS)
After a 4-2 victory against the Rays in Game 5, the Los Angeles Dodgers might finally be poised to win their first World Series trophy since 1988 with only one win left to secure the championship. Clayton Kershaw told fellow sportswriter Charlie Benjamin to respectfully fuck off after pitching a solid six innings, and only letting up two runs while dealing six strikeouts as the Dodgers' ace in this crucial postseason game. Kershaw seemed to shake a recurring omen of abysmal pitching that has been consistent in many late and important playoff games. The Dodgers went up early despite Randy Arozarena being nothing short of amazing and breaking the record for most postseason hits with 28 after a single in the bottom 3rd to close the gap to 3-2. Finally, at the top of the 5th, Max Muncy rocked one out of the park and the Rays could not respond. Game 6 will proceed on Tuesday with Blake Snell on the mound hoping to even up the score against the Dodgers who will likely feature most of their bullpen to secure their long-awaited World Series Trophy. I personally think that the Rays will win the next game and the Dodgers finish the series in Game 7, but either way, this World Series has been very entertaining. Game 6 is set for Tuesday Night @ 8:08 PM⚾🏆
BIG Ten Starts College Football Season, Highlights from CFB Week 8
This week saw one of the strongest College Football conferences, the BIG Ten, start their competitive college schedule with some major highlights. Besides the SEC, there is no conference quite like the Big Ten who eat, sleep and breathe college football. The conference decision to opt-in to a projected nine-game season after back-and-forth debates and college stars recently speaking up about wanting to play came as a surprise to no one. The conference has been dominant since the College Football Playoff format was adopted, sending at least one team in four of the past six years.
Before the weekend, the Big Ten entered the top 25 with five teams (5. Ohio State, 8. Penn State, 14. Wisconsin, 18. Michigan, 21. Minnesota [dropped out rankings]) and go into next week with the same amount speaking to how skilled these teams are. No. 8 Penn State suffered an unbelievable upset in OT to now ranked 17. Indiana after an unreal 4-yard dive for the pylon (see picture above) by QB Micahel Penix to convert the 2pt attempt and overcome Penn State 36-35. The other major Big Ten matchup saw No. 18 (No.13 this week) Michigan DOGGING last year's Big Ten dark horse No. 21 Minnesota. The Wolverines put up 49 points behind a very run-heavy offense that was able to exploit some major holes in the Golden Gophers defense. Finally, No. 5 (No. 3 this week) Ohio State did what it does best and embarrassed Nebraska winning 52-17 behind Justin Fields playing out of his mind as usual and completing 20/21 passes for 276 yards and 2TDs, while also running 54 yards for another TD.
Although the Big Ten is sure to produce some major highlights in the coming weeks as the college football world figures out what the hell is going to happen in the postseason, I would like to direct all attention to my EXCUSE ME?!? stat line of the week: Former Auburn QB Malik Willis transferred to Liberty after not receiving sufficient playing time and sat out the 2019 season because of it. In week 8 to secure their sixth win in as many games this season, QB Malik Willis went 24/31for 345 passing yards and SIX TOUCHDOWNS, while also having 12 carries for 97 yards including a 38-yard RUSHING TD to cap off at seven total touchdowns. The Liberty Flames are 6-0 and after last week I am a legitimate fan of the squad.
NFL Week 7; OBJ Injured, Steelers Remain Undefeated
While the NFL was able to avoid major COVID-19 concerns this week, this week was filled with other...um...SHOCKING news for lack of a better word. Let me break down the top stories from yesterday:
1) The Cleveland Browns were able to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in a nail-biting 37-34 victory that went down to the last 11 seconds of the game after Donovan Peoples-Jones scored a 24-yard touchdown pass on a botched coverage play (Baker's FIFTH passing touchdown of the day). The Browns were definitely hype to return to this season's high-scoring averages, but unfortunately lost one of their biggest playmakers in the process. WR Odell Beckham Jr. showed major improvements and comfort in his second year in the Brown's offense but unfortunately suffered a season-ending torn ACL to his left knee after Sunday's game. With Chubb and OBJ out due to knee injuries, this Browns team will have to have some key players such as WR Rashard Higgins and TE Harrison Bryant step up to remain at the top of the stacked AFC standings.
2) The Falcons are GOD awful. Todd Gurley, the notorious spread crushing, fantasy football team nightmare, RB for the Atlanta Falcons actually ruined their chances of both winning and covering the spread this week by scoring a touchdown in the final minute of the Lions-Falcons game. The Lions almost wanted Gurley to score playing non-existent defense on the final carry, and before Gurley realized what him scoring would mean for the outcome of the game, it was too late. The Lions would go on to exploit the shaky Falcons secondary and TJ Hockenson scored on an 11-yard dime from Matt Stafford. The Falcons now sit at the bottom of the NFC with a 1-6 record, with five of their losses being within 7 points or less.
3) The Steelers remain the only undefeated team in the NFL after a 27-24 victory over the only other undefeated team in the AFC the Tennessee Titans. After losing key LB Devin Bush to an ACL tear last week, there were some questions on how the defense could replace their star sophomore in their inside/middle linebacker core. Robert Spillane (who the Steelers acquired from the Titans) filled in the void efficiently, and the Steelers defense smothered the explosive Titans' offense in the first half and took a commanding 24-7 lead going into the second half. Even with 17 unanswered points from the Titans, Pittsburgh was able to hold off a team that has had plenty of miracle comebacks in the first few weeks.
Now what? The AFC is beyond stacked right now, and although the Steelers are at the front of the herd teams like the Chiefs, Ravens, Bills, Titans, and Colts do not trail far behind. One thing is for sure that the AFC North is not fucking around this season, and we could see up to three teams from the division make the postseason.
4)The best game of the day is usually supposed to be the night game, and this Sunday did not disappoint. After the Titans-Steelers game, the only remaining undefeated team was the Seahawks, but the keyword in that sentence is WAS. After a ridiculous series of events that involved DK Metcalf running faster than a Mercedes S-Class to stop a Budda Baker pick-6, game-winning plays called back from penalties, and Russell Wilson turning into Jamarcus Russell in OT the Arizona Cardinals got a statement win in their division after beating the Seahawks 37-34 behind a phenomenal performance from Kyler Murray who finished 34/48 with 360 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception, adding 67 rushing yards and a rushing TD on 14 carries. Sunday's game was so exciting to me because Kyler almost got a glimpse of his future, playing toe-to-toe with my undeniable MVP pick for this season, Russ injuries barring. Although Russ put up his highest number of interceptions in one game (3) this season, I think that the Seahawks still look like a dominant team and almost unstoppable offense. Sunday's game did produce some great memes, however:
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Current Record: 21-16-1 +4.575u