Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Michael Chiesa put on one hell of a performance in his second main event slot early today, smothering Neil Magny for the majority of five rounds. “The Maverick” was really dominant on that mat, as his grappling skill extended his win streak to four, putting him in a pretty solid position at 170-pounds.
Chiesa used the opportunity to call out former interim champion Colby Covington in the cage. At the post-fight press conference, Chiesa elaborated on why he chose “Chaos,” and his answer was intriguing.
“He’s the toughest matchup for me,” Chiesa said (transcription via MMAJunkie). “Stylistically, that guy should beat me on any given Sunday. From a physical standout, from a mental warfare standpoint, there’s not a lot of boxes that you can check that favor me in that fight. But how can I say I want to be a champion if I don’t want to fight the best guys? Sometimes the best guys are the ones that are toughest for you stylistically.
“So when I look at the top five, I think that’s the hardest fight for me, so we’ll see what happens. If I come up short, I come up short. But I want to be the best, so I got to fight the best. So that’s the guy, and with me saying I wanna have the year I was supposed to have last year, it seemed fitting to just call out the same guy, so we’ll see how everything shakes out.”
It’s definitely a gutsy approach from Chiesa, who likely would struggle to drag Covington to the mat on his terms. However, a win would likely earn him a title shot, so the reward is definitely there alongside the risk.
At the moment, UFC intends to match Covington vs. former friend/current enemy Jorge Masvidal. That fight has struggled to materialize in the past, however, so perhaps Chiesa will get his wish.
Conor McGregor traveling via yacht to Fight Island is peak “Notorious.”
While on the topic of the Irishman, he’s open to an eventual rematch with Max Holloway! That would also be one hell of a rematch.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. the heavy bag looks remarkably similar to most of her title defenses.
Jessica Eye is ... not popular, even among her peers.
Calderwood on fighting Eye pic.twitter.com/vbqkcBTPAQ— TheOnlyWayisMMA (@TellMesuuup) January 19, 2021
Did Aljamain Sterling miss anyone in his Top Five wrestlers at Bantamweight list? Frankie Edgar has an argument.
Well, Neil Magny’s night didn’t exactly go as planned, but he did score a takedown in the third round, which means he joins a pretty cool group.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
SUMO! Y’all ever seen a man this large cartwheel?
Day10 Sekiwake battle. Former ōzeki Terunofuji (L) vs Takanoshō. TNF’s carved out a new niche for himself, but has still yet to beat TNS in 3 tries. There is a mono’ii. #hatsubasho2021 pic.twitter.com/jmcevyeLvr— SumoSoul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) January 20, 2021
Day10 jūryō: Yes, cartwheels are allowed. Former komusubi Jōkōryū (L) vs shin-jūryō Tōhakuryū who’s making a pretty good showing. THR is a good guy, have talked to him a bit, and am looking forward to more. #hatsubasho2021 pic.twitter.com/RrPPnMaZ2L— SumoSoul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) January 19, 2021
Speaking of athletic big men, this is one of the fastest lead leg high kicks I’ve ever seen!
The whole clip is wild, but this double leg off the top obstacle is especially frightening.
The best use of a tooth pick since Benson Henderson!
Midnight Music: I spent my writing time today listening to Spotify’s Essential Folk playlist, so here’s a track from that mix.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.