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Midnight Mania! Khabib-Ferguson interim lightweight title bout finalized for UFC 209

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BossLogic created this awesome poster in anticipation of the bout

Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight we’ve got announcements, dancing Mackenzie Dern, rare submissions, Ben Rothwell coming for journalists on Twitter, knockouts, social media exchanges, and other assorted things and stuffs. You know, the usual.

We’ve heard the rumors, but now it is official. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will fight for the interim lightweight title on March 4th in Vegas. This fight has been attempted before, but let’s hope this time, it sticks. Khabib puts an eight-fight UFC win streak and his undefeated record on the line, while Ferguson brings an almost unprecedented 9-fight win streak to the table.

Negotiations had become bogged down over fighter pay- maddeningly, the UFC were unwilling to pay Ferguson what Khabib was making for the fight, and Khabib, impatient with such petty penny-pinching, offered 200,000 of his own dollars to Ferguson in a derisive gesture. Ferguson turned that down, insisting the brass needed to listen to his demands. Nurmagomedov also turned down a floated, nonsensical bout with Jose Aldo, insisting he wanted Ferguson. However, rumors a few days ago were that he had moved on and was willing to consider other contenders. It is good to see this bout finally booked, and hopefully this means Ferguson is getting his financial due.

It does mean another interim belt, of course, and McGregor’s coach had a reaction I’m sure many are feeling.

However, it does mean this will be a five-round fight, which is what I care about. What John Kavanagh might be worried about, is that this will make it more difficult for McGregor to pass over the winner in order to fight Nate Diaz, who would probably move more pay-per-views.

The bout will co-headline an event topped with Woodley-Thompson 2, making UFC 209 an excellent offering for fight fans. It’s just a shame the UFC haven’t been willing to pony up the necessary cash to bring back Nick Diaz, the most famous representative of the 209 area code. Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz are also conspicuously absent, with Nate saying he isn’t going to answer his phone for less than twenty million.

Slips, Rips and Sweet Clips

Remember when BJ Penn was awesome?

He once fought Lyoto Machida in a very close fight at openweight:

Yair Rodriguez is also pretty awesome.

A video posted by Yair Rodriguez Portillo (@panteraufc) on

I saw this fight in person:

Algunos Highlights de la pelea pasada!

A video posted by Yair Rodriguez Portillo (@panteraufc) on

Dominick Cruz claims he is still inside Cody Garbrandt’s head even after his recent loss, and that’s why Garbrandt is gunning for an immediate rematch. (even if TJ Dillashaw deserves the shot)

My take on immediate rematches in general is that they should almost never happen. Only in title fights with extremely close, controversial, and surprising results should they even be considered, and this doesn’t have all three of those characteristics.

Regional MMA, never change.

I love obscure submissions.

A better look:

Bobs and Weaves

Speaking of obscure submissions, Mackenzie Dern has got it.

Oh, yeah, she also trains like a beast.

Yair Rodriguez is pretty dang good at it but the OG of spinning ish was Cung Le

Submission Underground Grappling 3 is looking fun.

Ben Rothwell is a weird dude, but you can’t say he isn’t social media savvy. Here he picked up on a story featuring his good-natured threatening of MMA Journalist Ben Fowlkes. This isn’t the first time he has bullied Ben on social media. To his credit, Fowlkes comes ready with the .GIF replies.

The full exchange below:

There you go, Ben. I fixed it for you.

Quick Hits

  • This weekend, Fight Pass is free. Take advantage of it. I recommend getting a temporary break-up with your girlfriend, shutting yourself in, and going back and binge-watching the best fights you can.
  • Hendo-Shogun 1, the entire UFC 189 main card plus Brown-Means on the prelims, Barboza-Ferguson, Vannata-Ferguson, Bermudez-Grice, Chan Sung Jung vs Dustin Poirier, Aldo-Mendes, Henderson-Pettis, Henderson-Cerrone 1, Cormier-Gustaffson, Swanson-Choi, Moicic-JDS, Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler, Brown-Silva, Brown-Thompson, Lawler-Manhoef, Hunt vs. Wanderlei Silva, Mendes-Thomson 1 and 2, Melendez-Sanchez, Hendricks-Condit, and of course McGregor-Diaz 1 and 2 are great all-action fights.
  • For near-perfect striking performances, Thompson-Hendricks, Machida-Evans, Machida vs. Thiago Silva, Dillashaw-Barao, and Anderson Silva vs Forrest Griffin are iconic.
  • For grappling goodness, Fitch vs. Erick Silva, Sakuraba-Newton, Oliveira-Lentz, Henderson-Guida, and Oliveira-Hioki are amazing. Rousey-Tate 2 was a great fight too, and Rousey’s whole anthology is worth watching, to refute those who now think Rousey was over-rated.
  • Other fighters who don’t know how to have a boring fight (at least when they win) are Cub Swanson, John Lineker, Chan Sung Jung, Dennis Bermudez, Matt Brown, Robbie Lawler, Nick Diaz, and Fedor Emilianenko. Swanson-Semerzier, for instance, is an obsure fight from Cub’s WEC days that I used to have saved on my hard drive for a boring day- it was that good.
  • So much for Quick Hits.
  • Struve is out of that rematch with JDS everyone was so excited for. Hopefully they pay Werdum whatever it takes to rematch JDS. 800K, guaranteed title shot upon a win, anything, because that card needs it.

Random Land

Sharks are scary. Don’t watch them before you go to sleep unless nightmares are some sort of twisted goal of yours.

This parade is much better to watch before bedtime. Whenever your bedtime is.

Stay woke, Maniacs!

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