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 dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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