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Greatest Moments of NHL Season … So Far: third round, matchup 6 – NHL.com

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The 2019-20 NHL season had many incredible moments before it was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, and now fans can decide which one was the best.

The Greatest Moments of the NHL Season … So Far is down to 16 entries from the original bracket of 64 with the second round now complete. Fans will vote on one matchup per day, ultimately deciding the greatest moment up until this point.   

Fans can vote on Twitter and Instagram each day from noon until 10 a.m. ET the next day. Each day, the winner of that matchup will be revealed, and a new set of moments will go head-to-head.  

Though fans will have the ultimate say, two NHL.com staffers will weigh in on the matchup each day to give his or her opinion on which one should advance to the third round.   

In the matchup Friday, Andrei Svechnikov‘s lacrosse-style goal for the Carolina Hurrricanes defeated Elvis Merzlikins‘ shutout run for the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

The matchup Saturday has Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin passing Mario Lemieux for 10th in NHL history with his 691st goal Jan. 18 taking on Blake Coleman‘s one-handed goal for the New Jersey Devils in their season opener Oct. 4.

Brian Compton, deputy managing editor

Ovechkin is one of the select few who can share a feat with Lemieux, but his ascension on the NHL goals list provided the opportunity to be among some of the all-time greats when he passed Lemieux (690) and tied Steve Yzerman for ninth (692) with a hat trick against the New York Islanders during a Saturday matinee at Nassau Coliseum. Ovechkin not only enjoyed the individual achievements, he also helped the Capitals rally for a 6-4 win after they trailed 4-1 at the start of the third period. When the NHL returns from this pandemic, one of the many treats will be the chance to see Ovechkin continue his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky as the all-time NHL goals leader (894).

Video: WSH@NYI: Ovi passes Lemieux, ties Yzerman with hatty

Dan Rosen, senior writer

This isn’t a vote about career achievements. If it were, it would be hard to vote against Ovechkin. No, this is instead a vote for a single great moment this season. With all due respect to Ovechkin, his 691st NHL goal, scored off a curl-and-drag around a defender and with a shot that went in off another defender, did not compare in its level of greatness to Coleman’s goal against the Winnipeg Jets at Prudential Center. That was extraordinary. That was one of the best individual efforts of the season. A length-of-the-ice special finished with a one-handed, stick-lift, far-side shot while falling down. Ovechkin is almost certainly a future Hockey Hall of Famer. But Coleman’s goal is a worthy candidate for play of the year. It should be celebrated for the moment it was.

Video: WPG@NJD: Coleman nets outstanding one-handed goal

Tweet from @NHL: Andrei Svechnikov’s (@ASvechnikov_37) lacrosse-style goal is moving on!Tough choice between Blake Coleman’s (@BColes25) one-handed beauty and Alex Ovechkin’s (@ovi8) hat trick to pass Mario Lemieux. Who ya got? 🤔VOTE ������������

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UFC 250 bonuses: Cody Garbrandt, Sean O’Malley earn bonuses for dramatic one-punch knockouts – MMA Fighting

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UFC 250 had no shortage of exciting finishes and four fighters rewarded for avoiding the judges.

Cody Garbrandt and Sean O’Malley both received $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses for their sensational one-punch knockouts of Raphael Assuncao and Eddie Wineland, respectively. For Garbrandt, his win came at the second-round buzzer, while O’Malley needed less than a round to silence Wineland and he did so in style walking off after landing a blasting Wineland with right hand.

O’Malley has now won a bonus in each of his three UFC appearances to date.

In lieu of a Fight of the Night award, two other fighters received a Performance of the Night bonus, Aljamain Sterling and Alex Perez.

Sterling cemented his status as a future title challenger with an 88-second rear-naked choke submission of Cory Sandhagen, who was previously unbeaten in the UFC. Perez made short work of longtime flyweight contender Jussier Formiga, forcing a referee stoppage after dropping Formiga with leg kicks.

That’s back-to-back fight night bonuses for Perez now, while Sterling cashes in for the first time in his six years with the UFC.

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Conor McGregor says he’s ‘decided to retire from fighting’ – Sportsnet.ca

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Conor McGregor has announced his retirement for the third time in four years.

McGregor abruptly made his latest dubious declaration Sunday morning on his Twitter account, where the former two-division UFC champion also announced his retirement in 2016 and 2019.

“Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting,” McGregor wrote in a caption below a photo of him and his mother. “Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!”

The 31-year-old Irish superstar revitalized his combat sports career in January with an impressive first-round stoppage of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246. McGregor (22-4) hadn’t won a fight in a mixed martial arts cage or a boxing ring since 2016, but he remained the UFC’s brightest star and biggest financial draw.

UFC President Dana White has already said McGregor is next in line for a title shot at the winner of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s bout with Justin Gaethje this summer.

The UFC’s schedule is in upheaval due to the coronavirus pandemic, but McGregor was expected to get his title shot later this year, and he recently had been talking to White about taking another fight even earlier. Earlier this week, McGregor posted photos and videos of himself training for fights.

White was still willing to take McGregor’s retirement announcement at face value — at least publicly — when he learned about it at his news conference following UFC 250 in Las Vegas.

“If Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire, you know my feelings about retirement,” White said. “You should absolutely do it. And I love Conor. … There’s a handful of people that have made this really fun for me, and he’s one of them.”

Retirements are a time-honoured device for gathering attention and increased bargaining power in combat sports. From Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather to Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, countless champions of boxing and MMA have gone back on their solemn announcements whenever need or ego brought them back to the sport.

McGregor made his first Twitter retirement announcement in April 2016 during a spat with the UFC over promotion of his rematch with Nate Diaz.

McGregor famously wrote: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”

McGregor and Diaz fought in August 2016.

Three years later, McGregor retired again in March 2019 in what White believed was a gambit to entice the UFC to offer him an ownership stake in the company. McGregor began talking about new fights shortly afterward, and he eventually returned to face Cerrone in early 2020.

The loquacious McGregor has long proven that his pronouncements can’t be taken as gospel truth. Earlier this year, McGregor “accepted” future fights against former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and long-retired boxing superstar Oscar De La Hoya with little reason to think they will ever happen.

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Amanda Nunes completely dominates Felicia Spencer in lopsided decision to defend title at UFC 250 – MMA Fighting

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Amanda Nunes was already considered the greatest women’s fighter of all time before competing at UFC 250. Nothing dispelled that mystique on Saturday night as the reigning two-division champion absolutely dominated Felicia Spencer from the first second of their fight until the last as she defended her featherweight title for the first time.

The scorecards read 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45 with Nunes winning her 11th consecutive fight overall. While it was somewhat shocking that Spencer survived to the end, Nunes paid homage to her opponent for the incredible toughness she displayed.

“I’m not surprised,” Nunes said afterwards. “I know she’s very tough. I know what she’s capable of. I know she’s tough. I have to be sharp.”

In the first few exchanges it appeared Nunes was going to add another knockout to her resume after she clubbed Spencer with a couple of powerful right hands that would likely finish many opponents. Somehow, Spencer stayed upright as she tried to apply her grappling game by slowing Nunes down in the clinch.

That backfired after Nunes surprised her with a whizzer and then began dropping elbows from the top position for the remainder of the first round.

While she didn’t fade away, Spencer was just outmatched on the feet as she continued to eat punches with Nunes blasting her with thudding right hands again and again. With a smirk on her face almost the entire fight, Nunes continued walking Spencer down and then unleashing her powerful strikes.

By the time the third round was winding down, Nunes was in absolute control, tagging Spencer with a barrage of punches and then making her pay with kicks as well. Spencer was starting to fade without any hope of getting Nunes to the ground as the damage she was absorbing really started to add up.

With Nunes battering Spencer’s lead leg, the two-division champion really started to stalk her prey as she hunted for the finish. As time ticked away in the fourth round, Nunes went for the kill as she put together a series of punches that had Spencer nearly out on the feet.

Nunes almost wrapped up a rear-naked choke with seconds remaining but Spencer survived to the end of the round as she went back to her corner with hematomas swelling and blood streaked across her face.

In only got worse during the final five minutes with another cut opening up and Nunes just punishing Spencer in every exchange on the feet or on the ground. By the end of the fight, Nunes was just rag dolling Spencer around the cage as she cemented the victory.

Now with title defenses at bantamweight and featherweight, Nunes has all but obliterated every legitimate contender in both divisions. The question remains who will challenge Nunes next but for now she’s going to concentrate on more important matters — like the birth of her first child.

“That was my goal, defend my two belts,” Nunes said. “I’m so happy right now. I don’t know what is next. I had a fifth corner today. I have my daughter with me.”

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