Welcome to Midnight Mania!

In October 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world by retiring. “The Eagle” was atop the MMA world, having already accrued multiple title defenses, a 29-0 record, and the top slot on the pound-for-pound rankings (much to Jon Jones’ chagrin). We’ve never seen an MMA champion retire at the absolute pinnacle before, as waiting far too long is definitely the usual option for MMA greats.

Nurmagomedov had a good reason, however. After his father’s untimely death, Nurmagomedov promised his mother that his planned title defense against Justin Gaethje would be his final fight. Despite many attempts from UFC to convince a return, Nurmagomedov has stood by his promise. He took up 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 training partner Islam Makhachev, and it seems the current UFC Lightweight kingpin is experiencing similar pressure from his mother! Though no official promises have been made, Makhachev has now defended his title, a previous excuse he used to prolong his combat sports career.

“My mother doesn’t watch fights, not just my fights – fights in general,” Makhachev told UFC Russia (via MMA News). “She doesn’t like seeing people hit each other. When I came home there were a lot of people there. [My mother] said, ‘You’re a champion now. Wrap it up. Khabib listened to his mother. When will you listen to yours?’

“I told her Khabib defended his title and I need to do the same. It’s a hard topic for my mother. My father’s the opposite. He watches all the fights.”

Fortunately, Makhachev seems to have a lot of future goals that still remain. He’s talked previously about moving to Welterweight, and he’s been open to a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski as well. In addition, the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush is in discussion for a title shot.

Hopefully, in this regard, Makhachev is not Khabib 2.0.


I understand.

Dan Hooker’s new back piece is pretty rad!

Jailton Almeida is getting his step up in competition, and it couldn’t come in the form of a more favorable match up.

Respect to Nazim Sadykhov for the honesty and an excellent performance, but Evan Elder got screwed here.

Non-title fight Heavyweights do not need to be main events. How many more times must we wait all night to see Derrick Lewis throw a jumping switch kick?

The last male Flyweight main event in the UFC was at UFC 256 in late 2020.

Krylov-Spann will the 16th Light heavyweight main event since that timeframe. pic.twitter.com/VLXxWYddzA

— Andy Hickey MMA (@AndyHickeyMMA) February 20, 2023

Paulo Costa is calling out Sean Strickland — BOOK IT!

I want fight this most wise and nicely red neck in ufc middleweight. I’m trying it for couple weeks. Please release himmmm and secret juice gonna be very well promoted nextt pic.twitter.com/rWNxYFGCh2

— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) February 20, 2023

Slips, rips, and KO clips

If you watch closely, blue gloves was looking for a Southpaw hook of his own but was beaten to the punch!

It’s tough to see the connection until the slow-mo replay, but this is a lovely land to score on the break!

Sometimes Muay Thai fighters will just lunge into elbows, and it’s awesome.

Random Land

Please explain?

Midnight Music: Math rock, 2002

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