Ten things to know from last week. January 11-17 2022: WRC's "retired" winners, UFC, NFL, a Horse Racing record that will stand...
  1. French showdown. Mixed Martial Arts was a banned sport in France until recently. Last weekend, UC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou (CMR/FRA) defeated interim Champion Ciryl Gane (FRA) via Decision in what is the last fight in his UFC contract. In the Co-Main, Deiveson Figueiredo (BRA) recovered the UFC Flyweight Championship after beating Brandon Moreno (MEX) in their third fight. They called for a fourth (they are 1-1-1). 
  2. The retirees? The most successful World Rally driver of all time, 47-year-old Sébastien Löeb (FRA), came back for a one-off event at the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo with M-Sport Ford and he ended up winning, alongside Isabelle Galmiche (FRA), the first female to win a WRC event since 2007. This happened a week after he placed second in the Dakar Rally. Second here was current Champion Sébastien Ogier (FRA, Toyota), who is meant to contest a partial season alongside new co-driver Benjamin Veillas (FRA). Craig Breen and Paul Nagle (IRL, Ford) were third.
  3. The record will stand. Silent Witness’ (IRL) record of seventeen unbeaten starts in Hong Kong from over twenty years ago will remain, as Golden Sixty (AUS) was defeated in the Group 1 Stewards’ Cup at Sha Tin (HKG), a race won by Waikuku (IRL), mounted by Zac Purton (AUS).
  4. Contrast for Goggia. Sofia Goggia’s (ITA) year has been heralded as probably the widest ever Alpine Ski Downhill favorite at an Olympic Games Edition. She proved this condition with a spectacular win at the World Cup race in Cortina D’Ampezzo (ITA) which she described as the best in her career. Unfortunately, one day later she fell in the Super-G, resulting in a “minor fracture” of the fibula and tendon injuries. She is now eyeing to recover and only compete in the Olympic Downhill.
  5. X Games. Snowboarders Mark McMorris (CAN) and Jamie Anderson (USA) are now tied for most X Games Winter medals, with a total of 12. McMorris won his sixth gold, in the Snowboard Slopestyle, while Anderson earned a silver in Big Air, which was won by Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL). Alex Hall (USA) took the Big Air gold, with a new Double Cork 2160. Tess Ledeux (FRA) became the first female skier to win gold in Ski Big Air and Slopestyle.
  6. Thrilling Divisional Round. NFL’s Divisional Round (outright Quarterfinals) featured four games with an average margin of victory of 3.8 points; three ended with tie-breaking field goals and the other one going to overtime. The Bengals eliminated the top-seeded Titans with a 52-yard field goal by Evan McPherson (USA); the San Francisco 49ers also pulled the road upset, with Robbie Gould (USA) scoring a 45-yard field goal to eliminate the Green Bay Packers; and the Rams eliminated the Champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with a 30-yard field goal by Matt Gay (USA). Finally, the Kansas City Chiefs eliminated the Buffalo Bills in a great duel between Patrick Mahomes (USA) and Josh Allen (USA) that went back and forth all the way and ended with Kansas City scoring in their first overtime possession.
  7. Russian dominance. The Russian Paralympic Committee had historic participation at the World Para Snow Sports Championships, with its Open Relay members winning gold and consolidating a great Championship: Vladislav Lekomtsev won a total of four golds in Cross-country skiing and three in Biathlon. This week he won the Men’s 12.5 km Standing Biathlon event, as well as the Cross-Country Men’s 20km Standing, Men’s 1km Sprint Standing, and the 2.5 km open relay. Ivan Golubkov won six gold medals -the Sprint, Relay, and 18 km Sitting Cross this week, Oleg Ponomarev three with guide Andrei Romanov – Sprint, Relay and 20 km Visually Impaired Cross all this week-, and Vitalii Malyshev the Open Relay.
  8. Para Alpine. Marie Bochet (FRA) again extended her legacy as the best Para Alpine Skier of all time in the Female Standing divisions by winning her 20th World Championship gold medal and 30th major gold medal overall, this time adding the Giant Slalom gold to her Downhill win from last week Lillehammer 2021. She has won at least two gold medals in every major Championship since 2011. In the sitting divisions, Anna-Lena Forster (DEU) won four out of five races. She crashed out of the Giant Slalom when she had a comfortable margin. Giacomo Bertagnolli (ITA) won the Men’s Giant Slalom Visually Impaired after missing the first races recovering from covid.
  9. Mixed Bowls. Paul Foster (SCO) stands second of all-time in the list of World Indoor Bowls Champions, winning his 13th this week, and 3rd in the Mixed Pairs category, where he is first. He won alongside Alison Merrien (GGY), who is now a two-time Champion in the category. Foster lost the Men’s singles final to Les Gillett (ENG) and Merrien the women’s singles to Katherine Rednall (ENG), while Stewart Anderson & Darren Burnett (SCO) won the Open Doubles.
  10. Fifth in a row. Rémy Coste and his dogs won the La Grande Odyssée long-distance sled dog race for the fifth time in a row and sixth in total out of the last seven editions.