Connect with us

Sports

UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov beats Justin Gaethje, announces retirement

Published

on

Oct. 24 (UPI) — Khabib Nurmagomedov, while fighting with a broken foot, submitted Justin Gaethje via triangle choke during the second round in the main event of UFC 254 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

It was Nurmagomedov’s first bout since his father and head coach, Abdulmanap, died in July from COVID-19 complications. After the fight, an emotional Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.

The 32-year-old Nurmagomedov said his mother didn’t want him to continue competing without his father. He told her his fight against Gaethje would be his final.

“I want to say this was my last fight,” Nurmagomedov said. “… I promised her this was going to be my last fight. If I give my word, I have to follow this. … It was my father’s dream.”

Nurmagomedov put the final touches on his MMA career as he took Gaethje down and locked in the triangle choke to make him go unconscious at one minute, 34 seconds of the second round. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Nurmagomedov’s submission finish was only the third ever in UFC title history.

Nurmagomedov’s win unified the UFC lightweight title. Nurmagomedov entered as the UFC lightweight champion, and Gaethje was the interim titleholder.

“I know he made his father so proud,” Gaethje said.

Nurmagomedov (29-0) went into the fight undefeated. The victory ties him with B.J. Penn and Benson Henderson for the most title defenses in UFC lightweight history (three).

Nurmagomedov, a native of Dagestan in Russia, also improved his record to 13-0 in the UFC, becoming only the second fighter after Anderson Silva to begin a UFC career with 13 consecutive wins.

“What this guy has been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight [Saturday],” UFC president Dana White said. “… Apparently, he was in the hospital and he broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken. That’s what his corner told me.

“He’s the toughest human being on the planet. He’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”

Gaethje (22-3) was on a four-fight winning streak going into the bout against Nurmagomedov. He beat Tony Ferguson to win the UFC interim lightweight belt at UFC 249 in May.

The fight between Gaethje and Nurmagomedov took place without fans at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, which the UFC has dubbed “Fight Island.”



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Toronto Raptors to play home games in Tampa to begin 2020-21 season

Published

on

Nov. 20 (UPI) — The Toronto Raptors will begin the NBA season next month in Tampa, Fla., because of travel restrictions implemented by the Canadian government stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement Friday.

Toronto had been eyeing other sites to hold home games for multiple weeks, including Sunrise, Fla., the home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers. But with the start of the upcoming NBA season quickly approaching, the Raptors were forced to make a decision.

The Raptors — the NBA’s only Canadian team — will now play their home games at Amalie Arena, which is home to the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

The NBA will release the first half of its 2020-21 schedule around Dec. 1. The second half of the schedule is expected to be revealed in January or February, and there is a chance the Raptors could return to Toronto at that point if coronavirus-related restrictions are loosened.

“We’ll be away from our home and our fans for now,” Ujiri wrote in his statement. “They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m not sure that’s possible for us — we love Toronto and Canada, and we know we have the best fans in the NBA. For now, I’ll ask you to cheer for us from afar, and we’ll look forward to the day we are all together again.”

Other U.S. cities that showed interest in serving as the Raptors’ temporary home for this season were Nashville, Tenn., Newark, N.J. and Kansas City, Mo.



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard agree to return to Miami Heat

Published

on

Nov. 20 (UPI) — All-Star guard Goran Dragic and veteran big man Meyers Leonard have agreed to re-sign with the Miami Heat for the 2020-21 season.

League sources told ESPN and The Athletic on Friday that Dragic’s deal is worth $37.4 million over two years. The second year of the contract is a team option.

Later Friday, Dragic confirmed the agreement with a post on social media.

“I’m glad that I can announce that I’m staying with my #HeatNationFamily,” Dragic wrote on Twitter. “Let’s finish the job we started!”

Meanwhile, Leonard’s deal also is for two years and worth about $20 million, according to ESPN and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The second year of his agreement is a team option.

The 34-year-old Dragic will be entering his seventh season with the Heat. He averaged 16.2 points per game while coming off the bench in last year’s regular season. He cracked the starting lineup in the playoffs, but he tore his plantar fascia in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers to dampen Miami’s title hopes.

Leonard, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Heat this past season.



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox signing 5-year, $163M max extension

Published

on

Nov. 20 (UPI) — Star point guard De’Aaron Fox has agreed to a five-year maximum extension with the Sacramento Kings.

League sources told ESPN and The Athletic on Friday that Fox’s multiyear extension is worth at least $163 million. According to the outlets, the deal contains escalators that would allow him to reach the $195.6 million super max if he makes an All-NBA team and the league’s salary cap climbs above $112 million.

The 22-year-old Fox will receive a total of $170 million in the deal for being named to the All-NBA Third Team, $183 million for a second-team selection and $196 million for a first-team selection.

Fox, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, averaged a career-best 21.1 points to go with 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game this past season.

Fox is entering his fourth season with the Kings, who are searching for their first playoff berth since 2006. Sacramento posted a 31-41 record in the pandemic-shortened season last year.

Fox’s maximum extension is the first of the 2020 off-season.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending