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WTF? Dambe double duty, TKD in kickboxing, Indian wrestling and Russian bare knuckle

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All the action from the fringe is starting to suddenly feel... normal?

When we started publishing these features, we never really intended for most of the action to be the usual thing we see in pro MMA. Good technique, fighters putting on tactical and well-coordinated performances? Nah, we didn’t want that to take the lead with this.

But this week, it’s kind of happened. Most of what we’ve found is at a higher baseline than usual for technique and people knowing what they’re doing. All of this makes the warning “don’t go out picking fights, you won’t know who you’ll run into“ even more worthwhile as practical advice.

We begin where we always do, with the wonderful Jerry Liu over at Fight Commentary Breakdowns. Taekwondo specialist Ludmila Zarate (in red) has a really smooth performance against a standard kickboxer in Taiwan. This is just really nice technique being showcased.

As expected, the kicks were pretty great. Nothing too flashy or high-risk. Her hands looked pretty good, even if the defense wasn’t always on point. Jerry’s also interviewed Zarate here, if you’re interested in learning more about her.

But this week’s Dambe is coming in hot, with Kosilaye defeating not one, but two dudes, one after the other. Now that I told you what happens, you really, really have to see it for yourself. Also, peep the lovely leg kick landed at the 5:00 mark. I didn’t even think that was allowed:

Here’s another one, where a monster overhand ends the bout. It’s the tension that builds and the anticipation, since there’s only really one offensive weapon available. Dambe can be much like watching a western, and the payoff is intense.

STRELKA is also back, with some more oddball fights. I’m thoroughly convinced that these guys are using their rapper names or something. Italian vs Gringo? Alright, man. Whatever:

This was great, but the naming is kind of unfortunate. Not sure if the guy is actually Jewish or not, but the only thing he didn’t hit the other guy with was the Staff of Moses itself. Great wrestling and really smart ground striking at work here:

Fat Hummer? Nail? Are we even trying with these naming conventions? No matter, this was kind of cool:

Sorry to be such a downer, but neither of these guys looks like Bob Marley. Kudos for the picture-in-picture feature and the unexpectedly brutal finish:

Not sure what was going on here, but it seems that the guy in the shirt had a more traditional Karate or Taekwondo background. It didn’t help much:

Indian wrestling is a treat, and this match is a real surprise. The competitors end up in a painfully long stalemate with one turtled up and the other on top. Stick with it, the ending is smooth like ghee and just as nourishing. The celebration is just charming:

Finally, more bare knuckle from Russia’s MAHATCH. This was a wild one, and the lack ring ropes or a cage seems to improve things:

It’s a trio of bouts in one video, and it’s a rough watch. It’s been interesting seeing how bare knuckle has gained steady popularity over time in different corners of the world, but MAHATCH really has something special here.

Anyway, that’s all we’ve got this week. Tip your waitress. And remember - you might think you can fight, but there are many guys like you all over the world.