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Midnight Mania! Jon Jones argues for Stipe Miocic title shot, calls out Brock Lesnar

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

After flirting with a Heavyweight move once every year or two for most of the last decade, Jon Jones is finally serious about changing up his weight class. He’s vacated the belt, began work on building more muscle, and even UFC President Dana White has confirmed that Jones will receive an immediate Heavyweight title shot.

There’s only one obstacle: a Cameroonian powerhouse named Francis Ngannou.

In the last two years, Ngannou has ran through the upper echelon of the Heavyweight division like a buzzsaw, stopping four highly-ranked opponents in a grand total of two minutes and 42 seconds. It’s impossible to deny that Ngannou has rightfully earned a title shot (even if Stipe Miocic is unenthusiastic about the rematch), but Jones took to Twitter today to argue he should get his opportunity first.

“Stipe doesn’t want to fight Francis again because the first fight really wasn’t close,” Jones tweeted. “Looking at it from Stipe’s point of view, fighting Francis again is definitely more of a lose situation than a win. Stipe asked for a new challenge, why not the Light Heavyweight goat? Besides, we’re way closer in size. What’s more exciting than that?

“By the time he heals up, my body weight should be right where it needs to be. This fight lines up perfectly. Stipe versus Francis is high-risk, low-reward. Stipe versus myself actually makes a lot of sense for both of us. Now you actually have a super fight. Stipe loses the fight is gone.”

Jones’ logic for the bout does make sense, particularly if the timing works out as well as he visualizes. However, it seems to me that a match up between Jones and Ngannou would be just as big — if not bigger! — were Ngannou to dethrone Miocic in typical “Predator” fashion.

Ultimately, either match up is must-watch entertainment.

Just in case Jones is unable to leapfrog Ngannou for a title shot, “Bones” has hedged his bet a bit, throwing a challenge in the direction of a different Heavyweight great.

Insomnia

Paulo Costa gets some sparring in with a rangy boxer and gets cornered by Henry Cejudo!

Someone tell Monte Cox that it is no longer 2006 (Jeremy Horn is the man though).

Art.

I do like the thought-process behind “Justin Gaethje has no ego,” but Mike Perry has posted clips of himself looking awful in the room, and “Platinum” definitely has an ego!

Cris Cyborg was unimpressed (though the Tweet has since been deleted) with UFC’s generosity towards Daniel Cormier.

I saw a lot of complaints about Aleksandar Rakic and Neil Magny’s fights being boring, but can you argue the results?

Joe Rogan day is officially upon us!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

I have been critical of Tyron Woodley’s style of approach for a while now, but there’s no denying that man hits tremendously hard. Also, imagine being the poor soul that gets murdered by Woodley on the regional scene.

The guillotine choke from that initial kneeling position (prior to Gritsutin pulling guard) is very unpleasant.

It’s always risky to keep one’s head low in the clinch ...

Random Land

Whales are pretty stunning.

Midnight Music: Discover Weekly reminded me of this somewhat forgotten Beach Boys classic from their 1968 LP Friends. Like much of their work from this period, it’s a reworking of a scrapped Smile Sessions song, but this track was largely written and performed by the great Dennis Wilson.

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