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  • 29 Jan
    导出博客文章NEW YORK -- It likely went down as the line of the night on Saturday at the UFCs
    historic debut at Madison Square Garden. But it might as well sum up Conor
    McGregors entire career.Id like to take a chance to apologize to ... absolutely
    nobody! McGregor said, setting off a cacophony of noise -- both supportive and
    derisive -- inside the legendary arena.McGregor, fresh off of making history at
    UFC 205 by becoming the promotions first fighter to hold world titles in two
    weight divisions simultaneously, need not seek repentance from anyone in the
    fight game. Not even as his behavior in recent days, from showing up late once
    again at Thursdays news conference to answering questions with constant
    profanity, has become increasingly crass for even his standards.The worlds most
    famous fighter took over The Worlds Most Famous Arena and made it his home on
    Saturday with a second-round knockout of lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez,
    just as he said he would do. In fact, just as he said he would do to every
    single fighter he has faced over 10 appearances in the Octagon since his 2013
    debut -- save for a brief hiccup at welterweight against Nate Diaz in March,
    which he avenged four months later.As the great Muhammad Ali used to say, its
    not bragging if you can back it up. And until anyone at 145 -- where McGregor
    has held the UFCs featherweight title since last December -- or 155 pounds can
    do anything to stop him, the brazen Irish sensation has free reign to be just as
    Notorious as he wants to.The Ali reference is apropos in this sense because
    McGregor is the first combat sports athlete since The Greatest to truly possess
    Ali-like qualities. No, the parallel isnt perfect, particularly from the sense
    of cultural significance. But when it comes to entertainment value and the bold
    ability to back up the endless rhetoric that acts as his shield, McGregor stands
    alone within his own era.McGregors victory over Alvarez caps a 12-month span of
    financial and in-cage success that tops what any fighter has done in UFC
    history. So on the very same night as the 23rd anniversary of the UFC, in the
    promotions first appearance in the state of New York since 1997 following a
    well-documented battle, there was no other fighter worthy to have his face on
    the marquee on the brightest possible stage.Having already supplanted his
    contemporaries as the greatest draw in UFC history, McGregor is now attempting
    to creep closer toward the idea of becoming its greatest fighter, as well. No,
    hes not there yet. To many, he might not even be close. But hes building a
    resume that each day is becoming harder to quantify with an asterisk like what
    happens when he finally faces an elite wrestler with a full training camp? Those
    days, of penalizing his arrogance and lack of a complete game with qualifiers,
    is nearing completion.Are there fighters in both weight classes in which
    McGregor holds titles that you could legitimately favor to beat him tomorrow? No
    question. Unbeaten lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, who looked like a
    beast in mauling Michael Johnson on Saturday before calling out McGregor, is one
    of them.But the more he continues to make the kind of outrageous claims that hes
    talented and just crazy enough to actually back them up inside the cage -- while
    doing so in such spectacular and effortless fashion -- the closer McGregor comes
    to mixed martial arts immortality.Like Ali, he spoke of his all-time greatness
    from the very beginning, long before any of us -- or possibly himself -- was
    truly in a position to believe it. But theres no longer room to deny it.McGregor
    couldnt have said it any better Saturday after the fight when he proclaimed,
    Youve got to have size, reach, length -- youve got to have attributes to defeat
    me. One of those attributes is audacity, and right now he has no peer.For that,
    McGregor need not apologize. As long as he continues to back it up, the UFC is
    his world and the rest of us are just bystanders.
    . The Croatian served 21 aces and hit 42 winners against Sijsling, who
    double-faulted to give Cilic a 4-3 lead in the deciding set. "All the players,
    they know me and they were really happy to see me and they were really happy
    that this is over for me," Cilic said.
    . Ouellette, from Montreal, already has three Olympic gold medals since joining
    the team in 1999.
    . Rinne played two periods in his first game since left hip surgery in early
    May. Gabriel Bourque scored 3:07 into the second period and Austin Watson
    tallied 5:15 later for Nashville.
    . The Hall of Fame defenceman told Landsberg that he believes fighting still has
    a place in todays game, but thinks staged fighting needs be outlawed.
    . Aside from the trilogy main event title fight, there are a number of
    intriguing matchups in the heavyweight, welterweight and lightweight divisions.
    PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas -- VCU coach Will Wade got the response he wanted to a
    loss.Jonathan Williams scored a career-high 22 points and hit the go-ahead layup
    with 3:59 left to help the Rams hold off St. Johns 75-69 on Thursday night in
    Battle 4 Atlantis consolation bracket.JeQuan Lewis added 15 points for the Rams
    (4-1), who had lost 71-63 to No. 20 Baylor in Wednesdays tournament opener. VCU
    led by eight late in the first half and was tied with about 8 minutes left in
    that one.Wed been preparing for that for a while -- we put a ton into that game,
    Wade said. It was a little bit of a gut-punch when we had the lead in the second
    half and couldnt close it out. So Im really proud of the way our guys
    responded.Williams, a junior from Richmond, Virginia, came into the tournament
    averaging 7.3 points but hit 8 of 15 shots and 6 of 7 free throws to go with six
    assists with one turnover in 34 minutes.We all came together as a team and was
    like, `The most energized team is going to win, Williams said.Williams drive
    gave VCU a 67-65 lead, then Lewis had a driving score of his own. Lewis and Mo
    Alie-Cox went 4 for 4 at the foul line in the last 13 seconds to help seal the
    win on a night when both teams blew double-digit leads -- St. Johns by 13 in the
    first half, VCU by 11 with about 14 minutes left.Shamorie Ponds scored 18 points
    to lead the Red Storm (2-3), who made their first eight shots in the game but
    shot just 28 percent (8 of 29) after halftime. The Red Storm had lost to No. 24
    Michigan State in its Atlantis opener after leading early in the second half of
    that one.I think we played a good game but didnt finish it off, Red Storm coach
    Chris Mullin said. We probably pplayed 25-30 good minutes last game, probably
    about 30 tonight.ddddddddddddWeve got to get it to 40 minutes.BIG PICTUREVCU:
    The Rams can at least feel good that they came up with the key plays in the
    final 4 minutes of a tie game, a good sign for a team that couldnt quite figure
    out how to stay in front of No. 20 Baylor in its Atlantis opener Wednesday.St.
    Johns: Other than that game-opening burst, the Red Storm struggled with their
    shooting again. They shot just 31 percent against No. 24 Michigan State then
    followed that by finishing at 41 percent Thursday.Weve basically played our
    fifth game together, so some of that takes time, Mullin said. Weve just got to
    keep working at it and break through it. ... Weve got to keep working and
    understand we are getting better, were getting closer.TIP-INSVCU: Alie-Cox
    scored 15 points... VCU shot 42 percent and had just nine turnovers. ... The
    Rams scored 14 points off turnovers. ... Justin Tillman had 13 rebounds.St.
    Johns: Redshirt freshman guard Marcus LoVett came in averaging 23.3 points but
    finished with 10 on 4-for-13 shooting. ... Bashir Ahmed scored 13 points. ...
    St. Johns finished with a 40-36 rebounding advantage. ... Kassoum Yakwe had six
    blocked shots.UP NEXTVCU: The Rams will play LSU, who beat Old Dominion later
    Thursday, in Fridays fifth-place game.St. Johns: The Red Storm will face ODU in
    Fridays seventh-place game.---Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at AP college basketball at and
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