UFC, Boxing in 2020: Highlights from Combat Sports

From Conor McGregor's UFC return in January to heavyweight boxing champ Anthony Joshua's latest title defense in December, here are the key Combat Sports moments in 2020.

Conor McGregor celebrates his win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January 2020.   -  Getty Images

The world of Combat Sports -- MMA and Professional Boxing -- has seen several high-profile returns, rematches and retirements in the year '2020'.

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Here are some of the most important UFC and Boxing moments from the year that's coming to an end, which includes a few impressive title wins and defenses.

January 19: Former featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor beats Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246 on his return to the octagon after 469 days. His win in the welterweight main event clash makes him the first UFC star to claim knockout victories in three different divisions.

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February 22: Great Britain's Tyson Fury defeats American boxer Deontay Wilder in seven rounds via technical knockout in a rematch at the MGM Grand Arena, Nevada, to win the WBC and the vacant 'The Ring' and lineal heavyweight titles after playing out a controversial split draw in December 2018.

Tyson Fury celebrates his victory over Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand Arena in February 2020.   -  Getty Images

 

March 7: UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili defeats No. 1 contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk in an instant classic at UFC 248. The co-main event encounter, which tops the 2020 UFC Fight of the Night rankings, is awarded to Weili by a very close split decision (48-47 twice and one 47-48).

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May 9: UFC bantamweight champion and former flyweight titleholder Henry Cejudo announces retirement after beating Dominick Cruz in round two of UFC 249's co-main event. However, a few days later, he claims to be interested in a featherweight title fight against Alexander Volkanovski.

June 6: Brazilian MMA artist Amanda Nunes becomes the first fighter in UFC history to defend one title (women's featherweight) while still holding a belt from another weight division (bantamweight). She defeats Canada's Felicia Spencer in the main event of UFC 250 by unanimous decision.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (L) and Zhang Weili fighting at UFC 248 for the strawweight championship.   -  Getty Images

 

August 15: Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who is also a commentator, announces retirement at UFC 252 in Las Vegas, Nevada, after losing to reigning heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic for a second consecutive time.

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October 17: United States boxer Teofimo Lopez upsets the experienced Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko via unanimous decision (116-112, 119-109, 117-111) at the MGM Grand Conference Centre in Nevada to unify the WBA (Super), WBO, 'The Ring', IBF and lineal lightweight belts. 

October 24: UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is undefeated with a 29-0 MMA record, announces retirement after beating interim titleholder Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254. Now, talks are swirling about a possible Khabib comeback for a super-fight in 2021.

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr

The Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr match marked the return of the 54-year-old Tyson after 15 years, while Jones (51) fought after a gap of two years.   -  TWITTER/MMAFIGHTING.COM

 

November 28: Former undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson and former four-division (middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight) titleholder Roy Jones Jr play out a draw in an eight-round exhibition fight at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California.

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December 12: Unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight boxing champion from the United States -- Anthony Joshua -- defeats the IBF's mandatory challenger from Bulgaria, Kubrat Pulev, at the SSE Arena adjacent to Wembley Stadium in London to retain his titles.

December 19: Mexican professional boxer Canelo Alvarez beats Great Britain's Callum Smith after 12 rounds in a unification bout for the WBA and vacant WBC super-middleweight titles via unanimous decision at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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