Henry Cejudo Open to UFC Return for Fight Against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo isn’t opposed to a UFC comeback…

The 33year-old Mexican American mixed martial artist and former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion tells TMZ that he’d consider a return to the Octagon if he were given a fight against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo wants a crack at Volkanovski’s UFC featherweight title to complete the championship trifecta — a feat no one in promotion history has ever pulled off.

“I’ve done everything in MMA,” Cejudo told TMZ.

“I’m satisfied with my career. There would only be one fight that would really bring me back — that would really wake me up in the morning. Other than [boxer] Ryan Garcia, it would be Alexander Volkanovski. That overgrown midget. I would love to make him bend the knee. He’s already halfway there.”

Cejudo, the former Olympic wrestling gold medalist, stunningly announced his retirement from MMA after successfully defending his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz last month at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida. There has been speculation, though, that Cejudo is using it as leverage to try and get a bigger contract from the UFC.

Since the retirement announcement, the UFC has removed Cejudo from the promotion’s official rankings and taken him off the website as bantamweight champion. UFC president Dana White has said that a vacant bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and former featherweight champion Jose Aldo is in the offing this summer.

Cejudo, though, acknowledged to TMZ for the first time that there was indeed a way to bring him back. That would be a chance at a third belt.

“I want to be different,” Cejudo said. “There’s a lot of champ champs. Obviously there’s only one Triple C — there’s only one Olympic champ, flyweight champ, bantamweight champion of the world. It’s just to cement it and go in the history books as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.”

Cejudo (16-2) is on a six-fight winning streak, a stretch that goes back to 2016. The Arizona resident is one of only four fighters in UFC history told hold two titles in two different weight classes at the same time. Cejudo owns wins over Cruz, TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson.

Guillermo del Toro Taking Part in Tribeca Enterprises & YouTube’s ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’

Guillermo del Toro is taking his talk global…

The 55-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker, author, actor, and former special effects makeup artist will take part in Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube’s We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro

The fest will stream exclusively on YouTubefor free and feature more than 100 films co-curated by 21 of the most renowned festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.

The 10-day fest kicked off on Friday, May 29 and will not only provide entertainment but also offer relief to the COVID-19 pandemic via supporting organizations.

The truly global event will feature programming from different cultures all over the world, with films representing more than 35 countries and include 23 narrative and 8 documentary features, 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with 4 festival exclusives and 5 VR programming pieces. 

The fest will include 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres and 5 international online premieres. Each selection was handpicked to give shine and highlight each participating festival.

“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special. We Are One: A Global Film Festival will offer audiences an opportunity to not only celebrate the art of film, but the unique qualities that make each story we watch so memorable.”

The fest will include the world premiere of Ricky Powell: The Individualist, which spotlights the titular legendary street photographer featuring interviews with Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J

Eeb Allay Ooo! will make its online debut and introduce a whole new audience to New Delhi’s professional “monkey repellers”. The satirical film won Mumbai Film Festival’s Golden Gateway Award

The iconic Joan Chen will present the world premiere of Iron Hammer, a documentary about legendary, trailblazing Chinese Olympic volleyball star Jenny Lang Ping.

There will also be a lineup of specially-curated talks from past festivals as well as new discussions. Talks will feature del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Jane Campion and Claire Denis.

In addition to features, audiences will be able to access over 50 narrative and documentary shorts such as the world premiere of Japanese narrative short Yalta Conference Online (wt), which was created exclusively for the fest by director Koji Fukada. The fest will also include the global premiere of the Third Eye Blind documentary short Motorcycle Drive By, as well as shorts from Dreamworks Animation, BilbyMarooned and Bird Karma.

360 VR selections will feature Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black and Alteration, a sci-fi narrative starring Bill Skarsgard, as well as titles featuring John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. On top of the film goodness, Questlove from the legendary Roots crew will perform a DJ set for your listening and dancing pleasure.

On the episodic side, We Are One will host the world premiere of Losing Alice, an Israeli female-fronted neo-noir psychological TV thriller as well as the two-part docuseries She Could Be Next which chronicles the experiences of women of color running for office, including Stacey Abrams and  Rashida Tlaib.

In addition to Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca, participating festival also include Annecy International Animation Film FestivalBFI London Film FestivalGuadalajara International Film Festival,International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Jerusalem Film FestivalMumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film FestivalLocarno Film Festival,Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film FestivalSan Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film FestivalSydney Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.

The fest will provide COVID-19 relief through donations to the World Health Organization( WHO), UNICEFUNHCRSave the Children, Doctors Without BordersLeket IsraelGO Foundation and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate via a link on every film page.

Click herefor the full festival schedule.

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.

Formiga Signs One-Year Contract Extension with Paris Saint-Germain’s Women’s Side

Formiga is staying in the game…

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.

Formiga

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.

Gio Reyna to Join US Men’s National Soccer Team

Gio Reynais movin’ on up…

United States manager Gregg Berhalter has confirmed that the 17-year-old part-Argentine American soccer player and Borussia Dortmund midfielder will be called up to the senior team for the March international window.

Gio Reyna

Earlier, Reyna was named to a 50-man provisional roster for the Olympicqualifying tournament, which spans beyond the March international window. But Berhalter, speaking at a reporters’ roundtable during MLS Media Day, stated that Dortmund wouldn’t allow Reyna to be released for the Olympic qualifying tournament, and that his performances warranted getting called up to the full team.

Reyna, the son of former U.S. internationalClaudio Reynalast week became the youngest American to play in Champions League at 17 years and 97 dayswith an impressive performance that included an assist in BVB‘s 2-1 home victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

“We want our younger players performing and playing at a high level, and [Reyna] is doing that,” said Berhalter. “And as a result of him doing that he gets an opportunity with the first team.”

Reyna has made immense strides this season, even as the U.S.Under-17team exited the group stage at the FIFA U17 World Cuplast fall. Berhalter chalked that up to Reyna finding a rhythm within the Dortmund team. The previous season Reyna had to wait until he received his European passport before he could begin playing official games for the club at youth level.

“It was a very choppy year for him in terms of his development,” said Berhalter. “And I think we saw some of that at the U17 [World Cup]. You could tell he didn’t have rhythm.

This year Reyna has had more of an opportunity to settle in and rise through the ranks of the team.

“You can see [Reyna] has rhythm now and he has a good understanding of what the team wants to do. And they’re using him in a way where you know they’re not asking him to take full responsibility in terms of he doesn’t have to carry a team. He’s playing a role, and he’s executing his role.”

The result has been that Reyna’s qualities have shown through.

“[Reyna’s] position when he gets the ball in the pocket, his awareness to turn and his efficiency when he’s turning his excellent,” said Berhalter. “He doesn’t waste any touches turning, he turns right away. The second thing is his ball security under pressure is phenomenal.”

Now Berhalter must try to figure out Reyna’s best position, although he concedes it’s a nice dilemma to face.

“I can see [Reyna] playing as a winger. I can see him playing potentially as a No. 10 and a 4-3-3,” said Berhalter. “He can play a number of different positions. I like him being able to affect the game on the offensive side, similar to Christian[Pulisic]. They’ve been using him on the left. He can also play on the right so I think he gives you flexibility.”

Yulimar Rojas Breaks Indoor Triple Jump World Record

Yulimar Rojashas earned her place in the sports record books…

The 24-year-old Venezuelan athlete, an Olympic silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, has broken the indoor triple jump world record.

Yulimar Rojas

The two-time world champion had a jump of 15.43 meters, 7 centimeters more than the previous record held by Russian Tatyana Lebedeva since 2004.

Yulimar Rojas

“I’m over the moon,” Rojas said. “I can’t believe I’m the world-record holder. I want to get home and cry. I need to cry to release the adrenaline I have right now.”

The jump at the Villa de Madridmeeting was 2 centimeters better than Rojas’ outdoor personal best, and the second best overall behind the outdoor world record of 15.50 meters held by Ukrainian Inessa Kravetssince 1995.

Zoe Saldana to Star in the Olympic-Themed Drama “Fencer”

Zoe Saldana is en garde for her next project…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress is set to star in writer-director Jasmine McGlade’s drama Fencer, which

Zoe Saldaña

HanWay Films will sell at the European Film Market (EFM).

Set in the competitive world of fencing, Saldana is attached to play Mae, an ambitious female athlete facing personal demons and childhood rivals as she vies for a spot on the U.S. Olympicteam. 

The film is inspired by McGlade’s own experiences as a national champion fencer. McGlade capped her tenure at Harvardby leading her team to the school’s first-ever NCAA Championshiptitle.

Casey Affleck is producing with Whitaker Lader

Imagine Entertainmentwill executive produce. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA Media Financeare co-repping the U.S.

McGlade commented, “As a writer and filmmaker I seek to tell brazen, character-driven stories about people who are flawed, and thus real. Especially women. Characters who are their own worst enemies and yet incredibly resilient. Fencer is a celebration of perseverance and sacrifice, while also a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting one’s sense of worth and security solely through achievement and external validation. Fencer will provide one of the screen’s first realistic glimpses into the thrilling world of fencing, much more demanding and diverse than stereotypes may suggest, and an intimate and intense look into the minds and lives of female athletes. It is a dream come true to get to work with Zoe on Fencer, and to marry my two greatest passions: filmmaking and fencing.”

Saldana’s credits include the Star Trek franchise, the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Avatar and its upcoming sequels, and Colombiana.

Marlen Esparza to Fight Lucia Nunez in March

Marlen Esparzais ready to rumble…

The 30-year-old Mexican American boxer will box on Golden Boy Promotions’ “Thursday Night Fights” series (DAZN/RingTV.com, 10:00 pm ET) on March 19 at the Avalon in Hollywood, California.

Marlen Esparza

Esparza joins a card that includes Joet Gonzalezand Lamont Roach, all coming off decision losses in world title bouts.

Esparza (7-1, 1 KO), who was a 2012 U.S. Olympicbronze medalist, will face Lucia Nunez(7-10), 29, of Mexico, in a six-round, women’s junior bantamweight bout.

In Esparza’s last fight, on November 2 in Las Vegas on the Canelo AlvarezSergey Kovalevundercard, she lost a ninth-round technical decision because of a bad cut from an accidental head-butt against rival Seniesa Estradafor a vacant interim women’s flyweight title.

“I’m ready to get back in the ring,” Esparza said. “There were multiple factors that made this last fight a real learning experience, but this next round of professional boxing is just the beginning of much more. I’m looking forward to coming out with the new strategies that I’ve been learning and switching up my game a bit.”

Gonzalez (23-1, 14 KOs), 26, of Glendora, California, will square off with former world title challenger Chris Avalos (27-7, 20 KOs), 30, of Lancaster, California, in a 10-round featherweight fight.

Gonzalez will be fighting for the first time since he faced bitter rival Shakur Stevenson for a vacant featherweight world title on October 26 in Reno, Nevada, and lost a near-shutout decision.

“I can’t wait to step back into the ring,” Gonzalez said. “I fought for a world title, so I know what it’s like to be at that level. Now, I’ll be coming back with an even stronger desire to become a world champion. This March 19, I will not disappoint.”

Avalos has lost two fights in a row but has vast experience, including in losses in world title bouts to Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz and to Oscar Valdezin a nontitle bout.

“We’re coming to win,” Avalos said. “We’re back on track. The old Chris Avalos is back. (Gonzalez) may think I’m a joke. You may think I’m washed up. But I’m coming to kick your ass. Keep your hands (up) or you will see what happens.”

Roach (19-1-1, 7 KOs), 24, of Washington, will face Neil John Tabanao(17-7, 11 KOs), 25, of the Philippines, in a 10-round junior lightweight bout in the co-feature.

Roach will be in the ring for the first time since he lost a competitive unanimous decision as the mandatory challenger for 130-pound world titlist Jamel Herringon November 9 in Fresno, California.

“I’ve been itching to get back in that square to show that I’m the best at 130,” Roach said. “My last fight was just a glimpse, but this year it’s all the way up with me.”

Tabanao is coming off three 10-round decision losses in a row, all against undefeated fighters.

“I’m looking forward to this fight against Lamont Roach Jr.,” Tabanao said. “I know that he’s coming off his first loss and that he wants to fight for a world title again. However, I more experience than he, and I know how to score an upset.”

Conchita Martinez Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

Conchita Martinezhas earned her placed among tennis’ greats…

The 47-year-old Spanish former professional tennis player has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Conchita Martinez



The Class of 2020 was announced Tuesday at the Australian Open, where Martinez and fellow honoree Goran Ivanisevic are coaching players who reached the quarterfinals.

Martinez, a baseliner, was the first Spanish player to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon, where she beat Martina Navratilovain the 1994 final. 

Martínez was also the singles runner-up at the 1998 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open. She reached a highest world ranking of No. 2 in October 1995 and finished the season in the Top 10 for nine years. Martínez won 33 singles and 13 doubles titles during her 18-year career, as well as three Olympic medals.

The induction ceremony will be July 18 in Newport, Rhode Island, where the Hall is located.

Ivanisevic helps coach Novak Djokovic, while Martinez works with Garbine Muguruza.

Oscar Valdez Defeats Adam Lopez to Earn Shot at World Title

Oscar Valdez has earned his shot at another world title…

The 28-year-old Mexican former featherweight world titlist made a successful move up to the junior lightweight division on Saturday night to earn a shot at a world title in a very tough fight.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez survived a second-round knockdown and some shaky moments, but stopped Adam Lopez in the seventh round of their 130-pound world title elimination bout in the main event of the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitanof Las Vegas.

Valdez was supposed to face Adrian Gutierrez, but he showed up at Friday’s weigh-in at a shocking 141 pounds, 11 over the contract weight.

Oscar Valdez

Lopez was supposed to face Luis Coriain a 10-round preliminary bout at featherweight, but with Gutierrez so heavy, Top Rank offered Lopez the opportunity to face Valdez, whom he has known for years and wanted to fight. Lopez consulted with trainer Buddy McGirt and agreed to the new assignment and a bigger paycheck.

Lopez (13-2, 6 KOs) gave a tremendous effort and had his moments, but Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs), a two-time Olympian from Mexico, drew on his vast in-ring advantage.

“My experience made me win the fight,” Valdez said. “I have a great amateur background and a lot more experience than him, and I think that’s what made me win the fight. He’s a great fighter, but I think my experience made me win.”

The victory propelled Valdez, who earned $300,000 to Lopez’s $75,000, into a mandatory shot against countryman Miguel Berchelt, who was all smiles in the ring after the fight when he and Valdez embraced.

Lopez looked like he might pull the upset against Valdez when he connected with a clean left hook to the chin that knocked him down with about 50 seconds to go in the second round. Valdez, who hit the mat awkwardly, never saw the shot coming and looked a little unsteady when he got to his feet, but he made it through the round without taking too much more damage.

“I was very surprised [by the knockdown],” Valdez said. “I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior, just like his father [the late Hector Lopez] was. I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for Gutierrez. Got a new opponent, but that’s no excuse. This kid is a warrior.”

According to CompuBox statistics, Valdez landed 91 of 330 punches (28%) and Lopez connected with 92 of 436 blows (21%). Although Valdez had some problems, he closed the show by outlanding Lopez 21-7 in power shots in the seventh round.

“I would love a rematch with Oscar. He’s a true fighter,” Lopez said. “I’m not a 130-pounder, but I’m a real fighter as well, so I’ll take on anybody, anywhere. Let’s get a rematch. I’m glad people know who I am now. I can fight. People love my style. This is what I do. It’s in my blood.”

Indeed boxing is in his blood. His father, the late Hector Lopez, was a 1990s lightweight and junior welterweight contender and 1984 Olympic silver medalist for Mexico. He died at age 44 in 2011.

Valdez, who was in his third fight since switching trainers to Eddy Reynoso— who also trains Canelo Alvarez— made six featherweight title defenses before vacating his 126-pound belt in early August to move up in weight. With Lopez vanquished, Valdez will next get a shot at Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs), 28, who has made six title defenses and is generally considered the No. 1 fighter in the world at 130 pounds.

“Miguel Berchelt is a true champion inside the ring and outside the ring,” Valdez said. “The fans love him. He’s a champion. That’s the one I want to fight. He has that WBC belt, and he’s trying to take it back home.