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Missed Fists: Recommended viewing from AFC, Bellator, LFA, ONE

Joey Davis
Cynthia Vance, MMA Fighting

Welcome to the latest edition of Missed Fists where Jed Meshew and Alexander K. Lee shine a light on fights from across the globe that may have been overlooked in these hectic times where it seems like there’s an MMA show every other day.

This time around, we’re stopping off at scenic Anchorage, Alaska for a five-round title fight, as well as uncovering notable one-round thrillers from Legacy Fighting Alliance, ONE Championship, and Bellator.

Vincent Fricilone vs. Johnavan Vistante

AL: Our first fight of the week sees lightweight titleholder Vincent Fricilone fighting Johnavan Vistante in the co-main event of Alaska Fighting Championship 136, which took place on Jan. 17 and would have been a championship defense were it not for Vistante missing weight. Vistante came into this bout with an unimpressive 8-9 record, though one of those wins came against the ubiquitous Charles Bennett aka “Krazy Horse” aka “Felony”. That has to count for something, right?

JM: Who doesn’t have a win over Krazy Horse these days?

AL: Vistante is one of the illustrious 36 to beat him!

JM: This is supposed to be a fun, cheery column and you’ve already made me profoundly sad just a few seconds in. Fortunately, this fight is entertaining enough to distract me from the clawing guilt of MMA fandom you just reminded me of. Yay violence!

Fricilone vs. Vistante is definitely worthy of Missed Fists status. It’s a five round, back-and-forth battle that looks a lot like a poor man’s version of MacDonald-Lima. After Fricilone grinds on him for the first two rounds, Vistante finally starts getting his hands going midway through the fight and probably would have swept the final three rounds if he didn’t Weidman himself after hurting Fricilone in the fifth. I guess there’s a reason Vistante’s a sub-500 fighter.

AL: Just to clarify, “Weidman-ing” is when a fighter throws an ill-advised kick that results in them getting taken down back en route to losing what could probably have been a win with better decision making. It’s a word with a very specific usage.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that AFC 136 is taking place in a gym at the Alaska Airlines Center with some of the audience seated at ballroom tables surrounding the cage. The cage announcer is also a boisterous fellow who has a habit of getting on the mic to pump up the crowd in the middle of the fight. This probably isn’t new to anyone that’s ever attended a regional MMA show.

JM: And if you haven’t, go support your local MMA shows. One way or another, they are always an experience. AFC 136 is available for streaming on UFC Fight Pass so go check that out.

Now it’s time to talk about the thing we’re really here for: Joey Davis. “Black Ice” is not playing around, AK.

Joey Davis vs. Ian Butler

AL: So far with this series we’ve stuck to non-UFC, non-Bellator events, but we have to mention Davis’s performance at Bellator 192 on Saturday. It easily could have been missed, given that it was supposed to be the first preliminary bout on the online stream, which didn’t start until around 15 minutes after the scheduled start time.

Those who caught the fight were in for a treat as the welterweight prospect known for going four years undefeated in the NCAA Division-II wrestling ranks needed just 39 seconds to do something spectacular in his third pro MMA bout.

JM: That was the exact opposite of Weidman-ing. Seriously, that’s about as perfect as a spinning back kick can be thrown. This man has been a professional fighter for about as long as we’ve had this column and he’s already throwing spinning attacks that would infuriate Nick Diaz. And he’s a wrestler! Bellator’s strategy of signing high-upside talent out of the womb is paying off in spades with guys like Davis and Aaron Pico now exploding men’s livers in the circular cage.

AL: Pico had a sensational body-shot finish on the main card, but it was his Team Bodyshop training partner who would author the first midsection massacre of the evening. Davis, 24, improved to 3-0 with the win and you can expect to him to continue to build his name both inside the Bellator cage and in other endeavors. This kid’s future is blindingly bright.

Moving back to the regional scene, we check in on our friends at Legacy Fighting Alliance; specifically, on a brief, but scintillating featherweight encounter at LFA 31 in Phoenix between “Magic” Mike Hamel and Jordan...Jordan…

Jed, I’m not writing this guy’s nickname.

Jordan Winski vs. Mike Hamel

JM: Think I wouldn’t notice your shameless plug there, huh? I see what you’re doing AK and I like it, almost as much as I like Jordan “I’m Gonna” Winski’s nickname. I don’t know why you’re so against it. Would it be better if it was “All I Do Is” Winksi? Obviously.

But in a sport like MMA where every other fighter is nicknamed “Pitbull,” any fighter with a clever or different nom de guerre should be celebrated (shout-out to Henry “OK” Corrales, who picked up a big win at Bellator 192 this weekend).

AL: Different should be celebrated? Really? Really?

Anyway, don’t let my disapproval of Winski’s nickname take away from the fine one-round performance that he and Hamel put on last Friday. You get the sense that Hamel is the underdog here as he comes out right away wanting to put the pressure on Winski. There are some furious flurries from both men and it actually looks like Hamel’s aggression might get him the round until he walks into a crisp counter-right from Winski. That leads to Hamel rushing a takedown attempt and falling into an expertly-applied armbar.

JM: If his name was Mike “The Handful” Hamel, he might have won instead of hoping for some “Magic” to get out of that armbar that Winski didn’t exactly hide. Or if he was Mike “The Camel” Hamel, maybe he could have survived to the end of the round without drinking the “tap” water... I can do this all day.

AL: Please don’t.

JM: But on the serious tip, “Magic” Mike Hamel is a good nickname and I was impressed by Winski’s guts here. He was getting tuned up early but a big shot from him put Hamel on skates and as soon as it hit the floor, Winski started attacking.

AL: As impressive as Winksi’s finish was, his celebration was even better. In his corner was UFC middleweight Sam Alvey, and when Alvey came out to congratulate him, Winski unleashed the ultimate swerve, dropping “Smilin’ Sam” with a “Stone Cold Stunner” that Steve Austin himself would later retweet:

That’s what Alvey gets for walking out to Hey Soul Sister, which is arguably the only thing worse than Winski’s nickname.

JM: Does Winski walk out to All I Do is Win? If not, he’s doing it wrong.

AL: Look for this full fight to hopefully be uploaded to the LFA or AXS TV YouTube channels in the future.

Riski Umar vs. Egi Rozten

AL: Last but not least by any means, we turn our gaze to ONE Championship 66: Kings of Courage in Jakarta, Indonesia, which took place on Saturday. Now this fight between flyweights Umar and Rozten, this is what Missed Fists is all about.

JM: This was the best fight of the weekend, or at least, the most entertaining. Now I say that having yet to see Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos, which people loved, but this was a blistering four minutes. There was no defense, lots of violence, and a finish that harkens back to Kimbo Slice-Dada 5000, where one fighter just kind of collapses. What more could you ask for?

AL: Having seen Kattar-Burgos and Umar-Rozten, I can tell you Kattar-Burgos was the better fight, but this one was definitely stupider and that has to count for something. This was Umar’s second pro MMA bout, Rozten’s first, and what the two Indonesian fighters lacked in experience they made up for in sheer homicidal mania.

This was just a bonkers brawl and luckily, fans can watch it for free due to ONE providing a Periscope stream of part of the card (Umar-Rozten begins around the 18:30 mark). Replays of ONE events can also be purchased on their website.

If you know of a recent fight or event that you think may have been overlooked, please let us know on Twitter @JedKMeshew and @AlexanderKLee using the hashtag #MissedFists.

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