Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Khabib Nurmagomedov may be long retired (despite Dana White’s best efforts), but he remains a prominent figure in the sport. He’s an active fight promoter, and his opinions and beliefs are frequently headline news.
More importantly, Nurmagomedov is very active in the coaching scene. Specifically, he’s been instrumental in bringing up the next generation of Russian and Dagestani fighters in both UFC and Bellator. In addition, he’s starting to be sought after by non-Russian fighters from longtime teammates like Luke Rockhold to new faces like Belal Muhammad.
Next weekend at UFC 280, Islam Makhachev will battle Charles Oliveira for the undisputed Lightweight crown. Makhachev has been working with Nurmagomedov as a training partner for many years, but now Nurmagomedov is firmly in the role of coach. If Makhachev is victorious, Khabib will bring home his first UFC belt as a coach less than two years into retirement.
That would be a hell of an accomplishment! American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez knows a thing or two about coaching a fighter up to the championship level, and he believes the sky is the limit for Khabib’s coaching potential.
“He’s been coaching forever. Even when he was fighting, he was coaching. He’d be sparring through these five rounds and all of a sudden he’d be sitting there with us coaching the guys,” Mendez said on the UFC unfiltered podcast about Nurmagomedov (via Cole Shelton). “He’s been doing that forever. His father had trained him from such a young age to take the responsibility over, as a fighter, as a coach, and he’s taking over his father’s footsteps. He’s learned from me, he’s learned from his father, mostly his father. But to me, he’s on track, in my opinion, because of his age, what he’s doing, the camp I see, the fighters he has, he’s on track to being the greatest coach of all time, in my opinion. I see it. I see the writing on the wall.”
I am actually happy Hasbulla is going to fight inside the Octagon. That sounds like the type of spectacle that would actually be hilarious and not interfere with real UFC fights. Here are some options for his opponent:
Sean O’Malley gives his thoughts on all this back up fighter debate.
UFC just informed me I will be the backup fighter for main event and co main
— Sean O’Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) October 14, 2022
Now THIS is a fight poster!
ILLUMINATED BY GOD!
RIP to RIZIN veteran Katsuya Kitamura.
Former Pro-Wrestling and Rizin Fighter Katsuya Kitamura passed away at 36 years old. Last Wednesday, he called an ambulance after feeling bad but his situation changed drastically before his death was confirmed. He faces Bobby Ologon last year in the Okinawa show. pic.twitter.com/ADu1rnQJ9U
— Bruno Massami (Бруно Массами) (@BrMassami) October 14, 2022
My first instinct was to label this corny, but the bride really went after those kneebars, and that’s pretty rad.
The circumstances are unfortunate, but Victory Henry vs. Raphael Assuncao is a damn good fight that deserved main card status anyway.
How does everyone think Cub Swanson’s Bantamweight debut goes tomorrow night?
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Perhaps the best time to throw up a submission from bottom is during the takedown, before the position is actually established.
This is Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo levels of comeback KO.
These gentleman didn’t waste much time before throwing down.
It’s rare that a tattoo actually leaves me speechless.
Midnight Music: Alternative, 1983
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.