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Midnight Mania! Coronavirus threatens immediate UFC events, including UFC 249 headliner Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

UFC 249 Khabib v Ferguson: Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

March 11, 2020 is likely a day for the history books.

The last few hours have been chaotic. Just to recap a few of the Coronavirus-related headlines of the evening: flights from Europe to the USA have been banned, the entire NBA season is suspended after a player tested positive, Tom Hanks has the virus, and the economy is taking a serious beating over the whole scare.

The world of MMA is certainly not safe from the fallout. Just yesterday, it became apparent that UFC Columbus was at risk, as Ohio’s governor has considered banning indoor sporting events. Immediately after NBA announced their season suspension, MMA Twitter lit up discussing the potential fallout.

UFC Brasilia may play out to an empty arena this weekend.

One major source of concern is UFC 249, which is currently set to be held in Brooklyn, New York on April 18, 2020. Headlined by a Lightweight title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson, many fans are positively freaking out at the idea of the “cursed” bout being cancelled a fifth time.

MMAFighting’s Mike Chiapette weighs in:

Per The Athletic’s Ben Fowlkes, UFC may be mirroring its decision based on other professional sports leagues. As mentioned, NBA has already suspended their season, but the NHL has yet to make any such decision at the time of writing.

Even if it does not take place in New York, there is still hope for Tony vs. Khabib and all the other UFC fights coming up in the near future. Many have suggested UFC hold the bouts privately in their new APEX center, a facility in Las Vegas, Nevada equipped to handle an event if need be. It’s where the “Contender Series” takes place and is a massive 50,000 square-foot facility.

While definitely a safer option than public events, there is still risk involved. Aside from the logistics of travel — who knows if European and Asian athletes will be able to make the journey at all? — weight cutting is absolutely terrible for the immune system. As it turns out, proper nutrition and hydration are helpful in staying healthy, which means fighters cutting weight would essentially be sitting ducks if exposed to the virus.

There is a silver lining, though. Just a three days ago, UFC president Dana White spoke about the virus and his commitment to keeping the show running smoothly. Though the situation has undoubtedly changed since then, full suspension of events doesn’t seem likely at this time.

Insomnia

Muay Thai retirements last roughly as long as MMA retirements.

The realities of ripping kicks are rarely pleasant:

Soon, Edson Barboza will be too hungry to tweet about wanting to sign with a different promotion.

I didn’t even realize Tulsi Gabbard was in attendance at UFC 248. Did the broadcast mention it?

The science behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s massive forehead swelling, which you can watch bounce in slow-mo right HERE!

A great display of technique, strength, and hip position!

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Красиво

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Slips, rips, and KO clips

SUMO!

Francisco Trinaldo returns to the cage this weekend opposite John Makdessi, so let’s revisit his crushing liver knee knockout opposite Evan Dunham.

I don’t know what else to say other than to repeat what is already obvious: classic Lethwei rules are absolutely out of this world.

Random Land

This is surprisingly soothing.

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D’oh! by @jamesllewis follow @ifyouhigh

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Midnight Music: Like most of his work, Townes Van Zandt’s Live at the Old Quarter album is excellent.

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