Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou has only been discussed as a realistic possibility for the previous week or so, but the fight world has already bought into the idea hook, line, and sinker. It’s an undeniable tremendous match up, as Jones would finally test the Heavyweight waters. More than that, he would do it as an underdog against perhaps his most dangerous opponent ever.
Jones is willing to take the risk, Ngannou wants all comers, and fans demand it. Everyone was on board with the match up ... until negotiations stalled as soon as they started. Now, Jones is ready to take a hiatus from the sport entirely.
There are really two popular takes on the situation. Jones detractors — like Israel Adesanya! — believe that “Bones” never had a true interest in the Heavyweight division and used contract negotiations as a way to back out of the match up gracefully. The other side of the conversation features the very persistent history of UFC being unwilling to pay fighters more than their base contract, regardless of the scale of the contest (remember Donald Cerrone’s “red panty fail” against Conor McGregor?).
Despite being Jones’ potential opponent and engaging in trash talk with the Light Heavyweight champion, Ngannou took to Twitter to support Jones.
In my opinion, the @ufc aren't willing to make this Jon fight happens or at least for what it worth— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) May 22, 2020
2) No title fight, no super fight, who knows when going to be my next fight . Hope it's not in another 11 months or so. #ThisIsSucks— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) May 22, 2020
Ngannou has experienced his fair share of frustration with the company too. Dana White ripped into “The Predator” following his tentative decision loss to Derrick Lewis, and recently UFC shut down his requests for an interim title ... despite there being no plans booked for the official belt.
Ultimately, it’s another example of the fighter pay issue that plagues the sport. Even with a significant salary increase for both men, there is money to be made for UFC on Jones vs. Ngannou, which would undoubtedly sell massively more than Jones vs. Jan Blachowicz. However, UFC is extremely reluctant to pay above base contracts, which is common place in the highest levels of boxing.
If UFC wants to live up to its general promise of giving fans the fights they want, it might be time to open up the pocket books, because this is one of the best bouts available.
Check out the fourth episode of our Thailand doc below, and there’s additional behind-the-scenes info HERE!
Dustin Poirier proposes some exciting match ups:
Dan,conor,tony? You guys there??— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) May 21, 2020
Some impressive strength from UFC Lightweight Rafael Fiziev.
I feel like Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Rafael dos Anjos has been talked about since like 2016. Also, “RDA” has fought too many elite dudes to be called a phony!
I spoke to the ufc and @RdosAnjosMMA You have to call them and tell them you want to fight me. I told ufc already I am ready and they are waiting on You as usual. Stop being a phony and call them!— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) May 20, 2020
Is this a self-aware joke or the scariest post a potential Vitor Belfort foe could ever see?
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Happy birthday @henrihooft let’s go one more time for another adventure. This time will be, the first dance (BMA) along with the last dance (the beginning of a new journey.) Stay tune for more news. The phenom is Reinvent himself one more time. T-eam R-un T-ogether Picture by @ryanloco Parabéns coach @henrihooft pode se preparar para mais uma aventura. Primeira dança (BMA) junto com a última dança (será o início de uma nova jornada.) Fiquem atentos pois o fenômeno está se reiventando mais uma vez.
These reviews of One Championship from former employees are pretty damning!
Carlos Condit has some of the most creative and versatile combos of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Is Geoff Neal the best example of the Southpaw double threat right now? His cross is a piston and that high kick crushed even Mike Perry’s iron chin.
I’m ready for more Geoff Neal violence pic.twitter.com/EZvIDqbENr— Connoisseur of Combat (@ConOfCombat) May 20, 2020
RIP Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones — it was a nice dream for the few days it lasted.
Francis Ngannou’s UFC debut back in 2015 pic.twitter.com/HleSKj9c2c— Connoisseur of Combat (@ConOfCombat) May 21, 2020
Sweep the leg!
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Favourite fights day 5 vs andrei kulebin...this is one of my favourites for a few reasons 1st, literally everyone in the entire UK has written me off before this fight. I was fighting around 63-64kg at the time and kulebin was 18x world champion and had KOed the number 1 and 2 in the uk at the weight above me 66.7. When I was offered the fight tho I couldn’t turn it down and stylistically I knew my style could beat his even tho no one else saw it, I even told everyone exactly how I was gonna stop him with low kicks.I’d stopped a lot of good fighters with leg kicks Before this fight but this was the first time I had made a real elite level fighter succumb to the damage, the fight was in Manchester and not only did I stop him with leg kicks, I kicked his leg so hard it flew off his hip joint out of the stadium I ran after it dribbled it onto the pitch at old Trafford and scored a 25 yard screamer with it in off the crossbar ⚽️ other than getting my nose broke with an elbow at the end of round 1 I didn’t put a foot wrong at all in this fight and will always be one of my favourites. Volume up high and listen to smooth eclectic sounds of me booting someone’s leg to smitherines. Happy Friday #muaythai #kingofthelegkick
A formidable road block:
Midnight Music: Enjoy a jazz-funk track that found its way into my DMs!
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.