Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Julianna Peña wants all the smoke.
With Amanda Nunes fully retired, the Bantamweight title remains vacant. Naturally, the absence of a champion produces a vacuum, and former roost ruler Peña is one of the front runners for a title shot. To help solidify her position, Peña hopped on The MMA Hour mic and called out or talked trash to basically all of her possible peers.
One of the surprising recipients of her ire was Maycee Barber, the Flyweight contender riding a five-fight win streak. The reason for her scorn? Barber deemed Peña’s antics during Nunes’ retirement at UFC 290 “cringey,” an accurate statement that “The Venezuelan Vixen” could not allow to stand.
“You got a problem with me running my mouth, Maycee?” Peña began (via MMAFighting). “Drink a protein shake and come up to 135 and you can get some smoke too. This girl has never fought for a world title. She’s supposed to be the youngest champion ever — that didn’t play out that well either — she’s losing to Roxanne Modafferi.”
It’s actually been 3.5 years since that “Peaceful Warrior” loss. In the interim, Barber’s built up a very nice win streak, most recently pummeling Amanda Ribas for a second-round knockout win. At one point, Peña was considering a move to Flyweight, so the size differential may not even be particularly substantial. Either way, Barber is game.
She replied on Twitter, “Looks like I’m moving up to 135 and Juliana wants to be 3-4 in the last six years.”
But coach, what happened to no dumb questions?
No sparring for 30 days.— Coach JK (@John_Kavanagh) July 18, 2023
Damir Ismagulov and Blagoy Ivanov are two of the more high-profile releases this year.
❌ Fighter removed: Blagoy Ivanov— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) July 19, 2023
❌ Fighter removed: Damir Ismagulov— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) July 19, 2023
I know this is the breaking interview some of y’all have been waiting years for.
Oscar De La Hoya tells Ariel that nothing was “off limits” with his upcoming HBO documentary, “The Golden Boy”.— AFeldmanMMA (@afeldMMA) July 19, 2023
De La Hoya goes into detail about the infamous lingerie photos that were posted in the prime of his career.
Wild to hear him open up like this on air.… pic.twitter.com/rLLPasoulL
While on Golden Boy related topics, Ryan Garcia made bank for his loss to Gervonta Davis!
The Fight made over 100m for the event— RYAN GARCIA (@RyanGarcia) July 19, 2023
I told everyone that when you choose to make the fights that the people want it will create big events
Not only that but we showed everyone how to promote a fight in this generation and I’m extremely proud to be apart the event. https://t.co/ioM9HqGavD
There’s only one Justin Gaethje!
Still my favourite ever MMA headline pic.twitter.com/un7y3WPkWy— ᴛʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴏꜰᴡᴀʀ (@TheArtOfWar6) July 18, 2023
Buff dudes who think they can beat up professional fighters are always funny.
Nathaniel Wood’s clinch work was so clean in his last fight.
Nathaniel Wood tripping Charles Jourdain in the clinch pic.twitter.com/ffuLOD9fXA— Miguel Class (@MigClass) July 19, 2023
Slips, rips, and KO clips
The oldest setup in the entire book, and it still works like a charm!
Calf kicks are invading kickboxing! Being able to throw such a devastating weapon with zero tell is a huge advantage, a technique Alex Pereira used well last time out.
Take a second to appreciate Davey Grant’s growth from grappler who fights once every 18 months to knockout artist who entertains multiple times per year.
May 14, 2022— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) July 18, 2023
UFC on ESPN: Błachowicz vs. Rakić
via KO Round 3 pic.twitter.com/dMeNe6wkU2
Midnight Music: Alternative, 2004
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.