Jon's Post UFC 230 Matchmaking Predictions

                                                                                                        (Photo by MMAJunkie.com)
Daniel Cormier vs Brock Lesnar 
In the main event of UFC 230, two-division champion Daniel Cormier became the first fighter to defend both Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight belts when he cruised to an easy submission victory over challenger Derrick Lewis in the second round. Using his olympic level wrestling to secure single leg takedowns on Lewis in both rounds, Cormier softened his opponent up with punches before Lewis ultimately gave up his back, allowing DC to secure a fight-ending choke without much effort at all.

With the Derrick Lewis fight being short notice due to UFC 230 needing a headlining title fight, the original plan for Daniel Cormier to fight Brock Lesnar seems to be what both Daniel Cormier and the UFC want next for the champion. After his victory over Lewis, Cormier took the mic to address Lesnar once again, promoting the inevitable matchup with the former UFC champion and current WWE Universal Champion. Surely, the build up to this fight should be nothing short of entertaining.

Ronaldo Souza vs Luke Rockhold II
In a brutal back and forth war in UFC 2300’s co-main event,  Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza needed just one punch to put former champion Chris Weidman away in the third and final round of an all out war. The short notice victory brings Jacare back to the winner’s circle following his defeat to upcoming title challenger Kelvin Gastelum back in May. With a win over a former champion and fellow top contender, Jacare finds himself very close to a title shot.

With the Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum title fight slated for early February,  I feel it would be best to pair Jacare up with fellow top contender Luke Rockhold on the same night. Not only would it serve as a #1 contender fight, it would also allow Jacare to step in the place of Whittaker or Gastelum should any issue force them out of action. It also allows the opportunity for Jacare to avenge his loss to Rockhold for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship all the way back in 2011.

Matchups for remaining UFC 230 fighters
-Derrick Lewis vs JDS/Tuivasa loser
-Chris Weidman vs Uriah Hall w/ win over Bevon Lewis
-Jared Cannonier vs Karl Roberson
-Jack Marshman vs  Oskar Piechota
-Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa
-Derek Brunson vs David Branch
-Jordan Rinaldi vs Daniel Henry
-Jason Knight vs Artem Lobov or cut
-Sijara Eubanks vs. Nicco Montano
-Roxanne Modafferi vs Lauren Murphy
-Sheymon Moraes vs Makwan Amirkhani
-Julio Arce vs Gavin Tucker
-Lyman Good vs Danny Roberts
-Ben Saunders vs Zak Cummings
-Lando Vannata vs Stevie Ray
-Matt Frevola vs Claudio Puelles
-Shane Burgos vs Raoni Barcelos
-Kurt Holobaugh vs Brandon Davis
-Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs Augusto Sakai
-Adam Wieczorek vs Junior Albini


5 Netflix Shows You Should Be Watching- Written by Jon Rico

The Haunting of Hill House
In the spirit of Halloween season, a proper horror series is a good way to go if you’re looking for some scares to add to the evening. The Haunting of Hill House is getting rave reviews after recently debuting on Netflix on October 12. Loosely based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, the show follows a married couple and their five children in 1992 as they temporarily move into an old mansion known as Hill House. They then experience signs of paranormal activity and also suffer a tragic loss, eventually forcing them out of the haunted home. The show stars Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, Olivia Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti, and Timothy Hutton.

Big Mouth
Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney star in this extremely raunchy animated comedy following two friends as they go through changes brought on by puberty. The show is hilariously drawn and written with it’s jokes delivered wonderfully by it’s talented cast of voice actors such as Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Jordan Peele, and many more. I highly recommend this show for those who are not easily offended by very raunchy humor surrounding a topic such as puberty. But if you’re ok with said humor then you will no doubt love this show. WARNING: SHOW IS NOT FOR CHILDREN.

Making a Murderer
In December of 2015, Making A Murderer took the country’s attention in a big way as they told the story of Steven Avery, a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who was wrongfully convicted of murder and exonerated after eighteen years only to be arrested again for murder two years later. The series covers the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of both Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, who was also charged based on his confession under interrogation. The first season, filmed over ten years, generated controversy nationwide, and a second season was released on October 19, 2018, covering the fallout of the everything-after-events of the second season. This is a must-see for any fans of true crime documentaries.

Daredevil (Season 3)
daredevil-season-3-episode-4-prison-fight.jpgThe Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is back for a 3rd season of the hit Marvel series Daredevil. Wilson Fisk is now out of prison and Matt must do his best to get him back behind bars while dealing with an imposter Daredevil who is out there tarnishing his name as both Daredevil and Matt Murdock. This brilliantly written and acted series is one of the best stories Marvel has to offer featuring one of the most menacing on-screen villains adapted in quite a long time.

Mindhunter
Executive Produced by the likes of David Fincher and Charlize Theron, Mindhunter is a fascinating crime drama series that takes place in 1977 about two agents in the FBI Behavioral Science Unit within the Training Division of the FBI Academy. The story follows the agents (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) as they travel to various prisons interviewing various serial killers in an effort to understand how they think in hopes of applying this knowledge to solving ongoing cases. For anyone that is a fan of Fincher’s works like Seven, Zodiac, or Gone Girl, this show is right up your alley.


Jon's HBO Recommendation- Flight of the Conchords: Live in London

If you’re looking for something on HBO to watch in your free time, my latest pick for you comes from the incredibly talented duo Flight of the Conchords as they return to HBO for a live special from London, England. Having their notoriety come mostly from their famed self-titled HBO series, the comedy folk duo returned to the network for the first time in 13 years to deliver a 90-minute concert special. 

The duo proves they haven’t lost a step when it comes to their musical talents or perfecting the New Zealand style of humor. Combining a mix of their old hits with their new, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie prove they’re two of the most underrated musicians out there despite their comedic backgrounds. 

Jemaine and Bret never cease to provide beautiful melodies with hilarious stories and jokes to make for a perfectly enjoyable show for all to enjoy. From their humor to their musical talent to their abilities to mix that talent with hilarious comedic timing, this special is sure to keep you laughing while also tapping your foot to the incredible music talents of both men. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the greatest solo using recorders ever seen in a concert special. Just another example that shows how well the duo mixes music with comedy while impressing music lovers everywhere.

You can currently find the latest special on HBO GO or HBO NOW if you are a subscriber to either service. 


2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominee List Revealed: By Jon Rico

Today, the nominees for the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class were released and it features an eclectic mix of amazing musicians and artists alike. From Stevie Nicks to LL Cool J, it will be extremely tough to narrow this list down to the five or six that will eventually be inducted in. 

The full list of nominees include:
-Stevie Nicks
-LL Cool J
-Devo
-Janet Jackson
-Todd Rundgren
-John Prine
-Roxy Music
-Rage Against The Machine
-Radiohead
-Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
-The Zombies
-MC5
-Kraftwerk
-Def Leppard
-The Cure

Let us know in the comments section who you would like to see featured in the 2019 Hall of Fame class!


My Experience- New Japan Pro Wrestling: Fighting Spirit Unleashed- By Jon Rico

On Saturday, September 30, I was privileged to attend New Japan Pro Wrestling’s latest event in the United States at the Pyramid in Long Beach, California. Founded in 1972 by Antonio Inoki, NJPW has long been a staple in the pro wrestling community, as their popularity in Japan is comparable to that of WWE’s popularity here in the United States. 

The event was run a lot more smoothly than their previous event at The Pyramid back in March. There was a much quicker security line to get into the venue compared to the line wrapped around the building before. New Japan also put a merchandise booth outside the venue which likely helped shorten the security line. Acquiring wristbands for 21 & over attendants to purchase beer was nowhere near as chaotic as it was in March. 

The event kicked off with a dark match that consisted of two members of the new NJPW Dojo recently opened in Long Beach. Both competitors got a nice ovation from the crowd after a well-worked match. I liked this addition to the event compared to last time and hope to see more of them in future events. 

The first half of the show compiled a nice mixup of fan favorites and respected veterans such as Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tetsuya Naito, Jeff Cobb, Zack Sabre Jr., Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Jay White. The opening five matches set a great pace and tone for the remaining marquee matches later in the night, bringing exciting in-ring action and a few laughs through character moments to a sold out crowd. 

After a 15-minute intermission the final four matches brought us New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest stars delivering top-notch wrestling action to cap off another successful Long Beach event. Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay delivered a high-paced battle in a tournament semi-final. The victorious Scurll will now face Kushida in the finals to determine a new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Next, Guerrrillas of Destiny defeated The Young Bucks to become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions in a near 20-minute long match that never ceased to be exciting. 

In the co-main event slot of the card, current NWA champion Cody defeated Juice Robinson to become the IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, a title that debuted in NJPW’s first event in Long Beach in 2017. Cody Rhodes continues to boost his star power since leaving WWE, as he has been putting on the best matches of his career ever since returning to the indy circuit and becoming a prominent member of The Elite and Bullet Club. The main event saw The Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi) defeated byKazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii in a tag team main event lasting almost 25 minutes long. The match saw brutal kicks and knees applied to Ishii from both Omega and Ibushi and great one-on-one action between longtime rivals Omega and Okada. 

After the event, IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega took the mic to thank the fans for another phenomenal event at The Pyramid and also to extend a challenge to his tag team partner Kota Ibushi for a shot at Omega’s title. Then, Cody took the mic to intervene and propose a triple threat match which was met with numerous cheers of approval by the fans. And with that, New Japan Pro Wrestling capped off another memorable night of great wrestling. 

NJPW will be returning to the United States on November 10-11 for Lion’s Break Project 1 at the Anaheim Convention center at CharaExpo USA 2018. Tickets can be purchased at charaexpo-usa.com


Jon's Post UFC: Moscow Matchmaking Predictions

Alexey Oleinik vs Junior dos Santos
In the main event of UFC Fight Night in Moscow Russia, 41-year-old Alexey Oleinik added the biggest win yet to his nearly 70-fight long career when he submitted fellow veteran Mark Hunt in the first round. The Russian-born fighter struggled to take his opponent down early, even managing to absorb a massive right hand that would stagger many other fighters, before finally securing a leg and taking Hunt’s back. From there, Oleinik beautifully faked a transition to mount that opened up the neck (or lack of) of Hunt enough for Oleinik to secure the choke.

At 41 years of age, Oleinik’s fighting years are scarce, which means if he is gonna make any kind of run as a contender then it has to be now. Now currently on a 2-fight win streak following his most recent loss to Curtis Blaydes, the best fight Oleinik can and should get is former champion Junior dos Santos. Dos Santos rebounded from his loss to then champion Stipe Miocic when he defeated Blagoi Ivanov back in July. A win for Oleinik could put him one step closer to contender status, while a win for dos Santos will maintain his current status as a contender and open him up to another big fight in the future.

Matchups for remaining UFC:Moscow Fighters
-Mark Hunt vs Francis Ngannou or Junior Albini
-Jan Blachowicz vs Alexander Gustafsson
-Nikita Krylov vs Tyson Pedro
-Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Marcin Tybura
-Andrei Arlovski vs Blagoi Ivanov
-Alexey Kunchenko vs Alan Jouban
-Thiago Alves vs Tarec Saffiedine

-Khalid Mutazaliev vs Trevin Giles
-CB Dollaway vs Marvin Vettori
-Petr Yan vs Tom Duquesnoy
-Jin Soo Son vs Matthew Lopez
-Rustam Khabilov vs Gregor Gillespie
-Kajan Johnson vs Nik Lentz
-Mairbek Taisumov vs David Teymur
-Des Green vs Vinc Pichel
-Magomed Ankalaev vs Jake Collier
-Jordan Johnson vs Abu Azaitar
-Adam Yandiev vs John Phillips
-Ramazan Emeev vs Michel Prazeres
-Stefan Sekulic vs David Zawada
-Merab Dvalishvili vs Pingyuan Liu


Jon's Weekend Movie Previews: Coming Sept. 14th

The Predator (R)

Director: Shane Black

Plot: From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black's explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe's most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Jacob Tremblay

White Boy Rick (R)

Director: Yann Demange

Plot: Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the war on drugs, White Boy Rick is based on the moving true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe Jr., who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer, before he was abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane, Richie Merritt, Piper Laurie, Jonathan Majors, RJ Cyler, Bryan Tyree Henry


Jon's Post UFC 228 Matchmaking Predictions

(Photo courtesy of MMAJunkie/USAToday/Kevin Jairaj)

UFC 228 is in the books and futures were paved for a number of fighters. Newcomers became must-see prospects and prospects turned into top contenders in this action packed night of fights. Below, I take a look at a few fights that I feel need to happen for winning fighters on the card.

-Tyron Woodley vs Colby Covington
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley put on the most dominant performance in his run as title holder when he defeated the young, undefeated Darren Till to retain his title in the UFC 228 main event. After an uneventful first round, which saw both fighters being tentative to engage, Woodley opened the second round with a devastating counter right hand that dropped his opponent. The champ proceeded to follow up with a series of vicious strikes on the ground before forcing Till to tap to a D’arce choke.

With 4 title defenses under his belt since winning the title against Robbie Lawler, Woodley is on his way to cementing his status as one of great welterweights of all time. His next fight may already be determined with former interim champion Colby Covington still waiting for his shot at Woodley’s championship. The clash of wrestling styles will be interesting to watch, as Woodley uses his for defensive purposes while Colby loves to pressure his opponents with his wrestling. Will Woodley succumb to the pressure or add Covington to his already impressive resumé?

-Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas
Jessica Andrade made the biggest statement of her career in the co-main event of UFC 228 Saturday night when she floored fellow former title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz with just one punch in the opening round. Showing shades of vintage Wanderlei Silva, Andrade pressured Karolina early with a barrage of hooks to the head and body before a big right hook finally ended the fight with no follow up punches required.

With 3 straight victories over top contenders since losing her first title shot to then champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Andrade has more than proved that she is ready for another chance at gold once again against champion Rose Namajunas. Andrade’s aggressive pressure striking versus Rose’s length and technical striking/grappling will make for quite an entertaining title fight whenever it occurs.

-Aljamain Sterling vs Jimmie Rivera
Two top level bantamweight contenders who were both victorious this past weekend were Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera. Sterling defeated young prospect Cody Stamman with a rare Suloev Stretch submission hold, putting him on a 2-fight win streak. Later in the night, Rivera went on to get a unanimous decision victory over John Dodson using aggressive punches and kicks while pressuring the elusive fighter. With that, Rivera rebounds off his previous loss to Marlon Moraes while also being victorious in 20 of his last 21 fights.

Following his victory over Stamman on the prelims of UFC 228, Sterling used his post fight interview to call out the eventual winner of the Rivera/Dodson fight. Since Rivera had no particular name in mind after his win, and Sterling and proved he is ready for another contender fight, I feel these two fighters make for a very intriguing matchup in the UFC Bantamweight division. A win for either man can very easily put them in the stacked title picture at 135 lbs.

Next fights for remaining UFC 228 Fighters
-Darren Till vs Robbie Lawler or move up to 185
-Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Carla Esparza
-Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Mirsad Bektic
-Brandon Davis vs Daniel Teymur
-John Dodson vs Bryan Caraway
-Abdul Razak Al-Hassan vs Yushin Okami
-Niko Price vs Peter Sobotta

-Tatiana Suarez vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk
-Cody Stamman vs Rob Font
-Geoff Neal vs Danny Roberts
-Frank Camacho vs  Sabah Homasi
-Darren Stewart vs Alessio di Chirico
-Charles Byrd vs Markus Perez

-Diego Sanchez vs Tony Martin
-Craig White vs Diego Lima/Chad Laprise loser
-Jim Miller vs Carlos Diego Ferreira
-Alex White vs Andrew Holbrook
-Irene Aldana vs Aspen Ladd
-Lucie Pudilova vs Sara McMann
-Jarred Brooks vs Alex Perez
-Roberto Sanchez vs Eric Shelton


Jon's Weekend Movie Previews: Coming Sept. 7th

Next Gen  (Netflix Release)

Director: Albert Hughes

Plot:
An animated action-adventure film about the bittersweet power of memories. It tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a rebellious girl and a runaway combat robot, as they unite to stop a madman's plan for technological world domination.

Cast:
John Krasinski, David Cross, Michael Pena, Charlyne Yi, Jason Sudeikis, Constance Wu

 

The Nun (R) 

Director: Corin Hardy

Plot:
When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in The Conjuring 2, as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

Cast: Ingrid Bisu, Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Arrons, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope


Jon's Weekend Movie Previews: Coming Out Aug. 17th

Crazy Rich Asians (PG-13)

Director: John Chu

Plot:
The story follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life.

It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things.

Cast: Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Harry Shum Jr., Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang

 

Alpha  (PG-13) 

Director: Albert Hughes

Plot: An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age. Europe, 20,000 years ago. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and left for dead. Awakening to find himself broken and alone - he must learn to survive and navigate the harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before the deadly winter arrives.

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela, Natassia Malthe, Priya Rajaratnam