Welcome to Midnight Mania! Today, we have Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) selling off its “Sin City”-proper corporate real estate assets so it can relocate to the nearby ‘burbs, Conor McGregor entering the world of ... horse racing?, Brock Lesnar getting a meaningless drug-related suspension, Clay Travis with a truly awful Ronda Rousey “hot take,” the usual spiel of awesome knockouts, and more!
So, yeah, WME-IMG is having a continued impact on UFC’s corporate structure, including the literal physical corporate location, which was planned back in late 2015. Fun fact: The original plan for its new headquarters included a Rousey-themed restaurant. Whatever that meant or still means — other than her name on a sign — will be interesting to see after her latest setback and, of course, the new leadership’s vision.
Anyway, Lesnar got a token penalty for juicing ahead of his UFC 200 win over Mark Hunt — a one-year retroactive suspension, which means essentially nothing since he competes inside the Octagon so rarely these days:
...so exactly when Lesnar would want to take another fight, if he were going to? Nice "suspension." https://t.co/pEbx8zrChG— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) January 4, 2017
Moreover, it’s very possible Lesnar does fight again:
It's no secret Brock loves training. That's a vacation for him. Also his kids are bit older now. Chance to see their dad in MMA.— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) January 1, 2017
Opinions were strong on this one ... for good reason:
Never forget Lesnar was blatantly ALLOWED to cheat in the months prior to UFC 200. All while his opponent was subjected to random testing.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 4, 2017
I cannot, at any level, get behind this one. Clay Travis went on an uninformed, cringe-worthy, misogynistic rant that somehow managed to link Rousey, Hillary Clinton, and the supposedly leftist sports media for manufacturing the hype behind Rousey. Deplorable.
Especially when the same guy who said that, wrote this:
And all this:
Clay Travis on RR— Danny (@recordsANDradio) January 4, 2017
'15 She'd beat Floyd
'16 Most powerful female athlete
'17 Career was media-driven feminist fraud
sports Madoff pic.twitter.com/iv39rkjkOw
Sure, blame your inane, uniformed opinions on “sports media,” not the fact that Rousey finished every woman she ever fought in violent and devastating fashion until she ran into a former professional boxing champion’s laser-like punches ... and feet.
The bad Rousey takes are flying hot and fast these days.
For what it’s worth, though, Amanda Nunes — who waxed Rousey in 48 seconds at UFC 207 — is also on the “Rousey was never that good” train.
In way of a transition between talking about Rousey and McGregor’s latest new field of conquest:
Turns out Conor McGregor’s sense of humor does translate to his acting:
That man has a future outside of fighting.
#UFOTD stands for “useless fact of the day” and it’s a fun and entirely trivial hashtag series Sean Sheehan has been running sporadically on Twitter.
There hasn't been a UFC/Strikeforce women's bantamweight title fight without Rousey or Tate since March 5th, 2011 #UFOTD— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) January 4, 2017
It will be interesting to see where the division goes from here, with Nunes probably facing the winner of Shevchenko/Pena.
Speaking of which, UFC’s .GIF game is still so trash.
In spite of the overwhelming evidence in the above .GIF, I’m picking Shevchenko in this one.
League of Legends
Ric Flair still got it!
B.J. Penn might or might not still have it. Recent history says, ‘No.’
Penn faces Yair Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix, Ariz., on Jan. 15, 2017, at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The card goes down on a Sunday evening, and Penn will do his best to try once more to roll back the clock on his illustrious career.
Speaking of old-time legends, what’s next for Josh Barnett after his fourth career drug test failure? A return to the unsanctioned wild lands of Japan? He seemed to like it there.
Oh, and while we are on foreign MMA, these are from Sengoku: Second Battle in 2008.
And some 2016 boxing knockout highlights for good measure:
And recent Muay Thai goodness:
UFC’s Brazilian women’s Bantamweight champion is apparently watching the movie made about Jose Aldo Junior.
Here’s the trailer:
Looks ... interesting.
MMA managers, in particular Ali Abdelaziz, who boasts high-profile clients such as Frankie Edgar and Khabib Nurmagomedov, among others, need to stop giving the game away by accidentally tweeting from the wrong account:
The Internet will catch you and it WILL roast you ... just ask Jon Jones.
Bosslogic with the fantastic artwork:
He also volunteered Ariel Helwani to fight Khabib at UFC 208:
Helwani was, unsurprisingly, less than enthused about his chances in the hypothetical match up.
Ha! Good one. We could call it, UFC 208: Loyalty. Related: I've set my odds at +50000000000. https://t.co/1S8RkMbRe9— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 5, 2017
Speaking of great fan artwork, I love good photography. And here is some of the best, from one of the best, this past year:
This is the same guy who called Nurmagomedov offering money to Tony Ferguson to fight him:
He’s on a roll out here.
Art imitates life, life imitates art.
Cody Garbrandt, however, is not impressed.
Podcasts and Audio-Visual Thingamajigs
UFC’s 2016 “Year in Review” courtesy of MMAmania.com’s budding YouTube channel:
The Luke Thomas live chat:
Garbrandt explains his “easy” victory over Dominick Cruz:
The MMA Ratings Podcast:
Matt Serra reacts to Edmond Tarverdyan’s desperate corner advice ... as only Matt Serra can:
Wendy’s does not let up.
@jwhende It's fried potato covered in cheese. We don't try to claim it's healthy.— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 4, 2017
This is genuinely impressive.
Found a job for Johnny Manziel... pic.twitter.com/t0ByGxjEPA— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) January 5, 2017
Ever watch Rich Piana?
Me either, but shout “5% will do whatever it takes” to any dude-bros wearing tank tops and you have at least a 20% chance they will know what you are talking about ... 100% of the time, every time.
Stay woke, Maniacs.