UFC Fight Night 158 Preview: Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje
By: Jesse Donathan
UFC Fight Night 158 will take place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Saturday, September 14, 2019 live on ESPN+ and will showcase a main event fight between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje. In many ways this is a new blood versus old blood matchup, with the exciting Gaethje being a relative newcomer to the Octagon sporting a 3-2 record overall and Cerrone having competed more times in the UFC alone than Gaethje has fights total, highlighting just what kind of career the crafty veteran from the BMF Ranch in Colorado has had in the worlds premiere mixed martial arts organization.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is a veteran mixed martial artist (36-12, 10 KOs) who has fought in the UFC an astounding 32 times coming into Saturday night’s lightweight contest against Justin Gaethje (20-2, 17 KOs). The very definition of a company man, Cerrone has alternated between the 155-pound lightweight and 170-pound welterweight divisions where he regularly steps up to the plate when the organization finds itself in a tight situation. Considering the frequency Cerrone fights, his willingness to alternative divisions and fight opponents who themselves likely belong in the 185-middleweight or even 205-pound light heavyweight divisions, Donald Cerrone is a member of my First Team All-Violence selections for being a fighter’s fighter in an era where cutting weight to be the bigger man in the Octagon is the road most well-traveled.
“Just two years ago we were all asking ourselves if “Cowboy” was destined to spend the rest of his UFC career being fed to an increasingly violent pack of up and coming wolves. Now, refocused and back at 155 pounds where he belongs, he is once again the hunter stalking his prey,” writes author Ryan Harkness in his May 25, 2019 MMAMania.com article titled, “Donald Cerrone earns new records, pulls ahead of the pack at UFC Ottawa.”
The keys to victory for Cerrone will be remaining mobile in the cage and maintaining distance against the aggressive Gaethje. Donald cannot afford to be caught flat footed in the Octagon, his tendency to wait for his opponents to make the first move could cost him dearly in this fight. It won’t be hard to find Gaethje in the Octagon, his plan will be to knock Cerrone out cold with his devastating Muay Thai based style of attack. This kind of fan friendly aggressiveness from Gaethje all but guarantee’s opportunities will be available to exploit if the veteran Cerrone is still sharp enough to capitalize on them at this point in his career. If Cerrone is able to prevent the surging Gaethje from effectively closing the distance on him, this is likely Cowboy’s fight to lose.
Justin Gaethje is as game of a fighter as you’re going to find in the UFC, this guy comes to bang and is not afraid to wade into the danger zone under heavy fire in order to bomb his opponents into unconsciousness. A former Division 1 All-American wrestler from the University of Northern Colorado, Gaethje is a fierce striker on his feet who throws devastating leg kicks and has a right hand that has taken more than one high level mixed martial artist out. Among the regular criticisms levied against Gaethje is his lack of defensive mindedness as he looks to bang with his opponents and his near utter refusal to his use his collegiate wrestling background for anything other than defensive purposes.
Not afraid to jump right into the deep end of the pond, Gaethje is going to have to weed through Cerrone’s long, piston like jab and teep front kicks in order to close the distance. The keys to victory for Gaethje will be to utilize his speed, athleticism and explosiveness in order to turn this fight into a brawl. “Cowboy” Cerrone is not hard to find in the Octagon himself, he has a rather slow, patient and methodical approach to fighting in the cage that can be exploited by a more athletic, explosive fighter. If Gaethje wants to make this a kickboxing match, it is entirely possible he will come out on the wrong end of this contest. Constant pressure, leg kicks and attempting to close the distance with athleticism and explosive power are exactly how Gaethje gets it done in the Octagon this weekend, anything less and its quite likely he walks away from this fight on the wrong end of a decision.
This fight is going to come down to whether or not Cerrone has an answer for a Justin Gaethje who is simply not afraid to wade into heavy fire in order to display his own lethal arsenal of brutal leg kicks and thunderous power shots. Gaethje is going to need to be cognizant of Cerrone’s proficient head kicks and ever-present jab, and if “Cowboy” fails to maintain a comfortable striking distance and remain mobile throughout much of the fight it’s very possible he goes to sleep Saturday night. In a battle of experience versus youth and unbridled violence, its anyone’s guess who is going to come out the ultimate victor Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 158 but it’s going to be a fight well worth watching to find out.
Combatant in Chief: The Story of Donald Trump and Combat Sports Debuts on UFC Fight Pass on Wednesday, November 14th
UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, continues its celebration of the company’s silver anniversary with the ongoing release of a 25-part documentary series entitled UFC 25 Years in Short. The compilation of short films represents 25 captivating UFC stories, one for each year of the promotion’s existence, that examine UFC’s amazing evolution, fascinating characters, and lasting influence. UFC 25 Years in Short streams on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the promotion’s digital subscription streaming service.
“COMBATANT IN CHIEF: The Story of Donald Trump and Combat Sports”
When Donald Trump opened his Atlantic City casino to the struggling UFC, it was the start of an unlikely friendship between the current POTUS and UFC president Dana White.
Directed by Adam Condal and Michael Hayden.
Premiere Date: Wednesday, November 14 at 12 a.m. PT / 3 a.m. ET
The history of UFC and President Donald Trump are intertwined, as President Trump played a pivotal role in legitimizing UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Trump Taj Mahal hosted UFC 30 in Atlantic City in February 2001, making it the first UFC event held by new owners Zuffa, LLC, which purchased the promotion in January that year. UFC 30 was also the first state-sanctioned UFC event held in New Jersey. UFC returned to Trump Taj Mahal in May 2001 with UFC 31, the first UFC event held under the new Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board had adopted a month earlier.
President Donald J. Trump Inducted into Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame
By: Ken Hissner
“Donald Trump couldn’t make it due to his day job,” said ACB HOF President Ray McCline. It brought quite a bit of laughter at the CLARIDGE a Radissan Hotel Sunday in Atlantic City, NJ.
Master of Ceremony NJB HOF President Henry Hascup and Ring Announcer Nino Del Buono did a fine job introducing the inductees. India Mercer, daughter of WBO Heavyweight champion Ray “Mercilus” Mercer did a great version of the National Anthem. Atlantic City Mayor Frank M. Gilliam Jr. also spoke.
The four “Special Contributors” were Trump, Mark G. Etess (accepting Don Hurley), former IBF President Marian Muhammad and former WBC President Jose Sulaiman (accepting Jill Diamond WBC Honoree). Officials being inducted who were present were judges Joseph Pasquale and Jean Williams.
Media inductees there were photographer Ray Bailey, and writers Bernard Fernandez and David Weinberg. Of the four Operations inductees Diane Fisher-Cristiano was there and had the audience in an uproar of laughter and got a great ovation when being introduced. She has been a long time promoter and was most worthy of her induction.
Fighters being inducted who were there were former Cruiser and Heavyweight champion Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield who accepted his award first. He had another engagement and wanted to get going first but took about 20 minutes in his acceptance speech which was a good one.
Mercer got a great round of applause when he was introduced for his induction. WBA Bantam champ “Joltin” Jeff Chandler, NABF champ Richie Kates and WBA Heavy champ Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon were well received by the audience upon being introduced.
Hector Camacho Jr accepted for his father the late Hector “Macho Man”. Two division world champion Bobby ”Chappie” Czyz got a great ovation from the audience and had the them in stitches. He was followed by Vinny “Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza and they traded humorous jabs back and forth. Paz turned it into an R rated event and it can’t be in print the comments he said. He did say his most satisfying victory other than winning two world titles was stopping Dana Rosenblatt (in their first of two fights with Rosenblatt taking the second one).
In attendance were NJ Boxing Commissioner and IBHOF Referee Larry Hazzard, Sr., former Olympic, Light Heavy and Heavy champion Michael “Spinx Jinx” Spinks, 3-division world champ Iran “The Blade” Barkley, WBO Light Welter DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, champ Legendary matchmaker Don Elbaum, Referee Alan Huggins, Olympic and WBA World Welter champ Mark Breland, NJ and PA inductee cut-man Joey Eye, trainer Aaron Snowell, judge George Hill, writers Danny Serratelli of Brick City Boxing, Frank Bartolini of Boxing News, Joe Santoliquito of Ring Magazine and this writer.
Breaking: Donald Trump Pardons Jack Johnson
By: Sean Crose
Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world, has finally been pardoned. Johnson, who has been dead for over seventy years, is reported to be only the third person in history to be posthumously pardoned by a sitting United States President. Donald Trump made things official on Tuesday at the request of numerous notables of the sporting, political and entertainment worlds. Sylvester Stallone is said to have played a huge role in Johnson’s eventual pardon.
Johnson, a victim of a racist era, was convicted of violating the Mann Act in 1913, which basically meant he was found guilty of taking a white woman across state lines. The legal action led Johnson to leave the country for seven years, effectively making one of the most famous athletes in history an exile from his own country. Having held the heavyweight title from 1908, when he bested then champ Tommy Burns, until 1915, when, at the age of 37, he lost to Jess Willard in Cuba, Johnson is widely considered to have been one of the greatest boxers in history.
Donald Trump Picks Muhammad Ali As Secretary of State!
DONALD TRUMP PICKS MUHAMMAD ALI AS SECRETARY OF STATE!
By: Ken Hissner
President elect Donald Trump is talking to about 10 possible candidates to become his Secretary of State. We have a current administration that made a “negotiation” for five of the worst terrorists in the world released from a prison in Cuba in exchange for an Army deserter. President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry recently topped their previously mentioned “deal” by paying $400 million dollars EACH for the release of four prisoners giving 1.6 billion dollars to Iran. Two days later the same Middle East country kidnapped two more hostages.
Back in 1990 the former world boxing champion Muhammad Ali who six years prior to this was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease takes a flight to Iraq and meets with their President Saddam Hussein and on the flight back to the US Ali brings twelve US citizens taken hostage back with him without giving up a dime or anything else! Now that’s what we call “negotiating” right? Six weeks later Desert Storm bombarded Iraq for their invasion of Kuwait. That meant these twelve US citizens may have been bombed by the US.
Then President George H.W. Bush opposed Ali’s departure to Iraq. It was the idea of U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and given to Brian Becker. Ali arrived in Baghdad on November 23rd and met with Hussein on the 29th. Ali left with the hostages for Jordan on December 12th before leaving for the US. Please go to the article by Becker who was the National Coordinator of the Answer which was an anti-war group. Becker’s article was published June 10th of 2016 entitled “I was with Muhammad Ali on his hostage-release trip to Iraq – and the media has it all wrong. That included President Obama referring recently to the release of “14” not 15 hostages per Becker.
In an article by Ali’s daughter Hana Ali that was updated June 4, 2016 Ali said the following: “I’ve always wanted to be more than just a boxer. More than just the tree-time heavyweight champion. I wanted to use my fame, and this face that everyone knows so well to help uplift and inspire people around the world. I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”
This writer is naming the title of this article knowing the former world heavyweight champion in and out of the ring Muhammad Ali has passed but what a Secretary of State Ali would have been!
Has Canelo Gone Full Donald Trump?
Has Canelo Gone Full Donald Trump?
By: John Freund
It’s the classic bully maneuver: Take your own insecurities, project them onto your opponent, then attack. For an example, we need look no further than the Master Bully himself, one Donald J. Trump.
During the Republican primary, Trump made waves by accusing Sen. John McCain of not being a war hero because he was captured in battle. Trump even went on to call McCain a ‘loser.’ This argument, aside from being outrageously insensitive, makes zero sense. Since when does a soldier lose ‘war hero’ status upon being captured? In my opinion, and I dare say in most other people’s, anyone who serves his or her country in war is a hero, regardless of whether they are captured, killed, or injured.
So why did Donald Trump say what he said?
One argument is that he’s crazy. I don’t buy it though. If Trump is crazy, then he’s crazy like a fox. Because in attacking McCain for being a ‘loser’ instead of a war hero, Trump is simply following the first lesson they teach in Bully Tactics 101: Project your insecurities onto your enemy, then attack.
Trump dodged the war. He used student deferments and later a medical deferment to avoid being drafted. And it’s painfully obvious from all his talk about ‘winning’ that the thing he fears most is losing. So Trump did what the Great Bully does, he projected his insecurities onto McCain, and went on the attack.
It’s a classic maneuver, actually. As subliminal as it is ruthless. And it’s one that gets repeated again and again.
Enter Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez just accused Genady ‘GGG’ Golovkin of taking the easy road when facing opponents. Yup, the same Genady Golovkin that no one – including Canelo Alvarez – currently wants to fight.
“All of his opponents have been the easy road,” Alvarez told RingTV.com in a phone interview. “He has never fought someone who has really pushed him or taken him to the next level. All of his opponents have been easy opponents.”
Gee Canelo, I wonder why Triple-G’s opponents have been so easy. Could it be because YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE ARE DUCKING HIM???
This is the classic bully performance, and it couldn’t have gone better if Trump himself had given it. Canelo’s rep has taken a serious beating lately. Not only for ducking Golovkin, but also for challenging an overmatched Amir Khan and following that up with a soon-to-be-thrashing of Liam Smith. Not exactly taking the hard road, are we Canelo?
So what does the bully do in the end? He takes his own insecurities and projects them onto his enemy. Now it’s Golovkin who is ducking tough opponents. Now it’s Golovkin who is taking the ‘easy road.’
Canelo even took this tactic to its psychological extreme, not only lashing out at Golovkin for what Canelo himself is accused of, but also justifying it with some twisted form of logic that only he (and possibly Oscar De La Hoya) can dream up.
“The main difference is that Brook is going up two weight classes,” said Alvarez, of GGG’s soon-to-be next KO victim. “I only made Amir Khan go up one weight class. People say it was two, but it was only one, and this guy Brook is moving up two to fight GGG at 160.”
For those not in the know, boxers weigh-in before the fight at a certain weight limit. But with rehydration, some are able to gain serious pounds between the weigh-in and the fight itself. Amir Khan claims he weighed 161 pounds during his fight with Canelo, and stated that “Canelo must have been around 180lbs! He’s a big dude.”
Canelo, for his part, denies that he rehydrated up to 180. Whatever his actual weight, it is clear that Canelo was much bigger and stronger than Khan during their fight. So for Canelo to make the argument that GGG fighting a guy two weight classes below him is somehow different from Canelo fighting Amir Khan… well that is just absurd. Add to it the fact that Canelo is justifying his own claim that GGG is ducking strong opponents, and you have absurdity on top of absurdity.
Welcome to ‘John McCain is not a war hero.’ Welcome to the world of Donald Trump.
No, Mike Tyson Will Not Be Speaking At The GOP Convention
No, Mike Tyson Will Not Be Speaking At The GOP Convention
By: Sean Crose
“Iron Mike Tyson was not asked to speak at the Convention,” Donald Trump tweeted late Tuesday night, “though I’m sure he would do a good job if he was. The media makes everything up!”
And so there we have it. Mike Tyson will not, I repeat, will not, be speaking on Donald Trump’s behalf at the Republican Presidential Convention this summer. The internet went wild on Tuesday after a Bloomberg report ran which claimed team Trump had wanted Tyson to speak for their man. Sure enough, having a convicted rapist on stage in Cleveland (where the convention will be held) next month would be a strange thing, to put it mildly (in fairness, Tyson has long argued his innocence).
Trump, however, has claimed Tyson is a supporter of his run for president. What’s more, the two men have a history together. Many people don’t know – or have forgotten – that Trump was a major player in the fight game back in Tyson’ s heyday. Add all this to the fact that both men are outspoken, larger than life characters, and it doesn’t seem THAT outrageous that Tyson might publicly push for Trump’s presidential bid.
Again, however, Trump himself has now made it perfectly clear that Tyson won’t be speaking in Cleveland. Sure enough, team Tyson claims it’s never even spoken to the Trump camp about the convention…which essentially means that’s the end of that. Indeed, this all seems to be a case of wishful thinking. The image of Mike Tyson, the guy once known as the baddest man on the planet, being part of a presidential campaign is just too appealing for the online Mafia not to run with. Hence, a ridiculous rumor run wild.
To be sure, the public perception of Tyson has changed over the years. While it’s doubtful anyone alive at the time will forget about the chomping of Evander Holyfield’s ear, a new generation has been weaned on a tongue in cheek tough guy, someone who is perhaps more comedian than feared competitor. That’s undoubtedly good for Tyson, who now unquestionably stands as the world’s most famous (former or current) fighter now that Muhammad Ali has passed. It doesn’t necessarily mean Iron Mike is ready to enter the world of politics, however, or that he’d even want to.
For, rough as it is, the boxing world probably doesn’t hold a candle to the cutthroat arena that is the modern political landscape.
Fellow Athletes, Along With Politicians And Other Notables, Weigh In On “The Greatest”
Fellow Athletes, Along With Politicians And Other Notables, Weigh In On “The Greatest”
By: Sean Crose
With the world reeling from the news of Muhammad Ali’s death, Boxing Insider has decided to pay homage to “The Greatest” by offering the reader a collection of quotes and Tweets from family, friends, colleagues and notable admirers of the legendary fighter. Enjoy
1. “The world has lost an incredible legend, I have lost a phenomenal friend and mentor. Much love” Larry Holmes
2. “He shook up the world, and the world’s better for it. Rest in peace, Champ.” President Barak Obama
3. “Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!” Donald Trump
4. “Until Ali no one said ‘I’m beautiful’ he was royalty, yet common man was his pal. That is beauty. Greatest kind” George Foreman
5. “God came for his champion. So long great one.” Mike Tyson
6. “RIP @muhammadali, a legend who transcended sport and was a true champion for all.” Oscar de la Hoya
7. “My heart is deeply saddened yet both appreciative and relieved that the greatest is now resting in the greatest place.” Roy Jones Jr
8. “I mourn the passing of MuhammadAli. He was indeed “The Greatest.” An American legend & a true Champion for the world.” Larry King
9. “The Greatest Man that ever lived. Daddy my best friend & my Hero You R no longer suffering & now in a better place.” Rasheda Ali
10. “We lost a giant today. You will always be GOAT. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Ali family. May God bless them.” Manny Pacquiao
11. “Today my heart goes out to a pioneer, a true legend, and a hero by all means!” Floyd Mayweather
12. “A giant among men, Ali displayed a greatness in talent, courage & conviction, that most of us will EVER be able to truly comprehend.” Lennox Lewis
13. “Rip to the champ.” Nate Diaz
14. “Nobody will ever come close to this mans greatness. And if they do, they better wake up and apologize.” Conor McGregor
15. “Muhammad Ali has died at 74. #RIP to ‘The Greatest.’ A sad day for the world.” Dan Rafael
16. “Rip the greatest of all times in many different ways.” Tyson Fury
17. “Strong prayers up & loving energy for The Greatest. There will never be another quite like him…” Mario Lopez
18. “RIP to the GOAT. A man of character, faith, dignity and professionalism. You’ll continue to inspire us to make this world a better place.” Wladimir Klitschko
19. “A joy to have known #Ali, my hero; I was privileged. May God embrace him and bring comfort to his family. His mark on this world is ETERNAL.” Lou DiBella
20. “A true great has left us. @MuhammadAli transformed this country and impacted the world with his spirit.” Bob Arum
21. “A man who shook up the world has passed on to the next stage of existence. Muhammad Ali was one of the most unique and original forces in culture and one of the most spectacularly talented boxers that ever laced up the gloves.” Joe Rogan
22. “This Man. This King. This Hero. This Human! Words cannot express. He shook up the World! God Bless Him.” Madonna
23. “RIP Champ A true honor to have met you many times over the yrs as you always will be#TheGreatestOfAllTime” Bruce Buffer
24. “You didn’t have to be a Boxing fan to realize his greatness, wit & bravery. Went to jail- NOT Viet Nam!” Mark Hamill
25. “We Lost a LEGEND RIP ALI!!!!!!!” Adrien Broner
26. “You will always be my hero … #MuhammadAli” Lionel Richie”
27. “Besides being the greatest boxer, he was a beautiful, gentle man with a great sense of humour” Paul McCartney
28. “Fantastic man who I came to know well.… He was the real Apollo Creed!” Sylvester Stallone
29. “Ali taught us to dream, to dare and fight for what we believe” Piers Morgan
30. “The Greatest is gone. @MuhammadAli changed the world as a fighter, humanitarian, teacher and force for peace and understanding. A champion.” Matt Lauer
31. “The Greatest. In boxing and in life, an inspiration to mankind.” Gennady Golovkin
32. “This one hurts. I have so much to say, but don’t know how to say it…but for now, you will be missed & I appreciate you so much. #Ali” Andre Ward
33. “RIP #MuhammedAli. Truly the greatest of all time. Your legacy extends beyond sports.” Mark Wahlberg
34. “This man inspired me. The Champ. Rest in peace. 2016 is a rough one.” Idris Elba
35. “Muhammad Ali, we are all stronger because of the light you shared with us. Rest in peace G.O.A.T. I love you.” LL Cool J
36. “You changed our sport and your vision impact the world. Your legacy will always be with Remembered #TheGreatest @MuhammadAli” Miguel Cotto
37. “Knew this day would come yet can’t express how my heart feels. #RIPAli #GOAT. My condolences to his family. #boxing” Rosie Perez
38. “Muhammad Ali was the greatest, not only an extraordinary athlete but a man of great courage and humanity.” Bernie Sanders
39. “We lost another legend last nite. Thank u for all u did – u will be missed. #RIPMuhammadAli” David Ortiz
40. “Thank you for touching so many lives. You have always been a huge inspiration for me and will be greatly missed. The greatest of all time.” Holly Holm
41. “RIP Muhammad Ali u elevated the art of the fight in the ring &out of it,a truly funny man,&remains the greatest my condolences to the family” Whoopi Goldberg
42. “RIP @MuhammadAli You fought a great fight!” Luanne de Lesseps
43. “You will be missed #MuhammadAli” Freddie Roach
44. “Condolences to the Ali family. I cherish the memories of the times I spent with The Greatest. Perhaps the most remarkable man I ever met.” Jimmy Lennon Jr.
45. “I woke up this morning with a tear coming down my cheek, an ache in my chest along with an appreciation of a man, fighter and friend That I truly admired, idolized and loved in Muhammad Ali. My true feelings have not totally surfaced yet because No One beats Muhammad Ali.” Sugar Ray Leonard