New York Yankees Recap: Boston Red Sox shut out the Yankees in first game

After a postponement last night due to the coronavirus cropping up for the second time this season, the New York Yankees were finally able to start their series with the Boston Red Sox tonight at Yankee Stadium. The starting lineup for the Yankees did not include slugger Aaron Judge and third baseman Gio Urshela. Instead, DJ LeMahieu moved to third base, and Rougie Odor took over for him at second base. In addition, Chris Gitten was called up to replace Luke Voit, who went on the IL with a knee issue. Jordan Montgomery started for the Yankees and Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox.

Lead-off man Enrique Hernandez faced Montgomery in the first and went down on a change-up. Alex Verdugo popped out to short. JD Martinez flew out to Trey Amburgey, making his major league debut in right field. Montgomery had a 1-2-3 inning to start his outing. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu singled up the middle. Giancarlo Stanton hit into a double play. Rougie Odor flew out to left for a scoreless inning for both teams.

At the second, Xander Bogaerts led off for the Sox, and he walked. Rafael Devers doubled to center on a ball just over Gardner’s head. Hunter Renfro with no outs and two on singled scoring Bogaerts. Christian Vazquez flew out to Locastro in left. Christian Arroyo hit a two-run homer to center field. Bobby Dalbec singled to right. Bobby Dalbec flew out to foul territory in right field, but the Red Sox picked up three runs in the half. The bottom was led off by Gary Sanchez, who walked. Gleyber Torres flew out to the wall in right. Brett Gardner also hit to the warning track, this one in center field. Chris Gittens chopped back to Rodriguez. Boston Red Sox 3 New York Yankees 0.

Verdugo led off the third inning by grounding out to Odor. Martinez struck out. Bogaerts lined out to second. At the bottom, Trey Amburgy got his major league debut at the plate, and he went down on strikes. Tim Locastro flew out to right. LeMahieu went down looking for a fast scoreless inning for both pitchers.

The fourth inning was led off by Devers, who lined out to first. Renfro went down swimming. Vazquez flew out to center as Montgomery had his second 1-2-3 innings in a row and his seventh put down of Red Sox hitters. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton led off by striking out swinging. Odor went down looking. Sanchez ripped one to right for the final out of the scoreless inning.

Vazquez led off the fifth by flying out to right. Dalbec struck out swinging. Hernandez walked. A passed ball allowed Hernandez to go to second. Verdugo lined out to Gittens at first. The bottom of the inning was led off by Gleyber Torres, who struck out. Gardner struck out on the 10th pitch. Gittens walked. In his second major league at-bat, Amburgey reached an error with Gittens going to third base. Locastro went down on strikes leaving two Yankees on base for another scoreless inning. Boston Red Sox 3 Yankees 0.

JD Martinez rolled out to Montgomery for the first out of the inning. Bogaerts flew out to Amburgey in right. Devers flew out to left for another 1-2-3 inning for Montgomery. At the bottom of the inning, DJ LeMahieu led off by tapping back to the pitcher who tagged him out at first. Stanton struck out to boos at the Stadium. Odor doubled to right field. Sanchez faced new pitcher Sawamuro and ground out to short as he ambled to first base. No scoring in the inning.

At the top of the seventh, Domingo German took the mound for the Yankees to face Renfro, who ground out to third. Vazquez flew out to Gardner in center. Arroyo got a standup double to left field just beyond LeMahieu’s reach. Dalbec flew out to right to end the half. At the bottom, Torres ground out to short. Gardner ground out to second. Gittens walked for the second time in the game. Greg Allen pinch hit for Amburgey, and he singled to right field, moving Gittens to third base. Hoy Park made his major league debut pinch-hitting for Locastro and ground out to first base. Red Sox 3 Yankees 0.

New Yankee pitcher Justin Wilson faced Hernandez in the top of the eighth and ground out to short. Verdugo struck out. Martinez homered to center for the Red Sox four-run lead. Bogaerts flew out to Gittens to end the half. At the bottom, with the Yankees behind by four runs, DJ LeMahieu flew out to the short left. Stanton struck out for the third time for even louder boos from the 40,130 in the stands. Odor went down looking as the Yankees only have three hits in the game. Red Sox 4 Yankees 0.

At the top of the ninth, the New York Yankees brought out Aroldis Chapman in a non-save situation to see if Chapman had righted himself. He faced Devers, who flew out to the far center for the first out. Renfro walked. Chapman threw to first to hold Renfro and airmailed it, allowing Renfro to go to second. Vazquez went down looking. Arroyo flew out to right. With last licks on the line for the Yankees, Sanchez struck out. Torres flew out to left-center. Gardner ground out to second to shut out the Yankees.

The winning pitcher was   Eduardo Rodriguez, and the loser was Jordan Montgomery. It was the Yankee seventh straight loss to the Red Sox.

New York Giants: Evan Engram would be a superstar in the Chiefs offense?

Evan Engram remains one of the biggest questions in the New York Giants offense. The Giants drafted him primarily as a pass catcher, but he’s picked up a polarizing reputation for dropped passes, inconsistent appearances due to injuries, and accusations of slacking off at times. However, the Giants obviously still believe in his potential judging from how the team has kept him around rather than trading him when his value was higher.

ESPN is also a believer in Engram, ranking him in their list of top 10 tight ends that was determined by NFL executives, coaches, and evaluators. Engram came in at number eight on this list, above Jonnu Smith and the divisional rival Eagles’ Zach Ertz.

What did these professionals have to say about Engram? Interestingly, their thoughts indicate that the Giants might be misusing his talents.

8. Evan Engram, New York Giants

Highest ranking: 5 | Lowest ranking: Unranked
Age: 26 | Last year’s ranking: 7

NFL evaluators are still bullish on Engram’s impressive skill set despite a tough 2020 campaign.

He ranked last among tight ends on this list in several categories — drops (eight), receptions above expected (-10.9) and receptions per target (57.3). But his 4.42 40-yard dash speed and his route-running ability are hard to ignore. His open-field cuts and releases at the line of scrimmage are wide receiver-level.

“He’s the guy you can do the most with in the passing game,” an AFC scout said. “He’s the guy the coordinators would want the most. He’s underachieving and something is off, because he should be putting up big numbers with that ability.”

And the Giants hope defenses focus less on Engram now that the offense got reinforcements this offseason — Kenny Golladay and Rudolph in free agency, along with Kadarius Toney through the draft.

An NFC offensive coach added: “If he were in the Chiefs’ offense, he’d be a superstar.”

It’s clear that Engram isn’t performing to his max potential with the Giants but it’s unclear whether that’s more his fault or the fault of the team. The offense, after all, is limited by the players it has. That includes the offensive line which is responsible for protecting the quarterback, as well as quarterback Daniel Jones himself.

While some of Engram’s problems, such as dropped passes, are largely on himself, some of his underperformance may stem from the passes being thrown to him or from Jones not having enough time to find him as an open target.

Still, the fact that the rest of the roster isn’t perfect doesn’t completely excuse lacking performance from Engram. If the Giants can’t get the best out of the player with the personnel they have, they may still want to consider a trade if they get a good value.

After all, according to one NFC coach, Engram could potentially be a superstar in an offense like the one belonging to Kansas City – and because of that, his trade value may be higher than his numbers suggest.

‘Dame Over’ in Portland? Lillard says ‘It’s not true’ but the time is ticking

knicks, damian lillard

Damian Lillard woke up on Friday morning with his phone buzzing.

Henry Abbott of True Hoop rocked the NBA world with a report that Lillard will be requesting the Portland Trail Blazers to trade him in the coming days.

“I woke up to those reports. A lot of people reaching out to me,” Lillard said at the beginning of his Team USA post-practice press conference before pausing for a while as the press held their collective breath anxiously waiting for what he would say next.

Then he dropped a mini bomb that put a dent on the other teams’ hopes, including the New York Knicks, of landing one of the premier point guards in the league this summer.

“It’s not true,” Lillard continued. “I said the last time I spoke to you guys that a lot of things are being said and it hasn’t come from me.”

But he left a slight opening that could widen if the Blazers can’t give him the thing that he covets — winning a ring.

“No. 1, it’s not true. And secondly, I haven’t made any firm decision on what my future will be. So there’s really no need for anybody else to speak for me, report this, and report that. As I said the last time, I’ll speak directly with my team, with Neil (Olshey),” Lillard said.

Olshey, the embattled Portland GM, remains on the hot seat ever since the Blazers bombed out in the playoffs at the hands of the injury-ravaged Denver Nuggets and the seemingly haphazard process of hiring Chauncey Billups as their next head coach.

If Olshey was able to dance around the question surrounding the controversial background check on new head coach Chauncey Billups that arose from the rape allegations in Boston in 1997, this time, he needs to move to the beats of Lillard’s rap.

“The best way to put it is just to be more urgent. Be more urgent with what our next step is and move forward,” said Lillard, who turned 31 on Thursday.

He is set to meet with Olshey and Billups later on Friday over dinner, which he said was previously scheduled. Though the timing of the report makes this meeting a crucial one.

The Blazers have the longest active playoff streak in the NBA with eight straight appearances. They peaked in 2019 when they went to the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. They got swept, and they never made out of the first round since then.

This season’s first-round loss to a Nuggets team missing two of their best players — Jamal Murray and Will Barton — due to injuries left a bitter taste in Lillard’s mouth. That made him question if he’s in the right place to win a championship.

Bringing back the same roster will put the Blazers in the luxury tax and, worst, will not appease their disgruntled superstar. They don’t have any pick in the coming NBA Draft. Lillard said he expects to be on a Blazers uniform next season but Olshey has to be creative in finding ways to surround him with a championship-caliber supporting cast.

“I think we have a lot of pride about we made the playoffs all these years in a row. We’re not a bad team. We’re a winning team. We went to the playoffs every year. We got a great environment. We’re in a great city. We have great fans. It’s a lot of positives. But I just think we have reached that point that ‘Okay, it’s not enough. Do we actually want to win it all? Is that what we’re shooting for?’ And we got to do things to do that. We need to put actions behind the desire to win at that level. That’s my only thing this entire time,” Lillard said.

Now the ball is in Olshey’s court.

It’s not yet ‘Dame Over’ in Portland, but the clock is ticking.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Jordan Montgomery will start tonight for the Yankees: See the full lineup

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

The weekend series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox was in jeopardy because of the Bombers’ COVID-19 outbreak, but MLB will give it a go and the matchups will begin tonight at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees have six positive cases on their roster: Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, Kyle Higashioka, Nestor Cortes Jr., Jonathan Loaisiga, and Wandy Peralta.

It will be a tall task to win the series against the Red Sox without their best player, starting third baseman and key reliever (Loaisiga), but it looks like the Yankees will need to move forward without the six players for the time being.

They will likely be placed on the COVID-19 list. Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone said that he expects each of the six positive players to miss at least 10 days.

Per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, none of the COVID-19 positive Yankees are exhibiting severe symptoms. Boone said that “a few have said they feel like they have a cold or do not feel well.”

Jordan Montgomery will take the hill for the Yankees

As for tonight’s game, Jordan Montgomery will start in Domingo German’s place, and there haven’t been any official announcements regarding the latter. It’s unclear if he will make a start on the weekend or if he will be skipped.

The Red Sox’s supremacy against the Yankees this year has been evident, as they have swept both three-game sets that have been played to this point.

Boston currently leads the AL East division against all odds, and the Yankees are third with a 46-43 record, 8.0 games behind their archrivals and 4.5 out of the second Wild Card spot, currently held by the Oakland Athletics.

Here is tonight’s lineup:

DJ LeMahieu 3B

Giancarlo Stanton DH

Rougned Odor 2B

Gary Sanchez C

Gleyber Torres SS

Brett Gardner CF

Chris Gittens 1B

Trey Amburgey RF

Tim Locastro LF

 

Jordan Montgomery SP

UFC Vegas 31 Preview: Jeremy Stephens – Mateusz Gamrot

Jeremy Stephens

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 31, we will see a fun matchup in the lightweight division. Former top featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens (28-18, 1 NC) is moving back up to 155 pounds to take on Mateusz Gamrot (18-1,1 NC).

UFC Vegas 31 is a massive fight for Jeremy Stephens. This is his first fight in over a year and he’s gone 0-4, 1 NC in his last five fights. It’s been a brutal stretch for Stephens, but it is worth noting his competition level.

If you look at Stephens record over the past few years, it’s not impressive. Stephens has gone 5-9, 1 NC in his last fifteen fights. That said, he’s been facing top tier talent along the way and has never really lost to bad competition.

His last nine UFC losses have come against: Calvin Kattar, Yair Rodriguez, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Jose Aldo, Renato Carneiro, Frankie Edgar, Max Holloway, Charles Oliveira, and Cub Swanson. That is quite the elite list of guys so even though he has nine UFC losses in his last fifteen fights, it’s not insanely alarming.

That said, he needs a win big time tomorrow night. It’s not going to be easy as he takes on Poland’s Mateusz Gamrot. Gamrot dropped his UFC debut by split decision last year but bounced back quickly with a knockout win over Scott Holtzman. The ATT fighter is looking to make a big statement tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 31 Prediction

Heading into UFC Vegas 31, I really have no doubts in who I think has the better skillset. To me, there’s no doubting the fact that Mateusz Gamrot has the better skills. Gamrot has good grappling and he’s slick on the feet.

He looks like he can become a real contender at 155 pounds. That said, Jeremy Stephens is the one in this fight that possesses the nuclear option. With Jeremy Stephens, he’s always just one punch away from capturing another UFC knockout.

Despite that, I’m going with Gamrot tomorrow night. I just believe that the overall skills will really play here. Expect Gamrot to mix things up to keep Stephens off-balance all night. I don’t think you’ll see a finish, but I also don’t think there will be controversy here.

Prediction: Mateusz Gamrot by Unanimous Decision

UFC: Would Dustin Poirier bypass title shot for money fight with Nate Diaz?

dustin poirier, ufc

Last weekend at UFC 264, Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) picked up his second win over Conor McGregor (22-6) after McGregor broke his leg. With the win, Poirier has secured the next shot at Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) for the UFC lightweight title.

Through everything that’s happened since Khabib’s retirement, Dustin Poirier – Charles Oliveira have seemed destined to fight. These two are clearly the two best lightweights in the UFC and finally it appears their paths will cross.

However, there is one thing that could throw a wrench into all of this. That one thing is UFC superstar Nate Diaz (20-13). Make no mistake about it, Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the entire promotion.

Stockton’s own hunts for the big fights and he always wants to fight the best. He’s had his radar on Dustin Poirier for a long time now and that hasn’t changed. This week, Diaz took to Twitter to call out Poirier. Poirier responded say, “I’ll touch you up at any weight.”

Could Poirier bypass his UFC title shot?

If there’s anyone you should want to be in the UFC right now it’s Dustin Poirier. After Khabib retired, nobody denied the fact that Poirier is the top lightweight in the promotion. He got his huge money fight with Conor McGregor, then he was put in charge of his own destiny.

The UFC offered him the McGregor trilogy or a shot at Charles Oliveira. Poirier picked the McGregor trilogy and he made the right choice as he won the fight and the PPV did 1.8 million buys which is the second highest of all time.

Poirier earned himself a massive payday and now he still gets his UFC title shot. However, could Poirier chase another massive payday? There is unfinished business between Poirier and Diaz as they were supposed to fight a couple of years ago.

However, Poirier had to have surgery and the fight was called off. The UFC never made the fight again, but both men have continued to call the other out. It’s a dream fight for fight fans and it’s definitely something the promotion would be interested in booking.

If I had to guess, I think Poirier takes the title shot this time. He got the biggest fight possible with the McGregor trilogy and now it’s time for him to chase gold. However, if the Diaz fight does happen instead, I certainly wouldn’t be shocked.

Report: Damian Lillard has ‘eyes set’ on Knicks as landing spot if traded, displeasure with Blazers growing

damian lillard, new york knicks

The situation between the Portland Trailblazers and star point guard Damian Lillard seems to be a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any moment. With rumors indicating the New York Knicks could be involved in a trade scenario, that reality is becoming even more probable with the latest news, indicating Lillard’s displeasure with a franchise and the desire for change.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo reported on Friday that Lillard feels as though changes need to be made behind the scenes with the Blazers, essentially putting the ball in their court. With the coaching staff set to overturn and ownership potentially on the move, things are getting murky for Portland and their disgruntled star.

There are few reasons: One being I’m not getting any younger. Our environment has always been great. We’re not losing a lot, but we were eliminated by a shorthanded Denver team that I felt we should have beat. I just walked away from that really disappointed. I was like, ‘Man, this just isn’t going to work.’ We’re not winning the championship, but we’ve got a successful organization. We’re not a franchise that’s just out here losing every year and getting divided. We have positive seasons; we just don’t end up with a championship. So I feel like at this point, I basically made the decision that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been. Just like I hold myself accountable for a bad performance or hold myself accountable to make sure that I work my ass off when I’m training, I must be accountable for saying what needs to be said even if it’s not popular. And that just comes with age. When I was younger, I felt like maybe I’ll be out of place, but I feel like I’ve earned the right to say we must do better. We must do better if we want to win on that level.

Lillard is reportedly eyeing the Knicks as a potential trade suitor if he decides to force his way out, which could commence in the coming days, according to Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated.

The process between Damian and the front office has been wayward, as they completely left him out of the coaching search after he provided a list of names he was content with. In fact, the fan base attacked him for his part in the strategy, and he shot back, indicating he was barely involved, having only provided a list of names and not actually being involved in the search.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo stated a few weeks ago that Lillard was essentially cut out of the hiring process, which could have contributed toward his contempt:

Lillard has remained loyal to Portland in large part due to the tremendous fan base. But over the last few days, he’s seen some of those same fans attacking him on social media for a pending coaching hire he played no part in consummating, sources said.

Portland is currently in negotiations to make Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups its next head coach.

The coaching search was conducted by Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations. None of the candidates who were interviewed were from suggestions from Lillard, sources said.

With the situation unfolding rapidly, there is a chance the Knicks could enter the fold and seek a trade, but it would take a massive amount of resources to do so. It would likely require a multi-team deal, if not New York parting ways with RJ Barrett, multiple draft picks, and additional young talents.

UFC Vegas 31 Preview: Islam Makhachev – Thiago Moises

In the main event of UFC Vegas 31 we will see a lightweight showdown between two top fifteen contenders. Dagestan’s Islam Makhachev (19-1) gets his first headlining fight as he takes on the surging Thiago Moises (15-4) tomorrow night.

Thiago Moises is making his seventh UFC appearance tomorrow night. After earning a contract with the promotion on Dana White’s Contender Series, Moises at a young age was thrown right to the wolves in taking on Beneil Dariush in his first fight.

Since losing that fight to Dariush, Moises has gone 4-1 in the UFC. Since losing the first round to Michael Johnson last year, Moises has really flipped the switch. He submitted Johnson in the second round then dominated Bobby Green and Alexander Hernandez.

At just 26 years old, Moises is really coming into his own. That said, he has a nightmare to deal with at UFC Vegas 31. It is a very popular take in the MMA world to say that Islam Makhachev looks like a future UFC champion.

He is the protégé of Khabib Nurmagomedov and he looks like he can be that dominant. Makhachev is the total package and even looks like he could be more advanced than the former undisputed lightweight champion.

He possesses that same dominant grappling style as Khabib, but it’s not a stretch at all to say he possesses better striking. Makhachev has gone 8-1 in the UFC and every time we see him he looks more and more dominant.

UFC Vegas 31 Prediction

We are going to learn a lot about both of these guys tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 31. For Moises, we are going to learn just how good he really is. In the case of Makhachev, we are going to see how well he handles the pressure of being a huge favorite in a main event.

Moises has incredible jiu jitsu and we’ve seen him show off impressive striking. He’s going to need all of his tools to be sharp at UFC Vegas 31. I will say that Thiago Moises can win this fight tomorrow night and he has the skills to do it.

However, it’s an incredible tall order. While he has great jiu jitsu, I don’t think he’s ever experienced someone with the top game and pressure of Makhachev. If Makhachev gets on top tomorrow night, I just don’t see Moises pulling off a submission.

While Moises has looked better than ever, I think we are going to see a showcase at UFC Vegas 31. I’m expecting a statement win for Islam Makhachev as he continues his surge towards the elites of the division. Expect to see a Khabib-Esque performance tomorrow from his protégé.

Prediction: Islam Makhachev by TKO – Round 3

Chicago Bears: Biggest questions at the MLB position

With Chicago Bears training camp around the corner, middle linebacker is a position that has remained relatively stable since 2018. The middle of Chicago’s defense will feature linebackers Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan once again, while Christian Jones, Josh Woods, Austin Calitro, and Joel Iyiegbuniwe will provide depth.

Smith, despite being snubbed from the Pro Bowl last season will enter training camp as the unquestioned leader of the group. A year after totaling 139 tackles, four sacks, and 18 tackles for loss, Smith will enter year four with a chip on his shoulder. Trevathan is entering year two of a three-year deal signed last offseason, giving Chicago continuity at the position.

As the Bears get ready to report to training camp, what are some questions at the MLB position? Let’s find out.

1) Will a full offseason benefit Trevathan?

Watching 2020 film, it was clear that Trevathan looked noticeably slower over the first six games of the season. Much of this was attributed to the virtual offseason in 2020, limiting on-field work. Entering 2021, with the NFL offseason more normal compared to last year, the hope is that Trevathan shows up to training camp in playing shape and ready to go, especially since the 10-year veteran has played just two full seasons since joining the Bears in 2016.

 

2) Which depth piece will step up?

Gone are the days of Nick Kwiatkoski holding the fort as MLB3 for the Bears. Chicago will need to rely on Jones, Woods, Calitro, and Iyiegbuniwe for depth, creating a four-way competition. Expect the Bears to carry two of the four players mentioned above. Iyiegbuniwe and Woods were on the team last season while Jones spent four seasons with Chicago from 2014-2017. Defensive coordinator Sean Desai will look to emphasize speed and coverage ability at the MLB position, two necessities for an inside linebacker to be successful in the modern NFL.

3) How good will Smith be under Sean Desai?

“A lot of great things,” Smith said on June 15th via the Bears official YouTube Channel. “I like Desai a lot. I think it’s going to be very good and he’s going to put us in a lot of good positions, so I’m looking forward to that.”

As we mentioned above, Smith was snubbed from multiple accolades last year, making 2021 an even more intriguing season for the former first-round pick. Desai’s defense will allow players like Smith to play faster, setting the stage for what could be a career year for Smith, continuing his ascension, becoming one of the NFL’s elite off-ball linebackers.

UFC Vegas 31 Preview: Miesha Tate – Marion Reneau

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 31, we will see the return of one of the pioneer’s of women’s MMA. Former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate (18-7) makes her highly anticipated return as she takes on Marion Reneau (9-7-1).

Before talking about Tate, let’s take a look at her opponent tomorrow night. “The Belizean Bruiser” will be making the walk for the final time at UFC Vegas 31. Reneau will have her son in her corner for her retirement fight.

The 44 year old has lost four fights in a row, but she has still remained competitive for the most part. Reneau made her UFC debut all the way back in 2015. She’s been in there with the likes of Holly Holm, Sara McMann, Raquel Pennington, and Cat Zingano.

It’s been quite the ride for Reneau as she’s gone 5-7-1 in her thirteen octagon appearances. While she’s exiting tomorrow night, Miesha Tate is returning. The former Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight champion is back after retiring in 2016.

Tate walked away after losing her second straight at UFC 205. However, Tate was only 29 years old and her walking away was more about mental fatigue. Since then, she’s become a mother of her own and she’s found that competitive fire again. Physically, she looks better than ever and she’s ready to make a statement.

UFC Vegas 31 Prediction

I’m incredibly interested to see how both of these ladies look tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 31. Marion Reneau has lost four in a row, but she’s been incredibly active. In addition to her activity, Reneau can straight up crack on the feet.

When Miesha Tate was at the top of her game, she was one of the best in the world. Tate became the UFC champion with a sensational submission win over Holly Holm and when she exited the sport, she was only two fights removed from that one.

I expect a bit of a slower pace to start as this is a huge fight for both women. I do believe Tate will be able to use her wrestling a lot in this fight. I’ll be watching the cardio of both women. This fight will go the distance and I do expect Reneau to have her moments. However, Tate’s wrestling should get her the win in her return.

Prediction: Miesha Tate by Unanimous Decision