Welcome to Midnight Mania!
UFC athletes are taking a well-deserved break for the holiday this Saturday, but next weekend (Sat. Dec. 3, 2022), the promotion journeys forth from the UFC Apex to Orlando, Florida for a “Fight Night” event. That’s just ten days away, but the card just underwent a major shakeup, as Derek Brunson was forced to withdraw from a planned match up opposite Jack Hermansson. Per a report from ESPN, Roman Dolidze will step in to face “The Joker.”
Dolidze has earned a step up on competition. The Georgian talent has won his last three fights to improve his record to 5-1 inside the Octagon. Perhaps more importantly, he’s won his last two fights in impressive fashion, picking up two knockout wins in two rounds over the likes of Phil Hawes and Kyle Daukaus. Both wins earned “Performance of the Night” honors, setting up this opportunity against the No. 8-ranked Hermansson.
Conversely, the 34-year-old Swede returned to the win column last time out, picking apart Chris Curtis to end his win streak. Hermansson has won two of his last three, and though he’s not in immediate title contention, he’s a well-respected veteran and proven tough out — especially on short-notice!
As for Brunson, it’s an unfortunate late-camp injury for the longtime Middleweight contender. Brunson was looking to rebound from a February loss to Jared Cannonier, but the comeback will have to wait.
Ciryl Gane reacts to the current Heavyweight title picture:
Cris Cyborg has a date booked for her return to the ring.
Cris Cyborg will fight Gabrielle Holloway in a pro boxing bout on the undercard of Terence Crawford vs. David Avanesyan. Dec. 10 in Omaha. $39.99 on BLK Prime. Four rounds.
This will be Cyborg’s second pro boxing bout. She won her debut in September.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 22, 2022
There are no title implications, sure, but I can scarcely imagine a better match up. Lightweight is awesome!
Even Sean Strickland knows not to try to start something with Raymond Daniels.
Usman Nurmagomedov gives his dad the Bellator Lightweight belt:
Cool to see Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo working together!
I don’t know why this is happening, but it feels very appropriate for the column.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
If you didn’t catch One Championship last Friday, Christian Lee’s ascension to double champ status was absolutely wild.
Here’s another great highlight of a fight that most readers probably missed.
Old school fight nerds will remember the “six months of sprawl training” meme (from before the existence of memes!). Well, 2022 feels like the YEAR of six months of sprawl training: kickboxers are crushing!
Bombing down San Diego hills!
Midnight Music: 1989, alternative
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.