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Missed Fists: Referee gets physical with fighter to break up choke, more

A referee grabs Doolotbek Narmatov after he refuses to release a submission at WEF Selection 35 in Kyzyl Tokoy, Kyrgyzstan, on Wednesday
@Grabaka_Hitman, 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.

Highlighting “Adventures in Officiating” is one of our favorite things to do around here, whether it’s questioning a referee’s decision making, admiring their defensive grappling, or being wowed by the lightning fast reflexes of muay Thai refs.

This week brings us a new one: A referee breaking up a choke with, uh, a choke?

Doolotbek Narmatov vs. Saidburkhon Saidakbarova
Kumarbek Arykbaev vs. Altynbek Parpiev

AL: Hate to start on a downer, but big, big finger of shame here to Doolotbek Narmatov for holding onto this guillotine choke for long after the referee had clearly recognized the submission.

As perfectly captured by @Grabaka_Hitman, it looks like the ref almost had to choke a man himself to make the save.

JM: Yeah, that’s the type of thing that should get you banned from the cage. The guy tapped and he didn’t let go and then the ref tried to pull him off and he still didn’t let go and then the ref choked him and he STILL didn’t want to let go. That’s how people get killed.

AL: As you can see in the full clip above (more bouts from World Ertaymash Federation Selection 35 are available on the promotion’s YouTube), Narmatov celebrates for a while after the win and even seems somewhat confused when one of Saidburkhon Saidakbarova’s cornermen steps to him after.

Narmatov tries to be chummy with Saidakbarova afterwards, but come on, man.

Much cleaner, and much more worth celebrating is Kumarbek Arykbaev’s scorpion crunch of Altynbek Parpiev.

We normally only see these in the lowest levels of MMA (and the occasional Bellator prelim), but it’s a welcome sight all the same.

JM: What the hell was Parpiev doing? Obviously, only people who are bad at fighting get scorpion crunched but once it was on Parpiev just kinda sat there and let it break his ribs. The thing about that move is your head is completely exposed. My guy could have at least tried to punch his way out. Wouldn’t have worked but it would’ve been better than just slowly succumbing to arguably the dumbest of all submissions.

AL: The “Mother’s Milk” has to be the dumbest submission.

Sergey Khrisanov vs. Andrey Novikov
Vyacheslav Geraskin vs. Erbol Dzhakypov

Over at MMA Series 32 in Moscow, we had some good ol’ fashioned heavyweight prospect building.

That’s a highlight served on a platter, just like mom used to make. Sergey Khrisanov is 4-0 now, all finishes, and his previous three opponents were all making their pro debuts. Delicious.

JM: No one gained anything by that fight being made other than a paycheck. Oof, that was bad.

AL: Equally preposterous was Vyacheslav Geraskin pulling off whatever the hell this was against Erbol Dzhakypov.

Elite technique?

JM: That was just weird. I can’t tell whether Geraskin intended to throw a punch there or if his hand just kinda ran into Dzhakypov’s jaw. I guess we’ll go with planned but I’m willing to believe either scenario.

Roman Akhremchik vs. Vitaliy Yakimenko

AL: At World Warriors Fighting Championships 19 in Ukraine, Roman Akhremchik showed off some elite technique himself, landing this counter knee right on the money to stop a shooting Vitaliy Yakimenko.

I don’t even think that takedown attempt was telegraphed, this was just some incredible timing by Akhremchik.

JM: Thus far we’ve had a lot of bad MMA which, you know, can certainly be delightful. But it is nice to see good, old-fashioned quality skills on display like this right here.

Taison Naito vs. Caol Uno

AL: From Shooto 2021 Vol. 3 in Tokyo… look, it’s Caul Uno!

Props to Taison Naito for the huge win here, especially considering Uno has more experience than Naito’s past six opponents combined. Naito might be a middling featherweight (this win bumped his record to 11-8-1) but he’ll always be able to say he took out a two-time UFC lightweight title challenger.

JM: The fact that Uno is still scrapping is kinda wild. This man made his debut in 1996! That’s 25 years of fisticuffs, not at heavyweight. That is nuts. Also, get this man in the UFC Hall of Fame, FFS.

AL: All I’ll say is, we’re worried about guys like Cerrone and Ferguson, and Uno is still fighting. On the other hand, JMMA is another dimension, so there’s that.

JM: Terrible question for you: if they fought this year, who wins between Caol Uno and B.J. Penn?

AL: Since there’s only one promotion that could make that fight possible, obviously Fight Circus wins.

Ricardo Dias vs. George Garcia
Taylor Mauldin vs. Ambar De La Herran

Moving to the UFC Fight Pass portion of this feature, we jump back a week to LFA 107, where Ricardo Dias landed the second-best knee knockout of the week against George Garcia.

Now that’s how you throw a f*cking knee to a grounded opponent.

JM: Oh. Oh my. That was violent. Bravo.

AL: In the main card opener, Taylor Mauldin made Ambar De La Herran pay for leaving her legs out there, snatching up a kneebar and getting a tap just 90 seconds into their fight.

JM: Tony Ferguson would have just let Mauldin rip his knee of and then he’d get on Twitter and post about how El Cucuy Doesn’t Kneed Any Joints To Win. Clean Livin Baby. He’s Not Done Yet #SnapDownCitySquad.

AL: Eerily accurate.

JM: Also, if Taylor Mauldin doesn’t change her fight nickname to “Maudlin” I’m no longer a fan of hers. Same goes for Ambar “Armbar” De La Herran, though she may need to improve her grapples.

Ty Kalista vs. Mike Olaya

AL: That submission was only topped by this effort from Titan FC 69 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

If Ty Kalista doesn’t adopt the nickname “Twista” after this, then we have failed as a society.

JM: Wow, that’s the best nickname of the bunch. Bravo, AK!

AL: I’m not proud.

Paris Moran vs. Shawn Solis
Mana Martinez vs. Jose Johnson
Carlos Jimenez vs. Cameron Smotherean

After UFC 262, Dana White stuck around in Houston to tape another episode of Lookin’ for a Fight at Fury FC 46. I don’t think he regrets the decision, especially after seeing the best knee knockout of the week courtesy of flyweight Paris Moran (4-1).

Hit him with the switch knee and if Moran keeps this up, he’ll be making the switch over to the UFC soon.

JM: Man, we got a lot of good knee KOs. I still think the counter knee from Akhremchik was the best one this week though.

AL: Jose Johnson was the hammer of hammers about 18 months ago, but as it so often goes in this business, at some point it’s your turn to be the nail.

On this day, it was Mana Martinez catching Johnson with a counter out of nowhere to wrap things up.

JM: Damn, the fight game is a cruel, cruel mistress.

AL: Not only do The MMA Gods love a reversal of fortunes, they also love a good play on words/names, and while Ambar getting kneebar’d earlier was cute, Carlos Jimenez needing just 13 seconds to turn Cameron Smotherean into smithereens is just too perfect.

JM: The wordplay is strong with us this week.

Also, I love that KO because Smotherean tries to punch back and it results in a phenomenal spinning faceplant.

Canaan Prichard vs. Jimmy Hinel

AL: While those Fury FC fighters got the chance to perform for the big boss, let’s close out with a young man whose career is just beginning, Canaan Prichard.

Combat Night 126 in Orlando, Fla., marked Prichard’s amateur MMA debut and I can only imagine how nervous he had to be in that scenario. And how relieved he must have felt when his opponent walked right into his fist.

Official time of the stoppage: seven seconds.

JM: In the scheme of debuts, I guess I can imagine a worse way to start one’s career.


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Referee nearly chokes belligerent fighter
    (331 votes)
  • 4%
    Roman Akhremchik’s amazing counter-knee
    (25 votes)
  • 6%
    Ricardo Dias’s perfectly timed knee
    (33 votes)
  • 17%
    Ty Kalista’s "twista"
    (93 votes)
  • 9%
    Paris Moran’s slick switch knee
    (49 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (6 votes)
537 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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