It took five years (and a last-minute venue change), but we’re finally getting a Jon Jones–Alexander Gustafsson rematch at UFC 232 on Saturday in Los Angeles. Jones and Gustafsson met at UFC 165 on Sept. 21, 2013. Jones defeated Gustafsson via unanimous decision in the closest fight of his career. He later admitted that he
The UFC chose a great matchup to co-headline its final pay-per-view of 2018: a female superfight between featherweight champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and her bantamweight counterpart Amanda Nunes. Justino (20-1) hasn’t lost since her pro debut in 2005. Nunes (16-4) is on one of the most impressive runs in the history of the sport, with
11:36 AM ET Jeff WagenheimESPN Jon Jones was just 23 years old when he became light heavyweight champion in 2011, making him the youngest belt holder in UFC history. He looked unbeatable and the sky was the limit, it seemed. But it has been a bumpy road for “Jonny Bones” ever since, with a mixture
Jon Jones, as of Monday afternoon, is subject to drug testing from both the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). According to California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster, Jones, 31, enrolled in the VADA program on Monday. As a UFC athlete, he is still enrolled in the promotion’s
10:57 AM ET Jeff WagenheimESPN “I’m at a very healthy place,” Jon Jones insisted to ESPN recently while in the midst of describing life changes he made over the summer during several weeks at a trauma and rehab facility. “Well, I mean, I don’t know, uh, who knows?” “Who knows?” is right. It was an
Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will return to competition against Francis Ngannou in February, according to UFC president Dana White. The heavyweight matchup will headline UFC Fight Night on Feb. 17 in Phoenix. It will mark the first UFC main card to air exclusively on ESPN television. A UFC Fight Night main card on
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has recorded more wins than any other fighter in UFC history, but says he’s going into 2019 with something to prove. Cerrone (34-11) will return to lightweight for the first time in three years next month, when he meets Alexander Hernandez at UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw on Jan.
Bellator 214 is down a title fight. Gegard Mousasi, the Bellator middleweight champion, has withdrawn from his Jan. 26 title defense against Rafael Lovato Jr. due to a back injury, sources told ESPN. It’s unclear at this time how long he’ll be sidelined. The promotion and Lovato Jr. have yet to determine whether he’ll remain
The end of 2018 MMA is nearly upon us. Daniel Cormier had one of the most dominant years ever for a fighter, going 3-0 while retaining the light heavyweight belt and claiming the heavyweight title. We laughed, we cried — there was no super, mega, crossover boxing match to compete with what we saw in
Daniel Cormier redefined his legacy in 2018. And for that, he is ESPN’s Fighter of the Year. To be clear, that legacy was already rock solid before 2018. He was already an Olympian and a two-time defending UFC champion. He was one of the most respected men in combat sports — a guy who was
5:18 PM ET Jeff WagenheimESPN Dominick Cruz has another lengthy injury recovery ahead of him. The former two-time UFC bantamweight champion, who last week pulled out of next month’s scheduled bout with John Lineker, revealed Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show that he tore two ligaments in his right shoulder during sparring and will undergo
Hold the phone on a Nick Diaz comeback fight. Last month, UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Diaz had agreed to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas. The fight would mark his first in four years. The news sent shockwaves throughout the sport, considering how popular Diaz is.
Bellator MMA became the first major MMA promotion to visit the state of Hawai’i since 2008 this week, and it did so behind Hawaiian flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. She did not let the promotion down. Macfarlane (9-0) defended her 125-pound title for the second time on Saturday with a third-round submission against Valerie Letourneau (10-7).
Michael Chandler, one of the longtime faces of Bellator MMA, is a lightweight champion again. Chandler (19-4) became the first three-time champion in Bellator history on Friday, defeating Brent Primus (8-1) via unanimous decision at Bellator 212 in Honolulu. Chandler won back his 155-pound title, which he surrendered to Primus in a TKO defeat in
The Professional Fighters League, a new MMA organization, announced a partnership with sports-betting and daily fantasy provider DraftKings on Friday. The partnership will kick off with a fantasy contest for the PFL Championship on New Year’s Eve. The PFL began its inaugural season with 72 fighters in each of six weight classes. It has held
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is headed back to lightweight. Cerrone (34-11) will drop to 155 pounds for the first time in three years next month, when he faces Alexander Hernandez (10-1) at UFC Fight Night on Jan. 19 in Brooklyn. Multiple sources confirmed the matchup to ESPN, following an initial report by MMAJunkie. A fight between
8:23 AM ET Chamatkar SandhuESPN England’s Aaron Chalmers (4-0) has got off to an impeccable start in his professional fighting career having finished all four opponents in the first round with style points to boot. Not bad for a 31-year-old who only took up MMA little over 18 months ago. A contract dispute between Chalmers
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley could be cleared for a return as soon as Tuesday, when he will be examined by the doctor who surgically repaired his right hand, Woodley told ESPN on Monday. He also accused promotion president Dana White of singling him out for unfair criticism for not accepting a fight on the