, ,

Conor McGregor is the Most Tested Athlete in Combat Sports

Conor McGregor is no stranger to breaking records. He holds way more than a handful in the UFC, including the biggest gate, largest purse and being the first simultaneous two-division champion just to name a few. It looks like those records just keep on coming, but in the current climate of the UFC, this one should mean a lot. According to the USADA data compiled by Dimspace on Twitter, McGregor is the most tested athlete in combat sports and it’s not that close. McGregor has been tested by USADA a total of 36 times.

“I’m happy to be tested. The boy [Nate Diaz] is not far along — they f-cking all are on steroids. So it is f-cked up. The co-main and main at 200. That’s messed up to me. I don’t know. It’s his teammates that have been caught before. I just hope that he’s being tested as much as I’m being tested. I am happy to be tested. I never kick up a fuss. I never do [a Jose] Aldo and throw the piss over my shoulder and ring the police like he done in Brazil. I welcome them in, I do the test and on they go and then that’s it. It’s a good thing for the sport, that’s all I know.” — Conor McGregor said on the UFC 202 conference call.

Conor McGregor has been vocal about PED use in the UFC, even more so after Nate Diaz accused him of being on steroids during the build-up to their first fight at UFC 196. It’s worth mentioning that 11 of these USADA tests are not from UFC fights, but from his one boxing match with Floyd Mayweather alone. For you sticklers out there, if you subtract the boxing tests from his total and only count UFC tests, then Holly Holm would actually be the most tested athlete in the UFC at 31 tests.

Call McGregor everything under the sun. Regardless of what you think of his personality or the recent antics that he’s becoming infamous for, you at least have to call him a clean athlete. Not only in one sport, but two sports, which is something to be proud of with all the anti-doping violations lately.

,

UFC Fight Night 122 odds: Latest Vegas lines and betting guide for ‘Bisping vs Gastelum’

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hits your web browser of choice very bright and very early this Saturday morning (Sat., Nov. 25, 2017) as the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion touches down in Shanghai, China, for the first time.

In UFC Fight Night 122’s main event, Michael Bisping and Kelvin Gastelum attempt to rebound from recent submission losses at each others’ expense, while local boy Li Jingliang squares off with Zak Ottow in Fight Pass’ co-featured fight. In addition, Alex Caceres faces Wang Guan one fight prior and Alex Garcia opens the show against top prospect Muslim Salikhov.

If you’re going to get up this early for UFC action, you might as well get compensated for your time. Here’s how”

What Went Wrong at UFC Fight Night 121?

Just a bit of judging. The majority of media members scored Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic for “Serbian Steel” and, while I originally scored it for Matthews, Velickovic’s first-round strikes in the clinch outweigh Matthews’ top control in retrospect. Still a solid evening.

UFC Fight Night 122 Odds For The Under Card:

Zabit Magomedsharipov (-470) vs. Sheymon Moraes (+375)
Bobby Nash (-300) vs. Kenan Song (+250)
Yan Xiaonan (-135) vs. Kailin Curran (+115)
Yadong Song (-130) vs. Bharat Khandare (+110)
Shamil Abdurakhimov (-140) vs. Chase Sherman (+120)
Gina Mazany (-140) vs. Yanan Wu (+120)
Rolando Dy (-165) vs. Wuliji Buren (+145)
Cyril Asker (-250) vs. Hu Yaozong (+210)

Thoughts: Bharat Khandare strikes me as a solid underdog pick, although the rest of the field is too loaded with debutants and/or risky picks to warrant a play.

I referenced Karlos Vemola in my “Prelims” analysis of Khandare and I believe the comparison is apt. Khandare’s striking is rougher than sharkskin wrapped in barbed wire, which makes it easy for opponents to see his takedowns coming and prepare accordingly, but he’s legitimately devastating when he gets his hands on people. Song, meanwhile, has a recent loss to a winless (0-2) fighter and doesn’t appear to have terribly good takedown defense. SUPER FIGHT LEAGUE NEVER DIE!

UFC Fight Night 122 Odds For The Main Card:

Kelvin Gastelum (-330) vs. Michael Bisping (+270)
Li Jingliang (-175) vs. Zak Ottow (+155)
Alex Caceres (-150) vs. Wang Guan (+130)
Muslim Salikhov (-190) vs. Alex Garcia (+165)

Thoughts: Kelvin Gastelum and Li Jingliang are the favorites of choice.

I’m literally struggling to come up with a scenario wherein Bisping — who got his clock cleaned not a month ago by a mid-tier puncher in Georges St-Pierre — gets by Gastelum. Kelvin can match Bisping’s pace without tiring and packs quite a bit more power than “The Count.”

Gastelum crushes him, so bet accordingly.

“The Leech” may not have a terribly high ceiling, but raw power, durability and aggression are enough to carry him past the capable-but-unimpressive Ottow. His wrestling and striking technique have also improved considerably — he’s certainly a more rounded and dangerous threat than the likes of Josh Burkman and Kiichi Kunimoto.

UFC Fight Night 122 Best Bets:

  • Single bet — Bharat Khandare: Bet $70 to make $77
  • Parlay — Kelvin Gastelum and Li Jingliang: Bet $70 to make $73.50

Not to worry, Maniacs — I’ve got those of you not dedicated/insane enough to wake up at 4 a.m. ET covered. See you at some point on Saturday … whenever you decided to wake up, I’ll be right here.

Initial Investment For 2017: $200 (+$400 infusion)
Current Total: $536.79

, ,

Jose Aldo defends Conor McGregor after Bellator 187 incident

Conor McGregor recently dominated headlines for a bizarre incident at Bellator 187, in which he stormed the cage during his teammate Charlie Ward’s fight, and ultimately shoved referee Marc Goddard, and slapped a commissioner. These actions understandably generated scorn from the vast majority of the MMA community. Not everyone, however, faults McGregor for the way he acted. Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, one of the fiercest rivals of McGregor’s career, even defended him.
“I haven’t seen the video, but I heard about it,” Aldo said during a media day in Rio de Janeiro (h/t Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com). “I think it’s normal. He’s an emotional guy, and when an Irishman is fighting the Irish people embrace them a lot. I don’t condemn him.”

“He didn’t do that for attention, he’s done that before. When we did The Ultimate Fighter, an athlete from his team won and he went up there and in there, he even tore his pants. He’s really emotional, and I don’t condemn him for what he’s done.”

Aldo even admitted that he has acted similarly in the past.

“How many times have I invaded the Shooto (cage) when someone close to me is fighting?” the former champion said. “I really go there. The referee talks to me, but I still do it. I think it’s the heat of the moment, but there are bigger things than just the rules.”

Jose Aldo will next fight on December 2, when he takes on current featherweight champion Max Holloway in the main event of UFC 218. This title shot was originally expected to go to long-time contender Frankie Edgar, who was unfortunately forced out of the bout with an injury.

Where do you stand on Conor McGregor’s antics at Bellator 187? Do you share Jose Aldo’s understanding outlook?

, , ,

Talking about Fu Yuanhui’s generation

CHINA’S newest internet celebrity Fu Yuanhui took bronze in the women’s 100m backstroke swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Tuesday morning, finishing in 58.76 seconds.

On learning about the small 0.01 second difference between her and second place, she retained the good humour that has captivated much of the nation.

“Perhaps it is because my arm are too short,” she joked.

Fu was born on January 7, 1996, the generation now dubbed the “post 95s,” and became hugely popular as a quirky and highly expressive TV interview that she gave after her semi-final went viral.

In online discussions of Fu and the lively interview, many suggested that understanding her was the key to better understanding Fu’s generation in China today.

INTERNET CELEBRITY

In just one day, Fu’s Weibo account rocketed to over 2.7 million followers. In her profile, she describes herself as “loving cats, dogs,stuffed toys and food; a capricorn mixed with scorpion blood; and someone who regards herself as a quite beautiful boy.”

Teammates of Fu said they always believed she would become popular as she has so many facial expression, dares to joke about herself and is always full of witty remarks.

From the National Games, to the Asian Games, to the Olympic Games, it has been quite a journey for the 20 year old from Hangzhou, who is widely admired for her relaxed attitude and good nature.

“I did not reserve my strength. I tried my best … I am very satisfied with the result and I have never thought about the final,” Fu said in her interview after the semi-final.

Besides Chinese Internet users, Fu has also attracted many foreign fans. A Twitter-user commented, “you do not need to know Chinese to understand her good mood.”

NOT ALONE

In less than 24 hours, Fu has been discussed thousands of times on Weibo, WeChat and other digital platforms, with her interview snapshots being used as emoticons and in cartoons.

At the same time, another young athlete, Zhang Mengxue, who won China its gold medal, in the women’s 10m air pistol event, was also much discussed.

Zhang’s extrenemly calm expression during the competition has been commented on by tens of thousands people online.

In fact, some argue that these young Chinese athletes reflect an entirely new generation who grew up with a fast developing internet, endless information technology, and had more opportunity to develop their own characters compared to previous Chinese generations.

ACCELERATED GENERATIONAL SHIFT

“China’s post-90s and post-95s generations differ from the post-70s and post-80s generations. They are the direct beneficiaries of China’s reform and opening-up policy and had more resources to develop than their parent’s generation,” said Chen Rui, the executive director of bilibili.com, a popular online TV platform.

Zhao Jun, general manager of a sports copyright operator, said she had noticed the generational shift of sports audiences.

“China’s younger generation may one day use their own way to appreciate sports. They will pursue happiness, rather than money and fame,” she said.

In this new era, people like Fu Yuanhui are not just heroes and heroines, but also represent the spectators. They reflect the spirit of the new generation of China.

Earlier this year, Fu wrote a post about her 20th birthday.

“I have been living in this world for 20 years, and I have been searching for the meaning of my life and my attitude towards the world. One that only belongs to me and is unique.

“I understand what I’ve been living for and what kind of life I want. It’s simple. Happiness. Love. Gratitude. These are what I want.”

It is just possible that she might have been speaking for a whole generation, Fu’s Weibo followers found.

, ,

No shining results but some hopefuls at Chinese National Swimming Champs

HUANGSHAN, Anhui – The five-day Chinese National Swimming Championships concluded here on Tuesday with no shining results but several hopeful rookies.

The tournament was more like a junior competition as China’s top swimmers such as Sun Yang, Fu Yuanhui and Li Bingjie were all absent after competing at the World Championships and National Games in a row.

Wang Jianjiahe, 15, took her second title in Huangshan by winning the women’s 800m freestyle final in 8:37.93 on Tuesday. She was also the winner of the 1,500m race.

“I’m too tired to swim smoothly today,” said Wang of Liaoning, who took part in five individual events this time. “I still need to enrich my experience and to improve my strength of sprint.”

File photo of Wang Jianjiahe, 15, competes during the 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar on Oct 5, 2017. Wang wins both the 400m and 800m free.

Earlier this month, Wang beat teammate Li Bingjie in the 800m race at the short course World Cup in Doha, smashing the world junior record with a time of 8:15.35.

Wang Yichun made a splash at a even younger age as the 12-year-old girl from Shandong grabbed two gold medals of butterfly at the National Championships after learning swimming for six years.

She also took a silver in the 50m freestyle in 25.57 on Tuesday, 0.34 seconds behind the winner Wu Qingfeng from Zhejiang.

“I performed not bad. I can learn something from every competition,” said Wang, who finished fourth in the 100m butterfly final at the National Games.

“My body grew up earlier than most of my peers. So when I took part in the junior tournaments, I always felt that it’s not a fair play,” said Wang in a height of 1.74m.

Sun Jiajun of Hubei clinched the title of the men’s 200m breaststroke in 2:12.09. The 17-year-old also won the 100m butterfly and took silvers in the 50m breaststroke and the 100m breaststroke.

Ji Xinjie, 20, won his fourth title in individual freestyle events by touching the wall first in the men’ s 400m race in 3:51.08.

“I have to say that I’m not competitive yet in the 200m and 400m races in major international events,” said Ji. “My focus will be on the long distance events.”

, ,

You Must See What Those Recent Insane Solar Flares Looked Like From Space

We’re heading into a solar minimum, the period of the least sunspot activity in our Sun’s roughly 11-year cycle. But despite that, in September this year the Sun erupted into massive activity.

From one single active sunspot region our home star belched out more than 30 solar flares, including the biggest one we’ve seen since 2005. And now we have new images of what that insane activity looked like from space.

Lucky for us, the NOAA, NASA, JAXA, the ESA and others had many eyes trained on the old treacle bun, tracking the active region AR 2673 as it moved across the surface of the Sun, facing towards Earth.

Different space-based observatories are set up to study the Sun at different wavelengths, to capture as much information about its activity as possible.


“With multiple views of solar activity, scientists can better track the evolution and propagation of solar eruptions, with the goal of improving our understanding of space weather,” wrote Lina Tran of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however – when intense enough – they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

“On the other hand, depending on the direction they’re traveling in, CMEs can spark powerful geomagnetic storms in Earth’s magnetic field.”

Different wavelengths can reveal unique structures and dynamics around solar flares, as well as the surface of the Sun itself.

Most solar observatories are set up to take observations in several wavelengths, all of which are measured in Angstroms. Here’s what some of that looks like.

Below, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory images the corona in 10 wavelengths for a wide range of data. This timelapse is of the X9.3 event. The footage might look staticky – that’s caused by solar particles hitting the instrument.  

solar flares sept 2NASA/GSFC/SDO

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 images the corona in 6 wavelengths. This is footage of the X9.3 flare:

solar flares sept 1

This sequence from NASA and JAXA’s Hinode isn’t in visible light, but X-rays. It shows the X8.2 flare that erupted on 10 September, 2017:

solar flares sept 3JAXA/NASA/Hinode/SAO/MSU/Joy Ng

This series from NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory shows two coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, the first from 9 September, and the second from 10 September, associated with the X8.2 flare and travelling at speeds as high as 11.2 million kph (7 million mph). It’s one of the fastest ever recorded.

solar flares sept 4NASA/GSFC/STEREO/Joy Ng

CMEs are distinct from flares, and are made up of the magnetised particles that the sun hurls into space. They are very hot, and can best be imaged with a coronagraph, which has a metal disc, called an occulting disc, that blocks out the light from the sun.

With NASA and the ESA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory‘s sequence of the 9 and 10 September CMEs, you can see more snow-like static caused by solar particles:

solar flares sept 5ESA/NASA/SOHO/Joy Ng

NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrometer takes images from several wavelengths between 1,332 and 2,834 Angstroms to capture the lower level of the sun’s atmosphere called the interface region. These structures in the image below are associated with the 10 September X8.2 flare:

solar flares sept 6NASA/GSFC/LMSAL/Joy Ng

Thank you, space observatories, we love all of this footage so much.

And if you’re keen for even more solar flare beauty, you can read more about September’s activity over on NASA’s website here.

,

These Spooky Space Sounds Compiled by NASA Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Just in time for Halloween.

Just in time for the culmination of this year’s spooky season, NASA has debuted a playlist of sounds from space. And even though we know none of it is aliens, those noises are creepy as.

From cacophonic plasma waves to eerie Saturn radio emissions and whispers caught off Jupiter’s moons, this playlist of space sounds is weird, beautiful, and a little unpleasant at times.

Now, these sounds are not actually captured using audio recorders, so we just have to make clear – if you were hanging out in Ganymede’s orbit, this is not what you would hear.

Instead, it’s the output of data from when astronomers convert the readings captured by various space probes and instruments into audible sound waves. Thanks to NASA’s SoundCloud account, we can enjoy them too:

Judging from this playlist, the creepiest planet in our Solar System appears to be the gas giant Jupiter and its numerous gigantic moons.

For example, some haunting screeching and roaring was produced when Juno crossed into Jupiter’s formidable magnetic field – the protective shield that screens the planet from the blasting winds of our home star.

As we reported last year, the probe actually underwent a ‘bow shock’ when it was crossing into Jupiter’s magnetosphere, and the event lasted for two hours:

The sound is produced when the supersonic solar winds that are hurtling through the Solar System are suddenly slowed down and heated up as they plough into Jupiter’s magnetosphere, resulting in bow shock – it’s sort like the sonic boom produced when an aircraft exceeds the speed of sound here on Earth, and the compression waves coming off it combine to form a shock wave.

And even though we know what we’re listening to is actually an awesome output of scientific data, we’re still pretty sure Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede must be haunted – just listen to those unnerving whispers coming out of its own magnetosphere:

Those eerie sounds come from converted radio signals caught by the Plasma Wave Experiment electric dipole antenna, housed on the Galileo spacecraft which passed by the moon back in 1996.

Meanwhile the radio waves captured from the intense emissions spewed out by Saturn are more akin to classic sound effects you’d find on Star Trek: The Original Series – but with added spookiness:

But creepy noises don’t just come from elsewhere in the Solar System – turns out our own planet’s magnetosphere can generate some pretty intense noises, too.

“In regions laced with magnetic fields, such as the space environment surrounding our planet, particles are continually tossed to and fro by the motion of various electromagnetic waves known as plasma waves,” NASA explained earlier this year.

“These plasma waves, like the roaring ocean surf, create a rhythmic cacophony that – with the right tools – we can hear across space.”

That’s pretty damn awesome.

We recommend you use this playlist to marvel at the cosmic wonders of the universe, but it might also work as nice ambience to blast out the living room when trick-or-treaters arrive at your door. Whoosh!