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.
Perhaps in anticipation of the UFC’s return this coming week, the MMA world has been at a bit of a standstill. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some wild stuff going on, of course, and we certainly have our fair share of odds and ends to discuss this week.
If you’ve kept up with our Fight Circus coverage, you know how enamored we’ve become with combat sports handicap matches. We thought 2 vs. 1 was great, but 3 vs. 1 turned out to be even better. So when we saw Bloody Elbow throw up a story about a 3 vs. 1 fight at a Russian gym, we had to check it out for ourselves. And now you can too.
Brought to you by Fight Commentary Breakdowns, we’re told this is three amateurs being matched up with a veteran heavyweight, Maxim Novoselov a.k.a. “Mad Max.” Solid nickname, respectable looking record (11-2-1), a little on the older side (47), and some questionable competition (his last three opponents had three fights—and three losses—combined). Seems like a perfect candidate to be the 1 in a 3-on-1.
Unlike previous handicap matches we’ve seen, Novoselov actually takes care of his opposition handily. The first gentleman takes a kick to the stomach and immediately crumples and the second gentleman who engages doesn’t last much longer, eating a pair of punches that actually take him off of his feet. Right away, we see how foolish it is to not have all three guys immediately rush in. This should have been one fighter shooting in for a takedown and the other two following with punches and kicks up top.
We do see a takedown in this clip, though it’s only after the last fighter’s teammates have been dispatched. Novoselov easily out-muscles him and puts an end to the proceedings with an Ezekiel choke-out.
It’s a fun clip, but being real, the whole thing looks somewhat fishy. While I fully believe amateurs would have difficulty dealing with the power of an experienced heavyweight, Fighter No. 2’s literal dive to the mat is tough to buy. Their action movie approach to attacking the hero 1-on-1 also leads me to believe that the clip isn’t on the up-and-up. It comes across like an advertisement for the featured gym, if anything: “With our training, you can take on THREE MEN AT ONCE.”
Perhaps I’m being overly skeptical. Check out the poll below and let me know what you think of MMA’s latest 3-on-1 offering.
What do you think of the latest 3-on-1 fight?
This poll is closed
Outside of that, we were short of traditional action, though thanks to Tennessee’s Valor Fighting Challenge and India’s Soul of Warriors promotions, there were some great highlights to celebrate.
Bubba Cruz vs. Shlomo Boyd
That’s right, it’s a good ol’ fashioned spinning backfist outta nowhere. The slow motion is great because you can really see the eagerness in Boyd’s eyes, the anticipation that he’s one strike away from the fight being over. He wasn’t wrong.
Shivang Guleria vs. Ishan Das
Kushal Vyas vs. Rohit Pundeer
Mandeep Prajapati vs. Akib Ali
And now we make what I believe is our first-ever virtual visit to Kolkata for Soul of Warriors 2, a show that you can catch for free on YouTube.
The dodgy video and sound quality, the over-enthusiastic announcer, the bloodthirsty crowd. This is some pure MMA right here.
There was some talent on display too. Flyweight Shivang Guleria made a memorable pro debut with a sharp right hand in the middle of an exchange that put Ishan Das down for the proverbial count.
Kushal Vyas (11-5) was the most experienced fighter on this card by a fair margin and it showed in his win over Rohit Pundeer. Watch how Vyas adapts after losing back control, transitioning into a slick armbar to get the tap.
Armbar de Kushal Vyas en la pelea estelar de Soul of Warriors 2 pic.twitter.com/AP1Ec3r41t— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) January 9, 2021
Sorry bud, no rope breaks in this rule set.
But the best part of the show may have been the pose-off between Mandeep Prajapati vs. Akib Ali.
Ali is the obvious winner here with the added sauce to cap off his taunt, but the actual result of the fight (begins around the 2:55:00 mark above) wasn’t so clear. After three rounds of back-and-forth action, there was considerable difficulty tallying the scores and both men ended up standing beside the ref for a full five minutes before the decision was determined.
It turned out to be a draw. So Ali, we’re counting your winning taunt as the tiebreaker. Congratulations.
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.