Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Khabib Nurmagomedov is an animal on the mat. Undefeated in 28 professional fights and UFC Lightweight champion of the world, the Dagestani “Eagle” has utterly dominated world-class fighters with ease thanks to the strength of his wrestling and Sambo. When matched up with a high school wrestler — even the top-ranked 152-pound wrestler in the country, Chase Saldate — well, the results were a bit predictable.

Saldate attends Gilroy High School, where former double-champ Daniel Cormier is the head wrestling coach. This is not the first time Saldate has visited the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) with his coach: there’s also a clip of him getting tossed around by Islam Makhachev and later pulling off the same trick in a tournament!

Saldate is already a great wrestler who could likely handle a lot of professional fighters on the wrestling mat without issue … just not those two yet!

In short, it’s another funny video of camaraderie and talent from AKA. Nurmagomedov’s honesty about cheating a bit with his hand clasps after the matches is amusing, and very much in line with the standard MMA wrestler perspective. It was also interesting to see Nurmagomedov deal with a traditional wrestler — he quickly pushed the fight into his comfort zone along the wall and dominated from there.

Insomnia

This is potentially the dumbest thing I’ve ever included in a Midnight Mania.

This is a pretty killer sparring clip in general, but the first thing that came to my mind is how much better Hooker looked in the gym than in his Featherweight fights. It really goes to show the potential negative impact of a severe weight cut!

Cro-Cop may be in his mid-40s and pretty beefy, but he’s still got some speed!

Usually, clips described with “wait for the end” aren’t worth it. This one is!

Team Alpha Male anecdote of the week: Yesterday, as myself and a few others sat around before the start of wrestling practice, some random approached us with what looked like a media pass hanging around his neck. He asked if any of us were pro boxers (nope), then quickly informed us that he was 200-2 in the ring, looking to go pro, and wanted to fight Faber.

During practice itself, we caught a glimpse of him talking directly with a slightly annoyed “California Dad,” but sadly there was no lesson handed out like the one below.

The jeans add an extra level of coolness to the head kick.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Stood his ground and landed a short right hand direct on the button …

Reminder: Paul Felder broke his arm throwing a spinning backfist and still spins all the damn time. The man is crazy!

An interesting setup for the straight ankle lock that I haven’t previously seen:

Random Land

We need Khabib’s thoughts on the self-defense tip of the day:

Midnight Music: I had a suggestion/request in my Twitter DMs, and it was a good enough song that I’m cool with it!

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

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