NEW YORK -- Middleweight contender Yoel Romero delivered a huge statement at UFC 205 on Saturday, at a great expense of one of New Yorks own.Romero (12-1) knocked out Long Island native Chris Weidman with a flying knee to the head at 0:24 of the third round. The victory likely sends Romero to a title fight against current champion Michael Bisping, who was inside Madison Square Garden and gestured a middle finger toward Romero.See you soon, boy, Romero said.Weidman (13-2), who spent hours lobbying for the legalization of professional mixed martial arts in New York, looked shellshocked after the loss. The former champion was in the process of shooting a double-leg takedown when Romero leapt forward with a knee.The blow immediately send Weidman to the canvas, and Romero landed a few follow-up punches before referee Mario Yamasaki called the fight.It has been a nightmare year for Weidman, who surrendered the title in a fourth-round knockout to Luke Rockhold last December. Weidman was scheduled to face Rockhold in an immediate rematch at UFC 199 in June but was forced to withdraw with a neck injury.Before Saturday, it had been a trying year for Romero, 39, as well. The former Cuban Olympic wrestler failed a drug test in December, but he was given a reduced six-month suspension after the United States Anti-Doping Agency concluded the failed test was the result of a contaminated supplement.Fighting out of American Top Team, Romero is a perfect 8-0 in the UFC. He was largely inactive in the opening round against Weidman, but Romero stole momentum in the second round after he swept Weidman off his feet in a clinch.Romero bothered Weidman several times with the left body kick and appeared to be the fresher of the two heading into the final round. After the win, Romero jumped out of the Octagon and marched around its perimeter.Bisping had previously stated he wouldnt fight Romero, even if he won at UFC 205, saying Romero had taken performance-enhancing drugs. Bisping is coming off a decision win against Dan Henderson in October.Edgar takes down Stephens five times in decision winFeatherweight Frankie Edgar (21-5-1) picked up a satisfying, three-round win over Jeremy Stephens (25-13) and called for a bout at UFC 209 on Feb. 11, 2017, in Brooklyn.Edgar, a New Jersey native, was dropped by a Stephens head kick in the second round, but Edgar managed to recover and finish the round hunting for a guillotine. Stephens landed his share of offense -- jabs, short uppercuts, a winging right to the body -- but Edgars wrestling background turned up when he needed it.Stephens countered Edgars moves on the floor and never looked out of his league in terms of grappling, but all three judges scored it Edgar: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.Edgar, 35, bounces back from a five-round loss to Jose Aldo for the interim title at UFC 200. Edgar has said he is willing to drop to 135 pounds, but only for an immediate title shot. He has won six of his past seven.Nurmagomedov dominates Johnson for submission winLightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) tore through Michael Johnson (17-11) on the ground, submitting him via kimura at 2:31 of the third round.After the victory, Nurmagomedov, who missed all of 2015 due to injury but is 2-0 this year, demanded a title shot in his next bout. He took a shot at featherweight champion Conor McGregor.I want to stay humble, but I have to talk. All guys talk too much, Nurmagomedov said. I understand how crazy powerful the UFC [public relations] machine is. Your guy at the beginning of the year tapped like chicken, end of year he fight for title. Its crazy. This is true. This is not just talking.Nurmagomedov was staggered by a left hand in the opening round, but once he closed distance and took Johnson down, Nurmagomedov was unstoppable. He pulverized Johnson with punches and elbows from the top and never allowed him to get back up. In the third, Nurmagomedov closed Johnsons left eye with punches and hurt him with a flush uppercut.Prior to UFC 205, Nurmagomedov said he thought the UFC used him as leverage to negotiate the main event between McGregor and Eddie Alvarez. He threatened to never fight again if a title shot didnt come next. The most deserving contender other than Nurmagomedov would be Tony Ferguson, who has won nine consecutive.Middleweight Tim Boetsch (20-10) thoroughly smoked Rafael Natal (21-8-1) on the feet and finished him via TKO at 3:22 of the first round.Boetsch took the center of the cage and calmly stalked down Natal, predominantly with the right hand. Boetsch dropped Natal with a right cross along the fence and put him to sleep with several hard follow-up shots before the referee could step in.A right hand earlier in the bout cut Natal over the left eye, and he looked a little timid from then on. Boetsch out-landed him in total strikes, 14 to five.After worrying about his job following a three-fight losing streak earlier this year, Boetsch has finished back-to-back opponents.Brazilian welterweight Vicente Luque (11-5-1) dropped Belal Muhammad (10-2) with a left hook before finishing him quickly with a series of punches on the ground. Referee John McCarthy stopped the bout at the 1:19 mark.Luque accepted the bout on short notice, when Muhammads original opponent Lyman Good was pulled due to a potential doping violation. Luque said he lost 30 pounds in two-and-a-half weeks to make weight for the bout.Luque is a member of the Blackzilians who was born in New Jersey. He picks up his fourth UFC win -- three of which have come via first-round finish. The 24-year-old has eight first-round finishes in his career.Lightweight Jim Miller (28-8) extended his active win streak to three, defeating Thiago Alves (21-1!) by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). The bout took place at a catchweight since Alves, 33, missed the 156-pound limit by 6.6 pounds on Friday.Miller, of Sparta, New Jersey, landed several good body kicks on the feet, but his takedowns secured the win. His double-legs put Alves on his back in each of the three rounds, which made it impossible for the Brazilian to get into a rhythm.With the victory, Miller becomes the all-time leader in wins as a lightweight. He contemplated retirement earlier this year at UFC 200 but has won three in a row since.Bantamweight Liz Carmouche (11-5) survived a knockdown in the third round en route to a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over Katlyn Chookagian (8-1).Carmouche, out of San Diego, worked her ground game to jump ahead of Chookagian on the scorecards early. Chookagian dropped her with a right head kick in the third, but Carmouche managed to scramble back up and finish the bout.The win improves Carmouches UFC record to 3-3. 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. Miikka Kiprusoff had just announced his retirement after a decade-long run in Calgary and it would be up to Berra and Ramo to fill the void. Okay, Mark Casse -- freshly christened member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, trainer of Tepin, Catch a Glimpse, and Lexie Lou, among others -- think youre hot stuff? Lets see what you can do with the enigmatic Noble Bird against Frosted on Saturday in the 89th running of the Whitney at Saratoga.Talk about bringing a butter knife to a gunfight.Of course, Casse does not think hes hot stuff, but when reached Thursday morning at Saratoga, he was still glowing from the Hall of Fame ceremonies the night before at the Mississagua Convention Centre near Woodbine. He was gracious and grateful in his acceptance speech, noting in awe the company of trainers he has joined that includes Lucien Laurin, Horatio Luro, and Roger Attfield, and his thank-yous were liberally spread among his owners, his horses, and the stable crews of his several training outposts.What Casse could not do, however, was finish his speech. With his voice cracking with emotion, he turned the podium over to his wife and racing partner, Tina Casse, and stood aside while she read his dedication to his father, the widely respected horseman Norman Casse, who died this year.With this honor, I spent a lot of time in reflection, Casse said. It seems that time is flying by now, but as you look back, as its going, sometimes its a little hard to enjoy it. As Allen Jerkens said when he was asked if everything was okay: When youre a horse trainer, everything is never okay.At 55, Casse was in his first year of eligibility for the Canadian Hall. The native of Indiana got there by winning the Woodbine training title 11 times, eight Sovereign Awards, and Canadian Horse of the Year with Sealy Hill, Uncaptured, Lexie Lou, and Catch a Glimpse. Taking Breeders Cup races last year with Catch a Glimpse and the champion Tepin didnt hurt either.Someone came up to me about a year ago and said how wonderful it must be to train all those good horses, Casse said. I just smiled and said yes. But as we all know, there is always something to worry about. Dont get me wrong, Im not complaining. And I love my life. But Ill tell you one thing: Ive grown to have a greater respect for Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher and those kind of guys.The feeling should be mutual. Casse first penetrated the North American top 10 in earnings in 2011 and has been there since, currently rolling fourth behind Pletcher, Chad Brown, and Steven Asmussen.With his assistant and son, Norman Casse, the elder Casse rocked the racing world last spring wwhen they sent out Robert Mastersons Tepin to beat the best milers Europe could muster in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.ddddddddddddThe mare has been back in steady training, looking for a path to a defense of her title in the Breeders Cup Mile.Shes been struggling a bit with Saratogas main track -- its so deep and tiring, Casse said. So, were trying to figure out how to cope with that and get her ready for whatever is next. But were dealing with it, and shell be fine.While Tepin has been as reliable as the dawn, John Oxleys Noble Bird has been a puzzlement. Making his 17th start, the 5-year-old son of Travers winner Birdstone finds himself among five entered against Frosted in the $1.25 million Whitney, at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.All Casse and his jockey, Julien Leparoux, need to do is flip the 18 lengths or so that separated Frosted and Noble Bird at the end of the Met Mile at Belmont Park on June 11. That was the day Frosted freaked, winning by an official 14-1/4 lengths in a performance so off-the-wall remarkable that it stole the show from the featured Belmont Stakes and anything else that happened in horse racing that day.Its not a matter of finding those 18 lengths in Noble Bird, Casse said. What we need is for Frosted not to go throwing a 123 Beyer at us again. If he could regress a little bit, that would be very helpful.To describe Noble Bird as inconsistent is an understatement. Casse thought he had a classic colt on his hands when Noble Bird was a 3-year-old, but he did not win a maiden race until August of that year in his fifth start. At 4, he defeated Lea and Hoppertunity in the Stephen Foster Handicap, and this year he won the Pimlico Special by 11-1/4 lengths. In between, though, there were sprinkled grim efforts that baffled both Casse and his jockeys.Hes the toughest horse to ride Ive ever trained, Casse said. He can make good riders look bad. He breaks a little slow, and then he wants to run off. But if you take too much of a hold, hell stick his head straight up in the air, and the rider will fall back on the saddle.But he is a Grade 1 winner, Casse added, and he loves Saratoga. Hell work as good as a horse can work over that surface. So, if he brings his A game, hell run really well. If he doesnt, it doesnt matter where you run him. It doesnt make sense, so you might as well run for a lot of money. 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