Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Sometimes, match ups make themselves. Whether due to bad blood, the potential style clash, divisional rankings or some happy combination of the lot, certain fights do not need the matchmakers’ seal of approval — the fighting world just knows it has to happen.
Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje is one such bout. It makes so much sense! Both men are elite wrestlers better known for their knockout power and highlight reels. Each man most recently came up short in a very exciting title fight, and prior to their UFC careers, were two of the most exciting sluggers outside the UFC roster.
It’s an awesome fight, an easy main or co-main event. Yet, despite his pushing for it, Chandler has been unable to make the match up materialize.
“Gaethje should be next. There’s no doubt about it,” Chandler said this week on an Instagram live chat (via MMAFighting). “There is no secret [Makhachev] and Gaethje both share the same management, so obviously that management would want to say, ‘Hey, throw Islam on the trail. Throw Islam on the Chandler trail so that it takes the heat off of Gaethje.’
“But Justin Gaethje: Come on, bro. You call yourself a fighter, and you are — you’re one of the most exciting guys in mixed martial arts. Be prepared to make a highlight or be made a highlight, because that’s what I am. That’s what I’m ready to do.”
Chandler also revealed that Gaethje has already declined the fight previously, despite the fact that “The Highlight” would seemingly need a big win to return to the title mix.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ve said Justin Gaethje’s name no less than 100 times since I’ve signed with the organization,” Chandler said. “He’s been asked to fight me three or four different times. Every time he’s declined. He and I are ranked two spots away from each other. He has not fought since last October. He needs to get a fight in if he thinks he’s going to fight for the title. For some reason him and his camp have no interest in fighting me.”
Hopefully, UFC is willing to do whatever it takes to make the match up happen.
Despite the threat of a boring fight, Dan Hooker is willing to scrap vs. Islam Makhachev!
Scared haha check the timeline. I went to war with Felder and Poirier while you were cherping. Both make your fight Saturday look like a tickle party. If you have a problem, we can fight September. @MAKHACHEVMMA— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) July 20, 2021
Hasbulla is worth far more than $95k, this is an absolute travesty.
My good buddy — and more importantly, One Championship Strawweight contender — Namiki Kawahara brought a unique tradition with him to California.
Your monthly reminder that Georges St. Pierre is an incredible athlete.
As if there were any doubt, Dustin Poirier lived up to his charitable promises.
Joe Rogan WILL get his interview!
"So Simba, break this down for us" pic.twitter.com/SCUiwElfkb— Cerebral Vigilante (@Delisketo) July 20, 2021
A killer collaboration between badass Welterweights Kamaru Usman and Douglas Lima:
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Prince Naseem Hamed, the ultimate showman!
Adrian Yanez is one of the best prospects at 135 lbs. — that man is smooth!
Distance is so tricky. An intercepting knee is such a great strike against an advancing opponent ... unless they land first!
A pretty badass shot of a coastal wolf!
Midnight Music: A cool surf-y track from indie rock group The Growlers.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.