|CURATING THE BEST IN SPORT|
|October 27-November 2, 2020|
Khabib leaves a legacy beyond his wins
|Khabib Nurmagomedov (RUS), the fighting pride of Dagestan, announced his retirement following a 2-round victory against Justin Gaethje (USA), defending his UFC Lightweight World Title at the United Arab Emirates. The win was not a huge surprise, as Khabib was widely considered the best Lightweight Mixed Martial Artist in the world. But his retirement announcement came as a shock to the general public.|
Khabib does not have much left to prove and is retiring healthy and unbeaten. But yet again, people were quickly to jump into the bandwagon of calling him the “Greatest of All Time” which -as we argued a couple of weeks ago when talking about basketball- is a very predictable and chrono-centric tendency triggered by recency bias, a cognitive bias.
Nevertheless, it is hard to argue that Nurmagomedov is the greatest UFC fighter of all time, when he literally was never even been ranked as the #1 of his time! For the last years at least, it has been Jon Jones (USA) who has been considered as the best, and his 14 World Title fight wins since 2011 eclipse Nurmagomedov’s three, starting two years ago. Let alone mentioning other fighters such as Georges St-Pierre (CAN), who was World Champion in two divisions and 13 World Title fight wins, without the doping controversy that Jones did have; just to throw a couple of names out there.
But while only saw Khabib ranked as the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world for the first time this morning (and in theory he should then be removed since he has retired), he leaves an enduring legacy on several grounds. In the sporting side, the fact that he is in our view the best Lightweight MMA fighter until today including his big win against Connor McGregor (IRL), but also that he was a two-time Combat Sambo World Champion and two-times Champion at the North American Grappling Association.
But there is also the “beyond sport” where Khabib will have a long-lasting legacy. He has helped Dagestani fighters -who have previously excelled in the amateur echelons- to become professional fighters and improve their livelihood. Khabib has also been truthful to his personality and identity, including his Muslim side. It has never seemed that his actions have been contrary to what he has preached. Quite the contrary. He has been respectful and, for example, has shown mercy to his rivals (MMA Junkie), and Muslim sport fans have probably not seen a representative of their faith they can rally behind to taht levle since Muhammad Ali (USA).
With a World-Championship-level MMA career that lasted for just two years and the rumored mega-fight against retired St-Pierre now tabled, it was unlikely to think he would retire. But his promise to his mother that he would not fight without his late father -also his coach-, after he succumbed to Covid-19, just makes it very different to other retirement announcements we have heard (Ehem…McGregor). This one seems for good. Let’s hope we still see Khabib around; he is a great man and ambassador of the best in sport.
|Five things to know from last week|
- Sixth Championship for Dixon. Scott Dixon (NZL, Ganassi) has become the second most successful IndyCar driver in history by taking his sixth IndyCar series title, only trailing A.J. Foyt`s (USA) seven. Defending Champion Josef Newgarden (USA, Penske) won the series finale at St. Petersburg, Florida, but that was not enough. Second in the race was Patricio O’Ward (MEX, McLaren), who finished fourth in his first full season, just behind Colton Herta (USA, Andretti), who he beat to the 2018 Indy Lights Title. In Europe, Nick Tandy (ENG, Rowe Porsche) has now won overall or class victory in virtually every major global Endurance race, after holding on three drivers to win the Spa 24 Hours alongside Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) and Earl Bamber (NZL) (Autosport). Rowe also previously took the Nürburgring 24 Hours, but with a BMW (Daily Sportscar)
- Japanese Triple Crown. Contrail (JAP) became the sixth horse to win the Japanese Triple Crown, and the third one to do it unbeaten, after taking the Kikuka-shō (Japanese St. Leger) ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga (JAP). In Singapore, Inferno won the fastest Lion City Cup ever at Kranji anc could have broken the track record, had Vlad Duric (AUS) not decreased rhythm in the last 50 meters (TNP SG).
- Closest Giro ever. For the first time ever, the two leading riders entered the Milano Time Trial with the same time: Tao Geoghegan-Hart (ENG) and Jai Hindley (AUS), resolving in favor of the European. Team Sunweb probably lost the race when they did not let Hindley take stage 18 by himself when he looked stronger in the mountain, opting instead to protect Wilco Kelderman’s (NED) lead. Wilco finished third overall. Filippo Ganna (ITA), Time Trial World Champion, unsurprisingly took the Final stage and all three TT stages. In Mountain Cycling, France took both titles (Titouan Perin Ganier and Issaure Medde) at the Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championship, while Colombia (Héctor Leonardo Páez León) and Switzerland (Ramona Forchini) took the gold medals at the Marathon Mountain BIke World Championship (Watch the Eliminator World Championship replay).
- War in México. Juan Francisco Estrada (MEX) defended his WBC Super Flyweight World Title by defeating Carlos Cuadras (MEX) in a rematch from their fight three years ago, which is a “Fight of the year” candidate. Cuadras was ahead in the first part of the fight and knocked Estrada down in Round 3 but Estrada knocked him out in Round 11. In the same card, Román González (NIC) successfully defended his WBA Superfly World TItle against Israel González (MEX), a valiant and good rival. This sets the plate for a rematch between Estrada and González. The Nicaraguan won eight years ago but Estrada is considered the #1 in this weight class. On the same card, Julio César “Rey” Martínez (MEX) defended his WBC Flyweight World Title against Moisés Calleros (MEX), who had a good first round but did not last two. He took the fight with a week’s notice and was over the weight limit, so the title was not on the line for him (Watch the highlights – DAZN).
- Equestrian wins went Dutch. The FEI Eventing Nations’ Cup Final in Italy was won by the local team but that was not enough to impede The Netherlands to take the Series crown. The Dutch also won the FEI Driving World Championship this weekend, with Saskia Siebers taking the individual crown and sharing the team championship with Rudolf Pestman and Frank van der Doelen (Watch the Singles – Centaure TV).
|GLOBAL PODIUM OF THE WEEK|
|Gold: Matt Fraser|
(United States of America, CrossFit)
Matt Fraser did not only win his fifth straight CrossFit Games title en route to becoming the most successful CrossFit athlete ever. He also totally dominated. Fraser won 10 out of 12 events -more than anyone else before- and now has 29 event in his career, more than anyone else. He finished 545 points ahead of the second place, which is total domination: as a reference, the fourth place scored less than that, in total. He was also over 11% faster than any other competitor on every even he won (Morningchalkup). The CrossFit Games now call him “The Fittest in History”. He has not been defeated on live competitions in four years.Watch the event highlights (Crossfit Games)
|Silver: Tia-Clair Toomey|
Tia-Clair is Fraser’s training partner and they crossed the line together as he became the “Fittest Man in History” and she became the “Fittest Woman in History”. She took her fourth consecutive CrossFit Games win and sixth consecutive podium, which makes her the best ever in the sport. She also dominated by taking 9 event wins, increasing her total to 24, more than anyone else. She has not been defeated in live competitions in three years.Watch the replay of the final event (CrossFit Games)
|Bronze: Lewis Hamilton|
(England, Auto Racing)
Hamilton’s 92nd Formula 1 race win make him the winningest driver in Formula 1 history, having previously tied Michael Schumacher’s (GER) record of 91 race wins. Lewis took the Portuguese Grand Prix win from a record-extending 97th pole position and he also made the fastest lap, the 52nd (Schumacher still holds the record, with 77). Hamilton obviously took the Algarve track record and won by over 25 seconds ahead of his teammate, Valtteri Bottas (FIN, Mercedes-Benz) and 34.5 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen (NED, Red Bull). Charles Leclerc (MON, Ferrari) was the only other driver on the same lap.
Watch the race highlights (Formula 1)
|GLOBAL SPORTS AGENDA|
After a big week for Mexican boxing, Leo Santa Cruz (MEX) will try to make history and become the third fighter to hold World Titles in three divisions at eh same time, but he faces Gervonta Davis (USA), Mayweather’s protegéé and favorite for this fight. Another Pound for Pound rater fighter, Naoya Inoue (JAP) faces a big challenge from Aussie Jason Moloney (AUS). There are several World Title fights this week, with many of them involving Mexicans.
Baseball will see the definition of the MLB World Series, which sees the Los Ángeles Dodgers leading Tampa Bay Rays 3-2, and they could clinch the title tonight. The ending of Game of was one the most exciting ever seen. Images speak louder than words, watch: (MLB).
eSports has the Finals of two of the most important tournaments in the year. The League of Legends World Championship will see two teams from Eastern Asia: Suning facing DAMWON Gaming. If DAMWON does not win the LOL World Championship, Korea will win this week anyway, as the player that wins the Global StarCraft II League Season 3 will be either Jun “TY” Tae Yang (KOR) or Cho “Maru” Seong Ju (KOR).
In Motorsports, Formula 1 returns to Imola and NASCAR will define the four drivers that make it to the final Championship Race in Phoenix, with the completion of the rain-delayed Texas race, and the Martinsville race. Joey Logano (USA) won the previous race at Kansas. This weekend will also see the completion of the International GT Open, the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship, the NHRA and the European Le Mans Series.
PGA has its tournament in Bermuda, a week after Patrick Cantlay (USA) clinched victory at the ZoZo Championship.
The ATP Tour will see the prestiged Rolex Paris Masters and the Vienna Open, a week after the WTA concluded its season with Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) doing the rare feat of winning both the Singles and Doubles tournaments at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open, defeating fellow Belarusian, Viktoria Azarenka.
Cycling continues its Vuelta a España, which is currently being led by Richard Carapaz (ECU).
UEFA Champions League
Towerrunning Tour 2020 – International Vertical Marathon PingAn Finance Centre
Aussie Rules Football:
Best In The Desert – (Parker, Arizona)
BOSS GP (Imola, ITA) x2
Carrera Panamericana (México)
FIA Formula 1 – Portuguese Grand Prix (Algarve, POR)
IndyCar – (Streets of St. Petersburg, USA)
Intercontinental GT Challenge, GT World Challenge powered by AWS – Spa 24 Hours (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, BEL)
NASCAR Cup (Texas)
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (Texas)
NHRA (Houston, Texas)
Super GT (Suzuka, JAP)
World of Outlaws Late Models (Kokomo, USA; Pevely, USA)
World of Outlaws Sprint Cars (Kokomo, USA)
Major League Baseball – World Series
Nippon League – Climax Series
KBO Regular Season
World Snooker Tour – Betvictor Championship League
World Boxing Association Super World Super Fly Title – Román González (NIC) vs Israel González (MEX)
World Boxing Council World Super Fly Title – Juan Francisco Estrada (MEX) vs Carlos Cuadras (MEX)
World Boxing Council World Fly Title – Julio César Martínez (NIC) vs Moisés Calleros (MEX)
vacant World Boxing Federation World Female Feather Title – Elina Tissen (GER) vs Pasa Malagic (BIH)
interim International Boxing Federation World Welter Title – Sergey Lipinets (RUS) vs Custio Clayton (CAN)
Indian Premier League Regular Season
PDC International Darts Open (ET4)
FEI Driving World Championship for Singles
FEI Eventing Nations Cup – Italy
Arena of Valor (Garena Challenger Series Summer 2020, RoV Pro League 2020 Winter, Arena of Glory Winter 2020)
SMITE Pro League/2020 Season/Phase 2
Global StarCraft II League Season 3 – Semifinals
Quake Pro League Season 2: Stage 1
World Cyber Games 2020 Connected Group Stage
League of Legends World Championship – Semifinals
ISU Grand Prix – USA
PGA Tour ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD
LPGA Drive On Championship – Reynolds Lake Oconee
Manikato Stakes, Ladbrokes Cox Plate (Australia)
Grande Premio ABCPCC, Grande Premio OSAF, Grande Premio São Paulo (Brazil)
Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes (England)
Criterium International, Criterium De Saint-Cloud, Prix Royal-Oak (France)
XX Clásico Esmeralda, LXXIV Gran Premio Nacional, XXI Hándicap Loma de Sotelo (México)
Kikuka Shō (Japanese St. Leger) (Japan)
Clásico Enrique Ayulo Pardo, Clásico Ricardo Ortiz de Zevallos (Perú)
Ankara Stakes (Turkish St. Leger) (Turkey)
Lion City Cup (Singapore)
Mixed Martial Arts:
UFC Lightweight Championship – Khabib Nurmagomedov (RUS) vs Justin Gaethje (USA)
FIM Flat Track World Championship (Boves-Cuneo, ITA)
FIM Motocross World Championship (Lommel, BEL x2)
FIM MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 World Championship (Aragón, ESP)
UCI CHAMPIONNATS DU MONDE MOUNTAIN BIKE MARATHON
Online World Cup 5 Results
UIM PLEASURE NAVIGATION Class Endurance GR. B World Championship (Como, ITA) x3
UCI World Tour Giro d’Italia
UCI World Tour Vuelta a España
UCI World Tour Three Days of Bruges–De Panne
UCI Women’s World Tour Three Days of Bruges–De Panne
eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series
GT Pro Series
WTA Ostrava Open
Sport’s best values
|Redemption: Marlion Pickett|
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“No way I’m going to come here without my father. After what happened with my father, when the UFC called me about Justin, I talked with my mother, three days, she don’t want I go fight without father. But I promised her this is going to be my last fight. And if I give my word, I have to follow it.”Khabib Nurmagomedov (RUS)
UFC Lightweight World Champion
After beating Justin Gaethje (USA) and announcing his retirement from the sport.