Welcome, Midnight Maniacs!
Max Holloway is nothing if not down for a fight anytime, anyplace. He suffered from some still undiagnosed neurological issues that canceled his last scheduled title defense. He is focused on the future, though. Via MMAJunkie.com:
“Why fix something that’s not broken?” Holloway said. “Ortega’s been doing something great. I’m a fighter. I fight whenever. I fight whoever. You’ve got to be ready to go if you’re the best in the world, and I believe I’m the best in the world. Training has been going great and ready to put all this talk about a ‘New Era’ – it’s still the ‘Blessed Era’ in full effect.”
Due to Holloway’s recent health issues, ultra-tough prospect Renato Moicano has been tapped as a stand-by replacement after his own opponent fell through. He even had some lighthearted trash talk ready for the champion.
I am really happy for this opportunity. I will become champ, be it this time or next. And, Holloway, you are a great champion, but Toronto is freezing! You should stay in Hawaii and take care of your health, man!
A last-minute change in opponent wouldn’t bother Max, who found Moicano’s comments funny.
“Tell Moicano thank you for the offer, but I’ll be seeing him sooner or later,” Holloway said. “Just be ready for anything. Thank you for the offer. He’s a great dude, cool guy, awesome guy. That’s very funny. I look forward to seeing that guy, too, one day.”
“I would take him on three hours’ notice,” Holloway said. “I’ll take you on an hour’s notice. I don’t care. Everyone was like, ‘The Khabib (Nurmagomedov) fight, you’re crazy for taking this on a weeks’ notice.’ Look, they’re taking the fight with me. You’re taking a fight with me. I don’t care who it is. Whoever. They’ve got to remember who they’re fighting and who they’re fighting against, and that’s me.”
Holloway is still focused on Ortega for now, though, and said he plans on making the fight look easy.
“I’m going to go out there and do what I do best,” Holloway said. “I’m going to open the door for you and whenever you’re ready, grab your hand and walk you through it. Thank you, come again. People keep saying this is going to be one of my hardest fights. I’m going to go out there and make people like, ‘What was that?’ That’s my game plan.”
Holloway faces Ortega in the main event of UFC 231 on December 8 in the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.
This Saturday’s fight card is considerably more intriguing than Friday’s; the main event winner between Junior dos Santos and Tai Tuivasa is a good candidate to face last weekend’s heavyweight winner, Francis Ngannou.
Junior is confident in his boxing
"I know he’s a very tough dude, very tough guy and he’s going to walk forward at the time trying to win the fight. But I think I have everything that it takes to win this by knockout." - @Junior_Cigano on his #UFCAdelaide opponent Tai Tuivasa pic.twitter.com/jhLlWNsoS2— UFC News (@UFCNews) November 29, 2018
Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren is going to be a huge moment of truth for Ben. They are treating him like Vikings reportedly treated their toddlers, throwing him in the ocean and expecting him to swim. If Lawler’s sprawl is anything like it was at the height of his Renaissance, Askren could be in for a rude awakening.
Speaking of top welterweights, here is Santiago Ponzinibbio meeting with the president of Argentina. The caption reads, “Pleased with the recognition of the president of my country. I am proud to represent the colors of my flag on the world stage and help the growth of this sport in my homeland”
Contento con el reconocimiento del presidente de mi país. Estoy orgulloso de representar los colores de mi bandera en el escenario mundial y ayudar al crecimiento de este deporte en mi tierra natal @ufc @danawhite @ufc @UFCBrasil @canalCombate @FOXSportsArg pic.twitter.com/XmtAmE12sB— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) November 29, 2018
Hang in there, little Borg.
This boy never seizes to amaze me, came out of another surgery like a freaking champ. If everything looks good then we should be discharged tomorrow, Thank you to everyone for all of your love and positivity. #borgstrong pic.twitter.com/iDefIEWsfL— Ray Borg (@tazmexufc) November 29, 2018
I sincerely hope Rachael Ostovich is in a good enough physical and mental state for her “just fight through it” strategy to work as he gears up to face Paige VanZant after a brutal episode of domestic violence at the (alleged) hands of her MMA fighter husband.
Gods plan— rachaelostovich (@rachaelostovich) November 27, 2018
Bantamweight is one of the divisions that has a lot of primo talent outside the UFC, and that’s only going to get better now that the UFC flyweights (most of whom can also fight up at bantamweight) have been cast to the four winds. Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi would be hot fire, and a great example of cross promotion, or at least fighters being able to fight for different promoters while under contract, benefiting the fans.
Kyoji vs. Caldwell.... RIZIN has a presser scheduled for (I believe) 12am ET tonight. Please make this happen. https://t.co/kNjKqz8aWq— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) November 28, 2018
It’s great that genocidal dictators are getting more influence in the sport of MMA, I can’t see any problems with this whatsoever.
Through this merger, Kaydrov’s intention is to consolidate his power and extend his influence over MMA, both domestically and on the world stage. He now has the resources to do just that.— Karim Zidan (@ZidanSports) November 28, 2018
For those who thought the dictator would fade from the sport, think again.
How does the meme go? ‘One taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain’
Tito Ortiz isn’t wrong that the UFC got rich to the tune of 5 billion (once everything was totaled) off the rivalries he, Chuck, and a handful of others forged. But that’s the fight game, and it won’t get better until the fighters learn to bargain collectively, which under the current structure is impossible. Who knows, maybe that anti-trust lawsuit will make it to settlement. It seems unlikely in the current climate.
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.@DanaWhite - I appreciate everything you have done for the me & the sport, in my humble opinion I don’t feel Chuck & I were compensated correctly for all that we gave & sacrificed for the company. When you sold the company for over 4.5 billion dollars how much of that did Chuck and I get ? Nothing.... I’m trying to build something new and rewarding for the sport! This is not about you, it is not about me... I want it to be about the fighters & giving them the opportunity to share in all the rewards this business has to offer to where they don’t have to fight when they are 43 & 48. @GoldenBoyBoxing @UFC
Didn’t Frankie Edgar see Jurassic Park 3? Watch out for the fog.
Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson should fight for yes, yet another interim belt if Khabib isn’t going to defend promptly. I just want to see them throw down, dammit.
“An amiable fellow” — control the titles, control the fight world
From 1956 “on allegations that it had bought control of boxing championships, bought out competitors, acquired exclusive use of the big stadiums and forced championship contenders to agree that, if they won the championship, they would fight only for IBC.” https://t.co/foQJeWdA15 pic.twitter.com/913iZZs1sW— John S. Nash (@heynottheface) November 29, 2018
Someone is having way too much fun with Artem Lobov’s Wiki page- according to this he fought Demi Lovato for the Clan Wars Lightweight Championship.
Artem Lobov is currently undefeated on Wikipedia. pic.twitter.com/4uK1VGymVP— Wesley Riddle (@AllThatMMA) November 29, 2018
Good to know regional guys are still pulling crazy stuff off! Suman Mokhtarian fights fellow featherweight standout prospect striker, Sudiq Yusuff, at UFC Fight Night 142 this Saturday.
He routinely pulls off arcane submissions you’ve only ever seen a couple times in your life in the cage.
Worst headline of the day:
Garbage article from a garbage publication. Northcutt tested the free market, and it looks like it's going to pay off in spades -- if you did one iota of research and you would have known that. https://t.co/PnKczbL6zo— Jacob Debets (@jacob_debets) November 29, 2018
Sage wasn't overpaid. He was one of the few guys on the roster getting paid close to properly.— Iain Kidd (@iainkidd) November 29, 2018
No UFC fighter should be on less than 6 figures per year. The company can afford to pay that easily, and it would allow (most) of those fighters to train full time.
- There have been some tremendous headlines today, but this was just sheer artistry from Jesse Holland: Mark Hunt Is Letting The UFC Go Because Its Young And Needs Some Work
- I had a discussion with a neuro-pathologist about CTE today and it reminded me how worried I am that no one knows quite what happened to Max Holloway but he’s still scheduled to fight Brian Ortega at UFC 231
- I’m certain if Anderson Silva managed to get a big win over Israel Adesanya that he really would get a title shot. It’s a money fight, and the only other person in line is Jacare, and he lost to both Gastelum and Robert Whittaker relatively recently.
- It is no surprise that Conor McGregor has been banned from driving for six months. I am a little surprised he hasn’t talked to coach John Kavanagh at all since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
- I’m really intrigued by this weekend’s big boxing match between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, and their intense staredown didn’t exactly dampen my interest.
- It’s pretty funny to me that Jon Jones ever thought Alex Gustafsson was a knockoff version of himself. Gustafsson fights nothing like Jones aside from being tall and keeping up a high pace.
Podcasts and Video
It’s been a while since I’ve included podcasts and video, but since there are not one but two UFC events this weekend, what are the top fights to keep an eye on?
Andrew Richardson breaks down Kamaru Usman’s rudimentary striking- all the best to Andrew as he recovers from surgery.
I also been really enjoying this series from Felix Beiderman and Jon Bois, Fighting In the Age of Loneliness. Some of the links to the broader cultural and political climate seem tenuous — I came to MMA relatively late, so I don’t really have a reference from personal experience — but Felix takes tremendous joy describing the transcendent experience watching early MMA.
If you haven’t seen ‘Florida Man Goes to Switzerland’, the latest in the ongoing reality-bending adventures of Florida Man, you have to check it out. This guy holds on to a hang-glider strut for more than two minutes with nothing holding him up but his own iron grip, just dangling hundreds of feet in the air.