For New Zealand sports, this past weekend sucked. In the opening Rugby World Cup game against France, the All Blacks slumped to defeat. In the NRL Qualifying Finals against the Penrith Panthers, the Wahs were outclassed. And in his UFC title defence fight against Sean Strickland, Israel Adesanya looked rattled, hesitant and lost.
There were plenty of hot takes and big calls that came from those results, these are some of the most hectic ones.
MMA pundits are calling Izzy’s defeat one of the sport’s “biggest upsets ever”. Others believe that it signals the UFC is entering a new age.
“End of an era and changing of the guard, to be honest,” wrote one X user. “Not sure if Kamaru [Usman, former UFC welterweight division champion] or Izzy ever gets the title back again. The young guys at welterweight and middleweight are plenty and they are relentless and coming”.
“That’s the most crazy outcome I have ever seen,” wrote Brazillian UFC fighter Renato Moicano. “Was not a knockout, but five rounds of domination.”
“Unbelievable,” wrote UFC star Dustin Poirier. “MMA is the craziest sport in the world. I fucking love this."
World media credited France for their performance against the All Blacks, but added that the ABs are no longer the most feared team in the world.
UK sportswriter Alex Lowe wrote for The Times that, “this was a reality check for the All Blacks, whose aura has gone.”
Gregor Paul in the NZ Herald said the NZ team is “stunningly mentally frail” and a “long shot” to win the World Cup.
In The Telegraph, Gavin Mairs wrote that the French team “laid down a seismic marker, overwhelming New Zealand and giving the French public the ferocious and uplifting first chapter” of the tournament.
Warriors fans are still optimistic about the season despite being rolled by Penrith.
“Pathers are insane and Warriors are playing okay,” one person wrote on Reddit. “Remember the last few years of supporting this club before you bitch about how shit we are. No matter what happens in this final series we have a successful season”.
“I’ve sat through years of hidings to the Warriors,” another said. “You think I’m deflated? We’ve got this boys, get up!”.
Wahs’ captain Tohu Harris quite simply said the fellas were not at their best.
“Definitely a tough day,” he said after the game. “They showed us what finals footy is all about.”
“We didn't do a good enough job of playing how we've played all year. We tried to do things we haven't done all year, and they have too much quality to try and make things up on the day.”
While no one knows when Izzy will fight again, the All Blacks have a chance to get back in the W column with a game against Namibia at 7 AM on Saturday the 16th of September (NZT). The Wahs play the Newcastle Knights in an elimination final that night, 6:05 PM at Go Media Stadium Mount Smart.
C'mon fellas, at least one of ya pull off a W.