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held their sixth straight
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The faces told the story in the post-fight news conference. There was hardly a mark on Carlos (The Natural Born Killer) Condit other than a small abrasion around his right eye. Martin (The Hitman) Kampmanns face looked like someone had taken a giant can-opener to it, with fresh stitches peaking out below and above the chunky sunglasses wrapped around his shaved head. A trickle of blood glistened from the stitches below his right eye as the news conference wore on. The only discomfort Condit showed was an occasional wince as he flexed his hand -- probably from overuse. According to FightMetric, the sixth-ranked Kampmann led 6-0 in takedowns but Condit had a huge 100-35 edge in significant strikes. And by the time referee Herb Dean stepped in 54 seconds into the fourth round, Condits surgical strikes had broken Kampmann and left his face a bloody mask with a gash below his eye and another on his forehead above the bridge of his nose. Wednesdays win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse reaffirmed the second-ranked Condits perch high among UFC welterweight contenders after back-to-back losses to champion Georges St-Pierre of Montreal and No. 1 contender Johny (Bigg Rigg) Hendricks. GSP and Hendricks square off at UFC 167 in November. No. 3 Rory (Ares) MaDonald, a native of Kelowna, B.C., who fights out of Montreal, meets No. 9 (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler on the same Las Vegas card. While St-Pierre has held the 170-pound title since April 2008, making eight straight title defences, the welterweight division is beginning to look a little more than just GSPs personal playground these days. Once it looked like St-Pierre had cleaned out the decision. Now the top 10 is looking more vibrant. GSP is still the top dog but the division is showing signs of life. Condit (29-7) remains a threat -- a durable, smart, evolving fighter who is working on closing the few chinks in his armour. "Hes one of the best in the world," said UFC president Dana White. Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec (Sponge) Saffiedine, the No. 8 contender forced to drop out of a July bout with Lawler due to injury, has said he wants to meet the Condit-Kampmann winner. No. 4 Demian Maia, a jiu-jitsu ace who is 3-0 since dropping down to 170 pounds, is due to meet former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields, a top grappler himself, in October. Matt (The Immortal) Brown has turned heads recently, entering the rankings at No. 10 after his sixth straight win. White said Wednesday that he has a bout for the hard-nosed Brown in mind but wouldnt say more other than "its a perfect fight for him." No. 7 Nick Diaz remains on the sidelines but his retirement after a loss to a March loss to St-Pierre -- which followed a defeat at the hands of Condit -- may be temporary. No. 5 Jake (The Juggernaut) Ellenberger has some work to do in the wake of a disappointing performance in a loss to MacDonald in July. Outside the top 10 lurks Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley, who is due to face veteran Josh Koscheck at UFC 167 next. And Brandon (Rukus) Thatch turned heads in his UFC debut Wednesday, posting his 10th first-round win. Unbeaten Kelvin Gastelum, winner of Season 17 of "The Ultimate Fighter" as a middleweight, also looked sharp in his first outing at welterweight. The pretenders to the crown still face a stiff task in trying to dethrone the 32-year-old St-Pierre, who has won 11 straight since an April 2007 loss to Matt (The Terror) Serra -- a defeat avenged a year later when GSP reclaimed his title. The Canadian leads the UFC in significant strikes (1,153), total strikes landed (2,398), takedowns landed (84) and takedown accuracy (75 per cent). His career fight time (five hours three minutes 12 seconds) ranks second to B.J. Penn by just 39 seconds. St-Pierre, a dead-cert future Hall of Famer, is also third in significant strike defence (75.1 per cent). With a team of elite coaches led by Firas Zahabi and a work ethic second to none, St-Pierre is still a force to be reckoned with as long as his hunger remains. Living with a target on your back for more than five years isnt easy, especially in a sport that demands so much gruelling training between fights. Next up for St-Pierre is Hendricks, a former NCAA champion wrestler with a sledgehammer for a left hand. While St-Pierre and his team craft game plans to blunt their opponents strengths and allow the champion to control the fight, Hendricks breaks people with his heavy hand. His 10-1 UFC resume includes finishes of 12, 29, 40 and 46 seconds. Still, Condit picks St-Pierre to win in November. "Hendricks is obviously a very dangerous guy, he can end the fight with one punch," said Condit, a former WEC and interim UFC champion. "But I think Georges St-Pierre is too technical and also Hendricks has shown that he fades towards the end of the third (round). Now hes got two extra rounds to go. I think Georges is going to probably take control towards the end of the fight and come out on top." As for Condits future, he said he was leaning towards a rematch with Hendricks as his preferred next challenge "just because our fight was so close." There was only pain for Kampmann (20-7). Hampered by slow starts in some previous fights, the Las Vegas-based Dane came out like a rocket and gassed out in the second round. White wondered about Kampmanns strategy, asking why he didnt vary his tactics after landing four takedowns in the first round. "I said Whens he going to let his hands go? Hes one of the best strikers in the business. And now hes already got Carlos worried about the takedowns. Why not throw some punches?" White asked. Its back to the drawing board for Kampmann, knocked out in 46 seconds by Hendricks last November. A well-rounded, quality fighter, he has stumbled in the face of elite opposition. Condit, he agreed, was the better man Wednesday. "I think I solidified myself as a contender," said Condit when asked where he thought he stood in the division after Wednesdays win. "Im still maybe a fight away from another title shot, I hope." UFC 167 will play out the next piece of the welterweight puzzle. NOTES -- Part of the upper deck at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was curtained off, an apparent acceptance of the difficulties in staging a televised show on a Wednesday night. The show drew a modest 5,950, down from the 15,811 that attended the UFC 119 pay-per-view show at the same venue in September 2010. White said Wednesday was the choice of his television partner Fox, calling it a challenge they will make work ... The UFC now shifts to Milwaukee for UFC 164 on Saturday when Benson (Smooth) Henderson defends his lightweight title against Anthony (Showtime) Pettis. Carolina Hurricanes Store . The game got off to a less-than-ideal start for the Jets as Oliver Ekman-Larsson found a wide open net from the slot and opened the scoring for the Coyotes a lead in the first period, but Olli Jokinen answered back just over half a minute later. Carolina Hurricanes Shirts . -- David Price didnt think he would be in Port Charlotte this spring. https://www.cheaphurricanes.com/. -- Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was alert and recovering at a Denver hospital Saturday after suffering seizure-like symptoms when the teams bus pulled into the airport Friday afternoon for the flight to Kansas City. Carolina Hurricanes Pro Shop . - Justin Turner is at his best with runners in scoring position, and he delivered again in a big spot for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wholesale Hurricanes Jerseys .com) - Scott Parel carded a 5-under 65 on Thursday and he grabbed a 1-stroke lead after one round of the season-opening Panama Claro Championship.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Their chance for a playoff berth gone, the Buffalo Bills ended the 2014 season with their first winning record in 10 years.So their 17-9 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday was bittersweet, Bills centre Eric Wood said, because you always think what could have been.The Bills (9-7) could have had a chance to snap their 14-year playoff drought but were eliminated when they lost to the Oakland Raiders a week earlier.At least they salvaged a winning record by beating the Patriots (12-4), who rested key players after entering the game with the top seed in the AFC.Its important to some people, Buffalo coach Doug Marrone said. There were a lot of lessons that well reflect on. ... If we dont understand that after this season, then all will be lost.Quarterback Tom Brady played only the first half and six other starters, including top receivers Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, were inactive.But Buffalo safety Aaron Williams was proud of the victory against a team that didnt try its best.I dont want to hear no excuses about who didnt play, who played, he said. They showed up. We showed up. We just were the better team today.But the Patriots have home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and Brady predicted they would be just fine once their top players are back on the field.Im not worried about us lacking confidence, he said. Weve got a lot of good players.Kyle Orton threw for one touchdown, Anthony Dixon ran for another as the Bills matched their record in 2004.We had a winning season but we didnt go as far as we wanted to, Bills linebacker Nickell Robey said.After the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick met with trainers about his own health.I had to spend a few minutes in the training room after the game, nothing serious, just a couple things to look at with the trainers and the doctor, Belichick said in a conference call after skipping his usual postgame news conference. It was no big deal. I dont want to get into it.The loss snapped several streaks: Buffalos 0-12 record at Gillette Stadium, and New Englands 35 home wins against AFC teams and 16 at home against any opponent.We always hate losing, Brady said. We didnt make enough plays to win, but, hopefully, well make them in a couple of weeks.With starting offensive linemen Dan Connolly and Sebastian Vollmer also inactive, Neew England failed to score a touchdown for the first time since the fifth game last season, a 13-6 loss at Cincinnati.dddddddddddd Stephen Gostkowski kicked field goals of 24, 44 and 35 yards.The sellout crowd lacked its usual energy, but cheered when backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took off on several runs.Brady played all five offensive series in the first half and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season. He completed 8 of 16 passes for 80 yards and was sacked once.On his next-to-last possession, he was tackled by Stefan Charles for a 7-yard loss. On his final series, he kept the ball for a 2-yard keeper for a first down then ran for 7 yards before sliding to avoid being hit on the final play.Orton completed 16 of 23 passes for 176 yards and went over the 3,000 mark in yards passing for the third time in his career.Any time you step on the field is important, Orton said. Its great whenever you get a winning season and win the last game against your rival.On the games first series, he quickly led the Bills on an 80-yard march capped by his 6-yard scoring pass to Robert Woods. He also completed passes of 18 yards to Lee Smith and 43 to Sammy Watkins on the drive.The teams then exchanged punts before Gostkowski kicked his 24-yarder.Orton led another 80-yard drive, lasting 7:24, to a 1-yard touchdown run by Dixon for a 14-3 lead.Gostkowski kicked his 44-yarder after a fumble recovery by Jamie Collins before Dan Carpenter gave the Bills a 17-6 halftime lead on a 48-yard field goal.Gostkowski added a 35-yarder late in the third quarter.The Bills rushed for 104 yards one week after picking up just 13, fourth fewest in team history, in a 26-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders.NOTES: The Bills went all season without a player rushing for 100 yards in a game for only the fourth time in team history and first since 1979. Fred Jackson led them on Sunday with 58. ... The Patriots held their sixth straight opponent without a second-half touchdown. Theyve outscored teams 67-12 in the second half in that span. ... Buffalo held its opponent without a touchdown pass for the third time in four games. It shut out Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Brady, allowing only two scoring passes by Oaklands Derek Carr in that span.___AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
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