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.
Fight Circus. Vol. 3. Let’s go.
AL: After cruelly being delayed five whole months due to COVID-19 precautions, the third edition of Full Metal Dojo’s Fight Circus series is upon us, lovingly titled, Fight Circus Vol. 3: Hold My Beer.
Somehow, I think Jon Nutt had a few in him before stepping out to MC Friday night’s show that took place somewhere in Thailand, as he was even more charged up than usual.
JM: Nutt’s rendition of the King’s Anthem remains a low-key banger. What would a circus be without a ringleader who can move the crowd?
AL: It was a heck of a way to start what would turn out to be a predictably chaotic show. We’re not going to run things down chronologically here, instead going in order of… notoriety? Stupidity? Illegality?
Whatever your criteria is for ranking Fight Circus wackiness, I’m certain that we can all agree that the heavily hyped “phone booth fight” can’t be beat on this occasion. Though it certainly had competition.
Phone Booth Fight
JM: We should point out that this event appears to be taking place in a shopping mall. Like, we can see stores behind the commentary “booth.” I would not at all be surprised if random people are just walking by and seeing what is happening here.
It’s also worth noting that this one was pretaped, though that doesn’t take away from what we witnessed.
AL: This fight looked completely absurd. Poor Celest Hansen and Phetsan Suwan were literally standing and banging inside that booth, with much of the banging happening as their bodies clanged against the booth itself. So painful!
JM: I concur. This is just elbows, headbutts, and getting shoved into the metal phone booth frame. Also, not a lot of defense from either side. Defense might be impossible.
I can’t tell if they actually have a locking mechanism for the door or if it’s just that guy holding the door closed. I assume the latter is probably the case.
AL: I hope people really appreciate how much skill this takes. Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili, gifted in their own way, could not do this. And shouldn’t. Really, nobody should.
JM: So I think the phone booth gimmick kind of works, but the space needs to be slightly larger. Another foot on each side would give better visibility I think. And I hope they keep iterating on this.
AL: Agreed, with a few tweaks this could be ready for a live audience.
Not that it matters as we’re just happy to see both women escape without a serious injury (Hansen does suffer a scrape on her head), but Suwan takes the decision here.
The debut of “Siamese kickboxing” — which is probably exactly what you think it would be — also served as the continuation of the ongoing feud between Nutt and Bob Sapp that began at Fight Circus Vol. 2: Circus Harder last November. Sadly, Sapp was not actually at Friday’s event, though he did record plenty of promo videos for them to use on the broadcast.
Since an actual fight between Sapp and Nutt would probably last all of 30 seconds (despite Sapp’s advanced age and proclivity for, um, let’s call them “strategic losses”), standing in for the rivals are Chitnuphong Sommutiram and Jonathan Samutsopakul (Team Nutt) and Lit Deesawad and Warakorn Pakanan (Team Sapp).
JM: As for what Siamese kickboxing is, it’s two guys stuffed into a stretchy shirt fighting two other guys stuffed into a stretchy shirt.
AL: Simple and effective. And it kind of worked?
Credit to both teams for sticking with the gimmick even as their shirts became hopelessly out-of-place. They kept their off-hands behind their backs and didn’t try to skirt the rules. Not that there was much time to think about that as the fight quickly devolved into chaos, a common theme with Fight Circus.
JM: Another “Fastest Growing Sport in the World” according to the commentary team who used that phrase liberally. It’s easy to see why Fight Circus is thriving, they’ve cornered the market on all the fastest growing sports. Invest at the ground floor.
This sport has a ton of potential. We need some better-designed clothes for one, and it seems like the fighters really need to understand how to work together. Like Pacific Rim Kaijus.
AL: I actually started to think about what tactics would best work in this kind of fight. I mean, you’d have to think the best strategy here would be to pair up a natural orthodox fighter with a natural southpaw. Right?
JM: I am extremely confident that no one involved put even the slightest bit of thought into this and so I highly doubt anyone has found a game plan.
After the first round, Nutt suggested that they “Bring out the one chair for four butt cheeks.” Safety first, that’s what Fight Circus is all about.
AL: Somehow, Team Nutt actually figured out how to have one guy lead with his jab to set up the other guy’s power left. It was genuinely amazing.
JM: We need a lot more communication from the fighters. Gotta talk through attacks, entries, and exits. And for sure, all haymakers. There is no subtlety in this game. Swing to win, baby.
AL: Despite a few moments where bodies hit the floor (all almost definitely slips), this one goes the distance with Team Nutt winning a decision. Absurdly, this was actually judged using the 10-point must system.
JM: Real missed opportunity. Fight Circus could easily create its own insane scoring system, and the best part is no matter how outlandish, it still wouldn’t be that much worse than the “unified rules” we currently play by.
AL: There was one more neat concept that bears mentioning, though sadly it fell flat in execution.
The show opened with a “Batsh*t Boxing” bout between Rockie Bactol and Bryson Dean Collins, which saw the fighters do the ol’ “dizzy bat” trick that you used to do with your friends in grade school (probably also high school. And college. And in your rec softball league just a few weeks ago).
This should ring a bell:
JM: I absolutely love the idea of dizzy bat boxing. This is the type of innovation that keeps Fight Circus on the cutting edge.
AL: We’ve all done this before, but I’m guessing most of us didn’t proceed to punch each other in the head afterwards.
Sadly, the pre-fight spinnery doesn’t seem to do much and what we get is a fairly normal — albeit wild — boxing match.
JM: You know what this fight needed? Tang Mo. Bring in the Fight Circus Brooklyn Brawler for dizzy boxing. Dude might not be able to make the spins, much less box after.
It has to be mentioned that Fight Circus Vol. 3 suffered from some serious streaming issues, but it wouldn’t be a Fight Circus without technical difficulties, would it? That’s half the charm. That and the... enthusiastic advertising that occurs on the fringes of the CamSoda website that hosted the broadcast.
AL: I’m still amazed that this is even allowed to be broadcast anywhere.
Bactol wins the somewhat disappointing affair by TKO, we think. The commentators pull a Dr. Joe Rogan and diagnose Collins with a broken rib from wherever they’re sitting.
There were two genuinely great fights on the card as well, one of them in the criminally underrated “Human Cockfighting” field and the other just your typical, ho-hum lethwei bout.
Human Cockfighting, for those of you unfamiliar with the Fight Circus concept, is not just a catchy buzzword used by deceased politicians, it’s a legitimate form of fighting in which the competitors can only use kicks.
Squaring off this time were Rambo Fairtex and Nut Prasittigat.
JM: Rambo is chiseled from stone and looks like he could chop down a tree with just his kicks. Meanwhile, Nut appears to have just been pulled out of karate class because he had a lot of geometry homework he needed to get done.
But Nut hung in there. After a tough first round, he settled in during the second and they started just smashing each other! This was awesome!
AL: I’m all in on the human cockfighting, this should be a more popular thing.
JM: Jon Nutt now announced that it is the Fastest Growing Sport in the World. Take a drink!
Rambo grabbed a clinch and was just melting Nut with knees. This sh*t went bananas in the third as both men threw caution to the wind. In the end, Rambo won, and Nutt (Jon, not Prasittigat) gave him a painting as a prize that he said “has been hanging in my bathroom for a decade and my wife wants to get rid of it.” Piece of history right there.
AL: The lethwei fight between Somiong War and Master was also bonkers, but conceptually tame compared to everything else on the show.
JM: Well, tame is relative. This was the most normal thing that happened but it was the one legit lethwei fight on the card so like, it was where the real violence came instead of backyard fun violence.
AL: True. These dudes were not playing around. Round 2 was a bomb-fest with both fighters scoring knockdowns. Apologies for the lack of video, readers, but look for Full Metal Dojo to upload a full replay of the card (unfortunately, probably without the NSFW advertisement) soon.
JM: As I said, this is the only fight where real violence was likely and, damn, it brought it. Both dudes just gassed it up against one another. Lethwei still rules.
This was a legitimate war. Monster action, and I’m not even sure if we got a winner. Lethwei bouts that go the distance are traditionally considered draws and if they announced a winner here, it was lost when the stream died.
AL: As this is a Fight Circus event, there was a classic two-versus-one bout, featuring the Asymmetrical Champions themselves, Bank and No Money. However, this time they were paired up with their most experienced opponent yet, UFC vet Will Chope, and really the less said about this one the better.
JM: We also had a costume change from Jon Nutt that is… not particularly PC. What else would we expect I guess, this is a carnival fight promotion being broadcast by a porn company and handing out golden bongs as prizes. That is quite a sentence.
We also get this gem on the broadcast: “Bank and No Money are obviously the two people,” which is the commentary you never knew you needed.
AL: Chope, regrettably, found the perfect counter to Bank and No Money’s tried-and-true “one guy grabs the other guy punches” tactic by slapping a guillotine on whoever went for the body lock and eventually forcing one of them to tap out.
JM: One problem is — and this has been true since Fight Circus 1 — that the one brother may be the worst fighter I’ve ever seen. Legitimately. The bigger one is given free reign to punch people in the head while they fend off the little one and yet he cannot even make the slightest impression with his punches. Just comically soft hands.
And shame on Chope for showing absolutely zero self-awareness in there and legitimately trying to win. Not at all surprising but a real bummer.
AL: Last, but certainly not least, we should mention the one-night, four-woman Indian Leg Wrestling contest that was ably described as “like arm wrestling with legs” if that helps.
Suffice to say, this is usually the part of the card where one of the commentators starts to get extremely inappropriate, so let’s just go to the clips, which saw Hell Girl and Jenn the Tiger advance to the finals.
JM: It should be noted that all of the losers on the night were given a giant novelty check for zero dollars. And by giant novelty check, I mean a large poster board that someone wrote sloppily on. Fight Circus, always on brand.
AL: It was Jenn the Tiger who claimed the tournament crown, though one of her opponents called for Sapp to avenge her after Nutt did his usual post-fight loser shaming. So perhaps that feud is not dead just yet.
One thing is for sure and that’s that Fight Circus will roll on. Besides the usual technical difficulties, Vol. 3 actually went off with few hitches and the phone booth fight was better than anyone could possibly have predicted. I’m equal parts excited and terrified to see what Vol. 4 brings.
I’m tugging on my rope, take us outta here.
JM: I say this every time but it remains true after every Fight Circus event: Fight Circus is pound-for-pound the best promotion in combat sports. Is it perfect? God, no. In fact, it is often horrible, uncomfortable, puerile, frustrating, and morally questionable. But there is no organization that more firmly understands exactly what it is than Fight Circus. It promises a carnival and some stuff you’ve never seen before and it delivers every time (on the latter it actually over-delivers).
If you still haven’t hopped on the Fight Circus fan wagon, that’s okay. It’s definitely not for everyone but I would encourage everyone to give it a shot when Vol. 4 comes around. It’s absurd, the production is questionable at best and, frankly, there are some really rough things about it, but underneath all of that you can sense that there is a community here. The people involved aren’t in this to make money or exploit anyone, but to have fun and get weird and in that they are peerless.
At the very least, it’s a nice palate cleanser from the rest of the hyper-serious world of MMA. But maybe don’t stay for the post-main event dark matches.
Alice is the winner of the Plug of War at the end of Fight Circus 3: Hold My Beer. That was ridiculous. Let's never speak of it again. #FightCircus3— Sherdog (@sherdogdotcom) November 6, 2021
What was the most memorable Fight Circus 3 moment?
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Phone booth fight
One fighter beats two!
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.