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.
As we head into March, we’ve already seen some insane knockouts this year. Now it’s time to turn our attention to the beautiful, gentle art of jiu-jitsu.
Starting with one man trying to tear another man’s groin to shreds.
(Credit goes to @VonPreux for handling much of the clip-work this week. Give him a follow immediately!)
Kirill Gorobets vs. Gasan Azizov
Artem Misak vs. Ivan Dzyabenko
Svetlana Gotsyk vs. Edna Oliveira
That's a banana split! Kirill Gorobets (8-1) nabs the rare submission in round one, tapping Gasan Azizov in an instant! The Ukrainian has stopped six straight opponents. #WWFC14 pic.twitter.com/ybn2UTiJjH— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) March 2, 2019
JM: First off, that was obviously awesome. I desperately try to do ridiculous things like banana splits in the gym all the time and never succeed so Kirill Gorobets pulling one off in a fight against a real opponent is obviously incredible. But, uh, Gasan Azizov might want to add some simple stretching to his daily routine because he was tapping pretty quickly there.
AL: Hard to blame him given that just the idea of a banana split has me tapping my desk furiously.
JM: You don’t do a lot of gymnastics, do you?
AL: No. Precisely to avoid groin-endangering situations like this.
That was the fourth straight first-round finish and sixth straight win overall for Gorobets, a 25-year-old lightweight from Ukraine. He’s looking like a breakout talent for the World Warriors Fighting Championship promotion, which is where this nasty submission took place on Saturday. And he wasn’t the only one doing damage on the ground.
After nearly securing a one-armed RNC, Artem Misak (5-1) taps Ivan Dzyabenko with two soon after. The Ukrainian has won four straight in the first round; each of his wins is via submission. #WWFC14 pic.twitter.com/mVb8lIIof6— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) March 2, 2019
I do enjoy a good rear-naked choke and bantamweight Artem Misak gave us one. That’s quite a visual there. Ivan Dzyabenko’s arm trapped, his face turning purple, his life probably flashing before his eyes…
JM: As we all know, B.J. Penn is the greatest fighter of all time and not enough fighters use the legs to trap one arm like B.J. did so often when backpacking opponents. Just look at how effective it is! Dzyabenko is doing a great job defending! And he still gets choked out because one arm is less than two. Simple math.
AL: Definite B.J. vibes there. Chills.
Former WWFC champ Svetlana Gotsyk (12-4) moves to 9-1 in her last 10, tapping Edna Oliveira with a slick first-round armbar! The 22-year-old boasts 11 finishes, seven in round one, and eight by submission (seven via armbar). #WWFC14 pic.twitter.com/YEVenB4ZNM— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) March 2, 2019
(insert obligatory Ronda Rousey comparison)
But seriously, that is a slick armbar from mount by 22-year-old Ukrainian strawweight Svetlana Gotsyk. She’s now won nine of 10 and probably set herself up for a rematch with WWFC champion Magdalena Sormova, who was also victorious on Saturday.
JM: Yuka Tsuji is the true armbar queen!
Anyway, Gotsyk is definitely a solid prospect for WMMA but a rematch feels like a bad idea. After all, they fought for the first time in June and Sormova armbarred Gostyk in three minutes. I’m not sure there is much reason to believe a similar result wouldn’t happen. Let’s have Gostyk fight a few more softballs before she gets back to a title shot.
WWFC Championships 14 is available for pay-per-view replay on FITE TV.
Pipe Vargas vs. Saidyokub Kakharamonov
Austin Tweedy vs. David Putvin
Moving on to another organization with “Warrior” in the name (seriously, why does everyone use the same four words in different combination for their fight promotions? Read a book, people), on Wednesday at a Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting show in Southgate, Mich., a man died live on UFC Fight Pass.
Rest in peace Saidyokub Kakharamonov.
To paraphrase my basketball hero J.R. Smith, you got the Pipe.
AL: Death knee. That is a death knee. I don’t care what the technical term is. Death. Knee.
We hope Kakharamonov is alright because goodness gracious, KOs don’t come much scarier than that. You can see him instinctively leaning away from Pipe Vargas’s knee, which means he didn’t even see the strike as it landed. Just turned his head and then… darkness.
That was clearly the best KO last week, but let’s give a shoutout to lightweight Austin Tweedy for coming back strong from his own ugly KO loss on the Contender Series last June with a 28-second finish of David Putvin in the WXC 76 main event.
JM: I wish we had another angle of that KO because it looks super weird. At first Putvin looks like he gets slumped but then maybe it looked like he rolled over before Tweedy came in with the follow up shots? Maybe he wasn’t out but was just writhing around in agony? I hear being lobotomized is a very painful procedure after all.
AL: By the way, this is the first of what looks to be a series of Wednesday night shows for WXC. If Saturday nights are alright for fighting, I guess Wednesday nights are alright for “warrioring”?
Kimihiro Eto vs. Trestle Tan
Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg vs. Ali Motamed
Michele Ferreira vs. Nyrene Crowley
Zechariah Lange vs. Michael Walker
AL: We’re always happy to shine a light on some of the lesser known promotions, but we definitely couldn’t overlook offerings from the the more established ONE Championship and Cage Warriors promotions because holy hell there is some damage being done out there.
ONE Warriors Series 4 took place in Singapore last Thursday, a show meant to give a platform for rising prospects and one man who definitely made the most of that platform was Kimihiro Eto.
Kimihiro Eto (16-4-2) puts on a show, slamming and sleeping Trestle Tan in no time flat! The long-time DEEP vet has won three straight via arm triangle choke and is 5-1 in his last six. #ONEWarriorSeries pic.twitter.com/AEEx642qWa— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) February 28, 2019
I’m not exactly sure how this mismatch got booked because it took Eto all of 50 seconds to truck Tan and sleep him with an arm-triangle choke.
JM: And apparently that’s his second arm-triangle win in a row. Shouts to Eto because most people don’t even land one arm-triangle choke, much less two. But yeaaaaah, a 16-4 fighter taking on a 4-8 fighter is some real next level squash-matchmaking that I expect to see from Xplode or something, not ONE.
AL: Fitting the more traditional definition of a prospect, 22-year-old Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg landed a gorgeous kill-shot straight right on Ali Motamed to end their featherweight bout:
Mongolia's Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg (3-2) wins in the second round, sniping Ali Motamed and savaging him on the mat! The 22-year-old's last two wins have come by knockout. #ONEWarriorSeries pic.twitter.com/JgdbPrfwY6— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) February 28, 2019
JM: Man, we’ve got a lot of 22-year-old prospects this week. This is a great pseudo-Superman punch that splits the guard. But is it as good as this knee?
On just 24 hours' notice, Michele Ferreira upsets Nyrene Crowley with a nasty knee to the head! The third-round knockout brutally concludes a back-and-forth war. #ONEWarriorSeries pic.twitter.com/Z4gqolyWLI— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) February 28, 2019
Michele Ferreira ices Nyrene Crowley with a knee that barely looks like it lands but the way she ragdolls Crowley to the ground and then the way Crowley is just inert shows that the knee must’ve been super saucy.
AL: Poor Crowley, eating that knee and then falling into Ferreira’s arms like she’s about to fade away into Infinity War dust (uh, spoiler alert?). Suffice to say, Ferreira was less than sympathetic to Crowley’s plight.
Before we move on, let’s just admire Zechariah Lange’s delightful mid-fight cartwheel:
We’ve all been in that situation where we try to play off a clumsy fall gracefully, but I can’t say I’ve ever succeeded like that. And he went on to defeat Michael Walker by unanimous decision!
JM: You’ve got to respect the initiative to throw a cartwheel there. When I stumble awkwardly I tend to roll through and try and spring up on the other side of it. I’ve never thought about turning it into a cartwheel but the next time it happens I’m damn sure gonna try. And fail. Likely miserably.
AL: That is guaranteed to be hilarious, but to the rest of you, don’t try this at home!
You can watch ONE Warrior Series 4 in its entirety for free on YouTube.
Rhys McKee vs. Perry Goodwin
Jai Herbert vs. Steve O’Keefe
James Hendin vs. Joshua Onwordi
Nathan Jones vs. Martyn Harris
Our own Petesy Carroll has already provided his expert coverage of Cage Warriors 102, which took place in London on Saturday and is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass (and the prelims are free!), so make sure to check that out. And definitely check out this great scrap between Rhys McKee and Perry Goodwin, which ended with McKee putting Goodwin down with a guillotine choke in the third round.
JM: If you take nothing else from Missed Fists this week, definitely check out this fight if you haven’t. It wasn’t quite as much fun as watching Cody Garbrandt nerf himself with horrible tactics but otherwise, it was probably the most fun fight to watch this weekend and the power guillotine finish was nasty.
AL: Just scrapping, blood everywhere, great effort from both fighters!
The lightweight co-main event between Jai Herbert and veteran Steve O’Keefe was just as entertaining, albeit brief. O’Keefe looked to be in complete control of this one until he wasn’t, doing damage from full mount only to have Herbert slip out, get up, and start wailing away.
JM: Those were some serious swings, both in regard to the quick change of momentum and the hammers Herbert was slinging. Credit to O’Keefe for suffering through those knees as well. He got hit with roughly 3600 knees before dropping. The human skull can only take so much.
AL: Last, but certainly not least, we have an unorthodox “He Fell Funny” clip, courtesy of James Hendin literally pursuing a finish against Joshua Onwordi.
Hendin had this man doing laps.
JM: Good lord the left hook that hurts Onwordi is a cannon shot. I’m stunned Onwordi was even able to stay standing after that and completely understand his unfettered inclination to run away as fast as possible.
Valentin Bordianu vs. Remus Marin
Head kick. Valentin Bordianu knocks out Remus Marin at OSS Fighters 03. pic.twitter.com/ROxc97XaDc— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 28, 2019
AL: We’re throwing in this head kick KO from last Thursday’s OSS Fighters 03 kickboxing show in Bucharest, Romania, not just because of it’s excellence, but because it makes a fine transition to us taking a moment to recognize the life and times of the just retired Mirko Cro Cop.
It’s great to see that Cro Cop is getting out of the game while he’s still relatively healthy and on the longest winning streak of his illustrious career to boot. Everyone here at MMA Fighting wishes him a full recovery from his stroke and a long and peaceful retirement.
JM: Cro Cop should serve as an important beacon to all young fighters. He is a legend of the sport and one of the most popular fighters ever despite never really winning a major world title. Also, the fact that he ended his career on a win-streak is great and if you try to start talking about lax drug testing, I will fight you.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Kirill Gorobets’s banana split submission
Pipe Vargas’s death knee
Kimihiro Eto squashes Trestle Tan
Zechariah Lange’s cartwheel
Rhys McKee and Perry Goodwin go to war
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.