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.
There was a time when gogoplata submissions in MMA were rare (shout-outs to Nick Diaz and Brad Imes, natch), but after Brent Primus broke one out at Bellator Birmingham, it looks like the lid is off the jar because less than a week later another gogo was pulled off at a Legacy Fighting Alliance show in West Valley City, Utah.
AL: Pat Miletich could see this one coming a mile away. Westin Wilson, unfortunately, could not.
Or maybe more credit has to be given to Andrew Tenneson, who wrapped up this featherweight encounter in style, gogo’ing Wilson into oblivion with just over 30 seconds remaining in the first round. A Jackson-Wink MMA product, Tenneson is now 3-0 in LFA so keep your eye on this guy.
JM: Hitting a top-side gogoplata is such a massive flex, it’s ridiculous. I remember I did it once to a white belt (because I’m an ass) and then got hustled immediately afterwards by a brown belt as punishment. Tenneson could’ve locked up any number of submissions, or just pounded Wilson out, but nooooo. He had to go style on that poor man.
THINK OF THE CHILDREN, ANDREW “LORD” TENNESON!
AL: After Tenneson and Primus, do you think we’ll start to see an epidemic of gogoplatas?
JM: We should. It’s clearly a good move. We’re giving any gogo we see shine. That’s a rule.
AL: Before we move on, we also want to highlight a couple of bouts that went to a decision. The Ultimate Fighter 27 featherweight standout Tyler Diamond showed out against previously unbeaten Jon Neal and both guys deserve credit for putting together a wild and fun three-round fight.
Diamond would go on to take the decision and based on some of these moves, I’m still confused as to why the UFC didn’t keep him around even though he lost his post-TUF audition to Bryce Mitchell.
JM: Yeah that makes no sense, especially since Mitchell is legitimately good. And Tyler Diamond is legitimately fun. That jumping switch head kick was absurd and incredible.
But I don’t love his decision making. Going for that no-hooks rear-naked choke was a pretty bad idea. Neal was almost out and all Diamond needed was a few more coffin nails to get the job done. But other than that, full marks for Diamond and I hope he makes it back to the big show soon.
AL: And going from a young man just building his career to one of the true OGs of the sport, let’s say happy trails to “The People’s Warrior” Josh Burkman who appears to be hanging up the gloves for real following a split decision loss to William Macario in the LFA 66 co-main event.
These two went at it and while it’s a shame that Burkman (28-18, 1 NC) ends his 16-year career on a six-fight skid, he has plenty to be proud of. Eighteen fights in the UFC (that admittedly, often went awry) and wins over guys like Jon Fitch, K.J. Noons, Gerald Harris and Josh Neer. It wasn’t always pretty, but Burkman left it all out there.
JM: Josh Burkman submitting Jon Fitch with a guillotine choke remains one of the wildest things.
Fitch has spent much of his career claiming to be “unchokeable”. Then Burkman jawed him into next week and lived up to his last name, sleeping Fitch with a choke. WSOF Burkman was definitely the best Burkman. And good for him retiring. Not every fighter understands that they should hang the gloves up after losing 6 in a row *cough* B.J. Penn *cough*.
Artem Belakh vs. Gor Khalatyan
Bogdan Guskov vs. Sergey Kalinin
Speaking of when it’s time to retire, I think it might be that time for Gor Khalatyan. Not because he’s super old but because he is now super dead.
AL: From last Wednesday’s RCC Intro 4 show (available on YouTube) in Ekaterinburg, Russia, we have an inspiring display of perseverance as bantamweight Artem Belakh was determined to get a knee knockout here. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone telegraph what they were trying to do as much as Belakh did here and actually pull it off.
JM: Look, when your opponent keeps ducking his head, there’s no need to be subtle. In MMA, if you find a tactic that works, ride that train to the wheels fall off.
For instance, on that same show, Bogdan Guskov spammed elbows on Sergey Kalinin until Kalinin forgot how to wrestle and forgot his own name and forgot how to stay upright. He forgot everything except pain, basically.
AL: This is what we in the business call “effective takedown defense.”
Marcel Stamps vs. Mike Morgan
Javanis Ross vs. Damon Minor
We go from exotic Ekaterinburg to even more exotic Orange Beach, Alabama, for the Island Fights 56 show from last Thursday (available on UFC Fight Pass).
JM: Renowned Orange Beach. Jewel of South Alabama.
AL: Island Fights is quickly becoming a source of hidden gems, as evidenced by Marcel Stamps and Javanis Ross.
Stamps went Happy-Go-Jacky on Mike Morgan like a donkey eating a waffle, finishing with such a frenzy that he beat the damn post off of the corner.
JM: My favorite part of that KO isn’t the turnbuckle post falling off, it’s Stamps trying to jump on the ropes over the fallen body of his opponent. Talk about a cold dude. He just tried to Iverson-step over a man he obliterated. That is extremely my ish.
As is Ross’s nine-second counter knee.
Now THAT’S effective takedown defense.
AL: Just 24 years old, Ross was coming off of back-to-back decision losses after recording first-round stoppages in his first three pro bouts. Good to see he went back to that strategy here. Why go to the scorecards when you can end a fight in under 10 seconds? Can’t fail.
Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Sok Thy
The seemingly ubiquitous ONE Championship crew were in action last Friday in Bangkok and the top highlight from this show was probably Rodtang Jitmuangnon making mincemeat of Sok Thy in their Muay Thai bout.
Holy f*cking hell look at the speed of those leg kicks.
JM: Sok Thy? More like Socked Thigh, amirite?
AL: I’ll allow it.
JM: Thank you.
What I like most about this finish is that it fits the theme of this week. When something is working, stick with it. Sometimes you see fighters hurt their opponents to the legs or body and start head hunting for the big KO, not Rodtang. He kept chopping away like a maniacal Paul Bunyan and Thy was finished. Joe Rogan would be so proud.
Mamoru Uoi vs. Kenji Kato
Yuta Nezu vs. Kazuma Sone
Ryohei Kurosawa vs. Jerome Wanawan
Sticking around on the other side of the world, let’s wish a belated Happy 30th Anniversary to the Shooto promotion who held a show on May 6 at the legendary Korakuen Hall in Tokyo as part of their commemoration of the occasion.
That’s Mamoru Uoi, who goes by the nickname “Fullswing.” Self-explanatory.
Uoi will be back in action very soon as he’s already been booked to fight Kana Hyatt on June 2 at Rizin 16.
JM: That is nothing if not a full swing. Damn. Also, wow. Shooto is 30. That is making me feel all kinds of old. But at least I get to get old. Poor Jerome Wanawan will never have that chance after Ryohei Kurosawa went full samurai movie on him.
AL: I take it you approve of the winging right-headbutt combo?
JM: STANDING HEADBUTTS SHOULD BE LEGAL IN ALL FORMS OF COMPETITION.
AL: And speaking of lethal combinations, how about Yuta Nezu with the PRIDE soccer kick followed by the Vitor machine gun punches on Kazuma Sone?
JM: Gotta respect Sone’s decision to completely forego any form of reasonable defense. That’s a man who knows what the fans want and what they want is to see his head rocket into the third row.
AL: You don’t see the log roll counter too often. And after this outcome, you probably won’t see it again.
JM: Not after the dressing down we just gave him. We are the tastemakers of regional MMA.
More gogoplatas, less log rolling. That’s our latest decree.
AL: Agreed. And let’s not forget one of our oldest decrees: Always have a baller entrance.
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 @JedKMeshew and @AlexanderKLee using the hashtag #MissedFists.