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Kamaru Usman was the better man tonight, but

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Jorge Masvidal can give credit where credit is due.

Despite accepting a UFC 251 main event bout against welterweight king Kamaru Usman on just six days’ notice, Masvidal had no desire to make excuses about his unanimous decision loss on Saturday night.

Instead, the first and only “BMF” champion paid homage to Usman on a job well done while also putting the spotlight on his own shortcomings.

“I hate coming up short,” Masvidal said at the UFC 251 post-fight press conference. “I’m not going to make no excuses. He was the better man tonight. There were some areas where I didn’t give him enough credit, and there were some areas I felt with a better training camp I could definitely surpass him. I think I showed a lot of my wrestling on six days’ notice that I’m not too easy to take down and to hold down on the ground.

“I made a lot of mistakes. I tried to fight in spots, since I didn’t feel my gas tank was the greatest. He fought in better spots. Right when I’d get loose and open up, he was able to clinch me up and take it back into his world. So I’m not going to take anything away from him. He won fair and square. I’ll do whatever it takes to get back in front of that man and compete again and get my hand raised.”

Nothing was ideal for Masvidal heading into fight week after traveling halfway around the world, adjusting to a time difference and then suffering through a tough weight cut just days before he had to face Usman.

Considering all the obstacles leading into UFC 251, Masvidal could easily chalk up his loss to all the different circumstances facing him. But he didn’t want to take anything away from Usman for getting the job done.

“The weight cut was tough like everybody knows,” Masvidal said. “I had a little bit of weight to cut but I’m not going to sit here and make excuses. He won. I gambled the dice on myself. I knew I didn’t have the greatest gas tank coming in but I’m still a dangerous man. Six days, one day, six weeks, so hats off to him. We’ll do it again.

“He knows that I’m no pushover. I just feel like I let a lot of people down. It was a sh*tty performance.”

Masvidal was definitely impressed by Usman’s performance, especially with the work he did inside the clinch where he was able to control the majority of the fight.

Prior to setting foot in the octagon, Masvidal felt like had Usman figured out but it wasn’t a puzzle he was able to solve over five rounds. While he’s happy to work his way back to title contention again, Masvidal knows what he did wrong this time around and what he needs to do to earn a different result in a rematch.

“I’ve got a good formula in my head though on how to beat him the next time,” Masvidal said. “I thought I had the formula.

“Now I know the formula — it takes a lot of gas tank, a lot of conditioning, a lot more wrestling rounds with high level guys. So I definitely got a square root on how to beat this guy.”

Because he lost, Masvidal wants nothing more than another opportunity to fight Usman.

That said, he’s putting the bad blood with Usman behind and he promises the next time they meet, the fight will only be about competition and not some personal grudge that needs to be settled.

“The competitor in me, no I want to take everybody’s head off,” Masvidal explained. “I want to take his head off even more now that he beat me. I just feel like me and him now we don’t have to promote the next fight like that. We don’t have to talk about each other’s religion or ethnicities or nothing like that. He said some things that weren’t necessary and I’m sure I said some things that probably weren’t the best.

“I just think about the future generations. You don’t have to promote fights like that to sell pay-per-views. I heard that this card did great anyways but I feel it doesn’t have to be promoted like that, especially for the younger guys coming up. They don’t need to think you always need to talk sh*t to sell a pay-per-view or disrespect a man’s religion or anything like that. We’ll do it again.”

Source: – MMA Fighting

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Best moments from Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley's win at The Match – Golf Channel

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Score one for the underdogs!

Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley entered the latest iteration of The Match, The Match III, as betting underdogs to favorites Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning. However, Mickelson and the 25-handicap Barkley got the job done in convincing fashion, winning 4 and 3 on Friday at Stone Canyon Club in Oro Valley, Arizona.

“Two people thought this was going to happen: you and me,” Mickelson told Barkley as they walked off the 15th green.

After dropping the first hole, Mickelson and Barkley won four straight holes to take command. As Curry struggled with his game and Manning couldn’t do much to pick up the slack, the two went 4 down after 10 holes. In total, they won just three holes.

While there were still plenty of Classic Chuck shots to make things entertaining, Mickelson performed well as a player, coach and caddie to headline a strong team performance.

Oh, and the banter wasn’t “turrible,” either.

Here are some of the most memorable moments from the day:


To: Chuck, From: Tiger

Barkley’s golf ability and knack for self deprecation make him an easy target, so it’s no surprise that Tiger Woods’ needle found him.

Woods sent some gifts Barkley’s way before the match, including a reflective vest and airhorn.

The joke, though, was mostly on Tiger. Barkley didn’t need any of his presents early. He hit a nice baby draw off the first tee and didn’t miss a fairway until the fifth hole. And while Barkley did hit some foul balls later, the match was well in hand by then.


Early over-club

Mickelson put on his caddie hat right away after bombing a drive into the left rough at the opening hole. As Barkley sized up a wedge shot, Mickelson shot the flag with his rangefinder.

“70 yards,” Mickelson said.

Barkley clipped it a little thin, sending the ball well over the flag and rolling it onto the back fringe, some 80 feet away from the flag.

Mickelson then conceded that he over-clubbed Barkley on purpose.

“It was actually 55,” he said to Barkley. “I didn’t want to tell you that because I wanted you to be aggressive. … I’ve underestimated your ability.”


Pray for the zebras?

Steph Curry was easily the best dressed player on the course, and Phil Mickelson agreed: “I think he looks amazing.”

But Andre Iguodala, one of Curry’s former Warriors teammates who was part of the broadcast team, disagreed.

“How many zebras had to die for you to look fly?” Iguodala quipped.

Ouch.


Barkley’s Gary Player story

Speaking of outfits, Barkley’s all-black attire prompted a tweet from Gary Player.

“Glad to see that Chuck has channeled his inner Black Knight with his all black attire today,” Player said. “Let’s go Chuck & Phil.”

Barkley then mentioned that he and Player teed it up recently.

“One of the highlights of my life was getting to meet Gary Player about six weeks ago,” Barkley said. “I always wanted to meet him, we played a great round of golf and it was an honor and a privilege.”

Unsurprisingly, Player made some comments about Barkley’s weight during their round together.

“I’ll tell you what, he made me feel bad about being fat, though,” Barkley said. “He told me I need to get in the gym.”


Barkley’s hecklers

Tiger and Gary weren’t the only ones making fun at Barkley’s expense. Barkley’s “NBA on TNT” colleagues – Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal – joined the telecast from their homes.

“I’ve got $100,000 on Steph Curry,” O’Neal said to Barkley, who chunked his tee ball at the sixth hole amid the trash talk.

Finally, Mickelson had enough.

“I’m tired of your colleagues disrespecting you,” he said before handing a dozen Callaway golf balls with Shaq’s face logoed on them to Barkley. 

Barkley’s next shot from the drop zone missed the green, as well.

“200,000 on Steph Curry,” O’Neal added.

“Where’s the hitch?” Kenny Smith asked Barkley as he walked toward the green.

O’Neal then had the best zinger of them all as Barkley lined up a birdie putt off of Mickelson’s tee shot.

“Chuck, if you can’t read words how you gonna read greens?” O’Neal asked.

Mickelson’s advice – “Quiet your mind, my friend” – paid off, though, as Barkley nestled one close to clinch the halve after Manning lipped out a short birdie try.


‘Strong, cocky move’

With Barkley facing a long birdie putt from the fringe at the fifth hole, Curry had a chance to chip he and Manning’s fourth shot close and put some pressure on.

However, he duffed it.

With the ball still in the rough, Mickelson decided to conceded the bogey to his opponents.

“That’s a strong, cocky move right there,” he said to Barkley, who ended up lagging one 4 feet past and setting up a Mickelson par make for the hole.


‘I bought it’

Who said the Super Bowl had the best commercials?


Chuckopotamus

Here’s the ball flight we’re used to out of Chuck. Warning: It’s not for the shank of heart.


‘Sorry’

After Barkley declared the match basically over with he and Mickelson leading 3 up at the turn, the pair went 4 up after 10 holes. But Curry and Manning managed to get one back at the par-4 11th hole as Mickelson and Barkley spent some quality time in the desert.

Nice out by Mickelson, even if Barkley would later miss a putt for double bogey.

As for Barkley’s club toss? In Chuck’s words: Turrible!


Great – but meaningless – shot!

Not much went right for Curry and Manning on Friday.

Even this beauty of a bunker shot by Steph, at No. 12,  resulted in a lost hole.

Great shot, but Curry still might not want to check his Twitter for a while. Better to let the plus-1 handicap skepticism die down first.


Block or charge?

Well…?


And the winning putt…

Mickelson sealed the deal with this birdie make, but man, wouldn’t it have been great if Barkley had drained the game-winner instead?

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Alejandro Pozuelo reveals injury as Toronto FC focus on contending again in 2021 – MLSsoccer.com

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Even in a condensed season, with rotation aplenty as travel and fixture congestion forced MLS clubs to rely on the depth of their squads, Toronto FC talisman Alejandro Pozuelo started all 25 of his club’s matches in 2020. 

Pozuelo started the year on fire but didn’t quite live up to his lofty standards at the end of the season and failed to make an impact as Toronto lost to Nashville SC in Round One of the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. 

The finalist and favorite for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award revealed he was carrying an injury towards the end of the season. 

“Physically, I feel good but in the last games I had some problem in my leg,” Pozuelo told media on a virtual press conference. “The last two or three weeks I played through an injury but nobody knew because we tried to force through the last month. This is not an excuse. I play a lot of games because I want to play, I felt good enough to play. When I don’t feel good, I say no. But I felt good (enough to play).”

Pozuelo had just one goal and no assists in his final six games, including the playoff loss, after eight goals and 10 assists in the first 19 games of the season.

“The MVP (award) is not important for me,” Pozuelo said. “We lost in the first round, we don’t feel good. We know we could have done more, we have more expectations in this team. The MVP is not important, I feel no good when we lose in the first round.”

Toronto persevered a difficult season, most spent away from home. With difficulties between the United States-Canada border with quarantine guidelines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto spent the second half of their season playing “at home” in Connecticut. A number of players noted how difficult it was to be away from families but didn’t want to blame that on their disappointment in the playoffs. 

“This season was tough for everybody, but we tried to do our job,” defender Chris Mavinga said. “It wasn’t easy but I think we did well. We didn’t do it in the playoffs, but we have to be proud what we did in the regular season, then learn from it so we can do better next season.”

Toronto are now focused on the offseason and returning strong in 2021. 

“I want to play on a good team, I want us to have as many good players as possible,” midfielder Michael Bradley said. “As many competitors as possible, a team that steps on the field and goes for it every single weekend. That’s all I want. When you look at the club’s track record in the types of players and personalities they’ve brought in, by and large, it’s been quite good.”



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Ravens-Steelers game moved again from Sunday to Tuesday – Sportsnet.ca

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NEW YORK — The Baltimore Ravens’ bout with a COVID-19 outbreak has forced the NFL to postpone the team’s trip to Pittsburgh for a second time.

The league announced Friday the Ravens (6-4) against the unbeaten Steelers (10-0) will now take place on Tuesday night. The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving, then moved to Sunday afternoon after an initial wave of players on the Ravens tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Additional positive tests, a group that reportedly includes Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, have forced the Ravens (6-4) to prepare virtually all week.

The postponement forced the NFL to move Dallas’ visit to Baltimore next week from Thursday to Monday, Dec. 7. The unbeaten Steelers (10-0) will now have a short week to prepare for a visit from the Washington Football Team (4-7) on Dec. 6.

The game — if it happens — will be the second Tuesday game played in the NFL this season. Tennessee played at Buffalo on Tuesday, Oct. 13 following the Titans’ bout with COVID-19 in early October forced a reshuffling of the schedule that included moving Pittsburgh’s visit to Tennessee from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25.

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