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

Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

Sam Girard
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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire

Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

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Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

MORE: How Gracie Gold landed in Philadelphia, thoughts competitive return

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