Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Zabit Magomedsharipov will go down as one of the great “What ifs” in UFC history. The Dagestani combatant built up an undefeated (6-0) UFC record to ascend in the Featherweight Top Five, combining acrobatic kickboxing and smother wrestling in a manner that really had no precedent. Following his most November 2019 win over Calvin Kattar — yup, half of this weekend’s main event! — it was revealed that Magomedsharipov was dealing with health issues, including an autoimmune disorder.
Slowly, it became less and less likely that Magomedsharipov was ever going to return to action. Yesterday, news released that “Zabeast” had officially informed UFC of his retirement from MMA. Now, the newly retired athlete has taken to Instagram to release a statement to his fans.
“Disruptions of fights, and then health problems - all this did not allow me to perform/fight earlier,” Magomedsharipov writes. “I have recovered now, but I don’t feel the way I used to.”
Despite his retirement from active competition, Magomedsharipov states his intent to remain involved in the sport and continue to pass on his knowledge. Likely, this is referring to his work with his brother, Khasan Magomedsharipov. The 21-year-old Featherweight is 7-0 as a pro, and he’s picked up two wins in Bellator.
There’s a good chance we’ll still see Zabit in his corner in the near future.
It’s never a great weight cut when you have to pull out the razor.
Darren Till looks to be flowing pretty well on mitts ahead of his UFC London showdown vs. Jack Hermansson.
Belal Muhammad’s work with 2x NCAA champion wrestler Roman Bravo Young produced some really fun scrambles.
I am 100% certain that this viral clip is inside the bar in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand where you can fight a random person and hope to win a bucket of booze. They also do worked fights with retired Muay Thai veterans, like this:
Luke Rockhold has begun his training camp for the Paulo Costa fight, as well as his return to Middleweight.
Sean O’Malley really goes hard with his merchandising.
A bit of art commemorating last week’s main event.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Ripping body shots to open up the high kick:
WSOF era Justin Gaethje was a special monster.
Headbutts are a really powerful weapon.
A rather unique amphibian:
Midnight Music: Alternative rock, 1978
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.