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.
Heading into the last days of January, it doesn’t feel like the MMA world has quite kicked into full gear yet. Yes, the UFC had its first pay-per-view this past weekend that gave us a new light heavyweight champion, the resolution (for now) of the Brandon Moreno-Deiveson Figueiredo tetralogy, and the octagon debut of the Super Bonfim Brothers, but personally, I’m still reeling from the depressing outside-of-the-cage stories that dominated the first couple of weeks of 2023.
Not to mention the fact that the Missed Fists scene is yet to deliver the classic combat sports weirdness that we’ve all grown accustomed to, though I guess I should be grateful that we can simply focus on exciting finishes as opposed to, say, I don’t know, Mongolian cattle bone breaking.
Dana White could have started a Mongolian Cow Bone Breaking league which would have been amazing.— Blaine Henry (@BlaineHenryTFL) January 25, 2023
Instead, we got Power Slap. pic.twitter.com/LGkKj55l8j
Anyway, you know something like chainsaw motorcycle kickboxing is going to pop up any day now, so let’s stick to wholesome knockouts and submissions while we have this time together.
(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.)
Dmitriy Aryshev vs. Marcio Santos
Nothing says wholesome like a two-touch, rip-your-soul-from-your-body KO, right?
Damn. Violent KO by Dmitriy Aryshev against Márcio Santos in the Fight Nights 117 main event. #AMCFightNights117 pic.twitter.com/RSytE8J9dK— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 20, 2023
In the middleweight main event of AMC Fight Nights 117 in Moscow, Dmitriy Aryshev won his fifth straight fight in brutal fashion, putting Marcio Santos on wobbly legs with a left hook and then escorting him to dream street with a second left. All of Aryshev’s wins during this stretch have come by way of knockout and according to Sherdog.com, Aryshev’s 13 wins have all come inside the distance and his eight losses have come on the scorecards. That’s the kind of consistency we like to see around these parts.
Full AMC Fight Nights Global bouts are available for free on YouTube.
Jarome Hatch vs. Daniel Stewart
Speaking of flattening fighters, here’s veteran Jarome Hatch landing an overhand right on the button for the knockout win at Fierce FC 23 in West Valley City, Utah.
Hatch has been grinding on the regional scene since 2007 and has a couple of notable losses to Chris Curtis and Zak Ottow. He fought four times in 2023 and in 2022, but was yet to make his Missed Fists debut before today. Welcome to the party, pal.
Stephen Gillespie vs. Hiroshi Fujita
Last year, Oliver Enkamp scored an amazing submission that was, at first, wrongly identified as the first buggy choke in Bellator history.
For reference, this is what a buggy choke actually looks like.
Stephen Gillespie pone a dormir a Hiroshi Fujita con un buggy choke en Gladiator 020! pic.twitter.com/u2UuMyrOy2— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) January 22, 2023
At GLADIATOR 020 in Osaka, Stephen Gillespie made Hiroshi Fujita pay for just trying to hold him down and not minding his submission defense. Not a bad highlight in just Gillespie’s second pro fight.
And no, after watching both clips again, I still can’t explain what a buggy choke is in less than three sentences.
A free replay of GLADIATOR 020 is available on YouTube.
Romain Debienne vs. Victor Verchere
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but for a country that has been slow to embrace MMA, France sure seems to like it’s swangin’ and bangin’ (or as they might call it, balançant et claquement).
Case in point, Romain Debienne clipped Victor Verchere and didn’t let up until his opponent was turned to dust.
Romain Debienne - Hexagone MMA 6 pic.twitter.com/figXeFgITs— Neo Vale Tudo (@NeoValeTudo) January 22, 2023
Check out the official highlights from Hexagone MMA 6 in Paris here:
Azamat Maksum vs. Fabricio Nunes
Thanks to this sweet highlight package put together by @Grabaka_Hitman, we can all appreciate flyweight prospect Azamat Maksum shining in a battle of undefeateds from this past weekend’s Octagon 39 event in Almaty, Kazakhstan (free replay available on YouTube).
Amazing performance by now 16-0 (!) Azat "Kazakh" Maksum, completely dominating the also undefeated Fabricio Nunes before locking up a first round D'arce choke.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 21, 2023
Get this guy in the UFC flyweight division#OCTAGON39 pic.twitter.com/tujVOhBe7i
That is some aggressive grappling and it’s no surprise that the 27-year-old Maksum is now 16-0 as a pro.
My only issue with him so far is that his nickname is apparently “Kazakh.” That’s like Alexander Volkanovski having the nickname “Australian” or me going by Alexander “Canadian” (“Kanadian?”) Lee. Wait, should I start doing this?
Valeriu Mircea vs. Borys Mankowski
Lukasz Rajewski vs. Sahil Siraj
Roman Szymanski vs. Raul Tutarauli
Michael Materla vs. Kendall Grove
The UFC isn’t the only major promotion back in action as KSW held its first event of the year this past Saturday in Szczecin, Poland. While KSW 78 couldn’t match the magnificence of Mamed vs. Pudzian closing out 2022, as usual, the action didn’t disappoint.
Lightweight Valeriu Mircea scored the best finish of the evening with this gorgeous flying knee and swarm KO.
!! !!— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023
Valeriu Mircea KNOCKS OUT Borys Mankowski!!
XTB #KSW78 pic.twitter.com/TJHn5NYNw4
Mircea has fought for a who’s who of promotions (Brave CF, Bellator, Venator, M-1 Global), so let’s see if he’s here to stay in KSW after that spectacular sequence.
Prior to that, Lukasz Rajewski showed off his own killer instinct after crowning Sahil Siraj with a right hand.
!!!! XTB #KSW78— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023
Lukasz Rajewski with a big right hand! pic.twitter.com/3GzvBhobTI
On the submission front, Roman Szymanski brought the goods, needing a little more than a minute to secure an armbar tap-out and his fourth straight victory.
!!! XTB #KSW78— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023
Roman Szymanski is on a tear! pic.twitter.com/IoV4OJn6xs
Capping off the evening, we had a rematch nearly 10 years in the making as Kendall Grove booked his first MMA fight since 2019 to rematch Michael Materla. Grove previously won a decision over Materla in a championship bout that was not for the faint of heart, to put it lightly.
This time, the judges wouldn’t be needed. Materla made sure of that.
No doubt this time! XTB #KSW78— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023
Michal Materla finishes a valiant Kendall Grove! pic.twitter.com/gAyTDxbJwY
This was a real treat for hardcore KSW fans and also just great matchmaking between two recognizable, veteran names that are both in the same age range. I can’t help but think that the UFC could have done something similar for Shogun Rua, rather than throw him into the cage with a relative unknown. We have guys like Ed Herman around for a reason, don’t we?
makes it even worse when you see this lol pic.twitter.com/cpie3d2m1u— Dylan Glenn (@DylanG22_) January 23, 2023
And from the ICYMI department, make sure you watch Abdoul “Lazy King” Abdouraguimov’s latest submission feat as he snatched a victory out of nowhere with a kneebar of Rafal Haratyk.
It was far from Abdouraguimov’s best performance (he was literally seconds away from a loss on the cards), but I’m just as impressed with fighters who can steal a win on their worst day against a game opponent than when they just run through their opposition.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Dmitriy Aryshev’s lethal left hooks
Stephen Gillespie’s textbook buggy choke
Valeriu Mircea’s flying knee
Lazy King adds to his submission list
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.