The 2020 college football season has its first novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)-related casualty.
Wednesday, it was announced that the Southern Heritage Classic, matching Jackson State University and Tennessee State University, both historically black college and university (HBCU) programs, will not be played as scheduled on Sept. 12 at the Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, TN.
Organizers moved to cancel the Week 2 game after Shelby County in Tennessee (where Memphis is its county seat) reported an increase of 256 cases of the virus on Monday.
Onward to today’s topic:
UFC on ESPN 11:
The first UFC event of a quite different summer happens this weekend, Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 11 (a.k.a., UFC Vegas 3).
UFC on ESPN 11 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and will be simulcast live on ESPN and the cabler’s premium streaming platform, ESPN+.
Action begins late Saturday afternoon with the undercard at 5 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN+, followed by main card action at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT.
Highlighting the 12-fight show on Saturday evening is a five-round main event in the UFC’s Heavyweight division.
No. 3 contender Curtis Blaydes (13-2, one no-contest) will meet No. 7 contender Alexander Volkov (31-7) in your headliner.
Heading into Saturday night’s main event, Alexander Volkov is the taller contestant, standing 6-foot-7, three inches taller than Curtis Blaydes’ 6-foot-4 frame.
How they got here:
Curtis Blaydes has posted a 4-1 record in his last five fights, entering Saturday’s contest on a three-fight winning streak.
Last time out, in the headliner of UFC on ESPN+ 24 on Jan. 25 in Raleigh, NC, he scored a knockout against Junior dos Santos in round two (knee strikes, punches).
In the other corner, Alexander Volkov has likewise gone 4-1 in his last five fights.
Most recently, he defeated Greg Hardy (unanimous decision) on Nov. 9, 2019 in UFC on ESPN+ 21 in the co-main event of the evening.
The Tale of the Tape:
UFC.com shows that both fighters are level in reach (80 inches apiece), with Volkov holding a 1.5-inch leg reach advantage (47.5 inches to 46 inches) over Blaydes.
Prediction: Alexander Volkov by unanimous decision.
Other fights on Saturday night’s card include:
Co-Main Event: No. 8 contender Josh Emmett (15-2) vs. No. 10 contender Shane Burgos (13-1) [Featherweight]
No. 6 contender Raquel Pennington (10-8) vs. No. 10 contender Marion Reneau (9-5-1) [Women’s Bantamweight]
Belal Muhammad (16-3) vs. Lyman Good (21-5) [Welterweight]
Jim Miller (31-14) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (10-1) [catchweight- 160 lbs.]