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column-Vincent Juico-Sports without BordersAS I was turning 40 last Friday, a lot was happening inside and outside the sports scene that allowed me to put things in perspective.

On November 13, a Friday night in Paris, suspected Islamic or Muslim militants staged a military-style attack on six different locations in Paris, killing 129 people and wounding 350. Two explosions rocked a football friendly between Germany and France at the Stad de France, which France won, 2-0. French President François Hollande was in attendance and was whisked away by security when the first explosion went off. Later on, the ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Then Germany postponed its trip to the Netherlands for another friendly against the Dutch side. France was supposed to fly to the UK to play England also in a friendly. Football officials of both nations are talking how to move forward, whether to proceed with the match or not.

After terrorist attacks in Baghdad and Beirut, which were weeks apart, Paris suffered its second attack in nine months. The world of sports reacted to the Paris attacks through social media. Sports venues played the French national anthem at the start of games and matches. National Basketball Association (NBA) player and Frenchman Rudy Gobert wrote #Pray for Paris on his sneakers. French National Hockey League (NHL) players had the French flag on their helmets. French NBA and NHL players played with heavy hearts. US college football teams carried both the French and American flags as they exited the tunnel.

We pray that the perpetrators of the senseless attacks in Baghdad, Beirut and Paris, and other parts of the world are brought to justice and may our Creator have mercy on them.


EARLIER Sunday, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was knocked out by Holly Holm in Round Two of their title fight. Holm thus became the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Rousey was nailed by a high kick to the side of her neck, in the jawline area, and was knocked out cold but was still pounded by Holm with hammer fists as Rousey lay motionless on the canvas. The referee, Herb Dean, was forced to stop the fight to take Rousey out of her misery and prevent any serious injuries.

Rousey obviously underestimated the stand-up abilities and striking prowess of Holm—and she paid dearly for it. Rousey thought she could beat Holm at the latter’s own game, boxing. Rousey clearly disrespected her opponent, just like Anderson Silva disrespected Chris Weidman in their first meeting and paid dearly for it. Silva suffered a knockout loss, too.

I’m not an MMA armchair analyst but maybe Rousey should’ve stuck to her strength and taken Holm down, where she could have used her grappling, wrestling and judo background, which isn’t Holm’s core competence. However, the one time that she took Holm to the ground, Holm was patient, cool, calm and collected, and defended herself well.

Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn prepared Holm very well for this fight. They did their homework and, as a result, another one of their fighters won a title after Jon Jones, who unfortunately was forced to give up his light-heavyweight title due to a hit-and-run incident in April.

A rematch is what the fans want. Misha Tate says it’s her turn to take a shot at Holm for Holm’s first title defense. Cris “Cyborg” Justino also wants a piece of Holm. What a difference a knockout of an overwhelming favorite can do to your market value as a fighter. Whoever wants Holm better fall in line.


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