« A summary of the major Nevada State Athletic Commission changes coming in 3 weeks | Home | The Ariel Helwani dilemma: Lawsuits & informants, not protests or unions, is how to fight UFC media policy »
By Zach Arnold | June 5, 2016
— WWE (@WWE) June 5, 2016
What was supposed to be a tepid Southern California UFC event turned out to make major news – for all the right and wrong reasons.
UFC & WWE announced that Brock Lesnar will fight at the UFC 200 event next month. It’s a one-off fight that benefits all the parties involved. Brock makes money, which keeps him happy. UFC gets a marketing bang for their UFC 200 event which needed some buzz from a UFC 100 legend. WWE gets to stay in the mainstream sports headlines and holds onto Lesnar loosely but doesn’t let go.
This news, along with news of a contract being signed to promote the Conor McGregor/Nate Diaz rematch, was broke by Ariel Helwani. Helwani, along with members of his MMA Fighting team for SBN, were credentialed for the UFC 199 event. They supposedly got the heave-ho before the main event and Helwani reportedly has been “banned for life” by UFC. This got Mr. Helwani trending on Twitter. Front Row Brian then publicly claimed that Helwani had been allegedly choked out by a UFC body guard at a prior event for asking certain questions. That’s a serious accusation to make.
All of this was the back-drop for a rather eventful UFC 199 fight card where large underdog Michael Bisping defeated Luke Rockhold by KO in 216 seconds to win the UFC Middleweight title. This now sets up a fight between Bisping and Jacare Souza. Bisping has reached the top of the mountain in the most circuitous way possible. Think about how far he has rebounded after that infamously brutal knockout by Dan Henderson at UFC 100. Henderson fought on Saturday’s night undercard and KO’d Hector Lombard.
Bisping and Rockhold had a wild public relations week heading into the fight and an unfortunate spat after the fight with some crude and course remarks. The Englishman had quite the interview on Fox Sports 1 this past Thursday where he joked that one of his kids may end up in a ditch. Rockhold nearly got his title fight canceled after claiming he had an MCL tear.
Dominick Cruz took care of business with an easy, unanimous decision win over Urijah Faber.
Cole Miller, who was supposed to face BJ Penn (before his USADA suspension due to IV usage), lost by unanimous decision to Bruce Leeroy. A rough business.