Welcome to Midnight Mania!
In October 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world by retiring. “The Eagle” was on top of the MMA world, having already racked up multiple title defenses, a 29-0 record, and the No. 1 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings (much to Jon Jones’ chagrin). We’ve never seen an MMA champion retire at the absolute top before, because waiting too long is certainly the usual option for MMA greats.
Nurmagomedov had a good reason, however. After his father’s untimely death, Nurmagomedov promised his mother that his scheduled title defense against Justin Gaethje would be his last fight. Despite numerous attempts by the UFC to convince a comeback, Nurmagomedov kept his promise. He took on a coaching role to help raise other champions, but now Nurmagomedov has stepped down from that position as well.
One of the champions Nurmagomedov helped create was his longtime sparring partner, Islam Makhachev, and it looks like the current UFC Lightweight kingpin is under similar pressure from his mother! Although no official promises have been made, Makhachev has now defended his title, a previous excuse he has used to prolong his career in combat sports.
“My mom doesn’t watch fights, not just my fights — fights in general,” Makhachev told UFC Russia (via MMA News). “She doesn’t like to see people hitting each other. When I got back, there were a lot of people. [My mother] said, ‘You’re a champion now. Wrap. Khabib listened to his mother. When will you listen to yours?
“I told him that Khabib was defending his title and that I had to do the same. It’s a difficult subject for my mother. My father is the opposite. He watches all the fights.
Fortunately, Makhachev seems to still have plenty of future goals. He’s talked about moving up to welterweight before, and he’s also been open to a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski. Additionally, Charles Oliveira’s winner against Beneil Dariush is in talks for a title shot.
Let’s hope that in this regard, Makhachev is not Khabib 2.0.
Dan Hooker’s new back is pretty awesome!
Jailton Almeida are progressing in the competition, and that couldn’t come in the form of a more favorable game.
Big heavyweight fight agreed for May 13 between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Jailton Almeida, sources said and @MikeHeck_JR.
The story is coming @MMAFighting.
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzz) February 20, 2023
Respect to Nazim Sadykhov for honesty and a great performance, but Evan Elder got screwed here.
Non-title fight Heavyweights don’t have to be main events. How many more times will we have to wait all night to see Derrick Lewis throw a jump kick?
The last UFC men’s flyweight main event was at UFC 256 in late 2020.
Krylov-Spann will be the 16th light heavyweight main event since that time. pic.twitter.com/VLXxWYddzA
— Andy Hickey MMA (@AndyHickeyMMA) February 20, 2023
Paulo Costa calls Sean Strickland – BOOK IT!
I want to fight that wiser, prettiest red neck in ufc middleweight. I’ve been trying it for a few weeks. Please release it mmm and the secret juice will be promoted very well next pic.twitter.com/rWNxYFGCh2
— Paulo Costa (Borrachinha) (@BorrachinhaMMA) February 20, 2023
Slips, tears and KO clips
If you look closely, the Blue Gloves were looking for their own Southpaw hook but were beaten to the punch!
It’s hard to see the connection until the replay in slow motion, but it’s great ground to score on the break!
Sometimes Muay Thai fighters just throw elbows, and that’s great.
Midnight Music: Math Rock, 2002
Sleep well fools! More martial arts madness is always on the way.
#Midnight #Mania #champion #Wrap