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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Quick Hits

The Main Event
MMA madman Conor "The Notorious" McGregor wants to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time. He holds the featherweight belt, and was scheduled to fight current lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos on March 5th for the lightweight belt. That is until...

Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of the fight because of a broken foot. The highly anticipated matchup headlined a rockstar UFC fight night, which also included Holly Holm (the fighter responsible for making Ronda Rousey want to kill herself) vs. Miesha Tate as the co-main event. With the big night less than two weeks away, the UFC was left scrambling to find an opponent for McGregor, or cancel the fight outright. Fortunately for McGregor, another loud-mouthed asshole stepped up.

Welterweight fighter Nate Diaz will replace dos Anjos, keeping McGregor's big night in tact. However, even if McGreger wins, it'll be for an interim title, not the real deal. Although we'll be watching a watered-down version of the originally scheduled fight, we can still expect some fireworks. Before he was even confirmed as a replacement, Diaz took a stab at McGregor on Twitter, saying McGregor is "going to have to get on his knees and beg" to fight him. Diaz was likely taking a shot at a McGregor Tweet from December, where McGregor said, "Line them up on their knees with their hands out. I want them to beg me."

Hopefully McGregor and Diaz can stop fantasizing about dudes on their knees long enough to fight each other. As comedian Demetri Martin put it, it's already weird enough that we care about "two men fighting over a belt."

Good Sport
In case you forgot, FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi is still a man among boys. He single-handily pulled Arsenal F.C.'s pants down last night, accounting for both goals in Barcelona's 2-0 victory. Messi's scored 16 goals in 14 games in 2016, and is within seven goals of Cristiano Ronaldo for the all-time Champions League top scorers' race. In other words, Messi is as good as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton thinks he is, which, is to say, pretty damn good.

Somewhat Related: Juventus F.C. overcame a 2-0 deficit against Bayern Munich to claim a 2-2 draw. We'll bring you more on the UEFA Champions League last-16 (the final 16 teams in the tournament, duh) and subsequent rounds as they unfold.

Bad Sport
New York Yankees pitcher, and gun-wielding maniac, Aroldis Chapman tried to clear the air at training camp by saying he "never hurt anybody." This despite an incident last October where Chapman is accused of choking his girlfriend and firing rounds from a handgun in his garage during a domestic dispute. Let's cut him some slack, perhaps Chapman confused the word "hurt" for "kill."

Never Forget
The best worst behind-the-back pass in the history of basketball. Never forget.

What to Watch (All Times Eastern)
NBA. Wizards at Bulls - 8pm on ESPN; Spurs at Kings - 10:30pm on ESPN
NHL. Penguins at Bruins - 7:30pm on NBC Sports; Sharks at Avalanche - 10pm on NBC Sports
COLLEGE BASKETBALL. Mississippi State at Texas A&M - 7pm on ESPN2; Villanova at Xavier - 7pm on Fox Sports 1; Arizona at Colorado - 9pm on ESPN2
SOCCER. UEFA Champions League: Dynamo Kyiv vs. Manchester City - 2:30pm on Fox Sports 1; CONCACAF Champions League: Los Angeles vs. Santos - 10pm on Fox Sports 1
DIVING. FINA World Cup, men's 10m competition - 11am on NBC Sports
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