Missed Fists – Justin Sauerzopf takes low punch, and retaliates with hellacious one–punch knockouts


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.

Not to get political, but I believe it was Michelle Obama who famously said, “When they go low, we go high.”

Our first clip reminded me of that.

(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. )

Justin Sauerzopf vs. Stephen Slattery

From Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting 87 in Flint, Mich.:

Here is a phrase I created that might work: “When your low blow, you KO !”

That’s probably not what Justin Sauerzopf was thinking when he uncorked this ridiculous right hand that ended Stephen Slattery. If anything, I’d imagine he was seeing red when Slattery caught him with a low shot and simply wanted to hit something, anything, as hard as he could. That just so happened to be Slattery’s head.

This is a fantastic MMA moment. Slattery sees Sauerzopf’s reaction, looks at the referee for any acknowledgment of the potential foul, and then has to just go back in there resulting in the stunning finishing sequence. You can’t prepare for this situation no matter how much training you have. Sometimes, you have to scrap.

Marcus Edwards vs. Leonardo Rodriguez

Our runner-up for Knockout of the Week comes from last Friday’s Combate Global main event. Marcus Edwards needed just 21 seconds to brutally put Leonardo Rodriguez away.

This clip tells the entire story, and it’s not just short. Look at Edwards’ stance and approach. It’s easy to tell when somebody is going to be karate-dragged into oblivion. Rodriguez was that person.

Joel Fernandes vs. Robin Rouch

Let’s dip on over to the amateur scene for a minute, first checking in on Cobra Fight Championship, an organization based out of Elne, France according to their Facebook page. It’s always fun to see folks fighting the good fight for MMA over there, but I can’t tell if this scorpion crunch finish by Joel Fernandes is more likely to help or hurt its image.

That move just looks like it HURTS every time I see it. Fortunately, Robin Rouch seemed to tap before taking any serious damage.

Cobra Fight Championship fights are available for free on YouTube.

Jessica Emerick vs. Kaelen Doan

An amateur strawweight bout at Ohio Combat League 19 in Columbus, Ohio, ended emphatically with Jessica Emerick smoking Kaelen Doan.

I don’t care about the level of MMA being discussed. If you see someone falling, it’s because they have a haymaker.

Otar Tanzilov vs. Mohammad Dalvand
Beka Gogaladze vs. Narek Galstyan
Samvel Vardanyan vs. Nika Bregvadze
Khvicha Koridze vs. Yaser Yasini

From Georgian Fighting Championship 16 (free replay available on YouTube) in Tbilisi, Georgia:

We’ve all been playing the “would it be better” game while watching MMA. Like, “Would you rather take a right hook from Francis Ngannou or a flying knee from Jorge Masvidal?” for example. Another more broad example might be, “Would you rather take a clean kick to the head or to the body?” In the above clip Mohammad Dalvand gets a taste of both.

First, he takes a head kick by Otar Tanzilov. It looks as though it could knock out a heavyweight. Then shortly after, he’s sliced with body kick that forces him to regurgitate said head kick (metaphorically speaking). Remember, the best answer to any “would you rather get hit by…” question is “neither.”

Tanzilov, a 24-year-old bantamweight with a 6-0 record, is one to watch by the way.

Props to GFC for posting super crisp highlight packages on their YouTube. All promotions should do this!

BekaGogaladze won Narek Galstyan by using a north-south choke. I have nothing to add. It’s been a long time since I saw a north-south choke that was successful. Have you? You don’t have to?

Samvel Vadanyan struck a beautiful sub on Nika Bregvadze. I have seen it called a scarf-hold armlock, leg Americana and neck crank.

Just call it what it its: Pain.

And for all those who wish Valentina Shevchenko would have hit that gogoplata – Khvicha Koridze is here.

Madiyar Toleubay vs. Asliddin Odilov
Chasen Blair vs. Kona Oliveira

Let us close with some finishes that made recipients feel like they had nowhere else to go but flat on their mats.

At Naiza FC 40 (free replay on YouTube) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Madiyar Toleubay straight stopped Asliddin Odilov with this ninja choke of doom.

It’s hard to pinpoint the moment Odilov left, but Toleubay didn’t let go until Odilov was staring at the light.

Over at Cage Warriors 139 in San Diego, Chasen Blair brought us our Humpty Dumpty Fall of the Week:

We can’t stress enough how dangerous it is to be casual when separating from a clinch and Kona Oliveira was reminded of this in the hardest way possible. Blair shot that one right from the hip, Kona was not in a defensive position and Blair had no choice.

Here are some tips related to hygiene. Although I am not a physician, if you are going to make a mark on the mat with blood, do so in one stroke. Don’t rub your hands together and then “dip” your brush.

Seriously. That’s gross.

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 – @AlexanderKLee – using the hashtag #MissedFists.