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.
Before we continue, please make sure to check out the special edition of Missed Fists that we dedicated to the late, great Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto last week.
There is a ton of intriguing action to get to this week, starting with a pair of outstanding performances from Canada and Alaska, then we check in on a UFC vet and a Bellator vet capturing championship gold, and then the usual odds and ends from around the globe.
Ciryl Gane vs. Adam Dyczka
Kyle Dela Rosa vs. Tristin Lowe
AL: When we come across a heavyweight who can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time, we tend to get a little over-excited and that’s exactly what happened when I went back to watch Ciryl Gane’s fight with Adam Dyczka from last Friday.
In the co-main event of TKO 44 in Quebec City, Gane was defending his recently won heavyweight title against Dyczka, considered by many to be one of the top big man prospects in all of North America. Dyczka is only 27 and he came into this one undefeated at 7-0, while Gane, 28, was competing in just his second pro MMA bout after going 13-0 in Muay Thai.
The pre-fight promo even referred to Dyczka as the “uncrowned champion”. Gane and his team, which includes Francis Ngannou coach Fernand Lopez, had other ideas. The Frenchman made expert use of his listed 83-inch reach (!) and impressive agility to pick Dyczka apart.
After pummeling Dyczka for almost two rounds, Gane put him away in brutal fashion:
JM: HE THREW A DOUBLE PUNCH. GANE IS OUR NEW KING! GANE AND NGANNOU, TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS OF MY HEART!
But seriously, I had no idea who Gane was coming into this weekend and now all I want to see is more of him. Dude not only looked like a top-shelf heavyweight prospect, he went spinning backfist into double punch. This man is the most heroic of individuals.
AL: Zipping over to the 49th state, we check in on the fine folks at Alaska Fighting Championship who held a show in Anchorage last Wednesday. One of the standouts on the card was pro debutant Kyle Dela Rosa, who impressed first with his rock-paper-scissors skills, easily slicing through Tristin Lowe’s paper.
JM: It’s no secret we have favorites here at Missed Fists — we will always ride hard for Charles Bennett and I will robustly defend the argument that KSW is the best fight promotion in the world right now — but it’s possible that Alaska FC is our favorite child. It’s basically the perfect distillation of everything great about regional MMA and this right here is a prime example of why: two guys, having fun, letting it all hang out, and throwing hands old school style.
Absolute fail at the start though. You always come out throwing rock. Need to set the tempo with power moves out of the gate.
AL: There’s no arguing with Dela Rosa’s knee-to-the-body skills though.
JM: Shout out to my dude’s liver, it was a good friend that didn’t deserve to die so soon. Also, with this outcome can we now safely say that rock-paper-scissors is the most effective background for MMA?
AL: I’m not saying it is, but it would be folly to rule it out at this point.
Both TKO 44 and AFC 141 are available for replay on the UFC’s Fight Pass service.
Ali Bagautinov vs. Denis Araujo Oliveira Fontes
Bubba Jenkins vs. Elias Boudegzdame
AL: Now we move on to a pair of former big show vets, one-time UFC flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov, and NCAA wrestling champion and former Bellator standout Bubba Jenkins.
Bagautinov’s post-UFC career got off to a rough start when he was on the receiving end of a head kick KO loss to upset specialist Tyson Nam. Since then, he’s bounced back with four straight wins, including Sunday’s triumph at Battle of Volga 6 in Samara, Russia, over Denis Araujo Oliveira Fontes.
The bout can be viewed at this link.
For anyone who hasn’t seen him in a while, Bagautinov remains a brilliant wrestler and he artfully timed his takedowns to counter the aggression of Fontes. Make no mistake, he had to be on top of his game because Fontes pushed the pace in this one for 15 minutes.
JM: BOOOOO. No one likes wrestling. Give me double punches and knees to the body that fold homies up like lawn chairs.
AL: Ah yes, the finer things.
JM: At it’s best MMA is a carnival sideshow. That’s what I’m in this game for.
At one point in time, Ali Bags was one of the very best flyweights in the world, and, if we’re being honest with ourselves, he probably still is. This dude has only lost to the most elite 125ers on Earth — and Nam — but it’s hard to get too pumped up about his current win streak. He’s beating solid regional talent for the most part. When my guy gets back in the cage with top tier fighters, then I’m down watch him belie his “Puncher” nickname. But until then, he needs to do something super dope to get back on my radar.
AK: Over in the co-main event of Brave CF 16 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Jenkins completed a seven-year journey from his first pro bout to his first MMA title last Friday. He took on the promotion’s golden boy Elias Boudegzdame and outworked him for five rounds en route to finally adding an MMA belt to his trophy case.
JM: You’re killing me here. At least Ali Bags was a one-time (perhaps still) great fighter. Bubba Jenkins is one of the foremost examples of why people should temper their expectations of elite collegiate wrestlers porting over into MMA.
I distinctly remember when Bubba put his shoes on the mat and everyone in MMA thought he was going to be the second coming. Then he got stopped by LaRue Burley. Maybe this is the kind of confidence building win that Jenkins can build off of though. It is good to see his cardio hold up for 25 minutes, considering that has been a concern for him in previous bouts but I’ve been burned too many times before with Jenkins. If he can put together a title reign, then I might get back on the Bubba Jenkins bandwagon.
So yes, it was a big weekend for guys who at one point had bright ceilings, but people don’t come here for the technically sound wrestling of erstwhile title challengers. They come for for the ultraviolence. What else have you got for us on that front?
AL: Should you be of a more refined taste than some bloodthirsty folk, a replay of Brave CF 16 is available for purchase on FITE TV.
But if it’s finishes you want, then finishes you shall have.
Koyomi Matsushima vs. Marat Gafurov
AL: I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about Koyomi Matsushima, but I guess that’s why this upset is worth mentioning in the first place. From what I can gather, the 25-year-old Japanese fighter has been a prospect over in Pancrase for some time, though he’s taken losses to more experienced fighters like Isao Kobayashi, Marlon Sandro, and current UFC fighter Rolando Dy.
On Saturday at ONE Championship: Conquest of Heroes (available for replay on the promotion’s YouTube channel) in Jakarta, Indonesia, Matsushima picked up the biggest win of his young career, knocking off former ONE featherweight titleholder Marat Gafurov.
upset— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) September 22, 2018
Koyomi Matsushima TKOs Marat Gafurov in 1R pic.twitter.com/wM40CoSDGb
JM: Okay. That’s not bad. Certainly getting back on the right track, especially because that is a fairly big win for Matsushima. But what about something a little more exotic?
AL: In United States regional action, Bill Algeo (a.k.a. “Senor Perfecto”) closed out last Friday’s Ring of Combat 65 show in Atlantic City, N.J., with a snapping front kick that would have made Ralph Macchio proud.
JM: This is what we came for! Who doesn’t love a good jumping front kick? More fighters should try and channel the ghost of Lyoto Machida.
AL: ROC 65 is available for replay with a subscription to FloCombat.
Austin Batra vs. Perry Hayer
AL: We typically like to close out on a big finish, but how about we settle for a bizarre one this time around?
JM: It’s definitely extremely MMA to ruin a highlight reel KO by being an ass. Stuff like this is only acceptable if you’re Dan Henderson and Hendo only gets away with it because he has some magic that makes him impervious to the general criticisms most MMA fans are subject to.
Was there some reason for Batra’s absurdly late attack? Or did he just want to be cool?
AL: According to this interview with Jeremy Brand of MMA Sucka, he was just being aggressive and couldn’t change his attack mid-air. He doesn’t sound too pleased with the whole situation, but keep in mind this was just moments after the fight had ended so it’s understandable that he’s upset and probably hadn’t seen any replays of the footage.
JM: I want to believe him, I really do. I just can’t.
He starts his jump after the referee is already sliding into position and then tries to finish the attack even while the ref is boxing him out. Whole thing reeks of someone who wanted to hit an unconscious guy. And for as outrageous and awful as this sport can sometimes be, we can’t have that kind of behavior. I’m not saying we should drag him through the streets, but I’m more than fine with him getting DQ’ed.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Heavyweight prospect Ciryl Gane clobbers Adam Dyczka
Kyle Dela Rosa wins in-cage rock-paper-scissors battle
Koyomi Matsushima upsets Marat Gafurov
Bill Algeo channels the ghost of Lyoto Machida to kick Scott Heckman
Austin Batra goes for a post-KO finishing blow
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.