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Category Archives: Alex Donno

Week 13 Picks


Welcome to Week 13!

Here are the records of the staff so far:

Last Week Overall Winning %
David 14-2 92-35 0.724
Alex N/A 19-8 0.703
Steve 11-5 109-50 0.685
Aaron 12-4 30-15 0.667
Scott 12-4 105-54 0.660
Carlos 11-5 83-43 0.659

Here are this weeks picks!! We’d love your feedback!

Scott Steve
Bills 28 Titans 17 Bills 21 Titans 20
Bears 19 Chiefs 14 Bears 23 Chiefs 17
Vikings 20 Broncos 10 Vikings 14 Broncos 17
Dolphins 23 Raiders 21 Dolphins 17 Raiders 23
Patriots 166 Colts 2 Patriots 45 Colts 9
Steelers 24 Bengals 21 Steelers 23 Bengals 21
Bucs 35 Panthers 32 Bucs 21 Panthers 24
Redskins 23 Jets 16 Redskins 21 Jets 24
Falcons 24 Texans 13 Falcons 28 Texans 17
Ravens 31 Browns 9 Ravens 28 Browns 9
Packers 41 Giants 31 Packers 35 Giants 38
Cowboys 28 Cardinals 24 Cowboys 27 Cardinals 24
49ers 19 Rams 6 49ers 21 Rams 13
Saints 38 Lions 28 Saints 28 Lions 31
Chargers 24 Jags 16 Chargers 21 Jags 17
Carlos Aaron
Bills 31 Titans 28 Bills 6 Titans 20
Bears 23 Chiefs 13 Bears 20 Chiefs 21
Vikings 21 Broncos 24 Vikings 10 Broncos 24
Dolphins 23 Raiders 24 Dolphins 24 Raiders 27
Patriots 37 Colts 17 Patriots 35 Colts 10
Steelers 27 Bengals 23 Steelers 14 Bengals 17
Bucs 31 Panthers 27 Bucs 10 Panthers 24
Redskins 23 Jets 26 Redskins 14 Jets 16
Falcons 23 Texans 21 Falcons 31 Texans 14
Ravens 26 Browns 13 Ravens 27 Browns 9
Packers 27 Giants 33 Packers 17 Giants 14
Cowboys 23 Cardinals 13 Cowboys 28 Cardinals 14
49ers 20 Rams 17 49ers 20 Rams 14
Saints 27 Lions 17 Saints 45 Lions 31
Chargers 27 Jags 13 Chargers 24 Jags 7
David Alex
Bills 23 Titans 17 Bills 13 Titans 17
Bears 14 Chiefs 13 Bears 20 Chiefs 17
Vikings 13 Broncos 23 Vikings 14 Broncos 17
Dolphins 17 Raiders 24 Dolphins 16 Raiders 14
Patriots 42 Colts 9 Patriots 35 Colts 10
Steelers 17 Bengals 14 Steelers 24 Bengals 13
Bucs 23 Panthers 20 Bucs 23 Panthers 30
Redskins 23 Jets 28 Redskins 16 Jets 20
Falcons 24 Texans 13 Falcons 24 Texans 21
Ravens 20 Browns 13 Ravens 28 Browns 17
Packers 30 Giants 33 Packers 38 Giants 20
Cowboys 26 Cardinals 17 Cowboys 34 Cardinals 24
49ers 27 Rams 13 49ers 27 Rams 13
Saints 45 Lions 20 Saints 30 Lions 21
Chargers 23 Jags 19 Chargers 27 Jags 20
 

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NFL Week 5 Picks


Welcome to Week 5!

Here are the records of the staff so far:

  1. Carlos – 12-4   .750
  2. David – 12-4   .750
  3. Steve – 34-14   .708
  4. Scott – 32-16   .666

Here are the picks for the staff as we get a couple more people involved:

Scott Steve
Saints 35 Panthers 28 Saints 35 Panthers 21
Chiefs 10 Colts 17 Chiefs 21 Colts 17
Eagles 31 Bills 28 Eagles 35 Bills 24
Seahawks 10 Giants 31 Seahawks 13 Giants 38
Bengals 17 Jaguars 21 Bengals 21 Jaguars 20
Titans 13 Steelers 24 Titans 10 Steelers 21
Raiders 27 Texans 20 Raiders 24 Texans 28
Cardinals 16 Vikings 24 Cardinals 27 Vikings 24
Bucs 16 49ers 23 Bucs 17 49ers 21
Jets 17 Patriots 35 Jets 24 Patriots 21
Chargers 22 Broncos 21 Chargers 24 Broncos 17
Packers 37 Falcons 24 Packers 42 Falcons 27
Bears 10 Lions 31 Bears 14 Lions 28

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Alex Donno’s interview with Jon “Bones” Jones


Check out this great interview with UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones from Alex Donno of Black Sports Online and 790 the ticket!

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Alex Donno, Interviews, MMA, Sports

 

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Tito Ortiz Interview


From Alex Donno
I had a fun interview with Tito Ortiz that I wanted to share with you guys. Tito is promoting a new DVD, “Bad Blood,” that documents his relationship and rivalry with Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. It’s in stores now on DVD and Blu Ray.
I also ask Tito who he wants to fight next and where/when this fight should take place. He is strongly lobbying to fight Rich Franklin on the UFC’s FOX Network debut on November 12th. Dana White says they will announce the FOX main event tomorrow (Friday, September 2nd) so we will soon know if Tito’s wish will be granted.
The audio interview is attached to this blog. Look to the right side of the page and click play just under the picture.
Enjoy. And for those of you out there who are busy or have a short attention span like I do… the interview is only 7 minutes long.
 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Alex Donno, MMA, Sports

 

Fedor vs Henderson Picks


By Alex Donno

Fedor Emelianenko returns to Showtime this Saturday night, as Strikeforce and M-1 Global present “Fedor vs Henderson” from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

 

 

“The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko meets fellow ex-Pride FC star Dan Henderson in the main event. To put it in simple terms, this is a fun matchup. Despite the fact that the two fighters are technically separated by a weight class, it’s a fight that Strikeforce needed to make. Fedor and “Hendo” are the two biggest stars in the promotion. To have these two fight one another makes all the sense in the world. For Henderson, it’s a chance to beat a legend, and perhaps steal whatever bit of aura Fedor has left. For Fedor, it’s a chance to prove to fans he’s still relevant, and can still win a big fight.

 

Not too long ago, Fedor was riding a 27 fight winning streak, but now he comes off two straight losses, the first of which was a somewhat fluky first round submission against Fabricio Werdum. He followed that up with a severe beating at the hands of the massive Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. “Bigfoot” represents the new breed of MMA heavyweight, standing six-foot four inches tall and cutting weight to reach the 265 lb heavyweight limit. Fedor, on the other hand, is a throwback heavyweight, generously listed at 6-feet tall with a pudgy 230 lb physique. In reality, a loss to a physical specimen like Silva should not raise too many eyebrows, but many fans viewed it as a sign that Fedor was overrated all along. A win over Dan Henderson would go a long way to help salvage Fedor’s legacy.

 

At age 40 (6 years older than Fedor), Dan Henderson appears dangerous as ever. “Hendo” has won two straight fights, both by knockout, and holds the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Title. This fight will be contested at heavyweight, and Hendo expects to weigh about 206 lbs on fight day, making him considerably lighter than his opponent. To me, Henderson has very little to lose in this fight, if anything at all. If Fedor comes out victorious, fans will note the fact that Henderson was at a significant weight disadvantage. He will still have his light heavyweight title, and can move back down in weight to defend it. For Fedor, this fight may be his last chance to prove to fans that his nearly 10 year unbeaten streak wasn’t merely a side-effect of questionable matchmaking.

 

Now that we’ve set the table, here are my fight picks for the entire event:

 

Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko vs Dan Henderson – Heavyweight

Both men possess knockout power in their respective right hands. Both have an exellent chin, at least on paper. Henderson has never been knocked out, ever. Fedor has suffered a pair of TKO losses, but has never been knocked out clean. Unless Fedor pulls out a submission, which is certainly a possibility, I expect this one to reach the judges’ scorecards. In this fight I lean slightly to Dan Henderson for 2 reasons. 1) Speed. And 2) wrestling. As a 2-time Greco Roman Olympian, Henderson should be able to dictate where the fight takes place. If Fedor starts controlling him in the standup, Hendo will have the ability to take him to the ground. My Pick: Dan Henderson by Decision.

 

 

Co-Main Event: Marloes Coenen (champion) vs Miesha Tate- Women’s welterweight championship.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think wrestling will be the difference in this fight. Tate is an accomplished wrestler, coming from a wrestling heavy camp in Team Alpha Male. We’ve seen Coenen struggle to stay vertical against wrestlers in the past, but she does offer a serious submission threat off her back. There’s no question in my mind that Tate will take her down repeatedly, but the difference in the fight will be whether or not Coenen can catch her in a submission. In a 5 round fight, Coenen will have plenty of chances, but I have faith that Miesha will stay out of trouble and grind out a decision. My Pick: Miesha Tate by Decision.

 

Tim Kennedy vs Robbie Lawler – Middleweight

This fight should be fun. Lawler will hold the advantage in the standup, with his undeniable knockout power. Kennedy will have the edge if and when it goes to the ground. I’d also give Kennedy the advantage in the clinch. Expect some fireworks in the first round, but eventually, Kennedy will wear him out and take him down. When I look into my crystal ball, I see Kennedy winning this one with ground and pound in the second round. My Pick: Tim Kennedy by TKO, Round 2.

 

Paul Daley vs Tyron Woodley – Welterweight

Up and comer Tyron Woodley (8-0) faces the biggest challenge of his young career. Knockout artist Paul Daley (27-10-2) thinks Strikeforce put him in this fight against an accomplished wrestler expecting him to lose, given the fact that wrestling has always been his Achilles heel. Daley says he will prove his doubters wrong, though, citing his experience, and self proclaimed improving wrestling defense. Maybe he has a point, but logic tells me Woodley will win this fight with takedowns and top control. Finishing Daley won’t be easy, so I’m expecting a decision. If you need evidence of Daley struggling against wrestlers, check out his fights against Josh Koscheck and Jake Shields. My Pick: Tyron Woodley by Decision.

 

Scott Smith vs Tarec Saffiedine – Welterweight

I expect Saffiedine to be better than Smith in every aspect of the fight, with the only x-factor being Smith’s tendency to pull off amazing and somewhat lucky comebacks every now and then. Consider his miraculous comeback wins over Pete Sell, Cung Le, and Benji Radach for reference. At this point, I question Smith’s chin, and I look to the well rounded and technically superior Saffiedine to win by TKO. My Pick: Tarec Saffiedine by TKO, round 3.

 

Strikeforce and M-1 Global Present: Fedor vs Henderson takes place this Saturday Night, July 30th, Live at 10pm EST on Showtime.

 

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Alex Donno, MMA

 

Alex’s NBA Finals Preview


by Alex Donno

 

The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks both reach the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history. And once again, they will match up against one another. Fitting, isn’t it? And to continue the parallel, each team has exactly 2 players remaining from their finals pairing in 2006: Dirk Nowitski and Jason Terry for the Mavericks; Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem for the Heat.

If you live outside South Florida, chances are, you are rooting for the Mavericks. The Heat are the bad guys, the team that brought 3 super stars together in an evil plot to win the next 5, 6, or even 7 championships. They celebrated their championship in July, before playing a single game. Their greatest star (greatest villain) spurned his former team and city on national television. If the Heat is indeed the NBA’s equivalent of a comic book super villain, consider the Dallas Mavericks as basketball’s version of a Marvel Comics hero. Dirk Nowitski, a German, will play the role of Captain America. Many fans, analysts, and media members alike, didn’t expect the Heat to get this far. In fact, they hoped the Heat wouldn’t.

As a Heat fan, I’ve enjoyed the ride immensely. Some fans struggle with the idea of their beloved team being despised by the masses. I relish it. I’m “that guy” who rooted for the nWo. I rooted for Degeneration X. I rooted for Barry Bonds to break the home run record. I plan to root for Floyd Mayweather Jr if he ever fights Manny Pacquiao. I even rooted for Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid. And I root for the Miami Heat. Do you sense a common theme here? Like a modern day Tony Montana (with far less cocaine), I enjoy being the bad guy.

Not only will I be rooting for the bad guys, I expect them to pull it off here. Dirk Nowitski will be a force in this series, but so will LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Throw Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller into the mix, with a side of Joel Anthony, and Miami will be a complete nightmare for Dallas. Dallas has the better bench, there’s no arguing that, but Miami’s small and potent rotation will outweigh the Mavs’ depth.

Overall, Dirk will get his points. The key for the Heat will be how much he scores down the stretch with the game on the line. Expect to see a mish mash of players covering Dirk during the first 3 quarters (including “Dirk Stopper” Udonis Haslem.) But in the fourth quarter, it will be up to Miami’s closer, LeBron James. He’s been a closer on both ends of the floor this postseason, and I expect his success to continue.

 

My Prediction: Heat in 6

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Alex Donno, Basketball, Sports

 

Motivating Rampage Jackson


by Alex Donno

 

At UFC 130, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson finds himself in a familiar place: the main event. Originally touted as “Edgar vs Maynard III,” UFC 130 lost its original main event mere weeks ago, when both lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and top contender Gray Maynard pulled out of the fight with injury. Now, Rampage vs Matt “The Hammer” Hamill sits at the top of the fight card. Though not guaranteed, it’s possible the winner will be next in line for a title shot against light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.

 

Saturday will mark the seventh time that Rampage has fought in a UFC main event. He’s 4-2 in his previous 6, with notable wins over Chuck Liddell (to win the title), Dan Henderson (to unify the Pride FC and UFC titles), and most recently over Lyoto Machida at UFC 123.

 

Despite fighting so many times on MMA’s biggest stage, the amazing thing about Rampage is, he doesn’t seem to be trying particularly hard. He’s notorious for abhorring hard training, and admits that it’s no longer easy to find the motivation to go 100% in the gym. Lately, he’s been getting noticeably out of shape between fights, and nearly retired from the UFC after starring in “The A-Team” in 2010. He’s 1-1 in the Octagon since returning from that hiatus. On the surface, he seems to lack the motivation that most fighters require to stay at the highest level of the sport. He even turned down a March title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, citing that five weeks would not be sufficient time to prepare (Jon Jones accepted the fight after Rampage refused it.) It’s rare for a UFC fighter to turn down a title shot, even under such non ideal circumstances. So how does Rampage manage to keep fighting at such a high level despite his borderline apathy? In my opinion, his sustained success in the Octagon comes from killer instinct coupled with God-given athletic abilities.  He’s talented enough to cut a few corners in the gym, and prideful enough to find just enough motivation needed to keep competing at an elite level. To put it in simple terms: to some, fighting is life. A part of Rampage wanted to walk away from fighting to pursue a budding acting career. A bigger part of him could not sit idly by while Rashad Evans accused him of being a coward. And of course, earning 6-figure paydays per fight must also be a nice perk.

 

Surely there was a time, probably during his Pride FC days and early in his UFC tenure, when Rampage had that raw determination and pure desire that creates champions in a sport where hard work is not only rewarded, but absolutely necessary. But some time along the way, he lost a spark or two. Originally, Rampage made headlines by saying he wasn’t particularly excited to face Matt Hamill. On a recent conference call, he went even farther than that, saying he “no longer gets excited about facing anyone.” Comments like that sound uncharacteristically apathetic for a UFC fighter. But to Rampage’s credit, he says his motivation is “to win,” and that’s probably motivation enough for a man with brute strength, lethal knockout power, and a well rounded skill set.

 

Now though, Matt Hamill is trying his best to motivate Rampage, whether deliberately or not. The former elite college wrestler was quoted saying he would “break [Rampage’s] will.” That comment made Rampage raise an eyebrow. “When he said that, that motivated me as much as I’ve been motivated in a fight.” It may be the spark he needed. Suddenly, Hamill is more than just another nameless opponent. To Rampage, a fight with Hamill is now personal. Hamill may have woken up a sleeping giant.

 

Does Rampage have another run at the title in his future? Rashad Evans is risking a title shot by fighting prospect Phil Davis at UFC 133 in August. Even with a victory over Davis, the timing of that fight may not coincide with champion Jon Jones’ return from a hand injury. As a result, the Rampage/Hamill winner may very well be next in line for a crack at the belt, likely in October or November.

 

Rampage insists that he will retire at age 35. He turns 33 next month. The final two years of the Rampage era begin this Saturday, May 28th, at UFC 130. Hopefully, we continue to see an intense, focused Rampage in the cage, not an apathetic former champion merely doing the bare minimum to keep collecting a paycheck. I’m expecting and hoping for the former, not the latter.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Alex Donno, MMA

 
 
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