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Midnight Mania! Merab Dvalishvili vs. Raoni Barcelos targeted for December 5

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UFC 252: Dodson v Dvalishvili Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

There are no easy paths up the 135-pound ladder.

Per a report from MMAFighting, surging Bantamweight up-and-comers Merab Dvalishvili and Raoni Barcelos will collide on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at UFC Vegas 16 from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Less than a week ago, Barcelos stepped into the cage and battered Khalid Taha, improving his UFC win streak to five and improving his overall record to 16-1. The talented Brazilian is extremely decorated on the mat yet has also demonstrated nasty kickboxing with real knockout power.

Already in his mid-30s, the talent on display from Barcelos made it imperative that UFC awarded him a step up in competition. This fight is just that, as his opponent is the 12th-ranked Bantamweight contender.

Dvalishvili should understand Barcelos’ problem as a divisional dark horse. The Georgian “Machine” has won five straight himself, recently dominating John Dodson to finally break into the rankings. He was set for another chance to climb the ladder against Cody Stamann, but a back injury nixed that bout.

Only one talent can move forward in a talent-rich division. Who ya’ got?

Insomnia

Paul Felder and Rafael dos Anjos making weight under difficult circumstances was great, but the rest of the weigh-ins were a mess. Fights are still on though ... mostly.

Felder is fighting with his heart on his sleeve!

Back in the day, “Jacare” used to manhandle opponents left and right with this gi throw. I’m glad a clip of it came up:

I don’t really see what it has to do with Israel Adesanya, but this is a sweet double leg from Khamzat Chimaev.

Thiago Santos jumping right back into top-tier competition is a bold move!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Will Abdul Razak Alhassan kill a man inside two minutes or gas out trying in his co-main event slot tomorrow?

In the first exchange, Casey overreacts and ducks to avoid the left. Bad reactions happen to everyone, but it’s important not to react badly twice in a row in the same way, otherwise ...

S-S-S-SUMO!

Random Land

By and large, whenever I post cool locations around the world that pop up on my feed, they’re places I’ve never been. I’m glad at least to be able to check this one off the list, and would like to confirm for anyone questioning it: Yosemite National Park is worth the visit!

Midnight Music, Benavidez edition #5: Inverting his own choice to do a covers theme (“You are the theme dude, pick whatever you want” I said on several occasions), Joe went with “Why Can’t We Live Together,” a track he knew for only as a song by Sade until more recently. Here’s the original by Timmy Thomas:

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

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