Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Cris Cyborg takes a loss exceptionally well, perhaps better than any champion we’ve seen. After her first round KO loss to Amanda Nunes, she not only handled the post-fight press conference extremely well, but today she took the remarkable step of posting video of herself, after the bout in her locker room.
These scenes are usually somewhat traumatic, as fighters come to grips with the fact that they didn’t win, that their focus for months of training came to nothing. Cyborg, however, was calm, philosophical, stoic. It truly is remarkable that a dominant champion, undefeated for 13 years, can react with such composure to her first knockout defeat.
One criticism that could be leveled at her performance was that she opted to wade forward and engage with Amande Nunes in the pocket, giving the younger, quicker fighter the openings to land her thunder-god right hand of destruction.
It wasn’t a criticism lost on her sparring partners, one of which happens to be Olympic gold medalist and world champion Claressa Shields. (At 12:40, you can see Claressa Shields cheerfully but pointedly berating Cyborg for brawling with Nunes.
“What the f***? Hey, look, I’m not mad about the loss. I’m mad because you know how to f***ing box, and you shouldn’t have been out there just trying to brawl. What you do that for? You f***ing jab with me. Jab with her short ass. What the F***? Anyway, I’m still proud of you. Rematch?
Shields: F*** her up. Go out there and use your jab, she can’t hurt you, she can’t f*** with you. She got mush.
Also present was movie star Halle Berry, who expressed her emotions watching her friend Cyborg lose. Via MMAJunkie.com:
“I was shocked, a lot of mixed emotions,” Berry said. “But she’s a champion. You’ll see, she’ll be back. All champions have to face highs and lows. I faced it in my career, we all face it. But she’s a true champion. She’ll be back.”
The UFC brass don’t seem all that keen on the idea of a rematch, given the decisive nature of the bout. It would make sense to allow Nunes to fight someone else in the meantime — the ever-present Holly Holm, for instance — and normally, even a dominant champion should earn their way back to a title shot. However, in Cyborg’s case, there really isn’t anyone else. Women’s featherweight was a division built around her, and the only other natural featherweight is young prospect Megan Anderson, who just bounced back from a lopsided decision to Holm. In all likelihood, if Cyborg, who also happens to be a proven draw, sticks around, she will get a second fight with Nunes, and a chance to apply Shields’ advice: ‘Jab with her short ass.”
Cyborg’s conduct in defeat does stand in sharp, sharp contrast to Ronda Rousey.
This picture of Justin Scoggins is cool on multiple levels
Jon Fitch with a solid bit of life advice
Lando Vannata has re-signed with the UFC
Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker was deservedly the fight of the year. Hopefully we see Romero back in action in 2019.
Demetrious Johnson wanting Max Holloway to do the haka after his next win, and Max responding ‘say no more fam’, is one of the ways social media is pretty cool sometimes.
Dear @BlessedMMA next time you win your fight can we please get the haka dance? Love yours truly ~Mighty— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouse) January 3, 2019
Oh snaps it’s about to be— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouse) January 3, 2019
Amanda Nunes hanging up her belts
Dustin Poirier got jokes
Did you say Nate?? I cant make it My back hurts!!! https://t.co/CEt8Q57i5K— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) January 2, 2019
It’s good to know we can include Brendan Schaub among the idiots who think Mayweather-Tenshin was fixed. He also can’t pronounce Tenshin Nasukawa.