Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Last night, major news broke regarding UFC 262, announcing Michael Chandler vs. Charles Oliveira as the main event in a Lightweight title bout. There’s been another major addition to the pay-per-view (PPV) event, as LA Times’ Manouk Akopyan has announced that No. 6-ranked Middleweight Jack Hermansson will return to action opposite No. 12-ranked Edmen Shahbazyan on the main card.
Hermansson was closing in on a title shot in 2019, but the Swedish “Joker” has since struggled a bit, losing two of three bouts. Fortunately, the one win in his recent span was a first-round finish via heel hook opposite Kelvin Gastelum, so the veteran grappler is not out of the elite picture just yet.
On the other hand, Shahbazyan entered his first-ever main event slot against Derek Brunson as his division’s hottest prospect, 11-0 and ready to break into the title mix. Brunson flipped the script on him with an excellent performance, but “The Golden Boy” remains a talented boxer at just 23 years of age.
One of these skilled Middleweights will return to the win column, while the other will leave on a losing streak. Who ya’ got?!?
That’s gold Jerry, GOLD!
For those who love freak show fights between giant burly men, KSW will provide tomorrow night.
Today’s UFC weigh-ins were … eventful.
Justin Gaethje deserves another high-profile bout as the most recent title challenger, but will admit that I think Oliveira vs. Chandler was the fight to make (assuming Dustin Poirier is indeed occupied with Conor McGregor).
I woke up yesterday to train for a matchup with Chandler on May 15th expecting a bout agreement any moment. Today that is not the case, I don’t know what I do yet but I like this feeling. It was a good day at sparring practice.
— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) March 20, 2021
Well … now what?
Derek Brunson’s wrestling is no joke, but will it be enough to handle Kevin Holland?
Slips, rips, and KO clips
This is a terrific angle on a huge knockout (plus another view for good measure).
There is only one crazy horse in MMA for this writer, but still, this was a clean knee KO.
Brad Riddell has been scrapping for a very long time.
This is some absolutely next-level talent.
Midnight Music: Buffalo rapper Benny the Butcher dropped a follow up to 2019’s The Plugs I Met, teaming up with producer Harry Fraud for another short project. Compared to the first EP — some of the hardest raps I’ve heard — the sequel is far more thoughtful, even remorseful. I like the grittier, meaner first one, but still … good stuff!
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.