MMA YEAR IN REVIEW: December sees the return of Jon Jones

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Dec 29, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) after his victory over Alexander Gustafsson (blue gloves) during UFC 232 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the eleventh 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 December Stories

12/1/2018 – Mark Hunt seemed to retire following his loss to Justin Willis at UFC Adelaide but also hinted he may fight elsewhere.

12/3/2018 – Former WWE wrestler Jack Swagger announced that he will be making his Bellator debut on Jan. 26 against J.W. Kiser.

12/5/2018 – UFC announced that domestic abuser Greg Hardy would be making his UFC debut on the same card as recent domestic abuse survivor Rachael Ostovich.

12/5/2018 – UFC moved the planned UFC 233 main event between Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw to the promotion’s debut on ESPN+ on Jan. 19.

12/11/2018 – ONE Championship announced that they had signed a deal with Turner Networks to air shows on B/R Live and TNT.

12/12/2018 – Dominick Cruz was forced to pull out of his scheduled fight with John Lineker due to injury.

12/12/2018 – UFC moved the planned UFC 233 event for Jan. 26 “to a later date.”

12/20/2018 – Jon Jones declined the additional VADA testing suggested by the California State Athletic Commission.

12/23/2018 – After an abnormality came up in Jon Jones’ Nevada drug test, UFC 232 was moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.

12/27/2018 – Jeff Novitsky revealed on Joe Rogan’s podcast that UFC knew of Jon Jones’ test abnormalities as far back as August.

12/28/2018 – Daniel Cormier relinquished the light heavyweight title ahead of the Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson fight.

12/31/2018 – Floyd Mayweather defeated Tenshin Nasukawa in the first round of an exhibition boxing match via TKO at RIZIN 14 in Japan.

How did things turn out?

-Mark Hunt has not shared any plans regarding his fighting future as of yet.

-Dana White defended the Hardy decision by saying that Ostovich did not have a problem with Hardy being on the card.

-All planned UFC 233 fights have been moved to other cards and there has been no announcement regarding a UFC 233 event. UFC 234 takes place on Feb. 9.

Key Fight Results

12/1/2018 – Junior dos Santos won a second round TKO over Tai Tuivasa at UFC Adelaide.

12/8/2018 – Max Holloway won a war over Brian Ortega at UFC 231 to retain his featherweight championship. Also on the card, Valentina Shevchenko won the flyweight championship over Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

12/14/2018 – Michael Chandler won a unanimous decision over Brent Primus at Bellator 212 to regain the lightweight championship.

12/15/2018 – Al Iaquinta won a five-round decision over Kevin Lee in the main event of UFC on FOX from Milwaukee.

12/15/2018 – Ilima-Lei Macfarlane won a third-round submission over Valerie Letourneau to retain the flyweight championship at Bellator 213 from Honolulu.

12/29/2018 – Jon Jones won a third-round TKO over Alexander Gustafsson to regain the light heavyweight championship in the UFC 232 main event. Also on the card, Amanda Nunes knocked out Cris Cyborg in less than a minute to become featherweight champion.

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