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.
Somehow in a weekend that managed to feature two (TWO!) Bellator cards and a UFC event in Boise, Idaho, there was still plenty of room for the smaller promotions to leave their mark.
Takumi Tamaru vs. Yosuke Saruta
AL: Speaking of leaving a mark, we thought we’d start off with this quick hit from a July 15 Shooto event in Tokyo, Japan.
Head kick finishes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are of the “no doubt he’s dead, baseball bat shin to the head” variety. Some are of the “how did that guy score a knockout with the tips of his toes” variety. And then there’s what happened to Yosuke Saruta on Sunday.
Jed, how would you describe what happened to Sarura’s face here:
with this beautiful kick Takumi Tamaru changed Yosuke Saruta into alien to win the fight (Shooto) pic.twitter.com/WAnBrByl9E— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) July 15, 2018
JM: “Sucks to be you, homie.”
Saruta clearly got his orbital all types of broken by the spinning back kick of Takumi Tamaru. That looks more painful than most things in the world and I don’t envy him. It would appear that I don’t want to be a f**king fighter.
AL: Where would you rank this on the “Hematom-eter”? Worse than Mark Hominick? Matt Mitrione?
JM: Significantly worse. It’s one of those things, where it’s the least painful looking of almost any of them, but it’s dramatically worse in actuality. Mitrione and Hominick didn’t have anything fundamentally shattered in their skulls. Saruta’s whole face got broke and sometimes you don’t ever come back the same after that. Remember how Koschek looked after GSP broke his eye?
AL: And now I’m sick all over again.
Zebaztian Kadestam vs. Agilan Thani
AL: I need to think happy thoughts now, so let’s visit our friends at ONE Championship, who seem to be putting on quality shows almost every week. Last Friday was no different, as the promotion returned to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with an event full of finishes and a solid main event.
Before we get to the showdown between Zebaztian Kadestan and Agilan Thani, perhaps you could share your thoughts on Ariel Sexton’s ridiculous submission of Kota Shimoishi.
JM: That was a cheeky finish right there. It’s pretty hard to actually finish a reverse triangle with the choke because it’s such an awkward position so switching it up into an americana is very smart. I thought he was gonna go for a wrist lock but grabbing that elbow was dope and that certainly has to be up there in the Submission of the Year conversation.
AL: Agreed, and it will be up to us to educate the rest of the staff come awards season.
As far as non-title ONE main events go, you can’t do much better than Kadestam vs. Thani. It’s pretty much what you’d expect when you throw these two together, with Kadestam being a wicked striker and Thani being an absolutely fearless 22 year old. Kadestam is clearly superior from a technical standpoint, but when you’re dealing with a wild card like Thani there’s a lot of fun to be had.
JM: That’s the thing about 22 year olds, they just don’t know any better. Thani was more than willing to get in Kadestam’s face and make a scrap of it and while it made for a fun fight and gave him a good shot at winning going into the third, it also get him finished and resulted in him losing the “Fighters who have lost to Ben Askren” derby.
AL: You get the feeling that Kadestam was starting to find his groove in round two and when he found an opening to put Thani away in round three, he did so with great disdain:
As mentioned, Kadestam is also on the list of Askren defeats, but he’s such an entertaining fighter that I hope he gets a few more ONE headlining spots before dipping his toes in UFC or Bellator waters.
ONE: Pursuit of Power is available for replay on the ONE YouTube channel and all of their upcoming events can be streamed live via their app.
Akhmed Gakiev vs. German Barsegyan
Kirill Sukhomlinov vs. Rustam Makhauri
Akhmed Shervaniev vs. Arsen Ubaidulaev
AL: Now that I’ve put the grisly image of Saruta’s busted up face in the rearview, I’m ready to move on to World Fighting Championship Akhmat 49 in Grozny, Chechnya, and enjoy some good, wholesome… wait, what’s next?
Akhmed Gakiev just broke German Barsegyan's arm (WFCA) pic.twitter.com/CY0tnrNloL— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) July 14, 2018
JM: This is a particularly rough week for body parts, isn’t it? Why did I agree to do this?
AL: You love it.
It’s frightening how quickly German Barsegyan’s arm pops out here, and thankfully both Akhmed Gakiev and the referee noticed right away that this one was done. What do you think happened there? Did he make a mistake defending the takedown or was this just one of those freak things?
JM: It’s tough to say for sure but it looked like he just got spiked directly onto his elbow with the full body weight of two grown men and bones and joints can only handle so much direct trauma. I mean, we’ve seen substantially similar takedowns before, that one just happened to have a brutal ending.
Those are the breaks, as it were.
AL: Our next clip should also appeal to people who hate arms, as Kirill Sukhomlinov took hold of Rustam Makhauri’s limb and refused to let go until the tap came (at which point he released immediately, sparing us a repeat of the Barsegyan situation).
Kirill Sukhomlinov (20-8) broke his 4 year, 4 fight losing streak with this nice round 3 kimura from bottom vs. Rustam Makhauri #WFCA49 pic.twitter.com/ahuN3IIxv5— DC Howard (@FightFan_DC) July 14, 2018
JM: Yeah this was just highly quality jiu-jitsu and I’m always here for that. Plus that dude’s arm didn’t leave his socket and, consequently, make my lunch leave my stomach, so bonus points for that.
AL: I also like that Sukhomlinov was getting the worse of the standup despite facing a far less experienced opponent, though when you look at his preferred method of victory (20 wins, 17 by submission) you can see why. He’s an all-or-nothing grappler and while that hasn’t worked out for him in recent years, his specialty proved effective enough on Saturday for him to pick up his first victory since November 2013.
In the main event, Akhmed Shervaniev showed that he is a legitimate prospect with this TKO win over 12-year journeyman Arsen Ubaidulaev.
this was brutal— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) July 14, 2018
Akhmed Shervaniev TKOs Arsen Ubaidulaev in 2R (WFCA 49) pic.twitter.com/5yh8aU1ILW
JM: When you start throwing a desperation spinning back fist as you fall down, you know you’re in trouble.
Shervaniev has the makings of yet another very good Russian MMA prospect. He has a near spotless record that shows him styling on regional talent which is something always worth noticing and in this fight he showed some tools that make me want to keep an eye on him. Granted, Arsen Ubaidulaev isn’t exactly a world beater but he’s a veteran fighter whose proven to be fairly durable and Shervaniev busted him up. Definitely one to watch.
AL: Readers can catch a replay of the 15-fight WFCA 49 show on the promotion’s YouTube channel.
Shawn Briggs vs. Clayton Whaley
AL: For our last clip, I have to get up on my soapbox for a minute and call out the MMA community for getting overly excited whenever something that even vaguely resembles a professional wrestling move gets busted out in a fight.
We’ve certainly participated in this discussion, but it’s getting out of hand. No offense to the fine folks over at Shamrock FC, but I think going all caps here was a bit much:
FISHERMAN BRAINBUSTER IN MMA BY SHAUN BRIGGS BAH GAWD #ShamrockFC307 pic.twitter.com/qz2mKWEu8A— Shamrock FC (@Shamrock_FC) July 15, 2018
Am I out of line? Is this more spectacular than I’m giving it credit for?
JM: You know I don’t know much about pro wrestling but isn’t that just a bad version of a cradle suplex? The most pro wrestling move that happened this weekend was definitely from the UFC.
When your kids are climbing all over you in the morning and you have just had enough. pic.twitter.com/kSqyrgy29M— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) July 14, 2018
As always, shouts to “Krazy Horse” for being the progenitor of that great throw.
AL: I’m saying, if we’re calling that a “fisherman brainbuster”, then Charles Bennett’s move is a like a “720 unicorn spin of destruction” or something. I’ll give Briggs a “DDT”, maybe, but even that’s being generous. I just see a front facelock into a nice trip.
Maybe we watch too much MMA.
JM: Sounds a little more like you watch too much pro wrestling.
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.