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.
This week we check in on some old Missed Fists friends, but before we get to that, let’s see how boxing has been going for the most dangerous man in the Seven Kingdoms.
Hafthor Bjornsson vs. Devon Larratt
Hafthor Bjornsson’s combat sports destiny was locked in years ago when he stood toe-to-toe with Conor McGregor and while we shouldn’t expect to see the Game of Thrones star step inside the cage anytime soon, he’s working on getting comfortable between the ropes.
“The Mountain” was featured in a showcase boxing bout this past Saturday in Dubai, where he ended up fighting 46-year-old arm wrestling champion Devon Larratt after Bjornsson’s originally scheduled opponent Eddie Hall withdrew from the event (h/t Bloody Elbow) last month. That was a bad break for Bjornsson as he’d been building up to a fight with his fellow Strongman champion for a while.
There’s not much to see in this one as Larratt is clearly just trying not to get hurt here, which is smart, and Bjornsson is just looking to get some ring time in. This one doesn’t get past the first round though, so I’m not sure how much anyone learned from this. Afterwards, Bjornsson called for the Hall fight to be re-booked, which could happen early next year.
Pavel Pinzul vs. Roman Belogurov
Now for the highlight of the week, Pavel Pinzul’s four-second (FOUR SECONDS) knockout of Roman Belogurov:
Pinzul’s mind-blowing KO took place at a Ukraine Mix Fight Promotions, which I only know because of information from MMA On Point’s Caposa’s Corner feature as a cursory search for the promotion provides little more to work with. This is some dark web stuff here, folks.
And some dark matchmaking, as Belogurov was clearly brought in to take a hit here. Belogurov suffered his 15th straight loss, dropping to 7-18 with all of his losses coming by way of knockout (6) or submission (12). Pinzul, on the other hand, has already been featured in Missed Fists, which makes him a certified assassin.
Asa Ten Pow vs. Earnest Walls
Roy Echeverria vs. Kenneth Sabino
Nate Williams vs. Christian Ynastrilla
Victor Dias vs. Ryskulbek Ibraimov
At Titan FC 72 in Miami (available for replay on UFC Fight Pass), Asa Ten Pow made an impressive and hilarious pro debut with this first-round TKO of professional enhancement talent Earnest Walls.
Lopsided wins like this are usually not something to laugh at, but you have to at least smile at Ten Pow knowing that he’d already scored the finishing combination and then doing the bare minimum ground-and-pound to prompt the stoppage.
Walls has now lost 16 straight fights, staying a step ahead of Belogurov’s streak. His record fell to 2-19 and according to Tapology he’s scheduled for a boxing match on Saturday. Bad.
If Walls’ name sounds familiar at all, he was also on the wrong end of a highlight-reel spinning heel kick KO two months ago, courtesy of Roy Echeverria. Titan FC lined up another overwhelmed opponent for him, 0-2 Kenneth Sabino, and Echevarria continued to what he does best.
Echeverria improved to 6-0 as a pro, but when you consider that two of those wins came against Walls, you have to believe it’s time for him to seek tougher competition.
Also at Titan FC 72, Nate Williams had Christian Ynastrilla verbally tapping to a submission hold that was announced as a “spine twister” and Victor Dias showed off some gorgeous jiu-jitsu to break down and submit Ryskulbek Ibraimov.
Victor “Paçoca” Dias armbars Ryskulbek Ibraimov to retain his Titan FC flyweight belt. Look at these insane transitions that led to the finish. pic.twitter.com/jSSENYsRRh— Will (@ChillemDafoe) September 18, 2021
With his win, Dias recorded his first successful defense of his Titan FC flyweight title.
Jad Alkhatib vs. Joseph Rhodes
Coming in a close second for Submission of the Week is amateur flyweight Jad Alkhatib.
From World Class Fight League 30 in Tampa, Fla.:
Von Flue’s are always great, but what I like about this one is that it doesn’t seem like one of those situations where the victim was caught off guard. Joseph Rhodes knew he was in trouble, but Alhatib had his arm completely trapped and it was just a matter of finishing the hold from there. The only real mistake Rhodes made was not tapping out.
Viktor Kolesnik vs. William Dias
Yakov Ekimov vs. Cleuber Cabral
Nikola Drljaca vs. Aleksandar Milovanovic
Over at Serbian Battle Championship 35: MMA Series 40, Viktor Kolesnik, Yakov Ekimov, and Nikola Drljaca brought the pain.
Kolesnik, a former M-1 Global standout who’s always good for an exciting scrap, blasted William Dias with a nasty knee in the second round to capture a vacant featherweight title.
Viktor Kolesnik finishes William Dias with a nasty knee to the jaw in R2. Kolesnik nearly finished the fight in R1 with a head kick but Dias barely survived. Not this time. #MMASERIES40 pic.twitter.com/aBok868yU1— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) September 18, 2021
Watch that clip again. Does Dias avoid a single strike thrown his way? Bold strategy, it did not pay off.
Bantamweight Yakov Ekimov also turned a man’s lights out, clobbering Cleuber Cabral with elbows.
Great finish, dinged slightly by the referee being out of position at first. What was he looking at?
And yes, you’ve read Ekimov’s name in these parts before as just two months ago we saw him knee Douglas Felipe into oblivion. Ekimov is 11-0 now and big show-bound any day now.
Nikola Drljaca (5-2) is probably more than a few fights away from a call-up, but how can you not appreciate this kind of creativity?
You might scoff and ask, “How could someone be caught by a backhand like that? Haven’t they ever been in a fight?” The answer would be no. This was Aleksandar Milovanovic’s pro debut and what a debut it was.
Let’s head back to UFC Fight Pass to wish a fond farewell to 36-fight veteran Matt Bessette, who went out on a high note at Classic Entertainment & Sports 64 in his hometown of Hartford, Conn.
Bessette defeated Ryan Dela Cruz by third-round submission to capture a vacant lightweight belt and afterwards he announced his retirement.
Matt Bessette reverse triangles Ryan Dela Cruz, adding the CES LW belt to his FW belt. He took off his gloves afterwards, retiring as the first ever CES champ-champ at 25-10. pic.twitter.com/ExyUutFQk1— Will (@ChillemDafoe) September 18, 2021
Bessette went 0-2 in his UFC run, but otherwise put together a solid career that also included several appearances for Bellator. He retires with a 25-10 (1 NC) record.
For more, make sure to check out Mike Heck’s new podcast We Got Next, which features an extensive interview with Bessette.
Lastly this week, bit shout-out to RIZIN for putting all of its fights from this past weekend on YouTube. With both UFC and Bellator going down on Saturday, it’s understandable if you missed out on the action, but now is your chance to catch up.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
"The Mountain" has hands
Pavel Pinzul’s four-second KO
Asa Ten Pow’s SAVAGE GROUND-AND-POUND
Jad Alkhatib’s Von Flue
Nikola Drljaca’s counter backfist
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.