Welcome to Midnight Mania!
The Middleweight division is currently in a state of chaos and uncertainty, centered around a pair of major players. The wildness begins with Paulo Costa, the Brazilian banger who was scheduled to face Ikram Aliskerov next weekend at UFC 291.
Well, sort of. Costa himself said the match up was announced but assigned, and we’ve never seen direct confirmation from “Borrachinha” that the fight was happening. Similar to the canned Robert Whittaker booking last year, it would seem Costa is holding true to his word and remaining on the sidelines for this one as well.
Maybe Aliskerov will fight Roman Dolidze instead?
Regardless, Costa has been online hinting that he’s been pulled from that match up because he has bigger fish to fry. Specifically, he’s hinted at undefeated star Khamzat Chimaev as his next opponent. Earlier today, a first report from MMA Melotto targets Costa vs. Chimaev for UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi this coming October. Communicating in his usual mix of questionable English, one word answers, and emojis, Costa seemingly confirmed as much.
Smart— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) July 17, 2023
They are feeding That guy with gourmet chenchen pic.twitter.com/K9PTwex4cP— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) July 19, 2023
— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) July 18, 2023
Costa has been calling to fight Khamzat for the better part of a year now, ever since the two had an explosive interaction at the UFC Performance Institute. Chimaev’s future remains uncertain, as he’s flirted with both returning to Welterweight and jumping up to Middleweight. Since he’s desperate for a fight, Chimaev would surely jump at the willing “Borrachinha” in Abu Dhabi, right?
Maybe not. Chimaev tweeted at a misspelled Costa earlier, “You are a bum now, I have a better opponent.”
Our best guess is Jared Cannonier, the top-ranked Middleweight contender who’s fresh off a brutal victory over Marvin Vettori. Recent insider info seems to reveal “The Killa Gorilla” as Chimaev’s next opponent, but there remains no official announcement.
If Cannonier vs. Khamzat is the booking ... who is Paulo Costa going to fight?!?
Credit to Stephen Thompson, that man shows up to fight in incredible shape even at 40 years of age.
Paying money to get WWE slammed is a rough situation.
Jackhammer during a Grappling match pic.twitter.com/m70d6y1hRV— Catch Wrestling U (@CatchWrestling) July 18, 2023
Phil De Fries celebrated his latest title defense in style.
Instead of getting a well-deserved ranked opponent, Caio Borralho is being rewarded with a dangerous 6’5” relative unknown in Nursulton Ruziboev. Ouch!
Apurei agora que o peso médio Caio Borralho está confirmado no card do UFC São Paulo, dia 4 de novembro. Ele vai enfrentar Nursulton Ruziboev, que estreou nocauteando Brunno Hulk no início do mês. O contrato já foi assinado pelo brasileiro.#caioborralho #ufc #NursultonRuziboev pic.twitter.com/uvOGrJHHuN— Laerte Viana (@laertevianamma) July 18, 2023
Minor Twitter drama: somebody was impersonation Nazim Sadykhov and talking trash to Terrance McKinney, but the real Nazim won out!
I think most regular people have a false idea about just how many low kicks they could handle.
Nick Diaz takin it easy on em pic.twitter.com/OnVROZSpxY— Patrick St-Pierre (@patrickallsyms) July 18, 2023
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Spinning shots as an opponent steps forward are so clean when timed properly.
SPINNIN BACK ELBOW AT KSW pic.twitter.com/Crwx8UogXR— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) July 15, 2023
Another gorgeous example of a perfectly timed power shot:
Two knockouts for the price of one, and a bit of bonus Muay Thai history!
One of the most shocking Farang vs. Thai results took place in May 2018 when Henrique Muller of Brazil caught Panpayak—then one of the top P4P fighters in the sport—with a left hook counter. Earlier in the year, Saenchai had taken Muller out with a question mark kick: both KOs pic.twitter.com/ElZ78JMEdb— Combat Chronicles (@CombatCr) July 15, 2023
Some dangerous stunts.
Midnight Music: R&B, 1960
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.