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Israel Adesanya dominates Paulo Costa, finishes with devastating second-round knockout in UFC 253 main event – MMA Fighting

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It was supposed to be the toughest challenge of his career, but Israel Adesanya made it look easy as he dominated Paulo Costa to retain his middleweight title in the UFC 253 main event.

“The Last Stylebender” predicted that precision would beat power and that’s exactly how the fight played out as he avoided just about everything Costa threw at him while chopping down the Brazilian contender with leg kicks throughout the opening round. Adesanya then finished the fight with a blistering counter left hand that put Costa down and out for the final time.

The end came at 3:59 in round 2.

There was a lot of bad blood between the middleweights in the days and weeks leading to the event but Adesanya ultimately needed less than two rounds to dispatch Costa and hand him the first loss of his professional career.

“I’ve been telling you guys. Like Roy Jones said, ya’ll must have forgot. Ya’ll must have forgot,” Adesanya said in reference to his previous win over Yoel Romero before making short work of Costa on Saturday night.

“I see you media people with your little clickbait headlines. I had to make ya’ll remember.”

Wary of the power coming from Costa early, Adesanya concentrated on leg kicks in the opening exchanges while looking to chip away at his opponent’s foundation. Rather than rushing ahead to close the distance, Costa countered with a couple of stiff kicks of his own to the body while inviting Adesanya to come after him.

As the fight continued, Adesanya was methodical while dishing out a steady diet of those same leg kicks with Costa willing to stand directly in front of him. While Costa was constantly taunting Adesanya, it was the former kickboxer turned UFC champion who was inflicting far more damage.

Midway through the second round, Adesanya’s leg kicks paid off when he was able to go up to the head where he connected and opened a cut over Costa’s eye.

With a dazed look in his eyes, Costa never really recovered as Adesanya saw the hurt painted all over his opponent and he knew the end was near.

At that moment, Adesanya welcomed an exchange on the feet where he showcased his dazzling defense and then tossed the counter left hand that ultimately led to the finish. As soon as the punch connected, Costa crumbled to the mat and Adesanya only had to threw a few more shots before the referee rushed into stop the contest.

The win moved Adesanya to 20-0 in his career, 9-0 in the UFC and he’s now a two-time defending middleweight champion. Never one to sit back and wait for the next challenge, Adesanya already had a name in mind as he looked ahead to UFC 254 in a few weeks when a former champion squares off with a top ranked contender at 185 pounds.

“I already DM’d Jared Cannonier. He’s a hell of a dude. I love his energy. He’s a beautiful man,” Adesanya said. “I said you destroy Robert Whittaker and you’re next.

“He’s the one I want to fight next. He deserves it. If he beats Robert Whittaker handily and dominates him, he’s next.”

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Is Khabib Nurmagomedov's speedy scale at UFC 254 the latest UFC weigh-in controversy? – MMA Fighting

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At the UFC 254 official weigh-ins, Khabib Nurmagomedov looked nervous.

He was the first man up Friday morning, but the UFC’s lightweight king took his time stepping to the scale, appearing to be slightly agitated as he called for a towel to cover him so that he could remove the excess poundage of his clothes. He delicately stepped up and then brought his hands to his face in relief as he got the all-clear signal for Saturday’s main event.

155. Championship weight. Nothing to be nervous about.

Or was there???

Keen internet sleuths have pointed out that the official checking the weight was quick to dismiss Nurmagomedov from the scale even as it appeared that the scale’s bar appeared to be tilting upward, indicating that something may have been amiss. It should be noted that Nurmagomedov was not the only fighter to have his weight measured with such speed.

Officially, Nurmagomedov made the mark for Saturday’s title fight main event opposite Justin Gaethje, but that didn’t stop the online discussion from brewing, which included a few of his peers who commented on the suspected miss, protocol, and Nurmagomedov’s overall demeanor.

While we wait to see if anyone from Gaethje’s team raises their concerns over the matter, we’ll leave it to you the reader to decide whether there was something fishy going on with Nurmagomedov’s weigh-in.

Poll

What do you think of the Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC 254 weigh-in controversy?

  • 40%

    He made weight

    (1790 votes)

  • 59%

    He had help

    (2582 votes)



4372 votes total

Vote Now

Nurmagomedov’s tense turn on the scale brought to mind past UFC weigh-in controversies, a couple of which also had championship stakes. Let’s take a look back and see how some of the UFC’s biggest names may have previously gamed the system.


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Probably the first example that comes to mind when weigh-in controversies are discussed, Daniel Cormier fooled everyone ahead of UFC 210 with a last-second weight cut that was truly mystifying.

Heading into his second fight against Anthony Johnson, Cormier initially came in heavy for his light heavyweight championship defense by 1.2 pounds. The repercussions of missing weight in this situation would be devastating for Cormier who likely would have been ineligible to retain his title even with a win. He was given the opportunity to weigh in again and no more than three minutes later, he returned to the scale and made weight.

Incredible, right?

Of course, in the footage above, Cormier can clearly be seen holding onto the towel the scale is being checked, an old school wrestling trick that allows a competitor to shift their weight just enough to pass the test. I’d estimate that about 1.2 pounds were shifted, give or take.

Afterwards, Cormier had this to say:

“It was crazy, I weighed in upstairs and I was like ‘Man I’m OK, I’m going to do this. It was harder than normally, but we figured we had it done, the scale was weighing different.”

He added that he was simply holding onto the towel to keep from being exposed and he denied making any kind of attempt to manipulate the scale. The following night, Cormier recorded his second consecutive defense of the UFC light heavyweight title, defeating Johnson by second-round submission.

While we’re talking towel tricks, honorable mention to Hakeem Dawodu who appeared to use a similar move at UFC 240 to make weight for a featherweight bout with Yoshinori Horie.

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There are layers to this one.

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and lineal Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz was already a proverbial oil and water pairing before they finally arrived in Montreal for UFC 158. St-Pierre, the genial and ever-professional French-Canadian, had little in common with the brash, sun-baked, Stockton street style of Diaz.

The two were previously matched up at UFC 137, but Carlos Condit took Diaz’s spot when Dana White decided to punish the mercurial Diaz for neglecting his media obligations (St-Pierre would later face Condit at UFC 154). Still, there was no stopping this highly-anticipated duel from happening and they eventually met in March 2013, with St-Pierre sweeping the scorecards to successfully defend his UFC title for an eighth straight time.

Their beef didn’t end there. Shortly afterwards, controversy arose when it was suggested that St-Pierre was actually a few ounces over the championship limit of 170 pounds. According to the Quebec commission, it is a rule that they ignore decimals when calculating weights.

Here is how then-UFC vice president Michael Mersch explained the situation to Diaz’s team:

“Here, they’re going to allow you and Georges to have an extra hour. Just in case somebody doesn’t make it. But the good news is, they don’t count the decimal. If you’re 170.2 it’s 170. If it’s 170.9. it’s 170.”

That explanation apparently didn’t sit well with Diaz, who told Chael Sonnen in a 2015 interview that he believes St-Pierre actually came in three pounds heavy and that St-Pierre was on steroids for their fight.

Years later, St-Pierre would shockingly admit to all of the above as well as poisoning Diaz and receiving alien gamma ray treatments to enhance his strength for the championship clash.

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It’s no secret that Kelvin Gastelum had struggled making the welterweight limit in the past, but after returning to middleweight pounds in 2016 it appeared that the Ultimate Fighter 17 champion had straightened out his issues at the scale.

However, those old problems reared their ugly head again at the weigh-ins for UFC 244. With an important co-main event fight against Darren Till ahead of him, Gastelum couldn’t take any chances and he called for the towel before weighing in. His trusty coach Rafael Cordeiro was by his side to provide moral support and lo and behold, Gastelum not only made weight, he came in at 184, two pounds under the non-title middleweight limit.

Kelvin Gastelum at the official weigh-ins for UFC 244 in New York on Nov. 1, 2019
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Upon closer inspection, it seems that Cordeiro may have been their for more than just moral support. Gastelum and Cordeiro were later accused of cheating the weigh-in, with observers pointing out that Gastelum appeared to be gingerly resting his elbow on his coach’s shoulder.

The New York State Athletic Commission found no evidence of wrongdoing and Cordeiro was incredulous at the accusations of mischief.

“People are tripping,” Cordeiro said. “I went there to check his weight. How am I going to lift him two pounds with my chest? They are crazy. They are tripping. It’s drama to sell the fight. There’s no way. There’s no way.

“There were two athletic commission officials there, I was in front of the whole world… That’s impossible. It doesn’t even cross my mind to try to break the law. The kid made weight, two pounds under. He did his job. He was the last one, he was sweating, running like a maniac, working hard, and got the job done. Everyone has a mouth and can say whatever they want.”

On fight night, Till won a close split decision over Gastelum, so things worked out for Till even if the bout was possibly made official through nefarious means.

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Why Is The Popularity Of Online Casinos On The Internet Increasing?

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In recent years, online casinos are growing in popularity. The growth in popularity of online gaming sites has grown exponentially as connections have become faster, with less latency and increased reliability. A handful of them have been around ever since the “dot-com” boom era. Two decades later, they are witnessing a huge wave of traffic that literally dwarfs that of when they were first introduced to the world back in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the Internet was becoming more practical.

If you want to know more about what’s available for games online, there’s more info at Casino Las Vegas. You’ll be playing a wide variety of games including online slots, video poker, and even classic table games such as blackjack, poker, and more.

We’ll be diving into 6 specific reasons why online casinos are gaining more popularity by the day on the Internet. Some of the reasons might make a ton of sense, while some of the reasons might just seem to be outright crazy. Let’s kick things off with reason number one of why casino popularity on the web is increasing day by day.

 

1.   They have higher odds of winning

When gambling at a regular casino, there’s a good chance that you might come away with less than what you arrived with. In short, the house always wins. Plus, there really is no telling what the real odds of winning are.

At an online casino, you can still risk losing more money if you are taking risky bets. But when playing games such as online slots, you have a high chance of winning some money every time you play. So even if you win a little bit, the question is: how many times over?

 

2.   People are not going out as much

At this point in time, not a lot of people are going out much. Meaning there will be fewer people going to the casinos than normal. But they still want to gamble and get lucky.

Certainly, there will be people across Canada that will be looking for more fun things to do while they’re home. If you are someone who likes to gamble on the casinos on a regular basis, an online casino is just a click away. Plus, there are a lot of them that are available to Canadians (some of them won’t be because they are available only in specific jurisdictions).

 

3.   Easily accessible

In today’s world where technology is constantly evolving, online casinos are easier to access than a decade ago. That’s because phones have become smarter. Not to mention, many online casinos have either made their sites mobile responsive or have a stand-alone app that users can download on their Android or Apple.

Plus, you can access these sites where there is WiFi or if you are running your phone off of your data. In short, you play your favorite casino games anywhere you might happen to be, as long as there is a live internet connection. If that isn’t the most impressive thing that technology can put together, we’re not sure what is.

 

4.   Plenty of awesome bonuses

One of the most appealing offers that draw new users is bonuses. When you join an online casino, you can get a nice sized welcome bonus. This could come in the form of extra cash, free slot machine spins, and more.

Even if you play on a casual basis, you can still earn bonuses just for playing on a regular basis. You don’t have to be playing for hours on end every single day to earn them. It can be three times a week or once in a while, it all depends on the casino.

 

5.   No need to travel

A lot of people are scaling back their travel plans recently. Some may not be able to travel at all due to recent events. But regardless, who would want to travel just to lose to “the house”?

If you truly want the closest experience to Las Vegas-style gambling, online casinos are where it’s at. Knowing that you don’t need to go too far to win some extra cash, many casual gamblers and high rollers might find that online casinos might serve them more of a purpose.

Don’t be surprised if you ask yourself “where have these been after all this time”.

 

6.   Some are accepting cryptocurrency

Increasing numbers of online casinos are beginning to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. While this payment option might not be to everyone’s preference, digital currencies are the future and maybe you should look into whether this payment option could work for you.

Final Thoughts

The popularity of online casinos is continuing to rise. And there is no telling when they will start to plateau. If anything, they have become more mainstream over the years.

With the Internet continuously changing, many people are relying on it for things other than shopping and communicating with people. The biggest takeaway here is that many people will find a way to have fun with the help of the Internet. If you are looking for ways to win money online for real, online casinos are where it’s at.

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How Raptors could be impacted by potential changes to 2020-21 season – Sportsnet.ca

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The NBA Board of Governors convened Friday to discuss the still-unknown plan for next season.

The highlight of the day were the reported discussions that the league was aiming to start the 2020-21 campaign just before Christmas Day, but plenty more was discussed between the NBA’s decision-makers.

Here’s a quick look at how some of what has been put out there may impact the future of the league — and the Toronto Raptors, in particular, who are in an even more unique situation as Canada’s lone NBA team.

Impact of a near-Christmas Day start

Should the season start just before Christmas it would have wide-reaching impact on every team in the league, most notably on decisions teams need to make now.

The next big event on the NBA calendar is the NBA Draft on Nov. 18, but after that it’s a blank slate.

This includes free agency and the start of training camp and if the season were to start on Dec. 22 as reported, that would leave a very short window for free agency to get done and probably a truncated training camp.

Neither of these situations are ideal. Sometimes free agency can drag a bit as players usually wait for the big fish to set the market first before committing afterwards, not to mention the fact that this would be a pretty short turnaround on a season that lasted, essentially, a full calendar year before and guys might need more time off to rest and recover before diving back into the grind.

Still, though, it would make a lot of financial sense to start the season at the end of December, in time for the 25th. Christmas Day is historically among the NBA’s biggest days, one that usually features a five-game slate of high-profile matchups. Over the years, even just being chosen to play on the day has been dressed up into something of a prestigious accomplishment.
dressing up getting chosen to play on the day as something of a prestigious accomplishment.

More than anything, it would be good for the NBA to try to please their TV partners after a season that saw the league lose a lot of money.

On the other hand, the Lakers just won the title not even two weeks ago. Would the Players’ Association be willing to sign off on allowing the players to return so quickly after the season ended? There’s speculation that the PA will push for a later start date — perhaps on Martin Luther King Day weekend in mid-January.

And in regards to the Raptors, specifically, the sooner the NBA season starts, the sooner the team will have to figure out its own unique situation of being a team in Canada.

Both Toronto FC and the Toronto Blue Jays were forced to find temporary homes for themselves down in the United States — as the government didn’t allow them to play in Toronto because of the COVID-mandated travel restrictions — and the Raptors probably won’t be seeing any special treatment themselves in this regard, either.

As such, if the NBA elects not to go with a bubble, the Raptors will need to find a home away from home for themselves. And if the season is actually starting just before Christmas, then that search will need to get started immediately – if it hasn’t started already, that is.

Season ends before the Olympic Games?

According to reporting from both The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league’s target date is Dec. 22, with the season lasting just 72 regular-season games and concluding before the Summer Olympic Games — assuming they can be held.

If you’re a fan of Canadian basketball, that last part about the Olympics is a pretty good argument for starting the season at that early date and knocking off those 10 games from the schedule.

This would allow NBA players a window to play in the Tokyo 2021 Games and might even open up the possibility of Canadian NBA players suiting up for their country in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria, B.C.

The OQT would start on June 29, so there’s a chance that enough of the Canada’s NBA contingent may be free to play for the country and help it qualify for the Olympics later on down the road when, presumably, Canada’s full complement will be available.

Of course, this is just looking at things purely from the perspective of Canada Basketball and, more generally, FIBA basketball. The NBA’s view of things likely differs in that truncating the season and starting it as early as possible would be made in an effort to return to a normal schedule as best as it can, and if that means sacrificing the Olympics to do just that, expect the league to do so.

Possibly no All-Star Game

Another sacrifice that may need to be made next season is the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis.

According to Wojnarowski, the event may need to be cancelled, though no decision has been made yet.

Cancelling All-Star weekend makes sense because the event — a big, fun exhibition weekend — would be strange without the captive sold-out audience in attendance to take it all in. Not to mention, the weekend isn’t just limited to what happens in the arena with a convention-like fan zone and parties happening all over the city in honour of the league’s finest.

In other words, a bunch of things that involve getting a large group of people together — something that would be too risky in this COVID-climate.

The cancellation of the event would be another way to accelerate the season and try to get things back to a normal schedule as the traditional All-Star break could then be eliminated and games could just be played straight through. The Players’ Association may have something to say about that, but it’s still an option that could be tabled.

A potentially bigger headache of cancelling All-Star weekend would be what to do with players who may have performance incentives and bonuses in their contracts tied to the All-Star Game such as being named an All-Star or winning All-Star Game MVP?

For example, let’s say Pascal Siakam gets a nice bonus for being voted in as an All-Star starter again next season. But if there’s no All-Star Game, would a vote even still happen? Would All-Star teams even be selected?

There’s a workaround for this to have mid-season awards and mid-season Eastern and Western Conference teams selected, perhaps, but it would have to be something else the league considers before moving forward on a decision.

To bubble or not to bubble

As Charania reported, “The NBA continues to prefer in-market play for the 2020-21 season — instead of a bubble or multiple bubbles.”

That’s well and good to say, but the question of feasibility is still in the air — especially with the holiday season upon us when people are more likely to travel and see friends and family in tighter spaces indoors.

Still, the argument against a bubble isn’t to be dismissed, either. The three-month Disney World experiment, while successful, took a huge mental-health toll on players and it’s unlikely they’ll want to subject themselves to that kind of isolation again — particularly for a longer period of time.

Instead, as Wojnarowski reported, the league may be looking into scheduling baseball-like series of games to keep teams in one spot for longer periods of time in an effort to reduce travel.

It sounds good in theory, but there’s a big difference between ball-parking an idea and actually executing. Given the exploding cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., any amount of travel will be risky.

And for that matter, any option on the table is a risk while trying to play pro sports in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s just a matter of what risks you’re willing to live with.

We’re still waiting to see what the NBA is willing to live with now.

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