Ridiculous timeline of biggest UFC / MMA stories of 2013, Pt. 1 (Jan.-April)

USA TODAY Sports

Join MMAmania.com for a comprehensive look back at all of the biggest stories of 2013 in part one of this comprehensive timeline that covers all the news that was fit to print between January to April of this past year. From wolf tickets, to the debut of women in UFC, to wacky tattoo-based bets, it's all covered here ... and much more!

With how fast things change in the hectic world of mixed martial arts (MMA), it can sometimes be hard to keep abreast of all the events that unfold on a nearly daily basis, let alone remember the details of stories that took place months ago.

However, hindsight being 20/20, we often see things clearer looking back on the past than we can in real time. Patterns begin to emerge from what initially appeared to be disparate stories, and occasionally a narrative structure presents itself.

With this in mind, I went through the MMAmania.com archives for 2013 and compiled the following comprehensive timeline. Think of it as your one-stop resource for all of the biggest stories of 2013 (and some not so Earth shattering stories that are nevertheless amusing with the benefit of hindsight).

Without further ado, let's get right to it.

2013 MMA Timeline Pt. 1: January to April

Jan. 1: Michael Bisping offers the following thoughts on his upcoming UFC on FX 7 opponent Vitor Belfort, "After round one he's gonna be a walking punching bag and it's gonna be an easy night for 'The Count.' Booyah!"

Jan. 2: Bellator MMA attempts to match Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) contract offer to former Bellator Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.

Jan. 7: Eddie Alvarez reveals he is being sued by Bellator MMA. At issue is a dispute as to whether or not Bellator offered him a "fair match" of UFC's proposed contract, which promised him a fight on the Georges St-Pierre headlined UFC 158 card and a sliding scale piece of the pay-per-view (PPV) pie.

Jan. 8: The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) unanimously votes to grant Alistair Overeem -- he of the 14:1 testosterone to epi-testosterone ratio, not to mention prior drug testing improprieties ahead of his UFC 141 match against Brock Lesnar -- a license after serving a nine-month sentence for a failed drug test in April 2012.

Jan. 9: Self-described "Young Dinosaur" Vitor Belfort dodges the question with a stunning show of circular logic when asked point blank if he is on Testosterone Replacement Thereapy (TRT): "If a question is private, I have the choice to answer or not. If I make it public, it’s not private anymore."

Jan. 11: Rousimar Palhares offers up the following defense when news breaks he failed his UFC on FX 6 post-fight drug test because of elevated levels of testosterone, "I never had the intention to cheat....The rules are there for everyone and must be followed."

Jan. 12: Strikeforce closes its doors for good following a Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine-headlined card in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Jan. 14: UFC President Dana White undergoes surgery in hopes of putting an end to his recurring bouts with Meniere's Disease.

Jan. 15: Anthony Pettis, after being passed over for yet another shot at the UFC Lightweight title, decides to stop quietly waiting for a crack at the belt. "I'm going to take this title shot," he says. "I'm going to get the respect I deserve."

Jan. 15: Eddie Alvarez files an injunction against Bellator to be allowed to fight at the Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen-headlined UFC 159 event in April.

Jan. 16: Chris Weidman has this to say of his next fight in UFC, "I want to make a big statement [against] whoever I fight next."

Jan. 17: Bellator debuts on Spike TV with a card headlined by Lightweight champion Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn. The show ended up netting an average of 938,000 viewers, easily beating Bellator's previous record of 325,000 viewers for Bellator 44 on MTV 2.

Jan. 19: A jacked to the gills Vitor Belfort demolishes Michael Bisping with a second round head kick for a technical knockout victory in the main event of UFC on FX 7.

Jan. 22: Former UFC Light Heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz shares his thoughts on a potential return to the cage: "Right now, the chances of me coming out of retirement are about one in a million."

Jan. 23: Nick Diaz actually shows up to the promotional press conference for UFC 158. In possibly related news, sources reveal Satan has plans to spend the entire day ice fishing on the River Styx.

Jan. 23: Diaz has this to say of his UFC 158 opponent Georges St-Pierre, "I like him just fine. I had no room to run my mouth and talk. I was promoting this fight." Right around this time Beelzebub catches a giant walleye using a can of Molson's for bait.

Jan. 24: Former UFC Welterweight champion, and first ballot Hall of Famer, Matt Hughes officially retires from the sport to pursue a role as the company's Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations.

Jan. 24: In the wake of moronic statements on social media from fighters such as Miguel Torres, Forrest Griffin and Quinton Jackson -- none of whom evidently got the memo that rape isn't funny -- UFC institutes a Code of Conduct for its fighters.

Jan. 25: A Newark, N.J., judge denies Alvarez's preliminary injunction against Bellator, thus barring him from competing at UFC 159.

Jan. 26: Anthony Pettis destroys "Cowboy" Donald Cerrone with a devastating kick to the liver to put an exclamation mark on a dominant performance at UFC on FOX 6. According to Dana White the win makes Pettis next in line for a Lightweight title shot.

Jan. 26: Rampage Jackson loses a unanimous decision to Glover Teixeira, and in the process drops his third fight in a row, on his way out the door from UFC.

Jan. 26: Demetrious Johnson retains his Flyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over John Dodson in the "Fight of the Night" at UFC on FOX 6.

Jan. 29: Chris Weidman accuses UFC Middleweight champ Anderson Silva's camp of "running" from him. In addition, the New York native makes this bold statement, "Perfect world, [I will be ready to fight] July 4th weekend ... against Anderson Silva. I'll grant him an immediate rematch at Madison Square Garden in New York City."

Jan. 31: At a pre-UFC 156 media event, Alistair Overeem dismissively tells Antonio Silva, "I'm gonna fuck you up."

Feb.1: Overeem, after over-confidently leaving his hands down and his chin up for the better part of three rounds, gets knocked the fuck out by "Bigfoot."

Feb. 1: After years of Dana White telling him to move down to 145 pounds, former UFC Lightweight champ Frankie Edgar heeds the boss' advice. However, he ends up losing a decision to Featherweight champ Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC 156.

Feb. 1: Anthony Pettis decides he would rather face Aldo than Lightweight champ Ben Henderson. White agrees to make the match.

Feb. 5: On an episode of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), contestant Uriah Hall knocks out fellow competitor Adam Cella with a spectacular spinning back kick. Cella spends a harrowing four minutes unconscious after absorbing the devastating blow.

Feb. 5: UFC reveals that Vitor Belfort, who following a Pride FC event in Las Vegas once failed a post-fight drug test for the anabolic steroid 4-hydroxytestosterone, "has been on a medically approved testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) regimen under the supervision of a medical doctor."

Feb. 12: Less than one month after undergoing surgery to correct his problems with Meniere's Disease, Dana White suffers "a bad attack" while at the Trinity Awards in Dublin, Ireland.

Feb. 15: White goes off on an epic rant about TRT use in UFC. "If you're on TRT now, you're going to wish you weren't," says the UFC President. "We're going to test the living shit out of you."

Feb. 16: Renan Barao retains his Interim UFC Bantamweight title after he submits Michael McDonald in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 7.

Feb. 17: Dana White claims Nick Diaz has missed three scheduled interviews for the pre-UFC 158 "Countdown" special, thereby costing UFC "a shitload of money."

Feb. 20: Noted TRT-recipient Chael Sonnen says he has already been tested following Dana White's commitment less than one week earlier to begin more stringent testing of TRT users in UFC.

Feb. 20: Former perennial No. 2-ranked Welterweight Jon Fitch is cut by UFC on the heels of his loss to Demian Maia on Feb. 2.

Feb. 21: Heavy underdog Emanuel Newton knocks out Muhammed Lawal with a vicious spinning back fist at Bellator 90.

Feb. 23: Ronda Rousey retains the Women's Bantamweight title when she submits Liz Carmouche by -- what else? -- first round armbar in the main event of UFC 157. The event draws an estimated 450,000 buys on PPV, an unmitigated success for the debut of women in UFC.

Feb. 25: Ahead of his UFC 159 tilt with Michael Bisping, Alan Belcher offers the following bet to his opponent: "If you can take me out in round one, I will get the British flag tattooed on my chest." Per terms of the wager, in the event "The Talent" instead scores a first round knockout, Bisping would be required to get a tattoo of Johnny Cash resembling the distended monstrosity on Belcher's arm.

Feb. 26: Matt Riddle is cut from UFC after failing his second post-fight test for marijuana in the span of just seven months.

Feb. 27: Anderson Silva offers his thoughts on potentially facing Chris Weidman: "It's good for Chris Weidman, not for me. It's good for the boy, the kid."

Feb. 28: In the latest development in the Alistair Overeem saga, "The Reem's" UFC 156 post-fight drug test reveals he has "dangerously low" levels of testosterone. Now just what on Earth could cause a problem like that for a massively muscled behemoth who less than one year earlier had a testosterone to epitestosterone ratio of 14:1?

Mar. 1: One week removed from his UFC 157 loss to Brendan Schaub, Heavyweight Lavar Johnson tweets, "Thank God, I still have a job with the UFC!"

Mar. 2: Wanderlei Silva returns to his old Pride FC stomping grounds, Japan's Saitama Super Arena, and knocks out Brian Stann in a thrilling "Fight of the Year" candidate, which serves as the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 8.

Mar. 5: NFL star Wallace Gilberry bets his $300,000 Phantom Rolls Royce that Alan Belcher will knock out Michael Bisping.

Mar. 6: NSAC head Kieth Kizar puts the kibosh on the idea of former steroid cheat and current TRT-recipient Vitor Belfort fighting in Nevada while undergoing the controversial treatment: "I don't see Vitor Belfort getting a TRT exemption from us."

Mar. 6: UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman, 48, announces both his official retirement from MMA and his need of hip replacement surgery.

Mar. 6: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman is announced for UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 6.

Mar. 7: The war of words between Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher heats up, as Bisping posts a hilarious video on YouTube taking the piss out of Belcher and pal Wallace Gilberry's penchant for issuing gambling-related challenges.

Mar. 7: News breaks that Alistair Overeem tore his quad -- incidentally an injury often associated with anabolic steroid use -- in training for an upcoming bout with Junior dos Santos.

Mar. 7: The 209's crown prince of crazy, Nick Diaz, delivers his masterpiece to a stunned public when he goes off on an epic rant about opponent Georges St-Pierre during a pre-UFC 157 conference call.

Mar. 9: Chris Weidman has this to say of his upcoming bout with long-reining Middleweight champ Anderson Silva, "I believe I'm meant to win."

Mar. 11: Recent World Series of Fighting (WSOF) signee Jon Fitch says he never felt wanted in UFC.

Mar. 13: In a truly shocking development, the pillar of responsibility known as Nick Diaz no-shows the UFC 158 open workouts.

Mar. 14: Diaz, upset over UFC's promotion of his fight with St-Pierre as a grudge match, introduces the term "wolf tickets" into the MMA lexicon.

Mar. 14: Diaz has this to say of GSP: "I believe that he's on plenty of steroids."

Mar. 15: Dana White takes his hardest stance on TRT to date: "If you have to use TRT, you're probably too old to be fighting."

Mar. 16: Johny Hendricks bests Carlos Condit in an insane three round slobbernocker at UFC 158.

Mar. 16: Georges St-Pierre defeats Nick Diaz via unanimous decision.

Mar. 16: Diaz announces his retirement from MMA. Those of us in the MMA media's jobs subsequently get a whole lot harder.

Mar. 16: Diaz says he would step out of retirement to face St-Pierre, who beat him five rounds to none, and claims the Quebec-native "hits like a girl." Don't ever change Nick, don't ever change.

Mar. 16: Things get even better at the post-fight press conference, when Diaz informs the media he has never paid taxes in his life.

Mar. 18: Diaz is a passenger in a car pulled over by the Citrus Heights, Calif., police department. Naturally, he tweets a picture of the incident along with this message: "Fuck, they got us." Just another day in the life of the 209's realest son.

Mar. 18: Dana White informs the media of a conversation he had with Chris Weidman regarding potential Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre or Silva vs. Jon Jones super fights: "Guy looks me right in the eye and says, 'I'm telling you, I apologize that I'm going to fuck up all your super-fights and I'm gonna be your next champion.'"

Mar. 21: Lavar Johnson is cut from UFC following a failed post-fight drug test shows his testosterone level to be "consistent with the administration of a steroid."

Mar. 24: UFC Lightweight Melvin Guillard announces he has left the Blackzillians camp to rejoin his former camp Jackson's MMA.

Mar. 25: News breaks Guillard isn't welcome back at Jackson's MMA.

Mar. 25: News breaks Guillard is facing assault charges in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mar. 26: Georges St. Pierre's longtime trainer Firas Zahabi speculates that the UFC Welterweight champ may only have two or three fights left in him before retirement.

Mar. 27: UFC Heavyweight Christian Morecraft retires from MMA, claiming he needs to work a full time job to support himself in addition to what he makes as a fighter. "There [are] plenty of 'ex professional athletes' out there who are lost , broke and jobless when competing is over, so with that being said [I am] trying to find an easier way to make a living," he explains.

Apr. 4: Nick Diaz's attorney claims his client will remain retired unless he can secure a rematch with Georges St. Pierre or a fight with UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Just what is Diaz, who has lost his past two fights, smoking? Oh, right...

Apr. 6: Featherweight prospect Conor McGregor makes his promotional debut at UFC on FUEL TV 9, pocketing a $50,000 "Knockout of the Night" bonus for his shellacking of Marcus Brimage.

Apr. 13: Cat Zingano finishes Miesha Tate via technical knockout at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale, setting up a future match against Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, and a spot coaching opposite "Rowdy" on the upcoming co-ed season of TUF.

Apr. 13: Kelvin Gastelum defeats the heavily hyped Uriah Hall by decision to win TUF 18.

Apr. 18: Dana White reveals he recently underwent a revolutionary stem-cell procedure in Germany that has cured him of Meniere's Disease.

Apr. 20: Career mid-carder Matt Brown extends his win streak to five in a row with a technical knockout victory over Jordan Mein at UFC on FOX 7.

Apr. 20: Josh Thomson is successful in his UFC debut, stopping Nate Diaz in the third round with a head kick and punches on the ground.

Apr. 20: Ben Henderson holds on to the UFC Lightweight title by the skin of his teeth, winning the narrowest of split decisions over Gilbert Melendez in the main event of UFC on FOX 7.

Apr. 25: Nate Diaz attempts to step out of his older brother's shadow by giving an utterly bonkers take on his fight with Thomson. According to the Stockton scrapper, during their UFC on FOX 7 bout "The Punk" was "scared shitless running for his life" and only connected with the head kick that led to the end of the fight because Diaz himself was pressing the action and "trying to meet the criteria to win these rounds."

Apr. 27: Pat Healy submits Jim Miller in the third round of a total barnburner at UFC 159, and in the process pockets an extra $130,000 in bonus money for winning both Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night.

Apr. 27: After weeks of great build, Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher ends in controversy when Bisping accidentally pokes "The Talent" in the eye late in the third round, causing the judges to render an early decision for "The Count."

Apr. 27: In the main event of UFC 159, Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones makes short work of challenger Chael Sonnen, defeating him by first round technical knockout. After the fight, it is revealed Jones suffered a gruesome toe injury in the round, which would have left him medically unable to continue had he not finished Sonnen.

Apr. 30: Sonnen reveals he would have accepted the UFC 205-pound title and told fans, "He with the gold rules," if Jones had been ruled unable to continue at UFC 159 because of his toe injury.

That's a wrap for the first third of MMA / UFC news in review for 2013. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next two installments as we continue our look back as 2014 looms on the not-so-distant horizon.

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