Saturday 19 January 2019

McGregor delivers on his proud boast in Vegas

Conor McGregor hits Dustin Poirier during their featherweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 178
Conor McGregor hits Dustin Poirier during their featherweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 178

MMA: In a battle of rising featherweights at UFC 178, Conor McGregor made short work of Dustin Poirier, just as he had promised to do, earning a TKO victory in the first round. McGregor improved to 16-2, and Poirier fell to 16-4.

"I don't just knock them out, I pick the round," McGregor said. "When featherweights get hit by me it's a whole new ballgame."

After promising earlier this week to 'whoop Dustin Poirier's ass' in their first round of their Las Vegas showdown, he lived up to his word after just one minute and 46 seconds in the Octagon.

"This is the new age," he said. "I wanted to come over here to America and show the American public the new era of the fighting Irish and I brought my whole country with me. If one of us goes to war, we all go to war.

"You know what's next. That world title is next. I'm gonna fly to Brazil if they want. I'll eliminate Chad 'Mini' Mendez and step in and give the fans what they want - Aldo versus McGregor. Or you know we could come back and fill that football stadium [the Aviva]. Come on over, we'll whup them on home soil or away soil. It's no problem."

Murray ends trophy drought

TENNIS: An emotional Andy Murray thanked his lucky stars after saving five match points before beating Spain's Tommy Robredo 5-7 7-6(9) 6-1 to win the Shenzhen Open in China - his first title since winning Wimbledon last year.

The two-time grand slam winner and Olympic champion appeared heading for an upset defeat when he trailed 6-2 in the second set tiebreak, only to reel off four straight. Robredo blew a fifth match point at 7-6, before Murray eventually blasted an unstoppable forehand to take it 11-9 and force a decider.

World number 11 Murray then broke Robredo three times in the third with the Spaniard appearing hampered by injury as he failed to chase down balls.

"Today was obviously an incredibly tough match...and I got lucky at the end of the second set," Murray said in a courtside interview.

The victory at the $590,230 outdoor hardcourt event boosted Murray's hopes of making a sixth appearance at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London in November after he was forced to withdraw from the event last year through injury. The 27-year-old Scot moved up to 10th by adding 250 points to his tally and is within 105 points of Czech Tomas Berdych in the eight and final qualifying spot.

Kwiatkowski times it right

CYCLING: Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski timed his attack to perfection to beat the top favourites and claim gold in the men's elite race at the road cycling world championships yesterday in Ponferrada, Spain.

Kwiatkowski attacked just before the final climb, caught the four breakaway riders in front of him and quickly dropped them, crossing the line with a one-second advantage over a group of chasers. Among them was pre-race favourite Simon Gerrans of Australia, who finished second ahead of Spain's Alejandro Valverde.

"I was feeling great in the last lap, thanks to the work of my team mates," said Kwiatkowski at the end of a 254.8km effort, 14 laps of a 18.2km route. Nicolas Roche came home in 26th place for Ireland.

Gerrans said it was hard to watch Kwiatkowski cross first.

"Honestly, I wanted to cry when I crossed the finish line," Gerrans said. "To be so close and see it slip away is very disappointing."

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