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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Last week, a report emerged claiming that Alexander Gustafsson would be ending his retirement and moving up to Heavyweight to face former champion Fabricio Werdum on July 25. Talk later came that this was merely a rumor, but now Gustafsson has released his own statement confirming the fight and explaining his return from retirement.

“I’ve missed it, I miss competing and I don’t feel like I’m just quite done with it yet,” Gustafsson told MaulerBet. “Despite of what I felt before. So, I never lost the itch. And now in a new division and against new opponents, I have very exciting times ahead of me. I made the decision [to come back] in the past few weeks. I’ve stayed active, despite the strange times we’re in.”

In addition, Gustafsson talked about his move to Heavyweight, and why he feels like he’s prepared for the bigger athletes, “I’ve always seen myself as a big light heavyweight fighter, I have a big frame and walk around quite heavy. So, I’ve always had to cut around 33 lbs. to make weight. And, since the fight got finalized just now, with 6-7 weeks to go I wouldn’t have been able to make LHW anyway. But regardless I would’ve made to move to HW to try it out, it’s a new challenge to put it simply. For me to be able to down a chicken pasta in fight week hasn’t happened in 15 years… In the past when I’d made my 33 lbs. weight cut there would always be some small injury, my back, my knee or something else. It takes a toll on you to make that cut during all these years.”

Finally, Gustafsson was complimentary to the former champion’s skills, but he still expects to dominate, He’s experienced and a bit of a legend in the sport when you look at his career. He’s gained some weight in recent years but he’s not to be underestimated, he’s got a lot of tricks up his sleeves and is a legit black belt. And he, like everyone else in the HW division, hits hard. So it will be an awesome challenge for me and it’s very motivating for me to fight him.”

I will go in there with full force, fully prepared to win. This is not a game and I will go in there to maul his face, get my W and take it from there.”

It’s been just over a year since Gustafsson’s most recent bout, a submission loss to Anthony Smith. Unfortunately for Gustafsson, it’s now been over three years since his most recent victory, a dominant showing against the resurgent Glover Teixeira.

However, it’s really Gustafsson’s recent struggles that make for a compelling match up with Werdum, as “Vai Cavalo” has shown his age recently as well. Werdum has also lost his last two bouts, looking a bit soft in his return from suspension opposite Aleksei Oleinik.

Which man rebounds on Fight Island?

Insomnia

We all knew that tomorrow night’s UFC on ESPN 10 was a mess well ahead of time, but the weigh-ins were such a sh*tshow that half of my gathered content tonight is a direct result of these disastrous events …

First and foremost, Joanne Calderwood believes Jessica Eye used the “towel trick” to trick the commission and get closer to her target weight.

The official numbers …

… and some various weight-related trash talk!

Rodtang demonstrates his brutal left hook to the body:

Apparently, Dana White really hates the lower half of Dominick Cruz’s body.

Speaking of kicking apart Cruz’s legs, Henry Cejudo finding inspiration in Justin Gaethje’s leg assault is pretty neat.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

The whole sequence is unorthodox, but that little switch Southpaw into the jumping right hook was sweet.

This preschool teacher is not here to play.

Example No. 32405 of a bad low kick with no angle or setup getting blasted:

Random Land

This is the mentality I aspire towards.

Midnight Music: I bought my first vinyl record of 2020, a bargain bin Dusty Springfield compilation, largely because it had one of my favorite Dusty songs (technically a Supremes cover!):

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





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