Welcome to the latest edition of Missed Fists where we 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.
Kicks. We all love them. Especially kicks to the head. Everyone loves those (well, not the fighter on the receiving end, but you get what we’re saying). This week however, we’ve got a flurry of foot finishes that on the positive side, didn’t cause any concussions; on the negative side, a lot of these folks are going to be walking funny for a few weeks.
Let’s get to it.
Wojciech Wierzbicki vs. Pavel Obozny
Szymon Dusza vs. Tymoteusz Lopaczyk
Dominik Zadora vs. Lukasz Plawecki
Marcin Sianos vs. Marcin Zontek
Mateusz Rebecki vs. Daguir Imavov
AL: First, a huge tip of the cap to @wildmatt (give him a follow!) for documenting the Fight Exclusive Night 23 event in Lubin, Poland, last Friday, a show that featured some brutal kickboxing and MMA displays.
In this clip, kickboxer Wojciech Wierzbicki lands a kick to the thigh that’s so crisp, he immediately recognizes that his opponent Pavel Obozny is down for the count.
Wojciech Wierzbicki def. Pavel Obozny via LEG KICK FROM HELL! #FEN23 #Kickboxing #MMA #Fighting #Fights #TKO #Knockout https://t.co/LRdELDWLlv— wildmatt (@wildmatt) January 12, 2019
Not that he’d be able to follow with ground strikes anyway, but that really had the look of a walkoff and I’m going to give Wierzbicki extra style points for it.
JM: Let’s be honest, the early weeks of 2019 have been a little lean as far as violent content goes. No more though because not only did Wierzbicki get a leg kick TKO, we have a host of other leg-based violence on deck. Multiple leg kick TKOs is my kind of weekend, so I think it’s safe to say 2019 is back!
AL: Never gone.
Our next subject, Szymon Dusza, did not show the same restraint as Wierzbicki.
Szymon Dusza def. Tymoteusz Łopaczyk via a bunch of body kicks! One we didn't see on the replay too! #FEN23 #FEN #MMA #Fighting #Fights #KO #TKO #Knockout https://t.co/g6dnSlSa0x— wildmatt (@wildmatt) January 12, 2019
It’s moments like these that I wish I spoke Polish and could reach out to this young man, because that looked personal to me. Seriously, what could Tymoteusz Lopaczyk have done to deserve this?
JM: I basically always wish I could speak Polish because somehow over the last five years, Polish fighting sneakily became the best fighting. Case in point, look at that finish! Personal is right. That looked like Lopaczyk owed Dusza money or something.
Man, this is already a week of violent legs. You know what we could use more of? MORE LEG-BASED VIOLENCE!
AL: This next kickboxing clip is more of a slow burn, but the results are the same for Dominik Zadora. Y’all wanted more kicks, here’s MOAR KICKS.
Dominik Zadora landed a crazy amount of leg kicks vs. Lukasz Plawecki, I honestly thought the ref could have stopped it like 2 minutes earlier. lol #FEN23 #FEN #MMA #Fights #Fighting #TKO #Knockout https://t.co/HEjyBytcyg— wildmatt (@wildmatt) January 12, 2019
And if there’s any question that Lukasz Plawecki took some major damage, check out this image captured by the indispensable @Jolassanda:
Pławecki's leg after all those Zadora kicks— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 12, 2019
Dominic Zadora wins 77 kg, K-1 FEN Title by 3R low kicks KO pic.twitter.com/l8qGkkYPnv
It’s probably perspective, but that bad boy is definitely swelling up to twice the size of his other leg. Barf.
JM: This. This right here? This is my happy place — just watching big bodies get hacked down like Paul Bunyan fighting a horde of Ents. Look at that poor broken man! I’m surprised he didn’t pass out because all the blood in his body has clearly pooled in his leg and there’s none left for his brain. That’s how science works, right?
AL: Disprove it. I can’t.
FEN 23 wasn’t all about leg kicks though, we also want to shine a light on heavyweight Marcin Sianos and his absurd one shot kill of Marcin Zontek.
JM: I don’t support us moving away from leg-based violence. This better be good.
Sianos KOs Zonti pic.twitter.com/VyYVBYSnmp— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 12, 2019
I retract my statement.
I’m totally okay with leaving the leg-based violence behind if it means we’re checking out decapitations. I thought Poland outlawed the death penalty in 1997 but apparently Sianos didn’t get the memo.
AK: Neither guy has a particularly impressive record (after this, Sianos improved to 4-3 and Zontek fell to 17-12). A quick glance at Sianos’s resume tells you everything you need to know though. All of his wins have come by first-round KO and all of his losses have come by way of decision, so clearly the fans know what to expect when he enters the cage and in this case they probably got what they were hoping for.
JM: Sianos is halfway there to becoming a super fun fighter. He’s got the “obliterate people early” part down. Now he just needs to work on losing more quickly. Or just never losing again. Either one works.
Now, to finish off Poland’s finest export, how about we add the cherry on top? A slam KO courtesy of lightweight champion Mateusz Rebecki.
Mateusz Rebecki (8-1, 3 KO) broke Daguir Imavov (12-3-1, 3 KO) ribs in 1 round...and now he wants to test his skills in #UFC . #FEN23 pic.twitter.com/uMi2teaofx— przemek garczarczyk (@garnekmedia) January 12, 2019
Now, technically this isn’t a slam KO, but Dagur Imavov’s corner stopped the bout in between rounds due to a rib injury and that is almost surely the cause of it.
AL: This was Rebecki’s second consecutive title defense and at 9-1 with six consecutive wins, the 26-year-old Pole is certainly one to watch and due for a step up in competition.
Andy Tang vs. Jun Hong Ye
Jung Da-Un vs. Abutalib Khalilov
AL: We’re not quite through with the kick-sanity yet. Let’s zip on over to Taipei City, Taiwan, where another combat sports variety show took place featuring grappling, traditional martial arts contest, and also MMA. And guess what? You can watch it all for free on YouTube:
In a 165-pound catchweight bout, South Korea’s Sung Kwon Kim scored a leg kick finish of Andre Oliveira that may have topped the previous clips.
LEGKICK KO! Kim Sung-Kwon def. Andre Luis Oliveira via TKO with 1 legkick.#WOTD3 #asianmma #MMA pic.twitter.com/e0VR8lyEst— J. Hyon Ko (@JHKMMA) January 12, 2019
That’s a “He Fell Funny” candidate if I’ve ever seen one, but I ain’t laughing. Oliveira even did a stretcher job afterwards to put Kim over, so credit to him for that.
JM: With so much kick-violence abound this weekend, at this point, I think it’s fair to ask…
“Who Kicked It Better?”
Who Kicked It Better?
This poll is closed
Wojciech Wierzbicki cracks Pavel Obozny’s leg
Szymon Dusza pulverizes Tymoteusz Lopaczyk’s organs
Dominik Zadora inflates Lukasz Plawecki’s thigh
Sung Kwon Kim makes Andre Oliveira fall funny
Personally, I am partial to Dusza performing an appendectomy on Lopaczyk with repeated body kicks but if we are exclusively talking leg kick action, I think this one takes it. Unlike the other ones, Oliveira falls over like something broke in his leg immediately, not like his leg just gave out. Plus, the stretcher makes it feel so much worse.
AL: I’m oddly going with Dusza’s “Polish rage” as well.
Next, one of the best fights of the year so far in my humble opinion, a three-round slopfest between Andy Tang and Jun Hong Ye.
Andy Tang def. Jun Hong Ye via UD in a very sloppy but entertaining fight #WOTD3 #asianmma #MMA pic.twitter.com/aGE0Q8jvpa— J. Hyon Ko (@JHKMMA) January 12, 2019
You can catch the whole thing starting around the 4:45:00 mark of the show and I highly recommend doing so.
Swangin’ and bangin’? Check. Successful knockdowns that the fighters don’t know how to capitalize on? Check. Walking through several punches to land one of your own? Check. It’s got it all!
Keep in mind, Mitch Aguiar vs. Mumia Abu Dey-Ali was one of my five favorite fights of 2018, so mileage may vary in this instance.
JM: This is definitely a very fun fight. I’m always a fan of two guys forgetting (or more likely, not knowing in the first place) that defense exists. It can’t rise to the level of future Fight of the Year contender for me because it lacks the wild scrambles that I need for a FOTY. That being said, you’re gonna be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable 15 minutes from this past weekend in fighting.
Also, to be fair to Tang, he only had one fight in his career before this. This is how a 1-0 fighter should look! Ye on the other hand had a 6-1 amateur record coming into this fight and you would expect him to look a little cleaner. Maybe the pro debut jitters got him?
AL: I want to add that if anyone wants more info on this event, please read John Hyon Ko’s (@JHKMMA) recap over at AsianMMA. According to Ko, light heavyweight main event winner Jung Da-Un (10-2) could be bound for the major leagues soon after picking up his ninth straight win with a second-round TKO of previously unbeaten Abutalib Khalilov (4-1).
Korean Top Team's Jung Da-Un earns his 9th straight victory. The UFC or ONE should be next for this young talent. #WOTD3 #MMA #asianmma pic.twitter.com/l5U2YItkQ0— J. Hyon Ko (@JHKMMA) January 12, 2019
Jason Gavril vs. Cody Leas
Brandon Pearson vs. Kevin Mueller
AL: Back in North America, there was one more Friday event that caught our eye, Shamrock FC 314, which took place in St. Charles, Mo.
Amateur welterweight Jason Gavril caught Cody Leas with an arm-triangle and put some extra sauce on it, walking it all the way over into more of a bulldog choke.
Got 'em.— FloCombat (@FloCombat) January 13, 2019
...annnnnd exhaustion. #ShamrockFC314 (@Shamrock_FC) pic.twitter.com/aIi4XeEYV7
Not the fanciest sub by any means, but I love how Gavril just collapses afterwards. You can tell he literally put everything he had left into that finish.
JM: Apparently he had to because Leas was gutting through a fully locked on arm-triangle! Gavril must have left some space in there when he cinched it up. Either that or Leas is just an absolute madman. But no matter how tough you are, if you go from an arm-triangle all the way to a sitout position, you’re gonna get the tap.
AL: And it wouldn’t be a Shamrock show without someone getting merked in under 30 seconds. This week’s unfortunate victim? Featherweight Kevin Mueller, whose pro debut was spoiled by fellow newcomer Brandon Pearson.
Remember how we said some more KOs were coming?— FloCombat (@FloCombat) January 13, 2019
Yep. This took less than 30 seconds. (@Shamrock_FC) #WATCH NOW: https://t.co/EOqUw733sL pic.twitter.com/v5IP3MugCJ
Pearson actually catches Mueller with a pretty nice follow-up left after rocking him with a right hand, showing the kind of accuracy you don’t normally see at this level. Maybe it was luck or maybe Pearson is the next Donald Cerrone.
JM: Judging from the way it was thrown, I’m gonna say it’s closer to the former than the latter but that’s not a knock on Pearson. You throw punches to land them and that shoveling right hand shocked Mueller, giving him the chance to follow up and finish things off.
AL: Either way, he’s got a 19-second knockout on his record and that’s always cause to celebrate.
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.