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Midnight Mania! Former Rizin champ Jiri Prochazka targeted to debut opposite Volkan Oezdemir on July 11

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RIZIN.20 Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1) is one of the biggest new signings of the year so far, an excellent fighter in a relatively empty division. UFC snagged the former Rizin Light Heavyweight kingpin back in January, not far removed from his vicious knockout of UFC veteran CB Dollaway (watch it!). The Czech athlete has won his previous ten bouts, stopping nine of those opponents via knockout.

Now, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has announced his debut opponent, and it’s a fun one. UFC intends to throw Prochazka directly into the deep end of the Light Heavyweight division in a match up with former title challenger and fellow knockout artist Volkan Oezdemir (17-4) on Sat., July 11, 2020.

Oezdemir has looked quite sharp lately himself. The 30-year-old Swiss athlete has won his last two bouts, rebounding after a trio of defeats that began with his title loss to Daniel Cormier. “No Time” is a power-first striker who has grown more patient, resulting in more consistent offense over the full 15 minutes.

In short, we have a battle of two Light Heavyweights likely looking to blast each other into another realm of consciousness. Which man remains standing when all is said and done?

Insomnia

We don’t know yet if Gilbert Burns is facing Kamaru Usman next, but he’s fighting someone!

Speaking of “Durinho,” here’s a fun fact about the Burns brothers and a funny comment from the man himself:

This is one of the smoothest wrestling maneuvers I’ve ever seen!

If anyone would like to read some of Chuck Mindenhall’s recent writings, they’re now available without paywall.

Lots of comedians have Twitter accounts. Few of them are as funny as Mark Normand:

Sometimes, I feel bad for Jon Anik. It’s not his fault he has to spam the commentary with nonsense advertisements. That’s the job!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

My own bias aside, the Cody Garbrandt right hook from hell is worth revisiting:

Every single Gilbert Yvel fight was violent — even when he didn’t bite anyone. All 40 of his professional victories came via knockout or submission.

This column will never stop using Saenchai clips.

Random Land

One of my favorite authors describing one of my favorite road trip stops:

Midnight Music: Run The Jewels 4 came out last week with pretty perfect timing. Every Run The Jewels record features creative beats and aggressive bars — this one is no exception. It also has an unexpected Josh Homme feature, which is a major positive for me!

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