Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Earlier on Friday night (Sept. 8, 2023), former Heavyweight champions Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum squared off in a bare knuckle MMA showdown from inside VySar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s been 15 years since “JDS” announced himself as a top Heavyweight prospect by shocking Werdum with a brutal uppercut way back in 2008, and “Vai Cavalo” wanted revenge.
It was pretty clear from the first bell that Werdum didn’t want to box with dos Santos. He kept his distance, firing a lot of kicks and landing some decent ones low. His takedowns early were stuffed, however. “JDS” was patient in response, slowly advancing behind the jab, calf kick, and occasional combos. Things really heated up in the final minute, with Werdum landing a brief takedown and dos Santos immediately answering with a knockdown.
The second round was much closer. Dos Santos was largely content to hang back, jabbing and kicking. Werdum attacked in big moments, whiffing spinning kicks and scoring occasional right hands. Werdum probably had the best lands of the round, but the blood on his face and flopping to his back in the closing seconds of the second were not great visually.
“JDS” turned it back up in the third. He continued to work behind his jab, but the damage really built up, especially when a couple right hands connected. By the final minute of the fight, Werdum’s eye was swollen shut, and his eyelid torn wide open. It was positively disgusting, but Werdum made it to the final bell.
Check out the highlights below:
Dos Santos was rightfully awarded the split-decision win, denying Werdum his opportunity at revenge even as one psychotic judge tried to screw it all up. He looked a bit gun shy, but the Brazilian did throw fast strikes for three rounds without fatiguing. Likely, he’ll be fighting for a belt next if he sticks around the Gamebred organization.
Marlon Vera vs. Sean O’Malley confirmed?
Got a nice pen to sign. pic.twitter.com/K7DahltzBq— C H T O V E R A (@chitoveraUFC) September 7, 2023
Aljamain Sterling has to be one of the most interesting fighters to watch cross over into BJJ competition.
Back in 2011, I was lucky enough to attend UFC 128, where I got to witness Jon Jones ascend to championship status in a legendary performance against Mauricio Rua. I’m pretty sure we paid like $130 for two tickets? Those days are long, long gone.
The cheapest tickets for Jones vs Miocic start at $917.75 pic.twitter.com/pBezi0rVPg— GOATmero (@SoldierOfRomero) September 8, 2023
Coaching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) is a smart way to handle a long injury layoff ... if UFC goes for it.
Me and the winner of Jiri v Alex should coach the ultimate fighter next year!!!— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) September 8, 2023
Manel Kape is threatening to bite Israel Adesanya in a street fight — Normal MMA things!
I believe this idiot has never fought on the street, I would bite him not to mention that he is a white belt .— マネル・ケイプ Manel Kape (@ManelKape) September 8, 2023
Can Mark O. Madsen grind down Jared Gordon, or will he get socked up on the feet?
Slips, rips, and KO clips
It’s been too long since we’ve had a random leg lock guy picking up wins on the Prelims. Let’s do it!
More leg lock madness!
RIP Kid Yamamoto.
Sometimes, you think you have a brilliant headline, and immediately it’s misinterpreted or no one cares at all.
Unsure of how everyone else read this, but I honestly thought this was a headline about a killer crab. pic.twitter.com/T8mLliJQAu— Austin Highsmith Garces (@AustinHighsmith) September 6, 2023
Midnight Music: Geriatric rock legends The Rolling Stones have dropped a new single in the year 2023, a mere six decades after they bursted onto the scene. And it’s pretty good? The music video stars Sydney Sweeney? Was that a Keith Richards guitar solo I hear? I have no complaints.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.