Welcome to the fourth of twelve installments of the 2018 MMA year in review. In the series, we will look at the biggest stories and fights from each month and reflect on how things played out as the year went on. Be sure to check out the previous installments and stay tuned as we go through each month of 2018 over the coming days.
Top April Stories
4/5/2018 – Conor McGregor threw a dolly at a bus full of UFC fighters who had just finished media obligations ahead of UFC 223. McGregor was targetting Khabib Nurmagomedov who had an altercation with McGregor friend and teammate Artem Lobov earlier in the week. Michael Chiesa was cut in the fracas and pulled from his scheduled fight. Rose Namajunas was said to be very shaken up by the experience.
4/6/2018 – Max Holloway was pulled from the UFC 223 main event against Khabib Nurmagomedov due to weight cutting issues. Holloway was replacing Tony Ferguson who had pulled out earlier in the week due to injury. Several fighters were on tap to replace Holloway, but the spot eventually went to Al Iaquinta. Iaquinta technically came in 0.2 pounds overweight for the title fight but Dana White said that Iaquinta would be recognized as champion if he were to beat Nurmagomedov.
4/9/2018 – WWE announced that Brock Lesnar had re-signed with the company, although he would be allowed to take a UFC fight if he wished.
4/17/2018 – Reports surfaced that FOX and ESPN were looking to make a joint bid for UFC’s TV rights.
How did things turn out?
-McGregor pleaded guilty to the charges from the bus incident and was ordered to fulfill five-days of community service. Michael Chiesa has an outstanding lawsuit against McGregor.
-Brock Lesnar did not fight this year but did appear in July to confront Daniel Cormier following his UFC 226 heavyweight championship win over Stipe Miocic.
-UFC signed an exclusive deal with ESPN in May.
Key fight results
4/7/2018 – Nurmagomedov won a unanimous decision over Iaquinta at UFC 223. Also on the card, Rose Namajunas won a decision in a championship rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
4/14/2018 – Dustin Poirier won a barnburner fourth-round TKO over Justin Gaethje in the UFC on FOX 29 main event.
4/21/2018 – Kevin Lee took a doctor’s stoppage win over Edson Barboza and Frankie Edgar came back with a quick turnaround to defeat Cub Swanson at UFC Atlantic City.
4/28/2018 – Fedor Emelianenko needed just 48 seconds to knock out Frank Mir in the first round of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.