Welcome to Midnight Mania- and happy New Year!
A new year is a time for contemplation, looking back at years past, but looking to the future as well. It is fully in this spirit that I present you with this clip: Conor McGregor, who had not yet consolidated his hold on the featherweight throne against Jose Aldo, predicting an eventual clash with lightweight champion... Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Throwback to 2015 when Conor McGregor predicted that Khabib Nurmagomedov would one day have the Lightweight title. pic.twitter.com/pzJT9U6WoR— UFC India (@UFCIndia) December 31, 2017
There are shades of Cormier predicting his own knockout here, or Ronda Rousey prophesying her downfall at Holly’s left high kick. Of course, it also reminds us how unpredictable the future can be. It was McGregor who got to the lightweight title first, with Khabib’s constant injuries keeping him out of the title conversation until after McGregor won his belt last year. Yet, time is a flat circle, and we find ourselves looking at a likely Nurmagomedov title fight once more, except with McGregor sitting on his absentee belt, asking Nurmagomedov and Ferguson to beg him.
Nurmagomedov was having none of that.
January 1, 2018
Contrast Ferguson’s reply with McGregor’s here:
Congrats @TeamKhabib On The Fight & On The New Addition To The Family ✌️ Enjoy The Holidays, See You Soon #TeamTiramisu— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 1, 2018
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
The real issue, the vast majority of the time whenever one fighter or another gets accused of “ducking”, is always the UFC’s supreme reluctance to come correct with anything like the right amount of cold hard cash. That is no different here. The problem is not, primarily, McGregor ducking Ferguson OR Nurmagomedov. He’s never ducked an opponent in his career, reliably taking on all comers. He fought Max Holloway, Diego Brandao, Chad Mendes, and Nate Diaz on short notice. When Diaz beat him, he went straight into a high-risk rematch, despite knowing the stylistic matchup he faced. No, the issue is money. As Nurmagomedov said after his fight, McGregor made 100 million dollars. He isn’t about to return to the UFC to fight for 3 million up front, or even ten million. They have to meet him where he wants to be met in terms of pay and a slice of equity, or go without their top and only superstar.
On the meaning of Diddy bread:
makes sense now, it's toast, made in a pan. pic.twitter.com/GkZ0g6FzQ1— superCalo (@superCalo) January 1, 2018
BossLogic’s posters are a reminder that the UFC can rarely be bothered to put even the slightest effort into marketing:
"If UFC approves, I'll fight both Conor and Tony in the same night. Why not? I swear, this is no joke." @TeamKhabib— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) December 31, 2017
- @TonyFergusonXT @TheNotoriousMMA pic.twitter.com/2weHI9Jbaj
Conor also trolled Floyd... again.
Shin bone to the cheek bone. The rule set kept you out the funeral home. pic.twitter.com/chJ5ieUQvQ— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
Nurmy’s win was the most lopsided in UFC history, on the scorecards:
The Nurmagomedov/Barboza scores (30-25, 30-25, 30-24; total point difference = 16) were the most lopsided group of scorecards in a 3-round fight in UFC history, even including fights with point deductions.— MMADecisions.com (@MMADecisions) December 31, 2017
With Mackenzie Dern’s UFC debut set, here’s that time she grappled Gabi Garcia and beat her.
She also did this:
A lot of fighters celebrated New Year’s in style.
January 1, 2018
Was this my 2017? Maybe...
Gunnar Nelson and his father are cooler than you.
Hi Tech training.
Technology is evolving in modern boxing training... pic.twitter.com/gb9fWhEBxr— Against The Ropes (@ATRboxinguk) January 1, 2018
I must admit it warmed my heart to see Doo Ho Choi and Cub Swanson sitting together after having 2016’s Fight of the Year.
Angela Hill hitting pads with her husband
#FatAnge throwing bows with the hubby at the @ufcpi #MMA #UFC #Overkill2018 pic.twitter.com/RH83Qciu1n— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) January 1, 2018
Tony Ferguson didn’t like Rogan wearing Khabib’s papka.
Yo @joerogan Last Time I Checked I Was The Fuckin Champ... U Trading The 10P Gear For A Hat?— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) December 31, 2017
TJ Dillashaw had a baby boy, and named him Bronson Jack... BJ Dillashaw!
*Opens MMA Twitter* pic.twitter.com/UrYx1CAaDL— *Opens MMA Twítter* (@OpensMMATweet) December 31, 2017
Slips, Rips, and Rizin Clips
In no particular order:
Yusuke Yachi submits Takanori Gomi #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/KWZvSxomRv— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) December 31, 2017
Tenshin is a master and a monster
Tenshin Nasukawa vs Yamato Fujita #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/1dDC9RMquP— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) December 31, 2017
Rizin pays Horiguchi pretty well:
Values in Approximated US Dollars— Bruno Massami (@BrMassami) December 31, 2017
Irene Rivera and Maria Oliveira received 5k.
Rena (20k) and Kanna Asakura (70k) for win the tournament.
Kape and Otsuka (10k)
Shintaro (30k) and Horiguchi (150k)
Big day to MMA in general.
Rizin also has far better production value...
UFC: Sorry, man. You have to walk out to the Orc movie soundtrack.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2017
Sunabe just threw a dropkick #RIZIN2017 pic.twitter.com/PrpnQpmFkM— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2017
...they also (like the UFC) have female fighters who knock people out...
RENA #RIZIN2017 pic.twitter.com/Zm4I1alqwM— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2017
... and no USADA. Is there any question who put on the superior show on New Year’s Eve?
RIZIN Cro Cop is an animal #RIZIN2017 pic.twitter.com/kJmKb27NIY— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2017
We are all witnesses. #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/CKMGBNFT9b— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2017
Rena, their star female fighter, had her first loss since 2011:
That was Rena Kubota's first loss in any combat sport - MMA, shoot boxing or kickboxing - since she was upset by @JessicaPenne on September 10, 2011 in a shoot boxing match. She had won 25 straight fights since then.— Robert Sargent (@MMARising) December 31, 2017
Kanna Asakura upsets RENA #RIZIN2017 pic.twitter.com/Qrj6WVysZW— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2017
That turnover and transition to the back was a work of art. The choke was so tight RENA pass out just as she thought about fighting the hands. Kanna Asakura is up there on a level with Saku and Maia in my eyes....don’t @ me. pic.twitter.com/UdSjHC1RNi— AcidHaze (@AcidHaze) January 2, 2018
Kyoji Horiguchi is one of the best flyweights on the planet. Winning this tournament, fighting twice on one night, was no easy feat.
Kyoji Horiguchi sleeps Shintaro Ishiwatari in the second round to win the Bantamweight GP #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/RGMgH3znQl— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) December 31, 2017
Kyoji Horiguchi KO's Shintaro Ishiwatari, takes the RIZIN Bantamweight GP belt. Beautiful slip and counter #RIZIN2017 pic.twitter.com/uzEyPuJGy2— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2017
Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality