Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Stories seldom emerge from sparring sessions, as there’s generally no reason to bring up tales from behind closed doors into the public light. Fighters who got beat up rarely want to admit it, and bragging about beating up an athlete who may have been unprepared or not going 100% is not a good look.
In the interview above with The Score, UFC Bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling describes sparring Zabit Magomedsharipov for the first time. “Zabeast” is a top contender at the weight class above Sterling, and safe to say, it didn’t go well for “Funkmaster.”
“I had one bad knockout in training, that was with Zabit,” Sterling began, before moving on to discussing his prospects beyond fighting. When prompted to elaborate on that incident, he explained, “That was after I loss to Assuncao, back in February 2017. Dude, I didn’t know who the f*ck he was! I didn’t know how big he was. Mark Henry was telling me how light he was, ‘he’s only about 170.’ Okay, I’m about 162, I can go with him today, I was on the lighter side.
“I never knew who he was; the guy is a f*cking ninja. he comes out throwing all these side kicks, these hook kicks, then the second round he throws a 360 round kick. I closed my eyes and ducked my head, and he kicks me, wraps around the back of my head. I didn’t go out, but I was definitely f*cked up. I didn’t see the kicking coming, and it landed flush on the back of my neck. I got on video, it’s pretty nasty. Hopefully Mark Henry leaves that in the archives!”
Fortunately, fights inside the Octagon against men in his actual weight class have gone tremendously well for “Aljo.” In fact, Sterling has a pretty huge match up ahead of him this Saturday (June 6, 2020) at UFC 250 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. He’ll square off with a fellow talented 135-pounder in Cory Sandhagen, and the winner will likely earn a title shot.
At least he’ll be more prepared for any 360° round kicks!
Kamaru Usman better watch his step! Anthony Johnson is only 60 lbs. away, a mere 26% of his body weight.
Henry Cejudo may be gone, but cringe is forever.
Only one bedspread like this in the entire world. Thank you @thatpillowguy for the special retirement gift. #thatpillowguy pic.twitter.com/Q6EM2RoFL8— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) June 3, 2020
Similarly, Ben Askren may be gone, but his children remain and fight this weekend at UFC 250!
What an absolute gem @UFC_AUSNZ #UFC250 pic.twitter.com/Ef4Mj1WBYN— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) June 3, 2020
Stipe Miocic vs. fans upset that he participated in #BlackOutTuesday. I don’t mean to spoil anything, but the champ retained his title!
Salute Stipe pic.twitter.com/wu7fZSYtbn— Pauli MMA (@mma_pauli) June 2, 2020
June 3, 2020
June 3, 2020
It’s always cool when someone is able to pull this takedown/sweep off, but my favorite part about this move is that Derrick Lewis tries it at least once per fight.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
The excellent timing and general viciousness of the punch below reminds me of Chan Sung Jung’s quick knockout opposite Renato Moicano.
Nothing ups the intensity like REFCAM!
There’s a ton of cool stuff in the clip below: body work, a sweet sweep counter, and thunderous left hook finish!
A beautiful location and a big trampoline:
Midnight Music: Gil Scott-Heron wrote albums filled with thoughtful and poetic protest music. With all the stomach-churning “We’re in this together!” ads prevalent, it’s hard not to link his most famous song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” from the excellent LP Pieces of a Man.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.