Welcome to Midnight Mania!
2020 provided many strange twists and turns, but among the odder in combat sports was the announcement that two of the strongest men on the planet would transition from powerlifting to boxing after a deadlifting dispute. Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, better known as “The Mountain” from HBO’s Game of Thrones, is set to throw down with fellow gigantic lifter Eddie Hall in September.
As the Paul brothers have recently shown, there’s big money in celebrity boxing, and as PRIDE FC showed a dozen times over, people definitely love freak show fights! Bjornssonn vs. Hall has elements of both and surely would be a spectacle.
Want a preview? It would seem Bjornsson is taking his preparation for the fight seriously, as over the weekend, he fought to a draw opposite Steven Ward in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi. Ward was roughly 140 pounds lighter than his foe, but then, there are not exactly an abundance of men at 6’9” and 450 pounds willing to strap on boxing gloves.
Check out the full fight below:
“I hope Eddie does this as well as I want him to be at his best,” Bjornsson said before his draw with Steven Ward (H/T The Sun). “I don’t want him making excuses that he didn’t have the preparation I had. I believe if he doesn’t do this then I’ll knock him out in the first round.”
In addition, Ward was complimentary toward his opponent’s size and power. He commented: “I’ve never seen a big man like that move so well. He hit me one shot. It shook me to my boots. So, I started running. It was great being back, though. Thanks to everyone who came out.”
After the match, Bjornsson vowed to knockout Hall when the two meet in September.
Are you still buzzing from Max Holloway’s victory? You should be. One of the single greatest performances in MMA history, on par with any classic example of a next-level win.
Here are significant strikes landed and attempted for every fighter in every fight of the UFC unified rules era (since UFC 28)— MMA By The Numbers (@NumbersMMA) January 17, 2021
Guess which points are Max Holloway... pic.twitter.com/vnjzGoy9ka
In fact, Holloway crushed more than one foe this weekend.
This is a really jiu-jitsuy way to pin someone!
A nice response from Calvin Kattar after such a difficult loss:
Do y’all think either of these people know BJJ?
Dustin Poirier is the widest man at 155 pounds ...
Dan Hooker told @oscarswillis in their interview that he asked the commission member who weighed him backstage prior to his bout with Dustin Poirier how much Poirier weighed on the night of their fight and was told that Poirier weighed 83 kg (183 lbs.)— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) January 18, 2021
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Day6 Shinohara (R) vs Genkaihō. SH is flying up the ranks (hence the long locks) tho he has slowed a bit since making sandanme; he also took jonokuchi yūshō on his debut (checked to see if Hattori was fodder for him, but no, ). #hatsubasho2021 pic.twitter.com/qZvV7U5hrA— SumoSoul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) January 16, 2021
Day7 Kotonowaka (L) vs last basho’s jūryō champ Midorifuji. There’s always talk of when M will finish another KATASUKASHI (shoulder swing down), which he has been polishing since he first started doing sumo when he was a kid. He already had one on Day2. #hatsubasho2021 pic.twitter.com/qsrypRGeQU— SumoSoul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) January 16, 2021
The fence is not a great place to try to recover.
There’s a definite risk to using a deep grip like this to snap an opponent down, but when the opponent fails to slip away, it pays off big!
Imagine how many mouthfuls of fish a whale this size must eat to sustain itself.
Midnight Music: Dedicated column readers may remember that I’m a huge fan of Father John Misty, but I never got around to listening to his work prior to adopting that moniker. His music released under J. Tillman is more traditionally folky and slower, minus his now-trademark humor but ... I could listen to that guy sing a phonebook.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.