Missed Fists: Dennis ‘Bazooka’ blows away the competition with spinning elbow, more

Dennis Buzukia knocks William Calhoun III out with an elbow at Ring of Combat 70 in Atlantic City, N.J., on Nov. 23 | @volkstyles, Twitter

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 hate to be UFC Fight Pass shills (subscription available now for the low, low monthly cost of $9.99), but for those of you who stuck with the service in the wake of the ESPN+ deal, you probably know that it still has plenty of value due to all the regional and international MMA it hosts. Case in point…

Dennis Buzukja vs. William Calhoun III
Joe Riggs vs. George Sullivan

JM: Look, before we even get into anything, I need to state this for the record: “Bazooka” is an incredible nom de guerre for a man named Dennis Buzukja and I’m so proud that he picked that low-hanging fruit. No clue why Tapology went with “The Great”. Even if that was/is his fight nickname, you just put down Bazooka and let fate take the wheel.

Now, on to discussing Mr. Bazooka who bazooked the hell out of pour William Calhoun III, a man with a name befitting a robber baron.

AL: If Calhoun is some sort of turn-of-the century villain, he was foiled by Buzukja’s downright heroic spinning back elbow on Saturday. That’s as clean as you can land a spinning strike and the results speak for themselves as Calhoun was KO’d less than three minutes into the first round.

Buzukja is 3-1 now, just starting his career, and he has a long ways to go before catching up with someone like, oh, I don’t know, Joe Riggs. Just a random name that came to my head. I wonder what Joe is up to these days.

Oh.

So apparently Riggs not only fought and won on Saturday, but he’s still not retiring. In fact, his opponent, fellow UFC vet George Sullivan, is the one who decided to hang them up! One more fighter that “Diesel” has outlasted. Unreal.

JM: I genuinely cannot fathom that Joe Riggs is still competing—successfully!—at this point in his career. If Joe had retired five years ago, no one would have batted an eye. If you’re counting bare knuckle boxing as fights, Joe went 4-0-1 in 2019! That makes zero sense to me!

AL: He’s only 37, just getting started.

JM: Good on you Diesel. Keep on trucking.

Mike Rhodes vs. Najim Wali
Will Spann III vs. Jordan DeJesus

AL: Over in Hampton, Va., we have another former UFCer who probably deserves another shot at the big show.

That’s Mike Rhodes, who fans might remember from an unsuccessful 0-3 Octagon run back in 2013. “Biggie” was just two years into his career then and in his eighth pro bout he fought Robert Whittaker. He later went winless in Bellator, where he fought future middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. It’s been a tough go for Rhodes, is what I’m saying.

Here, he dispatches Najim Wali early in the second round to win the Cage Fury light heavyweight title. At 29, he could be a solid depth signing for the UFC.

JM: Good for Mike. I know the man a little bit (done a couple podcasts with him, NBD) and he’s a solid dude who has had an incredibly tough draw. Having just won a belt I imagine he’ll stick around CFFC for at least another fight or two but then I could definitely see him making his way back to The Show. And if he wants to stay competing at light heavyweight, it’s clear he has the power to do so.

Speaking of power, let’s talk about another man with a robber baron-esque name, William Spann III, and how he nearly kicked Jordan DeJesus’s head clean off his shoulders. As we all know, nobody f*cks with DeJesus, unless you’re Will Spann, I guess.

AL: So far Spann is 2-1 in his amateur career, with none of his fights lasting longer than two-and-a-half minutes. That’s the kind of gusto we like to see here at Missed Fists.

Justin Wetzell vs. Michael Aquila
Youssef Zalal vs. Jaime Hernandez
Carlos Mota vs. George Martinez

AL: The LFA has not missed a beat since getting back on the air.

Here’s Justin Wetzell mercilessly walking down Michael Aquila and shutting him down with a straight left that might not have been picturesque, but damn was it effective.

JM: What are you talking about, not picturesque? You don’t think that was a Deontay Wilder straight shot? Speaking of which, quick detour into the boxing world.

Look at the sweat eject itself from Luis Ortiz’s head like pellets from a shotgun! Good lord that man has power.

AL: After that KO, Wilder said his opponents need to be perfect for 12 rounds, he only needs to be perfect for one second. That’s pretty badass.

JM: We digress. The best KO at LFA this week, and arguably the best KO this week in general, came from Youssef Zalal who went full Jorge Masvidal with a flying knee KO.

AL: The first thing that came to my mind was actually “Aldo-esque.” Zalal’s speed here is incredible and you can see Jaime Hernandez is completely lost as to how to defend what is coming at him. That is a scary situation to be in.

As is this one that George Martinez found himself in.

Martinez had his stomach turned inside-out by a Carlos Mota body kick and fortunately for Martinez, Mota knew it was over so the follow-up damage was minimal. In fact, Mota would have had a pretty sweet walkoff if the ref realized this one was over sooner.

JM: To be fair, I can see why the ref wasn’t sure. The way Martinez reacted it looked like groin strike. He’s body didn’t immediately shut down, instead he kind of grabbed his stomach in the way you do when you catch one low. Then after a few seconds his body caught up to his brain and gave out. Full marks to Pat Miletich who immediately knew what happened though.

Joe Taylor vs. Derek Loffer
John King vs. Tom Matlon

AL: There was no confusion over these next two Glory kickboxing finishes.

Joe Taylor completely outclassed Derek Loffer before the official waved this one off in the middle of round two. We use the phrase “that fighter is on skates” a lot, but I’d genuinely like to check Loffer’s footwear after seeing him stumble around like this. The head-punching probably didn’t help.

JM: I’m a massive fan of the nickname “The Cedar Rapids Psycho”. It’s almost alliterative, it’s a bit weird and specific, and then it’s very curious. Does Cedar Rapids only have one psycho? Is that because it, paradoxically, sounds like such a serene place? What made him a psycho while living there? Was it a fascination with the paintings of Grant Wood? Did somber pictures of the American midwest drive him crazy?

AL: I think it’s because he’s from Cedar Rapids and he chose to get into combat sports. It was probably this or “The Cedar Rapids Pitbull.”

JM: Oooooh. I don’t hate that one either. I wonder if he considered that. I’d like to know. Too bad Taylor has likely caused Loffer to have his jaw wired shut for the foreseeable future.

AL: As bad as that was, John King vs. Tom Matlon made Taylor-Loffer look like Robbie LawlerCarlos Condit from a competitive standpoint.

You read that right: 10-second knockout, fastest in Glory history.

JM: Dollar-store Alexander Emelianenko got jacked up. (Poor Jon Kitna. Probably still feeling that one).

All of the above shows, ROC 70, CFFC 80, LFA 79, and Glory 72 are available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.

Hideaki Yamazaki vs. Ruku
Yuki Egawa vs. Arthur Meyer

AL: Since we’re talking kickboxing, here are a couple of the best finishes (and there were a lot of them) from Sunday’s K-1 World GP 2019 JAPAN – Yokohama Festival event.

Hideaki Yamazaki was landing pretty much everything he wanted, so why not throw out a Sweet Chin Music for good measure. Nailed it!

JM: This feels so disrespectful. Like when I’m playing the UFC game on easy mode and just trying to land the coolest KO I can instead of finishing the CPU opponent in 14 seconds like always.

Also, what the hell was Ruku’s corner doing? Their boy got combo’d on for nearly three full minutes and they just sat there watching. Did they want him to suffer brain trauma? He clearly had nothing for Yamazaki.

AL: This is why I stick mostly to MMA, a civilized “sport.”

This sequence between Yuki Egawa and Arthur Meyer is just amazing. Meyer clips Egawa with a decent spinning kick, then immediately gets dropped when Egawa answers with one of his own. No regrets, Mr. Meyer, you went out like a G.

JM: Can you imagine if after Nick Diaz’s iconic “oh we’re throwing spinning sh*t now” tantrum he actually had responded with a spinning kick of his own, and in so doing had knocked out Carlos Condit? There’d be a statue of his likeness in Stockton as we speak.

Caol Uno vs. Markus Held
Kazuma Kuramoto vs. Yuta Nezu

AL: In other Japanese martial arts action we have Caol Uno, the Far East version of Joe Riggs, putting in work at Shooto 30th Anniversary Tour: Final on Sunday.

Over 20 years in the fight game and Uno is still tapping fools.

JM: I love the modified rear-naked choke from Uno here. Doesn’t have the back and it doesn’t matter. Hooks the leg with his own leg and the choke is sunk so deep he has plenty of leverage to get the job done.

AL: In a less sentimental display, Kazuma Kuramoto turned Yuta Nezu into a chew toy with a flurry of suplexes that have to be seen to be believed.

Thank goodness Nezu’s corner threw in the towel as soon as the third round started, there was no need to see this one continue. Kuramoto is 7-0 now and given that he’s already 33 with plenty of combat sports mileage on him, it would be cool if he wanted to make the jump over to North America at some point in the near future.

JM: That may legitimately be the most emasculating thing I’ve ever seen. None of the record books will show it, but that’s only the second Submission (surrender due to total helplessness) stoppage ever recorded in MMA, the first being Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin.

AL: I mean, that’s not bad company for Nezu to be in if you look at it a certain way.

JM: I guess you have a rosier disposition than I do.

Jeremy Pender vs. James Porter

AL: Let’s close out on a high note with a reader submission. That’s right, it’s time for Missed Missed Fists!

As recommended to us by @Juicelee, here’s Jeremy Pender absolutely shredding something that shouldn’t be shredded at a Colosseum Combat show in Kokomo, Ind. on Nov. 16.

Is that a shoulder lock of some kind? It ain’t nothing nice, that’s for sure.

JM: It’s a keylock set up with the legs. It’s not super common in high level grappling but you see this set up from scarf position in BJJ and it’s always fun to land one. If you watch the whole fight, Pender was in this kind of headlock position a couple of times but with the help of the cage was finally able to turn it into something useful. Sneaky bit of trickeration from Pender there.

AL: Until next week readers, just know that we’re always here for you, hovering over your shoulder like a watchful angel.

Sleep tight.


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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