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Missed Fists: Rudson Caliocane hits D’Arce choke in first fight since suffering brainstem hemorrhage

Rudson Caliocane celebrates an emotional win at a Brazilian Fighting Series show in Rio de Janeiro on April 24, 2022
@rudsoncaliocane, Instagram

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.

Warm fuzzies aren’t easy to come by in this rough-and-tumble combat sports world of ours, but this past weekend we had a comeback story that everyone with a heart should get behind.

(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.)

Rudson Caliocane vs. Wesley Targino

If Rudson Caliocane’s name sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve probably been keeping up with Guilherme Cruz’s coverage of his harrowing tale. Back in October 2019, Caliocane suffered a brain stem hemorrhage after a fight in his native Brazil. He consulted multiple doctors, one of whom told him he’d never fight again and another who said, “It’s going to be a miracle if you can walk again. It’s already a miracle you’re alive.”

Caliocane spoke to MMA Fighting again ahead of his first fight in two and a half years and said, “To step into that cage already is a win for me regardless of how the fight goes.”

Update: It went very well!

Solid D’Arce choke submission here and some great sportsmanship after to cap off a classy, well-deserved moment for Caliocane. It should be noted this was clearly booked to get him a win as his opponent Wesley Targino entered the bout at 5-8 with five previous losses by submission, but that’s a feature not a bug. More promotions should go out of there way to produce feel-good moments (UFC, consider this philosophy for Walt Harris’ next bout, please!)

If you want to see more of Caliocane’s bout and the rest of the Brazilian Fighting Series 9 card on which it took place, you can catch a free replay on YouTube or just watch his full fight here:

Mason Wester vs. Kasen Taylor

This next highlight will make you feel good in a different way, like the way we usually feel good after seeing some cool MMA s***.

At Showcase MMA 25 (events available to stream with a subscription to Spectation Sports), Mason Wester made a spectacular amateur debut with this third-round tornado kick knockout of Kasen Taylor.

It’s your first fight, what have you got to lose? If Wester doesn’t go by Mason “Twister” Wester from now on, then something went wrong.

Danny Barlow vs. Jordan Fowler
TJ Welch vs. Jordan Carpenter

Also available on Spectation Sports, Attitude MMA Fights 23 went down in Memphis, Tenn., last weekend and heads were rolling.

That’s Danny Barlow improving to 3-0 with a nasty switch kick knockout of Jordan Fowler. Two fights before that, TJ Welch took out pro debutant Jordan Carpenter with another head kick.

Keep those hands high and tight in the future, fellas!

Anthony Romero vs. Kenneth Glenn
Cristian Lopez vs. Oliver Jiminez
Melvin Panganiban vs. Sheldon Nicodemus
Marcus Coward vs. Cannon Tass

Over on UFC Fight Pass, Anthony Romero improved to 11-1 at Fury FC 60 in Houston with a beauty of a flying knee against Kenneth Glenn.

Romero previously won on the Contender Series, but was not signed, which is ironic given that the man he beat, Mike Breeden, is about to make his second appearance for the UFC this weekend. It’s time for a big promotion to give the 25-year-old Canadian another look.

This week’s most unconventional knockout came courtesy of Cristian Lopez, who starred in a short film I like to call, Got My Foot? Got Your Face!

Also on Fight Pass at Battle Fight League 72 in Vancouver, Canada, Melvin Panganiban picked up the most amateur-looking of amateur knockouts with a series of counters that left Sheldon Nicodemus floating on the surface of an invisible pool.

You know that’s our Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week.

Marcus Coward’s kimura submission of Cannon Tass was well-executed, but they’re really here to accept another Fisty, the Jack Horner Those Are Great Names award.

Shoji Saito vs. Toshiomi Kazama

We’ve had issues with burying the lede sometimes and this week is no different as Shoji Saito’s stunning knee knockout from the Pound Storm event in Tokyo was arguably better than Romero’s effort.

Making Saito’s finish even better is that he entered this bout with a 2-2 record, while Toshiomi Kazama had won nine straight fights since dropping his pro debut. Unlike with Caliocane, this one probably didn’t go the way the matchmakers were expecting.

Elaman Shertaev vs. Erzhan Shapauov
Sergio Martinez vs. Jered Corman

And now a couple of finishes that would have been the best of their kind on any other weekend, but similar endings from larger events are one reason why you probably didn’t hear about these.

At Naiza FC 39 (free replays available on in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Elaman Shertaev put Erzhan Shapauov to sleep with this standing ninja choke, but he did it the same day that Jessica Andrade muscled her way to a standing arm-triangle win in the main event of UFC Vegas 52. Tough luck there.

A day prior at B2 Fighting Series 157 in Lexington, Ky., Sergio Martinez landed what should have been recognized as the best uppercut of the weekend.

But you might have heard about one that had higher stakes and took place in front of a slightly larger crowd.

Sumiko Inaba vs. Whittany Pyles

Welp, the show’s over this week folks so… wait, we still have a clip on the schedule. That’s right, it’s a postliminary highlight, from Bellator 279 in Honolulu!

Good on Bellator and their social media team for cranking out the highlights well after Cris Cyborg’s awesome brawl with Arlene Blencowe was over, because it gave Hawaii’s own Sumiko Inaba her moment in the sun. That’s a no-doubter of a left hand and Inaba is now 4-0 with four finishes.



What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Rudson Caliocane’s comeback fight
    (7 votes)
  • 38%
    Mason "Twister" Wester
    (20 votes)
  • 23%
    Cristian Lopez’s one-legged punch-out
    (12 votes)
  • 11%
    Anthony Romero’s jumping knee
    (6 votes)
  • 7%
    Shoji Saito’s jumping knee
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (3 votes)
52 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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