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.
“Persistence” is our word of the week, whether we’re talking about fighters searching for a rare win or veterans sticking around to soak up every last drop of glory. Let’s start with the latter, as 47-year-old Haruaki Otsuki authored one of the week’s most visually impressive finishes.
Haruaki Otsuki vs. Hitoshi Aketo
Mahiro vs. NA☆NA
Otsuki’s power, my goodness.
47-year old Haruaki Otsuki can still crack! pic.twitter.com/Q6FR5OXsMC— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) January 23, 2021
At Krush 121 in Tokyo last Saturday, Otsuki landed a right hand that sent Hitoshi Aketo bouncing off of the ropes and out of the fight. It’s a good thing that they were fighting in a ring because if this had been an unsanctioned street fight and Otsuki hit him with this same punch, Aketo probably would have left a hole in a brick wall like the Kool-Aid Man.
That should probably be this week’s winner of the Humpty Dumpty award, but let’s not count out Mahiro and NA☆NA.
Mahiro (@k1mahiro_5) lands a flush teep for the second-round finish! pic.twitter.com/ageBxxRmtN— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) January 23, 2021
Mahiro took us back to ‘03 with a kick to the face that made NA☆NA do the Lean Back.
Ouyang Feng vs. Liu Lei
Fu Gaofeng vs. Zhang Yongkang
This just in: In related news, there was also a Wu Lin Feng kickboxing show in China that same day and—one moment [touches earpiece]—yes, I can confirm that faces were also being kicked at this event.
Ouyang Feng consider me a fan! pic.twitter.com/EbGEMYtozs— ELDOLAD (@leonzenegger) January 23, 2021
That’s Ouyang Feng just eating a couple of clinch uppercuts and then responding with a head kick. I’m not a doctor, but I think Feng’s strike was more effective.
We saw a similar sequence in Fu Gaofeng’s fight with Zhang Yongkang. The two clash in the middle of the ring, and Gaofeng just unloads with a head strike that causes Yongkang to face-plant.
Fu Gaofeng does it again. pic.twitter.com/zbFE7WWKva— Kiksie ♥️ (ง •̀_•́)ง (@KiksieDB) January 23, 2021
And then there was Tie Yinghua.
I’m not even sure exactly what part of this guy’s face got kicked, but it feels like if that kick flicked your eyelid you’d be done for.
All three of those head kicks were so good, so let’s go to the readers to decide Who Kicked It Better?
Who Kicked It Better?
This poll is closed
Sambet Naimanbayev vs. Yelzhan Aliaskar
Not included in the poll and the clear winner if we’re putting our kickboxing and MMA in the same category is Sambet Naimanbayev. According to Tapology, Naimanbayev is actually from the U.S. and he fights out of New Jersey. He’s been struggling to find a win in Jersey’s Ring of Combat promotion, but after losing four straight it looks like he’d had enough.
Naimanbayev is of Kazakh origin and in a return to his ancestral home at Octagon: Selection 15 in Almaty, on Wednesday, he got his W in a big way.
Insane spinning shit KO this morning in Kazakhstan— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 27, 2021
Sambet Naimanbayev destroys Elzhan Aliaskar #Octagon15 pic.twitter.com/8slrjZy0Od
His opponent, Yelzhan Aliaskar, actually landed a nice spin kick to the body before taking that spin kick to the head, so points to him for that. No points to the referee for taking a leisurely stroll across the cage before stepping in for the stoppage. Come on, guy.
Naimanbayev snapped a four-fight losing skid and scored his second pro win.
Watch the full show here:
Odil Khaydarov vs. Abdusalim Khamitov
Over in Moscow at Oplot Challenge 113 on Sunday, Odil Khaydarov lured Abdusalim Khamitov into his range and just detonated him with a wild right hook.
Hermoso KO de Odil Khaydarov en Oplot Challenge 113 pic.twitter.com/U3QH769KUr— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) January 24, 2021
For me, that KO just edges out Evgeniy Poskotin’s six-second finish, which saw him dodge a couple of jabs before answering with a world-shattering left hook.
Hace unas horas en Oplot Challenge 113. KO a los 6 segundos de Evgeniy Poskotin pic.twitter.com/5svWy2OqqZ— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) January 24, 2021
Maysalbek Aybek Uulu vs. Vagiz Ismagilov
Alexander Kuzmenko vs. Artem Muftakhetdinov
Keeping with the theme of persistence, we have two more sterling examples from MMA SERIES-24 in Bashkortostan, Russia.
Maysalbek Aybek Uulu gets CRACKED by a Vagiz Ismagilov spinning backfist, but that just made him mad. He ended up taking Ismagilov’s arm home.
#MMASeries24 pic.twitter.com/CZcANBEImH— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 23, 2021
Aybek Uulu Maysalbek (now 4-0) submits Vagiz Ismagilov with a nasty kimura off his back. Something definitely popped #MMASeries24 pic.twitter.com/qjdmcur52z— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 23, 2021
Alexander Kuzmenko was 0-5 heading into Saturday’s show, but he picked up his first win with this nice flurry.
Smoked— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 23, 2021
Alexander Kuzmenko - MMA Series 24 pic.twitter.com/7RpoTzPKfU
His opponent Artem Muftakhetdinov was 0-0, but it still counts!
Armen Petrosyan vs. Dmitry Minakov
Kuat Khamitov vs. Maksim Panteleyev
Armen Petrosyan (4-0) successfully defended his Fight Nights Global light heavyweight title last Friday in Magnitogorsk, Russia, outlasting Dmitry Minakov and ending the fight with a punt to the guts in round two.
Wow, beautiful finish by Armen Petrosyan. After a wrestling heavy 1.5 rounds, the champ rallies to his feet and KO's Dmitry Minakov with a nasty kick to the liver. And STILL Fight Nights LHW champ. #AMCFightNights pic.twitter.com/my3IbZcPyt— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 22, 2021
It wasn’t a one-shot KO either. You can see the moment when Petrosyan starts to smell blood and he targets Minakov’s midsection before delivering the final blow. Great work.
Not as fancy, but equally exciting is Kuat Khamitov’s KO of Maksim Panteleyev.
Kuat Khamitov KO's Maxim Panteleyev #AMCFightNights pic.twitter.com/pkQcAhBnur— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 22, 2021
Khamitov doesn’t seem too concerned about Panteleyev’s firepower. He wades right in, gets clipped, and then immediately fires back with a haymaker. Seriously, watch that again a few times. It looks sped up.
Perhaps Khamitov had good reason to not feel threatened. He entered this contest with a 22-5 record. Panteleyev? 0-0.
Karolina Sobek vs. Klaudia Sygula
At Armia Fight Night 9 in Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland, last Friday, Karolina Sobek shrugged off a cut on her eye to secure this kesa ashi garami (credit to @Fight_Expert for that) or “scarfhold armlock.”
Karolina Sobek (2-0) ate a hard elbow early to cut her eye but she hunted the kesa ashi garami consistently. Finally got it in Rd 3. pic.twitter.com/OmWKt1BxIO— Dusty Andrews (@Fight_Expert) January 22, 2021
When last we saw Sobek, she was losing an exhibition bout at a Wotore show, so it’s nice to see that her pro career is off to a good start so far through two fights.
Watch the full show here:
George Green vs. Slade Primeaux
We had some prescient commentary at the Gulf Coast MMA show (available for replay on FITE TV PPV) in Biloxi, Miss., last Saturday, as George Green’s powerful head kick KO of Slade Primeaux was preceded by a warning.
Numero 4⃣— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) January 25, 2021
George Green, Gulf Coast MMA 8 pic.twitter.com/NYe357FjAm
Firstly, Slade Primeaux is an incredible name.
Secondly, here’s the quote:
“Now, Slade Primeaux has no choice. He has got to be wary of those head kicks by Green.”
No lies detected. If only Mr. Precog here could have seen this an hour sooner, he could have saved Primeaux a lot of pain.
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.