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Midnight Mania! Jeremy Stephens vs. Josh Emmett set to headline UFC: Orlando

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UFC Fight Night: Stephens v Choi Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

None of this looks fun for the coach:

@FrancisNgannou #UFC220

A post shared by ufc (@ufc) on

Ngannou does say things we can all agree on.

Let’s not forget the ever-slept-on Stipe Miocic, who is bidding to become the most dominant UFC champion in history

Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir is going to be fun too:

DC was just waiting to drop this line:

Speaking of people who remind us of serial killers:

When the video game is true to life:

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.

Shoutout to Fedor Emelianenko...

Sometimes I feel like Dana White just likes seeing people take hits

This @elliotsloan wipe out is one of the nastiest i have ever seen.

A post shared by Dana White (@danawhite) on

Speaking of taking hits

... speaking of taking hits...

This is a real MMA belt

Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

Just so you know, Francis Ngannou does NOT do Savate.

Good Reads

  • 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:

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

Random Land

Follow MMA Mania writer Ryan Harkness because he reads and posts articles like this:

Also: I spent my evening listening to Tom Hardy’s old rap mixtape. Not as bad as you might have thought.

Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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