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Missed Fists: Bas Rutten and Danny Trejo bring you... Karate Combat!

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Actor Danny Trejo handling the announcing duties at Karate Combat: Hollywood in Los Angeles on Jan. 24
@UFCFightPass, Twitter

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.

We’re sorry, everyone. MMA is dead.

Long live Karate Combat.

Karate Combat: Hollywood

JM: By now, readers of this column should know about our affinity for CamSodaLegends, one of the single greatest fight events of all time. And while I am saddened by the fact that that glorious promotion likely will never rear its head again, I take solace in knowing that Karate Combat is here to merge some of the great WTF events of the past into one delightful train wreck.

Yes, that is a man completely whiffing on a spinning back kick. Iconic.

AL: Man… imagine if that had connected though. There’d be a stain on those mats.

JM: Karate Combat is essentially full-contact karate held in the Yamma Pit. Takedowns are allowed, but only five seconds of ground-and-pound are permitted before the fighters stand again, uppercuts are forbidden because reasons, and Danny F*cking Trejo is the announcer.

AL: And he’s not half-arsing it either. He does all the fighter introductions, orders them to enter the pit, and announces the winners. Plus, his head pops up on the big screen at the start of every round to go, “ROUND [X]... FIGHT!”

JM: The entire event is a fever dream of absurdity and I could not be more here for it. Plus the mix of guys who have never really fought before being thrown into legitimate fist fights leads to stuff like this:

I hope this organization lives forever.

AL: That was such a sweet one-shot KO by Teeik Silva, especially since his opponent Kevin Kowalczik was being kind of a jerk with lots of late hits after referee breaks. Kowalczik looks like a perfect Hollywood villain, so Silva’s win was extra satisfying.

Speaking of Hollywood villains...

JM: Did I mention that Karate Combat’s idea of celebrities is the bad guy from The Karate Kid (which, wow does that name reek of the 80s or what?). No, not Billy Zabka — the kid Daniel-san crane kicks in the face — Martin Kove, the coach who abuses teenage boys into becoming karate bullies.

Sidebar: if you have the time, I highly recommend checking out his filmography. It is exactly what you would expect of the nominal antagonist in an 80s teen karate series.

Karate Combat unironically interviewing him and talking to him about how his fictional students would fare is the best thing that has ever happened.

AL: Not being a karate expert by any stretch, I can’t say how Cobra Kai’s best would do inside the pit. On the other hand… some of this cannot possibly be karate.

Don’t get me wrong, this fight between Milos Vukovic and Igor de Castaneda might be my favorite of 2019 so far, but I can imagine Pat Morita is somewhere up in the sky frowning at this.

JM: Quit trying to talk about the fights! Those are completely incidental to the majesty of this event. LOOK AT THE PROMO PACKAGES:

William Wallace the Fighting Biologist! To paraphrase Mark Watney, “He’s gonna science the shit out of this.” And he’s gonna need to as the genetic profiles (yes, that’s a thing they do for all the fighters) indicate he is lacking in muscle strength.

AL: And here’s Mr. Callum Robb in action (he would go on to lose a decision to Elhadji Ndour):

JM: I’ve never loved something as much as I love Karate Combat. Please don’t make me talk about anything else. This is a Karate Combat column now.

AL: In that case, perhaps you’d like to explain the Karate Combat HUD?

JM: What more needs to be said? You can know who is winning at any given moment by their damage meter which seems to be entirely arbitrary. I want to be the guy twisting the knobs on that, or at least interview him because he has the best job ever.

What do you think he would’ve given on the damage meter for this?

AL: That head kick knocked at least 50 percent off the life bar.

I should add that because of the five-second ground-and-pound limit, going into the fetal position was the default defense of most of the fighters. Didn’t work out so well for Kevin Walker though as Abdallah Ibrahim scored the TKO win here.

Karate Combat: Hollywood is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass and for non-subscribers it’s also available for free on FITE TV.

Toninho Marajo vs. Vince Fricilone
Flavian Pilgrim vs. Sherwin Price

AL: If Karate Combat was the only combat sports event that transpired last week it would have been more than enough, but instead we find ourselves spoiled.

Over at LFA 58 in Albuquerque, N.M., Brazilian featherweight Toninho Marajo annihilated Alaska Fighting Championship veteran Vince Fricilone with a flying knee:

JM: The brains of unconscious fighters are truly incredible things. This man is completely out of it for four seconds and then, after his opponent steps over, he tries to grab a single leg and looks baffled at the referee intervening. Marajo literally knocked every sense out of Fricilone’s head.

Speaking of people at LFA getting clattered and waking up with a deer in headlights look, lightweight Flavian Pilgrim sent Sherwin Price to the darkness with this savage right hand counter.

AL: Now that is a motherflippin’ counter punch. Pilgrim moves his head at just the last second while throwing his own shot and it is a no-doubt KO blow. You’ve also got to respect the completely unnecessary ground strike followed by a respectful bow after Pilgrim has finished wylin’ out.

Elina Kallionidou vs Qihui Yan

JM: LFA wasn’t the only promotion with a sick knee KO though. M-1 Challenge 101 from Harbin, China provided us this gem courtesy of Elina Kallionidou not caring very much for the safety of Qihui Yan:

Who kneed it better?

AL: I’ve got to show love for Kallionidou’s kill strike. Check out that calculated flurry, she smelled blood and rather than blindly flail away hoping for a stoppage, she takes a half second to assess the situation and fire that knee right up the middle. It’s absolutely vicious perfectly fitting for a fighter nicknamed “Gunner”.

Just 20 years old, Greece’s Kallionidou is already 7-2 (with those two losses happening in Bellator when she was a teenager) and looks to be a legitimate prospect at 125 pounds.


Who kneed it better?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Toninho Marajo
    (113 votes)
  • 35%
    Elina Kallionidou
    (62 votes)
175 votes total Vote Now

Takashi Nakayama vs. Jin Aoi
Kiyotaka Shimizu vs. Yoshiro Maeda
Ryo Okada s. Kazuma Sone

JM: Shooto’s latest outing offered up a trio of exceptional finishes. Hard to pick among these three but I think Takashi Nakayama’s crucifix rear-naked choke of Jin Aoi is my personal favorite.

AL: I don’t know why, but the first word that came to my mind when watching this submission was “sexy”. I think we’ve been doing this for too long.

In the co-main event, Japanese MMA lifers Kiyotaka Shimizu and Yoshiro Maeda threw DOWN, resulting in a wild brawl and an emphatic KO for Shimizu.

JM: Kind of weird to see such a reckless approach from two veterans of the JMMA scene. Both of these men were Kings of Pancrase and they’ve got a combined 97 fights between them! Threw all the experience right out the window for a good old fashioned slobber knocker though and we love them for it.

Not as much as I love this flying knee to kill shot combo though:

Stand up and take a bow Shooto bantamweight king Ryo Okada.

AL: Look at poor Kazuma Sone. He’s backing away, maybe expecting Okada to give him a chance to reset. Instead, Okada makes him pay for his timidity. Defend yourself, sir!

Yuto Saito vs. Kazumasa Ashikaga

JM: Here’s a guy who can no longer defend himself. At Krush 97 in Tokyo, Yuto Saito performed an unlicensed appendectomy on Kazumasa Ashikaga with his heel. Ruthless.

AL: Ashikaga almost looks like he’s smacking the mat both in submission and frustration. It’s like Luke Wilson at the end of Anchorman when he gets his other arm ripped off.

More importantly… that pose tho.

JM: A very appropriate flex. When you make someone hit the ground and roll in agony, you deserve to go full Tekken on them.

Adriano Ramos vs. Vinicius de Oliveira
Tang Kai vs. Sung Jong Lee

AL: As a special treat, we have a second poll coming up inspired by one of our favorite scenes in MMA: fighters falling funny.

First up from Future FC 1 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Adriano Ramos partially shuts down Vinicius de Oliveira:

I say “partially” because it looked like de Oliveira’s legs gave out before the rest of him, like he wasn’t fully committed to falling. Either way, ouch!

JM: Yeah, it almost looks like he was falling through something more substantial than air. He falls back but his body wants to hold up. It does not though. It super does not.

His competition in the He Fell Funny-off of the week comes from ONE Championship: Hero’s Ascent where Sung Jong Lee “Flair Flops” after getting cracked by Tang Kai.

I don’t entirely understand the physics of this one but SJL must’ve been in a world of hurt for that to happen.

AL: Now THAT is a delayed reaction. He’s fine, he’s fine, he’s fine and then… *whomp*

Can’t say for sure which one I find more mesmerizing so as usual we’ll leave it to the people to decide.


Who fell funnier?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Vinicius de Oliveira
    (23 votes)
  • 85%
    Sung Jong Lee
    (141 votes)
164 votes total Vote Now

Adriano Moraes vs. Geje Eustaquio

Also from that ONE event, Adriano Moraes won back the bantamweight title in a third fight with rival Geje Eustaquio. He picked up a unanimous decision nod, though how Eustaquio wasn’t submitted is beyond me:

Didn’t we just see Zabit Magomedsharipov force Brandon Davis to tap to this a few months ago? How did Eustaquio survive this?

JM: We actually saw two Suluev stretches last year but clearly those men were made of less pliable stuff than Eustaquio. That is an unreal showing of heart and flexibility and maybe the most impressive thing of the whole weekend.

Chris Curtis vs. Matt Dwyer

You know the worst thing from this weekend? The horror film that took place when Chris Curtis took on Matt Dwyer at Z Promotions 9.

This is a legitimate Slip n’ Slide of blood in the cage. I’m not squeamish by any stretch, but that was a lot to take.

AL: It was actually quite the winding path that led to Curtis dishing out this beating. He was a Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series hopeful last year who said he was planning to retire after not receiving a contract despite winning on that show. Instead, he stepped in to replace an injured Joe Riggs last Friday and Dwyer is probably wishing he hadn’t.

Zhang Jinhu vs. Singnoi Sor.Thanakorn

AL: Lastly, we have a special missed Missed Fist highlight from a Jan. 20 Muay Thai show. Normally we don’t go this far back, but this catch-and-kick KO by Zhang Jinhu was too sweet to leave out.

JM: I have long wondered why more people don’t go for this exact move but wrote it off as one of those things that probably was more action-movie-cool than real-life-functional. I’ve never been so glad to be proven wrong.

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.

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