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Missed Fists: Gustavo Lopez defends Combate Americas title with powerful KO, more

Gustavo Lopez watches Joey Ruquet fall at Combate 42 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, on Aug. 23, 2019

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.

Last weekend was a rare one with no UFC card, so the rest of the MMA world seemed determined to show out with a litany of brutal KOs. First up, a visit to scenic Lake Tahoe, Nevada, for Combate 42.

Gustavo Lopez vs. Joey Ruquet
JJ Torres vs. Cole Jordan

Last Friday’s Combate event was headlined by two title fights that were meant to showcase a pair of the promotion’s budding stars, recently crowned bantamweight champion Gustavo Lopez and top featherweight Andres Quintana, the latter of whom was vying to become Combate’s first champion at 145 pounds.

In the main event for a vacant featherweight title, Quintana actually lost a unanimous decision to underdog Bruno Cannetti, but Lopez more than held up his end of the bargain in his first championship defense.

There’s a lot of ways to describe Lopez’s crackling right and Ruquet’s subsequent fall, but how about we refer to UFC star Julianna Pena’s call from the broadcast desk:

“Oooh ooh! Yes, yes, yes! OOOOOOH!”

Sums things up nicely, doesn’t it?

Lopez and Ruquet actually fought back in December 2015, a meeting that Lopez won via arm-triangle submission. That’s an outcome that Ruquet probably would have welcomed compared to how their rematch unfolded.

Earlier in the show, one of the year’s best Missed Fists fights occurred between pro debutants JJ Torres and Cole Jordan.

This fight is everything that you could want from two first-timers. Non-stop offense, grit, questionable defense, and more than a sprinkle of crimson. These two didn’t just brawl wildly either, they showed great confidence and surprising patience before just letting it rip in round two.

Credit to both middleweights, Torres for getting the win and Jordan for being absurdly tough. He was just bleeding all over Torres’s back in round one and were it not for the referee waving off the bout after the second, the canvas would probably have been a much darker shade of red in the end. As it was, it’s a good thing that the fight was stopped as neither fighter looked like they had five more minutes of that level of output left.

The best part is, Torres vs. Jordan was on the Facebook prelims, which you can watch for free! For a replay of the main card, you’ve got to hop into DAZN.

Kris Berberich vs. Chance Staggs
Jacob Jones vs. Zack McCone
Caleb Miller vs. Alex Aschenbrenner

2019 had been going swimmingly for Alaska Fighting Championship standout Chance Staggs. He won a pair of fights to improve his record to 4-0 and last Wednesday he was poised to make a leap with his first main event opportunity in Anchorage, Alaska (AFC 151 available for replay on UFC Fight Pass).

Instead of a leap, Staggs was tripped up by the unassuming Kris Berberich.

Staggs, who was featured in Missed Fists this past April for his part in a rollicking five-minute affair, fell prey to Bererbich’s submission game and was forced to tap out to an armbar in the opening round. While both men are still young in their careers, Staggs missed out on a chance to showcase himself here as he was set up with an opponent in Berberich that has lost two straight, three of his last four, and entered the show with a 2-6 pro record. Beberich, who goes by the nickname “Easy Money,” was anything but that on this night.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a question mark kick finish the fight, so thanks to welterweight Jacob Jones for obliging:

Yes, there were some follow-up punches, but when a question mark kick lands that cleanly, you’re probably not long for this world anyway.

Also, and perhaps most importantly, Afroman was in the house.

Bruno Ogro vs. Heder Araujo

From the ICYMI department, here’s Bruno Ogro’s forceful head kick from Shooto Brasil 94, which took place last Friday in Rio de Janeiro.

Heder Araujo just mistimes his defense, lowering his arms a smidge as Ogro’s shin comes rocketing at his head. The result: a huge KO victory for Ogro and one of several faceplant finishes that we saw this week.

Caiona Batista vs. Raul Marcos Amorim

Staying in Brazil, at Future FC 8 in Sao Paulo (which is available to replay for free on YouTube), Caiona Batista almost matched Ogro’s brutality with a furious ground-and-pound assault on Raul Marcos Amorim.

That ain’t just ground-and-pound, those are full-on haymakers being thrown and pretty much every single one landed clean on Amorim’s chin. The knee drop to the chest from the ref after likely didn’t help things.

Kaisei Kondo vs. Riki Matsuoka
Ryo Aitaka vs. Karimian Sina
Kimura Minoru vs. Sho Oizumi
Masaaki Noiri vs. Sami Lamiri

We promised you face plants and face plants you shall have. Who knows what was in the water in Osaka at Saturday’s K-1 World Grand Prix 2019 Japan show, but suckers were getting cracked and they were not in a hurry to get back up.

While Kaisei Kondo may have only served up a two-piece here, it was more than enough to leave Riki Matsuoka having second thoughts about his combat sports career.

Look at that face at the end. That is the face of a man with regrets.

Ryo Aitaka may have been auditioning for a starting spot with the Hanshin Tigers with this next knockout. There’s the wind-up... and the pitch!

That’s Karimian Sina who’s joining Matsuoka on dream street and Aitaka joining Chuck Liddell on the list of fighters whose right hands are to be avoided at all costs. That’s an overhand right that would make “The Iceman” blush.

This next clip features a faceplant as part of a montage:

Kimura Minoru puts Sho Oizumi through hell, making him kiss the canvas and later and slumping him in the corner! This was a beatdown straight out of an anime.

Our last K-1 clip does not feature a fighter taking the prone position, though it might be even tougher to watch. Check out Masaaki Noiri’s sickening body work and the effect it has on poor Sami Lamiri:

That’s what we call a good old fashioned case of “sitting someone down” and not politely.

Sabah Homasi vs. Micah Terrill
Ricky Bandejas vs. Ahmet Kayretli

Much was made of Bellator 225’s historically violent night that saw all 14 fights end in a finish. While the show got plenty of pub and justifiably so, there were a couple of early knockouts that may have flown under the radar and we cannot abide that sort of thing at Missed Fists headquarters.

Sabah Homasi could never quite find his footing in the UFC despite teasing his potential future as an outstanding brawler. He did not disappoint in his return to Bellator, absolutely smoking Micah Terrill in just 17 seconds.

For those of you keeping score at home, Ryo Aitaka, Chuck Liddell, and Sabah Homasi are guys you do not want to let hit you with an overhand right. Stay safe out there, folks.

Also picking up a much-needed finish was bantamweight prospect Ricky Bandejas. The 27-year-old made an incredible first impression last August by disposing of James Gallagher in style, but was then rushed into a matchup with Juan Archuleta and then quickly submitted by fellow prospect Patrick Mix. If he couldn’t get past Ahmet Kayretli, that would likely be the end for Bandejas’s time in the Bellator cage.

But Bandejas isn’t going anywhere and instead he closes out this week’s edition of Missed Fists with (what else?) a face-plant knockout:


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Gustavo Lopez emphatic title fight KO
    (48 votes)
  • 14%
    Bruno Ogro kicks through Heder Araujo’s defenses
    (34 votes)
  • 20%
    Ryo Aitaka’s fastball overhand right
    (47 votes)
  • 13%
    Masaaki Noiri liquifies some organs
    (32 votes)
  • 27%
    Sabah Homasi’s 17-second KO
    (64 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (5 votes)
230 votes total Vote Now

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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