RelatedPosts Israel Adesanya in tears on UFC debut UFC: Israel Adesanya plans 42-year-old man fight Israel Adesanya expects Whittaker rematch Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya defeated Yoel Romero by unanimous decision to retain his middleweight championship in Saturday night’s main event at UFC 248 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The judges scored the bout 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46. The first two rounds featured very few exchanges between the fighters, but Romero appeared to have the two most significant strikes in the opening 10 minutes, including an overhand left that appeared to hurt Adesanya’s eye in the first. Adesanya picked up the pace in Round 3, especially with his kicks, landing one to the body and several sharp leg kicks. He also landed the most significant strike in the fourth round, another hard leg kick that briefly buckled Romero. Adesanya continued to do damage with hard leg kicks in the final round, and Romero’s right thigh had visible welts by the end of the fight. Adesanya (19-0) was making the first defence of his undisputed middleweight title, which he captured when he knocked out Robert Whittaker at UFC 243. He entered that fight as the interim champion and unified the crown with the win. With Sunday’s win, Adesanya became only the fourth middleweight in UFC history to begin his career 8-0 with the promotion, joining Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman and Romero. Romero (13-5) has lost four his past five fights, including three defeats in title bouts. In his previous fight, he lost a hard-fought unanimous decision to Paulo Costa at UFC 241 in August. Romero was slotted in Sunday’s fight because of an injury to Costa. Adesanya entered the fight as ESPN’s No. 7-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Romero is ESPN’s No. 4 middleweight.Tags: Israel AdesanyaYoel Romero
Arsenal moved to the top of the Barclays Premier League following a hard-earned 2-1 win over Everton at the Emirates Stadium. This time it was Santi Cazorla with the pinpoint ball in, whipping a free-kick on the left through the six-yard box – where Koscielny got in on the blind-side to nod in a second goal. Everton were, however, quickly handed a way back into the match a minute before the break. Barkley broke down left and drilled an angled shot goalwards from 25 yards, which took a wicked deflection off the trailing leg of Gabriel and flew past Cech. The match remained very open in the second half as both defences were stretched on the break. Giroud was inches away from a second goal on 68 minutes when Ozil delivered another slide-rule pass and the French forward lofted the ball over Howard, but was denied by the crossbar. The visitors were soon close to an equaliser when Lukaku got up to head a cross from Barry onto the top of the crossbar. As the clock ran down, Everton continued to press and Deulofeu found himself in space on the right side of a crowded penalty area – but Cech was out quickly to make a superb block. In stoppage time, Ozil was unfortunate not to add a third for Arsenal when his low 18-yard effort struck the base of the post. Barry was shown a second yellow card for a trip on substitute Kieran Gibbs as Everton finished with 10 men. TWEET OF THE MATCH “That is a big, big win. We looked tired in the 2nd half after Tuesday, but deserved the 3 points. Giroud and Ozil fantastic.” – Prominent blogger @arseblog. https://twitter.com/arseblog/status/657986157746245633 PLAYER RATINGS Arsenal (Out of 10) Petr Cech – 7 Gabriel – 6 Laurent Koscielny – 7 Mesit Ozil – 8 Olivier Giroud – 8 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7 Alexis Sanchez – 6 Nacho Monreal – 6 Santi Cazorla – 7 Hector Bellerin – 6 Francis Coquelin – 6 Substitutes Kieran Gibbs – 5 Mathieu Flamini – 6 Evertom Tim Howard – 6 John Stones – 5 Phil Jagielka – 5 Romelu Lukaku – 4 Aaron Lennon – 5 James McCarthy – 4 Gareth Barry – 4 Gerard Deulofeu – 5 Ross Barkley – 6 Seamus Coleman – 6 Brendan Galloway – 6 Substitutes Kevin Mirallas – 5 Steven Naismith – 4 Ramiro Funes Mori – 5 STAR PLAYER Olivier Giroud: Had a brilliant game for the Gunners. He was involved in every attack and kept Everton’s defence busy. John Stones and Phil Jagielka failed to keep up with him on a number of occasions and his goal came after he lost both members of the Everton team. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Arsenal’s first goal: Came after a superb build-up. Momentum had been building for the home side and as Mesut Ozil sprinted down the right wing, Olivier Giroud was perfectly positioned in the middle of the box. The striker managed to lose both his Everton markers to skim the ball into the back of the net. Every Arsenal attack involved their link up play and the goal summed up the pair’s work ethic throughout the whole game VIEW FROM THE BENCH Everton’s back four struggled to keep up with the Arsenal attacks. Arsene Wenger had set up Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain to switch in midfield and it worked a treat, confusing the Everton midfield and leaving the defence open to attack. With Giroud in fine form, it meant the Gunners could get a number of shots on target early on. It was not long before these attacks paid off and they were soon two nil up. MOAN OF THE MATCH After 60 minutes Arsenal appeared to have shot after shot against Everton keeper, Tim Howard, but despite an impressive team build up they could not get the ball in the back of the net. WHO’S UP NEXT? Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal (Capital One Cup, Tuesday October 27) Everton v Norwich (Capital One Cup, Tuesday October 27) Press Association Giroud, preffered to Theo Walcott in attack, saw an effort come back off the crossbar before Romelu Lukaku also sent a header onto the top of the woodwork. Goalkeeper Petr Cech made a superb late block to deny Gerard Deulofeu as the Gunners, who defeated Bayern Munich in their midweek Champions League tie, moved a point ahead of Manchester City, who play at rivals United on Sunday. Giroud – who scored off the bench against both Watford and Bayern – was the target for all of the Gunners’ early assaults. However, Ev erton, beaten 3-0 at Manchester United last weekend, remained resolute with plenty of attacking intentions themselves as the rain drizzled down on the slick Emirates Stadium pitch. On 28 minutes, a cutback from Aaron Lennon through the six-yard box was only palmed away by Cech – but Everton defender John Stones could only hack the loose ball wide as it spun up off his shin. After soaking up plenty of pressure in the rain, Arsenal swept into the lead on 36 minutes. Ozil found himself in some space on the right and delivered a superb floating cross over the Everton defence for Giroud to steal in behind and send a backward header past Howard. Before Everton could regroup, they were 2-0 down. Two goals inside as many minutes in the first half from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny looked to have set the Gunners up for a comfortable evening. A deflected effort from Ross Barkley pulled Everton back into the match just before half-time – but there was to be no equaliser for the visitors, who finished the game with 10 men as a result of Gareth Barry’s late dismissal following two yellow cards.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 29, 2018 at 10:22 am Contact Danny: firstname.lastname@example.org | @DannyEmerman Through his first 12 games at St. Bonaventure, freshman Kyle Lofton has proved point guards don’t need to bark out instructions to be effective. He knows he can be a leader without being the loudest in the locker room and on the court. “He’s vocal when he has to be, but he’s not the loudest kid,” Tom Espinoza, who coached Lofton at Putnam (Connecticut) Science Academy, said. “Kyle has that leadership quality. People just go with him and respect him — it’s amazing.”Lofton, St. Bonaventure’s silent floor general, developed a jump shot after scouts questioned his shooting ability. After earning no Division I offers, he proved himself at Putnam, where he helped win the school’s first prep national championship. In his first 12 games for St. Bonaventure (4-8), Lofton leads in the team in assists (4.0 per game) and logs the second most minutes (36.6). But entering Saturday’s game versus Syracuse (8-4), the 6-foot-3 point guard will have to learn to overcome his soft-spoken personality to thrive in the Carrier Dome’s rowdy environment.Instead of being vocal, Lofton leads by example. He knows every play from each position and often reminds his teammates where to be in practice. He soaks in advice and wisdom from his more experienced teammates and applies it in games.Lofton has always been soft-spoken, teammates and coaches said. Still, he often struggles to communicate, a necessary skill for point guards at the highest level, SBU senior Nelson Kaputo said. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think he’ll just become more vocal the more comfortable he gets playing the game of college basketball,” Kaputo said. “At the end of the day, he’s still a freshman … so he has a long way to go.”At Putnam, when some of his teammates signed with D-I schools and left campus before graduation, Lofton stayed and locked himself in the gym to continue improving his jump shot even after the season ended. Lofton improved his jumper and studied the intricacies of pick-and-roll offense, learning how to read a defense while there. He built muscle and became a better leader on the court. As his play grew more confident and aggressive, his shot followed. Lofton has an unconventional shooting form where he removes his guide hand from the ball a half-second before releasing the ball. After scouts questioned his outside stroke, Lofton shot 40 percent from beyond the arc at Putnam and currently shoots at a 34.4 percent clip with the Bonnies. “It was unbelievable what he did with us,” Espinoza said. “So it’s not a surprise what he’s doing at Bonnies.”He’s brought that same work ethic to St. Bonaventure in his first year. In addition to his passing and “elite” defense, Espinoza said, Lofton has also taken a scoring role, averaging 13.9 points per game, third-most on the team. He dropped 23 points at Vermont, 20 against Boise St. and 15 versus then-No. 17 Buffalo. At St. Bonaventure, Lofton often prefers to put his teammates in positions to score by passing to them in their spots, Kaputo said. Against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, Lofton plans to be aggressive, looking for passing lanes to his teammates at the high post, he said. The biggest difference between D-I and the prep league, Lofton said, is the pace of play. He didn’t expect to play this many minutes this early in his freshman year, and he admits to feeling fatigued in some games.The speed of Saturday’s game against Syracuse may be more of what Lofton’s accustomed to. According to teamrankings.com, SU averages 69.4 possessions per game, 294th out of 353 D-I programs. Though Syracuse has struggled offensively, they remain tough at home, with a 7-2 record in the Carrier Dome. However, Lofton may get an extra boost from playing in the same arena as Carmelo Anthony, his favorite player growing up. Lofton’s envisioned his Dome debut since middle school, when he dreamed of lacing up orange shoes for Syracuse. In the raucous crowd of his childhood dreams, Lofton may struggle with the sole element of his game that’s held him back — he’ll need to make his voice heard. “It’s gonna be loud,” Lofton said. Comments