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 week we’ve got quantity as well as quality, so let’s not waste any more time with fancy intro words and stuff.
Felipe Silva vs. Yoni Sherbatov
AL: Let’s start right off with what I feel was the highlight of the weekend, a stunning submission by Felipe “Felipinho” Silva. Facing undefeated flyweight Yoni Sherbatov in a main card bout at Absolute Championship Berkut 85 in Rimini, Italy, Silva threw caution to the wind and showed how turn offense into… well, more offense.
JM: That was absolutely wild. It’s not everyday you see a head kick turn into a flying triangle but darn if that isn’t exactly what happened. That’s next level creativity and awareness from Silva and definitely makes me want to see him in a bigger promotion. After all, he’s a 5-foot-7 flyweight on an eight-fight winning streak, it’s time for him to get the call up.
AL: The clip of this finish made the rounds on social media, so you can bet Silva is on the radar of some major promotions. One big move can change your life, just like that.
This fight and the rest of ACB 85 can be viewed for free on their YouTube channel.
Adrian Matheis vs. Ming Qiang Lan
JM: There are actually a couple of interesting fights on that ACB card so go give it a whirl if you’ve got the time. Same for ONE Championship’s offering from Friday in Manila, ONE: Heroes of Honor. The mixed fight card was the first time ONE has taken place inside a ring so if you like that aesthetic, this card was for you, especially since the night started off with one of the best fights of the weekend as Adrian Matheis and Ming Qiang Lan went to battle.
AL: I’ve been critical of the lack of development of MMA in China, Hong Kong, and other parts of East Asia, but a lot of fighters from those areas when they’re given a platform, they bring maximum effort and that’s what we got from Lan here. Its evident from the opening round that Matheis is the more well-versed martial artist and he’s all over Lan on the ground in round one.
However, Lan doesn’t give in and by round two he’s lured Matheis into some wild exchanges, and he continues to come forward in round three even though he’s being busted up.
Matheis deserves a lot of credit for controlling most of the action here, including closing out his performance with a big slam that draws a “Boom shaka laka!” from Michael Schiavello.
JM: It’s obvious that Matheis is the better fighter and is worlds ahead on the ground but Lan is the right mix of game and reckless to keep the fight fun even when he’s on bottom mount getting hammerfisted into oblivion or almost having his arm snapped off in a submission. There were a few moments when I thought the referee might stop the contest but credit to Lan for surviving and creating offense down the stretch to keep things fun.
If you’d like to find out about the rest of the show, our own Peter Carroll did a recap of the major fights from the card and the entire event can be viewed for free on ONE Championship’s YouTube channel, as seen above.
Elijah Terrell vs. David Booker
AL: Let’s dig deeper into one of the more awkward moments that occurred last week. Our friends up at the Alaska Fighting Championship received some surprising publicity when ring announcer Bob Lester had a heck of a time figuring out the winner of a bout between Elijah Terrell and David Booker last Wednesday.
While everyone is talking about that gaffe, and rightfully so, it actually came at the end of an intriguing fight, one that makes the winner’s call even more debatable after review.
JM: Should Terrell have won? Probably. Is a 30-27 score for Booker bad? Yes. But let’s be honest with ourselves here, no one watches AFC for actual fights, we watch for everything else. The commentary team, as always, was delightful and though Lester did make that huge gaff, he also asked the audience to start shouting out fight instructions during a lull in action in the second round.
AL: Making it even funnier is that the audio setup doesn’t allow us to hear the audience’s response and so we just get silence and then Lester goes, “Exactly. That what I was thinking.” Just incredible.
JM: Bruce Buffer needs to be taking notes because the next time there is a slow bout on a 15-fight FS1 card, he needs to start instigating some audience interaction. If nothing else it would be better than the “wooing” that currently goes on.
AL: Terrell got a knockdown late in round one and seemed to finish strong, which might be why Lester interpreted the scores incorrectly at first. Ultimately, it was a harmless error and I’m glad everyone got some free shine out of it.
AFC 139 is available for replay on the UFC’s Fight Pass service.
Maikel Perez vs. Sid Bice
AL: Next up I wanted to take a quick stop in Sioux Falls, S.D., for Friday’s Legacy Fighting Alliance show that was headlined by a pair of bouts for vacant titles. In the main event, Maikel Perez and Sid Bice put on a solid back-and-forth fight that I find myself describing as “a little catty”.
JM: This was a pretty fun little scrap for the LFA flyweight title, especially considering the fact that Perez is a legit prospect. Our own Danny Segura did a profile on Perez earlier this year I would strongly suggest you check out if you haven’t already but suffice it to say, this guy is a real talent.
He was on the Cuban national wrestling team (a serious accomplishment) and went to the Olympics in 2008. He also won gold at the Pan Ams in 2009, an accomplishment he shares with UFC flyweight title challenger Henry Cejudo. If you can reasonably be compared to Cejudo two years into your career, you’re doing okay for yourself — even if you take an awkward swipe at your opponent after the bell.
AL: I have to think Perez was the favorite heading into this one and I’m impressed by his composure when it became clear that Bice wasn’t going away easy. There were some lively scrambles in the second round, but it was only a matter of time before Perez’s wrestling background gave him the advantage and he finished Bice off with some, uh, “ferocious” hammer fists.
JM: Yeah . . . Death by a thousand boops, I guess.
AL: The cruelest fate of all.
You can watch LFA 37 highlights below, including undefeated women’s flyweight prospect Sabina Mazo claiming her first title with a clear-cut decision nod over Shannon Sinn.
Zach Shaw vs. Alexander Trevino
AL: Let’s go out with a bang, courtesy of KnockOut Promotions 61 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Lightweight Zach Shaw ended the co-main event in spectacular fashion with a power bomb slam that would make Big Van Vader proud.
When it comes to escaping submissions, there’s the eternal debate of “To Slam Or Not To Slam” and Shaw certainly has his own theory on how to handle that.
JM: I’m going to assume Big Van Vader is a wrestler because otherwise I have no idea what you’re talking about.
I think nine times out of 10 the slam is probably the wrong way to go about escaping a triangle since it mostly doesn’t do any of the things that will protect you from getting choked out; however, if you can straight “Rampage bomb” someone and leave them a lifeless, Arona-like corpse, then definitely go for that because it’s awesome.
AL: We are nothing if not scientists, and this time around, the science definitively said, “SLAM!”
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.