Welcome to Midnight Mania! I hope you brought your caffeine and your taurine and your vitamin B5 tonight! We’ve got Nate Diaz applying for his boxing license in California and Nevada, Chael Sonnen sounding off on everything from Ronda Rousey to Mayweather-McGregor to his upcoming opponent Tito Ortiz, Tim Kennedy reflecting on his storied career (and what’s next for him), illegal slams in the Euros, and much more.
The younger Diaz brother seems to have adopted a “whatever you can do, I can do better” in regard to Conor McGregor’s behavior. This makes sense, given his bouts with the Irish superstar have made Diaz well over $10 million (if reports are to be believed). When McGregor tweeted his retirement, Diaz responded that he, too, would retire. When Mayweather-McGregor talk first surfaced, Diaz said he should be the one in the boxing ring, not “The Notorious.” When McGregor said he would be taking 10 months off, Diaz said he would wait. This time, though, Diaz may succeed where McGregor has failed -- Nate is actually expected to get licensed in Nevada, where McGregor got rejected. McGregor did, of course, get licensed in California, where Diaz is also applying.
NSAC executive director Bob Bennett explains (via ESPN):
"Nate paid his fine and has requested a boxing license. Upon his submission of the required licensing information, we expect to approve his license as of this date. We welcome Nate and his older brother, Nick, to fight in Las Vegas, whether it's with the UFC or a boxing promoter."
The fine referred to is that $50,000 fine for throwing water bottles. This obviously opens the door for a potential bout in boxing between McGregor and Diaz, and in an event that would not be altogether surprising given Nate’s rocky negotiation history with UFC brass, also means he could have the possibility of challenging his non-compete clause under the Ali Act ... or piggybacking off McGregor (again) should the Irishman choose to do so.
We live in interesting times.
Sonnen Goes Off-Script
Chael Sonnen went on the Rich Eisen show to promote his upcoming main event at Bellator 170 opposite Tito Ortiz this Saturday night (Jan. 21, 2017). He said he is “on the bandwagon” for Mayweather-McGregor and thinks it will happen. He doesn’t think it will be competitive whatsoever, but he is still interested in seeing it.
Sonnen also said Ronda Rousey should look at Mayweather’s offer to train her, because why not?
This is a great promo for his upcoming Bellator 170 bout this weekend at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Here's that Bellator "In Focus" video with Chael I mentioned on the CME. It's pretty darn good. https://t.co/6sghCthQgc— Chad Dundas (@chaddundas) January 17, 2017
That, of course, strikes a very different tone from this:
Bobs and Weaves
Tim Kennedy gave his thoughts on his career and where he sees himself moving forward now that he has retired from mixed martial arts (MMA). He said his favorite moment was knocking out Rafael Natal in front of American troops, and that he would have retired no matter what after his fight with Kelvin Gastelum.
Moving forward, it does sound like he plans to continue his role with the MMAAA, which is hopeful news for the latest fighter association. He also plans on continued roles in several TV shows. Whatever else you may think of him, Kennedy is a man of many talents, and it is good to see someone who is happy to retire and move on.
Penn’s inner monologue must be something like this:
BJ Penn: I should retire. Also BJ Penn:
Mark Hunt, who is saying he was pressured into taking this rematch with Alastair Overeem, at least received this sweet poster made by a fan for his upcoming bout.
I love fan art!
This completely illegal slam ended this grappler’s match in the most unpleasant way I can imagine.
That wasn’t all the action from the IBJJF European Championships, though. Slick submissions also happened:
Takedowns are one of my favorite parts of the game:
Guard passes are my least favorite ...
Use your fingers (or mouse ) to manipulate the pass. ⏪ ⏩ pic.twitter.com/cZr6cJk5lf— FloGrappling (@FloGrappling) January 17, 2017
I didn’t know this ... and it’s definitely not a good look:
#UFC208 Stat: Germaine de Randamie has never beaten an opponent with a UFC win. Three UFC victories over opponents with combined 0-6 record.— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) January 17, 2017
Remember how UFC wouldn’t grant Angela Hill a USADA exemption to return at UFC 207? Well, the situation has changed. Hill now will face the very tough Jessica Andrade at UFC Fight Night 104: “Bermudez vs. Korean Zombie” in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 4, 2017. The Invicta champion is a much-needed influx of talent to the Super Bowl weekend card.
It’s good to see Hill get an exemption; however, last time UFC did this, it didn’t turn out so well (spoiler alert: it was Brock Lesnar ... and now Mark Hunt is suing)
Holy flying spinning kicks, Batman!
Have you ever tried doing this at the end of a workout? It’s the worst!
I really wanted to show the 2nd video where I looked much cooler. But I figured I would keep it real and show how much of a wuss I was! I made the mistake of telling @ramsdellstrong that my arms were tired and maybe my squeeze was slacking... This mad scientist decided to invent as many ways possible to pump blood into my arms before I quit!! Needless to say I'm gonna be feeling this in the morning! On to the next!
Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling Helen Maroulis will be at SBG Ireland this week. Is MMA in her future? https://t.co/YgqjVPXbhN— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) January 18, 2017
Maybe she is just there to offer McGregor a few pointers in case his next opponent is Nurmagomedov.
Excited for a great week of training with @coach_kavanagh and @thenotoriousmma ...always good to be challenged and humbled when learning something new. #likemma #learningsomenewdisciplines #ireland #repostwith @repostapp ・・・ A lot of Gold in this picture! 2016 Olympic Gold medalist @helen_maroulis and @ufc Champion @thenotoriousmma
Okay, McGregor fans. I'll give you this one. pic.twitter.com/WcCv9qQYRT— Connor Ruebusch (@BoxingBusch) January 17, 2017
This doesn’t get old. Also a change to tell you to go back and read my interview with Donald Cerrone’s trainer Brandon Gibson for how they began working together ahead of Cerrone’s recent run of finishes at Welterweight.
This one was nice, too:
#RIPVINE — I’ve always wondered if this was scripted:
Podcasts and Video:
Jack Slack’s Fights Gone By:
In case you missed it, Flyin’ Brian J’s UFC Fight Night 103 review:
T.J. Dillashaw talking about that infamous gym sparring session with Garbrandt:
This was impossible for me to discern.
Some of these are real... some of these are drawings... Trippy. pic.twitter.com/9PjlGvHA8i— UberFacts (@UberFacts) January 17, 2017
A wheel of ice:
This guy and I have more in common than I first realized. I, too, am amazing at airballing simple shots.
Stay woke, Maniacs!