Your unsubstantiated rankings for the world’s top movers & shakers and worthless jabronis
Good morning readers and welcome to another edition of my Universal Power Rankings! Pour yourself a cup of single-sourced joe, fire up the laptop/tablet/phone and enjoy!
1 – Ariel Helwani – On Friday February 5th the 8th annual World MMA Awards were presented at The Venetian in Las Vegas and my fellow Syracuse alum, Arial Helwani, took away the award for MMA Journalist of the Year. I probably should have placed either Holly Holm or Connor McGregor at the #1 spot, but as a journalist I had to give some love to my brethren. It’s my opinion that Helwani takes a lot of unnecessary shit, but the fact remains that he’s simply the best in the business. Good job Ariel and Go Orange!
2 – Diego Rivas – Wow! The Chilean-born Featherweight took on Noad Lahat at UFC Fight Night Hendricks vs. Thompson and delivered a brutal knockout early in the second round. Rivas was absolutely manhandled in the first round as Lahat put on a Jiu-Jitsu clinic. Rivas just barely escaped a dangerous guillotine choke that would have made it a very short night for him. It was apparent that Rivas was completely outclassed by Lahat’s Jiu-Jitsu, but Rivas survived. When Lahat charged in for a takedown early in the second round, Rivas unleashed a perfectly-timed flying knee and knocked Lahat out cold. LIGHTS OUT! Aren’t flying knees the best? It is hands down my favorite KO method. Case closed.
3 – Arianny Celeste – I already mentioned above that the World MMA Awards were presented last night, and my girl Arianny took home the hardware for Ringcard Girl of the Year. The UFC Ringcard Girl has always been my #1 and her IG account (@ariannyceleste) turns my physiology into that of a 14-year-old teen spontaneously pitching tents 24/7. Arianny faced a murderer’s row of smokeshows in her category as Jhenny Andrade, Carly Baker, Brittney Palmer, and Mercedes Terrell rounded out the nominees. Congrats Arianny!
4 – Chris “The Crippler” Leben – The Crippler is back in action! Bellator announced on Friday that it signed the UFC Hall of Famer to a multi-year, multi-fight deal. It’s great to see Leben get his career and life back on track. I don’t know how much Leben has left in the tank, but I look forward to seeing Leben hop into the cage again. If you’re bored, listen to our interview with the Crippler here. Hats off to Bellator for continuing with the flashy signings.
5 – Brett Favre – It’s no secret that I’m one of the biggest Green Bay Packers fans walking the earth. So it is with great pleasure that the Packers reported that Brett Lorenzo Favre was unanimously voted into the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday February 6, 2016 A.D.! Coming as a surprise to no one, Favre was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Favre was the first Packers quarterback I ever watched and my boyhood hero. He was a MAJOR factor in restoring glory to the Packers franchise and putting the Title back in Title Town. Yeah, the divorce between Favre and the franchise was messy, and the dick pic scandal with the Jets didn’t help any, but I still fondly look upon the Favre era with rose-tinted lenses and will always be grateful. Congratulations Brett and thanks for the memories.
6 – Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson – Wonderboy! Thompson put on a striking clinic against former Welterweight champion Johny Hendricks Saturday Night. It was a truly dominating performance by the South Carolina product and he emphatically capped it off by knocking out Hendricks in the first round. Thompson’s kickboxing background has his star on the rise, while questions now linger about Hendricks’ future.
627 – Cam Newton – Ouch. I’m sure that’s not the way the 2015 MVP envisioned his season ending. Newton was the most electrifying player in the NFL this year and was also a lightning rod for criticism due to his swagger and bravado. He could get away with the hijinks as long as the Panthers were winning. That all came to a screeching halt when the Denver Broncos laid the smackdown on the Carolina Kitties and Cam threw temper tantrums all over the field like a 4-year-old who missed his nap. To make things worse, Denver Linebacker Von Miller stripped the ball from Newton with 4 minutes left in the game and Carolina down by 6 — and Cam wanted nothing to do with recovering the ball. He looked at it, hesitated, then backed away. Wow. Some MVP you got there! #noheart. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he stormed out of the post-game press conference mid-question. #classy. This just gives plenty of ammunition to all of the Newton detractors out there. Maybe he’ll grow up some day.
835 – Titus Young – Earlier I mentioned the Packers (best NFL franchise ever) and their former wild child MVP/Champion/Hall of Famer, Brett Favre. Well, now let’s see how the other half lives. The Detroit Lions have had a rough go if it for…well…pretty much forever. They’ve struggled to regain their footing ever since Barry Sanders unexpectedly retired. The Lions have had a little bit of a resurgence thanks to Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, but are still generally dumpster trash in the NFC North. One of the the Lions’ worst decisions ever was to draft WR Titus Young out of Boise St. His short career with the Lions was fraught with arrests, distractions, and allegations that he was purposefully sabotaging plays which were not drawn up for him. Well, Mr. Young is back in the police blotter again. TMZ Sports reported Young was arrested January 30 for assault with a deadly weapon. Yikes. This is about as bad as it gets for Young, as it is now his 5th arrest. As TMZ reported, Young achieved the impressive feat of being arrested three times in one week in 2013 and later tacked on another arrest in 2014. Peace out Titus.
-85,048 – Desert Vista High School – Wow. File this one away in the bad idea section. Apparently the Phoenix High School held an in which each student wore a different letter on his/her shirt and then students would combine to spell out words that define the school or the year or some such ish. What’s the natural word or phrase to spell out? Well, if you’re one of six particular senior girls at the school, the answer is a troubling one. According to ABC 15 news in Phoenix, the girls combined to spell the N-word (with two asterisks taking place of the g’s). Um, that’s just not smart. In fact, how GD stupid can you be?Should the girls be expelled? Maybe. I certainly think they shouldn’t receive their diplomas – if only because they’ve demonstrated the intelligence of a 1st grader and could probably use a few more years in the Phoenix public school system. [Editor’s Note: I was going to post the photo, but decided it would be in poor taste. At the Fight Voice we don’t condone such behavior or language. If you want to see the photo, you can find it easily enough on the interweb.]
Thanks for reading and be sure to stop by next week for my unofficial and unsubstantiated take on current events. Email email@example.com with feedback, questions, comments, threats of bodily harm, and advertising inquiries.