Ronda Rousey
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Ronda Rousey sets first UFC fight in 13 months

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Ronda Rousey‘s next fight will be Dec. 30 against UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in Las Vegas at UFC 207, more than 13 months since her shock defeat to Holly Holm.

Rousey, a 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist, will look to reclaim the belt she lost in her previous bout.

Rousey (12-1) last fought Nov. 15, being knocked out by Holm in her first defeat since switching from judo to MMA in 2010.

“Ronda Rousey has been the biggest, baddest female fighter on the planet now since we got into women’s fighting,” UFC president Dana White said on “The Herd” radio show Wednesday. “Ronda had a bad loss, obviously, and lost her title. She’s still Ronda Rousey at the end of the day.”

Holm took the bantamweight title from Rousey on Nov. 15, then lost it to Miesha Tate at her next fight March 5. Tate then lost the belt to Nunes (13-4) on July 9.

Rousey (12-1) lasted 5 minutes, 59 seconds against Holm after beating her previous four opponents all in 66 seconds or less. She and Nunes have never fought each other.

Rousey’s break between the Holm and Nunes matchups is 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,” White said. “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.”

If Rousey beats Nunes, she will face Cris “Cyborg” Justino, White said. Justino is 17-0 since her debut loss in 2005 and has challenged Rousey to a fight. Justino served a one-year doping ban after failing a drug test for a banned steroid more than four years ago.

VIDEO: Rousey discusses suicidal thoughts after Holm loss

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World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

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U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

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The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

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