Welcome to Midnight Mania!
With each passing week, it seems more likely that Conor McGregor is going to return from injury and loss directly into a title shot. Lightweight kingpin Charles Oliveira has mentioned being open to the match up, but now McGregor has been talking mostly about 170 lbs. and targeting Kamaru Usman as of late.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan doesn’t think it’s the best plan. Speaking on his Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast, Rogan warned McGregor that Usman is no joke.
“Now he’s talking about fighting Kamaru Usman. Be careful what you ask for,” Rogan began (via MMAJunkie). “Be careful what you ask for. Usman is a big man, and he’s top of the food chain right now.”
McGregor does hold a 2-1 record at Welterweight, but both of those wins came against former Lightweights. Usman, meanwhile, has run the gauntlet of the best 170-pounders on the planet, beating several of them more than once. It’s a massive jump in competition for the Irishman, a much bigger foe who’s also the current pound-for-pound king.
“That’s the best pound-for-pound fighter alive, Kamaru Usman, and he’s a natural 170,” Rogan said. “You’ve got to remember: Conor McGregor won the title at 145 and then he went up to 155 and knocked out Eddie Alvarez and became the champ-champ. Then he fought at 170, but he fought ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, who is a natural 155 pounder. No knock on ‘Cowboy.’ ‘Cowboy’s’ beat a lot of good 170 pounders. He’s an elite fighter, but Usman’s a different thing. That’s a different peak. There’s no oxygen at the top of that mountain. That’s as good as it gets ever at 170.
“I would put Kamaru Usman up against any 170-pound fighter that’s ever lived. I’m not saying that he would beat Georges St-Pierre, I’m not saying he would beat all of them, but he might beat all of them. He might be the best that’s ever been at 170. He’s as good as they get. He’s got ferocious knockout power, he’s elite at wrestling, nobody puts him on his back.”
Currently, McGregor is expected to return in summer, and it’s only been hinted that he’ll receive a title shot on his return. Usman, meanwhile, is likely to rematch Leon Edwards in July for his latest title defense.
Alright, this one is a mix of personal and professional. Joey Rodriguez is the longtime boxing coach at Team Alpha Male, and the coach I’ve worked with more than anyone else by quite a bit — you won’t find anyone in the sport more dedicated to his athletes.
Earlier this week, his 15-year-old daughter was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma. Josh Emmett has started a GoFundMe to help cover the expenses, and I felt obliged to do my part in sharing. If at some point watching Emmett or Chad Mendes knock someone stiff has been a source of joy, well, this is an opportunity to pay it forward.
Nate Diaz is unimpressed with the lack of professionalism in the MMA community.
Ps— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) March 24, 2022
All u @ufc fighters need to stop gettin arrested for stupid shit ur acting like animals irresponsible lil kids get ur shit together
Drive safe please and act right
Molly McMann’s breakthrough performance at UFC London is paying off in a big way. Good for “The Meatball!”
The Internet widely believes that Khabib did not really write his post cancelling Colby Covington. I tend to agree, but I’d also hope that Khabib regained complete control of his social media with retirement ...
Khabib's English Language:— Dovy (@DovySimuMMA) March 24, 2022
Khabib's English in tweets:
Makes sense. pic.twitter.com/EbHty4Ibkl
1- Khabib didn’t write this.— Oasis MMA (@OasisMma) March 24, 2022
2- Calling for an entire division to boycott fighting someone bc he said mean words is not going to work in a USA based promotion.
3- Khabib didn’t write this.
4- Ali wrote this. https://t.co/afLRw40nHw
Henry Cejudo vs. Conor McGregor ranks high on the list of fights that are never, ever going to happen.
I’m not sad, you’re sad.
Fighter pay is still objectively pretty terrible, but it’s certainly gotten better in the last decade.
Dan Hardy says at UFC 95 his contract was $5K/$5K.#TheMMAHour— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) March 23, 2022
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Matt MF’ing Brown.
Random Saenchai highlight of the week!
Woods tried to hold back the kick, but it was too late ...
Right on the chin.
Midnight Music: Jangle pop, 1983
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.