We had an interesting and exciting night in the sporting world. From the kickoff of NBA All Star Weekend to the Bellator MMA fight between Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson, every event provided some unexpected results and excitement. Sports can also provide a story that is bigger than the game itself. Here’s a quick recap of the four biggest events that took place tonight:
Smitty defeats the $20 Chef by decision at Rough n Rowdy in Morgantown, WV
Smitty has been doubted by everyone in the world that knows who he is at some point in his life. He’s gone from pasta maker to blogger to Rough n Rowdy champion. Adam Smith is one of the most resilient human beings I have ever seen in my life. He fed off of all the doubt everyone had been throwing his way and came through with a result that he promised time in and time out. Smitty is the perfect underdog story and has had himself a hell of a month. Much respect to him and his opponent Shaun Latham for putting on a show for everyone watching Rough n Rowdy.
Matt Mitrione defeats Roy Nelson by decision at Bellator 194 in Uncasville, CT
I was really surprised that this one went the distance. I thought for sure Mitrione was just going to knock out Roy Nelson and keep it moving. This easily could have been a finals match up in this heavyweight tournament. Mitrione started off the match throwing some solid punches and strong, calculated kicks. Nelson soon figured out he was going to be in trouble if he didn’t take the fight to the ground, so that’s exactly what he did. Both fighters showed spurts of excellence and domination throughout points in the fight and it looked pretty even until Roy Nelson started controlling the fight by being on top of Mitrione. I thought for sure that Nelson had won the fight after having total control of Mitrione for the last 2:30 of the fight. The decision went to the judges who scored the fight 28-28, 29-28, and 29-28 in favor of Mitrione. I’m not huge into Bellator, but Matt Mitrione is one of the nicest guys I have ever heard speak. After his win, instead of taking the opportunity to say how great he was or that he owned the fight, he asked his daughter to be his date to a father-daughter dance at her school, doesn’t get much better than that.
Cornell defeats Princeton in 3OT 107-101
This was a wild game. The first half ended with Cornell losing 36-25. At one point I checked the score and Princeton was up 20 with about 12 minutes to go in the game so I thought it was over at that point. After not getting a notification about the end of the game for another 20-25 minutes, I thought I should check the score to see how bad the final score ended up being. You can imagine my surprise when I checked the score and it was 76-76 with no time remaining left in the game. One overtime period would have been fine for everyone in attendance and everyone watching the game, but that period ended with a 82-82 score. On to another overtime we go. That’s not enough either for the big brains of the Ivy League, 88-88 end of the second OT. Three is the magic number as the Big Red defeated the Tigers 107-101, and finally the game was over.
St. Bonaventure defeats #16 Rhode Island 77-74
Rhode Island was on a roll coming into this game and so was St. Bonaventure. Rhode Island had a 21 game winning streak in conference games, including 13-0 this season coming into this one. St. Bonaventure was riding a nice 8 game win streak going into the game. Home dogs should never be taken lightly. The Bonnies never once were going to lay down and let Rhode Island come into their own house and beat them. Matt Mobley stepped up for St. Bonaventure with 26 points as well as 9 boards in their defeat of the Rams.
Theme of the day
Underdogs reign supreme. Smitty, St. Bonaventure and Cornell were all underdogs leading up to their respective events on Friday night. None of them let being an underdog hinder their performances. Smitty came out of the gate firing punches at the $20 chef and knocked him to the canvas with a clean punch in the first round. Cornell came all the way back when they easily could have given up after being down 20. St. Bonaventure didn’t let the rank of Rhode Island get to them. The story of the underdog is one that everyone loves.