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.
Boxing vs. MMA is here to stay.
While there are plenty of combat sports fans out there who wished Tyron Woodley never stepped into the ring with Jake Paul once, much less twice, Paul’s emphatic knockout of “The Chosen One” in their rematch all but guarantees that 2022 will feature even more cagefighters calling for their chance to step through the ropes.
A grim forecast, perhaps, but not every crossover has to be bad. Case in point, one-time UFC flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov put on the big gloves this past weekend to fight Ruslan Provodnikov and it was considerably less sad than what we saw go down in Tampa, Fla.
(Big thanks as always to @Barrelelapierna for their weekly lists of the best KOs and submissions, and to @Grabaka_Hitman for uploading many of the clips you see here. Give them a follow and chip in on Patreon if you can.)
Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Ali Bagautinov
At Open Fighting Championship 15 in Moscow, Bagautinov and Provodnikov met in a five-round boxing match with their salaries going to charity. Provodnikov hasn’t fought in five years, but he briefly held the WBO light welterweight title and went the distance in a memorable scrap with Timothy Bradley once upon a time.
There’s no shenanigans in this one (well, maybe a little), no excessive clinching, just some solid boxing that wouldn’t look out of place on a Showtime or PBC card (uh, other than the ropes/cage hybrid ring, that is). Bagautinov lost a split decision, but earned a ton of respect. Add in the fact that Bagautinov has won nine of his past 10 MMA fights and you can really appreciate what a fine career he’s had.
And let’s be real, that late slam really should have secured Bagautinov the victory.
Let’s completely shift directions here and check out a finish that you definitely wouldn’t see in boxing.
From a German MMA Championship amateur event, here’s Tim Strysak dropping a dude with upkicks.
Tim Strysak, GMC Olympix pic.twitter.com/ZO0RsqtB0W— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) December 21, 2021
It’s difficult to tell exactly which kick did it, but once it’s felt, Strysak’s opponent goes down in a hurry.
At the same show, Sven Dolezal made his opponent pay for keeping his hands low.
One second you’re bouncing around like Dominick Cruz, the next you’re having your third-grade math lessons forcibly removed from your memory.
Lucas Biron vs. Cleber Danilo
Fernando Rodrigues Jr. vs. Joao Paulo dos Santos
Brazil’s Thunder Fights promotion held two events this past weekend, one amateur and one pro, and suffice to say it didn’t matter whether they were getting paid to fight or not: bodies were hitting the floor.
Amateur Lucas Biron decided he’d make an unforgettable first impression by planting his foot square in Cleber Danilo’s face.
Square between the uprights. It’s good!
On the pro side of things, Fernando Rodrigues Jr. ended Joao Paulo dos Santos with ground-and-pound and looked to be genuinely remorseful afterwards.
He really straightened out this man’s arms and laid him to rest. Tears.
Huo You Ga Bu vs. Lin Yang
While Derrick Lewis was doing his thing at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, on the other side of the world we had flyweight Huo You Ga Bu paying homage to “The Black Beast” with this hellacious flurry to put down Lin Yang.
Huo You Ga Bu, JCK Night Cage Series pic.twitter.com/d5Bc7hWIjq— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) December 21, 2021
Swangin’ and bangin’ works for the little guys too!
Marcos Rodrigues vs. Luis Nogueira
Mario Mingaj vs. Emmanuele Troia
Murad Kuramagomedov vs. Masoud Safari
It’s the season for unity and peace on Earth and all that jazz and if there’s one language that we all speak it’s the language of knees to the face. Sends a pretty clear message usually and that was definitely the case with these three highlights.
First, from Standout Fighting Tournament 32 in Sao Paulo (free replay available on YouTube), Marcos Rodrigues smoked Luis Nogueira with a relentless barrage of knees.
At Venator FC 9 in Abruzzo, Italy, Mario “Nicki” Mingaj (not his real nickname, but can you imagine?) broke out a gorgeous switch knee to finish Emmanuele Troia.
Venator FC 9 is available on UFC Fight Pass.
And at a Universal Fighters League show in Moscow, Murad Kuramagomedov reminded us all of the importance of a proper takedown setup.
A merry knee-to-the-face to you all and to all a good night.
Ahmad Labban vs. Nemanja Kovac
Jakob Nedoh vs. Zvonimir Kralj
Moving up the promotional ladder, we have efforts from Brave CF and AMC Fight Nights Global.
At Brave CF 56 in Belgrade, Serbia (available on Brave CF TV), Ahmad Labban rocked Nemanja Kovac with strikes before finishing with a picturesque guillotine choke.
Highlight to Ahmed Labban's (@AhmedLabban1) submission (guillotine choke) win at #BRAVECF56.— BRAVE Combat Federation (@bravemmaf) December 20, 2021
Rewatch the full fight FREE only on https://t.co/OpCDyk9cxj
[#BRAVECF | in association with MMA Liga] pic.twitter.com/wwqzP6gGPF
The event’s Knockout of the Night belonged to Jakob Nedoh, who scored a walkover knockout of Zvonimir Kralj.
Highlight to Jakob Nedoh's perfect KO punch to record another #BRAVECF win at #BRAVECF56.— BRAVE Combat Federation (@bravemmaf) December 20, 2021
Rewatch the full fight FREE only on https://t.co/OpCDyk9cxj
[#BRAVECF | in association with MMA Liga] pic.twitter.com/uWGuTUsLvf
One pointer for next time: Don’t knock your opponent out again as you’re walking over him, please.
Ruslan Satiev vs. Artem Lukyanov
Khamzat Chapanov vs. Vladislav Trusevich
Stanislav Klybik vs. Gairat Usmondjanov
Ilyas Eziev vs. Ivan Semenyuk
At AMC Fight Nights 107 in Minsk, Belarus (fights available on the promotion’s YouTube), Ruslan Satiev made a man fear for his life with this terrifying submission assault.
I think Lukyanov was actually trying to signal a submission at some point, but the signal got disconnected well before he had a chance to do so.
Next, a question: How do you want it? To the body or to the head?
Khamzat Chapanov gave it to the body…
… Stanislav Klybik gave it to the head.
Take your time. There’s no right answer, either way you’re having a less-than-happy holidays. The only thing we should all agree on is that Klybik’s breakdancing is f*cking sweet.
Speaking of the holidays, Ilyas Eziev must have been in a rush to make it to a fancy party because he took all of 15 seconds to win his pro debut.
That’s a fine way to segue into our speed round, so take it away Cesar Almeida and Mirela Vargas (show some love to the women’s lightweight division)!
Cesar Almeida vs. Danilo Souza (Shooto Brasil, 0:45)
Mirela Vargas vs. Ariele Ribeiro (Nacao Cyborg, 0:12)
These fighters certainly had no problem hitting and running, and this is where we have to sign off as well. But next week, we bring you the 4th Annual Fisty awards.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Ali Bagautinov’s boxing slam
Lucas Biron’s front kick
Mario Mingaj’s flying knee
Ahmad Labban’s guillotine choke
Mirela Vargas’ 12-second finish
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.