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Midnight Mania! Belal Muhammad threatens Middleweight move over Covington snub, beefs with Sean Strickland

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UFC Fight Night: Muhammad v Good Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Belal Muhammad is not happy with how the Welterweight title picture is being handled.

“Bully” is unbeaten in his last nine fights, and he’s defeated several Top 10 opponents and former title contenders in the process. Furthermore, he’s got unfinished history with the current champion, Leon Edwards. However, he’s far from the biggest draw in the sport, so UFC President Dana White has remained committed to granting former challenger and controversial figure Colby Covington the next shot at Welterweight gold.

Muhammad was offered back up duty for that fight, but he doesn’t sound interested. He wants a fight with Kamaru Usman (not Shavkat Rakhmonov), yet it’s unclear when Usman intends to return to action after his hard-fought loss last month. As a result, Muhammad revealed he’s considering a jump to Middleweight, and he specifically mentioned Khamzat Chimaev and Sean Strickland as options.

“I can fight at 185,” Muhammad said backstage at UFC 287 (via BJPenn.com). “I’m not worried about it. So I’ll move up, look for him, maybe he’ll finally come out and play that game. I made it to the top at 170, 185, I’ll do the same thing. If I’m not going to get a title fight, just give me the fights that really get me excited. Give me like a Sean Strickland, somebody that I dislike, somebody that I hate, that would be fun to punch in the mouth.”

It hasn’t taken Strickland long to respond, as the two have prior beef. The Middleweight contender takes issue with Muhammad’s hatred of him, and he claims the two had a previous run-in at the UFC Performance Institute. Per Strickland, “The Bully” quietly ducked away rather than actually back up his previous trash talk.

I don’t see Strickland as an easy fight for Muhammad nor one that moves him any closer to the Welterweight title, but both men are unbooked and looking for a fight. Interested?

Insomnia

I am glad as an MMA community, we have largely agreed that Israel Adesanya talking s—t after his mega knockout win was hilarious.

Reminder: MMA prime has almost nothing to do with age and is much more typically based on how long one has been fighting professionally and the assorted damage taken in the process.

Joe Rogan went gorilla mode at UFC 287, but Daniel Cormier is an immovable object, so Jon Anik took the brunt.

Another combat Sambo world champion — and former Khamzat foe — joins the UFC ranks.

BETTER MATCH UP ALERT! BJJ legend Marcus Buchecha is fighting freaking “Reug Reug,” the massively strong Sengalese wrestler in what’s sure to be the meme fight of the year.

Alcohol and cigarettes.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

The famous “Wave your opponent in and then get knocked out,” a classic maneuver.

Prime Mirko Cro Cop would be a Top Five Heavyweight RIGHT NOW!

Right hand over top the kick:

Random Land

Not ideal.

Midnight Music: Punk, 1980

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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