Sec­ond thoughts

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE - Com­piled by Jeff Halpern

had a sit­u­a­tion like today where she was phys­i­cally ca­pa­ble to fight and didn’t. It was 90 per­cent men­tal and 10 per­cent phys­i­cal.”

Nunes’ de­ci­sion to skip the fight re­sulted in pass­ing over a $150,000 guar­an­teed purse in­stead of risk­ing a loss against a fighter she al­ready de­feated in March 2016 by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion in a non-ti­tle fight.

Nunes apol­o­gized on so­cial me­dia and vowed to re­turn at 100 per­cent. White said he will give Nunes and Shevchenko a spot on the UFC 215 card in Ed­mon­ton, Al­berta, on Sept. 9.

Schevchenko is look­ing for­ward to get­ting her shot against Nunes.

“I know ex­actly why she’s do­ing this, and ev­ery­body knows,” Shevchenko said, strongly im­ply­ing Nunes didn’t feel com­fort­able with the matchup fol­low­ing a tax­ing weight cut that left her vis­i­bly drained as she stepped on the scale for the of­fi­cial Fri­day morn­ing weigh-in. “I know my time will come. I will fight for the ti­tle and I will have it. It doesn’t mat­ter what hap­pened today. It will hap­pen in the fu­ture. I will be the cham­pion against [Nunes] or some­one else. I will be in my best shape — again.”

Time will tell if hype and grudges will re­sult in a NunesSchevchenko bout that be­comes worth watch­ing.

Bet­ter late than never

In the 2008 Olympics, Great Bri­tain’s 1,600-me­ter re­lay team of Michael Bing­ham, Mar­tyn Rooney, An­drew Steele, and Robert Tobin missed out on earn­ing a medal. On Sun­day, the four­some was given a bronze medal af­ter retests of dop­ing sam­ples last year showed that De­nis Alex­eev who helped Rus­sia fin­ish third, had used an an­abolic steroid.

Mak­ing the moment mem­o­rable was re­ceiv­ing their medals at a cer­e­mony dur­ing the Lon­don leg of the Di­a­mond League at the main sta­dium used from the 2012 Olympics.

“It’s def­i­nitely sur­real but an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity nonethe­less and a real priv­i­lege to get it in such a sta­dium and such a crowd,” Steele said. “Even though it’s nine years later I am re­ally happy to re­ceive it, it’s amaz­ing.”

Steele re­ceived his medal from Craig Reedie, the Scots­man who is pres­i­dent of the World An­tiDop­ing Agency.

Even if they got on the podium in Bei­jing, the na­tional an­them of the United States would have been played since that was the win­ning team in the re­lay. On Sun­day, God Save

the Queen was played in Lon­don when they re­ceived their medals.

AP/NAM Y. HUH

Mixed mar­tial arts ban­tamweight chal­lenger Valentina Shevchenko said she will be ready for a pro­posed Septem­ber bout against Amanda Nunes.

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