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.
MMA fans are spoiled for choice right now with most of the major promotions back in full swing, including the UFC, Bellator, the PFL, and ONE Championship. And that’s not to mention oft-overlooked organizations like the LFA, Combate Global, and KSW, among others also returning to a regular schedule.
While we’re happy to give these promotions their shine, let’s dig into a few more obscure corners this week, starting with a gory battle in South Korea.
(By the way, the majority of this week’s [and many other week’s] clips were uploaded by MMA Twitter historian @Grabaka_Hitman, so if you can spare a couple of bucks for their Patreon as gratitude for their work, I’m sure they’d be grateful.)
Jun Young Lee vs. Dong Hyun Seo
Jun Soo Lim vs. Ik Tae Jin
This is fake, right?
This cut stoppage at MONSTER WAR 01 in South Korea. That was a lot of blood. pic.twitter.com/HmyYheRcKb— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 1, 2021
That’s just… it’s so much blood. I’m not a doctor, but can you actually bleed that much blood from your head and live? Okay, I admit I’m exaggerating a touch and it probably looks worse than it is because of how Dong Hyun Seo’s blood splashed all over Jun Young Lee and the once-pristine canvas.
Still, South Korea has produced some of the best horror films of the past 20 years and this scene from Monster War 01: Star Wars (please, don’t sue) in Paju is right up there with them. Seriously, I’d rather watch the last 30 minutes of Oldboy than go through this clip again.
The heavyweight main event between Jun Soo Lim and Ik Tae Jin doesn’t quite have the same visceral impact, but I’m never going to pass on showcasing a good, ol’ fashioned, bulldog choke.
MONSTER WAR 01 main event:— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 1, 2021
Jun Soo Lim submits Ik Tae Jin via bulldog choke pic.twitter.com/DClS7J6HlG
If you thirst for more Monster Wars (or more Star Wars? This branding is confusing), the entire event is available for replay on their YouTube channel.
At the very least, you’ll get more of the intense Inspector Gadget ring announcer.
This guy is intense #MONSTERWAR pic.twitter.com/ZGHl9MGEb0— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 1, 2021
Yurivia Jimenez vs. Grettel Balmaceda
The best performance of the week easily goes to Yurivia Jimenez, who styled on Grettel Balmaceda at a Nicaraguan Fighting Championship show (available for free replay on YouTube) in Managua last Friday.
NFC 65 in Nicaragua main event. Yurivia "La Boxing" Jimenez (2-0) seems like a badass. #NFC25 pic.twitter.com/OdFcKLj4N8— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 1, 2021
She hit everything there. The straight right. The loaded uppercuts. The counters. The clinch knees. Now 2-0 and just 25 years old, Jimenez is clearly a flyweight to watch. That division is on fire right now and if Jimenez keeps this up, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her get a look from a North American promotion next year.
Helena Simas vs. Fabiulane Melo
Further down the flyweight prospect line we have Helena Simas, a Nova Uniao product who is only 15 years old (!) according to Tapology. Watch her get the better of this armbar exchange in her pro debut against the more experienced Fabiulane Melo:
Helena Simas submits Fabiolane Melo in R1. Armbar for armbar. #MegaFightChampions pic.twitter.com/X5LXn9pA2V— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 1, 2021
It’s almost scary how calmly Simas worked her way out of Melo’s armbar and then pounced immediately to set up her own. If she actually is just in her early teens, it will be amazing to see how she develops over the next five years.
That fight took place at Mega Fight Champions 3 in Manaus, Brazil, and that event is available for free replay on YouTube.
Timur Nagibin vs. Thiago Tavares
Milson Castro vs. Vladimir Palchenkov
Dmitriy Babkin vs. Nikolay Prismakov
Monday’s RCC event in Ekaterinburg, Russia featured several UFC veterans all of whom ended up in the loss column. Viscardi Andrade and Wagner Prado both lost decisions, while former UFC lightweight standout Thiago Tavares suffered the most wicked sting of all.
Timur Nagibin KO's Thiago Tavares with a brutal knee to the body at the start of R3 #RCC9 pic.twitter.com/wytdYMrswn— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 3, 2021
That’s a powerful body shot by Timur Nagibin to put Tavares away and improve his record to 18-5 (1 NC). Tavares actually entered this contest on a two-fight win streak, having rebounded from a disappointing performance in the 2018 PFL season. However, he, Andrade, and Prado all served as enhancement talent this time around. It’s hard out here for a UFC vet.
Probably hoping to fight inside the octagon themselves someday are Milson Castro (13-3) and Dmitriy Babkin (6-0), two prospects who scored some pretty sweet highlights.
Castro broke out a slick kneebar to finish Vladimir Palchenkov with less than 30 seconds left in their fight and Babkin landed a sweet left hook to send Nikolay Prismakov crashing to the mat.
Kneebar en el final de la pelea de Milson Castro!! #RCC9 pic.twitter.com/ID7GDyjzEi— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) May 3, 2021
TKO1 de Dmitriy Babkin para arrancar el evento #RCC9 pic.twitter.com/aUgmHN8WMt— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) May 3, 2021
Full RCC fights can be found on the promotion’s YouTube channel.
Oleg Manzhuev vs. Sherzod Ismoilov
Taking a hop, skip, and a jump over to St. Petersburg, Oleg Manzhuev has a claim for the best finish in Russia this past week. From MMA-SERIES 31, check out the flying knee he throws that causes opponent Sherzod Ismoilov to go for a panic shot. Big mistake.
Oleg Manzhuev chokes Sherzod Ismoilov to sleep in about 30 seconds #MMASERIES31 pic.twitter.com/Y91mWwnwuN— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 1, 2021
Ismoilov doubled down on the attempt and Manzhuev made him pay with an airtight anaconda choke. The official time of the stoppages was 35 seconds into round one.
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Chris Arreola
Erislandy Lara vs. Thomas Lamanna
Boxing is back in California, which is to say fans were permitted to attend an event for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and they were a rowdy bunch at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
In addition to former heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz Jr. and Chris Arreola putting on an entertaining tilt (you can check out the highlights here), there was plenty of action in the stands as it seems like getting to watch fights up-close again wasn’t enough for some people.
And boxing is back in SoCal! They are slugging it out in the stands!! @barstoolsports #RuizArreola pic.twitter.com/0jFcZPhlaz— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) May 2, 2021
And now we have another one even crazier than the last! What is going on?! https://t.co/9AuXcIn5Wm pic.twitter.com/lenWxxIsAg— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) May 2, 2021
Don’t take the UFC APEX for granted, is what I’m saying.
With respect to the fine fight fanatics of Carson, the best punch of the night was undoubtedly delivered by Erislandy Lara, who landed this corker of a left right across the jaw of Thomas Lamanna in a bout that lasted just 80 seconds.
MG @LaraBoxing lands a MONSTER left hand that put Lamanna to sleep. RD1 KO‼ #LaraLamanna #PBConFOX— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) May 1, 2021
Order the #RuizArreola PPV now! https://t.co/RaBl7yHGqv pic.twitter.com/N5ywNHApbX
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Jun Young Lee bathes in blood
Yurivia Jimenez styles on Grettel Balmaceda
Timur Nagibin knees Thiago Tavares’ guts in
Oleg Manzhuev chokes out Sherzod Ismoilov
Erislandy Lara floors Thomas Lamanna
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.