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Midnight Mania! Georges St. Pierre: Kamaru Usman ‘raising the bar’ as Welterweight champion

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MMA: UFC 245-Usman vs Covington Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Every time a new champion puts together a couple title defenses, everyone from the UFC commentary table to fans on Twitter begin speculating the same thing: is this new champion the best ever? It’s an endless cycle, one that enhances the profile of the current divisional great ... until someone new knocks him/her off.

One athlete who was never knocked from his throne is Georges St. Pierre, the largely agreed Welterweight greatest of all time (GOAT) and quite possible the best period. “GSP” won the Welterweight title twice, defended it nine times, then jumped up to Middleweight and scored a second belt for good measure.

The guy was pretty good.

However, Kamaru Usman is also a really damn impressive champion, showing a nearly unique level of dominance throughout his own 12-fight win streak and title reign. Speaking with ESPN, St. Pierre complimented “The Nigerian Nightmare” and credited him for “raising the bar.”

“In terms of accomplishments, it’s different,” St-Pierre said (transcription via MMAJunkie). “I’ve done stuff that I believe he hasn’t done yet. But I’m gonna tell you the truth and as painful as it could be for any athlete to admit it, the athletes of today are normally better than the athletes of yesterday. As good as the athletes of today are, the athletes of tomorrow will be better. That’s how it is. I don’t care who you are. Even if you’re Usain Bolt, you beat the world record, in a few years there will be another guy that comes and beats your record. I don’t think it’s because the guys are better, it’s because the technology is better and it’s the same thing in mixed martial arts.

“We cannot measure the performance like in sprinting or in weight lifting, but we can only speculate and, of course, time for time, maybe he didn’t win 11 (title fights), but he’s raising the bar. And if I don’t admit that, that means I’m insulting the entire UFC roster. That means I’m saying the sport is regressing, and it’s not true. I believe the sport is getting better. Do I feel that if I go back in my prime and I could fight Kamaru Usman, I do think, yes, I could have done it. However, I know for a fact that as time goes by, guys get better.”

As usual, the Welterweight legend is all class. Meanwhile, Usman can build upon his already impressive resume with a second title defense opposite Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261.

Insomnia

FIGHT CIRCUS IS COMING BACK!

Jon Jones is looking DENSE!

A first look at the official poster for UFC Vegas 23:

They’re both great fighters and champions, but I have to believe that Alexander Volkanovski at 155 lbs. would look like Henry Cejudo at Featherweight. Height matters!

Weili Zhang really may have surpassed Tony Ferguson in the weird workout category.

Jack Hermansson tried to replace Paulo Costa, but it wasn’t meant to be. Is Kelvin Gastelum vs. Robert Whittaker the better fight?

Perhaps memes are the way for Leon Edwards to break through to the general fan base? Because this is a good one!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Urijah Faber actually has a whole series of techniques and strategies for landing elbows from the closed guard. WEC never die!

Definitive proof that pulling guard in a street fight is a foolproof idea:

This inside shoulder lock is one of my favorite ways to counter triangle defense, and it’s also a good option when falling off the back mount.

Random Land

A pleasant color gradient thing:

Midnight Music: King Krule’s voice can be a bit much for me sometimes, but I still like this single off 2017’s The Ooz.

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