A Look at the Medical Suspensions After UFC 245
Sometimes, winning hurts.
Two of the three fighters who left Las Vegas with championship belts after the UFC 245 show at T-Mobile Arena—and three of the five winners on the pay-per-view card overall—could be on the sidelines for six months thanks to injuries suffered in their high-profile bouts on Saturday night.
In fact, the Nevada State Athletic Commission released a laundry list of medical suspensions on Monday (via MMA Junkie), hitting on 23 of the 26 fighters who were part of the early prelim, prelim and PPV parts of the event.
Read on to get more on the broken thumb, jaw and hand heard 'round the MMA world.
It'd take an awful lot to wipe the smile off Kamaru Usman's face after Saturday night.
But the medical news he received on Monday might do it.
The "Nigerian Nightmare" retained his welterweight title in violent style with a fifth-round stoppage of polarizing challenger Colby Covington, but is on the shelf for up to 180 days or until an X-ray of his left thumb is cleared by a physician.
He's also suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days.
And if anything is likely to keep the chatty Covington quiet, it's a broken jaw.
The unapologetic rabble-rouser and outspoken Trump supporter apparently sustained the injury in the third round and went on for nearly two more, before he was dropped twice in the fifth and halted with just 50 seconds remaining.
Official scorecards had it dead even heading into that final round, with one judge favoring Usman, a second favoring Covington and a third scoring it two rounds apiece through four.
In the aftermath, Covington is out 180 days or until the non-displaced midline mandibular fracture is cleared by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He's also suspended for 60 days with no contact for 45 days.
The latest phenom in the UFC's featherweight division will have to wait a while to strut his stuff again.
Alexander Volkanovski stunned more than a few fans with a unanimous decision over streaking champion Max Holloway, handing the popular Hawaiian just his second loss in six years.
The new title-holder was brutally effective with kicks to Holloway's legs and fared no worse than even with the now-ex-champ with his hands, though that proved a particular post-fight concern.
Volkanovski was handed a 180-day suspension—or until an X-ray of his right hand is cleared by an orthopedic physician—in addition to a 45-day general suspension, with 30 days of no contact.
As we said, those kicks from Volkanovski were painful for multiple reasons.
They were probably the biggest piece of the offensive strategy that turned the reigning champion into an ex-champion, and they went a long way toward justifying the 30-day suspension Holloway received—with no contact for 21 days due to leg pain.
All told, Holloway was on the receiving end of 157 significant strikes in five rounds, including 67 to the head and a remarkable 75 to the legs.
Women's bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes was handed a similar penalty to Holloway, suspended for 30 days and no contact for 21 days following her grinding defeat of former champion Germaine de Randamie.
The 31-year-old "Lioness" further legitimized her standing as the fiercest female in the sport with a consistent smothering of her Dutch rival. Nunes scored takedowns almost at will and wound up with eight over 25 minutes, not to mention landing 59 percent of her strikes.
She did take 126 strikes from de Randamie, however, and probably will welcome the respite.
Germaine De Randamie
It's de Randamie who could really use the 30-day suspension, 21 days without contact, that she got.
The 35-year-old was the UFC's inaugural female featherweight champion and returned with a repeat coronation on her mind, but she was no match for Nunes' ground game and couldn't keep up with her foe on the striking front either.
Nunes landed no less than 199 strikes, including 63 significant shots to the head and 12 more to the legs.
If they sell Tylenol in the Netherlands, put de Randamie down for a couple cases.
When it comes to Marlon Moraes, a suspension is likely the least of his concerns.
The top-ranked bantamweight contender escaped with his status intact following a reed-thin unanimous decision over former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who dropped 10 pounds and appeared to have done enough to get the nod in their three-rounder at 135 pounds.
Nevertheless, Moraes got the verdict, and along with it a 45-day suspension. He's to have no contact for 21 days thanks to a cut on his left eyelid.
As for Aldo, he'll lick his wounds for 30 days, with no contact for 21 days.
That penalty aside, the 33-year-old Brazilian may have resurrected his career by taking the atypical route from featherweight to bantamweight.
Coming off a stretch of four losses in seven fights, the sleeker Aldo appeared the more energetic man throughout the match as he consistently played the aggressor and had zero issues with punch resistance.
Moraes looked stunned to have gotten the verdict and immediately suggested he'd take a rematch.
Even the guy who gets the "Performance of the Night" bonus doesn't emerge unscathed.
But in the case of Russian grinder Petr Yan, it was as much because of the punishment he dished out as any he might've taken from victimized UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber.
The 40-year-old Faber landed just 18 significant strikes in two-plus rounds before being TKO'd, hardly the sort of volume to leave much of a mark. Rather, Yan's 180-day suspension—or until an X-ray of his right foot is cleared by an orthopedic physician—is because of the persistent violence he authored while improving to 13-1 as a pro and rising to No. 3 among UFC bantamweights.
Yan is also shelved for 30 days, with no contact allowed for 21 days.
On the flip side, the suspension for Faber might be academic.
The 40-something former title challenger returned from a hiatus earlier this year, but may be driven back to the realm of doting father after the comprehensive beatdown he took from the uber aggressive Yan.
Faber is suspended for 60 days, with no contact for 45 days.