Missed Fists: Shamrock FC features 6-foot-11 welterweight, more

Wally Herndon grapples with Jeff Glover at a Shamrock FC show in St. Louis on Sept. 6, 2019 | @Shamrock_FC, Twitter

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.

It feels like it’s been a while since we started things off by showcasing the sports beloved oddities, so let’s get freaky-deaky right out of the gate and talk about Wally Herndon.

Jeff Glover vs. Wally Herndon
Austin Blau vs. John Orcutt

From Shamrock FC 322 in St. Louis last Friday, please observe this rather large fellow escaping from bottom position:

That’s Wally Herndon.

Herndon isn’t exactly off to a hot start in his MMA career (he’s 1-5 after losing a split decision to Jeff Glover on Friday). But Herndon is very tall. Look at that clip. Look at how tall he is. He is 6-feet-11-inches tall. He is a welterweight.

I’m not sure how many welterweights could reverse that position using his legs and the fence in the exact way that Herndon did, so even though he didn’t win, let’s take a moment to appreciate that effort before moving on.

Normally I leave the fanciful prose to our beloved Jed Meshew, but super heavyweight kickboxers Austin Blau (phenomenal name) and John Orcutt had me feeling some type of way, so allow me to flex my creative writing muscles on this occasion, if you will:

That is f*cking fighting. FUIUD.

The stoppage might look odd at first glance, but if you re-watch the clip you can see Blau absolutely crack Orcutt with two clean right hands. The referee got a good look at Orcutt and I’m betting he did the right thing here.

Shamrock FC 322 is available for replay via FITE TV pay-per-view.

Chris Barnett vs. Shim Gun-Oh

For those wondering what’s up with Chris Barnett, a heavyweight who once seemed destined to sign with a major North American promotion, he’s been doing his thang over in Asia for the last few years, most recently defeating Shim Gun-Oh at Road FC 55 in Daegu, South Korea this past Sunday.

Barnett had trouble finding fights over on this side of the pond after a 10-1 start to his career, so he followed in the footsteps of fellow quirky big man Bob Sapp, a legendary sporting figure in Japan. In a 2014 interview with MMA Junkie, Barnett said he was so hungry for opponents that he’d go as far as to fight a camel and that one of the reasons he admired Sapp was because the Japanese made Sapp-branded dildos.

We here at Missed Fists continue to support Barnett and his dreams.

Reggie Merriweather vs. Jesse James Kosakowski

What would a dip into the deeper depths of MMA be without a little controversy?

At CES 58 in Hartford on Saturday, Reggie Merriweather picked up a first-round win over Jesse James Kosakowski that the commentary team seemed to think was stopped too early.

First, gorgeous right hand by Merriweather, a journeyman who improved to 14-14 with this win; second, tough way for Kosakowski (4-1) to catch his first L no matter how you slice it.

On the one hand, I agree with the stoppage because when a fighter face-plants like that, you can guarantee that he’s in rough shape; on the other hand, sometimes people fall funny and this could be a case where Kosakowski was hurt and off-balance and just dropped in a weird way.

Guess you just shouldn’t get punched ever, there’s your professional coaching tip of the week.

CES 58 is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.

Jack Cartwright vs. Marko Kovacevic
Jack Cartwright vs. Scott Malone
Ian Garry vs. Matteo Ceglia

If there was a breakout star of last week’s regional and international scene, it was without question 25-year-old Englishman Jack Cartwright. Making his Cage Warriors debut at their Unplugged 2 show in Stratford, London, Cartwright needed less than five minutes of total cage time to win a one-night tournament and become the promotion’s new bantamweight champion.

He started with a 49-second stoppage of Scott Malone.

And then crowned himself by blasting Marko Kovacevic in under four minutes.

Cartwright (6-0) is still young in his career, so hopefully he’s allowed to take his time developing before getting a call to the UFC or Bellator. However, the last two bantamweight champions, Jack Shore and Nathaniel Wood, were inevitably Octagon-bound and Cartwright will get that call soon himself if he keeps this up.

In non-tournament action, Ian Garry won a 177-pound catchweight bout with this stunning blitz against Matteo Ceglia.

Missed Fists readers may remember Garry having an awesome three-round fight with James Sheehan in February, an entertaining tilt that earned both men Cage Warriors contracts, so Garry isn’t just 2-0 as a pro now, he’s also 2-for-2 in having his performances written up in these hallowed halls.

Unplugged 2 was a unique event that was invite-only—primarily friends and family of the fighters in the audience—but you can watch the whole thing on UFC Fight Pass. Make sure to check out Joe McColgan and Mehdi Ben Lakhdar absolutely bludgeoning each other to a stand still in the evening’s co-main event.

Eric Iman vs. Tony Darling
Ty Gwerder vs. Mike Jones
Andrew Cruz vs. Jon Neal

At LFA 75 in West Valley City, Utah, last Friday, we saw one of the more surprising results of the weekend as 41-year-old Eric Iman put away 23-year-old heavyweight prospect Tony Darling.

It’s not like Darling went easy on Iman, he absolutely brought the fight to the quadragenarian, but sometimes there’s just no beating that old man strength. And let’s give Iman his credit too. While Darling still has a bright future ahead of him, Iman refused to let this young cat make him a statistic.

He went full Mike Gundy on him.

One more note on that fight, there were shades of the classic Mike Russow-Todd Duffee comeback finish here and coincidentally, Duffee returns to action this weekend at UFC Vancouver.

A prospect who didn’t disappoint was Xtreme Couture product Ty Gwerder. The 24-year-old middleweight was exactly who we thought he was. Here he is obliterating Mike Jones with one of the best body kicks of the year:

And in the main event, big shout-out to Andrew Cruz, who made the most of his LFA debut and in a main event spot to boot. Cruz, an active staff sergeant in the U.S. military, is putting together a nice run with three straight wins including a submission of Nathan Stolen at Bellator 205 last year. Here, he hands Jon Neal just his second loss in 12 pro bouts.

Given his story, Cruz seems like a shoo-in for a future edition of Dana White’s Contender Series and inclusion in our own Call-Up section.

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.

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