Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight we’ve got a discussion on Jose Aldo, Al Iaquinta training, Derrick Lewis being himself, a memory of Kimbo Slice, a ring girl accused of witchcraft, knockouts, podcasts, and much more.
The Longest 13 Seconds in History
Joe Rogan is right. In the minds of many fans, the lasting image of Jose Aldo burned into their memory is him running face-first into the fist of the Notorious, falling as if poleaxed. The greatest featherweight in MMA history, lying helpless on the canvas as McGregor nailed his coffin with hammerfists. After nearly ten years of dominance, 18 wins in a row; after seeing off every contender he faced with almost scornful ease, it is this moment that will be the lasting memory in the minds of casual fans. As Rogan put it,
“Aldo’s legacy and his reign is always gonna be tarnished by that 13 seconds against McGregor. Which is so crazy because you take away that fight and he’s got one brutal war with Chad Mendes where he got rocked and stunned, which is a tough fight - the second one - great fight. And those are the only hard moments he’s had inside the octagon other than maybe round five against Ricardo Lamas.
It’s not fair, of course. Aldo’s legacy should be more- is more. But there are certain failures that, due to the weight of the moment and the sheer number of people watching, are impossible to erase completely from the collective memory of sports fans.
Michael Bisping, eating that thunderous H-bomb at UFC 100.
Roberto Duran, quitting after round eight with the infamous “no mas.”
George Foreman, hitting the canvas after eight rounds of looking more and more frustrated by Ali’s rope-a-dope.
Forrest Griffin, getting clowned and downed by a dancing Anderson Silva.
Anderson Silva, clowning and eating that left hook from a pissed-off Chris Weidman.
Daniel Cormier, getting outwrestled, big brothered, and DMX chopped by a derisive Jon Jones, after fading down the stretch in a brutal war of attrition.
Conor McGregor himself, getting rocked and choked out by Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
Sometimes, there is a measure of redemption to be had. Michael Bisping went on to knock out Luke Rockhold and win the Middleweight belt. He still managed to get knocked down by a very old Dan Henderson again, somehow, in Henderson’s last career bout, in a decision victory. George Foreman would return years later and expunge his demons with a rare late career resurgence. Roberto Duran went on to win titles later on in his storied career. Daniel Cormier gets his long-awaited second chance at Jones later this summer.
Of all the roads to redemption, Conor McGregor took the most direct, earning some of that shine back by rematching the younger Diaz immediately. McGregor fans could feel some of the bitter taste dissipating, replaced by five incredible rounds of Fight of the Year action. McGregor got his hand raised, his career back on track, and would go on to capture a historic second world title just months later.
But for Aldo, that route is not available, and is unlikely to ever become so. Aldo finds himself in the unique position of regaining the belt, but not against McGregor. In truth, for the masses, only a rematch with the Irishman would do it for Aldo. Cormier found that out the hard way, somehow becoming the villain in fan’s eyes opposite the walking PR disaster that is Jon Jones, because their first fight left us with such intense disappointment. Beating Gustafsson in an incredible war of resilience and breaking the frightening figure of Anthony Johnson, twice, did nothing for Cormier’s legitimacy in the eyes of fans. However, for DC, there is still hope. He has a rematch lined up, and, provided it holds, the opportunity to even the score.
Jose Aldo isn’t getting that, ever. McGregor has nothing to gain by reprising a contest he won in thirteen seconds, back in 2015, in a weight class he doesn’t compete in any more. Aldo could defeat Max Holloway this weekend, and Frankie Edgar another four times, and to the casual fan, the only response would be “13 seconds”.
Aldo’s greatest fight to date, a five round war against Chad Mendes.
Good graphic here to illustrate size differences among UFC champions
I know we've been saying "Aldo is a big featherweight" for a long time, but that's not true anymore. Shit, Garbrandt is the same damn size. pic.twitter.com/bSp2Fml0Fb— Connor Ruebusch (@BoxingBusch) May 31, 2017
Al Iaquinta getting his head moving in training. The rhythm is hypnotic.
A reminder to follow Derrick Lewis on Instagram, because he is constantly posting the latest thing he happens to find funny. He fights Mark Hunt on June 10th
Also, he reps Houston, my city of residence.
One of the most graphic moments in MMA history. RIP, Kimbo Slice.
A look inside American Top Team’s gym.
What the... I have no words for this email, but it definitely fulfills the “weird” promise of Midnight Mania
I bet I got the weirdest message in the MMA world this weekend: pic.twitter.com/h3itDVjY4c— Ian (@IanBainMMA) May 31, 2017
For reference, Mercedes Terrell, the witch:
This guy stealing a view off a different ring girl...
Slips, Rips, Knockout Clips
Tommy Hearns was the man
M-1 Challenge 79, FNG 68, Cage Warriors 84, LFA 13, UFC 212 y varios eventos mas! Que gran semana de MMA se viene pic.twitter.com/kuJUH2W0u9— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) May 31, 2017
Podcasts and Video
The UFC on Fox crew preview UFC 212
Holloway talks his upcoming fight
You want to get angry? Watch the cops screw with Tiger Woods for 90 needless minutes
Stay woke, Maniacs!