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Missed Fists: Iancu Sterp lands right hand bomb to win battle of Romanian celebrities

Ricardo Filip and Iancu Sterp at RXF 40 in Romania on Sept. 15, 2021
RXF, YouTube

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.

Let’s kick things off with the star-studded exhibition bout that everyone was talking about this week since it seems like the buzz hasn’t died down. No, we’re not talking about Vitor Belfort-Evander Holyfield (which reportedly tanked in pay-per-view buys), but a celebrity fight in Romania that currently has almost 250,000 views on YouTube.

(Big thanks as always to @Barrelelapierna for their weekly lists of the best KOs and submissions, and to @Grabaka_Hitman for uploading many of the clips you see here. Give them a follow and chip in on Patreon if you can.)

Iancu Sterp vs. Ricardo Filip

From Real Xtreme Fighting 40 on Wednesday:

AL: As near as I can tell, Iancu Sterp is a Romanian reality TV star known for a third-place finish on Romanian Survivor among other things (check the Instagram and YouTube following!) and Ricardo Filip is a professional footballer. Neither man is a professional fighter, which readers can probably figure out after watching about five minutes of the above clip.

What does our resident Survivor expert think of Sterp based on what we see here?

JM: I knew that there were other versions of Survivor out there but I’ll be honest, I didn’t think there would be a Romanian one and now I think it may be the most important thing in my life to find episodes and watch them. The principle concept of Survivor is to watch a group of spoiled Americans struggle to function when deprived of basic necessities. Perhaps this is the dumb American in me, but Romania seems like a land of hardasses who won’t lose their sh*t if they skip a few meals.

Case in point, Sterp has clearly never fought in his life and yet, that man was game as hell. I’d expect nothing less from someone who could make it to the final tribal of Romanian Survivor. Perhaps this is where we should start cultivating talent from. Is there a Dagestani Survivor we could recruit from?

AL: Ah yes, Dagestani Survivor, or as they call it: “Tuesday.”

Credit to the announcers for just taking the p*ss out of this whole thing, but credit as well to anyone that decides to fight even if it turns out as sloppy as this. By the third round, both men are completely gassed, which actually leads to Sterp landing a sweet drive-by punching knockout.

JM: I appreciate that the commentator went all in on the bit, however, I do feel he’s a bit off base. I mean, was this fight that much worse than some of the stuff we see on Contender Series or Bellator undercards?

AL: Shots fired!

JM: The ring announcer, though, gets full marks. From sprinkling in random English phrases to the—there’s no other word for it—sultry way he stared directly into the camera while doing his job, this man has energy and we need more of it.

Brandon Murphy vs. David Romano
Charlie Radtke vs. Brandon Lopez
Paris Artis vs. Feraris Golden Jr.

AL: A hearty Salud, mi familia to Cage Fury Fighting Championships, which commemorated its 100th show in Tampa last night. The MMA Gods were clearly pleased with the promotion’s persistence as fans were blessed with some incredible finishes.

First up, Brandon Murphy sneaking a lethal head kick around the defenses of David Romano.

JM: Did you know that Survivor Romania lasted for 132 days? American Survivor lasts 39 days. These people were out there for FOUR G*DDAMN MONTHS? Americans really are soft.

Sorry, I’m down a rabbit hole now. How do you think Murphy would do on a desert island? Based on the above, he wouldn’t even need a machete, he could just kick the coconuts open.

AL: Charlie Radtke could probably crack some coconuts with his left hand too. Here he is just casually slipping in a KO shot on Brandon Lopez’s chin.

JM: That is a disrespectful little baby hook right there. The hand moved about four inches and clobbered him. It was all about timing from Radtke, which, coincidentally is the most important skill of Survivor. I think Radtke could make a run.

AL: Lastly, let’s do a quick prospect watch update on lightweight Paris Artis. When last we saw “Ares,” the 27-year-old was annihilating Ryan Rizco with a head kick.

His fight against Feraris Golden Jr. proved to be a more competitive affair, but Artis improved to 5-0 (all finishes) with an impressive head-and-arm choke that actually started with him on his back.

JM: By definition all tap-outs are surrenders, but that one really felt like a Surrender Tap. Feraris Golden Jr. (an all-timer of a name, by the way) doesn’t look like he was actually being choked, just that he knew he was about to be choked and he was ready to be done. FGJ is getting voted off the island the first time his tribe loses immunity.

AL: As fun as it is to see fighters just tear through the competition on their way to the big show, it’s also important to learn how they deal with adversity and this fight with Golden is going to do wonders for Artis’ development.

CFFC 100 is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.

Gerald Scott vs. Dante Brown
Art Petrosyan vs. Jesse Gengler
Geno Shvedov vs. Cody Salazar

Also on Fight Pass, Fury Fighting Championship held it’s 51st event this past Sunday in Denver.

We had a wonderful right hand bomb courtesy of Gerald Scott and some roller coaster refereeing courtesy of Oscar Martinez.

Let’s focus on the positive with Scott first.

You don’t see a lot of lighter weight fights just end with a winging shot like this one, but there it is. Like, that’s a straight-up windmill punch, look how far back his hand is when that strike starts.

JM: Going back to my point earlier, was that punch really that much better than the wild slaps coming from Sterp? And when Sterp did land his big one, it was awesome. That’s why he made it to Final Tribal. Well, that and his boyish good looks.

AL: Now to Martinez, whose decision-making was noticeable enough that the Fight Pass social media team called him out not once, but twice, which seems harsh. I can understand their need to point out his first questionable call though, which occurred as Art Petrosyan was going for a finishing choke against Jesse Gengler.

Petrosyan not only had his position taken away for jabbing his toes into the cage, he was also immediately docked a point.

JM: For a guy who has a #RulesRule tattoo, I can’t believe you’re questioning Martinez’s decision here. Petrosyan had his toes in the fence. That’s illegal and cannot be tolerated. That’s like sneaking food onto the island. It’s just not acceptable.

AL: I feel like this is a shot at infamous Survivor: The Australian Outback competitor/fellow Canadian Kel Gleason and I don’t appreciate it.

I don’t actually completely hate Martinez’s call, but maybe I should? It helps that Petrosyan got the win anyway… despite Gengler seemingly doing the same thing with his feet that Petrosyan was dinged for!

JM: That’s what happens when one guy breaks the rules! It creates an epidemic of cheating! However, Martinez is correct in that you shouldn’t stop the fight because the guy getting choked is cheating. That would be unfair.

AL: Martinez also received scrutiny during a fight between Geno Shvedov and Cody Salazar after calling for what I believe was an unwarranted standup.

To this point of the fight, Shvedov had been dominating with his wrestling and while Salazar was defending well, there was no prolonged stretch where Shvedov wasn’t punching or attempting to pass. I’m not sure what Martinez’s intention was here because if he wanted the cut checked out, then he should have given Shvedov the position back afterwards.

JM: Look, even the best get it wrong sometimes. Unless you’re Jeff Probst. He never misses. Man has been batting 1000 for his entire career. That’s who should be the new Jeopardy host. And the new Bachelor host. And the next Oscars host. Basically if there’s a hosting gig, it should go to either Jeff Probst or Steve Harvey.

AL: Like Petrosyan (and like Jeff Probst, I guess?), Shvedov continued to dominate and won the fight anyway, so no harm done on this occasion.

Jazmin Navarrete vs. Mariel Celimen

There was no officiating controversy at Combate Global last Friday when Mariel Celimen had a complete brainfart and went full Mark Coleman on Jazmin Navarrete.

Remember kids, cheating is great, but don’t be so obvious about it!

JM: Also remember, the only reason headbutts aren’t allowed is because of optics. What, you think that is more dangerous than a friggin’ elbow to the dome? Nope, it just looks worse (or way more badass, depending who you are). That’s not to say it’s isn’t effective. It’s incredibly effective, just ask Mark Kerr. Hell, I bet one of the Immunity Challenges on Survivor Romania was just headbutting a totem pole until only one person remained conscious.

Mario Zgela vs. Zarko Jankovic

AL: There was definitely nothing this Fight Nation Championship referee could have done. One second, Zarko Jankovic is defending himself from a Mario Zgela flurry, the next he’s doing a version of the Stanky Leg on the ground.

JM: Oof. That leg tremor was rough. And we’ve gotten a lot of wild overhand KOs this week.

Sergey Belostenniy vs. Roggers Souza
Albert Gukov vs. Daniyar Zaripbek Uulu

AL: Have you ever seen an exchange where one guy lands pretty much everything and the other guy can’t catch a thing? That about sums up what happened with Sergey Belostenniy and Roggers Souza.

JM: Yes, I have seen Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben. Quite a few times, actually. This is like the off-brand version of that. Or in other words, this is the Survivor to Expedition Robinson.

AL: Deep cut.

Next we have a great clip cut together by @Grabaka_Hitman, that shows not only a great finish by Albert Gukov, but an awesome trip that he scored earlier in the fight.

Gukov, a Russian lightweight, is 11-1 now at just 22 years old. Expect to hear more from him soon.

JM: That throw was SICK and this kid is really good. No Survivor tie in here, just respect for a legit prospect.

Lewis McGrillen-Evans vs. Charlie Falco

AL: There’s nothing like a McG knockout is there? And by McG, I’m of course referring to Lewis McGrillen-Evans.

Reminiscent of another famous Irish southpaw. Of course, I’m referring to the great Freddie Gilroy.

JM: I refuse to believe that McGrillen is a real last name. That sounds like the name a Midwestern dad uses when he’s trying to embarrass his kids at a cookout.

AL: Wearing an apron that says something like, “I’m just chillin’ and McGrillin’.”

JM: That sounds like the name of the character McDonald’s replaces the Hamburglar with when they’re showing they care about healthy eating. That sounds like the name the uncool kid in the Romanian knockoff version of Superbad puts on his fake ID. That sounds like the name a weirdo insists people call him when he goes on a reality television show because he doesn’t want people to call him Troy and so he makes up a “cooler” name to go by.

Hell of a punch though.


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Iancu Sterp is the Sole Survivor in the cage
    (25 votes)
  • 14%
    Brandon Murphy kicks David Romano upside the head
    (16 votes)
  • 24%
    Charlie Radtke’s sneaky hook KO
    (27 votes)
  • 19%
    Mariel Celimen uses her head
    (21 votes)
  • 12%
    Lewis "McG" McGrillen-Evans
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (6 votes)
109 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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