First Look: UFC 183 Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Fight Poster

First Look: UFC 183 Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Fight Poster

Both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz will be returning to the Octagon following more than a year out of action when they meet in the UFC 183 main event on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

The UFC has already begun promotion or the fight with some pretty? ummm? interesting video spots? but now we get a first glance at the fight poster? enjoy!

SEE ALSO: Get Hyped for UFC 183 with this Uber Creepy Anderson Silva Lullaby

SEE ASLO: Nick Diaz Gets All Philosophical and Stuff to Promote Anderson Silva Fight

UFC 183 Fight Poster

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Source: http://www.mmaweekly.com/first-look-ufc-183-anderson-silva-vs-nick-diaz-fight-poster

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Following Battle at UFC 175, Lyoto Machida Is More Dangerous Than Ever

Following Battle at UFC 175, Lyoto Machida Is More Dangerous Than Ever
USA TODAY Sports

Lyoto Machida has always been a complex puzzle to figure out inside the cage.

He’s a fighter with an elusive style who has the ability to close distance rapidly and with such force that it has brought an abrupt end to many a fighter’s night. Furthermore, with his deep arsenal of kicks, punches and knees, the proverbial kill shot can come from anywhere at any time. Those aspects add up to make The Dragon one of the most dangerous strikers to ever compete inside the Octagon, but even in a game as universally well-rounded as the one Machida brings, there are always going to be some holes.

At least there were in a certain regard.

While there is no doubting the 36-year-old Shotokan karate master possesses one of the most fluid and diverse attacks in the UFC, there have always been questions about his ability to stand tall in the face of an equally relenting attack. With Machida’s style, getting hit wasn’t part of the game plan, and fighters who have been able to touch him up have typically fared well against him, therefore making the “Machida puzzle” solvable if you can get in and stay in his face.

USA TODAY Sports

That said, his most recent showing against middleweight champion Chris Weidman may have significantly changed the tone and perspective of his story and added yet another wrinkle to his complex style. While Machida had a crisp first round that he took on the scorecards, the following four frames were nothing short of a dogfight. Several times both champion and challenger appeared to have the other in trouble, and neither was willing to give an inch inside the cage.

And while the end result was another successful title defense for Weidman, the Team Black House fighter emerged victorious in his own right. In those 25 minutes, Machida proved once and for all there was no quit in him and that he could buckle down into a donnybrook if need be. For a fighter who has the ability to out-quick and outmaneuver the majority of opponents, knowing he has the ability to fight in the trenches simply adds one more dangerous wrinkle to an already dynamic offensive attack.

“I definitely think I earned some new respect from the fans that night,” Machida told Bleacher Report with the assistance of a translator. “I fought with my heart, and I left it all in there. It’s great to know I have the ability to dig in and fight in close quarters because that situation may arise again in the future. It’s good to know that I’ve been there and can do it.”

The former 205-pound champion will once again put his talents to the test when he faces a resurgent CB Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 58 on Saturday night in Brazil. Whereas The Doberman was once riddled with injury and stuck in a “give one, take one” pattern in the middleweight ranks, the Power MMA representative has been on a hot streak as of late, winning four of his last five showings.

USA TODAY Sports

Two victories during his recent run have come in the hostile environment of a Brazilian arena in bouts where he’s played the role of underdog and pulled off a pair of impressive upsets. Yet, this will be his first test against a seasoned former titleholder in Machida, and The Dragon has no plans of being the biggest addition to Dollaway’s resume.

He’s looking forward to putting on another show for his countrymen and getting back into striking distance of another championship opportunity.

“It’s a great opportunity to be fighting here in Brazil again,” Machida said. “I get to represent my country and fight in front of my Brazilian fans. I think CB [Dollaway] is a guy who may not have any one particular skill that is necessarily special, but he’s a very dangerous guy all around. That said, I am not thinking about what he’s done before or plans to do in this fight. I’m only focused on my game and what I need to do to get the victory.

“Every fight that I have I’m one step closer to the belt, and I’ve always kind of been up there in both divisions I’ve competed at. I think a win here gets me back to being one step closer to a title shot.”

Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2305079-following-battle-at-ufc-175-lyoto-machida-more-dangerous-than-ever

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Selig to get $6M/year as Commissioner Emeritus

Bud Selig has to be feeling pretty well right now. Bud Selig has to be feeling pretty well right now. (USATSI)

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is set to retire from his post on Jan. 25, with Rob Manfred set to take over as the commissioner of baseball. Friday, Major League Baseball released the following statement:

Major League Baseball Commissioner-Elect Rob Manfred today announced that he has given the sport’s longtime leader, Allan H. (Bud) Selig, the title of Commissioner Emeritus, which will be effective on January 25th, when he officially retires as Commissioner. As Commissioner Emeritus, Selig will be available to advise Manfred and to assist with special projects as Manfred begins his term as Commissioner.

Manfred said: “Commissioner Selig has had an unparalleled career of decorated service to the National Pastime, and this role will allow the game to benefit from his unmatched institutional knowledge, experience and relationships. I could not ask for a finer mentor during this transition process, and I am grateful that Commissioner Selig will continue to be available to me as a resource.”

Selig said: “I greatly appreciate the opportunity to stay connected to the game in this new capacity. I will be proud to stand behind Rob’s vision for the future and to assist in any ways that he asks. Baseball is the greatest game in the world, and I look forward to seeing our sport flourish under Rob’s leadership.”

Selig has led the industry since September 9, 1992, first as Chairman of the Major League Executive Council. On July 9, 1998, he was officially elected as the ninth Commissioner in Baseball history. On September 26, 2013, he announced his intention to retire upon the completion of his contract. Manfred, currently MLB’s Chief Operating Officer, was unanimously elected Baseball’s next Commissioner by the 30 Major League Clubs on August 14, 2014.

That’s not all, as Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Selig will make an annual pension of roughly $6 million.

Needless to say, the 80-year-old Selig has a pretty nice setup coming his way.

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Source: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24902503/bud-selig-named-commissioner-emeritus-to-make-6m-pension

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Elevated Plays Of The Week

Elevated Plays Of The Week

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Source: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=12051173

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New video shows emotional moments following Ray Rice’s arrest

Ray Rice and Janay Parker are crying, kissing and in handcuffs in a new video showing the moments following the alleged assault.

New security footage showing the immediate aftermath of the Ray Rice assault incident has been released. The footage, obtained by ABC News despite an attempted legal injunction by Rice, shows a sequence of events beginning with police questioning the former NFL star and his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, and ending with a kiss as they’re led in handcuffs to police vehicles.


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The video picks up right after Palmer was knocked unconscious by Rice in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino on Feb. 15. Concerned hotel staffers escort a visibly distraught Palmer into the lobby, where she is separated from Rice. As Palmer sobs, Rice sits in a chair on the other side of the room being questioned, first by casino security and then by police.

Hotel staffers appear to administer first aid to Palmer and at one point a wheelchair is rolled in for her, though she eventually walks out of the lobby under her own power.

Police then place both Rice and Palmer in handcuffs and lead them out of the lobby. Both were arrested and originally charged with one count of assault each. Palmer’s charge was later dropped, while Rice’s was upgraded to aggravated assault.

The most intriguing portion of the video comes as the couple, handcuffed and surrounded by police, rides the casino elevator on their way out. In the back of the elevator, a still-crying Palmer leans into Rice, nuzzling and kissing him before being escorted out to waiting police vehicles.

Rice’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, criticized the public release of the video.

“This is a time of healing and he, quite naturally, doesn’t want another media showing of what must have been the worst event of his life,” Ginsberg said in an interview today. “What the media ought to be focusing on is the issue of domestic violence.”

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Source: http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/12/19/7425519/ray-rice-assault-video-janay-palmer

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No. 2 Volleyball falls to BYU, 3-1 in NCAA Semifinals

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. ? No. 2 Texas Volleyball (29-3) fell to BYU (30-4), 3-1 (23-25, 16-25, 25-17, 24-26) in the NCAA Semifinals to end its season on Thursday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Sophomore Chiaka Ogbogu posted a career-high 14 kills, hitting .500 and also added a team-high eight blocks for the Longhorns.

Seniors Haley Eckerman and Khat Bell added nine kills each. Bell also contributed seven blocks.

Three players recorded double-digit digs, as freshman Cat McCoy led with 14 and juniors Amy Neal and Kat Brooks finished with 10 each.

Sophomores Nicole Dalton and Chloe Collins had 23 and 21 assists, respectively.

As a team, Texas posted its lowest hitting percentage of the season at .162 and was out-blocked, 17.0 to 14.5.

Sophomore Paulina Prieto Cerame led the longhorns to an early 2-0 lead, but after that a back and forth battle with 15 tied scores kept the Horns rallying their way through the first set. A set of BYU attack errors helped the Longhorns gain the momentum to go on a 5-1 run to widen the gap, but BYU answered closely after to steal the lead and take set one, 25-23.  Neither team led by more than three points in the first set.

The second set took off at a different speed and the Horns could not answer. The Cougars’ defense stepped up and recorded six blocks that Texas couldn’t find its way around. After a Texas timeout, it went on a 4-0 run which then forced BYU to sacrifice its first timeout of the set. Texas couldn’t hang on and BYU took the second set, 25-16.

In the third set, Texas hit .357 to terminate the Cougars chance of a clean sweep. Blocks by Ogbogu and Bell sparked a 3-0 lead and forced BYU to take its first timeout early in the set. Texas took the lead at 18-17 with a BYU service error and kept it as it finished the match (25-17) on a 8-0 run and limited BYU to a .093 hitting percentage.

The two teams played evenly in the fourth set with a 12-12 tie before BYU pulled ahead by three after a kill by Amy Boswell. The rally continued, but Texas found its rhythm late in the set with a kill by Ogbogu that yielded a 3-0 Texas run and a forced BYU timeout. Texas then pulled ahead at 20-19 on an Eckerman kill, but BYU answered and took eventually took a 24-23 advantage. The Longhorns survived the first match point, but the Cougars found themselves back in the driver’s seat at 25-24 and were able to close to win the match, 3-1.

Jennifer Hamson led the Cougars with 22 kills, 10 digs and seven blocks.

POSTGAME QUOTES

THE MODERATOR:  We’re joined by the Longhorns of the University of Texas.  Coach, your thoughts on tonight’s game.

            COACH ELLIOTT:  I thought BYU played exceptionally well.  Their block caused a lot of problems for us.  They got a lot of good touches and a lot of blocks and that took us out of our offense a bit.

            But I felt as the match went on we were gaining more and more control.  We won Game 3 and I thought we were in a good position to win Game 4.  And I think I can’t comment on refereeing, but I can comment where I think the sport needs to go and I think we need to look at some instant replays and some abilities to make some calls, because it’s difficult when you get a two-point switch and your kids tried as hard as they did.

            A lot of that was a tribute to what BYU did and hats off to what they accomplished tonight.  I thought our kids came in prepared.  I thought they fought really hard.

            They gave us a chance to get back, and I’m just really proud of what this team has accomplished this year and what Khat Bell and Haley have done for this program and it’s always hard when you’re not ending the season with a W.

            THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student-athletes.

            Q.  You know all week long that BYU is the best blocking team in the country, but when you’re actually facing that block, how different or how difficult is it compared to what you were expecting or maybe thinking it would be, Haley?

            HALEY ECKERMAN:  I mean, we knew they were big, that they were obviously the top blocking team.  And we had practice with that.  Every day in our gym we have practice.

            We have girls like Chi who touches 11 foot.  We have a big block.  They came in, they did amazing.  They knew how to control the game.  And we fought back and you can tell everyone was trying to change things up and we were trying to manage and work hard with that and they ended up still getting out with it.

            Q.  Khat, seemed like they were able to take you out of system a lot in Games 1 and 2, and then you guys got back into it a little bit in Game 3, ran the middle more, strutting it a little bit.  Did you feel like the serve/receive was a big part of the difference in the match tonight, up and down?

            KHAT BELL:  I think all aspects of our game going from either from serve receive to blocking and picking good spots.  It affected us negatively and positively, I think.

            I think it’s a change in playing with the middles a lot more, getting them involved in the game is what made a difference for sure.  They were able to spread the offense a lot more and get the BYU’s middles to bite a little bit.  So it helped.

            Q.  Haley and Khat, it’s fairly common in the Final Four, teams who aren’t used to playing from behind find themselves in positions playing behind.  How did you guys feel that you reacted getting behind and having to battle back?

            HALEY ECKERMAN:  Especially Khat and I, we’ve been through that.  This season, our past career games, we’ve been through that.  And we knew we had to look each other in the eyes.  And it showed.  It showed we weren’t going to give up and we had that fight and we came out of the locker room and knew it wasn’t over yet.  We weren’t going to go down without a fight.

            And it’s hard as a loss but we know that we fought and that that game could have gone either way.  And if we would have gone into a fifth set, I think that our fight, we knew that we could take over a game.

            Q.  For any of the girls, because you can’t get fined by the NCAA, he can:  What were your thoughts about the tipped call?

            HALEY ECKERMAN:  Jerritt talked about how much of a momentum change it had.  I think going into that if we could have taken that point, I think we knew we weren’t going to give up.  And just like in our game last weekend, we found that fight and we had that fight and we could see it in each other’s eyes in that timeout right before that we weren’t going to give up.  So it’s kind of hard when you gotta go out like that.

            Q.  Ball touched?

            HALEY ECKERMAN:  No, promise you that.

            Q.  Coach, BYU played basically a perfect match the first two sets.  And did you think your kids kind of pressed a little bit after that?

            COACH ELLIOTT:  No, I thought we responded really well, Game 3.  Game 2 could have gone any way – or Game 1 could have gone either way.

            It was very, very tight.  25-deuce game.  It’s a challenge.  Game 2, I thought we just kind of fell apart, their block did a great job.  And they were on fire.

            We just couldn’t sustain the mentality of the pressure that they put on from that.  But in Game 3 we came out, played at a very high level, thought our blocking caught fire.  We put ourselves in a position with serve/receive, to get our middles a lot more involved, which we wanted to do.

            And ultimately, I think the last game it was a deuce game.  But it could have gone the other way, with other circumstances that occurred.  And I thought our team fought hard.

            But when we were getting more momentum, I thought – I told our team:  We get this game, they’re in trouble because I thought Hamson was getting tired, just from the pure amount of swings that she was taking.  And her numbers were dropping significantly as that match was going on.

            We were starting to get more touches and we were doing a better job defending her.  And here physicality wasn’t going over the block as much.  I felt that was going to be a big key.  And I felt really good – I saw that ball go out and saw our chance to serve the match.

            Q.  You’ve had two great seasons but two disappointing finishes at the Final Four.  What do you tell the players who are coming back to keep the fire stoked?  You worked so hard all season and then just come up a point or two short.

            COACH ELLIOTT:  This is a cruel profession.  One team walks away the champion.  And whether we lost tonight or whether we were to have lost on Saturday, still you’ve got to be able to kind of reflect – what we do is every year we go back, we give them a break.

            Then I give them a list of questions about every little part of our program, how I coach, what our practices are like, how our travel is, things that helped us get to the point, things that maybe we didn’t do well to get over the hump to win so that I can kind of create my little bible of how to get them back on pace and get them organized and get them motivated again.

            This is a competitive group.  I was blown away last weekend.  I didn’t realize we’ve been to nine straight Elite Eights and six out of last seven Final Fours.  We’ve been in this situation five out of the six times we’ve been to the Final Four.

            We’ve got to get back, look at some things.  Now we’ve got some different personnel.  And we’ll get them motivated.  But right now it’s time to rest and reflect.  And it’s a long, long season.

            Q.  On that same note, looking back at your season as a whole, did this team meet, possibly fall short, or even surpass your expectations?

            COACH ELLIOTT:  I think the goals at Texas now are the standards we’ve created.  If we don’t get to a Final Four it’s a disappointing season, which is sad in the sports, in coaching, but I think we reached two of our goals, was to get back to the Final Four and win the Big 12, which we did.

            We’re devastated that we didn’t win.  We thought we had a chance.  We thought we had a chance tonight.  I felt like Stanford and Penn State were the two best teams but I thought we had a good fighting chance to give a shot at that.

            And I will take – I’ll make my staff take a rest and we’ll get back, watch film, learn what we need to do and get back at it again.  That’s what you do.  You pick up the pieces and build a new puzzle and try to figure it out again.  That’s the fun part.

            Q.  Have you had a chance to see the replay of that point, 25-25?  If not, is that something that you’ll head back to the hotel and look at right away?

            COACH ELLIOTT:  I’ve not seen it.  But I’ve received numerous texts.  But, again, I’m not going to get into that.

            My disappointment is probably just where the angle it was called from.  It’s human error.  That’s why I’m saying the NCAA needs to look at it.  This game is going so fast.  And it’s a two-point switch.

            If it was basketball, a player missed a basketball shot, the other team got two points, it’s a big difference.  So you just want to give the athletes the best chance for them to settle on the floor.

            And that’s all we want as coaches.  That’s all we want as players.  That’s all I would imagine the NCAA would want as well.  When you’ve got a 6’7″ girl touching as high as she does, how minute those touches are and how close they are, it’s challenging.

            We saw some calls class week that I think Nebraska and Washington were very tight.  And I think with instant replay you get to do it right.  That’s all we’re asking is just to be fair.  We can’t just blame one person on this.

            Q.  As a team, you were held to a season low hitting percentage, Haley Eckerman held to a season low hitting percentage.  Just what about the BYU defense made it so tough for you tonight?

            COACH ELLIOTT:  If you don’t block – if you can pass you’re going to deal with their blocks.  We were passing under 1.9.  I think we steadied that a lot more.  I think Molly only had two sets in the first two games.

            And we were able to kind of get their middle going.  You’ll have to run the middle on the right side a lot.  With the 6’2″ situation and our ball control situation we don’t have a back court attack.

            It would have been nice to have been able to counter some of that with our back row attack when we’re off the net.  But you gotta live and die that.

            When you have Hamson out there and Young that are doing such a nice job out there – the least correlated stat to winning championships is blocking.  But they’re proving that stat wrong when they put up 17 stuffed blocks in a game.

            Q.  Last year everybody said you overlooked Wisconsin.  Is that the case today as well with BYU, or were they just that good?

            COACH ELLIOTT:  No, I was very comfortable with the way that our team prepared today.  I mean, I told our staff:  Look, if we don’t win this match it wasn’t because we didn’t prepare the right way, it wasn’t because of the talk we had.

            I think they learned their lesson last year.  I think it was a valuable lesson.  But they gave a tremendous amount of respect to BYU.  When you’re blocking like they are and you’re getting first ball kills like they are, it can be overwhelming.  You don’t have an answer.  And you just keep getting slugged.

            Until we got on a path – we were able to get our middles going and change the transition game a little bit.  I thought they were starting to slow down physically.  And that’s what we were hoping to do is get into that fifth set and give us a little more of a charge.  I thought our passing was picking up and we did some nice things.

            THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

Game Notes: BYU 3, No. 2 Texas 1

NCAA Notes…

  • BYU is now 40-26 all-time in NCAA matches and 1-1 all-time in NCAA Semifinal contests. The Cougars’ last appearance came in 1993.
  • BYU’s semifinal win is its first in program history. Head coach Shawn Olmstead will make his first career coaching appearance in an NCAA Final on Saturday.
  • Texas drops to 79-29 (.731) all-time in NCAA Tournament matches. The Longhorns were making their 10th all-time NCAA Semifinal appearance.

Individual & Team  Notes…

  • BYU now leads Texas 10-8 all-time. The Cougars last defeated Texas on Sept. 6, 1997 (3-0).
  • The Cougars are now riding a 12-match winning streak and have not lost a match since Oct. 30, 2014.
  • With the victory, BYU is 9-1 in four-set matches this season. The Cougars have not surrendered more than a single set to any opponent in the NCAA Tournament this season.
  • BYU last defeated a top-two team on Sept. 20, 2013, a 3-0 victory over San Diego.
  • BYU is only the second team this season to earn a set victory over Texas in NCAA Tournament play.
  • The Cougars are now 27-1 this season when winning the first set of a match. Prior to Thursday, the Longhorns had not dropped the first set of a match since Nov. 19 (vs. Baylor).
  • BYU senior Jennifer Hamson logged 22 kills and 10 digs against Texas, marking her sixth double-double this season and her third in NCAA Tournament action.
  • Hamson’s team-high 22 kills marked the 24th time this season she has recorded a 10-plus kills in a single match and the fifth time she has posted 20-plus. The Cougars are 22-3 when Hamson records 10-plus kills in a match.
  • BYU junior Alexa Gray’s 19 kills boosted her single-season total to 496, just 20 shy of Chelsea Goodman’s BYU record (516, 2007).
  • BYU out-blocked the Longhorns 17-14.5, marking the Cougars’ 30th victory when out-blocking an opponent in 2014. BYU’s semifinal win marks the first time this season the Cougars have defeated an opponent that posted 12-plus blocks in the contest.
  • Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott was denied his 400th career victory with the Longhorns’ loss to BYU.
  • The Longhorns had dropped only one set in the 2014 NCAA Tournament entering Thursday’s match.
  • Texas was out-blocked for just the third time in 30 matches this season. BYU led the blocking battle 17.0-14.5 on Thursday.
  • The Longhorns were out-hit for just the second time in the last 54 matches. Texas hit .162 to BYU’s .209.  The .162 hitting efficiency was a season low for the Longhorns.
  • Texas middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu charted a career-high 14 kills to lead the Longhorns. Her previous high in kills was 12 at Oklahoma on Nov. 15, 2014. It was Ogbogu’s seventh time to reach double-figure kills this season and her third time in the last four matches.
  • Ogbogu hit .500 in the match, marking the 25th time this season she has hit .300 or better.
  • With five blocks in the match, Texas’ Molly McCage moved up to sixth on Texas’ all-time career block assists list with 357. She surpassed Katie Austin (1995-98), who accumulated 353 career block assists.
  • Texas seniors Khat Bell and Haley Eckerman conclude their Texas careers with a 104-14 (.881) record and comprise the only senior class in school history to win four Big 12 Championships.
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UFC Fight Night 58 predictions, preview, and analysis

2014 is coming to a close and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is clearly going out with a bang; meaning, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are taking it from behind with a mediocre FOX Sports 1 card featuring a couple of squash matches.

But when you do 50 events per calendar year, I suppose they can’t all be winners.

Questions remain about how much longer we can expect Lyoto Machida to stay at the top, and to help us answer that unsolicited inquiry is wrestle-boxer CB Dollaway. “The Doberman” proved to be a tough out at 185 pounds, but so did Mark Munoz.

And everyone (except Munoz) remembers how that turned out.

Elsewhere on the card, which takes place tomorrow night (Sat., Dec. 20, 2014) inside Jose Correa Arena in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil, former bantamweight kingpin Renan Barao gets what on paper looks to be an easy lay up against Mitch Gagnon.

Or Gags could upset the apple cart and make myself (and a few others) look even dumber.

With that said, it’s time to break down the UFC Fight Night 58 main card to see who has themselves a merry little Christmas … and who wakes up without any presents.

Ahem … drums please.

185 lbs.: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (21-5) vs. CB “The Doberman” Dollaway (15-5)

Nostradumbass predicts: Here’s a number for all you “stats” guys: NINE. That’s how many current and former UFC champions Lyoto Machida has faced in his career, not including the two former Strikeforce titleholders he was matched against.

“The Dragon” has been swimming with sharks since day one.

What do we talk about when we discuss CB Dollaway? Guys, I really think he should have won that decision against Tim Boetsch. That alone should give you an idea of the huge chasm that separates these two fighters. Machida — the only man to finish Rashad Evans in 23 fights — has looked terrific since dropping to middleweight.

Even in his loss to Chris Weidman, the way he turned it on in the final frame, had me wondering what would have happened if there was a round six.

I’m trying to envision a scenario where Dollaway wins and uh … I’m struggling. Is he going to out-strike him? LOL. I won’t argue that he’s a better wrestler, but trying to shoot on Machida is like trying to catch those damn chickens in Zelda’s Ocarina of Time.

And this is probably a good time to point out that Dollaway has never gone five rounds, while Machida has done it twice in his last two fights without even batting an eyelash.

I’m sure we’ll get two rounds of cat and mouse, but eventually Dollaway is going to make a mistake. Until that happens, I just can’t imagine what he can possibly do to Machida that “The Dragon” hasn’t already seen — and overcome — from better opponents.

Final prediction: Machida def. Dollaway via technical knockout

135 lbs.: Renan “Barao” Pegado (32-2, 1 NC) vs. Mitch Gagnon (12-2)

Nostradumbass predicts: I wasn’t as aghast as some of my colleagues when it was announced that Renan Barao was being “punished” with a match up against the talented but unheralded Mitch Gagnon. The Brazilian already beat the shit out of most of the guys in the top 10, so it was time to look elsewhere.

And to his credit, the Canadian has won four straight with three finishes.

The downside is that he was also submitted by Bryan Caraway, so it’s not like he’s proven to be invincible. As we found out at UFC 173, no one is, but I’m inclined to think that Barao was expecting the same thing everyone else was — a quick rout over the inexperienced TJ Dillashaw.

Oops.

This contest is not unlike the main event. Gagnon has faced some pretty tough guys in his career, but Barao has fought — and finished — the best in the world. From what I’ve seen in their respective performances, the ex-champ is the better striker, as well as the better grappler.

Plus, he’s got a chip on his shoulder and something to prove after the UFC 177 weight-cutting debacle.

That’s bad news for Gaggy.

Final prediction: Barao def. Gagnon via submission

205 lbs.: Antonio Carlos “Cara de Sapato” Junior (4-0) vs. Patrick “Durkin” Cummins (6-1)

Nostradumbass predicts: Had this bout taken place next Dec. instead of tomorrow, I probably would have been more inclined to favor Antonio Carlos Junior. I was impressed with his heavyweight run through TUF Brazil and he looks to be a future contender after dropping to light heavyweight.

By then, he will have learned how to deal with a blanket like Patrick Cummins.

That’s what makes this fight so valuable for him, even tough I expect him to lose. “Durkin” is not going to win any gold gloves for his stand-up inside the cage, but he does a better-than-expected job of using his strikes to set up — and often times complete — his powerful shot.

Once it gets to the floor, it’s his world.

I know fans have a hard time forgetting that humiliating defeat to Daniel Cormier, but “DC” does that to guys in the top 10, even when they get a full camp, so Cummins gets a pass from me. More importantly, the mat rat has since racked up a pair of wins and looks to have finally found his sea legs.

I can’t say the same about the Brazilian … yet.

Final prediction: Cummins def. Junior via unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Rashid “Highlander” Magomedov (17-1) vs. Elias “XuXu” Silverio (11-0)

Nostradumbass predicts: Fight of the night? That may depend on your definition of “fight.” In a combined 29 professional bouts, they have just two submission wins. That means tomorrow night’s slugfest will play out primarily on the feet.

So basically we have ourselves a kickboxing match.

I’m okay with that, so long as it’s technical. While I don’t think we’re in danger of a sloppy bar fight considering the level of talent involved, I am dismayed by the amount of punishment Elias Silverio takes, often times when he doesn’t need to.

Couple that with Rashid Magomedov’s pinpoint accuracy and I think the question heading into the latter half of the fight will be whether or not we get a finish. Since “XuXu” has just one across his last five bouts and “Highlander” doesn’t have any through his previous six, I’m not feeling overly optimistic.

Final prediction: Magomedov def. Silverio via unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Erick “Indio” Silva (16-5) vs. Mike “Biggie” Rhodes (6-3)

Nostradumbass predicts: Erick Silva is eight fights into his UFC career and is not even ranked in the top 15, despite the fact that he’s marketed that way. I don’t know if you can call him a bust, but 4-4 with two knockout losses in 14 months doesn’t exactly scream “contender.”

Neither does beating Mike Rhodes.

The good news is, “Indio” puts on some pretty entertaining fights. He’s a little too reckless at times and has the gas tank of a Tamiya Hornet, but you’ll get a helluva first round. Rhodes has yet to be knocked out so I expect him to give as good as he gets and to be fair, “Biggie” had an impressive run on the regional circuit, one that ended with a win over welterweight’s resident cutie-pie Alan Jouban.

But going winless in 2014 over middle-of-the-pack competition has me worried.

If Silva can come out patient and calculated — like he did against Takenori Sato — an early finish would not surprise me. Regrettably, I have to bet a horse by his record, and an early blitzkrieg powered by the Brazilian cheers will leave him sucking wind, allowing the well-rounded Rhodes to recover and pound his way into the judges’ favor.

Final prediction: Rhodes def. Silva via unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Renato “Moicano” Carneiro (8-0-1) vs. Tom “Stoneface” Niinimaki (21-7-1)

Nostradumbass predicts: Here’s hoping Tom Niinimaki doesn’t get KTFO tomorrow night because the last thing you want is to end up with a meme to call your own. [Photo of Niinimaki unconscious] “Calls himself ‘Stoneface’ LOL”. The Finnish phenom has come in like a lion and appears to be one loss away from going out like a lamb.

That said, I don’t expect his chin to be in any danger in Brazil.

That’s because Renato Carneiro hasn’t knocked anyone out in eight career fights and prefers to do his dirty work on the ground. Not that it makes him any less dangerous, but I’m wondering what kind of output we can expect on relatively short notice.

“Moicano” cut his teeth in Jungle Fight and looks to be a solid prospect, but I’m leaning toward Niinimaki by the slimmest of margins based on big-game experience and a desperation to stay employed. Expect a spirited contest on the ground that ends with a lot of boos from the Brazilian faithful.

Final prediction: Niinimaki def. Carneiro via split decision

That’s a wrap.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 58 fight card (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the FOX Sports 1 main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

For previews and predictions on the preliminary card fights click here and here. To see all the odds and betting lines for UFC Fight Night 58 click here and remember to come check us out after the show for all the latest results, recaps and coverage of “Machida vs. Dollaway.”

What do you think? Now it’s your turn … let us have it in the comments section and share your thoughts and picks for tomorrow night’s event.

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Padres get J. Upton from Braves for prospects

Report: Giants discussing McGehee deal with Marlins
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(5:53 pm ET) Apparently deposed Marlins starting third baseman Casey McGehee is being discussed in trade talks with the Giants, per Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal.

Giants pitchers Matt Duffy and Hunter Strickland are among the possibilities to be sent to Miami.


Mets P Syndergaard center of Tulowitzki talks with Rockies
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(5:43 pm ET) Premier Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is the centerpiece of trade talks involving Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, per CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, who is further reporting that the teams are not close to finalizing a trade.

The pitching-rich Mets are dangling the 22-year-old Syndergaard, who struggled at the Triple-A level in 2014 with a 4.60 ERA and career-worst 1.48 WHIP. Syndergaard has fanned 474 in just 426 2/3 innings.


Bud Black reveals OF configuration for Padres in 2015
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(5:31 pm ET) Bud Black sees his revamped Padres outfield consisting of Justin Upton in left, Matt Kemp in right and Wil Myers in center, per The Associated Press.

The very active Padres will have an entirely new outfield in 2015.


Report: Cubs sign veteran C David Ross
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(5:18 pm ET) Catcher David Ross has signed a two-year contract with the Cubs for $5 million, sources have told Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal.

Ross, who was rumored to be headed to San Diego, has served as a backup throughout his career. His average has slipped in each of the last four seasons and dropped to .184 in 2014. It was his lowest mark in 10 years.


Padres pick up RHP Northcroft in Upton deal
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(4:54 pm ET) The Padres have announced that they have also received right-hander Aaron Northcraft in the deal with the Braves that landed them slugger Justin Upton.

The 24-year-old Northcraft has yet to make his major league debut.


Rays designate veteran RHP Brandon Gomes
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(4:38 pm ET) The Rays have designated right-hander Brandon Gomes for assignment.

Gomes split last season between Tampa Bay and Triple-A Durham. He finished the year with a 2-2 mark and 3.71 ERA in 29 relief appearances.


Angels set to release INF Shawn O’Malley
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(4:32 pm ET) The Angels have granted infielder Shawn O’Malley his unconcitional release.

O’Malley was promoted briefly late in the 2014 season and managed three hits in 16 at-bats. It was his first major league stint.


Tigers dispatch RHP Melvin Mercedes to Toledo
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(4:14 pm ET) The Tigers have outrighted right-hander Melvin Mercedes to Triple-A Toledo a week after designating him for assignment. He cleared waivers.

The 24 year old pitched two hitless shutout innings in one appearance this season for Detroit.


Report suggests Marlins could trade deposed 3B McGehee
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(4:01 pm ET) The deal that sent Martin Prado to the Marlins could result in 2014 surprise Casey McGehee being expendable, per the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Prado is expected to assume the role of every-day third baseman for Miami. McGehee flashed virtually no power last season, but drove in 76 runs, batted .287 and committed just seven errors.


Cubs claim Oakland castoff OF Shane Peterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

(3:45 pm ET) Outfielder Shane Peterson has been claimed by the Cubs a week after being designated for assignment by Oakland.

Peterson managed one hit in seven at-bats for the Athletics in 2013 and has not played since.


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UFC Fight Night 58: Machida vs. Dollaway Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions, More

UFC Fight Night 58: Machida vs. Dollaway Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions, More
USA TODAY Sports

The hearts and minds of most UFC fans are focused on January 3, 2015 when Jon “Bones” Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier. However, before that epic event takes place, there’s a pretty noteworthy show on tap Saturday in Brazil.

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida will take on CB “The Doberman” Dollaway in a crucial fight for position in the UFC’s top-10 middleweight rankings. The 36-year-old Machida lost his shot at the middleweight crown in his last fight against current champion Chris Weidman in July.

It was an excellent bout, but Weidman did enough to earn the judges’ decision. Machida is back, and now he will try to deliver a rude welcome to “The Doberman” in his native Brazil. 

At 31 years old, Dollaway is five years younger than Machida, but he’ll be lagging behind when it comes to experience and crowd support. All of these things could factor into the final results. Per Odds Shark, Machida is listed as a minus-600 favorite.

Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Dollaway understands the challenge, and he is looking to beat the odds.

In the co-main event, former bantamweight champion and No. 1 contender, Renan Barao returns to The Octagon after losing his title to T.J. Dillashaw in May. Barao had to bow out of the subsequent rematch when he became ill prior to the match while attempting to make the 135-pound weight limit.

In order to get in position to challenge Dillashaw again, Barao needs to prove he’s back in form. On Saturday, he faces Mitch Gagnon in a fight that could make the latter’s career. 

Gagnon has won four fights in a row since losing his UFC debut to Bryan Caraway in July 2012. Beating Barao would vault Gagnon into the UFC’s top 10 amongst bantamweights. 

There are 10 other fights on tap. Here’s a look at the full card, viewing information and predictions for each match. Just below the table is a closer look at the top-three bouts.

UFC Fight Night 58 Card, Viewing Info and Predictions
UFC Fight Pass Prelims at 7 p.m. ET
Matchup Weight Class Prediction
Vitor Miranda vs. Jake Collier Middleweight Collier by TKO
Marcio Alexandre vs. Tim Means Welterweight Alexandre by KO
Fox Sports 1 Prelims at 8 p.m. ET
Matchup Weight Class Prediction
Leandro Issa vs. Ulka Sasaki Bantamweight Sasaki by decision
Darren Elkins vs. Hacran Dias Featherweight Elkins by decision
Tom Niinimaki vs. Renato Moicano Featherweight Moicano by submission
Marcis Rogerio de Lima vs. Igor Pokrajac Light Heavyweight Rogerio de Lima by KO
Fox Sports 1 Main Card at 10 p.m. ET
Matchup Weight Class Prediction
Daniel Sarafian vs. Antonio dos Santos Middleweight do Satos by TKO
Erick Silva vs. Mike Rhodes Welterweight Silva by decision
Elias Silverio vs. Rashid Magomedov Lightweight Magomedov by decision
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Patrick Cummins Light Heavyweight Cummins by TKO
Renan Barao vs. Mitch Gagnon Bantamweight Barao by TKO
Lyoto Machida vs. CB Dollaway Middleweight Machida by KO

Card per UFC.com, picks by Mazique

Cummins Will Overpower Carlos Junior

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Carlos Junior is a good grappler and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but once he locks horns with Cummins, he’ll realize his opponent’s strength advantage is too much to overcome.

Cummins‘ UFC debut was lackluster against Daniel Cormier back in February, but he’s laid waste to two opponents since then. Cummins stopped Roger Narvaez in June, and he set out to retire Kyle Kingsbury in July, per an interview with The Fight Corner.

After beating up Kingsbury for three rounds, he accomplished his goal

Cummins is rapidly improving and looking more impressive with every outing. With pressure, great endurance and superior wrestling, Cummins will ground and pound his way to victory.

Barao‘s Explosive Striking Will Stop Gagnon

TIM LARSEN/Associated Press

I still believe Renan Barao is one of the two-best bantamweights in the world. It’s easy to get down on Barao after watching him get dominated by Dillashaw, and then being unable to healthily make weight for the rematch.

But if he’s back to himself on Saturday, Gagnon has no answer for Barao‘s explosive and varied striking game. While Gagnon is a strong submissions artist and grappler with 12 wins by tap out, Barao is skilled enough to keep the fight from going to the mat. Per Fight Metric, Barao‘s takedown defense rate is at 96 percent.

Even if Gagnon gets him down, Barao is excellent off his back. He’s also won 14 fights by submission himself. Before we saw how good he could be as a striker, Barao had earned a reputation as a submission expert.

Throw in the support and energy from the Brazilian crowd and this should be a triumphant return for the former champion.

Machida‘s Game is Too Complete For Dollaway

Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

You won’t find many fighters who work harder or who get more from less physical ability than Dollaway. He’s a grinder who has worked hard to make himself into a contender at 185 pounds.

Against Machida, that won’t be enough.

The Dragon is more athletic, his striking has more layers and his ground game never gets the respect it deserves because of how good he is on his feet. Dollaway prefers to stand and strike, but that’s a fight he can’t win against Machida.

With one of the most dynamic and unpredictable striking games in the sport, Machida will catch Dollaway with something big by the second round. When he does, it’ll be curtains.

At 36 years old, Machida is getting to an age where he needs to prepare for one last push toward a title run. Knocking off Dollaway will be the first step in The Dragon’s final climb.

Follow Brian Mazique on Twitter. I dig boxing and MMA.

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First Look: UFC 183 Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Fight Poster

First Look: UFC 183 Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Fight Poster

Both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz will be returning to the Octagon following more than a year out of action when they meet in the UFC 183 main event on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

The UFC has already begun promotion or the fight with some pretty? ummm? interesting video spots? but now we get a first glance at the fight poster? enjoy!

SEE ALSO: Get Hyped for UFC 183 with this Uber Creepy Anderson Silva Lullaby

SEE ASLO: Nick Diaz Gets All Philosophical and Stuff to Promote Anderson Silva Fight

UFC 183 Fight Poster

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