Midnight Mania! Boom, Roasted

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Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight! Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Look, I don’t want to keep writing Stephen A. Smith’s name and help justify his massive ESPN …

Dallas Mavericks v Philadelphia 76ers

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Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Look, I don’t want to keep writing Stephen A. Smith’s name and help justify his massive ESPN salary with more attention. My hand is forced though, because retired UFC fighter and American Top Team coach Din Thomas’s parody of Smith is perfection.

Smith raised the ire of fans last weekend at UFC 246 when he buried Donald Cerrone after his loss, arguing that “Cowboy” cracked under pressure and gave up. The claims were ridiculous then, but the reveal that Conor McGregor broke Cerrone’s face in the short bout made them even goofier in retrospect.

Facing criticism for his harsh words on a topic that is not his forte, Smith did the only reasonable thing: recruit a boxing trainer who clearly has no idea what he’s doing and grab the nearest camera. I don’t know what the intended goal was, but the result was comedy, and Din Thomas expanded upon it wonderfully.

Insomnia

Matt Brown is one of the few fighters I won’t roll my eyes at for calling himself a spartan. Dude is stupid tough.

Speaking of roasted, Khabib Nurmagomedov is pretty effective with simple trash talk.

Dominick Cruz’s pivots are so clean.

Never too much spinning!

This new meme format is very applicable to MMA, and I’m here for it.

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@ufcanz

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Slips, rips, and KO clips

Lean back!

It’s never easy to deal with clean Southpaw boxing.

A really well setup head kick followed by knees — it’s all in the feints!

Random Land

Little known fact: bocce ball, a game of power and finesse, is the official Mania Meet Up sport of choice.

Midnight Music: If it weren’t for Swans, Daughters’ album You Won’t Get What You Want would be my favorite noise rock album of the last decade. A frightening, heavy, and brilliantly written record, YWGWYW is the sound of mental collapse.

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

Edwards Guaranteed UFC Title Shot With Win Over Woodley

Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like streaking UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards will get the next shot at 170-pound gold if he’s able to take out former division champion Tyron Woodley this March.
Edwards, who inked a new finan…

MMA: UFC Fight Night-San Antonio-Dos Anjos vs Edwards

Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like streaking UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards will get the next shot at 170-pound gold if he’s able to take out former division champion Tyron Woodley this March.

Edwards, who inked a new financially-pleasing UFC contract earlier this week, is scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night 171 opposite “Chosen One” on Mar. 21 live on ESPN+ from London, England. It is by far the biggest fight of Edwards’ career and a true test as to whether or not the English fighter is ready for a title shot.

Luckily, Edwards is expecting to earn the right to prove himself in a championship fight with a win over Woodley. According to “Rocky,” who recently spoke with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter (shown below), his new UFC contract guarantees him a welterweight title shot with a win at UFC London.

“I think Usman is injured at the moment they’re saying, so if we can fight in March and he’s still free before summer, I think I’ll be the next in line. That’s what written in my contract, that I’ll be the next in line,” Edwards said.

“After beating Tyron Woodley, I will receive a title shot next. After beating him, I’m guaranteed next in line.”

While it’s nice to finally see Edwards get the recognition he deserves after winning his last eight bouts inside of the Octagon, fight fans know all too well how these “guaranteed title shots” usually play out. With guys like Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, and even Conor McGregor roaming the ranks at 170 pounds, UFC could always opt to bypass Edwards and go with a sexier matchup.

At this point, nothing is guaranteed for “Rocky.” But if he wants to put himself in a position to lobby for his first ever UFC title shot he must take out Woodley this March and leave no doubt.

For more UFC London fight card news click here.

Longo Believes Cerrone ‘Froze’ Against McGregor: ‘There Was No Fight IQ’

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor’s 40-second stoppage over Donald Cerrone last weekend at UFC 246 was nothing short of spectacular, but it got people wondering what the hell happened to “Cowboy.”
While the UFC veteran came …

MMA: UFC 246-McGregor vs Cerrone

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor’s 40-second stoppage over Donald Cerrone last weekend at UFC 246 was nothing short of spectacular, but it got people wondering what the hell happened to “Cowboy.”

While the UFC veteran came into his main event tilt opposite McGregor as a significant underdog, Cerrone’s track record and innate fighting ability were supposed to help close the gap, especially considering the bout was McGregor’s first in 15 months and contested at 170 pounds. That wasn’t the case, though, as “Notorious” swarmed Cerrone from the opening bell, battered him with shoulder strikes, landed an insane head kick, and soon after forced the referee’s hand with combinations galore.

The outcome of the fight may not have been something fight fans expected, or even paid for, but it proved yet again that McGregor knows how to come though in the big spotlight. Cerrone, on the other hand, is still trying to figure that out, which was pointed out by long-time MMA coach Ray Longo in a recent appearance on Anik & Florian podcast (transcript by MMA News).

“Man I gotta say, I have no idea besides the fact that what I saw is just a guy that looked like he froze up,” Longo said. “I mean he slips the left hand. I would’ve thought just instinctively, that guy ends up on his back. I mean he almost went over him.

“And then he got hit with a couple of shoulder bumps, which is definitely nothing new. Instead of kneeing or elbowing, I don’t know what he did. You’d have to ask him what was going on. It looked like he just froze up to me.”

Cerrone, who holds the UFC record for most fights, wins, finishes, and post-fight bonuses, was expected to bring the fight to McGregor and turn their main event clash into a dirty brawl. Many MMA pundits even believed “Cowboy” could abandon his world-class striking game to take McGregor down and stifle him with grappling. Cerrone didn’t have much time to react to anything, but fans still expected a little more output from the future UFC Hall of Famer.

“Fight IQ, obviously. I think, Kenny, there was no fight IQ,” said Longo. “I don’t know what he did.”

Things will be said about Cerrone’s performance, or the lack thereof, but nothing should be taken away from McGregor’s 40-second TKO finish. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion was coming off a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov 15 months earlier, hadn’t won inside of the Octagon since 2016, was fighting for just the third time at 170 pounds, and escaped UFC 246 without one scratch on his head.

That sort of dominance from McGregor demands our respect, whether or not Cerrone failed to deliver on his end.

For complete UFC 246 results and coverage click here.

Dos Santos has ‘best expectations possible’ for Blaydes bout

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Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos wants to go after the men who last defeated him in the Octagon. Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos knows he will have his hands …

UFC Fight Night: Weigh-Ins

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Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos wants to go after the men who last defeated him in the Octagon.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos knows he will have his hands full when he meets contender Curtis Blaydes at UFC Raleigh’s main event. However, that notion does not stop ‘Cigano’ from thinking about his future after the Saturday night fight, which he, of course, expects to win.

In an interview with Combate, Junior said he would like to take on again the men who defeated him in most recently, Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, who both bested him by way of knockout in the past few years. With that being said, he would not turn down a fresh pairing if it were against fellow former champion Daniel Cormier.

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter (if it’s Cormier or Miocic). They’re both great fighters, I have no bad blood with either of them, nor do have the intention to fight anyone. My goal is to be number one, no matter who is up there, be it Miocic or Cormier. I respect them because of their story and how they have handled their careers. I don’t know much about Cormier, I don’t keep up with him that much, but it would be a great fight against either of them, I’m excited to make something happen.”

“We have lots of great fighters at heavyweight, but if there’s one thing that motivates me, it’s rematching guys that beat me, like Ngannou. I would really like that rematch, it motivates me a lot. A third fight with Stipe also motivates me. I’ve been working hard for those things to happen in a good way for us.”

Junior suffered a nasty staph infection in his leg, which forced him out of his fight against Alexander Volkov back in November 2019. He’s healed up now though, and Cigano claims he expects nothing but great results against Blaydes, pointing out that the battle of styles between himself and Curtis is an interesting one.

“I have the best expectations possible, I’m happy to be competing again. It’s a hard fight like any other, the next one is always the hardest. It’s going to be a clash of styles. I like to go for the knockout, to use my boxing. He likes to take people down, wear out his opponents and take advantage of that.”

In his last outing, Junior dos Santos (21-6) suffered a TKO loss to Ngannou back in June 2019. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for the 35-year-old, with wins over Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa and most recently, in March 2019, Derrick Lewis.

Now, Cigano is expected to take on Curtis Blaydes at UFC Fight Night 166’s main event, on January 25, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Team Khabib Sets Rules For Potential Mayweather Superfight

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While much of the mixed martial arts (MMA) spotlight has shifted back to Conor McGregor over the past few weeks, we must not forget about the man who last defeated “Notorious” ins…

UFC 242: Khabib v Poirier

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

While much of the mixed martial arts (MMA) spotlight has shifted back to Conor McGregor over the past few weeks, we must not forget about the man who last defeated “Notorious” inside of the Octagon.

That would be undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who dominated McGregor back at UFC 229 in 2018 to capture a memorable fourth-round submission win. That victory ultimately helped propel Khabib into the combat mainstream and turn some much needed attention on his legendary run in UFC.

Part of Khabib’s breakout included rumors of a potential superfight with undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who took out McGregor via 10th-round TKO during their boxing match in 2017. While Khabib isn’t nearly the same type of striker as McGregor is, Mayweather was strongly entertaining the idea of fighting the most dominant name in combat sports.

Much hasn’t changed since those initial rumors, as Mayweather released two fight posters to his Instagram account following the conclusion of McGregor’s win over Donald Cerrone last weekend at UFC 246. One was obviously directed towards “Notorious,” but the other showed Khabib. It’s small publicity to say the least, but at least we know Mayweather still has the undefeated “Eagle” on his radar.

While Khabib is currently expected to defend his lightweight championship opposite Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 this April in Brooklyn, New York, his team is still discussing a future matchup with “Money.” Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap, even went as far as listing stipulations for a potential clash between the two combat dynamos.

“Mayweather has statistics on fights of 50 wins and zero losses, he is the greatest in boxing and he wants to fight with the same champion who did not lose a single fight, with Khabib,” Abdulmanap told Tass.ru (via BJPenn.com). “Everything is fine, but now we have Tony Ferguson on the line.

“We said a long time ago: let us finish with Tony, after that we will work with [the team of Ukrainian boxer Vasily] Lomachenko for six months, then there will be a boxing fight,” he added. “We offer any day anywhere, with only one condition: 11 rounds in boxing and one in mixed martial arts.

“We will stand 11 rounds against the best boxer, so why not go one round according to the rules of MMA with us? But all things will happen after Tony.”

While Mayweather is highly unlikely to accept any rule set that would allow Khabib to wrap his bear-like arms around him at least the discussion is being had. Many believed McGregor would steal the spotlight here in 2020, but if Khabib can lock down a superfight with Mayweather somewhere down the line it would be quite spectacular.

What say you, Maniacs? Is this proposed rule set fair to both fighters?

Let’s hear it!

LIVE! Bellator 238 Ceremonial Weigh Ins!

Bellator MMA

With the Bellator 238 early weigh-in results already in the books (get full results here), the promotion will ask all fighters competing on tomorrow’s card to return to the stage at 9:00 p.m. ET for the ceremonial festivities…

Budd vs Cyborg

Bellator MMA

With the Bellator 238 early weigh-in results already in the books (get full results here), the promotion will ask all fighters competing on tomorrow’s card to return to the stage at 9:00 p.m. ET for the ceremonial festivities and corresponding staredowns. Don’t forget to sign up for DAZN RIGHT HERE so you don’t miss any of the combat sports action!