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.
As regular readers know by now, this space is reserved for Fight Circus news whenever it arises and sure enough, Full Metal Dojo blessed us this week with not only a fresh teaser for their upcoming April show, Fight Circus 3: Fisting For Dollars, but a free fight as well!
Jake ‘The Avocado’ vs. Sascha (just Sascha)
AL: The super cheap and super brilliant game show parody. The awkward acting. Jon Nutt. Two guys having a professional K-1-style kickboxing match in a parking lot.
I’d say Fight Circus is back, but it’s never really gone, is it?
JM: It’s certainly never gone from my heart.
I love these crazy rascals over in Thailand. The Wheel of Violence is a note-perfect follow up to the insanity that was Circus Harder. All headbutt fight? Cannot wait. Bob Sapp? Sign me up. And shouts to our colleague and second-greatest Between the Links competitor of all time, Jose Youngs, who suggested that Fight Circus do a separated Wheel of Violence, so each man spins the wheel to get the weapons they can use—headbutts, left hooks, low kicks, etc. It’s a brilliant idea and I can’t wait to see that at Fight Circus 4: Wheel of Calamity.
AL: I could have gone without the use of Chris Benoit imagery, but other than that, kudos all around.
Sultanali Davudov vs. Antonio Carlos Ribeiro
Satrudin Vakhidov vs. Roman Gnezdilov
Grigoriy Ponomarev vs. Timofey Mishev
At an AMC Fight Nights show in Moscow (full fights available on YouTube) on Tuesday, we find this week’s Humpty Dumpty winner as Sultani Davudov lands a counter right on a flailing Antonio Carlos Ribeiro that has the Brazilian veteran swimming in the air as he goes down.
Sultanali Davudov KO's Antônio Carlos Ribeiro 27 seconds into R3 - AMC Fight Nights pic.twitter.com/zysWneJjnt— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 16, 2021
JM: That was an action-packed clip right there. A lot going on. I thought Davudov might get killed with that sway back against the fence, leaving his chin in the air but turns out he knew what he was doing. Top marks.
AL: That visual was topped by the audio from this jumping knee to the liver by Satrudin Vakhidov.
That rib-rattler is almost worse than taking a knee to the dome.
JM: That, ladies and gentleman, is the sound you hear when someone breaks a rib. Oof.
AL: We also had a delightful heavyweight mismatch on the show that saw Grigoriy Ponomarev win in 46 seconds against Timofey Mishev.
Grigoriy Ponomarev TKO's Timofey Mishev in the first round. Nobody could have seen this coming pic.twitter.com/NToeOtglPS— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 16, 2021
Those are two beautiful heavyweight bodies and I won’t hear otherwise.
JM: What an upset!
You know what’s fun about heavyweight MMA? These dudes are terrible and they could still beat the hell out of like, Frankie Edgar, because they are huge and he is not. Oh fighting, what a fickle sport you are.
Bryce Sines vs. Daniel Keepers
Nate Williams vs. Gonzalo Ponce
AL: Anytime you see a wicked knockout on the amateur scene, you have to hope that the fighter on the receiving end was somehow compensated even if they’re technically not supposed to be paid an actual fight purse.
Case in point, what Bryce Sines walking off Daniel Keepers at Pinnacle Combat 33 was just wrong.
JM: I think I said this last week, but amateur MMA is wild because it’s functionally identical to professional MMA, right down to the fighters not getting paid squat. As Heath Ledger famously said, if you’re good at something never do it for free. These guys need to make better life choices.
AL: A pro bout headlined the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, show, with 50-fight veteran Nate Williams taking on seven-fight not-veteran Gonzalo Ponce.
Williams has had a couple of cups of coffee with Bellator and he’s won more than he’s lost with 30 pro wins under his belt heading into last weekend. This went about as poorly for Ponce as you’d expect.
JM: Dude, it looks like Ponce’s face got broken from that slam. Seriously, I don’t know why people fight. That looks like it sucks.
Bryce Gamboa vs. Joshua Ciulla
AL: While we’re showing love to the most minor league regional shows, let’s not leave out Bryce Gamboa who shared this clip of his pro debut where he absolutely starches a local enhancement talent.
JM: “Enhancement talent” huh? Like you on Between the Links? (GOT HIM!)
Youssef Ghrairi vs. Hassan Talal
Nkosi Ndebele vs. Abdelmoumen Mssaate
Murtaza Talha vs. Cameron Meintjies
Azat Maksum vs. Michael Aljarouj
We’ve seen all kinds of illegal knees lately, so thank you Brave CF 48 (replay available on FITE TV pay-per-view) fighters for blessing us with a pair of knee knockouts yesterday that will actually go on record as official Ws.
Until the superior rule set is adopted by the UFC, Bellator, and the other MMA fat cats, we’ll have to settle for these awesome finishes by Youssef Ghrairi and Nkosi Ndebele. I’ll always pop for an obliteration by clinch knees.
JM: Thank god neither of those two gentlemen had a hand or knee on the canvas. Instead of being violently concussed they might have been... violently concussed.
AL: Murtaza Talha reminded everyone that the best takedown defense will always be pointy elbows to the side of the skull.
JM: Remember when Travis Browne almost got a heavyweight title shot off the back of this one technique? Glad to see these young pups are learning from those fighters from back in the day.
AL: In prospect watch news, Kazakhstan’s Azat Maksum improved to 12-0 with an aggressive finish of Michael Aljarouj.
Maksum lands a bomb right hand and doesn’t have the patience to let Aljarouj fall, instead tackling him to the ground and sneaking in a couple more shots for good measure. He doesn’t turn 26 until May and you can be sure he’s on the short list for a trip to Fight Island soon.
JM: I love that tackle on the unconscious Aljarouj. It’s clear Maksum wasn’t trying to shoot a takedown, just stepping in with his combination, but then he ended up chest to chest and just went with it. Great reactions and instincts there.
Manny Akpan vs. Ben Ellis
Christian Duncan vs. Will Currie
Mateusz Figlak vs. Josh Plant
AL: Everyone still has their UFC Fight Pass accounts, right? Because there’s still a lot going on there every week, including Cage Warriors, Cage Fury FC, LFA, and Lux Fight League. Here’s the rundown.
From Cage Warriors 120 in London (the first of three straight nights of events, continuing tonight and tomorrow), Manny Akpan landed a blink-and-you-missed-it spinning kick on Ben Ellis that left him out on his feet before Akpan followed up for the finish.
A SPINNING HEEL KICK! off the break and Manny Akpan gets it done in one 1️⃣— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) March 18, 2021
A sensational finish here at #CW120
Watch the #CW120 prelims now on @UFCFightPass
York Hall, London pic.twitter.com/SazQc1y3Gl
JM: What the hell did Ben Ellis do to that ref? My man took like 10 unanswered bombs and the ref just kept staring at him.
AL: On the other end of the stoppage spectrum, top middleweight prospect Will Currie took his first loss in controversial fashion, though all the credit to Christian Duncan for the Jorge Masvidal flying knee opener to kick off round two even if the ending was possibly premature.
JM: So we’ve got one late stoppage and one early one. Okay Goldilocks, show me the “Baby Bear” stoppage.
AL: Of course, we have to mention Poland’s Figlak brothers Mike and Mateusz, who improved to 5-0 and 5-1 respectively on Thursday.
Here’s Mateusz igniting Josh Plant’s insides with some crisp body work in the middle of a brawl.
JM: There it is! Just right.
Jamelle Jones vs. Cody Goodale
AL: At Cage Fury FC 93 in Philadelphia on Saturday, a heavyweight title bout between Jamelle Jones—a one-time Bellator fighter and Contender Series hopeful—and Cody Goodale ended with some heavyweight sh*t as Jones scored a lunging left into a tackle before swangin’ them hands and claiming a vacant belt.
JM: I feel like we don’t see the haymaker uppercuts under the arm of downed fighters enough in MMA. Every time someone throws them, they look like the most violent punches imaginable. That could be the next low calf kick of the sport.
AJ Nichols vs. Miguel Jacob
AL: LFA 101 last Friday in Shawnee, Okla., had the neat gimmick of booking eight bouts that all featured an unbeaten prospect attempting to maintain that 0 in the loss column. All but one of them did, as Miguel Jacob fell to the dreaded crucifix position.
It doesn’t look like Jacob was ever out and his post-fight reaction indicates he wasn’t hurt too badly, but those elbows were coming in something fierce. Tough break for Jacob, who was coming off of a win at Bellator 238 a year ago.
JM: Yeah that’s just one of those positions where maybe you aren’t getting hurt that badly but you cannot escape and you’re gonna take 100 unanswered strikes. In other words, the man got beat. Better luck next time.
Alex Sanchez vs. Ruben Lozano
Diego Lopes vs. Masio Fullen
AL: In Monterrey, Mexico, the dreaded calf kick reared its ugly head (foot?) at Lux Fight League 12 as Alex Sanchez caused some kind of pain to Ruben Lozano that forced Lozano to take a powder.
I’m not entirely sure what happened here. Lozano seemed to be mostly okay after, so maybe it was only a temporary debilitating injury.
JM: What happened is Lozano was brutalized by the most cowardly attack in the sport. When will we rid MMA of the menace that is kicking people in the leg?
AL: It’s a friggin’ epidemic!
We close out this edition of Missed Fists with a major prospect watch as Lux featherweight champion Diego Lopes defeated his second straight UFC veteran and third in four fights by taking out Masio Fullen with a gorgeous armbar.
JM: You sir, are a liar. I’ve been following this sport for close to 18 years (good God, I am old) and I can confidently say that whoever the hell Masio Fullen is, he has never competed in the UFC.
Wait, what’s that? He had three fights in the UFC and was on The Ultimate Fighter? Man, I’m not sure how to feel about that.
JM: I mean, those are actually good fighters so yeah, I guess I see why. Anyway, Lopes looks like he too might be a good fighter and after that win, I’d be stunned if Bellator or the UFC didn’t come calling.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Fight Circus "Parking Lot Kickboxing"
Satrudin Vakhidov’s rib-rattling knee
Bryce Sines’ walk-off KO
Youssef Ghrairi’s perfectly-timed knee
Manny Akpan’s stunning spin kick
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.