Brian Ortega dominates TKZ at UFC Fight Island 6

Brian Ortega, UFC

The UFC hosted their sixth fight night from Fight Island tonight. The night was filled with incredible fights, but everyone was interested in the main event of the evening. Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC) was finally set to take on The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung (16-6).

There was some bad blood leading up to their contest at UFC Fight Island 6. Dana White also said earlier this week that the winner of this contest would be the number one contender. The UFC‘s featherweight champion and the world had their eyes on this one.

Both men were very measured as the action got underway. Ortega started the striking off with a few powerful leg kicks. Jung wasn’t able to get in range early on in the UFC Fight Island 6 main event. Ortega looked sensational in the striking with straight shots and leg kicks.

Just before the first round ended, Ortega dropped Jung with a big left hook. A big first round for Brian Ortega. The second round started very similarly to the first. However, Jung really pressed forward and landed some good shots to get the action started in the second.

Ortega tried for a takedown in the first couple of minutes, but Jung defended nicely. Jung looked much more comfortable and confident in the second round. His pressure wasn’t letting Ortega get his striking off. Jung landed a very nice uppercut which got Ortega’s attention late in the second.

With about a minute left in the round, Ortega dropped Jung with a massive spinning elbow. Jung got back up and the two men traded massive shots. Ortega landed a takedown which sealed the second round for Brian Ortega.

All Brian Ortega

As the third round got underway in the UFC Fight Island 6 main event, both men seemed a little tentative. After that spinning elbow in round two, both men took some massive shots. Ortega went back to work with leg kicks and jabs.

The Korean Zombie looked really tentative after he got hurt. Ortega really controlled the third round with solid shots. There was limited action in the third, however, Ortega was able to bank his third round by pulling away on strikes.

In the fourth round, Jung really attempted to turn up the pressure, however, Ortega was still controlling the striking. Ortega shot in for a takedown and in the process he landed a massive right that cut Jung. He followed that up with a massive elbow that staggered Jung.

Ortega was looking ready for another UFC title shot in this one entering the fifth round. Jung started the fifth with pressure sensing that he was done 4-0. However, Ortega’s ability to mix things up really kept throwing the Korean Zombie off.

Ortega continued to snap Jung’s head back with straight left hands. Jung tried to close the distance, but Ortega was just touching him up. Ortega’s jabs, kicks, and straight lefts flustered Jung throughout the fifth. I had it 5-0 for Ortega and the judges gave him the fight (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

UFC Fight Island 6 Fallout

UFC Fight Island 6 was a massive statement for Brian Ortega. In his first fight in almost two years, Ortega looked absolutely sensational. He didn’t even look like the same fighter that lost in his UFC title shot against Max Holloway.

His striking was crisp and his defense looked great. This version of Brian Ortega is going to be a massive problem for anyone in the UFC‘s featherweight division. That includes the current champion, Alexander Volkanovski. Ortega’s next fight is going to come against Volkanovski.

For the Korean Zombie, this was a crushing defeat. Many people, including myself, thought Jung was going to have the striking to carry him to a decision. However, that just wasn’t the case. Jung is still a top contender, but he was just outclassed tonight.

New York Giants are slim favorites against Washington in week six

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants understandably haven’t been favored often this season, but they come into their week six game with Washington holding a slight advantage. At least, they have an advantage in the eyes of Vegas. The team is currently being favored by three points to win according to the latest betting odds from USA Today.

Neither team is in a good spot right now, of course. The Giants are still winless while Washington only has one win and benched starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins not long into the season. That benching saw the return of a 36 year old Alex Smith who only threw for 36 yards in a 30-10 loss in his sole appearance of the season.

But of course, the Giants aren’t in much of a position to claim superiority to Washington. They recently dropped a heartbreaking game to the Cowboys and they still have yet to find their first win. Daniel Jones still has the starting job, but it’s not entirely certain that would still be the case if the Giants had a competitor waiting in the wings.

Based on the current standings, this game is between the two worst teams in the NFC East. That says a lot, considering only one team in the division has multiple wins. And even the division leader, Dallas, still has more losses than victories.

To put it a different way, the Giants won’t have as good a chance as this to pick up their first win of the season, and the odds reflect that. If they manage to lose in the one game they’ve been favored in, then it’s safe to say this season is bleaker than we all originally thought.

Jessica Andrade stops Chookagian at UFC Fight Island 6

Tonight, the UFC Fight Island 6 has delivered some solid action. The co-main event of the evening featured a big time contest in the flyweight division. Former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (21-8) was making her flyweight debut.

She was doing that against the number one ranked contender in the division, Katlyn Chookagian (14-4). Chookagian was coming off of a dominant victory in her last fight against Antonina Shevchenko. While retirement rumors have been swirling, Chookagian was focused on tonight.

As the fight started, the former UFC champion really looked to close the distance. However, Chookagian did well in the opening seconds landing a few shots. Andrade was able to push Chookagian to the fence and land a takedown early.

Chookagian was able to get back to her feet in the first. However, Andrade’s constant clinch work was solid and she landed another takedown late. Again, Chookagian got back up to her feet. However, Andrade hurt Chookagian bad to the body with a massive hook.

Andrade followed up with additional shots. Another giant body shot floored Chookagian for the final time and the ref called it. Incredible flyweight debut for the former UFC strawweight champion.

UFC Fight Island 6 Fallout

UFC Fight Island 6 was a massive statement for the former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade. Andrade was finally fighting in her natural weight class. In her divisional debut, she stopped the top ranked contender.

It is not crazy to think that Andrade could be next in line to face the winner of the Valentina Shevchenko – Jennifer Maia fight. The loss was a crushing defeat for Katlyn Chookagian who was trying to get back to a title shot with a victory tonight.

While there have been retirement talks, I wouldn’t say that Chookagian is done after this fight. I just think that she ran into a buzzsaw in Jessica Andrade. Andrade is going to be a handful for a lot of contenders in the UFC‘s flyweight division.

New York Giants: James Bradberry set to face off against Terry McLaurin in key matchup

New York Giants, James Bradberry

The New York Giants are about to face their second divisional opponent of the 2020 NFL season on Sunday. After a disappointing and heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Cowboys last week, New York fell to 0-5. The Giants are traveling to Washington this week to play their second divisional opponent of the season: the 1-4 Washington Football Team.

Washington’s offense has been dysfunctional this season, like the Giants. But as the Giants have a talented young receiver in Darius Slayton acting as a bright spot, Washington has their own receiver doing the same. Terry McLaurin, Washington’s third-round pick in last year’s draft, is a rising star that has ascended as the lone bright spot in Washington’s offense.

Luckily for the New York Giants, their brightest star on the defensive side of the ball will be the one tasked with guarding Terry McLaurin. Cornerback James Bradberry has been playing at an elite level for the New York Giants and will be tasked with guarding McLaurin on Sunday.

Terry McLaurin Stats and Highlights

Terry McLaurin has played in 19 career games. In those games, McLaurin has played with five quarterbacks and three head coaches. He has dealt with discontinuity and uncertainty throughout his career. Despite this, McLaurin has managed to total 87 receptions for 1,332 yards and 8 touchdowns on 5.3 yards per catch.

In 2020, McLaurin has already totaled 413 receiving yards, the ninth-most in the NFL. McLaurin has been separating from cornerbacks at a high rate in 2020. According to Pro Football Focus, Terry has recorded all 413 of his receiving yards on receptions where he has a step or more of separation. McLaurin has also been a big-play threat, recording 7 receptions of 20+ yards through five games.

Terry McLaurin has been one of the top receivers in the NFL since he entered the league last year. Luckily for the Giants, James Bradberry has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL in 2020.

James Bradberry Stats and Highlights

James Bradberry is coming off of another elite performance in Week Five. Bradberry was tasked with shadowing wide receiver Amari Cooper last week. Bradberry held Cooper to one catch for 8 yards and a pass breakup, according to PFF.

Bradberry has been locking up every wide receiver he has faced off against. In single coverage, Bradberry has outperformed every cornerback in the NFL with an elite 91.4 single coverage grade (PFF). His overall coverage grade is the second-highest in the NFL at 87.3.

Bradberry also leads the NFL in pass breakups this year with 9 through five weeks. The Giants’ defense will have its hands full as they attempt to shut down Terry McLaurin. But Giants fans should feel confident heading into this matchup knowing that James Bradberry will be the one to line up against Washington’s young star receiver.

Will the New York Mets bring back Marcus Stroman?

New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman was supposed to be the New York Mets‘ third starter entering the 2020 season. However, during the “summer camp,” he suffered a calf strain that bumped him out of the opening day roster. Once he recovered, he decided not to play amid concerns with the coronavirus.

The Mets, who had already lost Noah Syndergaard to Tommy John surgery, couldn’t recover from the loss of Stroman. They failed to qualify for the MLB postseason after a lot of hype in the preceding months.

The New York Mets had acquired Stroman prior to the 2019 trade deadline, and he went on to start 11 games with them before the end of last year’s season. In those eleven turns, he had a 3.77 ERA in 59.2 innings. He conceded 65 hits, walked 23 batters and struck out 60, with a 1.47 WHIP.

To get Stroman, the Mets had to surrender pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson to the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, the 29-year-old right-hander is set to be a free agent when the World Series ends.

The Mets need quality pitchers

Will the Mets make a play to bring him back? Stroman always said he loved his time with the team, which makes his return a possibility. However, he plans on testing the market and is set for a sizable payday, with starting pitching always at a premium.

Last month, while replying to a Twitter comment, Stroman said he is eager to test free agency. I’m excited. Took forever to get here and my best years are ahead of me!,” he explained.

It’s unlikely that he gives the Mets any kind of discount, but they should be players for his services, now with Steve Cohen as the new owner. And there is a clear need, since the team only has Jacob deGrom, David Peterson and Steven Matz under contract for the rotation.

New York Yankees: Two left-fielders to pursue in Free Agency

New York Yankees, Michael Brantley

With the MLB postseason beginning to wind down, it means that the off-season is quickly approaching. This years free-agency market is set to be a big one with some huge names hitting the open market.

The New York Yankees are no exception, as some of their best players, such as DJ LeMahieu and Masahiro Tanaka, are free agents. However, the Yankees could still use a few pieces this winter, and there are some new names they could pursue.

Although Clint Frazier had a breakout 2020 season, there’s still some uncertainty on who will play left-field in 2021. It could be Frazier, or the Yankees could resign Brett Gardner. The other option would be to pursue a free-agent, and there are two stars hitting the open market that the team could pursue.

Michael Brantley

Brantley, 33, is coming off his second season as a Houston Astro. Prior to signing with Houston, he was a long-time outfielder for the Cleveland Indians.

In 170 at-bats in 2020, Brantley hit .300 with five home runs and 22 runs batted in. In 2019, he bat .311 with 22 home runs and 90 RBIs. He’s a great situational hitter, something the Yankees lack in their offense.

Brantley is also a good defender, racking up 15 defensive runs saved as a member of the Astros.

Marcell Ozuna

The 29-year-old Ozuna had an MVP caliber season in 2020, batting .338 while leading the NL in home runs (18) and RBIs (56).  He’s shown some inconsistency between seasons, but he could be a risk worth taking.

The only problem with Ozuna can be his defense. He has -2 defensive runs saved in 2020, but on the other hand, won a gold glove in 2017.

His defensive inconsistency could lead to him signing with an AL team, so he doesn’t have to play the field as much. However, if the NL keeps the DH, it may not matter where he goes. If he came to New York, he would have to play the field as Giancarlo Stanton will be the DH most days.

The Yankees have a few options on how to fill left-field in 2021, but pursing a free-agent like Brantley or Ozuna could improve the team the most.

MLB News: Houston Astros make historic comeback with win over the Rays

For New York Yankee fans that are still interested in the MLB season, most of you would like to see the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays both lose and not go to the World Series. Well, that isn’t going to happen. In the ALCS the Houston Astros fell three games behind in the series and faced elimination last night. Then the near impossible happened the Astros completed their comeback from 0-3 to beat the Rays and even the series at 3 games apiece and force a game seven.

The Houston Astros feat was only the second time in MLB history that a team would come back from 0-3 in an ALCS series. The Astros beat the Rays last night 7-4 at Petco Park in San Diego. The Astros can now look forward to winning tonight’s game and going back to their home state of Texas to compete in World Series in front of a socially distant group of home town fans. The games at Globe Life Field and been played with a limited number of fans in the stands. The games at Petco has been fanless.

Some New York Yankees fans will be hoping that the Houston Astros lose tonight and go back to Houston with their tails between their legs. The Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees in the 2019 ALCS. Because of the win, Jose Altuve was named AL MVP, while the Yankees Aaron Judge came in second. Later MLB found that the Astros electronically cheated in the 2019 season and postseason. The General Manager and team manager were both suspended, but the Houston Astros owner fired them.

Other Yankee fans that are not all that down on the Houston Astros, may hope that the Rays lose the ALCS contest because of the unsportsmanlike antics they displayed after winning the series from the New York Yankees. They after the Tv cameras were off, walked out of the dugout, many smoking cigars while blaring “New York, New York, from the dugout.

Still, there are other AL MLB fans that don’t care who wins as long as it is an American League team, and will route for the winner to beat the National League team in the World Series. Tonight’s must-win game for both teams will be broadcast on TBS at 8:37 pm EDT. The Rays have the edge as they start the 2-0 Charlie Morton, who has an ERA of 0.90 in the postseason. He will start against Astro’s Lance McCullers Jr. who is 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA.

The other game that could be a deciding game will be the National League’s Championship Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves are up in the series 3-2. The Dodgers will have to win the late afternoon game to force a game seven, that will decide who goes to the World Series.  The game is at 4:38 pm EDT on FS1.

 

J.T. Realmuto looking for big payday in looming free agency, will the Mets be involved?

Right now, New York Mets‘ fans are forced to watch how Travid D’Arnaud wreaks havoc in every rival pitching staff he has faced with the Atlanta Braves in the postseason. It has to sting, at least a little.

The Mets got relatively good production from Wilson Ramos in 2019, but he was below average in 2020, hitting .239/.297/.387 with a subpar .297 wOBA and an 89 wRC+. He improved with the glove, but regressed with the bat, and, at 33 years old, the New York Mets are unlikely to exercise their club option for 2021.

As the Mets transition from the Wilpons to a new owner, hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, their sporting direction is expected to change. Without blowing everybody away and under the leadership of familiar face Sandy Alderson, they are expected to have more funds available to spend on the roster.

That said, Philadelphia Phillies’ catcher J.T. Realmuto will become a free agent after the World Series. It doesn’t take a whole lot to realize that he makes perfect sense for the Mets as a prime signing.

However, what would it take for Realmuto to come to New York? He is one of the premier catcher in the major leagues, one of the rare talents who are above average in both offense and defense. In the 2020 shortened season, he accumulated 1.7 fWAR. In his last full season, 2019, he had 5.7 wins above replacement according to Fangraphs.

He makes too much sense for the Mets

According to reports, Realmuto is said to be looking for at least $200 million in his free agency. It is fair to question whether the Mets will be involved, but it makes sense to make a run at him given his obvious talent and how much he would improve the team and the pitching staff.

According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Realmuto is looking for a massive deal that could approach $200 million. Here is what Zolecki had to say: “Realmuto is a lock to receive a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer, which must be made no later than five days following the final game of the World Series. Realmuto has 10 days to accept or reject the offer.”

“He will reject it. If he accepts it, he is no longer a free agent and is signed to a one-year deal with the Phillies. Realmuto is eyeing a record-shattering contract for a catcher, perhaps in the $200 million range. If he rejects the qualifying offer and signs elsewhere, the Phils will receive Draft pick compensation. It will be a small consolation prize, especially if they watch Miami’s Sixto Sánchez pitch against them for the next several years.”

Will Cohen want to spend such a high amount of dollars in his first season in charge of the Mets? We shall wait and see. We do know that he makes perfect sense for the win-now Queens franchise.

UFC currently working on Junior Dos Santos – Ciryl Gane

It has been a tough 2020 for UFC prospect Ciryl Gane (6-0). Gane came into 2020 as one of the brightest prospects in the division. A massive heavyweight with incredible striking and power to go along with it. The UFC had high hopes for Gane this year.

However, the promotion has attempted to book Gane in four fights through the year. None of which have come to fruition. He was supposed to fight today at UFC Fight Island 6, however, that fight was called off earlier this week. 

Gane needs an opponent with name recognition and a ranking for the UFC to build him. Well, Dana White said yesterday that the promotion is working on an opponent that checks both of those boxes. That opponent would be former champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-8).

We last saw JDS back at UFC 252 when he took on Jairzinho Rozenstruik. That night, Dos Santos looked very good early on in the fight. Definitely won the first round in my opinion. However, JDS was caught with a flurry in round two that put him down for the count. His third straight TKO loss.

Thoughts on the UFC matchup?

This is a very good matchup for the UFC to make in my opinion. The former UFC champion has been struggling over the last year having suffered three straight knockout losses. JDS won three fights in a row prior to those losses.

Gane is being built up as a big time prospect for the heavyweight division. The division needs fresh faces to make things exciting, and the UFC couldn’t ask for a more exciting prospect than Ciryl Gane who currently trains with Francis Ngannou.

There will be a number of storylines that will surround this potential matchup. For Dos Santos, if he gets knocked out again, he might need to look at retirement, however, if he wins, he could look at one final run in the UFC before hanging it up.

For Gane, this is his chance to really introduce himself to the general MMA fans. Most know who Ciryl Gane is, but for the casuals, a big win over JDS would announce his arrival. It’s a fascinating matchup that I’m looking forward to.

New York Giants: David Mayo returns from injured reserve ahead of Sunday game

New York Giants, David Mayo

The New York Giants may be without Sterling Shepard for their Sunday game against Washington, but they do have one player making a possible return: David Mayo. Mayo hasn’t played at all this season but has been an important return that the team has been waiting on. That’s because Mayo was projected as a starting middle linebacker, and the Giants already cut Mayo’s competitor Ryan Connelly.

However, the Giants’ website has announced that the Giants have both activated Mayo and expect him to play on Sunday. Obviously, this is an injury return that matters for the team. Blake Martinez, a middle linebacker, is one of the biggest additions of the offseason. But the player starting next to Martinez is a bit less certain.

Of the inside linebackers for the Giants, there’s a massive gap in performance between Martinez and the others at the position. Martinez already has 50 tackles, which goes to show his large role through the first five games. On the other hand, Devante Downs has 9 tackles and Tae Crowder has 8.

With that being said, it’s hard to expect more from either player. The Giants selected Crowder with the last pick of the Draft, so his usual performance is already better than usual for most drafted at that spot. Downs, on the other hand, was brought up from the practice squad originally and doesn’t have so much experience playing in an active role.

We don’t know what speed Mayo will be playing at after coming back from injury, but having a more experienced player in a starting role should be a boost for the Giants defense in an important area.