Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Nick Diaz is among the more unique personalities in MMA’s short history. The hard-nosed scrapper has consistently spoken about the struggles of the sport, the wear-and-tear and damaged absorbed in the pursuit of success. More than most, Diaz has always felt like he’s had no option but to fight, so when Diaz made his money in consecutive super fights vs. Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, it wasn’t a surprise that he disappeared from active competition.
It was far more surprising when Diaz opted to return seven years later. That surprise turned to concern when Diaz showed up for his rematch vs. Robbie Lawler looking a bit out of shape. Though his performance wasn’t bad, Diaz did wave off his own fight after getting hurt by a punch.
The whole time, Diaz didn’t really seem to want to be there. For that reason, UFC President Dana White isn’t all that eager to see him return to action, even if he was complementary to Diaz’s performance back at UFC 266.
“Regardless of how good he looked or what he did after such a huge layoff, I don’t think Nick should fight,” White recently told ESPN (via MMAJunkie). “It’s not that I was in favor of it. He’s a grown man and can do whatever he wants to do. I just don’t think that Nick does it because he loves it. I think Nick does it because he has to do it. I don’t know, man. People always ask me, ‘What’s the key to success?’ It’s all about being happy and doing what you love.”
In fact, White doesn’t just think Diaz feels obligated to compete. He went further, explaining that Diaz outright hates his job as a fighter, something Diaz himself has admitted at various points of his career.
“When I always talk about the people who sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic and go to a job they hate, that’s what I feel like with Nick Diaz when he’s getting ready for a fight,” White said. “He’s in bumper-to-bumper traffic going to a job that he doesn’t love at all. It’s actually fascinating. But for a guy that’s been off as long as he has, nothing but respect for Nick.”
At the moment, Diaz is unbooked. However, he tried to hop on a card as recently as UFC 269, so it seems likely that it will be less than seven years before we see him back in action.
RIP to Bellator and PFL veteran Jordan Young.
Though still unofficial, Marlon Vera vs. Dominick Cruz is a quality Bantamweight match up that makes sense.
After Belal Muhammad really exceeded expectations over the weekend, Khamzat Chimaev sounds like an a perfect match up.
Another potential match up that I would totally watch: Rafael Fiziev vs. Rafael dos Anjos! Twitter fight bookings are quality tonight!
Our fight deserves to be main event, champ. Let’s find out who’s the best Rafael in UFC https://t.co/Yu9aulvzpp— Rafael “Ataman” Fiziev (@RafaelFiziev) December 18, 2021
Good eyes allow for creative defense.
Carlos Diego Ferreira gives some context on the strange finish in his loss to Mateusz Gamrot:
A good referee.
Agreed. Not a fan of that stoppage either. Will tighten it up! https://t.co/55FaYc2g8r— Jason Herzog (@JasonHerzogMMA) December 19, 2021
Slips, rips, and KO clips
This tweet/anniversary is from yesterday, but I’m not not going to post a Prince Naseem clip when it comes across the feed.
#OnThisDay in 1997, "Prince" Naseem Hamed defended the WBO featherweight title with a wildly entertaining 4th round KO of "Flushing Flash" Kevin Kelley at Madison Square Garden in New York.#boxing #history pic.twitter.com/3o3NKpnEJz— Boxing History (@BoxingHistory) December 19, 2021
A very nice lead high kick!
Left hook to pull back and “close the door” scores a knockout:
Midnight Music: Gave the current New Alternative Top 40 chart a listen.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.