Midnight Mania! Justin Gaethje declined short-notice bout with Tony Ferguson at UFC 238

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

A month ago at UFC 238, Tony Ferguson risked his unofficial status as the top contender at 155 lbs. by walking to cage opposite Donald Cerrone. Cerrone, who was riding a three-fight win streak, was looking better than ever and seemingly posed a dangerous threat to “El Cucuy.” Instead, Ferguson battered him with apparent ease, forcing a doctor stoppage due to Cerrone’s grotesque swollen eye.

As it turns out, that fight almost never happened. Aside from “Cowboy” — who is always down for a scrap — there was another top-ranked Lightweight without a dance partner considered to face Ferguson. Having picked up his last two wins via monstrous first-round knockouts, Justin Gaethje would’ve been an even more worthy challenger to Ferguson’s unbeaten streak.

Unfortunately, Gaethje declined the bout due to the short-notice nature, a decision he explains to TSN Sport’s Aaron Bronsteter below.

Or read the transcription via LowKickMMA:

“They called me to fight Tony [but] it was four weeks notice. I can’t do that. I can’t go in there compromised. It’s a huge opportunity to miss out on but I asked them if they could push it until Saturday [UFC 239] and they couldn’t do it. ‘Cowboy’ got the bid. But yeah, I would love to fight Tony. I want to fight the Russian. I got to get through Tony, or through one of those guys.”

It’s certainly understandable why Gaethje wouldn’t want to face a savage like Ferguson on short-notice, particularly when he just punched his way back into title contention. Gaethje’s toughness and guts cannot be questioned — it’s just a shame fans missed out on one of the best match ups imaginable as a result of his smart decision-making. With some luck, those two can still eventually face off in the near future.

But not before “El Cucuy” gets his shot at Khabib!


Suddenly, I feel more patriotic.

Different wrestling styles to be sure, but it never hurts to have Yoel Romero in your corner!

A much better challenge for the MMA world. When my watermelon plant produces a fruit, I’ll give a shot!

Diego Sanchez gets GRAPHIC!

Joe Rogan and Yves Edwards discuss the ridiculous conditioning of Gregor Gillespie. For my money, there’s only one or two Lightweights on this planet I would pick over “The Gift.”

An example of one of the crazy workouts that only Gillespie is doing.

I keep telling y’all Perry’s grappling is underrated! Personal opinion: trying to hit takedowns in the gi is super annoying.

Slips, Rips, and KO clips

A couple great knockouts from Masvidal’s catalog ahead of his battle with Ben Askren. “Gamebred” has long had a talent for timing high kicks while opponents slip, and that brutal clinch game could be a dangerous area for Askren as well.

A good ol’ fashion slobberknocker

Not a rubber guard guy myself (nor am I a hater like in my early teens), but I can always appreciate a slick, brutal arm bar.

Random Land

Be the change.

Stop. Holding. Water bottles!

Midnight Music: One of my favorite accounts on YouTube, Bandstand, posted a breakdown of the samples on the Freddie Gibbs and Madlib album Bandana that I’ve been talking about constantly. I love these videos; they’re a great way to learn about music old and new.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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