Missed Fists: Head kick knockout causes cartoonish collapse to the canvas

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.

Have you ever thought about taking an amateur fight?

I can honestly say it’s crossed my mind not just as a media member, but as someone who has been obsessed with MMA for the better part of two decades. My colleague E. Casey Leydon a.k.a. Mr. 10-7 has done it, as has our pal Oscar Willis of The Mac Life, with both picking up Ws.

It seems like it could be super fun and also a valuable, life-changing experience. On the other hand, the thought of getting KO’d into oblivion and having to write about myself in Missed Fists definitely gives pause.

Case in point.

(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.)

Andreas Paraskevopoulos vs. Charis Christinakis

There’s no nice way to put this: Andreas Paraskevopoulos kicked Charis Christinakis in the head so hard that Christinakis temporarily became a cartoon character.

Everything shut down for Christinakis at that moment and we should all be grateful that Paraskevopoulos had the wherewithal to not immediately follow up with any strikes. The collapse to the canvas was bad enough. A runaway winner for the Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week (and possibly the year).

We shouldn’t be too hard on Christinakis nor too effusive in our praise of Paraskevopoulos for this sequence as this was clearly some low-level amateur business. But damn, I haven’t seen a fighter go timberrrrrrrrrrr like that since Terry Etim got clipped by Edson Barboza.

On a positive note, this Ultimate Martial Championship event comes to us from Komotini, Greece, which I believe makes this the first time that Greece has been featured in Missed Fists. First Olympiacos becomes the first Greek club to win a European title, and now this? What a week!

Rin Nakai vs. Namiko Kawabata

There were a lot of fighters getting choked unconscious this past weekend, so let’s start off this segment of the show with Japanese MMA veteran Rin Nakai.

From DEEP JEWELS 45 in Tokyo:

If you’ve never seen Nakai before, she has arms that would put Dwayne Johnson to shame, so just imagine how much trouble you’d be in if she caught you in a guillotine choke. Namiko Kawabata doesn’t have to imagine, she experienced it firsthand… for a few seconds anyway.

Nakai had a cup of coffee with the UFC, going 0-2 with losses to Leslie Smith and Miesha Tate, but since parting ways with the promotion in 2016 she’s yet to lose. Kawabata marked Nakai’s 11th straight victory, all by TKO or submission. Maybe we see her get one more crack at a North American promotion before it’s all said and done.

Speaking of former big show fighters, 20-fight Bellator veteran Emmanuel Sanchez improved to 2-0 since his last appearance for that promotion, taking out Peter Petties with a perfect anaconda choke at an Anthony Pettis (say all that five times fast) FC event.

Sanchez went winless in his last five Bellator fights, so it’s good to see him bounce back on the regional scene.

Also in Milwaukee, featherweights Laura Turzenski and Glora Dacosta made their pro debuts, with only one walking out with a highlight.

In this instance, it was Turzenski putting hands on Dacosta and dropping her face-first to the mat.

Anthony Pettis FC 11 is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.

If there’s a chance Nakai makes it back to the UFC, then there also has to be a path for Joe Giannetti. The 28-year-old lost the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 27 to Michael Trizano and is yet to get a second chance inside the octagon. After a rocky return to the regionals, he now has seven wins in his past eight fights and he’s raely needed the judges.

He certainly didn’t against Jacob Bohn at Cage Titans 65.

Many less qualified, less exciting fighters than Giannetti have heard from the UFC in the past few years, so what gives?

A replay of Cage Titans 65 is available with a subscription to Spectation Sports.

The last of our former major leaguers that bares mentioning is the other “Cowboy,” Alex Oliveira. He hasn’t slowed down in the slightest since his last UFC fight in 2022, having fought seven times since then and even squeezing in a grappling match with Demian Maia.

Oliveira’s latest venture saw him eat a spinning liver kick at a Nashe Delo show in Sochi, Russia, courtesy of Aleksandr Grozin.

Oliveira has seen mixed results in his post-UFC life, so it feels like he’s just showing up for paychecks at this point. I can’t imagine why.

Eduardo Ramon vs. Ansar Kasymzhanov
Amanhali Gemingbayi vs. Zhanabay Zhomart

Whoops, got sidetracked there, forgot about the whole choke-out thing we had going. Here’s another one from a joint JCK Kings and Alash Pride event (available for free on YouTube) in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Incredibly grappling by Eduardo Ramon, first to sweep his way out of danger, and then transition into an arm-triangle for the technical submission.

Considerably less technical was the slugfest between Amanhali Gemingbayi and Zhanabay Zhomart.

Hit harder than the other guy, always a good strategy, I say, and Gemingbayi followed it to a tee.

Chasen Blair vs. Arturs Leisans
Kennedy Freeman vs. Gisele Libanio
Charles Joyner vs. Albert Serpeti

There were almost too many great submissions to talk about this past weekend, but I couldn’t leave out Chasen Blair’s armbar of Artus Leisans from Cage Warriors 172 (available on UFC Fight Pass) in Newcastle, England.

I’m a sucker for a good armbar from mount and Blair delivered the goods in style.

Also on the main card, Kennedy Freeman—the daughter of British MMA pioneer Ian Freeman—continued the hot start to her career, blasting Gisele Libanio with strikes in the third round.

When last we saw Freeman in November, she was showing off her prodigious power with a first-round knockout of Annabruna Rados. At the moment, Freeman competes at 135 pounds, so (fingers crossed) we might finally have some new blood in the women’s bantamweight division.

Charles Joyner might not have been lower in the lineup, but you could argue he stole the show even with Blair and Freeman’s main card efforts.

With opponent Albert Serpeti stuck on the fence, Joyner started firing in knees, with one catching Serpeti square in the midsection.

Joyner didn’t need a medical degree to see just how badly Serpeti was hurt and he coolly backed away to give us one of the rarest walk-off finishes you’ll see.

Michael Stanoff vs. Rodolfo Marques
Luke Dally vs. Jordan Thomas

It just sucks to not be able to get off the fence, which Rodolfo Marques was also reminded of at Eternal MMA 84 (available on UFC Fight Pass) in New South Wales, Australia.

It looks like Marques was maybe loading up a counter punch, but Michael Stanoff beat him to it, and it wasn’t close. That’s a feeling Marques must be used to by now. A 34-fight veteran, Marques has now lost nine straight fights and he was finished by strikes for the 11th time in his career.

Sorry, that was kind of a bummer note. Don’t feel sad. Look, a twister!

Jordan Thomas tried to turn into Luke Dally’s guard, but Dally didn’t let Thomas get his leg free, which forced him into an uncomfortable position. Before Thomas realized what was happening, Dally secured his head and then made the two halves of Thomas’ body turn in opposite directions.

Christian Avalos vs. Justin Cornell

At Urijah Faber’s A1 Combat 21 (available on UFC Fight Pass) in Visalia, Calif., Christian Avalos gave us a KO that isn’t as thunderous as the efforts you usually see here, but we can’t pass up the chance to praise a good booping.

My guess is that the right hand preceding the finishing blow is what did much of the damage, but it’s entirely possible that Avalos’ left hand is just thunder and all he has to do is touch a chin to switch his opponents off.

Ernesto Schisano vs. Daniele Caldarera

While you have your Fight Pass loaded up, why not take a trip to Madrid for Way of Warrior 14?

Accomplished amateur bantamweight Ernesto Schisano is off to a hot start to his pro career, having put together back-to-back first-round finishes. He won his debut in 17 seconds and while he couldn’t match that speed against Daniele Caldarera, the ending was worth the wait.

That’s the definition of punching THROUGH a mf’er.

One more from the world of Fight Pass, and it’s a doozy.

Ashiek Ajim has made the rounds on the regional scene with appearances for Ring of Combat, Cage Fury FC, and Classic Entertainment & Sports, and while his 2022 Contender Series fight ended in disappointment, he should be getting that call back soon enough if he keeps putting on performances like this one.

Looking like Rich Franklin and, ironically enough, striking like Anderson Silva, Ajim absolutely dusted John Douma in under two minutes. That last punch didn’t even really connect, it just kind of nudged Douma onto his head. I write “nudged,” but Douma fell so hard and so awkwardly it looked like he was on the losing end of a breakdance fight.

Elora Dana vs. Brena Cardozo
Carol Foro vs. Regiane Silva

Let’s end this week’s global trek with a visit to Jungle Fight 126 in Brasilia, Brazil.

We shine a light on two up-and-coming women fighters, Elora Dana and Carol Foro.

Dana showed her grit and her fearsome punching power, rocking Brena Cardozo before finishing with strikes from mount.

That’s two straight flyweight title defenses now for Dana, now 7-0 and likely to end up with a larger promotion by early 2025 the latest.

Foro needs more seasoning, but racking up highlight-reel KOs at strawweight will get you noticed quickly.

Nothing fancy there, she just walks Regiane Silva down and lets her know that she’s not in her league.


Who had the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?

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    Andreas Paraskevopoulos head kick makes opponent go goofy

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    Rin Nakai guillotine chokes Namiko Kawabata’s soul out of her

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    Aleksandr Grozin takes Alex Oliveira’s liver

    (0 votes)

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    Kennedy Freeman claims another KO

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  • 0%

    Ashiek Ajim dumps dude on his head

    (0 votes)

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    Other (leave comment below)

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0 votes total

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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 X — @AlexanderKLee — using the hashtag #MissedFists.

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