With Jon Jones snatching most of the headlines, it's been a bit of a downbuzz ol' time for the UFC but at UFC 187 we saw things get back on track with an exciting event that matched the scheduled card. The fight that has strong links to Jones, between Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier was all action as Johnson threw down on Cormier before Cormier sniffed an opportunity to do what he does best.
Cormier submitted Johnson in the third round with a rear naked choke which now makes him the light-heavyweight champion despite loosing to Jon Jones last year. That history looks to be writing a nice storyline for the UFC as you would imagine that if Jones gets back into the UFC, he'll be gunning for Cormier. Cormier didn't show us much to make us think that he could get revenge on Jones, but it's wetting the taste buds nontheless and Cormier's obviously keen...
Chris Weidman took care of Brazilian Vitor Belfort, again withstanding a whole lot of damage to get Belfort on the ground where he ground and pounded his way to victory. After beating Anderson Silva twice and grabbing the win here, Weidman is 9-0 in the UFC and 13-0 in his career which is a mighty effort.
You could do a lot worse than supporting lightweight Donald Cerrone who is ripping his way through that division and looks set get a shot at Rafael dos Anjos' title. Cerrone has won eight fights in a row and at UFC 187 he broke the jaw of John Makdessi with a kick to the face after unleashing a variety of strikes, he's a fun dude to watch.
You may have heard that the French Open is underway at Rolan Garros, but that's because some dude got on the court and jammed a wee selfie. Such trivial matters don't entertain us at the Nichey Niche so it's important to note that Roger Federer did win, and that the selfie guy wasn't me even though I wish it was.
The big names who grabbed a first up win were Federer, Tsonga and Wawrinka, while on the ladies side Ana Ivanovic registered her first up win.
Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray are in action overnight, with Murray firming as a hot chance to grab a major win on clay. It's also a big day for the Australians with both Sam Stosur and Nick Kyrgios getting their tournament underway.
We're counting down to a big few weeks for kiwi football with the Under 20 World Cup kicking off on Saturday and the Women's World Cup approaching on the horizon. The Under 20's lads have had a rough preparation so far and lost to Austria 4-2 over the weekend in another warm up fixture. The Austrians put the kiwi lads under a heap of pressure and a bunch of turnovers against a quality opposition is a recipe for a loss, despite Clayton Lewis and Sam Brotherton both getting on the scoresheet. Next up, Ukraine on Saturday.
The ladies are also battling to find results as they head to Canada for their World Cup. They lost 1-0 to Japan in Japan, but despite the scoreline not ending up in their favour they did play very well against the world champions. Coach Tony Readings reckoned they were they better team as well and he was pleased with their passing combinations as well as how hard they were to break down. Lovely.
Two of Aotearoa's most celebrated rugby teams currently suck, with the Auckland Blues and the Canterbury Crusaders both struggling this season. Sorry Crusaders fans, but you've been lumped in with the Blues, horrible, I know. But it's worse for the Crusaders, we all hate the Blues, honestly, fuck 'em, but the Crusaders have always had things sorted on and off the field along with some of the game's finest players. Yet here they are, highly unlikely to make the Super Rugby playoffs.
Personally I think it's great that there are other teams who have nailed it and are enjoying success so it's no really biggie to me. However, it is interesting and I've seen a few articles talking about the relationship between the All Blacks and the lack of success in Canterbury. Our odd relationship with rugby ensures that because it's a World Cup year, that's all we could really care about, but I just want to salute the teams that are doing extremely well not only for winning games, but building that culture in the Waikato and in Wellington.
Obviously, there are World Cup spots on the line and in the big scheme of things, Super Rugby won't have a great impact on the All Black's squad. It's understandable that they'll stick with the guys they know perform, and I would do the same thing but I just have a feeling that the rest of the rugby world is catching up.
Aye and shout out to Ronaldo for scoring goals at will. Sidenote - this should also show how prolific Ronaldo and Messi are...
Sam Warburton may not be scared of the haka, but he can't hit the ol' bag too well...
Still in Britain and with Chelsea winning the EPL, I think we need to appreciate the work of Jose...