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.
Happy New Year!
Yes, we’re all well into the 2024 groove at this point, but most of the MMA world is just starting to get back into full swing. The UFC machine gets rolling again on Saturday after a much-needed break and several other smaller promotions have already opened the cage doors.
Let’s kick off our look at the regional and international scene with a submission that is sure to go down as one of the strangest of the year.
(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.)
Table of Contents
Shanna Gomez vs. Mitzi Merry
I’m not entirely sure how Shanna Gomez set this up and, be honest, neither are you.
In the second round of Gomez’s fight with Mitzi Merry at a Peak Fighting event in Shawnee, Okla., the fighters found themselves in a tangle on the mat, with Merry in an awkward and uncomfortable but seemingly harmless bottom position. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, except that Gomez put an unusual amount of attention on hooking Merry’s right leg under her arm.
At first, you’d think this was a clear choice of control over offense, but Gomez freed her left hand and suddenly she had a firm grip of Merry’s foot. With no possible way for Merry to escape, Gomez cranked on the foot to create a textbook tap-or-snap situation. Thankfully, there was a tap.
The commentary identified the finish as a reverse toe hold into a heel hook. I don’t know about all that, what I can say is Gomez currently owns the Best Submission of 2024 (I know, I know).
Murad Khalidov vs. Baga Agaev
From a Nashe Delo event in Moscow:
Baga Agaev’s face, meet Murad Khalidov’s right hand of doom.
As regular readers of Missed Fists know, Nashe Delo is synonymous with combat sports wackiness, and as far as I can tell this highlight comes from a match conducted under boxing rules but in a cage with MMA gloves. That formula all but promises a knockout. Promise kept.
Lance Martinez vs. Andrew Tran
If you’re seeking a more traditional MMA face-planting, look no further than Lights Out Xtreme Fighting 13 (free replay available on YouTube).
While Lance Martinez’s finish wasn’t as explosive as Khalidov’s, it was scarier in the way he just walked Andrew Tran down. A right hand rocked Tran and two accurate, looping punches later, it was indeed “lights out” for him.
Mathieu Rakotondrazanany vs. Dawoud Som
There will be plenty more head kicks to come in 2024, but Mathieu Rakotondrazanany can be proud of this effort he unleashed at The King of Fighters 3 in Marseille, France.
It’s not just the quality of the impact that makes this stand out, but the quality of the set-up. We’ve seen plenty of fighters fire a kick to the body first to get their opponent thinking, so in that Rakotondrazanany isn’t unique. It’s the unbelievably slick jab-to-head kick combination that had me gasping.
A lightning-fast jab caused Dawoud Som’s hand to shift ever so slightly in a direction to cover his face, leaving him open to a shin to the side of his head. That’s masterful stuff.
Cam Teague vs. CJ Henny
Let’s make a quick (and we do mean quick) stop in Mobile, Ala., where Cam Teague wiped CJ Henny in just 10 seconds.
You might say that Teague showed that Henny wasn’t in his league. That’s a bar.
Eminence Combat Championships 13 is available for free replay on YouTube.
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.