Movie Talk
  • Five surgeries on a throwing arm is enough to end most pitching careers. For Michael Matusz, it just meant learning a new skill set. The sophomore at Woodbridge (N.J.) High School is a natural righty.

    Matusz broke his right arm in kindergarten, just around the time he was starting to learn to play baseball. At that point, doctors diagnosed a bone cyst near his right elbow. Removing the cyst required five surgeries between first and fourth grades, according to reporter Greg Tufaro

    Throughout that time, Matusz learned to pitch, and completely fell in love with the game – but eventually doctors told him he'd have to make a change if he wanted to keep going with the sport.

    “After (the surgeries) the doctors said I had to switch over, that I can’t throw with my (right) arm anymore,” said

    Read More »from After 5 surgeries, righty learns to pitch with left arm
  • On Saturday night, Luke Rockhold joined a very selective group of men when he finished former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

    Along with the likes of former champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and current champ Jon "Bones" Jones, Luke Rockhold became the third man to stop "The Dragon" in Machida's 28-fight career.

    Rockhold set the pace from the opening bell and met Machida in the middle of the Octagon for their UFC on FOX main event. When the fight was standing, Rockhold controlled the action and when it went to the ground, he showcased an unrelenting ground attack. Surprisingly, it did not take Rockhold very long to put Machida away. The end came at 2:31 of Round 2 as Rockhold sunk in a rear-naked choke after countless, unchecked punches from various positions.

    Machida was swollen, bloody and utterly defeated – a rare sight for MMA fans. Those inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, were witness to a decisive win that not only put Rockhold on the national stage,

    Read More »from Luke Rockhold vaults into title picture with win over Lyoto Machida
  • If anyone was still questioning Paige VanZant's ability after her rousing UFC debut in November of 2014, they won't be anymore.

    The 21-year-old former ring girl was labeled just a pretty face when she squared off with Kailin Curran at UFC on Fox 15 – when it was over, she was $50,000 richer after dominating her opponent en route to a performance of the night bonus from UFC president Dana White.

    On Saturday, in front of pumped-up Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, VanZant put on a performance that should continue to quell any debate on just where exactly the blossoming strawweight belongs.

    For facing a self-professed "idol" in veteran Felice Herrig, VanZant showed a complete lack of regard, or any semblance of respect. From the opening bell, VanZant was relentless with her attack. When the fight went to the mat – a place where the ground-based Herrig was said to have an advantage – VanZant dominated with wily, veteran-like scrambles and postured punches.Felice Herrig and Paige VanZant grapple during their women's strawweight bout. (Getty)Felice Herrig and Paige VanZant grapple during their women's strawweight bout. (Getty)

    Those same postured

    Read More »from Paige VanZant shows she's no fluke with brutal beatdown of Felice Herrig
  • When UFC fighter Conor McGregor said earlier this week he would “kill” boxing’s Floyd Mayweather in less than 30 seconds, more than a few people wrote it off as hyperbole – a bit of gamesmanship on the part of the vocal Irishman.

    Mayweather once famously said, “I don’t know who he is,” when asked about the UFC's Ronda Rousey. But apparently Mayweather heard McGregor’s jawing loud and clear – and Mayweather thinks he's a 'joke'.

    According to the report, Mayweather scoffed at McGregor’s taunts, saying, “I don’t take that dude seriously. He is just trying to get publicity.”

    And it worked.

    Mayweather is two weeks out from the biggest fight of his career against Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in Las Vegas, and apparently McGregor’s threats hit a bit harder than when Rousey said she could beat the pound-for-pound king in the past.

    Conor McGregor plays the crowd before the UFC 179 weigh-in. (Getty)Conor McGregor plays the crowd before the UFC 179 weigh-in. (Getty)“I wouldn’t even stand up, I wouldn’t even be anywhere near him,” Rousey said to Power 106 FM (Los Angeles) in March. “I would just do like a little army crawl over

    Read More »from Floyd Mayweather on Conor McGregor's taunt: He's a joke
  • Kerri Walsh Jennings is ready to win Olympic gold in 2016. More than a year out, she’s already talking about it as a done deal, confident that she and her partner will stand at the top of the podium in Brazil.

    “When I started pre-season training this year, the hunger, it’s fully back,” Walsh Jennings told Yahoo Sports over lunch on Wednesday. “We want to be the best, without hesitation. We want everyone to know that we’re the best.”

    It’s easy to understand such confidence from a woman who’s claimed the last three Olympic gold medals in women's beach volleyball, a sport that has only awarded five gold medals overall since being added in 1996. What’s strange is seeing her say it while sitting next to someone other than longtime partner Misty May-Treanor.

    In 2016, for the first time, Walsh Jennings will pursue gold with a different partner, April Ross.

    LONG BEACH, CA - JULY 27: Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States (L) with April Ross on the podium after earning the Gold Medal during the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam on July 27, 2014 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)LONG BEACH, CA - JULY 27: Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States (L) with April Ross on the podium after earning the Gold Medal during the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam on July 27, 2014 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)Ross is one of the women Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor defeated in the gold-medal match in London. She and former partner Jen Kessy had

    Read More »from Still a year out, Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross are ready for Rio
  • You can say a lot of things about boxing’s pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather. One thing you cannot say, however, is that he lacks confidence.

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    So, then, perhaps when UFC featherweight contender Conor McGregor said this week that he would “kill” Mayweather in less than thirty seconds, maybe “Money” would appreciate the blinding braggadocio.

    “I don’t look at a man who’s an expert in one area as a specialist. I look at him as a rookie in ten other areas,” McGregor said in an interview with Esquire. “If you can box, what happens if I grab hold of your legs? If you put me face-to-face with Floyd Mayweather—pound-for-pound boxing’s best—if I fought Floyd, I would kill him in less than 30 seconds. It would take me less than 30 seconds to wrap around him like a boa constrictor and strangle him.”Conor McGregor plays to the crowd during a UFC press event. (Getty)Conor McGregor plays to the crowd during a UFC press event. (Getty)

    Hyperbole? Maybe.

    Entertaining? Always.

    Both McGregor and Mayweather have a penchant for slinging around grandiose statements. The

    Read More »from Conor McGregor: I would beat Floyd Mayweather in less than 30 seconds
  • Any great athlete will tell you that visualization is key to success.

    But with Manny Pacquiao's megafight against pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather just two weeks away, "Pacman" is taking the art of visualization to a whole new level.

    Robert Shapiro – yes, that Robert Shapiro – recently gave Pacquiao a speed bag with Mayweather's face emblazoned on the front.

    The bag is quite detailed and resembles Mayweather with striking similarity.

    No word on where Shapiro got the bag, or who made it, but it is hanging inside Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. The gift was on full display for Wednesday's media day as Pacquiao continues preparing for the May 2 showdown in Las Vegas.

    Shapiro or Team Pacquiao should look into mass-producing that. After all, Pacquiao can’t be the only one wanting to

    Read More »from Manny Pacquiao given speed bag with Floyd Mayweather's face on it
  • After Anderson Silva dominated Nick Diaz for the majority of their UFC 183 main event fight in January, the last thing anyone wanted to see was a rematch.

    Unless you happened to be the winner of that one-sided beatdown, apparently.

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    Perhaps disappointed that he didn't finish the first fight, Silva took to social media on Wednesday to plead with UFC president Dana White for another fight against Diaz.

    "I believe that there [are] some things that are unfinished between me and Nick Diaz," Silva said via Instagram. "I now hope that you, Dana White, can accept my request and make a rematch possible in my country, Brazil."

    Silva is currently in limbo while fighting a Nevada State Athletic Commission complaint against him for failed drug tests before and after his fight with Diaz. Silva faced an April 9 deadline to oppose the complaint but was given a three-week extension.

    And although, technically speaking, he is still the

    Read More »from Anderson Silva asks for Nick Diaz rematch despite looming suspension hearing
  • In the past, when Bellator went after its rival's talent, it was usually in an attempt to poach older, established fighters and help boost its viewership. Names like Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar, Rampage Jackson, and recently Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice, have all jumped ship to the Viacom-owned MMA promotion over the years. Viewership followed, yes – legitimacy, that could be debated.

    On Wednesday, Bellator signed top-10 UFC light heavyweight Phil Davis to an exclusive contract in  easily the most legitimate free agent "poaching" the promotion has ever accomplished.

    “I can’t wait to be fighting in Bellator and wreck shop on everyone,” Davis said in a statement. “I am the absolute best and most dominant grappler to ever fight in MMA and I’m excited to get in there and compete at my new home.”

    Whether Davis is the most dominant grappler in MMA is questionable. What cannot be argued, however, is Davis’ stellar career.

    The former four-time All-American out of Penn State has a fight résumé

    Read More »from Why Bellator's signing of Phil Davis should make the UFC nervous
  • Athletes in all sports are taught to play until the whistle blows, or until the referee says stop.

    But because Chad George decided not to pay attention to that dictum, not only was a potentially dangerous situation averted, but he left the cage in Irvine, Calif., following his win over Mark Vorgeas at Bellator 136 on Friday with a greatly enhanced reputation.

    [DraftKings: UFC contests are live today – draft your team now!]

    In the first round of their bantamweight fight, George caught Vorgeas with a Von Flue choke. Vorgeas went out, but referee Milan Ayers, standing only feet away, didn't realize it (4:10 mark of the video above). George let go of the choke, looked up at Ayers and said of Vorgeas, "He's out." Slowly, Ayers walked closer and said, "No, he's not. No, he's not."

    And so George stepped back and pointed. When Vorgeas didn't move, Ayers took another step in, crouched over Vorgeas and only then realized he was out, calling off the bout.

    George would have been well within his

    Read More »from Chad George comes up a winner trying to show MMA fighters are role models


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