Diaz tops Miller on 2nd rd submission in UFC bout

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Diaz tops Miller on 2nd rd submission in UFC bout

By DAN GELSTON
, AP Sports Writer EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Nate Diaz locked in his choke hold and wouldn't let go. Another dominant victory his, Diaz now plans to keep the same taut grip on his impending title shot. Diaz continued to prove his return to the UFC lightweight division was the right one, and defeated Jim Miller by submission in the second round Saturday night to win the main event of the promotion's third major network card on Fox. "It was my time to shine, I guess," Diaz said. Diaz (16-7) stopped Miller (21-4) with a guillotine choke at 4:09 of the second round and earned an eventual. shot at the lightweight crown. Diaz dominated the short time they were in the octagon, using his range to land big strikes and force Miller to tap at the Izod Center. "Nate controlled the fight from bell to bell," Miller said. "He never let me get any significant shots in there."

Miller's face was already bloodied by the time the New Jersey crowd started a "Let's go Miller!" chant to rally the hometown fighter. The season five winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" taunted Miller moments before he rolled him over and locked in his submission hold in the finale of the four-bout prime-time card held by the world's top MMA circuit in front of 10,788 fans. UFC announced a 1.1 million gate. "It's free and they were great fights," UFC President Dana White said. Diaz returned to the lightweight division after a mixed run at 170 pounds. He could take another fight or wait out a scheduled title defense later this year by champion Benson Henderson. Henderson has a scheduled defense against Frankie Edgar. Diaz will keep his place in line and not take another fight. "If he wanted to wait, he could wait," White said. "He's going to wait." In a tight battle former NCAA wrestling champions, Johny Hendricks (13-1) likely became the No. 1 contender for the welterweight championship with a split-decision victory over Josh Koscheck. "If the title shot comes, it comes," Hendricks said. "If not, I'll stand in here with anyone they put in front of me." Hendricks won 29-28 on two cards and Koscheck took the other 29-28 in the three-round bout. Koscheck left the octagon with a battered and swollen right side of his face. He put his head down and shook it "no" as he trudged back to the locker room. "I should have finished the fight," he said. "If it goes to the judges, you have to have luck on your side." UFC fan and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino tweeted, "Disagree on that decision." He didn't have a say. The judges did and that's why Hendricks was the fighter jumping around the cage in celebration after several tense minutes waiting for a decision. Hendricks connected with a pair of stiff leg shots and a knee to the face in the third to give him an edge. But Koscheck (17-6) covered Hendricks in the final minute and seemed content to stay there and in control. He just dish out enough punishment. "That's one tough dude, man. I hit him with everything I got and I did everything I could," Hendricks said. Hendricks was two-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American for Oklahoma State. Koscheck also was a four-time All-American at Edinboro University and a 2001 NCAA champ. UFC kicked off the Fox show with a heavyweight bout that featured some of the stiffest shots of the night. Lavar Johnson (17-5) backed Pat Barry against the cage with a barrage of punishing lefts and rights to the head that left Barry (7-5) slumped on the mat. Johnson, fighting nearly three years after he was shot in the abdomen during a random drive-by, won via TKO in 4:38 of the first round. "With our styles, I knew it would end like this for one of us," Johnson said. For the casual fans attracted by the car-wreck nature of one man pummeling another, the sight of the 6-foot-4 Johnson simply assaulting Barry to start the show had to please UFC and Fox. Alan Belcher (18-6) initiated the ground game and continued the trend of early finishes when he flattened Rousimar Palhares (14-5) and fired repeated shots at the face to win a TKO decision at 4:18 of the first round. "I want to be the guy that takes the belt off Anderson Silva because I know I'm the one that can do it," Belcher said. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was in the crowd at the Izod Center to watch a card held just six miles across the river from New York. New York is one of the few states that has yet to legalize MMA. After showcasing UFC on Fox with two big bouts that featured Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez and Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, none of the fighters on Saturdays' card were huge names known to a wide network audience. "It's the best talent in UFC right now and we showcased them on Fox tonight," White said.

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Before football, Josh Norman and others got in a little futbol on Thursday

Before football, Josh Norman and others got in a little futbol on Thursday

To watch a group of Redskins kick around a soccer ball — not effortlessly, but definitely decently — watch the video above.

With the U.S. Men's National Team constantly looking for goal scorers, a potentially prolific trio just put their first piece of film together on Thursday: Duke Ihenacho, Logan Paulsen and Josh Norman.

On paper, a burly tight end and a pair of defensive backs don't exactly sound like an ideal fit for the pitch, but the three made it work in Richmond before they took the field for the beginning of Redskins' training camp. Thankfully, CSN's cameras were there to capture the performance.

Of the players, Ihenacho displayed the most enthusiasm but Paulsen, surprisingly, had the cleanest touch. Norman, meanwhile, came in at the end of the sequence and looked quite capable as well. Overall, for guys used to football and not futbol, it was a pretty solid showing.

Your move, Jurgen Klinsmann.

RELATED: GRUDEN TELLS DOCTSON TO BE PATIENT, BUT HURRY UP, TOO

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Gruden gives timeline for Perry Riley, Shawn Lauvao return from injury

Gruden gives timeline for Perry Riley, Shawn Lauvao return from injury

The Redskins are missing two key cogs right now to injury: LG Shawn Lauvao and LB Perry Riley. Jay Gruden thinks he knows when both players will be back. 

Of Lauvao, Gruden said he does not have a lot of conerns and expects his left guard back soon. 

"I think he’s really, really close," Gruden said. "I'd be shocked if he wasn’t ready by Saturday, or as early as Monday."

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS — WHO'S AT THE TOP?

Lauvao has voiced that he thinks he's ready to be back on the field, but Gruden said the team wants to be sure their guard is confident in changing directions and exploding on his surgically repaired ankle.

"We just want to make sure he's solid and sound before he gets back out there."

Gruden gave a similar prognosis for linebacker Perry Riley. 

"He feels like we're holding him back," Gruden said of Riley. "He wants to practice."

Riley's situation is a bit different than Lauvao. When the guard returns, he comes back as the starter. When Riley returns, he will be competing with Will Compton and Mason Foster, a duo that played well last season once Riley went down.

For now, the coach just wants to make sure Riley can go at full speed for a few days without soreness before letting him back on the practice field. 

"We want to put him through the drills, look at him run around, make sure he can do it," Gruden said. "His strength is his ability to run laterally, side to side."

RELATED: GRUDEN PREACHES PATIENCE FOR DOCTSON, BUT SAYS HURRY UP, TOO

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Gruden's advice for injured Josh Doctson: Be patient and hurry up

Gruden's advice for injured Josh Doctson: Be patient and hurry up

RICHMOND - News that first-round rookie WR Josh Doctson would begin training camp on the PUP list was obviously a disappointment, but Redskins coach Jay Gruden says the team is being cautious.

"We weren’t very satisfied with the way his Achilles was coming along," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Doctson. "He’d have a lot of soreness in the morning when he’d wake up. We're going to keep him down for a little bit until he’s good to go 100 percent."

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Gruden made clear that Doctson has not had surgery on his Achilles, but is receiving extra treatment. The lingering issue has forced Doctson to miss significant time since he was drafted, both in OTAs and minicamp. Missing actual training camp practice is a new thing, and a bigger deal, for the rookie.

"I don’t think he’s very far away, it's more cautious right now because it is a significant deal, an Achilles for a wide receiver with his explosion," the coach said. "You don’t want that to reoccur."

The path to playing time for Doctson was already going to be tricky, with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon solidified as starters and Jamison Crowder locked in the slot. The injury will make that even tougher.

"He’s frustrated, he wants to be out there. He’s a great competitor."

Gruden said the best thing for Doctson right now is patience, as the team's priority is for him to be healthy for 16 games, not training camp. The flip side, however, is the coach wants his first round pick on the field.

"Be patient," Gruden said, "but hurry up."