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Missed Fists: Joey Spencer shrugs off ugly rabbit punches to win, KSW title upset, more

Isiah Seldon and Joey Spencer | PBC ON FOX, YouTube

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.

Before we dig up our usual batch of scarcely-seen highlights, let’s take a quick glance at the fists that were not missed recently, at least by our site. Firstly, if you wanted to see former UFC fighter Francisco Rivera’s first fight since July 2016 and what appears to be former UFC fighter James Vick’s last fight, make sure to check out the highlights from Saturday’s XMMA show.

Secondly, definitely make sure to catch Martin Pacas’ head kick that sent Muhammed Balli stumbling all the way out of the GLORY ring. There’s our Humpty Dumpty fall of the week, right out of the gate.

Joey Spencer vs. Isiah Seldon
Michael Polite Coffie vs. Darmani Rock

AL: It’s only February and we may already have our Best One-Round Fight of the Year.

From a Premier Boxing Champions show in Los Angeles on Saturday, 20-year-old Joey Spencer made it past a raging Isiah Seldon to score a first-round knockout and improve to 12-0 (9 KOs).

What do we mean by raging? Well, referee Jerry Cantu knew something was up between these two and made sure to issue a stern warning before the fight and it still didn’t stop the action from breaking down.

Barely a minute in, Spencer sends Seldon twirling to the mat with a smoking right hand.

JM: I’ve heard of rolling with the punches but that is ridiculous!

Thank you! Thank you! I’ll be here all week.

But seriously, I’m astonished that Seldon got up from that at all. That he got up and still had some life in him is a minor miracle.

AL: He had something left in him alright.

Again, I don’t know what was up with these two exactly, but Seldon was throwing those rabbit punches with intent. It’s well-documented that we support cheating around these parts, but you’ve got to be sensible about it. Loading up a fist to bash your opponent in the back of the head right in front of the referee is flat-out dumb.

JM: I dunno, man. When you’ve been knocked 180 degrees in the first 60 seconds, you’ve got to reassess your path to victory. Probably not going to win an honest affair, gotta muddy the waters and hope it works.

Sadly, it did not.

AL: Spencer sneaks in another right hand that drops Seldon and Cantu has seen enough at that point. Whether it’s enough of Spencer putting Seldon on his ass or Seldon’s shenanigans, it’s unclear. Afterwards, Cantu goes as far as to threaten to take Seldon’s pay when he continues to complain about the stoppage.

This was some weird, wild stuff.

JM: I’m not a boxing rules expert by any means but surely a referee can’t dock a fighter’s pay, right? Particularly not when a fight is over. That seems like an absurd system.

AL: After taking those shots, I’m not confident Seldon could tell the difference between his referee, a commissioner, or Daffy Duck.

In more wholesome, less controversial action, let’s all just sit back and enjoy the wonderfully named Michael Polite Coffie whalloping Darmani Rock (another great name!) in a classic heavyweight fight.

What’s not to love here?

JM: Literal definition of a slobber-knocker right there. Just look at the spit fly!

As for what’s not to love, I’m not entirely sure I love the ref’s count on the first knockdown. Felt like Rock didn’t quite beat the count to me, but was given some rope. Enough rope, in fact, to hang himself with as he got clubbed again immediately afterwards.

Daniel Torres vs. Salahdine Parnasse

AL: Lost amid the bizarre post-fight actions of Shamil Musaev, the subsequent penalties handed out to the parties involved, and, of course, the announcement of the return of famed Polish muscleman Mariusz Pudzianowski, was a KSW main event that produced a genuine shocker.

Salahdine Parnasse entered Saturday’s KSW 58 main event in Lodz, Poland, as an 8-to-1 favorite according to Tapology. The featherweight champion was 14-0-1 heading into his title title defense against Daniel Torres (a near 5-to-1 underdog with an 11-4 record) and all signs pointed to a successful night for Parnasse.

Uh uh.

JM: I’m a huge fan of the first guy in the replies there who is clearly either related to Parnasse or had a substantial amount of money riding on that fight.

Dude, Parnasse face-planted. “Lucky shot” or not, the man was done. Even when standing up Parnasse has a thousand-yard stare. Perfectly fine stoppage from the referee and Parnasse should thank him for it.

AL: A weird KO strike, but a good stoppage, I think. It didn’t even look like Parnasse experienced the classic “get woken up by the head hitting the canvas,” his head just kind of brushes against the ground and he gets back up.

Even giving credit to Torres, the finish looked flukey enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if KSW books an immediate rematch for these two. For now though, what a feel-good story for Torres.

JM: I love that every KSW fighter rocks the fake tattoos. The first fighter in the UFC to get like, a Nike sponsorship and tattoo the swoosh across his chest will instantly become my favorite fighter of all time.

KSW 58 is available for replay on FITE TV pay-per-view.

Sotaro Yamada vs. Gunter Kalunda Ngunza
Hayato Ishii vs. Yoshizumi Kobayashi
Kazuma Sone vs. Teruto Ishihara

AL: Gunter Kalunda Ngunza isn’t having a lot of luck with hooks. Five months ago, Ngunza was on the receiving end of a left hook from Hiroyuki Tetsuka that put him down in just 75 seconds.

On Saturday at Shooto 2021 in Tokyo, it was a beautiful hook of the heel persuasion by Sotaro Yamada that spoiled Ngunza’s night.

This time, Ngunza was out of there in 68 seconds.

JM: I see what you did there and I thank you for it. Now my “rolling with the punches” joke doesn’t look nearly as bad.

AL: It was a struggle, but I think we got there.

Also on the card, Hayato Ishii authored a picturesque submission, catching Yoshizumi Kobayashi with an armbar with less than a minute left in round one.

Shame this was a bit of a squash match. Ishii improved to 15-3-2, while Kobayashi fell to 2-4-6.

JM: A classic counter to an opponent going for a kimura. I guess that’s probably what can be expected when you put a professional against, well I guess technically a professional but someone who should strongly reconsider their chosen line of work.

AL: And just to provide an update on our old pal Teruto Ishihara, the once-promising UFC prospect is in fact not retired and fought for the first time since February 2019.

That’s the good news for all you “Yashabo” fans out there. The bad news is he lost a unanimous decision to veteran Kazuma Sone (24-20-1).

JM: Oh man, remember Teruto? That was a fun, like, three weeks. Perhaps when he lost to Artem Lobov we all should have realized that Ishihara was more gimmick than great.

Mortaza vs. Abdul Samad Latif

AL: What happens when you hold a card called Cage Fighting League 1 in Kurdistan composed entirely of guys making their pro debuts? Someone’s going to just stand there and get head-kicked, that’s what.

JM: You have my curiosity.

AL: Case in point, here’s mononymous middleweight Mortaza casually one-shotting Abdul Samad Latif.

JM: Now you have my attention. If this is the kind of thing we can expect from pitting random debutants together in Kurdistan, let’s do more of that, please.

Josh Fremd vs. Bruno Oliveira
Zac Pauga vs. Ashby Thomas
Dakota Bush vs. Austin Clem

AL: Ahead of next Friday’s LFA 99 show, catch up on what went down at last Friday’s LFA 98 show (available on UFC Fight Pass), including this lovely KO by Josh “I’m Not Your Friend” Fremd.

Check left hook on point, follow-up shots not necessary.

JM: You know it’s a good shot when you hit someone so hard they fall back into the shot.

AL: It’s a big win for Fremd, who took care of business on his end of a four-man grand prix that will decide a new LFA middleweight champion. He awaits the winner of Anthony Adams vs. Gregory Rodrigues, which takes place at LFA 100 on Feb. 19.

There was nastiness in the air in Park City, Kan., as Zac Pauga went absolutely nuts on Ashby Thomas with ground-and-pound.

Thomas was a few shots away from wearing the proverbial crimson mask.

JM: I’m a learned man. I have a doctorate. I’ve been writing about fighting professionally for five years, and in my highly-educated, professional opinion there’s only one way to describe those elbows: Damn. Sucks to be Ashby Thomas.

AL: One more for the prospect watch. Lightweight Dakota Bush, 26, improved to 8-2 with a 57-second mollywhopping of recent Bellator fighter Austin Clem.

Here’s a better shot of the head kick that had Clem out on his feet.

JM: Poor Austin Clem. He was doing so well blocking Bush’s shots in the flurry, but he zigged when he should have zagged and at the worst possible time. That’s why defense is more than just covering up, kids. You’ve got to get the hell out of there too.

Also, kinda surprised that an official UFC account was so forward about Bush’s nickname but then again, maybe I shouldn’t be.

AL: Before anyone asks, yes, Bush’s nickname is exactly what you think it is. And no, I’m not repeating it.

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.

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