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#pounditSunday, October 17, 2021

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Conor McGregor accused of punching Italian DJ, breaking his nose

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor has not said exactly when he will return from his leg injury to fight in the UFC, but the former champion has once again gotten into an altercation outside the Octagon.

Francesco Facchinetti, an Italian DJ and TV personality, claimed in an Instagram video that he was attacked by McGregor at a party at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. McGregor and his family are in Rome for the baptism of McGregor’s son, which took place at the Vatican on Saturday.

As several Italian news outlets reported, Facchinetti said in a lengthy Instagram story that he and McGregor had been getting along before the MMA fighter attacked him seemingly out of nowhere.

“At 2:30 this night I was attacked by Mr. McGregor, that very famous McGregor, who punched me in the mouth, broke my nose in front of ten witnesses, his friends and his bodyguards,” Facchinetti said, via a transcription and Google translation. “He attacked me without motivation as we talked for more than two hours and we also had fun together. I could have shut up and not say anything to anyone, but since it went well and I’m here to tell it, I must say that that person is really violent and dangerous.”

Facchinetti showed what he claimed were some of the injuries McGregor inflicted on him:

Facchinetti said he is planning to file a lawsuit against McGregor because he “took a punch for nothing.” The DJ’s wife, Wilma Faissol, described the incident the same way on her Instagram account.

“Then out of nowhere, he threw a punch in the face of Francesco,” Faissol said. “He was inviting us to another party. Francesco said, ‘Okay, let’s go’ and he hit him. Luckily, (Francesco) was very close so (McGregor) couldn’t load up on his punch. Francesco flew back, fell on the table, and then on the ground. The first thing that came to mind was ‘are we kidding? Is it a show?’ Then I was paralyzed. I turned around and saw that his friends were holding him against the wall because he wanted to continue beating Francesco.”

Both Fachhinetti and his wife said they wanted to warn people to stay far away from McGregor, who is supposed to be in Italy for several more days.

If the allegations are true, this would be the second violent outburst for McGregor in roughly a month. He also had a heated altercation with rapper Machine Gun Kelly at the Video Music Awards last month. You can see that video here.

Austin Riley the hero for Braves in NLCS Game 1

Austin Riley walk-off hit

Austin Riley was the hero for the Atlanta Braves in their 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night in Atlanta.

The Braves scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first on a wild pitch by Dodgers opener Corey Knebel. The Dodgers tied the game in the second on an RBI single by Chris Taylor.

The Dodgers thought they were in really good shape after Will Smith hit a tie-breaking solo home run in the top of the fourth to make it 2-1, but the lead did not last long. Riley sent a ball over the left field wall in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the ninth, when Riley knocked in Ozzie Albies with a walk-off hit.

Albies helped make things happen with a huge stolen base after he singled, putting himself in scoring position. He probably would have been able to score from first on Riley’s hit into the corner, but the stolen base left no doubt.

The Dodgers decided to make it a bullpen game and used up eight pitchers. They have been taxed by playing in the wild card game and then going five games in the NLDS against the Giants. Max Fried had a solid start for the Braves, allowing two runs over six innings.

The Braves have taken a big 1-0 lead entering Game 2 on Sunday. The Dodgers will lament getting 10 hits and only being able to push across two runs. Their poor baserunning in the ninth inning will probably stick with them as a major missed opportunity:

Instead, the Braves got the big win. For Riley, he made his first career walk-off hit really count.

Tennessee fans were upset over 4th down call, defensive touchdown lost

Jacob Warren near the first down marker

Tennessee fans went completely overboard with their behavior at the end of Saturday night’s 31-26 loss to Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. But there is some context that helps explain why they were so furious.

For starters, fans were beyond pumped up for the game. They had a 4-2 Vols team taking on a 4-1 Rebels team, so it was a highly-anticipated matchup. The game featured their new coach, Josh Heupel, taking on their old coach, Lane Kiffin, who deserted them after one year.

Vols fans wanted revenge badly, but they did not get it. And they felt robbed.

Tennessee was down 7-0 in the first quarter and felt they had a defensive touchdown wiped off the board. Ole Miss, which went for it on multiple fourth downs in the game, tried to convert a 4th-and-3 at the Vols 45. Matt Corral faked a handoff and held the ball for a trick play, but the Vols were not fooled. Two defenders converged on him and eventually ripped the ball out for a fumble. Tyler Baron picked up the fumble and returned it for a touchdown.

The play was reviewed and the officials determined that Corral’s forward progress was stopped. That took the touchdown off the board and gave the ball to Tennessee at midfield.

Despite the good field position, the Vols were unable to do anything and punted. The fans were upset about losing the defensive score.

Then in the final minute, Tennessee had the ball trailing 31-26. They were facing a 4th-and-24 with long odds to convert. Hendon Hooker completed a pass to Jacob Warren, who got oh-so-close to the first down marker.

The ball was so close and it was hard to tell whether Warren got to the marker. As soon as the officials announced that the Vols were short, the fans protested. Some fans began throwing trash and debris on the field. Lane Kiffin even had a golf ball and water bottle thrown at him (videos here).

None of the calls excuse the behavior of the Vols fans. But the calls help explain why they were so upset.

Lane Kiffin has golf ball, water bottle thrown at him by Tennessee fans

Lane Kiffin holds up a golf ball

Tennessee fans threw a fit after a critical call went against them on 4th down in their 31-26 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday night, and they really went overboard.

Vols fans were so upset with the spot they got on 4th-and-24 on a catch by Jacob Warren in the final minute that they started throwing trash and other items onto the field at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. They caused a delay in the game and the cheerleaders and band had to take cover (see it here).

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin even had a golf ball thrown at him:

Despite turning the ball over on downs, Tennessee actually got the ball back after a punt. They even got to the Ole Miss 21 but wound up losing.

Kiffin made a crack in his postgame interview, saying he wasn’t sure if he was happier about the win or that he avoided getting pelted by the golf ball.

Kiffin also had a water bottle thrown at him as he was walking off the field:

We knew that Tennessee fans despised Kiffin for ditching the team after just one season as their head coach over a decade ago. But nothing calls for hurling objects at the man. That is going way too far.

Tennessee fans riot after unfavorable fourth down spot, ruling

Tennessee fans trash

Tennessee fans rioted in the final minute of their 31-26 loss to the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday night in Knoxville, Tenn. after an unfavorable call.

Tennessee had a 4th-and-24 at their 36 with under a minute left. Hendon Hooker completed a pass to Jacob Warren for 23 yards. Warren was ruled down short of the first down marker. After the officials measured and confirmed Warren was short, Vols fans threw a fit. They began throwing stuff onto the field, causing a delay.

It got so bad that cheerleaders had to run off the field for safety from the flying objects:

Eventually the game resumed and Ole Miss went 3-and-out and punted. Tennessee got the ball down to the Ole Miss 21, but they stalled and lost the game.

Not only did they lose, but their fans displayed embarrassing behavior, all while getting beat by the former coach.

Alex Rodriguez has message for the ‘analytics people’ in MLB

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez had a message for the “analytics people” in MLB on Saturday.

Kiké Hernandez has been on fire this postseason. He hit two home runs in Game 1 of the ALCS and another homer in Game 2 on Saturday. He entered Game 2 of the ALCS batting .500 in the postseason (14/28).

Rodriguez commented after Hernandez remained hot in Game 2 about how Hernandez was proving analytics people wrong.

“For all the analytics people that work in #MLB please stop saying there’s no such thing as hot or cold.

“Kiké is HOT!!!!!!!! Just like Arozarena was last year!!!!

“Simply incredible,” Rodriguez’s tweet said.

Some thinking from statheads has suggested that “clutch” play isn’t a thing and that decisions should not be made based on streakiness, because over time, things revert to the mean.

Those may be the examples of wisdom Rodriguez was challenging with his remark. Regardless, there is no debating how hot Hernandez is for Boston. He has been unreal.

Manny Diaz did not enjoy his handshake with Mack Brown

Mack Brown shakes Manny Diaz hand

Manny Diaz did not enjoy his postgame handshake with Mack Brown nearly as much as the North Carolina head coach did.

The Tar Heels beat the Hurricanes 45-42 on an interception in the final 10 seconds of the game. The outcome was so heartbreaking that Miami’s quarterback was left crying on the field (see it here).

What didn’t help matters was Brown’s postgame handshake. He seemed way too eager to visit with Diaz after the game, while Diaz seemed like he just wanted to go.

Come on, Mack. Read the room! That wasn’t the time to catch up with old pals.

Diaz used to be Mack’s defensive coordinator at Texas. But Diaz got fired by Brown in 2013 after his defense allowed 550 yards to BYU.

Video: Lane Kiffin booed by Tennessee fans in return to Neyland Stadium

Lane Kiffin holds his headset

Lane Kiffin’s return to Neyland Stadium was one of the most anticipated events in college football from the moment Kiffin took the Ole Miss job. On Saturday, fans finally got what they wanted.

Kiffin took a walk onto the field in Knoxville, Tenn. about an hour before kickoff in Saturday night’s game between the Vols and Rebels. He got booed and waved to the fans.

Kiffin had been well aware that it was going to be a hostile environment in Neyland. He said during the week that playing in Knoxville would be “challenging.”

Kiffin coached Tennessee for one season in 2009. He got Vols fans hyped up about the program and then ditched them to take the USC job. The fans in Knoxville revolted and have despised Kiffin ever since.

Tyler Van Dyke crying after heartbreaking Miami loss to UNC

Tyler Van Dyke crying

Tyler Van Dyke was shown crying on the field after a heartbreaking ending for his Miami Hurricanes on Saturday.

Van Dyke went 20/45 for 264 yards, a touchdown pass and three interceptions in his team’s 45-42 loss at North Carolina. The game ended after Miami’s comeback was thwarted by an interception deep in UNC territory with under 10 seconds left in the game.

Van Dyke had taken his Hurricanes from their 28 to the UNC 16 over the final three minutes of the game. They were coming close to tying the game at minimum, and possibly winning it. And then the interception happened.

Van Dyke was shown by ACC Network cameras crying on the field afterwards and being consoled by a Miami staffer.

What a heartbreaking way to lose. The ‘Canes are now 2-4.

Gus Malzahn left Cincinnati quickly due to family emergency

Gus Malzahn stands on the field

Gus Malzahn left Cincinnati quickly after his UCF Knights lost 56-21 to the Bearcats on Saturday because he had a family emergency.

Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell disclosed in his postgame press conference that Malzahn had to leave quickly and asked for a prayer.

UCF later shared a statement that explained the situation.

“Gus’ daughter Kenzie Stander, who lives in Birmingham, gave birth to her first child (a son) earlier this week. His daughter was readmitted to the hospital due to complications, but Gus said she is now stable and doing well. He had already been planning to fly this afternoon from Cincinnati to Birmingham to visit them even before Kenzie was readmitted,” the statement said.

Malzahn, 55, has two daughters. He is in his first season at UCF after eight seasons at Auburn. His team is now 3-3, while Cincinnati is 6-0.

Photo: Sep 2, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; UCF Knights head coach Gus Malzahn looks on during warms up before the game against the Boise State Broncos at Bounce House. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports