Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Earlier this week, UFC parted ways with five fighters, most notably Louis Smolka. Per UFC Roster Watch, that number has now grown to nine, as an additional four athletes have been handed their pink slip. Specifically, Tristan Connelly, Felipe Colares, TJ Laramie, and Niklas Stolze have been released from the roster.
In this round of cuts, Connelly stands out as the most notable release. In 2019, Connelly jumped at a short-notice opportunity to fight Michel Pereira two weights classes above his normal competition weight. In a strange David vs. Goliath showdown, Pereira did one too many backflips, exhausted himself, and Connelly earned a dominant decision win.
He picked up an extra $100k for his efforts.
Since dropping down to his natural weight class of 145 lbs., however, Connelly is winless is two trips to the Octagon. Top prospect Pat Sabatini proved too much for him, as did veteran grinder Darren Elkins. At 36 years of age, that’s likely that for the Canadian.
In a second blow for Canadian fight fans, Laramie is a somewhat surprising release. A quick guillotine from Darrick Minner spoiled his debut, but “The Truth” showed real promise in his second fight vs. Sabatini, holding his own reasonably well for the first half of the contest. At 24 years of age, Laramie still has plenty of time to work his way back to the UFC.
Brazil’s Colares joined the UFC roster since 2019, but he never managed to gain much momentum. He won just twice in six UFC bouts, most recently coming up short vs. Chase Hooper at UFC Vegas 55. Finally, Germany’s Stolze has been released after an 0-3 start to his UFC career. Just a few days ago, Benoit Saint Denis was able to out-wrestle and submit “Green Mask.”
Next month, the sixth season is Dana White’s Contender Series is set to begin. Expect more releases in the coming weeks as space must be made for the up-and-comers signed on that program.
Henry Cejudo is now beefing with former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) student Kai Kara-France, which seems a bit pointless, because the odds of Cejudo ever returning to Flyweight seem slim.
Israel Adesanya is good enough to accidentally high kick people.
Is Valentina Shevchenko the most consistently favored by the bookies champion?
-870 Vs Chookagian— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) June 7, 2022
(Sorry missed one)
Ciryl Gane is ready to brawl with Tai Tuivasa.
Sean O’Malley is doing a lot of mitts along the fence, think he plans to push Pedro Munhoz onto his back foot?
If you train MMA/kickboxing/Muay Thai long enough, you will eventually shadowbox in a random and inappropriate place. It’s science!
Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk have been quite wholesome heading into their rematch — the two clearly really respect one another after their first battle.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Among the loudest head kick connections that I’ve ever heard. Seriously, this one needs sound on!
14 years ago, Thiago Alves scored arguably the biggest win of his career when he flattened a fairly recent champion in Matt Hughes.
Muhammad Ali’s grandson with a gigantic right hand:
The coolest tie dye shirt that I’ve ever seen.
Midnight Music: This dusty old gospel track was recorded somewhere between 1967-1969, but it wasn’t given a wider release until 2012. I dig it!
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.