MMA LOOK AHEAD

UFC 230: A feast for the Black Beast

Derrick Lewis of Houston will get his shot at a title. Harry How/Getty Images

On Nov. 3, the double champion Daniel D.C. Cormier takes on Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis for the UFC heavyweight title at the famed Madison Square Garden.

Bet the house on black. Specifically, bet the house on Black Beast. Sure, Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis opens as an 8-to-1 underdog in his fight against heavyweight champion Cormier. Sure, Cormier just knocked out the most dominant heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC. And sure, Lewis miraculously survived a fourteen minute beating just three weeks ago. Who cares? It doesn’t matter.Lewis is unstoppable.  Lewis is immovable. And against all odds, he’s proved time and time again that he Just. Can’t. Lose! (Except that time he lost).

Using the letter “H” as a tribute to Houston, the city Lewis so proudly represents, this writer will provide real and not-at-all satirical evidence to show how The Black Beast feasts on Nov. 3.

History

For Lewis, this fight is personal. Cormier and Lewis are no strangers. Behind the scenes at UFC 226, Lewis vowed to knock out  Cormier. The reason? Disrespecting the Black Beast’s sacred cow. Popeyes Chicken.

 

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The greatest fights in history come packaged with stories that can’t be matched by any film or novel. The Thrilla in Manilla. McGregor vs. Diaz. When these two fighters cross paths on that fateful night, their destinies will intertwine like a Popeyes mixed combo meal. Derrick Lewis vs. Daniel Cormier. Spicy vs. Plain. Warring in a contest to prove who’s breast- AND THIGH WILL BE DONE.

Heart

A beast isn’t known for its skill. It’s not known for its smarts. It’s known for its heart. And that’s what Lewis has. An enlarged heart. In each of his most notable wins, Lewis lands a spectacular KO, but not before getting beat up and exhausted first. He’s the first to admit he has cardio problems. But with heart the size of Lewis’, there’s simply no room for lungs.

How will heart factor into this fight? We simply need to analyze the last of either fighters’ bouts. Just three weeks ago, the Russian contender Alexander Volkov hacked away at Lewis like it was a U.S. presidential election. With seconds left into the fight, Lewis summoned his heart, and put a whoopin’ on a PutinCormier’s last fight? Moved up a weight class to KO then-heavyweight king within one round, extending his undefeated heavyweight streak while capturing a simultaneous belt. No heart whatsoever.

Heat

It’s a tale as old as time in Mixed Martial Arts: styles make fights. DC owns an Olympic medal in Wrestling, and can send heavyweights flying. Lewis’ grappling consists of… waiting to stand back up. Advantage: DERRICK LEWIS.

Lewis wins this match up flat out, as proved by sports science. In his fight against Volkov, Lewis scored a late knockout with seconds left to go. In his post-fight interview, Lewis famously dropped his shorts and declared to the world, “My balls was hot.”

Great balls of fire

As an accredited analyst, I must correlate the two: Derrick Lewis gets stronger as his balls get hotter. My professional prediction: Cormier outwrestles Derrick Lewis for four rounds, before Lewis’ balls reach a fiery temperature. Unable to clinch or grapple Lewis without being scorched, DC is forced to stand, and The Black Beast sends Cormier into retirement with one final Popeye's punch.

Official pick: Lewis via fifth round hot and spicy KO.

 

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Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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