In Brief

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Carwin says back injury forces
him off UFC card at MGM Grand

Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight contender Shane Carwin said he’s pulling out of a high-profile New Year’s Day bout with a back injury.

Carwin (12-1) announced his decision on his blog Tuesday. He was expected to fight Roy Nelson in the co-main event of UFC 125 at the MGM Grand Garden.

He said he has unspecified damage to his back that might require surgery.

Carwin was unbeaten until his second-round submission loss to Brock Lesnar in July.

The UFC has no obvious replacement for Carwin in his fight against Nelson, which could have set up the winner with a chance to face new heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in 2011.

Frankie Edgar will defend his UFC lightweight title against Gray Maynard in the main event at UFC 125.

UNLV

Men’s golf team takes second
at Wimberly Intercollegiate

The UNLV men’s golf team shot 2-under-par 282 in the third round of the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate to finish second by one stroke in the 15-team field in Las Cruces, N.M.

UNLV posted a 7-over 859 total, with Kansas at 858 after it shot 11-under 273 in the final round.

Freshman Blake Biddle paced UNLV, shooting 69 to finish tied for third at 3-under 210. Derek Ernst (69) was right behind Biddle, tying for fifth at 211. New Mexico State’s Timothy Madigan and Idaho’s Matt Rawitzer tied for first at 208.

Also: The UNLV women’s golf team, hosting the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown at Boulder Creek Golf Club, shot 4-over 292 in the second round and was tied for ninth in the 17-team field.

The Rebels were at 12-over 588 with Oregon entering today’s final round. Arkansas continued to run away from the field, shooting 12-under 276 for a 23-under 577 total, 18 strokes ahead of second-place Arizona.

UNLV’s Therese Koelbaek shot 5-under 67 to jump from 14th into a tie for fifth at 4-under 140, nine shots behind leader Emily Tubert of Arkansas.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Louisville freshman Dieng
cleared to play by NCAA

Louisville’s depleted frontcourt received a major boost when the NCAA cleared freshman center Gorgui Dieng.

The NCAA overturned an earlier decision that made the 6-foot-10-inch Dieng, who is from Senegal and spent last season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, ineligible because of transcript concerns.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino asked the school to appeal the matter, citing Dieng’s strong academic record. He began practicing with the team and is expected to play in an exhibition against Northern Kentucky on Sunday.

Also: Memphis coach Josh Pastner said freshman Jelan Kendrick is dealing with yet another “personal matter” and that they will “revisit the situation” when the McDonald’s All-American returns to the Tigers.

The 6-6 guard missed his fifth straight practice. CBSSports.com reported that Kendrick has been indefinitely suspended while school officials investigate a verbal threat the freshman made against a teammate and cited an anonymous source that Kendrick had been in multiple fights with teammates since arriving on campus.

MISCELLANEOUS

Wozniacki whips Dementieva
to open WTA Championships

Caroline Wozniacki swept aside Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-1 in the group stage of the WTA Championships in Doha, Qatar, putting her one win from ensuring she will remain the world’s top-ranked player for 2010.

Wozniacki raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set on her way to thrashing Dementieva, who often had no answer for Wozniacki’s strong serves and well-placed groundstrokes.

No. 2 Vera Zvonareva beat a struggling Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-0 in her first match.

Also: Thomas Muster, a 43-year-old who was once ranked No. 1, lost in his first match on the ATP Tour after 11 years away. He was beaten by 23-year-old Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-2, 7-6 (5) in an all-Austrian match in the first round of the Bank Austria Trophy in Vienna.

The leader of Russia’s 2018 World Cup bid said he will not apologize for his reported comments about London, which have prompted rival candidate England to make a formal complaint to FIFA.

Alexey Sorokin said he will instead provide an explanation for his remarks published in a Russian newspaper last week. The comments were translated to say London had a high crime rate and problems with young people drinking alcohol.

“I don’t feel that what I said originally requires an apology,” he said at the International Football Arena conference in Zurich, Switzerland. “I am sure there is a record of that which, if forced, I will have to find.”

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