Ben Henderson retains title at UFC 150

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Ben Henderson retains title at UFC 150

DENVER (AP) -- Another five-round battle, another controversial decision for Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar. Henderson retained his lightweight title at UFC 150 on Saturday night, doing just enough to outpoint Frankie Edgar in a split decision. Henderson, born in Colorado Springs, received winning scores of 48-47 from two of the judges, while the third scored it 49-46 for Edgar. Henderson took the belt from Edgar on Feb. 25. Boos rained down on Henderson after the decision was announced to the crowd that increasingly gravitated to Edgar's corner as the 155-pound fight progressed. "I definitely thought I did enough to earn the victory," Henderson said. "Frankie has the heart of a champion and is a great fighter." The bout was action-packed, with both fighters landing damaging punches and kicks and nearly submitting each other with choke holds. The difference likely came because of Henderson's 89-62 advantage in significant punches landed. Despite earning the decision, Henderson believed there was more he could have done in the fight.

"The biggest thing I was disappointed in myself with is that I didn't push the pace enough," Henderson said. "I didn't do a good enough job of capitalizing and getting on top of him when he was off balance. My coaches were yelling at me to push the pace, but I was lethargic and didn't push it as much as I should have." UFC President Dana White declined to say how he would've scored the bout. "I'm not a judge," said White, who said he had the fight even going into the final round. "Ben Henderson won the fight, he retained his title, and that's the end of it. That's why I always say, if you don't want to be sitting in here going, I think I won that fight,' you cannot leave it in the hands of the judges." Henderson (17-2) will defend his title against Nate Diaz (16-7). Amid alternating chants of "Frankie!" and "Benson!" at Pepsi Center, the fighters exchanged right hands and leg kicks, with Edgar scoring a number of takedowns and dropping Henderson with a right hand in the second. Edgar bled from the nose after a Henderson right hand in the second, but never appeared to be affected by the blood. Edgar was visibly upset after the decision dropped him to 14-3-1. "I felt I improved from last time, and I think I did enough to win," Edgar said. "A lot of people told me they thought I'd won, but it doesn't matter. The judges didn't. The decision is not going to change, and it is what it is." Edgar said he isn't interested in asking for another shot at Henderson. "I'm moving on," Edgar said. "Dana's not going to give me another title shot, I know that much." The co-main event lasted only 1:16, but provided more action than most of the night's other bouts. Denver native Donald Cerrone recovered from a left hook from Melvin Guillard (47-12-3) that floored him early in the round and improved to 19-4 after connecting on a left kick to the head and a right hook that sealed the deal. Guillard's shot rocked Cerrone in the fight's opening seconds, but he was unable to connect with a flurry of knee strikes and punch combinations to end the matchup between the 29-year-old lightweights. Cerrone landed what initially appeared to be a glancing left kick to the top of Guillard's head, but the New Orleans fighter was virtually out on his feet and defenseless to Cerrone's finishing right hand. "Frankly, I thought I just grazed the top of him," said Cerrone, who earned 120,000 in bonuses for the knockout and fight of the night. "I didn't realize I connected as well as I did. Thankfully I did, and I followed it with a right hand." Cerrone, a Denver native who attended Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, is 8-1 in his last nine fights. Two of the 155-pounder's losses have come at the hands of Henderson. Cerrone knew he was in big trouble early in the fight. "I was extremely hurt, especially the knee to the body," said Cerrone, who likely will next face Anthony Pettis (13-2) in a key lightweight bout. "It took everything in me to fight through it and keep going. It was probably the worst I've ever been injured in a fight." Guillard, who missed weight at Friday's weigh-in by 2 1-2 pounds, will be fined a portion of his purse. He is 6-3 in his last nine fights.

Podcast: 'Baseball in the District' - Projecting Harper's USA super team

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Podcast: 'Baseball in the District' - Projecting Harper's USA super team

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On this week's episode of 'Baseball in the District,' we examined the Nats' resurgence in the Midwest, Bryce Harper's surprising struggles and how the suspension of Dee Gordon could affect the NL East. We also projected what Harper's idea of a U.S.A. super team for the World Baseball Classic would like.

This week's episode also featured a very special guest: D.C. Washington, the national anthem extraordinnaire that has become a fan favorite around town. How did he get his name? How did he get his start singing anthems? Does he still get nervous before them? D.C. answered those questions and more in what turned out to be a very fun interview.

You can listen to the show on ESPN 980's website or download the show on iTunes.

Nats look to win fifth straight at Kansas City Royals

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Nats look to win fifth straight at Kansas City Royals

Nats (18-7) vs. Royals (13-12) at Kauffman Stadium

After yet another impressive victory on Monday for the Nationals, who have all of a sudden found their groove against baseball's best teams, Washington aims for their fifth straight win on Tuesday night at the Kansas City Royals.

Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.03) will make his sixth start of the season. He's coming off to consecutive outings of seven scoreless innings. This is the second time Roark has faced the Royals in his career. He went 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run at Kauffman Stadium back in August of 2013.

Pitching for Kansas City will be former Nats minor leaguer Chris Young (1-4, 6.12). He and Roark were teammates on the 2013 Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs.

First pitch: 8:15 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Tanner Roark vs. Royals - Chris Young

NATS

CF Michael Taylor
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Daniel Murphy
DH Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
LF Chris Heisey
(RHP Tanner Roark)

ROYALS

SS Alcides Escobar
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Kendrys Morales
LF Alex Gordon
C Salvador Perez
2B Omar Infante
3B Christian Colon
RF Jarrod Dyson
(RHP Chris Young)

Follow along with GameView here.

Capitals vow to keep pounding the rock

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Capitals vow to keep pounding the rock

Barry Trotz is a big believer that if his players plays the right way for long enough periods of time, the hockey gods will reward them with a series victory over the Penguins. 

“Pounding the rock” is the expression he likes to use.

In Game 3 on Monday night the Capitals pounded that rock with 49 shots on rookie goaltender Matt Murray. But instead of a wellspring of goals, the Caps only got a late trickle with a pair of third-period goals in a 3-2 loss.

So how does Trotz convince his players to keep pounding that rock? He provides evidence – like the game tape from Monday night, where he could show a 49-23 advantage in shots and a 58-25 edge in hits.

“The result wasn’t what we wanted,” Caps center Jay Beagle said. “But we woke up confident and watched the video today. We played the right way and you’ve got to be happy when you’re playing the right way.  

“I think you get in trouble when you start to get away from the plan because we didn’t get the result we wanted. Then that starts to become a problem.”

RELATED: OVECHKIN IMPOSING HIS WILL ON PENGUINS

Beagle should know. Before the arrival of Trotz, the Capitals were known as a team that would veer off the tracks when things didn’t go their way. They would cheat for chances offensively and leave themselves vulnerable defensively. Trotz is convinced that won’t happen in this series, even though the Capitals trail two games to one.   

“When things didn’t go our way, we would change the plan, everybody would go on their own plan,” Trotz said of his early experiences with the Caps last season. 

“And I think what this group has learned is that you stay to the plan, you execute and do the job well. 

“If you do that, it will turn your way. Guys are not going to change their plan. They all knew we played a pretty darn good hockey game last night. They’re not going to go, `We have to do something totally different because we didn’t win.’ 

“I think that’s where this team has matured. We have good poise. You’ve seen that all year with our team. We don’t get rattled often. We do get, I would say, very determined at times and we’ve shown a lot of resiliency all year. That’s why we were able to have the record we did. We didn’t let things bother us too much. And we’ve got a good leadership group that when things maybe aren’t going the way you want, they seem to be able to put it back on the rails for us. I think that’s the growth of our team the last two years. …

``When we went into this we expected it to go long. We’re OK with that. We’re built for that.’’

In the first two games of their series against the Pens the Capitals were outshot 80-59.But in Game 3 the tables were turned with the Caps holding a 49-23 shot advantage.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby cited a few reasons why. 

“We didn’t get enough zone time,” Crosby said. “We were off the rush and done pretty quick. When you do that, they have the puck longer and they have a lot more energy to play offensively. That was the big difference from the first two in Washington.

“We won (Game 3), but we can’t expect to play like that and continue to win. I think we all understand that and we know we need to better for Game 4.”

If you believe Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals are bigger and stronger than the Penguins and they expect to continue their physical assault on their second-round opponent. The goals eventually will follow, they believe, and so will the wins.

“Every hit matters,” said Caps right wing Tom Wilson, who has 12 of them in this series. “Players will be the first to tell you that when they have a sore shoulder they’re more hesitant to make a play. It’s a physical sport, guys are hard on each other and that’s why people love the game.”

Since Trotz’s arrival last season the Capitals have gone into every playoff series expecting, maybe even hoping, to go seven games. So far, two of the three series he’s coached have gone the distance.

“We’re prepared to go to Game 6, Game 7,” Beagle said. “We love the battle. We’ve talked about it all year and we’re in a good battle right now.”

MORE CAPITALS: HOW WILL LETANG'S SUSPENSION ALTER GAME 4 LANDSCAPE?