Heart problem forces French rugby star into retirement at age 31

An unsung hero for La Rochelle who has been a major cog within the forwards,” added a third.  Wish him all the best. A wonderful player for La Rochelle and France pic.twitter.com/OxZkjPf9CB— Mike Pearce (@MPsportsdragon) December 21, 2021This is very sad news. Cracking player. A wonderful player for La Rochelle and France,” noted one fan. “This is very sad news. An unsung hero for @staderochelais who has been a major cog within the forwards and one of only a few who played under Pat Collazo in PROD2 along with Atonio and Sazy— Robbie Nock (@NockRobbie) December 21, 2021″Kevin Gourdon has had to give up the game with immediate effect due to a heart problem. 31-year-old France and La Rochelle back-row Kevin Gourdon has had to retire due to a heart problem. Cracking player. Wish him all the best,” said another.”Sad to hear that Kevin Gourdon has been forced into retirement due to a heart issue. Gourdon, who won 19 caps for France during a nine-year professional career and who had recently inked a new two-year deal with the southwestern French side, revealed via his club’s website that he took the decision to end his career after being informed in the past week of the cardiac issue. Specific details as to his heart complaint have not been revealed. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Stade Rochelais (@staderochelais)”It’s brutal and sad news, but my health is a priority,” Gourdon said in a written statement. “Unfortunately it’s something we can’t control, I’m not in a position to do anything to make the situation different, so I have no regrets.”Today I have to turn to a new part of my life, perhaps a little sooner than expected, but which will be, I’m convinced, just as fulfilling,” the flanker added.Le troisième ligne international français âgé de 31 ans, Kévin Gourdon, a appris cette semaine qu’un problème cardiaque le contraint à mettre un terme immédiat à sa carrière sportive.https://t.co/aEXFrCXjOK— Stade Rochelais (@staderochelais) December 21, 2021Gourdon played the entirety of his professional career with the French coastal side currently led by Irish rugby legend Ronan O’Gara.Since his debut in 2012, Gourdon played 221 games for the club across all competitions and was pivotal in their rise from a lowly second division team to last season’s European Rugby Champions Cup – where they narrowly lost to Top 14 rivals Toulouse. “I’ve been lucky enough to have a busy career, I’ve experienced a lot with Stade Rochelais, the Pro D2, the fight to stay in the Top 14 and then a few years later the final phases. It’s a lot of memories, a lot of emotions,” added Gourdon. La Rochelle president Vincent Merling praised Gourdon’s contributions towards La Rochelle’s ascent through the French rugby ranks, praising the now-retired star for “the man that Kevin was, his loyalty to the Club, his immense talent…We will miss him a lot.”Social media was quick to note Gourdon’s impact on French rugby.Kevin Gourdon has had to give up the game with immediate effect due to a heart problem. https://t.co/XRbodjDc6k— Cian Tracey (@CianTracey1) December 21, 2021Sad to hear that Kevin Gourdon has been forced into retirement due to a heart issue. Follow RT on

France international rugby star Kevin Gourdon, 31, has announced his retirement from the sport after the recent discovery of a potentially serious heart problem, his club La Rochelle announced on Tuesday. 31-year-old France and La Rochelle back-row Kevin Gourdon has had to retire due to a heart problem.

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Russian Olympic ice dancing champ assaulted in front of curling star girlfriend (VIDEO)

“I haven’t personally talked to the attending physician yet, I only called the control room and the staff room, but they didn’t say any details. Soloviev, who won gold at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, had been socializing alongside his longterm partner Sidorova at a Moscow karaoke club just prior to the attack.Sidorova explained that three assailants became aggressive when they were asked for a cigarette lighter by a member of her group. Per Sidorova’s account, the confrontation turned violent when Soloviev exited the venue and demanded that the three men act in a more respectful manner towards the group of women – at which point he was pushed to the ground, hitting his head off a nearby door. She claims that the men then proceeded to violently kick him while he lay prone on the ground. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Дмитрий Соловьев | D.Solovyev (@dmitry_solovyev)”One of my friends asked for a lighter from a group of three young men. He looked 18 years old. Follow RT on

Russian ice dancing gold medalist Dmitri Soloviev has been hospitalized with head injuries after he was reportedly attacked by three men outside of a karaoke club after coming to the aid of curling star girlfriend Anna Sidorova. The girls and I began to separate them… “Dmitri just lay there when they kicked him. It wasn’t a fight, we can say that it was an attack on their part.”«Ты мужик? After that, a verbal skirmish began. I always try to avoid such moments, so I didn’t want to talk,” said Sidorova to Match TV. “One of them pushed Dmitri when he didn’t expect it, he even had his hands in his pockets at that moment. “He fell backwards and hit the door of the establishment. A man is always responsible for his words.”Sidorova confirmed that Soloviev, 32, is being treated in the neurological department at the Botkin Hospital in Moscow following the alleged assault.The three men suspected to have been involved in the incident have been detained by authorities.The 30-year-old curler, who is a two-time Olympian and World Championship silver medalist, went on to detail that two of the men involved initially left the scene before returning and at this point she began filming the incident as it continued to develop on her cell phone.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Anna Sidorova (@curlme_anna)View this post on InstagramA post shared by Anna Sidorova (@curlme_anna)View this post on InstagramA post shared by Anna Sidorova (@curlme_anna)”Now I am going to the Botkin Hospital,” she later added. Спортсмен пытался разрешить спор мирно, но его противники сразу пустили в ход кулаки. pic.twitter.com/pUwDDYXqG7— Известия (@izvestia_ru) December 21, 2021Footage appeared on social media purportedly showing the attack, in which the alleged attackers are heard saying: “Are you a man? From what they said: a moderate condition and a severe head injury. He is generally considered to be among the finest ice dancers of his generation. Soloviev has been competing in the current season of the Ice Age television show alongside Russian TV host Ksenia Borodina.  Мужик всегда отвечает за свои слова!»На этих кадрах видно, как начинался конфликт, в ходе которого избили фигуриста Дмитрия Соловьева. Hospitalization was necessary.”In addition to his gold medal at the 2014 Olympics, Soloviev won silver at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang and bronze at the 2013 World Championships in London.

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Rugby star dies after suffering ‘horror fall’

He underwent emergency surgery soon after and his treatment had continued in intensive care. The accident is reported to have occurred in the city of Leiden, around 30 miles outside of Amsterdam after he had travelled to the area to meet several other Dutch-based players with whom he was acquainted earlier in his career.One report referenced by The Sun suggests that the fall may have occurred after the floor he has standing on gave way. Follow RT on

New Zealand-born Spanish rugby star Kawa Leauma has died days after he was rushed to hospital in critical condition with severe head injuries following a ‘multi-story’ fall from a building outside of Amsterdam. Rest in peace, Kawa. Leauma, 32, passed away in hospital following what was described as a ‘freak accident’ last Saturday night near the Dutch capital, it was announced on Tuesday. The back row forward was in the Netherlands in the hope of representing Spain’s national team in the Rugby Europe Championship clash with their European neighbors, but was subsequently withdrawn from selection amid concerns about his eligibility to represent the Spanish team following a change in the necessary regulations. View this post on InstagramA post shared by VigoRugbyClub (@vigorugbyclub)It is understood that he had expected to qualify as a Spanish international after completing a three-year residency in the country and that he had played an unofficial game for the country earlier this year.Reports state that Leauma suffered what were described as ‘serious’ injuries to his head after falling from a venue operated by the Dutch team’s sponsors on Saturday night. My thoughts are with his teammates & family at this difficult time @ferugby— Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) December 21, 2021We are saddened about the news coming from Spain. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/7402Op2r38— Octavian Morariu (@MorariuOctavian) December 21, 2021A statement from Spanish Rugby on Tuesday confirmed that Leauma had passed: “The Spanish Rugby Federation regrets to announce the death of Kawa Leauma overnight, AMPO Ordizia and XV del Leon player, who suffered an accident on Saturday, December 18 after Spain’s match against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.”At the express wish of his wife, who is currently travelling to the Dutch capital, we cannot give any further information at the moment and we ask for the utmost respect for her and her family.”Rest in peace, Kawa.”Leauma’s passing was met with tributes from within Spanish rugby and the wider community. “Today, rugby is in mourning,” wrote one tribute, via translation. My thoughts are with his teammates & family at this difficult time”.The president of Rugby Europe, Octavian Morariu, also noted that he was “saddened about the news coming from Spain”. My sincere condolences and prayers for Kawa Leauma’s family and friends. “Rest in peace, Kawa Leauma, thank you for contributing so much.”Rugby legend Bill Beaumont added: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Spain international Kawa Leauma. Investigations into the circumstances of his death are underway.#FERugby | Comunicado oficial: Kawa Leauma ha fallecido esta noche en Ámsterdamhttps://t.co/EANN3lHlnL— España Rugby (@ferugby) December 21, 2021Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Spain international Kawa Leauma.

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NHL ‘pauses’ season despite boasting of near-100% vaccination rate

The move comes after a joint declaration from NHL officials and the league’s Players’ Association on Sunday in which they suggested that measures must be taken in order to avoid a total shutdown of the league.As things stands, players will be permitted to return to team facilities on Sunday ahead of a proposed resumption of play on December 27. The step means that there are just three games remaining on the league schedule before the break, and brings to 49 the number of games which have so far been postponed this season – with 44 of those coming in the past two weeks. The @NHL and @NHLPA have agreed to begin the Holiday Break after Tuesday’s games. https://t.co/0Bmu8dlZ1Mpic.twitter.com/JHbxtzMX6D— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 21, 2021It was reported by ESPN on Monday that as many as 15% of NHL players are currently in Covid-19 protocols for suspected infections and/or close contact situations. This comes after league officials had previously heralded their efforts in compelling almost all of the NHL’s 700-pluss players to receive vaccinations against Covid-19. “Our vaccination rate is incredible,” said commissioner Gary Bettman in October. 26 and the League’s regular-season schedule will resume on Dec. Just one player in the entire league, Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings, remains unvaccinated. However, a noticeable uptick in infections has been felt in various sports in the United States, and particularly in the NFL. Eleven hockey teams have suspended operations and all games involving cross-border travelling between the United States and Canada have been shelved.The Covid disruption to the league is thought to have been enough to compel NHL officials to use its opt-out clause which would prohibit players from competing at next year’s Beijing Olympics – with an official statement on the matter expected to arrive in the coming days.The surge in cases – which many suspect is linked the arrival of the highly transmissible omicron variant of Covid-19 – has already led to NHL bosses implementing a wave of new safety measures.Daily testing will replace the previous method of testing every three days, while strict social distancing policies have been introduced. Follow RT on

The NHL has brought forward its annual holiday break by two days amid a surge of Covid-19 infections, in spite of previously boasting of an almost 100% vaccination rate among its 32 teams. Practices will resume on Dec. The facilities of each of the league’s 32 teams will be closed from Wednesday to Sunday. All of the personnel that come into contact with the players are vaccinated.”It creates a safer environment for everybody. It gives us the best chance to get back to normal and to grow the sport and to protect everybody’s health and safety in doing that,” he also declared in a separate statement.”I give the players and the Players’ Association tremendous credit in encouraging players, educating players, making sure they’re aware of the benefits of being fully vaccinated and the importance of being fully vaccinated to move the sport forward.”However, despite the vaccination drive Bettman is now faced with the uneasy task of explaining why the league has taken the decision to temporarily shut its doors while others sports leagues like the NFL and NBA remain open for business. 
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Hockey fans claim Russia is about to be gifted Olympic gold in China

Both the NHL and NHLPA have heavily suggested that players should get their booster, or third shot of Covid-19 vaccine, but have so far stopped short of mandating that it is required to play. 27. “All of our officials are vaccinated. Players have also been told that they must restrict their movements when they are at home and away from their teams. For now, booster mandates remain off the table – but if Bettman is continue to herald his league’s initiative in having its players as immunized as possible, it remains to be seen if, or when, there might be a change of policy. 

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Russian stunner confirms split from bad-boy footballer she stuck by during jail time

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‘They’re ruining him’: Wife of Russian football star Kokorin fumes after he’s jailed for 18 months

“What the hell is this? We were never officially married. Petersburg.He was picked up by Moscow giants Spartak but failed to revive his career, later joining Italian team Fiorentina in January for what has turned out to be another woefully unsuccessful spell.  
Kokorin currently plays for Fiorentina in Italy. And how will he see his children? For people, the show was staged for two weeks. © Sputnik Kokorin was already being portrayed as one of his country’s footballing ‘bad boys’ even before his run-in with the law.After Russia’s embarrassing early exit at the 2016 Euros, Kokorin and Mamaev were pictured at a lavish party in a Monte Carlo nightclub.READ MORE: €250k on champagne in Monte Carlo: Russian players party after Euro 2016 failure (VIDEO)He had also appeared in images widely circulated on social media in 2014 where he was seen beaming alongside topless alleged escorts while clutching at their waists.pic.twitter.com/6POa43ErvH— Будочка (@AngryBudochka) October 22, 2021In December 2017, Kokorin was embroiled in another scandal when he posted a video of himself firing a pistol while congratulating the bride and groom at a wedding in North Ossetia.The latest reports on his footballing future indicate that Fiorentina will look to offload Kokorin in the January transfer window, potentially on loan, with a move back to Russia on the cards.The forward has made just four Serie A appearances for the club this season, all of which came from the bench. Follow RT on

The partner of Russian footballer Aleksandr Kokorin has confirmed the pair have split up, after the former singer had stuck by the star when he was jailed in 2019 for assault on a government official. So it’s difficult to call it a divorce,” wrote blonde model Daria Valitova in response to a question on Instagram Stories.“But in terms of personal relationships, our paths diverged, and this happened quite a long time ago.”The pair had been in a relationship since 2014 and Valitova gave birth to their son, Michael, in 2017.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Daria Valitova (@dariavalitova)The singer had stuck by her man when he was jailed alongside fellow Russian footballer Pavel Mamaev for two assaults carried out in October of 2018 when they had spent a night partying in Moscow.One assault involved an attack on a Russian government official in a café, during which Kokorin struck him over the head with a chair.The other incident saw the pair assault the driver of a well-known Russian TV presenter. “Have Aleksandr and I divorced? © Sputnik READ MORE: Russian football stars Kokorin & Mamaev sentenced to combined 3 years in prison colony over brawlsKokorin was handed 18 months in a penal colony while Mamaev was given 17 months, although both were released on parole after serving just under one year.Valitova had issued a furious defense of her partner at the time of the sentencing, claiming that the authorities were “ruining” his career.   His career is over. The series continues!” Valitova had raged. “How is it possible to bully such talented people, to ruin them?”Valitova, 30, appears to have erased all images of herself alongside Kokorin on her Instagram account, where she has 215,000 followers.  Kokorin, 30, was rated among the best Russian footballers of his generation and was at one point linked with a possible move to English Premier League team Arsenal.He made 48 appearances for his country, including at two editions of the European Champions and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.However, his career stalled and after the prison scandal he left Zenit St.    
Kokorin has spent most of his time in Italy either injured or on the substitutes’ bench.

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MMA icon ‘battered five separate victims’ in Vegas hotel brawl

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Chael Sonnen retires: Why we’ll never forget ‘The American Gangster’s’ memorable career

Sonnen is best known throughout his 49 -ight professional career for his feud with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and has been credited with introducing the type of promotional ‘trash talk’ into the sport which fighters like Conor McGregor and Colby Covington would later capitalize on.Nowadays, he is a regular fixture on ESPN programming, hosting ‘The Chael Sonnen Show’ on the popular sports network as well as maintaining his own YouTube channel.He is also known for a brawl with fellow retired fighter Wanderlei Silva which took place during the filming of the UFC’s ‘Ultimate Fighter’ reality TV series in Brazil. Sonnen briefly embarked on a political career as a Republican in 2010 and campaigned for a seat at the Oregon House of Representatives, before dropping out of the race reportedly due to a 2006 legal issue involving real estate.He elaborated on the situation in a 2011 interview: “I love public office, and I left the only way a politician should, in handcuffs.” A physical altercation quickly broke out between Sonnen and the man, which prompted his female partner to scream. Police arrived on the scene and detained Sonnen, leading him away in handcuffs. He was not arrested as police didn’t witness the alleged incident. Chael Sonnen arrested in Vegas last night pic.twitter.com/9cAPZ2C6wr— Jim (@FukingCasuals) December 19, 2021Paramedics were called to the scene but, per reports, weren’t required to administer first aid to any of the alleged victims. Police later determined that Sonnen had committed misdemeanor battery against five people.”Sonnen was issued a battery citation for each individual victim, then escorted off property,” Las Vegas Police told MMA Fighting. Follow RT on

Former multiple-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen has been served with five battery citations stemming from a recent incident in which he allegedly beat up five separate people during a furious row in a Las Vegas hotel. He retired in 2019 following successive losses to Fedor Emelianenko and Lyoto Machida. View this post on InstagramA post shared by DAPPERMEDIA ™ (@dappermediaaa)The ex-fighter has so far failed to respond to media inquiries into the situation but a public records request into the situation is pending, with further light expected to be shed on the alleged incident in the coming days. “Due to the fact the misdemeanors were committed outside of a police officer’s presence, an arrest was not conducted.”Footage published by TMZ showed a man who appears to be Sonnen being escorted through the hotel in handcuffs.Throughout his active career, Sonnen scored wins against the likes of Michael Bisping, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Wanderlei Silva and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Retired fighter Sonnen, 44, who has become one of mixed martial arts’ more prominent analysts in his post-fight career, was detained by local police following the incident which is said to have occurred at around 7.30pm local time last Saturday at the Luxor Hotel and Casino.According to a report by TMZ, Sonnen was seen by a witness banging on a hotel room door when a couple walked past him.

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English Premier League finally reveals stats on vaccine holdouts

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‘I have to touch a chair’: Klopp throws press conference strop (VIDEO)

Previously, the most recent data had been back in October, when the league revealed that 68% of stars had been double-jabbed.“The League continues to work with clubs to encourage vaccination among players and club staff, as well as promoting the Government’s public-health vaccination messaging to clubs and the wider public,” it added on Monday.“No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League, and player vaccination rates will now be publicly communicated at the end of each month, beginning in January.”Separately, the Premier League announced there had been an increase to 90 new Covid-19 cases in the last week – a new record and more than double the previous figure of 42.It was reported that clubs had discussed the possibility of ‘segregating’ players depending on their vaccine status.That could involve unvaccinated players traveling separately to matches, eating meals away from their teammates, and facing additional checks before entering stadiums.READ MORE: Don’t treat unvaxxed footballers for injuries, says Piers MorganThe Premier League has been compared unfavorably to its counterparts across Europe because of its vaccination rates.Italy’s Serie A, for example, said on Friday that 98% of its players had received two jabs.The German Bundesliga reported a full vaccination rate of 94% back in October, with that figure expected to have risen since then. A statement after an emergency meeting on Monday confirmed that the league would not be taking a ‘firebreak’ over the busy festive period despite a spate of matches being postponed in recent weeks due to Covid outbreaks.Updating its information on vaccination rates among players, the Premier League added that “84 percent of players [are] on the vaccination journey” – meaning they have had at least one jab. Only 77% percent of players were recorded as being fully vaccinated. Follow RT on

The English Premier League has released updated information on vaccine rates among its players, revealing that 16% of stars are yet to take a single dose of a Covid vaccine amid a record rate of cases.

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NASCAR star breaks silence on ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ chant

Republican lawmakers even repeated the phrase in Congress.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Brandon Brown (@brandonbrown_68)But Brown, the man without whom the chant wouldn’t exist, stayed notably quiet throughout its growth from an obscure joke to a potent political gesture. No, we’re not happy about that. I am not going to endorse anyone, and I am certainly not going to tell anyone how to vote.”WOW – @DonaldJTrumpJr started a “Let’s Go Brandon” chant at #AMFEST2021pic.twitter.com/yOI148sH6Q— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 19, 2021Let’s go Brandon howl shuts down Nervous Nancy. Read more

NASCAR head vows to crack down on unofficial ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ merch

“Do we like the fact that it kind of started with NASCAR and then is gaining ground elsewhere? Follow RT on

NASCAR driver Brandon Brown has finally spoken on the viral anti-Joe Biden ‘Let’s go Brandon’ chant which was popularized during a post-race interview of his, claiming he has “zero desire to be involved in politics”. Instead, I will use what free time I have to highlight the struggle we all feel and share, as Americans.”To my fans, to NASCAR fans and to everyone who has chanted my name: I dedicate myself this upcoming season to compete hard on the racetrack and to spotlight issues that are important to me and to millions of Americans across the country. I hear them, even if Washington does not,” he added before mentioning rising gas prices and inflation, conservative talking points currently being aimed at the Biden administration.”How you vote is none of my business. It empowers Americans against the ‘fact-checkers’ and censors “But we will continue to make sure that we have respect for the office of the president.”Despite Brown’s self-admitted reluctance to wade into a political debate, he did say that he is aware of the concerns of various Americans who find themselves on either side of the political debate.”But I’m also no longer going to be silent about the situation I find myself in, and why millions of Americans are chanting my name. The phrase, which has been seized upon by some American as a vigorous polemic against their current president, has its roots in a media interview Brown was giving to NBC Sports in September following his win at the Talladega Superspeedway.At the time, sections of fans could be heard chanting ‘F*ck Joe Biden’ in the background – but the reporter instead suggested to the audience that they were saying ‘Let’s go Brandon’.The phrase was quickly converted into a meme, with ‘Let’s go Brandon’ being heard at various sporting events and elsewhere throughout the United States in the months following. Until now. “All the advice I got from those around my racing career was to stay quiet after that now-famous interview,” Brown told Newsweek.”No one knew how my sponsors would react and, in my world, there is no car to drive without the sponsors.”I have no interest in leading some political fight,” he added.”I race cars. We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the left or the right. 🐸 pic.twitter.com/Ql2EQDZ9jR— Agent Brandoe The Pipe Hitter (@BYounger13) December 21, 2021Brown’s uneasiness at being cast in the role of a civic influencer is mirrored by NASCAR President Steve Phelps.”I feel for Brandon,” he said last month.”I think unfortunately it speaks to the state of where we are as a country. ‘Let’s Go America!'”READ MORE: ‘Let’s go Brandon’ is more than just a funny anti-Biden meme. “We obviously have and we’ve always had, as a sport, tremendous respect for the office of the president – no matter who is sitting.

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After drug claims and b***h slurs, Ukrainian and Kazakh rivals prepare to settle UFC’s ‘biggest grudge match’

I wanna smash her.”
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‘Punish this b*tch’: UFC star Agapova calls out ‘sneaky’ Ukraine rival Moroz who spread ‘drug lies’ (VIDEO)

Agapova has now been granted that wish by the UFC matchmakers as both fighters confirmed the bout on their social media accounts.“We will work and prepare. Follow RT on

Many a feud has been settled inside the Octagon down the years and another is set to join the list after a flyweight showdown between Mariya Agapova and Maryna Moroz was added to the card for UFC 272. Glad the UFC got this one right,” wrote MMA journalist James Lynch.“Can’t wait! Looking forward to it,” tweeted another.Others were simply keeping their fingers crossed that, after a spate of canceled bouts, Moroz would finally make it to the Octagon for this one.“Most anticipated fight of 2022 and it’s not even close,” concluded another. The bad blood is real in this one!” said one fan.“This is a serious grudge match. The former teammates are set to face off on March 5 event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where they will have the chance to conclude a vicious public spat which has simmered for months.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Mariya Demonslayer Agapova (@mma.mashka)Back in July, Ukrainian fighter Moroz claimed that Kazakh rival Agapova had been turfed out of the respected American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Florida, where they both trained because of erratic behavior which included drug abuse and making threats to teammates.READ MORE: ‘There’s no drugs’: Manager defends UFC fighter Agapova after rival Moroz makes claims of abuse and wild behaviorThe accusations were furiously denied by Agapova and her management, and after her last UFC outing in October, the Kazakh star furiously called out Moroz.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Mariya Demonslayer Agapova (@mma.mashka)View this post on InstagramA post shared by Maryna Moroz (@maryna_moroz_ufc)“She’s jealous and sneaky, she’s trying to destroy my career,” fumed Agapova, who now trains at another ATT gym in Florida. “I lost sponsorship because of her interview and got into really big trouble situation, I would like to punish this b*tch because she’s trying to destroy my career. On March 5, I will do everything to make it fun for absolutely everyone except Marina,” vowed Agapova.READ MORE: UFC fighter Moroz issues withering response to fan who called her ‘stripper’ after racy Instagram VIDEOMoroz – dubbed ‘The Iron Lady’ – has endured a frustrating couple of years with the UFC, seeing a series of fights fall through.Her last Octagon appearance was in March 2020, when she claimed a unanimous decision victory over Brazil’s Mayra Bueno Silva.The Ukrainian will head into the bout with Agapova – assuming it goes ahead – on a two-fight win streak and stands at 10-3 overall in her career.During her period on the sidelines Moroz, 30, has still turned heads with some of her social media output, where she shares scantily-clad images from her OnlyFans-style subscription service. They hate each other.  View this post on InstagramA post shared by Maryna Moroz (@maryna_moroz_ufc)The rangy Agapova, 24, was tipped for exciting things when she arrived on the UFC scene and won her opening bout with the promotion in impressive fashion against Hannah Cifers before suffering a major upset against Shana Dobson.‘Demonslayer’ bounced back to the win column with a third-round submission of Sabina Mazo in October and boasts a 10-2 career ledger.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Mariya Demonslayer Agapova (@mma.mashka)Online, fans and pundits were already salivating at the potential for fireworks considering the pair’s fiery feud.“Made too much sense.

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‘This is so wrong’: Ace ruled out of Australian Open because of Russian vaccine

I’m really happy with a level of tennis I showed on a last few events and I wish to play in 🇦🇺 but Sputnik is not verified yet. “Good luck for all participants and AO team who always made amazing events,” she added. Vikhlyantseva is a former world number 54 but has dropped down the WTA singles rankings to 194.The Volgograd-born star would have had to come through qualifying or be handed a wildcard to reach the main women’s draw in Melbourne.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Natalia Vikhlyantseva (@nataliavikhlyantseva)Fellow Russian stars will be in Melbourne, including the likes of men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev, although they have presumably had access to vaccines which are on the Australian government’s approved list.The biggest question mark for the tournament surrounds nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic. Lots of studies prove this vaccine’s efficacy. For [Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews] to ban players from playing [at the Australian Open] for taking Sputnik is 100% political and 100% discriminatory,” tweeted tennis blogger ‘Pavvy G’.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Natalia Vikhlyantseva (@nataliavikhlyantseva)Others argued that Vikhlyantseva knew the names of the approved vaccines in advance, although the counter-argument was that not all Russian players necessarily have access to those on the list. “It definitely is political, anybody sane is aware of it. Is this about health or politics. Follow RT on

Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva says she won’t be competing at the Australian Open in January because the Sputnik vaccine is not approved, leading some fans to claim discrimination. All players competing at the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne need to be fully vaccinated against Covid, but the list of jabs verified by the Australian government does not include Russia’s Sputnik V.That is despite the jab being administered to millions of people around the world and officially approved for use in more than 70 countries.“Unfortunately, I will not participate in this year’s AO event,” Vikhlyantseva, 24, tweeted.Unfortunately, I will not participate in this year AO event. follows recommendations from WHO which didn’t approve Sputnik,” added another person.The WHO said earlier this month that Sputnik V could finally be added to its approved list within the first few months of next year.Vikhlyantseva has enjoyed the best Grand Slam performances of her career in Melbourne, reaching the second round in 2017 and 2019, but will not have the opportunity to improve on that in 2022.  But Tennis Aus. Good luck for all participants and AO team, who always made amazing events!🎾🦘 pic.twitter.com/l2UDmUmSF8— Nata Vikhlyantseva (@NVikhlyantseva) December 20, 2021“I’m really happy with a level of tennis I showed on a last few events and I wish to play in [Australia] but Sputnik is not verified yet. READ MORE: Djokovic tells fans when to expect Australian Open decision

The Serb is yet to reveal his vaccine status or whether he will be there to defend his title in Melbourne, although he has previously defended the right for freedom of choice over vaccination.An independent panel will decide whether unvaccinated players will be allowed medical exemptions to compete at the Melbourne showpiece, which runs from January 17 to 30.Online, Vikhlyantseva’s fans argued that she was being victimized because of the vaccine rules.“This is so wrong; there shouldn’t a vaccine hierarchy. It has been successfully administered to over 100 million people. Boo Australia,” read one reply to the Russian’s announcement.“Sputnik has been approved in over 70 countries, it is commonly used in 18 countries.

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Female boxer ‘unrecognizable’ after being punched 236 times (PHOTOS)

Thanks God I worked with my girl @nisa_rodriguez5 who was about 165. Flexin' 🇺🇸 (@NecessaryFight) December 19, 2021pic.twitter.com/9p8KwC0AOl— TstreeT Controversy (@TstreeTContra) December 19, 2021Miriam has a huge heart & respect of a champion. She didn’t come to lay down,” began the 42-1-1 brawler in her caption.”I don’t care who is in front of me I’m not coming to play!” Serrano claimed, prior to saying that Gutierrez had informed her she came in at around 160lbs for their clash.”God is Great. On the undercard of Jake Paul’s stunning knockout win over Tyron Woodley, Serrano cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Gutierrez in a non-title showdown which was her debut at lightweight.Following the 10-round battle, Puerto Rican star Serrano, who is the WBC, WBO, and IBO female featherweight ruler, shared a photo of herself and her Spanish foe.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Miriam Gutiérrez La Reina (@miriamlareina83)I want to thank my dance partnerMiriam Gutiérrez She didn’t come to lay down. Follow RT on

Fight fans have reacted after female world boxing champion Amanda Serrano shared a selfie with disfigured opponent Miriam Gutierrez following their bout on Saturday. God Is GREAT!! She deserves respect.— A. She just told me she weighed 160lbs today. Gonzalez (@AGonzalezJr2) December 19, 2021Along similar lines, Serrano called Gutierrez a “tough fighter”. “She did say she was in better shape this time than when she fought Katie Taylor because she had a year layoff.”Now she just had a fight last month that she won. 😐 pic.twitter.com/OpZHdsZdkn— okta (@oktaviano_) December 19, 2021Amanda Serrano vs Miriam Gutierrez highlights. I’m Blessed!” she finished.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Miriam Gutiérrez La Reina (@miriamlareina83)Drowning out any praise for Serrano in the comments section though was the reaction to “unrecognizable” Gutierrez’s appearance which consisted of a completely flattened and enlarged, swollen nose after receiving no fewer than 236 punches during the bout, according to ESPN.Comparisons were made to mythical beasts and horror film characters, although not everyone joined in the ribbing.”Miriam has a huge heart and the respect of a champion. I fought the best Miriam Gutierrez and I beat her.”OMG I JUST REALIZED I’M OFFICIALLY A MILLIONAIRE!! Got her looking like she stepped off the set of Wrong Turn. pic.twitter.com/yVo3UP0F0K— At The Buzzer (@AtTheBuzzer1) December 19, 2021And as Serrano is a seven-weight champion whose sole loss came a decade ago, while Taylor is the undisputed, 20-0 undefeated lightweight queen, the meeting will likely be dubbed the biggest female clash of all time. Being a good sport, Gutierrez congratulated the victor and said she had done her Caribbean island proud.  I’m Blessed! She deserves respect,” it was said.Yikes. I don’t care who is in front of me I’m not coming to Play! pic.twitter.com/RVED1knVzN— Amanda Serrano (@Serranosisters) December 19, 2021″I want to thank my dance partner Miriam Gutierrez. pic.twitter.com/Q7T7OexSEr— Amanda Serrano (@Serranosisters) December 19, 2021Serrano claimed to have become a millionaire with the win and has now potentially set up a money-spinning bout with Katie Taylor after stepping up to the Irishwoman’s 132lbs division. This could take place at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, which is known for drawing huge crowds for compatriot stars of yesteryear such as Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto. Look what Amanda Serrano has done to Gutierrez nose?!! pic.twitter.com/OEmYZZAutH— Dan E. God is Great.

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Russia’s Soviet-style hockey jerseys prove too much for Finnish ex-PM

An offensive gesture that does not belong to sport or anywhere else. Follow RT on

Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has blasted Russia’s decision to don kits in tribute to the USSR during recent ice hockey matches against his homeland. pic.twitter.com/xTTNqCpFuL— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) December 20, 2021During the Channel One Cup, the Russians wore a predominantly red design to honor their first Olympic Games win in 1956 and Sunday’s white offering recalled a period where back-to-back golds were scooped in 1964 and 1968 while the country went undefeated at the World Championships.Заключительный матч на Кубке Первого канала сыграем в белой форме 🤍⠀Прообразом стал комплект, в котором сборная СССР выступала в 1964-1968 годах. They were just commemorating 75th year of icehockey in the country. Now why would the Russian team purposely be offensive to Finland if not to provoke?” they asked.But one Finn went against the grain by reminding people that Russia were wearing the jerseys to mark their 75th anniversary in hockey.”Who cares?” he asked. The uniforms were auctioned off for charity. © Sputnik Serving as Finnish prime minister from 2014 to 2015,  Stubb took to Twitter to voice his disapproval.”I am surprised and disappointed that Russia was allowed to wear CCCP-shirts in an EHT [Euro Hockey Tour] match against Finland,” he began.”That letter combination and the regime that stood behind it symbolizes authoritarian imperialism and killed millions of innocent people in the process.”I will refrain from other examples one could draw from history,” Stubb continued.”[It is] an offensive gesture that does not belong to sport or anywhere else. It also happened in 2008, in Italy. It was meant to offend, it was not just an "oops". pic.twitter.com/AtNZudxv3q— Хоккей России (@russiahockey) December 19, 2021In 2008, Russia also wore Soviet-era jerseys against Italy at the World Championships.Later in 2015, they were used against Finland in a Euro Hockey tour defeat, apparently at the Finns’ request to mark 50 years since a famous meeting at the Tampereen Ice Stadium.At the time, ex-trainer Andrei Safronov revealed the jerseys were going to be auctioned off to raise money for charity. It matters little that Finland won the match. Thus jerseys from those days of their prime in sports.Pretty please, lets not mix politics in here.— Timo Lahtinen (@TimoLahtinen1) December 19, 2021Back in Russia, two-time Olympic champion and current politician Viacheslav Fetisov said he liked the gesture “because our Soviet hockey players have made history in world sports as one of the best.”But to play Soviet hockey, you have to be a Soviet person,” he stressed.This silly info wars account strikes again. The same thing happened in 2015 & its was *Finland's* idea. 1/2— Alexander Stubb (@alexstubb) December 19, 2021I will refrain from other examples one could draw from history. Now why would the Russian team purposively be offensive to Finland if not to provoke?— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) December 19, 2021″It was purposive,” someone else claimed.”It was meant to offend, it was not just an ‘oops’. В этот период команда не знала поражений на чемпионатах мира и завоевала два Олимпийских золота – в Инсбруке-1964 и Гренобле-1968! Билеты на игру с финнами: https://t.co/PZfvxLtMQo⠀#россиявмоемсердцеpic.twitter.com/L703kkjqo8— Хоккей России (@russiahockey) December 18, 2021″Take it easy,” demanded a fellow Finn, again bringing up the commemoration and Russia’s homage to the “days of their prime in sports”.”Pretty please, let’s not mix politics in here.””This regime defeated fascist Germany and the world was saved,” read another response. Take it easy. Starting 1946 – in Soviet era. “I don’t”.Stubb was also informed that the shirts were worn throughout the Channel One Cup – which this year also featured Canada, Czech Republic, and Sweden – and not just for the Finland loss. Ещё раз зовём вас пересмотреть лучшие моменты матча с чехами — и все наши красивые шайбы 🎥⠀Ждём вас завтра на трибунах! It matters a lot that countries in the ice-hockey family were brutally annexed by those letters. Russia and Finland faced off at the ‘Channel One Cup’ in Moscow at the weekend, when the visitors beat their hosts 3-2 in overtime to win the competition outright. The event serves as part of the warm-ups for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February as well as the IHF World Championships in May, which the Finns will host in Tampere and Helsinki.Rather than the action though, one of the most talked-about points from Sunday’s meeting was Russia’s donning of Soviet-era jerseys to mark 75 years of the popular sport in the country. It matters little that Finland won the match. Russia took on Finland in Moscow. It was a friendly game, and the shirts were worn to mark 75 years of ice hockey in Russia. 2/2— Alexander Stubb (@alexstubb) December 19, 2021The history between the two nations is clearly a sore point for Stubb, who received plenty of support from his countrymen – some of whom called it a “disgusting provocation” and labeled the Russians “shameful revisionists”.Disgusting provocation— Martti Kallavuo (@MKallavuo) December 20, 2021It was purposive. It matters a lot that countries in the ice-hockey family were brutally annexed by those letters,” he finished.I am surprised and disappointed that Russia was allowed to wear CCCP-shirts in an EHT match against Finland. That letter combination and the regime that stood behind it symbolises authoritarian imperialism and killed millions of innocent people people in the process.

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Hockey fans claim Russia is about to be gifted Olympic gold in China

The 2022 Winter Games officially kick off in Beijing on February 4, with its ice hockey event starting a day earlier.The Russian team are the defending champions after claiming gold four years ago in PyeongChang with a 4-3 overtime win over Germany in the final, on that occasion competing under the name of the Olympic Athletes from Russia due to a doping ban. #Russia's national ice hockey team wins historical #GOLD at the #PyeongChang2018 Olympics tournament 🏒, for the first time since 1992! Details: https://t.co/lEKv4lZovhpic.twitter.com/DAtgXkHoNu— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 19, 2021″Given the disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule caused by recent Covid-related events… #HotTake Also I am putting everything I own on Team Russia winning the Gold Medal. 🇷🇺 The #RedMachine is back! Worth the hedge if they do. Don't see how NHL players go to Beijing, at which point Russia will have far and ahead the best team – wouldn't even be particularly close.— Alex Moretto (@alexjmoretto) December 14, 2021″I’m locking in Russia to win Olympic Gold at anything +300 or better,” said a sports betting reporter.”Don’t see how NHL players go to Beijing, at which point Russia will have far and ahead the best team – [it] wouldn’t even be particularly close,” he claimed.NHL players will not go to the Olympics. Follow RT on

Hockey fans have reacted to the possibility of NHL players not traveling to the Winter Olympics, with some claiming the move will boost the Russian team’s chances of winning gold. #AgainstAllOddspic.twitter.com/2HlqJRZ1UQ— Russia in RSA 🇷🇺 (@EmbassyofRussia) February 25, 2018This time around they will be known as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and are now being tipped to retain their crown in the Chinese capital after reports claimed NHL stars won’t be allowed to attend the Games. Unlike the political motives of the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games, the NHL appears set to ban its stars from traveling to Asia due to the disruption it could cause to its season. The hockey league had previously struck up an agreement for its players to represent their countries at the Games, depending on the Covid situation in North America.With postponements now piling up, though, the NHL has said it is putting pre-Christmas fixtures between Canadian and US outfits on hold to prevent border crossings, as franchises such as the Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalance have shut down over the festive period due to rising cases.  The @NHL / @NHLPA discussion on Olympic participation is ongoing, with a final determination expected in the coming days. the NHL and NHLPA are actively discussing the matter of NHL player participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, and expect to be in a position to announce a final determination in the coming days,” read statement.Reacting to the news, hockey enthusiasts immediately suggested that Russia have increased chances of coming back-to-back champions in Beijing considering that, even if their NHL stars such as the Washington Capitals icon Alexander Ovechkin can’t join the squad, they still have a considerable amount of talent to call upon from the majority-Russian KHL.One punter pointed out that Russia were 9/2 to win gold and gain a “massive edge if NHL [players] can’t go” to Beijing.”Worth the hedge if they do,” it was added. Olympics – Russia to win Gold 9/2Massive edge if NHL can’t go. pic.twitter.com/AORl0JsnJV— puckcanuck (@puckcanuck1) December 14, 2021I'm locking in Russia to win Olympic Gold (men's hockey) at anything +300 or better. pic.twitter.com/4V7olH3ila— Josh The Zamboni Guy (@JoshZamboniGuy) December 17, 2021″NHL players will not go to the Olympics,” began another onlooker. “Also, I am putting everything I own on Team Russia winning the gold medal,” he declared, alongside a picture of a laughing Vladimir Putin. If NHL players can’t go to Beijing, they will join Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner, who announced that he won’t be playing for Sweden due to the impact Covid restrictions could have on his mental health.

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Russian politician wants nation’s football flops punished

Often, players of this level lack additional motivation,” RIA Sport quoted the press service as saying. Russian football has suffered a disappointing past few months at international level.The team failed to qualify directly for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after losing to Croatia in the last match of group-stage qualifying.They will now have to navigate a playoff with Poland in Moscow in March. Artem Dzyuba was part of the team whip flopped at Euro 2020. Follow RT on

A Russian State Duma deputy has proposed fines for footballers whose performance isn’t up to scratch for the national team. Should they beat the Poles, Russia will play either Sweden or the Czech Republic – again at home – in a second playoff for a place in Qatar.During the summer, Russia endured more disappointment at the European Championships as they went out at the group stage after suffering heavy defeats in two of their three matches.Russia are currently 34th in the FIFA international rankings, behind the likes of Tunisia, Iran and Senegal. According to the official, it will provide extra stimulus for stars to play “with full dedication”. The proposal was made by Sultan Khamzaev of the United Russia party.According to the deputy’s press service, he will be pitching the idea to Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin and Russian Football Union (RFU) boss Alexander Dyukov.“As part of his parliamentary activities, Deputy Sultan Khamzaev put forward a proposal to impose sanctions on those players who play poorly in the Russian national team. © Sputnik “The discussion is about fines for poor play, violations of discipline, as well as complaints from fans.“We believe that in this case, the player should be fined under the contract that was concluded at club [level].“The expediency of this proposal is to increase the motivation of Russian national team players to play better and with full dedication.”
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Why isn’t Russia a football superpower?

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‘What do you think, motherf**ker?’ Tyron Woodley’s mom explodes at fan after Jake Paul KO (VIDEO)

Got mad at a simple question.— Hec Her (@hec_her05) December 20, 2021″This was the wrong time to ask her literally right after it happened come on man,” responded one person on Twitter to the footage.”I don’t even need the volume to understand what she said,” noted another.”She hugged and celebrated with Jake and his family,” said a third. ‘Mama Woodley’, as she is affectionately known, is one of the more beloved figures to exist on the periphery of combat sports and has been an omnipresent figure throughout much of her son’s career in the cage and, more recently, in the boxing ring.She has been noted on several occasions commiserating or congratulating her son’s opponents, such as the heartfelt embrace she gave Liverpool’s Darren Till after Tyron submitted him in their world title bout in September 2018, as well as doing the same to a tearful Kamaru Usman after he abruptly ended her son’s UFC welterweight championship reign some months later.Lately, though, Mama Woodley has been doing a whole lot more congratulating of her son’s opponents than commiserating, and after witnessing what turned out to be Tyron’s sixth successive defeat last Saturday night – by a brain shuddering knockout no less – it all proved a bit too much for her when she was confronted by a fan on her walk away from the ring.WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE Someone asked Tyron woodley mom “what went wrong with woodley tonight?” & she got mad af 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 #JakePaul#WoodleyPaul2pic.twitter.com/Yp0uILtfJM— Shannon Sharpe Burner Account (@shannonsharpeee) December 19, 2021″What went wrong for [Tyron] tonight?” asked the fan, thrusting his cell phone into her face.”What the f*ck do you think motherf*cker?!” she shot back. Woodley was then separated from the inquisitive questioner by a team of burly security guards, with the fan attempting to explain himself by saying that he merely “asked a question, bro.”8th September | #OnThisDay in 2018, Darren Till and Mama Woodley shared this moment backstage after Tyron Woodley defeated Till in a Welterweight title main event at #UFC228!#UFC#MMApic.twitter.com/SUuJcirAEt— The MMA Media (@The_MMA_Media) September 8, 2021Judging by the fight, however, it was easy to understand Mama Woodley’s frustration. A largely dull affair ended with the earth-shattering KO in the sixth as Paul’s overhand right connected flush to Woodley’s chin, face-planting him to the canvas in the process and serving up yet another slice of humble pie to ‘The Problem Child’.The usually placid Mrs. Woodley also reacted furiously to an incident at the weigh-ins for her son’s first fight with Paul back in August after a member of Paul’s team exchanged words with her, prompting Tyron to step in as well as subsequent apology from the YouTuber.This was the wrong time to ask her literally right after it happened come on man— Scores Liqour (@LiqourScores) December 20, 2021I don't even need the volume to understand what she said 😅— BLEU (@DamonCain6) December 19, 2021She hugged and celebrated with Jake and his family. “Got mad at a simple question.”As for her son, it remains to be seen where Tyron Woodley goes next after what is almost certainly the most dispiriting loss of his entire career – and it will remain to be seen if Mama Woodley would be able to handle the sight, or any ensuing questions, about what could potentially be a seventh loss in a row for a fighter once considered to be the best in the world. READ MORE: Jake Paul accused of ‘lucky shot’ as fans row over brutal KO of Tyron Woodley (VIDEO) “What is wrong with you?”Mrs. Her son, a multiple time UFC champion, stepped in to the fight on just two weeks’ notice after the injury withdrawal of original opponent Tommy Fury – a move which even prompted Paul to gift his rival a valuable Rolex watch as a gesture of thanks for stepping up.That was where the charity ended. Follow RT on

Deborah Woodley, mother of Jake Paul knockout victim Tyron, was involved in a heated confrontation with a fan shortly after witnessing her son’s sixth-round defeat to the YouTube star this past weekend in Florida.

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