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Ronda Rousey pummeled by Amanda Nunes in UFC return

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Amanda Nunes pummeled Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds, then spent two minutes declaring Rousey’s MMA career done.

“She had her time. She did a lot for the sport. Thank you, Ronda Rousey, but right now I’m the champion, and I’m here to stay,” the Brazilian Nunes said after her UFC 207 beatdown. “People, let’s stop this Ronda Rousey nonsense. I’m the champion!”

The referee stopped the fight after 48 seconds following a series of punches to Rousey’s head in Las Vegas on Friday night. Rousey looked lean and intense before the bell, then slow and frightened once Nunes attacked.

“I knew I would beat the s— out of Ronda Rousey,” said Nunes, who after the TKO held an index finger to her lips and stalked around the Octagon. “Now she’s going to retire and go do movies. She already has a lot of money. … Forget about Ronda Rousey.”

Rousey (12-2) lost her second straight bout after a shocking upset at the hands of Holly Holm on Nov. 15, 2015, her first defeat since switching from judo to MMA in 2010.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist lasted 5 minutes, 59 seconds against Holm after beating her previous four opponents all in 66 seconds or less.

Holm took the bantamweight title from Rousey on Nov. 15, 2015, then lost it to Miesha Tate at her next fight March 5. Tate then lost the belt to the Brazilian Nunes (14-4) on July 9.

Rousey’s break between the Holm and Nunes matchups was an extended one, given she fought at least twice every year from 2010 through 2015.

“It was never really about a psychological problem with Ronda,” UFC president Dana White said in October. “The thing with Ronda was, she wanted time off. She said, I want to go away, and I want to relax. But this girl worked hard for us for three years, non-stop, fight after fight, promotion after promotion.”

Rousey, 29, has said she’s nearing the end of her MMA career and that Nunes would be “one of my last fights.”

VIDEO: Rousey discusses suicidal thoughts after Holm loss

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LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 30: (R-L) Amanda Nunes of Brazil punches Ronda Rousey in their UFC women's bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 207 event on December 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ghana Olympic skeleton slider’s helmet: rabbit escapes lion

Ron Leblanc
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It’s called The Rabbit Theory.

That’s what Akwasi Frimpong, Ghana’s first Olympic skeleton slider, calls his new helmet.

The one that he will wear in PyeongChang as the second athlete from his nation to compete at a Winter Games.

Frimpong, 31, tells an incredible story.

He said he was raised by his grandmother Minka in a one-room home with nine other children before joining his mom in the Netherlands at age 8 as an illegal immigrant and eventually moving to Utah.

Frimpong’s full story is here.

Frimpong’s life — before he converted from sprinting to bobsled to skeleton — was chronicled in a 2010 Dutch documentary tilted “Theorie van het Konjin” (translation: The Rabbit Theory).

“My former sprint coach Sammy Monsels talks about the analogy of a rabbit in a cage, ready to escape from a lion,” Frimpong said in an email Monday. “I am that rabbit, and I have escaped the lions [of my past]. I am no longer being eaten by all the things around my life.”

The helmet that he will wear sliding head-first down an icy chute in South Korea in three weeks draws attention to it.

The design is of a lion’s head with mouth agape and a pair of rabbits coming out. Plus the colors of the Ghanaian flag.

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MORE: Jamaica qualifies first Olympic women’s bobsled team

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USA Gymnastics leaders resign as more victims speak

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — USA Gymnastics announced the resignations of three key leaders Monday while more women and girls told a judge about being sexually assaulted at the hands of a sports doctor who spent years with Olympic gymnasts and other female athletes.

The resignations of chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley were announced in Indianapolis while a judge in Lansing heard a fifth day of statements from women and girls who said they were molested by Larry Nassar.

“We support their decisions to resign at this time,” said Kerry Perry, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, which is the national governing body for gymnastics. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.”

The board positions are volunteer and unpaid, but the resignations add to the months of turmoil. Steve Penny quit as president last March after critics said USA Gymnastics failed to protect gymnasts from abusive coaches and Nassar.

“New board leadership is necessary because the current leaders have been focused on establishing that they did nothing wrong,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement Monday. “USA Gymnastics needs to focus on supporting the brave survivors.”

USA Gymnastics last week said it was ending its long relationship with the Karolyi Ranch, the Huntsville, Texas, home of former national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband, Bela. Some Olympians said they were assaulted there by Nassar.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, Nassar’s sentencing hearing continued Monday, raising the number of girls and women who have spoken to nearly 100 since last week.

“I want to you know that your face and the face of all of the sister survivor warriors — the whole army of you — I’ve heard your words,” Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said after a woman spoke in her Michigan courtroom. “Your sister survivors and you are going through incomprehensible lengths, emotions and soul-searching to put your words together, to publicly stop (the) defendant, to publicly stop predators, to make people listen.”

Nassar, 54, has admitted molesting athletes during medical treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes.

Under a plea deal, he faces a minimum prison sentence of 25 to 40 years in the molestation case. The maximum term could be much higher.

“Larry, how many of us are there? Do you even know?” asked Clasina Syrboby, as she fought back tears while speaking for more than 20 minutes Monday. “You preyed on me, on us. You saw a way to take advantage of your position — the almighty and trusted gymnastics doctor. Shame on you Larry. Shame on you.

She and other victims also continued their criticism of Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for not doing enough to stop Nassar when initial complaints were made.

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MORE: Watch, read Aly Raisman’s full testimony