Mixed Martial Arts Veteran Watch: November 2016

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565When fighters are given their release from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC, Bellator or WSOF – unless they’re a major star – they often fall into obscurity on the regional/overseas circuit unless they rack up a few wins and end up signing with one of the aforementioned promotions. In this regular feature for MMAOddsBreaker, I take a look at some regional/overseas matchups for the month of November and rather than listing off the top fights outside these major organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you might reconize on upcoming events.   November 3rd – Tachi PF 29: Fall Brawl (Lemoore, California) Cody Gibson (14-6) vs. Kyle Reyes (11-4)  UFC veteran Gibson looks for his third straight win since his UFC release when he takes on 25-year old Reyes. Since he was cut from the UFC following back-to-back losses (to Manny Gamburyan and Douglas Andrade) Gibson earned unanimous decision victories over Justin Linn and Rolando Velasco. Reyes has won six of his last seven fights, with four of those wins coming by submission.   November 4th – TKO 36: Resurrection (Montreal, Quebec) Chris Horodecki (21-6-1) vs. Derek Gauthier (7-6)  Former WSOF title challenger and WEC vet Horodecki competes for the first time this year when he takes on Tristar product Gauthier. Horodecki heads into this matchup off his first round submission loss to Lance Palmer at WSOF 21 in June 2015. Gauthier competes for the first time since 2014 and has lost three-straight fights. Josh Hill (14-2) vs. Xavier Alaoui (7-0)  Two-time WSOF title challenger Hill looks to get back on the winning track when he faces off with undefeated French-Canadian fighter Alaoui. Hill came up short in his rematch with Marlons Moraes at WSOF 32, losing via second round TKO. The loss snapped his four-fight win streak. His 25-year old opponent Alaoui has only gone the distance three times in his career and heads into this matchup off four-straight submission victories. Jesse Ronson (15-8) vs. Jimmy Spicuzza (7-3)  UFC vet Ronson aims to snap a three-fight skid when he takes on WSOF vet Spicuzza. Following back-to-back wins after his UFC release in 2014, the 30-year old has lost three in a row to Tiger Sarnavsky, Matt MacGrath and most recently UFC vet Matt Dwyer. Spicuzza has won two of his last three fights and will look for back-to-back victories for the first time since 2014.   November 4th – Fight2Night 1 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)  Thiago Silva (17-5) vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (17-15)  A pair of UFC veterans clash in Brazil as hometown favorite Silva battles Sokodjou. Silva snapped a two-fight skid in his last bout, earning a unanimous decision over Stav Economou at Akhmat Fight Show 18 this past April. Sokodjou is coming off a first round knockout loss to Tomasz Narkun at KSW 36 and has lost three of his last four fights. Karl Amoussou (23-7-2) vs. Hernani Perpétuo (18-5)  Bellator veteran Amoussou looks for his seventh win in a row when he battles UFC veteran Perpetuo. Since his Bellator release in 2014, the French fighter has won six straight fights all by stoppage. Perpetuo looks for his first two-fight win streak since 2013, and is coming off a first round TKO victory over Cleber Souza at Shooto Brazil 65. Paulo Thiago (18-9) vs. Cheick Kone (17-4)  UFC veteran Thiago looks for his first two-fight win streak since 2013 when he meets French fighter Kone. Thiago lost three straight fights to Brandon Thatch, Gasan Umalatov and Sean Spencer before his UFC release in 2014. Since then, he’s gone 1-1, suffering a setback to Markus Perez and earning a win over Paulistenio Rocha. Kone has won 10 of his last 11 fights and will be fighting for the fourth time this year. William Macário (7-3) vs. Mickael Lebout (14-7-2)  Macario competes for the first time since his UFC release last year as he battles fellow UFC vet Lebout. Macario went 1-3 in the UFC, with his lone victory coming over Bobby Voelker at UFC 168. Lebout meanwhile aims to snap a three-fight skid. Lisa Ellis (15-10) vs. Virma Jandiroba (8-0)  Ellis competes for the first time since her UFC release as she takes on Brazilian Jandiroba. Ellis went 0-2 in the UFC, suffering back-to-back losses against Felice Herrig and Bec Rawlings. The 33-year old looks for her first win since 2012. Jandiroba has remained undefeated in her career and has won 7 of her 8 career bouts by submission.   November 6th – TFC 13 (Seoul, South Korea)  Will Chope (33-10) vs. Sung Chan Hong (5-1)  UFC vet Chope competes for the seventh time this year when he takes on Korean fighter Hong. Chope has gone 5-2 this year, and heads into this matchup off back-to-back stoppage victories. Hong hasn’t lost since 2013 and heads into this matchup off three-straight wins.   November 11th – EFC Worldwide 55 Cape Town, South Africa) Ruan Potts (9-6-1) vs. Brendon Groenewald (6-4)  Former UFC heavyweight Potts looks for his first two-fight win streak since 2013 when he battles fellow South African fighter Groenewald. Potts lost five-straight fights before rebounding in his last outing, earning a first round submission win over Vandam Mbuyi at EFC Worldwide 50 back in June. His opponent Groenewald meanwhile, has lost two of his last three fights and will look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.   November 12th – Cage Warriors Unplugged (London, England)  Julia Erosa (17-3) vs. Paddy Pimblett (12-1)  TUF 22 competitor Erosa looks to make it three-straight wins as he takes on what many consider to be the future of UK MMA in 21-year old Pimblett. After his UFC release earlier this year, Erosa has rebounded with back-to-back victories over Daniel Swain and most recently Austin Springer last month at Prime Fighting 8. Pimblett  hasn’t lost a fight since 2013 and heads into this matchup off eight-straight victories.   November 13th – Pancrase 282 (Tokyo, Japan) Andy Main (11-2-1) vs. Issei Tamura (10-7)  TUF 12 contestant Main looks to make a successful defence of his Pancrase featherweight strap when he battles Japanese fighter Tamura. Main captured the belt in his last bout, defeating fellow TUF competitor Nam Phan at Pancrase 270 back in October 2015. Three time UFC vet Tamura heads into this matchup off a three-fight win streak after losing five in a row previously. Rin Nakai (17-2-1) vs. Priscila de Souza (12-7)  Two-time UFC veteran Naki looks to make it back-to-back wins when she takes on Brazilian de Souza in a flyweight affair. Nakai rebounded following two-straight losses with a third round TKO victory over Raika Emiko at Pancrase 279 back in July. De Souza heads into this matchup off two straight wins and has won four of her last five fights.   November 18th – PXC 55 (Guam) Darren Uyenoyama (10-5) vs. Riley Dutro (8-3)  UFC and Strikeforce veteran Uyenoyama aims to make it three-straight wins when he battles fellow American Dutro. Since his UFC release in 2013, Uyenoyama ha won two-straight fights competing under the PXC banner. Dutro  meanwhile is riding a four-fight win streak into this contest.   November 18th – Ring of Combat 57 (Atlantic City, New Jersey)  Julian Lane (11-7-1) vs. Andre Harrison (14-0)  TUF 16 competitor Lane looks to get back on the winning track against former Titan FC champion Harrison. Lane won the CES lightweight title back in 2014 but has since gone on a bit of a skid, losing four of his last six fights. Harrison last defeated Bellator veteran Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra at Titan FC 41 back in September by unanimous decision and went a perfect 7-0 under the Titan FC banner. This matchup will take place at a 150-pound catchweight.   November 19th – Global Knockout 8 (Jackson, California)  Lisa Ellis (15-10) vs. Celine Haga (10-13)  Ellis has two bouts scheduled this month as she takes on Norwegian fighter Haga. Ellis’ 32-year old opponent has won four-straight fights all by way of submission.   November 23rd – Victory FC 53 (Waterloo, Iowa)  Mike “Biggie” Rhodes (10-4) vs. Ronald Stallings (14-7)  Two UFC veterans clash in a middleweight championship bout as current title holder Rhodes battles challenger Stallings. Rhodes defeated Rakim Cleveland by submission at Victory FC 51 back in June to capture the 185-pound championship and has not won four-straight fights since his UFC release in 2014. Stallings has won two of his last three fights and will be making his Victory FC debut. Jeff Curran (36-17-1) vs. Raufeon Stots (6-0)  UFC/WEC and Bellator veteran Curran looks for his first win since 2013 when he takes on undefeated 27-year old Stots. Curran hasn’t fought since a first round knockout loss to Melvin Blumer at RFA 24 in March 2015. The 39-year old has won just once in last five fights. Slots has won four of his six career fights by stoppage and competes for the fourth time this year.     Is there a notable MMA veteran competing this month that I missed? Hit me up on Twitter @LynchOnSports and I’ll add them in.    

Written by James Lynch

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