This Week in Face Punching #23: ACB, LFA, & Invicta Carry a Strong Week in Global MMA

This Week in Face Punching #23 – Featuring news from 21 MMA shows worldwide, dozens of killer MMA and kickboxing highlight videos, and links to full fights and event videos.  The MMAGods were very good to us this past week 3/23-3/29, bringing the action with tons of fun shows across the globe – so what are you waiting for, join the face punching party @CombatDocket!

Invicta FC 22 (Missouri)

Souza KOs Hamasaki

Early on Tonya Evinger (19-6) seemed to be doing everything wrong in her fiercely anticipated rematch with Yana Kunitskaya (9-3), who briefly claimed Evinger’s Invicta 135 pound belt at Invicta 20 with an armbar finish that was later overturned due to inappropriate interference from inventive if consistently questionable local referee Mike England. Just like the first bout, Evinger took this fight down to the mat right from the start and immediately found herself entangled in Kunitskaya’s strong jiu-jitsu game.  But this time Evinger managed to defend the Russian’s choke and joint lock attempts, and she took advantage of Kunitskaya’s aggressive sub hunting by landing very strong ground and pound throughout round one. By the second frame it was clear that this was Evinger’s fight to take and she did just that, snatching Kunitskaya’s back late in the frame and forcing a tap via RNC to cap a largely dominant championship performance. Kudos to Kunitskaya, who again looked dangerous against the champ, but Evinger continues to prove that she’s among the very best female fighters in the world and that she’s every bit as good as most UFC top 10 names.

The remainder of this Invicta FC card was terrific, with every fight worthy of mention; in fact, TWIFP highly recommends that you CLICK THE LINK to check out CombatDocket’s full Invicta 22 report, with highlights from Livia Souza’s (10-1) demolition of 105 pound champ Ayaka Hamasaki (14-2) in a strawweight bout (see above for the finish), plus terrific performances from Jodie Esquibel (6-2) and Ashley Cummins (5-3).

ACB 55 (Tajikistan)

Berkhamov subs Davlatmuradov

Speaking of great cards, if you haven’t realized that just about every ACB event is must-watch TV then you clearly haven’t been paying much attention to the new leader in Russian combat sports. ACB 55 from Tajikistan wasn’t one of the promotion’s most star-studded offerings, but as usual the matchmaking was excellent as competitors from the top to the bottom of the card brought the violence for the Dushanbe faithful in attendance. The top two fights of the show featured high-quality work from a pair of elite prospects. In the main event, welterweight wrecking ball Mukhamed Berkhamov (11-0) showed off his diverse skillset against a very game Sharaf Davlatmuradov (11-1-1) before cinching up an armbar that sealed the victory halfway through round two. With the win Berkhamov elevates himself into the ranks of the ACB welterweight elite, and he may well end up finding himself with a title shot against the winner of the upcoming Brett Cooper/Aslambek Saidov rematch. Speaking of elite, there’s no doubt that Yusup Raisov (10-1) has the talent to reach the upper tier at featherweight, and he did little to dispel that notion with a dominant wrestling performance against Valdines Silva (14-7) that he solidified with an arm-triangle choke at the 2:29 mark:

Raisov submits Silva

Fernandes subs Gadzhiev

Beyond the top pair of fights, there was plenty to like about this deep ACB undercard (stop me if you’ve heard that before). Four-fight ONE competitor Muin Gafurov (13-2) was a recent an under-the-radar free agent signee, but he may end up having a significant impact on the ACB bantamweight division if his first round TKO of Beno Adamia (3-3-1) is any indication. The signing of Brazilian anaconda specialist Igor Fernandes (21-6) also gained little recognition last fall, yet the welterweight managed to keep his ACB record perfect and run his winning streak to nine with a first round submission of Rustam Gadzhiev (8-4) that earned him a submission of the night bonus (see video!). And Fight of the Night went to the three round undercard war between thrilling Dagestani bantamweight Shamil Shakhbulatov (7-1) and 25 year old Czech Filip Macek (15-13-1) that saw both men trade on the feet for the bulk of the three round contest, with Shakhbulatov’s flashy, spin-kick heavy attack propelling him to a unanimous decision victory. If you missed out on ACB 55 and crave more, check out CombatDocket’s selection of the top full fight videos from the show right here.

LFA 7 (Texas)

Veretennikov TKOs Hancock

As LFA put on its seventh fight show of 2017, it’s clear that the young promotion is still in the process of building the starpower necessary for keeping up such a grueling pace. This show may not have featured many recognizable top prospects or near-UFC level veterans, but like any AXS offering it was filled with fun bouts and fighters doing their best to thrust their name into the national spotlight. Four fighters in particular scored the type of finish that gets fans’ and promoters’ attention, especially the nasty second round head kick KO authored by Kazkhastan’s Nikolay Veretennikov (4-2) in his welterweight bout opposite Clovis “The Cleaver” Hancock (4-2) – see the inset video for a replay of Veretennikov’s fourth straight impressive win since relocating stateside. At just 20 years old, intriguing prospect Gilbert Urbina (5-0) is already showing the skills and fight IQ required to make it to the top of the game, as he demonstrated with a lightning-quick back take and RNC finish the first time Noel Ligon (5-1) gave him the slightest opening three minutes into their middleweight contest. Flyweight talent Roberto Sanchez (6-0) also looked terrific, as he outworked former LFC 125 pound title challenger Klayton Mai (8-3) en route to a second round RNC stoppage. And 20 year old strawweight Itzel Esquivel (2-0) announced herself as a woman to watch with a classy triangle choke/armbar combo submission of Brandi Narvaez (0-1) – check out that fine finish in the video below:

Esquivel subs Narvaez

Around the World in 18 Shows

CFFC 64 (California) – Cage Fury has long been among the best promotions on the east coast, and this past weekend the longtime New Jersey- and Pennsyvlania-based organization brought its brand of top-notch regional action to the west coast for its second show under the Alliance MMA banner.  If the top quality slate of regional fights wasn’t excitement enough for the California fans, the event also enjoyed a visit from Dana White and his traveling reality show carnival. Luckily for Mr. White, both of the top two fights on the card look to have delivered UFC-ready prospects. In the co-main, Joseph Morales (8-0) probably booked an opportunity in the UFC’s flyweight division with an impressive second round TKO of former four-time defending CFFC 125 pound champ Sean Santella (16-6). And the main event saw an even quicker finish as 23 year old RFA and WSOF veteran Matt Sayles (6-1) blasted through fellow RFA alum Christian Aguilera (7-3) via first round TKO. And the deep undercard saw strong unanimous decision wins from aptly monkered bantamweight Alex “The Decision” Perez (17-4) who took out Tyler Bialecki (8-7); six time WSOF competitor Danny Davis Jr. (12-11-1) who thwarted local welterweight prospect Casey Ryan (7-3); and talented LFC veteran Dynamite Dan Ige (6-1) who scored his fourth straight victory over Mexican featherweight standout Fernando Padilla (5-1).

Paramount MMA 7 (Colorado) – When Paramount promoter Tony Sims told the world to watch out for early-career featherweight hopeful Derek Brenon (4-0) the name may have drawn a blank among even the most hardcore fight watchers, yet upon further review the three fight UFC lightweight veteran sure wasn’t kidding about the talented kid from upstate New York. Brenon, who cut his teeth as a nationally-ranked amateur wrestling star at Ithaca College, absolutely blasted through Jesse O’Rullian (1-2) in his showcase 145 pound bout at Paramount 7. Although O’Rullian managed to flick a pair of fine-looking kicks in the direction of Brenon’s head at the very start of the contest he ultimately stood no match for the grappling ace, who quickly off-balanced “The Blue Eyed Samurai”, snatched his neck, and secured the tap just 24 seconds into round one. Brenon showed off the confidence, aggression, and finishing ability that you’d expect from a top prospect, and he seems to have really rounded out his game and learned to channel his natural aggression under the tutelage of the Factory X Muay Thai crew. Meanwhile the other two featured bouts on the card showed off strong performances from recognizable veterans. In the main event light heavyweight title fight, twelve time Bellator starter Brian Rogers (14-9) looked impressive early against AXS vet Canaan Grigsby (8-6), tossing out athletic attacks like head kicks and flying knee strikes, but he seemed to forget about the effect the altitude would have on his cardio. Nonetheless, even an exhausted Rogers was strong enough to secure takedowns late and he managed to score a unanimous 29-28 win in a bout that saw both men empty 100% of their gas tanks in round three. And in the co-main featherweight title fight, a pair of AXS veterans clashed as 26 year old Nick Rhoads (10-3) worked hard to stop the takedowns of Jarred Mercado (14-5) and ultimately managed to outwrestle the wrestler en route to a unanimous decision victory in the biggest spot of his career.

V3 Fights 58 (Tennessee) – It seems like an eternity ago that Tennessee local Teddy Holder (9-4) shocked the MMA world by knocking out former world top 10 light heavyweight Thiago Silva in the first round of the WSOF light heavyweight tournament. That win pushed Holder into a stratosphere of competition that he clearly wasn’t ready for, as he suffered a quick submission loss to elite talent Dave Branch in the tourney finals before being dealt another quick loss via first round TKO in his subsequent bout against still-undefeated Dagestani Shamil Gamzatov. Holder had an opportunity to right the ship this past weekend in the main event of his local V3 Fight promotion. But former TUF competitor Adrian “Guard Yo Grill” Miles (16-9) had other plans, as he grounded Holder and forced a tap via rear naked choke just 3:27 into round one. Just two years removed from defeating Silva, you have to wonder whether Holder reached the pinnacle of his career early on or whether this latest setback will help the athletic big man find more fuel for his competitive fire.

RFO Big Guns 23 (Ohio) – If there’s a single surefire method for getting the world to pay some attention to your regional fight card, it’s booking Charles “Krazy Horse” “Felony” Bennett (30-32-2) into a main event against a local competitor and letting the chips fall where they may. Bennett had seen quite a career resurgence in 2015 and 2016, going 4-2 and earning the spotlight with a 7 second KO victory at a RIZIN show in 2016. But it’s been a jarring fall back down to earth for the Horse in 2017, as his first bout of the year saw him choked out by Lawrence Fitzpatrick in the UK regionals. This one went a little better for Bennett, as he managed to last all 15 minutes against fellow international traveler Cody Stevens (13-9-1), but as usual the gas tank was a problem for Felony and he ended the night losing by unanimous decision. Most of the remainder of this card consisted of quick finishes by low level pros and amateur competitors, though it’s worth mentioning the 102 second heel hook finished authored by Serbian welterweight prospect Luka Strezoski (7-0) at the expense of regional mainstay DeQuan Townsend (15-7).


Shamrock FC 286 (Missouri) – Poor Adam Cella (6-7) – the man just can’t seem to catch a break. First, he became highlight reel fodder during his brief stint on TUF 17 courtesy of a Uriah Hell spinning wheel kick that you’ve probably seen a time or two.  Then after his UFC dismissal Cella suffered a 2-5 run on the regionals that saw him go winless in three bigger show bouts in Bellator and WSOF. Cella tried to halt a four fight losing skid when he took on regional hopeful Coltin Cole (4-5) at Shamrock FC 286, and things seemed to be going swimmingly for the veteran as he secured dominant back position in round one of their middleweight contest. Yet during the finishing sequence Cella managed to land multiple strikes to the back of Cole’s head, and when the Illinois native was unable to continue Cella found himself with a fifth straight loss on his record courtesy of disqualification. The main event was much friendlier to the veteran favorite as Jake Lindsey (12-6) put a two fight losing streak in his rearview mirror with a decision win over Finney Hit Squad welterweight representative Aaron Highfill (3-2).


Alexander Butenko by submission

WWFC 6 (Ukraine) – Recently deposed M-1 lightweight champion Alexander Butenko (43-12-2) may have lost his title less than 40 days ago, but when you’re a 55 fight veteran by the age of 30 a setback like that is not reason to stay on the sidelines. Butenko jumped right back in action at Wenesday’s WWFC event, taking on undefeated Romanian prospect Mihail Cotruta (6-1). Butenko showed no signs of ill effects of the savage beating that he took from elite prospect Abukar Yandiev last month, as the Ukrainian managed to get Cotruta to his world on the ground and slap on a triangle choke for the victory midway through round three (see video).

Sergiu Spivac TKOs Luke Morton

The undercard of this surprisingly strong midweek show included a terrific performance from Romanian heavyweight Sergiu Spivac (6-0), who is ranked among the top 265 pound prospects in Europe by Combat Docket’s MMAWizzard. Spivac faced a meager challenge from Englishman Luke Morton (3-4) in this one, as he started wailing on the overmatched Brit early on and forced him to turtle up on the ground within the first half minute of the bout. Check out the embedded video for highlights of Spivac’s finish. Other notables in action included featherweight Khasan Askhabov (14-2) who scored a main event unanimous decision over Dutch journeyman Hiram Rodriguez (16-19); French featherweight Johnny Frachey (19-11) who rebounded from a Cage Warriors 78 TKO loss to Paddy Pimblett with a quick kneebar win over Artem Tanshyn (7-4); stawweight prospect Svetlana Gotsyk (7-3) who took care of business in 107 seconds with an armbar finish of Lyudmyla Pylypchak (2-4).

Dileno Lopes subs Eliel dos Santos

Shooto Brasil 70 (Brazil) – Following a strong run on Fight Pass that saw the promotion improve its event quality immensely, Shooto Brasil returned to a largely squash-match based formula this past week with a card in which the favorites fared very well. The main event was a showcase for TUF Brazil season 4 finalist Dileno Lopes (19-3), who made a triumphant return to the regionals by making easy work of shopworn regional vet Eliel dos Santos (17-18) – see the video to witness Lopes’ first round guillotine finish. The co-main was slightly more competitive, with lightweight Thiago “Manchinha” Silva (11-5) putting away Guilherme Doin (6-4) via TKO two minutes into the second round. 24 year old Nova Uniao flyweight Marcon Silva (12-2) also shined on this card, as he picked up a fifth straight win with an armbar finish over Ralph Alves (8-8-1). And the most competitive matchup on paper also proved to be one-sided, as unassuming looking Joice Mara (5-1) built on a one night, four woman tournament win last December by dominating Elaine Leal (4-3) throughout their strawweight contest en route to a first round triangle choke victory:

Joice Mara subs Elaine Leal

Andre Borges TKOs Antonio Carlos Ribeiro

WOCS 45 (Brazil) – Watch Out Combat Show has to be one of the best promotion names in MMA history, and this massive 25 fight pro and amateur card certainly showed off some of Brazil’s better regional talents to an appreciative Rio de Janeiro crowd. The main event saw 25 year old featherweight Andre Borges (6-2) claim the WOCS 145 pound belt with an upset of Tata Fight Team ace Antonio Carlos Ribeiro (13-3-1); Borges’ third round TKO snapped Ribeiro’s four year long undefeated streak at nine fights. Other notable fighters to pull of victories included Taigro Costa (11-2) who notched his eighth straight win (and seventh straight decision nod) with a split decision over defending WOCS bantamweight titleist Charles Henrique (4-1); stocky welterweight talent Marcio Santos (9-2) who put away overmatched Vanilton Antunes (2-2) with a first round choke; and 34 year old Tata Fight Team middleweight Eder de Souza (15-2) who buffeted his impressive-looking but very fluffy record with a first-round submission of Alberto Maia (1-1).  But the clear highlight of the night, and maybe the highlight of the week, goes to Rudson Caliocane (4-1) for his wicked KTFO finish of star-crossed bantamweight debutant Anderson Resende (0-1):

Insane head kick KO by Rudson Caliocane

JJ Ambrose wins by sub in the main event

PXC 56 (Guam) – Oceania’s premier combat sports organization really stacked the deck for PXC 56 from Guam, as the event showed off more quality regional talent than any PXC card in recent memory. In the main event Bellator, Affliction, and Pancrase veteran JJ Ambrose (28-7) picked up his fourth consecutive win since a since-avenged contentious 2016 decision loss to UFC alum Francisco Trevino. Ambrose needed four rounds to get the job done in this PXC lightweight title fight, but in the end he scored a guillotine choke finish over Japan’s Takahiro Ashida (18-8-2) to take home the hardware (see video!). TUF 25: Tournament of Champions competitor Charlie Alaniz (9-2) also did strong work, as he recovered from a TKO loss to UFC vet Masanori kanehara last December by choking out overmatched Japanese flyweight Seigo Yamamoto (2-3). It wasn’t all bad news for JMMA fans at this show, though, as 25 year old bantamweight Michihito Abe (15-7-1) scored the biggest win of his career with a unanimous decision over longtime PXC talent Shane Alvarez (12-5). And in the upset of the night, 24 year old welterweight prospect Ray Cooper III (11-4) saw his eight fight finish streak go up in smoke when he fell victim to a clever anaconda choke from 26 year old South Korean Jun Young Park (5-3) – check out the stellar finish from Park below, and CLICK HERE for a full replay of this action-packed show courtesy of PXC.

Jun Young Park upsets Ray Cooper

Hasan Yousefi KOs Hirokazu Yokohama

Primal FC 1 (Thailand) – Mike Swick’s brand new promotion from Thailand held their first-ever card and was kind enough to stream the proceedings on YouTube; while they’ve arbitrarily prevented the event video from being embedded, you can CLICK HERE to watch all the fights from Paradise Beach in Phuket. A handful of intriguing international and regional talents were on display on this night, including TUF 25 Tournament of Champions semi-finalist Adam Antolin (12-3) who picked up his first post-TUF win and his eighth straight overall with a first round submission of India’s Irfan Khan (7-5). The other major international name on the card was Tapology #4 female flyweight Sarah D’Alelio (12-6), who picked up a fifth straight victory with a second round TKO of local talent Nong Kim (0-1) in the main event.  Plus, viral star Rafael Fiziev (2-0) – who gained some notoriety last year for pulling off a perfect Matrix-style back bridge kick dodge in Muay Thai competition – scored his second pro MMA win with a first round TKO of Nepalese lightweight Suraj Bahadur (2-6). And deep on the undercard Iranian 205 pounder Hasan Yousefi (1-0) made a splash in his debut by utterly bludgeoning Japan’s Hirokazu Yokoyama (0-1) in the first round of their undercard clash (see video).

Shooto (Japan) – One thing’s for sure about the Japanese MMA scene: they love their draws, much more than any other regional circuit. This week’s Shooto card was perfect evidence of that, with the draw bug first striking in the flyweight co-main event between rising prospects Takumi Tamaru (7-0-1) and Hayato Ishii (9-0-1). This one was basically a war from start to finish, with both fighters showing strong striking and fluid grappling and reversals, and in the end the Shooto judges saw fit to issue a unanimous draw that kept both young fighters’ undefeated records intact. The main event was a case of déjà vu, as defending bantamweight champ Keita Ishibashi (8-5-2) did just enough to thwart the challenge from 29 year old veteran Shoko Sato (27-15-3) and retain his title by majority draw. There were also a few fights on this non-Fight Pass broadcast card that actually ended with a conclusive victor, including an 18 second KO win for bantamweight Mamoru “Fullswing” Uoi (17-5-4) at the expense of Takuya Ogura (10-10), a first round knockout authored by flyweight Kioytaka Shimizu (18-13-3) in his contest against Hiroshi Osato (9-6-1), and a spectacular 57 second KO from featherweight Taison Naito (8-2-1) that sent opponent Joji Mikami (5-4) crashing to the canvas in a hurry.

Vagab Vagabov TKOs Alexey Efremov

ProFC 62 (Russia) – Pro FC may not be a major player on the Russian MMA scene, but they still manage to put together terrific second-tier cards on a regular basis in the mold of a promotion like LFA. Pro FC 62 was highlighted by a rematch of last month’s WFC Akhmat bout between Alexey Efremov (18-7-1) and Vagab Vagabov (23-1-1) that went to a split draw. Both fighters bore some ill will following that unsatisfying result and this bout was much more action packed and wild than that first encounter. Vagabov was much more aggressive this time out, as he appeared to be tired of going to the judges’ scorecards after three straight split decisions during which he went 1-1-1.  Efremov fired back gamely but had trouble dealing with Vagabov’s pressure over the first two rounds of the fight, and with under two minutes to go in the third the WSOF veteran finally found the right shots to put Efremov down and out for good via TKO finish. This hyper-aggressive version of Vagabov is dangerous to any middleweight in Russia, and it will be fun to see which promotion and opponent he is dealt for his next bout.

The rest of the card featured plenty of talented fighters in action, including well-rounded 23 year old Rostov-on-Don native Vlad Kanunnikov (8-0) who picked up the biggest win of his young career with a decision over Kamil Magomedov (8-2) in the main event; promotional welterweight champion Maxim Shvets (12-3) who retained his title with a convincing decision win over Brazil’s Dimitry Zebroski (14-10); and middleweight talent Artur Alibulatov (18-2) who picked up an eighth straight victory with a second round TKO of Belarussian Boris Mirosnichenko (15-10) that was set up by a nasty spinning backfist:

Artur Alibulatov backfist TKO

TWIFP Prospect Watch

Highlighting prospects plying their trade in far-flung regionals in the U.S. and abroad:

MCF 13 (Nebraska) – Ahh, thank the Regional MMAGods for Nebraska. While states like New York look for any spurious reason available to call off a fight or fine competitors, the state of Nebraska is more than happy to sanction a main event contest like MCF 13’s in which the competitors weigh in at a full 15 pound discrepancy. Undefeated featherweight Ryan MacDonald (7-0) was the fighter tasked with dealing with a much larger opponent on this evening as he faced 161 pound last minute replacement Tim Bazer (16-20). Bazer’s Achilles heel tends to be his ground game, but that wasn’t a problem today as MacDonald had the strength and technique to take him down but lacked the mass to keep the bigger man floored. On the feet is where Bazer is dangerous, and he managed to clip MacDonald from time to time. But overall the prospect did a fine job of maintaining range, keeping his head out of the way of Bazer’s power shots, and remaining unharmed en route to a unanimous decision win. The rest of the MCF pro main card was pure fireworks, with each of the three bouts ending in under two minutes – check out the embedded video which starts at the first pro bout, or fast-forward to 4:38:13 to skip straight to the MacDonald-Bazer main event tilt.

Caged Aggression 19 (Iowa) – Sheboygan, Wisconsin’s Nate Jennerman (8-2) has been quietly making a name for himself in the Midwestern regionals, as he came into this one having scored seven wins in his last eight contests. The lanky 6’0” featherweight certainly gained some attention this past weekend, as he only needed two rounds of a scheduled five to choke out recent Victory FC bantamweight title challenger Shawn West (13-8) and claim the local promotion’s featherweight strap. The undercard also saw another prospect score a quick finish as lightweight Crazy Carl Wittstock (9-1) entertained his home Iowa crowd with a first round triangle choke finish of ground game-impaired veteran Jay Ellis (13-63).

NFC 92 (Georgia) – A trio of Southeastern regional prospects took care of business in the latest iteration of NFC, a promotion that was known in olden times as “Wild Bill’s Fight Night”. First the main event saw two time LFC main card competitor Wesly Barnes (5-2) run through Brandon Longano (1-1) with an RNC just 21 seconds into their welterweight title contest. In the co-main event, 26 year old bantamweight prospect Cody Durden (4-0) – who must have been destined to become a fighter with a last name like that – needed just a little more time to score his ninth straight win (ammy+pro) with a 39 second guillotine chokeout of Dave Morgan (5-6). And on the undercard Savannah-based featherweight talent Josh Blyden (5-1) needed a whole 3:39 to score a guillotine finish over Daytroy Lyons-Lee (2-4).

Giga Chikadze with the 8 second KO

Gladiator Challenge (California) When GLORY kickboxing lightweight star Giga Chikadze (2-1) made the transition to MMA back in 2015, there were plenty of observers who figured that he’d be one-and-done after spending the bulk of he debut planted underneath Gil Guardado at WSOF 26. But Chikadze has pressed on with his new career, first scoring a 1:50 TKO over a debuting fighter at a Gladiator Challenge event last December and following that last weekend up with a stunning 8 second demolition of Anthony Ross (1-11). It’s not against the greatest of competition, but if you’re going to crush a can you might as well make it quick:

EFC 3 (Egypt) – Since losing to top prospect Jiri Prochazka in the first round of the RIZIN 2016 World Grand Prix, Lebanese heavyweight Mark Tanios (8-2) has returned to his old habit of dominating competition in the Middle East and Europe. Tanios picked up his third straight win this past weekend with a first round crushing of Egyptian local Abdalleh El Sayed (1-1) and added the EFC heavyweight strap to his belt collection. At just 25 years old, the already-proven regional competitor has plenty of time to add the tools needed to compete at the global level, and a featured spot in Brave CF or another top promotion shouldn’t be too far off at this point. The co-main event featured two other noteworthy Middle Eastern talents, as Tanios’ countryman Georges Bardawil (5-1) claimed the EFC bantamweight title with a first round guillotine finish over Egypt’s Hassan Dosha (4-1).

Ruslan Raskmonkulov by submission

Ratiborets 7 (Russia) – Lightweight talent Ruslan Rakhmonkulov (9-1) came into this main event opportunity in the Russian regionals on a gaudy eight fight win streak, but a deeper exploration of the 20 year old’s record reveals an utter dearth of competition heading into Ratiborets 7. Rakhmonkulov finally scored a notable victory in the main event with a guillotine choke win over three-fight ACB veteran Vasiliy Palyok (8-5); check out the embedded highlight clip for evidence of the young Russian’s stellar jiu-jitsu game, and look for him to sign with one of the four major Russian promotions after this eye-opening win.

Combat Sports Highlights O.T.W.:

1)  Gnarly Flying Elbow KO from Zhang Chunyu at Kunlun 59

2)  “Watch Out, Barboza” – @Grabaka_Hitman

3)  Faceplant KO at Russian Challenge 3

4)  Kitchai Takes out 2 Birds with 1 KO at MX Muay Xtreme

5)  Wu Xuesong Adds to his KO highlight Reel

6)  MX Muay Xtreme Always Delivers the Violence

That’s all for another packed This Week in Face Punching.  Be sure to follow video wizards @Grabaka_Hitman, @Jolassanda, and @ZPGifs to catch all the regional highlights as they happen.  This weekend we’ll enjoy a trio of strong Russian MMA shows from FNG, ACB, and Akhmat plus a stellar Cage Warriors card and the Bellator rematch that apparently just had to happen between King Mo and the heavyweight formerly known as Rampage Jackson. We’ll be on top of it all right here @CombatDocket!


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