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Missed Fists: Justin Sauerzopf takes low blow, retaliates with hellacious one-punch knockout

Stephen Slattery and Justin Sauerzopf at Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting 87 in Flint, Mich., on June 11, 2022
@SpectationNet, 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.

Not to get political, but I believe it was Michelle Obama who famously said, “When they go low, we go high.”

Our first clip reminded me of that.

(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.)

Justin Sauerzopf vs. Stephen Slattery

From Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting 87 in Flint, Mich.:

Here’s a phrase that I came up with that could work here: “When you low blow, I KO!”

That’s probably not what Justin Sauerzopf was thinking when he uncorked this ridiculous right hand that ended Stephen Slattery. If anything, I’d imagine he was seeing red when Slattery caught him with a low shot and simply wanted to hit something, anything, as hard as he could. That just so happened to be Slattery’s head.

This is such a great MMA moment. Slattery sees Sauerzopf’s reaction, looks at the referee for any acknowledgment of the potential foul, and then has to just go back in there resulting in the stunning finishing sequence. No amount of training can prepare you for that situation. Sometimes you just gotta scrap.

Marcus Edwards vs. Leonardo Rodriguez

Our runner-up for Knockout of the Week comes from last Friday’s Combate Global main event. Marcus Edwards needed just 21 seconds to brutally put Leonardo Rodriguez away.

That clip really tells you the whole story and not just because of how short it is. Look at Edwards’ stance and approach. You know when someone is about to get karate’d into oblivion and that’s exactly what happened to Rodriguez here.

Joel Fernandes vs. Robin Rouch

Let’s dip on over to the amateur scene for a minute, first checking in on Cobra Fight Championship, an organization based out of Elne, France according to their Facebook page. It’s always fun to see folks fighting the good fight for MMA over there, but I can’t tell if this scorpion crunch finish by Joel Fernandes is more likely to help or hurt its image.

That move just looks like it HURTS every time I see it. Fortunately, Robin Rouch seemed to tap before taking any serious damage.

Cobra Fight Championship fights are available for free on YouTube.

Jessica Emerick vs. Kaelen Doan

An amateur strawweight bout at Ohio Combat League 19 in Columbus, Ohio, ended emphatically with Jessica Emerick smoking Kaelen Doan.

I don’t care what level of MMA we’re talking about. You see a haymaker like that landing clean, someone is going down.

Otar Tanzilov vs. Mohammad Dalvand
Beka Gogaladze vs. Narek Galstyan
Samvel Vardanyan vs. Nika Bregvadze
Khvicha Koridze vs. Yaser Yasini

From Georgian Fighting Championship 16 (free replay available on YouTube) in Tbilisi, Georgia:

We’ve all played the “would you rather game” when watching MMA, I’m sure. Like, “Would you rather take a right hook from Francis Ngannou or a flying knee from Jorge Masvidal?” for example. Another more broad example might be, “Would you rather take a clean kick to the head or to the body?” In the above clip Mohammad Dalvand gets a taste of both.

First, he eats a head kick from Otar Tanzilov that looks like it would have knocked out a heavyweight. Then shortly after, he’s sliced with body kick that forces him to regurgitate said head kick (metaphorically speaking). Remember, the best answer to any “would you rather get hit by…” question is “neither.”

Tanzilov, a 24-year-old bantamweight with a 6-0 record, is one to watch by the way.

Props to GFC for posting super crisp highlight packages on their YouTube. All promotions should do this!

Beka Gogaladze finished Narek Galstyan with a north-south choke and I don’t have much to add to that. I just haven’t seen a successful north-south choke in a while. Have you? If you haven’t, I got you.

Samvel Vardanyan hit a beauty of a sub on Nika Bregvadze, which I’ve seen referred to as a scarf hold armlock, a leg Americana, and a neck crank.

Just call it what it its: Pain.

And for those of you who wish Valentina Shevchenko had hit that gogoplata, Khvicha Koridze has you covered.

Madiyar Toleubay vs. Asliddin Odilov
Chasen Blair vs. Kona Oliveira

Let’s close out with a couple of finishes that left the recipients flat on the mat with nowhere to go.

At Naiza FC 40 (free replay on YouTube) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Madiyar Toleubay straight stopped Asliddin Odilov with this ninja choke of doom.

It’s difficult to tell the exact moment that Odilov went out, but Toleubay wasn’t letting go until he had Odilov staring at the lights.

Over at Cage Warriors 139 in San Diego, Chasen Blair brought us our Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week:

We can’t stress enough how dangerous it is to be casual when separating from a clinch and Kona Oliveira was reminded of this in the hardest way possible. Blair fired that one straight from the hip and with Kona’s arms nowhere near a defensive position, he had no chance.

Speaking of tips, here’s one related to hygiene. I’m not a doctor, but if you’re going to mark something in blood on the mat, just go with one stroke, don’t wipe your hand across the mat and then put it back in your mouth to “dip your brush” as it were.

Seriously. That’s gross.


What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Justin Sauerzopf answers low blow with KO
    (61 votes)
  • 4%
    Marcus Edwards goes full karate
    (6 votes)
  • 18%
    Joel Fernandes’s scorpion crunch
    (24 votes)
  • 13%
    Khvicha Koridze’s gogoplata
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    Madiyar Toleubay’s ninja choke knockout
    (7 votes)
  • 9%
    Other (leave comment below)
    (12 votes)
127 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 – @AlexanderKLee – using the hashtag #MissedFists.

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