Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Of everything that happened in Brooklyn, N.Y., over the past couple days, this probably made me the angriest, from the perspective of a fight fan. That’s saying a lot, as Conor McGregor threw a dolly through a bus window, got three fights canceled and himself arrested. But, UFC 223’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event was still slated to continue, a bout between featherweight champion Max Holloway and the undefeated Russian wrestler, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Max had a tough weight cut on short notice after interim champion Tony Ferguson blew out his knee in a freak accident, surely a result of powerful wizards somewhere casting a powerful hex over this event. The hex would continue, as the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) — being entirely incompetent — decided by looking at Max Holloway that he couldn’t finish his weight cut. They evidently didn’t have a medical doctor make the medical decision that “Blessed” was medically unfit to compete, as any commission that was even minimally intelligent would have done.
Also, I’m told NYSAC didn’t have doctors declare Max unfit to fight. It was the commission themselves who made the ruling based on how Max “looked” while watching him #UFC223— Sam Spangler (@SamSpanglerKHON) April 6, 2018
Holloway himself wanted to continue the cut, which his nutritionist said had been going “great.” But, none of that mattered, because the NYSAC is stupid.
They wouldn’t allow Paul Felder, who was on championship weight, to compete for the title because he wasn’t “ranked”- perhaps not realizing that the UFC control the rankings anyway, and they are quite arbitrary. Al Iaquinta, who is now in the main event, will, technically, not be allowed to compete for the title either, as he weighed in at 155.2 pounds- even though they weighed his underwear later and determined that this would more than account for the .2 pound difference.
Of course, the NYSAC has a long history of being both inept and corrupt. In the short time they have been regulating MMA, they have been piling up numerous complaints from fighters both in the UFC and Bellator. They suspended Kelvin Gastelum for six months for missing weight, and Yoel Romero for sixty days for jumping on the cage to celebrate his win over Chris Weidman. They are also the commission that was fooled by Daniel Cormier’s towel trick, and denied Rashad Evans a chance to compete at UFC 205.
Before that, they had a long and sordid history when it came to regulating boxing, including the Arturo Gatti-Joey Gamache fiasco, which resulted in permanent brain damage for Gamache, as well as being at fault for a bout which resulted in paralysis for a Dagestani boxer. They also presided over the death of Beethavean Scottland in 2001, as well as numerous other examples of incompetence.
The NYSAC is terrible. They tried to block my fight with Pettis, which was in Vegas, 2 days before the event. I fought there twice and have had at least 4 ridiculous issues with them.— Jim Miller (@JimMiller_155) April 6, 2018
UFC 223 was just the latest victim.
Does Al Iaquinta have the touch of destiny on him?
How about this:— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 6, 2018
11 years ago TOMORROW (04/07/07) Matt Serra shocked the MMA world when he knocked out Georges St-Pierre.
11 years later, Al Iaquinta, a disciple of Serra (and Ray Longo), attempts to pull off the impossible against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Can’t script this.
Imagine being this overlooked and suddenly becoming the main event in a title fight
Lost in today's madness, Al Iaquinta was the only fighter without an identifying board at media day. pic.twitter.com/GJgxltQOBA— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) April 5, 2018
Tony Ferguson started this whole mess with his freak injury.
From all the mess this week, there is CLEARLY only 1 legitimate Lightweight Champion left. I look forward to fighting the winner of the number one contender fight. Props to Al @ALIAQUINTA for stepping up & props to Tiramisu @TeamKhabib for making weight-Champ pic.twitter.com/PpartvxWzd— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) April 6, 2018
Former UFC fighter Tyson Griffin tweeted at Jon Jones and Conor McGregor and quickly got roasted by Jonny Bones.
@TysonGriffin my dream was to be sponsored by Nike as a high school wrestler, became an adult and made it happen. Even had my own sneaker which sold out within a day.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 7, 2018
@TysonGriffin What ever happened with your Nike deal, I don’t remember. I’ll wait...— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 7, 2018
@TysonGriffin You can tell by the tone of your tweet that you’re happy Connor may be losing his deal. Disguise yourself as an MMA coach or a MMA personality, I just see a bitter bitch who’s the size of my dick— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 7, 2018
Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Canadian gangster.
USA have UFC gangsters in the Diaz.— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) April 6, 2018
Ireland have a UFC gangster in Conor.
Russia have a UFC gangster in Khabib.
Don't worry Canada ! I got your back ! pic.twitter.com/zaRLxMlJ6k
Matt Brown hit Conor McGregor with this savage meme...
Now here’s a group you don’t want to mess with. But why is Ilir Latifi chilling in the corner??
Several hours ago, a member of Khabib’s entourage posted this picture along with the caption: "Anybody seen Irish guys?!" pic.twitter.com/1pwrNx7elT— Karim Zidan (@ZidanSports) April 6, 2018
Oh yes, the worst news of the weekend.
Only Al is left.
Stipe Miocic’s got jokes.
Slips, Rips, KO Clips
Ádám Borics absolutely outclassed Teodor Nikolov on the feet, capping off his performance with this spectacular flying knee. I would love to see him and Gallagher get rebooked. #Bellator196 pic.twitter.com/7qATsdoTDc— Kyle Johnson (@KidNobuhiko) April 7, 2018