Kamaru Usman ready for Burns fight

first_imgRelatedPosts Masvidal calls for Kamaru Usman rematch Buhari salutes Kamaru Usman for retaining UFC title Masvidal seeks for Kamaru Usman rematch Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, will headline the first card at Dana White’s “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi and looks more than ready for his upcoming welterweight title defence against Gilbert Burns, which is set to take place July 11 at UFC 251.Usman, 33, posted a training video of himself sparring with interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje under the watchful eyes of coach Trevor Wittman. In the 15 second clip, Usman and Gaethje can be seen sparring and then start trading body shots blow for blow, which appears to get the best of Gaethje.“Iron sharpens iron,” said Usman in the description of the Instagram post. “How much would you pay to watch this for a few rounds? Just two dudes having fun.”Usman last defended his title in December at UFC 245 against Colby Covington, where he won the fight via TKO in the fifth round.He previously won the welterweight championship (170 pounds) by beating Tryon Woodley at UFC 235 in March of last year.Gaethje, who shocked the MMA world when he beat Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May, is now set to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in September to unify the lightweight title. He also posted the same video to his Instagram account, adding his own description: “Usman is looking like a straight killer. Glad to have him in the room.”Usman is in Colorado training under Wittman to prepare for the first card on Dana White’s “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.Tags: Gilbert BurnsKamaru UsmanTrevor Wittmanlast_img read more

Lerner backing for ‘loyal’ Lambert

first_img “From now until the end of the season we need 100 per cent commitment from everybody and I know we’ll get this.” Given, the holder of a UEFA A License, said: “The players are desperate to succeed here and to secure the results we need between now and the end of the season. “There’s real belief, too, which has always been there. “Any club can go through trying periods but the most important thing for me is the football club. The football club will always be here and that’s why it’s the most important thing, so we all know our responsibilities. “We all know that we can get the results we’re looking for and I had no doubts in my mind whatsoever the moment the manager asked me to step up.” Villa are four points clear of the relegation zone with five games left to play this term. Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has given his backing to the club’s manager Paul Lambert after the suspension of Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa this week. Villa confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that assistant boss Culverhouse and head of football operations Karsa had been suspended ”pending an internal investigation”, with Gordon Cowans and goalkeeper Shay Given being temporarily promoted to assist Lambert and his first-team coaching staff. On Villa’s official website on Wednesday, Lerner said Lambert had shown “total loyalty and commitment” to the club in his handling of “some unexpected issues”, but neither Culverhouse nor Karsa were mentioned by name. Lerner said on avfc.co.uk: “Our manager has been faced with some unexpected issues that could have very easily set the club back. “In watching him handle matters, along with our chief executive (Paul Faulkner), I’ve seen total loyalty and commitment to Aston Villa while Gordon, a Villa man through and through, has repeatedly stepped up to support the club regardless of the ask. “Shay, too, has been unhesitating in answering the manager’s call. “I couldn’t ask for more from people who are up for this challenge and the very real obstacles we have to overcome, as is everyone at the club.” The suspensions, which are thought to be of a disciplinary nature rather than being directly related to Villa’s recent performances, have come at a difficult time for the midlands outfit, who have lost four matches on the bounce and are still threatened by the prospect of relegation from the Barclays Premier League. In a statement issued on Monday, Faulkner admitted all staff at the club were ”hurting” and called for the Villa fans to get behind the team, with everyone “pulling together”. In Tuesday’s announcement, Lambert was only quoted as expressing his delight at having Cowans and Given to assist him and stressing that “the whole group” are focused on Saturday’s home clash with Southampton. Cowans, who served previously as first team coach and won the European Cup as a Villa player, said: “When the manager asked me to step up I didn’t hesitate. This is a challenge we face and we face it together as a club. Press Associationlast_img read more

Men’s basketball team set for UW-Green Bay

first_imgMATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photoGreg Stiemsma will have a high school reunion of sorts tonight when the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (5-1) takes the court against instate rival UW-Green Bay (2-4).The sophomore big man will get to play against his prep running mate Ryan Tillema, now a freshman forward for the Phoenix, who along with Stiemsma won three straight Division IV state titles at Randolph High School. Tillema added a fourth crown last season without Steimsma.”I probably know him better than anybody,” Stiemsma said. “It’s pretty weird to see a guy on the other team that I have been playing with since we were in fifth grade.”Such familiarity and renewals of rivalries are characteristic of this time of year, when Wisconsin goes on its quest to claim the unofficial state championship of basketball, as UW will play all three of the Dairy State’s other Division I programs — UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee and Marquette. The Badgers play Marquette on Saturday before finishing up the Wisconsin series Dec. 15 against UW-Milwaukee.”It’s always good to play the schools in the state. You know everybody across the state gets to see everybody. I guess you can sort of see it as a state championship. It is going to be very competitive and each team wants to win to show they are the best team in Wisconsin,” junior guard Kammron Taylor said, adding that pundits can throw out the records with these in-state rivalries. “Even though [some Wisconsin teams’] record might say another thing, but once they come in here they are going to be ready to play.”Such is the case tonight, as the Phoenix will walk into the Kohl Center with a 2-4 record, trying to rebound from a 59-51 loss to Illinois State last Saturday. UW-GB has played Wisconsin tough in the past, however, and has hardly rolled over for Bo Ryan’s squad. One need look no further than last year’s closer-than-expected game, when the Badgers defeated the Phoenix 65-55 in Madison.”That was actually one of my worst games last year, and I just try to put that out of my head,” Taylor said.”[Green Bay has] some very good players. The future is bright with the group of guys they have coming through that program,” assistant coach Greg Gard said.UW-GB’s youth will be on display, as the team has no seniors and only three juniors this season. Their best player, however, could very well be Stiemsma’s former teammate Tillema, who is averaging 10.7 points per game and is shooting 50 percent (16-for-32) from beyond the three-point line.”He’s got a nice touch around the perimeter and he definitely can score,” Stiemsma said.Alongside Tillema will be junior guard Ryan Evanochko, who leads the team in both points (11.5 per game) and assists (3.83).If the Phoenix are to upset Wisconsin, however, they will need to up their offensive production, as they have thus far only averaged 58.7 points a contest, while the Badgers have averaged 85.0. Strangely, UW-Green Bay’s three-point shooting percentage (.423) is better then their overall shooting percentage (.372), meaning that getting out on the Phoenix perimeter shooters will be of premium importance.”They have some guys that you just can’t leave open,” Gard said. “If you give those guys those open looks, they have some guys that can really knock them down and hurt you.”Although the Badgers should enjoy a significant talent advantage, don’t be surprised to see another hotly contested matchup.”All those teams from the state have something to prove. They just want to prove that they can play at the top level,” junior Alando Tucker said. “Green Bay is a good team. They always play us physical and hard, and they want to prove they belong.”For Stiemsma and Tillema, like many of the other players during the in-state series, something even bigger is on the line: bragging rights.”There might be a little bit under the table, but nothing too big,” Stiemsma joked. “The loser will have to hear about it at least until next year.”last_img read more