MMA YEAR IN REVIEW: October has Khabib vs. Conor chaos

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) reacts after his fight against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the tenth 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 October Stories

10/2/2018 – The main event for UFC’s annual show at Madison Square Garden was announced to be Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks for the flyweight championship.

10/6/2018 – Moments after submitting Conor McGregor in the fourth round of their lightweight title fight at UFC 229, Khabib Nurmagomedov jumped the cage and went after members of McGregor’s corner. Meanwhile, members of Nurmagomedov’s corner attempted to enter the cage to go after McGregor. Nurmagomedov was escorted from the arena area and the winning announcement was read without his presence.

10/9/2018 – Dana White told TMZ that UFC 229 did “well over 2 million” pay-per-view buys.

10/9/2018 – After originally only filing a complaint against Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Nevada Athletic Commission filed a complaint against Conor McGregor after viewing additional video of the UFC 229 incident.

10/9/2018 – UFC announced that Daniel Cormier defending the heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis was the new UFC 230 main event. The Shevchenko-Eubanks fight was scrapped and Shevchenko taking on Joanna Jedrzejczyk was reinstated for UFC 232.

10/10/2018 – Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch of their 2013 classic was announced as the main event for UFC 232. They would fight for the light heavyweight championship then held by Daniel Cormier.

10/16/2018 – Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez announced that he had signed with ONE Championship. He claimed he had an eight-figure contract and that more big signings were coming.

10/20/2018 – Daniel Cormier said that he had to postpone a tryout for the WWE commentary team in order to take the UFC 230 fight with Derrick Lewis.

10/24/2018 – Reports surfaced that a trade between UFC and ONE Championship was in the works. The trade would see Ben Askren head to UFC in exchange for former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

How did things turn out?

-Thankfully, the Shevchenko-Eubanks fight did not headline the PPV.

-Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov both remain suspended pending their hearings which should take place in early 2019.

-UFC 229 ended up doing in the neighborhood of 2.4 million buys including online and traditional pay-per-view.

-The Askren-Johnson trade was soon finalized. Ben Askren is scheduled to fight Robbie Lawler in March 2019 and Demetrious Johnson will be part of ONE’s flyweight grand prix tournament.

Key Fight Results

10/6/2018 – Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 main event to retain the lightweight championship. Also on the card, Derrick Lewis took a come from behind knockout win over Alexander Volkov.

10/12/2018 – Ryan Bader dominated Matt Mitrione to advance to the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix at Bellator 207.

10/13/2018 – Fedor Emelianenko won a  first-round TKO over Chael Sonnen in an odd fight to take the other spot in the tournament finals.

10/27/2018 – Anthony Smith won a third-round submission over Volkan Oezdemir in the main event of UFC Moncton. 


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