Welcome to Midnight Mania! Hope you had a great “Boxing Day.” It’s a holiday that, by the way, has nothing to do with the pugilistic sport. Sorry, Jack.
Apparently Americans don't celebrate Boxing Day today. So when do you engage in three round gym wars with family over the year's grievances?— Jack Slack (@JackSlackMMA) December 26, 2016
I almost wish this were true.
It's when us Catholics celebrate Saint Muhammad Ali. https://t.co/Lg7s1w5OnJ— Rob van Kan (@EdgeOfEurope) December 26, 2016
Today, we’ve got C.M. Punk getting roasted by Stephanie McMahon, the most bizarre Ronda Rousey promo you’ve ever seen, Dominick Cruz in a game of “Can’t Touch This,” Dana White saying what a big deal pre-fight promotion is (cough *Ronda Rousey* cough) and more.
So, have you seen the mic drop burn Stephanie McMahon executed on Punk three months after his submission loss to Mickey Gall at UFC 203?
That was cold! I’m in sultry Houston, Texas, and I could feel the temperature drop from here.
Former UFC Welterweight title challenger — and current World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 170-pound kingpin — Jon Fitch with an odd acoustic tribute to the late George Michael. Appropriately, his song, “Last Christmas.”
It seems 2016 just won’t let up. Hide your kids, hide your wives, hide your husbands, too.
So, Dana, what’s all this about pre-fight promotion being a huge deal you are willing to sacrifice huge fight card headliners for?
In case he wasn’t clear:
I guess we will find out what effect that has on UFC 207, which takes place this Friday night (Dec. 30, 2016) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s not exactly unusual to say, but I highly doubt Dana’s hyperbole comes true in this case:
Dana White in August: “Ronda Rousey’s return will be the biggest PPV we’ve ever done.” https://t.co/5TSZWyokaK Anyone think this comes true?— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) December 27, 2016
This looks more like a drill sheet to me, but maybe don’t advertise the combinations you are practicing before your first championship fight, Cody, on UFC 207 “Embedded?”
Cody's game plan vs Dominick in he background? oops? pic.twitter.com/tnqcPKsHbd— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) December 27, 2016
Okay, so this UFC 207 promo I promised you is absolutely bizarre.
I mean ... honestly, I enjoyed that. Not sure why, and not sure what it has to do with the fight, but I was into it. Rousey breaking her skull staff, turning Amanda Nunes into stone, Joe Rogan bowing down, and especially the cheetah going at White in the end ... all of it was just the right combination of outlandish and funny to appeal to me. Maybe I’m just weird that way.
For a slightly more sober take, Flyin’ Brian J breaks down Rousey vs. Nunes:
Here’s a breakdown of Cruz-Garbrandt from the same festive man:
Episode one of UFC 207 “Embedded” is up, and — surprise! — it features no Ronda Rousey:
Ever wonder how hard it really is to hit Dominick Cruz? Well, radio personality and fighter Jason Ellis found out in this video. (Hint: Cruz looks well-nigh untouchable).
This is why I don’t try to get into street fights. That first punch can be lethal. Not everyone is “Dominator:”
Look at mans face LMAO I'M DYING pic.twitter.com/9nHfMHVAwt— Thirty Sec Fights (@ThirtySecFights) December 24, 2016
There are writers, though, who do get into fights. In this case, Bloody Elbow Managing Editor Anton Tabuena joined a national Muay Thai tournament almost by accident in the Philippines. It’s an impressive story, seeing as how he walked into the tournament with several weeks notice, but also instructive. As an accomplished writer, his attention to detail comes through in the account, and his internal monologue reveals a nice, polite guy put into the confines of a competitive fight. It’s a good read.
On the subject of Muay Thai fights ...
Most of the world’s top female talent has come through the all-women’s fight league, Invicta FC. Here, it honors its female fighters, including current UFC women’s Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg.
All the current UFC champions are featured on this, the best of “The MMA Hour:”
2016 is fast drawing to a close, and one of its victims was the unique viral sensation-turned MMA draw who was Kimbo Slice.
NY Times Magazine includes an obit piece on Kimbo Slice in its end of year issue honoring those who passed in 2016 pic.twitter.com/0KkPXxd62P— Jason Cruz (@dilletaunt) December 26, 2016
Mike Tyson knows what’s up.
Some Christmas wishes just aren’t to be granted.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov says he is just waiting for Tony Ferguson to sign on the dotted line for UFC 209 on March 4, 2017, in Las Vegas.
- This piece explains the why’s and wheretofores of Cain Velasquez’s rejection by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
- As a psychology major, this piece on self-efficacy in MMA was a fascinating read.
- What were your top five fights of the year? This one left out Lawler-Condit, a controversial call, but did include Dillashaw-Cruz, a fascinating bout from a technical perspective. Lombard-Henderson, Diaz-McGregor 1, and Vannata-Ferguson were also fantastic bouts that could easily have made the list.
Someone got the wrong song ...
I wish I had seen the choir start to try to sing that!
Ever wonder what humans will look like in 100 years?
Stay woke, Maniacs.
Email me at VorpalManiac@gmail.com if you think 2017 will be better than 2016. Otherwise, I don’t want to hear it.