Bulls

Edgar Beats Penn At UFC 118

Edgar Beats Penn At UFC 118

Saturday, August 28, 2010 11:55 pm

BOSTON (AP) -- Defending his Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title against the man he defeated to win it, Frankie Edgar won a five-round unanimous decision over B.J. Penn on Saturday at the TD Garden. Edgar won the title from Penn via decision in April in a much closer fight than Saturday's bout, which all three judges scored 50-45. "B.J. really brought out the best in me," Edgar said. "It was close the first time and I wanted to make a point." The 28-year-old Edgar, of Toms River, N.J., is now 13-1. Penn, a 31-year-old native of Hilo, Hawaii, fell to 15-7-1. "Frankie fought a great fight," Penn said."He beat me twice, so what can you say. He got off early, so much respect." Edgar controlled the bout from the beginning, scoring a takedown in the first 20 seconds. After Penn escaped and got to his feet, Edgar took him down again with 1:50 left in the round. Edgar scored another takedown in the second. After both fighters spent most of the third round on their feet trading punches, Penn began the fourth round with a takedown, but Edgar got up with 3:45 left in the round. In the final three minutes of the round, Edgar swept Penn's left leg, sending him to the mat, where he landed a hard right hand to Penn's head in the final minute. In the fifth round, Penn took Edgar to the mat in the first 30 seconds, but a minute later, Edgar reversed positions. Both fighters finished the bout on their feet, with Edgar warding off a takedown attempt in the final 15 seconds. "Frankie looked like a complete mixed martial artist," said UFC president Dana White. "He looked unbelievable." In a battle between a championship boxer and a champion mixed martial artist, five-time UFC titleholder Randy Couture defeated 11-time boxing champion James Toney by submission in the first round of a scheduled three-round heavyweight bout in the co-main event. With Couture holding Toney in a head triangle, Toney tapped out at 3:19 of the first round. "I've been working on that head triangle a lot," said Couture. Couture improved to 19-10, dealing Toney a loss in his first MMA bout. Toney began training for MMA nine months ago. Within the first 30 seconds of the bout, Couture brought Toney to the mat with a single-leg takedown. He never let Toney off the mat, landing punches to the head, then getting Toney into the head triangle, which he held until Toney signaled to referee Yamasaki that he had enough. The 47-year-old Couture is a former three-time UFC heavyweight champion and a two-time light heavyweight champion. Toney has held world championships in boxing at middleweight, super middleweight, cruiserweight and heavyweight. The 42-year-old's boxing record is 72-6-3, with 2 no contests. "I got caught, what can I say," Toney said. Toney weighed 237 pounds while Couture weighed 220. "Mixed martial artist went in against a boxer and anything can happen in a fight," said White. "(Toney's) a tough guy, but he came in there with one discipline and that was not enough, even if he trained eight or nine months." In other bouts on the main card, lightweight Gray Maynard won a three-round unanimous decision against Kenny Florian. Maynard, who has beaten Edgar, is now 11-0, while Florian, a local favorite from Brookline, Mass., dropped to 15-5. Demian Maia won a unanimous decision against Mario Miranda at middleweight. All three judges scored the bout 30-27. Maia is 13-2 and Miranda is 12-2. Nate Diaz won by submission against Marcus Davis in the third round of a welterweight bout. The time of the stoppage was 4:02. Davis, a resident of Bangor, Maine, is a former boxer who fought in the final boxing card at the old Boston Garden. Diaz is 13-5. Davis is 21-5. This was the first time UFC held an event in Boston since the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission began sanctioning MMA at the beginning of this year.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.

Observations from Bulls-Hornets: Kris Dunn, a sigh of relief and hack-a-who?

Observations from Bulls-Hornets: Kris Dunn, a sigh of relief and hack-a-who?

Kris Dunn did it: You can’t play that position without an edge, without some form of “basketball killer” in you. Kris Dunn showed at the very least, he has that in his DNA in his best game as a Bull with a career-high 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Leave it to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg to point out a forgotten stat: one turnover in 26 minutes.

“That’s the biggest thing I’m proud of,” Dunn said. “Everyone knows I’ve had a lot of careless turnovers in the season. It’s one thing I’ll take credit for.”

Dunn scored 13 with six assists in the fourth quarter alone as the Bulls outscored the Hornets 40-28 for the comeback victory. More than anything, it was his competitive spirit and aggressiveness that stood out. Kemba Walker stood across the way and gave Dunn—and the Bulls—every bit of 47 points.

“He tested my conditioning, for sure,” Dunn admitted. “He’s a great player. He’s been in the league for so long. It was good to go out there and compete with him.”

It could’ve went a different way had Walker not been bothered by Lauri Markkanen’s challenge at the rim, blowing a layup that would’ve given the Hornets the lead back with seconds remaining but he missed it and the narrative changed at least for a night.

And when teams are talking about learning experiences, it’s good to have them in a win every now and again. Markkanen’s challenge at the rim followed by his closing free throws right after, along with a quietly effective 16 points and seven rebounds, proved huge on this night.

Dunn finally having a confidence booster was imperative.

Dunn scored but it wasn’t an easy 20 or a smooth 20. It was an attacking 20, a necessary 20. He did hit some elbow jumpers, especially in the fourth as the defense laid off him.

But his biggest basket was a slithering drive to the rim for a layup with 2:24 left, because he attacked and was under control.

“That’s huge growth for Kris,” Hoiberg said. “He made the right play darn near every time he had the ball in his hands. Rose up with confidence, knocked down huge shots. Defensively got them going, got steals.”

What a relief: Nobody wanted to say it, but it bore out on the floor, the sheer desperation the Bulls played with.

Coming in with a five-game losing streak and headed out west to for four games in the next week, they were staring in the face of a possible double-digit losing streak to end November.

Confidence was sparse after three bad losses, and it’s a dangerous time for a team that will struggle to win games all season.

The United Center crowd got into it, particularly late when the Bulls began climbing back into contention to start the fourth quarter. The fans wanted this win too, even with the eyes being on a larger prize coming in mid-2018.

The relief was written all over Hoiberg’s usually-stress ridden face and he even cracked a couple jokes that weren’t aimed in his direction, as self-deprecation is normally his escape of choice.

“It is important but I asked the guys: is it hard to play with that type of effort? When you play with that type of energy and effort and swagger, it’s fun,” Hoiberg said. “When you play low energy and hang your head, it’s a drag. It’s hard to play at this level with that mentality.”

Starting change: Justin Holiday returned after his quick leave with his wife delivering a baby girl recently and his game-high 27 points showed he missed the Bulls as much as they missed his shooting, hitting four triples and going 10 for 15 from the field.

“Guys were serious about getting their jobs done,” Holiday said. “It was a lot of energy, a lot of energy, competitiveness. That’s how we have to play every night for our team to do well.”

Denzel Valentine, although he didn’t want to say it, wants to be a starter. Hoiberg chose Quincy Pondexter over him recently and then made the change Friday to insert Valentine for more scoring.

Valentine scored 18 with six assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes of run—and with those two starting as scoring options, the Bulls surpassed that seven-point first-quarter mark really early and scored 26 overall.

He hit a big triple in the fourth with 2:49 left to give the Bulls a 110-109 lead on a set play the Bulls actually executed between Valentine, Dunn as a setup man and Robin Lopez as a screen to pop Valentine open.

If he continues to hit 3-pointers at a 40 percent clip, especially with the way the Bulls have struggled to start games, he’ll have the right to feel he belongs in the first five.

“It’s definitely more confidence,” Valentine said. “You feel you’re an NBA starter, you get to go in and feel it out for a second and bring some energy to start the game.”

He didn’t mince words about starting, with a little honesty saying, “I think it’s huge being a starter.”

When asked if he felt validated by his performance and the result being a high-scoring win, it was just as telling.

“I think I deserve…I think I deserved a starting role,” Valentine said. “At the same time it’s different combinations, different people that need to be on the floor at certain times, so if he feels like I don’t need to start, I won’t start. But I feel very comfortable starting as well.”

Hack-a-Dwight: It could be Hack-a-Dwight, hack-a-Drummond, hack-a-Wilt or Shaq or Charles Shackleford.

The Bulls went to it and Howard went two of four from the line but it took a little rhythm from the Hornets and probably slowed Kemba Walker down just enough before he got cooking in the last 90 seconds and almost pulled a win out of his keister.

But…

I hate it. Get it out of the game completely.