• An injury to welterweight champion Robbie Lawler forced a postponement of his Nov. 15 title defense against Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. 

    As he often does, UFC president Dana White turned to women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to fill the void. White said Friday on "SportsCenter" that Rousey's title defense against Holly Holm, which was previously announced as the headliner for UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, will now headline UFC 193 in the 90,000-seat Eithad Stadium.

    White told Yahoo Sports on Friday he is not certain when Lawler will fight again, but said it is not a serious injury.

    UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler has an injured thumb and is out of UFC 193. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler has an injured thumb and is out of UFC 193. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)He said when he heard that Lawler needed time to recover, he had no problem granting it. But he needed Rousey to bail him out given the importance the company is placing on UFC 193.

    "I swear on my life, I called her today when I thought something might happen and I said to her, 'Hypothetically speaking, ... '" White said. "She interrupts me and said, 'I'll do

    Read More »from Injury to Robbie Lawler sends Ronda Rousey to Australia to headline UFC 193
  • The UFC reinstated heavyweight Travis Browne on Friday following a seven-week suspension after the results of an investigation into allegations of domestic violence were inconclusive.

    Browne was suspended July 9 after his wife, Jenna Renee Webb, posted pictures to her Instragram account showing marks and bruises on her arms, neck and face that she said were the result of a beating from her 6-foot-7 husband. The UFC immediately suspended Browne and barred him from all International Fight Week activities he was scheduled for at the time the incident became public.

    The UFC hired the highly regarded Las Vegas law firm of Campbell & Williams to investigate. Donald Campbell, the firm's partner, hired an FBI agent with more than 25 years of experience to head the investigation. On Friday, the UFC reinstated Browne after the results were deemed inconclusive:

    From the UFC's statement announcing Browne's suspension had ended:

    UFC announced today that an investigation into allegations of

    Read More »from UFC reinstates Travis Browne after investigation is inconclusive
  • ONE Championship featherweight contender Major Overall is as unique an individual as his name would lead you to believe.

    Overall, who will be returning to the cage soon against Kotetsu Boku, has picked up three straight wins - including two since signing with ONE last year.

    It was one to remember for “Majee,” as he scored a knockout of Bruno Pucci in May last year and added a submission win over Cary Bullos in November. However, it was what he did after his first ever fight for ONE that sparked a viral sensation to form around the Juggernaut Fight Club member.

    He may have lost to Quek Kim Hock after taking up a fight on short notice, but Overall decided to get out and experience the world. He loaded up a backpack with a few belongings and departed for Cambodia.

    “The trip was initially just a post-fight impromptu get away,” Overall recalled. “I had no plans to do anything in particular; I was just going to travel wherever the wind blew so to speak.

    "I started off just backpacking

    Read More »from Major Overall finds ways to give back
  • Croatian scorer Mario Hezonja stood out among this June's crop of top draft prospects for his extreme cockiness. The 20-year-old, who most recently suited up for Barcelona in Spain's ACB League, plays with determined flair of any number of promising young wings, but his approach to the sport involves such daring acts as calling himself as watchable than Leo Messi and generally not shying away from being brash. The Orlando Magic thought highly enough of his skills to select him with the fifth pick in the draft, and watching Hezonja develop (and try to stay confident in the face of expected growing pains) figures to be one of the more interesting parts of the team's season.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    For now, though, Hezonja is focused on leading Croatia during EuroBasket 2015, set to start in four cities around the continent on September 5. He and his teammates took on Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday, and Hezonja did not disappoint. Take

    Read More »from Mario Hezonja lights up EuroBasket tune-up, daps opposing coach
  • All of a sudden, there were Zlatan Ibrahimovic jerseys everywhere.

    In several French beach towns, at the height of the holiday season there last week, you couldn't turn in any direction on the boardwalks without seeing one. Other Paris Saint-Germain merchandise, too. In France, PSG has become a thing.

    And that's new.

    Growing up in Belgium, I spent a large part of my summers in France. And it used to be that you wouldn't see PSG gear outside of Paris. Even in the capital, there wasn't a whole lot of it.

    It's easy to forget now that PSG was only founded in 1970 and that until 2012, it had won the French league just twice and boasted no significant European success other than the 1996 Cup Winners' Cup. And it took the club a long time to gain traction in a world capital for so many things – fashion, food, tourism, culture – that didn't seem to have all that much interest in soccer.

    The curious thing is that for a league widely considered to be the best in the world behind the Big Four of

    Read More »from PSG also winning France's popularity contest
  • In 2015, Ronda Rousey became the UFC’s biggest star.

    From her last three fights ending in a combined 64 seconds, to her ESPY award for Fighter of the Year (where you at, Floyd?), a rumored million-buy pay-per-view in the books, and a few Hollywood blockbuster’s in between, ‘Rowdy’ has experienced a meteoric rise over these last few months that rival any champion, past or present.

    And now, her crowning achievement: A nationwide ad campaign for Carl’s Jr. new Cinnamon Swirl French Toast Breakfast Sandwich.

    There’s an old saying, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ and as delicious as Carl’s Jr. new creation may be, it’s hard to believe that Rousey is scarfing these bad boys down on the regular (if at all).

    Understandable when you take into account that when she isn’t fighting, Rousey appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated and Maxim in her bathing suit. But, hey, everyone needs a cheat day (or morning) and it looks like Ms. Rousey may have found her sugary, sweet match.

    However, don’t expect

    Read More »from Ronda Rousey hawking sugary breakfast sandwich in new Carl's Jr. ad
  • Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has been the most vocal amongst the team’s brain trust about 2015-16 possibly being Kobe Bryant’s last year in the NBA. Bryant’s two-year, $48.5 million contract extension is up at the end of 2016, at the same time that the NBA’s salary cap rises and the team can offer huge heaps of money to free agents to help the Laker franchise turn it over.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Co-owners and business and basketball chief operators Jeannie and Jim Buss haven’t been as direct. In fact, if anything, Jim Buss was as direct as he could be in a recent interview in pointing out that Bryant’s 2016 retirement isn’t a fait accompli.

    From a talk with Eric Pincus at the Los Angeles Times, when asked if this was Kobe Bryant’s final season:

    "We're going to approach it like it is, but that doesn't mean it is," Buss said of Bryant. "I'm not going to sit there and say, 'This is it, Kobe, you're done,' because it's

    Read More »from Jim Buss on Kobe Bryant playing past 2016: 'It's his decision'
  • As we continue to work our way through the endless summer between the Finals and Opening Night, we'll pause each Friday to briefly consider and count down some NBA-related topic of note. We like starting lineups and round numbers, so we'll run through a handful of items each week. With a nod to our friends at Dr. Saturday, welcome to Ball Don't Five.

    This week's installment: The Top Five Players Entering a Make-or-Break Season.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    NOTE: I considered Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, two injury-plagued superstars closer to the end of their careers than the onset, but their legacies are firmly intact. Derrick Rose came to mind, but he’s owed $21.3 million next year, and while this season is important, he could only be broken, not made. Likewise, Anthony Bennett, who along with the rest of the 2013 NBA draft class remains under contract through 2016-17, could be made but not broken. So, instead I focused on the five players

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Five: Top 5 players entering a make-or-break season
  • Steve Ballmer is reportedly fired up about making his own streaming service. (Stephen Dunn/Getty)Steve Ballmer is reportedly fired up about making his own streaming service. (Stephen Dunn/Getty)The Los Angeles Clippers' local broadcast rights deal is set to expire at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season. When it does, billionaire owner Steve Ballmer's got his sights set on breaking new ground by "starting his own over-the-top streaming network" to broadcast Clipper games locally, according to Claire Atkinson of the New York Post:

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    If he follows through on the plan, Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, would be the first owner of a major US sports team to deliver games direct-to-consumer via a Web-based service and not through traditional cable or satellite companies, sources said.
    Clippers games are now aired to roughly 5 million Los Angeles-area homes through Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket regional sports network in a deal that runs through the 2015-16 season.
    Prime Ticket currently pays the team a rights fee of $25 million a year — and offered a 140 percent increase, to $60 million, but the billionaire Ballmer
    Read More »from Report: Steve Ballmer turns down $60M per year local TV deal, eyes all-Clippers streaming service
  • There will be no FIFA reform.

    Not now, not in the near future and not in any foreseeable span of time after that either. Maybe never. Probably never. Almost certainly never.

    FIFA will be FIFA. And what FIFA is, and will remain, is a farcical pseudo-junta that's about as well-equipped to police itself as a kid in a candy store who has managed to pull down the blinds and lock all of the adults out.

    For a brief flicker of a moment, there was hope. In early June, Sepp Blatter, FIFA president and corruption facilitator/overseer/enabler/participant (history might strike one or several of these through, maybe), announced his resignation in the wake of yet another scandal as the FBI and Swiss authorities rounded up another dozen high-ranking officials. More reforms were promised. Real ones, this time. And before he'd shut the door behind him and take whatever he might have amassed to wherever he's headed next, the 79-year-old Blatter assured us he'd clean the place up on his way out.

    There

    Read More »from Status woe: New FIFA shenanigans show that reform just isn't possible

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