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mma

UFC’s Robbie Lawler Says He ‘Just Felt It Was Time’ To Retire After 22 Year Career 

Robbie Lawler will be competing for the final time on Saturday night at UFC 290, marking his 47th match over a long and successful 22 year career. 

Lawler is a former UFC welterweight champion and a soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer. He announced his plans to retire from MMA following his upcoming match with Niko Price. Lawler admitted that there wasn’t a specific moment that led him to the announcement, he just felt it was time for him to hang up the gloves. 

“It’s just a feeling I got over time. I’ve been doing this a long time, accomplished a lot, just felt it was time.”

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Lawler has been involved in MMA since he was a teenager, and since his professional debut in 2001, he’s competed every year, except for 2018, which is an amazing accomplishment for professionals in UFC. 

Lawler says the unknown is always scary, especially when leaving something he’s been involved in for two decades. 

“I would say there was fear, because it’s freaking unknown. I’ve been training and competing my whole life, even when I was supposed to be in high school or middle school. I’m concentrating on how to get better at wrestling or football or whatever, fighting, when I should be doing my homework. That’s where I’ve always been.”

“One thing that I feel I’m going to get out of this is I’m going to actually just be able to train for fun again, which is huge,” Lawler explained. 

“My body feels better when I’m training for fun. When I’m training for a fight, it just doesn’t feel as good as it used to and I don’t have to recover now,” he stated. 

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“I can actually torture myself, which seems weird, but that’s my goal: To torture myself, to beat myself down, and that’s how I gain strength. Now, since I’m older, I can’t recover as fast. So now I’m going to be able to torture myself a little bit more and give myself more rest.”

Lawler is also fully intending on remaining involved in the realm of MMA in the future, he just will be doing the work outside of the cage. 

“I’m definitely going to be around the sport. This sport has given so much to me. The reason that I am where I am today and been able to last this long is because of all the people helping me,” Lawler said. 

“So I’m going to give back, all these little tidbits I’ve learned over time and we have a really good gym at Kill Cliff FC, and just being able to help guys get stronger so that they can make money and compete at a higher level, and that’s what I feel martial arts is about. Giving back and showing techniques.”

“I think it could [get emotional], and it has come up, but I try not to because it’s a lot. I’ve been freaking doing this a long time,” Lawler concluded.

rocknroll

Kate Bush ‘Shocked And Honored’ To Be Among New Inductees For Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 

Kate Bush is “completely shocked and honored” to be included in this years inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside other icons such as George Michael, Rage Against the Machine, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, and Missy Elliot; who’s the first female rapper to be inducted. 

Bush recently spoke to Rolling Stone about the honor: 

“It’s something I just never thought would happen. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. It means a great deal that you would think of me. It’s such a huge honor. Now, as part of the initiation ceremony, I get to find out about the secret handshake … there is one, right?”

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame began in 1983, with a physical museum opening in Cleveland in 1995. There are currently 365 acts in the Hall. Artists become eligible to join 25 years after the release of their first records, and must be voted in by a panel of more than 1,000 industry figures. 

This year, the inductees have been regarded as acts that were taken from a larger pool of acts that were previously shortlisted; this year marks Bush’s third time being nominated. 

Rage Against the Machine had been finalists five times before this year, and thanked the Hall of Fame for the recognition. 

“[We thank the Hall of Fame] for recognizing the music and the mission in a surprising trajectory for a band who is as well known for our albums as we are for our fierce opposition to the US war machine, white supremacy, and exploitation.”

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Willie Nelson, who recently turned 90, is being inducted on his first nomination, as are Michael, Elliot, and Crow. Michael was automatically inducted as a finalist to earn the most votes from a public poll. 

Beyond the inductees, Chaka Khan, Al Kooper, and Bernie Taupin are receiving the musical excellence award. DJ Kool Herc and Link Wray will receive the musical influence awards, and Don Cornelius, who passed away in 2012, will be honored with the Ahmet Ertegun award.

Joel Peresman, the Hall of Fame’s president and chief executive, told Rolling Stone that he hopes Bush will perform at the induction ceremony, which would mark her first live performance since her 2014 residency in London; which at the time was her first live performance in 35 years. 

Bush’s induction into the Hall of Fame is not surprising to fans, old and new, as her song ‘Running Up That Hill’ was used throughout the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things, propelling the single to re-enter the charts. It became Number 1 in the UK and Number 3 on the US charts.

Empty Ring

How Maxwell Friedman Turned Into Pro Wrestler “MJF”

Max Friedman grew up in Plainview, New York and has become somewhat of a hometown hero now that he’s officially begun his pro-wrestling career.

Gold Stars

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominee’s Announced

“The nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 are in, and the list features the Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex, and Thin Lizzy. The top vote-getters will be announced in January and inducted May 2nd, 2020, at a ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall.” Rolling Stone Magazine

It’s that time of year again, Rolling Stone Magazine covered and announced this years nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and fans are overjoyed with the choices. This year the Hall Of Fame decided in order to be eligible for a nomination, an artist’s first album or single must have been released during 1994 or earlier, according to Rolling Stone. This is a lot of artists first years making it onto the nomination ballot, which is seen as a high honor in itself, and many artists have made it in the past and are back this year to hopefully snag an actual spot in the class of 2020 for the Hall of Fame. 

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The decision making process for who actually gets inducted is a lot more inclusive and expansive than a standard Academy Award type of process. Over 1,000 individuals vote on who is deserving of a spot. According to Rolling Stone these individuals are made up of other artists, music journalists, historians, and other members in the music industry who have enough experience to gage an artists qualifications. To make the process even more democratic, fans can vote as well for their choices on  rockhall.com or at an interactive kiosk at the Rock and Roll museum in Cleveland. This way, part of the vote is determined by the everyday actual listeners of these artists. Whether it’s people who grew up with these artists, or the younger generation who discovered the music through their parents and streaming services, fans are able to put in their two cents and actually be a part of this annual musical honor. 

“Nothing stays the same in music, therefore, really, the institution that honors it has to evolve with all the music. Just like hip-hop is very much a part of the Hall of Fame now, everything we do — the board members we have, the events we build on — has to reflect a changing culture without ever disregarding or turning our backs on the ideals and fundamentals of the Rock Hall,”  John Sykes, new Rock Hall chairman told Rolling Stone.

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33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

This is John Sykes first year as acting chairman for the Hall of Fame induction. Previously Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone Magazine was the chairman for Rock Hall as well. The decision behind Wenner stepping down after years of controversy surrounding the Hall of Fame is actually about making sure the process remains 100% legitimate, a claim Wenner has stuck to throughout his whole career. Wenner’s controversy is rooted in the fact that fans everywhere would often blame their distaste in the yearly inductions by calling out Wenner for favoritism of some artists over the other. Regardless of his rebuttal, it never seemed to matter since Wenner inducted himself into the Hall Of Fame at the first ever ceremony in the 80’s, and ever since then people just automatically associated Wenner with favoritism. 

Either way, Sykes is now stepping in, all in a greater hope that his more modern and refreshed understanding and love for current music will help lead to the best inductions every year. Regardless, all parties involved in the process still stick to Wenner’s general philosophy on the importance of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame;

“To honor and celebrate and archive the great music of our time, the music that changed our own lives, and so many other people in and out of the industry, that was the magic that set us free … something that moved us and still does.”

Olympics

Tommie Smith and John Carlos (Finally) Inducted Into The Olympic Hall Of Fame

On November 1st of this year, former Olympic medalist sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos will finally be inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame. Before there were athlete activists like Colin Kaepernick [who began the nationwide trend of taking a knee during the National Anthem before games in protest of racial injustice, inequality, and violence minorities experience everyday in this country] there was Smith and Carlos. 

Smith won gold and Carlos won bronze during the 200 meter dash at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. While they were standing on the winner stands they both raised a fist with a leather glove on, a symbol that was synonymous with the Black Panther group, and looked to the ground as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played. This was the original form of taking a knee, and like Kaepernick, the two were immediately ostracized and punished for the “political protest.” The Olympics expelled both Smith and Carlos from the games and any event affiliated with the Olympics, and they were immediately sent home after the medal ceremony. Now, nearly 51 years later, they’re being honored by the Olympics for their bravery and for unknowingly starting a protest movement that would last into modern day sports culture. 

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Tommie Smith (right) John Carlos (left) crossing the finish line at the 200 meter dash

When we think of the year 1968 during the Summer Olympics, we have to remember the context. Martin Luther King Jr. was recently assassinated, there was a war for peace during the actual Vietnam war, and the fight for racial equality was at its height, for the time at least. Racial tensions were already extremely high, so the USOPC was attempting to keep the ‘68 games as non-political as they could, ironic for an event in which every single country in the world competes to see who’s the best. 

According to The Washington Post’s full account of the iconic 1968 Olympic moment, “The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee  initially decided against a suspension, at the time, intending to issue a warning to the rest of the American athletes competing in Mexico. The International Olympic Committee demanded a stronger response, though, fearing that racial dissension might spread to other delegations if USOC refused to suspend Smith and Carlos,’ according to a dispatch sent from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City at the time.”

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That year for the Olympics was doomed from the start, as it began with controversy. Black athletes from all parts of the world were upset at the inclusion of Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia in the games that year. Many protested by threatening not to participate, and some actually didn’t. Others were demanding that more black coaches be hired, and accused the then president of the International Olympic Committee of racism and antisemitism for the inclusion of the country, so much so that they demanded his termination. 

Luckily, everyone besides the USOPC saw the bravery and heroic nature behind Smith and Carlos’ peaceful protest and they’ve been honored and praised ever since. The two already have a long list of awards and achievements from the now iconic Olympic moment, including induction into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame. In addition the two were able to go to the White House and meet President Obama along with the rest of that years U.S. Summer Olympic team.

Now, the U.S. Olympic Committee is finally catching up with the rest of the world and inducting the two star athlete activists into the Hall of Fame, it only took five decades.