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Midnight Mania! Cris Cyborg reacts to inaugural UFC 145-pound belt snub - ‘No respect!’

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Cyborg vs Lansberg
Cyborg is the reigning Invicta featherweight champion and 2-0 in UFC competition
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania, where Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is creating belts out of thin air right and left, regardless of who deserves them. That’s right, Maniacs. In case you haven’t heard, Dana White’s comments that UFC was creating a women’s Featherweight division with or without Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino were, indeed, factual.

Yeah, that’s right.

Two thoughts: First of all, this is a solid fight. A former boxing champion against a former kickboxing champion is a great stylistic match. Germaine de Randamie and Holly Holm will get after it. Second, this is a back-handed slap to Cyborg’s face. She is the reigning Invicta FC 145-pound champion, the best female Featherweight of all time, and possibly the best (certainly the most terrifying) female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter on the planet (save possibly Joanna Jedrzejczyk). Holm is on a two-fight losing skid and de Randamie lost to reigning Bantamweight queenpin Amanda Nunes two fights ago. Yet, these two ladies — both of whom were offered separate opportunities to fight Cyborg for the first-ever Featherweight title — are being given a shot at the new belt. Meanwhile, Cyborg — the best in-class, who nearly died just to step inside the Octagon ... twice — is left out the in the cold. She is understandably pissed.

Yeah, Cyborg, we feel you. Most of my timeline was reacting the same way:

Presumably, this has to do with Cyborg’s refusal (more like inability) to fight on eight weeks notice after her last brutal weight cut to a Catchweight of 140 pounds left her blood so thick nurses were allegedly unable to draw it. She also cited depression as a reason she wasn’t going to be ready to fight so soon. On the flip side, UFC needs headliners for UFC 208, which takes place inside Barclays Center in New York, N.Y., and it needs them badly. Jose Aldo and Max Holloway may yet fill the pay-per-view (PPV) main event slot, but they aren’t exactly the biggest draws for the company. In the absence of Conor McGregor -- and with billions in debt to finance — every draw is needed to bolster every event at every chance. And Holm (the main name value in this match up thanks in large part to her destruction of Ronda Rousey) draws from a different demographic than the aforementioned male Featherweight fighters, which makes her a potential perfect co-main event foil to the second-ever card in “The Big Apple.” Cyborg’s reaction was still completely understandable:

In the end, this will probably end up a net positive for Cyborg. Her weight class is now established in UFC, meaning she will be able to fight for the title shortly after UFC 208, possibly being promoted as the Invicta FC Featherweight champion for the “Champion vs. Champion” angle UFC has used in the past with Pride FC and Strikeforce.

But, for now? The sting of this will run deep. Ironically, it comes the same day she became a U.S. citizen:

True observations about how UFC has been making and stripping Featherweight belts in arbitrary fashion lately:

Meanwhile, concerns about how UFC will populate this division remain.

Bas Rutten is funny ... always.

Okay, sometimes.

If you are a sucker for the idea of being able to watch any fight at any time (like me), you might want to check this out on UFC Fight Pass.

“Fight Motion” highlights have been released for UFC 206, which took place this past weekend (Sat., Dec. 10, 2016) in Toronto, Canada, and they are sweet, sweet slow motion visual caramel. Unsurprisingly, they feature a lot of Cub Swanson and “Korean Superboy,” which I can definitely live with after their “Fight of the Year” performance:

Speaking of people getting rocked, this kid came up from an illegal blow swinging hard at the referee. It’s kind of impressive that he is clearly too rocked to recognize the referee and can still wing those haymakers. Or, maybe he’s just too mad to care who he’s punching at. Good refereeing to calm him down, though. That’s the reason professional fighters ref these small events.

Angela Hill is off UFC 207 ... for stupid reasons. I blame Brock Lesnar because, well, he made a bad-ass girl cry in a circuitous, cosmic sorta way.

Hill may no longer be fighting this month, but check out this feature on her and her video games ... just because.

And it looks like Alliance MMA really tries to mimic some of that fancy Dominick Cruz footwork in training:

Okay, this is hilarious, but also gets kinda sad by the end:

These two are much more competent, plus they even have a referee:

Naughty crow

Posted by Unexpected Entertainment on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Did you see that Brazilian jiu-jitsu from that white cat? That was some good Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Khabib Nurmagomedov teased his next fight announcement via his Instagram.

Ferguson responded via Twitter:

I really want to see this fight. My only question is, what happens when McGregor finally returns and decides he would rather fight Nate Diaz for more money? That’s going to be awkward.

Miss this guy?

What are the odds he fights this year?

Here’s your random knockout of the day:

I had two semester finals today, but at least this didn’t happen:

Former Bellator MMA Lightweight champion Will Brooks and I have something in common: We both cannot squat 405 pounds.

Now that finals are out of the way, I’m finally going to finish Westworld’s first season:

UFC on FOX 22 in Sacramento, Calif., is coming up this weekend (Sat., Dec. 17, 2016) and honestly it’s going to be great. Sage and Paige get to shine together, like two blond protagonists in a UFC-themed fan fiction novel.

Urijah Faber’s retirement fight is also featured, and the veteran matches up pretty favorably against fellow vet Brad Pickett, according to these stats:

Podcasts and Audio

The Fist Fight Fan did a segment with Karim Zidan about Nurmagomedov, which is always interesting:

Jack Slack’s Fights Gone By:

And it’s unrelated, but the Fall of Rome podcast by MMA journalist and history Ph.D. Dr. Patrick Wyman is excellent. His latest is on the Huns.

Quick Hits:

  • Frank Shamrock thinks McGregor ought to walk away from the UFC like he did.
  • Speaking of fighter negotiations, Jon Jones is now on that bypass-Dana-White track and will deal directly with Ari Emmanuel.
  • Ronda Rousey apparently likes to walk around the house naked, according to Olympic teammate and Judo Gold medalist Kayla Harrison, so... yeah. Be free, girl.

Stay woke, Maniacs. You know what to do.