Associated Press May 30, 2020 Sakai escaped punishment from referee Jason Herzog in the third round when he blatantly grabbed the chain-link wall of the cage while attempting to avoid a takedown attempt by Ivanov.Grabbing the cage is illegal and punishable by a point deduction, but Herzog merely warned Sakai verbally. The decision was met with audible disbelief by Daniel Cormier, the former UFC heavyweight champion working in the quiet arena as a color commentator.Strawweight contender Mackenzie Dern opened the main card by finishing Hannah Cifers with a knee bar that was the first leg-lock submission victory by a woman in UFC history. Dern (8-1) earned her first win since giving birth to her daughter last year.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditLAS VEGAS (AP) — Gilbert Burns dominated former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to win a unanimous decision on Saturday night in the mixed martial arts promotion’s return to Las Vegas.Brazilian heavyweight Augusto Sakai employed some unpunished gamesmanship to eke out a split-decision victory over Bulgaria’s Blagoy Ivanov in the penultimate bout of the UFC’s first show in its hometown since the coronavirus pandemic began.The event was held without fans at the UFC Apex, a gym with broadcast facilities on the promotion’s corporate campus. The UFC used minimal personnel to stage the fight, and the promotion said everyone involved was subject to strict health and safety protocols. Gilbert Burns routs Woodley in UFC’s return to Las Vegas Burns was fighting in a fan-free arena for the second time in 2 1/2 months. He stopped veteran Demian Maia in Brasilia on March 14 in the UFC’s final show before it halted competition.After an eight-week break, the UFC returned to competition earlier this month with three shows over eight days in Jacksonville, Florida. With ambitions to hold near-weekly cards throughout the summer as part of its expansive broadcast deal with ESPN, the promotion relocated its operations to its own facilities after the Nevada Athletic Commission agreed three days ago to allow the return of combat sports.Although this card was fairly light on star power, the promotion will stage UFC 250 next Saturday night from the same gym. Two-division champion Amanda Nunes’ featherweight title defense against Canada’s Felicia Spencer headlines the pay-per-view card.UFC President Dana White continues to promise additional shows this summer from the so-called “Fight Island,” an undisclosed private isle where the promotion intends to host bouts between fighters who can’t enter the U.S. due to health restrictions.Sakai (15-1-1) remained unbeaten in the UFC with his fourth straight victory when two judges favored him 29-28 after a lively bout with Ivanov (18-4), who was up 30-27 on the third judge’s card. The 33-year-old Burns (19-3) dominated on his feet and on the ground, finishing his first main-event bout with likely the biggest win of his career and his sixth consecutive victory since July 2018. The Florida-based Brazilian soundly defeated one of the most accomplished welterweights in UFC history and made his case for a shot at champion Kamaru Usman in the crowded 170-pound division.The judges all gave all five rounds to Burns, scoring it 50-45, 50-44 and 50-44.Burns came out with furious energy against Woodley, dropping the ex-champ in the opening seconds and gaining full mount. A gaping cut opened in Woodley’s left eyebrow in the opening minutes, and Burns again overcame Woodley’s famously strong takedown defense to drop Woodley again in the second round.Woodley (19-5-1) hadn’t fought since losing his title in a one-sided thrashing from Usman in March 2019. Woodley had reigned atop the division for nearly three years, and the 38-year-old University of Missouri graduate said he dealt with depression while debating whether to stay in MMA or to pursue a music career.Burns’ victory capped an entertaining show at the Apex, where the octagon is only 25 feet in diameter, compared to 30 feet in most competitive cages. The compact dimension typically lead to more aggressive fighting, and this card featured six finishes in its 11 bouts.
According to Okereke-Ekpe, the maiden Onitsha City Marathon will take place on October 5, 2019, but she explained this edition will only be half marathon while subsequent ones will include both the 10km and 5km races.She said: “We are starting with just half marathon this year but from next year, it will definitely be bigger with the addition of the 10km and 5km races.“The race will start by 6.30am and registration is absolutely free for everyone capable and ready”According to the organisers, registration for the Onitsha City Marathon will run through till the end of September to allow for more participants.Over 20,000 runners from across the world are expected to take part in the race which coincides with the popular Ofala Festival.The Onitsha City Marathon have secured the needed endorsements from all relevant professional bodies including the IAAF/AIMS following the expert touch by world-renowned Course measurer, Norrie Williamson from South Africa.Also, the Obi of Onitsha has given his blessings for this historic race.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Organisers of the Onitsha City Marathon will on Sunday, August 18, 2019, be in Lagos meet selected members of the Nigerian sporting press at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.In a statement signed by Chisom Okereke-Ekpe, Head of Marketing and Branding of the Onitsha City Marathon (first international marathon in the South-East), she said Lagos is the heart of sporting press in Africa and there is no way an event of this magnitude will be done without carrying the vibrant Lagos press along.“We know the importance of the Lagos sporting press and its environs, that is why we have chosen to have this parley in order for all to be aware of what we are planning to do,” she said.
He followed it up with an even better showing in August, notching a spectacular knockout of Javier Nicolas Chacon for his first successful title defense.”My goals were to at least become an interim world champion,” Figueroa told Sporting News. “I became that. I honestly didn’t believe I would be a regular champion for the WBA. But here I am, defending it. It’s an amazing feeling what I’ve accomplished in one year.” Since then, Figueroa was bumped up to WBA “Regular” champion status by the sanctioning body as he looks to defend again, facing Julio Ceja as part of the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz 2 card Saturday night.Join DAZN to watch 100+ fight nights a yearSince he was a little kid growing up in Weslaco, Tex., the 22-year-old was always in the shadow of his older brother, former WBC lightweight titlist Omar Jr. Their father, Omar Sr. had always given the majority of his attention to his elder son because he felt the 29-year-old had more potential of the two. However, the tide started to shift a bit when Brandon was 15 and he stopped a Mexican pro fighter during a sparring session. That was Brandon laying the groundwork toward eventually becoming a world champ himself.”I definitely do feel like I’ve carved my own path,” Figueroa admits. “I’m grateful to my brother for paving the way for me and opening up doors. At the end of the day, I’m the one who puts in the hard work in the gym. I’m the one who puts my life on the line every time I’m in the ring. I’ve worked hard to get here. I feel like in my own way. I’m creating my journey. I just know that I’m an action-packed and fan-friendly fighter. I feel like little-by-little I’m starting to get that respect. I’m only 22, and I only have a lot to prove to myself.” Saturday’s fight is the biggest of the year for the rising star because of how quickly he ascended boxing heights and the fact that he’s on the undercard of one of the top names in the sport in Wilder. Figueroa has relied on big brother to help him navigate the waters of what’s been a hectic lead-up. Entering 2019, Brandon Figueroa had one clear goal in mind: Become a world champion. While it’s easier said than done, Figueroa accomplished the feat in April when he stopped Yonfrez Parejo to become the interim WBA super bantamweight champion. “He helps me out in the little things like keeping me loose, not overthinking about the fight, how to handle the media interviews, which allows me to focus on going out there and giving it my all,” Figueroa said.A win over Ceja (32-4, 28 KOs) would make Figueroa 4-0 for 2019 and erase any lingering doubt about him being in the shadow of his brother.”It would make it an amazing year for me,” Figueroa said. “To start off the year becoming the interim champion and then defending the title. Winning on a card like this, I deserve to be the regular champion. I have to win in spectacular fashion and look really, really well to not put any doubt in people’s minds and prove to myself that I belong here.”