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.
Only in MMA could it be considered a palette cleanser to watch a bunch of videos of fighters getting viciously knocked out, but that’s where I’m at right now after a week filled with some truly screwed-up outside-of-the cage news. This is the life we chose.
Now, a quick glance back at the final few fights of 2022 that didn’t make the deadline for The Fistys, our annual collection of the weirdest and most wonderful moments from the combat sports wilderness. Then we can move on to 2023 with what was supposed to be a clean slate.
(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.)
Joon Gun Cho vs. Tae Hoon Kim
Raul Rosas Jr.? Yesterday’s news.
That’s 16-year-old South Korean flyweight Joon Gun Cho blasting Tae Hoon Kim with a spin kick knockout at Angel’s Fighting Championship 22, which took place in Ilsan this past weekend.
According to an on-screen graphic, this was a battle of teenagers as Kim checked in at a relatively senior 19; suffice to say, not the kind of pro contest you’re likely to see in North America. But they build them different out there.
Though Cho is a 125er, and the UFC’s Rosas is currently competing at 135 pounds (with 145 a definite possibility in the future for the 18-year-old), it’s fun to imagine these two crossing paths someday. Kids these days, am I right?
Full fights from Angel’s Fighting Championship are available on YouTube.
Modestas Bukauskas vs. Chuck Campbell
Shajidul Haque vs. Sam Creasey
Tobias Harila vs. Damon Wilson
This definitely flew under the radar with RIZIN x Bellator also taking place on Saturday, but Cage Warriors closed out a busy 2022 with one more show in London, headlined by former UFC fighter Modestas Bukauskas taking out Chuck Campbell.
Bukauskas came into the UFC with plenty of hype before running into stiff competition (Jimmy Crute, Michal Oleksiejczuk, and Khalil Rountree. Ouch) but there’s still potentially plenty of great fights ahead for the Lithuanian light heavyweight who doesn’t turn 29 until February. Winning a vacant title to become a two-time Cage Warriors champion is a nice start.
Also, I know this happened at the very end of 2022, but I’m considering this highlight to be an early candidate for the 2023 Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Year award. Cool? Cool.
Bukauskas’ main event win might not have even been the most notable title triumph of the evening as another vacant belt was on the line between flyweights Shajidul Haque and Sam Creasey.
Haque got his start with Cage Warriors in 2013 and bounced around in some other promotions since that first run. In his return to the promotion, he scored an awesome third-round knockout to get past Creasey and put a belt around his waist.
He just completely froze Creasey with a loud right hand, a finish made even more impressive by the fact that Creasey had just hurt Haque moments earlier. That’s five straight wins for Haque now and it won’t be long before other promotions are calling for his services again.
In non-title action, Tobias Harila might have topped Bukauskas and Haque’s efforts with this lightning quick elbow finish.
Would have probably led this feature if Harila could have walked it off, but it looked like Damon Wilson was woken up by the ground, which unfortunately meant he had to take a few more punches before Marc Goddard waved it off.
Cage Warriors 148 is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.
Cherif Drame vs. Segun Ogunnoki
Josias Musa vs. Emmanuel Bernard
Over in Lagos, Nigeria, Cherif Drame ended Face Off Fight Night 3 in brutal fashion with an overhand right that had Segun Ogunnoki floating.
Holy hell. Massive KO by Cherif Drame in the Face Off Fight Night 3 main event. Sent him off his feet. pic.twitter.com/SriG3G5gMn— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 29, 2022
According to Pulse Nigeria, Ogunnoki was favored to put on a show in his home country, but for now it’s back to the drawing board.
The same could be said for Nigeria’s Emmanuel Bernard who also stumbled (quite literally) in his fight with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Josias Musa.
Bernard might not have been out out, but that’s a good stoppage. You could see the man was on the proverbial jelly legs.
And look, Kamaru Usman was there! Make of his hand what you will.
Kamaru Usman addressed the crowd after at Face Off FN. Still seems to be nursing a hand injury. pic.twitter.com/K4t5SndtwL— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 29, 2022
Dorde Bukvic vs. Jakob Kosic
Here’s one that got lost in the shuffle a couple of weeks ago, Dorde Bukvic removing a head at Fight Night Championship 9 in Sisak, Croatia.
Speaking of head kicks, Đorđe Bukvić yesterday at FNC pic.twitter.com/KgmNU5amy1— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 24, 2022
Unlike, what happened with the Harila knockout, Jakob Kosic was decidedly not woken up by the canvas. If anything, the canvas was what put him out for good. That’s a hard one to watch.
Alex Lohore vs. Matus Juracek
Lastly, at Oktagon 38 (not to be confused with Octagon League 38 obviously, which took place a few weeks ago) in Prague, Czech Republic, former Cage Warriors and Bellator fighter Alex Lohore got back in the win column with an awesome right hand.
Lohore fell short of winning the Oktagon middleweight title this past September where he was knocked out by Patrik Kincl, but back down at 170 pounds, he could be challenging for gold again sooner rather than later.
If you want to see the whole fight, the fine folks at Oktagon MMA have you covered:
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Joon Gun Cho’s spin kick
Tobias Harila’s elbow
Cherif Drame’s overhand right
Dorde Bukvic’s head kick
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.