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Posted on: July 4, 2009 1:57 pm
 

Florian vs BJ

On Aug. 8, Kenny Florian will take a second crack at the UFC lightweight title, this time battling current champion B.J. Penn at UFC 101, and while the Boston native has always had a top-notch camp, he decided to venture out this time for some extra support.

The extra support comes in the form of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, the only fighter to have two wins over Penn, and who himself is in final preparations for his UFC 100 bout against Thiago Alves.

St. Pierre spoke to MMAWeekly Radio recently about the work he did with Florian in Montreal, and says that it's a good bet that it's "Ken-Flo" who will leave Philadelphia with the championship around his waist.

"I've trained with him two times and he looked really sharp. I put my money on him against B.J. Penn," St. Pierre stated.

The Canadian has put together some of the most legendary camps to prepare for his title fights, so his physical and mental strategy could be a key edge that Florian will carry into the fight in August.

St. Pierre complemented Florian for the work they did together while in Montreal, and he's confident that Penn will have no answer for what Florian will bring into the title fight.

"Kenny Florian is a great training partner, and is going to be a great champion, and he's also a greater person and human being (than B.J. Penn)," said St. Pierre.

Much like his own strategy and gameplan, he wouldn't let anything out of the bag as to what Florian will do to beat Penn, but he is boastful that it will happen.

"A lot of things, but they are part of his gameplan so I can't talk too much about it," St. Pierre commented about what Florian will bring into the fight against Penn. "It basically consists of using his strength and putting it against his opponent's weaknesses."

Following his upcoming title fight against Alves, St. Pierre will then head straight back into camp to help his friend and training partner Nate Marquardt get ready for his September fight against Demian Maia.

Still, if time permits, he says he'd love to be in Philadelphia to sit front row for Kenny Florian vs. B.J. Penn.

"I would like to see that," St. Pierre said in closing about Florian winning the title.

Category: Mixed Martial Arts
Posted on: June 23, 2009 5:33 pm
 

Dolphins

The Dolphins are adding another dash of celebrity: singer Gloria Estefan and her producer husband Emilio Estefan are buying a "small minority ownership" stake in the team, a source said Monday.

The Grammy Award-winning Estefans will join Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross to announce the investment officially Thursday at Land Shark Stadium.

Ross, who completed his $1.1 billion purchase of the team and stadium in January, has been seeking minority partners for months. He has also been working to infuse entertainment into the stadium experience for fans.

The source said Emilio Estefan has already been working on original songs to add to the game-day experience. Estefan Enterprises includes the couple's Bongos Cuban Cafe restaurant chain and hotels. <!-- END google ads -->

<!-- END rail --> Last month, Ross partnered with pop singer and South Florida icon Jimmy Buffett to re-name the stadium after Buffett's Land Shark Lager. The stadium is to include a Margaritaville area and Parrot Head section.

In a meeting with reporters in April, Ross said he wanted the team's ownership to mirror South Florida. "I want this team to represent what South Florida is all about. It's probably one of the most diverse populated places in country," he said at the time.

"You want that to be a positive, want the team to be reflective of that diversity."

The Dolphins announced the signing of sixth-round pick Andrew Gardner , a 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive tackle out of Georgia Tech. As reported in the Sun Sentinel Thursday, Gardner signed a four-year deal.

His signing leaves seven of the Dolphins' nine draft picks unsigned. Training camp is expected to open Aug. 1.

Category: NFL
Tags: Dolphins
 
Posted on: June 22, 2009 6:59 pm
 

Portis on coach Zorn

Late last season, as the Redskins were slipping in the standings, frustrations began to mount. After a 6-2 start, Washington lost five of six, and first-year head coach Jim Zorn was not only the target of criticism, there was speculation that his job might be in trouble .

The latter proved to be just a rumor , but running back Clinton Portis was partly responsible for the former. During a Dec. 2008 appearance on the John Thompson show, he told the former Georgetown coach that , "We got a genius for a head coach, I don't know, I'm sure he on top of things. He's got everything figured out. Hey, that's up to him. All I can do is when he calls a play is go out and try to execute to the best of my ability."

In case it's not obvious, Portis was being sarcastic. Zorn later responded and was surprisingly diplomatic given the circumstances .

Portis and Zorn eventually worked things out and everybody lived happily ever after. Well, until last week, when Pro Football Talk reported that "Multiple sources have advised us that Portis shows little or no respect to coach Jim Zorn, and that the situation bubbled over at least once during the team's OTA sessions, with Portis telling the coach off in front of other players."

The Washington Times ' David Elfin caught up with Portis this week to get his reaction to the news that he's a team cancer .
"How this story came about, I have no idea," Portis said. "There's nothing going on. There's no beef between me and Coach Zorn. We're on good terms at this present moment. There's no problem." ...

"I don't know why people have that in their mind," Portis said. "Me and Coach [Joe] Gibbs had a great relationship. We talked more than me and Coach Zorn do, but lately me and Coach Zorn been talking, trying to get on the same page. Things been going good. He understand me and I understand him."
To be fair, Portis can be outspoken, so it's not a completely insane notion that he might sometimes say things he shouldn't. That doesn't mean he's unmanageable or ignores authority. It just means that he occasionally talks too much. He's been in Washington since 2004, missed just nine games, and rushed for more than 1,200 yards four times. And he's universally loved by fans. There are better examples of guys who aren't team players.

Meanwhile, Terrell Owens , who can divide a locker room like nobody's business, is working on his third club. So, yeah, relatively speaking, maybe Portis isn't that bad.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 21, 2009 1:16 pm
 

Shaelyn Palmer puts her foot down

Carson Palmer’s wife, Shaelyn, can rest easy.

There’s no way her husband, the Bengals’ quarterback, is going to let Chad Ochocinco, the team’s star wide receiver, crash at their Southern California home in July while the two work out together. Three’s company? Hardly.

Carson said Shaelyn got either a text message or e-mail from a friend, saying Ochocinco planned to stay with the Palmers in the days leading up to training camp. Shaelyn gave birth to twins — a boy and a girl — on Jan. 20.

“As soon as I walked in the door from work the other day, she just gave me that look,” Palmer said. “I’m like, ‘Whoa, calm down. It’s media stuff. It’s Chad being Chad.’

“I told her, ‘Don’t worry. I haven’t made any commitments to having to clear out the boxes in the (spare) room to make a bed for him. Don’t worry about that. It’s not going to happen.’ ”

Undeterred, Ochocinco keeps insisting he’s staying with the Palmers.

“No,” Carson said. “I just told him that unless he’s picking up my mortgage for the month of July and August, he can’t stay. He’s not living for free. I don’t need another kid around the house.”

A year ago, Ochocinco arrived at minicamp to a national media circus. He didn’t speak. When 2009 minicamp opened on Thursday, June 18, Chad wouldn’t shut up.

“I’m happy he’s here with the energy he’s bringing, the enthusiasm he’s bringing and the excitement,” Palmer said. “Because it’s all funneled and channeled in the right direction.

“He’s been to five Pro Bowls. He’s still able and capable of playing at that level. It may not have been there last year, but he’s back to that form, to that shape, that he was in previous years.”


Category: NFL
Tags: Bengals
 
Posted on: June 21, 2009 10:51 am
 

Tony Stewart

Here's a look at the top five in points and five drivers to watch in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. All statistical references are for Sprint Cup races at Infineon Raceway unless otherwise indicated. Driver rating is based on the past four races at the track.

1. Tony Stewart, 109.5 driver rating
Stewart has two wins and six top 10s in 10 starts. He used his second win, in 2005, to spark his run to his second Cup championship. He is second only to Juan Pablo Montoya in driver rating but leads the way in fastest laps run and quality passes.

2. Jeff Gordon, 100.1
Gordon owns NASCAR's best record on road courses with nine wins, five of which have come at Infineon. He has 12 top 10s in 16 starts, with three straight dating to 2006. And besides his five wins, he has finished second twice and third three times, including last year.


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3. Jimmie Johnson, 75.2
Among active tracks, Infineon has been the site of Johnson's fewest top 10s. He has two in seven races. On the positive side, Johnson qualified second last year and led a career-high 27 laps on the way to a 15th-place finish. Doing well at road courses -- Johnson is winless at Infineon and Watkins Glen -- is a high priority for Johnson.

4. Kurt Busch, 102.6
Busch has been unable to turn his great starting positions into enough good finishes. Since qualifying 41st as a rookie in 2001, Busch has qualified in the top five five times in addition to starting in sixth and 14th. His average finish in his eight starts, however, is 19.1. He has three top-five finishes, but last year he started third and finished 32nd.

5. Ryan Newman, 101.9
Among drivers with at least five starts at Infineon, Newman has the third-best average finish: 9.4 (trailing the late Dale Earnhardt's 8.6 and Gordon's 9.3). In seven starts, Newman has five top 10s along with finishes of 14th and 20th. He finished seventh last year.

Watch out for ...

8. Mark Martin, 90.2
Last week's winner has a terrific record on road courses with 32 top 10s in 41 starts. One of his four victories on road courses came at Infineon, where he has 13 top 10s in 18 starts, including seven top fives. He last raced at Infineon in 2006, and this will be his first road-course race in nearly three years.

9. Kyle Busch, 104.8
Busch swept the road-course races last year, winning at Infineon from 30th on the grid. He led 78 laps, including the last 42. Only Montoya in 2007 won from starting deeper in the field (he started 32nd).

12. Jeff Burton, 96.5
Although he has never won on a road course in 30 races, Burton has the seventh-best driver rating at Sonoma. Three of his past four finishes have been solid: seventh, third and 13th last year. The third is Burton's only top five in 15 starts. With only a three-point lead over 13th-place David Reutimann, Burton needs another strong run.


Category: Fantasy Racing
Tags: Stewart
 
 
 
 
 
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