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Midnight Mania! Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya to unify titles October 6 in Melbourne

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MMA: UFC 225-Whittaker vs Romero Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Middleweight has been such a hot division in the last few years that half of its contenders have been able to jump ship to Light Heavyweight and earn title shots. Amidst all the chaos, Robert Whittaker escaped with the title, denying Yoel Romero gold twice in a pair of legendary bouts. Those two fights aside, however, Whittaker’s has had issues with injuries, creating an opening the door for Israel Adesanya to take out Kelvin Gastelum in his own “Fight of the Year” contender.

The next stop for both men is clear, and luckily, Combate reports that the title unification match is booked for October 6th — to be viewed on Saturday the 5th for American audiences — inside Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Given that Whittaker is an Aussie and Adesanya represents New Zealand, it’s a great headliner for local fans.

It may not be in a soccer stadium, but it should be a massive event.

Otherwise, it’s simply an amazing match up. Is Whittaker’s blend of boxing and karate — his generally very MMA-style of striking — enough to overcome Adesanya’s precision kickboxing? It’s hard to see, but while still months away I like Whittaker’s chances given his superior combination punching.

Insomnia

Petr Yan’s interim title request just grew significantly more likely.

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS) is one of the most fun developments of the previous few years, and the new venue being free to the public is awesome.

Speaking of DWTNCS, even winners tend to have it rough post-fight.

Holy crap, Todd Duffee’s back after four years on the sidelines! If his name didn’t open the tweet, I wouldn’t have recognized him.

Paul Felder tried to be nice.

Nice, quick tutorial on one way to take an angle and fire! A key detail for this type of shift is how his back foot replaces the position of his front foot.

Slips, Rips, and KO clips

FACEPLANT!

Outside of known kickboxers, a finish via low kick at Heavyweight is really quite rare.

As a teen, myself and two other young grapplers drove on our own to jiu-jitsu tournaments up-and-down the East Coast most weekends. One of them, Joe Solecki, will make an appearance on DWTNCS in three weeks. The other, John Battle, has competed in the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) and other high-level jiu-jitsu tournaments.

Blink and you’ll miss the fight ending shot.

Random Land

This man’s precision is precise.

Mars seems closer every year.

Music from the making of Midnight Mania: “The single best thing that has happened in my lifetime in music, after punk rock, is being able to share music, globally for free” — Steve Albini

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

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