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Missed Fists: Ke’ali’i Kanekoa’s magic back elbow, a fond farewell to LFA on AXS TV

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Ke’ali’i Kanekoa lands an elbow out of nowhere on Manny Flore at a Ring of Combat show on Sept. 13 in Atlantic City, N.J.
@VonPreux, 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.

First, let’s pay our proper respects to the Legacy Fighting Alliance on AXS TV era. With the recently announced acquisition of AXS TV by Anthem Sports & Entertainment, LFA will no longer be part of the channel’s programming. The promotion currently has three upcoming events scheduled, but where they’ll air is anybody’s guess.

(special thanks to @ImShannonTho for this week’s LFA clips, give them a follow!)

Joaquin Buckley vs. Chris Harris
Jacob Thrall vs. Eric Ellington

JM: We might as well start at the end. The end of an era.

On Friday night AXS TV, one of the hallmarks of MMA fandom over the past decade, put on its last MMA show. AXS used to show a ton of regional content, but in recent years that has been pared down to just LFA on Friday nights, and even that is going away now. It’s a great sadness, but hopefully someone *cough* Fight Pass *cough* picks them up because they almost always throw bangers.

Speaking of which, I present for your viewing pleasure, Joaquin Buckley:

AL: “Young Buck” (not his actual nickname, unfortunately) over here has competed for Bellator and Shamrock FC, and in his LFA debut he let his hands fly.

Some may confuse swangin’ and bangin’ as being exclusively for heavyweights and while it is certainly the most effective style in that division, Buckley showed that middleweights can do it as well.

And while Buckley was looking to knock Chris Harris’s head off, Jacob Thrall was looking to take one home the old-fashioned way:

JM: That certainly is an impressive commitment to the guillotine. Maybe Mr. Thrall can give Dustin Poirier some pointers.

Too soon?

AL: Don’t make me think about Poirier’s tearful post-fight regrets because then I’ll start crying again.

I’m already emotional about LFA’s departure from AXS TV, so I’ll just leave everyone with this: salud, mi familia.

Ke’ali’i Kanekoa vs. Manny Flores

JM: You know what’s not too soon? Me saying this is the KO of the month.

This fight is just a roller coaster of emotion. You think it’s going one way and then it goes entirely another. Bravo!

AL: And how fitting that this took place just eight days before the return of Yair Rodriguez, a cat who knows a thing or two about landing miraculous elbows out of nowhere. Much like when Rodriguez KO’d “The Korean Zombie,” I have to wonder if this sequence is something Ke’ali’i Kanekoa has ever actually practiced or if it was just wild instinct.

Readers, judge for yourself. Ring of Combat 69 is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.

Ludovit Klein vs. Joao Paulo Rodrigues

Now that we have KO of the Month settled, let’s move on to...

JM: Hold up.

Wow. Maybe I did speak to soon about the KO of the Month.

Poor Joao Paulo Rodrigues. He just gets caught in no man’s land. Tries to throw that stepping elbow and then he’s left out there to eat a super clean head kick from Ludovit Klein.

AL: I guess throwing knockout elbows isn’t as easy as it looks. Klein had all the time in the world to step in there with the 1-2-BLAMMO combo (technical term).

This was fight No. 58 for Rodrigues and he actually has No. 59 already scheduled. Let’s hope that wiser heads prevail here and Rodrigues takes time off instead. Klein (15-2), on the other hand, is just 24 years old and has now won six straight fights.

This finish came from Oktagon 14 in Bratislava, Slovakia, and full fights from the card can be found on the promotion’s YouTube channel.

Carlos Rivera vs. Marco Beristain Castillo

If you’re looking for even more free MMA, check out Crixus MMA 01 (on Facebook), a little show that took place down in Tijuana, Mexico last Thursday.

JM: Since we were just talking about head kicks, here’s Carlos Rivera with a flying one.

This would almost certainly be another KO of the Month candidate, but for one little problem: Marco Beristain Castillo is tougher than a two-dollar steak. He survived the knockdown and the back take. But ultimately, Rivera still got the job done in gruesome fashion.

AL: That 50/50 position is no joke, and if you don’t know how to fight out of it, well, that’s what can happen. Someone hook Castillo up with Ryan Hall after he gets out of the hospital, please.

JM: Rivera threw a leaping switch kick and ripped an ankle off in the same fight. This man is my new spirit animal.

Wang Zhiwei vs. Osawa Fumiya
Riri Nasukawa vs. Mari Kamikariya

AL: Up next, some kickboxing shenanigans. From K-1 Krush Fight 105 in Tokyo, here’s Wang Zhiwei getting screwed out of a W because apparently these fights have something called “rules.”

Impressive, no? Alas, this result was overturned due to the fact that clinch knees are illegal in K-1 competition, a decree that was laid down after the Alistair Overeem-Ewerton Teixeira incident back in 2010:

Seemed like a justifiable call at the time given how scary that finish was.

JM: Wang Zhiwei clearly is the winner here. Look, everyone happens to know a few things, and one of the things that we knows is, it’s not who the refs say won, it’s who is still conscious at the end. You better learn that.

AL: That same day, over at the RISE WORLD SERIES 2019 event in Chiba, we had the Nasukawa siblings in action. While big brother Tenshin put in work against an overmatched Shiro in the main event, little Riri had a moment herself, drilling Mari Kamikariya with a head kick.

JM: You know another thing you need to learn? That the Nasukawa family is like the Wu-Tang Clan—nothing to f*ck with. Just 17 years old, Riri is already putting in work.

Norman Parke vs. Marcin Wrzosek

AL: We started this feature by wishing an old friend the best, so let’s check in with another favorite celebrating their 50th show, Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki! (or KSW if you want to be boring about it)

Unfortunately, the action on KSW’s 50th anniversary event was somewhat uneven, capped off by a listless heavyweight championship bout between UFC vets Phil De Fries and Luis Henrique, but hey, at least someone’s foot got deformed.

Okay, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for the show (which is available for replay on FITE TV PPV). Just see for yourselves:

That’s Marcin Wrzosek’s foot. He injured it in his five-round interim lightweight title fight with Norman Parke. Someone give Wrzosek’s foot a hug, please. A very gentle hug.


AL: That’s Wrzosek hustling to get Parke to agree to a rematch, but I don’t really see how much better he’ll do next time especially after his foot is amputated.

JM: Since you decided to ruin all our lives with those pictures of Wrzosek’s foot, let’s leave our readers on a high note.

AL: She’s a ring girl with her own “ring.” I get it and I dig it.

JM: The rest of the MMA promotional world has been put on notice, Legend FC is coming for throats.

Jed Meshew


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Joaquin Buckley sends LFA on AXS TV out in style
    (11 votes)
  • 37%
    Ke’ali’i Kanekoa’s absurd elbow
    (73 votes)
  • 21%
    Ludovit Klein’s sniper head kick
    (41 votes)
  • 9%
    Marcin Wrzosek’s poor foot
    (19 votes)
  • 23%
    Legacy FC’s ring girl evolution
    (46 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (3 votes)
193 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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