Edin Dzeko’s 50th Manchester City goal proved enough to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 and send the Blues top of the Barclays Premier League. The Bosnian steered home Jesus Navas’ cut-back midway through the second period to give City their 10th successive victory at the Etihad Stadium. Yet, after magical performances earlier in the campaign, this fell into the ‘win ugly’ category. Palace worked with an impressive intensity throughout and City were indebted to superb saves from Joe Hart to deny Jason Puncheon and Joel Ward either side of Dzeko’s 10th of the season in all competitions, but his first in the Premier League for eight weeks. On statistics alone, Palace might as well not have bothered turning up. The Eagles had not beaten City away from home since 1990 and their manager, Tony Pulis, had lost on all five of his visits to the stadium, not even managing so much as a goal. In addition, there was the Blues’ incredible sequence of results on home soil. The Boxing Day win over Liverpool had been their ninth win in as many matches, a sequence that had yielded an incredible 37 goals. Yet despite this gloomy backdrop, Palace still managed to become only the second team since Hull on August 31 to prevent City from establishing superiority by half-time. There was no secret. The visitors owed their mini-triumph to good, old-fashioned graft and a little bit of luck. Filling their own box any time City got close – which was fairly frequently – they managed to keep chances at a minimum. Press Association James Milner flashed a couple of efforts narrowly wide and David Silva was not far away from finding the net from an impossibly acute angle. However, it was not until Fernandinho ventured forward late in that opening period that Julian Speroni’s goal came under severe threat. The Brazilian lashed a shot over after a brilliant piece of skill had created the opportunity. He then saw his powerful header touched over by Speroni before having another effort blocked amid a melee inside the Palace area during which Dzeko had spurned a clear sight on goal by preferring to check inside onto his right foot. It was not exactly comfortable for the visitors, but then Pulis can hardly have anticipated a smooth ride for his team. Yet they were sufficiently confident to push forward themselves when the chance arose, and Yannick Bolasie ensured Dedryck Boyata was kept on his toes as the City man started a league game for the Blues for the first time since May 2011. Nevertheless, Hart did not have a shot to save. The England keeper still picked up a nasty gash under his eye though as a result of a full-bloodied challenge with Cameron Jerome that saw the Palace forward hobble off. Hart was called into action straight after the restart though as Puncheon unleashed a fierce shot from 25 yards, which the keeper turned behind in impressive fashion. Substitute Marouane Chamakh was not too far away from turning the corner home from his near post station and Manuel Pellegrini wasted little time in introducing Samir Nasri and Alvaro Negredo. Palace’s confidence was growing though and Hart was little more than a spectator as Puncheon curled a shot that would not have been kept out had it been slightly more accurate. Such was the verve with which Palace had started the second-half that Dzeko’s goal came as something of a surprise. Damien Delaney thought he had cleared the immediate danger when he got his head to Silva’s teasing cross. But Navas hunted the ball down to the by-line, then picked out Dzeko with a superb cut-back that invited the first-time finish from the Bosnian. Palace responded admirably. Ward’s dipping volley was heading for the bottom corner until Hart got a fingertip to it. Ward then got his head on the far-post corner, but from close range failed to keep the attempt on target. Pellegrini’s decision to shelve the intention to introduce Yaya Toure and instead bring on the more defensive Aleksander Kolarov said it all as City scrambled to victory.
Sevilla have officially completed the signing of Liverpool forward Iago Aspas on a season-long loan. The Spanish striker passed a medical on Friday after the two clubs agreed a deal, which includes the option to buy permanently, earlier in the week and the paperwork has now been finalised. Aspas, 26, moved to Anfield from Celta Vigo last summer but had a disappointing season and made just 15 appearances, the majority as a substitute, and scored one goal. Aspas said on www.sevillafc.es: “Last year I wasn’t able to show all that I can do, but I’m not looking at this as a second chance, more as an opportunity to feel important as a footballer again, which is my objective.” Looking ahead to his aims for this coming season, Aspas hopes to help Sevilla earn a Champions League berth like Liverpool managed last term. “It’s the same as when I arrived at Liverpool. They were a big club who were not going through their best moment and ended up finishing second in the Premier League, qualifying for the Champions League. “The objective must be similar because this club is one of the biggest in Spain.” Press Association
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has backed his side to shock Chelsea and end their unbeaten run. Villa last won at Stamford Bridge in 2011 – and have since been beaten 8-0 and 2-1 – but Lambert believes they can surprise again. He told reporters: “Any given day you can beat anyone. It’s over the course of the season that people may say 38 games is a big ask. We will go down there and give it a go. “We we will have our tactics but I will hope our players can carry it out. “I watched Chelsea last week. I saw two really good sides in Manchester City and Chelsea and the two teams who won’t be far away in both the Champions League and league. “That is the magnitude of the game we’re in. But if someone said we took points from Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea I’d have broken their hand off. “The times I’ve played against them they’ve always been strong and even now you look at their players and they are a really powerful side. “They have a lot of attributes that most sides would love – pace, power, ability. They have everything.” The Scot is also relishing facing Jose Mourinho again and enjoys the “banter” with the Blues boss. Press Association “I get on really well with Brendan (Rodgers) stretching back from Norwich and Swansea days. We’ve always got on well. Arsene Wenger is a nice guy and you can have a bit of banter with Jose – just football stuff though,” he said. “You try and win, I try not to get caught up in. Football is not a bed of roses, it’s volatile anyway.” Villa were ravaged by illness against the Gunners as Ashley Westwood, Nathan Baker and Darren Bent were all ruled out while Andreas Weimann was replaced at half time. They are all available again and, despite the defeat, Lambert is delighted with Villa’s start. “We started the game really well against Arsenal but our preparation had been thrown into chaos,” he said. “If you say we can take 10 points from eight games I would certainly have taken it that’s for sure.” The Scot takes Villa to Stamford Bridge on Saturday with his side aiming to hit back following their first defeat of the season. They were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal last week, which denied them the chance to leapfrog Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Published on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: firstname.lastname@example.org | @mark_cooperjr Syracuse has hired Steve Morrison as a defensive assistant coach and is not bringing back Dan Conley and Jimmy Brumbaugh as assistant coaches.Conley, Syracuse’s linebackers coach for the past four seasons, and Brumbaugh, who worked on the defensive line, are still under contract but will not be on the field with SU next season, Orange head coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday.‘Both are looking at opportunities. Whether they may be here or other places, that’s going on right now,’ Marrone said after Syracuse’s national signing day press conference. ‘We’ve hired one coach, Steve Morrison, who’s on with us. He’s going to be on the defensive side of the ball. And then we’ll hire someone else to be on the field with us.’Morrison was the linebackers coach at Eastern Michigan for the past two seasons. Before that, he spent five seasons as a defensive coach at Western Michigan, including his last two as defensive coordinator.He coached with current SU defensive coordinator Scott Shafer and defensive ends coach Tim Daoust at WMU. Morrison was with the Broncos from 2005-09, while Shafer was there from 2005-06. Daoust coached at WMU from 2006-09.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs a player, Morrison shined as a linebacker for Michigan, making the All-Big Ten first team in 1994. He played at UM at the same time as Syracuse running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley.Conley was the SU linebackers coach for the past four seasons, including three under Marrone. Brumbaugh just finished his second season as a coach on SU’s defensive line.‘I can’t tell you the status of where they’re going to be, but they will not be on the field with us next year,’ Marrone said.As far as the other hire SU will make, Marrone said he has some flexibility as to the position of the coach Syracuse is still looking to email@example.com Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Published on October 29, 2014 at 9:39 pm Contact Phil: firstname.lastname@example.org | @PhilDAbb North Carolina State is the second team in three weeks to face Syracuse coming off a bye.It didn’t do Wake Forest any favors on Oct. 18, but Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren feels optimistic about how his team used the off time to heal up, mentally and physically. N.C. State (4-4, 0-4 Atlantic Coast) will look to snap its four-game losing streak when it travels to the Carrier Dome for a 3 p.m. meeting with the Orange (3-5, 1-3) on Saturday.“Excited about the opportunity to go to Syracuse,” Doeren said during the ACC coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday, “play a football team that plays really hard and forces a lot of turnovers, protects the football, doesn’t beat themselves. It’s going to be a physical football game.”N.C. State’s four-game skid began with a 56-41 shootout loss at home to then-No. 1 Florida State on Sept. 27, followed by a 41-0 loss at Clemson and a pair of two-score losses to Boston College and Louisville.The Wolfpack now prepares to face a Syracuse offense that has yet to truly get off the ground with freshman quarterback AJ Long taking the snaps. Long is coming off what he called the worst game he ever played in SU’s loss to Clemson, but Doeren praised the job the true freshman has done since being thrown into the fire in with Terrel Hunt out with fractured fibula.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He’s athletic. He gets the ball out quick,” Doeren said of Long. “For a guy that went from third string to starter and had to play in some difficult games, I think he’s done a nice job for them. Just like any young quarterback, there’s things that I’m sure he’s learning from and getting better from each week. But you can see he’s a gifted player.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
USC had been embarrassed at home by Stanford before, but not like this.Not in November. Not on Homecoming. And certainly not by 34 points.But behind the power of senior running back Toby Gerhart, the No. 25 Cardinal (7-3) did, thoroughly overpowering the No. 11 Trojans, 55-21, in a shocker before 90,071 spectators celebrating Homecoming at the Coliseum. Stanford’s 55 points were the most ever scored against USC.Heavy load · Running back Toby Gerhart plows through the USC defense for one of his three touchdowns in Stanford’s 55-21 victory. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan“This feels really weird,” USC coach Pete Carroll said after the game.It looked like things would go the Trojans’ way when they forced a three-and-out on Stanford’s first drive and immediately drove inside the Cardinal 20-yard line.But freshman quarterback Matt Barkley fumbled a first-down snap under duress from the Stanford defensive line. From there, it was all Cardinal in the first quarter, as redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Luck threw for one touchdown and Gerhart ran for another.“We started really fast,” Luck said. “We knew it would be a tough game, but starting fast really helped.”Gerhart consistently busted through the USC front seven, totaling 29 rushes for 178 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for nine first downs.“We’ve seen him run the ball like that week in and week out, so we’ve just gotta tackle him,” junior linebacker Malcolm Smith said. “But he just got out.”Opponents all season have mentioned Stanford’s physicality, especially when running the ball. The Cardinal overpowered Oregon a week ago with 254 yards on the ground. This time, they had 325.“That’s something that we have to do as a team: be physical and play physical,” Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said in his postgame press conference. “And we do other stuff offensively that compliments the physical side.”Luck, Harbaugh’s 19-year-old signal-caller and admitted protégé, outplayed his freshman counterpart Barkley, completing 12-of-22 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns to Barkley’s 21-of-31 for 196 yards and a touchdown. The biggest difference was Barkley’s three interceptions — all three of which resulted in Stanford touchdowns.Barkley said after the game that he probably shouldn’t have thrown at least one of them. The picks stymied USC’s running game, which was mostly effective.Junior running back Joe McKnight carried the ball 16 times for 142 yards and a touchdown, but the Trojans again failed to convert a total of eight third- and fourth-down opportunities.“One of the big things was to be able to stop the running game,” Harbaugh said. “We didn’t stop it, USC popped some runs, but for the most part it wasn’t 10, 10, 10. We got some stops and some sacks.”USC had fostered some momentum after a fumble recovery by senior safety Taylor Mays gave the Trojans the ball on the Cardinal 36-yard line, down 21-7 in the third quarter.Barkley then delivered a 36-yard touchdown strike to redshirt freshman wide receiver Brice Butler to make the score 21-14.But Stanford would answer back with a methodical 10-play drive capped off by a six-yard touchdown run by Luck.“That was a big momentum shift, and when I caught it I was like ‘Let’s go,’ now that we’d scored,” said Butler, who made his first career start in place of the injured Damian Williams. “The whole team was feeling that way.“Then, it kinda died down.”USC would score once more, but Stanford again responded quickly. The Cardinal’s last five drives all ended in touchdowns.With the 34-point loss, USC has been outscored 174-131 in its last five games.This is also the first time since Carroll’s first year, 2001, that the Trojans have lost three games in one season.“Things are looking nasty right now,” Smith said.USC’s last three home losses have all been against Stanford, but the Trojans said that didn’t matter.“Any team that beats us, they’re surprised,” Butler said. “They didn’t think it was gonna happen.”Stanford’s Gerhart, a member of the 2007 team that upset the Trojans 24-23 at the Coliseum, agreed.“I was surprised a little bit,” Gerhart said. “They’re USC and have been the premier Pac-10 team. We’ve been the underdogs.”But although Stanford stays in the thick of the Pac-10 championship race, the Trojans are essentially eliminated from the BCS bowl and Pac-10 title contention. They must now face the likelihood of a pre-New Year’s bowl game.But for now, the Trojans have a bye-week break before cross-town rival UCLA comes to the Coliseum on Nov. 28.“If you think about it, it probably comes at the perfect time,” Butler said. “We lost, and now we have to sit here and think about it for two weeks.”
After a thrilling 53-52 overtime win against Utah on Thursday night in which senior forward Kristen Simon hit the game-winning 3-pointer with one second left, the Trojans defeated the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday afternoon.On Saturday, junior guard Aliyah Mazyck led the Trojans with 24 points against Utah. Sunny Dong | Daily TrojanPrior to tipoff, the Trojans honored their departing seniors Simon and guards Sadie Edwards and Jordan Adams in front of a packed Galen Center. The three seniors were each given a framed picture of their jersey and had photos taken with their teammates and family members. All three have played integral roles in USC’s success this season as they led the Trojans to a 19-10 record this season. “[Edwards] came a long way and I think had a great season,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “[Adams], one of my favorite all-time players, I only had her for a year but what a pleasure it was to coach her … [Simon] has come such a long way and not only as a basketball player but she had a great senior year, she almost averages a double-double and the thing I like about her this year is she grew into her leadership position.”Both teams came out of the game with a determination to win as the game remained close from the start. Junior guard Aliyah Mazyck netted 11 points alone in the first, but the Trojans trailed 11-17 by the end of the first after an 8-0 Colorado run. The Trojans’ sophomore guard Minyon Moore suffered a minor injury but returned to play in the second quarter. The Trojans came out with a 9-3 run to tie it at 20, but the Buffaloes would regain a small 2-point lead by halftime, 27-25. Mazyck had 13 points but the Trojans shot 33.3 percent as a team in the first half. The Buffaloes were led by guard Quinessa Caylao-Do’s 7 points and forward Mya Hollingshed’s 6 points. The Trojans began the second half on a 7-0 run to retake the lead at 32-27 before extending their lead to 10 at 43-33. The Trojans maintained their lead to eventually settle with a 9-point lead at 49-40. In the fourth, the Trojans jumped out further to a 12-point lead at 58-46, and despite the Buffaloes cutting the lead to as close as 7 points, the Trojans would hold on for a 65-53 win. “It helped to have [Moore] back on the floor but we talked in the locker room,” Adams said. “This is our season, this is what we want, we want the tournament then we gotta win this game so I think that really lit a fire under us and we just came out and gave it everything we had.”Mazyck led the Trojans with 24 points, including 5 3-pointers and nine rebounds on an efficient 9-for-18 shooting night. Simon had a double-double to the tune of 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Moore, despite getting injured in the first quarter, put up 15 points and two assists. The Trojans shot just 40.4 percent from the field but outrebounded the Buffaloes 40 to 24, outscored them in the paint 28 to 16 and capitalized on second chance opportunities and transition. The Buffaloes were led by Kennedy Leonard’s 19 points and five assists but the team was held to 38 percent shooting and were outplayed in the third quarter, where the Trojans scored 22 to the Buffaloes’ 13. “The great thing about our team is that we got some quality wins,” Trakh said. “We haven’t lost to anybody we’re supposed to lose to and we pushed everybody … Every game has been a game they never quit, they have never quit, they’ve been resilient, they fought every single game so I am proud of this group as anybody I have ever coached.”USC ended its season on a high note, finishing with 19 wins and 10 losses, with a respectable 9-9 in the Pac-12. The Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament begins on Thursday in Seattle, Wash.
Springtime in Clipper Nation for Southern California.It has come to this … again … the Clippers as local fans’ last, best and only hope.Winter still belongs to the Lakers here, or did as long as they had Kobe Bryant, to his very last game April 13, 2016, a date that will live forever in fans’ hearts.Spring belongs to the Clippers these days. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error If the Lakers still rule local hearts and minds, it was never more shown more clearly than last week when we went from Bryant’s magical finale to the subdued-by-contrast Game 1 of the Clipper-Portland series three nights later.ESPN’s Jay Adande noted the last game of the season felt like the marquee game. The playoff opener felt like the letdown.That’s what the Lakers have done to the Clippers.Not only are the Lakers measured against their own standards so that only championships count, the Clippers are measured against the same standards.The Clippers have made the playoffs the last five seasons … more than they did in their first 27 here and their six in San Diego combined.They reached the second round in three of the four and figure to make it four of five.Of course, who cares if the Clippers merely transcend their own woeful standards?Also, if you’re coming off last spring when you were one win from the West Finals, with a 19-point lead late in the third quarter of Game 6 in Houston … and then blew the whole thing … it doesn’t feel like such a triumph.To their credit, the Clippers are right back where they were last spring.Some good teams are boring. The Clippers are not only fundamentally solid ‑ No. 6 in offensive efficiency, tied for No. 4 in defensive efficiency—but spectacular.They stopped carrying on about Lob City when Coach Doc Rivers arrived but they still toss the ball over the basket to see how high DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin can jump to jam it.They were inspiration to boot this season, finishing No. 4 in the West as unsung players like Luc Mbah a Moute, Cole Aldrich, Pablo Prigioni and Wesley Johnson made up for losing Griffin.Of course, when your human highlight reel is out from Christmas to April Fool’s Day … after breaking his hand punching out the equipment manager … it doesn’t feel like such a coup, either.Face it, this was some terrible NBA season around here.— Bryant starts out looking like he can’t hit water from a boat.— The Lakers say they’re dedicating the season, not to rebuilding and hope, but to Kobe and nostalgia. In other words, they’re writing it off, whether Kobe can hit water from a boat or not.— Laker fans pine for Byron Scott to start D’Angelo Russell.— Russell shows just how young he is, recording Nick Young’s confessions in a video that winds up on the internet, prompting teammates to shun D’Angelo.— Griffin goes out Dec. 26 with a torn tendon in his quad suffered in the Christmas victory over the Lakers.(The Clippers are 16-3 the last five seasons against the Lakers who haven’t beaten them since Oct. 27, 2013.)— Griffin, nearing his return, breaks a bone in his hand Jan. 24, punching his little buddy, Matias Testi.— With a four-game suspension tacked on, Blake is out until April 3.Amazingly, the Clippers went 30-15 without Griffin. The role players brought in by Rivers made a mighty contribution, even after dumping Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson who lived down to their reputations.If Doc is on the hook for moves that didn’t work (letting Darren Collison go to sign Spencer Hawes, Hedo Turkoglu, Jared Dudley, et al.), this became the most cohesive, if least celebrated, of his three Clipper teams.Now all the Clippers have to do is finish off Portland and see if they can fell a giant ‑ Golden State, which would presumably await in the second round ‑ so someone around here will know they’re alive.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. No, really. Assuming you’re still following the NBA here, the Clippers are all you have left.The Clippers are actually legit – the NBA’s No. 2 team over the last five seasons, if one of its most anonymous.Only the Spurs at 292-102 had a better record than the Clippers’ 262-132 with Golden State at 261-133.The winningest team in the East was Miami at 251-143.Just to show how tilted the local landscape has been, the Lakers were 151-243.
Magomed Magomedkerimov seized the welterweight championship and the $1 million prize that came with it during the inaugural Professional Fighters League season last year.Now, the Russian mixed martial arts fighter is in position to deposit another cool million into his bank account, but he’ll have to recover from a costly injury to do so. “I am glad I was able to fight through all the hardships to get to this point,” Zeferino said in the cage. “This week is my father’s birthday and he flew all the way from Brazil to watch me fight. If you want to know what’s real? Who is real? That guy (pointing to his father) is the real deal.” John Howard demolishes Ray Cooper III with first-round KO (punches) to bag six points; welterweightsHoward uncorked a huge left hook to crumple Cooper to the canvas. The 2018 welterweight runner-up got up but was wobbly and never the same. Howard unleashed another blistering left hook to end Cooper’s night in brutal fashion.DOOMSDAY! @johndoomsday with a monster 1st round knockout, earning 6 points! #PFL4. pic.twitter.com/qGT5mHRbI6— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) July 12, 2019″First off, I have nothing but respect for Ray Cooper. He is a tough fighter and I knew he was trying to hit me hard; I just had to hit him harder first,” Howard said in the cage after he had clinched a postseason berth. “I feel a certain way about how things went down in the playoffs last year and I’m looking for a different outcome this year.”Earlier action on ESPN+Glacio Franca def. Sadibou Sy by third-round TKO (punches) to snatch four points and clinch a spot in the playoffs; welterweightsDavid Michaud def. Handesson Ferreira by first-round TKO (punches) to garner six points and clinch a spot in the playoffs; welterweightsLarissa Pacheco def. Bobbi Jo Dalziel by first-round submission (armbar) to gain six points and clinch a spot in the playoffs; lightweightsGenah Fabian def. Moriel Charneski by first-round TKO (punches) to earn six points and clinch a playoff spot; lightweights Magomedkerimov scored a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) over Chris Curtis in the main event of PFL 4 at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., on Thursday night and live on ESPN2 to earn three points and clinch the second seed in the welterweight playoffs. Magomedkerimov made the win look easy but it was anything but that, because he had to work through a broken hand he suffered early in the fight.Join DAZN and watch Bellator 228 plus more than 100 fight nights a year”In the first minute of the first round I broke my hand,” Magomedkerimov revealed in the cage during his postfight interview. “I couldn’t throw it or grip with it anymore. That’s the only reason [Curtis] made it to the end of the fight. Hopefully it isn’t too serious and I will be able to heal up in time for the playoffs, so I can end him next time we fight.”He’ll have time to recover, considering that the welterweight quarterfinals will be held Oct. 11 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Magomedkerimov will face Curtis in that opening round of the playoffs in a rematch.Magomedkerimov thoroughly dominated the fight despite the injury. He put Curtis on notice early with a display of power, taking down the American fighter and peppering him with punches.He only encountered trouble in the third round, when Curtis was swinging and managed to trap Magomedkerimov in a guillotine. Magomedkerimov kept his cool and escaped the submission attempt before kneeing Curtis to the body, taking his back and connecting with more punches.Magomed Magomedkerimov full steam ahead to the PFL Playoffs, winning a unanimous decision and 3 points! #PFL4 pic.twitter.com/OWExgGdo3j— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) July 12, 2019If the regular season was a preview of what’s to come in the playoffs, then Magomedkerimov fully delivered the message that he’s sitting on his throne until someone dares to knock him off.In addition to second-seeded Magomedkerimov facing No. 7 Curtis, the rest of the welterweight playoff quarterfinal matches have been set:(1) Glaico Franca vs. Andre Fialho (8)(4) John Howard vs. David Michaud (5)(3) Sadibou Sy vs. Ray Cooper III (6)Kayla Harrison makes quick work of Morgan Frier with first-round submission (key lock) to collect six points and clinch playoff spotHarrison seized her first PFL playoff berth by pounding Frier’s head on the ground and cinching in the key lock.OVERWHELMING once again! @judo_kayla earns the 1st round submission win, 6 points, and is heading to the PFL Playoffs this October. #PFL4 pic.twitter.com/DM0NQMVnlY— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) July 12, 2019″The submission was probably there earlier in the round, but I really like hitting people since I was never allowed to in judo,” Harrison said in the cage after the win. “I’m going to be the best, I’m going to be even better than Khabib (Nurmagomedov) when I am done.”That’s a statement and a half.With the victory, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo clinched the women’s lightweight second seed, setting the table for a possible championship final between herself and No. 1 seed Sarah Kaufman.Before PFL 4 even kicked off, Kaufman took to her Twitter account Wednesday to explain that she wouldn’t be featured on the PFL 4 card because her scheduled opponent, Roberta Samad, failed to make weight.Samad’s blunder gave Kaufman three points and a playoff berth as the top seed, not to mention an unexpected night off and an opportunity to see Harrison up close and personal.Harrison and Kaufman can meet in the championship match for the lightweight title and $1 million if Harrison defeats Genah Fabian and Kaufman can get past Larissa Pacheco in the semifinals at the Mandalay Bay on Oct. 11.Our 2019 Women’s Lightweight semifinalists. These ladies are all headed to Las Vegas for the playoffs!@Judo_Kayla vs. @pachecolarissa_@mmasarah vs. @GenahFabian pic.twitter.com/B1RbtaB1ns— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) July 12, 2019Joao Zeferino def. Bojan Velickovic by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) to earn three pointsZeferino took Velickovic’s back with less than a minute remaining in the fight but failed to get the finish he needed to secure a spot in the playoffs..@zeferinomma gets it done! He scores a unanimous decision win and earns 3 points. #PFL4 pic.twitter.com/KOdYhXp8ac— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) July 12, 2019Despite the bittersweet ending, Zeferino did take pleasure in dedicating his win to his dad, who was in attendance.