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Disturbing trend for McGregor; Chandler-Ferguson?

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Disturbing trend for McGregor; Chandler-Ferguson?

A weekly look at MMA’s hottest topics.

The latest allegations against former UFC champion Conor McGregor are disturbing, to say the least. The MMA superstar was arrested and interrogated by French police Saturday on allegations of sexual assault.

Through his manager and a legal spokesperson, McGregor vehemently denied the allegations. A report said he allegedly exposed himself to a woman as she was heading to the restroom in a club.

Assume for a second that we believe the denials and that McGregor did not commit sexual assault. What is still disturbing is that he continually finds himself in these situations.

The New York Times reported on two occasions in 2019 that McGregor was under investigation for sexual assault in Ireland. He’s gotten himself into trouble for punching an elderly man in a bar and breaking a fan’s phone after leaving a nightclub.

He can’t be a hermit and stay in his home by himself all the time, but he needs to quit putting himself into situations where these allegations are made. He was recently engaged and has two young children with fiancee Dee Devlin.

She doesn’t deserve to have to go through this and their kids certainly don’t need to grow up hearing their father is an alleged criminal.

UFC president Dana White said he doesn’t know much about the allegations and said he hasn’t spoken to McGregor. But he tried to explain how popular McGregor is when asked about McGregor finding himself in these kinds of situations.

Recurring sexual assault allegations against Conor McGregor are a cause for concern. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The insinuation is that there are people who make these allegations in hopes of getting a settlement, knowing how well off McGregor is financially.

“One time, when Conor blew up and Conor was massive, he showed up at the venue with so much security that I was like, ‘This is [expletive] ridiculous. Nobody needs this much security,’” White said. “[I said] this kid’s going to blow all his money just doing security. Then me and Lorenzo [Fertitta, the former UFC CEO] met up with him one night, and holy s—. You just don’t understand how big this kid is until you go out with him. He was literally getting mobbed. People were going crazy, screaming, jumping up from blackjack tables, leaving their money there and running after Conor. It was some crazy s—.

“I never had seen anything like that, and imagine what it’s like with him in Europe. There were old people freaking out when he would walk by. It wasn’t just young people; old people were freaking out, too. That kind of a life, crazy s— happens when you’re in that type of a lifestyle. You try to go out. You try to act normal. You try to be normal and it’s hard to do sometimes. I’m not defending Conor in any way, shape or form. I don’t know enough about the situation to talk about it at all. But I do know that I have gone out with him before publicly and it’s bats— nuts.”

It’s probably like it is when LeBron James or Tom Brady or Mike Trout or someone of that ilk is out in public. But you don’t hear those kinds of allegations against them.

This isn’t to allege that McGregor is committing crimes, because I am not. But the frequency of these allegations is disturbing and seems to warrant a closer look by McGregor and his team about how he can venture into public safely.

The best thing, clearly, is if he’s fighting and is active and thus not spending his nights in clubs.

But Team McGregor needs to devise a plan to make sure he’s not in position for these kinds of allegations to be made in the first place.

No Poirier for Ferguson

White had hoped to put together a Tony Ferguson-Dustin Poirier bout for the undercard of UFC 254, which features an interim lightweight title bout between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje in the main event.

Poirier declined the fight for financial reasons, and White said after the UFC on Vegas 10 show at Apex that the situation is not salvageable and that he’s now looking for a new opponent for Ferguson.

Hopefully White reconsiders because Poirier-Ferguson is a truly great match.

But if he doesn’t, I favor Dan Hooker as Ferguson’s next opponent. Both are coming off losses — Hooker to Poirier and Ferguson to Gaethje — and the fight will have a great deal of significance within the division.

Stylistically it’s a match made in heaven and it shouldn’t be hard to make.

My second choice would be former Bellator champion Michael Chandler, but time is of the essence there. Chandler is a free agent and is shopping himself in search of the best deal. White said Saturday the UFC has spoken with Chandler.

In order to make a Ferguson-Chandler match, the UFC would need to get a deal done with him quickly. If that happens this week, he could be in that mix.

Fitch retires

Congratulations to Jon Fitch on an amazing career. Fitch announced his retirement Saturday following a submission loss to Neiman Gracie at Bellator 246.

Fitch ended his MMA career with a 32-8-2 record with a no-contest. He lost a bid for the UFC welterweight title to Georges St-Pierre in 2008 at UFC 87, and drew with Rory MacDonald at Bellator 220 last year in a bid for the Bellator welterweight belt.

The fact that he went nearly 11 years between title shots shows how consistently good Fitch was over the years. He won the WSOF welterweight belt in 2016.

He had wins over Diego Sanchez, Thiago Alves, Yushin Okami, Jake Shields and Paul Daley.

He always came ready to fight and made the most of what he had. All the best to him in his next career.

Cyborg to defend title

Cris “Cyborg” Justino, who likes to call herself the Grand Slam Champion because of titles in Strikeforce, UFC, Invicta and Bellator, will make the first defense of her Bellator featherweight title on Oct. 15 in the Bellator bubble at Uncasville, Connecticut.

She’ll meet Arlene Blencowe in a bout that will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

He said it

“I think [UFC middleweight champion] Israel [Adesanya] can mitigate his power, and what I think will happen is that [Paulo Costa] just doesn’t have enough diversity in his striking to stay with Israel during the fight, to stay on equal part with Israel. If you’re just relying on your power and you have nothing to back that up, there’s nothing behind it, there’s no other plan that you know intimately, then it’s just not gonna be enough, it’s not gonna be diverse enough to keep up with Israel.” — Adesanya coach Eugene Bareman in an interview with Submission Radio about the Adesanya-Costa fight, which is the main event of UFC 253 on Sept. 26 in Abu Dhabi.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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NBA and Doc Rivers Reportedly Offer to Help Delonte West After Photo Surfaces Online

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NBA and Doc Rivers Reportedly Offer to Help Delonte West After Photo Surfaces Online

The NBA, Doc Rivers, Jameer Nelson, and the NBA Players Association have offered to help out former player Delonte West after a disturbing photo of him surfaced online.

A photo of Delonte West looking particularly rough surfaced earlier this week and went viral, with many showing concern for the 37-year-old. Reportedly taken in Dallas, he could be seen in dirty clothes and allegedly had asked for money on the street. TMZ reports that the league, his former coach Doc Rivers, and his former college teammate Jameer Nelson have already attempted to get in touch with him.

 

Earlier this year, a video showed him in handcuffs after he was beaten by an unnamed individual on the street. In the clip, an officer could be heard asking him why he had attacked someone else, to which he replied, “Walkin’ down the street and he approached me with a gun.” Later on in the clip, he could be heard saying, “I’m the real fucking president.”

In January, it was reported that the NBPA had been in contact with West and trying to offer him support. They also said that they would be monitoring him throughout the year, and would assist him if he needed the help. Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge also confirmed that he tried to help West in the past.

“Delonte has obviously some troubles and some trials that he’s trying to deal with in his life, and I just hope that he can fix his life and get back on a good path,” Ainge said in January.

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Buddy Hield fuels 76ers trade rumor

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Buddy Hield fuels 76ers trade rumor

A rumor emerged about the Kings trading Buddy Hield to the 76ers. It didn’t seem particularly credible.

But then Hield himself liked this Instagram post promoting a potential trade and apparently made a pro-Philadelphia comment on Instagram:

Hield previously laid the groundwork for an offseason trade request. He seemed unhappy at times in Sacramento this season, losing his starting job and even riding the bench when the Kings needed a 3-pointer.

The 76ers could use more shooting – especially if they hire Mike D’Antoni. Hield would definitely add value. A lineup where Hield and Josh Richardson defend guards and Ben Simmons plays point guard offensively and defends a frontcourt player is intriguing.

Hield is set to earn $24,931,817 next season in the first year of a four-year extension. That’s in the range of Tobias Harris ($34,358,850) and Al Horford ($27,500,000).

However, Horford’s trade value is at rock bottom. Tobias Harris would add only so much value to Sacramento, which already has Harrison Barnes.

Kings fans can hope for Ben Simmons ($28,750,000) or Joel Embiid ($29,542,010). But those stars are FAR more valuable than Hield. Besides, the 76ers said they wouldn’t trade Simmons or Embiid (though it’s unclear who exactly is running the show in Philadelphia).

Regardless of whether the Kings and 76ers could connect on a trade, Hield making these public gestures is an issue in Sacramento. It’s on new Kings general manager Monte McNair to manage this. After years of supporting Daryl Morey with the Rockets, this is a new challenge – being in charge while a player makes waves – for McNair.

Relatedly, McNair must also handle Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s impending restricted free agency. These look like warning shots from Hield as Sacramento determines its priorities at shooting guard.

Buddy Hield fuels 76ers trade rumor originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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Jeff Wilson Jr., Joshua Kelley lead

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Jeff Wilson Jr., Joshua Kelley lead

We’re now one-eighth of the way through the 2020 fantasy season. With 14 games left to play for each team comes 14 more weeks of overseeing one’s own virtual team. The most dedicated and passionate managers find zeal in exploring the concepts and happenings occurring under the radar. While there are times your roster may allow for snoozing on sleepers, it’s always beneficial to keep tabs on emerging trends and players. This weekly column is for those who understand the satisfaction of digging deep.

All of the listed players are rostered in under 60 percent of Yahoo leagues (at time of writing) and/or are a significant value in our daily game. They’re not the obvious picks, and they’re not without their risks… but that’s what makes them so intriguing. Last week Tre’Quan Smith produced WR3 FF numbers (5 of 7 for 86) and Jordan Akins continued to work as a safety valve for DeShaun Watson (converting all 7 of his targets), but AP didn’t get the volume and both Jimmy G and Parris Campbell left with injuries.

Let’s see what we uncover in Week 3! 

As someone who’s been in a long-standing, on-again, off-again relationship with the Chicago Bears, I’ve developed some quarterback-related trust issues. Mitch has done little to alleviate my anxieties, but the matchup this Sunday is too juicy to ignore. Facing a Falcons defense that’s allowing the highest completion percentage (77.4%) and second-highest YPA (9.2) to opposing signal callers, Mitch is in a spot to produce. 

[Week 3 Fantasy Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]

For what it’s worth, he’s also not been terrible over the past two weeks, posting two multi-touchdown efforts and committing just two turnovers since the start of the season. He’s additionally padding his stats with rushing yards, as he’s attempted three red zone carries (QB7) and recorded 42 rushing yards (QB11) over his last pair of games. While he’s not Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott, he does have a capable and healthy complement of receiving talent at his disposal as well as the swag necessary to believe he can hang with Matty Ice. Pre-order those lemon pepper wings — I see you, A-Town — because Sunday figures to be a perfect mix of tart and spicy. 

Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (51% rostered – $18) 

A top-25 fantasy producer for two consecutive weeks, the rookie running back has averaged 18.5 touches per contest and even out-toted Austin Ekeler by a margin of 23:16 in Week 2. Well-built and utilizing a compact frame (5’11, 212 lbs), Kelley is a downhill runner with plus balance and power who can push past tacklers. 

Since the start of the season, he’s understandably been used in short-yardage situations. While his YPC last week left a lot to be desired (2.8), it’s worth noting that he’s been tackled for a loss on a total of just two occasions. He’s also in possession of impressive long speed (not much initial burst though), which he demonstrated via a 35-yard gain after the catch on Justin Herbert’s first completion vs. Kansas City. The 1B to Ekeler’s 1A, Kelley’s many gifts figure to be on full display in Week 3 when he takes on a Panthers defense that is allowing opposing runners a YPC of 4.8 and has given up the most rushing scores (6) so far this season. Kelley is the Yahoo consensus RB24 heading into Sunday’s action. 

Jeff Wilson, RB, San Francisco 49ers (3% rostered – $10) 

From start to finish, the 49ers franchise battled with Murphy’s Law last Sunday — they didn’t win. Down several key players on both sides of the ball, San Fran is expected to start Nick Mullens at QB, while Jerick McKinnon leads the backfield in the stead of Raheem Mostert (MCL) and Tevin Coleman (knee). While McKinnon is (or at least was before his own injury woes) an explosive and versatile athlete (100 percentile SPARQ) it’s unlikely that Kyle Shanahan will give him the workhorse treatment. After all, McKinnon has recorded a total of 3 totes since joining the 49ers in 2018. In fact, the last time he carried the ball more than 15 times was Week 6 of the 2017 season when he was still in Minnesota. 

All of this is to say that Jeff Wilson could be a short-yardage hero in Week 3. Undrafted out of North Texas (where he scored 30 TDs over his final two campaigns), Wilson is a power back who isn’t afraid of contact and, in his own words, doesn’t “waste time” and likes to “get downhill.” On the active roster since 2018, Wilson is no stranger to stepping in and stepping up. During Weeks 2 and 3 of last year, while Tevin Coleman was dealing with a high ankle sprain, Wilson logged 18 carries for just 52 yards but FOUR touchdowns. That ability at the goal line (4 scores on 27 carries in 2019) is what gives the 24-year-old such sneaky touchdown appeal, especially in a game that figures to be run-heavy. In Week 3 he’ll take on a Giants defense that has yet to give up a rushing score but is allowing a YPC of 4.6.

Jeff Wilson might not lead the backfield, but he could put up some points regardless. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (46% rostered — $17) 

We have yet to gain full clarity regarding Green Bay’s receiving options behind Davante Adams and Aaron Jones. There’s a good chance that neither Allen Lazard nor Marquez Valdes-Scantling will ever pull ahead, instead remaining matchup-based options for both Aaron Rodgers and fantasy managers. What we do know presently, however, is that Lazard has logged more snaps (85.4% share to MVS’ 58.3%) and run more routes (61 to 50) while Valdes-Scantling has drawn more targets (13 for MVS and 9 for Lazard). 

Of Lazard’s 129 offensive snaps, 96 of them have come via the slot. MVS, on the other hand, has only recorded 66 snaps in the slot. That means if Davante Adams (hamstring) can’t go on Sunday night, Valdes-Scantling will likely move outside. This could result in more opportunities for MVS but also suggests he’ll draw top-end coverage from Marshon Lattimore. Meanwhile, Lazard figures to see the best matchup, as he’s likely to be P.J. Williams’ primary assignment. Last year Williams allowed a passer rating of 118.3 (CB62) and was manhandled by Darren Waller in Week 2 after sitting out the opener with a hamstring injury. With Vegas projecting a point total of over 52, good fantasy fortune figures to be bestowed upon at least one of these wideouts. I’ll give the edge to the guy who’s in a favorable matchup, and on the field more.

Drew Sample, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (1% rostered – $10) 

Sample’s sample size as a receiver is decidedly small. But his opportunity heading into Week 3 is huge. Selected primarily for his blocking experience (he posted a 46-487-5 stat line over his four-year college career at Washington) in the second round of last year’s draft, Sample flashed unexpected athleticism in relief of C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) last Thursday night. 

Second in team targets behind only A.J. Green, the former Huskie converted 7 of 9 balls for 45 yards. With Uzomah done for the year, Sample figures to work as an underneath target for his young QB. This Sunday he’ll face an Eagles defense that has struggled to contain the middle of the field, giving up a score to Logan Thomas in Week 1 and three tubs to Tyler Higbee in Week 3. The stream is real, friends.

Dig deep with Liz on social @LizLoza_FF

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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