Welcome to Midnight Mania, and Happy New Year!
It is somehow fitting for 2018 to close with amazing events that were headlined with two of the most morally questionable people in combat sports getting dominant wins
Like Amanda Nunes, flyweight great Kyoji Horiguchi pulled off a remarkable superfight win against Bellator champion Darrion Caldwell.
Like Cris Cyborg, Caldwell took the loss incredibly well, like a true champion.
Just like UFC 232, RIZIN 14 had a series of weird, remarkable finishes
(inserts random video-game-esque knockout from another promotion)
I was sad to see Justin Scoggins lose to this highly unusual submission
Is that a pillory choke!? Yuki Motoya (23-5, 1 NC) taps Justin Scoggins in one round with this unique submission! The three-time, two-division DEEP champ has won five straight with four consecutive stoppages. #RIZIN14 #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/d0vng5DhqO— Kyle Johnson (@Hamderlei) December 31, 2018
Japanese MMA is just the best.
Coming back to weird triangle-ish submissions:
Daniel Cormier doesn’t think Jon Jones should come to the wrestling meet.
@JonnyBones I don’t think you should come, if you do it becomes about you and I and that’s not what this is about. Too much hostility. I believe we should let this match be about the kids. Not fair to the kids. Our time will come! https://t.co/qhduT1nh5A— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 30, 2018
Ben Askren doesn’t, either, only he said it without DC’s grace
Most parents don’t want Coke heads who use PEDs and do hit and runs on pregnant women being role models. https://t.co/VD02d0bzAP— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 30, 2018
In case you wondered what 215-lb. Alexander Volkanovski looked like, here are photos of him during his League days:
Last night on the #UFC232 broadcast, @Jon_Anik stated Alexander Volkanovski weighed ~ 215 pounds during his rugby career.— Nolan King (@mma_kings) December 30, 2018
I was skeptical, but a quick google search proved Anik correct. Dude was an absolute unit for 5'6"! pic.twitter.com/Z8QoI1bigA
Another look at Nunes flatlining Cris Cyborg:
Like I said, Cyborg took in incredibly well, a true role model in defeat.
View this post on Instagram
I am a bigger fan of @criscyborg today then I was yesterday. THIS is how you handle a setback in Combat Sports!!! 13 years of Dominance. How a person handles success will show you a glimpse of how they can be ... but how a person handles a loss shows you who they really are. While we only got to work together a couple weeks during this camp and I wasn’t there last night. Cris has won me over as an athlete and more importantly as a person. Her true humble nature, her work ethic and dedication to this sport left me in awe of her long reign at the very top of this fickle sport. I am forever here for her, anything she ever needs, when she told me she wanted to be part of the CSA Family and Team I was honored and it wasn’t predicated on any belt... she’s a 10X World Champion ... titles come, titles go but a Champion like Cris is Forever. I look forward to helping her prepare for her return when ever and where ever that may be #CyborgNation #CSAVSTheWorld Repost @mmafightingdotcom ・・・ “I never said I was going to be invincible.” - Cris Cyborg was all class following her KO loss to Amanda Nunes at #UFC232
This is wild
Total combined significant strikes landed by former bantamweight/featherweight champs Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Germaine de Randamie against Amanda Nunes: 14— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 30, 2018
I have to say, Amanda Nunes is growing on me. She’s just a likable person.
What were the odds again? Do I get 2 houses?— Nina Ansaroff (@NinaAnsaroff) December 30, 2018
Tyron Woodley’s win over Robbie Lawler felt very similar to Nunes’ win over Cyborg, the faster fighter landing first-round rockets on a champion with a notable advantage in the later rounds.
Speaking of Woodley, Covington won this poll running away, but apparently the UFC has Usman up next:
Who do you guys wanna see me fight March 2nd in Vegas? @ufc— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) December 31, 2018
Forrest Griffin is giving up 14% of his manliness for this kitten, apparently.
I got some ideas on this
Let’s not forget the situation surrounding Jones’ licensing didn’t magically go away with his win. This could have repercussions in 2019.
Nor did USADA inform NAC in a timely fashion of Aug and Sept tests despite Nevada Regs requiring Promoter hired drug tester to do so.— Erik Magraken (@erikmagraken) December 29, 2018
If you are travelling home over the holidays, don’t forget this valuable advice:
I really want to pet a cheetah in my lifetime. They are the best Big Cat there is.
Chad Mendes has reportedly called it a career. Better to retire early than late. Mendes had three cracks at UFC gold, including 2014’s fight of the year against Jose Aldo, and came close twice. He apparently has a thriving trail guide business, which is always a good indication a fighter will really be able to walk away, and hopefully he was able to stash that half a million from the McGregor fight into a nice nest egg.
I can confirm that Chad Mendes has indeed decided to retire. Pretty surprised to hear this. He’s still a top level fighter imo. All the best to Chad in his future endeavors. Aldo/Mendes 2 is one of my all time fave fights. He’s been part of some great moments in this sport.— Farah Hannoun (@Farah_Hannoun) December 30, 2018
All hail his successor as featherweight prince, Alexander the Great:
This makes no sense. How is Lineker on the prelims?
The ESPN era is going to have some weird bout orders. pic.twitter.com/i0Wxfwni3q— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 30, 2018
This seems unlikely to ever happen.
Jon Jones says he would eventually like to fight to have his second fight against Daniel Cormier overturned and have the win returned to him#UFC232— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) December 30, 2018
Speaking of things that made me laugh with how little sense they made, here’s Dillon Danis:
Mike Beltran just became way more likeable. Poor Gustafsson.
Mike Beltran consoling Gustafsson is killing me, Mike is the king. pic.twitter.com/H0yFoORvsX— Punch-Drunk Pauly (@punchdrunkpauly) December 30, 2018
Gabi Garcia is a scary human.
Dominick Cruz calling fights where his current or former teammates are in the main event seems like a weird practice.
Brian Ortega with Halle Berry at the fights
Megan Anderson put her toe in Cat Zingano’s eye
Feel so bad for @CatZingano , but that was the absolutely right call by @marcgoddard_uk Cat was kicked with a legal kick, it was a toe that caught her in the eye, but it was not illegal and is not the same as being poked with a finger— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) December 30, 2018
Don’t watch this if you like iguanas.
This the most Florida shit I’ve ever seen in my fucking life. And I’m saying this as a Floridian. pic.twitter.com/aw2wXyEypp— koop (@koopa_kinte) December 29, 2018
This is how that always goes:
Sorry to the boy at McDonald’s pic.twitter.com/oGDl2retmR— Katie Mckay (@Katie44907025) December 27, 2018