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Midnight Mania! Petr Yan calls for interim title just five days after Bantamweight title clash

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MMA: UFC 238-Rivera vs Yan Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Petr Yan is not a man who wastes time. The 26-year-old Russian has picked up five UFC victories in less than a year on the roster, elevating himself from complete unknown to one of the top contenders in a very talent-rich division. From his work inside the cage to interviews outside it, Yan is a cool and efficient killer.

Perhaps that’s why “No Mercy” is calling for an interim title shot just five days after Henry Cejudo won the belt!

Now, I’m definitely a believer in Yan’s talent — he’s looked the part of elite Bantamweight since first stepping into the Octagon and has done nothing but win. His hypothetical match up is not a bad one, as Aljamain Sterling is currently the most deserving contender, and the timing of a double champ is uncertain. But even as a defender of interim title fights, this seems far too soon.

More realistically, Yan vs. Sterling would be an excellent title eliminator if Cejudo does defend his Flyweight crown next. Should Cejudo decide to handle Bantamweight business first, I’d rather see Sterling receive his title opportunity now, while Yan can face the winner of Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen. Think about those potential match ups: Assuncao is a crafty veteran and counter striker who could really punish Yan’s aggression, whereas Sandhagen is probably the closest athlete stylistically we have to TJ Dillashaw since the former champion was popped by USADA.

Bantamweight is a fantastic division, but it doesn’t need an interim belt just yet.


Apparently winning two titles and barely being touched by a trio of Heavyweights has given Bader an extra bit of confidence.

A great wrestling scramble from both men: Faber shoots a double, cuts the corner into back control, and re-drops into the shot to successfully land a takedown, but Cruz immediately sits out and hits a roll to destabilize his foe.

Middleweight is pretty rich with high-level jiu-jitsu guys.

The Rizin-Bellator co-promotion has really served to promote Kyoji Horiguchi as one of the best in the world. He would certainly be a legitimate challenger to either of Cejudo’s belts if that bout were ever possible.

Rafael dos Anjos will serve as a great test for Leon Edwards, who deserves the step up in competition.

I get the feeling Paul Felder wants back in the Octagon?

Chad Mendes is bulking up now that he doesn’t have to worry about that Featherweight nonsense.

Slips, Rips, and KO clips

Folayang is a pretty physical fighter with some tricky spin kicks, another tough test for Eddie Alvarez in One.

When slamming out of the triangle, it’s important to slam and posture immediately, otherwise you’re only throwing yourself deeper into the submission.

It’s a lot easier to stop the roll defense to the omoplate when the gi is available to grab.

Brutal knee to the liver!

Random Land

Gorgeous scene from somewhere.

This giant bird is metal.

Music from the making of Midnight Mania: show some love to the weird, dreamy single that introduced much of the world to Bjork just about 30 years ago.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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