What a final 2019 weekend in sports! An MMA legend started his farewell tour, one of the best players in the NBA got back onto the court, and LeBron grabbed AP Male Athlete of the Decade. Also, a couple of college football games took place that will lead to an awesome National Championship. Let’s get to it!
Weekly Sports Update – Dec. 30th Edition
Fedor Knocks Out Rampage in First Farewell Tour Fight
Fedor Emelianenko, one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, started his 3-fight farewell tour with a bang. Emelianenko knocked out Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at 2:40 of the first round at Bellator Japan.
It was a sweet moment for Emelianenko and the Japanese fight audience. Fedor ruled at Pride Fighting Championships in the early 2000’s. During that time Pride had a better heavyweight division than UFC. Emelianenko was the star. He went undefeated from 2001 to 2010. UFC President Dana White says that one of his greatest regrets was not putting together Fedor and Brock Lesnar for a mega-fight when both were in their prime.
With the win, Emelianenko brought his record to 39-6 with 1 no-contest. The 43-year-old made a comeback in 2015. Since then, he beat Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, and now Rampage. Ryan Bader knocked out Fedor at the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix last January.
The legend says he wants to fight in the United States and then finish off his career in his native Russia. No matter what happens in those next couple of bouts, Fedor Emelianenko’s legendary status is assured.
College Basketball: Kentucky Puts It Together in Win over Louisville
The Kentucky Wildcats have gelled. That’s bad news for the rest of the college basketball world. In the most competitive game of the season so far, the Wildcats beat the rival Louisville Cardinals 78-70 in overtime. Although ranked, Coach John Calipari’s Kentucky squad hadn’t played to its potential this season.
That changed this past Saturday. The Wildcats leaned on a couple of great guards. Freshman Tyreese Maxey scored 27 points and grabbed 8 boards. He shot 80% from three. He shot 64.3% from the field.
Immanuel Quickley scored 18 points off the bench. The Wildcats held the Cardinals to 25.9% from three. Louisville made 7-of-27 three-point shots. The 3rd ranked team in the nation only shot 40.3% from the field.
Kentucky should get better. The Wildcats found their 2 scorers. The rest of the team stepped it up on defense. If Kentucky doesn’t win the SEC, it will be a surprise.
Louisville shot awful, but they had a chance to win in overtime. Don’t sleep on the Cardinals taking down Duke in the ACC this season. They’re good enough. They also have balanced scoring. 5 players scored 8 or more with no player scoring more than 18 against the Wildcats.
NBA: Doncic Returns to Key Mavericks’ Victories
Luka Doncic is back and the NBA is much better for it. In his first return game on Dec. 26, Doncic scored 24, grabbed 10 boards, and dished 8 assists to key a 102-98 win versus the San Antonio Spurs. 2-days later on Saturday, he punished the Golden State Warriors with a triple-double.
Luka went for 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 15 assists. The Mavericks rolled the Warriors 141-121. Dallas took a breather the next day in Los Angeles. The Lakers beat them 108-95. But let’s be clear, Luka Doncic is one of the hardest players to guard in the NBA.
He’s the perfect type of player for the perfect time in the league. He’s big, 6’ 7” and 230 pounds, and has mad skills. He can shoot, crash the glass, and dish the rock. His return makes the Mavericks title contenders while the Western Conference becomes that much more loaded.
LeBron is AP Male Athlete of the Decade, Serena Takes AP Female Athlete of the Decade
The Associated Press named NBA player LeBron James the Male Athlete of the Decade. Starting in 2010, LeBron reached the NBA Finals 8 straight times. He won 3 championships. Although the domination on the court is a big reason the AP gave the award to LeBron, how he changed NBA Free Agency is the real reason he deserves the award.
LeBron James dictated where he wanted to go and who he wanted to play for. He put power into the hands of NBA players. That won’t ever change. It makes him one of the most important players in NBA history for something other than numbers on the stat sheet.
Serena Williams dominated women’s tennis like nobody before. She earned 12 Grand Slam Singles titles. That’s a stunning feat. During the decade, she held the #1 ranking for 3 ½ straight years. In the past 10 years, not only did Williams prove to be the greatest women’s tennis player of all time. She proved to be the greatest female athlete of all time.
College Football: LSU Rolls, Clemson Wins, to Set Up Huge National Championship
LSU and Clemson won their College Football Playoff Semifinal games to set up a gigantic National Championship in the Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 13. Let’s start with Clemson’s nail-biting victory over Ohio State before moving on to LSU’s historic dominance of Oklahoma.
The Tigers faced Big Ten winner Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes rushed out to a 13-0 lead. But after safety Shaun Wade got ejected for targeting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the tide shifted.
Clemson asserted its dominance. The Tigers outscored the Buckeyes 14-6 in the second quarter. In the second half, the Tigers outscored Ohio State 15-7 to win 29-23. Although Buckeye fans point to blown calls, the reason Ohio State lost is because their stout defense got soft on the final Clemson drive. The Buckeyes had a 23-21 lead with about 3 minutes left on the clock. Clemson scored in less than 6 plays. After a Justin Fields interception, the Tigers secured the victory.
Clemson faces LSU on Jan. 13. Unlike Clemson-Ohio State, which came down to the wire, LSU-Oklahoma was over after the first quarter.
Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow carved up the Sooner defense in the first half. By halftime, Burrow had thrown for 403 yards and 7 touchdowns when completing 21-of-27. The LSU Tigers set 14 records in the 63-28 blowout victory.
MyBookie (www.MyBookie.ag/sportsbook/) was created in 2012 by online gaming pioneers that saw a need to improve services where so many other brands failed. As a new generation of gamers emerges across North America the difference between their old bookie and MyBookie is clear.
In addition to easier deposits, faster payouts, and the best customer service, MyBookie is simply the most accurate and trusted source for odds information, analysis and wagering opportunities on the internet.
Since launching, MyBookie has delivered on its promise of excellent service along with an always expanding selection of sports odds for players at all levels, as well as most unique and exciting internet casino available. Visit www.MyBookie.ag/sportsbook today for more information and to be a part of the action!