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 stick stateside for a few highlights before heading over to Slovakia for one of the best fight’s of the past seven days. First, we wish happy trails to a retiring fighter.
Yaotzin Meza vs. Gilberto Aguilar
AL: There’s a lot of good things going on with the Combate Americas promotion these days, but right now let’s talk about one of the preliminary bouts from Friday’s Combate 22 show in Phoenix. Arizona-based fighter and 12-year MMA veteran Yaotzin Meza picked up a first-round submission over journeyman Gilberto Aguilar and then proceeded to announce his retirement from the sport.
UFC vet Yaotzin Meza submits Gilberto Aguilar in his first fight since his exit from the UFC in 2016. The MMA Lab product announced his retirement after the bout, completing a 12-year professional career. #Combate22 pic.twitter.com/V63UMhbimt— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) September 15, 2018
Posted by Giovanni Meza on Saturday, September 15, 2018
JM: At 37 years old, it’s tough for me to say that Meza doesn’t need to retire, but as he showed in this bout, I do think there is still plenty of fight left in the MMA Lab product.
Meza didn’t have a great run in the UFC but he also didn’t get a lot of softballs either. He debuted against Chad Mendes and also had to fight Sergio Pettis and Arnold Allen! That being said, I am always a fan of people retiring from sports where their bodies are systematically destroyed every day, even when they do it in the middle of the game.
AL: I’d write, “I can’t wait for the day that an MMA fighter retires in the middle of a fight,” but somehow, somewhere, I’m almost certain this has happened already.
Even though Meza was given a favorable matchup against a lightly regarded opponent, that’s frankly how I wish more fighters would go out if they have the luxury of booking that kind of arrangement. As you mentioned, Meza was clearly able to compete at a high level, he just didn’t have that extra gear to get past some of the bantamweight killers in the UFC. He retires with a 22-11 (1 NC) record.
Happy trails, Mr. Meza.
The rest of the preliminary portion of Combate 22 is available for free on Facebook.
Samuel Kristofic vs. Grzegorz Siwy
Radovan Uskrt vs. Lukasz Bugara
AL: Up next, we visit our friends at Oktagon MMA in Bratislava, Slovakia, where they held their ninth show on Saturday.
The middleweight main event saw 10-1 Samuel Kristofic trying to impress the home crowd with a win over Poland’s Grzegorz Siwy and while they both put on a show, it was Siwy who took the win here.
JM: Now this highlights the other great thing about regional MMA: two dudes just letting it all hang out, even though they may not come with the most technical offense in the world.
AL: Siwy is a lot of fun to watch, just an aggressive fighter who hunts for head shots and shoots for power doubles without much set-up. From this small sample, I got the sense that Kristofic was the more technical fighter, he just couldn’t keep up with Siwy’s aggression. After two rounds of high volume action, this one kind of fizzled in the third with Kristofic unable to get up off his back, but overall a fine showing from the headliners.
An undercard welterweight matchup between Radovan Uskrt and Lukasz Bugara had a considerably more explosive ending.
Radovan Úškrt T/KOs Łukasz Bugara in 1R (Okaagon) pic.twitter.com/5tmBKmvrx9— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) September 15, 2018
5-2 now as a pro, all of Uskrt’s wins have come in under three minutes by knockout, so expect to see us writing about him again soon.
JM: Bugara is lucky Herb Dean wasn’t reffing or else Uskrt would still be teeing off on him.
While that was a fine back-and-forth scrap and a great finish, I’m shocked you have yet to mention the best fight of the weekend: Tito Ortiz versus the English language. English is the only opponent who has given Tito more trouble than Chuck Liddell has over the years so it is only fitting that “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” continued taking those Ls during his first press conference for Tito-Chuck III.
Literally, the first words he says: “Las Vegas, California.” Tito with a live mic is maybe the best thing in MMA and we should all treasure the fact that we have this back in our lives.
AL: And look at that head movement.
I’m not saying I’m in favor of this fight happening, but I’m also not not saying that I’m in favor of this fight happening.
If you must know, Liddell-Ortiz 3 will air on pay-per-view on Nov. 24 in Inglewood, right near LOS ANGELES, California.
AL: Now, on to some quick hits.
Stephen Regman vs. Will Santiago
JM: In this fight from Legacy Fighting Alliance 49 last Friday, Stephen Regman looked like a guy we might need to pay attention to.
Will Santiago is no world beater, but he’s an established veteran who trains at one of the premier camps in MMA and Regman styled on him. It’s not every day you see a jump knee to right hand killshot combo so when you do, everyone should stand up and take notice.
AL: Fans may recognize the perpetually undersized Santiago from his solid three-round effort in a loss to Kevin Holland on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series earlier this year. “The Brown Bomber” is a respected competitor on the New England regional scene, but on this trip to the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., the dice came up snake eyes for him.
JM: It warms my heart that Tuff-N-Uff is still alive and kicking.
AL: This promotion, from the name (oh, what a name), to the graphics, to the overall feel, really still feels like its rooted in the mid-00s and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.
Especially when the action remains as entertaining as ever, as evidenced by David Jordan dispatching longtime Xtreme Couture representative Gil Guardado with an exquisite counter right:
JM: Fighting needs awful regional MMA to keep that “Let’s go to the bar/barn and watch some yokels wail on each other” spirit alive. Don’t get me wrong, elite level MMA is still miles better but too much glitz and glamour and you forget that when it all boils down to it, we’re just watching a fistfight.
Also, wow did Guardado get slept. That’s gonna smart for awhile.
Troy Jones vs. Casey Greene
AL: We picked this one up when it happened, but ICYMI make sure you watch this head kick KO from last Friday’s Glory kickboxing show in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
I don’t know if you can connect with more shin than Troy Jones did right there. Care to break this one down for us?
JM: He killed him.
AL: Yes, but how did he murder him?
JM: I didn’t say murder. Murder implies criminality. That poor fool signed a contract to fight Jones. This was all perfectly above board even if Casey Greene is now six feet beneath it.
AL: Kidding aside, let’s hope Greene wasn’t hurt too seriously and that we see him back in action soon.
Glory 58 is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Yaotzin Meza hangs up the gloves after 12 years of fighting
Samuel Kristofic and Grzegorz Siwy impress in Oktagon 9 main event
Tito Ortiz holds court in Las Veg... er, Los Angeles
Stephen Regman’s jump knee-right hand KO combo
David Jordan’s walk-off counter-punch
Troy Jones with the mother of all head kicks
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.