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when Raphael
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NEW YORK -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will try to wrap up a deal Monday allowing NHL players to compete in the Sochi Olympics. He says the league will meet in New York with the players association, the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation. Bettman spoke Thursday after a session with the Board of Governors. He says the board has given him the authority to finish the deal. Bettman said "thats something we will try and conclude an agreement with." Having the NHL players compete in the games would mean a break in next years NHL regular season of about two weeks in February. Brook Lopez Jersey . Some will say that Martin is too sensitive while others will say that it is part of the way football is in the locker room. But to have to absorb what was said to him for any rational and intelligent person is too much. 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The Maple Leafs may not have had a pick until the third round, but they have made the biggest move of the second day of the Draft, dealing defenceman Carl Gunnarsson and a fourth-round pick in the draft to the St.Although UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao is among the worlds best mixed martial artists, hes still working on building a significant fan base in North America. His biggest fan in the world just might be UFC President Dana White, and thats just one reason Barao is the star of UFC 173. Barao (34-1) faces T.J. Dillashaw in the main event at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Saturday, headlining the UFCs traditional Memorial Day weekend card in its hometown. "I think (Barao) is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world," White said. "I love this guy." Its tough to argue with White, given Baraos 22-fight winning streak and perfect record in UFC competition. The 135-pound Brazilian dynamo excels with both jiu-jitsu and strikes, fighting with a flair that has led to stoppages in six of his last nine fights. "I think I have a lot to improve in my game, but its always a pleasure to hear from your boss that you are the No. 1," Barao said. "This is the recognition of the hard work and training." Barao likely faces bigger obstacles than Dillashaw (10-2), a heavy underdog, on his path to stardom. Barao is a champion of a lighter weight class, which makes him traditionally less interesting to many fight fans. He also doesnt speak much English, making him tough to promote in North America. Even his Brazilian fans dont know much about his personality outside the cage -- although at least they know his last name isnt actually Barao, the Portuguese word for Baron and a nickname given to him by his grandmother. But with the UFC looking for new attractions in the absence of Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, Barao is getting a chance to show off his incredible skills on another major stage, and White is confident fans will figure out what theyre seeing. "With Anderson, it took a long time for people to catch on," White said of his long-reigning former middleweight champion. "It doesnt happen overnight. When you look at the numbers, its all there. (Barao) is a killer. He tries to go in there and finish. Hes the type of guy I like to watch fight." Dillashaw worked his way into position for a title shot with fivve wins in six fights, but his matchup with Barao is the fourth fight that has been scheduled to headline this card.dddddddddddd The Northern California native is eager to take advantage of the chance created when Raphael Assuncao, who beat Dillashaw by split decision last October, dropped out of this title shot with a rib injury. "Hes a great champion, but everyone has holes in their game," Dillashaw said. "Hes sloppy in exchanges, but he makes it work because hes a big, powerful athlete. I need to stay with what Im good at and use my angles to disrupt his power." Just in case Baraos fight against a game underdog doesnt intrigue enough pay-per-view buyers, UFC 173 also features light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier against veteran Dan Henderson, along with a bout between welterweights Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger. Cormier (14-0) is also a rising name in the UFC, but hes not a tough sell. The talkative former Olympic wrestler has been a dynamic fighter in Strikeforce and the UFC at heavyweight and light heavyweight, where hes currently closing in on a title shot against pound-for-pound contender Jon Jones. Henderson (30-11) is a significant underdog, but any fighter is just one punch away from disaster when hes in the cage with the 43-year-old veteran whose knockout power is no longer aided by testosterone replacement therapy. "(Hendersons) big right hand is the single biggest weapon in MMA, even more dangerous than Ronda Rouseys armbar," Cormier said. "It can come at any time from any direction. No question thats what makes this a dangerous fight. But Ive made a career of making those guys, who possess that something special, like they never had it. I need to stay super-focused and avoid those punches." Although Henderson has lost three of his last four fights, he knocked out Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in spectacular fashion just two months ago. "I want to knock everyone out that I fight," Henderson said. "Its not always the easiest thing to pull off, but Ive done pretty well with it throughout my career. And its definitely nice knowing you have that power going into a fight." ' ' '

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