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.
I think because we focus primarily on knockouts (and also the weird stuff) in this feature, that readers might be getting the impression that we don’t fully appreciate the art of joo jeetzu. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
In fact, this week we’re leading off with a few fine examples of the gentle art from Combat Jiu-Jitsu Worlds 2021 and Medusa Jiu-Jitsu 1 in Cancun, Mexico, two events that also just so happened to feature folks smacking the living s*it out of each other.
Mikey Gonzalez vs. Carl Boudro
Felipe Fogolin vs. Ivan Leyva
Ffion Davies vs. Jennifer Rivera
Brianna Ste-Marie vs. April Parks
I swear we’ll get to the submissions, but first how can we not show Mikey Gonzalez winning his match via brutal palm strike TKO?
Closed fists are for weenies, if you’re not getting slap knockouts, you ain’t all that.
On the other hand, would you rather eat a few open hands to the dome or possibly have your whole life changed by a Felipe Fogolin Peruvian necktie?
You know, I’m still going with the necktie.
Not to be outdone, the female jiu-jitsu artists got their chance to show out a day prior at the Combat Jiu Jitsu sister event Medusa Jiu-Jitsu. This will come as a surprise to no one, but just like in MMA, the women not only matched the men in aggression, they surpassed them.
Here’s Ffion Davies with the proof.
That’s a palm strike whupping and then a near arm breaking.
Brianna Ste-Marie opened up the defenses of April Parks the same way, smacking her head like a coconut to set up a rear-naked choke win.
“Gentle art,” eh?
There was plenty more great action at these two combat jiu-jitsu events and they’re both available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.
Jonathan Piersma vs. Kris Vereen
Charalampos Grigoriou vs. Efren Escareno
Also on UFC Fight Pass, Cage Fury Fighting Championships 101 went down in Bensalem, Penn., last Saturday and unfortunately, the most talked-about submission was one of the phantom variety.
Jonathan Piersma immediately threw up a guillotine choke to counter a Kris Vereen takedown and his execution was top notch as he had a tight grip and managed to trap one of Vereen’s arms. Was it good enough to get the submission?
Referee Gaspar Oliver waved this one off after just 31 seconds, which left Vereen completely confused. A review did not help Vereen’s case and he ended up taking the first pro loss of his career after starting off 5-0. Let’s hope that like the recent Kevin Holland-Kyle Daukaus bout, this one gets rebooked quickly.
Much less controversial was Charalampos Grigoriou’s knockout of Efren Escareno.
I just love this finish because there’s not one second where Grigoriou stops throwing punches. He hits a monster right uppercut, then starts to go for ground-and-pound, continues to throw as he’s standing up, and then throws even more with Escanero trying to crawl away.
My expert analysis: Grigoriou wanted the finish there.
Masakazu Imanari vs. Takeshi Kasugai
Back to some submission magic, you know we couldn’t leave out Masakazu Imanari picking up submission win No. 28 (!!!) at a RIZIN event this past Saturday, especially when the finish is this nasty.
Triangle to armbar to an omoplata to another armbar. That’s Imanari magic on full display and credit to Takeshi Kasugai for making him work for it. That last twist at the end is just nauseating.
Piotr Szeliga vs. Krzysztof Ferenc
Oh Fame MMA, you never fail to deliver.
This time, the Polish celebrity fighting organization treated us to an insane knockout courtesy of Piotr Szeliga.
I can’t tell you much about Szeliga other than that his Tapology profile lists his foundation style as “ice hockey” (you can see Szeliga in his natural element in this video). Actually, after seeing this I can tell you one more thing: he hits like a truck.
Tough luck for Krzysztof Ferenc, though at least the sponsors taking up prime real estate on his back got their money’s worth.
Samuel Bark vs. Baysangur Makaev
Lastly, at Wolf Fight Promotion 3 in Halmstad, Sweden, muay Thai star Samuel Bark (nicknamed “Sammon Dekkers” in homage to kickboxing legend Ramon Dekkers) made his MMA debut and it’s pretty much all that he and his fans could have hoped for.
Facing fellow MMA newcomer Baysangur Makaev, Bark put him down for the count with a jumping knee right on the button.
This just happened!!— Patrik Persson (@_PatrikPersson_) October 2, 2021
Samuel ’Sammon Decker’ Bark just knocked out Baysangur Makaev with a spectacular flying knee in his professional debute at Wolf Fight Promition 3 in Sweden!
A legendary muay thai fighter switching to MMA! @espnmma @MMAjunkie @MMAFighting #MMATwitter pic.twitter.com/qZynX6UijQ
You can read more about Bark in this 2017 VICE feature. It’s no ice hockey, but apparently muay Thai is a decent base if you’re planning to someday expand your interests into other combat sports.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Mikey Gonzalez’s palm strike finish
Charalampos Grigoriou’s wild flurry
Masakazu Imanari picks up sub No. 28
Piotr Szeliga flattens Krzysztof Ferenc
Samuel Bark’s MMA debut
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.