Posted on: July 4, 2009 1:57 pm
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.
Posted on: June 23, 2009 5:33 pm
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.
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.
Posted on: June 22, 2009 6:59 pm
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." ...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.
Posted on: June 21, 2009 1:16 pm
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.”
Posted on: June 21, 2009 10:51 am
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
2. Jeff Gordon, 100.1
3. Jimmie Johnson, 75.2
4. Kurt Busch, 102.6
5. Ryan Newman, 101.9
Watch out for ...
8. Mark Martin, 90.2
9. Kyle Busch, 104.8
12. Jeff Burton, 96.5