Missed Fists: Marquell Fulwood-Jones flattened by illegal knee, rallies for knockout win


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.

When it comes to illegal knees in MMA, sometimes it feels like fighters can’t win. We’ve seen two high-profile UFC incidents where ground knee recipients handled situations differently in recent years. Both were criticised.

Anthony Smith took an illegal knee from Jon Jones at UFC 235 that resulted in a two-point deduction for Jones, which didn’t matter in the end as Jones was so far ahead on the scorecards that he won a unanimous decision. Would Smith have been willing to accept a victory disqualifying Jones from the title fight and set up an enviable rematch? Should Smith have been praised for his bravery? Then Aljamain Sterling became bantamweight champion after taking a blatantly illegal knee from Petr Yan at UFC 259 and he’s had fans calling for him to win an Academy Award ever since.

It’s a lose-lose situation for the fighter on the receiving end of the knee, right? Marquel Fulwood Jones is on hand to show that it’s not true.

Marquell Fulwood-Jones vs. Brandon Calton

In a clash of super heavyweights at Showcase MMA 23 in Kingsport, Tenn., this past Saturday, Fulwood-Jones took on recent Bellator competitor Brandon Calton, who fans might remember from his split decision loss to AEW star Jake Hager.

Calton, who had the same concentration issues as Jones or Yan, blasted Fulwood-Jones with an incredibly brutal knee to the ground. This would have earned him major points, if the fight took place at Saitama Super Arena, and not Meadowview Convention Center.

It’s difficult to say just how much that knee actually hurt Fulwood-Jones, but in my not-expert medical opinion it’s usually a bad sign when a fighter goes fully prone in the middle of a fight. Fulwood-Jones chose to keep fighting and Calton was only penalized one point for the foul.

Moments later, this happened.

It was a strange start to the end, it is certain. But Calton wouldn’t recover and Fulwood Joness went on to win the final. Later, he admitted to having some luck in the wild win.

“The mat is real slippery and I guess he slipped,” Fulwood-Jones told the Johnson City Press. “You can’t slip on me. This was quite crazy. He was way more athletic than what I gave him credit for. I’m getting out of this super heavyweight division. They are just too large .”

It sounds like Fulwood Jones is going to be dropping down to heavyweight, but I still hope that UFC will add super heavyweights to its roster one day. Dana White, it’s possible.

Showcase MMA 23 is available for replay with a subscription to Spectation Sports.

Rinya Nakamura vs. Yasuyuki Nojiri

While we’re talking knees (as we often do around these parts), we had a failed one of the “Gamebred” variety this past Sunday at a Shooto event in Tokyo. That’s at least what I believe it was.

Listen, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take (h/t Michael Scott), but in MMA sometimes taking that shot means you end up taking a shot if you get what I’m saying. In this instance, Yasuyuki Nojiri got popped right in the chin going for something spectacular and ended up getting finished in under 30 seconds by Rinya Nakamura.

It’s worth noting that Nakamura, 26, is one to watch in the bantamweight division. He improved to 3-0 with the win, all by knockout (you may remember him displaying some fine head-kickery in a previous edition of Missed Fists), and has a strong wrestling base. Nakamura had hoped to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but when that event was pushed back a year due to COVID-19, Nakamura instead decided to retire from wrestling and fully dedicate himself to MMA. Good luck, young man.

Anvar Boynazarov vs. John Pham

When it comes to Anvar Boynazarov (ex-glory kickboxing featherweight competitor), you might want to spare your best wishes for him. He showed zero mercy to John Pham at LFA 121 in Dallas last week.

That 21-second shellacking improved Boynazarov’s MMA record to 3-0, but unlike Nakamura he has plenty of professional fighting experience. In fact, he holds a Glory kickboxing win from 2015 over UFC Vegas 46 headliner Giga Chikadze and after beating Pham he called for another fight with the Georgian standout. Chikadze is currently on the mend for an indeterminate amount of time and it’s doubtful he’d want to risk his top-10 ranking against a UFC newcomer, but stranger things have happened.

Michal Materla vs. Jason Radcliffe
Gracjan Szadzinski vs. Francesco Moricca
Donovan Desmae vs. Lukasz Rajewski

While it would be nearly impossible for KSW to match the drama of their December event, which concluded with Roberto Soldic putting the legendary Mamed Khalidov to sleep to become a two-division champion, Saturday’s KSW 66 show had some beautiful finishes.

Polish star Michal Materla made it back-to-back wins with a perfectly timed overhand right that stunned veteran Jason Radcliffe.

Make that four wins in his past five outings for Materla, who also recorded his 24th victory by knockout or submission.

Gracjan Zzadzinski added another knockout to his tally. Francesco Moricca was also down with the two power punches, right at the button.

In 13 pro bouts, Szadzinski has gone to a decision five times while all of his other fights have ended before the third round. That’s the kind of fighter we can get behind.

Donovan Desmae won the week’s top submission. He wrapped Lukasz Rajewski in a triangle armbar, which led to a swift tap.

KSW 66 is available for replay with a subscription to KSW TV.

Padeksuk Fairtex vs. Mohamed Mohadbe

If the last highlight strike had led to a show, it would have been the end of the feature. Instead, this incredible tornado kick from Mohamed Mohadbe will be rewarded with an honorable mention.

As you can see from this clip recap posted by @Beyond_Kick (give them a follow! ), the fight was pure chaos with shocking knockdowns on both sides. It was Padeksuk that eventually scored the final one to win the war, even if Mohadbe can lay claim to the social media battle after landing that kick.

Many of the replies noted the similarities between Mohadbe’s tornado kick and Kofi Kingston’s “Trouble in Paradise” signature maneuver and sure enough, the former WWE champion took a moment to recognize game.

That highlight came from Sunday’s Lumpinee Fairtex Fight: New Era event in Thailand, which is available for free replay on Facebook.

And while your eyes are on that Twitter account, why not take a look at Ciryl Gane’s previous muay Thai exploits that were uploaded this week?

Bon Gamin has been unquestionably a beast since his youth and is just one day from becoming the heavyweight champion. Should he take out Francis Ngannou, just remember that Gane has always had a home here in Missed Fists.

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.