Welcome to Midnight Mania!
A lot of people were curious how Jon Jones would react to Francis Ngannou’s shocking performance against Tyson Fury. After all, Ngannou did pass up on the opportunity to face “Bones” in pursuit of the free agency that eventually lead him to “The Gypsy King” fight. The two have a complicated relationship, one that has seen both cordial respect and some genuine irritation. Immediately after the fight, however, Jones was nothing but complementary.
Just a couple days later, “Bones” has an axe to grind, but it’s not with Ngannou directly. Instead, he was unhappy with Ariel Helwani, who interviewed Ngannou on Monday’s The MMA Hour. During the interview, Helwani quickly referenced Jones (as well as UFC CEO Dana White) as someone who talk poorly about Ngannou’s decision to leave the UFC.
Jones replied in a comment on Instagram, “And Jon Jones says you were looking what? You’re such a backstabbing s—t talker bro, and you wonder why I haven’t given you an interview in years @arielhelwani.”
Helwani replied first with a couple of previous Jones quotes that he had intended on referencing. The first was, “I’m here. Francis had the opportunity to face me and he opted out of the opportunity. If anyone should be criticized, it’s Francis Ngannou. If I’m correct, he was offered the biggest contract in Heavyweight history. He had the opportunity to be a guy that dethroned me and he didn’t believe in himself. He wasn’t willing to gamble on himself.”
The other quote Helwani replied with was, “Calling yourself the baddest man on the planet from across the street, who does that? Lol.” That’s a Jones tweet from May! Then, Helwani apologized to Jones for failing to finish his thought and quote him directly.
Somehow, I don’t think that will be enough to score a future “Bones” interview.
Regardless, the boxing world is currently Ngannou’s oyster, and he also has a Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) debut to make in 2024. As for Jones, he’ll likely be benched most of the next eight months (or less?) while recovering from his torn pec, which forced him out of his planned title defense opposite Stipe Miocic.
This line of thinking is so silly. Not to knock on Canelo or boxing as a whole, but the reason most MMA fighters don’t slip like this is because getting kicked in the calf or head while slipping is not a lot of fun!
A lot of average fight fans don’t know just how good Fabricio Andrade is, but I give him a fair shot at Sean O’Malley in the imaginary world where UFC and One let this fight happen.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier is one of the PFL’s best fighters right now, but he’s feeling beaten down by the scheduling.
Aubin-Mercier ahead of PFL Championship bout against Clay Collard: “There is more of a chance that this is my last fight than it’s not” pic.twitter.com/ipcw7FlVGm
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) November 1, 2023
A new Light Heavyweight booking:
Absolutely rude behavior.
Brendan Schaub is a comedic goldmine, just not in the way he aims to be.
Darren Till would appear to be down bad …
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Kyrgyzstan’s Myktybek Orolbai (11-1) is the next Team Alpha Male prospect y’all should know about. Look at that uppercut!
Got too aggressive and ran right into the overhand:
Left high kick is high-percentage!
I’ve seen this video several times before. Maybe I’ve even posted it here, I’ve been doing this too long to know. It makes me laugh every single time though!
Midnight Music: Electropop, 2003
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.