Midnight Mania! UFC 296’s Title Fight Backup

Noche UFC Ceremonial Weigh-in
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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Next weekend (Sat. Dec. 16, 2023), UFC 296 will go down from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the co-main event, Flyweight kingpin Alexandre Pantoja will seek to score his first title defense by turning away electric finisher Brandon Royval. It’s the first Flyweight title fight in three years to feature two men that are not Brandon Moreno or Deiveson Figueiredo.

Or is it? Eurosport’s Marcel Dorff broke the news that Moreno was named the official back up fighter for the Flyweight title fight, so if anything happens to either Moreno or Figueiredo in the next ten days, “The Assassin Baby” is back in the picture!

Moreno’s last appearance over summer came versus Pantoja, who defeated Moreno for the third time (counting their battle on The Ultimate Fighter). Moreno does have a previous win over Royval, whom he defeated via technical knockout in November 2020. There’s history there either way! Assuming the original title holds up, however, Moreno was recently booked to face Amir Albazi in February.

The full UFC 296 line up can be seen below.

  • 170 lbs.: (C)Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington
  • 125 lbs.: (C)Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval
  • 170 lbs.: Stephen Thompson vs Shavkat Rakhmonov
  • 155 lbs.: Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett
  • 170 lbs.: Vicente Luque vs. Ian Garry
  • 125 lbs.: Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Cody Durden
  • 125 lbs.: Ariane Lipski vs. Casey O’Neill
  • 135 lbs.: Irene Aldana vs. Karol Rosa
  • 170 lbs.: Randy Brown vs. Muslim Salikhov
  • 205 lbs.: Dustin Jacoby vs. Alonzo Menifield
  • 135 lbs.: Cody Garbrandt vs. Brian Kelleher
  • 145 lbs.: Josh Emmett vs. Bryce Mitchell
  • 265 lbs.: Martin Buday vs. Shamil Gaziev
  • 145 lbs.: Lucas Almeida vs. Andre Fili


I don’t think Islam Makhachev is afraid of a potential Arman Tsarukyan rematch.

We’re still a month away from 2024, but already, it’s introducing an interesting question: will Alex Perez actually make it to the cage against Muhammad Mokaev on March 2?!?

New Conor McGregor sparring footage just dropped, and the former double champ looks quick! I’d imagine Brendan Loughnane and his nasty low kick game are a great help,

A quality women’s Flyweight bout booking.

Why is Michael Chandler beefing with “The Nature Boy?” He’s going to get tossed!

Amanda Serrano taking a stand!

I would rather watch this as a sport than Power Slap.

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Slips, rips, and KO clips

A bit of classic boxing violence.

Raise the knee and front kick the body. Quick inside low kick to bring the attention downstairs. Suddenly, that same lead leg goes high. Perfect!

A bit of an unusual entrance into the twister.

Random Land

A new reason to be terrified of spiders.

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Midnight Music: Experimental folk, 2022

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