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Confess! Self-proclaimed ‘uncrowned champion’ admits he turned down Alex Pereira UFC 300 main event

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

We’re less than 24 hours away from the biggest event since … UFC 100 probably? One of the big Conor McGregor events? I don’t know that UFC 300 will shatter pay-per-view (PPV) records quite like “The Notorious,” but it’s hard to argue there’s ever been a UFC event more rock solid from top-to-bottom.

What fighter wouldn’t want to headline such a massive and marquee event? Surely, every athlete was champing at the bit for the opportunity to star in the most important fight card of the last few years?

Not so much.

A Middleweight grudge match between Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis was widely discussed as a possible option, but Du Plessis wasn’t going to be healthy in time. Similarly, Leon Edwards accepted three possible opponents for UFC 300 (none of them were Belal Muhammad), but all three would-be Welterweight title challengers declined for various reasons as well.

That’s how we landed on Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill as the headlining bout, but according to a recent interview with Magomed Ankalaev, that may not even have been the first Light Heavyweight choice. Ankalaev claims he passed on a title shot because of Ramadan, but he also insists that he’s been promised the next Light Heavyweight shot.

“This fight is especially interesting for me because I was promised that I would meet whoever wins it,” Ankalaev told MetaRatings (via Google Translate). “I was actually offered to fight [Alex ]Pereira at this tournament, but since we had the holy month of Ramadan, I had to refuse.

“I’ve been in this sport for a long time and I don’t see any danger from any of them. I don’t really care who wins. I had different tests, I had both comfortable and uncomfortable opponents. There is only one goal – to win the belt.”

It’s a bold move from Ankalaev, seeing as UFC title shot promises don’t always pay off.

That said, Ankalaev is certainly deserving of a big opportunity. The Dagestani Sambo ace smashed Johnny Walker (watch here) back in January, which extended his current unbeaten streak to 12 fights, though there’s a “No Contest” and draw in that run. The draw came in his first UFC title fight against Jan Blachowicz, a decision Ankalaev found so unsatisfactory that he labeled himself the “uncrowned champion.”

He’ll have to wait a bit longer for any chance of an official coronation.

Insomnia

Alex Pereira said f—k your soundbite DC!

Islam Makhachev offers his thoughts on the crowded upper section of the Lightweight division:

I would never miss a Benoit Saint-Denis or Dan Hooker fight. Put them in the cage together? That’s the good stuff!

JON ANIK IS A REAL FIGHT FAN!

The kimura isn’t a common submission in MMA, but that doesn’t mean the figure-four grip doesn’t hold value as a means to improve position or control an opponent.

New sparring footage from “The Notorious” Conor McGregor.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

MMA needs more left hooks to the body followed by a hook upstairs. Brandon Moreno does it well!

A nice Southpaw check hook, one of Jamahal Hill’s better shots!

These kinds of videos are always funny to me. I’ve seen them happen in person too — highly recommend.

Random Land

Leap of the penguins.

@natgeo

“If you do it, I’ll do it” Filmed for the very first time by @Bertie Gregory, emperor penguin chicks leap off a 50-foot ice cliff to take their first swim! Learn more about this behavior at the in bio and stay tuned for more: “Secrets of the Penguins” is coming in 2025! #ourHOME

♬ original sound – National Geographic

Midnight Music: Alt. rock, 1988

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

LIVE! Watch UFC 300 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

BIGGEST, BADDEST COMBAT SPORTING EVENT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will make history inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., April 13, 2024, staging the 300th pay-per-view (PPV) event since its inception in 1993. Alex Pereira will put his 205-pound belt on the line in UFC 300’s main event against returning former division roost-ruler, Jamahal Hill. In UFC 300’s co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Weili Zhang, will defend against top-ranked contender, Xiaonan Yan, while Justin Gaethje puts his “Baddest Motherf—ker” gimmick belt on the line against former Featherweight deity, Max Holloway, in an all-action Lightweight showdown. UFC 300’s blockbuster PPV main card (see it here) will also feature Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan and Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage. All that and so much more! UFC 300 start time scheduled for 6 p.m. ET (Prelims) and 10 p.m. ET (PPV).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

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