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.
It’s not easy for a fighter to admit when they’re beat and some of MMA’s most memorable moments involve competitors toughing out a submission and refusing to tap out. We begin this week with two examples of fighters showing true grit but having to be saved all the same.
Aybol Akhmetov vs. Tursyngazin Beybaris
Two pro debutants enter, one man leaves. Awake, anyway.
In Kazakhstan last Saturday at Naiza Fighting Championship 26, Aybal Akhmetov and Tursyngazin Beybaris gave it their all for a little less than 30 seconds, with Beybaris showing a nice level change and Akhmetov showing why that quick takedown wasn’t quite nice enough.
In mid-air, Akhmetov snatched Beybaris’ neck and had him sleeping in seconds. Great recognition by the referee to see that Beybaris was in trouble and a heck of a way for Akhmetov to score his first win.
Naiza FC 26 is available for free replay on YouTube.
Azamat Markabaev vs. Selem Evloev
Zubair Zubairov vs. Nodir Alidodov
Akhmetov would have secured the Submission of the Week were it not for Azamat Markabaev making an absolute mess out of Selem Evloev’s arm.
Evloev didn’t tap, so he’s understandably upset, but it’s hard to argue with the referee’s call when Evloev’s arm was turning to jelly and he let out a pained roar that sounded almost like a belch. That’s a verbal submission if I’ve ever seen one.
Not winning our Technique of the Week award is Zubair Zubairov, though I think he’ll be more than happy with his win that came via running ground punch KO.
There’s probably several good reasons not to attempt running strikes like this as I imagine a more experienced opponent could counter in any number of ways, but Zubairov found two very good reasons to do it: It worked and looked cool as hell. Sometimes you gotta just run up and punch a MFer in the face.
These two finishes came from an Eagle Fighting Championship show in Moscow last Friday. That’s the promotion that was recently bought by Khabib Nurmagomedov, formerly known as Gorilla Fighting Championship.
The GFC is dead. Long live the EFC.
Esteban Ribovics vs. Javier Basurto
It’s amazing that three highlights took priority over this eight-second finish by Esteban Ribovics, which actually happened in a title fight in Lima, Peru, on Wednesday.
¡Para no creerlo! 'El Gringo' Ribovics salió con todo y derrotó en 8 segundos al 'Cholo' Basurto en la Fusion Fighting Championship. ♂— Movistar Deportes (@MovistarDeporPe) December 11, 2020
Disfrútalo también con Movistar Play ▶ https://t.co/0QaBBNQcVV#FFC44xMDeportes pic.twitter.com/dCYsaHHxyB
Fighting for the vacant Fusion FC interim lightweight title, Argentina’s Ribovics appeared to land 100 percent of the strikes he threw so it’s no surprise that Javier Basurto went down like he did.
That win makes Ribovics 9-0 with his last two wins coming against opponents with a combined record of 38-12-1. I sense an invitation to Fight Island coming his way soon.
Alexander Schenk vs. Trey Webster
Speaking of islands, Island Fights 65 went down in Pensacola, Fla., last Saturday and it featured the striking version of not tapping.
Numero 7⃣— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) December 7, 2020
Alexander Schenk, Island Fights 65 pic.twitter.com/GuRKFGlksu
Alexander Schenk caught Trey Webster clean in the face with a high kick and rather than take that as a sign that he should shore up his defenses, Webster decided to keep his hands down and he paid the price for it in a major way.
At least he looked like a total badass for about half a second.
Over in Rio de Janeiro at O Rei da Luta 2, Breno Landazuri’s opponent at least had the decency to play dead properly.
Numero 5⃣— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) December 7, 2020
Breno Landazuri, O Rei da Luta 2 pic.twitter.com/260HLHlgCP
That cage looks tiny. There was literally no escape for this man.
Karlos Vemola vs. Vaclav Mikulasek
Javid Basharat vs. A. Bezkorovainiy
Over at Oktagon 19 in Brno, Czech Republic, last Saturday, we had two submissions that were more like acts of mercy than acts of aggression.
UFC veteran Karlos Vemola (29-6) was given a relative layup in the main event as he faced Vaclav Mikulasek (7-7). The fight barely made it past the two-minute mark when Vamola appeared to apply some sort of pro wrestling-style rear chinlock to earn the tap-out.
That would barely qualify as a rest hold in AEW, but Vemola is damn strong and Mikulasek made the wise choice of tapping rather than finding out if Vemola could twist his head off.
Unbeaten Afghan Javid Basharat (10-0) did Aleksandr Bezkorovainiy (11-3) a favor after bashing him with an elbow. Rather than dust him with ground-and-pound, he slapped on a sweet D’Arce to give Bezkorovainiy an excuse to submit and live to fight another day.
Important note: Basharat’s nickname is “The Snow Leopard” and that is just majestic.
Mo Miller vs. Regivaldo Carvalho
Bokang Masunyane vs. Rene Catalan
Let’s check in with two finishes that likely got their fair share of attention already, but still deserve extra shine.
At LFA 96 (available on UFC Fight Pass) in Park City, Kan., last Friday, Mo Miller wowed everyone with a multi-slam mauling of recent Bellator competitor Regivaldo Carvalho.
He didn’t even look like he wanted to ground-and-pound Carvalho once he saw what he’d done. Miller improved to 5-0 with the win and looks to be a lock for a Contender Series appearance in 2021.
And now to end on a big bang with a finish from ONE Championship’s Big Bang show last Friday in Singapore, one that just so happened to be produced by one of the promotion’s smallest stars.
Flyweight Bokang Masunyane (8-0) chased Rene Catalan (6-4) down and unleashed the wrath of the ancients on him with a lightning fast head kick that required no follow-up.
That took just 37 seconds. It’s probably too soon, but you have to imagine Masunyane is gunning for a shot at 125-pound champion Joshua Pacio.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Aybol Akhmetov’s guillotine outta nowhere
Azamat Markabaev makes a man scream
Alexander Schenk silences Trey Webster
Mo Miller takes Regivaldo Carvalho to Suplex City
Bokang Masunyane hunts for Rene Catalan’s head
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.