Walker, Turner lead Team USA past Australia

It was a celebration of basketball Thursday night in Australia as more than 50,000 fans packed Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium to see their Boomers take on the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

While the scene was memorable, the fans left disappointed as the U.S. pulled away in the second half en route to a 102-86 victory. Make that two wins from two thus far in exhibition for the United States as it prepares for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China Aug. 31-Sept. 15. U.S. captain Kemba Walker led all scorers with 23 points, and Myles Turner chipped in a double-double with 15 points and 14 boards. Donovan Mitchell accounted for 13 points, Kyle Kuzma san 4-of-5 3-pointers for 12 points and Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum scored 11 points each.

“It was a physical game, the competitiveness was great on both ends,” said USA head coach Gregg Popovich. “I thought the Boomers run some hellacious offense, really hard to guard, they do a great job moving and cutting. Coach (Andrej) Lemanis has got them at a high level in that regard.”

It was a fine shooting night in total for the Americans as they shot 48% from the field and 43% from 3. Walker led a balanced scoring attack in which six players – and four starters – scored in double figures.

There were some familiar faces on both benches, with six players on Australia occupying a place on NBA rosters. Notable friends turned foes were the USA’s Mitchell and Australia’s Joe Ingles, who are teammates on the Utah Jazz. The basketball-crazy Australian fans turned out to Marvel Stadium – normally home to Australian Rules Football and soccer – to cheer on their heroes as well as see some of the best players in the world from the United States.

“It was an incredible atmosphere,” said U.S. forward Tatum, “unique experience.”

Though such a basketball scene may be rare Down Under, it was perhaps a familiar sight to players like Walker and Mason Plumlee who played in the NCAA Final Four. The court setup echoed the modern treatment of that event, with a raised court in the middle of the floor and fans surrounding it in temporary seats.

There were maybe some nerves at play for the Boomers as Team USA raced out to a 6-0 lead early. But thanks to the sharp shooting from distance by Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills, Australia closed the gap.

Helping keep Australia at bay was Kuzma, who did not start but made an impact off the bench by going 3-4 from deep in the first quarter. His only miss rattled out on a half-court attempt at the buzzer.

Australia’s Ingles opened the second quarter with a jumper to tie it, then Andrew Bogut – coached last year at Golden State by USA assistant Steve Kerr – threw down an emphatic dunk seconds later as the Boomers opened up their biggest lead of the game at three. But from there it appeared the USA might run away with things. The Americans went on a 17-3 run, scoring inside and outside.  Tatum nailed back-to-back 3s to open up an 11-point lead at 39-28.

But the Australia defense clamped down to close the half. Mills – coached by Popovich in San Antonio – drilled a 3 just before the buzzer to complete a 15-5 run and reduce the U.S. lead to one. Australia’s Chris Goulding scored 10 points, all off the bench.

“Our transition defense was poor and they got three 3s in a row and that’s what happened down the stretch in the second quarter,” Popovich said. “I think they scored 12 points in two-and-a-half minutes and three of those buckets we those 3s.”

The third quarter opened as almost a carbon copy of the second. Australia grabbed a lead, and the U.S. matched with a big run. But this time, the Americans didn’t let Australia back in the game. After Australia went up 45-44, the U.S. then put together a 13-0 run. Kuzma checked in for the first time in the half with 5:20 to go and showed no signs of being cold. He hit his fourth 3 of the game 14 seconds later to extend the lead to 62-50.

The U.S. hit 13 of 19 shots in the third quarter and outscored Australia 32-18. The Boomers opened up the fourth quarter with a 3 by Aron Baynes to pull to within 12, but they got no closer. The balanced U.S. scoring attack continued to fire on all cylinders, even flashing some highlight-reel material with a splendid alley-oop from Tatum toBrown with 3:57 left. That score opened up a 20-point lead, the largest of the game.

Despite allowing Australia to make some runs in the first half, Popovich was pleased with the effort of his team that is still coming together with a major tournament just ahead.

“We got used to the physicality, and changed up a couple things and we had some guys that did a good job,” Popovich said. “Myles Turner came in and gave us a big punch there, he was great. Obviously Kemba in pick-and-roll is pretty tough to guard, so we’re learning what we should be running offensively and what we should be doing based on our personnel. We’re obviously not an experienced team, these guys have never played together, so I think they’re doing a really good job of trying to come together quickly and learn about each other.”

These two teams will square off again on Saturday from the same court as World Cup preparation continues. Now that the teams have some familiarity with each other, the U.S. will have to react to adjustments that Australia will make.

“We need to make a few adjustments, a few mistakes that we had,” Kuzma said. “Obviously, they are going to make adjustments, and we just got to react to those.”

“It definitely changes everything, because they kind of see what we are about, what we do.” said Turner. “We just have to be ready for them.”

Photo: USA Basketball

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Peter Quillin to face Alfredo Angulo on 9/21

 Former world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will duel hard-hitting Alfredo Angulo in a 12-round super middleweight showdown that headlines FS1 PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes on Saturday, September 21 from Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, California.

Coverage on FS1 begins at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and features fast-rising prospect Chris “Prime Time” Colbert entering the ring for a 10-round lightweight matchup against former title challenger Miguel Beltran Jr., plus unbeaten welterweight Terrel Williams goes up against Thomas Dulorme in a 10-round attraction, while unbeaten prospect Jesus Ramos takes on Rickey Edwards in a 10-round super lightweight match to open FS1 PBC Fight Night.

FS2 PBC Fight Night Prelims will precede the main card and begin at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, highlighted by hard-hitting Jeison Rosario against unbeaten Bakhram Murtazaliev in a 12-round IBF 154-pound title eliminator.

“This is a great fight card with anything a boxing fan could want, featuring former champions, top contenders and future stars, all in evenly-match bouts that promise drama,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Peter Quillin vs. Alfredo Angulo promises to be a good, old fashion slugfest with two fighters looking to prove they’re ready for a world title fight next. With exciting prospects like Chris Colbert and Jesus Ramos, plus evenly matched fights between contenders in Williams vs. Dulorme and Rosario vs. Murtazaliev, this will be an action-packed night from top to bottom.”

Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) is seeking to climb back into the championship ranks and must go through Angulo before reaching them. The 36-year-old, who was born in Chicago and now lives in Brooklyn, won the middleweight world title against Hassan N’Dam in 2012. He successfully defended it three times. He is coming off a no-decision against former super middleweight champion Caleb Truax on April 13 in an FS1 PBC Fight Night main event. He had taken the first two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards before the action was halted when a deep cut over Truax’s right eye, caused by an accidental head butt, brought an end to the fight and resulted in a no-decision.

“It looks like the Caleb Truax fight wasn’t meant to be, but this fight against Angulo is an important fight for me to establish myself in this division,” said Quillin, who was originally scheduled to rematch Truax on August 31, before Truax withdrew due to an Achilles injury. “I’m ready to go 12 rounds right now. I just have to stay ready and stay in shape because we’ve had a great camp where we were able to build on certain things. This is what was meant to be and I’m going to make the most of it with a great performance on September 21.”

Angulo (25-7, 21 KOs) enters the match against Quillin after a knockout victory over Evert Bravo on April 20. The 37-year-old veteran, who was born in Mexicali, Mexico and now lives in Coachella, California, has been in with some of the top boxers and sluggers during a career that has seen him in numerous exciting bouts against the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara amongst others.

“I am looking forward to showing my fans the best Alfredo Angulo on September 21,” said Angulo. “I have been working hard towards this opportunity. This is a chance to move closer to a world title and with hard work and the support of my team, I’m going to win that title.”

Representing his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y., Colbert (12-0, 4 KOs) has begun to make a name for himself showing off tremendous skills across his first 12 pro victories. The 22-year-old turned pro in 2019 after an impressive amateur career and most recently dominated Alberto Mercado on his way to a unanimous decision on FOX in June.

“I’m dedicating this bout to the fight against childhood cancer,” said Colbert, who was inspired after recently being introduced to a young fan who has cancer. “I plan on going in to Rabobank Arena and doing what I do best on September 21. I never make predictions for my fights, but I’m always looking to dominate and if the knockout comes then it comes. I have a job to do and I just have to stay focused on the man in front of me. It’s going to be ‘Prime Time’ on September 21 so that fans will want to make sure to tune-in for this one.”

Fighting out of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, Beltran (33-7, 22 KOs) will return to action after dropping a decision to former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa last November. The 30-year-old challenged Roman Martinez for a super featherweight title and lost by split decision in September 2012.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to fight Chris Colbert on FS1 and FOX Deportes,” said Beltran. “I have fought the best 130 pounders in the world – Rocky Martinez, Gamboa, Mickey Roman and I have challenged for the world title twice. This is the type of fight I need on national TV to get myself back in contention. I’m very serious about winning and happy to have my training camp in Los Angeles with my cousin, former world champion Ray Beltran, who is helping me prepare for victory.”

Williams (18-0, 13 KOs) extended his unbeaten record in April with a split decision victory over Justin DeLoach in Las Vegas. The 35-year-old from Los Angeles previously won a decision over David Grayton in September 2018.

A longtime contender, Dulorme (24-3-1, 16 KOs) earned a majority draw in his last fight against former world champion Jessie Vargas last October. The 29-year-old had previously dropped a narrow decision to top contender Yordenis Ugas in August 2017. That defeat came after a streak where the Puerto Rican fighter won eight of nine fights, with his only loss during that stretch coming in a title fight against Terrence Crawford.

At just 18-years-old, Ramos (10-0, 9 KOs) scored knockouts in his first nine fights since turning pro last May. The Casa Grande, Arizona-native most recently went the distance for the first time in his pro career, winning a shutout unanimous decision over Kevin Shacks in June on FOX.

Fighting out of Paterson, New Jersey, Edwards (12-3, 3 KOs) won his first 11 pro fights including victories over then unbeaten fighters Azriel Paez and John Delperdang. The 29-year-old most recently lost a decision to undefeated Mykquan Williams in May.

The 24-year-old Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KOs) has won his last five fights and is unbeaten in eight bouts since his only pro loss to Nathaniel Gallimore in 2017. The Dominican-born fighter residing in Florida has taken down a slew of contenders and top prospects including Jamontay Clark, Justin DeLoach, Marcos Hernandez and most recently, Jorge Cota on FS1 in April.

Russia’s Murtazaliev(16-0, 13 KOs), who now resides in Oxnard, California and is unbeaten since turning pro in 2014. The 26-year-old has delivered knockout victories over Elvin Ayala and Bruno Leonardo Romay in 2019.

O.J. Anderson believes he belongs in the Hall of Fame

For 14 seasons, former NFL RB Ottis  “O.J” Anderson was a powerhouse.  He averaged over 1200 yards in his first six seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals and would go on to win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, which included being named MVP in Super Bowl 25.

The two-time Pro Bowler would retire in 1993. He finished his career with 10,273 rushing yards and 81 touchdowns on the ground. When Anderson stepped away from the game, he ranked seventh in rushing touchdowns and eighth in rushing yards.

Anderson had a great career and a career that should warrant serious consideration for the Hall of Fame. However, Anderson has been eligible for the Hall since 1999, and at this point, he will have to continue to wait a little longer. But if were up to Anderson, his number would be called

“Welp, if you look at stats, and that’s is what they go by, there’s no doubt I should be. For whatever reason, they just don’t seem to not understand,” Anderson recently told Paul Gant about the Hall of Fame. “You know what, I ain’t play the game for the Hall of Fame; I played the game because I enjoyed it. I wanted to make a lot of fans happy. I think I accomplished those two things. If I get the third one, which is the Hall of Fame, I would be excited about it.

“I just hope I’m alive when they do it. I mean no offense to Terrell Davis, he just got in. He has way less yardage than me, but again, he is a very fine running back. I don’t know what criteria they’re judging it on, but if it’s on yardage, and other things tangible that goes with it, I think my resume looks pretty good.”

Anderson does have a strong case. As he said, he does have a lot more rushing yards than Davis(Anderson: 10273, Davis: 7607), and also, like Davis, Anderson has a Super Bowl MVP.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, his career is not getting the respect it deserves. Hopefully, he can get in at some point, and hopefully, as the 62-year-old Anderson said, he will be alive to see it.

 

 

 

(VIDEO) Ben Simmons’ jump shot is looking really good

When the season ended, Sixers fans were hoping and praying that Ben Simmons would find a jump shot in the offseason. Well, based on this latest video, their wishes may have come true.

Simmons, who recently signed a max-deal with the 76ers, looks like he has been working hard on his jump shot.  You need proof?

Watch below:

GGG: ‘We will bring back ‘Big Drama Show’ to the ring of The Garden;

Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko will clash for the vacant IBF World Middleweight title on Saturday October 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN, in a fight brought to you by GGG Promotions and Matchroom Boxing USA in association with DiBella Entertainment.

Former unified Middleweight king Golovkin (39-1-1 35 KOs) is aiming to regain the IBF crown he held for three years before being stripped of the title following the first of his two epic battles with Mexican rival Canelo Alvarez.

GGG boxes at the Manhattan mecca of boxing for the seventh time in his career as he looks to return to the summit of the 160lbs division, and ominously for Derevyanchenko, the Kazakh star has finished all six of his opponents at MSG inside the distance, with Canadian top-ten contender Steve Rolls succumbing to Golovkin in four rounds on his DAZN debut in June.

Derevyanchenko (13-1 10 KOs) challenges for the IBF belt for the second time in his career having pushed Daniel Jacobs to the limit for the vacant belt at the Hulu Theater at MSG in October, being edged out via split decision in a back and forth scrap where many gave the Brooklyn-based Ukrainian the victory. The 33 year old got back to winning ways and moved into #1 position in the IBF with a points win over Jack Culcay in Minnesota in April, and now faces fellow Olympian Golovkin in a mouth-watering battle in the Big Apple.

“Everyone knows that I consider Madison Square Garden as my home away from home and there is nothing better than fighting there again. It is old school,” said Golovkin. “On October 5, it’s going to be a good fight. Every time I enter the ring I try to give my fans the fight they want to see, the show they deserve. This will be such a fight. We will bring back Big Drama Show to the ring of The Garden and to DAZN. Don’t miss it. You will see everything you love in the sport of boxing. See you in New York.”

“I’m very excited that my team has secured another opportunity for me to fight for the Middleweight championship of the world,” said Derevyanchenko. “I have a great deal of respect for ‘GGG’ and looking forward to proving in the ring that I will be up to challenge and fulfil my lifelong dream of becoming a World champion.

“Those in attendance at Madison Square Garden and watching on DAZN will see an outstanding battle on Saturday October 5 — I can’t wait to enter the ring.”

“They call it the Big Drama Show and that’s exactly what the fans will enjoy at MSG on October 5, live on DAZN,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Gennadiy has a chance to regain his World Middleweight crown and Sergiy will bring the fire – the styles should gel brilliantly for a brutal battle. We look forward to a fantastic event with a stacked card at the iconic Mecca of boxing.”

“I’m very proud to provide Sergiy Derevyanchenko another opportunity to become the Middleweight champion of the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Sergiy came very close to fulfilling his dream last year and I truly believe that his time is now against GGG, one of the best Middleweights of this era. Saturday, October 5, will be a very special night for boxing at Madison Square Garden and live on DAZN, when GGG will be tested to his limits by a true threat in the Middleweight division.”

“We’re happy to have Gennadiy back in the ring looking to reclaim a piece of the middleweight championship,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America. “October 5 is just the beginning of fight season on DAZN, which promises to be the best year-end schedule in the sport.”

Zimmer on Sloter: ‘There’s a lot of things that he has to get better at if he wants to be the backup quarterback’

Coming into the 2019 season, the Minnesota Vikings have their starting QB set and ready to go in Kirk Cousins, and the backup at this point is fifth-year quarterback Sean Mannion.

However, if third-year quarterback Kyle Sloter continues to play well in the preseason, he could make the case that he should be the backup to Cousins.

In two preseason games, Sloter has completed 17 of 20 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Sloter was impressive against the Seahawks on Sunday as he went 11-13 for 116 yards and one touchdown.

The numbers look good, but according to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“I don’t know. I don’t know that you guys know all the little details about everything, you just see how he goes and does the game,” Zimmer said about Sloter on Tuesday. “He’s got to get a lot better in a lot of the other parts of being a quarterback. Making the right checks, getting people in the right formation, making sure the motion is there, not missing the time clock when it’s eight yards in front of you. There’s a lot of things that he has to get better at if he wants to be the backup quarterback.”

With those comments, it seems clear that Zimmer has more faith in Mannion coming into the season, and it’s hard to argue. Mannion has more experience and has started a game in the NFL. Plus, Zimmer knows what he sees in practice, and that is enough for him to know that Mannion is the guy to backup Cousins in 2019.

Giants QB Daniel Jones responds to Baker Mayfield

When the New York Giants took former Duke QB Daniel Jones with the number six overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, a lot of people were stunned, shocked, and surprised, including Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield, who was very critical of the pick.

“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones… Blows my mind,” Mayfield recently told GQ Magazine. 

“Some people overthink it,” he said. “That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”

Today, Mayfield clarified his comments via Instagram. He said the following:

 “This is not what I said, just so we’re clear,” Mayfield wrote. “I also said I was surprised I got drafted No. 1. Then was talking about the flaws in evaluating QBs. Where I brought up winning being important. Reporters and media will do anything to come up with a click bait story. Heard nothing but good things and wish nothing but the best for Daniel.”

 Thus far in the preseason, Jones is showing that the Giants may have made the right pick, and today, he responded to Mayfield’s comments.

 Here is what he had to say:

 Q: What’s your reaction to Baker Mayfield’s comments?

 Jones: I try not to listen to much that’s said. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that. I heard that before, I kind of have the same mindset, I certainly have a lot to focus on here, I have a lot to worry about here and I’m focused on that. It’s been good, but just focused on what I’m doing here.

 Q: Is it any different that a player in the league criticized you being picked?

 Jones: I don’t think so. Like I said, my focus is here, in the building, my teammates, coaches, and everyone a part of this organization, has been my focus. When you get outside the building, I don’t think it does a whole lot to focus on that for me. Certainly focused on here.

 Q: Does it motivate you to prove people wrong?

 Jones: I don’t think that’s a main motivator for me. I think there is a lot of things before that that motivate me, to be honest.

 Q: Do you know him at all?

 Jones: I don’t, no.

 Q: Did it seem out of left field to you?

 Jones: Yeah, a little bit. Like I said, I don’t know him, I have never spoken to him. He has an opinion, a lot of people have opinions.

 Q: Coach Shurmur said just because you are calm out there doesn’t mean you aren’t fired up inside, is that the case?

 Jones: Like I said, there are a lot of things that motivate me before something like that would. I think I am a very passionate person. I don’t always show it, but I think I am a very passionate person.

 Q: What would you say if someone looked at your stats and record and said, “well, this guy is a mediocre quarterback, look at his record”?

 Jones: Going back to Duke, I wish we did win more games. I played a big part in that. I take responsibility for that, I wish we did win more games. Our goal was always to win ACC championships and to go to big bowl games and we weren’t able to do that. I don’t look back on that without a large responsibility for that.

 Q: Do you feel you’re a winner?

 Jones: I do. I have always felt like I am. Growing up and competing, I think I am a competitor and I think I’m a winner.

 Q: Can you change someone like Baker’s perception if you’re not playing? Is it annoying that you have to wait to play to prove people like that wrong and shut them up?

 Jones: I don’t think so. Like I said, there is a lot that I need to focus on here. There is a lot that I need to do to improve, and to make sure that I’m moving forward. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not sure that’s the best motivator. If that’s the thing you’re looking forward to doing the most is proving them wrong, I’m not sure that’s the best way to improve every day or the best way to really get where you want to go.

 Q: If you were on the field and a player said that to you, would you trash talk back?

 Jones: Maybe I’d say something, but I don’t know. I’d make sure we win the game.

 Q: Do the people who know you best think it’s really hard to make you angry or that they rarely see you angry?

 Jones: Yeah, for the most part. Maybe my little brother would say something else (laughter). For the most part, I try to do a pretty good job at controlling myself. I feel like I’m thinking best and playing best when I’m in control of myself.

 Q: Do you agree, you have to be kind of wired to be like that?

 Jones: Yeah, I do think that’s part of my personality.

 Q: Do you ever sit there and say, ‘why are you bothering with me when you have your own team to worry about?’

 Jones: I’m not sure I would do it that way, but everyone has a different way of doing things. Like I said, my focus is here. Our focus is here. I think I speak for the team— we’re really focused on what we’re doing here and making sure we’re ready to play going into the season.

 Q: Have you seen Baker play, and what do you think of him as a quarterback?

 Jones: Yeah, I’ve seen him play. I watched him in college and a little bit in the last year. I think he’s a great player. He can throw it, and I enjoy watching him play.

 Q: Why don’t you tell us how much you are going to play?

 Jones: I don’t know, I really don’t know. That’s up to coach and we’ll see how it goes. I look forward to getting back out there.

Eagles’ Schwartz on Hall: ‘He has good speed, he’s long, he fits our stuff that way, and he’s really been tough’

Philadelphia Eagles DE Daeshon Hall has been a revelation for the team this summer.  In two preseason games, Hall, who was selected in the third round by the Carolina Panthers in the 2017 NFL Draft, is the NFL preseason leader in sacks(3.0), and last Thursday against the Jaguars, Hall had two sacks and a forced fumble.

The Eagles are deep at the defensive end position, with guys like Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and Vinny Curry, but Hall is doing whatever he can to make a mark on this team.

“I’m just trying to control my controllables and do what I can to make this team or make another team,” Hall said after the Eagles’ win over Jacksonville last Thursday. “I’m working hard; we’ve got a great group of D-ends, everybody works hard, and everybody plays hard. I feel like I’m getting better because I’m getting pushed by this group of D-ends.”

The 24-year-old Hall was an outside linebacker when he was with the Houston Texans last season. When the Eagles signed Hall off the Texans’ practice squad late in the 2018 season, he had to transition back to defensive end, which he played in college at Texas A&M, and at this point, Eagles DC Jim Schwartz sees a player who is comfortable at the defensive end position.

“He got to us midway through last year, and he was in the transition of going from outside linebacker to 4-3 defensive end,” Schwartz said on Monday. “He had been asked to lose weight in Houston, but he was gaining weight here, so he was a little bit of a work in progress there. But he’s come back, had a really good spring, and he’s stacked a good training camp on top of that. He has good speed, he’s long, he fits our stuff that way, and he’s really been tough. He plays physical football for us, and that’s what we are looking for.”

Because of the play of defensive ends, fourth-round pick Shareef Miller and second-year player Josh Sweat, it might be tough for Hall to make the team, but if he continues to play well, he should get an opportunity somewhere in the NFL.

Mitrione-Kharitonov headline Bellator card in Connecticut

Bellator will hold the first-ever MMA event at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. on Saturday, August 24 when the always-exciting Matt Mitrione (13-6, 1 NC) once again squares off against Sergei Kharitonov (29-7, 2 NC) in a heavyweight headline

The remainder of the main card features four other must-see bouts, including two additional heavyweight slugfests, as former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov (21-1) faces Javy Ayala (11-7) in the co-main event, while undefeated heavyweight prospects Tyrell Fortune (6-0) and Rudy Schaffroth (6-0, 1 NC), who both originally hail from Portland, Ore., collide in the main card opener.

Rounding out the five-fight card on Paramount Network – the man with the most appearances inside the Bellator Cage in history, David Rickels (21-5, 2 NC), takes on the undefeated Ukrainian Yaroslav Amosov (21-0) in a 175-pound catchweight bout, and former flyweight title contender Alejandra Lara (7-3) meetsTaylor Turner (4-5) at bantamweight, who returns after recently upsetting Heather Hardy at Madison Square Garden earlier this summer.

The main card can be seen live on Paramount Network and DAZN at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com, DAZN and globally on the Bellator Mobile App beginning at 5:45 pm EST/2:45 pm PST.

Earlier in the evening, Connecticut’s own “Notorious” Nick Newell (15-2) will lace up the Bellator gloves for the first time in his career and make the short drive from his home in Milford, Conn. to Webster Bank Arena, when he meets Corey Browning (5-2), a man who has already defeated “Baby Slice” and Aaron Chalmers. Also representing the “The Constitution State,” the surging Mike “The Savage” Kimbel (3-1) will be looking to impress the partisan crowd against Chris Disonell (3-3).

Preliminary action is highlighted by appearances from top Bellator prospects, including Royce Gracie’s eldest son Khonry Gracie (1-1), Israel’s Aviv Gozali (2-0) and the promotional debut of light heavyweight Grant “The Truth” Neal (1-0). Plus, long-time UFC and TUF veteran Sabah Homasi (12-8) returns to the Bellator Cage for the first time since Bellator 124.

Also on the card, unbeaten Austin “The Gentleman” Vanderford (7-0) will make his middleweight debut against Georgia’s Joseph Creer (6-0-1), New Jersey’sRicky Bandejas (11-3) will return to action for the first time since relocating to American Top Team in Florida, when he competes at bantamweight against Virginia’s Ahmet Kayretli (8-3, 1 NC) and the always-exciting Tim Johnson (12-5) will make his sophomore Bellator appearance against recently signed Azunna Anyanwu (15-5) of Philadelphia in a heavyweight matchup.

Complete Bellator 225: Mitrione vs. Kharitonov 2 Fight Card:

Heavyweight Main Event: Matt Mitrione (13-6, 1 NC) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (29-7, 2 NC)

Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Vitaly Minakov (21-1) vs. Javy Ayala (11-7)

Bantamweight Feature Bout: Alejandra Lara (7-3) vs. Taylor Turner (4-5)

175-Pound Catchweight Feature Bout: David Rickels (21-5, 2 NC) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (21-0)

Heavyweight Feature Bout: Tyrell Fortune (6-0) vs. Rudy Schaffroth (6-0, 1 NC)

Preliminary Card:

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Khonry Gracie (1-1) vs. Oscar Vera (0-1)

165-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Aviv Gozali (2-0) vs. Eduard Muravitskiy (9-8)
Light Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Grant Neal (1-0) vs. Alpha Toure (Pro Debut)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Sabah Homasi (12-8) vs. Micah Terrill (14-7, 1 NC)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Austin Vanderford (7-0) vs. Joseph Creer (6-0-1)

Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Tim Johnson (12-5) vs. Azunna Anyanwu (15-5)

Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Ricky Bandejas (11-3) vs. Ahmet Kayretli (8-3, 1 NC)

140-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Mike Kimbel (3-1) vs. Chris Disonell (3-3)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Nick Newell (15-2) vs. Corey Browning (5-2)

165-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Kastriot Xhema (3-3, 1 NC) vs. Connor Dixon (Pro Debut)

175-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jon Manley (11-6) vs. Thiago Rela (10-7)

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer reacts to Holton Hill’s hit on Paxton Lynch

Keeping your starting quarterback healthy is essential for all 32 teams in the NFL, and the league goes out of its way to protect them. However, this is football, and sometimes things happen, which was the case last night in Minnesota.

Late in the 4th quarter, Seattle Seahawks QB Paxton Lynch was scrambling, and before he could get down, Lynch was walloped by Vikings CB Holton Hill in a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit. Lynch would leave the game, and Hill would get ejected.

According to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, Lynch is in concussion protocol, while Hill, who was already suspended for the first eight games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse, and for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, will probably lose some more money for the illegal hit.

After the game, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer reacted to the hit.

“Number one, we don’t want to see anybody get hurt,” Zimmer said. “I told Pete (Carroll) that after the game. I was sorry about his quarterback. Number two, he can’t drop his head. But saying that, when a quarterback is running an option, he ought to be fair game other than lowering your head and hitting him in the head. If they’re going to let these quarterbacks be runners, we should be able to hit him. He didn’t hit him legally. We need to (be able to) hit these guys.”

It’s a tough thing to legislate at times, but in the end, you go helmet-to-helmet with a quarterback, you are probably going to pay a hefty fine and possibly get ejected. Hate it or love it; this is just the nature of the game in 2019.