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.
We haven’t been doing this feature for too long so it’s rare that we showcase a fighter more than once, but sure enough, there’s an update on everyone’s favorite MMA mischief maker, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett.
James Freeman vs. Charles Bennett
JM: If Missed Fists has a mascot, it’s Charles Bennett a.k.a. Krazy Horse a.k.a. Felony. In part because he seemingly fights every other weekend these days but mostly because Bennett is the perfect cross-section of weird and incredible that we like to feature in this column.
Never was that more accurate than in his main event fight at Island Fights 48 this past Saturday in Pensacola, Fla. Bennett is on an eight-fight skid and hasn’t won a fight since his seven-second KO of Minoru Kimura at Rizin back in September 2016 that gave birth to one of the greatest post-fight speeches of all time.
this is just holy_shit.mp4 in my hard drive pic.twitter.com/v8oPzlimFn— Leg Kickin Tacos (@LegKickTKO) September 25, 2016
But, improbably, Krazy Horse looked like he was on his way to turning the franchise around!
AL: Exactly. If anyone ever asks what the fascination is with Bennett, that is one of the first clips I would show them before referring to one of his insane YouTube highlight reels. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he represents the best and the worst of MMA.
Case in point, check out his, er, “laid back” pre-fight promo work:
“My name is ‘Felony’ Charles Bennett and I’ll be fighting… that guy. That guy, I don’t know who that guy is, because they call me, ‘We’ve got a fight for you’ and I just go fight. That guy.”
“Okay, James Freeman, let’s make this a fight. Fight how you fight, I’m gonna fight how I fight. I don’t really care to see how you fight. Every fight is different, so just bring your A-game because I always bring my F-game: F**k it.”
And people say Conor McGregor has mic skills?
When last we checked in on dear “Felony”, he was getting his freak on at the first ever CamSoda show this past April. That was one of the strangest MMA events in recent memory, so I’m sure his next outing went off without incident.
Here we go! The main event is under way - James Freeman vs Charles Bennett on #IslandFights48 on #UFCFIGHTPASS! pic.twitter.com/RtALc4ZE1M— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) June 3, 2018
JM: LOL. Of course it didn’t. After probably winning the first round, Bennett gets dropped by a body shot from Freeman and cut open from strikes. When Freeman goes for the rear-naked choke, you can see the blood shoot from Bennett’s face onto the canvas and apparently that was enough for the ref to step in though Bennett in no way tapped.
I didn’t know the ref also doubled as the ringside doctor but I guess Island Fights is just ahead of the curve.
No, "Felony" Charles Bennett did not tap to this choke. Alas, the ref stops the bout due to excessive bleeding. James Freeman picks up the win; the artist formerly known as "Krazy Horse" rides a nine-fight losing streak. #IslandFights48 pic.twitter.com/mweaMIm0FB— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) June 3, 2018
AL: “Krazy Horse” also takes, like, three straight knees directly to the groin in round one and somehow that wasn’t the strangest thing that happened in this fight.
It really did look like Bennett was fully engaged here, which makes it all the more unfortunate that his never-ending skid continued and in seemingly unfair fashion. Certainly Freeman was starting to put it on him in the second round, but that doesn’t make the ending any more satisfying.
Afterwards, Bennett unleashed a backlip out of the corner anyway and then faked a handshake before collapsing on his back. He also refused to stand with the referee during the announcement of the official decision.
The hits just keep on coming for Bennett.
JM: Speaking of hits, how about that Bare Knuckle “MMA” event this weekend, huh?
Joey Beltran vs. Tony Lopez
AL: Our site has done some wonderful coverage of the inaugural Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship event, which took place Saturday in Cheyenne, Wyo. Please make sure to check out the outstanding photos and video posts put together by Esther Lin and E. Casey Lydon.
Top to bottom, this show was sheer entertainment. I understand the reservations MMA fans might have as far as the optics of bare knuckle boxing goes, but the pacing alone made this a must-see combat sports event. As far as the action itself, no fight provided a stronger proof of concept than a heavyweight meeting between noted sluggers Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran and Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez.
JM: I’m glad we are talking about this event if only to dispel this myth that bare knuckle boxing is bad or dangerous. Bare knuckle is substantially more bloody but realistically, it’s probably a lot better for the long term health of fighters — i.e. brain damage.
In bare knuckle, body work and more accurate punching is emphasized since you can’t just swing wildly at your opponent’s head or you’re likely to break your hand. Unless you’re Sam Shewmaker. Then go ahead and murder Eric Prindle with an overhand.
AL: That said, the wildly entertaining Beltran-Lopez fight probably did a lot of good for the budding promotion while also providing fodder for critics of the bare knuckle fights. This was a nasty, ugly brawl, which is not to say that it was devoid of technique, but by the fourth round there was much less of an emphasis on feints and crisp jabs than there was on these two warriors simply ripping each other to shreds.
JM: Honestly, I think this was really just veteran, regional boxing between two tough dudes made significantly more watchable because it looked more violent than it was since everything was covered in a heavy layer of blood. I’m always here for a Mexicutioner fight.
AL: If you missed out and are curious as to just how different the experience was from the MMA bouts that we’re used to, a pay-per-view replay is available now on FITE TV.
Thiago Moises vs. Jeff Peterson
Nate Jennerman vs. Kevin Croom
AL: Let’s close out this week’s episode with a segment I like to call, “Who Choked It Better?” I will present two choke submissions for your appraisal and you can decide which one was superior based on speed, technique, and overall nastiness.
Let’s give a big hand to our friends over at the Legacy Fighting Alliance for submitting these two offerings from LFA 41. First up, submission specialist Thiago Moises added to his highlight reel with tap out of Jeff Peterson in Friday’s main event in Prior Lake, Minn.
Ladies and Gentleman, @ThiagoMoisesMMA is back! #LFA41— AXS TV Fights (@AXSTVFights) June 2, 2018
Join us next week when @LFAfighting returns for their 3rd week in a row with #LFA42! pic.twitter.com/afGzCaWqfL
JM: I don’t know what the next choke will be but this ain’t really blowing my doors off. It’s a solid guillotine. Nothing rocking my world here.
AL: I applaud it from a fundamental standpoint. If this traditional guillotine choke from guard pull didn’t dazzle you, perhaps our next contestant will.
Contestant number two comes to us courtesy of Sheboygan, Wisconsin’s Nate Jennerman, who definitely wins in the speed department, needing just 48 seconds to finish Kevin Croom.
.@nastynatemma out here putting his opponent to sleep! #LFA41 @LFAfighting pic.twitter.com/JVJjUMC1Ds— AXS TV Fights (@AXSTVFights) June 2, 2018
JM: This is easy. Not only does Jennerman have a standing power guillotine, he also sleeps the dude. The contest between Jennerman and Croom was closer than between Jennerman’s guillotine and Moises.
AL: The man has spoken! Congratulations to Mr. Jennerman this week, who walked away with a big win at LFA, his opponent’s neck, and the clear winner of this week’s “Who Choked It Better?” award.
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.