UFC 123: Jackson Outlasts Machida; Penn Over Hughes

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UFC 123: Jackson Outlasts Machida; Penn Over Hughes

Sunday, November 21, 2010 1:41 am
By LARRY LAGEMMA PAGE MMA VIDEO
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The UFC's first card featuring four former champions had one quick fight and another that went the distance.B.J. Penn beat Matt Hughes in just 21 seconds and Quinton "Rampage"Jackson won a split decision against Lyoto Machida at UFC 123 onSaturday night. Penn knocked Hughes flatonto his back with a right cross, then unleashed a flurry of shots tohis head that led to their fight being stopped. "He hit me hard," Hughes said. "When I felt the hit, I thought it was a knee or a kick."There weren't many punches or kicks in the Jackson-Machida fight, butJackson's aggressive style seemed to pay off for the judges againstMachida's passive ways. "I think that's theonly reason that earned the decision," Jackson said. "Machida whipped(me) in the third round. I didn't do what I wanted, and he blooded mynose." Machida shuffled and backpedaledmore than he punched or kicked, but took Rampage down in the thirdafter two rounds without much action. He didn't bristle at the decision that didn't go his way. "If the judges saw that Quinton won, then they saw Quinton win," the Brazilian said through a translator.Jackson was determined to show he can still be a force in the UFC afterplaying B.A. Baracus in "The A-Team" movie. He was unimpressive in aloss to Rashad Evans in May, one of just two setbacks in a 10-fightstretch. It looks as if Penn made the right decision to keep fighting.Penn (16-7-1) surrendered his UFC lightweight title earlier this year.The former two-division champion -- still known as "The Prodigy" at theage of 31 -- considered walking away from mixed martial arts after twostraight losses to Frankie Edgar. UFCPresident Dana White gave him a chance at redemption in a third matchwith Hughes, just the sixth trilogy in the rapidly growing sport. Penn took advantage at The Palace in suburban Detroit. Penn and Hughes exchanged a few blows in the opening seconds before it ended suddenly, leaving Hughes dazed and dumbfounded. Hughes (46-8) was the only one of the four headliners that was coming off a victory. "I don't know what the plan is now," he said. "This was a huge fight for me. I had a lot riding on this."Penn stunningly claimed the UFC welterweight title in his first matchupwith Hughes in 2004. He moved up in weight and submitted one of thesport's first stars with a choke late in the first round, adding a kisson the dazed Hughes' lips. Hughes beat Penn on punches in their second fight four years ago.Penn went on to claim the lightweight title, but moved back to thewelterweight division for the first time since his loss to championGeorges St. Pierre last year. Hughesplanned to take the rest of the year off after submitting RicardoAlmeida in August for his third straight victory in a career revival,but the 37-year-old from Hillsboro, Ill., jumped at the chance toresume his rivalry with Penn. He fought for the third time in sevenmonths after being on only one UFC card each of the previous two years.

Blackhawks look to keep rolling vs. Coyotes

Blackhawks look to keep rolling vs. Coyotes

The last time the Blackhawks faced the Arizona Coyotes was the first game the current top line of Nick Schmaltz, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik were thrown together.

Yeah, the combination's worked out well. So has the Blackhawks' game in general, as they've won seven of eight including that Feb. 2 game. Now the Blackhawks will try to keep the momentum rolling with their lines and their game when they host the Coyotes Thursday night at the United Center.

The Blackhawks' current run of success started in the desert and part of that has been finding more consistent lines. Everything else has gradually improved off of that, from goal scoring to puck possession.

"I think it's puck possession, puck control, pace to the game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we were very inconsistent in that early and we were defending way more than we were accustomed to. You're vulnerable for penalties, you're vulnerable for quality scoring chances against and not generating enough. I think that's the progression in our game now, it seems like all four lines are having the puck and having some zone time and having some rush chances, zone chances and it seems like every line's contributing there, and that's the big difference."

[RELATED: By the bye - Blackhawks keep rolling following break]

The Blackhawks' top line didn't have immediate chemistry but Quenneville kept them together and let them work on it. But as Toews said, it was about the group keeping the all-around game going, points or no points.

"Sometimes you just gotta work until things start clicking," Toews said. "Everyone seems to start paying attention when you start scoring goals, regardless of [the fact you're] doing things right. It's nice that we're scoring but we have to stick with what's making us a successful line at both ends of the rink right now."

Corey Crawford will start vs. the Coyotes. Niklas Hjalmarsson did not skate this morning but is expected to play. Quenneville said Michal Rozsival could draw into the lineup.

Broadcast information

Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV: CSN
Live stream: CSNChicago.com

Blackhawks lines

Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Vinnie Hinostroza

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Rozsival-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries 

None

Coyotes lines (via Arizona Republic)

Tobias Rieder-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata
Brendan Perlini-Christian Dvorak-Shane Doan
Max Domi -Alex Burmistrov-Ryan White
Jamie McGinn-Jordan Martinook-Josh Jooris

Defensive pairs

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Luke Schenn
Alex Goligoski-Anthony DeAngelo
Jakob Chychrun-Connor Murphy

Goaltender

Mike Smith

Injuries

Lawson Crouse (lower body), Brad Richardson (tibia)

Ranking the five best games Mark Buehrle pitched with the White Sox

Ranking the five best games Mark Buehrle pitched with the White Sox

The White Sox will retire Mark Buehrle's No. 56 prior to June 24's game against the Oakland Athletics, a deserving honor for one of the best pitchers in franchise history. The left-hander compiled a 3.83 ERA and won 161 games during 12 seasons with the White Sox, and perhaps more impressively, he threw over 200 innings every year he was a full-time member of the team's starting rotation. 

So with the White Sox announcing Buehrle's number retirement ceremony for this summer, let's take a look back at the best games the St. Charles, Mo. native pitched with the White Sox. 

1. July 23, 2009: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 6 K vs. Tampa Bay. Time of game: 2:03

Buehrle's perfect game, complete with Dewayne Wise's legendary catch, sits at the top of mountain of Buehrle's historic achievements with the White Sox. This was a vintage Buehrle game, with him working quickly and getting plenty of weak contact. It just turned out that Tampa Bay couldn't get anyone on base in it.

2. April 18, 2007: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K vs. Texas. Time of game: 2:03

By game score, this was actually the best game Buehrle pitched in his career thanks to the two more strikeouts he had than in his perfect game. And in no-hitting the Rangers, Buehrle still faced the minimum — after walking Sammy Sosa, he picked off the former Cubs slugger. 

3. April 16, 2005: 9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K vs. Seattle. Time of game: 1:39

The 99-minute game might get lost in Buehrle's career thanks to his no-hitter and perfect game, but it's right up there in terms of how impressive it was. Not only did Buehrle set a career high in strikeouts against Seattle, but only one Mariners player got a hit that day (Ichiro, who naturally had all three). And it was the first — and still only — nine-inning game to be completed in under 100 minutes since 1984.

4. Aug. 3, 2001: 9 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 K vs. Tampa Bay. Time of game: 2:12

Before Buehrle was an All-Star, World Series winner and no-hitter/perfect game thrower, he took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Devil Rays before Damian Rolls singled to break it up. This wasn't Buehrle's first great start of his career — that came in a three-hit shutout of the Detroit Tigers on May 26, 2001 — but it stood up for a decade and a half as one of the best games he pitched in the majors. 

5. July 21, 2004: 0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 K vs. Cleveland. Time of game: 2:31

This was another brush with perfection for Buehrle, who only allowed a one-out, seventh-inning single to Omar Vizquel (he got Matt Lawton to hit into a double play after, allowing him to face the minimum for the first time in his career). This is the longest game in Buehrle's top five thanks to the White Sox blasting Cliff Lee and the Indians for 14 runs, but even then, barely over two and a half hours was a relatively brisk pace.