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.
Did you just blink?
If you did, you might have missed our lead entry this week, which takes the cake when it comes to fast finishes. We hear fighters say all the time that they plan to walk through their opponents, but never has it been executed so plainly in practice.
(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.)
Travis Lawrence vs. Dawson Dillard
“Fighters, are you ready???”
This guy was not ready.
At an Agoge Fight League show in Goodlettesville, Tenn., this past weekend, an amateur bout ended in two (TWO) seconds when Travis Lawrence simply marched across the cage and mollywhopped opponent Dawson Dillard.
Definitely, Dillard’s defense leaves a lot to be desired (try saying that one 10 times fast), but I imagine that he was thrown off by Lawrence seemingly teleporting to a spot right in front of him and then unleashing a fireball to his face. Watch for yourself again and give props to Lawrence for uploading a number of different angles of the highlight.
That’s a legit two seconds too, no clock chicanery. It takes one second for Lawrence to press forward, and one second for the punch to shut Dillard down. Before another second passes, the referee is already running in to stop the fight. Surreal stuff.
Zana Kalary vs. Callum Turberfield
In Wolverhampton, England, we had ourselves another low-key show with some high-key shenanigans as Golden Ticket Fight Promotions featured Zana Kalary doing THIS to Callum Turberfield.
Golden Ticket Fight Promotions 23 providing shear violence— Combat Sports UK (@CombatSportsUK) September 2, 2023
Zana Kalary stops Callum Turberfield in fanatic fashion in Wolverhampton!
Follow the action live: https://t.co/q9LoGs1JVq pic.twitter.com/z4qjaSkGm2
I don’t know how Kalary made the decision to throw this kick, how it connected, nor how it was so effective, but when you have that kind of gusto you should be rewarded and Kalary was rewarded handsomely with a once-in-a-career KO.
Alfrego Ruelas vs. David Alessandro Aguilar
Leonardo Morales vs. Jose Ferreira
Head kicks were everywhere and Combate Global’s show in Miami was no exception.
Lightweight Alfrego Ruelas finished off a rocked David Alessandro Aguilar with a long-range head kick that Aguilar didn’t come close to stopping.
And when you don’t come close to stopping an oncoming head kick, bad things happen.
Leonardo Morales’ head kick KO wasn’t quite as spectacular, but if you think I’m passing on an opportunity to showcase a The Ultimate Fighter (Latin America, that is) original, then you clearly don’t know me.
This has to be considered an upset given that Morales’ opponent Jose Ferreira was 3-0 in the Combate cage and 11-0 overall as a pro. But again, there’s no shame in your first loss coming to a fighter who went through the crucible that is TUF.
Casey Norton vs. Tyler Smythe
Here’s another head kick with a sneaky setup.
Maybe “setup” is the wrong word here, because what I’m referring to is that knee to the stomach Casey Norton somehow landed as he was eating a clean right hand to the face. It rattles Tyler Smythe badly and he goes all out to guard his midsection, which seals his fate.
You’ve got to love the slow motion here not just because it gives us such a clear breakdown of the finish, but because you can also see how difficult it was for the referee to make a call there in a split second. With the benefit of this replay, we know Smythe was done once that kick landed, but the referee waits that extra moment to see if he’ll recover and that allows an extra punch to sneak through. A tough and thankless job.
A replay of New England Fights 54: Fight at the Opera (outstanding event name!) is available for pay-per-view replay.
Elias Santos vs. Lucas Marte
Over at Fighting Force 12 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Elias Santos threw a head kick of the looping variety that might not be as pretty as the previous entries, but was no less effective.
Massive head kick KO by Elias Santos against Lucas Marte at Fighting Force 12 in Santo Domingo pic.twitter.com/ESlPCdcyCj— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) September 3, 2023
Fighting Force 12 is available for free replay on YouTube.
Gustavo Henrique vs. Samuel Cassimiro
We’ve seen some brutal finishes, but now we get to some truly scare ones as we have our nominees for the Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week.
At R1 Fighting Series 3 in Sao Paulo, Gustavo Henrique just unloaded on Samuel Cassimiro against the fence, leaving Cassimiro looking like he was shakin’ it off like my girl T-Swift as he fell back.
Icaro Brito vs. Junior Duarte
Richard Martins vs. Joao Paulo Silva
Also in Sao Paulo, this time at LFA 166 (available to watch on UFC Fight Pass), Icaro Brito drilled Junior Duarte with a blow to the side of the head that immediately caused a system-wide shutdown.
Richard Martins’ three-piece and a soda knockout of Joao Paulo Silva might fall just short into the Humpty Dumpty honorable mentions, but we can’t pass up on a man literally sitting another man down.
Lucas Martins vs. Ylies Djiroun
Pavel Dailidko vs. Salim El Ouassaidi
Borislav Nikolic vs. Ali Guliev
UFC Paris was a banner night for French fighters (Zarah Fairn fight? What Zarah Fairn fight?), but Thursday’s Brave CF event (available on DAZN) in Nantes, France, didn’t go as smoothly for the hometown heroes. The top three fights on the card all ended in Ls for the French, including Brazil’s Lucas Martins (no relation to Richard as far as I know) taking care of business against Ylies Djiroun in the main event and Anthony Dizy dropping a decision to Vladislav Rudnev in the co-main event.
Speaking of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s signature song (apologies to You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet), heavyweight Pavel Dailidko just trucked Salim El Ouassaidi for a first-round finish.
Then there’s Serbia’s Borislav Nikolic, who unleashed a right hand hammer out of nowhere that probably had Azerbaijan’s Ali Guliev wishing that France would ban MMA again.
OK, there was one French fighter who fared well, though it came at the considerable expense of one a countryman.
ICYMI, make sure you watch Levy Carriel’s flying switch-kick knockout of Mathieu Rakotondrazanany.
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Travis Lawrence’s two-second KO
Zana Kalary’s unorthodox spin kick KO
Alfrego Ruelas’s long-range head kick KO
Icaro Brito shuts Junior Duarte down
Levy Carriel’s flying switch-kick KO
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.