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Woodley to face Shields at UFC 161 in Winnipeg

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TORONTO -- Former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields will face highly rated welterweight Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley at UFC 161 in Winnipeg this summer.

Heavyweight Pat (HD) Barry, meanwhile, will take on former LSU fullback Shawn (The Savage) Jordan.

The card is set for Winnipeg's MTS Centre on June 15.

Woodley (11-1) is coming off an impressive first-round KO of Jay Hieron, rebounding from a Strikeforce title loss to Nate Marquardt.

Shields (27-6-1 with one no contest) last fought as a middleweight in a UFC 150 win over Ed (Short Fuse) Herman that was ruled a no contest after Shields admitted taking a banned substance. He was suspended for six months and fined US$5,675.

Barry (8-5) knocked out Shane Del Rosario in December. Jordan (14-4) stopped Mike Russow.

Already announced is a light-heavyweight rematch between Mauricio (Shogun) Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and a heavyweight bout between Soa Palelei and Stipe Miocic.

Interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will face Eddie Wineland in the main event while Dan Henderson meets former light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.

In a lightweight battle, Sam Stout of London, Ont., will take on Isaac Vallie-Flagg.

In other UFC news, the organization returns to Brazil on May 18, as the Jaragua Arena in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, hosts a televised UFC card. Veteran Vitor (The Phenom) Belfort will fight former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in the main event.

In the co-main event, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo (Jacare) Souza faces Cypriot Constantinos (Costa) Philippou. Canadian Roger Hollet will fight light-heavyweight Fabio Maldonado on the card.

Flyweight Joseph Benavidez will face Darren Uyenoyama on the April 20 televised card in San Jose. And bantamweight Francisco Rivera takes on Hugo Viana.

Lifetime ban for CIS player

HAMILTON, Ont. -- Nipissing University Lakers defenceman Brett Cook has been banned from competition for the rest of his university career by Ontario University Athletics for punching an official.

The incident occurred in a Feb. 23 game between Nipissing and UQTR. Linesman Nicolas Piche interrupted a fight by wrapping his arms around Cook and steering him towards the Nipissing bench.

When Piche prevented Cook from joining another scrum that had broken out, the defenceman punched Piche in the face and knocked him to the ice.

After reviewing the incident, the OUA banned Cook from participating in any competition sanctioned by the conference for the remainder of his university career.

Messi's foot truly golden

TOKYO -- If anyone doubts Lionel Messi has a golden foot, now there's proof.

A pure gold replica of his left foot was unveiled in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The foot, which is valued at $5.25 million, was created by Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka to commemorate the football player's achievements.

"It's exceptional. You can see each line in the foot. It's an impressive piece of work," Messi's brother, Rodrigo, said at the unveiling.

The jeweler said he cast Messi's foot in Spain at the end of 2012.

"We loved the sound of making the 'golden left foot,' and it being gold, it was our goal to make the project of recreating Messi's left foot a reality," said Masakazu Tanaka, president of the company that made the golden artifact.

The foot will go on sale on Thursday, with an endorsement from the Leo Messi Foundation, which helps children at risk around the world.

Other golden artifacts going on sale are Messi's golden footprint worth $94,500 and the "Golden Foot Mini," which is half the size of the actual golden foot, worth $42,000.

Niners cut kicker Akers

SAN FRANCISCO -- On top of the NFL one season, out the door the next.

The San Francisco 49ers released six-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers on Wednesday, ending a two-year run of record-breaking highs and frustrating lows. General manager Trent Baalke thanked Akers in a statement, calling the kicker a "true professional who represented himself and this organization with class."

"We wish him, and his family, all the best," Baalke said.

Akers appeared in all 32 regular-season games and five playoff contests the past two seasons, including San Francisco's 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. He connected on 73 of 94 field goal attempts and all 78 extra points.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 7, 2013 D4

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