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.
While we love to celebrate the weirdness and wildness of MMA, sometimes you just have to appreciate the game for what it was meant to be: An opportunity for two martial artists to bludgeon, mollywhop, and literally dismantle each other, preferably for a decent sum of cash.
Anuar Ben Saed vs. Marco Tyson Campos
I don’t know about you guys, but somehow this face kick not leading into an immediate KO almost makes it better? Not that I want to see anyone take unnecessary damage, but Marco Tyson Campos looks kind of embarrassed that he got cracked right on the chin by the heel of Ben Saed’s foot. That’s a clean shot, so it’s possible that his pride was the only thing that kept him standing as long as he did before his body realized it needed to take a seat.
This finish took place at Strikers Cage Championship 8 in Tenerife, Spain, which can be replayed on FITE TV pay-per-view.
Yajaira Cunningham vs. Iveth del Carmen
If Ben Saed had the best knockout of the week, the best submission has to go to Yajaira Cunningham for this cold-blooded Von Flue choke of Iveth del Carmen at a Combate Global event in Miami.
The Von Flue just continues to be one of the suckiest submissions to get caught in. Down on the ground, your instincts are to just grab hold of whatever you can to prevent your opponent from advancing position or posturing up to smash you with ground-and-pound, then something like this happens. And it happens fast.
Artem Semyonov vs. Isak Guliev
On the other hand, getting guillotined into oblivion doesn’t feel great either.
If you want to talk about how forward movement and octagon control don’t necessarily mean you’re winning the fight, take what happened to Isak Guliev at MMA Series 35 (full fights available on YouTube) in St. Petersburg, Russia. He appears to be in a favorable position as he backs Artem Semyonov to the cage, but he leaves his neck completely unprotected and in a flash he’s locked into a guillotine choke with one arm completely trapped at his side.
It even looks like he grabs the fence before he goes out, though it’s possible that his brain was already shutting off and his fingers just curled up out of instinct. Scary.
Make that three straight submissions in under two minutes for Semyonov (7-3), a featherweight prospect who could be signed to a bigger promotion by the end of the year.
Jeremy Pender vs. Terry Lemaire
Less likely to be signed to a major promotion anytime soon is 34-year-old bantamweight Jeremy Pender, who won his fourth straight fight at B2 Fighting Series 125 in Dayton, Ohio, to improve his record to 18-14.
And he did it in the most stylish way possible.
You know, we talk a lot about how cool walk-offs are, but I don’t think we give enough love to walk-ins, when a fighter is able to land that perfect shot and hit a pose while stepping over or around their opponents. They’re rare, but when they happen, they’re magnificent.
Pender has never won by decision in his career, though this was actually just his third knockout victory. Given his propensity for finishing fights, maybe he’s not as far off from a major league callup as it seems. After all, the UFC always needs fresh 135ers to feed Sean O’Malley.
Dominic Rohlfing vs. Jason Gavril
Alec Reid vs. Jose DeAvila-Diaz
Nico Alcaraz vs. Marcus Montsinger
It seems absurd that we’ve taken this long to get to Dominic Rohlfing’s omoplata submission of Jason Gavril, but that’s just how chaotic this past weekend in combat sports was.
Gavril moves to avoid an armbar, but lets Rohlfing get all of his weight across his back and that’s a wrap.
But Gavril wasn’t the only Shamrock FC fighter who was put in a bad spot. Jose DeAvila-Diaz’s back was glued to the fence against Alec Reid and Reid tee’d off on him, treating him like a heavy bag.
Topping off this trio of amateur finishes is Nico Alcarez, who took a baseball bat to Marcus Montsinger’s dome with this head kick.
Murodjon Anorboaev vs. Umid Nizamov
Baxriddin Ziyarov vs. Lazizbek Holmurodov
Rustam Fozilov vs. Abboshon Xafizov
R3 Fighting Championship’s recent event in Moscow made headlines earlier this week due to a bizarre incident that saw a post-fight melee immediately turn into a sanctioned bout between two of the fighters involved in said melee.
Buried underneath that sensationalistic story were a trio of impressive amateur finishes. First up, Murodjon Anorboaev landed a no-doubt head kick KO of Umid Nizamov.
Brutal head kick KO. Murodjon Anorboaev knocks out Umid Nizamov in 32 (?) seconds - R3 Fighting Championship pic.twitter.com/0pEXqX31My— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 26, 2021
Elsewhere on the card, Baxriddin Ziyarov gave us our Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week, absolutely smoking Lazizbek Holmurodov with a wild, off-balance combination.
10/10 faceplant at R3 Fighting Championship— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 26, 2021
Baxriddin Ziyarov KO's Lazizbek Holmurodov in the first round. Started the finishing combo on his knees. pic.twitter.com/pN0QfnRw6s
And then there was the misdirection of Rustam Fozilov, who had Abboshon Xafizov thinking about the spinning body kick he just threw before popping him with a clean left hand.
Slick spinning back kick to left hook by Rustam Fozilov - R3 Fighting Championship pic.twitter.com/BjH1tsaCVJ— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 26, 2021
David Morrell Jr. vs. Mario Abel Cazares
With Vasyl Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis both headlining shows on Saturday, you likely missed Cuban amateur standout David Morrell Jr. improving to 5-0 as a pro with a blistering KO of Mario Abel Cazares that went down the very next day. Then again, it probably doesn’t help that Morrell’s fight was a blink-and-you-missed-it affair.
In the clip, Cazares actually seems to be moving pretty well, but there’s a power difference here that’s clearly illustrated by Morrell with just two good right hands.
Azamat Bakytov vs. Bekkhan Umarov
Often in sports, they say it’s good to keep your head on a swivel so that you can be aware of your surroundings at all times. Well Azamat Bakytov put Bekkhan Umarov’s head on a swivel with this disgusting haymaker.
Azamat Bakytov KO's Bekkhan Umarov in 49 seconds. Spun his jaw with that one. - Naiza FC 31 pic.twitter.com/Tl6bSbfYbb— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 25, 2021
Naiza FC 31 fights are available for free replay on YouTube.
Gerardo Fanny vs. Connor Hignett
Meanwhile over on UFC Fight Pass, Cage Warriors held three events in London on three consecutive nights this past weekend and while there were a ton of memorable fights and finishes, the best of them all might have been Gerardo Fanny’s jumping knee knockout of Connor Hignett.
Fanny fell short in his Cage Warriors debut against blue-chip bantamweight prospect Jack Cartwright last September, but back at 125, he’s looking like a title contender.
Andrey Chernetsov vs. Viktor Matveev
How to cap off such a thrilling week of finishes (and this isn’t even mentioning what went down in the UFC, Bellator, PFL, and BKFC)?
Let’s give the honor to Andrey Chernetsov for this rib-roasting slam of Viktor Matveev at Siberian Fight League 54 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
Numero 1⃣8⃣— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) June 28, 2021
Andrey Chernetsov, SFL 54/4 pic.twitter.com/ORZTOM0jny
Great restraint from Chernetsov, no follow-ups. That’s the kind of classiness we respect around these parts.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment of the week?
This poll is closed
Anuar Ben Saed’s Sparta kick
Yajaira Cunningham’s shutdown Von Flue
Jeremy Pender’s stylish KO victory
Gerardo Fanny’s jumping knee KO
Andrey Chernetsov’s fight-ending slam
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.