Usman retains title on ‘Fight Island’

first_img(BBC) – Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman retained his title with a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 which was held on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi.The emirate’s Yas Island has been transformed into a closed-off fight zone able to stage four UFC events in July after UFC President Dana White secured it.Masvidal was drafted in at six days notice to face Nigerian Usman and the American could not find an answer to Usman’s powerful wrestling game.The 33-year-old successfully defended his belt with a gritty display to earn scores of 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 from the three judges after five gruelling rounds in an “octagon in the sand” without spectators.Authorities set up a safety zone including an arena, hotel, training facilities and a restaurant which will only be open to fighters, coaches, UFC staff and other event personnel.There are more than 2,500 UFC personnel and Yas Island employees staying within the zone, with all local staff having been in quarantine for 14 days.Usman should have been fighting Gilbert Burns in the first main event of the four-event run but the Brazilian tested positive for coronavirus so Masvidal stepped in.The 35-year-old American found a home for his strikes early on as he started the faster of the pair. He had a clear speed and accuracy advantage in the striking department and he stung the champion with multiple shots during the opening exchanges, while nullifying Usman’s early takedown attempts.But Usman exerted constant pressure on the challenger as he denied Masvidal the time and space to throw his strikes. Usman looked to use his clinch work to wear on Masvidal, with much of the second round spent against the cage in a lengthy and gruelling exchange. The legacy of the round was a nasty cut above Masvidal’s right eye, courtesy of an accidental clash of heads.A huge slam takedown from Usman was the biggest moment of the third round as the champion continued to smother Masvidal’s striking.That pattern repeated through the final two rounds as Usman shut down Masvidal, who had earned his shot at the title with a trio of stoppage victories over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz in 2019.Usman’s victory improved his record to 17-1 and extended his winning streak to 12 fights in the UFC.“Jorge is a tough guy and I give him credit for that,” said Usman.“They call him ‘Gamebred’ for a reason – he’s always game to fight. I’m just a level better. I have more tools in the toolbox.”last_img read more

World Cup Qualifier: Falconets Storm Camp for Burkinabes

first_imgAt the weekend, the Nigeria Football Federation approved the appointment of Coach Moses Adukwu as 1st Assistant Coach, with Bilikisu Tijani as 2nd Assistant and Audu Yahaya as Goalkeepers’ Trainer of the Falconets.Adukwu, who will hold forth as head of the technical crew pending the appointment of a Head Coach, has called up 40 players to begin preparations for the clash with the fellow West Africans, who edged out Gambia 3-2 on aggregate in the first round of the campaign.There are six goalkeepers, 10 defenders, 10 midfielders and 14 strikers on the roster.Goalkeepers: Rita Akarekor (Bayelsa Queens); Christiana Obia (Osun Babes); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Omini Oyono (Confluence Queens); Christy Obis (Osun Babes); Nelly Ekeh (Bayelsa Queens)Defenders: Omowunmi Oshobukola (Sunshine Queens); Chdinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, Spain); Esther Momoh (Confuence Queens); Ifeoma Ikenokwalu (Rivers Angels); Sarah Oloduba (Osun Babes); Margaret Etim (Rivers Angels); Akudo Ogbonna (Sunshine Queens); Ifeoma Paulinus (Rivers Angels); Rebecca Ajimuda (Edo Queens); Tosin Dameline (Sunshine Queens)Midfielders: Mary Saiki (Nasarawa Amazons); Basirat Amoo (Confluence Queens); Folasade Ijamilusi (FC Robo); Adebisi Saheed (Bayelsa Queens); Esther Onyenezide (FC Robo); Rose Ekong (Sunshine Queens); Mary Adeyemi (Osun Babes); Suliat Abideen (Sunshine Queens); Celine Ottah (Bayelsa Queens); Patricia Innocent (Sunshine Queens)Forwards: Dooshima Tarnum (Nasarawa Amazons); Grace Igboamalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Precious Christopher; Rafiat Sule; Gift Monday (FC Robo); Mary Anjor (Bayelsa Queens); Esther Adeboye; Blessing Okpe (Rivers Angels); Augusta Nwamaka (Confluence Queens); Marian Ezenagu (Rivers Angels); Mary Alfred (Confluence Queens); Precious Vincent (Sunshine Queens); Joy Omewa (Confluence Queens); Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets will set up camp in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as from today ahead of their 2020 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifying fixture against their counterparts from Burkina Faso this month.The first leg of the second round qualifying fixture will take place at the August 4 Stadium in Ouagadougou on Saturday, 21st March, with the return leg a week later at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.Two –time World Cup runners-up Nigeria have participated at every edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup since it was launched as an U19 tournament in Canada 18 years ago. This year’s finals will be co-hosted by Costa Rica and Panama.last_img read more

Syracuse practice closed to media through Penn State game

first_imgAfter disallowing the media from watching practice until Syracuse’s season opener against Penn State on Aug. 31, head coach Scott Shafer moved the Orange inside the Carrier Dome for additional privacy at practice on Wednesday.The Orange banned media earlier Wednesday afternoon as assistant athletics director for communications for football Sue Edson said the team doesn’t want reported injuries to influence betting lines.She added that Syracuse had to self-report an NCAA violation regarding recruiting contact and the media earlier in training camp, and the team didn’t want that to happen again.“For the most part it’s more than just one or two things,” Shafer said at a press conference. “Just one of those calls you have to make.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPrior to the announcement, practice was supposed to be available to the media Saturday, Aug. 24, Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Wednesday, Aug. 28.Shafer said practice went smoothly in the Dome. The team ran a mock game, playing with personnel changes and making up injuries to simulate live-game situations.With Syracuse’s opening game against Penn State at MetLife Stadium 10 days away, it was time to start preparing for the Nittany Lions.“The more we practice in there,” linebacker Cameron Lynch said, “the more of an advantage we’ll have against our opponent.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 21, 2013 at 8:46 pm Contact Trevor: | @TrevorHasslast_img read more

Syracuse rises in Inside Lacrosse Media Poll after season-opening win

first_img Published on February 11, 2019 at 7:25 pm Contact KJ: | @KJEdelman Facebook Twitter Google+ No. 11 Syracuse (1-0) moved up two spots in this week’s Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Orange started the preseason at No. 13 and rose after defeating Connecticut 18-6 on Friday afternoon.In its first game of the season, SU opened with eight unanswered goals in its first eight minutes of action. At one point, Syracuse was up 15-1 before pulling the bulk of its starters. Emily Hawryschuk, Morgan Alexander and Meaghan Tyrrell all recorded five points apiece, and Sam Swart netted three goals in the dominant win.In the poll, Boston College, SU’s opponent on Saturday remained No. 1. The Orange will play five of the top seven teams on the list including No. 2 Maryland, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 6 Northwestern and No. 7 Loyola. Syracuse also surpassed ACC foe Virginia Tech, which dropped to No. 12.Syracuse will play tomorrow night against Binghamton at 6 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commentslast_img read more

World Cup hosts say FIFA report clears them

first_imgRussia and Qatar say a FIFA report proves they didn’t cheat to win the right to host the next two World Cups.The document says England did break rules while bidding to host the 2018 competition.But its author says the English bid team co-operated fully his investigation – unlike others. In the report a meeting’s described where vote-trading was agreed with South Korea, in the presence of Prince William and David Cameron.Meanwhile the first of the Confederations cup semi finals takes place tonight in Russia.Chile face Portugal at 7.last_img

Tipp GAA stalwart honoured

first_imgA former winner of the prestigious GAA MacNamee award in 1993 for his journalism, he received further recognition for his lifetime of service last night at a banquet in Croke Park. Cashel man Seamus King has been recognised for his service to the GAA at the 2018 GAA President’s awards.He was a renowned club administrator and was the chairman the Cashel King Cormac’s club from 1985 to 1992 – a period which saw them enjoy magnificent success that included a county senior crown and a Munster club championship in 1991.Off the field, Seamus King has produced historical books and record books that have preserved the heritage of Gaelic Games for future generations.last_img

Darvish pitching like All-Star again for Cubs

first_imgLast Updated: 17th August, 2020 14:28 IST Darvish Pitching Like All-Star Again For Cubs Yu Darvish is finally pitching like an All-Star again, and the Chicago Cubs have emerged as early leaders in the NL Central. WATCH US LIVE Yu Darvish is finally pitching like an All-Star again, and the Chicago Cubs have emerged as early leaders in the NL Central.The Cubs entered this season at a bit of a crossroads. Since winning the World Series in 2016, they’ve won only one postseason series. They didn’t make the playoffs at all in 2019, and David Ross replaced Joe Maddon as manager before this season.The NL Central was hard to figure out coming into 2020, but Chicago broke out early to a 13-3 record, and the Cubs still lead the division by 3 ½ games even after dropping the last three games of their series against Milwaukee.Darvish took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Brewers in Chicago’s 4-2 victory Thursday night.A four-time All-Star with Texas, Darvish was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, then signed with the Cubs. He’s dealt with elbow and triceps injuries while with Chicago, but this year he’s 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA and playing an important role in his team’s fast start.The Cubs are winning despite a .182 batting average from Kris Bryant and a rough start for Craig Kimbrel. Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester have both been solid in the rotation along with Darvish.It’s hard to say who the top challenger to the Cubs will be in the division. St. Louis won it last year, but the Cardinals have played only eight games in 2020 because of the coronavirus. Milwaukee has scrambled back to .500 with those victories over Chicago.SOUTH SIDEChicago’s other team has made its presence felt as well, although the White Sox haven’t shown as much consistency as the Cubs. The White Sox are 11-11, but they showed some of their potential Sunday by slugging four consecutive home runs in a 7-2 win over St. Louis.Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez went deep during that streak. With batting champion Tim Anderson and star rookie Luis Robert also in the mix, the White Sox are an entertaining dark horse in the American League. SUBSCRIBE TO US First Published: 17th August, 2020 14:28 IST Associated Press Television News center_img COMMENT LIVE TV Written By FOLLOW USlast_img read more

Why Lakers’ dream of Anthony Davis trade could be quickly disappearing

first_imgNOTE: This article was published prior to Anthony Davis reportedly requesting a trade.There are no sure things when it comes to Anthony Davis’ future. The Pelicans star hasn’t revealed much about his plans beyond this season, instead focusing on giving New Orleans a chance to return to the playoffs.  The problem? The odds of New Orleans trading Davis before the Feb. 7 deadline are essentially zero. It’s back to one offer against the other.Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka promised a repeat of their big 2018 offseason. Adding a player of Davis’ caliber would fulfill that promise and immediately vault the Lakers to the top tier of the West.That’s all wishful thinking, though, and doesn’t reflect the reality of their current situation. The Lakers aren’t just losing without LeBron — they’re pushing any Davis dream scenarios right out of Staples Center. However, with big names around the league talking about adding Davis to their teams and the Pelicans now 5.5 games out of the final postseason slot in the West, it’s impossible to avoid speculation about a potential Davis trade. If he doesn’t sign a max extension this summer, the Pelicans would have to consider trading Davis rather than losing him for nothing — and that’s exactly how the Lakers are hoping this will play out.TRADE DEADLINE: Latest news, rumors, top targetsThe Lakers could be the front runners for Davis, who signed on with Klutch Sports prior to the 2018-19 season. (Klutch just so happens to be LeBron James’ agency.) James has publicly stated his desire to play alongside Davis — his comments forced the league to send out a reminder about tampering — and the two superstars shared a dinner together in Los Angeles after the Lakers beat the Pelicans last month.A James-Davis pairing makes sense for both sides. James needs a teammate like Davis in order to become a legitimate threat for a fourth title, and Davis needs a player like James to help him enhance his legacy.”I’d take legacy over money,” Davis recently told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD’s legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me.”Don’t get me wrong, money is amazing. But I think in that sense, money or legacy, I think my legacy will win that battle every time.”The Pels obviously don’t want to consider life without Davis, a once-in-a-generation talent squarely in his prime at only 25 years old. New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry put it in pretty basic terms. “We’re not trading him under any circumstance,” Gentry said before the Pelicans-Lakers game. “You can move on from that one.”No front office plans to trade away a franchise cornerstone, but if Davis makes it clear he isn’t staying, the Pelicans won’t have much of a choice. The Lakers will pounce if he becomes available, but there is a bigger question for Los Angeles: Why would the Pelicans look to the Lakers for the best possible return? What pieces would genuinely intrigue them?The addition of James only increased expectations for Brandon Ingram, who took a significant leap in his second season prior to LeBron’s arrival. And yet, Ingram has failed to live up to the hype in his third year.He’s struggled playing off the ball, and he’s shooting just 29.9 percent from beyond the arc. Ingram doesn’t consistently create separation off the dribble, and he still isn’t strong enough to establish and maintain position. He also has been unable to prove that he can be a decent distributor. Through 38 games, Ingram is averaging just 2.9 assists per game to go along with 2.6 turnovers. Those aren’t exactly numbers that scream “centerpiece” in a trade for Davis.The remainder of the Lakers’ young core that would hypothetically be packaged in a trade for Davis hasn’t exactly inspired confidence, either.There was hope that Lonzo Ball would rediscover his old 3-point shot (41.2 percent at UCLA), but the offseason work on his form and playing alongside James hasn’t scared defenders. Ball is shooting just 32.9 percent from deep and an atrocious 41.7 percent on free throws. And while there are many parts of his game to like — vision, playmaking, defense — the Lakers never know which version of Ball they’ll see night to night.Since James hit the bench with a groin injury, Kyle Kuzma has emerged as the No. 1 scoring option. He’s shooting 46.6 percent from the floor while averaging 19.1 points per game on the year. He has the raw skills to become a top offensive threat, but he is far from a defensive stopper, and his lack of playmaking has been noticeable in James’ absence.Without LeBron leading the way, the Lakers have gone 5-10, including losses in five of their last seven games. Since James left the floor on Christmas Day, Los Angeles has the sixth-worst offense in the league.Lakers offense (since Dec. 25)NumberRank (out of 30)Offensive rating104.025Effective field goal %50.724True shooting %53.627Assist/turnover1.4925MORE: Latest news on LeBron’s recoveryIt’s too early to make snap judgments about Ingram, Ball and Kuzma. Players develop at different rates, and adjusting to life with (and now without) James is a unique challenge. But regardless of what the Lakers can offer, it pales in comparison to what their longtime rivals can put on the table.Enter the Celtics.It’s no secret that the Celtics have also been eyeing AD. Boston president Danny Ainge has stockpiled loads of talent to go along with a plethora of high draft picks for this very purpose. The Lakers won’t be able to match what the Celtics can offer, especially if Jayson Tatum is involved. (Even Tatum couldn’t deny Davis’ value: “I’d trade me too for Anthony Davis.”)Tatum looks like he has the potential to be a top-10 player in the league in the near future. Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier are coming off breakout performances in last year’s run to the Eastern Conference finals, though both have failed to thrive in new roles this season. The Celtics’ offer could get more enticing if the Kings slide down in the standings (Boston owns their 2019 first-round pick).The only advantage for the Lakers? The Celtics are unable to trade for Davis until July due to the “Rose Rule,” which prohibits teams from acquiring multiple players via trade that signed rookie extensions for 30 percent of their team’s salary cap — Kyrie Irving is one of these players. This gives the Lakers a window to orchestrate a trade for Davis before the Celtics can enter the fray.last_img read more

Pass interference now reviewable: NFL coaches give opinions on rule change

first_imgMike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings“My opinion, it’s a bad idea. I think when you slow it down, frame-by-frame and do it (by) letter of the law, it can be very ticky tacky.“I sat in with the coaches yesterday, and we talked about one play that we slowed down frame-by-frame-by-frame. Even the offensive coaches didn’t think it was pass interference, except maybe Bruce (Arians).”Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers“Great idea.” Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons“It can be a good idea. Let’s make sure we all know the standard of what that is. So, think back to last year; we really nailed down what a catch is. And so I would anticipate that if we’re going to have something that’s reviewable, it better be clear to everybody who’s watching — if you’re at home or at the bar. ‘OK, that’s pass interference.’ And then we can challenge what that would be.“I think as long as what it is, is very clear. The subjective ones are sometimes hard, and that’s why a catch was difficult. In bounds or out of bounds — that’s not as hard. But was he down or not? Did he cross the goal line? So the subjective ones are more challenging.“Let’s make sure the standard of what OPI or DPI is, if we go down that road, let’s make sure that everybody’s working from the same standard.”Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers“We’re talking about it. We’d like to come up with something to take care of the egregious missed calls. Officials are human. They make mistakes.“At the same time, trying to make this game a perfect game — that’s not realistic. We don’t want to slow it down. I’m sure we can come up with something.” During a media session with NFL coaches Tuesday in Phoenix, hours before the approval of the new replay rules, SN was curious to about their opinions on the idea of making pass interference reviewable. We asked the same, simple question to seven coaches: “Is making pass interference reviewable a good idea or a bad idea?”Below are their responses. (Getty Images) PHOENIX — Evidently, the replay review conversation fueled by an infamous non-call in last season’s NFC championship game was just as fierce among the men who help contrive the NFL’s rule book as it has been among the fans whose opinions are projected via social media and bar-room shouting matches.We doubt Saints coach Sean Payton literally screamed at, say, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who told Sporting News he does not like the idea of making a pass interference penalty or non-call a reviewable play. But Monday’s private session featuring the league’s coaches, part of the NFL’s annual meeting in Phoenix this week, reportedly ran long due to the emphatic nature of the replay conversation. Payton called it “the best meeting I’ve been a part of in my 13 years.” (Getty Images) MORE: Sean Payton lobbies for replay expansionLargely as a result of the missed pass interference penalty that helped the Rams advance to the Super Bowl over the Saints, NFL team owners on Tuesday voted to pass a proposal that for one year will make offensive and defensive pass interference calls and non-calls reviewable.The reason for the initial proposal, per the NFL: “Integrity of the Game.” With a capital G, of course.This is a big deal for the NFL and its “Game” — more so, apparently, than conversations around topics such as modified overtime rules, onside kick alternatives or any of the other 20 playing rule and bylaw proposals being considered. The understandable passion Payton has expressed with his opinion is shared by other coaches, but not all of them agree on the topic. (Getty Images) (Getty Images) Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers“I’m still trying to mull that one over, because when you really slow it down, it just depends. Are we watching it at live speed, or are we slowing it down? I think it could be a slippery slope. When you’re watching it (at) so many frames per second, it’s really slow, everything looks like pass interference.“I think I think there’s an element to be able to officiate the game at live speed. For example, a great clip of this happening was in the Super Bowl, when Brandin Cooks was (catching) a go ball. It was 10-3, late in the game, and he got his arm tugged. At live speed, it didn’t necessarily look like PI, but when you slow it down, it did.“But yeah, I think it could be a slippery slope.”Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts“I think there’s been some good discussions. I think it’s going to work itself out. You’ve got a lot of good football people here who want what’s best for the game, for the fans, for the players. And it’s been really interesting. It’s been fun.“As a head coach getting to sit in these discussions and hearing everybody’s take on it … a lot of different variations of what we could do and what we should do. So I think it’s a question of working together. ‘What makes sense? What’s the next step?’ Everybody wants the same thing. ‘How do we make it right for the obvious stuff?’It’s never going to be perfect. That’s the big thing. Whatever decision is made, that’s not going to be perfect, either. There’s still going to be things coaches aren’t happy with and fans aren’t happy with. So there’s gotta be a way to get the low-hanging fruit and the obvious stuff, so I think that’s the focus.” Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks“I think it’s an idea that’s worth investigating. I go back to the number of years we’ve been coming to this meeting and talked about all the discrepancies, and awareness of offensive and defense pass interference and how we call it and trying to figure it out,(but) never really solving the problem, because it’s just a natural problem.“If this (rule change) takes place, this is a step to affect the outcome of that. The league has determined how volatile (PI) is because it’s a spot foul call; 50-yard plays. To give us a chance to clarify some of those calls that might have gone the wrong way, it’s worth looking at.“If that happens, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens to the rest of the play. You can’t review every play. There’s so few challenges happening right now — under one challenge a game is the average — that maybe we’ll utilize those a little bit more. Maybe the guys upstairs can get a look and they can stop it and say, ‘OK, yeah, this guy did grab somebody, or he did shove somebody,’ that they couldn’t see in full speed.“This is not something to hold against the officials. Every official that has ever officiated in the years I’ve been in the game, they’ve all been trying to get it right. And nobody has solved the problem. It’s just a natural, difficult situation to figure out. So this may help some of those calls.”last_img read more

Is Tony Romo moving to ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’? 10 million reasons why the modern Madden could leave CBS

first_imgJohn Madden left “Monday Night Football” for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” after the 2005 season. Disney/ESPN/ABC still hasn’t found a successor who can engage and inform as well as he could.Tony Romo is the closest thing to Madden at the moment, which is why it wasn’t a surprise to see a report Sunday by Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy that the Four-Letter Network is ready to offer Romo a record eight-figure contract to jump from CBS in the spring. For that kind of money, the “MNF” gig would have to be in play. So would a potential Super Bowl assignment should Disney secure rights to a game. The former Cowboys quarterback is about to become a prized free agent after three seasons as CBS’s top NFL game analyst, paired with play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz. Romo has shown an unparalleled ability to read in real time what plays teams are about to run, and his on-air enthusiasm remains high, though not as manic as when he started, and sounds genuine.Romo’s all-around game would allow him to clear a relatively low post-Madden “MNF” analyst bar: Joe Theismann, Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden, Jason Witten and Anthony “Booger” McFarland have served in the role since Madden’s departure. McFarland occupies it at the moment alongside PBP announcer Joe Tessitore. Those are all serious football/journalism people, but only Gruden’s personality in the booth approached Madden’s.The “MNF” production in recent years has been an exercise in distracting viewers from the fact it no longer gets the best prime-time matchups; NBC does for its Sunday night team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Romo would add buzz to the series as a modern Madden. Can he add enough new eyeballs to justify the money, though? It appears ESPN is desperate to find out. MORE: Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson receives HOF news on live TVAccording to McCarthy’s sources, ESPN would increase Romo’s annual salary to between $10 million and $14 million. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported last week that Romo is making just over $3 million a year on his expiring CBS deal. last_img read more