Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Despite officially abandoning the division and remaining in an extended state of negotiation purgatory, Jon Jones’ name still hangs over the Light Heavyweight division. Champion Jan Blachowicz may be done chasing the fight, but there’s still a percentage of the fan base that only thinks about the 205-pound belt in the context of “Bones.”
Half of tomorrow night’s main event, Anthony Smith, however, believes that Jones’ absence has really allowed the division’s talent to shine and gain further appreciation. Furthermore, Smith explained that he feels the gap between Jones has closed, both between the division and himself.
“On the worst night of my life, obviously he won every round, he beat me, he won a decision,” Smith told MMAFighting. “I take full responsibility for that but that was the worst performance and the worst day of my life and the greatest of all time didn’t blow me out of the water and embarrass me or injure me?” Smith said. “It never even felt like I was in danger. It’s not a knock on Jon. As much as me and Jon don’t get along, I give him all the praise in the world. He deserves everything that he’s got. That man is potentially the greatest of all time and he’s earned that. But we’re not that far off. We’re really not that far off and especially now. I feel like I still believed then, I said it right after, I can beat that guy. I know I can beat that guy. I just didn’t show up and that’s my fault and he did a great job of shutting me down.”
“You’re going to tell me Jan Blachowicz doesn’t have a chance against Jon Jones?” Smith concluded. “Get the f*ck out of here. That’s crazy.”
If Smith is victorious vs. Ryan Spann, “Lionheart” will once again find himself in the Light Heavyweight title mix. Meanwhile, Jones’ future remains up in the air.
A Final Bit Of Self-Promotion
I tried my best but didn’t get it done last night. I have a full write up coming shortly, but until then, I wanted to send out one more thank you to everyone who supported (plus the only HL clip I saw for better or worse).
The old guard grows thinner each year.
Carlos Condit's retirement from MMA now leaves just 14 fighters on the roster that made their UFC debut prior to UFC 100. It's a sad day when we lose one of the OGs. pic.twitter.com/PUOPLoEW5U— Andy Hickey MMA (@AndyHickeyMMA) September 17, 2021
Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon is yet another great Bantamweight match up.
One has to wonder just how great Tony Ferguson could have been with some more traditional strength training, because he was amazing doing random nonsense.
Two showcases of excellent sparring flow:
Is standing directly in front of the rifle sound strategy?
Dan Hooker and his fellows in New Zealand may have a majorly difficult time fighting/training given current restrictions.
@USAmbNZ Hi Kevin, apologies for messaging on here but it's a last resort.— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) September 16, 2021
My visa is with the US embassy here in NZ as I fight next week in Las Vegas on #UFC266
Update today is it won't be approved until next week due to lock down which will cancel my fight. Please help.
The duality of being an athlete in a weight class sport:
Slips, rips, and KO clips
I’ve posted about him before, but Team Alpha Male’s Slava Borschev is a prospect to remember. ELECTRIC kickboxer!
CFFC 100 also featured a pretty gnarly knockout that shocked the local crowd.
Tokaev caught the kick, but it only lead to worse things.
This video of Drake hitting mitts went viral, and well ... it’s not the worst I’ve seen from a celebrity (that honor will permanently go to Stephen A. Smith).
Midnight Music: I don’t have anything to say about London Calling that hasn’t been said before, but yeah, it’s an amazing album.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.