Stamp Fairtex vs. Asha Roka
Alaverdi Ramazanov vs. Ognjen Topic
Thanh Le vs. Kotetsu Boku
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Jo Nattawut
Ilias Ennahachi vs. Petchdam
AL: Two words: Out. Standing.
JM: Okay… So I have some thoughts.
First of all, I have no idea what that was but I’m incredibly here for it. Secondly, is Stamp coming for Valentina Shevchenko’s title of best dancer in MMA? Because it kinda feels that way and frankly, that’s the most competitive challenger Shevchenko’s gonna have for the next five years.
AL: Challenger? The title has been taken. Nobody loves Valentina Shevchenko’s post-fight victory dance more than me, but she’ll always be held back by the UFC’s anti-pageantry. Where are the backup dancers? The pyro? Where is the dancing BETWEEN ROUNDS?
On the other hand (perhaps in response?), Valentina recently shared a clip of her dancing from her old Peruvian reality show days, so perhaps I’ve spoken too soon.
One thing is for sure: Stamp can fight. Her kickBoxing and Muay Thai accolades are well known, but now the 21-year-old is looking to conquer the MMA world. She won her debut in July of last year with a 19-second head kick knockout and now she got to show off her submission skills against India’s Asha Roka.
Speaking of Muay Thai, here is Ognjen Topic taking a foot to the face and then taunting Alaverdi Ramazanov to bring that s*it.
It was broughten:
JM: This is the definition of more balls than brains. Ramazanov tried, very politely, to tell Topic to stay down. In fact, he asked him several times. But nooooooooo. Topic just had to keep getting up until Ramazanov, finally, had to insist.
Moving on, it’s clear that ONE doesn’t know what they’ve got with Thanh Le, burying him in the middle of the card like this but fortunately, he’s still out there wrecking fools in such a fashion that he demands attention, busting up former lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku in short order.
Le’s gotta be up for a title shot now, right?
AL: Most definitely. Le is arguably the best lightweight out there right now that hasn’t fought for the UFC and Bellator (he did make an appearance on the Contender Series), so ONE has a keeper here.
Friday’s show was all about the kickBoxing though, including the semifinals of the 155-pound tournament and a 135-pound championship main event.
Italy’s Giorgio Petrosyan continued to roll in the tournament, overcoming some chicanery to beat Petchmorakot twice and now blowing past Jo Nattawut to make it to the finals, where he’ll face France’s Samy Sana, with $1 million on the line.
JM: I’m gonna do that thing that is awful but sometimes we can’t help it – that didn’t look like the world’s hardest shot. Yes, he lands cleanly and he’s clearly punching through Nattawut’s head, but he lays on the ground like with the same kind of pained, befuddled look that you get from a liver shot, not one to the chin. I’m surprised that was the end of the fight, frankly. Maybe Giorgio shattered his nose though like when Robbie Lawler stole Rory MacDonald’s soul?
AL: If Petrosyan finished his fight with a precision shot, then Ilias Ennehachi went the other way, going full berserker to upset Petchdam and bring a ONE belt to the Netherlands.
JM: Talk about a guy absolutely swinging for the fences. When you think of “kickBoxing champion” you usually think of these very pretty, violent striking artists. I’m not saying Ennahachi isn’t that but that finishing combination looked more like mortal combat button pressing than the ballet of violence you’d expect.
Nikolas Motta vs. Cesar Balmaceda
Santos Curatolo vs. Elgun Khanoghlanli
JM: Shifting gears, let’s talk about Cage Fury Fighting Championships whose event last weekend (available on UFC Fight Pass) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, offered some solid bangers. First among them, the frontrunner for KO of the Week, Nikolas Motta channeling Joe Frazier and left hooking Cesar Balmaceda into the spirit realm.
AL: Motta was a cast member on (who could forget?). He’s had mixed results since, but this was a hell of a way to make his CFFC debut. He and Balmaceda were actually a replacement main event after a welterweight title bout fell through, making Motta’s performance even sweeter.
JM: Santos Curatolo is definitely one to keep an eye on. It’s a little too early to say we’ll see him on The Call-Up but with a 3-0 record at flyweight and training out of a respected gym with UFC veteran Nick Catone, he won’t need that much more to get himself into the big leagues. Especially if he keeps the KOs rolling like this.
AL: Three pro bouts, all for CFFC, and three first-round finishes. Curatolo, a 24-year-old from New Jersey, is a pure flyweight at 5-foot-3, and down the road he would be a nice piece to add to the UFC should it continue rebuilding that division.
Tomasz Romanowski vs. Lukasz Zielonka
However, those body punches were not the best ones in MMA last weekend. Those honors would go to Mr. Tomasz Romanowski who performed an unlicensed appendectomy on Lukasz Zielonka at Babilon MMA 9 in Miedzyzdroje, Poland on Friday.
AL: We see a lot of great body kick KOs, but there’s something about a straight punch that just takes the wind out of someone’s sails that is awesome to see.
Kai Asakura vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Suwanan Boonsorn
Victor Henry vs. Trent Girdham
Manel Kape vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Jarred Brooks vs. Haruo Ochi
Hiroto Uesako vs. Yves Landu
Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least briefly touch upon some of the notable happenings from this weekend’s Rizin 18 show in Nagoya, first and foremost—
JM: Nope. I refuse.
AL: You refuse.
JM: I refuse.
JM: Not gonna do it. Can’t make me. This is officially a Kyoji Horiguchi Stan Account and Rizin didn’t happen.
AL: I have video evidence that the bantamweight champ-champ getting schmammered in 68 seconds by Kai Asakura in a non-title bout did indeed happen:
In possibly the biggest upset of the weekend that went under the radar, Kai Asakura knocked out Bellator/RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi in a non-title fight at #RIZIN18! pic.twitter.com/CBHJPjHX7L
— Champion Sports Productions (@ChampSportsProd) August 18, 2019
JM: Look, if the belt is not on the line, it didn’t count. That’s how it works right? I’m going with that.
AL: There is also video evidence on FITE TV PPV, for those interested in checking the veracity of this footage themselves.
When the loss happened, it brought to mind a couple of infamous JMMA non-title losses. Wanderlei Silva lost a 2005 Middleweight (205 pounds) Grand Prix bout to Ricardo Arona by unanimous decision, then successfully defended his belt against Arona with a split score. More shocking was Jorge Santiago being blitzed and KO’d inside of a round by Mamed Khalidov in 2010, though he also won a split decision in a rematch to defend his Sengoku middleweight title.
So I’m calling Horiguchi to defend his Rizin belt by split decision against Asakura by year’s end.
JM: Didn’t. Count.
You know what did count though? Ayaka Hamasaki taking the title of armbar queen from Ronda (who in turn assumed the mantle from Yuka Tsuji).
Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2) shows why she’s the atomweight queen, turning the tide of Suwanan Boonsorn’s grappling to nab a nasty, first-round armbar! The RIZIN champ moves to 5-0 with the org in non-title action. Five of her eight subs are via armbar. #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/5VJg3b89Ud
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
Also, here’s a fun fact: Tsuji’s final career loss was to Hamasaki. This has been your about Smackgirl.
AL: Circle of life.
We cannot stress enough that Hamasaki is the best fighter in the world at 105 pounds and it’s not particularly close.
Up next, a sweet submission by Victor Henry, which as @VonPreux points out, should put him in position for a shot at Kyoji Horiguchi’s bantamweight title…
Josh Barnett’s globetrotting, ass-kicking protégé puts on a show in his RIZIN debut, as Victor Henry (19-4) taps Trent Girdham with an amazing reverse triangle choke! The DEEP champ boosts his tear to seven and sets himself up for a shot at Horiguchi. #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/vT6RIYcPgN
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
… oh wait.
JM: Damn, that tweet didn’t age well (or maybe it did since, as previously discussed, Kyoji did not lose last weekend).
And wow, that’s definitely the Sub of the Week right there. Reverse triangles are notoriously tricky to finish off but Henry had little issue here.
JM: Gracious this event was depressing. Don’t get me wrong, Manel Kape is one of the most tremendously exciting fighters in the game, but for it to come at the expense of poor Takeya Mizugaki, that hurts.
Nothing gold can stay in MMA.
AL: Mizugaki’s chin sadly isn’t what it used to be, but this is still a nice W for Kape.
And now, former UFC flyweight Jarred Brooks a.k.a. “The Monkey God” making his Rizin debut:
JM: Finally, something delightful! Brooks’s mask is spectacular and serves as a great reminder that the UFC puts out a monochromatic product devoid of personality. I’m glad we can finally turn this talk around and talk about things that are fun!
AL: Keep in mind, this is Brooks we’re talking about here, the man who famously lost after dropping himself on his own head trying to slam Jose Torres.
So of course, this one ends in 10-second no-contest after an accidental clash of heads opens up a cut on Haruo Ochi. Brooks was displeased.
JM: Man, this sport blows.
AL: I think the solution here for Brooks is to have his head removed, then there shouldn’t be any more issues with it.
And in the spirit of wackiness, we have Yves Landu going absolutely nuts on Hiroto Uesako in pursuit of a highlight.
This is what I expect of Rizin, completely insane violence that’s majestic and glorious. I salute both of these men as poet warriors and double salute Uesako because I thought for sure he was getting knocked out but the man has toughness to spare.
AL: Uesako outlasted Landu and actually won by second-round knockout. Yes, Landu fell, but damn it, he went out like a hero.
Former DEEP champ Hiroto Uesako (18-7) debuts in RIZIN with his third straight win, scrapping with the flamboyant Yves Landu en route to a second-round TKO. Hoping to join RIZIN’s Lightweight GP, Uesako is 7-1 in his last eight (all wins by knockout). #RIZIN18 #RIZINFF #RIZIN2019 pic.twitter.com/CyHGI7GXj1
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 18, 2019
JM: A bit of good news to end the week, we’ve added another beautiful soul to our constantly growing collection of fighters we’ve signal boosted into the UFC. M-1 featherweight champion Nate Landwehr, who you probably know best from the Missed Fists earlier this summer where he was prominently featured, was signed to the UFC this week.
Lee and Meshew, MMA kingmakers.
AL: If Landwehr brings half of the excitement that he showed he can produce in his Fight of the Year candidate with Viktor Kolesnik in July, the UFC will have another solid addition to its stacked featherweight roster.