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The UFC’s best nicknames and the stories behind them

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Nicknames can be fun or serious, have little meaning or be deeply personal. They can be self-given, coined by a coach or a promotion or in some cases earned based on a performance. Oftentimes a nickname is more ubiquitous than a fighter’s actual name.

Such is the way of combat sports, where so many fighters have some sort of ring name. There are the common ones — such as “Sugar” (Ray Leonard, Ray Robinson, Shane Mosley, Sean O’Malley) — and the many developed to create a persona or make a fighter seem tough.

“For some people, they pick nicknames just to pick them,” said UFC welterweight Matthew Semelsberger, otherwise known as ‘Semi The Jedi.’ “But your ring name — your nickname — should be heavily connected to you as a person … and the journey that you’ve taken to get to whatever level of the game you’re at, at that point.

“I think the nickname is a very spiritual thing, so I take that to heart.”

But there is something to every nickname. There is an origin story. Here are the stories of some of the best nicknames in the UFC and how they came to be.

Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya

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Check out highlights from Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya. Order UFC 248 here https://plus.espn.com/ufc/ppv.

Adesanya knew his nickname would be different. He couldn’t have known, however, when the UFC middleweight champion created “The Last Stylebender,” it would become one of the most well-known monikers in all of combat sports.

He just knew it spoke to him.

“It came from the TV show ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ because I could relate to learning all the elements to meet my destiny,” Adesanya said in an email to ESPN. “Stylebender is based on freestyle — I love the different styles in martial arts, and I was trying to bend my way through each one and master each one.”

The nickname took hold as his career rose in the King In The Ring kickboxing tournament in New Zealand. It followed him from kickboxing to MMA. From Australia and New Zealand to all over the world.

And it’s a nickname no one can touch.

“No one has ever had it, and it’s uniquely me.” Adesanya said. “Some people have the same fight names, no one can ever have this.”

Paulo “The Eraser” Costa

Paulo Costa received his first nickname because of his older brother. Carlos was also a fighter, and his nickname — after being translated to English — was “Rubber Man,” because of his flexibility. So it made sense Paulo’s first nickname was “Borrachinha,” which Costa says translates to “Little Rubber” — or “Little Rubber Man.”

For years, Costa was “Borrachinha,” but when he signed with the UFC the name didn’t translate great from Portuguese to English. Plus, he wanted something new.

His coach, Eric Albarracin, suggested a new name somewhat based on an Arnold Schwarzenegger film: “Eraser.”

“They are both special to me,” Costa said. “In Portuguese they mean almost the same thing, so it’s OK to me. But ‘The Eraser’ is like a new version of Paulo.”

The eraser, in Costa’s eyes, “of the more dangerous fighters.”

Whatever Costa goes by he has yet to lose a fight entering Saturday’s UFC 253 middleweight title fight against Adesanya. So far in his career, it’s a nickname that fits as 11 of his 13 wins have been by KO or TKO.

“These nicknames make sense as the kind of fighter I am,” Costa said. “‘The Eraser’ is like, I finish all my fights. I don’t let my fights go to the judge.”

Maurice “The Crochet Boss” Greene

At some point, Maurice Greene was “The Pirate.” He isn’t sure when it changed — when he first started calling himself “The Crochet Boss” — only that it came during a phone conversation with his friend, rapper T-Billa.

Greene said it was a moment of clarity.

“It was a way to figure out how to have both of my worlds collide,” he said. “You know what I mean, and have the world see that, yeah, I’m a fighter and I fight, but crocheting is cool and it’s cool for men to crochet.”

The nickname was just weird enough that people were curious. He backed up what could be viewed as simply a gimmick by actually crocheting — a hobby he picked up in his 20s, in part, “because it’s faster than knitting.”

It’s become an icebreaker, both with fighters and crocheting away in a local Starbucks. Fighters have bought hats from him. He’s sold, he said, countless pieces. Using the same Lion Brand Yarn for years. He’s even hoping to one day land an endorsement contract.

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years-plus now,” Greene said. “I’ve been doing it for longer than I’ve been fighting. I say this all the time. My stitches are impeccable.”

Chan Sung Jung — “The Korean Zombie”

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Chan Sung Jung lands a vicious punch to the head of Renato Moicano in the first round. For more UFC action, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

As he developed as a fighter early on in his career, Chan Sung Jung sparred with teammates and wouldn’t stop attacking. Didn’t need rest. Didn’t need a break.

One of his teammates said he was like a zombie, relentlessly moving forward no matter what. It stuck. Then, he went to fight in Japan. The promoter at the time added “Korean'” to the front.

And that is how “The Korean Zombie” came to life.

“I liked it from the start,” Jung said in an email to ESPN. “Because it reminded me of a type of person who always pushes forward, searching for a good fight.”

Unlike fighters promoted by their first or last names, or fighters who at least have their names on promotional material, most of the time Jung prefers to go by his nickname. At this point in his career, he’s better known by that name than his real one.

“My friends back in the States just call me ‘Zombie,’ and most of my fans are not familiar with my real name,” Jung said. “Korean names can be a little complicated for foreigners to pick up. However, the word ‘Zombie,’ has an impact.

“There are a lot of fighters that are known for [their] nicknames, such as ‘Cro Cop’ or ‘Shogun.’ I think my name is one of them.”

Darren “The Dentist” Stewart

Darren Stewart loves his nickname, he just abhors the profession. Not his profession as a fighter, but rather the one his name is linked to.

“I’m scared of needles,” Stewart said. “I hate the dentist.”

Just a few weeks ago he dreaded going to the dentist to have a filling examined. Sitting in the chair and learning that no needles would be needed, he celebrated. Then, for a laugh, he told the dentist that he, too, was a dentist. Sort of.

At first, Stewart thought it was cheesy. He had returned to his gym, The MMA Clinic, in London after he knocked a few of his opponent’s teeth out in the first round of his final amateur fight. Someone in the gym started joking around with him.

“He’s like, ‘Yeah, you took out teeth, mate. Call yourself the dentist,'” Stewart said. “I said, ‘OK, whatever.’ [I] kept training there, and then on fight night, I went home and said, ‘Let’s try it and see what happens.'”

That fight was his pro debut and ended with a first-round knockout of his opponent Michael Ravenscroft. Once again, he heard from those around him that he tried to take his opponent’s teeth out. The name he once didn’t like had stuck.

Now there has been confusion that has led to occasional questions about whether he actually is a dentist. Once, on a lark, he told a fan during a meetup that he was indeed a real dentist but on a break. He told the fan to wait and book an appointment when he returns to practice. That fan, in theory, is still waiting.

There was a point, recently, he briefly thought about switching to “The Snack,” but he can’t abandon the name. It has become part of his persona.

“They know when I turn up for a fight it’s going to be war, going to be damage. He’s going to take your teeth out, stuff like that,” Stewart said. “People know what it is. It’s got a ring to it, you know what I mean. People when they hear that, it puts an image in their head.

“Some fighters have a name and, OK, it’s just a fighter. When you hear ‘The Dentist,’ it’s OK, well, what’s going on here? He’s going to take someone’s teeth out tonight.”

Chase “The Teenage Dream” Hooper

Chase Hooper has been fighting for a long time. Back to, you guessed it, when he was a teenager. Minus a gruff look, he started searching for a name that fit.

His life was pretty sweet — fighting in casinos instead of working a typical teenage job. So his coaches and teammates at Combat Sports and Fitness decided on “The Teenage Dream,” because, well, duh.

“You could say part of it kind of comes from that Katy Perry song,” Hooper said. “But it was kind of a joke because I was a super awkward kid, so a nickname like ‘The Axe Murderer,’ doesn’t really fit me or my personality.

“So it had to be something kind of not intimidating.”

But Hooper also realized that a nickname like that has a shelf life. Now 21 and in the UFC, the “Teenage” part of his nickname was cut. Kind of. He said he tried to get Bruce Buffer to say the “Teenage” part of it after he won his fight against Daniel Teymur, but Buffer wouldn’t. Hooper said the teenage part has come to an end, but if people still want to add “Teenage,” fine. He’s not going to.

“It goes from funny to creepy pretty quick,” Hooper said.

Instead, he’s now going by “The Dream,” or the Spanish version, ‘El Sueño.’ But the teenage part — just like teenage years — was fun while it lasted.

“It’s just, like, funny to hear people in huge arenas just announce ‘The Teenage Dream,’ and stuff,” Hooper said. “And then just fighting people like, ‘The Tiger,’ stuff like that. All these guys are trying to go in like super tough, and I’m just standing across the cage looking like I look, not intimidating at all.

“That was kind of the funniest part for me because … the fights are such a high-stress thing that it brings you back to reality a little bit.”

Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall

Ian McCall thought nicknames were dumb. Then one night he was helping put one of his friend’s kids to bed. The kid called him Uncle Ian. McCall, recently sober at the time, had no problem helping out.

“Everyone else was hammered and he goes, ‘Uncle Ian, Uncle Ian, let’s go skateboard. Uncle Ian, Uncle Ian, let’s do this,'” McCall said. “And then, finally, ‘Uncle Creepy.’ Then everyone heard and sat up out of their drunken stupor and was like, ‘Oh my God. That’s it. That’s it.’ I was like, ‘OK, whatever, that’s fine. Uncle Creepy.'”

McCall wasn’t sure if he’d fight again at that point. Then he took a bout in 2010 against Jeff Willingham. As a joke on the bio sheet, he wrote down that his nickname was “Uncle Creepy.”

It was so unique, so out there and so different, it remained even when McCall no longer wanted it to.

“I’m still embarrassed by it, to this day,” McCall said. “I always thought it was so stupid.”

Yet McCall kept winning. His real name — and his unwanted moniker — kept getting attention. What once was a joke became familiar to fans. While people weren’t negative, he’d have to do some convincing to show people he wasn’t weird.

He never thought it would become a real thing. Now retired and working in psychedelics, he’s hoping “Uncle Creepy” retires, too.

“For once in my life, I’m trying to get rid of it,” McCall said. “Trying to actually not be called that anymore because I’m not that person. I will never be that person again. I don’t like that person. Like, it’s just not me.”

Julia “Raging Panda” Avila

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Julia Avila knocks down Pannie Kianzad in the third round at UFC 239. For more UFC, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

Julia Avila wants one thing known: Her nickname has nothing to do with protests or animal rights. She’s not making a statement of any sort. It’s simpler than that.

“My thing has always been pandas,” Avila said. “It kind of stuck throughout college. When I first started fighting, they called me ‘Panda Girl.’ And when I moved to Oklahoma, my manager, he’s like, ‘Well, you’re kind of a savage so let’s just call you ‘Raging Panda.’ You’re kind of like Jake LaMotta, the ‘Raging Bull,’ so he just put two and two together.'”

There were other considerations — Avila quickly nixed “Showtime” — but there was no preventing her from being the “Raging Panda.”

When she was a senior in college at the University of California-Santa Cruz, her roommate donated to the World Wildlife Fund in Avila’s name to save a panda for a year as her 21st birthday gift. Avila still has the commemorative stuffed animal.

She loves the panda shirts she receives as gifts and photos and memes she gets on social media. There’s even a panda tattoo on her thigh she got around the same time as the nickname. When she went to fight in Texas after getting the name she received quite the interesting reaction.

“Everyone was kind of nerdy about it,” Avila said. “They were like, ‘The Raging … Panda?'”

The “Raging Panda” would very much like to meet a real panda. Maybe, she says, if she wins a UFC title a zoo will set up a meet-and-greet. They had already looked into it for a previous fight in Singapore that fell through.

While the panda love is real, so too, is the raging part of her nickname. Just watch her fight.

“Most people, whenever they hear that, they don’t give it a second thought,” Avila said. “Like, ‘Raging Panda? Whatever.’ But you got to remember, a panda may be cute and cuddly but they are still a f—ing bear.”

Matthew “Semi The Jedi” Semelsberger

Matthew Semelsberger has always been “Semi.” It started when he was playing football as a kid, when a coach didn’t want to bother saying his long surname. Instagram and social media, in a different way, helped with the rest.

“My nickname was ‘Semi’ and I was just like, that’s my nickname, but it wasn’t gettable [as a username],” Semelsberger said. “So I was thinking of random stuff and said, ‘Oh, I’m a fighter so why don’t we just do ‘The Jedi,’ because now it rhymes and is pretty catchy.'”

In his downtime, the former Marist defensive back plays Dungeons & Dragons and loves Star Wars. He has inspirational quotes from the fictional character Obi-Wan Kenobi saved in his phone.

“If you define yourself by the power to take life, the desire to dominate, to possess … then you have nothing,” reads Semelsberger’s favorite Kenobi quote.

Hence the obvious: “Semi The Jedi.”

Anthony “Fluffy” Hernandez

Anthony Hernandez was preparing for an MMA kickboxing tournament when he was 15 years old. One of his coaches came up to him and wrote a word on his right arm.

“FLUFFY.”

Weighing between 240 and 250 pounds at the time, the coaches were messing with him. A decade later, the nickname remains.

“Apparently I earned mine being a fat ass,” Hernandez said. “It’s f—ed up. But it worked out.

“No one likes losing to a guy named ‘Fluffy.’ So I’ll take it.”

At his fighting debut, his coaches jokingly told him to write “Fluffy” down as the nickname. He did it, and it caught on. His friends call him “Fluff.” He has introduced himself to coaches as his nickname — and then they call him Anthony instead.

“It’s easy to remember,” Hernandez said. “It’s catchy. No one expects it.”

Ariane “Queen of Violence” Lipski

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Ariane Lipski floors Luana Carolina with a powerful right hand to the gut, then forces Carolina to tap out with a savage knee bar.

When Ariane Lipski fought for the KSW flyweight championship in 2017 against Diana Belbita, she didn’t have a nickname. The promotion decided she needed one and chose one for her.

She’d knocked out seven of her past nine opponents entering the fight and thus became the “Queen of Violence.”

She loved it.

“It’s a female nickname but aggressive,” Lipski said. “I think how I am in my life, if people meet me outside of the cage I’m not aggressive, you know. I’m very calm. But inside of the cage I’m very aggressive.

“I like to show violence, and I saw the nickname and thought, ‘Oh, I could not think of a better nickname for me than ‘Queen of Violence.'”

After she lost her first two UFC fights, her coach asked her if the nickname was too much pressure and if she wanted to change it. No way, she said.

“I just love it,” Lipski said she told her coach. “‘This is my style.'”

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Toronto FC hoping to make MLS Cup run having spent much of 2020 far from home

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On a recent Thursday in Hartford, Conn., Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg pondered the dichotomy of wanting to reach MLS Cup on Dec. 12, but also desiring to see his family again. Meanwhile, Jim Liston, the team’s director of sports science, was planning a trip to Lowe’s to buy 15 garbage cans so players could have an ice bath after training. As for manager Greg Vanney, he was fretting about his team’s health and the lack of practice time their schedule was affording.

Such is the life of a team as it attempts to not only navigate its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been forced to do it away from home.

Due to travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, TFC — like the league’s other two Canadian teams, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps — set up a “home” base in the U.S. for the remainder of the season; Toronto were stationed in Hartford. (Vancouver Whitecaps took roost in Portland, ground-sharing with Timbers, while Montreal Impact split use of New York Red Bulls’ facilities in Harrison, N.J.) This was on top of nearly every team spending nearly a month inside a bubble back in July at the MLS is Back Tournament outside Orlando, Florida.

The Reds spent about seven weeks back in Toronto as they played a series of matches against Canadian teams. In mid-September, the remainder of the regular season — and the temporary move to Hartford — beckoned. The vagabond nature of the campaign is what led Liston to joke that he was willing to discuss “whatever five seasons” the team has been through so far. But for Vanney and the players, the campaign has required a special kind of focus.

“A lot of what we’ve done here, and what we try to preach here is just control the controllables, and don’t get too drawn into the things you can’t,” Vanney told ESPN. “Roll with it, and make the best out of whatever the situation is.”

Stream FC Daily on ESPN+
– 2020 MLS Playoffs: Who’s in, schedule and more
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Toronto has largely succeeded in spite of its odyssey. While there was disappointment at missing out on the Supporters’ Shield to the Philadelphia Union, TFC went 7-3-2 during its Hartford sojourn and finished with the second-best record in the league. But the challenges have still been immense. Simply being out of one’s home environment is difficult enough, but the time spent away from family and loved ones weighs heavy on the psyche, even as Vanney has given players the occasional trip back to Toronto — under quarantine — to reconnect with loved ones.

“It’s just very different, very challenging and emotionally exhausting,” Westberg said of his experience while based in Hartford.

Westberg has arguably had it tougher than most. The TFC goalkeeper is married with four children, including a baby girl who was born in June. For that reason, Westberg and his wife, Ania, made the decision at the end of September that it would be better for her and their kids to head back to his native France so they could be surrounded by family. Westberg called it “the least bad decision,” but there are difficulties nonetheless.

“I’m a very even person, and this year has challenged me a lot,” he said. “I’m still pretty even, but I keep a lot to myself and for sure there’s some difficult days, seeing your family [struggle] from your absence.”

The inability to be home has affected the players and staff in other ways. In Toronto, there are ways of disengaging from the game. Being with friends, loved ones or even in familiar surroundings can be the best medicine in terms of forgetting a bad game or training session. But in Hartford, at the team’s hotel, that escape is nearly impossible even as players try to distract themselves by reading or taking online classes.

“You don’t really unplug,” Westberg said. “You FaceTime family, or this or that, but it’s too short. You’re 100 percent focused on your soccer, and your whole day basically relies on being ready for whatever soccer activity that you have next, whether it’s practice or game. It’s good for your physique, it’s optimal for the way you eat and the way you [train]. But mentally, you’re not as fresh as your body.”

That isn’t to say there are only negatives to the separation. There is also an us-against-the-world mentality that Toronto has adopted, given that their players and personnel are experiencing the season in a way that is vastly different than most other teams. The team staff has done what it can to make their surroundings a home away from home, whether it’s personalizing the locker rooms at Rentschler Field or having hotel staff brand the surroundings in TFC colors. The hotel went so far as to bring in a barista who could consistently give the players their coffee fix. Supporters groups have even sent down banners in a bid to convey the fact that the players are remembered.

The care that TFC takes for players has extended to families back home, with the club supplying meals to loved ones three times a week.

On the logistical side, Liston made sure that one of the gyms used at MLS is Back was brought to TFC’s hotel in Hartford, and he remarked that the food at the hotel is “arguably the best we’ve ever had on the road.”

There have also been efforts to create new routines. Assistant coach Jason Bent, aka DJ Soops, has been in charge of the pregame music selection for the past 18 months — no easy feat for a squad that has a considerable international presence. In Hartford, Bent has set aside Thursday nights to spin music in one area of the hotel. He’ll even go live on Instagram or Twitch for those who prefer to relax in their rooms.

“[We] opened it to players and staff and basically anyone that’s part of our bubble to come relax, listen to music and just enjoy each other’s company,” Bent said. “I enjoy making people happy so if it’s helping everyone even in the slightest, I have no problem arranging the set and spinning.”

For Vanney, the pandemic and operating outside of the team’s home market has meant any number of challenges. He said the team has used three different training facilities in Hartford, with varying field conditions. He recognizes that the trips home are vital for the mental health of his players and staff, but any breaks also mean less time spent on the practice field. The compressed schedule, which at times involved games every three or four days, has had an impact as well. Even the best-laid plans in terms of squad rotation were impacted as minor injuries began popping up.

“We end up with a lot of guys in different positions because they need special kinds of treatment or care to help them get fit and back to health,” Vanney said. “So it ends up being a lot of different things kind of going on all at once, and that’s been the challenge of it.”

Recovery from matches has been complicated by the fact that TFC doesn’t have access to the same level of facilities that it does at home — hence Liston’s emergency trip to Lowe’s to fashion impromptu ice baths for the players. Then there are the different ways the players occupy themselves on the road as compared to home, especially amid the pandemic.

“There’s really no life outside of the hotel,” Liston said. “[At home], you may go walk the dog in the afternoon or go for a walk with your wife or friend or girlfriend or family and you’re out and about. The recommendation [here] is to kind of stay put. So you’ve got a really active population and pro athletes, who we’re asking them to be sedentary the rest of the time, kind of stay in the hotel from a COVID and safety standpoint. That’s not optimal for recovery either.”

There are also the creature comforts of home that are no longer available on the road, which can impact sleep.

“Sleep is the number one tool for recovery, and that’s definitely been a challenge,” Liston said. “We do well-being questionnaires and the scores on quality of sleep, and hours of sleep, just drop.”

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Tom Barlow and Brian White seal Toronto’s fate in a 2-1 win for New York Red Bulls. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

Another change has been same-day travel, which has drawn mixed reactions from the TFC players and staff. Vanney and Westberg are generally in favor, saying it reminds them of when they each played in France. Flying back the same night also means a training day isn’t lost. Liston has a different perspective in that he prefers arriving the day before, and then leaving the same day.

“I think [same-day travel] makes for a really long day,” he said. “And there’s definitely a negative impact on performance, taking three bus rides and a plane ride before your game. You’re getting home — it can be 12:30, but it could also be 1:30 in the morning, and that’s where you know our well-being scores and sleep hours and quality just disappear. When you have so many games in succession, you can’t make up the sleep.”

With the playoffs set to begin for TFC on Nov. 24, the end is in sight, even as it makes for a complex — and even conflicting — set of emotions.

“This is the tricky part. I miss them a lot,” Westberg said of his family. “But in a way I want to see them as [late] as possible in December, because obviously, there’s this idea that we want to do well in the playoffs and we want to keep going. TFC has a history of setting high standards and high expectations. It’s a heavy load to carry but also an exciting one.”

Win or lose, it’s a season they’ll never forget.

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Bettman: NHL is mulling temporary realignment

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The NHL is considering a temporary realignment of its teams for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, according to commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman said Tuesday that restrictions on travel across the Canadian border, as well as “limitations in terms of quarantining when you go from certain states to other states” within the United States, could mean the NHL creates a more regionalized alignment for its upcoming season.

“As it relates to the travel issue, which is obviously the great unknown, we may have to temporarily realign to deal with geography, because having some of our teams travel from Florida to California may not make sense. It may be that we’re better off — particularly if we’re playing a reduced schedule, which we’re contemplating — keeping it geographically centric and more divisional-based; and realigning, again on a temporary basis, to deal with the travel issues,” Bettman said during a 2020 Paley International Council Summit panel with fellow commissioners Adam Silver of the NBA and Rob Manfred of MLB.

The NHL board of governors has a meeting scheduled for Thursday which will provide a progress report and possible recommendations for a season format, based on talks between the league and the NHL Players’ Association. The target date for starting next season remains Jan. 1.

Bettman said the league is considering a few scheduling options for the 2020-21 season. Something that’s off the table: playing the entire season in the kind of bubbles the NHL had in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, to complete last season. But Bettman said teams opening in their own arenas is a possibility, along with a modified bubble.

“We are exploring the possibility of playing in our own buildings without fans [or] fans where you can, which is going to be an arena-by-arena issue. But we’re also exploring the possibility of a hub. You’ll come in. You’ll play for 10 to 12 days. You’ll play a bunch of games without traveling. You’ll go back, go home for a week, be with your family. We’ll have our testing protocols and all the other things you need,” he said.

Bettman also indicated that the NHL is exploring “a hybrid, where some teams are in a bubble, some teams play at home and you move in and out.”

The NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved a deal with the players’ union that sets the stage for a season that will open on Dec. 22 and with a reduced schedule of 72 games. Silver said that the commissioners are in communication on COVID-19-related issues, especially the NBA and the NHL, since the two leagues’ teams share arenas and, in some cases, team owners.

Silver said he senses that the NBA will have fans in many of its buildings this season.

“We’re probably going to start one way, where we’re maybe a little bit more conservative than many of the jurisdictions allow,” he said. “What we’ve said to our teams is that we’ll continue to work with public health authorities. Arena issues are different than outdoor stadium issues. There will be certain standards for air filtration and air circulation. There may be a different standard for a suite than there will be for fans spaced in seats.”

Silver said there will be standardized protocols that are consistent from arena to arena, such as proximity between players and fans: “In certain cases, for seats near the floor, we’re going to be putting in testing programs, where fans will certify that they’ve been tested — some within 48 hours, some within day of game.” While Silver supported a continued expansion of the NBA postseason through its play-in tournament, Bettman said that he’s not in favor of expanded playoffs or “playing with the fundamentals of the game.” The NHL had 24 teams in its postseason last summer.

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The Battleground States Where We’ve Seen Some Movement In The Polls

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With apologies to The Raconteurs, the presidential race continues to be “steady as she goes,” with little sign of tightening despite a plethora of new polls. FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecast gives Joe Biden an 89 in 100 shot at winning the election, while President Trump has just an 11 in 100 chance. This makes Biden the favorite, but still leaves open a narrow path to victory for Trump, for whom a reelection win would be surprising — but not utterly shocking.

At the same time, we also have fewer polls from live-caller surveys, which have historically been more accurate and have shown slightly better numbers for Biden, than polls that use other methodologies, such as polls conducted primarily online or through automated telephone calls. Nevertheless, while the overall picture has shifted only a little in recent days, a few battleground states have seen at least some movement in their polls, which has slightly altered the odds Biden or Trump wins in each of those places.

What election stories need to get more coverage | FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast

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