UFC

UFC 263: Adesanya retains title, Moreno makes history

By Sports Desk June 13, 2021

Israel Adesanya successfully defended his middleweight title once again, beating Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision in their rematch at UFC 263 in Arizona. 

UFC star Adesanya – who defeated Vettori by split decision in April 2018 – navigated five rounds with minimal difficulty, prevailing 50-45 on all three judges' scorecards in his third title defence since taking the belt with a knockout of Robert Whittaker in October 2019. 

Adesanya's only potential trouble spot came early in the third round on Saturday when Vettori knocked down the Nigeria-born New Zealander, but he weathered that challenge and handled everything else the Italian threw at him. 

A rematch with Whittaker seems on the cards as Adesanya (21-0) called out the Australian following his win, demanding a showdown in Auckland, New Zealand.

"You don't get to decide -- I get to decide," Adesanya said. "Because I'm the mother****** king, b****!"

Whittaker responded with a tweet that read "rest up, see you soon." 

 

 

Moreno first Mexican-born champ

In the co-headline bout, Brandon Moreno dominated Deiveson Figueiredo to take the Brazilian's flyweight strap and become the first Mexican-born UFC champion. 

Saturday's fight was in sharp contrast to the pair's draw at UFC 256 in December, as Moreno (19-5-2) had his way with the titleholder from the beginning. 

The 27-year-old from Tijuana submitted Figueiredo with a rear naked choke at 2:26 of the third round and exulted in his victory.

"UFC released me," Moreno said. "I wasn't that proud of my life but watch me holding this belt. I feel so amazing."

Figueiredo (20-2-1) was gracious in defeat, saying Moreno was "the better man tonight."

 

Edwards holds off late Diaz flurry

Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz made UFC history with the first non-main event, non-title bout to be scheduled for five rounds, and Diaz nearly made the extended term pay off. 

Edwards had his way for most of the fight but had to survive a furious flurry from the bloodied 36-year-old American in the fifth to win by unanimous decision, 49-46 on all cards. 

The pair had been scheduled to face off at UFC 262 last month, but the bout was pushed back when Diaz got cut in training. 

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    The Packers were humbled 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 but Rodgers responded by throwing 22 from 27 passes for 255 yards including four touchdown passes against the Lions.

    Rodgers was forthright when he spoke to reporters in his post-game news conference, after biting his tongue immediately after the game when speaking to ESPN.

    The 37-year-old said it was nice to put in a good performance to "get the trolls off our back", labelling the media attention on his side as an "over-reaction".

    "I think people like to say a lot of b******t and it's nice to come back in here after a game like that," Rodgers said.

    He added: "I think there's even more now than when I started playing, there's so many over-reactions on a week-to-week basis.

    "It's nice to come out and have a good performance and get the trolls off our back for at least a week."

    Rodgers, who was the subject of a drawn-out saga about a move away from Green Bay in the off-season, admitted the Packers were "disjointed" in Week 1 but would not getting carried away with one win.

    "It's one game. We're 1-1 now. We're 1-0 in the division," Rodgers told ESPN. "So we feel good about things but it's early."

    The Packers trailed 17-14 at half-time against the Lions but found their "rhythm" with three second-half touchdowns.

    "The rhythm was good," he said. "We got the ball to our playmakers, like this guy [Jones].

    "Last week we were really disjointed on offence. The first half went the same way but the second half we came out, got into a better rhythm, got a turnover and put the game away."

    The Packers will next take on the San Francisco 49ers, who have started 2-0, on Sunday.

  • I'd lost my mind completely – Phil Jones reveals torment of injury hell as Man Utd return approaches I'd lost my mind completely – Phil Jones reveals torment of injury hell as Man Utd return approaches

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    The 29-year-old has not played for the Red Devils since January 2020 due to a debilitating knee problem that has dogged him throughout his career.

    First identified during his academy years at Blackburn Rovers, Jones had an operation after Euro 2012 to remove the meniscus in his right knee. He was forced to manage the problem for years, playing at "60 per cent" because he would "do anything for United", even though, by 2016, "any resistance against the knee was just agony".

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    Jones, who has just under two years on his contract, was prompted to speak out when former United team-mate Rio Ferdinand described him as a "waste of time" who was blocking a youth player's passage to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's senior side. Solskjaer himself was angered by Ferdinand's comments.

    "Listen, the respect I've got is enormous," Jones said of Ferdinand. "I've shared a dressing room with Rio – great professional. Loved playing with him. Great lad, good humour. Learnt so much off him. But what he said was poor. Really poor. 

    "I've done my absolute utmost. From tablets, to my diet, to setting up my house so that every time I get back from training I'm sitting in recovery boots and have my ice machine ready. Nobody can say, 'You didn't do enough'.

    "I'll fight for United until someone tells me, 'Go somewhere else'."

    Jones, who was also heckled in the street while walking with his infant daughters, added: "In this society we're living in at the minute, all the racism and stuff that affects mental health – I'd just say be careful. You don’t know how it's going to affect players: physically, mentally, emotionally. 

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    "Every footballer has a tag and unfortunately mine is, 'Let's have a laugh at him'. But – and I say this in the nicest possible way – I know who'll have the last laugh. I'm proud of my career and when it finishes and I'm enjoying my life – and by the way I'm super fortunate that I'll be able to do that, because footballers are fortunate – [the keyboard warriors] will still be in their mum's spare bedroom, sipping Diet Pepsi that's flat, eating a Pot Noodle, sitting in their boxers, tweeting."

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    "He was just unbelievable for me," Jones added. "I went to the premiere of his film with a few players and he came over, we shook hands and then out of the blue he said, 'Hey, you were f****** terrific against Real Madrid away [in 2013]. F****** marking [Cristiano] Ronaldo.'

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