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.
Another edition of the UFC’s International Fight Week is upon us, but if you think about it, every week is International Fight Week when you look at the big picture. A large portion of the most famous stars in the business come from outside the U.S. including 2023 UFC Hall of Fame inductees Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo, Canadian GOAT Georges St-Pierre, and all four participants in this weekend’s UFC title bouts, Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez, and Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja.
Speaking of Moreno, his home country of Mexico was front and center this past weekend on UFC Fight Pass, with three events taking place south of the border and delivering on the highlight front.
(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.)
Jesus Gutierrez vs. Victor Nunez
In my many, many years of watching MMA, I can honestly say I’ve never seen a fight play out quite like this.
At a Budo Sento Championship show in Veracruz, Mexico, Victor Nunez appeared to have authored an incredible finishing sequence as he blasted Jesus Gutierrez with a flying knee and then choked him unconscious. Sure, the knee was blatantly illegal, but when has that stopped a commission from just looking the other way and moving on before?
Not this commission, pal! You can stuff your disqualifications and no-contests in a sack, because not only was Nune not awarded with a win, the bout was actually RESTARTED and would end up going the full 15.
UPDATE: The knee was not legal, and the commission has decided to resume action. pic.twitter.com/uoyT78wx6L— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) July 1, 2023
Victor Acuna is throwing BOMBS pic.twitter.com/zghfVv0sXV— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) July 1, 2023
You don’t have to jog your memory too hard to find a couple of recent examples in the UFC of a finish via illegal blow quickly being changed to a no-contest, with both Kyle Daukaus and Bobby Green accidentally benefiting from a clash of heads.
Why was this this BSC situation different? Couldn’t tell you, but Nunez was doubly unlucky as he later went on a lose a split decision to the gutsy Gutierrez. Somehow, even after eating a flying knee and, again, literally being choked unconscious, Gutierrez was able to use his grappling to take a clear second round and then do enough with the striking exchanges in Round 3 to take the scorecards.
Raul Zaragoza vs. Jesus Wong
Luis Cabrera vs. Fernando Saavedra
Over at Lux Fight League 33 in Puebla, there was even more weirdness, with Jesus Wong withstanding everything and the kitchen sink being thrown at him before essentially being felled by a fly swatter.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad jab by Raul Zaragoza, especially given how low his gas tank must have been after that flurry, but you’ve got to admit that it’s a little funny to see Wong take all of that and then be left stiff as a board by such a seemingly innocuous shot.
A clear Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week winner, possibly the best of the 2023 so far. As one Twitter user so accurately put it, Wong was on “99 percent damage.” That jab just nudged him to his limit.
he was at 99% damage— Hyttenhoof (@hyttenhoof) July 1, 2023
One fight earlier, Luis Cabrera put the finishing touches on Fernando Saavedra with a left hand that looked like it might turn Saavedra’s head around 180 degrees.
Luis Elias vs. Angel Munoz
Let’s conclude our Mexican vacation with a stop in Tijuana, where Luis Elias capped off a flurry of offense with a calf slicer at Ultimate Warrior Challenge 45.
Standard club-and-sub procedure is for a fighter to go for some kind of choke after hurting their opponent, maybe you might go for an armbar. But having the wherewithal to go for a calf slicer in that situation and get the insta-tap? Maximum style points.
Itamar Junior vs. Ernane Pimenta
OK, let’s head waaaaaaaaay south now all the way to Rio de Janeiro, where a leg-lock attempt by Ernane Pimenta didn’t go quite as smoothly.
With Itamar Junior bearing down on him, Pimenta aggressively attacked the leg while leaving his head and face completely exposed. Junior let his left hand drop like an anvil multiple times and soon enough, Pimenta was robbed of his consciousness.
Jimmy Quinn vs. Dan Kneil
Milad Ahady vs. Marcondes Bastos
Stephanie Evans vs. Malgorzata Tkocz
We stay with UFC Fight Pass for one more set of highlights, these three from Cage Warriors 156, which took place in Cardiff, Wales.
Pro debut jitters? Apparently not a thing for 23-year-old bantamweight Jimmy Quinn, who didn’t do much in his first Cage Warriors fight besides set the record for the fastest knockout in the English promotion’s history.
What impresses me is that Quinn didn’t come out looking for a fast finish, he let his opponent think he was leading the dance and then walked him right into a left hook that face-planted him. Stoppage was maybe a touch quick, but that looked like a “knocked out on the feet, woken up by the head hitting the mat” sequence to me. No issue with it.
I do have an issue with Milad Ahady using Marcondes Bastos’ midsection as his personal heavy bag.
That is vile body work. By the end of it, Ahady was essentially telegraphing that he was going to the body and Bastos didn’t even try to defend. Ahady should have gone easy on him instead of turning his insides into jello. I’m not a doctor, but I feel like at least one or two of those internal organs might be important.
In the second fight of the evening, Wales’ own Stephanie Evans had to turn it way up at the end of Round 1 to secure the win. She pulled it off too, scoring the technical submission with one second to go and leaving opponent Malgorzata Tkocz completely bewildered.
Damian Zaharia vs. Catalin Pintilie
Safe to say, Catalin Pintilie DID NOT see this one coming.
From Heroes 7 in Ramnicu, Valcea, Romania, Damian Zaharia landed a YOLO head kick for the 12-second knockout win. I’m pretty sure his shin almost entered Pintilie’s mouth.
Jimmie Pace vs. Boris Garcia
On nickname alone, I’m obligated to feature Jimmie Pace’s brutal knockout of Boris Garcia from a Combate Global event in Miami.
“Jimbo Slice” put Garcia down hard with a couple of “excuse me” punches as Garcia tried to push him away, resulting in a strange and surprising KO. Considering that his name pays homage to the inimitable Kimbo Slice, it’s only fitting that Pace finishes in similarly weird fashion.
And to end this week on a truly bizarre note, boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. apparently won a fight in the metaverse against someone named NDO Champ (you may recognize him from the dunking on kids meme).
I read up on this and I’m still not entirely sure what happened here, but I’m to understand that Jones and Champ had a real exhibition boxing bout at an undisclosed location and their bout was digitized and put on the world wide web and people actually had to pay money for this. So it wasn’t even like we got hologram wars with real-time virtual feedback or whatever, it was just your now-standard influencer boxing bout but with clippy graphics. OK?
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Jesus Gutierrez resurrection
Raul Zaragoza jab of doom
Luis Elias calf slicer out of nowhere
Jimmy Quinn’s 10-second debut
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.