Arizona Football Diary: Gunner Maldonado Wildcats Safety Tattoos Show Passion For Music, MMA | Sports



Arizona security Gunner Maldonado got inked this year – and we’re not talking about signing his national letter of intent as a transfer from Northwestern.

The Chandler native has covered his left arm in tattoos this offseason. In addition to an image of Jesus on the cross and his mother’s initials, Maldonado has two other notable tattoos: a portrait of Guns N ‘Roses guitarist Slash and famous UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

“I play guitar, and he’s one of the first guitarists where I thought, ‘This guy is crazy about guitar,’” Maldonado said of Slash as he and the Wildcats got ready for the game. of Saturday night against NAU at Arizona Stadium, which was still underway at the time of the Star’s printing. “He’s my favorite guitarist.

Arizona security Gunner Maldonado has a tattoo of Guns N ‘Roses guitarist Slash that spans almost half of his left arm. Slash shares the space with the tattoos of Jesus and MMA fighter Conor McGregor.

McGregor’s tattoo by Maldonado on his inner forearm is in two parts: the top features an image of the roaring Irish fighter, while the bottom shows McGregor praying after a fight.

“I love when he fights, but I love how he’s outside the ring. They call him Mystic Mac for the way he makes things exist,” said Maldonado. “He’s confident, but he’s humble in defeat. That’s what this tattoo means: it is fierce, but humble in defeat. My tattoo artist made it pretty.

Maldonado isn’t as loud as the former featherweight world champion, but he tries to emulate McGregor’s courage.

“I don’t think I’m as vocal as Conor McGregor,” said Maldonado, “and I don’t think I’ll ever be like this, but I really want to play with that confidence he has when he fights in the ring.”

Maldonado plays electric guitar, although his football schedule prevents him from training as much as he would like.

“It’s hard to play there every day, especially college football, but I’ve been playing intermittently since eighth grade,” he said.

Third future Wildcat added to Polynesian Bowl list

Arizona Pledges Jonah Savaiinaea pledged to play in the next Polynesian Bowl, a showcase of high school football stars in Hawaii. Savaiinaea, a 6-3, 330-pound offensive lineman, is in his final grade at St. Louis School in Honolulu. He is the third future Wildcat to play in the Polynesian Bowl, joining quarterback Noah Fifita and cornerback Zeke Berry.

Two Arizona Engages in High School Thriller

Chandler Hamilton looked to be on the verge of losing to seventh-ranked Bishop Gorman, a Las Vegas national powerhouse.

Bishop Gorman was leading 24-7 with 1:09 left in Friday night’s national televised showdown when the Huskies rallied. Hamilton connected on a field goal and two touchdowns, recovered two kicks in play and converted a two-run conversion to win 25-24. Hamilton quarterback Nicco Marchiol, a West Virginia entry, assisted in the 2-point winning conversion.

Hamilton has two Arizona commitments on his roster: offensive lineman Grayson Stovall and defensive end Russell “Deuce” Davis II, who finished the night with seven tackles.

Remember when? (Probably not)

Arizona entered Saturday night’s game 15-1 against NAU, the Wildcats’ rival in the state.

This one loss? The Lumberjacks beat the Wildcats 7-6 in the 1932 season.

The Star wrote that “the loggers at Northern Arizona State Teachers College upset the dope tonight to defeat a very favorite Arizona University eleven 7-6. Two aerial pushes, the only ones successful by the Northerners, paved the way. to their winning touch. Another pass gave the extra point.

The victory so impressed NAU English teacher Mary Hill that she erected a 25-pound copper ax to commemorate the victory. The ax remains packed at the Cline Library on the NAU campus in Flagstaff.

Arizona finished 4-5 in 1933 under coach AW Farwick.


Arizona quarterback Will Plummer relaxes his arm ahead of Saturday’s game against NAU at Arizona Stadium. Plummer was in line to make his first start of the season after supporting Gunner Cruz in losses to BYU and San Diego State. To learn more about Saturday’s game, visit

Commissioner Pac-12 impresses

The new Pac-12 commissioner, George Kliavkoff, made a strong impression on Thursday’s “listening tour” in Tucson.

Count UA Sports Director Dave Heeke as a fan.

“We have new leadership in our conference, a new vision, a new approach,” Heeke told Star’s Justin Spears on ESPN Tucson’s “Spears & Ali”.

“George is an exceptional person and a great person to be around. It was important for him to be on campus, to hear our coaches, to hear our staff, to hear our student-athletes. He toured the campus administration and really got a feel for the University of Arizona. Because really, you are all about 12 institutions, activities, energy, culture on campus. … George’s leadership is going to be positive, and I think the future of our conference – we are very well positioned. … Leadership in your conference is extremely important in bringing it all together.

Contact sports producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or [email protected] On Twitter: @JustinESports


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