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Nurmagomedov retires undefeated after knocking out Gaethje

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Nurmagomedov mowed down Gaethje in the main event before laying down his gloves to call it a career

Justin Gaethje followed through with his game plan against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 254. Unfortunately for Gaethje, a good game plan wasn’t enough to beat a perfect fighter. Nurmagomedov scored a win with a second-round submission, unifying his lightweight title with Gaethje’s interim championship.

Gaethje (22-3) said leading up to the fight that he just needed to land solid kicks to the legs of Nurmagomedov (29-0) to take away the champ’s wrestling game and open him up to huge power punches. The kicks did land, and Nurmagomedov’s legs did seem to be starting to show some damage, but it only takes one moment for Nurmagomedov to put an opponent in a bad position.

After a second-round leg kick from Gaethje, Nurmagomedov drove through a takedown and quickly moved to mount. After locking in a triangle choke, Nurmagomedov rolled to his back and squeezed the choke while Gaethje tapped out. Gaethje’s taps were missed by the referee, leaving the challenger unconscious on the canvas.

Were there any remaining doubt of Nurmagomedov’s skills as a truly well-rounded fighter, he was able to hang with Gaethje on the feet, landing solid jabs and overhand strikes — along with is own kicks — to outstrike the striker in the opening round. However, Nurmagomedov’s approach is always to look for the takedown, where no one has ever been able to handle his skills.

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Nurmagomedov put that wrestling game to work for the first time late in the opening round, scoring a takedown and looking close to securing an armbar before Gaethje was saved by the bell. In the second round, the challenger was not so lucky.

Following the fight, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement, stating he didn’t want to return to the Octagon without his father, who died following COVID-19-related complications earlier this year. He added that he had promised his mother that he would not continue fighting after settling things with Gaethje.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including instant analysis of UFC 254 below.

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“Thank you for these guys, these guys with me, been with my father for more than 10 years. All my team, AKA with coach Javier, I love him so much, all my team,” Nurmagomedov said. “Today, I want to say, this was my last fight. No way am I going to come here without my father. It was first time, after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin. I talk with my mother three days, she don’t want that I go fight without father. I promised her, it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.”

“All this UFC team, everybody around the world, this whole pandemic stuff, they are doing great show. Thank you so much Justin. Justin, 2016 I remember when I cut weight, you helped me a lot. Thank you brother. I know you are a great man, I know how you take care of your people,” Nurmagomedov continued. “I know a lot of things about of you, because of your parents, because one day, it’s going to happen something. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, you never know.”

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Nurmagomedov’s retirement seems to open the door for Gaethje to fight for a title again in his next outing. And he said he’s ready to step back into the cage on a quick turnaround.

“I fight for a living,” Gaethje said after the defeat. “The best thing about getting choked out is there’s nothing really consequential to your health, especially your long-term health. I said I’ve got five wars left, and I haven’t had any since I said that. … I’d say six weeks?”

Gaethje, who was in good spirits and said the fight made him “feel alive,” also gave credit to Nurmagomedov for his victory.

“He took me down,” Gaethje said. “He was very strong. I know he made his father very proud.”

UFC president Dana White added to the praise heaped on Nurmagomedov after another dominant victory, saying he had suffered two broken bones in his foot and two broken toes three weeks before the fight.

“We’re lucky we got to see him fight tonight,” White said. “He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet.”

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David de Gea ‘could leave Manchester United on loan’

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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Manchester United could reportedly loan out goalkeeper David de Gea ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

The 30-year-old was between the sticks for his team’s Europa League clash with Granada on Thursday night but appears to have dropped behind Dean Henderson in the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Henderson is expected to start Sunday’s Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur, with De Gea set to drop back down to the bench.

The Spain international has recently been linked with a move away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side, but he still has more than two years left to run on a lucrative contract at Old Trafford.

According to ESPN, Man United are unlikely to find a buyer for De Gea in the upcoming market and could therefore decide to loan him out for the 2021-22 season.

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The former Atletico Madrid youngster has made 435 appearances for the 20-time English champions in all competitions, including 30 outings during the current campaign

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NXT takeover stand and deliver results 7th April 2021

Benjamin Ukpabi

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NXT takeover stand and deliver results 7th April 2021

Here are the results for the NXT takeover pay per view

Zoey Stark vs. Toni Storm (Pre-show): Stark continued to impress as she has in a series of matches with stop stars, hitting some nice early moves, including a good-looking springboard missile dropkick. Storm took over the match after the strong start, using some power offense with snap suplexes and a body slam, but before she could capitalize, Stark hit a superplex from the second rope to start a comeback. A half-nelson suplex set up a running knee for the first convincing near fall of the match. Stark continued to keep up the pressure until Storm hit a series of German suplexes before going for Storm Zero, which was countered awkwardly by Stark into a small package for the victory.  (NXT takeover)

Pete Dunne vs. Kushida: An exchange of submission attempts opened the match as both men were attempting to establish their technical superiority early. Kushida had a small edge in the grappling until the action spilled outside where Dunne hit an X-plex onto the ring apron. Dunne brutally went after the arm of Kushida for a brief run, but Kushida fired up and ran the length of the entrance ramp for a kick. After an exchange of strikes, Dunne went back to work on the arm — and the fingers — of Kushida.

The action continued to flow back and forth, with Dunne’s aggression being met by Kushida blow-for-blow. Kushida hit a superplex while holding his Hoverboard Lock, switching to an armbar, but Dunne managed to get a foot on the ropes for a break. Kushida continued going for Dunne’s arms, locking in another Hoverboard Lock and then switching arms with the hold when Dunne reached the ropes. Dunne went back to the fingers, softening up Kushida for a kick to the head and Bitter End to bring the match to a close.

Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis vs. LA Knight (Gauntlet Eliminator for North American championship opportunity): Scott jumped Ruff before the match, getting off to an early advantage when they were the first two men in. Ruff eventually hit a cutter on Scott, springboarding off the announce table to hit the move. That wasn’t enough to keep Scott down, as he continued to blitz Ruff with big moves until Ruff countered a top rope powerbomb into a rana before Reed entered the match. Reed ran wild until hitting a double-German suplex on Scott and Ruff. Grimes came into the match and paid off Scott to help him go at the other competitors. During Lumis’ entrance, Scott was able to quickly pin Ruff to take him out of the match. Lumis delivered suplex after suplex until running into Reed with the two big men exchanging strikes and neither getting the upper hand. Knight made his entrance as the final man into the match and soon pinned Lumis as Lumis had Grimes locked in Silence. Reed eliminated Knight moments later after a senton, leaving Scott, Reed and Grimes as the final three in the match. (NXT takeover)

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Grimes and Scott teamed up against Reed, but Reed shrugged off strikes from both men until the temporary alliance fell apart and Scott rolled up Grimes with a handful of tights — reversing Grimes’ own attempt to grab Scott’s tights in a pin — for the elimination. Reed went to the top rope, but Scott caught him with a kick and then slammed Reed from the top rope onto the ring apron. Scott followed up with a 450 splash for a near fall. Reed fired up through a trio of House Call kicks from Scott before hitting Tsunami for the victory.

NXT UK Championship — WALTER (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa: Ciampa looked to try to neutralize WALTER’s strength with speed early but eventually snapped and blitzed WALTER with a flurry of strikes. That only served to anger the champion, leading him to deliver a series of titanic chops. WALTER tried to deliver another chop as Ciampa was leaned on the announce table, but Ciampa moved out of the way, causing WALTER to chop through a portion of the table. Ciampa tried to take advantage of the now-injured hand of WALTER but ran into a big boot. When WALTER had trouble locking in submissions due to not being able to use any strength in his grip, he resorted to delivering more big kicks to the face of Ciampa. Ciampa delivered clothesline after clothesline, trying to take WALTER off his feet, sending the champion stumbling before falling into the ropes where Ciampa’s clotheslines continued until WALTER delivered a chop. Ciampa came right back with yet another clothesline, finally driving WALTER to the mat. After another flurry of offense, Ciampa hit the Fairy Tale Ending for a near fall.

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WALTER came back with an attempt at a choke before a German suplex and lariat for a two count of his own. Ciampa continued his incredible performance, blasting WALTER with strikes and forcing the big man to turtle up. Another strike exchange followed shortly after before WALTER focused in on the neck of Ciampa with a series of stomps and powerbombs, again resulting in a near fall. Walter hit another suplex and a big chop, this time putting Ciampa down for the three count, retaining his title.  (NXT takeover)

Tag Team Championship — MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Legado Del Fantasma: This match was for the vacant title. Pure fire from the jump with everyone in the match flying around the ring at full speed. Every team in the match got early spots to shit, with Grizzled Young Veterans taking the early action before MSK took over and Legado del Fantasma finally took control with simultaneous dives and then a pair of Van Terminators (without the chair) on Nash Carter for a near fall. Legado continued their run of control by continuing to take the fight to Carter until he finally made a tag to Wes Lee, who took out all four men on the other teams before a huge dive and a series of backflips into a Pele kick to the back of James Drake’s head. (NXT takeover)

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Zack Gibson finally involved himself to take out Lee, holding his hand inside the turnbuckle pad so Drake could deliver a dropkick to the already inured hand. Gibson locked up Lee’s hand and Lee was ready to tap until Carter was able to crawl through a Drake choke to grab his partner’s hand. Things broke down to GYV vs. MSK, with Lee hitting a double cutter and then a twisting blockbuster while Carter had Gibson lifted up to score the win and take home the titles.

Women’s Championship — Io Shirai (c) vs. Raquel Gonzalez: Gonzalez used her power early, forcing Shirai to have to resort to slick defensive maneuvers and quickness, hitting a rana and then taking the fight to Gonzalez in the corner. Gonzalez caught a Shirai stomp and tried to reverse the momentum but found herself on the outside, getting knocked to the floor after a Shirai asai moonsault. Gonzalez was finally able to slow down the champ by driving her into the ring post before going back to the ring where she began to toss Shirai around the ring.

Every time it seemed Gonzalez had Shirai on the defensive, the champion would find a way to counter and launch into her own high impact offense, including a Code Red for a near fall. Gonzalez caught Shirai on the top rope and tried to walk her to the center of the ring for a chokeslam, but Shirai managed to counter and roll into a crossface, forcing Gonzalez to crawl to the ropes for the escape. Shirai followed up with a moonsault from the top rope onto the entrance ramp. Shirai wandered out of the ring area before appearing on top of the giant skull that made up the set background on the ramp, hitting a diving crossbody onto Gonzalez. (NXT takeover)

Gonzalez refused to stay down, coming back to hit a chokeslam outside the ring and throwing the champion in for a near fall. Moments later, Gonzalez managed to hit a big lariat and then another chokeslam to score the pinfall and win the belt.

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Jesse Lingard Scores as West Ham beat Wolves

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Jesse Lingard Scores as West Ham beat Wolves FLLIQQA

Jesse Lingard Scores as West Ham beat Wolves

Jesse Lingard is currently trending on Twitter following the stunning goal he scored for West Ham against Wolves on Monday night, April 5.

Lingard signed for the Hammers on a short-term loan deal in January, after the Man United academy product was not given an opportunity to shine under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fast forward two months, and Lingard is one of the most in-form players in the Premier League.

He opened the scoring for West Ham away at Wolves with a stunning solo goal showing so much confidence as he carried the ball forward from behind the halfway-line before holding his nerve and beating Rui Patricio.

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The Wolves defenders followed him, but his long run with the ball for such a distance and ability to keep his composure in front of goal, has even got some Twitter users saying he should be nominated for the FIFA Puskas goal of the year.

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