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6/10/16: Top Five Stories of the Week
In our regular Friday feature, we list out the most newsworthy stories/articles from the past week in MMA.
5. Dominick Cruz retains Bantamweight Title, concludes trilogy with Urijah Faber: Dominick Cruz finally put Urijah Faber behind him on Saturday night, scoring a decisive five round decision win in the co-main event at UFC 199. It was a great 25 minute performance from Cruz, as he dropped Faber several times, and just had more success overall than in their second meeting. It may have been Faber’s final shot at a UFC Title, but Cruz now moves forward to what is likely the winner of UFC 200’s T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao bout.
4. UFC bans, rescinds ban on Ariel Helwani and MMAFighting.com: The UFC brought attention away from a massively newsworthy UFC 199 event when Ariel Helwani went public to announce that he’d been banned “for life” from the organization after breaking news on Brock Lesnar’s return and the impending reveal that Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz II was set for UFC 202. After heavy mainstream criticism and numerous appearances from Helwani on big name outlets, the UFC reversed course, a move they haven’t made in the past with other members of the media whom they’ve banned.
3. Brock Lesnar’s MMA return announced for UFC 200 against Mark Hunt: Brock Lesnar is coming back to the UFC. It was made official in an absolutely out of left field announcement at UFC 199, and we found out later that his return at UFC 200 will come against the heavy handed Mark Hunt. It’s a ballsy move on Lesnar’s part, and a risky fight as well with an expected WWE return in August, but it absolutely shines a new spotlight on UFC 200 that wasn’t there before.
2. Michael Bisping captures UFC Middleweight Championship: Michael Bisping knocked out Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, capturing the UFC Middleweight Title nearly ten years after his official debut in the UFC. It was one of the most shocking upsets in UFC title fight history, and served as the culmination to a career that had been marred by shortcomings in big moments. Whether or not he holds onto that belt for long, Bisping can forever say he held a UFC title, and he bolstered his case for an eventual UFC Hall of Fame slot in the process.
1. Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson passes away at 42: The MMA world lost one of its biggest ever stars this week, as Kevin Ferguson, best known to fans as Kimbo Slice, passed away due to heart failure. His passing came as a shock to all, especially as he was scheduled to fight for Bellator MMA just next month in London. One of the most watched fighters in the sport’s history, Slice’s ratings dominance out-shone his in-cage work, and he brought a massive slate of new fans to the sport in a way few others could match.
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