If Brock Lesnar fighting in a cage against Mark Hunt doesn’t make the top five craziest moments, then you know it was an absolutely insane month. The month of July in the year 2016 will go down in UFC history for so many reasons, a few good and a lot bad.
It was the month that resulted in the most championship losses, the most main event upsets, the first openly gay champion, the most dramatic removal from a fight, the highest profile drug test failure, the largest deal in MMA history and what was supposed to be the biggest event in UFC history.
Undisclosed sources close to Brazilian outlet, Combate, claimed there is was a verbal agreement on the rematch between Dan Henderson and the current UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping. While the UFC has yet to deny these rumors and has posted media about the fight, there has been no official announcement about the fight taking place at UFC 204.
The most shocking news of the month took place days before UFC 200. The UFC light heavyweight title fight crowning their massive UFC 200 PPV event had been cancelled following the news that Jon Jones failed an out of competition drug test. More news about the test failure followed in the coming days.
Jon Jones, who was in floods of tears at the press conference, told reporters that he didn't know what substance he tested positive for and denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs.
In one of the weirdest and most disappointing press conferences, Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor tried to add to the hype of their rematch. Unfortunately technical issues with the microphones derailed the press conference.
Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva filled in for Jon Jones against Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. Brazilian outlet Combate's initially reported the news, which was denied by Dana White at first, but followed by a report by TMZ Sports later that night.
After all of the drama, UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez added another dose of craziness. The former Bellator Champion finished Dos Anjos in the first round with a barrage of strikes to claim the UFC Lightweight Championship.
Lost in all of the madness was the fact that one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, Demetrious Johnson, pulled out of his fight against Wilson Reis at UFC 201 with an injury. Johnson will now defend his belt at the end of the year against the winner of TUF 24.
In what would be the only successful championship defense in July, Joanna Jedrzejczyk defeated Claudia Gadelha with a come from behind performance. The champion was down two rounds after Gadelha controlled the grappling, but a second wind and a tired Gadelha allowed the champ to put on a striking clinic.
One of the most anticipated events in UFC history turned out to be an event with incredibly exciting Fight Pass prelims, incredibly underwhelming FS1 card and incredibly frustrating main card. After Cain Velasquez KO'd Travis Browne and Jose Aldo put on a masterful performance against Frankie Edgar, we were treated to back to back grind-fests with no divisional importance. The main event didn't include the star power that a card like UFC 200 deserved, but instead saw a shocking upset with a quick finish. Amanda Nunes, a name few casual fans would know, became the new UFC Bantamweight Champion and the main event winner of UFC 200.
The sale of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was finalized, with WME-IMG, Silver Lake, KKR and MSD capital purchasing the mixed martial arts organization for $4 billion. Dana White remained with the organization as its president, while Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta only have a minority interest.
The UFC announced that Brock Lesnar had been flagged for a potential USADA violation after his fight with Mark Hunt. The potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemmed from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 28, 2016.
Dust off your Grade 10 science books. Jon Jones tested positive for Hydroxy-clomiphene and Letrozole metabolite. Both of these substances block estrogen, which is commonly needed after a steroid cycle. Read more about what these substances do here.
Not only did Brock Lesnar fail an out of competition drug test, he also failed his pre-fight drug tests for UFC 200. This drug test all but guaranteed a change in the result of the fight, which Lesnar had won by unanimous decision.
Depending on your take on American politics, this could be seen as a high point or a devastating low point for the UFC. Either way, UFC President Dana White gave a speech at the RNC with the same volume and enthusiasm that him and Rogan have before a PPV event.
After receiving a notification of failure for an out of competition test in June, Chad Mendes was officially suspended for two years. It was also revealed that the former UFC Featherweight contender tested positive for GHRP-6, a growth hormone releasing peptide.
After defeating Ronda Rousey, many thought that Holm would reign supreme over the division and become the sports next big star, riding off the Rousey momentum. Those dreams were put on hold after Miesha Tate defeated her, and then set on fire with a loss to Valentina Shevchenko.
Even though Woodley was the underdog heading into the contest and Robbie Lawler was one of the most dominant active champions, it didn't come as a surprise that the month of July would end with another champion losing their crown. Woodley starched Lawler in the first round with an overhand right, becoming the new UFC Welterweight Champion.