Australians are slowly easing back into their regular sports, whilst the international stage is still providing the best entertainment a punter can get. Here are some of the week’s biggest headlines and the major events to keep an eye on this weekend.
Adesanya vs Romero heats up before UFC 248
The most important sporting event of the weekend will be UFC 248 in Las Vegas.
Undisputed UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has always been a confident sort, and there has been no sign of a backwards step in the build-up to his bout with veteran fighter Yoel Romero.
Many other great fighters will be on the main card, but all eyes are on Adesanya and Romero with the middleweight title on the line.
Yet to lose a fight in the octagon, Adesanya has become a favourite of the UFC community, but Romero is a villain in the ring that hits hard, with 11 KOs from his 13 wins.
The anticipation for this fight has been massive, so whether you are rooting for Israel or Yoel, you will have a good fight to watch on Sunday.
Tasmania announced as the 10th NBL team
Amongst the brilliant NBL Finals, some exciting news was dropped to the general public as the league announced the addition of a 10th franchise.
Tasmania has been selected as the location for the newest team, which currently doesn’t have a name or brand.
The inclusion of a 10th team will make fixtures easier to create and take away byes, making the league easier to follow throughout the regular season.
Both of this year’s NBL semi-finals have gone to a deciding third game to be played on Thursday night, with the Perth Wildcats hosting the Cairns Taipans while the Sydney Kings take on Melbourne United.
Williamson smashing NBA records as Pelicans soar
Playing for the New Orleans Pelicans in his rookie season, Zion Williamson has been dubbed the future of the NBA.
If you have somehow missed the endless attention Zion has received, here is a short piece from us telling you why he is making so much noise.
The NBA has not seen a rookie burst onto the scene like this since the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in 2004.
Williamson is averaging 24 points per game – the most from a rookie since Blake Griffin’s 22 ppg in 2010-11 – as well as seven rebounds.
Zion’s explosion has coincided with a sharp uptick in form for the Pelicans, who can still snag the eighth seed in the Western Conference if they make up four games on the Memphis Grizzlies and leapfrog a few other teams in the process.
Stars return for final weekend of AFL preseason
The first round of the Marsh Community Series practice matches was played over the course of two weeks, with many teams giving their younger players a go while their stars were missing due to the State of Origin match.
Now that there are only two weeks until the opening week of the 2020 AFL Premiership season, the teams are gearing up and preparing very seriously.
Fresh off the 2019 AFL Grand Final loss, the GWS Giants will face the Richmond Tigers this Saturday as superstars such as Dustin Martin and Jeremy Cameron step into the spotlight.
West Australian footy fans will get a sneak peak at the 2020 WA Derby as West Coast and Fremantle do battle in Joondalup. Look out for dual Brownlow Medal winner Nat Fyfe as he captains the Dockers in this clash.
In other AFL news, the China match has been cancelled and moved back to Marvel Stadium, where St Kilda and Port Adelaide will be safe from the coronavirus.
Rafael Nadal makes history with Mexican Open win
Rafael Nadal’s first title for 2020 came this week at the Acapulco Cup, also known as the Mexican Open, where he dismantled Pablo Andujar in the final on Wednesday.
Nadal has now won at least one ATP title in 17 consecutive years, collecting 85 in total. Having started the year as the world no.1, the Spaniard has held the top ranking in three separate decades.
Rafa’s victory this week also means he is both the oldest (33y 9m) and the youngest (18y 9m) winner of the Mexican Open men’s singles title, having claimed his first crown back in 2005.
Nadal is in fine form leading up to the French Open in May.
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