Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Officially, Lightweight is without a champion at the minute due to Charles Oliveira’s half-pound weight miss, which may or may not be BS depending upon who you ask. Despite the technicality, a wide portion of the fan base still considers “Do Bronx” the Lightweight king given his recent finishes of Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and Michael Chandler, as well as his current 12-fight win streak.
Surprisingly, even retired Lightweight great Khabib Nurmagomedov agrees with that view. He does, however, offer one caveat: Oliveira has to defeat his team mate, Islam Makhachev, in order to claim “undisputed” champion status.
“If Charles wins against Islam, we have to give him credit,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN (via MMAJunkie). “Then he’s going to be undisputed UFC lightweight champion. Right now, I believe he’s champion. I believe even this. People talk about the half-pound. I believe he deserved it. Right now, in this moment, he deserved to be champion. He’s doing a very good job, you know? But he’s not undisputed. When I finished, I was undisputed.”
Nurmagomedov has been lobbying very hard for his team mate. Each and every time there’s a major fight at 155 lbs. or Makhachev picks up another victory, Khabib is on Twitter demanding a title shot for his fellow Sambo specialist. For his part, Makhachev has repeatedly called for a fight vs. Oliveira in Abu Dhabi, which would be something of a homefield advantage for Makhachev.
Nurmagomedov is willing to head to Brazil, however, and he’s predicting a finish on the mat.
“It was me. Now, it will become Islam,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is like father told. He say, ‘Last 10 years, best lightweight in the world, this is my students.’ This is how my father told. ‘When Khabib going to finish, Islam going to come.’ OK, if they want Brazil, no problem. We’re going to come to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, no problem. We’re going to come there two weeks before the fight, rent some big house, come with big team, make weight (not like Charles Oliveira). We’re going to make weight.
“We’re going to finish Charles Oliveira on his game, on the ground – on the ground, on Brazilian land,” Nurmagomedov said. “We’re going to teach all fans what is top control, how we finish people. We’re going to get the belt and go back. We’re going to take some big hugs from Brazilian fans. They’re going to love Islam’s ground game.”
Best wishes to Lerone Murphy on his recovery after a nasty car accident.
I’ll pass on making an easy Sam Alvey joke and instead hope that this match up means Michal Oleksiejczuk is finally moving to Middleweight.
Based on the caption, Chan Sung Jung is looking to fight at least one more time.
Michel Pereira dances to the beat of his own drums.
Actually true: Michel Pereira has gone 4-0 since going to a farm to train for fights by taking down cows and running with horses. MMA isn't real.— MacMally (@MacMallyMMA) May 18, 2022
Contrary to previously posted memes, Trevor Wittman wasn’t smiling when Justin Gaethje got choked out at UFC 274.
bro trevor wittman was fuming when gaethje lost, never seen him like this. pic.twitter.com/E7AwGdPHCn— Dovy (@DovySimuMMA) May 18, 2022
Paul Felder is crushing the Triathlon game!
Josh Emmett is training with former opponent Shane Burgos to help prepare for his upcoming main event opposite Calvin Kattar.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Trapped him in the corner and unleashed the spin!
What a comeback!— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) May 15, 2022
Matthew Daalman lands a brutal head kick against Muhammed Simsek, knocking him out cold and sending him crashing face-first into the canvas. Your new Enfusion Bantamweight Champion!#Enfusion106pic.twitter.com/OW4ksTevvO
The danger of throwing a naked low kick is even greater in an open stance engagement.
Sumo season continues!
Day10 makushita: Sandanme-tsukedashi (started at higher rank due to amateur success) battle.— Sumo Soul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) May 18, 2022
Fukai (L) vs Kinbōzan from Kazakhstan. Fukai’s had trouble moving up despite 2 yūshō. also has 2 yūshō but in shorter time, and took one last basho. One is hurt, hope it’s not serious. pic.twitter.com/eJTYMAMFJq
Day11: Tochinoshin (R) vs Azumaryū. Did Shin got some hydraulics implanted in that knee? Lookin’ good. Azuma has yet to get a KK in his few forays into makuuchi, hope he can pull it off this basho. #natsubasho2022 pic.twitter.com/igfE1gP8vh— Sumo Soul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) May 19, 2022
Throwing hands even in retirement!
No matter how old you get, beef is beef pic.twitter.com/SbxL7LvNCO— Fight Vids 90k? (@FadeHubb) May 16, 2022
Midnight Music: Soul, 1971
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.