Cup rematch opens MLS
PORTLAND, Ore. — The defending champion Portland Timbers host the Columbus Crew today (4:30, ESPN) in a rematch of last year's MLS Cup final as Major League Soccer opens its 21st season.
Orlando City opens its second season at home against Real Salt Lake as all 20 teams get underway today.
Replays: Referees will be assisted by video replays for the first time on a trial basis, FIFA announced. Tests will start next year in private before a live pilot phase by the 2017-18 season.
Spain: Cristiano Ronaldo had four goals to become the No. 2 leading scorer in La Liga as host Real Madrid routed Celta Vigo 7-1. With 252 goals, Ronaldo passed Telmo Zarra's 251 and trails only Barcelona's Lionel Messi (305).
Browne TKOs champ Chagaev
Lucas Browne (24-0, 21 KOs) became Australia's first world heavyweight champion, beating Ruslan Chagaev (34-3-1, 21 KOs) in a surprise technical knockout in Grozny, Russia. Browne won the so-called regular version of the WBA belt, but Tyson Fury is considered the WBA "unified" champ.
McGregor cashes $1 million payday
Conor McGregor became the first UFC fighter to make a disclosed $1 million purse in his nontitle fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 196 late Saturday in Las Vegas, the Nevada Athletic Commission reported. Anderson Silva made $800,000 against Nick Diaz in early 2015. UFC 196 also featured unbeaten Holly Holm, making $500,000 to face Miesha Tate.
U.S. advances in Davis Cup
John Isner moved the United States into the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup, defeating Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) early today for a winning 3-1 edge over host Australia in Melbourne. On Saturday, twins Bob and Mike Bryan topped captain Lleyton Hewitt, who came out of a 41-day retirement to replace Sam Groth, and John Peers.
Downs mark tied
Tampa Bay Downs leading trainer Gerald Bennett, whose 72nd birthday is March 12, tied a track record with wins on all four starters at Oldsmar. His winners: Thunder Harbor (Race 3), Antoine's (4), R Quick Temper (5) and Taipan's Advantage (8). Jamie Ness (twice) and Kathleen O'Connell also have had four-win cards.
Gotham Stakes: Shagaf won the $400,000 stakes race at Aqueduct, improving to 3-0.
Gymnastics: Reigning Olympic champ Gabrielle Douglas won the American Cup in Newark, N.J., with 60.195 points, edging U.S. teammate Maggie Nichols.
Motorcycles: Eli Tomac won in AMA Supercross at Daytona International Speedway.
Swimming: Michael Phelps was third in the 100-meter freestyle at a meet in Orlando in 49.57 seconds; Nathan Adrian (48.05) won.
Iditarod: The 1,000-mile dog sled race officially starts today in Willow, Alaska.
Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires