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.
With July 4 celebrations in full swing this past weekend, there were only a handful of cards taking place stateside, but, as always, promotions from around the globe were more than prepared to pick up the slack.
We start off this week with a rare and oddly comforting end to a fight before breaking down the sheer chaos that went down in Abu Dhabi.
(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.)
Bekzat Almakhan vs. Geovane Vargas
It takes a real man to know when enough is enough. Geovane Vargas is a real man.
Bekzat Almakhan was already putting it on Vargas for the better part of three rounds, so you can’t blame Vargas for calling his own stoppage. That was a clean head kick he took at the end of the fight and we should be happy that he had enough of his senses still intact to signal that he was done.
In the first round, Almakhan cracked Vargas as he attempted to jump in with a flying knee, then he landed a big knee to start off the third. All of this was a lead-up to Vargas’ Nope moment, which may as well have served as a free advertisement for Jordan Peele’s upcoming film (in theaters everywhere July 22, folks).
Rare ending aside, the 23-year-old Almakhan is a legitimate bantamweight prospect at 12-1 with all of his wins coming by finish, 10 by knockout.
Octagon League 32 is available for free replay on YouTube.
Jesse Arnett vs. Ali AlQaisi
Adam Meskini vs. Jalal Al Daaja
Xavier Alaoui vs. Fabricio Sarraff
Ali Taleb def. Vinicius de Oliveira
Brian Hooi vs. Wisem Hammami
Jacqueline Cavalcanti vs. Yulia Kutsenko
Hoo boy, where to begin here?
UAE Warriors held two events this past weekend in Abu Dhabi (both available on UFC Fight Pass) and several of the finishes were headline-worthy, but let’s turn our eye towards Saturday’s main event, which saw Canadian veteran Jesse Arnett defeat Ali AlQaisi to claim a featherweight title.
All hell breaking loose at UAE Warriors after Ali AlQaisi loses his belt by cut stoppage to Jesse Arnett. pic.twitter.com/hKGlva7NL6— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) July 2, 2022
First a cut stoppage, then sheer chaos.
After a competitive first round, Arnett managed to put AlQaisi on his back in Round 2. As AlQaisi went to sweep, Arnett blasted him with an on-point elbow that immediately opened up a nasty cut. Shortly after, the bout was waved off and Arnett was awarded a TKO victory. AlQaisi was displeased, to say the least.
The recent UFC competitor was already heated due to Arnett throwing a punch as the referee stepped in to separate them so that the cut could be examined and losing his title due to a doctor stoppage only incensed him further. Plenty of jaw-jacking ensued and people piled into the cage to break up the confrontation. Eventually, Arnett just bailed out of the cage completely, which was hilarious.
Eventually, the cage was cleared and Arnett had the chance to celebrate his victory. He also used his post-fight interview time to talk about his respect for AlQaisi and call for an immediate rematch.
MMA Fighting’s Steven Marrocco reached out to officials for comment on the situation and received the following response:
Thankfully, no fighter or official was injured during incident. Officials have spoken with both athletes directly and decided to handle the situation behind closed doors.
That wild moment just edged out a pair of insane comebacks, courtesy of Adam Meskini and Xavier Alaoui.
Meskini’s comeback straight-up makes zero sense as there were about three different times the bout could have been stopped in favor of his opponent Jalal Al Dajaa.
Al Dajaa was the aggressor in Round 1, where he scored a head kick knockdown.
Not only was Meskini in trouble early, the commentary pointed out that it looked like he had a left ankle injury and he got knocked down two more times.
I swear the referee was going to step in there, but he just pulled himself back and the bout continued. There’s actually a good chance that Al Dajaa punched himself out, because how else to explain this?
A right uppercut wobbled Al Dajaa and he didn’t recover. Only in MMA, I swear.
Not to be outdone, Alaoui pulled off his own amazing comeback against Fabricio Sarraff just moments after being badly hurt.
I guess sometimes you’ve got to fall behind to get ahead. Or something.
Ali Taleb won a back-and-forth battle with Vinicius de Oliveira, flattening the top Brazilian prospect in the third to improve to 7-0.
Brian Hooi had maybe the most explosive knockout of UAE Warriors weekend, just unleashing a naked head kick KO that Wisem Hammami did not see coming.
And then there’s Jacqueline Cavalcanti.
Any joker can win with a flying knee to the head, but how about a flying knee to the body? Cavalcanti, we salute you.
Moeri Suda vs. Mizuki Oshiro
Big tip of the cap to Moeri Suda as well, who improved to 6-3 as a pro in her debut for RIZIN in Okinawa, Japan, on Saturday.
Armbars are her specialty as you can tell from that beautiful transition. By the way, Suda is still three weeks shy of her 18th birthday. They make them different out there.
Travon Eller vs. Tyler Gates
Let’s end our journey in the good ol’ U.S. of A. and shine a light on amateur light heavyweight Travon Eller, who improved to 2-0 with this nine-second knockout at an Ohio Combat League event in Newark, Ohio.
As quick as that finish was, Eller made the most of his time, landing several punches before Tyler Gates could properly hit the mat. That was, like, three KOs in under 10 seconds really.
Special shout-out to the legend Joey Chestnut, who not only downed 63 hot dogs to claim his 15th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest crown, but also did his best Charles Oliveira impression when a protester made the mistake of getting too close to the man when he was in the zone.
ESPN didn’t show the electric moment that glizzy gladiator Joey Chestnut put a protester in a chokehold pic.twitter.com/G5F5PsBffa— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) July 4, 2022
The young man appears to be uninjured and Chestnut later told USA Today that he felt bad about his aggressive reaction. But hey guy, word of advice: Don’t ever get between a man and his hotdogs.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Geovane Vargas knows he’s had enough
Jesse Arnett leaps the cage to escape a raging Ali AlQaisi
Adam Meskini’s miracle comeback
Travon Eller’s nine-second knockout
Joey Chestnut serves as his own security
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 – @AlexanderKLee – using the hashtag #MissedFists.