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Missed Fists: Gritty fighters get sent to Choke-out City

Joey Yshua defeats Ryan Schwartzberg at a Titan FC event in Miami on June 26, 2020
@UFCFightPass, 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.

As we all know by now, massive mismatches manufacture MMA mirth and there is plenty of that this week, but first, let’s head down to sunny Florida where for better or for worse, sporting organizations are beginning to kick back into full gear including the long-running Titan FC promotion.

Joey Yshua vs. Ryan Schwartzberg
Christian Ynastrilla vs. Philip Keller

Available on UFC Fight Pass, Titan FC 61 went down in Miami last Friday, and the six-fight card produced a pair of memorable submissions.

We’ll have plenty of mismatches to highlight later, but this first clip features two fighters making their pro debut, featherweights Joey Yshua and Ryan Schwartzberg. This will go down as one to remember for both of them, though Yshua will probably be the one bringing it up at parties.

It’s unclear if Schwartzberg though he could tough this situation out or if he didn’t know how much danger he was in, but either way he was handed a ticket to Choke-out City.

Bantamweight prospect Christian Ynastrilla topped that submission with this gorgeous triangle choke of Philip Keller.

Ynastrilla, 24, improved to 6-1 with the win and looks like he’ll be a top guy for Titan FC before eventually making a move to a bigger promotion.

Now then, we promised you squash matches, and squash matches you shall have.

Kenan Dzhafarli vs. Vitaliy Kozak
Pavel Pinzul vs. Andrey Petrov
Eduard Savchenko vs. Maliksha Bairamov

On Saturday in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, World Warriors Fighting Championship held its first show (available for free on YouTube) since February and boy, did they find an unlucky lineup of jobbers to take some knocks here.

Let’s start with the main event, where Kenan Dzhafarli, a bantamweight with a 17-12 pro record took on Vitaliy Kozak, who was 0-2 in his pro career.

Sir, I’d like to speak to the commission.

In an outcome that surprised absolutely no one, Dzhafarli did Kozak a favor and simply rushed across the cage and put an absolute beatdown on him. The official time of the stoppage was 14 seconds, but as soon as Kozak curled up like a pill bug this one probably should have been waved off. I’d go sub-10-seconds for Dzhafarli here.

Kozak’s other two losses both clocked in at under a minute and I’d bet Dzhafarli was aware of that and wanted to set the record.

The co-main event wasn’t quite as bad, though technically Pavel Pinzul’s 4-4 record meant he was eight times as experienced as opponent Andrey Petrov, who had but one pro loss heading into Saturday.

Make that two pro losses for Pinzul now. He kicked his leg out of his leg!

On paper, this next matchup between Eduard Savchenko and Maliksha Bairamov isn’t that bad, in fact Bairamov was actually the more experienced fighter. But Savchenko’s 1-0 was still more impressive than Bairamov’s 1-5, especially when you consider that all five of Bairamov’s losses have come by way of submission.

Savchenko added to that tally with a third-round armbar that at least gave the fans their money’s worth.

Ruslan Tomskikh vs. Evgeny Pavlov
Fedor Durymanov vs. Fayzullo Muminov
Ilya Bochkov vs. Maksim Tkachenko
Ilya Kireev vs. Ivan Bukhtoyarov

Co-promoting with M-1 Global, Russia’s Fight Club Sech put on a show in St. Petersburg on Saturday featuring fighters that were more evenly matched, though there was still an oddity, which we’ll get to in a moment.

First, here’s Ruslan Tomskikh sending Evgeny Pavlov to get a room for two with Ryan Schwartzberg in Choke-out City.

Here’s your public service announcement for the day: Whether you’re about to nap or about to snap, it’s okay to tap!

Fayzullo Muminov didn’t have much choice in the matter as he ran into a right hand straight down the pipe from Fedor Durymanov.

That’s a finish that would make even “The Last Emperor” crack a smile... or at least slightly raise one of the corners of his mouth.

Speaking of heavyweight greats, here’s a KO by Ilya Bochkov that evoked memories of Stipe Miocic’s stunning championship win over Fabricio Werdum.

The ol’, “catch me if you can” counter punch.

And now for something truly bizarre.

That’s Ivan Bukhtoyarov getting subbed by Ilya Kireev moments after failing to secure a leglock. If the words “Bukhtoyarov” and “failing to secure a leglock” sound familiar it’s because according to Sherdog’s Jay Pettry, this is the same guy who got knocked out going for a similar move two days prior to this fight!


It looks like Bukhtoyarov might be on that Joao Paulo Rodrigues schedule, but even that doesn’t answer several questions raised by Pettry, who confirmed that it was the same Ivan Bukhtoyrav in both fights.

  • How could he be cleared to fight twice in two days after being knocked out?
  • How could he fight at light heavyweight in the first fight and then middleweight in the second fight? (My guess is that he weighed in barely over the middleweight limit, like 187 pounds or something. Dan Henderson did this for the Fedor Emelianenko fight, weighing in at 207 pounds for their “heavyweight” bout.)
  • Did he really travel 500 miles from Minsk to Saint Petersburg to make this happen? That’s, like, a 10-hour trip!

In conclusion: MMA.

Elvis Rodriguez vs. Danny Murray

That whole Bukhtoyarov situation is making my head spin, though not as badly as Danny Murray’s head was probably spinning (segue!) after eating this rocket jab from Elvis Rodriguez at a Top Rank Boxing show in Las Vegas last night.

No 10-count needed, poor Murray got straight Wanderlei’d.

We end things on a somber note this week, mourning the death of Abdulmanap, the father of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The 57-year-old not only raised and trained one of the pound-for-pound greatest fighters of all time, he was also a leading figure in the Dagestani martial arts community that has produced countless pro fighters, many of whom have graced this very feature.

Rest in peace Abdulmanap, and condolences to Khabib and the rest of the Nurmagomedov family.

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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