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Midnight Mania! Stephen Thompson claims Kamaru Usman is injured, could be replaced by Jorge Masvidal

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UFC 278: Usman v Edwards 2 Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Stephen Thompson has a new source of inspiration towards becoming UFC champion.

A couple weeks back, Thompson picked apart Kevin Holland to return to the win column in stellar fashion (HIGHLIGHTS). It was a drastically different outcome compared to his previous two fights against Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns, dreadfully boring contests that saw Thompson stuck on the bottom for long periods of time.

At 39 years of age, “Wonderboy” isn’t going to suddenly become an elite wrestler. There’s a reason why he’s targeting match ups with strikers. They’re more fun, and he’s more likely to win them! Fun fights rarely equate to title shots, however, but that goal remains on Thompson’s mind.

In a wrestler-heavy division like Welterweight, how does that work out for Thompson? Well, Thompson revealed a rumor that Kamaru Usman is injured and unable to make it to his planned trilogy bout with Leon Edwards. Instead, UFC is searching for a replacement, and one option being considered is Jorge Masvidal ... a striker that “Wonderboy” already beat up back in 2017.

“I’m still going for the title,” Thompson said on the Fred Talks Fighting podcast (via Josh Evanoff). “I know the guys ranked above me right now are some heavy wrestlers but everybody wants to see me fight a stand-up fight. Which, I don’t mind at all. Any of those guys, Jorge Masvidal, Michel Pereira.”

He continued, “People are in-talks of me fighting Leon Edwards. I know Kamaru Usman is having hand surgery, I know they want to fight somebody in March and they were looking at Jorge Masvidal. He’s a standup fighter, so it kind of inspires me a bit, our division is so wrestler-heavy, and Leon Edwards is a striker and he’s champ. So, anyone of those guys would be awesome.”

If Usman really is injured, the Welterweight title picture will end up a bit of a mess. Masvidal’s star power could indeed end up overruling his current losing streak. Similarly, Khamzat Chimaev’s momentum could allow the promotion to ignore his massive failure to make weight at UFC 279. Finally, perhaps this is an explanation to how Belal Muhammad — the most deserving but least marketable contender — managed to end up with an alleged contract to fight “Rocky.”

Hopefully, London will learn of its main event sooner than later.

Insomnia

Jan Blachowicz was treated terribly inside the Octagon at UFC 282 after his fight, and he deserves the highest level of respect.

The MMA community is having fun at Paddy Pimblett’s expense.

Takeru empties the tank with power kicks:

I remember Chris Curtis getting out-wrestled several times at Welterweight in PFL, but his takedown defense has been incredible lately!

Is Dagestan the answer to Cody Garbrandt’s recent struggles inside the Octagon?

Anyone got a guess on what year this clip is from?

Credit to Anthony Smith for handling a tough moment while live and on air.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

I am not up-to-date on high level Muay Thai competition aside from the details provided in the caption, but it looks to me like Rittewada got a bit too comfortable.

Man did almost nothing to defend the kneebar, wild.

Liam Harrison low kick highlight!

Random Land

Absolutely terrifying.

Midnight Music: For my Dead heads.

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

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