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Missed Fists: Mzwandile Hlongwa spins his way to one of the year’s best KOs, more

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Mzwandile Hlongwa lands a stunning spinning strike on Torbjorn Madsen at EFC Worldwide 75 in Capetown, South Africa, on Nov. 3
@Jolassanda, Twitter

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.

Normally, we like to present our faithful readers with a diverse portfolio of grappling, striking, and oddities from the global scene, but this weekend featured some of the most incredible knockouts of the year so let’s get to it.

Mzwandile Hlongwa vs. Torbjorn Madsen

AL: This is the Alpha and the Omega of Missed Fists finishes. Mzwandile Hlongwa stole the show at Extreme Cagefighting Worldwide 75 Saturday in Cape Town, South Africa, absolutely obliterating Torbjorn Madsen with the sweetest spinning s**t you will ever see.

JM:. From Jacare-Weidman to Vannata-Frevola to Israel Adesanya bending styles all over Derek Brunson, it is clear that the violence gods were out in full force. But the carnage was not limited only to the UFC.

Look at the speed of that. And he hits a two-piece for good measure on that poor dead man. EFC has been a staple of MF this year and this is the crown jewel of South African MMA.

AL: This could be the frontrunner for KO of the Year regardless of organization. The sound alone is chilling.

Make that four wins in four pro bouts for Hlongwa, who goes by the somewhat disturbing nickname of “Shakebone”, presumably because of the effect his blows have on his opponent’s skeletal structures. I honestly couldn’t tell you where Hlongwa ranks as a prospect, but I can guarantee you’ll be hearing his name when everyone is tallying the top MMA highlights of 2018.

The EFC Worldwide 75 main card can be viewed with a subscription to DAZN, while the prelims and highlights are available on Facebook.

Glenn Sparv vs. Mehdi Bagheri

JM: I know I can be hyperbolic, but there’s a real chance we’ve found a fight organization that I actually like even more than my beloved CamSodaLegends: Full Metal Dojo. For one, just take a look at this fight poster for Saturday’s show, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand. Anytime you can evoke Kurt Russell’s best film on your fight poster, you’re doing something right.

For another, they brought an A+ KO to boot!

Sparv understands that it’s all in the reflexes and he is apparently as violent as his hairstyle.

AL: The dangers of not defending yourself when getting back up to your feet. I’m sure Mehdi Bagheri thought he was slick escaping from bottom position and then whabap! Nighty night.

Sparv, a native of Finland, has been competing as a pro since 2010, so good on him for adding the FMD middleweight title to his collection and in spectacular fashion.

If you want to check out FMD 16: Big Trouble In Little Bangkok for yourself, it’s available for free on the FOX Sports Asia Facebook page.

Tony Gravely vs. Kody Nordby

JM: It’s been too long since Classic Sports & Entertainment has graced these hallowed pages but Rhode Island’s premier fight organization returns with a vengeance, thanks to the human tossing talents of Tony Gravely, who slung Kody Nordby around like a sack of potatoes he had a particular dislike for.

AL: I feel like I don’t even need to ask To Slam, Or Not to Slam with this one.

JM: Credit to Nordby for trying to lock up the finish there, but as the old saying goes, discretion is the better part of valor. Sometimes you need to just let it go.

AL: And to think we’d made it this far without a Frozen reference.

JM: Plenty more where that came from.

Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Mu Bae Choi
Gi Won Ko vs. Young Han Kim
Yuki Ito vs. Tae Kyun Kim
Gun Oh Shim vs. Jae Hyuk Ho

JM: An awful lot of things happened at Road FC 50 this weekend in Daejeon, South Korea, so many that it’s tough to know where to begin. So how about we start with 2018’s Fighter of the Year?

Some of you may think that Adesanya or Daniel Cormier should deserve that honor, but you would be wrong. Sure, DC has made a bunch of history, but counterpoint: Kazuyuki Fujita.

Old Iron Head had a rough go of things from 2008-2017 (losing eight in a row) but at 48 years young, The-Man-Who-Nearly-Beat-Fedor has put together a three-fight win streak. And this opponent even has a Wikipedia page!

AL: That’s as legit as it gets!

Some might scoff at celebrating Fujita’s modest success after such a lengthy slump, but here at Missed Fists we are nothing if not advocates for those who are constantly spitting in the face of Father Time (even as Father Time continues to rack up wins).

As for this particular finish, I would describe Fuijta as having “lumbering power”. Whatever you want to call it, it was enough to silence Mu Bae Choi on this night.

JM: I believe that’s called Old Man Strength and I’m fairly certain Fujita has it in spades.

JM: Moving on, I feel bad for Gi Won Ko - who in fact won by KO - because on any other weekend, planting someone like that might earn you top marks. But when Hlongwa channels Super Saiyan Jon Jones, you’re always gonna be playing for the silver medal. Still, second place isn’t too shabby and it’s a damn sight better than the severe brain damage Young Han Kim suffered.

AL: This was Kim’s first pro bout, so major props to him for deciding to swang and/or bang. Clearly it didn’t go his way this time.

It’s good to know that if the UFC does decide to shut down it’s “boring” flyweight division, there are still plenty of place where you can watch these diminutive dynamos go to war. Rest well, Kim, for surely there is a seat waiting for you in Valhalla some day.

Now, my pick for the best worst knockout of the week: Yuki Ito’s outrageously illegal nut shot knockout of Tae Kyun Kim.

I hate everything about this. I’ve also watched it about 80 times.

JM: As I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear, I have some thoughts on this. Really, just one thought: groin shots should be legal and outlawing them is stupid.

MMA — at least at some core level — is an attempt to safely replicate free combat. It’s meant to find out who the best fighter is in the world, with as few regulations as possible so as to give us the closest approximation to that. A majority of the current rules exist because the enterprise would be untenable as a sport if they didn’t; it would be hard to have people fight multiple times in a year if everyone went blind from eye gouges.

Aside from being incredibly effective, groin shots do not permanently disable a fighter and they happen to target the one area of the body we allow for protective gear to cover! Bring back nut shots to MMA, I say.

AL: This has been “Jed Meshew’s proposed solution for how to keep MMA evolving and also manage overpopulation”.

JM: Someone has to do it.

AL: Somehow, that wasn’t the strangest incident from Road FC 50. No, that honor goes to the lovely Jae Hyuk Heo, who graced the fans with a stirring rendition of Imagine Dragons’s Believer before stepping into the cage.

JM: Personally, I am shocked to discover that karaoke is not the best background for fighting. Maybe I just do karaoke wrong?

AL: You probably do it a lot better than Heo, if the following is any indication.

To quote the great William Shakespeare: Thou must not singeth it; though must bringeth it.

A replay of Road FC 50 is available in its entirety on the promotion’s YouTube channel.

Nikita Barkhatov vs. Agoney Romero
Magomed Magomedov vs. Arnaud Kherfallah

JM: It’s fitting that this happened over this weekend because it bears a striking resemblance to when Urijah Faber got bolted by Mike Brown at WEC 36 — which happened 10 years ago today! Sure, Faber threw perhaps the worst back elbow in history, but the core concept is the same: fighter whiffed HARD and left himself exposed to get clobbered.

AL: Apparently Romero has never heard of the phrase “precision beats power” because he just went for all power here and the results were disappointing for him. You might say his mistake caused him to suffer the... Agoney of defeat? *puts pinky to mouth*

JM: Not even gonna dignify that with an “I hate you.”

Did you know there are two Magomed Magomedov’s currently competing in MMA? And they’re both really good. One fights for ACB and has only lost to Peter Yan. The other fights for M-1 and did this to Arnaud Kherfallah.

That’s a 30-second KO and at 11-1, “Cobra” (the other one is “Tiger”) should be on a lot of radars at this point. I can’t wait for the day the UFC signs both of them and then we can have the first ever UFC tag team fight between them and the Dong Hyun Kims.

AL: I’d also like to see an all Pitbull vs. Magomedov card at some point.

Those finishes went down at M-1 Challenge 98 last Friday in Chelyabinsk, Russia, which can be viewed on FITE TV pay-per-view with the prelims streaming for free.

Thiago dos Santos vs. Marcos Aurelio

AL: Disclaimer: This is not the Thiago Santos or Marcus Aurelio that you’re thinking of.

JM: Now I’m kind of wishing this was a fight between those two, if only because watching light heavyweight Thiago Santos take on lightweight Marcus Aurelio would be comical until it became a horror film. Though, to be fair, not sure it would be too much worse than the way Aurelio gets deaded here.

AL: Not to take anything away from dos Santos, but this is the kind of knee KO you only see at lower levels of MMA (which is why we love them). Poor Aurelio just couldn’t keep his head up and dos Santos made him pay with this crisp knee right up the middle.

Eric Ellington v. Scott Ettling

AL: Last but not least, an absolutely disgusting finish from Shamrock FC 311 in St. Louis, passed along by our friends over at FloCombat (make sure to click and subscribe for tons of regional action every month).

Eric Ellington. Sir. You know this wasn’t right.

JM: Take that as a lesson, kids. When you get your brain rattled, walking forward with your hands down is the worst possible way to react. Scott Ettling died so that you may live. Don’t forget his sacrifice.

AL: Best wishes to everyone who ended up on the wrong end of a knockout this weekend. Rest and recover, and next time may the pendulum of the MMA gods swing in your favor.

It was nearly impossible to shorten this poll down to a few options, but please vote and don’t hesitate to use that “other” option and comment below.


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Mzwandile Hlongwa’s stunning spinning strike KO
    (292 votes)
  • 3%
    Tony Gravely rag dolls Kody Nordby
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Gi Won Ko swangin’ and bangin’ at 125 pounds
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Yuki Ito’s blatant low blow TKO
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    Eric Ellington ends Scott Ettling
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (8 votes)
340 votes total Vote Now

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

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