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Missed Fists: Sumeet Khade lands the head kick of the year, plus battles from ACB, LFA

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Sumeet Khade scores the head kick knockout against Pawan Goyat at an SFL show in Mumbai, India.
Super Fight League, Facebook

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.

No UFC this past weekend? No Bellator? (No Jed?) No problem. There were still plenty of fights to watch and we’re going tri-continental this week, hitting up a pair of back-and-forth battles from the Legacy Fighting Alliance and Absolute Championship Berkut promotions, and a couple of vicious knockouts from India’s Super Fight League.

Matheus Mattos v. Nashkho Galaev

It’s no joke when we say fight fans are spoiled for choice these days even when the major North American promotions are taking a break. By now, most hardcores are familiar with ACB if only for every show typically having at least one or two finishes that go viral. However, rather than focus on a flashy knockout or submission, let’s talk about the three-round war between Matheus Mattos and Nashkho Galaev.

You might recognize Mattos (aka “Adamas”) from his brief stint on the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. While the 25-year-old Rio de Janeiro native failed to make it out of the first round of that season’s bantamweight tournament (he lost to current UFC fighter Reginaldo Vieira), his pro career has otherwise been solid with 11 wins in 13 bouts prior to last Friday’s ACB 82 show in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was actually coming off of his first official loss — a TKO by talented Russian fighter Petr Yan — and he definitely came out with something to prove.

Not that it mattered to Galaev. The tall Groznyan used his length well early on, but Mattos was able to find the range during the fight and he actually dropped Galaev a couple of times in round two. That caused Galaev to go into berserker mode and that’s when the fight really kicks into high gear.

Lots of swings in momentum here, but also tons of skill shown by both guys as Mattos is able to neutralize a lot of Galaev’s offense with his jiu-jitsu, while Galaev fights off some deep submission attempts.

Watch the fight yourself with the link above, and check out ACB 82 in its entirety for free at FITE TV.

Charles Cheeks III v. Rivaldo Junior

Another competitive sleeper fight took place last Friday, this one at LFA 35 in Houston. In main card action, the esteemed Charles Cheeks III took on Rivaldo Junior in a spirited featherweight contest.

Unfortunately, this bout isn’t available for replay yet, so you’ll have to take my word that Cheeks and Rivaldo came to play here. What made this fight compelling is that neither man was afraid of the other’s specialty. Cheeks went to the ground with the skilled Junior, while Junior was comfortable standing and exchanging with Cheeks.

And when it looked like Cheeks was pulling away on the feet, Junior would find a way to get the fight to the mat and threaten from back control. That dynamic was on most evident in the final round when Cheeks shredded Junior’s body early and nearly finished, only to see Junior withstand the onslaught and utilize his grappling to make it to the end of the contest.

Cheeks picked up the unanimous decision win here, but I’d definitely like to see these two run it back in the future sometime.

Abdul Azim Badakhshi v. Sascha Sharma
Sumeet Khade v. Pawan Goyat

Let’s wrap up with a couple of quick hits, courtesy of our friends at the Super Fight League over in Mumbai, India. This weekend featured the semifinals of their 2018 team tournament, with the Bengaluru Tigers taking on the Delhi Heroes on Saturday, and the Haryana Sultans clashing with the U.P. Nawabs on Sunday.

Fast-rising lightweight knockout artist Abdul Azim Badakhshi needed two rounds to figure out Sascha Sharma, but he found his mark in the third and when he did the result was spectacular:

A strong contender for the knockout of the season. Is this the most brutal KO that you have ever seen? MTV Super Fight League, Saturday and Sunday at 8 PM, live and exclusive on MTV. All India Mixed Martial Arts Association MTV India #MTVSuperFightLeague #NeverStopFighting #BeastAlert

Posted by Super Fight League on Saturday, March 10, 2018

That was Badakhshi’s sixth straight knockout win and a big one for the Heroes who went on to defeat the Tigers by a score of 16-9 (different points are awarded depending on the method of victory).

The next day saw the Nawabs knock off the Sultans 18-11, led by Sumeet Khade’s stunning 42-second head kick finish of Pawan Goyat:

Pawan Goyat didn't see that one coming! Sumeet Khade knocks out Pawan with a vicious shin to the chin. A strong contender for KO of the season. MTV Super Fight League, this Saturday at 8 PM, live and exclusive on MTV. All India Mixed Martial Arts Association MTV India Haryana Sultans UP Nawabs #MTVSuperFightLeague #NeverStopFighting

Posted by Super Fight League on Monday, March 12, 2018

While India’s MMA scene is still developing, it’s encouraging to see that the young talent over there is already producing some incredible highlights.

Both semifinal cards are available in their entirety on the SFL Facebook page.

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.