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.
Here at Missed Fists headquarters, we’re all about living your best life, and few in the MMA world are doing that better right now than Norman Parke.
(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.)
Norman Parke vs. Piotr Szeliga
That’s right, I said Norman Parke, the former UFC fighter whose nine-fight run in the octagon was only the beginning of his eventful career. The Northern Irishman went unbeaten in his first five UFC fights, was released after stumbling against stiffer competition, and then bounced around Europe before eventually settling in with KSW where he feuded with Mateusz Gamrot. Of course, this being Parke, his three title fight bookings against Gamrot were marred by Parke missing weight twice and one of their fights ending in a no contest due to eye poke.
Oh, and one of Gamrot’s cornermen punched Parke after their second fight.
But guess what? “Stormin Norman” has got it all figured out now.
From Fame MMA 14 in Krakow, Poland:
That’s a small cage. Like, tiny. Officially 3x3 apparently, but regardless of the actual measurements, it’s fair to say it’s really, really small.
Somehow, Parke and opponent Piotr Szeliga managed to have a fight in it and unsurprisingly, the far more experienced Parke won. Szeliga is listed at heavyweight while Parke is a career 155er, but Parke weighed in at around 195 pounds to Szeliga’s 212 according to Tapology so the difference wasn’t that egregious.
I guess Szeliga can boast a solid social media following with 200K followers both on Facebook and Instagram, and 47K on YouTube, but Parke has 276K followers on IG, so I don’t even know if Szeliga has outdone him there.
He certainly couldn’t hold a candle to Parke in this hybrid rules bout as Parke just pieced him up in the boxing portion and then finished the job when it was time to mix the martial arts.
So that’s what Parke is up to now. Not having to cut weight, beating up heavyweights in Poland (see also: Parke vs. Popek Monster at Fame MMA 13), and probably getting a nice paycheck to do it. Parke may have never won a major title — well, unless you count the illustrious The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes tournament, which maybe I do and maybe I do — but if this is the path he’s taking as his career winds down, there are a lot worse things to be remembered by.
Fame MMA 14 is available for pay-per-view replay on famemma.tv.
Vladimir Seliverstov vs. Julio Cezar Santana
Vyacheslav Svischev vs. Belek Aliev
Over at Open FC 19 (free replay available on YouTube) in Samara, Russia, we had a pair of first-round finishes where the vanquished fighter didn’t even have a chance to get out of the gate.
In the co-main event, Vladimir Seliverstov disintegrated Julio Cezar Santana and gave us our Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week in just 27 seconds of cage time.
Vyacheslav Svischev’s knockout of Belek Aliev just one fight prior was shorter by 21 seconds, but I’d argue that it was even more vicious.
Watch how Aliev reacted to that straight shot to the body, then ducked his head in as Svischev followed up. Turned out to be a bad decision as head met left hand and head lost.
Romero Reis vs. Oskar Merchan
At Tour Colombia IV Campeonato de Artes Marciales Mixtas 2022 (free replay available on Facebook) in Colombia, Romero Reis and Oskar Merchan ended in seconds after it opened with an accidental groin kick.
16 second flying knee by Romero Reis at OCAMM in Colombia pic.twitter.com/daGybmVB5H— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 15, 2022
Both fighters were cordial following the foul, but that went from “my bad” to “you’re toast” real fast.
Ryan Smith vs. Jacob Beach
If an amateur fighter hits a twister, you know they’re getting a Missed Fists shout.
From Rocket Combat Sports 9 (PPV replay available here) in Winchester, Va.:
It’s not the smoothest application of the hold I’ve seen, but Smith was persistent and controlled Beach’s lower body the whole time. This wasn’t an accident. He wanted the twister, he worked for the twister, and he got the twister. Bravo!
Joshua Van vs. Mario Suazo
Kevin Kent vs. Caleb Hall
Will Spann III vs. Brandon Davis
Michael Pagani vs. Joshua Onwordi
Now let’s see what’s been going down on UFC Fight Pass, shall we?
At Fury FC 62 in Castle Rock, Colo., Joshua Van hit a sweet calf slicer to put away Mario Suazo.
Not gonna lie, I’m a huge calf slicer fan, to the point that I voted Brett Johns for the 2017 Submission of the Year over Demetrious Johnson and his “Mighty Wizbar,” a call that the MMA Fighting staff has yet to forgive me for and for which I haven’t and won’t apologize.
Van (5-1), a 20-year-old flyweight prospect, is a ways away from becoming the next “Mighty Mouse,” but with three straight finishes and all of his wins coming by way of knockout or submission, it won’t be long before he gets his call-up to the big leagues.
Kevin Kent won’t be getting that call anytime soon, but you can assume he’s feeling just fine after landing this one-shot bomb at the halfway mark of the opening round.
A quick glance at Kent’s Tapology page tells us that this was Kent’s first fight since wrapping up a 5-0 amateur career back in 2013. Nice to see he’s making up for lost time.
We saw a rare omoplata submission at Cage Fury FC 108 in Bensalem, Penn., courtesy of Will Spann III. If Jed Meshew were here, he’d talk about how Spann’s finish was more the product of low-level MMA and poor submission defense, to which I will simply respond by blowing the proverbial raspberry.
Lastly, at Venator FC 11 in Pescara, Italy, Michael Pagani perfectly lived up to his nickname with this “Sniper” spin kick to Joshua Onwordi’s body.
Maybe it’s better of no one follows Pagani’s lead.
Ross Levine vs. Igor De Castaneda
Artur Gasanov vs. Tommy Azouz
Lazar Kukulicic vs. Mitchell Thorpe
In case you missed it, Karate Combat is back!
The Season 4 premiere featured the one-of-a-kind fight promotion’s usual array of viral knockouts, including this “FINISH HIM” moment from Ross Levine.
There’s no backing up against a fence and looking to counter in Karate Combat. You hit that pit wall, you better be ready to move out of there otherwise you’re getting smoked.
Matching the brutality of that kick was Artur Gasanov, who sent Tommy Azouz’s mouthpiece into another dimension (or to wherever the next Karate Combat event is set) with this spin strike.
And even though it didn’t get a finish, Lazar Kukulicic’s game-changing slam off of the pit wall deserves widespread recognition.
Kukulicic went on to win a unanimous decision.
I don’t know if anything like that could be attempted in a cage, but I’ll be sorely disappointed if no MMA fighter even tries. In completely unrelated news, Michel Pereira fights on Saturday.
Speaking of innovation and the evolution of the game, I don’t know what the hell this is but I saw it and now you have to as well:
At the very least, this genius maneuver generated some equally brilliant replies:
Stop posting EA UFC glitches— E. Casey Leydon (@ekc) May 16, 2022
we need to allow unlimited buttscoot and whatever this is for MMA to be legitimate, and we also need to allow strikes to the head of people attempting to use those strategies for the same reason— Donnie Reilly (@DonnieReillyMMA) May 16, 2022
Still better game plan than Rose against Sparza— Dahu Фиге (@Dahufisa) May 16, 2022
Ryan corridor— GTOUTMESHEDYADAFCUN (@aquig19) May 16, 2022
The fighting style he’s trying to unlock pic.twitter.com/HzUwxx6aV6— Reco Draws Stuff (@badduderere) May 17, 2022
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Norman Parke beats big man in small cage
Ryan Smith’s twister
Joshua Van’s calf slicer
Lazar Kukulicic’s off-the-wall slam
THE BUTT SCOOT OF DOOM
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.