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.
Modern MMA as we know it was founded on the thrill of seeing a smaller fighter like Royce Gracie dominate his competition with mystifying and forbidden techniques, proving once and for all that every David has a chance against Goliath with the proper tools.
Who better to demonstrate this than current UFC strawweight standout Vanessa Demopoulos?
(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.)
Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Ramy Elgazar
Suffice to say, “Lil Monster” did not have the same success as the legendary Royce Gracie.
In what looks to be playful spar, Demopoulos opens the contest with an attempt at a flying I’m-not-entirely-sure-what and is promptly dumped to the mat by Egyptian sumo wrestler Ramy Elgazar. He looks to have about 800 pounds on Demopoulos, so the failed attempt can be forgiven in this instance.
Demopoulos has become famous for her post-fight celebration in which she jumps into the interviewer’s arms, so it’s cool to see her try and implement that into an actual fight. Maybe her next octagon opponent should be wary of the 5-foot-2 dynamo going airborne to set up an attack.
According to Demopoulos’ post, this was part of a segment for Master Vic PodcasTV and the full episode will be available on Aug. 15.
Now, bear with me as we do a little globe-trotting and some slick segueing. First stop: Bogota, Colombia.
Ivan Londono vs. Duvan Felipe Lopez
At a Naciones MMA show (events now available to stream on DAZN) bantamweight Ivan Londono had an insane pro debut as he completely wiped out opponent Duvan Felipe Lopez with a powerful slam.
That’s just head getting caught right between head and mat there. Prayers all the way up for Lopez, who was also competing as pro for the first time.
We go from Colombia to Columbia, S.C., where XMMA held its fifth event. The Florida-based promotion has carved out a niche for itself by scooping up fighters who have recently competed for major promotions, though this first highlight features a veteran who might be the best American fighter out there right now who has yet to compete for the UFC or Bellator.
Josh Rettinghouse has dabbled with greater notoriety, challenging Marlon Moraes for a World Series of Fighting title in 2014 and most recently getting his shot at a UFC contract on Season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter (he lost in the opening round of a tournament to eventual finalist Brady Hiestand). This past weekend, he faced UFC vet Chris Beal and he reminded everyone that he can more than hang with bigger name competition.
Those last couple of uppercuts had Beal swimming.
Another former UFC fighter, Teruto Ishihara appears to have found a rhythm on the regional scene as he picked up his second straight knockout to string together his first win streak since 2016.
Ishihara finished Jose Hernandez at Urijah Faber’s A1 Combat 1 show this past May and he topped that with this absolute one-shot bomb knockout of Westin Wilson. Yashabo!
XMMA 5 is available for free replay on YouTube.
Ryo Takagi vs. Yusaku Hayashi
Speaking of Japanese fighters landing one-shot KOs, here’s 22-year-old featherweight Ryo Takagi disintegrating Yusaku Hayashi at Pancrase 328.
Numero 8⃣— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) July 25, 2022
Ryo Takagi, Pancrase 328 pic.twitter.com/vQ2GKfECyr
Takagi is now 4-0 with three of those wins coming by way of first-round knockout. Don’t get punched by this guy, that’s just my advice for future opponents.
Jose Mariscal vs. Jordan Beltran
I’m not sure any advice could have helped Jordan Beltran at last Friday’s Combate Global event as he was on the receiving end of a beautiful question mark kick from Jose Mariscal.
Jim Wallhead vs. Daniel Skibinski
Samuel Bark vs. Tobias Harila
Judo Jim is back!
Real ones will remember Jim Wallhead from his runs with Bellator, the UFC, KSW, BAMMA, and Cage Warriors. The English judoka hadn’t competed since 2019 before returning to the Cage Warriors stage last Friday, where he authored a stunning TKO of Daniel Skibinski.
Take another look at it here:
At 38 years old, Wallhead has given no indication that he plans to retire and given how he looked in this outing, who can blame him?
Just shy of Wallhead’s 43 pro bouts, Samuel Bark improved to 5-1 as a pro with this truly devastating knee right up the middle.
Relentless muay thai for the upset win!— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) July 22, 2022
Samuel Bark shocks the crowd at his Cage Warriors debut, on one weeks notice
Watch #CW141 live on @UFCFightPass
London, England pic.twitter.com/2IqzgxFSvt
Cage Warriors 141 is available to stream on UFC Fight Pass.
Wallace Italia vs. Deydivan Luiz
Maicon Kobayashi vs. Wesley Mutante
This week’s award for most stylish performance has to go to Wallace Italia, who straight clowned Deydivan Luiz before landing the big kibosh right hand at Favela Kombat 38 in Rio de Janeiro.
It should be noted that Wallace has a career record of 6-4 after that win, so his style points have yet to add up to consistent results inside the cage.
Maicon Kobayashi had one of the week’s best submissions as he pounced on his opponent’s leg and tapped him with the quickness.
Lucas Miletich vs. Elias Ru
Jesus Ru vs. Pablo Pucci
It’s important to note that Kobayashi had one of the best submissions because he was up against Lucas Miletich and Jesus Ru’s outstanding efforts from a Circuito Argentino de MMA in Buenos Aires.
Miletich broke out the always impressive Suloev stretch that his opponent really had zero defense for. That had to be just sheer panic for Elias Ru once he realized what Miletich was doing.
Jesus Ru also took his time setting up a sweet submission, though he started the sequence off with a powerful slam.
From there, it was textbook jiu-jitsu, just methodically advancing to one of the most dominant positions before transitioning to an armbar. Royce would be proud.
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.