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Midnight Mania! Dan Hooker vs. Al Iaquinta confirmed for UFC 243

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UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos v Edwards Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

UFC 243 is already planned to be one of the biggest events of the year, and it just added a Lightweight bout that guarantees action.

Almost exactly one month ago, New Zealand’s Dan Hooker (18-8) scored one of the year’s best left hook knockouts opposite James Vick, returning to the win column in dramatic fashion. Immediately following the victory, Hooker requested a match up with Al Iaquinta (14-5-1), the No. 6-ranked Lightweight who was last seen coming up short to a resurgent Donald Cerrone.

It’s a great match up, and today it became official per an ESPN report.

Both men excel in the pocket, but they do so in different ways. Iaquinta is likely the better pure boxer, a powerful striker who ties together clubbing combinations with solid head movement. In addition, Iaquinta is excellent at mixing takedown feints into his offense. Hooker, meanwhile, is more of a kickboxer, a lanky knockout artist at his best when shifting between stances and chucking knees up the middle. While it’s likely to be a war of attrition that could turn in either direction, the combination of Iaquinta’s active head movement and Hooker’s sneaky step knees could prove a terrible mix for the New Yorker.

UFC 243 is headlined by a pair of local fan favorites in Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, who will fight to unify the Middleweight title. Hooker is a team mate of Adesanya’s at City Kickboxing, a gym which has really separated itself from the pack in the previous year or so.

Who ya got?!?

Insomnia

First and foremost, a bit of shameful self-promotion. My upcoming third professional bout on September 7th is looking confirmed. If any readers would like to contribute to my fight camp costs and enter a raffle to win the fight banner, follow through this link for more info HERE!

Aljamain Sterling is two-for-two with these photoshops. I count at least five references to other fights as well if you look closely.

He knew the risk.

Some freaky makeup courtesy of Joe Rogan:

The baggy suit elevates this example of fake martial arts above the rest.

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Seems legit.

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on

Okay, scratch the previous post, Ryan Bader is even more committed to pranks than we knew. This is BRUTAL!

Diaz took everything Pettis worked for, MFer.

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Weedies updated

A post shared by As Shopped As It Gets (@as_shopped_as_it_gets) on

If you were wondering, randoms on Twitter and Instagram are still super weird.

I’m a few days late in posting, but this is still awesome to hear.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

“Thug-jitsu” is no joke.

Watch young Vasiliy Lomachenko style on his opponent way back in 2006.

Another great clip for those who really hate functioning livers:

Random Land

I’ve never seen an ocelot!

A cool historical shot:

Midnight Music: Love’s 1967 album Forever Changes is just a really excellent piece of music. The California band blended folk rock, psychedelic music, and grandiose pop as well as any of their more famous contemporaries.

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

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