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)

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

Teri McKeever
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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 with redactions.

“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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