Modesto's McDonald gets title shot


Modesto's McDonald gets title shot

For most 21-year-olds, the most difficult task at hand is usually college classes or looking for future employment. But for Modesto native and UFC Bantamweight Michael ‘Mayday’ McDonald, that is the least of his worries.

With a record of 15-1, which includes nine KO/TKO finishes, McDonald is one of the fastest rising stars in mixed martial arts. And on February 16, 2013, he can become the youngest UFC champion ever.

After weeks of speculation and rumors, it was officially announced that Mayday will face off against UFC Interim Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao at UFC on FUEL TV 7 at the famed Wembley Arena in London, England.

Barao, who defeated Urijah Faber at UFC 149 for the interim title, is another young star in the making. At 25 years old, Barao was hoping to face UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz for the undisputed title. However Cruz is scheduled to have a second procedure on his torn ACL, which will sideline him for several more months.

Many had expected McDonald to face Faber at 149 for the interim shot, but that opportunity was given to Barao. Now it is McDonald’s shot for UFC gold. Having won his last eight bouts, four of which came in the UFC, Mayday is deserving of this title shot and there are few who would dispute that claim.

Nitesh Dutt is a Productions Assistant at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @NiteshDutt.


Steve Kerr uses playing cards as his latest pregame prop for Warriors news

Steve Kerr uses playing cards as his latest pregame prop for Warriors news

For his latest trick, Steve Kerr brought out a deck of cards Friday night in Oakland. 

With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green out against the Bulls, Kerr was ready to announce who would replace them. Get your phones ready reporters.

"You guys ready to tweet?" Kerr asked reporters. "We're gonna start Omri and Jordan Bell." 

Kerr then began to shuffle his deck of cards and said, "As soon as you're down tweeting, we'll resume human contact. But in the meantime, stare at your phones, ignore me, I'm just practicing my shuffling." 

Casspi, in his first year with the Warriors, is averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game through 15 games. The rookie Bell has played in 12 games and is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. 

Friday night is Bell's first career start. 

Kerr's pregame prop list now includes a nail clipper, a Rubbik's cube, a slinky, and playing cards. 

Bell, Casspi to start in absence of All-Stars

Bell, Casspi to start in absence of All-Stars

OAKLAND -- The massive task of replacing All-Star forwards Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the Warriors lineup Friday night against the Bulls falls to veteran Omri Casspi and rookie Jordan Bell.

It’s the first career start for Bell, who was a healthy scratch in each of the last three games. He will be facing the team that drafted him last June specifically to sell his rights to the Warriors for $3.5 million.

“I’ve been wanting to get him active and play him anyway,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said prior to tipoff. “But with Draymond out, to me, it’s a pretty easy choice.”

Bell indicated he would not be particularly motivated against the team that drafted him, adding that he won’t be seeking any sort of vindication.

“They made it clear that they didn’t want me, so I don’t take it to heart,” Bell said after shootaround Friday morning. “They didn’t draft me and sell me. They just drafted me for the Warriors.”

Though Durant is out to rest his left ankle, sprained last Saturday in Philadelphia, Green simply has been given the night off. Kerr indicated there will be other occasions for which he will rest Green.

Durant missed only one game last week but returned Wednesday at Oklahoma City. His ankle did not respond well in the wake of that game, so he gets another day off.

Casspi replaced Durant in the starting lineup last Sunday at Brooklyn, producing 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks over 23 minutes.

This is the first absence of the season for Green. It won’t be the last, as Kerr plans to rest all starters at various points of the season.