WHITTAKER EDGES ROMERO FOR INTERIM BELT AT UFC 213
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.
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.