WHIT­TAKER EDGES ROMERO FOR IN­TERIM BELT AT UFC 213

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Den­ver Post staff and wire ser­vices

LAS VE­GAS» Robert Whit­taker won the UFC in­terim mid­dleweight ti­tle Satur­day night, surg­ing in the late rounds to earn a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion over Yoel Romero at UFC 213.

Whit­taker (20-4) re­cov­ered from a hy­per­ex­tended knee in the first round with a strong strik­ing per­for­mance, pep­per­ing Romero (12-2) with punches and kicks over the fi­nal three rounds. The Aus­tralian won his eighth con­sec­u­tive fight, earn­ing the vic­tory 48-47 on all three judges’ score­cards at T-Mo­bile Arena.

“It’s a mo­ment I’ve al­ways dreamed of,” Whit­taker said. “My knee was def­i­nitely hurt. I in­jured it in camp, and Romero’s kick set it back weeks. I know that Romero will cap­i­tal­ize on any weak­ness he sees, so I had to play it off. That’s just what cham­pi­ons are made of.”

The main event of the UFC’s tra­di­tional July show­case in its home­town was can­celed ear­lier in the day when ban­tamweight cham­pion Amanda Nunes was hos­pi­tal­ized. She was scratched from her sec­ond ti­tle de­fense against Valentina Shevchenko, who crit­i­cized the cham­pion’s prepa­ra­tion for the bout.

Nunes re­leased a state­ment on Sun­day, cit­ing chronic si­nusi­tis as the rea­son for her with­drawal.

Rio seeks help with Olympic debt.

RIO DE JANEIRO» The IOC balked at help­ing Rio Olympic or­ga­niz­ers pay a debt es­ti­mated at $35 mil­lion to $40 mil­lion.

The ex­ec­u­tive board of the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, meet­ing in Lausanne, Switzer­land, said it had al­ready con­trib­uted a “record” $1.53 bil­lion to last year’s Olympics, and ques­tioned giv­ing more af­ter meet­ing with or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Car­los Nuz­man.

In a state­ment, the IOC said “more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion” was needed and said it “de­ferred any fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion at this stage.” It added that it “has closed all its obli­ga­tions with the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee.”

Con­trac­tu­ally, host cities and coun­tries are ob­li­gated to pay Olympic debts.

• The IOC ex­pects to com­plete retest­ing of more than 1,000 dop­ing sam­ples from the 2010 Van­cou­ver Win­ter Olympics next month.

Hun­dreds of results have al­ready been ob­tained in the re­anal­y­sis pro­gram, said Richard Bud­gett, the Olympic body’s med­i­cal di­rec­tor.

Griner, Taurasi lead Mer­cury.

PHOENIX» Brit­tney Griner had 31 points, 12 re­bounds and six blocked shots to help the Phoenix Mer­cury beat the New York Lib­erty 81-69 in a WNBA game.

Diana Taurasi added 19 points for the Mer­cury.

• Brit­tney Sykes scored 12 points of her 18 points in the de­ci­sive third quar­ter as the At­lanta Dream beat the Dal­las Wings 98-78.

Fultz’s sum­mer stint cut short.

LAS VE­GAS» No. 1 over­all pick Markelle Fultz will miss the rest of the NBA sum­mer league be­cause of a sprained left an­kle.

The Philadel­phia 76ers said Fultz is ex­pected to re­turn to bas­ket­ball ac­tiv­i­ties in one to two weeks. Fultz tweeted Sun­day: “I’m OK, thank you for all who where wor­ried!”

Fultz ap­peared to roll his an­kle in Satur­day night’s game and was helped to the locker room.

He had just signed his con­tract that day and was taken for X-rays. The for­mer Wash­ing­ton star had eight points in 15 min­utes.

• The Toronto Rap­tors made two trades, send­ing DeMarre Car­roll to Brook­lyn for salary cap re­lief and land­ing C.J. Miles in a sign-and-trade deal with In­di­ana for Cory Joseph.

The Rap­tors agreed to the Car­roll deal Satur­day night, then quickly moved to fill his spot as a shooter and wing de­fender with Miles.

Foot­note.

Univer­sity of Colorado alum David Oraee won the 61st Wy­oming Open with a 15-un­der-par 195. Oraee beat Ben Por­tie, an­other CU alum, by three strokes.

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