Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Raul Rosas Jr. is already developing some notoriety.

Back in September, the top prospect secured his spot on the UFC roster, winning a unanimous decision on “Contenders Series” just a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday. Rosas Jr. is still in high school, but that didn’t stop him from making a statement in his UFC debut at UFC 282, quickly submitting Jay Perrin to score a performance bonus.

Check out those highlights HERE!

Rosas Jr. has big goals, and he’s already talked about his confidence in challenging Bantamweight kingpin Aljamain Sterling. Obviously, Rosas Jr. still has a long way to go before he’s breaking into the rankings of a talent-rich division like Bantamweight, let alone challenging for the belt.

Confidence isn’t a bad thing in combat sports, and now, Rosas Jr. has found himself on Sterling’s radar. “Aljo” isn’t impressed, however, revealing a prior run-in on the mats soured him on the young talent.

“I want to grapple him again,” Sterling said (via BJPenn.com). “I grappled him twice, the second time I went and did a drill and they did this ‘King of the Mat’. I told him I was taking it easy for the day, just trying to get a sweat in and not go crazy. He was trying to pass my guard, and started acting like a DJ on my head. I sort of like, chuckled, and thought, ‘Okay, this dude’s being a little bit of a prick right now.’”

He continued, “Like I barely know this kid. Then I look over to the right, and there’s his dad with the f*cking camera recording. Like oh, this is a f*cking show and tell right now, you’re just recording s*it and don’t say anything. Like cool, you guys have champions come here and you’re completely disrespectful. That’s just a s*itty personality. You would think someone would’ve taught him some etiquette. Like, going into gyms and stuff and working out with other people but I guess not.”

“Didn’t ask [to record], nothing… It was weird.”


The news below likely means very little to most readers, but here’s the anecdote of the week: I first heard of Benito Lopez shortly after moving out to Team Alpha Male, somewhere around 2015. He choked out a team mate in less than a minute, and then maybe a year later, he joined TAM full time. He became a primary training partner, and I got to watch him run through the regional scene firsthand. I watched several of his final regional fights live, including a remarkable eight-second jump knee knockout, and he soon earned a shot on “Contenders Series. Back before literally every winner snagged a contract, he earned his in a thriller.

Unfortunately, injuries plagued his UFC career. I’ve trained with lots of people over the years, but Lopez exemplified the “unassuming with deadly instincts” type better than anyone I’ve ever met. He’s never been an incredible pure athlete — Benito is notorious for vomiting at practice — but he has a sense of timing and knack for creating collisions that stands out even among the best.

I have no insider info on what’s next for him, but best of luck to Oroville’s “Golden Boy.”

❌ Fighter removed: Benito Lopez

— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) December 14, 2022

Headlines that have aged poorly:

Any Joel Alvarez fight is must-watch, and Zubaira Tukhugov finds himself in scraps more often than not. There’s going to be a huge size difference though …

BREAKING: Per sources, Joel Álvarez will fight Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC 284 in Australia. Lightweight, 3 rounds.

EXCLUSIVA: Joel Álvarez peleará contra Zubaira Tukhugov en el UFC 284 en Australia. Peso ligero, 3 asaltos. pic.twitter.com/bYSQ0oRw1N

— KOlmenero (@KOlmeneroMMA) December 13, 2022

The Strawweight division will simply be a better place once Tatiana Suarez returns in early 2023.

We rarely get great displays of defense in MMA, so take a second to appreciate Chris Curtis.

I don’t need to throw 300 punches if I can get it done with 40. Accuracy and effectiveness trumps empty Volume. Never being lazy, I’m intelligent

— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) December 13, 2022

Some fan art of “The Great” Alexander Volkanovski:

Teofimo Lopez’s core strength is incredible, these exercises are HARD!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

I wrote a whole monologue, so I figured I might as well include the aforementioned eight-second KO clip.

Here’s a street fight with bonus commentary.

You just … cannot let this happen.

Random Land

Ring bearer.

Midnight Music: Alternative rock, 1994

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