US Open 2019 Diary: Farewell to Flushing Meadows for another year

By Sports Desk September 09, 2019

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  • UFC dream fights vol.5: Israel Adesanya v Paulo Costa UFC dream fights vol.5: Israel Adesanya v Paulo Costa

    Somebody's '0' would have to go in a fight where there would be little love lost between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.

    The battle for middleweight supremacy would be on the line in a bout where egos would be as bruised as bodies and an unbeaten MMA record would be consigned to the scrapheap.

    Adesanya, the division's champion, has spoken of chasing big-money fights with Jon Jones and even Conor McGregor.

    But for now the Nigeria-born New Zealander has a score to settle with Costa and fight fans would undoubtedly relish the prospect of these two mixing it in the Octagon.

    In the fifth edition of our UFC dream fights we would love to see series, we have profiled Adesanya and Costa in closer detail.


    WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THIS FIGHT?

    Because these guys have been on a collision course for some time and only a biceps injury sustained by Costa has made us wait this long.

    Jibes have already been thrown back and forth, with Costa accusing Adesanya of ducking the challenge of light-heavyweight king Jones.

    Adesanya's kick-boxing brilliance and Costa's pressure fighting would make this a fight of real intrigue.


    GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

    Adesanya became the UFC's interim middleweight champion with a unanimous decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum in a classic a year ago. He then defeated the legendary Robert Whittaker in October with a stunning knockout to unify the division.

    Each of Costa's first four fight wins in a UFC ring came via way of KO/TKO and he defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision in August.


    WHAT'S THEIR MMA RECORD (W-L-D)?

    Adesanya: 19-0-0

    Costa: 13-0-0


    TALE OF THE TAPE

    Adesanya:

    Age: 30
    Height: 6'4" (193cm)
    Weight: 185lbs (84kg)
    Reach: 80"
    Leg reach: 44"

    Costa:

    Age: 28
    Height: 6'1" (185cm)
    Weight: 185lbs (84kg)
    Reach: 72"
    Leg reach: 39"


    WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT A POTENTIAL FIGHT

    "He's [Costa] a guy that I don't have to poke that much, I don't have to prod," Adesanya told ESPN. "I'm going to have fun with the press conference with this one. I'm going to have fun with the lead-up. I'm going to have fun with poking the bear."

    "Against Adesanya, it's personal," Costa said in quotes reported by MMA Junkie this month. "It's not just to fight for the belt or the money or something like this. No, it's personal."


    FIGHT STATS IN UFC

    Adesanya:

    - Adesanya has connected with 503 of his 1,032 attempted significant strikes, a success rate of 49 per cent.

    - Of his successful strikes, 88 per cent have come from a standing position.

    - On the defensive side, Adesanya has guarded against 87 per cent of takedown attempts.

    - He has also seen off 66 per cent of strikes against him.

    Costa:

    - Costa has landed 307 of his 531 attempted significant strikes, giving him a success rate of 58 per cent.

    - As with Adesanya, Costa tends to strike from a standing position - with 82 per cent coming via that method.

    - He has successfully blocked 80 per cent of takedown attempts against him.

    - Costa has also thwarted 54 per cent of strikes from his opponents.

  • Eddie Jones: The England coach's most memorable quotes Eddie Jones: The England coach's most memorable quotes

    With Eddie Jones having extended his contract until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, England fans can look forward to the Australian providing more special moments.

    Jones led England to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016 - his first tournament at the helm - and they were champions again a year later, while only a defeat to South Africa stopped them winning last year's Rugby World Cup.

    The 60-year-old made his side one of the best in the sport, and with his calculated wit and sharp tongue he arguably provides the best off-the-pitch entertainment in rugby.

    We look back at some of Jones' most memorable quotes.

     

    "Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off."

    Jones' response when Wales coach Warren Gatland, who saw his team defeated by South Africa in the last four, suggested England could have already played their World Cup final when they beat New Zealand in the semis.

    “I think the term 'world class' is used lightly. To be world class, you've got to be an automatic selection in a world XV. We don’t have any of those players. Now, we've got a lot of good players and a lot of players who want to get better. So to say we don't have world class players is not a criticism of the players and not a criticism of the team. It's just the reality of it."

    Having said England had no "world-class players" upon his appointment in 2015, Jones was adamant it remained the case after racking up 13 straight Test wins to start his tenure.

    "France can expect absolute brutality from England, we are going to go out there to make sure they understand what Test rugby is. It is about being brutal, it is about being physical."

    Jones laid down the gauntlet ahead of England's 2020 Six Nations opener against France and it backfired, as Les Bleus clinched a 24-17 victory in Paris.

    "No one thinks we can win. New Zealand talk about walking towards pressure - well, this week the pressure is going to be chasing them down the street. The busiest bloke in Tokyo this week will be Gilbert Enoka, their mental skills coach. They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times. It is potentially the last game for their greatest coach and their greatest captain and they will be thinking about those things. Those thoughts go through your head. It is always harder to defend a World Cup, and they will be thinking about that, and therefore there is pressure."

    After suggesting New Zealand had sent a spy to watch England train ahead of their World Cup semi-final clash, Jones turned up the heat on the All Blacks.

    "I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked. That's what I'm expecting, mate. Everything that's done around the game is going to be coordinated. All coordinated to help Australia win. We've got to be good enough to control what we can control."

    Jones claimed Australia were going to make England's life as difficult as possible after arriving for a three-Test tour in June 2016.

    "We control our own destiny. We want to go out there and smack Italy. I have told the boys already that that is our aim - to go out there and give them a good hiding. If you look at the rankings we are a better side than Italy. We have to prove that on Sunday. We want to be absolutely brutal up front so there is no Italian player left standing at the end of the game."

    Ahead of only his second game in charge, Jones made it clear he expected a significant increase in physicality from his players.

    "We've played 23 Tests and we've only lost one Test to the scummy Irish. I'm still dirty about that game but we'll get that back, don't worry."

    England were hoping to deny Ireland the Grand Slam in their final 2018 Six Nations game and Jones was out for revenge after they inflicted the first defeat of his tenure. He later apologised for the comment and Ireland triumphed 24-15 at Twickenham.

    "If he was Sexton then we'd be able to complain about him. But because he's Owen Farrell he's allowed to be hit late. He's tough so he gets up and he plays. He's a tough rooster, a warrior. He takes the ball to the line, he puts his body on the line, he doesn't play in a dinner suit."

    Jones suggested Owen Farrell's determination to play through pain led to him getting less protection from referees than Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton.

  • Eddie Jones' England reign in numbers as coach signs new deal Eddie Jones' England reign in numbers as coach signs new deal

    Eddie Jones will look to enhance his legacy with England over the next four years after signing a new contract extension.

    It was announced on Thursday that the 60-year-old will stay on as England coach until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

    Jones, who had previously been in charge of Australia and Japan, was appointed England's coach five years ago.

    Here, using Stats Perform data, we take a look at Jones' tenure in numbers.

     

    78 per cent - Having led his team to victory in 42 of 54 games, Jones has the best win ratio of any coach in England's history.

    42 wins - Those 42 wins are the second most of all time and Jones should exceed World Cup winner Clive Woodward's 59 victories in the coming years.

    40 players - Across Jones' time in charge, 40 players have been handed England debuts. Of those, 26 are forwards and 14 are backs.

    23 tries - Jonny May has certainly enjoyed Jones' coaching, the wing crossing for 23 tries. Elliot Daly has the second-most scores with 15.

    52 caps - Jones has handed a cap to fly-half George Ford in all but two of his 54 games at the helm. England's current captain Owen Farrell has the second-most appearances under Jones with 48.

    571 points - Farrell has by far and away the most points, though. His tally of 571 is significantly more than those of Ford (174) and May (115).

    2 Six Nations titles - England won the Six Nations in each of Jones' first two campaigns. In 2016, Jones delivered the country's first Grand Slam in 13 years.

    18 wins in a row - A second Grand Slam was dashed by Ireland in March 2017. That 13-9 loss in Dublin brought an end to England's 18-Test winning run, a joint-record they held with New Zealand.

    7-0 v Australia - The nation England have beaten the most often under Jones is Australia, the country of his birth. England have won all seven of their matches against the Wallabies.

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