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.
This past UFC-free weekend still proved to be incredibly eventful as Demetrious Johnson ascended back to the top of the flyweight mountain, Christine Ferea established herself as the woman to beat in the BKFC’s 125-pound division, and something called “KSI 2 Fights 1 Night” apparently happened?
Believe it or not, there was more traditional MMA action going on around the world so let’s check in on that before we look ahead to the UFC’s first visit to Paris this Saturday.
It’s always a pleasure to be able to shine a light on submissions to kick things off, so thank you to Kazakhstan’s Octagon League for giving us that opportunity by providing a trio of incredible grappling finishes.
(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.)
Raiymbek Asan vs. Alidzhon Shoev
Shakhzod Dzhurakulov vs. Mamarasul Abdurasul uulu
Doniyor Yokubjonov vs. Evgeniy Surin
It’s rare that you see a Suloev Stretch successfully pulled off and even more rare that you see one seemingly pulled out of a hat. Sure, Octagon 34 might not have featured the most experienced, well-seasoned fighters (none of the losing fighters in these clips had more than one pro bout), but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the kind of finishes you only see at events like this.
Case in point, Raiymbek Asan had no business winning his pro debut with an absurd Suloev Stretch, but thanks to opponent Alidzhon Shoev just leaving his leg there for the taking, magic happened. So props to both fighters, really.
Shakhzod Dzhurakulov had to work a lot harder for his submission, which was arguably more impressive.
That ain’t pulling guard in a strategic way, Dzhurakulov was legitimately rocked by a left from Mamarasul Abdurasul uulu. However, Abdurasul uulu was overeager and dove right into Dzhurakulov’s legs, prompting Dzhurakulov to throw up an armbar and earn the tap-out with the quickness.
Doniyor Yokubjonov’s arm-triangle choke submission isn’t quite as surprising as the others, but you can tell his opponent thought he was about to get top position.
Evgeniy Surin looked to turn into Yokubjonov’s guard, but didn’t create any separation and that allowed Yokubjonov to secure a grip while they were scrambling. That’s no bueno, which he found out the hard way.
Octagon 34 is available for free replay via their YouTube.
Akhmednabi Magomedov vs. Bektarkan Kapnazar
We also got a beauty of a submission from Universal Fighters League 4, which took place in Dagestan. Akhmednabi Magomedov looks like he knew that Bektarkan Kapnazar couldn’t see what was coming and sure enough, once Kapnazar went to control the head, Magomedov trapped his arm and put him to sleep.
Is there any choke that produces knockouts more consistently than the Von Flue?
Magomedov improves to 10-0, which is impressive, but it’s worth mentioning that Kapnazar entered this one with a 1-6 record. Step it up, Magomedov!
Universal Fighters League 4 is available for free replay via their YouTube.
Carlos Mota vs. Rizvan Abuev
You want knockouts? Fine, let’s get to the knockouts.
They don’t get much better than Carlos Mota’s crushing left hand on Rizvan Abuev that won him a vacant flyweight title at LFA 140 (replay available on UFC Fight Pass).
As Mota suggests in his tweet, he’s ready for the next level and I don’t think anyone at the UFC offices is going to disagree after viewing this clip and taking into consideration his body of work so far.
I will say, it was a bit rude of a ghost to show up out of nowhere and put Abuev in a hammerlock as he was plummeting to the ground.
Shane Wellman vs. Steve Pyles
David Burke vs. Jideofor Ojukwu
A pair of amateur bouts from Cage Titans 55 give us our Humpty Dumpty candidates of the week, though they couldn’t be more different.
Shane Wellman’s brutal knockout of Steve Pyles is your standard Humpty Dumpty fall as Pyles is so desperate to get off the cage, he leaves himself open to a walloping right to the side of his head that causes him to dive face-first into the canvas.
Our real Humpty Dumpty of the Week goes to David Burke though, who actually had a great fall in the middle of winning the fight.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to laugh.
Other times, you have to cry, like when you see Kyle Pavao shred his opponent’s arm (not to mention the eardrums of everyone who heard the snap). Not that I would know, because I haven’t watched the clip and never will.
But if you must know more, please check out Mike Heck’s deep dive into the incident and the personalities involved on MMA Fighting. Reading about this finish is about as far as I’m going to go.
Mateus Santos vs. Neuaque Miniamin
Bruno Fontes vs. Thierry Lucas
Michael Oliveira vs. Elder Costa
Over in Rio de Janeiro, all kinds of greasiness was happening at Jungle Fight 110 (free replay available on YouTube) and you can watch three of the best finishes right here.
First up, Mateus “I’m Ready” Santos delivered a counter right that caused his opponent to fall and bounce his head off of the canvas.
Referee could have called it before the ensuing follow-up shots and I don’t think anyone would have complained.
There was no complaining about this next stoppage, as Bruno Fontes folded Thierry Lucas with a gut-busting body kick.
Props to the referee jumping in right away, treating that body shot like a haymaker to the head. Probably hurt even worse than that.
And then there’s Michael Oliveira, who hunted his man down with such wicked persistence that this could have been a clip from the movie Prey.
Eric Leandro vs. Cody Potesta
Cody Matthews vs. Ben Coyle
Lastly, let’s head to the regional scene for a couple of exciting head kick finishes, one of which isn’t exactly textbook.
From a Gladiator Challenge event in Valley Center, Calif., Eric Leandro just reared back and essentially won with a soccer kick to a standing (er, stumbling) opponent.
Hey, if it works, it works.
If you want a more traditional head kick KO, here’s Cody Matthews catching a lunging Ben Coyle with a right leg on the money at a Rocket Combat Sports show in Orange, Va.
Now that is classic head kickery. Just like mom used to make.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Suloev Stretch out of nowhere
Shakhzod Dzhurakulov’s comeback armbar
Carlos Mota punches his ticket to the big show
David Burke slips, falls, and wins
Mateus Santos’s powerful counter punch
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.