Sunday, August 29, 2010

No More Questions, Only Answers.

UFC 118 took place this Saturday, during which Frankie "The Answer" Edgar stepped back into the octagon to defend his light weight belt for the first time. Not only was it Frankie's first title defense, but it was also against the man that he took the title from in April.. BJ Penn.

In the previous fight, Frankie ended up winning by decision; however, that's not how BJ Penn saw it. Penn believed that he was robbed, and that Frankie won purely because his corner men lifted him onto their shoulders at the end of the fight in order to "sell" his win to the judges. In my opinion it was clear that Frankie had won, BJ was just being his whiny self and had to give some excuse as to why he lost. BJ is no stranger to excuses, you may recall that he claimed GSP was "greased up" in between rounds which caused him to be slippery and thus making BJ unable to finish him. In both occasions BJ seems to forget about the constant punches that he was taking to the face while giving very few in return, or the numerous times he was taken down during the fight and then being held there for approximately 4/5 minutes in every round.

Joe Rogan brought up a good point about the differences between each fighters corner-men. On Frankie's side, he was getting good technical advice from his corner as well as some encouragement. However, BJ and the "yes men" that he had in his corner were giving him pure pep talks even though he was clearly losing badly. Between every round they would merely say "destroy this kid, your amazing BJ, your better then him, just go kick his ass"! Obviously, this "helpful" advice that BJ was given did absolutely nothing and he lost the decision to Frankie once again, this time not even winning a single round on any of the judges score cards.

It will be interesting to see what happens to both BJ and Frankie now. Frankie will surely move on to defend his title against Gray Maynard, who is the only man to ever beat Frankie in the octagon. If Frankie comes out the way he did against BJ then he will most likely leave with the belt around his waist once again. However, if he cannot out-muscle and out-wrestle The Bully, then he could fall down the light weight rankings fast. BJ, on the other hand, will have a lot more things to think about. BJ has never been known for his work ethic, and I can't see that changing anytime soon. I doubt that BJ will make any severe changes to his camp, or the people that he trains with simply because many of them are his family and he clearly loves to be surrounded by "yes men".

At the end of the day, Frankie "The Answer" Edgar had his best fight ever in the octagon and remains the UFC light weight champ. But BJ "The Prodigy" Penn seems to be quickly becoming the light weight chump.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We're Baaaaaaack!

After taking a brief Summer from the world of sports blogging, Autumn's Hattrick is back in action! Let's begin with a little hockey...

This will come as no surprise, but Canada continues to be a force at the national level. The U-18 team once again captured gold, marking the third gold in a row and sixth in the last seven years for the Canadian boys. Canada was lead by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who posted 7 points in 5 games while playing in red and white, he also scored the eventual game winner in the gold medal game against the USA. Since the new year, the World Juniors, Olympics, and U-18 gold medal games have all been USA vs Canada. The States have really turned their hockey program around, even modeling it after Canada's program. The United States now holds camps months before they hold tryouts for their various national level teams, something that was only being done by Canada a couple of years ago. Congratulations team Canada!

Despite what most people thought would happen during the off season in regards to the Toronto Maple leafs, it seems as though the more things change the more they stay the same. Heading into the off season many people, including myself, believed that Kaberle would be traded by any means necessary. However, Kaberle will once again be suiting up with the blue and white this season as the team had no acceptable deals for the 32 year old D-man.

Now onto some football, the rumor mill is swirling once again concerning Brett Favre and his on-again off-again retirement battle. This time it appears that number 4 will be back in a Vikings uniform this season. This move doesn't overly surprise me, I mean, the guy couldn't possibly retire knowing that his last play in the NFL was throwing an interception.. could he?

Former Regina Rams standout Jordan Sisco has been sent back from the Indianapolis Colts, the team which he has been working out with for the majority of the Summer. Sisco is very lucky to have even had the chance to go down to the States and play pro ball. Andy Fantuz has been dying for the chance for scouts to give him a look, but no teams seem to be biting. Sisco will now join Fantuz on the Riders and will spend about 3 weeks learning and will then hopefully be thrown into the mix of an already stacked receiving core.

The world of MMA was up in arms for the first 23 minutes of the main event of UFC 117 which took place on August 7th. Anderson Silva was a mere two minutes away from losing his belt to the trash talking machine Chael Sonnen. Chael took Silva down within the first two minutes of every round and held him there, leaving Silva virtually powerless. The Spider was on his back but his long limbs allowed him to secure a triangle choke with 2 minutes left in the fifth round. Had Silva not secured the choke, he would surely have surrendered his belt to Sonnen, five rounds to none.

Since Silva once again found a way to win, a question remains.. who will take down the Spider? In my perfect world Georges St-Pierre would be the one to do it, however, that fight seems further away then ever these days. Georges recently stated that if he were to fight and beat Silva he would retire. On the one hand I could never blame GSP for retiring, it has always been my theory that you should retire on top, but because GSP brings in so much revenue for the UFC, I'm not sure that Dana White would fully support the fight knowing that he could lose his most popular fighter. Dana would also be against the GSP-Silva fight because no matter what one of his champions is considered beatable in a time where they seem to be virtually untouchable.

Now that my Summer is winding down, I will once again be doing frequent blogs mainly discussing hockey, football and MMA, with a special focus on Pats, Oilers, and UFC.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What The Fowler!

There were many shocking picks that came in the first round, but the most shocking pick of all had to be Cam Fowler's slide from TSN's ranking of 5th overall, to 12th where he was eventually taken by the Ducks.

Earlier in the season, most people thought that Cam would go as high as third, but no one ever imagined that he would go outside of the top six or seven; let alone twelfth! The Ducks were extremely lucky to grab this kid.

TSN's 4th overall pick, and fellow defensmen Brandon Gormley slipped to 13th and was picked up to the Yotes, who couldn't be happier with the pick.

First Overall

Although it was made out to be a more difficult decision than I'm sure it really was, the Edmonton Oilers have selected (as I predicted months ago) Taylor Hall as the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft. This came as not a huge surprise, as tempting as Seguin was, Hall was the obvious choice.

Edmonton was trying to get the top 2 picks in the draft which would have called for a blockbuster trade. A single team hasn't had the top two picks in the draft since Montreal did back in the day. Rumour has it that they were offering Boston Hemsky and Jordan Eberle for the pick, but the Bruins declined the offer.

Edmonton then offered Florida Andrew Cogliano in exchange for a late first round draft pick but no dice.

Edmonton did the right thing in drafting Hall, he's a dynamic offensive forward that is sure to make an immediate impact. Congratulations Hall.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Newest Coug.

Brett Leffler, formerly with the Regina Pats, has just committed to the University of Regina Cougars. Leffler will be joining former Pats teammate Matt Strueby as well as countless other ex-WHLer's. Leffler should fit in quite nicely with the Cougs lineup and will bring his size, shot and work ethic to the team, but both Leff's and Strueb's will continue to work on their speed while with Regina.

Leffler was originally drafted by the Capitals and attended their development and training camps but was never able to secure a deal with the Caps and as a result was thrown back into last years draft. It is rare that a player will be picked up twice in the draft and Leffler's case was no different and he was not chosen a second time around. However, last summer he was invited to attend the Blackhawks development camp and was expected to receive an invite to training camp, but the call never came.

Both Struebs and Leffs are great hockey players and deserve more looks by scouts and teams. Although they may not have blazing speed, their work around the net and willingness to battle in the corners is top notch. Good luck with the Cougs. boys!

NHL Combine.

It's that time of year again, time to put 17 year old kids through hell and back and dangle their dreams of playing in the NHL right in front of them.. that's right it's draft time. Now, with the draft comes the dreaded combine where these young kids are put through all kinds of tests to test there physical and mental abilities. Most of the test results have been said flat out do not translate to whether or not the kid will be a good hockey player, but it's all part of the process.

Obviously, all of the attention has been on the Taylor vs Tyler saga. However, Taylor Hall took the easy was out and opted not to participate in the physical tests. He kept claiming that he had "nagging injuries" and felt that it would be better if he sat out, he also said that his season had just finished 5 days ago. Although this is true, his season did just finish, but so did Cam Fowlers, they play on the same f-ing team yet Cam didn't have a problem participating. Cam also played in the World Juniors, just like Hall, yet had to go through all of the hellish tests while Hall got to sit and watch.

Jack Campbell, the stud USA goalie from the World Juniors came out on top of a number of the tests which I found to be quite interesting. I was watching the live chat but the operators seemed to refuse to talk about the bench press results but released all other information quite willingly. I really wish that they would release all of the results to the public, in fact, I'm surprised that they don't, everyone would clearly love to know.

If the draft were based on interview skills and like-ability then the Oilers would definitely choose Seguin, he's much-muuch funnier then Hall and actually looks like he's interested and not about to fall asleep. I still think that because of what the Oilers need that they should choose Hall but Seguin is so marketable it's going to be hard to resist.

Stanley Cup: Game 2

After narrowly escaping the high scoring affair that happened on Saturday, neither team could get their offense going early in game number two. Both teams were held scoreless for the first period of action and well into the second until Chicago managed to score two quick ones to put them up, obviously, 2-0. The Flyers finally put one past Niemi in the third to cut the lead to one but even with almost 2 minutes with the extra attacker they could not poke a second through. Hawks win game 2 by a score of 2-1.

However, although the Hawks have been winning, their top line of Kane, Toews and Big Buff have not been doing anything to help, in fact they have done the opposite. In game number one the trio combined for zero points and a minus nine rating. Not exactly something to be proud of. Game number two was not much better, Kane had zeros across the board, Buff was given 1 assist, and Toews was a plus 1. So, you can look at this situation a number of ways. But one that stands out is that, if the Hawks three top guys aren't clicking.. at all.. and yet they can still win, what about when they are clicking? Will they dominate? Only time will tell.

Team Hawks 2-0.