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Wanderlei Silva Retires from MMA


Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Veteran mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva retired abruptly on Friday, announcing his decision in a surprise 13-minute YouTube video. Silva cited "disillusionment" with the UFC, his current employer, as the main reason for his decision to walk away from the sport.

The 38-year-old claimed that the UFC repeatedly attempted to get him to fight when he was not healthy and accused the sports top promotion of paying their athletes with "crumbs." Silva was supposed to fight Chael Sonnen, his opposing coach on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil in May before the bout was rescheduled July. 

"They told me I had to fight on that date and offered me a bunch of money," Silva said. "I asked myself, 'If they have the money, why didn't they offer it to me before?' They always hold on to the money so they underpay athletes."

Silva (35-12-1) made his professional debut in 1996 and eventually won the Pride middleweight championship. The Brazilian has fought exclusively for the UFC since 2007. Currently, he is involved in an issue with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) regarding Silva's dodging of a random drug test.

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Timberwolves Offer Max Deal to Bledsoe


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly offered a maximum contract to restricted free-agent Eric Bledsoe in hopes of a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns, Bledsoe's current team. 

The deal is for a reported four years and $63 million, exceeding the Suns offer of four years and $48 million. Bledsoe has told the Suns, as well as other teams, that he would only consider a max contract but would be willing to sign a qualifying offer worth one year and $3.7 million. By signing that deal, Bledsoe would make himself an unrestricted free agent following the 2014-15 season.

Minnesota had inquired about Bledsoe while shopping all-star forward Kevin Love, but trade talks never reached a serious point. The Timberwolves are hoping to pair Bledsoe with Andrew Wiggins, whom they acquired from Cleveland for Love.

Phoenix has already started making possible arrangements for life after Bledsoe. The Suns signed free-agent Isaiah Thomas and drafted Tyler Ennis in the first-year player draft in June. Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points per game for Phoenix last season.

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Jameis Winston's Suspension Increased


Grant Halverson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Citing new findings in their investigation to his sexual and profane outburst at a student union meeting, Florida State announced late Friday they were suspending quarterback Jameis Winston for the full game against No. 22 Clemson on Saturday. Winston had originally been suspended for only the first half.

"Based upon the results of our continuing investigation of Tuesday's incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night," interim Florida State president Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox said in a joint statement.

Winston, the reigning Heisman trophy winner, was seen shouting an obscene sexual phrase on campus earlier in the week. The top ranked Seminoles will start sophomore Sean Maguire against the Tigers. Maguire has completed 12 of 26 career passes while at Florida State.

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Kershaw Wins 20th Game, Dodgers Clinch Playoff Spot


Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Despite only throwing five innings, Clayton Kershaw picked up his league-leading 20th win of the season as Los Angeles defeated the Chicago Cubs (68-86) 14-5 on Friday. It was the shortest outing in nearly four months for Kershaw (20-3), who was aided by his offense.

"Obviously, you want to go eight or nine every time and be the reason why your team won," Kershaw said. "But sometimes your team does it for you and you just have to be out there. So that was the way it happened today and I'll take it."

The Dodgers hit four home runs as a team, including two from catcher A.J. Ellis. In total, Los Angeles (88-66) racked up 13 hits against Edwin Jackson (6-15) who was making his first start since coming off the disabled list. 

Los Angeles also clinched a playoff spot with Pittsburgh's 4-2 win over Milwaukee. It's the second straight season the Dodgers will be in the playoffs as they hold a 3 1/2 game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.

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ABC Scoreboard Roundup 9/19/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers 14 (88-66) - Chicago Cubs 5 (66-88)

Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (83-70) - Milwaukee Brewers 2 (79-75)

Washington Nationals 3 (89-64) - Miami Marlins 2 (74-79)

New York Mets 5 (74-80) - Atlanta Braves 0 (76-77)

Colorado Rockies 15 (63-91) - Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (62-92)

Boston Red Sox 5 (67-77) - Baltimore Orioles 3 (92-61) in 10 Innings

St. Louis Cardinals 2 (86-68) - Cincinnati Reds 1 (71-83)

New York Yankees 5 (79-74) - Toronto Blue Jays 3 (77-76)

Chicago White Sox 4 (70-83) - Tampa Bay Rays 3 (74-80)

Detroit Tigers 10 (85-68) - Kansas City Royals 1 (83-69)

Seattle Mariners 10 (83-70) - Houston Astros 5 (67-87)

Minnesota Twins 5 (66-87) - Cleveland Indians 4 (79-74)

Oakland Athletics 3 (84-69) - Philadelphia Phillies 1 (70-84)

San Diego Padres 5 (72-81) - San Francisco Giants 0 (84-69)

Texas Rangers 10 (61-92) - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 (95-59)

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Li Na Retires Due to Knee Injuries


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- Two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na announced that she is retiring due to reoccurring knee injuries on Friday.

Na was the first player from Asia to take home a major title.

"Most people in the tennis world know that my career has been marked by my troubled right knee," Li said in an open letter. "After four knee surgeries and hundreds of shots injected into my knee weekly to alleviate swelling and pain, my body is begging me to stop the pounding."

"After a few weeks of post-surgery recovery, I tried to go through all the necessary steps to get back on the court," the letter continued. "While I've come back from surgery in the past, this time it felt different.

"One of my goals was to recover as fast as I could in order to be ready for the first WTA tournament in my hometown. As hard as I tried to get back to being 100 percent, my body kept telling me that, at 32, I will not be able to compete at the top level ever again. The sport is just too competitive, too good, to not be 100 percent."

"I've succeeded on the global stage in a sport that a few years ago was in its infancy in China," Li concluded. "What I've accomplished for myself is beyond my wildest dreams. What I accomplished for my country is one of my most proud achievements."

Na hasn't played since losing in the third round at Wimbledon and withdrew from the U.S. Open due to a knee injury. Na won the 2011 French Open title and this year's Australian Open.

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Roger Goodell Addresses the Media


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For the first time since the release of the second Ray Rice video, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the media regarding the recent controversy's swirling around the league.

Goodell shouldered most of the blame for how the NFL handled the Ray Rice suspension as well as the cases of Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and others.

The Commissioner has received a heap of criticism from fans, media, and players. Some have called for him to even resign from his position.

“I have not,” Goodell responded when asked if he had considered resigning. “I am focused on doing my job. I understand when people are critical of my performance, but we have work to do. I am proud of the opportunity we have to make a difference and do the right thing. We’ve acknowledged that we need to make changes and now we have to get those changes going.”

Goodell did reveal that there could be changes coming to his role and how these types of situations will get handled in the future.

“Everything is on the table. We’re going to make sure that we look at every aspect of how we gather information to make a decision, how make that decision, and then the appeals process. And all of that is on the table, and all of that is important information that we want outside experts to give us perspective on, and see if there’s a better way to do it. We believe there is and we believe we need it. We can’t continue to operate like this.”

Goodell has been the commissioner since 2006.

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Andy Dalton, Bengals Look to Start 3-0


Andy Lyons/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- The Cincinnati Bengals are looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 2006 when they host the Tennessee Titans (1-1) on Sunday.

Cincinnati has a ten-game win streak at home headed into Sunday.

Quarterback Andy Dalton is well aware of the Titans defense. "They do a good job with different looks," Dalton said of the Titans defense.  "We have to be sharp mentally to handle what they're going to throw at us."

Dalton hasn't thrown an interception or been sacked yet this year and credited the hard work of his offensive line.

"It's been a thing that we've really prided ourselves on," Dalton said.  "It's one of our top goals, win the game, then no turnovers and then no sacks.  We've done a good job of that obviously, so we've got to keep that going."

The Bengals will have a bye following their game against Tennessee on Sunday and will play the Patriots in week 5.

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Giants Hope to Avoid 0-3 Start


Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Giants (0-2) hope to turn around a tough start to the season on Sunday against the Houston Texans (2-0).

"You treat every game as a must-win," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. "You don't want to put any extra pressure on guys, but we know we've got to get things going. We have to start playing better football."

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is well aware of Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who also scored his first career touchdown in their win last week against the Raiders.

"He's a very good football player," Coughlin said of Watt.  "Very energetic, they move him around, they play him in different spots, comes off the ball very well.  There's no doubt people have to be aware of where he is."

New York opened last season with a 0-6 start.

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Chargers Prepare for Tough Road Game in Buffalo


Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- The San Diego Chargers (1-1) have a tough task at hand on Sunday when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills (2-0).

San Diego is coming off a big win against the Seattle Seahawks in week 2 and quarterback Philip Rivers understands this will be another challenge in a long season.

"It's going to be tough," Rivers said. "[They're] not a team we're overly familiar with and they've won two in a row. We got to go play good."

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy is doing everything he can to prepare his defense for stand-out rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

"He's on his first go-around with each defensive back," McCoy said of the rookie.  "He plays it for a little bit and as the game goes on he learns a few more things about the technique that guys trying to play. He's got so much to learn, but he's done a nice job the first couple weeks of the season, very explosive player."

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