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Missed Fists: Willem Smith breaks leg in horrific fashion following checked kick

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Ivan Strydom and Willem Smith at an EFC Worldwide event in Johannesburg, South Africa, on March 5, 2022
@EFCworldwide, 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.

*points to sign*

We had gone (mumble) days without a serious MMA injury, so you knew we were due for some major misfortune and unfortunately that’s exactly what we got at a recent show in South Africa (h/t MiddleEasy).

WARNING: Scroll down past first entry if you want to avoid footage of a graphic injury.

(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.)

Ivan Strydom vs. Willem Smith

AL: I just want to double down on that warning before we proceed here.

Alright, let’s go.

Ivan Strydom knew he checked that kick perfectly, but I don’t think even he realized just how effective his defense was. That’s just an instant break and you can add Willem Smith to the infamous Hall of Famous Leg Injuries currently occupied by Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva, Corey Hill, and others.

As I usually say in these situations: barf

JM: In the scheme of horrific leg breaks in MMA, this one is pretty low on the list, honestly. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s bad, but the camera angle takes out some of the gruesomeness.

AL: One of the four different camera angles definitely got me.

JM: That being said, breaking your leg in the UFC and getting that covered medically is probably substantially better than breaking it in the EFC.

AL: Extreme Fighting Championship 92 is available for replay with a paid subscription to EFC Worldwide if that somehow whet your appetite for more, ya sickos.

Luis Gonzalez vs. Scott Manhardt?
Gustavo Lopes Borges vs. Larry Adnan

This was covered yesterday so hopefully nobody missed it, but in case you did, well we’re happy to give you our take on what could go down as the funniest combat sports moment of 2022.

From the Super Cup 2022 Semifinals, we have Luis Gonzalez landing a sweet rolling thunder kick.

One problem. He landed that kick on the referee.

Yup, referee Scott Manhardt stepped in at just the wrong moment and ended up nearly being put out of commission. Fortunately, officials told our own Guilherme Cruz that Manhardt was mostly fine afterwards and Manhardt himself had a sense of humor about it.

JM: If either fighter here had the least bit of comedic sense about them, they’d have yelled for a foreign object to be thrown into the ring, handed it to their opponent, and then faked a KO, once Manhardt came to his senses. I’m so disappointed that didn’t happen.

AL: Lie, cheat and steal!

Those weren’t the only shenanigans going on in Bahrain as Larry Adnan tried to end a fight with some unconvincing ground-and-pound, only to be caught by a come-from-behind kneebar from Gustavo Lopes Borges.

JM: I respect that Adnan’s coach was desperately trying to get the referee to stop the bout when it’s clear that his ground-and-pound couldn’t smash a grape, much less a grown man’s actual head. Hey, you gotta try.

AL: MMA corners working harder to save their opponents than their own fighters sometimes.

Gamlet Aslanov vs. Ulugbek Abdulhaev

Before we get to some more oddities, let’s tip our cap to the best knockout of the week, which belongs to Gamlet Aslanov from a Naiza Fighting Championship 37 (free replay available on YouTube) in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Mr. Aslanov, take a bow, good sir.

JM: This dude is a 22-year-old fighter out of Kazakhstan and he’s doing stuff like that in his third pro fight? Bet he’s gonna be good.

Tomasz Chic vs. Andrzej Zuromski

AL: And now back to the weird stuff.

In a battle of two heavyweights seeking their first pro win, it was Tomasz Chic who got the better of a sloppy brawl to land a right hand that nearly caused Andrzej Zuromski to do The Cro Cop Flop on the canvas.

Chic used a fence grab there to balance himself and get some extra stank on that punch, a technique that I would like to see more of even if it’s clearly illegal. In fairness, any move that ended that fight should be applauded.

JM: I have long held that though all sports are different and have entirely different rules, there should be one grand rule that supersedes everything and applies to any and all athletic competition: if it’s cool, it’s legal. Though this maneuver was very questionably legal, it was very unquestionably cool and so, the result stands. Touchdown!

AL: If that scrap piqued your interest at all, you can watch the whole MMA-VIP 4 show on pay-per-view for about $7 USD.

Thomas Paull vs. Perry Andre Goodwin

From Golden Ticket Fight Promotions 18 (available on PPV) in Wolverhampton, England, a bout between Thomas Paull and Perry Andre Goodwin lasted just 63 seconds and you only need to watch the clip to see why.

Goodwin is swinging wild here and he gets absolutely brained.

That extra L in Paull’s name? That’s for his opponents.

JM: DAMN. I was gonna use that joke.

AL: I knew this.

Tyson Southern vs. Semaj King

If you were writing the plot for a fictional MMA TV show, Tyson Southern is one of the names you would come up with and he would definitely fight for Rage in the Cage (replay available on FITE PPV) in Oklahoma City.

But Southern is a real dude and he looked real good putting away Semaj King.

That’s one of those scary KOs where the guy is clearly out on his feet and at that point it just becomes Mortal Kombat.

JM: I have a great deal of respect for Southern just leaning all the way into everything and adopting the name “Swisha Sweet” (I’m just assuming he spells it with an A at the end instead of “Swisher”). He is indeed a real dude.

Victor Hugo Madrigal vs. Erick Ruano

AL: When last we saw Victor Hugo Madrigal in Missed Fists, he was fighting for Combate and I used him as the basis for a hilarious jeu de mots that literally not one person responded to.

Now, Madrigal is fighting for Budo Sento Championship (available on UFC Fight Pass) and just winning with an old-fashioned knee knockout. BORING.

JM: Let me get this straight, you lament that not one person got your Victor Hugo joke, and do so by using a $10 SAT phrase like jeu de mots? If you don’t watch out, AK, you’re gonna take over as the pretentious one of this group.

Also, Madrigal turned Erick Ruano into the Hunchback of Notre-DAMN. Now, that’s how you make a joke connecting fist fighting and 19th century French literary icons!

AL: Got me back for claiming the Paull joke. Stuff you, Meshew!

Jason Edwards vs. Drew Harbinson

Speaking of knee knockouts, this one from a Tuff-N-Uff event in Las Vegas certainly isn’t boring but I’m also certain it’s not even close to legal.

Jason Edwards is lucky that he got away with a no contest there. That looked like intent to me!

JM: I’d like to refer everyone back up to my aforementioned rule about legalizing all things cool. That was cool and so I argue that Edwards is unlucky to live in an unjust world that doesn’t value dopeness.

On a related note, Tuff-N-Uff is among the least cool names I’ve ever heard. Tough And Uff? What does that mean?!?! Tuff-E-Nuff would have also been dumb but at least it makes sense!

AL: Tuff, but also Uff, for the more discerning MMA fan.

Makoa Cooper vs. Ratavious Thrasher

And closing us out in quick fashion this week is Makoa Cooper, who won his pro debut in just nine seconds with this amazing punch-out of *double checks notes* RATAVIOUS THRASHER.

That’s a lot to unpack.

JM: In contrast to my Tuff-N-Uff libel, Ratavious Thrasher may be the coolest name I’ve ever heard in my life.

The unfortunate thing is, he apparently isn’t very good at fighting, having gone 1-2 as an amateur and now adding this pro loss to his record. Perhaps it’s because his nickname “Playboy” is among the wackest nicknames of all time and thus it cancels out the karmic strength of his given name.

AL: According to his Instagram, it’s actually “Play3oy.” You know, with the 3 serving as a B.

JM: That’s even worse.

Seriously, imagine being gifted with the name Ratavious Thrasher and then choosing Playboy instead.

AL: Play3oy.

JM: Me, I’d have gone with Chris Leben’s original nickname, “The Cat Smasher.” It’s fun to say — Ratavious “The Cat Smasher” Thrasher — and really drives home that no small animals are safe in his presence. Rats? Thrashed. Cats? Smashed. He’s got you coming and going.

AL: Disclaimer: we do not encourage the real-life thrashing nor smashing of rats nor cats, respectively, nor the clubbering of any small animals for that matter.

Phew, that should clear us with legal.


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Ivan Strydom’s leg-breaking check
    (15 votes)
  • 62%
    Referee gets rolling thunder KO’d
    (69 votes)
  • 15%
    Gamlet Aslanov’s spectacular knee KO
    (17 votes)
  • 0%
    Tomasz Chic’s fence-assisted punch
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    Makoa Cooper’s nine-second knockout
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (5 votes)
111 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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