Welcome to Midnight Mania!
After a longtime on the sidelines due to a shattered leg, Conor McGregor returned to coach The Ultimate Fighter earlier this year opposite Michael Chandler (watch his reaction to his first TUF victory). Despite the expectation that McGregor and Chandler would throw down at some point this year, it’s looking less and less likely due McGregor’s absence from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool, which mandates six months before he’s eligible to return.
There’s been a lot of speculation that McGregor may seek a special exemption, but USADA has refuted this possibility. Still, it’s odd that McGregor has seemed in no hurry to join the testing pool, leading to questions of whether or not McGregor intends to face Chandler at all, who’s currently in something of a Lightweight purgatory awaiting a big payday opposite the Irishman.
McGregor’s manager, Audie Attar, intends to clear the air a bit. Firstly, he spoke with MMA Junkie about McGregor’s relationship with USADA, confirming that things are moving well in that realm.
“One of the things everybody forgets is that Conor was one of the most tested athletes when he was competing, and we’re going about things the right way,” Attar said. “We’re in active discussions with the UFC, we’ve spoken to USADA, and we’re going to do things the right way.
“That’s all I’m going to say about that. The thing about Conor McGregor is, people will speculate and stories run wild that are nine times out of 10 very inaccurate and false, so that’s all I’ll say about that. But certainly, he’s looking for a comeback in 2024.”
Attar was noncommittal regarding Chandler and whether he would remain as McGregor’s opponent. However, he did emphasize that one way or another, McGregor’s return will most likely be next year.
“You can’t rule out the end of the year, but I think just in terms of where we are right now in terms of the date, it’s likely going to be 2024,” Attar said. “I think that’s what the UFC has their sights set on so, we’ll see kind of exactly when that will be.”
Contrary to his previously scheduled bout vs. Iskram Aliskerov, Paulo Costa is publicly acknowledging his fight with Khamzat Chimaev. That’s a good sign!
Nassourdine Imavov versus Aliskerov is a way better match up than the original.
Nine fights into his UFC career, I still haven’t decided if I think Tyson Pedro is good or not.
Mike Perry takes the field.
Anyone who’s watched Tom Aspinall’s UFC career knows he’s been steamrolling opponents, but these are still wild numbers.
Good lord. Tom Aspinall's UFC stat line is absurdly good. pic.twitter.com/Hj7A5oxBCL— Luke Thomas ️♀️ (@lthomasnews) July 19, 2023
It’s been a bad week for Russian fighters and injuries.
Matt Brown offers his personal insight on nerves prior to a fight.
Of course we rarely know the outcome of any large pursuit but that’s not what really makes you nervous. I got nervous before I opened any business, I get nervous when speaking in front of others, I get nervous when I purchase investments.— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) July 20, 2023
How to deal with these nerves is a whole other conversation. I love getting nervous it tells me I’m doing something worth doing regardless of the outcome— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) July 20, 2023
Movsar Evloev is calling out Arnold Allen. Good match up?
It’s time to defend your ranking @Arnoldbfa ! Or you planning to keep on fighting once a year like you used to?— Movsar Evloev (@MovsarUFC) July 20, 2023
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Throwback to one of the all-time great Light Heavyweight knockouts.
A great fight most of us haven’t seen.
Best Fights of 2023;— . (@BoxingJournaIs) July 20, 2023
Magomed Madiev D8 Emiliano Exequiel Pucheta.
Look at all these low kicks to the back leg, nice!
A new style of caving.
Midnight Music: Hip-hop/R&B, 1996
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.