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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

Photos via Getty and AP:

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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)

Yulia Efimova wags finger as Lilly King rivalry heats up (video)

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The Lilly KingYulia Efimova rivalry is back on, but this time the Russian is wagging her finger.

Efimova missed the 100m breaststroke world record by .01 in the semifinals at the world swimming championships in Budapest on Monday.

Efimova celebrated her time by finger wagging, an homage to King’s famous move in the ready room at the Rio Olympics.  She and King will go head to head in the final as the top two seeds on Tuesday after King won her later semifinal in a personal-best time .17 slower than Efimova.

“I’m always looking at the results from the heat before,” King told media in Budapest, adding that she wasn’t shaved for Monday’s semifinals. “I saw a little finger wag. I saw it. It’s just motivating me more, so that’s OK.”

King, who criticized Efimova’s presence in Rio after serving a doping ban, beat the Russian in the Olympic 100m breaststroke final last year.

Efimova served a 16-month ban for testing positive for the banned steroid DHEA in 2013. She again tested positive in February 2016 for meldonium, though she said she stopped taking it before it became a banned substance Jan. 1 and was absolved along with other athletes.

“You’ve been caught for drug cheating, I’m just not a fan,” King memorably said in Rio, adding last fall, “[Doping] was on all of our minds. We had team meetings talking about what it was going to be like. We were going to be racing dopers, and we all knew it.”

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Katinka Hosszu wins 200m IM as swimmer leaves pool mid-race (video)

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Hungarian Katinka Hosszu delivered the gold-medal performance a raucous Budapest crowd hoped for at the world swimming championships.

Canadian Sydney Pickrem, a medal favorite, appeared to get out of the pool after 50 meters. Swimming Canada later said she “took on water” approaching the first wall.

“Unfortunately it inhibited her to the point where she wasn’t able to continue in the race,” a press release said.

Hosszu won her third straight world title in the 200m individual medley, clocking 2:07.00 at the Danube Arena. The Olympic champion and world-record holder was followed by Japan’s Yui Ohashi (2:07.91) and American Madisyn Cox (2:09.71).

Hosszu was the overwhelming favorite, given she held the three fastest times in the world this year going into Monday’s final. She became the first woman to win 10 individual world championships medals, a mark that Sarah SjostromKatie Ledecky and Yulia Efimova can surpass later in the meet. Retired Australian Leisel Jones won nine, all in breaststroke.

Hosszu scratched her other event Monday night, the 100m backstroke, one of three events she won at the Rio Olympics. Hosszu could earn medals in the 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley later this week.

Pickrem ranked No. 3 in the world this year and had the third-fastest time in the semifinals behind Hosszu and American Melanie Margalis, who finished fourth.

“Just another stepping stone,” said Cox, who finished her University of Texas career this year and made her major international debut in Budapest. “Of course, I want to be better. That time will come.”

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Results
Gold: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:07.00
Silver: Yui Ohashi (JPN) — 2:07.91
Bronze: Madisyn Cox (USA) — 2:09.71
4. Melanie Margalis (USA) — 2:09.82
5. Runa Imai (JPN) — 2:09.99
6. Kim Seoyeong (KOR) — 2:10.40
7. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (GBR) — 2:10.41
DQ. Sydney Pickrem (CAN)

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