Fairfax, VA. - UFC on Fuel 3's Main Event, is already being dubbed the 'Fight of 2012.' Not only did the 'Korean Zombie,' upset Dustin Poirier, Jung earned a shot at a title fight.The marked only the second loss of Poirier's 14 career bouts. Poirier devasted over the loss, noted he should have strayed true to his game plan throughout the fight and Jung was simply, the 'Better man tonight.'Jung's use of the D'arce choke to secure his victory just 1:07 into the 4th round, also helped him capture the 'Submission of the Night,' but he and Poirier earned Fight of the Night for their performances, as well.The two awards served as icing on Jung's cake, as they were worth an extra 80,000 on top of his fight contract; making the victory that much sweeter.In the press conference afterwards, Jung noted while their fighting styles were similar, 'Poirier is tough, but I'm tougher.' He then called for a fight with featherweight champion, Jose Aldo.The last nightly award went to middleweight, 'Filthly' Tom Lawlor. Lawlor earned 40,000 for 'Knockout of the Night' after dismantling Jason MacDonald in just 50 seconds. Lawlor set up the KO with with a straight left, hurting MacDonald badly, and then finished him off with a right hook behind the ear.Not a bad way for 'Filthy' to celebrate his 29th birthday. After the fight, the always uncanny, Lawlor, paid homage to the surrounding area by saying, "Virginia is for lovers, right?" The crowd erupted.
The Nationals beat the Diamondbacks in their series finale on Thursday and by doing so inched closer to securing home field advantage in the NL Division Series. They earned the win despite playing without Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper, who remained out with injuries.
In order to make it happen, they needed contributions from unexpected places. Catcher Pedro Severino homered and walked. Second baseman Wilmer Difo also hit a home run, the first of his young MLB career. Michael Taylor had three hits and drove in two runs. Those three led the way on offense on a day their regulars - Trea Turner, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa and Anthony Rendon - went a combined 2-for-16.
Rookie Reynaldo Lopez also chipped in with 3 2/3 innings of relief work. The coincidence that he, Severino and Difo all made their mark was not lost on them or manager Dusty Baker. The trio are all young players from the Dominican Republic.
"It was Dominican Republic Day," Baker said. Our Dominicans hit two home runs and pitched well... Maybe they had it mixed up, they thought today was Latin Day instead of yesterday."
Baker was referring to a special pregame ceremony at Nationals Park on Wednesday that featured Latin American flags on the field and a representative from the D.R. to throw out the first pitch.
The players picked up on it, as well.
“It was very fun and exciting," Lopez said through an interpreter. "He said as I came into the dugout to Dusty having known that Difo had hit a home run as well as Severino already and they’ve been doing a good job and I was pitching very well, he said ‘I guess today is really Latin day.’ It was just very humorous, but it was fun. And he kept repeating that because we were all performing so well for him, so it was great.”
"Very excited that all three of us were able to do a great job for the team today," Difo said through an interpreter. "Just keep working hard to show everybody that we deserve to be here and that we can contribute and help the team win. I’m just very excited about today."
Severino knows he will be on the playoff roster at this point. With the loss of Wilson Ramos to a season-ending injury, Severino is the next man up.
Difo and Taylor would need an injury or two to clear room for them. They are unlikely to make the final 25.
Lopez, though, is in a battle for the bullpen. Depending on how many pitchers they keep, Lopez could definitely find himself in that mix. And Baker is already talking like Lopez will be pitching in October.
"He's been working on some things," Baker said. "He picked up his tempo. He throws strikes. He appears unfazed by the situation or having to come into the game. And I'm just hoping that he continues that same mindset when we get to the playoffs because it's the same game. More at stake and the world's watching, but it's the same game."
Baker also dropped a hint about Severino that should be kept in mind over the next week.
"All of our young guys dont appear to be intimidated at all by being young. They're about to venture into territories that they haven't been before. And I told him, 'Hey, man, I want you to do the same thing as [Clayton] Kershaw if you're starting in L.A.' And he said OK and left it at that."
It sounds like Severino has at least a decent chance of starting Game 1 on Friday.
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Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz will be handing up the cleats after this season. Given his status as a sports legend for the New England area, it's only fitting that the home town send him out with style.
Fenway Park will have a very different look in the outfield as the Red Sox close out their regular season in a three-game series against Toronto starting on Friday. Here is what fans have to look forward to seeing:
Considering how much time I spend just trying to get my lawn to look green and grow grass, this is pretty darn impressive.