Josh Luckenbaugh

UFC reveals two bouts on Fight Night card in Washington, D.C.

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UFC reveals two bouts on Fight Night card in Washington, D.C.

The UFC is coming to Capital One Arena on Dec. 7, and we now know two of the fights on the card.

Aspen Ladd (8-1) will face Yana Kunitskaya (12-4) in a women's bantamweight bout, UFC officials told the Washington Post. The pair are ranked fifth and eighth in the bantamweight division, respectively.

Additionally, Claudia Gadelha (17-4) is scheduled to take on Cynthia Calvillo (8-1) in a women's strawweight match. The main event is yet to be determined. 

The event at Capital One Arena will be the seventh installment of the “UFC Fight Night on ESPN” show, and only the second time the UFC has come to Washington, D.C. 


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Ranking the best MLB top 3 pitching rotations as Nationals, Mets square off

Ranking the best MLB top 3 pitching rotations as Nationals, Mets square off

With the Mets and Nationals and their vaunted pitching rotations set to square off this weekend in a huge three-game series, we began wondering aloud: Which MLB teams have the best "Big 3" starters? 

Here are the four teams we at NBC Sports Washington believe have the most dominant top-three starters in their rotations:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Hyun-Jin Ryu
(11-2, 1.53 ERA, 135.2 IP, 117 SO)
Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 2.77 ERA, 130.0 IP, 131 SO)
Walker Buehler (10-2, 3.22 ERA, 131.1 IP, 152 SO)

The National League's best team has three legitimate Cy Young candidates in its rotation, including a three-time winner in Kershaw. The best of LA's bunch this year has been Ryu, the NL leader in both ERA and WHIP. With this terrific trio, it's hard to imagine the Dodgers missing out on a third straight trip to the World Series. 

2. Houston Astros
Justin Verlander
(15-4, 2.68 ERA, 157.2 IP, 206 SO)
Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.87 ERA, 156.2 IP, 226 SO)
Zach Grienke (11-4, 3.08 ERA, 152.0 IP, 137 SO)

What does a rotation which boasts the American League's best two pitchers need? That's right, a six-time All-Star! Houston already had the AL's strongest top-three with Verlander, Cole, and Wade Miley, but the Astros went ahead and picked up Grienke at the trade deadline, just to be safe. GM Jeff Luhnow is ruthless, and his Astros look poised for another deep October run. 

3. Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer
(9-5, 2.41 ERA, 134.1 IP, 189 SO) 
Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 3.72 ERA, 145.1 IP, 175 SO)
Patrick Corbin (9-5, 3.43 ERA, 141.2 IP, 164 SO)

Scherzer remains sidelined with a back injury, but when healthy, Washington's trio of hurlers can challenge any group for top-dog status. Strasburg's durability is one of the stories of this Nationals season, avoiding the injury bug which bit him so much in the past and now leads the NL in wins. 

4. New York Mets
Jacob deGrom
(7-7, 2.77 ERA, 143.0 IP, 182 SO)
Noah Syndergaard (8-5, 3.96 ERA, 141.0 IP, 140 SO)
Marcus Stroman (6-11, 3.07 ERA, 129.0 IP, 102 SO)

Many scoffed when the Mets traded for Stroman ahead of the deadline, but for now, the move looks ingenious, with New York just a half-game out of a wild card spot. And with all three of their top starters throwing this weekend when the Nats come to town, the Mets have a golden chance to make a statement in the NL playoff race. 


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The feel-good story behind the Redskins giving up an 86-yard punt return TD vs. Cleveland

The feel-good story behind the Redskins giving up an 86-yard punt return TD vs. Cleveland

Four months ago, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi was sleeping on a patch of grass in Miami, Fla. Thursday night, the Browns punt returner did this against the Redskins in both teams' preseason opener. 

In the fourth quarter of Cleveland's 30-10 win, Sheehy-Guiseppi returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown, his teammates mobbing him as he arrived in the endzone. And when you hear his story, you'll understand why.

An All-American returner at the junior college level, Sheehy-Guiseppi dreamed of playing in the NFL. After years of training, Sheehy-Guiseppi took his chance, traveling from Arizona to Florida to participate in a workout attended by Browns vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith. 

"He had an excellent workout,” Highsmith told “Caught punts well, ran fast. I called (Browns' assistant general manager) Eliot (Wolf) and I said 'Hey, this kid Damon Sheehy, man he ran fast.' He goes, 'Really?' I said, 'Yeah, he caught the ball well, I'm thinking we should bring him up.' And then I was like, well, maybe we'll wait, but then I thought about it and Eliot goes, 'Well let's just bring him in now.'"

The Browns invited Sheehy-Guiseppi to work out in front of team officials in Berea, Ohio a week later, but having used most of his money getting to Miami, Sheehy-Guiseppi was forced to sleep outside or in a 24-hour fitness center.

"I kept using guest passes," he told “I went to the laundromat (to charge my phone), used that. Those were my three spots. (The fitness center) was showing the most love, they kept letting me come back."

When he arrived in Berea, Sheehy-Guiseppi earned a contract from the Browns with another impressive workout. Four months later, the entire NFL world got to see what he can do.  

"I’m just blessed to be healthy and be in the position that I am,” he told after Thursday's game. “I just try to stay in the moment and just think about what’s to come next. I’m super proud to be able to take advantage of moments like that.”