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 with seemingly an MMA show every other day.
MMA, like any proper art form, is continually evolving. On this I think we can all agree, even if the growth trajectory isn’t always heading in a clear, upward direction. There are detours and deviations, and every now and then, there’s a quantum leap that completely shifts our entire view of the scene.
This first entry… probably isn’t one of those moments.
(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.)
return of carjitsu, this time in the middle of a lake, courtesy of Punch Club #popMMA pic.twitter.com/9YBCoFQWR2— Matysek (@Matysek88) April 5, 2022
AL: First of all, deepest apologies to our loyal Missed Fists followers for being late to the Car Jitsu party. This phenomenon (?) first hit the scene in December, according to an article on Bloody Elbow, and its creator, Vik Mikheev, claims he invented the concept back in October 2020.
Apparently there are actual rules:
All submissions are legal. 3 min (or till submission) on driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat, then switch and 3 min more (or till submission). If the score by submission is equal, competitors move to the back seats for 4 min round.
If no submissions happen on the back, the competitor with more pts wins. Points are counted for guard pass (3 pts), mount (4 pts), back mount (4 pts), and knee on belly (2 pts) positions. And yes, competitors can use seat belts.
I’m going to go ahead and call this grappling variation non-intuitive because I’ve watched this a few times and cannot tell you what’s going on.
JM: Look, at this point, the people know me. They know that I love weird, asinine stuff that only loosely relates to MMA or even reason. But this is stupid. Not trying to yuck anyone’s yum here, because I believe in innovation, but this just ain’t it.
Now fighting in the middle of a frozen lake, that is something we can work with!
AL: Most of the suspense really comes from wondering when the car will collapse and drag everyone with it into the icy depths.
I will say I enjoy that everyone is having a laugh about it, as we’ve definitely seen some wild fight concepts where the parties involved are acting like what they’re doing actually makes sense. Clearly, these fellas understand that Car Jitsu is a better concept on paper than in execution, though there are definitely practical benefits to being able to grapple your way out of trouble during a high-speed chase. So perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this idea.
JM: No, no. You should dismiss it. This isn’t good. We don’t have to pretend.
Magomed Kabardiev vs. Valmir Lazaro
Idris Alibi vs. Dzhokhar Eskiev
AL: Full disclosure, one of the reasons I led off with that silliness is because I wanted to let readers get some air before watching what has to be the nastiest knockout of the year so far, which took place at Naiza FC 38 (free replay available on YouTube) in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Magomed Kabardiev, you wrong for this one.
Brutal KO from Kazakhstan— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) April 1, 2022
Magomed Kabardiev KO's UFC vet Valmir Lazaro COLD with a spinning back elbow in the first round.#NaizaFC38 pic.twitter.com/RvwWMP1gcJ
JM: Ouch. That certainly was a mean KO. I’m not sure it’s the nastiest of the year, but the way Valmir Lazaro’s eyes rolled back in his head was pretty disconcerting.
AL: Lazaro wasn’t exactly a world beater during his three-fight run with the UFC (though his one win is a split nod over James Krause, so that’s something), but smoking a vet like that in just under a round is impressive. Kabardiev improved to 8-0, and he doesn’t turn 27 until May. I get the feeling that his record is a fair representation of his skills, and we’re going to see him on a bigger stage sooner rather than later.
JM: Man, I’m getting old and my memory is trash, because I had no idea that Lazaro fought in the UFC. And I’ve literally watched every fight in UFC history. And I’d have wagered a cool 20-spot that Lazaro hadn’t stepped in the octagon, much less fought three times!
AL: Also staying undefeated and now 6-0 was flyweight champion Idris Alibi (no, not Brixton Lore, it’s Idris Alibi).
Beautiful knee KO— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) April 1, 2022
Idris Alibi times a perfect knee to knock out Dzhokhar Eskiev in R1. Alibi improves to 6-0, and STILL Naiza flyweight champ.#NaizaFC38 pic.twitter.com/T8JD7kZlaP
His opponent Dzhokhar Eskiev just dipped right into that knee. I’m not entirely sure what he was going for.
JM: 1) You could have put a gun to my head to name the villain in Hobbs & Shaw and I’d have been a dead man. Couldn’t have even pretended to guess, and certainly wouldn’t have gone with Brixton Lore.
2) Brixton Lore is either the best name ever written or the worst. I’m not sure.
3) Idris Elba will always and forever be Stringer Bell. Come correct.
Also, U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no Alibi, you got knocked the F out.
AL: Welp, that song is now Missed Fists canon, so thank you for that.
Joe Poirier vs. Anthony Rivera
Over at Cage Titans 52, Joe Poirier could teach Dustin Poirier a thing or two about working that gilly!
Wow…just wow— We Are Cage Titans ⚔️ (@CageTitans) April 2, 2022
[ #CT52 | LIVE NOW | https://t.co/O4d5RFIVCP pic.twitter.com/TKc93MOQyC
Why didn’t you just do this to Khabib, Dustin? It’s so simple!
JM: Dustin thought you were supposed to jump the gilly, when actually you’re supposed to suplex with the gilly. Common mistake. He is spot on about staying hydrated, though.
Here’s the other angle! #WeAreCageTitans pic.twitter.com/mAQhwdmGU6— We Are Cage Titans ⚔️ (@CageTitans) April 3, 2022
Khusniddin Khakimov vs. Muhammad Rasuli
AL: You know, where I come from, we like to live by the saying, “When they go low, we go high.”
That’s kind of what happened here at Muradov Professional League 4 (full fights available on YouTube) in Navoi, Uzbekistan.
Holy head kick— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) April 1, 2022
Moments after a low blow restart, Khusniddin Khakimov SLEEPS Muhammad Rasuli with a high kick in the 2nd round
Muradov Professional League 4 pic.twitter.com/CatNJT5Spe
I mean, pretty much.
JM: Of course you think that, you’re Canadian. You guys don’t have real football there, so you never learned that Lowman Wins. When they go low, you go even lower. This s*** is limbo. I mean, it worked out for Khakimov, but that’s just dumb luck.
Dastan Maksatbek vs. Giyosiddin Mirzamakhmudov
AL: This week’s Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week comes to us from Ertaimash Fighting Championship Global 21 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Dastan Maksatbek and opponent Giyosiddin Mirzamakhmudov definitely have to share this award because Maksatbek’s finishing punches there wouldn’t have a chance of connecting were it not for Mirzamakhmudov going full Diego from one end of the cage to the other.
Muy lindo KO, no escuche bien el nombre, algo Maksatbek #EFC21 pic.twitter.com/MSOgBNt88K— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) April 2, 2022
You never go full Diego.
JM: So you’re telling me it’s a bad idea to wander aimlessly forward towards your opponent with your hands grasping at nothing and no semblance of self-preservation? Seriously, the ref should’ve stopped this as soon as Mirzamakhmudov started moving forward, because the man was in no way intelligently defending himself.
Ander Sanchez vs. Connor Wilson
James Sheehan vs. Karol Michalak
Aleksi Mantykivi vs. Jeanderson Castro
Christian Leroy Duncan vs. Djati Melan
Adam Cullen vs. El Hadji Ndiaye
Manny Akpan vs. Connor Hitchens
AL: This past weekend didn’t feature any UFC or Bellator action, but it’s insulting to say that the MMA world wasn’t still churning especially with the fine folks at Cage Warriors putting on shows on back-to-back nights, which means they’ve held four events in the past two months.
And the highlights, they floweth.
Ander Sanchez got the whole party started in the opening prelim bout of Cage Warriors 135, as he absolutely clapped Connor Wilson for a 30-second knockout in his pro debut.
It took Ander Sanchez just 30secs to open the prelims with a finish!— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) April 1, 2022
Watch the #CW135 prelims live on @UFCFightPass pic.twitter.com/zuDhRfSYKs
JM: I absolutely adore that little push kick from Wilson at the end. He looks like when you try to wake someone up and they feebly kick you off and say “five more minutes.” Delightful.
James Sheehan is looking for that performance bonus tonight, with a clean combo leading to a first round KO over his opponent.— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) April 1, 2022
Watch the prelim @UFCFightPass pic.twitter.com/hTvcLcleq6
AL: Credit to Karol Michalak for staying busy and doing his best to fend off James Sheehan, but Sheehan had those Terminator lasers set on him and then BOOM.
JM: Man, Cage Warriors rules. There’s always something worthwhile happening.
AL: This KO combo from Aleksi Mantykivi isn’t as crisp, but I’d say it’s 10 times scarier.
Aleksi Mäntykivi left no doubt— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) April 2, 2022
He picks up a massive KO win
Watch the #CW136 prelims @UFCFightPass ➡️ https://t.co/TjMTHiLHfa pic.twitter.com/Ug07b4V5jX
JM: And that is why you should always return your weapons to a defensive position after throwing them. Castro didn’t do that one time in that clip, and he got read and obliterated for his troubles.
AL: Congrats to Christian Leroy Duncan for capturing a middleweight title in the main event of Cage Warriors 136 with a spectacular knee knockout.
Christian Leroy Duncan with the flying Knee KO!— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) April 2, 2022
Incredible scenes at #CW136, a new middleweight champ is crowned!!#AndNew pic.twitter.com/I0DtGxIPUl
He should beware though as this belt has been somewhat of a poisoned chalice. Here’s a list of recent Cage Warriors middleweight titleholders and the number of successful defenses they had in a parentheses:
- Melan (0)
- Matthew Bonner (0)
- Nathias Frederick (1)
- James Webb (1)
Being a champion is hard!
JM: Okay, but here’s a list of former champions from further back: Martin Kampmann, Gegard Mousasi, Jack Hermansson, Jack Marshman. So, you know, still pretty good company to be in.
AL: Adam Cullen and El Hadji Ndiaye gave us arguably the most exciting 15 seconds of the weekend:
Adam Cullen needed just 15secs to secure the W— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) April 2, 2022
He scorched his opponent! And with style points #CW136 pic.twitter.com/YCAOgYlqWW
JM: Two of the three Final Four games were bangers last weekend, so this exchange merely rates as “good fun.”
AL: Then there’s Manny Akpan.
"UNBELIEVABLE!!!!"#CW136 pic.twitter.com/XmlXtc51fW— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) April 2, 2022
Now neither you nor I were responsible for writing this one up over the weekend, so we haven’t said our piece about this truly wild knockout. All I’ll add is that you have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good, but DAMN sometimes it is really good to be really lucky.
JM: It’s also really good TO WHEEL KICK A DUDE IN THE FRIGGIN’ FACE! Wheel kicks remain the dopest and this one, like all the rest of them, rules. That’s the most exciting 15 minutes of the past week, because I rewatched it 103 times.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Magomed Kabardiev spinning elbow from Hell
Joe Poirier showing proper guillotine technique
Manny Akpan’s one-of-a-kind wheel kick
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.