ROUSEY KEEPS QUIET ON MMA RETURN AGAINST NUNES
los angeles» Ronda Rousey is returning to mixed martial arts Friday after a 13-month absence, taking on Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title at UFC 207.
Just don’t expect to hear about it from Rousey.
The once-dominant champion has largely declined to promote her comeback bout, skipping nearly every traditional pre-fight media responsibility. Rousey’s silence leaves Nunes and the other fighters on the card in the awkward position of doing all the dirty work to sell the UFC’s end-of-the-year, pay-per-view event in Las Vegas.
Rousey is the most marketable name in the game and perhaps the biggest mainstream star in MMA history, and her return from last year’s shocking knockout loss to Holly Holm should be one of the biggest sports events of the holiday period. Rousey (12-1) largely vanished from public after her defeat, but agreed to return for a title shot at Nunes (13-4), who won the belt in July.
Infantino says sanctions to come
B dubai, united arab emirates » Russia will face any “necessary actions and sanctions” after investigators alleged that soccer players had suspicious drug-test samples covered up as part of a wider doping scandal in the 2018 World Cup host nation, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Wednesday.
Five suspicious samples in the Russian men’s under-17 and under-21 national teams in 2013 and 2014 were exposed in emails released earlier this month by the World Anti-Doping Agency, accompanying investigator Richard McLaren’s report into Russian doping.
N.J. tries for sports gambling
B newark, n.j.» New Jersey’s chances of getting the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its attempt to allow legal sports gambling hinge on how a bedrock constitutional principle is applied.
The state argued that Congress is barred from forcing states to repeal or reinstate their own laws. That’s a reference to an issue at the heart of a lawsuit by the NCAA and the four major pro sports leagues, who argue a 1992 federal law barring all but four states from authorizing sports gambling derails New Jersey’s effort.
After an initial 2012 law allowing sports gambling in New Jersey was struck down in court, Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law in 2014 that repealed prohibitions against sports gambling at casinos and racetracks.
Virus found at fair grounds
B baton rouge, la.» State agriculture officials say they’ve confirmed a case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy, an often deadly neurological disease spread by horse-to-horse contact, at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Racetrack.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, in a news release, said a 2-year-old thoroughbred gelding reportedly developed a fever and neurological signs last week and was euthanized Dec. 26. Nasal swab and blood tests were confirmed positive for Equine Herpes Virus-1 neurogenic strain. EHM is caused from a mutant strain of EHV-1, a common respiratory virus.
Although not transmissible to humans, EHM can be spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands.
LDAF says EHM was last detected at the track in 2008.
Colorado College hockey beat Merrimack College 3-0 in the Florida Classic Tournament. The tigers will take on Northern Michigan on Thursday night. … Former Drake assistant Courtney Graham has sued Bulldogs coach Jennie Baranczyk and the university, claiming she was forced to resign after her homosexuality became public . ... Ana Ivanovic is retiring from tennis at age 29, ending a career in which she was ranked No. 1 in 2008 but can no longer play at the highest level because of injuries.