Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Aljamain Sterling is the reigning Bantamweight king, fresh off a five-round decision win over Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 last weekend (Sat. May 6, 2023) from inside Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey. His immediate future is clear, as Sean O’Malley is lined up as his next challenger.
After that bout, Sterling will head up to 145 lbs. in pursuit of Featherweight gold. He’s been very forthcoming about his plans to jump up a weight class, and he believes that his frame will fit the division well based on his experience with elite Featherweights.
“I look at some of these other guys at 145 and I train with them, I feel good about it... I think I’ve got the room to fill out, I have the reach, and (can) get big,” Sterling told Megan Olivi (via MMA News). “Of course, when I get to the top of the mountain with those guys, it gets a little bit different; taller guys... There’s a lot of good guys there.”
Of course, Sterling is aiming for Featherweight gold, which currently means a showdown with Alexander Volkanovski. The Australian talent isn’t yet inspired by the prospect of fighting “The Funk Master,” which could mean that Sterling has to fight a top contender in his Featherweight debut, rather than the champion himself.
If that’s the case, Sterling has one Featherweight he’d prefer not to fight: Ilia Topuria. “The Matador” is a fearsome puncher with great jiu-jitsu, but that’s not the reason Sterling doesn’t want to throw down. Instead, it’s an extension of his friendship with Merab Dvalishvili.
“Of course, you’ve got another Georgian hammer in Ilia Topuria. I know him and Merab are really good friends. That’s one I’d like to avoid, for the sake of that friendship that they have. And we’ve hung out a couple times, (Topuria is a) really cool guy.”
Grant Dawson vs. Damir Ismagulov is an excellent match up of Lightweights just outside the Top 10.
Damir Ismagulov will fight Grant Dawson at #UFCVegas76 on July 1st. (first rep. @mma_kings ) #UFC #MMA #UFCESPN #UFC2023 pic.twitter.com/j50PpFKNwW— Marcel Dorff (@BigMarcel24) May 11, 2023
Bellator’s Lightweight king Usman Nurmagomedov was kind enough to demonstrate how the rear naked choke works on this podcast.
Interviewer asks Usman Nurmagomedov to demonstrate a RNC on him.— ❂ (@Sa_Gwang) May 10, 2023
Usman: "do you have family?" pic.twitter.com/m3aRD67yfu
Kelvin Gastelum officially announces his move back to 170 lbs. I hope it goes well ...
Official announcement ‼️ pic.twitter.com/ZKVwhhBJY2— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) May 11, 2023
This is a badass shot.
Canelo’s boots after his fight with John Ryder (2023)— Fight Pictures That Go Hard (@fightpicsgohard) May 11, 2023
I like the Matt Frevola vs. Paddy Pimblett fight, it makes plenty of sense. Hopefully it works out!
He hid my comment so here it is. Hoping he heals up fast pic.twitter.com/WiVlBiKK84— Matt “The Steamrolla”Frevola (@SteamRollaa) May 11, 2023
A couple nights ago, I complained about Sterling’s all fours down tactic. Let me follow that up by also pinning some blame on Cejudo for failing to attack with front chokes when he knew Sterling was going to do this!
I warned Herb Dean about this before the fight. Had a feeling Aljo would play around with the grounded opponent rule after stuffing his takedowns, and that's exactly how it played out during the fight. I need to punish him next time in those positions. https://t.co/ke8vhCS4xx pic.twitter.com/0CRp7FbM7M— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) May 9, 2023
Okay, this is pretty funny!
You guys, waterson’s mom is trolling me, I don’t know whether to be offended or flattered pic.twitter.com/jmA6YAzeMO— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) May 10, 2023
Slips, rips, and KO clips
An accidental KO from the training room:
A 41-year-old finish!
#OnThisDay in 1982, Ray Mancini def. Arturo Frias by TKO in round 1 of 15, to become the new WBA lightweight champion. A slugfest only lasting 2 minutes & 54 seconds. pic.twitter.com/EmQ3mnyDDC— . (@BoxingJournaIs) May 8, 2023
Taking a heel to the liver feels absolutely terrible.
Ball to the balls.
OH NOOOO Akil Baddoo @Akil baddoo #ouch #mlbnews #breakingnews #viral #detriottigers #cleveland #guardians #Yankees♬ original sound - MLBBloopers
Midnight Music: New wave, 1983
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.