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.
If there’s anything we know about the business of MMA, it’s that it’s always seeking fresh ideas and innovation (LOL). But seriously, every now and then we have promotions utilizing cutting edge technology to freshen up the product. Think PRIDE’s referee cam. The PFL’s tracking of punch speed. The UFC’s nut shot clock.
And now, thanks to Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions, and Bally’s, we finally have a way to truly visually process the damage that we’re seeing onscreen.
Josh Wang-Kim vs. Carlos Figueroa
Teaming up with Bally’s, De La Hoya is dipping his toes back into the MMA world through Golden Boy subsidiary KO Entertainment. Not only did they bring in Mike Goldberg and Frank Trigg in to spruce up the commentary for the boxing/MMA event that took place in Long Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, they introduced a visual aid that has to be seen to be believed.
The broadcast, which can be watched for free on Stadium, described the feature as follows:
Power bar and augmented reality
Strikes and damage dealt monitored by data scientists and StrikeTec sensors
Pretty clear, right? Here’s Josh Wang-Kim and Carlos Figueroa demonstrating how it looks in practice.
Okay, I still have a lot of questions.
For one thing, there seemed to be a real disconnect between the draining of the health bars and what we’re actually seeing. At first, I thought every significant strike would cause the receiving fighter to lose one percent, but in the opening fight Trevor Wells hit Adrian Najera with a good body shot that took off a whole four percent? And then whenever the fight went to the ground, the bars would fluctuate wildly as the fighters scrambled for position.
What the hell, Garcia just lost 12% because of a back take? pic.twitter.com/Z0CcWjiy9O— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 9, 2021
Look, I know it’s easy to mock, and I do think the graphics are more meant to be considered an amusing on-screen trinket as opposed to being essential to appreciating the action, but we could probably still tighten up this concept.
Who better than the fine fight freaks of Twitter to offer suggestions (and some lighthearted ribbing)?
Trevor Wells has been at 0% for a minute and a half. Stop the damn fight. pic.twitter.com/M6jZ5qYdWc— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 9, 2021
he's using the invincibility cheat ban him— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 9, 2021
that's when a brief cutscene plays where he unleashes his true form and the bar fills up again for the final phase— Niko (@NN68_68) June 9, 2021
Do they get dizzy and a man yells "finish him" at the end?— PM (@PMda2nd) June 9, 2021
There should be a special attack bar. When you land 20 clean hits, the bar fills up and you have a free low kick which your opponent cannot block— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) June 9, 2021
Sang Won Kim vs. Jae Hyun So
Back to traditional, less-augmented reality as we head to Seoul for Double G FC 7 (free replay available on YouTube) from this past weekend. Jae Hyun So is our unlucky Humpty Dumpty Award winner this week, but unlike most of our recipients, his great fall actually happened just before he got knocked out.
That is a bad break right there. While Sang Won Kim was tagging him, it looks like So slipped just before Kim’s kick and his head went right into the path of the finishing blow. Incredible timing on that strike by Kim either way.
Denis Maher vs. Rinat Sagyntay
Abdul Karim Badakhshi vs. Aydemir Kazbekov
Anastasia Feofanova vs. Sevde Turk
Maher took care of business as the co-headliner of Brave CF’s first show in Minsk, Belarus, Maher’s hometown. We’ve been trumpeting Maher as a prospect to watch in Missed Fists for a while now and he improved to 8-0 with this KO of the no-longer-unbeaten Rinat Sagyntay. Maher told MMA Fighting that his goal is winning the Brave CF 175-pound title and he’s not even looking at any other promotions right now. Regardless, I have a feeling that other promotions are looking at him.
Also likely not far from scouts’ radar are bantamweight Abdul Karim Badakhshi and strawweight Anastasia Feofanova, both of whom picked up sick submission victories.
Badakhshi was close to scoring the rare double technical submission as he first choked Aydemir Kazbekov out with a triangle and probably would have broken his arm too if the attentive ref didn’t jump in there. That’s Badakhshi fifth win by knockout or submission in his first five pro bouts.
Russia’s Feofanova is on a similar streak of success. Since dropping a decision to Anna Kuzmenko in 2016, she’s won seven straight fights to boost her record to 8-1. She’s finished five opponents during this streak, including that beaut of an inverted triangle above.
And now, a special announcement
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this important message from Fight Circus maestro Jon Nutt:
Yes, we were all heartbroken when Fight Circus Vol. 3 had to be postponed in April due to COVID-19 concerns, but the event has been rescheduled for June 19 and in the meantime, it looks like they’ve beefed up one of the card’s premiere attractions, The Phone Booth Fight.
Originally booked to be muay Thai in an actual phone booth, common sense has prevailed and the two crazy SOBs who step into said booth will now be allowed to headbutt each other (how would they have avoided that anyway?) making this a full-on Lethwei fight now.
Again: June 19. You know where to be.
Caio Machado vs. Chris Larsen
Terrance McKinney vs. Michael Irizarry Ortiz
Over in the world of Fight Pass, we have content from The Great White North and another example of a fighter taking the express lane to the UFC.
At Battlefield Fight League 67 in Vancouver, Canada, heavyweight prospect Caio Machada improved to 5-1 with this TKO set up by a walloping counter punch.
As for Terrance McKinney, well he joins Gregory Rodrigues as another fighter who will go from LFA main event triumph to immediate UFC opportunity. Not surprising given the ferocity with which McKinney blasted Michael Irizarry Ortiz last Friday.
Shades of Houston Alexander with the lights-out KO from inside full guard.
Rodrigues made his UFC debut this past weekend with an impressive decision win over Dusko Todorovic, which will be a tough act for McKinney to follow. McKinney is stepping in on less than a week’s notice for Frank Camacho to fight Matt Frevola at UFC 263 on Saturday.
Sadly, the opportunity only came about because Camacho was forced to withdraw after getting in a car accident. “Frank the Crank” has always been a real one, so best wishes to him in his recovery and best of luck to McKinney tomorrow night.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Bally’s augmented reality
Sang Won Kim’s perfectly timed head kick
Denis Maher’s rocket uppercut
Abdul Karim Badakhshi’s triangle choke-armbar
Terrance McKinney’s beastly ground-and-pound
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.