Welcome to Midnight Mania, your one-stop shop for all things mixed martial arts (MMA) ... at midnight. Tonight, we discuss the return of Bjorn Rebney from his exile in Mexico, the near-death experience of Cris Cyborg (and the two sides to her story), the upcoming UFC 206 pay-per-view (PPV) event and much, much more.
So, Dana White tells a different side to the story than Cris Cyborg? Wow, who would have guessed! Cyborg claims she almost died, which from what I’ve seen from her weight cut, seems like a fitting description, and it seems she’s not quite ready to return before her preferred timeline.
Speaking of returns ...
It’s the dog days of summer. A vulture drifts lazily across the mid-afternoon sky. The coyote looks behind him, slinks nervously into the underbrush as he silhouette of a lone rider appears at the top of the mesa. He stares out over the sagebrush and cactus below, ten-gallon hat shading his eyes. His right hand drops from the reins, instinctively fondling the handle of the giant LeMat revolver on his gunbelt. He pats his horse’s neck. “We’ve arrived, Bella.” He pulls his phone from the vest pocket of his black suit. One word on Twitter will sum up his emotions:
MEXICO!!— Bjorn Rebney (@BjornRebney) June 29, 2014
.@danawhite You pay fighters 8 cents on the $. No pension, No benefits, No safety net & your Co.’s worth $4 Billion! U should be ashamed.— Bjorn Rebney (@BjornRebney) December 6, 2016
White wasted no time firing back ... in typical form. He seemed baffled about the inclusion of Cowboy Cerrone in the ranks of the MMAAA and called Bjorn a “scumbag.” Takes one to know one? According to Tim Kennedy, that’s kind of the point of Rebney’s inclusion.
Who knows: My hope is that a bad guy on the right side can still do some good.
Here’s Rebney himself explaining at length his goals for MMAAA:
Meanwhile, “King Mo” called him a rider of another kind.
It turns out his two-year trek wasn’t just across the deserts in Mexico. It included nautical adventures as well:
For what we are about to receive...
That’s a lot of combat sports for one weekend ... and it doesn’t even include the boner-free Jon Jones, who will take on Dan Henderson in a special exhibition match at “Submission Underground 2.”
Also coming up, a probable title eliminator was announced: Valentina Shevchenko is fighting Julianna Pena at UFC on FOX 23 in Denver early next year. That’s a great fight. I would favor Shevchenko to beat Amanda Nunes over five rounds and Pena is the best undefeated prospect in that division.
Did Cub Swanson manage to put his “Killer Cub” logo on his Reebok fight shorts? If so, that’s phenomenal, a tiny part of what Reebok promised (customized fight gear) and has utterly failed to deliver.
@CubSwanson They let you put on the killer cub patch? That may be a first, no?— Evan Shoman (@shomanart) December 6, 2016
I’m not holding my breath, though, until I see confirmation this is indeed the case on fight night.
Speaking of legal issues, apparently UFC tried to bully Congress into keeping Randy Couture off the witness docket? Yeah, sorry, UFC. Not gonna bully Congress.
Here's the list of witnesses speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee Thursday. More on this later. pic.twitter.com/LYkCn96l89— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) December 6, 2016
That crazy Cowboy Cerrone eye injury we all thought was makeup for a movie? Yeah, it looks like it was real. I think ...
Because that's what injures do they heal. And mocking yes https://t.co/D67LzhVmCp— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) December 6, 2016
I mean, something definitely happened to his eye.
“Cowboy” training in Mexico for his next fight? Rebney returning after two years in which his most significant Tweet was Mexico? I don’t believe in coincidence. The legend of “Cowboy” -- who fights “Immortal” Matt Brown at UFC 206 in Toronto, Canada, this Saturday (Dec. 10, 2016) — continues to grow.
That throat tattoo, though? Not sure on that call. I’m still not sure it’s even real.
I knew Cowboy Cerrone reminded me of someone in the latest Embedded episode... pic.twitter.com/qN6Y61sxd0— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) December 7, 2016
The Internet can’t stop, won’t stop.
Meanwhile, another fight I’m really, really looking forward to on that card? The aforementioned Swanson against the baby-faced Korean “Superboy,” Doo Ho Choi. Gunslinger against gunslinger, that one.
I’ve always been a huge Swanson fan, and Choi is looking sharp.
The latest UFC 206 “Embedded” is up.
Here’s an outtake to get you primed:
I can’t wait to see Holloway throw down with Anthony Pettis this weekend for the interim Featherweight title.
Also on this card is Kennedy, who hasn’t learned the lesson of the last man in Canada to combine a knife and this particular fruit ahead of a UFC fight. Admittedly, he may be more practiced using knives than Rory Macdonald ... but still.
Tim Kennedy walking around the host hotel by himself with a knife and avocado in hand is the best thing I've seen so far today.— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) December 6, 2016
For all the best video previews and content, go subscribe to MMAmania’s YouTube channel. Here’s Team Alpha Male’s Andrew Richardson’s awesome “Fighter on Fighter” breakdown of Pettis’ stance-switching kicks.
Oh, and in the midst of looking ahead, here’s a great look back at UFC 205 by incomparable photographer Esther Lin.
What a banner weekend for MMA that was.
Slips, Rips and Clips
Meanwhile, over in the other fight promotion ...
Ever wonder what a fighter’s favorite career moment was? Here’s Rampage’s favorite moment, according to a recent Twitter post:
Knocking out the guy who sent you flying through the ropes unconscious with vicious knees ... twice ... that would be a great moment indeed.
That’s a look back, now take a glance at the future. This kid is hailed as the next striking prodigy:
The Next Superstar of Striking: Tenshin Nasukawa https://t.co/YZGSbcCIDo— Lawrence Kenshin (@LawrenceKenshin) December 6, 2016
And these two aren’t hailed as the prodigies of any fighting art.
Herb Dean with the early stoppage pic.twitter.com/DdQOSeCpbf— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) December 6, 2016
Grappling fans, witness this sick grappling throw-to-submission transition from Polaris:
Jon Jones deadlift is pretty nasty:
Speaking of Jones and grappling, like we mentioned a bit earlier, he’s headlining “Submission Underground 2” this Sunday. And the promo video for it is pretty chill-inducing:
Here’s Invicta’s Angela Hill with the humor about pay in MMA. This is why associations are coming into being.
Know how Floyd Mayweather laughs at Conor McGregor’s two belts? Obviously, comparing numbers of titles is false equivalence given UFC’s fewer weight classes and completely different structure. But, if MMA did have boxing weight classes, who would be able to achieve multi-division dominance? “The Naked Gambler” breaks it down for you.
- Dana White is no longer running things at UFC, not completely, which is why legends like Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes are no longer on the “lifetime” program.
- Henry “Hank” Cejudo apparently got a “sorry dude” from Dana, who thought he won.
- Pay is so bad in UFC that straight shooter Gegard Mousasi just told his teammate to stay away.
Unrelated to MMA, but still cool:
I enjoyed this piece about 3D printed death masks.
Stay woke, Maniacs.
Hit me up at VorpalManiac@gmail.com!