Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Jeremy Stephens is getting a quick turnaround, facing Josh Emmett in the new main event of UFC on Fox 28. This is the card originally headlined by Romero vs. Branch; Romero, of course, is now headlining UFC 221 against Luke Rockhold. The updated card also features the rebooked Ilir Latifi vs. Ovince St. Preux, as well as Mike Perry vs. Max Griffin, Tecia Torres vs. Jessica Andrade, and Alan Jouban vs. Ben Saunders.
8th-ranked Jeremy Stephens’ win over Doo Ho Choi has given him momentum at 145, despite being only his second win in a row.
WATCH FOR THE HOOK! @lilheathenmma finishes strong with a huge win over @koreansuperboy7! @briantcity next, perhaps? #UFCSTL https://t.co/2ZYhv2DQ2c— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
Josh Emmett is in a similar scenario, this spectacular knockout over top five opponent Ricardo Lamas having earned him a top spot in the rankings out of nowhere.
December 17, 2017
Both fighters will look to solidify their status as top featherweights on the Orlando card, slated for February 24th.
These comments from Francis Ngannou on the (alleged) racist comments of Donald Trump earned him plenty of hate from the MAGA crowd.
In response to President @realDonaldTrump’s recent alleged controversial comments on immigration, UFC heavyweight contender @Francis_Ngannou called Trump “a shame for America.” He said more, too. Hear his impassioned response below. #UFC220 pic.twitter.com/qM6hJSqWYa— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 18, 2018
Trump, meanwhile, is one of Dana White’s good buddies; Dana said the President has called him 15-20 times since he took office, even broaching bringing UFC champions to the White House, since NBA players want nothing to do with him.
UFC boss Dana White: Despite noise, President Trump is a ‘stand-up guy’ https://t.co/QKzzGl676q— Trent Reinsmith (@TrentReinsmith) January 18, 2018
Speaking of NBA players, I wondered how Ngannou would look next to one, and though he looked fine next to shooting guard Kobe Bryant, yes, he’s dwarfed by the big men of the court.
Two of Cameroon’s finest! @Francis_Ngannou met with fellow countryman - and @Sixers big man - @JoelEmbiid today in Boston ahead of #UFC220!— UFC (@ufc) January 18, 2018
(Not many people make Ngannou look small ) pic.twitter.com/rkGAqzrK1b
Ngannou is getting to meet a lot of sports stars; here, he demonstrates a kimura (which he has a UFC win with, by the way) on World Cup champion Manu Petit.
#Ngannou : "Cette clé-là m'a donné 50 000 dollars" Quand le combattant #MMA décompose son geste fétiche, le "kimura", sur un Manu Petit pas vraiment rassuré #LeVestiaire pic.twitter.com/kVzpXPQR9N— SFR Sport (@SFR_Sport) January 9, 2018
This Francis Ngannou Black Panther-style hype video is awesome
Joe Rogan thinks Ngannou has a Mike Tyson-esque vibe. Evidently Tyson played a role getting Francis interested in combat sports:
"When I was 22 I started boxing, and that's when I watched a @MikeTyson fight on YouTube." @Francis_Ngannou on his love for boxing. #UFC220 pic.twitter.com/QsYubc0C92— UFC (@ufc) January 18, 2018
None of this looks fun for the coach:
Ngannou does say things we can all agree on.
Francis Ngannou dropping some universal truths. pic.twitter.com/iqH2yuZp51— Petey (@PeteyandJia) January 18, 2018
Let’s not forget the ever-slept-on Stipe Miocic, who is bidding to become the most dominant UFC champion in history
I have been working with this super athlete since 2010. Each time I catch his hands I feel more power & see greater technique. He doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves but his last four opponents haven’t seen the second round. @stipemiocicufc #andstill pic.twitter.com/lCa2bVbXa5— OldSchoolBoxingClub (@JoeDelguyd) January 18, 2018
Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir is going to be fun too:
Right after this, Cormier told Volkan he’s “screwed” and asked him if he was wearing his heels today (to look taller). Volkan said “we’ll see Saturday.” pic.twitter.com/AcHiWxOTa9— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 18, 2018
DC was just waiting to drop this line:
Speaking of people who remind us of serial killers:
Rory keeps a fake arm cast and a sling in the trunk of his Volkswagen bug. pic.twitter.com/N3kTrxGoCf— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 18, 2018
Rory's obvious fashion inspiration pic.twitter.com/6fX9KHfnCb— John S. Nash (@heynottheface) January 18, 2018
When the video game is true to life:
Nice struck for me, and very nice grappling to @TheNotoriousMMA pic.twitter.com/obJ8lddz8y— GILBERT BURNS (@GilbertDurinho) January 18, 2018
So... we are getting Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit on April 14. That’s right. The All-Violence Welterweight Fight was too good to pass up before each fighter hung their gloves up.
When I said I was retiring I never said how long... Looks like it won’t be as long as I planned either— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) January 18, 2018
Shoutout to Fedor Emelianenko...
Obviously the one with the best body pic.twitter.com/SpDrm7gkUM— Erika (@Raddishh) January 18, 2018
Sometimes I feel like Dana White just likes seeing people take hits
Speaking of taking hits
Friend: Yo, I got an idea! Why dont you head kick me?— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) January 19, 2018
Not Real Friend: Yeah, that's a GREAT idea!
Friend: Dale pic.twitter.com/iEanftGrbt
... speaking of taking hits...
— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) January 19, 2018
This is a real MMA belt
Can we commission the kid who made the the Super Hluk belt to create an actual belt? pic.twitter.com/BhTahRumvZ— Jeffrey James (@FightTimes) January 18, 2018
Slips, Rips, and KO Clips
Just so you know, Francis Ngannou does NOT do Savate.
He wasn't exactly Richard Sylla out there. https://t.co/DPb06RT5M9— Lucas Bourdon (@lucas_bourdon) January 19, 2018
- This long feature on Francis Ngannou’s coach is the rare example of MMA journalism that offers you a story you haven’t heard before, and real insight into the story of Ngannou (and his coach Lopez)
- I love me a good personal essay on MMA and foreign culture:
The Main Event, an essay about @korean_mma by @Tombstonestint— Left Hooks (@LeftHooksnet) January 18, 2018
https://t.co/7PFgzgsqwx #mma #korea #ufc
Podcasts and Video
In case you missed my interview with Chuck Liddell, in which I could barely hear him (hopefully you can):
Stipe Miocic’s half guard control has been very under-rated, so I’m happy to see the Andrews highlight it! Follow MMA Mania on Youtube
Follow MMA Mania writer Ryan Harkness because he reads and posts articles like this:
The Beekeeper Who Makes Synth Music With His Bee Colonies— Ryan Harkness (@Ryan_Harkness) January 18, 2018
https://t.co/FxMD7MkqUh via @motherboard
Also: I spent my evening listening to Tom Hardy’s old rap mixtape. Not as bad as you might have thought.
Tom Hardy’s 1999 rap mixtape has been unearthed https://t.co/vUU3NCSUok pic.twitter.com/LA8An4MHOp— SPIN (@SPIN) January 18, 2018
Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality