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.
Two months into the MMA calendar and the violence is starting to escalate considerably. Nowhere was this more evident last week than at Road FC 52 in Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday.
Mansour Barnaoui vs. Shamil Zavurov
Tae Sung Kim vs. Jung Gi Hong
Michel Pereira vs. Dae Sung Kim
Seung Yeon Kim Win vs. No Joo Gi
AL: First of all, we need to point out that every clip on the Road FC YouTube page features a teaser of lightweight champion Kwon A-Sol licking a trophy and cackling evilly to hype up his upcoming fight with Mansour Barnaoui. Check it out for yourself:
Oh, you may also have noticed Barnoui authoring an early KO of the Year candidate against Shamil Zavurov. Watch as he just steps into that knee and gets all of it. Flying knee. Flying body.
JM: Aside from the spectacular finish, the rest of that bout was very fun. A back-and-forth scrap with lots of action. Also, here’s a fun fact: that was Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin!
AL: I’m starting to feel like everyone — including us — is Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin.
JM: I say was because sadly, he is now dead, killed in his prime by that violent knee. Good on Barnoui who earned a cool $200,000 and a title shot for killing a man. No idea how Road FC is ponying up that kind of cash but get it while you can.
AL: Before that main event finish, the best KO of the night may have belonged to featherweight Tae Sung Kim. Just listen to the impact of this fight-ending body shot.
what a body kick TKO by Kim Tae-Sung !— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) February 23, 2019
listen to the sound !
(Road FC) pic.twitter.com/5bT4CxyzsM
JM: For those of you who are at work, sneak away and turn the volume up on this one because this is a sickening pop that makes the entire clip worthwhile. Seriously, that crack sounds like if you dropped a side of beef off the Eiffel Tower, and probably felt about the same to poor Jung Gi Hong. Real talk, whose guts would you rather have right now, his or Robert Whittaker’s?
AL: Here’s another question: does Kim have a microphone installed in his leg or something? I’m squirming over here.
Seong Yeon Kim might not have matched the sheer nastiness of the last two clips, but his seven-second obliteration of No Joo Gi is a must-see:
JM: I love that this fight was between two guys off of MMA reality shows. Road FC out here living in 2012.
AL: And we weren’t going to leave off without mentioning the latest burst of insanity from Michel Pereira. I think Pereira may have been upset about not getting our 2018 Missed Fists Fighter of the Year award, because he somehow topped last year’s in-cage flip fest with an even more incomprehensible aerial display.
JM: We all know I’m a big proponent of stomps, but I can understand the trepidation some fans have about allowing full-blown stompage in cage fighting. If nothing else, it certainly looks overly brutish for the uninitiated. But I think we can all agree that stomps that occur in the process of doing something insane and awesome should be be totally allowed and, in fact, encouraged.
Were I judging this fight, Michel Pereira would have certainly won the round on my scorecard and possibly even earned himself a 10-8.
AL: I don’t even care that none of the flippy-floppy stuff really landed. If I’m the ref, I’m stopping this fight and having Pereira immediately drug tested. And I’m not talking about PEDs.
There’s no way Pereira would be allowed to do any of this stuff in the United States, but we have to get this guy in the UFC or Bellator at some point. Then again, he’d probably get a six-month suspension just for his weigh-in routine.
이게 미첼이 해서 쉬워보이는 거지 절대로 쉬운 게 아니에요...
[굽네몰 ROAD FC 052 D-1] 이게 미첼이 해서 쉬워보이는 거지 절대로 쉬운 게 아니에요... ▶️굽네몰 ROAD FC 052 / 오후 6시 ▶️굽네몰 ROAD FC YOUNG GUNS 41 / 오후 4시 #SPOTV 스포티비 #아프리카TV 생중계! Event : 굽네몰 ROAD FC 052 Date : Saturday, 23 February, 2019 Place : Jangchung Arena, Seoul, South Korea Openweight Bout 미첼 페레이라(Michel Pereira) VS 김대성(Kim Dae-Sung) New Wave MMA ROAD FC #ROADFC #로드FC #ROADFC052 #로드FC052 #MMA #종합격투기 #FIGHTER #미첼페레이라 #김대성Posted by ROAD FC on Thursday, February 21, 2019
Saensam vs. Abdelatif Badi
Armpit kick TKO :O— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) February 24, 2019
Saensam TKOs Abdelatif Badi (Superchamp) pic.twitter.com/PqF22pGJn1
JM: I wanted us to talk about this clip from Sunday’s Muay Thai Super Champ show (replay available on YouTube in Bangkok, Thailand, for two reasons. First, because I have a bum shoulder and so I really felt it when that happened. And second, it’s not everyday something like this happens.
I remember when Jose Aldo dislocated Chan Sung Jung’s shoulder but that didn’t look like he was trying to do it, it just happened. The angle and force of this kick makes me think homie was intentionally attacking the joints and that’s ferocious.
AL: It was probably the shoulder, but I’m still calling this a “KO via armpit kick”. For all we know, Abdelatif Badi’s shoulder could be perfectly fine and he just shut down after Saensam rocked him in the pit. I wince at the thought of someone jabbing a finger in there, much less connecting with a full force kick to that area.
Daniel Rodriguez vs. Ivan Castillo
Zoila Frausto def. Jaimee Nievera
JM: Daniel Rodriguez is not a bad fighter at all so I was a little shocked to see he was on post-lim duty action at Combate Americas 31 last Friday in Fresno, Calif. Dude was 7-1 coming into this fight with his only loss being a split decision. He’s 5-0 in Combate and frankly, warrants a look from a bigger promotion. After all, that knee is pretty savage.
AL: You get the sense that Rodriguez wasn’t exactly thrilled about having his fight go on after the main event either. Too bad for Ivan Castillo that he ended up feeling the wrath. That’s a taking-care-of-business reaction to a KO if I’ve ever seen one. Get this man back on the main card!
I also have to shout-out former Bellator champion Zoila Frausto, who was making her return to action after a three-year hiatus that she’s mostly spent kickboxing.
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Finally having fun in the cage again! Glad to be back!!! What’s next??? Something very soon, I hope. Finally got to watch this fight with my #CsaTamConnection Teammate, The Shark @Anth0nyAvila vs @PabloSabori & damn what an amazing fight! I love this damn sport. There’s nothing like painting that canvas red, doing what we love to do & showing respect to the warriors when it’s all over with. Especially after they just tried to take your head off! Follow these warriors & @combateamericas #Repost by @CombateAmericas @ZoilaFrausto and @Anth0nyAvila brought action to La Jaula #CombateFresno #MMA #USA #MEXICO #LaJaula
Frausto didn’t look like she’d missed a beat, needing less than two minutes to put away Contender Series contestant Jaimee Nievera. Not only did Frausto earn her first knockout in almost nine years, she also avenged her sister Stephanie, who lost to Nievera back in 2016.
Combate Americas 31 is available for replay on DAZN.
Evandro Barbosa vs. Luiz de Lima
Gabriel de Souza vs. Moacir Rocha
Alex Sandro vs. Joelson Nascimento
JM: At Future Fighting Championships 2 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last Friday, we were once again reminded that the MMA Gods are fickle and cruel. Can you imagine how awesome it would have been for Luiz de Lima to Terry Etim a man named Barbosa?!?!
Instead, Evandro is one tough S.O.B. He ate that kick, recovered, and WENT ON TO WIN THE FIGHT. If that’s not worth praise, I don’t know what is.
AL: Is it even possible to land a spinning heel kick cleaner than that? That’s not even heel-to-chin, that’s straight-up heel-to-skull. Evandro Barbosa is made of sterner stuff.
JM: Now here is a dude we should all be excited about. Gabriel de Souza is a legit prospect and one who most certainly will be getting picked up any day now. At only 21 years old, he’s already 8-0 and in possession of a predatory submission game. Just look at the way he big brothers this rear-naked-choke.
AL: You can almost see the panic emanating from Moacir Rocha in that gif. Sure he’s in a sanctioned fight, but the way de Souza is hunting for that submission he probably thought there was a good chance that he might never wake up again if he passed out instead of tapping out.
JM: If I’m Bellator, I’m signing this kid yesterday. A few years with the right camp and we’ve got the makings of a real talent here.
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Com um espetacular chute na cabeça seguido de uma série de socos finalizando com um overhand que colocou o duríssimo Joelson Demente pra dormir, Alex Canguru é, sem dúvidas, o vencedor do Prêmio de Finish Of The Night! . With a spectacular head kick followed by a series of punches finishing with an overhand that put Joelson Demente to sleep, Alex Canguru is, without a doubt, the winner of our Finish Of The Night award!
AL: As great as that was, officials gave the Finish of the Night award to Alex “Canguru” Sandro. His opponent, Joelson “Demente” Nascimento deserves an assist for standing and banging with Canguru, a strategy that resulted in him getting absolutely creamed.
JM: I accept their decision. I actually really like that finish. After stunning him with the high kick, Sandro keeps his wild flailing to a minimum and actually does a great job of stepping off and finding angles for his punches to land and finish the job.
Watch FFC 2 in its entirety on the promotion’s YouTube channel.
Ayaka Miura vs. Laura Balin
Masakazu Imanari vs. Won Il Kwon
JM: This sort of feels like cheating considering ONE is such a major organization but how could we pass up the opportunity to talk about some top-shelf grapples.
In her ONE debut, Japanese phenom Ayaka Miura pulls out an incredible submission to finish Laura Balin at 1:13 of Round 1! #WeAreONE #CallToGreatness #Singapore #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/1lV4sWCSoi— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) February 22, 2019
From ONE Championship: Call to Greatness in Singapore last Friday, this winning debut by Ayaka Miura is gonna end up being one of my favorite submissions of the year because scarf-hold Americanas are such a blue belt move. Like, I distinctly remember when I was just getting competent enough at grappling to start trying absurd moves like this when rolling with white belts.
Scarf Americanas and gogoplatas all day, son!
AL: Apparently this is the third time Miura has earned a submission with scarf-style. Man, we might have to nickname her “Burberry” if she keeps breaking out scarves like this. Heyooooo!
JM: I’m more of a Hermès man myself, but to each their own.
AK: As cool as that was, this submission by Masakazu Imanari — yes, THAT Imanari — may have been the best thing that happened last week.
Japanese legend Mazakazu Imanari rolls back the years with a sensational heel hook submission of Kwon Won Il at 0:53 of Round 1! #WeAreONE #CallToGreatness #Singapore #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/PDLULeV9Kd— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) February 22, 2019
JM: Shouts to Imanari. Man has been a one-trick pony for going on 20 years but damn if it’s not a good trick.
Being a legitimate leglock guy is such a dangerous weapon to have. Too many gyms fail to train for them well enough because of the danger involved if they go wrong. And because of that, Imanari is gonna be hooking fools into his 50s. What a legend.
AL: On the receiving end is Won Il Kwon, who we saw smoking Anthony Engelen just last month. Engelen himself took out Meus Meu with an awesome head kick in November. I’m a little worried that there’s a connection here, like a highlight-reel finish bug is getting passed along like the ghost in It Follows.
I’m just saying, we could be seeing Imanari featured again very soon, and not in a good way.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Mansour Barnaoui’s flying knee
Tae Sung Kim’s body kick
Michel Pereira going insane
Saensam’s armpit kick
Mazakazu Imanari turns back the clock
Other (leave comment below)
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.