Know about the biggest pay-per-view fight in MMA history

It’s going to be a ‘Super Sunday’ for combat sports fans in India as Irishman Conor McGregor takes on Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, USA in UFC 229. They will battle it out for the lightweight title. The showdown is expected to be the biggest pay-per-view fight in mixed martial art (MMA) history.

Khabib
Who leaves with 🏆 around their waist? #UFC229 (Photo | Instagram/UFC)

What makes this fight interesting is the lead-up to it. McGregor has built up an animosity towards his opponent that overflowed when he and a gang of friends attacked a bus Khabib was on in New York earlier this year. Since then, both the athletes have drawn swords with their off-the octagon insults and brawl.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the current lightweight champion and with his record of 26-0, he is considered one of best lightweight fighters in MMA.

McGregor is going to fight in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after a 693-day layoff, the longest of his career. Before the break, McGregor was both the UFC’s lightweight and featherweight champion. In between, he boxed Floyd Mayweather Jr. last and ended up losing the bout. His MMA record is 21-3.

Both the athletes have a distinct style of play- McGregor’s punching power is formidable and unquestionable, while Nurmagomedov might be the best grappler in the game — and neither man excels at the other’s specialty. The stark contrast in strengths makes this matchup tough to predict, even if Nurmagomedov is the favorite in the Vegas sports books.

Let’s all wait for the fight and see for ourselves who the actual winner is.

The fight is part of UFC 229 and will be telecast in India on Sony ESPN & Sony ESPN HD from 07:30 on Sunday.

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Football diaries: Gurugram, 22nd March

Description of my first football match in 2018

Thursday- It was my first competitive game in 10 months. The last time I played with this party was in May 2017. A little unfit, I ran the length of the 40x25m ground to warm myself up. Some stretching helped me feel confident to play the game.
Usually a 5-on-5 game, it was crowded this time with the presence of 18 players on the field. We played the first ball and the game was competitive for the first five minutes.

Adidas X15+ Primeknit- Shoes I used for the first time in this game

They got the first breakthrough with a 15-yard shot from their mid-fielder Siddharth. The goalkeeper lost the sight of the ball due to the presence of 6-7 members of both teams near the goal area. The opponents added another goal in the next two minutes take a 2-0 advantage.
We fought hard and saw many of the shots blocked or shot just wide of the goal. The good work was finally rewarded when we won a penalty courtesy a hand-ball inside the box. Our forward Avi finished it with a grounded shot on the left corner. This was the breakthrough we needed badly and then the shots on goal followed. I was instrumental in creating the second goal as it was my powerful shot from 30-35 yards which deflected off the keeper’s hands and was finished by another forward Tarsh to level the scores.
The third goal came from our side and it was a comeback goal for me. Getting a throw-in in the box it came off the keeper’s hands who was standing way ahead of the goal. I jumped above a defender and headed the ball home. I couldn’t celebrate as our Captain Akhil kept us in check and told us to keep the momentum on. Just the the electricity went off and the ground became dark and play interrupted. We waited for 10 minutes for the lights to be back but it didn’t as the weather was windy.
Finally, we decided to continue the game in the dark and within no time hand balls were a common call for both team as the football was largely invisible. One such hand ball was committed by me and the following free kick was converted into a goal by Sidharth. This equalised the score at 3-3. But I played with the guilt of conceding a goal for my side after this. I started playing more aggressively so as to get the lead back for my team. In this pursuit, I got hit on my nose by a headbutt from a defender as both of couldn’t view the ball kicked from the corner. This ended the game for me and soon others followed and the game remained drawn at 3-3. It was a refreshing comeback but the hit on the nose ruined it. The next game is on Tuesday. Follow my blog to read more content.
For those who want to know which position I play, I usually play left wing but this game I played Central midfield.

South Africa Vs Australia: Port Elizabeth, Second Test Match Report

Match summary and opinion

Shadab Akhtar Rabbani

South Africa came into this match under-fire after the first game loss at Durban. They have impressed the pundits with the way they have bounced back in the series. Australia won the toss and chose to bat first. All was going well for the Australians on Day 1 as they plundered 98 runs with the loss of one wicket at lunch. With a good run-rate and nine wickets in hand, Australia looked set to do justice to their decision of batting first and get a big score on the board.

But the home side had other plans and it all started in the second session of Day 1 when paceman Kagiso Rabada dismissed Australian skipper Steve Smith. He went on to pick five wickets in quick succession to help South Africa restrict the visitors to a below-par score of 243.

South Africa had to come into bat on Day 1 and lost an early wicket of Aiden Markram, a setback as he was the centurion at the previous game. Early on Day 2, Kagiso Rabada, the night watchman chipped in with valuable 29 runs before Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar consolidated the innings with patient half-centuries. This set up the platform for AB de Villiers to come in and play freely. He kept losing his partners on the other end but got into a good partnership with Vernon Philander lower down the order to get South Africa ahead. En route a 139 run lead, AB de Villiers struck a magnificent hundred and remained unbeaten at 126. Keshav Maharaj also scored a quick fire 30 to add salt to the wounds of the Australians as the host gained a big advantage in the first innings.

South African camp was dealt with a blow as Rabada was charged with a misconduct of ICC rules as he seemed to have budged Steve Smith after getting the batsman out in the first innings. He is now suspended with a two match ban after he was found guilty of a level 2 offence. The verdict was announced only after the game.

Australia came into bat after lunch on Day 3, reeling behind 139 runs and having had a miserable first innings. They needed a revival to set up a contest but lost their seasoned opener David Warner early as he was clean bowled by a swinging delivery from 22-year-old Rabada. Rabada showcased his emotions while celebrating the wicket and looked to have shouted on the face of the outgoing batsman. This incident has also come under the scanner and the verdict is yet to be announced.

Rabada was well supported by Lungi Ngidi, the 21-year-old paceman and Keshav Maharaj, the left-arm spinner who chipped in with a wicket each to have Australia 77/3. Usman Khwaja was the lone warrior in the Australian fightback as he compiled 75 runs to take Australia ahead in the game. He was well supported in a 87 runs with Mitchell Marsh. Khwaja was out just before the end of play om Day 3.

Day 4 started with Mitchell Marsh being sent back to the pavilion in the first over from Rabada. Rabada picked up six wickets in the second innings to have an impressive 11-fer in the match. Australia was bundled out with a lead of just 100 runs and South Africa needing just 101 runs to win it.

Chasing a modest target, South Africa lost openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar early in the innings before AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla took them out of trouble with a contribution of 28 and 27 runs respectively. Both the batsman were out with the team needing 20 runs to win. South Africa was home with a six wicket victory. This has set up the series well with two games to go at Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The most difficult job was for the man who judged the man of the match award and finally it was decided to be given to Rabada for his 11-fer and some valuable runs in the first innings. AB de Villiers was the other contender.

Many positives came out of the game for South Africa, from AB’s form to Rabada’s talent. South Africa has found it’s tune back. Lungi Ngidi is a good future prospect. Australia needs to regroup and try to improve their performances if they want a share of the spoils in the series. The only positive for them would be Rabada’s suspension which makes it unlikely for him to feature in the next two matches.

This was one of the gripping test matches to watch. Enjoyable if you are a Proteas fan and forgettable if you are an Aussie fan.

Owais en route to realise his dream

Know a future star and invest in him

Hyderabad has a craze for sports and cricket finds a special place in the hearts of Hyderabadis. With the likes of Mohammed Azharuddin, VVS Laxman, Arshad Ayub and now Mohammad Siraj making big names for India. Many youngsters want to match the feat of their heroes. They work extra hard and devout time to sports along with their education, to realize their dreams.

Many academies run across the city to find the talent and nurture them, providing a platform to the youngsters to showcase their skills and impress selectors. One such academy is Arshad Ayub Cricket Academy (AACA) located at the Hockey Ground, Masab Tank, which has to its name many players who represent Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) at various levels from U-14, U-16 to U-19. One such talent is Owais Abdul Wahed, who has done wonders for HCA U-14 and U-16 teams.

The 17 year old Owais has received many accolades throughout his young career. Starting from school cricket in 2014, he was the HCA Man of the Tournament of the Brother John of God Tournament which his school, All Saints High School, went on to win. He scored a match winning century against Punjab in quarterfinals of Vijay Merchant Trophy 2016/17 while representing Hyderabad U-16. He also picked up three wickets against UP with his leg-spin bowling in the semifinals of the same tournament. Owais was also selected to attend the National Cricket Academy camp at Vizianagram in June 2017.

Being a left-handed batsman himself, Owais wants to emulate his favourite player Suresh Raina and represent the country at the highest level. Left-handed batsmen are known for their elegance and Owais looks no different when he goes out to bat. I am working on my goals of representing India at U-19 level and also want to get into the Ranji side at a young age, said Owais after recently getting picked in the Hyderabad U-19 probables.
I want to be the highest scorer in the HCA league this year added Owais, explaining his near future plans. The HCA league sets tone for the players to get in the eyes of the selectors. I also want to pursue engineering alongside cricket, remarked the Old City boy studying science in Grade 12. His father is a doctor and supports his pursuit of realizing the dream of playing for India.
“Starting his batting career in 2009, he has earned a reputation of being a dependable and stylish opening batsman. He also bowls good leg spin”, said his coach Junaid. He trains 6 hours a day along with being good student at school, he added.
Owais Abdul Wahed is riding on the ambitions, nurtured and closely monitored by his coach Mohammed Junaid Rafai. Junaid, who is the senior coach at AACA and HCA with a able guide in the form of Arshad Ayub, a former international cricketer and Indian fielding coach R Sridhar has a reputation of 7 to 8 players playing in the state teams under various age groups. Notable among them are Trishank Gupta, Sai Sraghvi, Syed Askari, Lokesh and Vishal Singh

MGU creates History, wins Inter-Varsity Cricket

Visakhapatnam/Kottayam, 12th January, 2018- Mahatma Gandhi University created history by winning the South Zone Inter-University Men tournament for the first time and qualifying for the All-India Inter-University Cross Cricket. MGU beat SRM University, Chennai by 40 runs in the finals held at Raghu Engineering College, Vishakhapatnam.

After winning the toss, SRM University chose to field in the 40 overs a side game. MGU capitalized on a solid start by their openers, Anand Krishnan 64(75) and Abhay Jotin 33(37) to pile up 212/10 in 40 overs. Abdul Bazith P.A, 39(54) and Sijomon Joseph, 28(20) were the other crucial contributors with the bat. Akash Sumra, who picked up a hat trick against University of Calicut in the semi-finals, was the pick of the bowlers for SRM University picking up three wickets for 52 runs in his eight overs.

The winning team- Mahatma Gandhi University

Chasing a total of 213, SRM started well to reach 39/0 in 6.2 overs, before they lost both their openers in space of 6 deliveries. Sijomon Joseph of MGU returned figures of 3/20 in 7 overs to rip through the defenses of SRM batsmen. He was adjudged the Player of the match for his all-round performance. Joseph was well supported by Sreehari Nair and Akhil Scaria, who bagged three and two wickets respectively, to restrict SRM to 172 all out. The team was well guided by KCA coach Umesh and manager Subin Babu.

Mahatma Gandhi University will feature in the All-India Inter-University Men tournament for the first time since its inception. The tournament will be held at Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana next month. In the third place match, University of Calicut defeated last years winner Hindustan University by eight wickets.

Exams are here!

My feelings this week

I haven’t written any academic exams in the last 30 months. The last time I wrote them, I had the pressure of clearing three backlogs to get the degree on time. I had a successful endeavor and received my Bachelor’s along with others.

What I am feeling now is not pressure but anxiety. This is a different course, i.e, journalism. Being a science student all my life I am unsure how to go about the answers in an arts subject. The syllabus isn’t any difficult which is causing me more trouble as I am unable to concentrate hard to understand things. It’s less about the concepts here and more about the execution of what was learned in class and recalling the vast syllabus on a single day of an exam.

The subjects aren’t deep as it used to be in engineering but they are broad touching a large number of topics. And that is what is causing me trouble, how do I go about the preparation. For the first time since school days, I started preparing six days before exams start. Though I have gone through most of my syllabus, I am not yet confident to write the exam next Monday. I am just hoping to get a respectable score here and compensate for my poor scores in engineering. Not really sure, how to go about the whole week. Sleep is the only thing that keeps me awake and in the zone. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Requesting prayers from the pious.