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Missed Fists: Max Rohskopf returns with dominant victory at Cage Warriors: California, more

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Max Rohskopf
@CageWarriors, 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.

In addition to having a Bellator and a UFC card to watch this past weekend, fight fans were also recently treated to some insane finishes from the mid-majors, including the successful return of one of 2020’s most talked-about fighters at Cage Warriors’ first-ever show in California.

Max Rohskopf vs. Jeff Creighton
Kyle Stewart vs. John Poppie
Damon Wilson vs. John Buttner

Do not adjust your sets, that’s right, England’s Cage Warriors promotion touched down in San Diego this past Sunday for an event that featured a ton of highlights (a replay of the show is available on UFC Fight Pass).

And yes, that name above does read Max Rohskopf. Believe it or not, the lightweight prospect did not just fade out of existence after his one-and-done appearance for the UFC in June of last year that saw him garner widespread attention when he told his coaches, “I don’t want to do this anymore,” in the middle of a lopsided loss to Austin Hubbard.

The UFC cut Rohskopf shortly after and to Dana White’s credit, he defended Rohskopf’s decision to call his own fight. I’ve also been an advocate for Rohskopf’s behavior that night, and while I think it was the right move for him to get out from under the bright lights of the UFC, I also wondered how long it would be before we saw Rohskopf fight again, if ever.

Fourteen months later, Rohskopf is back in the win column after dominating Jeff Creighton on Sunday.

Rohskopf turns 27 next month and still has plenty of time to live up to the enormous potential he hinted at prior to his brush with the UFC. Even if he never gets there, it’s great to see him bounce back from such a heavily scrutinized moment.

Another former UFC fighter, Kyle Stewart, also bounced back from a recent loss by bouncing John Poppie’s chin off of his fist.

If you’re looking for someone to blame for the action escalating at Cage Warriors: California, you can blame Damon Wilson. He absolutely spun John Buttner around with this right hand haymaker in the second fight of the evening.

Aleandro Caetano vs. Joao Elias

Over in Sao Paulo, Aleandro Caetano definitively won this exchange with Joao Elias by throwing a jumping clinch knee in the middle of a back-and-forth flurry.

This was a much more pleasant result for Caetano than in his last fight, where he won a title after being cracked by an illegal upkick.

That finish came from Standout Fighting Tournament 28, which can be purchased for replay on FITE.

Mansur Malachiev vs. Rashid Vagabov
Imam-Shapi Mukhtarov vs. Maxim Konovalov

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle Fighting Championship continues to crank out elite prospects and this past Tuesday’s show (available for free on YouTube) was no different.

Flyweight champion Mansur Malachiev successfully defended his EFC title and improved to 10-0 with a methodical first-round submission of Rashid Vagabov.

That’s five straight finishes for Malachiev.

Also improving to 10-0 with a slick submission was welterweight Imam-Shapi Mukhtarov.

He just snatched up Maxim Konovalov’s neck and administered a gentle sleeping. Can’t remember the last time I saw someone just lower their opponent to the mat with a standing choke like this.

Gamzat Magomedov vs. Mochamed Machaev
Valeriu Mircea vs. Ayub Gaziev
Elias Boudegzdame vs. Brice Picaud

Not to be outdone, Brave CF’s first show in Italy (available for free with registration to Brave CF TV) produced a number of stunning highlights, including Gamzat Magomedov’s blistering knockout of the previously unbeaten Mochamed Machaev.

This is one of those finishes that could have gone either way and I’m sure Machaev will be better off for learning this lesson at this stage of his career. Sometimes you stand and trade and this is what happens.

Valeriu Mircea’s 43-second knockout of Ayub Gaziev was much more definitive.

That’s one of the fastest, most accurate bombs you’ll see this year.

And if we’re talking speed, we have to show Elias Boudegzdame’s 86-second triangle choke win over Brice Picaud.

There was a stretch a few years back where it seemed like Boudegzdame was on the cusp of a UFC callup, but as long as he’s doing stuff like this in Brave, he’ll always have a home.

Vasili Antokhii vs. Reda Messaoudi

Speed seems to be the theme of this week whether we’re talking about MMA or the ancient art of Karate Combat, so here’s Vasili Antokhii’s record-breaking knockout of Reda Messaoudi.

It’s a good thing that kick didn’t land on the way down or we may have ended up with the kind of finish that Sean Strickland has been hunting for.

Check out the latest episode of Karate Combat and all previous episodes (plus analysis from Georges St-Pierre) free on YouTube:

Lawrence Phillips vs. Brandyn Scholer

I’m going to need some help to describe what Lawrence Phillips did to Brandyn Scholer here:

It’s always awesome to see finishes via slam or ones that are at least kicked off by a slam. What should we call the latter? Slam-and-ram (like, cram your fists in the other fighter’s face)? Slam-and-cram (like, cram your fists in the other fighter’s face)? Slam-and-jam (like, jam your fists—you get the idea)?

Whatever you want to call it, that’s what Phillips did at this North Iowa Fights show, which is available for PPV replay.

Ametrious Armstrong vs. Kendrid Wolf

At SteelFist Fight Night 78 in Salt Lake City, Ametrious “Meek” Armstrong should have warned a wildly aggressive Kendrid Wolf to NOT “come at me, bro.”

Sometimes you chase a KO, and sometimes a KO chases you.

Michael Hunter vs. Mike Wilson

Our last highlight from this past week comes from a boxing match that took place at the TrillerVerz event (free replay via FITE), the latest mixed media offering from Triller that was headlined by a Verzuz battle between rap groups The Lox and The Diplomats with a number of actual fights on the undercard.

Before the mic-on-mic violence, we had ourselves some Mike on Mike violence as Michael Hunter stole Mike Wilson’s soul.

Let’s close out with a few odds and ends. First, props to Terrance McKinney for throwing up quick edit of his four victories in 2021, including his shocking seven-second knockout in his UFC debut against Matt Frevola in June.

That’s four knockouts in less than two minus of combined cage time so far for McKinney this year. More fighters should promote themselves like this. Well done, “T.Wrecks.”

Secondly, make sure to check out the 3-on-1 fight that occurred this past weekend and made absolutely zero sense. Like, Fight Circus would look at this matchup and be like, “Dudes, what are you doing?” They’d also probably give the one guy a knife, but that’s a whole other discussion.

Thirdly, may you have a wonderful weekend blessed with this kind of energy:


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Max Rohskopf’s redemption
    (32 votes)
  • 24%
    Aleandro Caetano’s jumping clinch knee
    (20 votes)
  • 9%
    Imam-Shapi Mukhtarov’s nap-time choke
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    Valeriu Mircea’s sniper right
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    "Meek" Armstrong inherits the Earth
    (5 votes)
  • 14%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (12 votes)
83 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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