Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Ever since Anthony Johnson retired in the cage following his 2017 loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210, there has been speculation about his potential return. He’s teased a return several times in the three years since, both at Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight. At one point, Johnson also transitioned to power lifting and ballooned up to a terrifying 285 lbs. of muscle.
In 2020, “Rumble” has been particularly adamant about making a return. However, after talking about potential opponents, UFC President Dana White recently explained that Johnson “sort of disappeared again,” shattering the hopes of fans who love ridiculous knockouts.
Fortunately, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto revealed today that Johnson was back in the USADA testing pool, and that his return was planned in the Light Heavyweight division.
Breaking: Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) will re-enter the UFC’s mandatory drug testing program this week in anticipation of a comeback, per his manager Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00). Right now, the plan is to come back as a light heavyweight. pic.twitter.com/5sclYSSaUF— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 18, 2020
Since all fight fans would happily watch “Rumble” crack heads at any weight class, the USADA news is definitely more significant. It’s a major step that Johnson is serious about returning! Typically, an athlete that is not a debuting fighter must spend six months getting randomly tested before they are able to compete again. However, there have been exceptions made in the past, so it is conceivable that Johnson could fight before February.
Either way, it’s an exciting development, though it does time poorly with Jon Jones abandoning the Light Heavyweight division. That fight nearly happened so many times!
Daniel Cormier reflects on his final trip to the Octagon:
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Thank you all for the love and support. Not what I wanted or expected but it is what it is. Congrats to @stipemiocic on a fantastic fight, was an honor and pleasure to share the octagon with you for 50 minutes. Boy did we give ‘em a show everytime. To my team: I love you all to death, you’ve made so many sacrifices. I hope I made you guys proud. Salina and the kids: thank you for being my motivation. To all the fans: I love you so much. You guys push me to try and be great. To @danawhite and the @ufc: I have loved every minute. Thank you for giving me the opportunity. Been a helluva ride, huh?
A small update on Sean O’Malley’s injury. In truth, a broken bone would likely result in a cleaner recovery than a ligament tear, so this isn’t necessarily the greatest news.
Update on Sean O’Malley from a source close to him:— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 17, 2020
“X-ray on his ankle/lower leg came back OK. No fractures but MRI is needed (once swelling goes down) to look for ligament & tendon tears. They will scan knee too. Can’t have a MRI until swelling subsided.”
No timetable yet.
Gina Carano throws some shade at UFC and the Reebok deal!
We dressed how we wanted.. before they could rob fighters of their sponsorship money. pic.twitter.com/KAz9O4SMSV— Gina Carano (@ginacarano) August 15, 2020
Dominick Reyes’ response to Jon Jones’ brief retirement/potential Heavyweight move:
Worth repeating: it’s super cool that the UFC Heavyweight champion of the world is also a firefighter.
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Have to take a minute to address some very special people, my fellow first responders and the men and women serving our country. Every time I step into that octagon, I carry you with me. The love you showed from all over the world this week was unbelievable! Nothing but love and gratitude for all of you.. stay safe, God bless! #SM #firefighter
Yoel Romero is a legend for pulling this off opposite Paulo Costa immediately after being dropped by a perfect left hook.
Yoel went with the “look that way” strategy against Paulo Costa a year ago today pic.twitter.com/wulkaJFe4B— Connoisseur of Combat (@ConOfCombat) August 17, 2020
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Spinning attacks can backfire even if they land!
What a event! Sueablack knocks out Fabio Reis with a crushing elbow. pic.twitter.com/ViIJ371toE— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) August 15, 2020
Overhand and uppercut are a deadly combination.
Daraek barely even showed the initial kick, it was more of a jump knee feint into a left high kick. Really neat!
Daraek with a knockout of the year contender, taking out Nautis Bartoska with a perfectly executed jumping switch kick in round one. pic.twitter.com/8n14ovPUp2— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) August 15, 2020
Improvise, adapt, break toes.
is that a fucking bowling ball pic.twitter.com/yzglUeCutw— Perfectly Cut Screams (@AAAAAGGHHHH) August 15, 2020
Midnight Music: Well, I was listening to a playlist and liked this song enough to post it. I Googled it to get a bit of background info to pass on, but instead found this interesting article about how Sullivan disappeared off the face of the Earth in the 1975 while driving from LA to Nashville.
Until confirmed otherwise, I like the aliens angle.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.