Welcome to Midnight Mania!
The UFC Light Heavyweight division has a new champion, and the division is heating up as a result. Per a report from ESPN, UFC is targeting a main event match up between former 205-pound title challenger Thiago Santos and fast-rising Russian contender Magomed Ankalaev. No location has yet been announced for the event.
Santos already has history with champion Glover Teixeira, who rallied back from a pair of knockdowns to submit “Marreta” in November 2020. Just about a month ago, Santos returned to the win column with a five-round decision victory opposite Johnny Walker, a rare display of patience from the usually wild kickboxer. Though he’s lost three of his last four, Santos remains ranked inside the divisional Top Five, likely in part due to his strong performance vs. Jon Jones.
On the other hand, Ankalaev would be undefeated inside the cage were it not for a literal last-second Hail Mary submission from Paul Craig. Since that disappointing debut, Ankalaev has gone on a tear, winning seven straight bouts and stopping four of his foes via knockout in the process. Most recently, he picked up a unanimous decision nod over Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 267, pushing him up to the No. 6 position at Light Heavyweight.
With Jiri Prochazka seemingly locked in as the next title contender, there’s a reasonable chance this bout names the contender after him ... although Aleksandar Rakic would be less than pleased.
Who ya’ got?!?
Rodtang vs. Tenshin Nasukawa II needs to happen.
After Tenshin Nasukawa’s callout, Rodtang happily accepts his offer to avenge his loss. Now it's on the promoters. pic.twitter.com/s1qc1Lcu4M— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) November 15, 2021
A neat little storyline ahead of this weekend’s event!
I get to fight on the same card as my old high school wrestling coach, Mike Chiesa. I get to open the show and he helps close it. That’s a God move, and while we may not be on the same team he’s always with me. He inspired me to even do this, he supported me when few others did pic.twitter.com/K7IwX5GsT8— Terrance McKinney (@twrecks155) November 14, 2021
Glover Teixeira deserves to be celebrated.
Marlon Vera isn’t taking disrespect from Chael P. Sonnen.
Just like when he fought Anderson Silva. https://t.co/f8O3TtDW0u— C H T O V E R A (@chitoveraUFC) November 13, 2021
I had to watch this, so now you have to watch it too.
Though champions with incredible win ratios has become more common, the ability of fighters with several losses to risk through the ranks is still an awesome aspect of MMA.
Been saying forever difference with MMA is u don’t get navigated to a clean record, u fight to a dirty one, but one that can stand the heat, one that has been forged in the steel of battle. One that gave Eddie an asbestos suit. @Ealvarezfight https://t.co/sxQhFZBonS— Teddy Atlas (@TeddyAtlasReal) November 13, 2021
Some impressive stats resulting from UFC Vegas 42:
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Stuffed the takedown and SERIOUSLY made him pay!
Baseball bat chokes put people to sleep very quickly.
I’ve posted a good few Sumo clips in the course of this column, but this is a new move to me!
Day2: Terutsuyoshi (L) vs Ishiura. Could never’ve imagined the winner could get the leverage just like that to pull this. With all the little variations of kimarite this one deserves it’s own name. I offer up SHIRI-TSURIDASHI (bum first lift out). #kyushubasho2021 pic.twitter.com/y901delqot— Sumo Soul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) November 15, 2021
This moose is thick as hell!
Midnight Music: I dug this Southern soul track from Joe Tex that popped up on the radio today.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.