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Missed Fists: Chaotic BRAVE CF event features slam knockout for the ages, crazy comeback, illegal knee controversy, more

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Ibrahim Mane is slammed by Nursulton Ruziboev at Brave CF 47 in Bahrain on Thursday
@bravemmaf, Twitter

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.

There’s a wide variety of clips to catch with this week, but honestly, we could have done a whole post just on the insane sequence of events that went down at Brave CF 47 (PPV replay available on FITE TV) in Bahrain on Thursday.

Nursulton Ruziboev vs. Ibrahim Mane
Nemat Abdrashitov vs. Anzor Abdulkhozhaev
Abdul Azim Badakhshi vs. Agshin Babaev
Mohammad Farhad vs. Uloomi Karim
Ali Guliev vs. Rana Rudra Pratap Singh

AL: Forget Rampage-Arona, this is absolutely the scariest slam KO I’ve ever seen.

Ibrahim Mane did his best to convert this triangle, but Nursulton Ruziboev was having none of it and he just folded Ruziboev in half here. That’s not even fun to watch, you just hope that Mane is alright.

JM: You and I lead different lives, because I found that incredibly enjoyable to watch. That was a sick KO slam! Not as cool as the Aronabomb, but still very dope!

AL: Almost as shocking as that finish was Nemat Abdrashitov’s comeback KO after nearly being choked out by Anzor Abdulkhozhaev.

Abdrashitov actually did the “Call an ambulance! But not for me!” bit in an MMA fight.

JM: Talk about your 180s. That thing pivoted instantly. I’m still not entirely sure how Nemat wasn’t choked out there. That looked like a fully locked on power gilly, but Nemat survived. I’ve got to imagine Anzor is kicking himself watching that replay.

AL: Abdul Azim Badakhshi gave us an easy pick for Humpty Dumpty of the Week winner with this face-planting of Agshin Babaev.

JM: Oh, that’s got real Humpty Dumpty of the Year potential for this year’s Fisties. Babaev face-planted like he was doing a belly-flop in the pool. Only the pool was made of sweaty, bloody canvas.

AL: Amid all this madness, Mohammad Farhad’s blistering right hand bomb should not be overlooked.

Maybe the most unnecessary hammer fist of 2021 so far.

JM: That may be the most weight Farhad will ever be able to get into a single punch. They way he had stepped off to the angle and the slow motion nature of Karim’s reaction allowed Farhad to take a full step into that shot. That’s some going-for-the-high-score-on-the-arcade-punching-game stuff right there.

AL: And then there was this.

An illegal knee! In this economy???

That’s right, with the Aljamain Sterling-Petr Yan controversy still fresh, we have Ali Guliev cracking Rana Rudra Pratap Singh with the infamous knee-to-a-grounded-opponent technique. In this instance, Guliev was simply penalized two points and the bout continued.

The point deduction didn’t matter as Guliev found a finish shortly after to improve to 6-0 as a pro (Singh fell to 10-1). Cheating is back in the win column!

JM: That’s a far more explicable knee than the one Yan threw. Yan threw his knee against a fighter who was just chilling on the ground for several seconds and with the referee having explicitly called him a grounded fighter. Guliev at least throws his knee when it looks like RRPS is on his way up to his feet. If that thing lands a half-second later, it’s probably clean and that’s probably a highlight-reel KO.

Also, it bears repeating that there being any such thing as an illegal knee is dumb as sh*t. The legality of strikes should be determined by the kind of strike itself or where it lands on the body, not the position of the opponent’s body when it lands. It’s unconscionably dumb to do anything else (yes, that means soccer kicks and stomps should be legal, you ninnies).

AL: Preach.

Carrington Johnson vs. Mardrell Kirby

Now if you want to see how to handle a grounded opponent right, check out Carrington Johnson’s offense against Mardrell Kirby at Valor Fighting Challenge 79 in Knoxville, Tenn., last Friday.

Johnson just pushes Kirby back onto his feet, continues his attack, and then kicks his face off before he can get grounded again. Yan and Guliev, take notes!

JM: I mean, was that handling it right though? Another millisecond later and Johnson’s kick is illegal. Again I say, this is all idiotic. Those knees and that kick were no less damaging if the fighter was “down” or not. You aren’t protecting fighters with this rule, just creating a world in which one fighter gets screwed because timing wasn’t on their side.

AL: Enough with your preaching.

Christian Rodriguez vs. Charalampos Grigoriou
Cristian Santos vs. Shawn Stefanelli
Saidyokub Kakharamonov vs. Tycen Lynn
Phumi Nkuta vs. Alberto Trujillo

I promise there’s more finishes coming, but first we have some more adventures in officiating (and cornering) to get to.

At Cage Fury Fighting Championship 92 (available on UFC Fight Pass) on Thursday, Christian Santos scored his first pro win against first-timer Shawn Stefanelli after Stefanelli’s corner threw in the towel. Santos was really putting it on Stefanelli and you can see the ending sequence here.

I actually don’t think referee David Osaghee did a terrible job here. He could have stopped it sooner, but Stefanelli was working to escape bad positions, fighting Santos’ hands, and at no point did he eat a no-doubt, fight-ending shot. The accumulation of blows was scary though and I would have liked to at least have seen the fight paused to examine his eyes, one of which was swollen shut and the other bleeding.

JM: This is the platonic ideal of how fighting should work. Referees stop the fight when the fighter can no longer defend himself, corners stop it when the fighter can no longer reasonably expect to win. Stefanelli could not win this fight and was only going to take more damage moving forward, but he was still competing.

His corner correctly realized that it would be better both short and long term for them to concede defeat and go back to the gym to improve, instead of some vain hope that suffering a horrific ass-beating will make him go Super Saiyan or something. Well done all around.

AL: Nothing but praise for Stefanelli’s corner bailing him out. There was nothing to be gained from letting him fight much longer.

On the other side of the stoppage spectrum, referee Bill Bookwalter made sure to step in early to save Charalampos Grigoriou from Christian Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was clearly pulling away in the third round, but Grigoriou appeared to be avoiding the heaviest shots and was even firing back for the most part. This was a strange one for me, even if Rodriguez was on his way to a 10-8 round and a decision victory.

JM: Oof. That’s not a good stoppage. That’s another one where if his corner threw in the towel, that’s fine but the referee shouldn’t have jumped in there.

AL: Now for a finish that was without controversy.

Saidyokub Kakharamonov scorched Tycen Lynn with a combo and then—you’ll appreciate this—he let him stand up so that he could finish him off on the feet. That stunning display of fight IQ earned Kakharamonov the CFFC bantamweight title.

JM: That’s the textbook definition of being too tough for your own good. I thought Lynn was done after getting dropped with that first salvo, but the man showed a ton of heart. Too much in fact, as he then tried throwing hands again only to meet his calamitous end.

AL: The other big winner on the night was Serra-Longo product Phumi Nkuta. He won a convincing decision over the unbeaten Albert Trujillo and captured a flyweight title in just his third pro bout.

Then he made the most of his camera time, cutting a solid post-fight promo as he was being interviewed by CM Punk, one of the best on the mic during his time in pro wrestling.

JM: … Should it be noted that Matt Serra stops being an MMA corner and immediately the camp has two fighters win titles?

AL: (afraid to comment)

JM: No, but seriously, Serra is a good corner and that whole Aljo thing is a little weird and you can see from Nkuta’s comments how he much he values Serra.

AL: Now on to the quick and brutal hits of the week.

Anatoliy Moiseev vs. Konstantin Cherednichenko

From MMA SERIES-27 in St. Petersburg, Russia on Saturday. I don’t know what Konstantin Cherednichenko’s insides did to Anatoliy Moiseev to deserve this treatment, but I hope all is forgiven now.

JM: That’s the best highlight I’ve seen in six months. Moiseev probably could have been signed to, like, Bellator right out of the gate given his kickboxing history but after that there’s really no reason not to give this man a shot in the majors.

AL: At a ShoBox show in glamorous Uncasville, Conn., on Tuesday, 21-year-old junior welterweight prospect Brandun Lee recorded his 20th KO in 22 victories to date, walloping Samuel Teah with a right hand.

JM: Hey look at that, real boxing! I forgot that existed. Was too absorbed in all the carnival boxing bouts on the horizon (Paul-Askren, here I come!)

AL: Let’s not forget British millionaire vs. Colombian reggaeton star. Live on PPV, April 17, for just $49.99! Only in America!

You can read more about this other so-called “real boxing” event over on Bad Left Hook.

Ionut Iancu vs. Costin Mincu
Bogdan Nastase vs. Thomas Blanck

I’m just going to say it: Ionut Iancu was holding it down for all of us shlubby dudes out here, making short work of Costin Mincu at Dynamite Fighting Show 10 in Romania on Tuesday.

JM: God, that was awesome. Mincu throws that fancy-ass wheel kick and Iancu just says nah, and levels him. I love that for as much as we want fighting to be about technique and finesse, (*ahem* Israel Adesanya *ahem*), often it’s just about being a large human being who throws hammers.

AL: Okay, this could have been the Humpty Dumpty of the Week, but I’m ruling it out because Thomas Blanck doesn’t so much fall as gently ease himself down to the canvas while trying to remember what his life was like just hours ago when his legs hadn’t been transformed into jello.

JM: That’s no Humpty Dumpy. Blanck is just taking a rest. Give him a few minutes and he’ll be up and at ‘em again.

Jaden Mattox vs. Bobby Kelley
Ronald Castaneda vs. Avery Gonzalez
Julieta Martinez vs. Nayla Arla

AL: We turn to the amateurs to close out this week, but make no mistake these finishes are as professional as it gets.

Ohio Combat League (PPV replays available on Combat Sports Now) held back-to-back events in Newark, Ohio, last Friday and Saturday, and each evening gave us straight shot KOs that were eerily similar.

The second clip featuring Ronald Castaneda probably gets the edge here as his finish came in just 14 seconds.

JM: I love that amateur MMA is just MMA where you don’t pay fighters. So basically the UFC.

AL: Real.

And now, from United Fighting Series 10 (free replay available on Facebook) in Buenos Aires on Sunday, my favorite 20-second fight of 2021, please enjoy Julieta Martinez just going buckwild on Nayla Arla.

That spinning roundhouse Martinez throws is exquisite.

JM: Now THAT’S amateur MMA. Shin pads, mismatches, and a total lack of defense. How do you not love this, the sport of kings and queens?

AL: Hopefully, Martinez isn’t denied her pro license someday after testing positive for excess amounts of awesome sauce.


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment of the week?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Nursulton Ruziboev’s earth-shaking slam
    (59 votes)
  • 12%
    Nemat Abdrashitov’s crazy comeback KO
    (26 votes)
  • 4%
    Shawn Stefanelli’s corner with the save
    (10 votes)
  • 37%
    Anatoliy Moiseev obliterates a man’s insides
    (78 votes)
  • 13%
    Julieta Martinez’s 20 seconds of magic
    (28 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (6 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now

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.

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