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.
Regular readers know that we like to start these features off with a spicy and intriguing (read: usually weird) angle and we had a trio of good options this week. As usual, you can vote at the end to let us know what stood out to you the most, but for us, we had to first focus on a fighter having a nice little payday cruelly dangled just out of his reach.
Rob Morrow vs. Demoreo Dennis
Demoreo Dennis vs. Haze Wilson
Sampson Tabbytite vs. Jad Ahlkatib
AL: Poor Demoreo Dennis. The heavyweight made it all the way through a grueling eight-man, one-night kickboxing tournament at last Friday’s Xtreme Fight Night 367 show in Tulsa, Okla., only to end up on the wrong end of this blooper:
Gotcha!!#XFN367 pic.twitter.com/l0c557tMb9— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) August 8, 2020
Two parties at fault here, whoever got the corners and names of Dennis and Rob Morrow mixed up on the card, of course, and the ring announcer for rolling this one a tad too slowly.
JM: Honestly, I’m kinda for this. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely cruel, bush league stuff, but what else do you expect from regional MMA? You’ve got to have some cataclysmic screw ups from time to time or else it just wouldn’t be fighting. The game is the game.
AL: Make no mistake people, 10 Gs is nothing to sneeze at on the regional scene and to be denied in such ridiculous fashion has to sting.
At least Dennis had this sweet finish earlier in the evening in his fight with Haze Wilson.
I got #KO of the night. #xfn #ufcfightpass #kickboxing #mma #ufc #heavyweight #oklahoma pic.twitter.com/fuKmzwuLJP— Demoreo Dennis (@SuperDemoreo) August 9, 2020
JM: More like Hazy Wilson after that, amrite?
AL: I’ll allow it.
There was some MMA action too as Sampson Tabbytite took out Jad “Meshew” Ahlkatib with a sweet spinning kick to the tummy.
SAMPSON!#XFN367 pic.twitter.com/AnAXgTf8dl— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) August 8, 2020
I don’t know about you, but I really wanna talk to SAMPSON after that performance.
JM: Wow. A+ reference. It almost makes up for you trying to associate me, the current King of Between the Links with a man who just had his guts ripped from his body.
Turpal Khamzayev vs. Jason Tipaldos
Santo Curatolo vs. James Mancini
Yohan Lainesse vs. Connor Dixon
Solomon Renfro vs. Robert Gidron
Isaiah Monroe vs. Joe Tizzano
AL: Our runner-up for this week’s lede comes courtesy of Cage Fury FC 82, which took place in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Inexperienced and winless fighters Turpal Khamzayev and Jason Tipaldos opened the show, which may explain why even in victory, Khamzayev was less than elegant.
Quick right puts an end to this one! #CFFC82 pic.twitter.com/oaIDt1rUtQ— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) August 13, 2020
We see walk-offs every now and then, but this was the even rarer stumble-off.
JM: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen something quite like that. He hits a KO shot while falling away. How does that even work? I’m not a physicist but that seems like it shouldn’t.
AL: In the main event, 25-year-old flyweight prospect Santo Curatolo executed a much smoother finish with this one-punch KO just 65 seconds into the opening round.
One quick left and that is all she wrote!!! #CFFC82— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) August 13, 2020
Santo Curatolo is the @CFFCMMA flyweight champ! pic.twitter.com/e04z3aw2Ku
With the win, Curatolo captured a vacant CFFC title.
JM: You don’t see a lot of 125ers with first-round KO power. Curatolo is definitely one to watch out for.
AL: First-round finishes were the order of the day at this show, and here’s another nasty one from Yohan Lainesse.
Will we see a second round tonight???? #CFFC82 pic.twitter.com/f815pSj9u7— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) August 13, 2020
He staggered Connor Dixon with an uppercut and then dropped a precision air-to-ground missile for the finish.
JM: Does that count as an uppercut? It’s almost a body hook, but Dixon ducks so low that it clocks him in the jaw. Either way, in my professional opinion, it sucks to be Dixon right now.
AL: And then we had not one, but two first-round anaconda chokes, both beautifully performed by Solomon Renfro and Isaiah Monroe:
And another one... #CFFC82 pic.twitter.com/KGaimLHNH9— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) August 13, 2020
Another quick finish here at #CFFC82! pic.twitter.com/1udn7MEy2J— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) August 13, 2020
JM: CFFC was friggin’ bonkers this week. How often do you see two anaconda chokes in a month much less on one card. And much, much less both in the first round!
XFN 367 and Cage Fury FC 82 are both available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.
Petchphadan vs. Chaipayak
AL: If you’re looking for some free kickboxing action, look no further than the MAX Muay Thai show that went down in Thailand on Tuesday. That’s available on YouTube.
A must-see finish from that show was our third candidate for feature opener and you can see why:
14-year old prospect Petchphadan with a beautiful first-round stoppage. He’s won all of his 5 Max Muay Thai fights so far, ending 4 of them inside the distance. pic.twitter.com/hWqwVatWsi— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) August 11, 2020
That’s 14-year-old Petchphadan landing a chilling head kick that he’s probably going to see replayed long after his competitive days are over. What were you doing when you were 14?
JM: Fourteen? I was in the lab, perfecting my take game so one day, I could dominate Between the Links like no champion before. Greatness begins early. Rise and grind.
AL: We’ll be hearing about this Between the Links run for longer than we will Petchphadan’s KO.
JM: You know, When Michelle Obama used to say, “when they go low, we go high” I didn’t think she was talking about Muay Thai. It appears I was wrong and Petchphadan is a disciple.
AL: I’m just glad Chaipayak did the smart thing and stayed down rather than try to go full Undertaker.
Yang Guang vs. Ren Yawei
At Monday’s Kunlun Combat Professional League show, we find this week’s winner of our “Humpty Dumpty Award” that, if I’m being honest, really isn’t anything to laugh about.
Yang Guang KO's Ren Yawei pic.twitter.com/98ypdxaHCV— Kiksie ♥️ (ง •̀_•́)ง (@KiksieDB) August 11, 2020
Enjoy your prize Yang Guang (and Ren Yawei, I suppose), you terrifying man.
JM: Wow. The way his head snaps back is pretty jarring. And Yawei was so close to landing a glorious slip-counter. That is the most savage KO I’ve seen in some time.
Kento Haraguchi vs. Taiga
Kai Asakura vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo
AL: There were two RIZIN events on this past weekend, and you could be forgiven for missing them considering that North American fans weren’t given a convenient option to actually watch them and if you did so, it was for the low-low price of $50 USD. Per show. Eep.
JM: Look, we love MMA here. We love combat sports in general. And we especially love weird combat sports. But $50 a pop is categorically insane.
AL: The good news is that free fights have been uploaded to RIZIN’s YouTube page and two of the best highlights from RIZIN 23 already made the rounds on social media, including Kento Haraguchi’s absolute schmammering of Taiga.
Flawless performance yesterday by 22 year old Kento Haraguchi (@Kento_fft) scoring a 1st round KO over Taiga. His talent is more evident with every fight. The first match between the two ended in a draw two years ago, the RISE -63kg champion is 8-0 (5 KO's) since. pic.twitter.com/sX0l3PCUQr— Kick To The Future (@kicktothefuture) August 10, 2020
In an MMA fight, any one of those knockdowns would have had the referee waving things off, so I don’t want to hear anything about kickboxing being a safer sport.
JM: I mean, at some point you’ve just got to recognize your limits. “Welp, this guy is just way, way better than I am.” It’s like if I just steadfastly refused to admit Tom Hardy was a more attractive man than I am. Sure, I can choose to do that, but I’m just gonna lose in the long run.
AL: And we have to pay our respects to the new RIZIN bantamweight king Kai Asakura.
His rise to the top was a strange one, as he was essentially the uncrowned champion after decimating Kyoji Horiguchi in a non-title bout 12 months ago. After an injury forced Horiguchi to vacate, Asakura ran into fellow blue chipper Manel Kape and was put down in the second round at RIZIN 20. That made Kape the new champion, but the title was again vacated when Kape signed with the UFC.
So Asakura got another chance to win the bantamweight championship against Shooto flyweight champion Hiromasa Ougikubo and this time, he didn’t miss.
August 10, 2020
Note Asakura taking full advantage of the “superior ruleset.”
JM: If soccer kicks were legal, Jose Aldo would be a five-weight world champion. BRING BACK SOCCER KICKS YOU COWARDS!
AL: And now, the most exciting news of the past week. No, not Corey Anderson going to Bellator. No, not Paige VanZant going to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (though that is a Missed Fists moment if there ever was one.)
Of course, I’m talking about Full Metal Dojo teaming up with everyone (Jed Meshew’s) favorite streaming company/MMA promoter: CamSoda.
FMD Fight Circus— Full Metal Dojo (@FullMetalDojo) August 9, 2020
8-10pm Aug 22
This could get weird!
AL: Now Jed, before you begi-
JM: YESSSSSSSS! EVERYTHING IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!
I’ve never been so happy. I want it to be known that everything I said above about a $50 price point, it’s bollocks. If this thing costs $500, you should all buy it. I would, except I fully intend to be sitting cageside for this so I can give this event the week-long exhaustive media coverage it deserves.
2020, I take back every mean thing I’ve ever said about you.
AL: For anyone who doesn’t remember the first, history-making CamSoda Legends event, make sure to check out our full recap here:
“Krazy Horse” forever.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
XFN announcement gaffe
Turpal Khamzayev’s stumble-off KO
14-year-old Petchphadan catches a body
Yang Guang’s "Humpty Dumpty" KO
Kento Haraguchi styles on Taiga
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.