Vicente Luque submits Michael Chiesa in the first at UFC 265

On the main card of UFC 265, we saw a pivotal matchup in the welterweight division. The fifth and sixth ranked welterweights went head-to-head as Michael Chiesa (18-4) took on Vicente Luque (20-7-1).

Luque was looking to pick up his fourth consecutive win at UFC 265. Luque has been fighting with the promotion since 2015 and he’s consistently been one of the best. After losing his UFC debut, he’s gone 13-2.

Standing across from Luque was Michael Chiesa. Chiesa has completely changed his career after moving to the welterweight division. For years, Chiesa struggled to get down to lightweight. Eventually, he decided to move up to his natural weight class of 170 pounds.

Since making that move, Chiesa has been sensational. He’s gone 4-0 in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Back in January he had a dominant five-round victory over Neil Magny to setup this fight with Vicente Luque.

UFC 265 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 265 welterweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Chiesa circled on the outside as Luque pushed forward with pressure to start. Both men flick out jabs to start their striking.

Nice leg kick lands for Luque. Another powerful kick lands for Luque as Chiesa keeps circling on the outside. Chiesa lands a nice left hand which snapped the head back of Luque. Chiesa steps forward with a 1-2, but Luque counters with a leg kick.

Another beautiful 1-2 from Chiesa and Luque is busted open. Luque lands a leg kick that buckles Chiesa. Chiesa shoots deep on a takedown and he gets it. Doesn’t take long before Chiesa gets the back of Luque.

Chiesa is close to getting a choke, but Luque powers through. A scramble and Luque ends up on top. Out of no where, Luque locks in a d’arce choke and it’s deep. Chiesa tries to fight it, but he’s forced to tap. Huge win at UFC 265 for Vicente Luque.

Vicente Luque def. Michael Chiesa by Submission (D’Arce Choke) – Round 1

NASCAR Xfinity: Ty Gibbs wins wild Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 at Watkins Glen

Ty Gibbs held off road course specialists AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric on multiple late restarts to win the Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 at Watkins Glen International Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

“It’s super cool to win here,” Gibbs said. “To win on a track that Graham Hill, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, [and] Tony Stewart [have won on], It’s awesome. It means a lot. It’s just super cool, and I feel like it hasn’t set in yet”.

Gibbs showed to be the dominant car throughout the 82-lap shootout on the 2.45-mile road course, but the win by no means came easy. The 18-year-old needed to stave off Cindric and Allmendinger, both past winners at The Glen, to score his third win of the season and his second on a road course.

“Ty [Gibbs] did a fantastic job,” Allmendinger, the second-place finisher said. “He raced me clean with great moves. I was doing everything I could to defend. He was smart, he didn’t use me up, and he made a clean pass”.

Gibbs held the lead going into each of the final two restarts, but surrendered the lead to Allmendinger both times after choosing to take the inside lane. However, Gibbs was still the faster car in dirty air and got by Allmendinger with moves through turns five and six.

“I got knocked up once [on the outside lane], and you can lose a lot of time,” Gibbs said as to why he chose the bottom on restarts. “Just no grip [on the top], it’s just wheel spin, so we went on the bottom to get some grip through the short chute before you go to the right-hander”.

Cindric was unable to defend his title from 2019 at The Glen, but settled for 3rd place and a stage one victory after leading 22 laps.

“I ran [Gibbs] wide in turn one to take the lead, he ran me wide in turn six to take the lead,” Cindric said on his battle with Gibbs. “[Gibbs] deserved to win, he was the fastest car. I feel like when he had to save fuel, he saved a bit in his tires and I was trying to catch up, but maybe I should’ve played that a little bit different”.

Many of the leaders pit at lap 50 for their final stop of the day and planned to stretch out the final 32 laps by saving fuel. However, two late-race cautions involving an apparent brake failure of Erik Jones’s No. 31 car and an electrical fire in Kyle Weatherman’s No. 47 car allowed drivers to save enough fuel to go full throttle in the waning laps of the race.

Justin Allgaier and Harrison Burton rounded out Saturday’s top-5, with Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, Jeb Burton, Justin Haley, and Sam Mayer rounding out the top-10.

As it stands, Cindric and Allmendinger are 1-2 in the Xfinity Series points with six races remaining in the regular season. Daniel Hemric is third, with Allgaier and H. Burton fourth and fifth, respectively.

The series will travel to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course next weekend. Chase Briscoe won last season’s event at the track, the first time NASCAR ever ran the road course. Next weekend’s race will be one of the events in a doubleheader weekend with IndyCar.

 

Mets Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short in 5-3 Loss to Phillies

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets had an opportunity to fight their way back into first place against the Philadelphia Phillies but squandered the opportunity with their lack of offense. For the Phillies, their 5-3 victory was their seventh straight and put them in a terrific position to sweep the weekend series.

The loss for the Mets had plenty of reoccurring themes that have plagued them during their cold streak. Tylor Megill cruised through four scoreless innings to begin his outing but again ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Brad Miller‘s solo homer opened up the scoring and Odubel Herrera‘s majestic three-run shot capped off a four-run inning for the Phils. Megill has now allowed nine runs and four homers in the fifth inning this season as he struggles with getting deep into the game.

Disappointing Bats

The offense was the same ugly disaster it has become all season. The Mets had just two hits through the first eight innings, and their only extra-base hit belonged to Megill. In the ninth inning, they attempted a comeback when three consecutive home runs from Michael Conforto, Jonathan Villar, and James McCann opened the inning. After getting runners on first and second, Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis made Ian Kennedy look like Aroldis Chapman by striking out to end the game.

The Mets were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. During the Alonso and Davis strikeouts, it was clear how bad the Mets have become at hitting fastballs. Kennedy was only in the mid-90s, but they made his fastball look like it was 102 mph. Whether it is the game plan or lack of execution, it is inexcusable for an entire team to struggle this badly with fastballs.

On Sunday, the Mets will attempt to crawl out of Philadelphia with some dignity against Zack Wheeler. Taijuan Walker gets the ball for the Mets at 1:05 p.m. ET from Citizens Bank Park.

 

New York Giants: Young offensive line has to step up, says Nick Gates

New York Giants, Nick Gates

It’s clear that the offensive line isn’t going to be the same as it was last season for the New York Giants. The team hasn’t had the chance to make the drastic changes that many would consider ideal, but there’s a better idea of what the line is going to look like this season and one specific defining factor setting it apart: youth.

The O-line grew younger last season with Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart winning starting roles at tackle, and both of those players will almost certainly retain their spots while bringing more experience into their second year.

Another player that made it into the starting lineup last season is Nick Gates, who went from starting 3 games to starting every game of the season at center. He’s a less flashy part of the offensive line’s youth movement compared to number four overall pick Thomas, but is notable for going from undrafted to starter in only a few seasons.

Based on his statements during training camp, it looks like Gates could also emerge as a leader within this group.

Nick Gates says young guys have to step up

Gates spoke about the recent retirement of two players on the offensive line, Zach Fulton and recently signed free agent Joe Looney, and believes the younger players will just have to respond to the departures by stepping it up.

“We’re a young group, but I think the young guys have got to step up and be leaders and just got to take care of each other and keep coming to work every day and working. Young guys have just got to step up, that’s all it is,” Gates told reporters on Friday.

“We’re doing good. We have a long way to go, and we have what, four more weeks of camp or something like that? Hopefully, we can get that right. I like our offense.”

The Giants are relying far more on youth at the current offensive line position than veterans. Between the Giants’ two second year tackles, Shane Lemieux at the guard position, and Nick Gates at center, it really looks like the team will succeed or fail at the position this year based on their younger players. With Lemieux also injured right now, much of that responsibility currently falls on others.

At the very least, all of last season’s rookies will be more adjusted to the league this season and Andrew Thomas won’t be playing with an injury. Those things may end up being some of the most important factors in the Giants improving in one of their worst position groups from 2020.

NASCAR Trucks: Austin Hill wins rain-shortened race at Watkins Glen

Leading 36 of 61 completed laps, Austin Hill was out front as the caution came out and stayed out for lightning, winning the United Rentals 176 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Watkins Glen.

“Once you got five laps into the race, everyone was kind of equal,” Hill said. “[Drivers] kind of figured out where there truck was, [drivers] figured out where their limits were. [Running ARCA on Friday] paid off a little bit knowing that tire wear was going to be a factor and that tires were going to fall off a little bit. I tried to be mindful of that, but at the same time, once we played that pit strategy and we got to the lead, I wanted to keep the clean air”.

Hill pit with three laps to go in each of the first two stages to keep track position beginning the second and third stages, respectively. All lead lap drivers pit with three laps to go in stage two, meaning Hill cycled to the lead for a stage two victory. Hill maintained a strong lead in the early part of stage three as rain cells popped up on the radar. NASCAR was forced to throw a caution for lightning on lap 61 of 72, and the race never resumed.

“Right when we were going green for that last restart, my Crew Chief Scott [Zipadelli] came on the radio and said [that] there’s weather in the area, [and we] don’t know how long it’s going to last,” Hill said. “[You’ve] got to save your stuff, but at the same time, go. Don’t hold back, don’t let guys get around you”.

While Hill won the second stage and the race, Todd Gilliland won stage won and took 46 points on the day.

“We started off the first stage really good,” Gilliland said. “The whole second stage, our truck just had no grip and was super tight. We just changed tires for the last stage and it was back to where it was in the first stage and it drove really good”.

Finishing second in the race was John Hunter Nemechek, the regular-season points champion.

“We had a really fast Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra today,” Nemechek said. “Austin [Hill] had the dominant truck all day. We were better in certain spots and he was better in other spots on the racetrack. Who knows what could have happened. He could’ve made a mistake, I could’ve made a mistake. It’s part of racing. I felt like if he would’ve slipped a little bit or if I got side-by-side with him, I feel like we could’ve probably made the pass”.

Nemechek was able to bounce back from an incident with Ben Rhodes on lap one, turn one to secure his 10th consecutive top-15 finish. Nemechek wheel-hopped into the heavy braking zone and took out Rhodes, who was directly in front of him.

“Everybody is usually a little bit smarter getting into [turn] one, but it didn’t seem like that in the rearview mirror,” Matt Crafton, the 23rd place finisher said. “Daytona is where everybody was really nervous and had zero experience, that was a lot more give and take”.

Saturday’s race had just two cautions for incidents despite many spins and minor accidents. Chad Chastain wheel-hopped and hit the tire barrier in turn one on lap nine, and Derek Kraus crashed on the backstretch on lap 55.

Behind Hill and Nemechek, Sheldon Creed finished 3rd, Gilliland 4th, and Parker Kligerman 5th. Because of a repeat winner, Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, and Chandler Smith all secured playoff spots. Smith failed postrace inspection due to failing heights, but it doesn’t impact the playoff field.

The Camping World Truck Series will begin their seven race playoff stretch starting at World Wide Technology Raceway on August 20.

Mets: Lindor performing baseball activities, still unsure about return date

The sliding New York Mets sure could use their best position player, Francisco Lindor, back in the lineup as soon as possible. He has been out for a few weeks now since suffering a grade 2 oblique strain, an injury that needs to heal properly, otherwise the player can easily re-aggravate it.

The superstar shortstop talked with the media on Saturday, a day after the Mets lost the first place in the NL East by virtue of losing Friday’s game against the Phillies. New York had held on the top spot for 90 days.

In his conversation with reporters, he said he is currently feeling good and “can’t complain”, but he added that he didn’t have enough information about his potential return date given the complexity of the injury.

Mets’ general manager Zack Scott has previously stated that a mid-to-late August return could be realistic.

“I ain’t gonna give you guys much,” Lindor said, addressing reporters, according to SNY. “I don’t know, I really don’t know. I’m sorry, I really don’t know.”

The Mets’ shortstop is progressing slowly

The Mets’ star infielder, signed to a 10-year, $341 million extension the day before the season started, has taken some dry swings and some swings off a tee, and he was also spotted doing some running before the game.

“It sucks. I wanna be there, I wanna help them out,” he said, speaking about his teammates. “We’re not getting the results we wanna get. I would love to be with them. I would love to struggle with them.”

Mets manager Luis Rojas added that Lindor is taking ground balls and playing catch, and testing his oblique in “live action.”

He also said, however, that the shortstop is still considered week-to-week, so a late August return seems more realistic at this point. Next for him would be taking batting practice.

It looks like the Mets’ infielder will be out for at least a couple more weeks.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees win their fifth game advancing in the East

The New York Yankees entered today’s game with a split of the series with the Seattle Mariners and hoping to take the series with a win. Andrew Heaney who had a rough start for the Yankees in his first game faced Chris Flexen. The Yankees got that win their fifth in a row and now hope to sweep the Mariners tomorrow. The final score was New York 5, Seattle 4.

Heaney started by allowing a double to Abe Toro. Mitch Haniger struck out. Ty France hit sharply to Tyler Wade, who was playing short today for the second out. Kyle Seager got a two-run homer to the right-field porch just beyond Stanton’s reach. Tom Murphy struck out to end the half. DJ LeMahieu led off the bottom by getting a leadoff single to right. Anthony Rizzo hit into 2-5-3 double play. Aaron Judge hit a monster (421′) home run into the left-field stands. Joey Gallo walked. Giancarlo Stanton hit a bullet up the middle for a single, moving Gallo to second. Odor stuck out. Seattle Mariners 2 New York Yankees 1.

At the second, Jake Fraley led off by going down looking. Luis Torrens walked. Jarred Kelenic doubled, moving Torrens to third. Dylan Moore walked. Toro, with the bases loaded and only one out, walked, bringing in a Mariner run. Haniger hit a long one to right, but Stanton snagged it as the wall. Ty France ground out to short, but the Mariners picked up another two runs. At the bottom, Brett Gardner ground out to first. Tyler Wade got a great bunt single. Rob Brantly got hit by a pitch. LeMahieu, with two on and one out, went down looking. Rizzo ground out to first, leaving two on. Seattle 4 Yankees 1.

At the top of the third, Seager ground out to first. Murphy went down on strikes. Fraley struck out for Heaney’s first 1-2-3 inning as a Yankee. At the bottom, Judge ground out to second. Gallo struck out. Stanton flew out to center for a short third inning. Seattle 4 Yankees 1.

The top of the fouth was led off by Torrens, who flew out to Gallo. Kelenice got a hustle double. Moore popped out to Stanton in right. Toro also flew out to Stanton. At the bottom, Odor struck out. Gardner went down swinging. Wade singled to second. Brantly ground out to second for another quick inning. Seattle 4 Yankees 1.

Haniger led off the fifth by flying out to Gardner in center. Ty France advanced on a hit by pitch. Seager hit into a force out. Seager stole second. Murphy went down on strikes. It was the top of the lineup for the Yankees at the bottom. LeMahieu ground out directly to second. Rizzo went down on strikes. Judge doubled to center, splitting the outfielders. Gallo struck out stranding Judge. Seattle 4 Yankees 1.

The sixth inning was led off by Fraley, who struck out. Torrens struck out, and Kelenic struck out for a strikeout of the side for Heaney in his final inning with 109 pitches in the game.

At the bottom, Stanton singled to left for his fifth multihit game in a row. Rougie Odor hit a two-run homer into the short porch knocking Flexen out of the game. Gardner faced the new Mariner pitcher Anthony Misiewicz and flew out in center. Gleyber Torres tripled to right on an E9. Higashioka pinch hit for Brantly and hammered a ground-rule double into the left-field stands to tie up the game at 4. LeMahieu faced new pitcher Casey Sadler with one out and Higgy at second, and he singled to right center, moving Higgy to third. Rizzo hit the ball, but LeMahieu got in a run down as Higgy scored for the Yankee lead in a smart play. New York 5 Seattle 4.

The seventh inning was led off by Moore facing new pitcher Clay Holmes and struck out. Toro went dowl looking. Haniger also struck out as Holmes struck out the side all looking. At the bottom, Aaron Judge went down on strikes against new pitcher Castillo. Gallo went down on strikes. Stanton, with two hits in the game, flew out to right to end the inning. Yankees 5 Mariners 4.

France led off the eighth inning by grounding out. Seager faced new pitcher Joely Rodriguez and struck out. Murphy singled to left. Fraley ground out to first. Odor led off the bottom against Smith and flew out to center. Gardner got a single to left field. Torres flew out to right. Higashioka singled, Torres was called out at second, but upon review, he was safe. LeMahieu ground out. Yankees 5 Mariners 4.

With last licks on the line, Jake Bauers pinch-hit and ground out. Kelenic ground out to second. Cal Raleigh flew out to Gallo in left for the Yankee win.

The winning pitcher was Andrew Heaney. The loser was Anthony Misiewicz , and Jonathan Loaisiga picked up his fourth save of the season. The final score was the New York Yankees 5 and the Seattle Mariners 4.

 

 

 

Yankees’ manager impressed by one of the new deadline acquisitions: ‘He is a complete player’

joey gallo, yankees

The New York Yankees are certainly enjoying their deadline acquisitions, most notably lefty sluggers Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo. Both have contributed to the recent surge and are considered everyday players by manager Aaron Boone, and rightfully so.

Gallo gave the Yankees a victory on Thursday with a three-run blast that he will remember for the rest of his life, but Boone has been amazed by his quality and all-around greatness. He calls his new left fielder a complete player.

Yes, Gallo strikes out, but he also takes walks, hits the ball really hard and often in the air, which leads to homers, and also plays fantastic, Gold-Glove caliber defense in the corner outfield positions and runs the bases well. He is athletic and energetic.

The Yankees got themselves a special player

“When everyone thinks of Joey Gallo, they think of the offense, the high on-base [percentage] and the massive power, but he is a complete player,” Yanks manager Aaron Boone told Bill Ladson of MLB.com. “He is a special defender. He was having an amazing year playing right field in Texas, and it’s gone over instantaneously [at Yankee Stadium].

“You see his athleticism playing in left field, especially in our left field, where it’s a premium to have a defender over there because it’s spacious. He is going to be really good over there for us. On the bases, he is fast. He is athletic. He plays really hard. So yeah, he is a complete package.”

So far, Gallo’s contact issues have been on display in his time with the Yankees, but so has his power, patience, defense, passion, and overall athleticism. He is not the perfect player, but he can be a very good one.

 

Before Saturday’s game, the Yankees’ slugger is hitting .217, but that comes with 26 homers, 58 RBI, a .372 OBP and a very good .853 OPS. He is the real deal, and his presence strengthens the lineup.

New York Jets add LB Edmond Robinson, waive WR Matt Cole

New York Jets

Robinson previously played a single game with the New York Jets in 2017 and reunites with defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich.

The New York Jets announced the signing of linebacker Edmond Robinson on Friday, waiving receiver Matt Cole in the process.

Robinson, 29, has partaken in 35 NFL regular season games since entering the league as a seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2015 out of Division II Newberry. That includes a single game with the Jets in 2017 when he partook in special teams endeavors in the team’s opening weekend tilt in Buffalo.

More recently, Robinson appeared in 13 games with the Atlanta Falcons last season, earning a career-best 15 tackles. His return to New York also reunites him with defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, who moved to the Jets from Atlanta last year.

Before his arrival in Atlanta, Robinson spent time as a starter with both the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football and the undefeated Houston Roughnecks of the rebooted XFL. In terms of his spring affairs, Robinson is perhaps best known for his simultaneous sack, strip, and touchdown during the Roughnecks’ “Texas Throwdown” against the Dallas Renegades.

The addition of Robinson coincides with the release of Cole on the Jets’ training camp roster. Cole was a second-year receiver out of Division II McKendree that had spent last season with the San Francisco 49ers and was added to the Jets’ affairs in May.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Yankees lose closer Aroldis Chapman to injury, climbing the standings in the East

aroldis chapman, yankees

The New York Yankees are gearing up to take on the Seattle Mariners at 1:05 PM on Saturday, but they will be without closer Aroldis Chapman, who was placed on the 10-day injured list due to left elbow inflammation. Chapman, who has had a tough second half of the year, currently hosts a 3.63 ERA with 15.43 strikeouts per nine. He has five wins and three losses on the season, pitching 39.2 innings.

The Yankees have been relying on their bullpen tremendously as of late, with several starting pitchers fighting their way back to the team. Ace Gerrit Cole tested positive for COVID-19, Luis Severino was working back from my groin and Tommy John surgery, and Corey Kluber is nearing a return after suffering a teres major muscle strain.

General manager Brian Cashman did indicate that it’s possible Severino and Kluber could return by the end of August, which is only a few weeks away. That would add a solid amount of depth to the rotation, taking pressure off the bullpen.

However, Chapman spending a few days rehabbing might end up being a positive thing for him, as he’s nearly blown several saves over the last few weeks. He recorded a save on Thursday night but had runners on the corners and the go-ahead run at the plate. His fastball only hit 97 mph, whereas he normally hit 99+ before the MLB cracked down on the usage of sticky substances to help increase spin rate and velocity. It is quite odd that Chapman saw such a major decrease in efficiency the second the new rules were implemented.

In Chapman’s place, the Yankees activated Nick Nelson from Triple-A to help supplement his loss.

The Yankees are climbing the AL East standings:

With another victory on Friday, the Yankees find themselves back in the AL East race, sitting 5.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. In the Wild Card, they are only 1.5 games back from the Oakland Athletics and 2.5 from Boston, as both the Red Sox and Rays lost their games on Friday.

Stringing together a few more wins would undoubtedly put them in the conversation to take the top seed in the East, and with a three-game series against a lowly Kansas City Royals team coming up, this is the perfect opportunity for them to blow the division open.