Welcome to Midnight Mania!
For the better part of the nearly nine months since his title loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor has hinted at a return. While negotiating with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), McGregor has frequently requested a rematch with “The Eagle,” but even the money the Irishman brings hasn’t proven enough for him to leapfrog the multiple deserving challengers to the Lightweight belt.
Simply put, McGregor has to fight a top contender to earn a title shot — at which point he’d still probably be skipping over someone on a multiple fight win streak. Recently, the rumors have shifted between options, seeming to point towards a showdown with Justin Gaethje, a Tweeted about fight with Donald Cerrone, or even a clash with Tony Ferguson. International fight week is quickly approaching, so many have been holding out hope for a late announcement of his imminent return.
With a new injury likely delaying him to the end of summer at the earliest, what does this mean for McGregor and the rest of the Lightweight elite? Dustin Poirier has an interim belt and is promised the next shot, but the victor of Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone has more than earned a shot as well. Meanwhile, Gaethje is on a serious tear, and I don’t know that the “King of Violence” is willing to wait much longer on McGregor before he seeks to strengthen his own claim.
The Irishman’s Twitter fingers will keep him in the headlines for months to come, but McGregor may be slowly losing his ability to jump back to the front of the line.
I hope Tony Ferguson wins the “first pro fighter to punch Ali Abdelaziz” lottery.
Ain’t No Clowning Around You Fake Fuck. @AliAbdelaziz00 You Better Leave My Name Out Of Your Mouth Before I Mop The Mat With Your Sorry Ass. You Ain’t Shit W/ Out Your Homeboys Ya Snitch. No Pride, No Guts, Just Like Your Paper Chump @TeamKhabib See You In Person Soon. pic.twitter.com/LzWGpO3tm0
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) May 25, 2019
It’s never a good look to be so far out of shape that making weight on two month’s notice is impossible. It’s even worse when we’re talking about a Heavyweight.
UFC has released heavyweight prospect Justin Willis (8-2, 4-1 in UFC). First reported by @aaronbronsteter.
Willis recently signed a new deal with the promotion and had three fights left but the release came after they couldn’t agree on the date of his next fight, sources say.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 24, 2019
Please people, starting watching Professional Fighters League (PFL) — you probably already pay for ESPN+! Yesterday’s event was solidly entertaining, but there’s no way PFL can survive for much longer at this level of viewership considering their million dollar payouts.
Juan Adams is skipping any subtlety and going straight for the throat.
An interesting drill for practicing the extension and explosion of a suplex… until someone gets a mouthful of heavy bag!
A legend is born.
Slips, Rips, and KO clips
It’s pretty rare to see a right round kick to the body between two right-handed fighters end a fight, as there’s not a real great target to kick. Judging by the defeated man’s reaction, that’s a broken rib.
Bottom half-guard can be a great position or a disaster. In mixed martial arts (MMA), the first priority must be destabilizing the top man’s weight, usually accomplished by diving deep, pulling forward, and ensuring his weight is resting on the bottom grappler rather than the mat. If his balance isn’t threatened, well, the video below explains the consequences.
A couple big right hands over top the jab.
While some fighters may not consider their performances as art pieces or expressions of self, martial arts is no misnomer. Personally, I feel a kinship with those in the more classical fields of art like musicians and painters — those who are also dedicated solely to their passion and have likely sacrificed a great deal for their art (even if they don’t know what it’s like to get kicked in the leg).
I have a sneaking suspicion the video is being played in reverse, but it’s pretty slick either way!
Music from the making of Midnight Mania! Ariel Pink is a pop genius handicapped by his own oddness. Los Angeles’ lo-fi legend has a weird ability to write songs that seem like lost relics of past eras. On Pom Pom, Pink manically jumps from genre-to-genre with only the thread of his own strangeness and humor connecting the wildly different ideas and sounds.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.