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.
The UFC returned in full force this weekend with one of the year’s best cards from top to bottom, but that was just one of many MMA shows from the past seven days. So strap in, because we’ll be moving fast this time around.
Josh Jessie vs. Randy Hawkins
Murodbek Choriev vs. Chuckie Brooks
Colin Parr vs. Joe Roye
Shamrock Fighting Championships is becoming known for its finish-filled cards, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean the most elite athletes on display there, you’re probably in for a fun night of fights if you check one out. Last Friday’s show in St. Louis was no exception as nine of the 12 scheduled bouts ended inside the distance.
The Missouri-based promotion’s events are typically structured as primarily amateur affairs, with pro bouts filling out the main card. On the Twitter preliminary portion of the evening, middleweight Josh Jessie tied EJ Wall into knots for a first-round submission:
First fight. Just over a minute. Josh Jessie takes the competition out with the triangle and we've got our first finish of the night. Guess we picked a good one for our first ever LIVE Twitter prelim! #ShamrockFC309 pic.twitter.com/1qle6xpWNZ— Shamrock FC (@Shamrock_FC) September 8, 2018
Not to be outdone, lightweight Murodbek Choriev showed that he also knows his way around a triangle choke, locking one onto Chuckie Brooks and adding in some mounted punches for good measure.
When it came time for the pro portion of the card to begin, lightweight Colin Parr emphatically put his days of not being paid behind him with a slick armbar submission of KJ Jones.
The main event saw former UFC middleweights Adam Cella and James Bochnovic squaring off, with Bochnovic getting the W by first-round submission in his first post-UFC fight since being released earlier this year. You can check out that fight and a full replay of the show through FloCombat’s subscriptions service.
Godofredo Pepey vs. Alexander Torres
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Ramon Cardozo
Speaking of major league castoffs, all-action fighter Godofredo Pepey and Bellator veteran Ricardo Tirloni both picked up wins at Brave Combat Federation on Friday in Bucaramanga, Columbia. Pepey faced fellow one-time UFC competitor Alexander Torres (who, like Pepey, got his shot following a stint on an international edition of The Ultimate Fighter), while Tirloni faced the relatively inexperienced Ramon Cardozo.
Pepey is not a fan of the scorecards and that hasn’t changed now that he’s back on the regional scene as he picked up the eighth first-round submission win of his career with an armbar in the lightweight main event.
Freed from the UFC and back at lightweight, Godofredo "Pepey" Castro (14-6) put Alex Torres through the submission ringer. He snags the first-round armbar and snaps a two-fight skid. "Pepey" has finished 13 of 14 wins, 12 in the first round, and nine via sub. #BraveCF15 pic.twitter.com/KPEIsZRxfW— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) September 8, 2018
Tirloni came into his bout with Cardozo having 10 more years of experience and 24 more fights under his belt and once he made the decision to pour on the pressure, there wasn’t much that the young Mexican lightweight could do about it. He simply bullied Cardozo to the mat before finishing with a brabo choke.
Six of the seven bouts on Brave CF 15 ended in submissions and you can see them for yourself by purchasing the replay on FITE TV.
Goga Shamatava vs. Pavel Pastushkov
Imran Abaev vs. Marcelo Alfaya
Andrey Koshkin vs. Yusup Umarov
Absolute Championship Berkut needs no introduction. Saturday’s show in Krasnodar was filled with the brutal knockouts that fans have come to expect from the Russian organization.
First and foremost was flyweight Goga Shamatava’s brilliant spinning back elbow KO of Pavel Pastushkov. We covered this one on the site already, but if you haven’t seen it, then stop everything you’re doing and watch the clip:
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfectly timed spinning counter strike than that. When the time comes for fans and media to vote on the Knockout of the Year, let’s hope they don’t forget this one.
That finished overshadowed an otherwise brilliant finish by Andrey Koshkin, who caught a retreating Yusup Umarov with a head kick to end their lightweight encounter.
That one is a reminder to defend yourself at all times. The next one to always set up your takedown attempts and don’t get sloppy with them.
Welterweight Marcelo Alfaya learned that the hard way as his shot attempt was easily avoided and he was subsequently pounded into dust by Imran Abaev.
ACB 89’s bouts are available to view for free on the promotion’s YouTube channel.
Isi Fitikefu vs. Cam Rowston
The last highlight of the week comes courtesy of @FightFan_DC, who pulled a clip from Friday’s Superfight MMA show in New South Wales, Australia, to showcase 5-0 middleweight prospect Isi Fitikefu.
It looked more like Fitikefu was throwing a 98 m.p.h. fastball than a punch.
For more from Superfight Australia, the free replay of Superfight MMA 8 is available on YouTube.
Also of note were two of the week’s best fights, which came from Legacy Fighting Alliance 48 in Kearney, Neb., on Friday and UFC 228 in Dallas on Saturday.
At LFA 48, featherweight Darrick Minner had Kevin Croom in big trouble, flooring him with a punch in round one and then getting cute on the ground with a twister and a spladle attempt. Croom made it to round two where he immediately got a takedown off of a missed kick, putting Minner on the defensive. Minner shook Croom off and then went for a guillotine choke, but Croom slipped out of it to take Minner’s back where he fired away with strikes.
Unfortunately, this one was marred by what looked like an early stoppage, but you can watch the highlights from the event below and keep your eye out for the Croom-Minner bout to be uploaded to the AXS TV YouTube channel in the future.
And we can’t close up shop without mentioning the instant classic three-round battle between UFC women’s bantamweights Irene Aldana and Lucie Pudilova. This won Fight of the Night so classifying it as “overlooked” might seem strange, but there’s a good chance not everyone tuned in early to catch the evening’s second scheduled bout.
If you missed it, look at the GIF below and then picture them going non-stop like that for 15 minutes.
Aldana got the win, but both her and Pudilova were rewarded with $50,000 bonus checks for their efforts. Don’t be surprised to see this one on everybody’s Fight of the Year lists come December.
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.