By In Mixed Martial Arts

T.J. Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz Statistical Analysis

“Champion will fight former champion at UFC Fight Night Dillashaw vs. Cruz on Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston.

Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been on the shelf for the greater part of the last four years due to a long string of broken hands, torn knee ligaments and a torn groin. Cruz was the final World Extreme Cagefighting champion and the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s inaugural titleholder at 135 pounds, but he vacated the title in January 2014 after more than two years of injury-induced inactivity. He briefly returned later that year and demolished Takeya Mizugaki, earning a title shot that would end up getting pushed back for another torn ACL. “The Dominator” has not lost a fight since dropping down from featherweight to bantamweight in 2008…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts’s 2015 Fighter of the Year

“We should have seen it coming.

Rewind to this time last year. Of all the fighters coming off superlative years, of all the burgeoning and blazing stars of the sport, only one of them had the clairvoyance to know where he would end up by year’s end: the man they call “Mystic Mac.”

Entering 2015, McGregor was still plagued by questions and doubters. He had run roughshod over inferior foes, they said; the Ultimate Fighting Championship was handpicking opponents for him to look good against; he had yet to face a stud wrestler; his ground game was completely untested and unproven; he was being promoted because of his trash talk, not his skill. Such accusations brought comfort to the high school coach types who hated his cockiness, and they put staunch McGregorites in a defensive uproar. However, the man himself could not seem to be bothered by any of it…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts’s 2015 Submission of the Year

“To many, martial arts are a sort of magic — in every sense of the word. Magic in the sense that it is fascinating, mysterious and incomprehensible how a man or woman can train their body and mind to reliably do the opposite of what comes natural to most people, to fight instead of flee, to move to the side instead of step back, to maneuver into a counter instead of cover up.

Martial arts also evoke the same feelings of skepticism that magic does. There is a long, embarrassing history of ridiculous ideas that are founded in lore more so than actual combat, yet they have come to inhabit a mythological soma. Never mind that things like the death touch or using invisible energy to control people have never been proven to actually work; there are still cultish legions of believers in such techniques. Indeed, magic is usually bulls— and trickery.

Then there is the very real magic, where the impossible happens without explanation or doubt…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts’s 2015 Round of the Year

“When the opening bell sounded between Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne at UFC 187, fans thought they knew what to expect. Two heavy-hitting heavyweights — one a former champion, the other hailed as a potential future champion — would meet in the middle and throw bombs until one of them went unconscious. True to the high-drama of combat, fans got exactly what they thought they would, yet at the same time, the way it unfolded was completely unpredictable…”

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By In education, essay

Numbers and Letters: A Day in the Life of a Special Education Teacher

“Two years.

It’s January 2014, and that statistic echoes around my head as I arrive at work. Two years is the average shelf life of a special-education teacher in Hawaii.

I’ve made it a year and a half at this middle school, but it’s felt a lot longer than that. I’ve worked during every break teaching ESY (Extra School Year) in the FSC (Fully Self-Contained classroom), and that’s to say nothing of the part-time job and full-time grad school schedule I’ve also been juggling.

I turn the engine off and sit inside my car for a few minutes to gather myself. I try to rub the exhaustion off my face, but it feels like I’m only spreading it around, like how a child attempts to clean up spilled juice with a paper towel. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere about feeling like a child when I’m here at work, but I let it go and heave myself out of the car. I try not to look at the gas meter…”


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