Falcon Points

Here's why Dana White and the UFC deserve some praise

Photo by Getty Images.

It has not been the easiest couple of months for UFC President Dana White. Fighters are "retiring" over money and there is clearly a rift going on within the organization.

Those are other topics for another time.

This is about how White also faced significant criticism for putting on fights during the Rona epidemic. For all of that, the cards have gone off smoothly and his organization has provided a blue print for bringing back other sports.

They did a card on March 13 with no fans, then stepped back. Since then, there have been five fight cards and just two positive tests, both from the first event back where a fighter and his cornerman test positive and were quarantined. The event went off without a hitch beyond that. The four since then have gone smoothly. That is enough of a sample size to call what White has done a success.

For all the criticism that White was risking lives to make money, he was simply ahead of the curve. Other sports are trying to come back now, and they have an inspiration.

It might not work for everyone else, because fight camps keep contact with others low, and the actual fight involves just two people and a ref. Basketball, hockey and soccer bring a lot of people into contact and close proximity, so the risk will be higher.

But these sports should come back to give us distraction in a world that is falling apart around us. The economic impact they have will be helpful as well. White has shown them the way.

But it was not just the UFC. Horse racing has been going full bore without fans the entire time. Very few cases have been reported. The no fans policy has had zero impact on the televised product and in fact, record betting has taken place at many tracks due to online wagering. There are a lot more people to come into contact with at a racetrack, and so far, that has been a success as well. No one has really criticized the tracks. That burden fell on White.

As the other sports come back, they should thank White for being the first and absorbing all the criticism that came with it.

White was determined and had a vision, and he followed through with it. So far, it has to be called a complete success.

Now maybe the same will happen for the other sports.

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Zack Greinke earned his 10th win of the season in Sunday's finale agains the Rangers. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With the first two wins of the series under their belt, the Astros entered Sunday looking to take care of business before heading on the road. Despite the Rangers taking the first lead of the day, the Astros responded on offense and defense to erase the deficit to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 3, Rangers 1

Astros' Record: 61-39, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (10-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dennis Santana (0-1)

Greinke, with some help, notches a quality start

Zack Greinke was doing well in the early goings of Sunday's finale. Despite allowing back-to-back singles to start the game, he stranded both runners to finish the top of the first. He followed that by erasing two more runners in the second, starting a stretch of eight straight batters which he would retire to make it through one out in the top of the fifth without allowing a run.

Texas finally added a blemish to his day at that point, getting a solo homer to grab their first lead in weeks. Greinke rebounded from it, sitting down the next two batters to finish the frame, then posted a 1-2-3 sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh, but would end his day with a struggle, loading the bases with no outs on a single, hit batter, and walk. That prompted Dusty Baker to bring in Cristian Javier, who saved Greinke's stat line by getting a strikeout and double play to keep the Rangers from scoring. Greinke's line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 86 P.

Houston grabs the lead

Houston's starter would leave in line for the win, thanks to the work of Cristian Javier, but also some timely offense in the two innings prior. With not much going for them in the first four innings, the Astros tried to take advantage of Chas McCormick being on base in the bottom of the fifth, sending him for a potential hit and run with Abraham Toro swinging.

That turned into two runs, with McCormick able to slow his run as Toro would launch a two-run go-ahead homer to erase the Rangers lead quickly. They extended the lead to two runs in the next inning, with Yordan Alvarez working a walk and then later scoring on an RBI single by Kyle Tucker, making it 3-1.

Astros finish the sweep

After cleaning up the inherited mess in the top of the seventh, Javier remained on the mound in the top of the eighth and made it through a 1-2-3 inning to give him six outs against five batters. With it still a two-run game in the top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save opportunity. He notched it, sitting down the Rangers 1-2-3 to finish the sweep, handing Texas their twelfth straight loss.

Up Next: The Astros will head out west for an eight-game road trip starting with a three-game set with the Mariners kicking off at 9:10 PM Central on Monday. In the opener, Luis Garcia (7-5, 2.86 ERA) for Houston is slated to go opposite Darren McCaughan (0-0, 1.80 ERA), who will make his second career appearance and first start for Seattle.

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