UFC 178 Preview

Demetrious JohnsonWe’re about a week away from UFC 178.  The entire card features eleven matches that evening with three Bantamweight matches (including one female Bantamweight match) as well as three lightweight, two welterweight, and one flyweight and middleweight matches each.  Those ten fights will take place before the final match on the card, the UFC Flyweight Championship to be fought between champion Demetrious Johnson against challenger Chris Cariaso.

UFC 178 will be taking place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 27, 2014.  Currently, the median ticket price for UFC tickets is $209, lower level seats begin at $220 and the most expensive seats in the house, located on the Floor next to the Octagon, start at $487.

The headliner will pit the current Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson versus Chris Cariaso.  Originally scheduled for UFC 177 to take place on August 30th of this year, but was eventually rescheduled for the 27th of September in UFC 178.  Johnsons boasts a career 20-2-1 record in Mixed Martial Arts competition, including a sterling 8-1-1 record in UFC.  He has defended his title four times thus far, winning each match.

Cariaso will be a tough opponent, though Vegas prognosticators have the challenger as a 7-1 underdog.  If Johnson can dispatch of Cariaso, he’ll retain his title and potentially receive more lucrative fights in the near future.  Johnson has repeatedly stated he views the UFC as a moneymaker for him with the pay incentive his highest priority over defending his championship or any other “Octagon glory.”

Eddie Alvarez will be making his UFC debut after being released from his contract at Bellator.  Alvarez went 9-1 during four years over at Bellator, winning most recently against Michael Chandler for the Lightweight Championship.  He’ll face off against Donald Cerrone who most recently appeared on July 16th at Atlantic City where he defeated Jim Miller in the second round.

With Johnson and Alvarez the top two draws on the card, there’s little reason for demand in the event to wane over the next few days. The secondary ticket market has demonstrated strong demand for UFC 178 and UFC officials expect a high number of UFC fans to purchase the pay-per-view.  Add in another nine matches on the card, and there will be plenty of entertainment at MGM Grand Arena on September 27th!

Below is the full card for UFC 178:

Main Card: 10:00 p.m. ET

UFC Flyweight Championship: Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Chris Cariaso

Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Donald Cerrone

Featherweight: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

Middleweight: Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero

Female Bantamweight: Amanda Nunes vs. Cat Zingano

Preliminary Card: 8:00 p.m. ET

Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki

Lightweight: James Krause vs. Jorge Masvidal

Welterweight: Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson

Welterweight: Brian Ebersole vs. John Howard

Preliminary Card: 7:00 p.m. ET

Lightweight: Kevin Lee vs. Jon Tuck

Bantamweight: Manny Gamburyan vs. Cody Gibson

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Top NFL Games of Week 3

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As we head into Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season, below is a breakdown of the best games to see this week.

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles | 1:00PM | Median Ticket Price = $189

The big news out of Washington is the injury to quarterback Robert Griffin III.  As you well remember, RGIII electrified the NFL world two seasons ago, leading the Redskins to the playoffs where they ultimately fell to the Seattle Seahawks.  It was during the playoff game that Griffin tore his ACL, setting him up for a long rehabilitation process during the offseason. Because of that, RGIII played hurt for the majority of the season last year and the team struggled to a 3-13 record.

Expectations were high this year for a healthy RGIII but that will not be the case.  The similarities to Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls are eerie, as both players were on their way to superstardom, only to suffer a significant injury and then return and suffer another injury.

Though this may diminish expectations a bit for Redskins fans, they were able to clobber the Jaguars last week 41-7 with Kirk Cousins at the helm.  They’ll go on the road to try and fend off Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles.  The median price for Eagles tickets to the game right now is $189.

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions | 1:00PM | Median Ticket Price = $113

The Packers and Lions will meet up in a battle of 1-1 NFC North teams.  The Packers avoided a big upset against the New York Jets this past weekend at home, holding on to win 31-24.  Meanwhile, the Lions visited Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers and put up only 7 points, losing 24-7.  The winner of this game will hold at least a share of first place in the NFC North and will deal a major blow to whoever loses.  At a median price of just $113, Packers vs. Lions tickets are quite a deal.

Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks | 4:25PM | Median Ticket Price = $330

In a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks will host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.  At a whopping $330, the median ticket price for Broncos vs. Seahawks tickets is significantly higher than any other game in Week 3. Denver is coming off an impressive win against the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Seahawks were upset by the San Diego Chargers on the road.  It is probably not Manning and Denver’s preference to face Seattle after a tough loss but chances are it won’t matter much as this will be one of the most hyped games of the young season.

Manning and company can exact some revenge on the birds if they can depart CenturyLink Field with a victory which would leave Seattle 1-2 on the year. If the Broncos can avoid the turnovers and special teams’ gaffes that plagued them during the Super Bowl, they’ll have a much stronger chance of getting a win.

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AL Central Pennant Race

With the AL Central pennant race still undecided, here’s a preview of this weekend’s crucial series between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers.

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Friday, September 19th @ 8:00PM | Median Price = $44 | Jeremy Guthie (KC) vs. Kyle Lobstein (DET)

Jeremey Guthrie has been a work horse for the Royals this year, logging 190 innings and boasting an 11-11 record.  He’ll face off against rookie Kyle Lobstein who has a 3.58 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched on the year.  The rookie has yet to face the Royals so he will try to take advantage of that lack of familiarity to give the Tigers a win in the opening game of the three game set.

This is the cheapest game in the series with a median price of $44 for Royals tickets.

Saturday, September 20th @ 1:05PM | Me
dian Price = $46 | Jason Vargas (KC) vs. Justin Verlander (DET)

Jason Vargas has been a pleasant surprise for the Royals this year, currently sporting an 11-9 record with a 3.41 ERA.  Recently, he has struggled, failing to get out of the 6th inning in his past two games against the Boston Red Sox and Detroit, yielding nine runs over 10.1 innings pitched.  His last outing against the Tigers he gave up home runs to Rajai Davis and J.D. Martinez in a 4-2 loss.

The days of Justin Verlander being the most dominant pitcher in baseball are probably over, but he’s still been able to win thirteen games this year despite his 4.81 ERA.  Other than 2008 when Verlander went 11-17 with a 4.84 ERA, he has never had a year with an ERA north of 3.66.  This is currently the most expensive game for Royals vs. Tigers tickets at a median ticket price of $46.

Sunday, September 21st @ 2:10PM | Median Price = $45 | James Shields (KC) vs. Max Scherzer (DET)

The potential rubber match between the Tigers and Royals could be an absolute doozy with staff aces James Shields and Max Scherzer toeing the rubber for the final game of the series.  Shields has been tremendous since coming over to the Royals from the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade for Wil Myers and Wade Davis.  He boasts a 14-7 record this year with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.  The biggest impact he’s had on the Royals staff has
been his ability to stay healthy and get on the mound every five days.  Shields has already logged over 200 innings this year after pitching 228 last year.

Meanwhile, Scherzer has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball the past two seasons, wracking up a combined 37-8 record.  He has followed up his 2013 Cy Young campaign with a 16-5 record this year with an ERA just a touch worse than Shield at 3.19, but a WHIP just a touch better at 1.17.  In what will be the biggest game of the year for both ball clubs, they’ll have their respective aces on the mound for some can’t miss baseball!

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Mayweather vs. Maidana II Recap

Floyd Mayweather defeated Marcos Maidana in the much-hyped “Mayweather vs. Maidana II” this past Saturday evening, retaining his welterweight and super welterweight titles at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.  Boxing fans who ended up paying a median ticket price of $568 for Maidana vs. Floyd Mayweather tickets were witness to a string showing right from the first round with Mayweather repeatedly pelting Maidana with left jabs and hooks and not allowing him to get inside.  After 12 rounds, Mayweather was the unanimous winner, pocketing $32 million to increase his career earnings to well over $100 million.

The fight did not end without some controversy, however, as Mayweather accused Maidana of biting him in the eighth round. During the eight round, the two boxers were in the center of the ring when the act apparently took place.  Moments after breaking up, Mayweather motioned over to the ringside announcers, mouthing ‘He bit me!’

“We were tangled in the center of the ring and I didn’t realize what it was. Then I saw that he bit me,” Mayweather said. “After the eighth round my fingers were numb, I couldn’t use my left hand.”

Maidana denied biting Mayweather, stating afterwards, “How can he say I bit the glove with my mouthpiece? I’m not a dog.”

MayweatherMaidana2This was just another victory in the illustrious boxing career of Floyd Mayweather.  Over eighteen years, Mayweather has now won 47 times – with two victories over Maidana – and he showed just as much dominance in fight #47 as he did in fight #1.  Perhaps that is why, recently, Mayweather stated he will finish out the two remaining fights on his Showtime contract and retire in 2015. He was far from giving any definitive answer when recently interviewed, but it sure seems like the boxing champion has his eye on his legacy and feels content with what he has done in the ring.

So the question is, what’s next for Money Mayweather? With potentially only two fights remaining on his career, opportunities to see him live could be out the door within a year.  That would obviously greatly increase the price of Floyd Mayweather tickets, eclipsing the $568 median ticket price for his bout Saturday night.

Rumors have Amir Khan as a potential opponent for Mayweather’s expected May 2015 fight. Khan has yet to face Mayweather and would be a pretty decent draw as the fighter is on a recent win streak having won his last three fights.

Another potential opponent would be Miguel Cotto, a rematch of their May 5th, 2012 battle at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Mayweather won that match via unanimous decision, but Cotto worked him well and it was arguably closer than Mayweather’s most recent battle.

Of course the match that everyone wants is Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.  Mayweather vs. Pacquiao tickets would most likely be the most expensive boxing tickets in the history of the sport, but at this point, that ship seems to have unfortunately sailed for both fighters.  Nonetheless, we can all hope.

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NHL Season Preview

With a little over a month away before the 2014-15 National Hockey League season, fans are eagerly awaiting the first puck drop of the year.  The NHL schedule has been out for quite some time so everyone has had an opportunity to mark down on their calendars which games they want to see and buy NHL tickets for.  It should be another exciting season and there are several teams to be on the lookout for.

Any discussion will have to start with the Los Angeles Kings, the defending Western Conference and Stanley Cup Champions.  The Kings were taken to the brink several times over the course of the playoffs, but they evaded defeat by winning multiple Game 7’s on their road to the cup.  Much of the roster is still intact, including Captain Dustin Brown and all-world goalie Jonathan Quick.  Right now, LA Kings tickets for the home opener have an average price of $325 with a get-in price of $131. They’ll be the favorites in 2014-15, though they’ll face stiff competition.

NHLPreview2014The Chicago Blackhawks had a remarkable season but after defeating the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild in six games apiece, they fell to the Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.  Last year, the Blackhawks hosted a Stadium Series game at Soldier Field, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1.  This year, they’ll be playing in the Winter Classic yet again, facing off against the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park. Expect Winter Classic tickets to cost a premium this year as they do every year.

On the other side of the aisle, the New York Rangers will attempt to defend their Eastern Conference reign.  The Rangers had a bit of a surprise run in the playoffs last season, as they entered the playoffs as the #2 seed in the Metropolitan Division, beating the Flyers in seven games and then defeating the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in seven as well.  The Montreal Canadiens were no match as the Rangers won in six games, before falling to the Kings in five. NY Rangers tickets are always some of the most expensive tickets in the NHL and that will be no different in 2014-15.

The Penguins will be favored heavily as well, led by the dynamic duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  Crosby has not hoisted the cup since 2009 so he will certainly be ready to go this year to get back on the winning side of the ice. Penguins tickets for the home opener have an average ticket price of $238 for their home opener, compared to just $194 for the season home average.

Another team to be on the lookout for in the Eastern Conference is the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Toronto struggled mightily to end the season, ultimately ending with 84 points, nine less than what was needed for the playoffs.  Nevertheless, the Maple Leafs held a playoff spot for much of the season and you’d have to believe a similar type of fall will not occur in 2015. Toronto Maple Leafs tickets are some of the most expensive in the league with a home average ticket price of $236 for the 2014-15 season.

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