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Midnight Mania! Fence-sitting Joe Rogan talks fighter pay controversy, ‘I see everyone’s point’

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UFC 264 Weigh-in Joe Rogan Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Fighter pay is perhaps the hot button topic in the UFC right now. For those interested in the numbers, there’s a major focus on the UFC revenue split (spoiler: UFC pays its athletes a considerably smaller percentage than most any other major sport) as well as multiple ongoing lawsuits, one of which claims fighters are owed $1.6 billion in backpay.

The issue was again brought to the forefront of the UFC fan consciousness when Cheyanne Buys scored a high kick knockout at last weekend’s UFC Vegas 33 event (HIGHLIGHTS!). Not long afterward, Buys was awarded a “Performance Of The Night” bonus, prompting her to break down into tears on the “life-changing” bonus and previous struggles of being a broke fighter.

Heart-warming moment or athlete exploitation? UFC color commentator Joe Rogan offered his thoughts in a recent podcast, doing his best to refrain from making too bold a statement in one direction or the other.

“She was crying and all these people got online and started complaining about the UFC,” Rogan said (via MiddleEasy). “I see everybody’s point. I see their point and I also see the UFC’s point. A lot of people don’t know who she is yet. They know who she is more now. But the whole thing with the sport is how many people are going to watch you fight. How exciting are you? How entertaining are you? How engaging are you? Your personality and do you put asses in seats.

“It’s clear now who puts asses in the seats and those are the people that get the most money. It’s a complicated thing for people because they think the best fighter should make the most money. And you go, yeah, but the best fighter doesn’t put the most asses in the seats and that’s what this game is all about. It’s a weird sport. It’s prizefighting but it’s also entertainment.”

On the off-chance anyone was expecting Rogan to lead the charge for UFC athletes in any meaningful way, it’s probably time to drop those dreams.

Insomnia

Muay Thai play sparring!

Combate Global is pulling some pretty solid numbers!

Another Khabib quote from the Mike Tyson podcast, this time a showcase of absolute savagery!

While on the subject, I promised in last night’s Midnight Mania that I would follow up with Conor McGregor’s tweet-and-delete response to Nurmagomedov’s diss. True to form, here it is!

One of the most brutal ways to suffer a pin:

Some of Derrick Lewis’ best on-the-mic moments!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Vicente Luque’s highlight reel is bonkers.

Oddly enough, I think the clean back elbow while stuck in the crucifix proved a deciding moment in the ensuing scramble and thus the fight.

Damn, this is a beautiful head kick while weighted down in metal.

Random Land

A pretty intense drop-in that’s worth the build up:

Midnight Music: I’ll talk about Kanye’s album when it’s fully released and I can listen to it on a regular streaming service. Until then ...

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