Welcome to Midnight Mania!
UFC is heavily investing in China, but it’s unclear if the government is matching their interest.
Phuket Top Team is one of the top Muay Thai/MMA crossover gyms in Thailand with quite a few UFC vets among their roster and plenty of fighters who fight regionally all over Asia. The team’s Twitter account revealed that the Chinese government was already cracking down on inked up fighters, forcing them to cover their skin art with rash guards or tape.
It seems the situation has worsened, as now tattooed fighters — which, if you haven’t been paying attention, is the vast majority of them — are getting ignored by promoters entirely.
MMA in China has made another strange step…. No tattoos allowed.
Fighters are having to wear rash guards or tape over tattoos…
Promoters are getting bored of that and now just saying NO fighters with tattoos allowed.
That sure does take out a large pool of pro fighters
— Phuket Top Team (@PhuketTopTeam) July 14, 2019
UFC is planning to visit Shenzhen, Guangdong, China in just seven weeks, an event headlined by Strawweight queen Jessica Andrade against China’s Weili Zhang. That’s the only fight booked currently, but we already have an issue: Andrade has numerous tattoos on her shoulders and arms. Though it’s a less immediate problem, Song Yadong is perhaps the best Chinese prospect in the sport right now, and he’s got some ink on his calf. Will this affect his ability to fight in China in the future or potentially stop him from becoming the face of Chinese MMA as many hope?
All in all, this makes for an interesting dynamic. Assuming that tape and rash guards are still an option for willing promoters, UFC could just force Andrade (and pretty much everyone else booked on the card) to cover up. Given UFC’s desire for unvarying consistency and the specifics of the Reebok uniform, I could see the organization resisting such an effort, which would look pretty silly.
Perhaps the organization has enough pull (cash) to simply ignore this detail. At any rate, with only one fight officially booked on the card, I issue a challenge to MMAmania readers: fill the rest of the event with appropriate fights between non-tattooed fighters. It’ll be a challenge!
I don’t know which fighter capitalized upon the old man filter first, but everyone’s doing it. Let’s celebrate the trend once now then never speak of it again.
Dana White is really taking shots at “The California Dad.”
Between Bellator and PFL, the recent resurgence of the tournament format in the US is very welcome.
A pair of UFC vets sparring in Phuket.
Anthony Pettis looks damn fast in this behind-the-scenes clip.
Mike Perry sparring clips are the backbone of Midnight Mania.
A pretty hilarious action shot and great caption from Matt “The Immortal” Brown.
Who do you like in the BIG rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr?
Slips, rips, and brutal low kicks
In a happy coincidence for those who really hate the lower body, the combat world and Internet came together to deliver some brutal low kicking to my feed. Now, I humbly pass the shin-on-thigh violence to you all.
Fresh off of winning his ONE debut, former Pacific Rim champ Ryogo Takahashi (@ryogo_666) chops down Takanori Takahashi in two rounds! Now 13-3, the KRAZY BEE rep rides an eight-fight tear (six KOs). He has stopped nine, each by strikes. #Shooto0715 pic.twitter.com/1pdl4xMb0G
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) July 15, 2019
A reminder from Benito Lopez — who picked up a close decision win at UFC Sacramento based on the strength of his low kicking — that kicks are a double-edged sword.
I would much rather swim with sharks than eels.
Midnight Music: In a classic example of bad decision-making, Mississippi soul legend Sam Cooke’s Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963 wasn’t actually released until 1985. Why? Label execs at RCA records were concerned that the album’s rawness, energy, and wildness — all the factors that make it fantastic — would hurt his pop image.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.