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.
Finishes, finishes, finishes! That’s what’s in store for readers this week as we look at a few scraps from the last seven days that required zero participation from the judges.
Ramiz Brahimaj vs. William Macario
JM: In the words of the wise philosophers the Wu-Tang Clan, best protect ya neck.
AL: Indeed. We featured Ramiz Brahimaj on a previous edition of Missed Fists, though it was in a losing effort in a gutsy three-round battle with Evan Cutts at a Legacy Fighting Alliance show in May.
Now it’s Brahimaj’s turn to be on the other side of a highlight. At LFA 47 in Dallas last Friday, the 25-year-old welterweight took out William Macario with a wicked guillotine choke.
Add another submission victory to the record of @170Ramiz! #LFA47 @LFAfighting pic.twitter.com/oya6wCsZoA— AXS TV Fights (@AXSTVFights) August 11, 2018
“Patolino” had a brush with the UFC, stepping in for an injured Santiago Ponzinibbio to face Leonardo Santos in the TUF: Brazil 2 welterweight tournament final. He lost to Santos, but notched one UFC win over Bobby Voelker before a pair of losses sent him back to the regional scene where he went 2-0 before running into Brahimaj.
JM: That’s one hell of a squeeze by Brahimaj. Macario wasn’t in that thing for very long before he went to sleep.
AL: This is one of those technical submission where it’s hard to fault Macario for not tapping out because he probably didn’t even know he was in trouble.
Keep an eye on AXS TV for future events from LFA and other regional promotions.
Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Ryuichiro Sumimura
Mikura Asakura vs. Hatsu Hioki
Roque Martinez vs. “Samurai Mark Hunt”
JM: Speaking of sending squeezing someone’s neck until they go to dreamland, it would be a dereliction of duty if we didn’t shout-out former UFC welterweight Kiichi Kunimoto who submitted Ryuichiro Sumimura at the buzzer with an arm-triangle choke at Rizin 12 on Sunday in Nagoya, Japan.
#RIZIN #RIZINFF #RIZIN12 pic.twitter.com/xNYeZl6pA8— Jonnyboy (@JBNeverDies) August 12, 2018
Anytime there is a race against the clock it’s exciting and Kunimoto didn’t just get the tap with no time to lose, he slept the poor guy. This was definitely my favorite thing that happened over the weekend.
AL: The official time of the stoppage was 4:59 of round one. Now that is cutting it close.
People forget that “Strasser” was a top welterweight in Japan before coming over to the UFC, where he actually won his first three fights (though one was by DQ and another was a split decision). So wasn’t too surprising to see him get past the streaking Sumimura.
Unfortunately, there was another veteran who wasn’t so lucky.
Hatsu Hioki vs. Mikuru Asakura #RIZIN12 pic.twitter.com/xAVrzmgntR— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) August 12, 2018
JM: This fight makes me sad.
I’m not sure if anyone will remember this, but once upon a time, Hatsu Hioki was considered the second-best 145er on the planet, behind only Jose Aldo. He held the featherweight belts in both Sengoku and Shooto, with a game built around precise, fundamental striking and elite grappling. Now he’s getting bolted by a guy whose Tapology picture is him shooting the bird to the camera. MMA is the cruelest sport.
AL: Mikuru Asakura is about a decade younger than Hioki and with the undefeated Father Time in Asakura’s corner, that meant bad news for Hioki. You can see how loose and sharp Asakura is in this clip and when he fires off the head kick, Hioki has no chance of avoiding it.
If you want to be even more bummed out, this was Hioki’s third straight loss, all by first-round knockout. At 35, we might be seeing the last days of a criminally underappreciated fighter.
Our last Rizin note involves a fighter nicknamed “Samurai Mark Hunt”, which all but guaranteed he’d be getting a Missed Fists mention.
Roque Martinez vs. Samurai Mark Hunt #RIZIN12 pic.twitter.com/ewLw6Cuncu— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) August 12, 2018
JM: Look, I’m not here to tell you that Kiyoshi Kuwabara isn’t an incredibly fun fighter to watch — he is — but I will not stand for this “Samurai Mark Hunt” lunacy.
Mark Hunt is a former K-1 champion, has a top-5 all-time chin, and has perfected the walkoff kill shot; literally none of those traits were on display here. Kuwabara threw wild, brawling hooks, couldn’t really hurt Roque Martinez, and got teed off on en route to a stoppage loss. I’m sorry, but that’s just not gonna cut it if you want to have a nom de guerre referencing one of the coolest men to ever lace up four-ounce gloves.
AL: I’m with you on this one. As much as I respect Kuwabara doing what he can to pay homage to a fighter he admires and also get himself some publicity, this is literally the opposite of making a name for yourself. That’s a slippery slope to go down.
And you better deliver on fight night, which Kuwabara did to some degree, but when you consider that Martinez was clowning on him before getting the finish, this probably isn’t one Kuwabara will want to remember.
Roque Martinez vs. Samurai Mark Hunt #RIZIN12 pic.twitter.com/WAV2cfxQ3S— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) August 12, 2018
If you missed Rizin 12, make sure to check out the full results coverage by our own Peter Carroll and you can purchase a replay of the show yourself at FITE TV.
Justin Smith vs. Giovanni Pretorious
Anthony Mailer vs. Duane Jones
AL: Let’s close out by heading to Cape Town for a South African edition of Who Punched It Better?, courtesy of the fine folks at Extreme Fighting Championship Worldwide.
Up first from the Saturday show, we have some stylin’ and profilin’ by welterweight Justin Smith:
He talks the talk and walks the walk! Justin Smith UNLEASHED the Power! #EFC72 pic.twitter.com/DqseqfbohA— EFC (@EFCworldwide) August 11, 2018
JM: Good gracious that was violent. Plus, I’m a sucker for fighters whipping out the bolo punch. Not quite it, but close enough for me to enjoy.
AL: While I’d describe Smith’s finishing sequence as fun, this next KO by featherweight Anthony Mailer is anything but:
That left hook on the money! @AnthonyRMailer with the KO win! #EFC72 pic.twitter.com/P8B66jrJOJ— EFC (@EFCworldwide) August 11, 2018
JM: This is a tough one. Smith’s looked like it was harder, but at the same time, Mailer’s hook looked like it was perfectly placed and turned the switch off. I’ll still take Smith’s though as it certainly seemed more violent even if it may not have actually been as hard.
AL: Point to Smith, but why don’t we let the readers have the final word?
Who Punched It Better?
This poll is closed
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.