Welcome to Midnight Mania!
UFC 287, which is scheduled for April 8 at an unannounced location, is starting to shape up. Last week, Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya and Jorge Masvidal vs. Gilbert Burns were announced as the main and co-main event. Now, a pair of ranked Welterweights have been added to the card also, as grappling ace Michael Chiesa will square off opposite knockout artist Li Jingliang (h/t MMAJunkie).
Chiesa announced the bout himself on Friday on “UFC Live.”
Times have been a bit tough for “Maverick,” who last fought in November 2021. He’s lost his last two bouts opposite surging (at the time) contenders Sean Brady and Vicente Luque. Prior to those defeats, Chiesa had won four straight fights to climb into contention, taking out names like Neil Magny and Carlos Condit. Jingliang has been more active, splitting a pair of bouts in 2022. His last fight resulted in a controversial split-decision loss to Daniel Rodriguez, but previous to that scrap, “The Leech” stopped Muslim Salikhov in the second round.
Chiesa is sure to be hunting for takedowns and submissions, while Jingliang will be aiming to score another knockout win. Which man gets it done in April?
Is Tommy Fury about to put on a fumbles act for the third time? I’d rather see Mike Perry step up anyway!
Tommy Fury is scared. Told my team he can’t make the kick-off press conference next week in Saudi Arabia because he needs more time to train. Thought you said you wouldn’t even have to train to fight me? You and your papa scared. #MikePerry
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) February 3, 2023
Conor McGregor is offering to help out with getting Katie Taylor’s next fight setup in Croke Park.
New Twitter policies may can the UFC Roster Watch account, a loss for the MMA community and certainly this column. Boo!
Stepping up for a short-notice UFC fight with performance enhancing drugs in your system is a risky game to play.
Handy Abdelwahab has accepted a two year sanction from USADA following two positive tests for methenolone.
The Texas State commission may also be issuing a sanction in the future.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) February 3, 2023
Cory Sandhagen is working with the best to prepare for Marlon Vera.
Cory Sandhagen getting coached by former two-weight Lumpinee champion & current ONE Flyweight Kickboxing champion Superlek Kiatmookao. pic.twitter.com/EAV1KIVZb4
— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) February 3, 2023
A bit of banter between champions:
15 years ago, UFC’s restrictive contracts cost them a different all-time great Heavyweight.
Recently, Dana White has faced increased criticism over the contract terms and pay for fighters.
Here is Fedor Emelianenko on why it was impossible for him to sign with the UFC back in 2007 pic.twitter.com/ktoImQcKET
— The Octagon Obsessed (@octagonobsessed) February 3, 2023
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Add this to the long, long list of crappy ways to lose an MMA fight. Ouch!
A classic case of the left kick to the liver shutting down a man’s entire body — it doesn’t get old!
A wild trade of right hands ends the night early.
Don’t steal things.
Midnight Music: Soul, 1972
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.