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Rua, Machida post big UFC wins in Fox show

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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.

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Redskins Playbook: Josh Doctson steals the show on Day 1 of camp

Redskins Playbook: Josh Doctson steals the show on Day 1 of camp

Day 1 of training camp is in the books, and plenty of Redskins players proved they spent their summers staying in shape. Remember fans not to read too much into early training camp results, however, it's worth taking note of what is and is not looking good out there. 

Notes from the first day:

  • Josh Doctson stole the show in individual drills. He showed his precise blend of size and athleticism and repeatedly beat Bashaud Breeland on a variety of routes. The Doctson that showed up on Thursday is the Doctson the Redskins drafted in the first round last season, the same guy that dominated at TCU two seasons ago. If that guy shows up during the season, he will be a valuable weapon for Kirk Cousins and the Redskins.
  • I've written and talked extensively about wanting to see Jonathan Allen in camp doing 1v1 drills. Well, early, there wasn't much to watch. He was not getting the push many expected of a first-round pick. Then, after some conversations with Jim Tomsula, things turned for Allen. Late in the individual session, Allen was winning his matchups and tossing aside offensive linemen. I caught up with Allen after practice and asked him about his talk with Tomsula. Allen said he really appreciated the coach's approach, adding "it reminds me of Alabama."
  • Speaking of Tomsula, while he will likely be the assistant coach darling for fans with his amped up sideline demeanor, Torrian Gray appears to be the coach with the most to say. Gray gets fired up for his defensive backs in both team and individual drills, mixing in coaching with praise and enthusiasm.
  • Mo Harris catches everything.
  • Actually, the Redskins entire pass catching crew looked good on Thursday. In an unscientific study, I'm not sure a single pass got dropped. 
  • Mason Foster and Will Compton came out with the starting defense during team drills. Zach Brown did not. Something to monitor.
  • Bashaud Breeland looked sick yesterday, and ends up he was. He left practice early. Might have been part of Doctson beating him over and over, though the way Doctson was playing, it might not have. 
  • If the Redskins had a game tomorrow, Joey Mbu would start at nose tackle. I'd wager my car on that. A lot can happen between late July and early September, however. 
  • Martrell Spaight looks healthy. In fact, he almost ran me over on the sideline during team drills. 
  • Don't look now, but Matt Jones is getting work with the Redskins RBs. Don't be too quick to dismiss him, especially if an injury occurs. 
  • Talked with Anthony Lanier about his progression this offseason. He said Tomsula is a huge part of it, and described him as almost a 'father figure.' Good coaching helps, and the 'Skins D-line is getting it. 
  • Kendall Fuller had a good day of work. Two INTs. That deserves a bullet point.
  • If you're keeping track, and maybe you're not, Josh Norman appears to be winning the individual battles with Terrelle Pryor. The matchups are fun to watch, and it seems Norman goes out of his way to be matched with Pryor, wanting the best work he can get. 

Stay with CSN all day for plenty more information. Our social outlets are cranking out lots of cool stuff too, like this for example:

Also, daily podcasts from camp will be up each morning. Make sure to subscribe so they hit your phone for the AM commute. 

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Play of the day: Doctson goes deep

Play of the day: Doctson goes deep

Each day during training camp, Redskins Insider Rich Tandler will pick out a play from practice to break down in some detail. The focus will be on plays that can give us some hints as to what we can look forward to this season.

RICHMOND—The Redskins were running a drill featuring one-on-one coverage with defensive backs and receivers. Josh Doctson was lined up wide left and Bashaud Breeland was covering him. As Doctson ran a go pattern he built some separation between himself and the defender. But the pass, which traveled about 40 yards downfield, was a little short and Breeland was able to knock it down.

Here is the end of that play, captured by USA Today Sports Images:

A few plays later, Doctson was up again. This time the cornerback was Quinton Dunbar. Doctson again got separation quickly and took off on the go pattern. This time the pass was on the money and Doctson hauled it in at almost the exact spot where he couldn’t get the handle on his previous play.

One camera was in the perfect spot to capture the play.

(Seeing this, I’m wondering if Doctson had control throughout the process of the catch as it came loose in the end zone. But who knows what a catch really is, right? In any case, we’re calling it a catch.)

When most fans think about what Doctson’s contribution might be this year, they think of him being a big target on third and six and catching passes in the red zone. However, the long ball will be part of his game as well.

RELATED: Redskins camp hot topics

Nobody will be looking for him to replace DeSean Jackson as the team’s deep threat. He ran a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, a respectable time but far from “blow the top off the defense” speed. However, he is quick enough to beat a cornerback off the line and his large catch radius can be an asset deep downfield as well as it can in tight traffic near the line of scrimmage.

Even if he doesn’t go deep often, if teams need to respect the long ball Doctson will find more room to operate underneath.

MORE REDSKINS: Live practice report, Day 1

Doctson appears to be fully healthy after being a non-factor as a rookie due to an Achilles injury. And last March he started seeing a specialist who he hopes will help keep him on the field.

“He just realigns my body, my hips, align my hips, make sure by back is all right,” said Doctson. “I was off balance a little bit, my right side was longer than my left and it starts to overcompensate, works hard and little things start to wind down and it was my Achilles that was affected by all of it.”

It’s been so far, so good with the new program.

“Nobody wants to be injured, ever,” said Doctson. “You want to be available for your teammates, for yourself, for the organization. This year is totally different, I don’t feel anything wrong with my body, so I’ll be ready to go.”

We still have a long grind to go before the start of the season so it’s perhaps premature to celebrate having a healthy Doctson on the field for games that count. But if he proves to be more versatile than many are thinking right now he could be a great asset to the offense and lots of fun to watch.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.