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Midnight Mania: King Mo crowns ‘Dick Rider’ Rebney, Hashtag Sage, and More!

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Austin Mahone Faces Fear of Haunted Houses Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for 5 gum

Welcome to Midnight Mania! Where the stories flow like cheap alcohol, and you stay up all night drinking them in. To quote a somewhat famous fighting man, “heck yeah!”

The biggest story of the day was undoubtedly the announcement of the new fighter’s association, Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA). Former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney and company had us in the MMA media on the edge of our collective seats waiting for the big announcement.

When the conference call finally got started, it was indeed about a fighter’s association, as we expected. UFC Middleweight Tim Kennedy kicked things off by officially announcing it, then Georges St-Pierre, Rebney, and the rest chimed in. You can read all about it here or here. The quick summary? MMAAA (yes, its real name) is suiting up and coming for its share of the UFC’s revenue, claiming the fighters get about an 8% split of the revenue now, and their goal is to raise that to 50%. GSP said that even Conor McGregor is underpaid. When you look at his PPV numbers and what he makes compared to boxing stars, that’s hard to disagree with.

However, the inclusion of Rebney, former Bellator CEO with a... rocky... history of fighter negotiations, has led to some skepticism.

King Mo had an extensive feud with Bjorn when Rebney was his Bellator promoter, and he’s been using that specific insult to describe Rebney ever since. Kennedy did his best to allay the concerns.

And some are cautiously optimistic.

And others, such as UFC fighter Leslie Smith, who recently dropped her former reps would like to see the women represented as well as the men.

Also worth noting that the conference call went really, really long. However, that’s not an excuse for the now-deleted tweet featuring what Bloody Elbow’s Mikey Hutch had for dinner.

... I mean... I’ve eaten worse... but when I did, I’ve never posted it on the interwebs. That’s just asking for trouble. And there is no getting rid of it, Mikey. Once a picture goes on the World Wide Web, it exists forever:

Hopefully MMAAA doesn’t leave a bad taste in fighter’s mouths. They are right about the problems. It’s whether they are the right ones to offer solutions that is yet to be seen. The UFC’s official response so far has been that they don’t know enough yet to offer a response.


An Apple a Day

The internet can be an amazing place full of joy sometimes. Remember Sage Northcutt’s apple challenge we mentioned yesterday?

In case you aren’t familiar with Chrissy Teigen, she has 9 million followers on Instagram and almost 3 million on Twitter. She’s a model, the wife of John Legend and co-hosts Lip Sync Battle on Spike.

Yeah, that’s right. Chrissy Teigen came across, and was laughing at, Sage’s video for two hours today. It’s her birthday, and she wanted a birthday present. So Sage responded, shirtless, blond tips, washboard abs, sparkling eyes and all.

Incredible.

He’s already gained several thousand followers today, who no doubt saw this interaction and thought to themselves, who doesn’t need more of this in their lives. One fan said that Chrissy ought to introduce Sage to some of her model friends, to which the young UFC star replied, “heck yeah!”

Great as it is, though, Sage’s cool trick is not original. Danny Hodge did it with one hand:

An old school professional wrestler and boxer, Danny Hodge was apparently famous for crushing apples. He also won Olympic silver as an amateur wrestler, went undefeated in college, passed up the chance to both wrestle and box at the Olympics to turn pro as a boxer, and his dad also once stabbed a rival pro wrestler with a penknife, according to Wikipedia. (He’s also now on my shortlist of “people who would have been MMA stars” if MMA had been around in the days of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee.)

Returning to Sage, he has a fight with CM Punk debunker and fellow youngster Mickey Gall, which couldn’t be a more perfect matchup. Their trash talk isn’t this bad, though.

... is it?


Future Fight Hype

Heavyweight boxers David Haye and Tony Bellew got into it at a press conference recently:

A closer look reveals that the shove was not all that happened. Haye clipped Bellew as he was being shoved away.

Looks like genuine dislike there to me. Not penknife stabbing level, but genuine nonetheless.

Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz have been escalating tensions for a while now, with Cruz recently talking trash to Garbrandt’s girl. Garbrandt is no stranger to beef, though. Remember when he got in Conor McGregor’s face on the Ultimate Fighter?

Подписывемся на наш проект @ufc_planeta

A video posted by UFC_PLANETA (@ufc_planeta) on

UFC 207 is going to be lit.

Oh, but remember before that, we’ve got the number one pound for pound fighter in the world fighting this weekend? MMA Mania’s Andrew Richardson is here to break down the intricacies of Demetrious Johnson’s mighty double-leg takedown.

He also wrote up a full fighter breakdown on Mighty Mouse, which is stellar, and that’s coming from someone who consumes fight analysis like Donald Cerrone consumes Budweisers.

Then there is UFC 206, which is actually looking like it has a pretty high violence potential quotient. I mean, Max Holloway.

The UFC’s GIF game is still trash, so just watch the full fight below.

On the more distant front, Rory Macdonald is looking towards his Bellator debut... but not for a little while longer.

Maybe he can get his nose situation sorted by then.


Bobs and Weaves

Local fight promotions RFA and Legacy recently merged, and the first card of the resulting organization, LFA, is scheduled for January 13th.

Jackson-Wink is on a roll posting classic martial arts content to advertise their training sessions. In this one, Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek destroys a tree with his shins.

Speaking of Muay Thai and smaller fight organizations, there is a new Muay Thai promotion in town with small gloves. It looks interesting:

John Wayne Parr did something similar in a cage. It’s an entertaining concept:

Oh, and did you see that Meisha Tate, recently retired, was featured in this TED talk? It’s a little bizarre to watch.

Oh, and this lacrosse brawl was pretty intense:

Puts 5x5 MMA to shame.

Joe Lauzon hates Kylo Ren. Maybe he just doesn’t understand him.


Podcasts and Audio

Luke Thomas’ Live Chat from today:

Or, if this is more your speed, I won’t judge you.


Quick Hits

  • If you haven’t read this fanpost yet, and you feel like griping before the Christmas season sets in, its hilarious.
  • Conor McGregor got issued a boxing license in California. Cue more Mayweather talk...

Stay woke, Maniacs.

As always, send any suggestions, input, or insults to VorpalManiac@gmail.com.