Missed Fists: Fighter continues attacking after clearly tapping out
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.
We saw some fantastic grappling at UFC Vegas 79, with Bryce Mitchell gutting out a win over fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Dan Ige, and we would likely have had more of it in the main event if Mateusz Gamrot vs. Rafael Fiziev didn’t end prematurely due to a brutal Fiziev injury.
Fear not, there was plenty more entertaining graps going down this week, including a truly strange situation that occurred just last night in Lima, Peru.
(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.)
Sebastian Fernandez vs. Jefferson Araujo
So… what’s your best guess of what happened here?
On my first viewing, I thought Jefferson Araujo had to tap out because he was injured, but then he sprang right back up and attempted to take down a confused Sebastian Fernandez. Then I thought maybe it was a calculated fake tap, which is possible except for the fact that the tap was so clear and Araujo’s body language is difficult to read. Was he just as confused as anyone else?
Uploader @likeengannou710 theorized that maybe the referee thought it was Fernandez that tapped because he was the one initially defending against a submission attempt before seemingly countering with a Von Flue choke. Sherdog’s Jay Pettry wondered if Araujo was actually put out by the choke, tapped on instinct, and then his mind just reset like nothing happened.
The esteemed Caposa added that maybe Araujo simply meant to submit, but when Araujo released him and the referee didn’t wave off the bout, he figured he’d just get back at it. Just confusing. As we always say, if Caposa can’t figure out an MMA sequence, then you’re probably seeing a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence.
Credit to Fernandez for keeping his cool here, though he was probably just as confused as the rest of us.
The Fusion FC 66 main card is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.
George Mangos vs. Brogan Stewart-Ng
That submission (it was a submission, right?) just narrowly tops our runner-up for today’s lead item.
From Eternal MMA 79 (also available on UFC Fight Pass) in Queensland, Australia, featherweight Brogan Stewart-Ng employed a rarely used choke defense that involved not fighting opponent George Mangos’ hands at all.
It did not work out.
To his credit, Stewart-Ng hung in there for a while before he was left slumped face-down on the canvas. Shades of Kevin Lee vs. Michael Chiesa here and it worked out just as well for Chiesa back then. Which, again, is to say not at all.
Look, I’m no grappling expert and anyone steps into that cage knows more about that aspect of fighting than I ever will, but I’m comfortable stating that if someone leaps onto your back and sinks in a choke, you may want to show more urgency in defending the submission. Call me crazy, that’s just my take.
Suguru Nii vs. Shinsuke KameiYasuhiro Kawamura vs. Rui Imura
Oh, you thought we were done with the submission chicanery?
At Pancrase 337 in Tokyo, Suguru Nii broke out a friggin’ leg scissors to put Shinsuke Kamei to sleep and capture a vacant featherweight title.
That’s not a finish you see too often, the most famous example probably being Sheila Bird’s unsettling win over Kim Couture back in 2011.
Let’s bring it full circle with another odd tap-out situation, though one that at least has a clear resolution.
This clip is just weird because Rui Imura clearly taps, Yasuhiro Kawamura lets go immediately, and Imura STILL goes out. MMA is dangerous as hell, y’all.
Kody Steele vs. Nico Echeverry
Wait, we have a Kody Steele highlight and it doesn’t involve grappling?
Steele is mostly known for his jiu-jitsu expertise, but every time he dabbles in MMA he seems to be braining someone, This past Sunday, he destroyed Nico Echeverry with a knee up the middle to improve to 5-0 with his past two wins coming by way of knockout.
We first featured him back in November 2021, when he closed out his brief amateur MMA career with a 13-second knockout. For a guy with elite grappling skills, he sure loves putting hands (and knees) on folks.
Oh, someone knocked someone else out in three seconds on that same show. You might want to check that out.
The entirety of Fury Challenger Series 7 is available for free on YouTube.
Grigoriy Mishin vs. Asan Azizov
Hey, remember when I said I was done talking about cool submission? I lied.
At MMA Series 72 in Moscow, Grigoriy Mishin locked in a gorgeous inverted triangle choke that left Asan Azizov out cold.
This card was headlined by the ageless Sergei Kharitonov, who added to his knockout tally with a trademark flurry of punches. Kharitonov has actually won three straight fights since he last competed for Bellator in 2021 and he’s 11-2 (2 NC) since 2017. He got one more run in him!
Claudeci Brito vs. Damir Tolenov
The week’s biggest upset also came courtesy of a submission, with Claudeci Brito taking out the undefeated Damir Tolenov with a rear-naked choke in just 73 seconds.
Sorry Bryce Mitchell, that might have been the best back-take of the week, especially given the stakes and the actual finish.
Tolenov will bounce back and you get the sense that he’ll probably end up in a major North American promotion before Brito if that’s the path he chooses to take. But even if Tolenov becomes a future UFC flyweight champion, Brito will always be the answer to the trivia question of who handed him his first loss.
A free replay of Octagon League 50 is available on YouTube.
Eliel Mota vs. Octavio CancholaRomario Orozco vs. Luis Espinoza
OK, you knockout fiends have been jonesing long enough. Here’s your fix.
Returning to UFC Fight Pass with Budo Sento Championship 17 in Mexico City, we had Eliel Mota giving Octavio Canchola a cruel welcome to the pro ranks with a nasty body shot TKO.
The most devastating finish on the card came from Romario Orozco though. He made Luis Espinoza the winner of this week’s “HEAD MOOOOOMENT (Gone Wrong)” award as he threw a knee up just as Espinoza juked his face down into it. Instant sleepy time.
That’s it for this week, don’t forget everyone that there’s a new Fight Circus event this Saturday.
Is it too late to fit this guy in?
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
Fusion FC tap-out debacle
Brogan “Look ma, no hands” Stewart-Ng
Suguru Nii’s leg scissors
Grigoriy Mishin’s inverted triangle choke
Claudeci Brito upsets Damir Tolenov
Other (leave comment below)
0 votes total
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.