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Guardiola: ‘Easiest award ever belongs to Ferguson’

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After his latest success, Pep Guardiola admits he “won’t chase” Alex Ferguson when it comes to Premier League Manager of the Month awards.

A dominant December saw the Manchester City boss claim his 11th monthly prize in England, rising to third spot in the all-time rankings.

That sits behind Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger on 15, and Ferguson, the godfather of cross-town rival Manchester United, way out in front on 27.

In his prematch press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Chelsea, Guardiola reacted to his own rise to third: “Be careful, Sir Alex, Arsene — I’m coming!”

But once he was given the news of Ferguson’s 27, his prediction soon changed: “How many?!

“OK, it belongs to him. I will not chase him, for sure!”

MORE: Guardiola hits back at Van Dijk and Tuchel

Guardiola also dismissed the importance of the award, instead praising his troops: “This is the easiest award ever.

“The most points in a month is the manager of the month. It’s simple. And the reason we won is not the manager — it’s the players.”

‘Out of this world’

Although City has now raced into a 10-point lead at the top of the table, Guardiola also spoke of his current three-way title race, alongside Chelsea and Liverpool.

The Catalan coach suggested it’s the first time in his career he’s faced anything more than a single threat — but that is mainly down to the incredibly pace set by Jurgen Klopp and himself in recent years.

Guardiola said: “At Barcelona, it was Madrid. At Bayern, it was Dortmund. Here, yeah, in the last few years it was Liverpool and ourselves.

“Now this season, Chelsea [are challenging] — but I have to say it’s because Liverpool and Man City were exceptional [previously]. Not because the other ones were wrong.

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“United was close, I remember one year with [Jose] Mourinho and last season especially with Ole [Gunnar] Solskjaer.

“They were really good — but we were exceptional.

“What Liverpool and Man City has done in the last three or four years, it was never seen before in this country. Never, ever. More than 90 points to be champions, when before it was 78, 82, 86, 87.

“I think Antonio Conte with Chelsea started a little bit when they won the league, in my first season here. But after, Liverpool and City made a step.

MORE: Ranking the top 20 January transfers ever

“I think they did well, the other opponents — Chelsea, United, Tottenham — they did well. But Liverpool and City were out of this world.

“I’m proud of the five years of success. In January, [my players] are still there in every single game competing.

“What happened after being champions, the next season, for the last 10 champions? Take a review. The last 10 champions, the next season they drop, and drop massively.

“We are there. And that is incredible credit to these exceptional players. My job is to put my words behind them and tell them the truth.”





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After run of mixed results, Tatsumitsu Wada admits that rankings or a world title fight is not his main concern

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Tatsumitsu Wada has played down talks on whether he has his sights on the flyweight rankings or a shot against division king Adriano Moraes in the future.

The Japanese MMA fighter revealed his main focus as of now is to take out ‘Little Whirlwind’ Wang Shuo at ONE: Only the Brave, set for this Friday, January 28.

Tatsumitsu Wada told ONE ahead of his clash at the Singapore Indoor Stadium:

“I’m not really concerned about the rankings. The important thing is for me to win against all the opponents who are prepared. If I keep on winning, ONE will give me the ranked fighters and If I defeat the ranked fighters, I can get the world title fight.”

Like his fellow flyweight stars, the Japanese athlete still has his sights on the ONE flyweight crown. Unfortunately for the 33-year-old Tokyo native, results have not entirely gone his way, so he understands that he must take things one step at a time.

In his seven appearances on the global stage, he has picked up three victories and suffered four losses. However, his defeats have only come by way of decision and the flyweight star must increase his output or risk ending up on the wrong side of the winner’s bracket again.

Tatsumitsu Wada added:

“Actually, I’m always aiming for a finish in each fight. It’s just not there, but hopefully, this time around, I’ll get a finish. I have to go into the Circle first and see what happens. But what I’m going to do here is I’m going to mix my striking, grappling and MMA and in the end, I’ll be the winner.”


Tatsumitsu Wada’s grappling could spell danger for his Chinese rival

While victories have not always sided with him, martial arts fans and everyone can agree that Tatsumitsu Wada remains a dangerous threat to everyone in his division.

‘The Sweeper’ is equally adept in all aspects of mixed martial arts, but the most efficient tool that he owns is his proficiency in the grappling department.

He has used it in all his fights, even trapping ‘Mighty Mouse’ on the canvas with a couple of rear-naked choke attempts during their ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinal clash.

Wang Shuo’s biggest weakness is his ground game. That means that if the Japanese fighter can score an early takedown and keep his Chinese opponent on the canvas, he could leave the Circle with a memorable win.






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WWE Royal Rumble 2022: Five potential forbidden door entrants for the men’s match

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Over the past two years, the Forbidden Door has been a term with little meaning in the pro wrestling world. Athletes from various companies have performed for other promotions. But thanks to inter-promotional collaborations, anything feels possible. WWE wasn’t a part of those discussions until recently. 

Mickie James, the Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Champion, will be appearing in the women’s Royal Rumble match on August 29. The internet was buzzing when WrestleVotes reported that WWE is looking to bring in an “unexpected” Forbidden Door star to the men’s Royal Rumble match.

Who could it be? 

There are plenty of options of who could show up inside The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis. Sporting News looks into the potential individuals who could appear in the match that starts the build to WrestleMania. 

Matt Cardona 

The former Zack Ryder had people invested in him since he started Z-True Long Island Story on YouTube. Organically getting over, Matt Cardona has a loyal following. Since being let go by WWE, Cardona found a way to stand out. Cardona has worked for Impact, GCW, the NWA, and AEW. His current run in GCW as “The Deathmatch King” has resulted in him being one of the best heels in the business. 

Trolling fans with WWE references during his promos, Cardona would make for a good surprise guest at the Royal Rumble, during a time when he is as popular as ever. 

MORE: WWE Royal Rumble 2022 date, start time, betting odds, PPV schedule & card

W. Morrissey

Another former WWE talent, the man previously known as Big Cass made it a mission to have a fresh start after being let go by WWE. W. Morrissey got in great shape and improved his in-ring skills, which resulted in him being a desired athlete. Competing for Impact Wrestling, Morrissey is a monster who has been fighting for the company’s world title. Seeing how WWE and Impact are working together, it would not be surprising to see someone else from the company enter the Royal Rumble.

Morrissey, the smooth big man, would be the perfect fit for the Royal Rumble as well.  

Moose

If Impact and WWE are going to team together, you might as well go all out. Moose, the Impact World Champion, reported to WWE training camps in the early 2010s. Making a name for himself outside of the company, Moose managed to reach the top of the mountain by becoming a world champion for Impact. What better way to showcase what he can do and enhance Impact’s numbers than by having Moose in the Royal Rumble? WWE could also potentially be looking at a future employee if everything goes according to plan. Adding Moose would also play into the promos he has recently done on WWE.

While not all WWE fans may end up knowing who he is, a brief binge could bring people together to watch him and Impact Wrestling down the line. 

Chris Jericho 

It is unknown if WWE and AEW would do a true team-up. There is one man, however, who wouldn’t have a problem going through the Forbidden Door. After all, he has done it before. Not long ago, Chris Jericho, a former AEW World Champion, appeared on the Stone Cold Podcast, becoming the first AEW star to appear on WWE programming. When he was working for New Japan Pro Wrestling he also had a run with WWE.

While he has secured himself a role in AEW, it appears that Jericho’s influence can result in appearances wherever he sees fit. WWE would most likely welcome him back, even for one night. The former undisputed champion actually competing inside a WWE ring after everything is said and done would be quite an accomplishement, but, to many, not a surprise.

MORE: MJF sounds off on rivalry with CM Punk, learning from The Pinnacle, and his place in AEW

Sean Waltman

This feels like the more obvious pick out of anyone on the list. Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, a WWE Hall of Famer, recently announced he is medically cleared to return to the ring. He appeared on a recent GCW show and made it a point to say he would answer the phone if WWE called. A member of D-Generation X, Waltman going on another run, even if brief, just makes the most sense. He might even surprise everyone.

If you’re not down with that… 





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Ric Flair on the time Vince McMahon reprimanded him

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Vince McMahon once told Ric Flair that he harmed his chances of being considered a WWE great due to his inability to follow the rules.

In 1992, Randy Savage defeated Flair at WrestleMania VIII to win the WWE Championship. The Nature Boy’s face was covered in blood at the end of the physical contest after he agreed to let his opponent bust him open.

Reflecting on the match, Flair said on his Wooooo Nation UNCENSORED podcast that the WWE Chairman called him into his office to discuss the matter.

“They said no blood but Randy asked me as a favor, so I cut myself,” said Flair. “That’s what he said to me, ‘Every time you get this close to being the greatest, you do something [to ruin it].’ I don’t know if he used the F word, but he [said], ‘You do something stupid.’ Let’s put it like that.”

Flair’s forehead became bloodied midway through the match when Savage slammed his head against several steel objects at ringside. WWE usually replays moments from the match in black and white due to the amount of blood involved.


Ric Flair only has good things to say about Vince McMahon

April 5th 1992, WrestleMania VIII. Randy Savage beat Ric Flair to win the WWF Title. #WWENetwork #WWE http://t.co/PpsyOEC7Bf

Although Ric Flair was granted his release from WWE in August 2021, he did not leave on bad terms with McMahon.

The 72-year-old added that he will forever “owe” his former boss, but he cannot say the same for WWE President Nick Khan:

“I owe Vince McMahon and I will for the rest of my life,” Flair continued. “Not Nick Khan. Not Nick Khan, but Vince McMahon.”

Flair claimed on a recent episode of his podcast that Khan “buried” him and “made things personal” before his WWE exit. According to the two-time WWE Hall of Famer, Khan was responsible for removing him from RAW during his last few months with the company.


Please credit Wooooo Nation UNCENSORED and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.


A former WWE writer wants Roman Reigns vs. Kurt Angle at WrestleMania. More details right here.

Edited by Colin Tessier

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