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May 2011 MMA Recap: Brock Lesnar's Diverticulitis Returns, Zuffa Covers Health Insurance

Brock Lesnar's diverticulitis returned in May, putting the former UFC champion on the shelf. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Brock Lesnar's diverticulitis returned in May, putting the former UFC champion on the shelf. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Medical issues dominated the month of May as the UFC's biggest pay-per-view draw was put on the shelf indefinitely, Zuffa announced they were covering health insurance for all and Jon Jones decided against surgery and thus, against Rashad Evans.

May 2011 - Diverticulitis Becomes A MMA Household Word

The constant "Will he or won't he return?" story with Brock Lesnar finally advanced with an impromptu conference call announcing that Lesnar's diverticulitis had returned and his June bout with Junior dos Santos was being scrapped. Surgery was imminent and there was no timetable for his return, if ever. There was talk about what this meant to the UFC's business and pay-per-view specifically. As we know now, the surgery was successful and Lesnar returned to action quicker than many ever thought.

As the UFC continues to struggle with building stars that people will pay money to watch, having Lesnar in the mix is a major component to good business -- a reason why Friday's UFC 141 is such an important event.


The upper reaches of the UFC's light heavyweight division made headlines as Quinton Jackson failed to impress in a unanimous decision win over Matt Hamill at UFC 130, but still earned the next title shot at Jon Jones, who decided against surgery on his hand. This rankled many who thought Jones was ducking Rashad Evans and the situation between the two got worse with an altercation at a nightclub.

Oh, and Christian M'Pumbu won the first Bellator 205-pound title.


While it wasn't a sexy headline, Zuffa announced that all contracted fighters would be 100% covered by health insurance, an important thing for a group that routinely trains injured because of the cost of medical expenses. As talks of unions get quashed rather quickly, any attempt to take care of those that compete in the cage is important and full health insurance was a huge goodwill step toward that, as well as a nice competitive advantage for free agents considering their options between Zuffa, Bellator and other organizations.

The organization had a busy month in the front office as well, laying off some Strikeforce employees and moving former WEC staffers into those roles in addition to adopting a new financial reward system for activity on Twitter.

Check out what happened the rest of the month after the jump...

Other Stuff That Happened

After a rumored boxing debut against Jeff Lacy, Nick Diaz backed off the boxing ledge and officially moved over to the UFC with a match with UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre booked...Chael Sonnen was officially suspended by the California State Athletic Commission, upheld after a bizarre public hearing a week later...Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III was postponed due to injuries to both fighters...Jose Aldo also had to pull out his 145-pound title defense against Chad Mendes due to injury.

Frank Mir won a snoozefest over Roy Nelson at UFC 130, while Brian Stann continued his run toward a title shot with a big win over Jorge Santiago...Michael Bisping and Jason Miller were named coaches of TUF 14, while Dana White continued to blame external issues for the low TUF 13 ratings...Dan Henderson got a fight booked against Fedor Emelianenko for July 30 and then sued Matt Lindland over ownership of Team Quest.

Tapout co-founders Tim "SkySkrape" Katz and Dan "Punkass" Caldwell were accused of stealing Charles "Mask" Lewis' ashes...Nevada quietly allowed the use of monitors for judges at UFC events...Dan Hardy got a reprieve and found himself matched up against Chris Lytle...Bloody Elbow announced a ticket partnership with TiqIQ.

May's full archive of stories on Bloody Elbow

Past Monthly Recaps: