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4/1/16: Top Five Stories of the Week
In our new regular Friday feature, we list out the most newsworthy stories/articles from the past week in MMA.
5. Hector Lombard heading back to middleweight: Lombard, as a former Bellator Middleweight Champion, is technically returning to the field in which he’s had the most success, but that success almost exclusively came out of the UFC. His welterweight run ended poorly after a failed 2015 drug test and a loss to Neil Magny last month in his return. How he handles that all is the next step in the process.
4. Former UFC Champ Carla Esparza makes return on short notice: The former UFC Strawweight Champ is finally ready to return after losing her title in 2015 and suffering injury from there. That return comes on short notice, and Esparza will try to take out a competent competitor in Juliana Lima. It’s a beneficial addition to the UFC 197 card, especially as a replacement fight.
3. Cris “Cyborg” Justino to make UFC debut in Brazil at UFC 198: After years of denying Justino an opportunity in the Octagon, the UFC is finally shrugging off the restriction of the 135 lb. weight class in order to bring her in. It’s a major addition to an already significant event in Brazil, and gives her an opportunity for one of her biggest career wins ever.
2. Conor McGregor meets Nate Diaz again in UFC 200 main event; Aldo-Edgar II set: The UFC is going forward with a 170 lb. rematch between their Featherweight Champion and a top ten lightweight, and it will headline one of their biggest events ever on July 9. In addition to that significant matchup, they’ve added an Interim Featherweight Title in the wake of McGregor fighting again outside of the division, as Jose Aldo will take on Frankie Edgar for the second time.
1. Jon Jones violates probation with “drag racing” stop, UFC 197 bout still on: The latest in the on-going Jon Jones saga played out in multiple phases this week. He went from revealing news on Monday of a traffic stop in Albuquerque last week, to turning himself in on an arrest warrant on Tuesday, and then facing changes to his probationary term on Thursday. He’s been released, and the UFC 197 fight with Daniel Cormier will go on as planned, but the former Champ’s latest run-ins with the law dominated discussion in the MMA world this week.
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