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The event was expected to be headlined by a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between then champion Jon Jones and top contender Anthony Johnson.[1][2] However on April 28, following Jones’ hit-and-run incident (see section below), the UFC decided to strip him of the title and suspend him indefinitely. He was replaced by the latest title challenger Daniel Cormier, who was scheduled to face Ryan Bader at the main event of UFC Fight Night 68.[3]

The co-main event is expected to feature a UFC Middleweight Championship bout between current champion Chris Weidman and former UFC Light Heavyweight champion and UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament winner Vitor Belfort. The much delayed pairing had been rescheduled for several events. The first of which was UFC 173, where Belfort withdrew from the bout following the Nevada State Athletic Commission‘s ban on testosterone replacement therapy. The other events were UFC 181 and UFC 184, where Weidman withdrew from both bouts due to a broken hand and injured ribs, respectively.[1]

The event was also expected to feature a UFC Lightweight Championship title eliminator bout between top contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Donald Cerrone.[4] However, Nurmagomedov pulled out of the bout on April 30 due to a knee injury. He was replaced by John Makdessi.[5]

Sean Spencer was expected to face Mike Pyle at the event. However, Spencer pulled out of the bout on April 23 due to an injury.[6] He was replaced by Colby Covington.[7]

Jones’ hit-and-run incident

On April 26, it was rumored that Jones was forced out of the event. After several rumors regarding the cause of Jones’ possible removal, it was later reported by MMAFighting that Jones was being sought for questioning in a hit-and-run car accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he lives. The case is currently under investigation and the Albuquerque Police Department would like to speak with Jones regarding the matter. According to Albuquerque PD spokesman Simon Drobik, Jones has been named the suspect. He’s yet to be reached by anyone.[8][9] The UFC stated that they are aware of APD’s interest in speaking to Jones and they “are in the process of gathering facts and will reserve further comment until more information is available.”[10]
On the next day, new information came out that Jones allegedly fled the scene of the accident before turning back to grab “a large handful of cash,” according to a police report. An officer on the scene searched the car that allegedly ran a red light and caused the accident early Sunday morning, and stated he found documents identifying Jones. The officer also found a marijuana pipe and marijuana inside the vehicle, which had been rented.[11] Jones’ case was being investigated as a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and fines. However the victim, a pregnant woman, suffered a broken bone and now Jones faces a felony charge, which carries jail time of up to three years, as well as fines.[12] An arrest warrant for the fighter was issued and Jones eventually turned himself in, after his lawyer arranged the plans for his surrender.[13][14] Just hours later, Jones posted the $2,500 bail and left the Bernalillo County Metro Detention Center on Monday night.[15] The UFC announced on April 28, that Jones will be stripped of his belt and suspended indefinitely due to his alleged involvement.[3]

Official fight card

Main Card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Light Heavyweight Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier [a]
Middleweight Chris Weidman (c) vs. Vitor Belfort [b]
Lightweight Donald Cerrone vs. John Makdessi
Heavyweight Travis Browne vs. Andrei Arlovski
Flyweight Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
Flyweight John Dodson vs. Zach Makovsky
Welterweight Dong Hyun Kim vs. Josh Burkman
Middleweight Uriah Hall vs. Rafael Natal
Women’s Strawweight Rose Namajunas vs. Nina Ansaroff
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Welterweight Mike Pyle vs. Colby Covington
Lightweight Islam Makhachev vs. Leo Kuntz
Flyweight Justin Scoggins vs. Josh Sampo


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