2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Think Will Happen

What do we think will happen in 2011? Ha! We’re glad you asked. As part of our 2010 Year End Sports Review, we see good things ahead for Duke, the Celtics and the Saints. We see cursed days ahead for the Phillies and Giants, and one Florida Gator-sized reunion in Denver. We also like Carmelo to play for the…hey, why are we telling you all this? Read for yourself below, lazy. (And have an open mind – we had some fun with this section.)

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

You think he’s gone? He’s not gone. He’s never gone!

Brett Favre has duped us before with his retirement talk, so why should we buy what he’s selling now? Lord Favre says 2010 will be his final season, but after spending a couple of months on his ranch next summer, he’ll get the itch to return. And some team will welcome him back. And the media will torture us with their 24-hour Favre watch. And the dreaded cycle of death will continue. So which lucky team will have No. 4 in uniform next season? While we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Favre returning to the Vikings for one more year now that Brad Childress is gone, that’s not a very fun projection. Thus, what about Da Raaaaaaaiders? Huh? Can you see it now? Lord Favre and Al Davis at the podium holding up their pointer fingers and saying, “Just win baby.” No? Ah, you’re no fun.

Carmelo will be a Knickerbocker next year.

Book ‘em, Danno. The writing is on the wall. He hasn’t signed the three-year extension that the Nuggets offered last summer and has reportedly decided that the only team he’ll agree to be traded to is the New York Knicks. This means that if the Nuggets are hoping to get something substantial for him, they’ll have to move him before the February trade deadline. Since there appears to be only one team in the running, the deal isn’t going to be very good. We wouldn’t want to be Nugget fans right now — the rebuilding process is about to begin.
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The 10 Best Fights in WEC History

Mitch Ciccarelli of HeavyMMA.com breaks down the top 10 best fights in WEC history.

10. Chris Leben vs. Mike Swick: WEC 9 (1/16/2004)
One year prior to becoming household names on the original cast of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Chris Leben and Mike Swick went to war in this WEC classic. At the time, the WEC wasn’t owned by Zuffa. The sport itself was struggling for mainstream acceptance.
After an action-packed first round, these two strikers stood in the pocket and traded punches until Leben dropped Swick with a thunderous left hand to become the first WEC middleweight champion. Leben would then vacate the belt to take part in the very first TUF and the rest is history.

9. Mike Brown vs. Urijah Faber: WEC 36 (11/5/2008)
“The California Kid” Urijah Faber was (and still is) the face of the WEC. When Zuffa purchased the organization in 2006, Faber was their most marketable asset and also a dominant champion at 145 lbs.
With five consecutive title defenses under his belt, Faber was considered as close to untouchable as one could get. But his invincible mystique would come to an end at the hands of Mike Brown, who not only defeated Faber, but knocked him out in the very first round to claim the featherweight championship.

Check out the rest of the top 10.

Phil Davis the next big thing in MMA?

E. Spencer Kyte of HeavyMMA.com thinks so.

Phil Davis’ first year with the UFC has already been a very good one.

The 26-year-old former Penn State wrestler has already earned a trio of victories, a pair of lopsided unanimous decisions sandwiched around a first round Anaconda choke submission of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 112.

Saturday night, Davis has a chance to add a fourth win to his yearly total, facing off against Tim Boetsch in his main card debut at UFC 123. Though the 12-3 Boetsch has the edge in experience, Davis is favoured heading into the bout, and with good reason. In a sport where fans and analysts are always looking for “The Next Big Thing,” many have tabbed Davis as the man to carry that moniker in 2011.

Arguing with that assessment is a difficult task, as the talented young light heavyweight has the pedigree and past performances to make you believe greatness rests in his future.

Read the entire article.

Interview with WEC 52 Main Event Fighter Urijah Faber

Urijah Faber is mixing things up.

The decorated former WEC featherweight champion is making the move down to bantamweight, beginning tonight with his main event bout at WEC 52 against Takeya Mizugaki from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

I had a chance to catch up with the MMA legend as he gears up for Mizugaki.

During the interview Faber discusses his change in weight, the WEC/UFC merger, and what’s in his future. Enjoy.

The Scores Report: Well Urijah, it is fight week, how are you feeling?

Urijah Faber: I feel great. I am just working on getting my weight down. I am within striking distance now. I am walking around about 7 or 8 pounds over. (Faber weighed in at 136 pounds for his 135-pound fight on Wednesday night).

TSR: What has the weight cut been like? You have been fighting at featherweight for a while now and really haven’t had a strenuous cut as you have for this fight.

UF: It’s going better. My body feels great. I have been doing the cut steadily over the last few months. It has kind of been the opposite for me because before I was doing what I could to keep food in and stay heavy and now I am trying to eat lighter and lose weight. Initially the weight was easy to lose but the closer you get to 135, the harder the pounds are to shed. When I went through the practice cut, the last few pounds were pretty tough.

TSR: Do you notice anything different with your abilities at this lighter weight?

UF: I feel like my grappling is at a whole new level. When I competed in wrestling I always competed at 133 pounds, so being at this weight to fight, I feel like my skills are where I need them to be. I feel like I have great conditioning already and I feel faster and even stronger.

TSR: This fight with Mizugaki was originally scheduled for WEC 50 back in August but you had to pull out with a knee injury. Have you fully recovered from that injury?

UF: Yeah. My health is great and I am 100 percent. I have made a full recovery. It took about six weeks and even when I was recovering, I could still train and just not use the injured leg, so I was able to stay in great shape.

TSR: Give me your thoughts on your opponent. What do you feel he does well?

UF: His strength is his stand up. He has good hands and he has god takedown defense and submission defense. He has a couple decent takedowns too. The guy has a ton of heart too and he is not an easy guy to get past, but I think I have better all-around skills and will be comfortable wherever the fight goes.

TSR: The UFC recently announced it would be absorbing the WEC and its roster in 2011. What do you think of that decision and where were you when you heard the news?

UF: I basically got a call from manager at MMA INC. Had all us guys from Team Alpha Male on a conference call and told us what was going on. We were all stoked. We all went to practice that day on cloud nine. The implications for exposure and notoriety and pay all go up so much by becoming part of the UFC.

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Torres to take on Banuelos at UFC 126

According to Jeremy Botter at HeavyMMA.com, Miguel Torres will take on Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126.

Heavy.com has learned that former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres will take on Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126.

The Super Bowl weekend event takes place on Feb. 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Anderson Silva defends his UFC middleweight title against Vitor Belfort in the main event, while perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch takes on Jake Ellenberger in the co-main event of the evening.

The bout will serve as the UFC debut for both Torres and Banuelos and will take place on the pay per view portion of the event. Torres recently scored a victory over Charlie Valencia at WEC 51 after dropping two fights to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez, while Banuelos defeated Chad George.
Torres will appear on tonight’s edition of MMA Live.

Head to HeavyMMA.com for more UFC news.

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