Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every week night ...
Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight, we've got Michael Bisping telling Georges St-Pierre who the real UFC shot caller is, Justin Gaethje now a free agent, Stipe Miocic in jail, Derrick Lewis petting a deer, Valentina Shevchenko as a 1930s gangster lady, Ali Baugatinov threatening Gollum with a pistol, knockouts, podcasts, and much more.
Winter Is Coming!
Summer isn't even here yet, but Bisping is already making heated threats. He says if St-Pierre won't push up the date of their Middleweight title fight, he might just fight Yoel Romero instead.
Transcription (via BJPenn.com):
"So long story short it looks as if GSP is trying to push for a later date (then July 8). I have heard rumors of that a while ago from Ariel Helwani. I heard that he wanted like September or October and that is what the UFC told me as well. But I am just throwing it out there right now. If he (GSP) wants to wait until September or October, then he can go find himself another opponent. Because I call the shots. Without sounding like an asshole, it is my belt. I am the champion, and I am not willing to sit around until September or October. This fight was discussed in January. You know a fight camp only takes 8 weeks. Or six weeks. So fighting in September or October is ridiculous. July 8 is the date. I may be a little bit flexible and be willing to go a little past that date if needed. But I want to fight international fight week July 8. So Georges St-Pierre, get it together. Stop doing your f*cking gymnastics. Stop doing your backflips and whatever it is. Let's do this buddy. Sign the paper work. You want it. You sat there at the press conference. You talked big. So sign the god damn paperwork. It is as simple as that!"
International Fight Week, of course, means a bigger promotional push and more money for "The Count." Which, of course, is what the 185-pound kingpin wants.
"If he's not ready then I guess Yoel Romero gets his title shot! Listen I am not afraid of Yoel Romero. If GSP wants to fight then of course, there is a great storyline there. The fight would do great business. But I am not willing to sit around and he's not calling the shots. I am the champ."
Big talk from the champion, and he ends on strong note.
"I am not willing to wait a year for Georges St-Pierre to fight me. I might as well do two fights in that one year and still make the same money."
This sounds like a bluff. Romero is a much bigger risk for Bisping in terms of both finishing threat and a proven Middleweight record. "The Count" talks about taking two fights in that time, but each fight is a risk. If he loses the belt, the big money goes away, too. GSP represents by far the biggest reward for the least risk. However, his point about International Fight Week makes sense -- St-Pierre would make more money fighting on the big summer card as well.
We will see what response Bisping's threat provokes from the Canadian Welterweight great.
Bobs and Weaves
Speaking of Bisping and controversy, here he is again, drawn like a moth to the flame:
World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is a free agent! I would be okay with him challenging for a title in Bellator, or getting a crack at UFC's Top 10. He's insanely entertaining.
Justin Gaethje is a free agent? Oh, man, so many great matchups out there for him. Might be the most exciting fighter in MMA. pic.twitter.com/PCMLSaJxqK-- Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) March 28, 2017
Wow ... didn't even recognize her!
HeadMovement Restaurant sounds like my kind of joint.
Tommy Toehold's take on Sage Northcutt's trash talking advice:
No idea, either:
Ali Bagautinov bout to execute Gollum, for some reason pic.twitter.com/XLPXLNtH8b-- Jessica Hudnall (@LegKickTKO) March 27, 2017
Stipe in jail for a cause:
For twitter: I'm getting locked up today. You can help bail me out though. All donations go towards medical bills of the pups 2-4 today pic.twitter.com/H6nFVwuWYf-- Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) March 25, 2017
Who knew Derrick Lewis had a gentle side?
Slips. Rips. KO Clips.
There wasn't UFC action this weekend, but that didn't mean combat sports weren't happening the world over:
Dileno Lopes has one of the slickest guillotines in the game. Shooto Brazil 70. pic.twitter.com/NZv6WjdmV8-- caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 27, 2017
Good lord. Spinning back fist sets up the KO for Artur Alibulatov at PRO FC 62. pic.twitter.com/4g7MXuUBSa-- caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 26, 2017
Wow. Vagab Vagabov TKO's Alexey Efremov in R3 of an absolutely grueling fight. Improves to 23-1-1. PROFC 62. pic.twitter.com/MuMvL2kGDo-- caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 26, 2017
Ratiborets 7 - 70.3 kg Title Fight - Ruslan Rahmonkulov chokes out Wasilij Paliok in 1R. Nice setup pic.twitter.com/b8jL9jyCiQ-- Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) March 25, 2017
KF 59 - What was that? A jumping elbow? Zhang Chunyu (China) TKO's Gladstone Allen (USA) pic.twitter.com/Y8dgCdYTtS-- Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) March 25, 2017
KF 59 - Wu Xuesong KO's Jose Ruelas pic.twitter.com/O5xBJteet6-- Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) March 25, 2017
PXC 56 - nice submission by Jun Yong Park in 1R (vs. Ray Cooper III) pic.twitter.com/62aCNyhQTT-- Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) March 25, 2017
Gunnar Nelson is very interested in the Stephen Thompson match up.
The road not taken: Rampage says his biggest regret is ... becoming an MMA fighter?
- Wanna see someone make Sage Northcutt look small?
- One month after throwing himself into traffic, Terry Etim has been released from the hospital.
Podcasts and Video
"The MMA Hour," which lasted four hours and 28 minutes
Fights Gone By:
The Co-Main Event podcast:
Stay woke, Maniacs!
The upcoming Bellator 180 pay-per-view (PPV) event -- which is slated to go down inside Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2017, in New York, N.Y. -- is continuing to fill up.
During a recent interview on "The MMA Hour," Bellator MMA President Scott Coker announced an intriguing Featherweight match up that will see rising contender James Gallagher take on Chinzo Machida on the undercard portion of the event, which is set to air on Spike TV.
Gallagher -- who is a training partner of Conor McGregor at Straight Blast Gym -- is undefeated (6-0), including winning his first three contests under the Bellator umbrella. As for his opponent, Machida -- older brother to former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida -- he has won his first two bouts with the Viacom-owned company and owns a 5-2 overall professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record.
For Gallagher, it's one of the toughest bouts of his young MMA career, but as Coker stated during the announcement, the fiery Irishman won't ever turn down an opponent.
Bellator 180 will be the promotion's second-ever foray into PPV -- and carries a $49.95 price tag -- will be headlined by a much-anticipated Heavyweight showdown between Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione after their initial matchup was canceled earlier this year because of kidney stones. In addition, Chael Sonnen will settle his grudge with Wanderlei Silva, while Lorenz Larkin makes his company debut when he faces Douglas Lima or the Welterweight title. Also, Michael Chandler will defend his Lightweight belt against Brent Primus.
For more on the upcoming Bellator 180 event click here.
Does Ronda Rousey have a future in the WWE? Paul Heyman believes she could if she wanted one.
We're still waiting to learn whether Ronda Rousey will step into the cage again or retire following her 48 second knockout loss at the hands of women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. So far, most signs point to her not fighting again. So what's next for the former face of women's MMA? Perhaps some more work with the WWE?
Shortly after that failed comeback attempt, former WWE commentator and ESPN anchor Jonathan Coachman shot down that idea, saying "They don't bring in a broken star, and that is what she is. She is broken from a professional sense. They don't rebuild broken celebrities outside of the WWE."
But as far as WWE personality wrestling expert Paul Heyman is concerned, that's not right at all. He shared his much more positive thoughts on a Ronda Rousey run in the WWE with the Fight Society podcast.
"I think the WWE audience would embrace Ronda Rousey with open arms," Heyman said. "Just her name recognition alone is huge. It doesn't matter, her past two experiences in the UFC. All that matters is if she got involved in a story that people could relate to and sink their teeth into and get excited about."
"I would personally pay to see Charlotte versus Ronda Rousey," he continued. "I would totally pay to Stephanie McMahon versus Ronda Rousey for a completely different reason, but I digress. I think Ronda Rousey doing anything in WWE is a natural fit. I'd love to see it, and would be happy to discuss with her all the benefits that she could enure by being a Paul Heyman girl."
Who knows, stranger things have happened. Rousey is a huge pro wrestling fan and has been spotted ringside at numerous indy wrestling events around California. And of course who could forget her massive WrestleMania 31 appearance alongside The Rock? It sounds like as more time passes, the less people seem to care about her losses in the UFC. That's good news for Ronda Rousey, whatever she ends up deciding she wants to tackle next.
A third fight against Nate Diaz is definitely still on Conor McGregor's lists of things to do.
Will Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz fight again for the third time? The Stockton fighter was kind enough to grant Conor McGregor an immediate rematch after submitting the Irishman in their first encounter. But after McGregor managed to edge Diaz out on the scorecards in their rematch, there hasn't been much movement towards the trilogy fight getting done.
But McGregor reaffirmed his desire to make it happen sooner or later. After the UFC released a video featuring behind the scenes audio from their UFC 202 scrap, McGregor posted it on his Facebook page with a positive message.
"This is amazing video of an amazing chapter in my career!" he wrote. "This is a brutal business! Some have it. Most don't. I look forward to the trilogy fight down the road. It was a hell of a fight! Enjoy."
This is an amazing video of an amazing chapter in my career! This is a brutal business! Some have it. Most don't.Posted by Conor McGregor on Monday, March 27, 2017
I look forward to the trilogy fight down the road. It was a hell of a fight!
For now, McGregor has bigger fish to fry. A potential billion dollar fight with Floyd Mayweather seems to be imminent, and then there's that lightweight title the UFC really, really wants McGregor to defend against Tony Ferguson or Khabib Nurmagomedov. Who knows, with so much time between now and then, maybe Nate will fight again and get himself thrown into that lightweight title picture.
Or not. With his last two fights against McGregor holding the records for most UFC pay-per-views sold in UFC history, we have a feeling Nate isn't interested in fighting anyone who isn't going to pad his bank account as nicely as McGregor does. And unfortunately for us, there's only one Conor McGregor.
He still may not have a spot among the top 15 Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweights (yet), but Marc Diakiese firmly believes he's the top 155-pound fighter competing inside the Octagon today.
"For me, I'm number one. I'm right at the top. Listen to what I am telling you today, I am right at the top, believe that," said Marc during a recent interview on The MMA Hour.
When asked to clarify a bit further and if he believes he's better than the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson -- just to name a few -- Diakiese had no qualms in saying he belongs in the group, if not ahead of them.
And the only way to truly prove his case, is to start getting the bigger fights.
"I'm telling you, I am right at the top and if anybody wants to fight me I will be there. I've traveled a lot and I know people who I've sparred with. I know sparring is different, but, I just know where I stand with these guys."
Can't knock the confidence.
Marc is currently undefeated (12-0, 3-0 UFC) and is coming off a spectacular 30-second knockout win over Teemu Packalen at UFC Fight Night 107 (see it again here). Prior to getting his shot inside the Octagon, "Bonecrusher" was the reigning BAMMA 155-pound champion.
As for who he eyes next, Marc says he will take on anyone, preferably a top-ranked fighter. But, he isn't opposed to a bout against Paul Felder, a man he dubbed an "Irish wannabe" that just "talks shit" and seems to be bitter after Marc took out his teammate, Frankie Perez.
The two got into a Twitter war a few days ago and says he wouldn't mind taking him on to silence him once and for all and continue his quest to the top.
"UFC is a job. If you don't perform, you are done and I take that personal," he said. "If I am fighting somebody to take that from me, I am going to hurt them and that's what I'm doing. My mentality is completely different now."
Anyone expect Marc to join the elite class of 155-pound UFC talent and make some championship noise down the road?