Cynthia Calvillo is heading back to the Octagon next month.
The 32-year-old Latina mixed martial artist and fellow UFC women’s flyweight Jessica Eye have agreed to fight on June 13 at UFC Fight Night, according to ESPN.
The bout would headline the event, sources said, though a location wasn’t immediately known.
Eye (15-7, 1 NC) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Viviane Araujo at UFC 245 in December. It was her first fight since she challenged for the flyweight title and suffered a devastating head-kick knockout to champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 238 last June.
Eye, who is currently ESPN‘s No. 8-ranked women’s flyweight, has won four of her past five fights.
Calvillo (8-1-1) returns to the Octagon after fighting to a majority draw with Marina Rodriguez in December. That bout was fought at a catchweight after Calvillo missed the contracted strawweight limit.
Next Saturday’s UFC cardis expected to take place at the company’s Apex facility in Las Vegas. The location is subject to change until Wednesday, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission is scheduled to formally vote on reopening the state to combat sports.
NSAC officials indefinitely suspended all combat sports in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Xavi Hernández is opening up about his life away from his homeland…
The 40-year-old Spanish football manager and former player and other stars of Spain’s so-called “golden generation” of World Cup-winning footballers will be featured in an Amazon original documentary.
Living Abroad, a four-part docuseries, will spotlight Hernández, David Villa, Javi Martínez and Juan Mata, who are playing their trade outside of Spain in football leagues around the world.
Produced by Madrid-based Atresmedia Studios, the original will premiere on Prime Video on June 5 in the UK and Spain, promising an “inside look” at the stars’ lives as they play in England, Japan, Qatar and Germany.
Ricardo Cabornero, Amazon’s head of prime video content, said the series is launching to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Spain winning the World Cup in South Africa.
Living Abroadis executive produced by Jorge Pérez Vega and Ignacio Corrales, while Sonia López is the director.
The 33-year-old mixed martial artist, a two-weight UFC champion and former Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, defended his 135-pound title for the first time on Saturday night, defeating Dominick Cruz (22-3) via TKO at 4 minutes, 58 seconds of the second round at UFC 249at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Cejudo (16-2) shocked the mixed martial arts world moments later when he announced he doesn’t intend to fight again.
“I’m happy with my career,” Cejudo said. “I’ve done enough in the sport. I want to walk away and enjoy myself. I’m 33 years old. I have a girl now, watching me from back home. Since I was 11, I’ve sacrificed my life to get to where I was tonight. I’m retiring tonight. Uncle Dana [UFC president Dana White], thank you. Everybody here, thank you so much.”
White appeared on SportsCenter later Saturday and said he wasn’t surprised by Cejudo’s announcement.
“It really didn’t shock me,” he said. “Cejudo has been talking about retirement to us for months. I’m of the belief that if you’re talking about retirement in the fight business, you should probably retire.”
Before leaving the cage, Cejudo declared himself the best combat-sports athlete of all time. His only two losses in MMA came against Demetrious Johnson, the longest-reigning flyweight champion in UFC history, and Joseph Benavidez. Cejudo avenged his loss to Johnson two years after the first meeting.
If this does prove to be Cejudo’s final appearance, it was an impressive one.
Cruz hadn’t fought in 1,226 days because of injury, but he was still widely recognized coming in as the greatest bantamweight of all time.
Cejudo’s longtime head coach, Eric Albarracin, told ESPN that he believed Cejudo was still “in his prime.”
“I only think he’s getting better. It’s a somber moment, when someone retires in his prime,” Albarracin said. “I understand it, though. We’ve been on a hell of a run. I’ve been with him since 2004. He’s gotten it done. Every goal we’ve ever set, he’s accomplished. He’s beaten every legend they set in front of him.”
Albarracin said “there was something a little bit off this week” with Cejudo.
“I was trying to figure it out, but I couldn’t put my finger on it,” Albarracin said. “I was ready to have him call out Jose Aldo, Alex Volkanovski and Conor McGregor after this fight, and he told me no. I think if Dana White were to add another zero to his paycheck, he’d have a hard time not coming back, but maybe he just does want to move on.”
Cejudo appeared to echo Albarracin’s point, saying at his postfight news conference, “I really do want to walk away, but money talks.”
The second-round finish came after Cejudo badly hurt Cruz with a right knee to the temple. Cejudo immediately pounced on him and dropped a hard right hand and a series of unanswered left hands until referee Keith Peterson stopped the bout. It is the first knockout loss of Cruz’s 15-year professional career.
“I’m ruthless,” Cejudo said. “I may be cringe-y, corny — but boy, can I fight.”
Coming into this weekend, ESPN ranked Cejudo the No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Pedro Martinezis stepping up to help the people in his native land…
The 48-year-old former MLB pitcher and Hall of Famer and a coalition of more than 40 current and retired Major League Baseball players have united to launch the “Step Up to the Plate” fund to support coronavirus relief efforts in the Dominican Republic.
The coalition, organized by the Pedro Martinez Foundation, has raised more than $550,000 to provide essential supplies, personal protective equipment and food in the Dominican Republic.
“The Dominican Republic has always been my home, and right now it truly needs our help. Being supported in this effort by so many of my fellow players is an honor,” Martinez said on a video call with ESPN. “These are people without the most basic needs, and we are blessed to be in a position to help, and it is our duty to do so.”
MLB and the MLB Players Association also will make a joint donation to the relief efforts in the Dominican Republic, sources said. The donation is set to be announced next week.
Martinez said he was joined by commissioner Rob Manfredon a conference call with several players from the coalition, during which Manfred pledged help to the Dominican Republic and told them the league was working tirelessly toward figuring out how to play baseball this year.
Some of MLB’s biggest Dominican stars have joined Martinez in his efforts, including former players David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre and Jose Bautista, and current players Dellin Betances, Luis Castillo, Nelson Cruz, Johnny Cueto, Edwin Encarnacion, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Manny Machado, Ketel Marte, Marcell Ozuna, Freddy Peralta, Gregory Polanco, Albert Pujols, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Sano, Carlos Santana, Luis Severino and Juan Soto, among many others.
“One of the many things that players can accomplish when they unite is getting the commissioner on the phone,” Martinez said. “We talked to the commissioner, and he assured us that MLB is working hard to return to play this season. There have been suggestions to play out the season in places like Arizona, Texas and Florida. They haven’t figured things out yet, but the commissioner told us it’s his goal to have baseball this season.
“I’ve talked to a lot of the active players that are part of the coalition, and they feel like they are running out of time,” he added. “The players need to be ready; the league needs to be ready. As of right now, it’s unclear how we will get to play this season, but the commissioner reassured us that we will have baseball this year. In speaking with him, my perception was that one of the things they will do is limit the amount of personnel inside stadiums, and in the beginning, games will likely be played without fans. The commissioner also told us that players’ health and safety will be paramount, and I feel confident that their well-being will never be put in jeopardy. MLB and the MLBPA have some of the best staffs in the world. They know how to run a business, and I am sure they will take all the precautions necessary to be able to play this season.”
The Dominican Republic has led the major leagues in players born outside the United States every year since MLB began releasing annual data in 1995. In 2019, the D.R. led MLB with a record 102 players on Opening Day rosters, the first time any foreign country had exceeded 100 players. Dominican-born players also accounted for 40.6% of all internationally born players on Opening Day rosters in 2019, the most ever.
“The focus of the help we’re providing will be twofold,” said Carolina Martinez, Pedro’s wife and director of the Pedro Martinez Foundation. “First, we are providing food to needy families, especially to the many that have lost their jobs. Players will be in charge of distributing meal kits in their respective communities. Second, we are providing protective equipment to our medical personnel. As it happened all over the world, the Dominican Republic is short on medical supplies to deal with a pandemic of this magnitude. It’s amazing and humbling to see all these players and artists come together to support our homeland.”
The 16-year-old Spanish tennis phenom has turned down the chance to extend his contract with FC Barcelona to join Manchester United this summer, according to ESPN.
Jurado became eligible for a professional contract in April, when he turned 16 but he turned down Barca‘s offer.
The Spanish champions proposed a three-year deal, worth €60,000 annually in the first year rising to €100,000 by the third year of the contract, in addition to a €200,000 bonus if he made his debut for the B team in that time.
But Jurado, a right-back who spent this season with the club’s U16team, has instead accepted an offer to move to Premier League side United.
As his non-professional terms with Barca expire this summer, the English club will only have to pay a small amount of compensation in development rights, which one source says is likely to be less than €200,000.
The youth football season has been brought to an end in Spaindue to the coronavirus pandemic, so Jurado has already played his last game for Barca.
Barca have lost academy players to Manchester City previously, with Eric Garcia and Adria Bernabe both leaving for the Etihad.
United, meanwhile, signed Arnau Puigmal from Barcelona-based Espanyol two years ago.
Jurado, therefore, becomes the first player to leave La Masiafor United before making a first-team appearance for Barca since Gerard Pique, who headed to Manchester in 2004 at age 17.
The 42-year-old Brazilian footballerwill extend her professional career into a 27th season after signing a one-year contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain‘s women’s side.
Formigais the French side’s vice-captain and is now tied to the club until the summer of 2021.
Formiga – whose full name is Miraildes Maciel Mota– has been in Paris since January of 2017 when she joined from Sao Jose.
She scored four goals en route to winning the 2018 Coupe de Franceand has made 77 PSGappearances. She set the record for the oldest female scorer in European competition at 41 years and 193 days when she found the net in a 7-0 rout of Sporting Bragain the Champions Leagueround-of-16 first leg in September 2019.
In 2015, Formiga became the oldest scorer at a women’s World Cupwhen she netted at the age of 37 years, three months and six days.
She broke another record in France last summer when she played in her seventh World Cup– 24 years after the first of her 195 caps, in which she has scored 29 goals.
Formiga was also a Copa Americawinner with Brazil in 2018 and has made six Olympic appearances with the aim of retiring from the professional game after the rearranged 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
PSG were second to Lyon in the table, three points behind and due to host the leaders next, when football was brought to a global standstill by the coronavirus.
Although the French Football Federationhave since announced that the 2019-20 season has been brought to premature end, Lyon have not yet been officially crowned champions for a record 14th time.
The 30-year-old Mexican American boxer and former unified heavyweight champion is teaming up with Canelo Alvarez‘s trainer, Eddy Reynoso, for his next fight.
Reynoso confirmed the news via social media.
“Welcome to the team Andy. We are going to do well,” Reynoso captioned an Instagrampost.
Reynoso also trains former featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez, former bantamweight Luis Neryand lightweight sensation and 2017 prospect of the year Ryan Garcia.
Reynoso will be Ruiz’s third Mexican trainer in recent years after Abel Sánchez and Manny Robles.
Ruiz made history on June 1 by dethroning Anthony Joshua via knockout in seven rounds, becoming the first Mexican heavyweight champion. That night, Ruiz took the WBA, IBFand WBObelts.
Ruiz’s first defense was a rematch with Joshua in December in Saudi Arabia and the Mexican fighter was visibly out of shape, losing by unanimous decision.
A few weeks after relinquishing the belts, Ruiz parted ways with Robles.
Reports linked Ruiz with Teddy Atlas as his next trainer, but during the coronavirus pandemicthe former heavyweight champion and Reynoso began talks and finally reached an agreement.
Reynoso, who was named 2019 trainer of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, established his boxing camp in San Diego. He told ESPN last month that he’d be up for the task of training Ruiz.
“We’re ready to work with any fighter,” Reynoso said. “It would also be an honor to work with the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.”
Ruiz expects a return to the ring between August and September, with Chris Arreolaor Dominic Breazealeas his probable next opponent.
The 51-year-old Dominican former professional baseball right fielder will be the focus of a special documentary to air on ESPN.
Sosa, who played in the Major League Baseballfor 19 seasons, primarily with the Chicago Cubs, is part of the focus of AJ Schnack’s, Long Gone Summer, an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.
It chronicles Mark McGwire and Sosa’s storied 1998 home run chase. For the first time, both men discuss that summer at length, including its undeniable complications.
The 1998MLB home run chase was between McGwire, a first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Seattle Mariners’ Ken Griffey Jr., and Sosa, a right fielder for the Cubs. It resulted in McGwire and Sosa breaking Roger Maris‘ long-standing and highly coveted record of 61 home runs.
McGwire broke Maris’s record on September 8 against the Cubs and finished with 70 home runs. Sosa finished with 66.
The documentary will air on Sunday, June 14 at 9:00 pm ET.
The film will be made available on ESPN+immediately after its premiere, along with the rest of the 30 for 30library.
Tony Romois ready to swing his club for a good cause…
The 40-year-old Mexican American former Dallas-Cowboys-quarterback-turned-NFL-commentator is set to take part in a 54-hole fundraising tournament involving a handful of Dallas-area pros and top amateurs.
The golf tournament will take place this week, with entry fees earmarked for the caddies at Maridoe Golf Clubin Carrollton, Texas.
Golf Channelfirst reported the event, and Alison Morrison, managing member at Maridoe Golf Club, confirmed the details of the tournament to ESPN, with 18 holes to play Tuesday through Thursday, mostly by members of the club.
The event, called the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational, was conceived only a little more than a week ago, Morrison said, and quickly turned into a sellout that required the club to turn away potential players.
“We’re a caddie-only club, and our caddies have not been working because of COVID-19,” Morrison said. “We thought, why don’t we have a little bit of a match, so to speak, sharpen our blades, put on a 54-hole, social distancing event. Leave the pins. No rakes in bunkers. Let’s play for them, basically. And within a day, I had 24 members who said yes.”
The event will feature 72 players, who each pay $250 to enter, with those fees going to the club’s caddies. A separate pool is being raised as a purse for the pros who compete in the event, with Morrison expecting portions of any winnings to also go to the caddies.
The club has remained open during the coronaviruspandemic, but there will be strict rules in place, including the various social distancing guidelines that are in effect around the country. The driving range has been converted to a short, par-3 course where players can warm-up — but they will not be permitted to arrive more than 30 minutes before their tee time.
The players will compete in threesomes but are required to carry their own bag or use a pull cart. No caddies will work the event, except as walking scorers in each group. Players will not turn in scorecards.
Three-time major champion Jordan Spiethis a member at Maridoe but won’t be able to compete, Morrison said, though she expects him to attend.
Among the pros who are in the field are Viktor Hovland, Scottie Schefflerand Harry Higgs. Former NBAguard Deron Williamsis also listed among the entries, as is Romo.
The event will be separated into three flights by handicap, including an elite flight in which the various pros in the field will compete for a small purse.
“We believe confidently that we can do this and have a great event and show that this is a fantastic sport to enjoy in these times,” Morrison said. “We hope others embrace it, as well. This is bigger than shooting a good score.”
Texas is scheduled to be the location for the first official PGA Tourevent in June when a revised schedule has the Charles Schwab Challengeat Colonial in Forth Worth, June 11-14. The tournament is to be played without spectators.
“Maridoe embraces the social-distancing responsibilities and is particularly suited to meet all the necessary criteria to have a safe and healthy tournament,” the club’s owner, Albert Huddleston, said in a statement. “This was a beautiful opportunity to contribute to the Maridoe Samaritan Fund and help those caddies who have been affected.”
The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star has been added to the official draw for the Madrid Open Virtual Pro.
Even though the action will be played in a video game format, there’s still an exciting round-robin blockbuster.
Nadal, a five-time Madrid Open champion is joined by another former World No. 1, Andy Murray, in Group 1. They’ll square off in the virtual version of the tournament, with Gael Monfils— who’s an avid gamer — and Denis Shapovalov also in the same group.
Nadal joked in a recent Instagram live with Murray that “they don’t want me to do well in Madrid this year” and that he only recently played the game for the first time. When Murray said he selected Nadal as his character to compete on clay against Roger Federer, the Spaniard asked if he “hit against [Roger’s] backhand all the time” for the match.
“After a set, you were unbelievably tired,” Murray said, laughing. “The energy bar on the side of the screen was almost empty. I’ve never seen you get tired after one set!”
Group 2 is led by close friends Dominic Thiem, a Madrid finalist in 2017 and 2018, and Diego Schwartzman. John Isnerand David Ferrerwill add their own spice to this intriguing group.
Stefanos Tsitsipasreached last year’s Madrid final on the court, and he’ll look to go one step further virtually. The Greek leads Group 3, battling for a spot in the quarterfinals with Fabio Fognini, Frances Tiafoeand Kei Nishikori.
Group 4 includes 2018 Madrid champion Alexander Zverev, David Goffin, Karen Khachanov and Lucas Pouille. They’ll all be bidding to progress in a Manolo Santana Stadium that has been recreated in exquisite detail in the video game Tennis World Tour (Nacon Gaming), and hoping to win the spoils with their PS4controllers.
Lars Graff, the ATPVice President, Officiating, conducted the draw from his home.
This tournament will be played from 27-30 April, with the round-robin qualifying groups taking place on 27 and 28 April. The top two players in each group will advance to a knockout quarterfinal draw.
“We’ve had a great response from all the players. From the first moment when the initiative was conceived, they were prepared to help. It’s the first virtual tournament. It’ll be a fantastic tournament, the bar is high, the players are ready and it’s certainly going to be spectacular,” said Feliciano López, the tournament director of the Mutua Madrid Open.
This pioneering charity initiative will donate a total of €50,000 to the Madrid Food Bank to help reduce the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the tournament will include a total purse of €300,000 in the two competitions (€150,000 ATP and €150,000 WTA), from which the winners will be able to decide how much they donate to their peers on Tour who are currently suffering economically.
“There are some really high-quality matches, as we normally see during the real tournament”, stated Gerard Tsobanian, CEO and president of the Mutua Madrid Open. “There is a very competitive group in the men’s draw… I can’t wait to see who is going to progress from Group 1 and I’m looking forward to the tournament starting on Monday.”