Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Just a few days after declaring himself the most exciting fighter of all time, Justin Gaethje lived up to his words in his three-round war opposite kickboxing ace, Rafael Fiziev, last weekend (Sat. March 18, 2023) at UFC 286 from inside The O2 in London, England. The former two-time title challenger proved he’s still in the Lightweight title mix, turning away a dangerous young finisher in exciting fashion (HIGHLIGHTS).
Having taken out an up-and-comer contender, Gaethje has his eyes set back on the title. When asked about his next step, Gaethje named Dustin Poirier as a potential foe. Back in 2018, Gaethje and Poirier battled for four rounds. It was a wild fight, and just as Gaethje seemed to be gaining momentum, Poirier stunned him with a left hand and ended the fight.
Five years later, the fight makes sense once again, and fight fans are certainly game for a second showdown. Is Poirier? Speaking with Fansided MMA, “The Diamond” addressed the callout, and he didn’t say no.
“It’s a fight that makes me nervous,” Poirier said (via Sports Hyped). “When I hear a name and I get nervous, it’s motivation. Those are the kind of fights that – same thing with Chandler. When I heard Chandler’s name, when they called me with Michael Chandler, I was nervous, because I knew the danger of those kinds of fights, and that’s what motivates me. Same thing with Justin. If they do call me and he’s the name that they say, maybe it happens. We’ll see.”
Currently, Poirier and Gaethje are the only two unbooked fighters in the Lightweight Top Five aside from the champion, Islam Makhachev. It remains to be seen if UFC moves in this direction, but Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 could easily headline a free card or be co-main event of a high-profile pay-per-view (PPV).
While I would happily watch any of these fights, I also don’t believe the implication that Robert Whittaker turned down Khamzat Chimaev.
Khamzat Chimaev says he accepted fights against Colby Covington, Alex Pereira, and Robert Whittaker #TheMMAHour— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 22, 2023
▶️ https://t.co/sF6Kymnxa9 pic.twitter.com/icnFq99JlP
The odds seem low that Dustin Poirier vs. Colby Covington ever actually materializes, but yes, I would watch that as well.
Dustin Poirier: "Fake" Colby Covington is everything I hate about MMA pic.twitter.com/MSbOm1Tthn— No Context Ariel Helwani (@NoContextAriel) March 22, 2023
Andy Ruiz is trying to capitalize upon the collapse of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk.
Lets do this pic.twitter.com/8b1JpKdIKL— AndyRuizJr (@Andy_destroyer1) March 22, 2023
I have never seen so many close distance side kicks to the knee.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all pic.twitter.com/5D0hku7lkW— liam harrison (@LiamBadco) March 22, 2023
Per Twitter rumors, Brendan Schaub pissed off a former assistant, and now his texts are leaking ...
Holy shit, Schaub caught in 4k getting his assistant to help him cheat on his wife pic.twitter.com/m0lsUfJO27— Val Dewar (Violenceweight Rankings Steward) (@the3els) March 22, 2023
Paulo Costa vs. Sean Strickland has to happen, and now that Costa has unexpectedly resigned with UFC, I don’t see why it wouldn’t!
@BorrachinhaMMA you limp dick mother fucker take your dick out of your manager, grow some balls have her read the contract to you and sign the mother fucker.....— Sean Strickland (@SStricklandMMA) March 22, 2023
Lift what’s available!
Alexander Volkanovski clearly belongs in the cage, not the club.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Zhahaer was slick with his twister setup here, his opponent really didn’t give him a huge opening to pass the arm by and hook the head.
Yoooo twister sub for Zhahaer. Another guy that got into the PI last week. pic.twitter.com/ZU8SeY32HB— Chris Presnell (@mmaecosystem) March 22, 2023
This is the mistake that every new grappler makes once, and typically, only once. Don’t cross your feet from back control!
In a division full of sloppy ass grapplers, only Geronimo dos Santos has lost like this pic.twitter.com/6PyFx08b2c— Jack Slack (@JackSlackMMA) March 21, 2023
1-2 down the pipe!
Range Tedan knocks out Hu Tao with a right hook in R1: pic.twitter.com/ngemb6LhbJ— Chris Presnell (@mmaecosystem) March 22, 2023
Midnight Music: Psych/folk, 1969
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.