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.
How do you follow up the greatest show in combat sports history? How about by putting on the NEW greatest show in combat sports history?
Okay, that might sound like a classic case of hyperbole, or carny talk if you will, but that’s appropriate given that it’s time for us to dive back into the shark-infested waters of Thailand for the second edition of the Fight Circus, the twisted child of Full Metal Dojo and CamSoda, appropriately titled Fight Circus Vol. 2: Circus Harder.
A Director’s Cut of the show went live this morning, which means you dear reader can now join us without having to go right to CamSoda’s extremely NSFW website. Though watching this at work might get you labeled as a whole other kind of degenerate.
Fight Circus Vol. 2
Rockie Bactol vs. Tang Mo
AL: The gang is all back, commentators Teddy Mulvagh and Arran Sirisompan, and of course, the Circus Master himself Jon Nutt. And they’re just as incorrigible as ever.
Mulvagh and Sirisompan intro the show in front of a green screen showing a medical tent while doctors wander around behind them for a COVID gag because comedy.
JM: I mean it is pretty fun when you consider that they probably don’t have any actual medical staff at this thing. Irony on top of sight gags? That’s a comedic double whammy.
AL: Nutt graces us with the singing of a Thai anthem, which is just as oddly, genuinely affecting as last time.
JM: Nutt is a treasure and I am desperately hoping nobody Milkshake Ducks him.
AL: I feel like being the face of Fight Circus is a Milkshake Duck’ing of its own.
Now on to our first matchup of the night, an openweight contest between 135-pound Rockie Bactol and very, very big man Tang Mo. Last time, poor Mo took an L when he verbally submitted after taking a kick to the head, and while this finish isn’t quite as humbling, it happens a lot faster.
JM: You’re burying the lede here. First, when Nutt was getting the proceedings going, he was open about what this fight was: a terrible idea where Tang Mo was going to get beaten up, but something they agreed to because it was his birthday. What I wouldn’t give for that kind of honesty in other promotions.
Then there’s the fact that Tang Mo (you can only refer to him by both names—never just a first or last, it’s too good) walked out to the ring with a basket of baked goods to hand out. This man is also a treasure. Sure, he lost again, but if they keep holding cards on his birthday, one of these times Tang Mo will get that victory he craves even more than those sweet, sweet sticky buns and that, my friend, will be A MOMENT.
AL: Afterwards, Nutt goes over the top to salvage the short bout, saying that he’d pick TANG Mo to beat Valentina Shevchenko, who just so happened to also be competing on Saturday at some other show called UFC 255: No Cool Title.
He then says he’d like Tang Mo to be like the WWE’s Brooklyn Brawler, a perennial jobber who at least gained some recognition for, well, jobbing.
“I want you to come to every Fight Circus and not win one time,” Nutt said.
So far so good.
JM: Like I said, Jon Nutt is a treasure.
Bank vs. Young Bactol
AL: We have our first “unannounced” match of the night as Young Bactol (I don’t know if that’s his name or if he’s the younger Bactol brother) is apparently getting to compete at Fight Circus as a gift for his 18th birthday.
This particular gift comes in the form of a nasty version of roshambo where he and Bank (also scheduled to compete in the next fight) just kick each other’s legs out of their legs.
JM: I’ve often compared Fight Circus to a slightly more organized version of drunk dudes hanging out in the country with nothing to do and this fight is EXACTLY the kind of thing my friends and I would do. (The lesson, as always, is men are idiots). So I’m not gonna lie, this was one of my most anticipated bouts of the evening, and it delivered. Early on it looked like Bank was going to get his doors blown off but the young man gritted it out and pulled off the comeback win! Thrilling stuff.
Also, I love that Nutt intervened to make it more cinematic. That’s one of my favorite things about Fight Circus, that they basically just make sh*t up as they go along. It’s the Calvinball of combat sports.
Bank and No Money vs. Ali Mohammed
AL: That’s really just the appetizer for the “Asymmetrical Champions” Bank and No Money, who were victorious in a handicap match at Fight Circus Vol. 1, to again heroically gang up on another opponent.
JM: I’ll be honest, I was less interested in the Asymmetrical Champion fight because of how one-sided it was in the first iteration. That being said, I liked that they were functionally handicapping it (can it be called handicapping when it’s still a two-on-one?) by having Bank get his leg kicked off beforehand. But silly me, I should’ve trusted in Ringmaster Nutt because this fight was awesome. The King of Kebab gave as good as he got in there.
AL: Ali puts on a valiant effort, but he is not the man to beat the duo’s now patented grapple-and-bang attack.
He takes a major beating in this one, they just swarm his ass. Referee Tommy Hayden has his hands full and there are plenty of times where he could have stepped in for the save, but the Fight Circus viewers demand a sacrifice and Mohammed is too tough to quit.
JM: Look man, Fight Circus isn’t about winning and losing, it’s how you play the game. It’s about entertaining the fans and God help me but I was captivated by seeing the King of Kebab swing those bungalows to try and pull off the miracle.
Also, I’m on the record as thinking the commentary team could be improved (*cough* hire us *cough*) but some of their best stuff was in this fight. “His body is a temple, but maybe a temple in Philadelphia” and “Ali’s pimp hand is strong” were both solid efforts.
AL: Sirisompan points out that “Everyone’s gonna be training breakdancing after this” in an attempt to emulate the two b-boys, but we already knew from Zoolander that breakdance fighting is truly one of the strongest and darkest arts.
Tracy Eden Larby vs. Flora
Next, we have ourselves a pretty standard combat sports event attraction, World Championship Indian Leg Wrestling.
JM: This one cracks me up because of all the Fight Circus insanity, our colleague Jose Youngs asked me about this one specifically because he didn’t know what it was. Well Jose, you weren’t the only one.
AL: There’s not much of an explanation of the rules as the two announcers are too busy horndogging it on commentary, but it’s essentially arm wrestling with legs.
I’m not going to lie, this actually looks kind of fun.
JM: You never did this as a kid? I’m starting to think maybe I just had a weird childhood. It is fun and it’s a bitch on the hamstrings.
Let’s not gloss over the fact that this had a last-minute change of opponents because, as Jon Nutt told us, one woman missed her flight (genuinely had no idea people flew in for this) and instead tried to swim to The Real Fight Island and pulled a hammy. So much respect to the replacement fighter for her effort.
AL: The heavily-favored Larby wins three points to one, but that doesn’t really matter because I was really wondering which two major league MMA fighters we’d most like to see play this game. Benson Henderson has to be one of them, right?
JM: Give me Bendo vs. Tyson Griffin for the Lightweight Tree Trunk Championship of the world. But let’s not stop there. As Jose and I discussed on The A-Side Live Chat this week, I want to see Saquon Barkley take on Nick Chubb for the NFL Tree Trunk Championship of the world. Really, I just want to see more Indian Leg Wrestling. It’s a perfect palette cleanser.
AL: Yes, somehow the perfect palette cleanser was the contest where Mulvagh spent half of it hoping for Larby to have a wardrobe malfunction.
Fabiano Hawthorne vs. Chayan Nott
Jimmy Revolt vs. Gods Fried Bananas
The less said about the next two fights the better as we had two ideas that sounded great on paper—Spinning Attacks Only and a literal Battle of the Bands—completely poop the bed.
The bad news is that the spin fight wasn’t as exciting as it sounds; on the plus side, it was as stupid as it sounds.
JM: Everybody, the commentary team included, bagged on the Spinning Attacks Only fight and it’s easy to see why. It was like a fight between those guys in the background of kung fu movies who have to look busy while waiting for their turn to attack the protagonist and get kicked in the face: just spinning at air.
BUT. I still enjoyed it. Of course nothing substantive landed, it was basically like having a fight where you had to tell your opponent what you were throwing next. The issue was all the space. I think this fight concept works but they’ve gotta do it in a ring that is half the size. Or maybe like, in an actual phone booth.
AL: I’ll admit, “They’re really telegraphing these spin moves” got a laugh out of me and I’m not proud of it.
Hawthorne won by crowd decision, if anyone cares, then celebrates by doing some spinning sh*t while holding an actual axe.
JM: Before we move on to the Battle of the Bands, I think it’s time we talked about the between-fight vignettes. There’s a real cast of characters here and Jon, if you refuse to hire us as commentators, I believe firmly that our services could be used here. You can pay me with one of those “decorative vases” made from the glass pulled out of John McClain’s feet. Just so long as we don’t get rid of Wombat Jones. I need more Wombat Jones in my life.
AL: I found these guys annoying at the start of the first show, then they won me over and I went through that whole process again for Vol. 2.
JM: Up next we have a Battle of the Bands who walk out to their own songs and then engage in a two-on-two game of patty cake.
Look, when you’re as cutting edge as Fight Circus, not everything is going to be a winner and this one fell flat, not because the concept was bad but because the combatants clearly weren’t feeling it. I think they try and run it back next time with a different set of bands. Maybe go with some thrash metal enthusiasts.
AL: This actually had the potential to be cool and not to mention answer the age-old debate between punk rock and nu-metal (nu-metal gave us Face the Pain, so it’s not really a debate), but as it turns out when you put six guys into a ring with no training who don’t actually want to be hurt, you don’t get a great fight!
The best part of this one was the flying referee.
JM: That’s a little thing called dedication to safety.
Tetee Sae-Be vs. Tac Arakphotchong
AL: Tetee Sae-Be stole Fight Circus Vol. 1 with a great performance in a kicks-only bout, but he didn’t have the chance to do so again as he jacked up his opponent’s knee early this time around.
Maybe Tetee is getting too good at this.
JM: I refuse to call him Tetee, in part because at Fight Circus Vol. 1 we never found out his name. He was in a secret bout and I just started calling him the Kyokushin Kid, a name I will only ever use for him now. And if there is one man who is the unequivocal King of Fight Circus, it’s the Kyokushin Kid. 2-0 in the greatest combat sports promotion in the world.
AL: Another reason you wouldn’t get along with the commentary team because, to no one’s surprise, they loved saying Tetee’s name.
Gilbert, Samret, and Adam vs. Steven “Panda” Banks
And now the co-main event which was really the main event as Full Metal Dojo improved upon its most popular attraction, the 2 vs. 1 bout by—get this—booking a 3 vs. 1 bout.
JM: I had my concerns about this one. At this point, we’ve seen a couple of two-on-one bouts and it hasn’t worked out well for the solo artist. But foolish me, that’s because we didn’t have Panda Banks, the baddest dude in Phuket, as the lone wolf.
AL: If Banks looks familiar, he headlined Fight Circus Vol. 1, which makes him overqualified to fight a BJJ guy, an experienced muay Thai fighter, and someone who allegedly has never fought before. Also, the third man doesn’t enter until 30 seconds into each round, so this should be easy for Banks, right?
Oh no, he’s still fighting three dudes at once.
AL: Banks is so gassed by round three that he’s tumbling and twirling all over the place. My expert take: Fighting three people is super hard!
JM: I have nothing but respect for Banks coming out and throwing a haymaker at the dude who wasn’t even allowed in the ring yet. That’s just good tactics, trying to even the odds as quickly as possible. God, this fight was majestic.
AL: I was amused by Mulvagh becoming absolutely enraged at the guy who kept trying to take Banks down and choke him out.
JM: As well he should, that’s the coward’s way out! The unwritten rule of Fight Circus is that only the disadvantaged fighter can fight smart. If you’re on the heavily favored side, you need to fight in the least intelligent manner possible. That’s how you create good content. Well, that and by performing the most aptly named “Rolling Thunder” in history.
AL: Somehow, three fail to actually finish one and that leaves this in the hands of the last judges you’d want scoring your fight: the people.
“Panda” wins the crowd decision and rightfully so. For his hearty performance, he’s given a copy of the painting of Bill Clinton on a woman’s body in a blue dress that was owned by Jeffrey Epstein. “Fight Circus rules and Epstein didn’t kill himself” is written on it.
JM: I mean, could we really expect anything less from this organization? Also, Panda Banks forever.
AL: By the way, let’s also give a special shout-out to the way to some of the top-tippers of the evening who had their names read on air for contributing a few extra bucks to the broadcast, in no particular order.
JM: Gotta respect ICNakedPeople who was, I believe, a top-tipper at Fight Circus Vol. 1 as well.
AL: You shouldn’t remember this.
A relatively mundane bare-knuckle boxing bout closed out the show but—with respect to competitors TJ Chang and Whanphichit Siriphana—what had tongues wagging at the end of the night was the return of one of MMA’s greatest freakshow fighters.
JM: Has there ever been a more perfect pairing than Bob Sapp and Fight Circus? This is like the first dude to make a peanut butter sandwich. Total game changer.
AL: I’d argue this is a partnership that is somehow even more apropos than when Charles Bennett was the starring attraction of CamSoda Legends.
JM: Bob Sapp came to Fight Circus for one, very clear reason: to smash a Nutt.
AL: I’m not even entirely sure where this leads. Does Nutt travel to some island cave to find a mythical beast to challenge Sapp? Does he fight Sapp himself? Could Sapp take part in the first 4 vs. 1 fight?
JM: There is only one correct answer here: John Nutt and Krazy Horse team up to take on The Beast.
AL: *fans self*
JM: But then, just when they are about to be victorious, Bank and No Money rush the ring, creating an Axis of Evil with Sapp. Which then necessitates Krazy Horse and Nutt enlisting the help of the King of Kebab and the Kyokushin Kid, culminating in Fight Circus 7: The Brawl for it All, a full fledged, last man standing melee for control of Fight Circus.
AL: I’d say, “Stay tuned,” but I don’t think anyone who’s watched Fight Circus Vol. 1 and 2 needs to be told that.
What was the most memorable Fight Circus Vol. 2 moment?
Leg kick roshambo
Banks and No Money continue reign of terror
World Championship Indian Leg Wrestling
Panda Banks triumphs in 3 vs. 1 battle
Other (leave comment below)
0 votes total
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.