Henry Cejudo Announces Retirement Moments After Defending 135-Pound UFC Title

Henry Cejudo  is walking away a winner…

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.

Henry Cejudo

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 AldoAlex 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.

“Long Gone Summer” Documentary, Highlighting Sammy Sosa’s 1998 Home Run Chase, Headed to ESPN

Sammy Sosa’s summeris heating up…

The 51-year-old Dominican former professional baseball right fielder will be the focus of a special documentary to air on ESPN.

Sammy Sosa

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 30 library.

Yoan Moncada Agrees to Five-Year, $70 Million Extension with Chicago White Sox

Yoan Moncadais the $70 million man…

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a five-year extension with the 24-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and third basemanworth $70 million, according to ESPN.

Yoan Moncada

The contract includes a sixth-year club option worth $25 million and includes a $5 million buyout. It also buys out two years of Moncada’s free agency.

The news was first reported by The Athletic.

Moncada, who was acquired by the White Sox in the trade that sent ace left-hander Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in 2016, has hit .265 with 50 home runs and 163 RBIs in three seasons with Chicago.

He had a career season in 2019, hitting .315 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs in 132 games.

Edgar Berlanga Returning to Ring for Next Boxing Match

Edgar Berlangais heading back to the ring…

The 22-year-old Puerto Rican hard-hitting super middleweight boxer will be featured on the undercard of featherweight world titlist Shakur Stevenson‘s first defense, on March 14 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, according to Top Rank.

Edgar Berlanga

Top Rank said Berlanga’s opponent for the scheduled eight-round bout will be finalized next week, but the fight will be one of the preliminary bouts that’ll be streamed live on ESPN+beginning at 7:00 pm ET, ahead of the main card on ESPN at 10:30 p.m. The main card includes the previously announced meeting between Stevenson and challenger Miguel Marriagaand former junior featherweight world titlist Jessie Magdalenosquaring off with Sakaria Lukasin a 10-round featherweight fight.

Berlanga (13-0, 13 KOs), who hails from New York, has won all of his fights by first-round knockout.

“Hopefully, I can get in some rounds on March 14,” said Berlanga, who turned pro in 2016. “I want to show everyone I’m more than a one-round fighter. This is my time to shine.”

Berlanga’s longest ring appearance came in his most recent fight, when he needed 2 minutes, 45 seconds to knock out Cesar Nunezon December 14 at Madison Square Gardenon the Terence CrawfordEgidijus Kavaliauskasundercard.

Tony Romo Signs Long-Term, Lucrative Deal with CBS Sports

Tony Romo has scored a big deal…

The 39-year-old Mexican American former Dallas Cowboys quarterback has signed a long-term deal to remain with CBS Sports for the 2020 NFL season and beyond in a reported $17 million per year deal.

Tony Romo

CBS’ deal with the NFL expires after the 2022 season, but Romo’s contract goes beyond that. CBS is expected to retain their rights when the next round of negotiations start, which could happen this year once a new collective bargaining agreement with players is finalized.

Romo joined CBS Sports in April 2017 as the lead game analyst for The NFL on CBS, and also called Thursday Night Footballgames during that season. 

Romo and boothmates Jim Nantzand Tracy Wolfson have been the lead NFL announcing team for the past three seasons, and called the February 2019 Super BowlCBS will also broadcast Super Bowl LVin Tampa, Florida, in February 2021.

The move to the booth has been an instant hit for Romo, who quickly became known for uncanny predictions on upcoming plays and insightful analysis. 

ESPNwas expected to make an aggressive bid for him to move to the Monday Night Footballbooth but never got the chance. 

Romo spent 14 years as the quarterback for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, working his way up from an undrafted free agent to the starter as of 2006. He led the Cowboys to six playoff appearances and became a four-time Pro Bowler before retiring following the 2016 season.

He currently holds several Cowboys team records, including passing touchdowns, passing yards, most games with at least 300 passing yards and games with three-plus touchdown passes. Romo threw for 34,183 yards and 248 touchdowns in his NFL career.

Oscar Rivas Signs Multi-Fight Contract with Top Rank

Oscar Rivas is headed to the Top

The 32-year-old Colombian professional boxer has signed a multi-fight co-promotional contract with Top Rank.

Oscar Rivas

“Top Rank is in the heavyweight business, and we are pleased to be partnering with Yvon Michel to help Oscar get to the next level,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. “He fits right in the heavyweight picture and has the skills and toughness to compete against anyone in the division.”

Rivas, who’ll continue to be co-promoted by Michel, doesn’t have his next fight set, but it’ll take place later this year on an ESPN platform.

“I am very proud and excited to join forces with Top Rank. I thank Top Rank for believing in me,” Rivas said. “I also want to thank my manager, Stephane Lepine, and my promoter, Yvon Michel, for their leadership and guidance from the beginning of my career.”

Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs), 32, was a 2008 Colombian Olympian but has boxed out of Montreal since turning pro in 2009. He notched his biggest win in January 2019 when he stopped former world title challenger Bryant Jenningsin the 12th round in Verona, New York.

In his next fight, for a vacant interim heavyweight world title, Rivas traveled to London and lost a competitive unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte, whom he knocked down in the ninth round. However, the fight was tainted in controversy because Whyte had been allowed to fight by British regulators despite having tested positive for a banned substance, which the Rivas team had not been informed of.

“I am still a bit bitter over the circumstances surrounding my last fight in London against Dillian Whyte, and I hope that one day we will fight a rematch on an even playing field,” Rivas said.

“As for Dillian, I know he will do all he can to avoid this, but nothing will ever stop me from becoming a world champion. I am ready to take on any challenge.”

Rivas joins a Top Rank heavyweight stable that also includes lineal champion Tyson FuryKubrat PulevJarrell “Big Baby” MillerAgit KabayelCarlos Takam and prospects Guido VianelloSonny Contoand Jared Anderson. As an amateur, Rivas scored victories against Pulev and former unified world titleholder Andy Ruiz Jr.

“Oscar Rivas is ready to send a strong message, as he has the style to beat any heavyweight on any given day,” said Michel.

Ryan Garcia Knocks Out Francisco Fonseca in the First Round

Ryan Garciadidn’t need much time to score the win…

In an eye-opening performance, the 21-year-old Mexican boxer stopped Francisco Fonseca in the first round of their lightweight bout with a blazing counter left hook that left his opponent flat on the canvas on Friday.

Ryan Garcia

Referee Raul Caiz Sr. counted out Fonseca at 1 minute, 20 seconds.

It was a dazzling display of reflexes, timing and power, as Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) caught Fonseca (25-3-2, 19 KOs) with a flush shot he never saw coming.

“It was good,” Garcia said of the knockout punch. “[The fight] didn’t last that long, but I watched a video of Sugar Ray Robinson, and he did this little feint and threw the perfect left hook. I saw it and went for the left hook. Thought I was going to go longer, not going to lie. I respect Fonseca and thank him for the opportunity.”

For Garcia, who was ESPN‘s 2017 prospect of the year, it was another step in his development as a fighter and a box-office attraction. Friday night’s card played to an announced crowd of 10,310.

Garcia has shown steady improvement under the direction of trainer Eddy Reynoso, best known for developing light heavyweight titleholder Canelo Alvare zinto one of the best boxers in the world.

The victory could set up a possible fight with former three-division world titlist Jorge Linaresin a classic crossroads matchup pitting a young rising star versus a seasoned, proud former champion.

“I’m 21, I’m a late bloomer,” Garcia said. “I’m ready for everyone, and I’m comfortable. I’m ready to go after everyone. I’m turned up. Let’s go.”

Miguel Sano Extends Contract with Minnesota Twins for Three Years

Miguel Sano is extending his time in Minnesota…

The 26-year-old Dominican professional baseball third basemanhas agreed to a three-year contract extension agreement with the Minnesota Twins, according to ESPN.

Miguel Sano

The extension includes a club option for the 2023 season and will buy out two years of free agency. It’s valued at $30 million. There is $27 million spread over the first three years and $3 million on a fourth-year option, a source said. If the $14 million option is picked up, the deal maxes out at $41 million over four years. MLB Network was first to report the financial terms of the deal.

Sano slugged 34 home runs and had 79 RBIs for the Twins in 2019. After getting off to a dreadful start, he finished the season with a .247 average.

After June 28, Sano batted .279 with a .994 OPS. During the stretch run, Sano was one of the best hitters in baseball.

Sano made $2.65 million last season in his first year of arbitration eligibility. The sides swapped proposed figures in arbitration as placeholders, the player asking for $6.25 million and the team offering $5.1 million.

Oscar Colás Intends to Sign with an MLB Team

Oscar Colás could be playing Major League Baseball soon…

The 21-year-old Cuban outfielder/pitcher, hailed as one of the best baseball talents to emerge from Cuba in recent years, has left the island and intends to sign a contract with a major league team, sources familiar with his plans tell ESPN.

Oscar Colás

Colás spent most of the last three years in Japan, playing in the minor leagues for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He made his Japanese Leaguedebut in 2019 and homered in his first at-bat after hitting .300/.353/.511 as a 20-year-old in the highest level of the minors.

At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Colás projects as a power-hitting left-handed outfielder, and could be a lefty pitcher as well. Scouts who have seen Colás in recent years question his ability to become a full-time, two-way player but said his fastball, which runs up to 95 mph, is of high enough quality to allow him to try to play both ways.

The biggest question among teams who found out Friday of Colás’ defection: When does he plan to sign? Much of the money from teams’ hard-capped bonus pools in the 2019-20 international signing period has been spent, according to sources. If Colás wants the multi-million dollar bonus his talent warrants, he might have to wait until July 2, when the new international signing period begins and teams’ bonus pools are refreshed, according to sources.

Colás is not the only top-end talent available from Cuba. Right-hander Norge Carlos Vera, the 19-year-old son of longtime Cuban pitcher Norge Luis Vera, is expected to sign in July. And Yoelkis Cespedes, the 22-year-old brother of New York Metsoutfielder Yoenis Cespedes, defected in June and could sign anytime.

Edwin Encarnacion Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Chicago White Sox

Edwin Encarnacionis headed to The Windy City…

The 36-year-old Dominican professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter and the Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement on a one-year deal for $12 million with a club option for 2021 at $12 million, according to ESPN.

Edwin Encarnacion

Encarnacion batted .244 in 109 games last season with the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees. The Yankees acquired the three-time All-Star from Seattle in June to bolster a lineup sapped by injuries. With cash from the Mariners in the trade, the deal cost New York just $8 million of the $25 million he was owed in 2020, including a $5 million buyout.

Encarnacion was leading the American Leaguewith 21 homers at the time, but a strained left oblique limited the first baseman/designated hitter down the stretch. He hit .249 with 13 homers, 37 RBIs and an .856 OPS in 44 regular-season games with New York.

He hit .308 while the Yankees pounded the Minnesota Twins in the AL Division Series, but he slumped badly in the AL Championship Series against the Houston Astros.

Encarnacion has averaged 37 homers and 106 RBIs since 2012 and helped slug the Toronto Blue Jaysto back-to-back appearances in the ALCS in 2015 and 2016. His 239 homers in Toronto ranks third behind Carlos Delgado(336) and Jose Bautista(265) on the Blue Jays’ career list.

His three-run drive in the 11th inning to beat the Baltimore Oriolesin the wild-card game in the 2016 playoffs gave Toronto one of its most indelible moments since Joe Carter‘s World Serieswalk-off handed the Blue Jays a second consecutive title in 1993.

Through his 14th season, Encarnacion has a career .263 average with 414 home runs and 1,242 RBIs for Cincinnati Reds, Toronto, Cleveland Indians, Seattle and the Yankees.