Welcome to Midnight Mania!
After 21 fights and more than a decade on the roster, UFC Middleweight contender Derek Brunson has been released from the UFC. First reported by UFC Roster Watch and later confirmed by MMAFighting’s Damon Martin, Brunson has not retired. Instead, he was released outright after withdrawing from a planned bout versus Roman Dolidze.
The release is fairly surprising. As of this week, Brunson was ranked as the seventh best Middleweight contender in the world. Admittedly, he’s also 39 years of age and coming off a pair of stoppage losses, though both those defeats came opposite Top Five-ranked contenders Dricus Du Plessis and Jared Cannonier. Brunson has talked about retirement previously, but I cannot imagine he expected UFC to make the decision for him.
Fortunately, there are other options for Middleweight free agents. Brunson’s name has previously been brought up as a potential opponent for Jake Paul’s MMA debut, and now that he’s free to pursue such an opportunity, Brunson quickly turned to social media in an attempt to get in contact with “The Problem Child.”
It remains to be seen if Paul takes the bait.
As for Brunson’s UFC career, he can walk away with his head held high. Brunson spent the majority of his 11 years on the roster as a ranked contender, defeating major names like Kevin Holland, Lyoto Machida, and Darren Till. In addition, he’s shared the cage with many champions, including Anderson Silva, Robert Whittaker, and Israel Adesanya. Over the course of his career, Brunson repeatedly turned away prospects and shocked bettors in the process.
Roman Dolidze calls out Robert Whittaker for a year end scrap. I could dig it!
Brunson is out. I heard @robwhittakermma you want to fight by end of year ! Lets do it! November or December!— Roman Dolidze (@romandolidzeufc) September 14, 2023
Have no fear, Fight Circus is returning this month!
I’m always in favor of some Ov vs. Ov violence.
Anecdote of the week: Fighting and taxes are funny. I have one famous friend who can no longer go to a certain country in Europe after fighting there and opting not to pay the related taxes. I have another not-so-famous friend who fought professionally and worked in gyms for ten years without ever filing a tax return.
John Makdessi showed how much he made from UFC 293— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) September 14, 2023
The UFC charges fighters for flights and medicals and the Australian Tax is half of what he made pic.twitter.com/hYfSkIgNI5
UFC CEO Dana White publicly addresses the infamous NYE slapping video:
"Nobody wants to see their dumb, drunk parents slapping each other on TMZ."— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) September 14, 2023
Dana White says his eldest son didn't talk to him for days after a fractious incident on New Year's Eve. Tune in now for more.@piersmorgan | @TalkTV | @TalkTV | #PMU pic.twitter.com/0ypNDnCnmA
It’s a good thing Adesanya and Strickland didn’t wrestle much, because rolling with someone with long nails is AWFUL.
Nope, not while I was refereeing. Those need to be cut short. https://t.co/skqObch7L5— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) September 14, 2023
Alexander Volkov shows off his bonus-winning choke technique:
Valentina Shevchenko is bringing the right intensity to the rematch, but the stats are against her.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
I post Bas Rutten highlights any time I see ‘em.
I have never seen someone pull bottom side control from top position to attack the buggy choke. Neat!
A nice highlight of a KSW standout:
Up close and personal.
Midnight Music: Folk, 1965
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.