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Midnight Mania! Ali Abdelaziz denies rumor that Khabib Nurmagomedov is trapped in Russia

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

UFC 242: Khabib v Poirier Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Just a few days ago, Russia implemented a travel ban in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Immediately, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans and media speculated on whether this would serve as another obstacle to UFC 249 and the main event of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson.

As of now, it’s still unclear. There have been various rumors online, including one that Nurmagomedov escaped to Saudi Arabia. However, earlier today it began to circulate that Nurmagomedov was indeed grounded in Russia.

Fortunately, Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz declared those rumors “fake news.”

However, Abdelaziz did not offer any information regarding “The Eagle’s” current whereabouts nor any proof of Nurmagomedov leaving Russia. He did also take to Twitter to deny the rumor that UFC 249 would take place in Saudi Arabia.

UFC 249 is theoretically less than three weeks away, and the general lack of information is pretty shocking. Neither the fighters nor even the organization seem to know where the fights will take place, only that they’ll happen on April 18, 2020. Furthermore, the card itself is likely being re-shuffled, as the best bouts of other canceled events are jammed into the event and other international fighters are likely forced to stay home.

Plus, all the gyms are closed! These fights could get ugly: we’re likely to witness a bunch of ill-prepared and late-notice athletes square off in the middle of a Native American reservation in Oklahoma.

It’s the “dark ages” of the late ‘90s all over again!


Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik may find themselves squaring off on the UFC 249 card, but until then, Ngannou is bummed about what could have been.

Stephen Thompson doing his part to keep us entertained!

Look, I don’t know what the hell is going on in this video, but it’s Pokemon and MMA (Rizin’s Kai Asakura specifically), so I’m definitely going to include it.

“You should study Pokemon to get stronger” - Kazushi Sakuraba


Slips, rips, and KO clips

The opening shot is ugly, but the ensuring inversion, suplex, and back take were super dope!

Submission Underground 12 probably shouldn’t have happened tonight, but it did leave us with some slick finishes, which are hard to come by these days. Here, Craig Jones uses an arm drag to score an entry into the leg entanglement.

Kimura trap forever! It’s not exactly what happened here, but for my BJJ practitioners: one of my favorite tricks when falling off the back mount is to climb the legs high and attack the inside shoulder lock that Egli lands below.

Conor McGregor getting some garage work in:

Full disclosure: I have a pretty big backlog of cool clips from the last year or so saved up for a rainy day ... and the world is looking damn wet. I’m going to be mixing in more older posts and training footage moving forward, because the alternative is six home workouts every night — and no one wants that!

Random Land


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Apple Treeometry

A post shared by Adam Hillman (@witenry) on

Midnight Music: I saw news today that the excellent and often hilarious ‘70s folk singer John Prine was in critical condition due to COVID-19, so tonight’s pick is clear.

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

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