Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Just over a week ago, UFC announced former champion Robert Whittaker vs. rising contender Dricus du Plessis for UFC 290 this July in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Middleweight bout carries significant implications for the future, as it’s scheduled to be a title eliminator, meaning the victor gets a shot at Israel Adesanya.
From a rankings point of view, it makes plenty of sense. Whittaker is still working towards a third shot against “Stylebender,” and du Plessis could use a Top Five victory to cement his own argument for a title shot. However, UFC veteran Chael Sonnen argues it’s a bad move, because the fight to make is du Plessis vs. Adesanya, right here and right now. In fact, he believes the current match up should be canceled.
“It’s not too late,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel (via MMAJunkie). “We shouldn’t have made du Plessis vs. Whittaker, should we have, guys? We should’ve made du Plessis vs. Adesanya. Izzy says, ‘I’m not going to fight anybody till I fight him.’ Izzy doesn’t care if he doesn’t beat Whittaker. … Matter of fact, Izzy predicts Whittaker is going to beat Du Plessis. Izzy doesn’t care if he’s coming off a loss. He doesn’t care if he’s coming off a knockout humiliating defeat, he’s going to fight him next.”
The reason Sonnen feels so strongly is that Adesanya and du Plessis have real beef. Ever since du Plessis argued about whether or not Adesanya was a real African champion, he’s been on his would-be foe’s mind. Adesanya has released several verbal tirades, and “Stylebender” only seems to be more motivated to kick du Plessis’ ass week-to-week.
If booked quickly, that’s a fight that would quickly build serious hype and move pay-per-view (PPV) buys. Instead, du Plessis will have to defeat Whittaker, a task no Middleweight except Adesanya has been able to accomplish in the previous nine years. The most likely outcome here is that the potential money fight goes down the drain, lining up Adesanya vs. Whittaker 3.
Sean Strickland handles getting roasted well.
Sean Strickland got GOTpic.twitter.com/73sIpDxTGG— MMA Mania (@mmamania) April 28, 2023
One of Japan’s biggest kickboxing stars, Takeru, has signed with One Championship. HOW LONG UNTIL HE FIGHTS RODTANG?!?
Takeru signs for ONE! pic.twitter.com/FPIucfOnMH— Muay Thai Chai (@muaythaichai) April 28, 2023
Cody Garbrandt is jumping right back into the deep end against Mario Bautista, who’s won a bunch of fights in a row mostly via finish.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Mario Bautista in the works for a UFC event on August 19, per sources.— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) April 28, 2023
Story coming to @MMAFighting
Anyone who thinks this is a silly promotional tactic forgets the UFC sold Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafasson entirely on the premise of “Gustafsson is also tall!”
Just look at that arm span!!! This is going to be the most amazing fight ever. #ufc #imhere pic.twitter.com/yJY2g42JhC— Sergei Pavlovich (@SPavlovich13) April 28, 2023
Hear that voice advising both fighters? That’s Coach Joey Rodriguez, and I just know he’s angry that this footage is on Twitter.
boxing footage between song yadong & chad mendes. they both fight this weekend pic.twitter.com/z0yQPhgaiO— b (@beIsfy) April 28, 2023
I can pretty much promise this Flyweight battle will be very, very strange.
A.Nascimento out. Tim Elliott will now fight Victor Altamirano at #UFCVegas74 on June 3rd. (first rep. Altamirano to @mma_kings on IG stories) #UFC #MMA #UFCESPN #UFC2023 pic.twitter.com/Q2ynIMJgJG— Marcel Dorff (@BigMarcel24) April 28, 2023
Absolutely immaculate trash talk. Perfection. No notes.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Southpaw left kick cannot be stopped!
WOW. Gingsanglek Tor.Laksong doubles up the head kick, knocking Chorfah Tor.Sangtiannoi out cold seconds into R2. #ONEFridayFights14 pic.twitter.com/6DigxxLZvI— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) April 28, 2023
Four-ounce gloves Muay Thai is unreasonably violent. Look at this back-and-forth chaos!’
FIGHT OF THE YEAR?!#ONEFridayFights14 pic.twitter.com/2uQB6u3Ape— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) April 28, 2023
Saenchai highlights are evergreen.
Who amongst us hasn’t injured themselves on a slip-n-slide?
Midnight Music: Angel Olsen is one of my favorite singer-songwriters of the last decade, and I finally got around to checking out her latest LP, Big Time.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.