Jones regains light heavyweight title
For the third straight fight, Jon Jones has won a UFC title.
Throughout the polarizing superstar’s tumultuous career, only one opponent has given him a challenge and that was Alexander Gustafsson, who pushed Jones to the limit at UFC 165 in Toronto in 2013.
Upon return from a 15 month suspension following a positive test for a long term metabolite of oral turinabol stemming from an in-competition drug test when he defeated Daniel Cormier last July at UFC 214 in Anaheim, Jones faced Gustafsson in a rematch and this time, the result was not close.
Jones got the better of the striking exchanges and after neutralizing Gustafsson with a variety of strikes, Jones took Gustafsson down, took his back and defeated him with vicious ground strikes.
To say that the road to this rematch was rocky would be an understatement. When picogram level traces of the same long term metabolite that earned Jones a suspension resurfaced in recent tests, many anti-doping experts determined that the test results did not stem from a new ingestion of a substance.
Due to the short notice given to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, they were unable to guarantee licensure and the UFC was forced to move UFC 232 to Inglewood, California during fight week upon determining that the state would license Jones for the matchup.
Following the victory, Jones called out arch rival and now former light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier for a rematch, but Jones wants that rematch to take place at light heavyweight, rather than heavyweight where Cormier is currently the champion.
“If I had to relinquish my belt for no reason, I'd sure want to get it back,” Jones told TSN after his victory. “I have nothing against Daniel Cormier, I’m up 2-0, so to go up to heavyweight and take what's his, I've never challenged any other heavyweight, I've got no reason to challenge DC.”
UFC President Dana White exchanged text messages with Cormier during the main event and indicated that Cormier was interested in the rematch.
“I’d love to see (Cormier) fight three more times and I think he will,” White told TSN. “Once we start figuring out when and if Jones and him will fight right now, what weight, where, all that other stuff, we’ll figure that out.”
Nunes earns second UFC title
It had been 13 years since Cris Cyborg lost a professional mixed martial arts bout and when the UFC created a women’s featherweight division specifically for her, it was difficult to find her a legitimate challenger.
That changed when the UFC booked the co-main event bout at UFC 232 between Cyborg and current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
With Cyborg's reputation of overwhelming her opponents and earning first round victories, it came as a shock to the mixed martial arts community when Nunes was able to dispatch the seemingly unbeatable Cyborg in less than a minute.
With the victory, Nunes cemented her legacy by becoming only the third UFC athlete to win a belt in two divisions simultaneously and the first female to do so.
“When I’m getting into something, I want to be the best. When I started MMA, I looked to my mom and said ‘I'm going to go to the USA and I'm going to be the best’ and now I am,” Nunes told TSN following the event.
Nunes told TSN that she was unsure whether her next fight would be at bantamweight or featherweight.
“We never know what is God’s plan, but I know He has the best plan for us,” Cyborg told TSN following the loss. “I think it's going to put more fire in my heart.”
“It’s fights like tonight that turn you into a star,” UFC President Dana White told TSN regarding Nunes’ victory. “She's the best ever.”
Attendance and bonuses
Despite going on sale just days prior to the event, UFC 232 at The Forum in Inglewood, California drew a sellout crowd of 15,862 for a reported gate of $2,066,604 (USD).
Fight of the Night bonuses went to Chad Mendes and Alexander Volkanovski for their back and forth featherweight battle that resulted in a knockout win for the Australian Volkanovski.
Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded to Nunes for her win over Cyborg and Ryan Hall, who became the first person to submit UFC legend BJ Penn.
Each individual will earn an additional $50,000.
Usman expected to face Woodley at UFC 235
Despite winning the interim championship at UFC 225 in June, it appears that Colby Covington is going to be passed over for a welterweight title shot for the second time.
UFC President Dana White told TSN that he was “highly confident” that Kamaru Usman would face welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 this March at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Woodley defended his title against Darren Till last September in Dallas after earning a second round submission victory.
Usman, an Ultimate Fighter winner, has been undefeated in the UFC and is coming off back to back wins over recent title challengers Demien Maia and Rafael dos Anjos, coincidentally, the same two opponents who Covington most recently defeated.
UFC announces Q2 dates
During UFC 232, the UFC issued a press release outlining the dates that they would be holding events in the second quarter of 2019.
Most notably, UFC 236 will be held on Saturday, April 13, UFC 237 on Saturday, May 11 and UFC 238 on Saturday, June 8.
Additionally, five ESPN+ cards and two linear ESPN cards will also take place during the quarter. All of which will air on TSN.
Information regarding location, ticket sales and bouts will be announced at a later date.