When the Florida International University women's volleyball team took on Sun Belt Conference archrivals Western Kentucky University last October 2, all eyes were on Golden Panthers outside hitter Yarimar Rosa. The five-foot-ten Puerto Rico native watched as one of her teammates slapped the ball toward her. Rosa jumped up and pummeled the ball with her fist, sending a line drive over the net. A Western Kentucky player flailed at the ball, sending it out of bounds. Rosa's teammates howled and applauded another kill for the senior, who ended her FIU career as the school's all-time leader in career kills (2,083) and career digs (1,053). She guided the Golden Panthers to an overall 32-4 record and 17-0 campaign in the Sun Belt. The team won its second straight SBC regular-season title and finished second in the SBC Championship. Rosa became the first FIU athlete to be named an All-American four times and was named the Sun Belt's player of the year. A long-haired blonde with an infectious smile, Rosa began playing volleyball when she was 5 years old. In 2003, she became the youngest player to participate in the North, Central America, and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Olympic Qualifying Tournament. "I just have fun," Rosa says. "When I play volleyball, I'm just happy." This past February, Rosa was the first pick in the Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino lottery draft.
In his first five years as a pro, Miami-born Haitian brawler and reigning WBC welterweight champ Andre "the Beast" Berto posted an undefeated 25-fight record, clear-cutting his way to the top of the toughest division in today's fight game. His reward: a January 30, 2010 megabout against surefire Hall of Famer and WBA titleholder "Sugar" Shane Mosley. It was Berto's big shot. At only 26 years old, the Beast had earned the right to fight a legend. But then disaster intervened. On the morning of January 12, a devastating magnitude-7.0 earthquake razed sections of Port-au-Prince and killed more than 200,000. Eight of Berto's family members were among the dead. His sister Naomi and niece Jessica were declared missing. So Berto called off the matchup with Mosley, traveled to Haiti, found his sister and niece alive, and spent the next month assisting with relief efforts. After an 11-month hiatus, he returned to the ring April 10, meeting journeyman Carlos Quintana at the BankAtlantic Center. Through seven rounds in Sunrise, the punch stats were nearly even. However, from the first bell, it was obvious Berto was landing the bigger blows. And eventually, he broke Quintana down, scoring a brutal TKO at 2:16 of the eighth round. The win gave Berto his big shot back. And it's now inevitable: By the end of this year, he will finally fight one of the world's elite welterweights: Mosley, Mayweather, or Pacquiao.
King of Diamonds
Alex Markow
Ode to a boxing queen:Brown-Sub's hook crushesDollars rain inside the ringAt Monday night fights
There are fighters. And there are head busters. Count Luis "Baboon" Palomino in the latter category. As a member of Team MMA Masters, out of Overtown, the Peruvian mixed martial artist puts on a gritty performance every time he steps into the octagon. The five-foot-six, 150-pound fighter relies on his quick athleticism and awesome punching power. If he catches his opponents with one of his left or right hooks, it's over. Since going pro in 2006, Palomino has amassed a 12-6 record, with seven knockouts. As a teenager, he grew up between Miami Beach and South Dade during an era when teen gangs wrecked havoc across the county. Palomino didn't affiliate himself with any colors, but he still had to use his fists to defend himself from bangers in his neighborhood. "It wasn't easy," he recalls, "especially when you don't have 10, 20 guys backing you up." And in the world of MMA, a little showmanship is necessary, which Palomino doesn't shy from. Witness all the trash-talking he and his last opponent, Jorge Masvidal, engaged in. The two fought to a split decision at this past February's G-Force Fights-Bad Blood 3 at the American Airlines Arena. G-Force owner and former Miami Heat player Glen Rice praised Palomino. "Palomino stepped up and got his respect," Rice said. "His performance was a tribute to his hard work." MMA Masters coach Cesar Carneiro promises Palomino will one day be a world champion. "No one is going to stop him."
Whitney's Farm Stand
Key West is just 120 miles away, so why do most Miamians think about the island only when they happen to hear a Jimmy Buffett song? Well, there's that other little reminder: the tangy deliciousness of the island's namesake pie. Fortunately for us city slickers, Whitney's in the Redland brings Key West a little closer with its homemade take on the dessert. Owner Glenn Whitney and his wife Christina, residents of the area for more than 50 years, make the pie from scratch using local key limes. They have never altered the original recipe. The pie is thick, creamy, and exudes a citrus aroma that lingers over each slice. Not only is there the crumbling moist crust, but also each wedge is topped with homemade whipped cream. At $2.50 per slice, it might be the best food deal around. The market sells several other items at a concession stand, including tomato soup and fresh bread, all of which are predominately made from ingredients grown in the market's neighboring fields. In summer 2006, Florida made things official between residents and the limey goodness, finally naming it our state pie. So, Miami, represent the Sunshine State and have a slice of key lime pie at Whitney's. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®