Good morning and welcome to the second episode of “Laying Down Leather,” where I give my thoughts on numerous subjects in the many facets of sport and entertainment that I cover.

Just a housekeeping note before we get into the article, I didn’t write much this week because I was very busy with work and school projects. It might be like that for a few weeks. Even though I didn’t write many articles, I sure do have some thoughts. Let’s get started

MMA

I only had the realization recently that a new RIZIN event is this weekend. It’s a pretty heavy show kickboxing wise but also has some good MMA bouts. I’m excited to see Ayaka Hamasaki versus Jinh Yu. Also, after Kanna Asakura and Roque Martinez have picked up wins in the DEEP promotion, they head back to RIZIN for their own matchups. Other names worth highlighting are Tofik Musaev, Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai, Yusaku Nakamura and promotion veteran Daron Cruickshank.

Speaking of RIZIN, it was announced recently that Shoot Boxing promotion star and RIZIN fan favourite RENA will make her American debut at Bellator 222. She will face Lindsey VanZandt, who looks like decent competition for her. She has less fighting experience than RENA but looks like a good match style-wise as she only has decision and striking pro finishes. The Madison Square Garden card looks stacked already, with Kyoji Horiguchi and Darrion Caldwell running back their New Year’s Eve bout. Veteran fighters Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida are scheduled to main event the show.

Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith will square off in Sweden this upcoming weekend too. I don’t know what’s next for whoever wins this fight since both of these guys have lost to the current champion Jon Jones quite decisively. Anyways, I think this goes to Gustafsson easily.

Boxing

Around the start of the week, I caught a replay of Billy Joe Saunders defeating Shefat Isufi in a bout that earned him the WBO Super Middleweight Championship. I scored the bout 119-109 for Saunders, giving Istufi the 6th round. None of the judges shared a common ground score-wise, but winner-wise we were all in agreement. I can’t say it was the most exciting fight, but whatever. The venue, Lamex Stadium, was cute.

I also watched the second semi-final event for this season of the World Boxing Super Series. It included Naoya Inoue defeating Emmanuel Rodriguez and Josh Taylor advancing into the finals of their weight divisions. Inoue had a quick performance, getting a stoppage victory in the second, while Taylor went all 12 rounds. I scored the fight in his favour 115-111, with a two knockdown round in the 6th making it not as close of a bout. These bouts were amazing, but WBSS’ production quality is not something I’m the biggest fan of.

The final show I watched this week was DAZN’s broadcast of Devin Haney versus Antonio Moran. The fight was all Haney, being up 60-53 before the 7th round when he landed an absolutely nasty overhand right to knock down Moran and end the bout. This was a fun little show, with Haney being someone who is worth watching.

I didn’t catch the PBC or Top Rank broadcast on Saturday, but I will later this week and report back about it.

Wrestling

I didn’t catch all of AEW’s “Double or Nothing” show, but from what I’ve seen it looks like a big success. They’re set to do a show called “All Out” in August at the Sears Center, using the same venue that they did for “All In” last year. While that’s exciting, what interests me now is when they will implement TV content. How will they tape it? How long will the show be and when during the week will it air? These are all details that will be interesting to see.

This Week On The Site and Beyond!

I feel somewhat behind on Produce X 101 episodes recently but hope to catch up after writing my episode four article this week. Keep an eye out for that. I’m planning on getting some other things out music related, along with a recap of the Pancrase event from this past weekend. This week is hard to talk about ahead of time because school might be busy. So with that being said, stuff will come out so keep an eye out!