Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Inside the Octagon, one man’s loss is almost always another’s gain. In this case, Max Holloway’s withdrawal from his main event slot vs. Yair Rodriguez has left a vacancy to be filled, and rather than keep “Pantera” on the card opposite a new foe, the matchup will likely be kept together at a later date.
Instead, UFC has opted to raise Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises to the main event slot per a report from John Morgan. The bout is now planned for the full five rounds.
Makhachev is one of the scariest athletes competing at 155-pounds. Pegged by Khabib Nurmagomedov as a future champion, Makhachev has won seven bouts in a row, largely dominating on the mat via his Sambo talents. Additionally, Makhachev holds the honor of being one of the least hit fighters on the roster. The Dagestani combatant has been gunning for a top-ranked for for a long time, but a main event slot isn’t a bad trade in the interim.
Meanwhile, Moises is a former RFA champ who has pretty successfully jumped into the deep end of UFC Lightweight competition. The Brazilian has won three in a row over quality names like Bobby Green and Alexander Hernandez, and unlike most others, he jumped at the chance to square off with Makhachev.
Who ya’ got?!?
Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad continue their beef online:
Aren’t you the guy that got 3 piece and soda’d ? https://t.co/uPcNyhGI3Y— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) June 22, 2021
Where was this energy in person I just sin you fight week n you couldn’t even look at me you walk past with you head down wtf is happening here https://t.co/j7kVm7zzQc— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) June 23, 2021
While on the topic of the UFC Welterweight division, click through for an entire thread of every fighter Colby Covington has assigned (terrible) nicknames. I cover this nonsense for a living, and I still missed some of these!
"Chris Not Enough Milk Wheyman" pic.twitter.com/rb4Cq9jXxP— Happy Sterling (@TheFunkMasters) June 23, 2021
Muay Thai fighter Eddie Abasalo is indeed as smooth as they come.
Russian MMA outlet RedFuryMMA announced Volkan Oezdemir vs. Magomed Ankalaev, and that is a SPICY 205-pound matchup!
Francis Ngannou’s recent results have been absolutely undeniable.
Francis Ngannou has been nominated for Best MMA fighter in this year’s ESPY’s.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 23, 2021
Here’s a video of his manager Marquel Martin letting him know the news. Great stuff! pic.twitter.com/pK0XOOOTuw
Georges St. Pierre is spending some time rolling with Gordon Ryan and the Danaher Death Squad, BJJ’s most elite competition team.
This man is 40 and calls these warmups pic.twitter.com/RBduWPZVOK— Sushiboi (@judicarlee_) June 23, 2021
Olivier Aubin-Mercier received some tips direct from fans following his last PFL performance:
Slips, rips, and KO clips
I’m sad this clip removed the cross-kick counter that started the finish, but witnessing Andre Fili stop his opponent in Sacramento live was one hell of a moment.
The most important “On This Day” clip ever posted?
If the referee doesn’t see it, it’s legal.
Insane KO at UAE Warriors.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 19, 2021
Mohammad Karaki and Gianni Melillo both trade knockdowns before Karaki claims there was an eye poke. And well, protect yourself at all times. #UAEWarriors20 pic.twitter.com/yXWOIVP0FH
Neck game strong.
Midnight Music: I listened to Tom Waits’ 11th album today, 1992’s Bone Machine. Like most of the great Waits albums, it’s absolutely insane, and this record’s percussion is particularly unique.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.