Meadville Tribune

Opinion

September 16, 2013

WALK TALK: Browns continue to show no signs of progression

(Continued)

8 For a bench player at the start of the season, Ryan Raburn has proved to be one of the Indians’ most important players. Save for Jason Kipnis, you could argue that Raburn is the Tribe’s MVP. It’s no coincidence that Cleveland lost five straight games during an August road trip in Atlanta and Detroit during Raburn’s stint on the disabled list. And they’ve gotten hot since his return. The Indians clearly believe in the veteran considering they signed him to a two-year deal mid-season.

9 The UFC is back on pay per view Saturday with a light heavyweight bout I’ve been waiting over a year to see: champion Jon Jones faces Swedish standout Alexander Gustafsson. A big reason why Jones has been so successful — in addition to his freakish athleticism — is he’s so much larger and longer than every opponent he’s faced. His reach (84.5 inches) is unprecedented for his weight class but Gustafsson’s is 76.5 — much closer than Jones’ previous opponents. Jones has the edge in experience and wrestling, but mentally, Gustafsson isn’t going to be afraid of a title fight — similar to Chris Weidman against Anderson Silva. Gustafsson is no slouch, but I just don’t see Jones losing until he someday moves to heavyweight.

10 The UFC is usually spot-on when choosing head coaches for its twice-a-year reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. But it made a mistake by picking BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar for the spring 2014 edition of “TUF.” Both may be good coaches, but part of the show’s point is to have two rivals meet in the octagon once the season ends. Penn and Edgar fought years ago in a pair of five-round bouts — both won by Edgar. Penn wants to get the stain of the one-sided matchup off his record, but I don’t really care to see them fight again — especially if it ends up being a headliner.

The preceding was The Walk Talk 10, which runs in the Tribune's sports section every Tuesday. Assistant news editor Dan Walk can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at dwalk@meadvilletribune.com.

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