With the announcement of Floyd Mayweather taking on Tenshin Nasukawa at RIZIN 14, we’ve hit one of the weirdest things to happen in MMA this year.
November 5, 2018 is a day that will live in history. That is the day Floyd Mayweather made the announcement that he will be fighting in Japan under the RIZIN banner on New Year’s Eve. His opponent is the one, the only undefeated kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa. Despite the bout being announced, really the only details known about the bout is that the two are fighting. That, and the date and the location of the event.
It is yet to be determined what rules the two will be fighting under, what gloves they will be using, how much Floyd is making. The weight class remains a question mark. To say not much is known about the fight is an understatement. But there is something oddly poetic about the fight happening. For such a weird year in MMA, it’s only perfect that it ends with Floyd Mayweather fighting in the RIZIN ring.
With all that being said, what are some of the other weird things to happen in MMA this year? Let’s take a look at just a few.
Honorable mentions go to Bob Sapp winning a fight in 2018, and Roy Jones Jr. fighting on UFC Fight Pass. The latter, being Jones supposed final fight, was a big deal just in terms of a decorated boxer appearing on the MMA promotion’s streaming service. Sapp? He’s been a freakshow favorite for years, though his win at RIZIN 13 was anything but pretty.
CM Punk and Mike Jackson at UFC 225
CM Punk is a former professional wrestler whose signing and eventual UFC debut sent shockwaves through the MMA landscape. What happens when you give a mostly average athlete, with little experience in fight training, two years to train at one of MMA’s most prolific gyms and then fight in the UFC? You get destroyed by Mickey Gall naturally.
But what happens when you come back after the defeat and prepare to fight against a part-time fighter in Mike Jackson? Jackson was also 0-1 in MMA and was another of Gall’s former opponents. A man who is mostly on the media side of the MMA, he got the chance to fight Punk as the opening fight on UFC 225’s main card.
Bruce Buffer making the introductions of two 0-1 fighters was probably one of the strangest, most surreal things you could ever listen to in combat sports. Nonetheless, after the introduction, we finally got to see the two fighters go at it. The end result was one of the most absurd fights we’ve seen in the UFC.
Everything from CM Punk going for a flying knee, to pulling guard after a failed guillotine — yes, those were real things that happened. Jackson on the other hand demonstrated weird in spades while he was in guard, looking for bolo punches to the body of Punk. While spending tons of time taunting the former WWE superstar.
Jackson would ultimately get the unanimous decision victory after three rounds; capping off the fight was an incredibly bizarre post-fight interview where he talked about smoking weed and making a reference to Black Panther, a movie which came out four months before the fight.
Liddell/Ortiz III under Golden Boy Promotions
After an eight-year retirement that felt like it was bound to end at some point, it officially did as Chuck Liddell announced he was returning to action in 2018. It’s worth noting that Chuck Liddell was 48 years of age at the time of his announcement. Chuck was targeting a fight with Tito Ortiz as his return fight, bringing a little extra nostalgia factor with him. Tito and Chuck had already had two fights, both of which Chuck had won over a decade previously. Both were also giant fights for the sport of MMA.
Once Tito also announced his intentions to fight Liddell, the two began talking to promotions about staging the fight. Naturally this is where Oscar De La Hoya comes in. Naturally. After seemingly both Bellator and the UFC turned their nose up at Liddell vs. Ortiz 3, Oscar’s Golden Boy Promotions stepped in to make the fight happen.
Soon enough the date and location were announced, November 24th, at the Forum in California. The PPV price was also announced, and for only $50 US dollars you can watch Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell fight for the third time. It’s also worth noting it has a stacked undercard featuring the likes of Tom Lawler, Gleison Tibau, and Deron Winn.
To top all this off, there was a very strange press conference to announce the fight, in which Oscar De Le Hoya pronounced Chuck Liddell as Chuck “Lie-del” for the duration of the entire affair.
What happens when you combine porn and Mixed Martial Arts? Camsoda Legends of course! Adult film website Camsoda decided to stage a night of fights in Florida in April of this year. The card was surprisingly filled with decent talent, ranging from the likes of Ricco Rodriguez, to Krazy Horse Bennett.
On April 26th, 2018, the first ever Camsoda Legends went down, and it was a truly amazing event. Featuring the announcer reading off donations from fans with questionable screen names, Krazy Horse Bennett action insane as usual, and Ricco Rodriguez losing to a former middleweight in Alex Nicholson, the card had it all.
The only thing missing was the trilogy fight between Akebono and Bob Sapp. But there is still a month and a half left in 2018, which means there’s still time for Camsoda Legends 2. Well, one can hope.