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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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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