Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Chael Sonnen talks. His gift of gab has proven effective, elevating a grinding wrestler from relative obscurity to superstardom. For a time at least, Sonnen also walked the walk, defeating top contenders around the years of 2009-2012 to earn a pair of title shots against Anderson Silva, one of which required a miraculous, Hail Mary submission from “The Spider” to avoid defeat.
The truth is a grey area for Sonnen, who is certainly not above exaggeration or deception to sell his name. Still, his recent interview with Ariel Helwani on ESPN contained Sonnen’s most shocking claims in years. Allegedly, Sonnen received a call from an unnamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) rep. Said representative supposedly offered Sonnen handsome pay to “stick it up Dana White’s ass” by either no-showing his UFC 148 title rematch with Silva or winning the title and bringing it on WWE Raw the following Monday.
How much was Sonnen offered to forsake his shot at gold, piss off his boss, and anger the general mixed martial arts (MMA) world as a whole? Sonnen claims the price offered was seven figures, a million dollars to no-show the Silva bout or five million to win and bring the belt on Raw.
Now again, this is Chael Sonnen, so take this news with several grains of salt. In the same interview, Sonnen says he never gave either offer a moment of consideration. For the million dollar offer of no-showing Silva, I would believe that: Sonnen likely made close to that amount or more in his second title bid opposite the Brazilian. Plus, prior to Sonnen’s promotional shtick of being the funny troll, his whole persona was based on winning a world title to uphold a promise to his dying father. It’s hard for me to see a world-class, dedicated athlete abandoning his dream without significant reason.
The second offer? That seems far more beneficial had Sonnen won the belt. Five million dollars just to show off his belt at a WWE event with the only consequence being an angry boss? Not only is that worth consideration, it’s an easy decision! Al Iaquinta has taken every opportunity to piss White off for years now, and no one paid him five million to do it.
I have a feeling this will go down as a pretty iconic knockout, both in Shevchenko’s career and in the history of Women’s MMA.
One last post from the aftermath of UFC 238; Moraes’ early dominance was pretty incredible, only matched by Cejudo’s ability to absolutely take control given the smallest opportunity to shift momentum.
The opening exchanges between Henry Cejudo & Marlon Moraes were the fastest that I’ve ever encountered in 15 years as a ref. Two WORLD CLASS fighters at the absolute pinnacle of this sport – human chess unfolding 6 feet in front of me. Truly amazing, truly grateful.
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) June 10, 2019
The average non-professional fighter — celebrity or otherwise — can withstand approximately one low kick for Justin Gaethje.
I’ll fight the both of you at the same time.
— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) June 10, 2019
Anyone going to tune in? I’d favor Masvidal, as Pettis’ jiu-jitsu really seems to be really specialized for MMA (which obviously isn’t a bad thing for a pro fighter).
“Touch” Fili looking sharp ahead of UFC Sacramento. The exchange of talent and knowledge between Team Alpha Male and CSA has proven very beneficial for each team.
Slips, Rips, and KO clips
A good reminder to fight until the referee says otherwise.
Be honest, you definitely have two full minutes to check out these highlights of slick upward elbows.
Another fun edit of a brutal knockout, courtesy of a funky left hand from “GGG.”
Has Hong Man Choi been on the positive side of a knockout in the last ten years?
One of the coolest plays possible.
This is basically a John Lineker fight.
The speed with which nature can reclaim lost territory is pretty fascinating.
Music from the making of Midnight Mania: The Band’s Stage Fright is roots rock as American as apple pie, except that it was made by a bunch of Canadians.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.