Frankie Edgar retains UFC belt with draw

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Frankie Edgar retains UFC belt with draw

Sunday, December 2, 2011 2:35am

MMA NEWS

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Frankie Edgar retained his lightweight championship at UFC 125, fighting to a controversial draw with Gray Maynard on Saturday night at MGM Grand. "Ending a fight in a draw is bittersweet," Edgar said. "You don't win but you don't lose." Maynard sent Edgar to the canvas early in the fight with a heavy left and had the champion in trouble throughout the first round, but Edgar overcame the damage and fought back in the next three rounds. "I got hit with a big shot, but I rebounded and bounced back," Edgar said. One judge scored it 48-46 for Maynard, another had it 48-46 for Edgar and the third called it even. All three judges scored the first round 10-8 for Maynard. "I thought it could have been stopped in the first," said Maynard, also strong in the final round. "I dropped him like five times. He was all over the place." Edgar defeated B.J. Penn for the belt in April and retained the title in an immediate rematch. Edgar was asked it he would fight Maynard again. "Yeah, I probably would," Edgar said. "He has a win over me and now we have a draw, but I'll do whatever the UFC wants me to do." In the co-main event, Brian Stann stopped Chris Leben at 3:37 of the first round. On the undercard, Thiago Silva unanimously outpointed Brandon Vera, Dong Hyun Kim remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Nate Diaz, and Clay Guida earned his third straight win, submitting former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomiby with a guillotine choke in the third round.

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

ATLANTA — Jimmy Butler insisted being a starter in the All-Star Game means next to nothing, but it seems to go against his never-ending battle for credibility and validation as a legit superstar.

Moments after it was revealed he would be an All-Star starter for the first time and make his third overall trip to All-Star weekend, he sang the same nonchalant tune.

"It hasn't changed at all," Butler said on a conference call Thursday evening. "Obviously, it's a huge accomplishment and honor to be named a starter. But it's All-Star weekend. There are going to be a lot of good players there. I guess it's just another name thrown in with some decent players."

The NBA's format for selecting the All-Star starters changed this season, with fans no longer being the sole group that gets to vote for starters. If it was still a fans-only vote, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid would've started in Butler's place.

But with the new formula that allows the media and the players to take part in the vote, the fan vote accounts for just 50 percent of the formula. So Butler joined Cleveland's LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee's Giannis Antekounmpo and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan in the starting five for the Eastern Conference.

Butler's is averaging 24.8 points with 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, career-highs across the board, and had he not been selected as a starter, the Bulls' 20-21 record would not have prevented coaches from selecting him as a reserve as they had the last two seasons.

[SHOP BULLS: Get a Jimmy Butler jersey right here]

He won't be joined in the starting lineup by Dwyane Wade, who finished second in backcourt voting behind Irving, but cast his vote for his teammate anyway and hopes Wade will be selected as a reserve.

"Of course. He's been a huge part of what we're doing here, and I think he has played extremely well the first part of the season," Butler said. "He got my vote. I will tell you that."

Golden State's Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will start for the West, along with Houston's James Harden, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans' Anthony Davis, a Chicago native.

The fun-filled and busy weekend in New Orleans begins Feb. 17, from the league events to the parties to the festivities and then finally the All-Star Game on Sunday night.

Butler likely views it as more of an accomplishment for his team of trainers and confidants then himself.

"It's fun, man. You get to know the other really good players in the league, and you get to know a little bit about them," Butler said. "And the experience that you get to be a part of, whether it be the Jordan party or taking your guys with you everywhere. That's the most fun part for me, my trainers, my brothers, everybody that's behind the scenes helping me gets to experience it too."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls build around All-Star Jimmy Butler?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls build around All-Star Jimmy Butler?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune) and Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Jimmy Butler is an All-Star starter. Is he a superstar now meaning the Bulls have to build around him? The guys pose that question to Bulls great Horace Grant.

The Raiders want to move to Las Vegas. If your NFL team moved, should you keep rooting for them? Plus should the Cubs help Sammy Sosa out as his Hall of Fame chances get smaller?

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below.