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.
Before crowdsourcing, there was crowd-surfing. Is that still a thing? It definitely is in Germany, which is our first stop this week.
Omer Solmaz vs. Felix Schiffarth
Abubakar Sabirov vs. Jelloul Halhoul
Khurshed Kakhorov vs. Stipe Brcic
Maurice Adorf vs. Ridvan Nuka
AL: The main event of German MMA Championship 18 in Hamburg this past Saturday had a dramatic finish and led to a scene with a lot of potential for calamity:
Ömer Solmaz def Felix Schifffahrt in spectacular fashion! Ref missed the thrown towel, corner jumps in cage, EVERYONE jumps in cage. #GMC18 #MMA #Fights #Fighting #TKO #towel pic.twitter.com/6AFyNpohIU— wildmatt (@wildmatt) February 2, 2019
That’s Omer Solmaz pounding out Felix Schiffarth to win a vacant featherweight title. It’s pretty clear that Schiffarth was done and I applaud his corner for throwing in the towel. Unfortunately, the referee didn’t see it, and we nearly had a Diaz/Miller situation develop.
JM: That is a wild scene. Full commendations to Schiffarth’s corner for throwing in the towel, as MMA corners do that far less often than they should, but I’m gonna go one step further, solid work by them to jump in the cage. The ref clearly missed the towel and so that cornerman had his fighter’s back and jumped in. The other corner are the ones who almost escalated the situation by coming in when that one guy clearly wasn’t trying to start a brawl.
Oh, and whoever it was that came in well after things were mostly settled down and was just waving the flag around, he’s the real hero. He’s just here to party.
AL: And what a party it was! Instead of a brawl, we got the happy scene of Solmaz being tossed around like he’s at a Rancid concert circa 1995.
This next clip though, not so happy for lightweight Jelloul Halhoul.
JM: That is such a fantastic KO from Abubakar Sabirov.
Halhoul was having success marching Sabirov down and throwing that straight right hand when Sabirov’s back was up against the fence. Unfortunately for Halhoul, he was also ducking his head on those right hands and Sabirov picked up on it. I’m fairly certain that counter knee was intended to catch Halhoul’s head as he ducked in but instead it ended up being even deadlier and landed right in the sweet spot on the liver. Tremendous stuff all around from Sabirov.
AL: Now I’m wondering what would have happened if he’d hit his head.
Recently, we spotlighted a knockout where one fighter did a poor job of protecting their head and face area while going for a leg lock, leading to their demise. Stipe Brcic fell prey to that same tunnel vision, hanging on for a single leg like his life depended on it against Khurshed Kakhorov.
As it turns out his life did depend on it. And he didn’t get it. So this happened:
JM: One day a better journalist than I am will go back and do a study on the reactions of hurt fighters and figure out what the best defense mechanism is when you’re rocked.
If you’re a good wrestler and can get a takedown, obviously that would be the best way to buy time to recover. But I’d bet that the numbers would show that if you’re not an elite wrestler, holding onto a single leg is just the worst idea for a hurt fighter. It puts your head in immediate danger and you’re not even so close that you are crowding your opponent’s efficacy. Kakhorov has all day to find his angles and bludgeon Brcic because Brcic’s head is basically teed up for him.
Also, credit to Kakhorov. That follow up shot as Brcic slumps to the ground and rolls over lands! That requires a lot of coordination to hit that spike and he did. Excellent showing from the undefeated German bantamweight.
I’ve seen some comments saying they don’t see the resemblance, which makes me think they didn’t look beyond the screenshot. No, not every fighter with that hairstyle and a chest tattoo are Conor McGregor.
But yes, calling a fighter with that hairstyle and chest tattoo who bounces around in a quasi-karate stance with an emphasis on his power left hand is fair game.
How does this impression rate from 1 to Proper 12?
JM: If this guy’s last name wasn’t dangerously close to one of the worst names in history, the UFC would have already signed him.
This is honestly uncanny but not entirely unexpected. Whatever your thoughts on Conor he is unequivocally a great fighter and seeing young fighters come up in his mold is to be expected. Is this the best look-alike from the weekend though? I thought you’d be more partial to this one.
AL: Two proud Washington boys, no less! I’m more fixated on Michael Chiesa’s Jason “White Chocolate” Williams shirt.
Still, him, Daniel Bryan, Bryan’s hemp/wood/stones championship belt, it’s all fabulous.
Kyler Phillips vs. Emeka Ifekandu
Kevin Natividad vs. Andy Perez
JM: No, what’s fabulous is the immediacy with which karma reared its head in the Kyler Phillips-Emeka Ifekandu fight at LFA 59 in Phoenix last Friday.
Official Results: Phillips def. Ifekandu via TKO 2:30 into Round 1. pic.twitter.com/yjZPbKMQaL— AXS TV Fights (@AXSTVFights) February 2, 2019
Phillips’ spinning back kick misses, causing Ifekandu to start with some “oh we’re throwing spinning shit now” jawing but he never gets to finish because Phillips goes topside with his right shin and bodies him. Maybe if his hands were up instead of shrugging, Ifekandu might not have been killed.
Also, it should be noted, Phillips’s follow-up punch was egregiously illegal. Hammerfist directly to the back of the head.
AL: You know I love me some “fighter beckons opponent to bring it on, fighter immediately gets pulverized” action, but I don’t think even Ifekandu deserved what happened to him here. This was a walk-off opportunity for Phillips and instead he went Funkin’ GoNuts on Ifekandu’s dome afterwards. Bad look.
That said, Phillips is an intriguing bantamweight prospect who has already dipped his toes into UFC waters with appearances on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter. He’s just 23 years old and with The MMA Lab behind him, he should become a strong presence on the regional scene before getting another crack at the big show.
Before we move on, I wanted to highlight a fun bantamweight fight between Kevin Natividad and Andy Perez. Perez fights like a total A-hole and I mean that as a compliment. This guy makes Keith Jardine look conventional.
Official Results: Natividad def. Perez via Split Decision (28-29) (29-27) (29-28). pic.twitter.com/TEXtr2ozFw— AXS TV Fights (@AXSTVFights) February 2, 2019
JM: Natividad almost pulled off the double-leg defense to step over back take. That is awesome and deserves praise, especially since he was still able to kind of roughly make it work out for him anyway.
AL: I wish we had a better clip to show off Perez’s style, it’s like Natividad was fighting a wavy tube man. Natividad won by split decision to improve to 8-1 and it didn’t look like he had much fun doing it.
JM: Speaking of cool grappling (SEAMLESS TRANSITION!), Quintet happened over the weekend in Tokyo and, as expected, some gnarly grapples came with it, the most obvious one being Shutaro Debana hitting a flying armbar over MMA legend Ikuhisa Minowaman.
AL: As a grappling casual, I came for the Minowaman and stayed for the nasty submissions. Though he’s dabbled in MMA himself, Debana cares not for your silly cagefighting credentials.
“Oh, Hideo Tokoro, you have almost 70 pro fights? 20 submission wins? How cute. You sleep now.”
JM: Quintet is insane and I love it. Do you realize that Minowaman fought as high as heavyweight in MMA? And that Tokoro is currently a bantamweight? Debana just hustled SEVEN different weight classes of fighter. That’s awesome.
AL: Who could forget Minowaman’s legendary Super Hulk Grand Prix run in 2009, a tournament that featured such luminaries as Hong Man Choi, Bob Sapp, and, uh, Jose Canseco.
JM: Yeah man, I wasn’t even counting super heavyweight. The legend of Debana grows.
AL: Feels like we might need to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Super Hulk later this year with a special edition of Missed Fists.
As impressive as Debana was, the breakout star from Sunday’s show was Ghana’s Rida Haisam. Based out of Tokyo, Haisam was just recently awarded his black belt in BJJ (though he’d been competing at that level for some time already and wiped out several dudes in his Quintet debut last summer) and he’s becoming one of the promotion’s stars.
Here he is threatening to snap Declan Moody’s leg.
JM: Like myself, it appears Rida Haisam excels at seamless transitions.
Haisam is excellent and, I won’t pretend to be a grappling hardcore, but certainly seems like a prospect to watch going forward. He’s been stellar in Quintet and I imagine he can transition that success into other promotions or even MMA if he so chose.
Quintet events are available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.
Ji Won Kang vs. Chul Hyun Jung
AL: And now we zip on over to Seoul for Angel’s Fighting Championship 10 (full fights available on their YouTube), which actually took place last Monday.
Look, I don’t want to feed into the stereotype that all Korean fighters are hard-headed sluggers, but the proof is in the pudding, at least at the lower levels. Bless Chul Hyun Jung for wanting to absolutely scrap with Ji Won Kang.
His mind was willing. His body, not so much:
Chul Hyun Jung def. Ji Won Kang via delayed KO! Hahaha he Anderson Silva's himself with the taunts. Ref didn't let him walk off the KO too, he had to come back. lol #AFC10 #AngelsFighting #MMA #Fighting #Fights #KO #Knockout pic.twitter.com/5aJ3Wh7bBp— wildmatt (@wildmatt) January 28, 2019
JM: Again with this “no defense, no offense, no trash talk” gameplan?!?
What is it in 2019 that makes fighters want to get drummed up for no reason. And this one is just super depressing because the shot that short-circuits his system is such a nothingburger of a punch. Just a baby straight left but it catches Jung coming in and that’s all she wrote.
AL: He may have been able to take it if he had not chosen to block the first few dozen punches with his cranium.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment of the week?
This poll is closed
Omer Solmaz goes crowd-surfing
Conor McGregor’s German doppelganger
Kyler Phillips goes nuts on Emeka Ifekandu
Shutaro Debana flying armbars Minowaman
Ji Won Kang makes Chul Hyun Jung glitch out
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.