Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Khabib Nurmagomedov is among the best grapplers in MMA history. At 25-0, he has gone 9 fights undefeated in the UFC, with only one of those bouts, an early decision against Gleison Tibau, being a close contest. This weekend, he faces late replacement Max Holloway, the featherweight champion who elected to step up after Tony Ferguson suffered a freak injury.
Khabib’s specialty skillset and his thus far unstoppable Dagestani brand of relentless aggression have earned him a lot of fans, and his willingness to let the trash talk fly is earning him even more. While many see him as the natural foil to McGregor’s Irish braggadocio, the Russian has another big-name opponent in mind: George St. Pierre. One of the most dominant wrestlers to ever grace the sport, French-Canadian St. Pierre was most recently seen taking Michael Bisping’s middleweight strap via rear-naked choke, only to give it up almost immediately and exit the sport once more. The effort to move up in weight wreaked havoc on his body, and was ultimately unsuccessful, verifying what his coaches had been saying for years, that St. Pierre had maxed out his natural size. They maintained that he would have an easier time cutting to lightweight than trying to put on pounds, and that’s what Nurmagomedov envisions: a bout with St. Pierre for the UFC lightweight championship. Speaking to the show WFAN’s Outside the Cage, via FloCombat.com:
“Madison Square Garden, 155 [pound] belt, Georges St-Pierre,” Nurmagomedov told the show when asked what he would say on the mic post-fight at UFC 223.
The bout could very well be seen as a match to determine the sports’ most dominant grappler ever. St. Pierre was known for his explosive shot takedowns and clinical control, while Nurmagomedov is feared for his diverse arsenal of chain wrestling, sambo throws, trips, and brutal ground-and-pound. The matchup is entirely theoretical at this point, but if Nurmagomedov keeps winning and builds a name for himself, GSP may decide to test himself once more.
What about Conor McGregor? Nurmagomedov has an answer for that too.
“About Conor? I don’t remember when he fight last time,” Nurmagomedov said. “He have to fight with, maybe they [Conor and Ferguson] fight each other, like some prelims where I fight main card.
”Me and Georges St-Pierre main event; they can fight prelims.”
Of course, Max Holloway could easily upstage all this by upsetting Khabib and forging his own narrative as the second simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history.
I like this video as an allegory of 21st century life.
We get ‘Sri Lanka’s got talent’ for the first time and this is what we have to show for it pic.twitter.com/9oxyXvpFuV— Kas (@kasun1992) March 30, 2018
Brian Ortega vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov is a fight I badly want to see now.
For the record, Dana called me yesterday to see if I would step in against Khabib since Max hadn’t responded yet. I said yes. Eventually, Max replied and Dana gave him the fight. If all goes according to plan, I’ll get my turn - at both of them.— Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) April 2, 2018
Looking at this list, I feel that McGregor’s lifestyle fits right in.
Khabib is now reposting the weird videos I’ve been serving for you here on Midnight Mania since Ronda Rousey was fighting.
The Tony Ferguson freak injury happening ON APRIL FOOLS DAY was truly peak MMA.
It upstaged everyone’s pre-emptive jokes
This was all of us.
The news was bad but the memes were good
This was absolutely me last night. After extensive tape study today I can tell you with confidence I have no idea.
Looking at the size of Nurmy’s arms, it doesn’t seem likely.
Tony heal up man. Just want to advise you, don’t talk too much anymore. Lot of thoughts in my head right now, but I don’t want to become like you. Hope, this lesson will teach you watch your mouth. ❗️ На счёт этой ситуации я просто хочу сказать Тони: больше не болтай, в голове конечно много мыслей, на тебя похожим не буду, надеюсь этот урок научит тебя следить за языком. #ready #ufc223 #Alhamdulillah #победатолькоотВсевышнего
Max is Blessed to be a blessing
In January I asked Dana White if the UFC had an insurance policy / contingency plan in case either Tony Ferguson or Khabib Nurmagomedov were to get injured. Before he could even reply Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) took the mic. pic.twitter.com/oM7ORG4pza— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) April 2, 2018
The number one bullshit here is Tony getting stripped of his interim belt.
Max is going to fight to mutual death, evidently. Also, he would be great at writing Midnight Mania.
The span of Vitor Belfort’s career is truly remarkable and a testament to supplements.
Sarah McMann is starting relationship wars on Instagram.
The real April Fools joke.
Great news! After reviewing 25 years of the effects of a fighting career the @UFC has decided to offer full medical coverage to all signed fighters and their families that extends 5 years after they leave the UFC and they're going to start paying residuals on all commercials!— Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) April 1, 2018
I knew Nicco Montano was Navajo and in extreme poverty before winning the belt, but it’s good the UFC are reminding us they do indeed have a women’s flyweight champion.
Chuck Liddell explaining his unique striking style.
Slips, Rips, and Whatever This Is
Seriously... it pains me he did not even think about a body shot here. It did not cross his mind.
why didnt herb dean stop the fight? jesus christ pic.twitter.com/QkeQRWnWDL— Leg Kickin Tacos (@LegKickTKO) April 3, 2018
He looked utterly nonplussed
No one will break down a triangle-armbar choke like John Danaher
Close relatives: sometimes there are moves and skills that are so closely related to each other that they simply cannot be taught apart from each other, but instead should be taught as one. An example is juji gatame (the arm bar) and the triangle (sankaku). WHENEVER YOU HAVE ONE, YOU HAVE THE OTHER. Thus I teach them as one unified system. Here, MMA athlete, Asim Zaidi, who often travels to NYC to train submission skills with the squad, shows the results of that approach with a fine interplay between arm bar and triangle attacks as he gets a good win against an EBI veteran in a local grappling match.
It looked like the end was near for Carl 'The Cat' Thompson in his IBO Cruiserweight Title fight versus Sebastiaan Rothmann...OH WHAT A SHOT pic.twitter.com/Xp4KJvMNfL— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) September 27, 2016
Podcasts and Video
Mixed Martial Arfs: Dominick Cruz and Dojo the dog.
Andrew Richardson won his pro MMA debut with ease!
The MMA Hour
Flyin Brian J reacts to Holloway stepping in for Tony Ferguson:
Must-watch fights for April, minus Condit vs. Brown because we can’t have nice fights
I don’t get into this debate, but this thread of Michael Jordan clowning mostly skinny white boys is amazing.
“Defense was tougher when MJ played”— Barry McCockiner (@Sp0rtsTalkJo3) March 28, 2018