Rua, Machida post big UFC wins in Fox show

836797.png

Rua, Machida post big UFC wins in Fox show

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Former champion Lyoto Machida stopped Ryan Bader with one punch midway through the second round of the UFC's latest prime-time network show Saturday night, getting a knockout that might have earned him a chance to reclaim his title. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua stopped Brandon Vera in the main event with a flurry of strikes with 50 seconds left in the fourth round for another dramatic finish. After the fights, UFC President Dana White said Machida had earned another light heavyweight title shot with his sudden victory. White promised a shot at the winner of champion Jon "Bones" Jones' bout with veteran Dan Henderson next month to the fighter who was most impressive at Staples Center, although the date could be tough to keep immediately. Machida (18-3) had the light heavyweight belt until Rua took it from him with a first-round knockout in May 2010. Machida failed to reclaim the belt last December from Jones, who stopped him with a standing guillotine choke in Toronto for the formerly formidable Brazilian's third loss in four fights.

Machida looked impressive again in flattening Bader (14-3), who also has lost to Jones. "I think it was a great performance, and I want to say, the Dragon is back," Machida shouted, citing his own nickname. Machida needed just one big right hand 90 seconds into the second round to knock out Bader, who spent the first round warily staying outside Machida's dangerous karate-based style. Machida picked apart Bader to win the opening round, and when Bader attempted to close the distance, the Brazilian star ducked slightly and apparently rendered Bader unconscious with a punch square to his face. White hyped up interest in the Los Angeles show by claiming he would choose the next title contender from this bunch of fighters with significant recent defeats on their records. The UFC could be more interested in matching Jones against welterweight star Georges St. Pierre next year, but Machida did everything possible to get back on a title track. Earlier, Joe Lauzon ended a thrilling bout with veteran Jamie Varner by securing a triangle choke midway through the third round. Mike Swick also returned from a 30-month octagon absence for a second-round knockout of DaMarques Johnson. Rua (21-6) survived a grueling fight with the veteran Vera (12-6), bouncing back from multiple spots of trouble and pushing through fatigue that slowed both fighters midway through the scheduled five-round bout. Rua finally got rid of Vera with a series of strikes that began with a precise right hook to Vera's jaw. Vera's mouthpiece apparently came loose, distracting him moments before Rua finished him with a few more strikes to celebrate his first victory in nearly a year. "I'll improve, but you'll see my best for sure in the future," Rua said. "The most important thing is a victory. I respect Brandon a lot. It was a good fight. I was a little tired from the second to the third round, more than I expected." Rua lost his light heavyweight title to Jones in his first defense in March 2011, and Rua lost again to Henderson last November in a five-round brawl. Varner was a last-minute replacement opponent for Lauzon, a reliably entertaining Massachusetts fighter who still had lost three of his past six bouts. Varner is a former WEC champion who returned to the UFC with an upset victory over Edson Barboza in May. Although Varner controlled the entertaining first round, he couldn't keep up later with Lauzon, who rallied with strikes that set up superb ground work ending with his legs cinched around Varner's neck.

Quick Links

By the numbers: Wizards' streak of scoring 100+ points snapped by Jazz

By the numbers: Wizards' streak of scoring 100+ points snapped by Jazz

The Wizards' streak of scoring 100 points or more was snapped on Sunday night, fittingly by a Utah Jazz team that holds opponents to less points than anyone in the NBA. They are a great defense and they won out in this matchup against the Wizards' high-powered scoring attack.

Bradley Beal was held scoreless in the first half. The Wizards as a team were limited to 92 points and only twice this year have they scored less.

The streak is now over at 23 games. It was an impressive feat, so here are some numbers to put it in perspective...

--The 23-game streak was just the 14th-longest in Wizards/Bullets franchise history, but it was their longest since the 1988-89 season when they won 26 straight. The longest 100-point streak franchise history, at 48 games, was accomplished by the Baltimore Bullets in 1965. 

--Long 100-point streaks were quite rare for a while until just recently. The Wizards' streak is the 10th-best since the start of the 1992-93 season. No team reached 23 games from 1993 until 2008, a span of 15 years. Of the top 10 since 1992-93, five of them occurred this season, which is kind of amazing. In addition to the Wizards, the Celtics, Spurs, Warriors and Rockets have done it this year. The Rockets' streak is active at 46 games, double that of the Wizards. 

--The streak is not all that common in NBA history, in that the Wizards' 23-game streak is tied for 216th all-time. The longest 100-point streak ever is 136 games, held by the Denver Nuggets. That streak began in January of 1981 and ended in December of 1982. The Rockets' 46-game streak is only 43rd all-time.

--The Wizards' 23-game streak is the longest in Scott Brooks' career as a head coach. His 2014-15 Oklahoma City Thunder got to 22 games. All the teams Brooks coached with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and others, and none of them matched what the Wizards accomplished.

--Washington's streak is longer than the best in franchise history for six different teams: the Grizzlies (9), Heat (16), Hornets (20), Pelicans (8), Raptors (20) and Timberwolves (11).

[RELATED: Wizards complain of lack of free throws after loss to Jazz]

Tyler Cavanaugh sparks George Washington to 3rd straight win

Tyler Cavanaugh sparks George Washington to 3rd straight win

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tyler Cavanaugh scored 22 points and sparked a breakaway run in the second half as George Washington defeated George Mason 83-74 on Sunday to pull even with the Patriots in the Atlantic 10 standings.

Cavanaugh has scored 19 or better in the Colonials' last three games, all wins, and has topped 20 points a dozen times this season. Sunday, the senior made 8 of 17 shots, grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists. With the lead at 57-54 and 8:19 to play, Cavanaugh drove for a score that started a 15-9 run over the next 3-1/2 minutes that gave the Colonials some breathing room in a game that saw 10 ties and nine lead changes.

The win lifts George Washington (16-13, 8-8) into a three-way tie for sixth place in the A-10, and owns the tie-breaker over both George Mason (18-11, 8-8) and La Salle.

Marquise Moore led George Mason with 20 points and six assists. Yuta Watanabe scored a season-high 18 and Jaren Sina 16 for George Washington, which had a season-low five turnovers against 17 assists.

MORE NCAA: NO. 2 MARYLAND WOMEN TOP MINNESOTA TO CLINCH 1ST PLACE TIE