Missed Fists: Car Jitsu sees grapplers compete inside of vehicle on icy lake


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 with seemingly an MMA show every other day.

Like any other art,

MMA is constantly evolving. This is something we all can agree on, even though the growth trajectory doesn’t always point in an upward direction. There are detours and deviations, and every now and then, there’s a quantum leap that completely shifts our entire view of the scene.

This is probably not the first time you see it.

(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. )

Car Jitsu

AL: First of all, deepest apologies to our loyal Missed Fists followers for being late to the Car Jitsu party. This phenomenon (?) first hit the scene in December, according to an article on Bloody Elbow, and its creator, Vik Mikheev, claims he invented the concept back in October 2020.

Apparently there are actual rules:

All submissions are legally. 3 min (or till submission) on driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat, then switch and 3 min more (or till submission). If the score by submission is equal, competitors move to the back seats for 4 min round.

*If there are no submissions on the back, then the competitor with the most points wins. Points are counted for guard pass (3 pts), mount (4 pts), back mount (4 pts), and knee on belly (2 pts) positions. And yes, competitors can use seat belts.

I’m going to go ahead and call this grappling variation non-intuitive because I’ve watched this a few times and cannot tell you what’s going on.

JM: Look, at this point, the people know me. They know that I love weird, asinine stuff that only loosely relates to MMA or even reason. This is ridiculous. Not trying to yuck anyone’s yum here, because I believe in innovation, but this just ain’t it.

Now fighting in the middle of a frozen lake, that is something we can work with!

AL: Most of the suspense really comes from wondering when the car will collapse and drag everyone with it into the icy depths.

I enjoy the fact that everybody is laughing about it. We’ve certainly seen wild fights where both sides act like they know what they are doing. These guys clearly know that Car Jitsu works better on paper than it does in practice, but there are certain practical advantages to using grappling to get out of trouble during high-speed chases. So perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this idea.

JM: No, no. You should dismiss it. It’s not good. This is not a good idea.

Magomed Kabardiev vs. Valmir Lazaro
Idris Alibi vs. Dzhokhar Eskiev

AL: Full disclosure, one of the reasons I led off with that silliness is because I wanted to let readers get some air before watching what has to be the nastiest knockout of the year so far, which took place at Naiza FC 38 (free replay available on YouTube) in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

You are wrong about this one, Magomed Kabardiev.

JM: Ouch. That certainly was a mean KO. I’m not sure it’s the nastiest of the year, but the way Valmir Lazaro’s eyes rolled back in his head was pretty disconcerting.

AL: Lazaro wasn’t exactly a world beater during his three-fight run with the UFC (though his one win is a split nod over James Krause, so that’s something), but smoking a vet like that in just under a round is impressive. Kabardiev improved to 8-0, and he doesn’t turn 27 until May. I get the feeling that his record is a fair representation of his skills, and we’re going to see him on a bigger stage sooner rather than later.

JM: Man, I’m getting old and my memory is trash, because I had no idea that Lazaro fought in the UFC. And I’ve literally watched every fight in UFC history. And I’d have wagered a cool 20-spot that Lazaro hadn’t stepped in the octagon, much less fought three times!

AL: Also staying undefeated and now 6-0 was flyweight champion Idris Alibi (no, not Brixton Lore, it’s Idris Alibi).

His opponent Dzhokhar Eskiev just dipped right into that knee. I’m not entirely sure what he was going for.

JM: 1) You could have put a gun to my head to name the villain in Hobbs & Shaw and I’d have been a dead man. Couldn’t have even pretended to guess, and certainly wouldn’t have gone with Brixton Lore.

2) Brixton Lore is either the best name ever written or the worst. I’m not sure.

3) Idris Elba will always and forever be Stringer Bell. Come correct.

Also, U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no Alibi, you got knocked the F out.

AL: Welp, that song is now Missed Fists canon, so thank you for that.

Joe Poirier vs. Anthony Rivera

Over at Cage Titans 52, Joe Poirier could teach Dustin Poirier a thing or two about working that gilly!

Why didn’t you just do this to Khabib, Dustin? It’s so simple!

JM: Dustin thought you were supposed to jump the gilly, when actually you’re supposed to suplex with the gilly. Common mistake. However, he is very accurate about keeping hydrated.

Khusniddin Khakimov vs. Muhammad Rasuli

AL: You know, where I come from, we like to live by the saying, “When they go low, we go high.”

That’s kind of what happened here at Muradov Professional League 4 (full fights available on YouTube) in Navoi, Uzbekistan.

I mean pretty much.

JM: Of course you think that, you’re Canadian. Because you don’t play real football in Canada, Lowman wins. When they go low, you go even lower. It’s limbo. I mean, it worked out for Khakimov, but that’s just dumb luck.

Dastan Maksatbek vs. Giyosiddin Mirzamakhmudov

AL: This week’s Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week comes to us from Ertaimash Fighting Championship Global 21 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Dastan Maksatbek and opponent Giyosiddin Mirzamakhmudov definitely have to share this award because Maksatbek’s finishing punches there wouldn’t have a chance of connecting were it not for Mirzamakhmudov going full Diego from one end of the cage to the other.

You never go full Diego.

JM: So you’re telling me it’s a bad idea to wander aimlessly forward towards your opponent with your hands grasping at nothing and no semblance of self-preservation? The ref must have stopped Mirzamakhmudov from moving forward as he was not intelligently protecting himself.

Ander Sanchez vs. Connor Wilson
James Sheehan vs. Karol Michalak
Aleksi Mantykivi vs. Jeanderson Castro
Christian Leroy Duncan vs. Djati Melan
Adam Cullen vs. El Hadji Ndiaye
Manny Akpan vs. Connor Hitchens

AL: This past weekend didn’t feature any UFC or Bellator action, but it’s insulting to say that the MMA world wasn’t still churning especially with the fine folks at Cage Warriors putting on shows on back-to-back nights, which means they’ve held four events in the past two months.

And the highlights, they floweth.

Ander Sanchez got the whole party started in the opening prelim bout of Cage Warriors 135, as he absolutely clapped Connor Wilson for a 30-second knockout in his pro debut.

JM: I absolutely adore that little push kick from Wilson at the end. He looks like when you try to wake someone up and they feebly kick you off and say “five more minutes.” Delightful.

AL: Credit to Karol Michalak for staying busy and doing his best to fend off James Sheehan, but Sheehan had those Terminator lasers set on him and then BOOM.

JM: Man, Cage Warriors rules. Every day is a good one.

AL: This KO combo from Aleksi Mantykivi isn’t as crisp, but I’d say it’s 10 times scarier.

JM: And that is why you should always return your weapons to a defensive position after throwing them. Castro didn’t do that one time in that clip, and he got read and obliterated for his troubles.

AL: Congrats to Christian Leroy Duncan for capturing a middleweight title in the main event of Cage Warriors 136 with a spectacular knee knockout.

This belt is a bit of a poisoned cup. Below is a listing of Cage Warriors’ middleweight champions, along with the successful defenses that they achieved in parentheses

  • Melan (0)
  • Matthew Bonner (0)
  • Nathias Frederick (1)
  • James Webb (1)

Being a champion is hard!

JM: Okay, but here’s a list of former champions from further back: Martin Kampmann, Gegard Mousasi, Jack Hermansson, Jack Marshman. You know what? It’s still a great company to be part of.

AL: Adam Cullen and El Hadji Ndiaye gave us arguably the most exciting 15 seconds of the weekend:

JM: Two of the three Final Four games were bangers last weekend, so this exchange merely rates as “good fun.”

AL: Then there’s Manny Akpan.

This was not my fault, and neither were you. We haven’t spoken about the truly amazing knockout. It is possible to be truly lucky, lucky or lucky if you are good enough.

JM: It’s also really good TO WHEEL KICK A DUDE IN THE FRIGGIN’ FACE! The dopest wheel kick is still the best and it rules, just like the others. That’s the most exciting 15 minutes of the past week, because I rewatched it 103 times.


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.