clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midnight Mania! Daniel Cormier gushes over ‘evolution of mixed martial arts’ Ilia Topuria

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

UFC Fight Night: Emmett v Topuria Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Cage side commentator Daniel Cormier walked away from UFC Jacksonville, which took place over the weekend (Sat. June 24, 2023), highly impressed with Featherweight standout Ilia Topuria.

It’s easy to understand why. Topuria took apart veteran contender Josh Emmett, battering the former title challenger across five rounds (see scorecards here). His boxing looked sharper than ever, but really Topuria’s entire well-rounded game was on display in his first five-round booking. Now 14-0, Topuria has made it clear he intends to wait for a title shot unless Max Holloway wants to take a sojourn to Barcelona.

“DC” backs his decision, and he thinks the potential match ups against Yair Rodriguez and Alexander Volkanovski would be electric.

“I’m OK with him going right into a title fight,” Cormier explained on ESPN (via MMA Junkie). “I think he is that ready. This kid showed conditioning over 25 minutes, he showed an ability to compete everywhere, and he really did just dominate. I think that he matches up relatively well against all of them. The technical fight between him and Yair (Rodriguez) would be crazy, but then also to watch him fight the champion, (Alexander) Volkanovski, with their skill sets – fantastic fights across the board at 145.”

Beyond his immediate chance at capturing the world title, Cormier was massively impressed by Topuria’s composure and talent at such a young age. Topuria’s only been on the roster since 2020, and he’s consistently shown incredible potential despite his relatively small amount of experience.

“He’s young. He’s like 25 years old or 26 years old. He hasn’t fought much,” Cormier continued. “The only thing that you could even take as a negative was he didn’t do the fighter meetings because he was cutting weight. That’s literally the only misstep. He had to get his weight down, and that’s not really a misstep.

“You can’t judge him harshly in anything that he did over the course of the first main event week that he’s ever had. He’s calm. He’s collected. His demeanor outside of the octagon translates so well inside the octagon. He’s at the high guard, he’s in there, he sets everything up – he wastes nothing. This dude is just – he really is next-level and he is the evolution of mixed martial arts.”


Latest estimates courtesy of John Nash put UFC paying 13% of its revenue to fighters in 2022. a decrease from 2021. Ignoring all the morality involved: isn’t the value decrease obvious in the product itself?

Case in point:

Rodtang vs. Takeru has to happen, it’s that simple.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but HENDO is a legend.

Jammal Emmers is handling a controversial decision loss in the best possible fashion.

Is having your team mate beat someone that you could not really an effective form of revenge? Good over evil? This is a weird post.


Slips, rips, and KO clips

This is a sweet pair of kicks tied together for the KO, but the first thing I noticed was how full of a crowd Jungle Fight drew! That promotion has produced so many great fighters.

About as frozen from a punch as is humanly possible:

Hooking the leg to finish the reverse triangle is high-level technique! Not an easy strangle to finish.

Random Land

Sketchy, sketchy, sketchy!

Midnight Music: Alternative, 1988

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

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania