Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey defends UFC title in 14 seconds

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UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey beat top challenger Cat Zingano in 14 seconds at UFC 184 on Saturday night, her quickest victory in 11 career pro fights.

Rousey won via armbar tapout submission at Staples Center in Los Angeles, her 10th career first-round victory. UFC tweeted it was the quickest finish in UFC championship history.

Zingano (9-1) charged toward Rousey to start the fight but was flipped over by the 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist.

“We were expecting that [Zingano] might come out and just do something flying at me right away,” Rousey, whose pro fight career has lasted about 25 total minutes, said in a TV interview. “I know I have faster transitions than anyone because my mom [a 1984 World judo champion] taught me. … I can’t wait to get some hot wings right now.”

In her post-fight interview, Zingano expressed frustration with profanity and then repeated, “I want to do it again.”

Rousey dominated in the first UFC pay-per-view carried by women’s fights and in front of actor Mickey Rourke, former UFC fighter Brock Lesnar and actress/singer Mandy Moore.

Rousey looked ready from her ring walk, marching purposefully and swiftly with an unmoving stare to Joan Jett‘s “Bad Reputation.”

What’s next for Rousey?

She’s set to appear in two spring films — “Furious 7” and “Entourage” — as well as release her book, “My Fight/Your Fight,” in May.

One potential fight many MMA fans crave is Rousey (who fights in the 135-pound division) against Cris “Cyborg” Justino, a 29-year-old Brazilian featherweight (145 pounds) who was banned for one year after testing positive for a steroid three years ago.

On Friday, Justino beat Charmaine Tweet via TKO in 46 seconds at Invicta FC 11, also in Los Angeles. Rousey beat Tweet via submission in 49 seconds on June 17, 2011, in Rousey’s second pro fight.

World heavyweight champ not ready to give up on Olympic dream

Cyclist in induced coma after Tour of Poland crash

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Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was put into an induced coma Wednesday after suffering injuries in a crash on the final stretch of the Tour of Poland, organizers said.

A massive crash at the finish of the first stage resulted in Dylan Groenewegen‘s disqualification from the race.

Leading a bunch sprint, Groenewegen veered toward the right barrier, pinching countryman Jakobsen, who barreled into the barrier meters from the finish line.

Jakobsen went head over heels, his bike went airborne and the barriers exploded onto the road, causing more cyclists to crash.

Jakobsen was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition and was put into an induced coma, the Tour de Pologne press office said.

Groenewegen crossed the finish line first but was disqualified, giving Jakobsen the stage win, according to the stage race website.

Groenewegen, a 27-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider, owns four Tour de France stage wins among the last three years.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) “strongly condemned” Groenewegen’s “dangerous” and “unacceptable” behavior. It referred Groenewegen’s actions to a disciplinary commission for possible sanctions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Figure skating Grand Prix Series will be held as ‘domestic’ competitions

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Series will go ahead as scheduled this fall, with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union decided Monday.

Each of the series’ six tops around the globe will be “a domestic run event,” limited to skaters of the event’s host country, who regularly train in the host country and from a respective geographical area. The number of disciplines and skaters at each event are to be worked out.

The Grand Prix Series, held annually since 1995, is a six-event fall season, qualifying the top six skaters and teams per discipline to December’s Grand Prix Final. The annual stops are in the U.S., Canada, China, France, Russia and Japan, leading up to the Final, which is held at a different site each year.

The Final is the second-biggest annual competition after the world championships, which are typically in late March. The Final is still scheduled for Beijing, though whether or when it can be held will be discussed.

The series begins in late October with Skate America, which debuted in 1979 and has been held every year since 1988 as the biggest annual international competition in the U.S. Skate America’s site is Las Vegas, just as it was in 2019.

Skaters typically compete twice on the Grand Prix Series (three times if they qualify for the Final). ISU vice president Alexander Lakernik said skaters will be limited to one start in the six-event series before the Final, according to a Russian media quote confirmed by Phil Hersh.

The ISU has not confirmed or denied Lakernik’s assertion.

Most, if not all, top-level U.S. skaters train in the U.S. or Canada. That makes the first two Grand Prix stops — Skate America and Skate Canada — likely destinations. Grand Prix assignments have not been published.

“I appreciate the ISU is open to adapting competitive formats and is working to give athletes opportunities to compete,” Evan Bates, a U.S. ice dance champion with Madison Chock who trains in Montreal, wrote in a text message to Hersh. “This announcement gives reassurance that the ISU is doing their best to ensure a season will still take place. Of course, it’s hard to predict what will happen, and we’re not sure about what country we would compete in. It would probably depend on what the quarantine rules are at that time.”

The January 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled for San Jose, Calif. The March 2021 World Championships are set for Stockholm.

In July, the ISU canceled the Junior Grand Prix Series for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, including two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu, who cannot enter the senior Grand Prix until 2021.

Other early season senior international competitions scheduled for September were also canceled or postponed.

U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement that it will have more details on the Grand Prix Series in the coming weeks after collaborating with an ISU-appointed group.

“This is a great example of the figure skating community coming together to ensure that the world’s premier figure skating series will continue during these challenging times,” the statement read. “Figure skaters want to compete and figure skating fans from all around the world want to see their favorite athletes skate, and this format will ensure just that.”

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