Conor McGregor vaults up The Times’ top 10 MMA power rankings – Los Angeles Times

Conor McGregor?s laser-focused ability to win a fight 25 pounds above his normal weight class moves him closer to the top of The Times? MMA power rankings.

The Irishman?s welterweight triumph two weeks ago over Nate Diaz avenged his March loss. The rematch was a classic, five-round battle won by McGregor?s drive for revenge.?

By embracing a challenge outside his comfort zone and backing up the talk before the fight, McGregor also belittled those who cherry-pick easy opponents.

Success in the octagon trumps all other categories in The Times? rankings, but there has to be interest connected to the fighter, too. Points gained by the universal skill set of flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, for instance, are lost ?because?few spectators are drawn to his fights.

Conor McGregor vaults up The Times’ top 10 MMA power rankings – Los Angeles Times

Longtime matchmaker Joe Silva leaving UFC following sale of company – MMA Fighting

One of the last remnants of the UFC’s pre-Zuffa era is saying goodbye. Joe Silva, the longtime UFC matchmaker and vice president of talent relations, has informed the UFC that he plans to exit the company in the near future, potentially after the end of the 2016 campaign.

Sources close to the situation confirmed the news to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on Wednesday following an initial report by?MMA Junkie.

Silva’s exit comes in the aftermath of the UFC’s sale for a record-breaking $4 billion price tag to an investment group led by WME-IMG, a sale which is believed to have been significantly profitable for the executive wing of Zuffa. Silva is said to be retiring in light of the sale, sources said.

The announcement signals the end of an era for Silva and the UFC. Silva worked within the company for over two decades, initially brought on as a consultant by original owners SEG after noticing an ad in “Black Belt Magazine” and phoning the SEG offices hoping to help out. He was one of the few hires to stick through the SEG-to-Zuffa sale in 2001, and in recent years, Silva has served as the primary matchmaker for the lightweight divisions and above, while former WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby has handled matchmaker duties for featherweight and below.

Shelby is expected to remain with the company and will seemingly have an increased role upon Silva’s departure.

The UFC has yet to make a statement regarding the news of Silva’s impending departure.

Longtime matchmaker Joe Silva leaving UFC following sale of company – MMA Fighting

The Servant Who Beat His Masters at Chess ? Then Disappeared – Yahoo News

American chess giant Reuben Fine?was excited to meet the man he considered??the great chess master,??Mir?Sultan Khan, on his 1933 visit to London.?But there was a hitch: Khan was not the evening?s host, the ?maharajah? was. According to Fine, Khan was merely a waiter.

The young man from India?was a servant, brought to England because of his chess talent. He faced off with the era?s best between 1928 and 1933 ? the years he played competitively ? and often won. The transplant became?the British champion not once, but three times. ?Grandmaster? was not a commonly used term yet, says Dennis Monokroussos, blogger at the Chess Mind, but it might well have been used to describe Khan. ?[He]?was a remarkable player, but it took him two decades to become an overnight success,??Monokroussos says.

[It was] billed as East meeting West, and the East won, making Khan nothing short of a sensation.

Born in 1905, in what was then India and now Pakistan, Khan was the youngest of 10 children. His father was a religious?Muslim?and a great chess player. From him, Khan was schooled in the rules of chess at a young age. By 21, he was famous in India?s chess circles, and his legendary ability attracted the attention of a wealthy fan, Umar Hayat Khan, the man who would bring Khan to Europe and pay for his chess lessons there. ?It was very rare to bring someone of a lower caste to England, even just to be there,? says Vinay Lal, a professor of history and Asian American studies?at UCLA.

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?Mir Sultan Khan

Source Fair Use

In India, Khan had been one of the best; in?England, he revealed a knack for refusing to draw if he had a shot at winning. Before long, he won the British Chess Championship, crushing Europeans who had started?training in childhood. While Khan didn?t have as much formal training, he was among the best at endgames.

The press loved playing up his underdog image. The Glasgow Herald called him ?the Indian genius? and wrote of its surprise when Khan lost two games in a row. After all, one journalist wrote, he ?stands in a class by himself.? In 1931, Khan beat Dutch chess whiz?Max Euwe and Jos? Ra?l Capablanca of Cuba,?a former world champion. The latter matchup was billed as East meeting West, and the East won, making Khan nothing short of a sensation. At the time, chess was largely a European game: Some Americans were strong, but outside Western Europe and Russia, talent was rare. Both Capablanca and Khan were considered unlikely contenders.


While Khan left behind no known writing to indicate what he thought of London, one contemporary account stated that he probably led an outsider?s life in the Big Smoke. Fellow chess player Harry Golombek claimed that Khan searched for food similar to his family?s home cooking, with the two of them ending up together at?a Jewish boardinghouse, where the ?cooking was indeed infinitely better? than what they had found elsewhere, Golombek said. ?

For fans, sadly, Khan?s reign as a chess champ was short-lived. He followed his patron back to India in 1933, and that?s where the trail seems to fizzle.?No reputable documents chronicled what happened next, and while some subsequent reports cropped up, their veracity was questionable. One such report suggested that Khan was working as a concert singer in Durban, South Africa. Another rumor spread that Khan had renounced the chessboard when he lost four times in a row to an elderly man. In any case, nothing concrete surfaced as to Khan?s exact whereabouts following his return to India.

Perhaps Khan?s greatest legacy is how others remember him.??Our top chess players should not feel neglected, and the fate of Sultan Khan ? premature retirement ? should not fall to their lot,? a 1950s?Times of?India?article stated.?Khan became the symbol of allowing for social mobility and freedom when it came to?true talent, and modern-day India maintains a robust program for chess. Khan died of tuberculosis in Pakistan, in 1966; decades later, in 1988, Viswanathan Anand became India?s first official grandmaster. Perhaps, though, that record more fittingly belongs to Khan, who overcame class divides to achieve fleeting stardom in the?world of chess.



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The Servant Who Beat His Masters at Chess ? Then Disappeared – Yahoo News

World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill –

“But the Government should recognise that. The Government pours ?300 million a year into physical sport but spends nothing on mental sport, and then goes after the guy who does.

“They should value the?Chess?Challenge. I’m not doing this for money – my profit is seeing children’s education being improved.”

This year 45,000 boys and girls nationwide have competed in the challenge, and last weekend the top 60 players gathered in Loughborough, Leics, to battle it out for the top prize of ?2,000. Former winners include Yang-Fan Zhou, who is on the brink of earning the esteemed grandmaster title and Stephen J Gordon, a grandmaster who was British Under-21 champion three years running.

“What we try to do is produce champions, the children who go on to run the country,” Mr Basman said. “We have had the top girl in England, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan, come through in the competition.”

The English?Chess?Federation argues that VAT charges risk putting children off. A spokesman said: “VAT charges on entry fees hit lower-income parents with more than one child playing chess?particularly hard when they enter large or high-profile competitions to gain the experience and skills they need to succeed at a higher level.”

An HMRC spokesman said they did not comment on individual cases.

World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill –

Tennis bad boy goes nuts on heckler: ‘I’ll put my balls in your mouth’ – New York Post

Australian tennis star?Bernard Tomic?s reputation took another hit after?he told a US Open heckler to ?suck my balls.?

Tomic?s foul-mouthed rant was picked up?by court-side microphones during?his first-round loss Tuesday to unseeded Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (0).

While Dzumhur served in the first set, Tomic?took pauses between points to fire verbal volleys at the heckler, telling the spectator, ?I will put my balls in your mouth? and ?I will give you some money to make you feel good.?

The heated exchange between?Tomic and the fan got so bad that French umpire?Cedric Mourier asked the Aussie about it between games and advised the player to go through official channels instead of confronting the heckler on his own.

?He was saying some s?t,? Tomic explained to Mourier. The umpire responded, ?It?s better you go through me than try to solve it by yourself.?

After the match, Tomic explained that he snapped because the heckler was jeering him in his mother tongue ? Tomic was born in Germany to a Croatian father and Bosnian mother.

?He was just baiting me a bit. You know, I don?t want to get into it. I apologized for what I said to him,? Tomic told reporters,?according to

?After he left the first set, I think the crowd got happy he left because he was a bit annoying.?

Tomic?s manager,?David Drysdale, further explained, ?The guy was at him all the way through the first set, calling Bernie a p?y and telling Bernie to go and have a cry with his little p?y girlfriend.?

This isn?t the first time that?Tomic has gotten in trouble for either his foul mouth or his interactions with spectators.

While playing at Wimbledon in 2011, Tomic approached the chair umpire and requested that his own father be ejected from the match.

?He?s annoying. I know he?s my father, but he?s annoying me. I want him to leave, but how?s that possible?? Tomic asked the ref,?according to the Daily Mail.

Tomic?s tongue also got him in trouble at Wimbledon earlier this year when he said in a post-match press conference, ?unfortunately I had to stand on court like a retard? while waiting for his opponent.

Tennis bad boy goes nuts on heckler: ‘I’ll put my balls in your mouth’ – New York Post

Why backhand slice has become ‘necessity’ in tennis – USA TODAY




A look at wins by Venus and Serena as well as an impressive showing by Simona Halep.
Tennis Channel

NEW YORK ??In the early stages of another comeback from another wrist injury in February, 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro sounded almost desperate. ?I need to improve my backhand as soon as I can.?

Del Potro was protecting his surgically repaired left wrist and therefore slicing balls defensively on the backhand with one hand, presenting a Steffi Graf-like game plan: Float the ball low and deep off the backhand, pounce when you can with a wailing forehand.

Six months later, del Potro has the same game and an Olympic silver medal in hand.

?I think it?s almost become a necessity for the top players in the men?s game to have a good slice backhand,? said Patrick McEnroe, an ESPN commentator.

While del Potro has sliced out of physical necessity, numerous top men?s players ? Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and others ? have developed the one-handed backhand slice as a neutralizing shot that frustrates foes.

On the women?s side, Roberta Vinci put on a dazzling one-handed backhand slice display a year ago in her upset of Serena Williams in the U.S. Open.

?I?ve worked on that shot ad nauseam forever now,? said John Isner, who used the stroke in a five-set comeback win Monday against teenager Frances Tiafoe, a fellow American. ?It?s always going to be a pretty important shot for me.?

The shot has always been important ? ever hear of a guy named Roger Federer? ? but as tennis has become more aggressive, the focus in the sport has been on building an attacking game: big serves, sound groundstrokes and put-away weapons from anywhere in the court.

Federer?s domination has kept the shot afloat in the men?s game, and Djokovic and Murray have only strengthened their own backhand slices to become more multifaceted defensive players when they are stretched wide or pushed far behind the baseline.

?For me, it?s important as a guy with a big reach ? it helps me out,? said 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic. ?It also buys me some time if I?m out of position to get back in a situation where I have a better opportunity.?

?We?ve sort of seen a mini-comeback of the slice backhand, and I?m thrilled about it,? said Cliff Drysdale, an ESPN commentator.

?I?m just in awe of how del Potro has been able to come back basically on crutches when it comes to his tennis game. You lose one of your major shots, and usually it spells doom. I?m so fascinated by how he?s been able to do it.?

As tennis has become a sport for taller athletes including Raonic, Isner and other 6-foot-somethings, a low, spin-laden shot can be even more effective, noted John McEnroe, who spent the grass-court season as an adviser on Raonic?s team.

?It?s clearly a shot that can reset you. It can do a lot of things,? John McEnroe said. ?You try to get in the guy?s head; you try to use it in certain situations. ? Even if you can hit the ball harder than anyone, at times you have to mix it up, unless you can absolutely blow a hundred-mile-an-hour fastball by someone every time.?

?I use it as a weapon,? said Steve Johnson, the highest-seeded American man in the draw. ?Some people think I?m crazy because I don?t come over (the backhand) all the time, but I make guys adjust to what I do best.?

Del Potro and Johnson are set for the ultimate slice-off Thursday: a second-round meeting in the U.S. Open.

So who does the backhand slice best on tour? Isner has the answer.

?Roger probably,? he said of Federer. ?Yeah. Roger.?


Why backhand slice has become ‘necessity’ in tennis – USA TODAY