Who’s Gonna Stop Ronda Rousey?

I will happily admit that I am definitely not the person. Not because of my gender either.

I’ve always kept my eye on UFC, finding MMA an intriguing sport as, in my own words, it was “like boxing but kind of, like, not”. Watching a bunch of men beat the living shit out of each other in a cage was entertaining, sure, but it wasn’t until UFC introduced the women’s bantamweight division – their first women’s division EVER – that I truly fell in love with the sport. Again, watching men beat the living shit out of each other in a cage was entertaining, but watching two women do it was sensational. We’re talking proper let’s-get-it-on-and-smash-each-other fighting, not mini-skirt-high-heel-catfight-scratch fighting.

There's a lot to be said about a woman who looks this good and can beat you up with her eyes closed. (SOURCE: Ronda Rousey's Facebook)

There’s a lot to be said about a woman who looks this good and can beat you up with her eyes closed. (SOURCE: Ronda Rousey’s Facebook)

Current UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion and total all-around badass Ronda Rousey is undefeated in pro MMA bouts for a reason. If she hasn’t got her opponent down on the floor in a tightly sinched armbar to make them submit, she’s punching them fair in the face and then laying into them to knock them out.

A few of Ronda Rousey’s accolades include:
[x] First and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion
[x] Therefore making her the first UFC Women’s champion ever
[x] Undefeated professional record of 10-0-0
[x] Blockbuster star in The Expendables 3 alongside Sly Stallone, Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren, just to name a few
[x] Multiple awards in 2013 for “Female Fighter of the Year” from different organizations
[x] The first woman to score a medal in Olympic judo for United States of America

In a similar fashion, Ronda Rousey’s victims include:
[x] Alexis Davis, an impressive fighter who was knocked out by Rousey in 16 seconds
[x] Miesha Tate, Rousey’s well documented rival who has fallen to her twice via armbar submission (but was the first woman to take her past the first round, so kudos to her.)
[x] Sara McMann, whose first loss was at the hands of Rousey
[x] Liz Carmouche, who nearly took Rousey to the second round but just fell short

I could go on and on listing what Rousey’s done in her career and who she’s beaten but the fact is simple: Ronda Rousey is outstanding.

And it seems as if she’s running out of competition…

If recent reports were to be believed, that might not be the case for much longer.

Solstice Satisfaction has decided to choose a few women who might have a shot of taking the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship off the woman who seems mighty freaking unstoppable:

Gina Carano
The one female MMA fighter who has made as big a name for herself as Ronda Rousey is none other than Gina Carano. As beautiful as she is deadly, the recent reports alluded to previously have suggested that Garano might make her presence known in UFC if Dana White can strike a deal with her. It’s been rumoured that if she is signed, she would shoot past all the UFC women’s bantamweight contenders and challenge Rousey for the title. The two biggest names in female MMA? Hell yes!

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino
The only woman to have defeated Gina Carano in professional MMA is the Cyborg, a name aptly given to the woman for her freakish strength and freakish, like, everything. Marred by controversy for having a win reversed into a no decision for testing positive to an anabolic steroid, the Cyborg might be the woman who could take Rousey to her limits.

Cat Zingano
Also currently undefeated in professional MMA fights, Zingano is one of the best pound-for-pound female fighters in the world. The no#1 ranked pound-for-pound female fighter in the world? Ronda Rousey. She was the first woman to win a “Fight of the Night” award (along with Miesha Tate) and was also victorious in said fight, so that’s saying something. It would be interesting to see both Zingano and Rousey put their undefeated streaks on the line to fight each other.

Well, until Rousey is defeated – and I personally hope that takes a while because I may or may not have the biggest idol crush on Rousey – it looks as if the Rowdy one is going to take full charge of women in MMA.

Unless the new strawweights have anything to say about it.

– by Noah La’ulu

What We Learned in Origin 2014

The biggest sporting series in Australia is now over.

State of Origin 2014 saw angry words thrown around, dodgy calls made by the refs, butterfingers dropping balls at the most crucial times, and people not seeing a pass being thrown at them. Oh, and Oscar winning “injury” performances from players.

But if there are a few specific things that we have learned over the Origin series, these would be it:

(DISCLAIMER: As a loyal Queensland supporter, I will try my darndest to be as liberal as possible regarding the situation)

Because if anyone was going to be the thumbnail of this piece, it was Cozza. (SOURCE: Queensland Maroons Facebook page)

Because if anyone was going to be the thumbnail of this piece, it was Cozza. (SOURCE: Queensland Maroons Facebook page)


1. Corey Parker can offload from a boat in Switzerland completely blindfolded and still do it properly

Now I’m not just saying this because he is so obviously my most favourite player in the game – and possibly one of my biggest idols in the world – but Corey Parker is the King of offloads. While he missed game two due to an unfortunate facial fracture, Parker’s performances in game one and three were so outstanding that even I was surprised of all the tricks he was pulling out of his tight sleeves. It’s just like… how? His performance last night in game three was definitely worthy of the Man of the Match award he was so rightfully given. Well done, Cozza!

2. Trent Hodkinson is as great as everyone makes him out to be
I was personally not sold on Hodkinson being the halfback for NSW because I didn’t think he was that great in the Doggies. I just thought he was okay… above average at best. However, Hodkinson and his dark, dark soulless eyes proved me wrong, especially in game two where he brokeded my heart and won the series for NSW. Sadface. He’s actually a stellar playmaker for both the Blues and the Doggies and I will go on the record and apologise for selling him short.

3. Not everyone is cut out for Origin
So I went into the series believing that Dave Taylor was the most in-form forward in the league and it was a travesty that he wasn’t selected to be part of the team for game one. Alas, in game two, my prayers were answered, and Taylor proved me… wrong. I would literally cringe watching him get the ball because I knew it would be a matter of time before he dropped it. The same could be said for Matt Gillett and Chris McQueen. Both of these Queensland players are outstanding in their respective clubs – Gillett being in best career form for the Broncos – but in the Maroons side, they kind of failed. The same could be said about last year’s Blues halves, Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney.

4. Origin is more emotional than people think
During the last moments of game two, my anxiety kicked in and I literally had a panic attack over the game. After we lost the series in the most disappointing game two I’ve ever seen, you know what I did? I cried. I shed actual tears over a rugby league game. I retired to my bedroom to cry some more, and then my sister joined me, and then we ate Maltesers in the dark in complete silence. If that alone doesn’t highlight just how emotional this game can get, you’re kidding yourself.

5. Queensland isn’t unstoppable
Some footy fans were lulled into a false sense of security because our side has outstanding players, “The Big Four” included. Couple that with our eight in a row series wins and I went into the series thinking that we had this in the bag. I felt generally safe, thinking that until Slater, Cronk, Smith and Inglis would retire, we’d always win. Well, clearly we didn’t. When it comes down to it, the Blues played better overall and as much as I don’t like it, they deserved to win this year.

6. The no punching rule is stupid
I miss Origin biffs. Bring them back please. All these “let’s get into each other’s faces and breathe deeply and not do anything and mutter angry words to each other” situations are really pathetic. I was expecting to see some fists flying last night because, hey, NSW had already won, but no. It’s just part of the rugby league culture to get into a physical disagreement now and then. Deal with it.

7. Hayne is not better than Slater
The rivalry between these two players has been well documented over the years, so much that some Blues enthusiasts have said that Hayne is better than Slater. Well, Queensland fan or not, that is simply not true. If not demonstrated by Slater’s performance versus Hayne’s performance, Slater is clearly the more talented fullback. Even if he does get away with a couple of misdemeanours that others can’t.

8. The referees need some serious counselling
Now, I’m not going to single out one individual ref, but I think the NRL referees in general need some guidance when it comes to calling the most important rugby league series of the year. Too many times have we seen stupid calls made this year and that alone has ruined the spirit and buzz of Origin. Please, referees, I have four words for you: sort your shit out.

Needless to say, congrats to the Blues and their very aggressive fans. You finally broke our streak. But we’ll be taking our trophy back next year, thanks.

CALL TO ME, CALL TO MEEEEEE.

– by Noah La’ulu

Tipping for Dummies: Round 14

After weeks of being too busy or too sick to even contemplate doing the TFD for the week… Tipping for Dummies is baaaaack.

In the horrid half-weekend pre-Origin round of NRL.

Everybody's favourite Tipping for Dummies!

Everybody’s favourite Tipping for Dummies!

Friday June 13, 2014
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Wests Tigers @ ANZ Stadium
Kicking off the pre-Origin round is the Bunnies against the Tigers in their I-guess-it’s-equally-shared-homeground stadium. As always before Origin, all teams will be missing their big guns. The backs for the Bunnies take a dramatic shift with Nathan Merritt moving to fullback (among several moves) while Joel Luani and Martin Taupau replace Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods for the Tigers respectively.
SolSat’s prediction: South Sydney Rabbitohs
I’m going to take a big leap here and say that the Rabbitohs will heavily under-perform after their recent string of unimpressive performances. The Tigers, however, will be missing their fire with Farah and Woods missing and I see the Bunnies taking the win in a close round opener.

Saturday June 14, 2014
Penrith Panthers vs. St. George Illawarra Dragons @ Sportingbet Stadium
The Panthers are coming off a four-win streak and will look to make it five as they host the Saints on Saturday, whose recent bad luck has only been deterred by their thrashing over the Sharkies. Young starter Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will start for the Panthers while Mitch Rein returns from suspension for the Dragons.
SolSat’s prediction: Penrith Panthers
I would say that at this halfway mark of the season that the Panthers would be solid favourites to take the premiership for this year. The Dragons, who started off well, have been less than ever since their losing streak begun, so a clear and decisive victory over the Dragons is predicted in this one.

Sydney Roosters vs. Newcastle Knights @ Allianz Stadium
The reigning premiers host the Newcastle Knights to round off the Saturday footy. The Chookies haven’t been that stellar this year to say the least; however, the Knights have had an all-around shitter (even with my sweet Mullen on the team). Mitch Aubusson, Nene McDonald and Dylan Napa start for the Chookies while SolSat favourite Josh Mantellato starts on the wing for the Knights.
SolSat’s prediction: Sydney Roosters
I don’t think I really have to say why I predict a Chookies win, although I do hope that the Knights can prove me wrong. Please.

Sunday June 15, 2014
Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Parramatta Eels @ ANZ Stadium
The final NRL game to warm up ANZ Stadium for Origin II kicks off on Sunday with the Doggies taking on the Eels. The last time these two teams clashed, the Doggies thrashed the Eels (a game I attended). Now with a new Parramatta look, the results may be different. Damien Cook and former Eel Reni Maitua shift to the halves for the Doggies while Isaac de Gois goes straight into the hooker role for the Eels.
SolSat’s prediction: Parramatta Eels
The Doggies seemed to have hit a roadblock in their winning form and I think the Eels will capitalise on that. Couple that with the fact that I want the Eels to win, and we have a winner!

Monday June 16, 2014
Gold Coast Titans vs. Melbourne Storm @ Cbus Super Stadium
Closing this sad, half round of footy is the Titans clashing with the Storm in the only Queensland-based game of the week. Both of these teams have special places in my heart (after the Broncos, obvs) so I’m hoping for a good round closer here. Paul Carter and Luke Bailey start for Greg Bird and Nate Myles while Cameron Munster fills the big shoes that Billy Slater left behind as Storm fullback.
SolSat’s prediction: Gold Coast Titans
The Storm have never really done that great when missing their Origin stars so I’m predicting a comfortable Titans win on Monday. I do hope that Munster does the role of Storm fullback well though. #ilyslater

While I’m here… GET WELL COREY PARKER. It’s bad enough that I won’t be seeing my favourite player at the Maroons Fan Day at Sydney but my skipper will be missing Origin and MAYBE the Bronx game next week. Sadface.

– by Noah La’ulu

2014-15 Cricket Guide for Dummies

With a rather successful 2013-14 season of cricket for the Aussies the popularity and the attention on cricket in our nation has increased quite dramatically. With the BBL|03 having crazy ratings and all 5 Ashes Test Matches getting very high ratings as well the odds that many people don’t know whats going on has also increased. So for those Dummies out there here is just one of the things to expect next season!

-ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 -

Currently poised on top of the ICC ODI Team Rankings is Australia. Just behind in second place is India and in third place is England.

28 May 2014
Team Matches Points Rating
Australia 35 4020 115
India 53 5923 112
England 39 4329 111
Sri Lanka 57 6292 110
South Africa 32 3486 109
Pakistan 47 4716 100
New Zealand 31 3031 98
West Indies 40 3744 94
Bangladesh 23 1683 73
Zimbabwe 20 1228 61
Afghanistan 9 304 34
Ireland 9 297 33

Although Australia is clear ahead in terms of rating points, places second to 5th are each merely separated by 1 point. So anything could happen throughout the tournament. Rankings aside here are the players set to take the tournament by storm. Well actually since this is a Dummies Guide I will tone down my cricket terminology and rather make an Solstice Satisfaction’s ICC World Cup XI with explanations as to why I think they’re going to fire this time round in the World Cup.

Solstice Satisfaction’s ICC World Cup XI


1. Hashim Amla (South Africa)

-Solid Performer in all 3 formats. His timing and placement could pay dividends on quick Australian and New Zealand outfields. All you could ask from an opener.

2. Shikhar Dhawan (India)

-Had a fantastic 2013-14 Season. Top Run Scorer in the ICC Champions Trophy last year. Be ready for some

fireworks in the World Cup.

3. Virat Kohli (India)

-Like most players in this list, had a fantastic 2013-14 season. Against Australia in the 7 match ODI Series he performed at his best helping his side chase down massive totals of 350-60 with ease.

4. George Bailey (Australia) VICE CAPTAIN

-Last season he showed why Australia selectors had faith in him and anointed him with the T20I Captaincy and the ODI Vice Captaincy. In the ODI series against India he led by example and although they lost that series since then under Australia have won all ODI Series.

5. A.B De Villiers (South Africa)

-In the form of his life, both in the Test, ODI, and T20 arena. A solid performer for South Africa over the past few years and his experience and leadership qualities alongside his batting make him one of the most in-demand cricketer in the world.

6. Glenn Maxwell (Australia)

-In recent months he has shown why he is called the Big Show. His extravagant stroke-play and absolute dominance over any bowling unit once he has his eye in makes him one of the most deadly players currently playing international cricket. To add to his superb batting he is also a handy off spinner with the ability to get wickets in crucial times.

7. +MS Dhoni (India) CAPTAIN

-He’s done practically all you can achieve as captain. He’s won all the big tournaments and his keeping skills are as sharp as ever. In addition to his captaincy and keeping he is a deadly lower order finisher and a batsman you always want to get out early.

8. Chris Jordan (England)

-Most people wouldn’t know Chris Jordan but he his one of the few shining stars in the England Cricket Team at the moment. His deceptively quick bowling and his lower order striking are qualities you want in a limited overs player.

9. Mitchell Johnson (Australia) 

-Quick, aggressive and accurate. The three qualities you want in your repertoire of bowling options as captain. Not only is Mitchell Johnson’s bowling outstanding but he has the capability to clear the rope when required and his fielding is exceptional.

10. Dale Steyn (South Africa)

-One of the best fast bowlers in modern times and he has been dominating the player rankings for quite some time. He has the ability to swing the ball yet bowl at quite some pace. Like Johnson he has the ability to clear the boundary and is always one not worth taking lightly as an opposition.

11. Sunil Narine (West Indies)

-Along with his unusual action Sunil Narine has been deceiving many batsman at the crease with his off spin. Having a fantastic season both with the West Indies and KKR he has made himself renown around the world as a premier spin bowler that you want to have in any modern day bowling attack. Economical and deceptive he will be one of the lead player in the West Indies team.

12th Man. Eoin Morgan (England)

-His form in Australia in the ODI’s and T20I’s was quite phenomenal and his century at the GABBA personified how dangerous of a batsman he can be once he gets going. His past record in Australia and New Zealand make him a formidable batsman.

– by Hiro Couper