Mixed Martial Arts Veteran Watch: December 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.   December 2nd – ONE Championship: Age of Domination (Pasay City, Philippines) Brandon Vera (14-7) vs. Hideki Sekine (7-0)  UFC veteran Vera fights for the first time this year as he takes on undefeated Japanese fighter Sekine. Vera won the ONE heavyweight title in his last fight, defeating Paul Cheng by first round TKO. Sekine is 43 years old and competes for the first time since 2014. He’s won six of his seven career fights by stoppage.   December 2nd – Brave CF 2: Dynasty (Isa Town, Bahrain)  Masio Fullen (11-6) vs. Alan Omer (19-5)  A pair of UFC veterans clash in the main event as TUF Latin American fighter Fullen battles Iraq born Omer. Fullen is coming off a first round TKO over Abdul Muneer back at Brave FC 1 back in September which snapped his two-fight losing streak. Omer also boucned back from two-straight losses, earning a unanimous decision over Hiroyuki Takaya at EuroFC01 in October. Walel Watson (13-8) vs. Elias Boudegzdame (12-4)  Former UFC bantamweight Watson competes for the first time since his loss to Brett Johns last year at Titan FC 33 as he battles 23-year old Boudegzdame. Watson has gone 4-3 since his UFC release in 2012. Boudegzdame has won three-straight fights by stoppage.   December 2nd – Titan FC 42: Lima vs. Jackson (Coral Gables, Florida)  Dhiego Lima (12-4) vs. Jason Jackson (6-2)  Former UFC welterweight Lima defends his Titan FC 170-pound title for the first time against TUF 21’s Jackson. Lima won the welterweight title defeating fellow UFC vet David Michaud by unanimous decision at Titan FC 39. Since his UFC release last year, Lima has gone 2-0. Since losing to Mike Graves on TUF 21 last year, Jackson has won back-to-back fights by stoppage. Jack May (8-3) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (12-1)  Two-time UFC vet May looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2014 when he takes on Swiss powerhouse Oezdemir. Since his UFC release in 2014, May has gone 1-1 suffering a loss to UFC heavyweight Chase Sherman and rebounding with a win over Tony Lopez at King of the Cage back in August. Oezdemir heads into this matchup off back-to-back wins. Kurt Holobaugh (15-4) vs. Yosdenis Cedeno (10-5-1)  Two UFC veterans collide in a lightweight affair as former Titan FC featherweight champion Holobaugh battles Cedeno. Holobaugh has gone 5-2 since his UFC release in 2013 and competes at lightweight for the second straight fight. Cedeno is coming off a split decision draw against Jason Novelli at Titan FC 38 and will be looking for his first win since 2014. Hayder Hassan (6-3) vs. Adriano Capitulino (4-1)  TUF 21’s Hassan looks to get back on the winning track when he takes on 4-1 Brazilian Capitulino. After going undefeated on Season 21 of The Ultimate Fighter, Hassan dropped back to back fights in the UFC against Kamaru Usman and Vicente Luque. Due to injuries, Hassan will compete for the first time this year. Capitulino meanwhile is coming off the first loss of his career and has only gone the distance once in five career bouts. Gesias (JZ) Cavalcante (20-9-1) vs. Robert Turnquest (6-2)  Strikeforce/PRIDE veteran Cavalcante competes for the first time since losing his Titan FC lightweight title as he battles Turnquest. After racking up back-to-back victories, JZ lost his Titan FC title to Freddy Assuncao at Titan FC 40, suffering defeat by fourth round submission. Turnquest came through in his TItan FC debut, submitting Taylor Krahl at Titan FC 41, which was his third win in his last four fights.   December 2nd – Legacy FC 63 (Tulsa Oklahoma) Gerald Harris (22-5) vs. Aaron Cobb (6-3)  WSOF/UFC vet Harris competes for the first time since 2013 when he takes on Cobb who is making his Legacy FC debut. Harris went 5-2 after being released by the UFC in 2010, including with his only losses coming to UFC veterans James Head and Josh Burkman. Cobb also competes for the first time since 2013 and has won three of his last four fights.   December 3rd – KSW 37 (Krakow, Poland)  John Maguire (24-8) vs. Borys Mańkowski (18-5-1)  Five-time UFC veteran Maguire looks for his sixth win in a row as he battles Polish fighter Mankowski. Maguire fights for the fifth time this year and has won three of those four fights by submission. Mankowski meanwhile hasn’t lost since 2012 and heads into this fight off five-straight wins.   December 3rd – Europeon Beatdown 1 (Mons, Belguim)  Efrain Escudero (25-11) vs. Nelson Carvalho (9-3)  TUF 8 winner Escudero looks to make it two-straight wins as he battles Swiss fighter Carvalho. After losing two-straight in the UFC to Leandro Silva and Kevin Lee, the 30-year old rebounded with a win over Koshi Matsumoto at VTJ 8th back in September. Carvalho has won four straight fights and hasn’t lost since 2014.   December 9th – Fight Nights Global 56 (Vladivostok, Russia) Maiquel Falcao (36-9) vs. Valdimir Mineev (8-0)  UFC/Bellator vet Falcao aims for back-to-back wins when he battles undefeated Russian Mineev. The 35-year old Brazilian suffered back-to-back losses last year and the rebounded in his last fight with a win over Tyago Moreira at Aspera FC 43. Mineev has won seven of his eight career fights by stoppage.   December 9th – Victory FC 54 (Omaha, Nebraska) Rob Emerson (18-11) vs. Ryan Roberts (21-11-1)  UFC and Bellator veteran Emerson looks to be a multi-division champion in Victory FC as he takes on featherweight champ Roberts. Emerson has gone 6-1 in his last seven fights and captured the Victory FC bantamweight title in his last fight. Roberts hasn’t competed since a September 2015 loss to Adam Townsend.   December 10th – Road FC 35 (Seoul, South Korea) Scott Jorgensen (15-12) vs. Soo Chul Kim (14-5-1)  WEC/UFC veteran Jorgensen competes for the first time since his UFC release when he battles Korean Kim. Since 2013 Jorgensen went 1-6, with his lone win coming against Danny Martinez at UFC Fight Night 42. Kim hasn’t lost since a 2013 setback to ONE FC champion Bibiano Fernandes and heads into this matchup off a eight-fight unbeaten streak. Siala Siliga (Mighty Mo) (10-5) vs. Carlos Toyota (8-8-1)  46-year old Mighty Mo  looks for his fifth win in a row when he battles Japanese heavyweight Toyota. After Bellator released him in 2014, Mo has gone 4-2, with all of his wins coming by way of stoppage. Toyota meanwhile snapped a two-fight skid in his last fight, defeating Gun Oh Shim via 17 second TKO at Road FC 29.   December 10th – IT Fight Series 48 (Columbus, Ohio)  Dan Spohn (13-5) vs. Jeff Hughes (6-0)  Bellator/UFC veteran Spohn looks for his second straight win when he battles undefeated 28-year old Hughes. After losing to UFC vet Rodney Wallace earlier this year at Hard Knocks 48, Spohn rebounded with a win over Rob Morrow at GOTC 21. Hughes competes for the third time this year and has won four of his six fights by stoppage.   December 10th – Imortal FC 6 (Curitiba, Brazil) Fabio Maldonado (22-11) vs. Cristian Torres (11-6)  UFC veteran Maldonado looks for his first win since 2014 when he takes on 24-year old Torres. Maldonado has lost four straight fights (all by decision) including bouts to Quinton Rampage Jackson and Fedor Emelianenko. Torres had his four-fight win streak snapped in his last fight, where he suffered a TKO loss to Elder Ramos at USFFC 28 back in August.   December 16th – Fight Nights Global 57 (Moscow, Russia)  Norman Parke (22-5-1) vs. Akhmet Aliev (14-4)  UFC veteran Parke looks for two-straight wins for the first time since 2013 when he battles Fight Nights vet Aliev. After his UFC release earlier this year following his loss to Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight Night 84, Parke rebounded with a unanimous decision victory over Andrew Fisher at Absolute Championship Berkut 47 back in October. Aliev meanwhile has won four fights in a row and competes for the fourth time this year.   December 10th – BAMMA 27  (Dublin, Ireland)  Niklas Bäckström (10-2) vs. Brian Moore (9-4)  Former UFC featherweight Backstrom looks to make it three-wins in a row when he takes on SBG product Moore. Backstrom lost back to back fights against Mike Wilkinson and Noad Lahat which promoted his release from the Las Vegas based promotion. Since then he’s racked up two straight submission victories against Georgi Stoyanov and Danijel Kokora. Moore has won two in a row and will look for his first three-fight win streak since 2013.   December 16th – Fight Time 34 (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)  Vagner Rocha (13-4) vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo (10-3)  Two UFC veterans clash in the main event as Brazilian fighter Rocha battles two-time UFC vet Izquierdo. After being released from the UFC in 2014 following his loss to Jake Matthews, Rocha has won two-straight fights by knockout and will look to make it three in a row for the first time since 2013. Izquierdo has won four of his last five fights and hasn’t gone the distance since his loss to Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 148.   December 17th – CFFC 62 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Andy Main (11-2-1) vs. Jared Gordon (11-1) TUF 12 contestant Main aims to improve his winning streak to four straight when he battles CFFC vet Gordon. Main has won three in a row by stoppage, including his last fight where he submitted Nam Phan at Pancrase 270. Gordon heads into this contest off back-to-back victories.   December 17th – CXF 5: Night of Champions (Studio City, California)  Chris Beal (10-3) vs. Alfred Khashakyan (7-3)  TUF 18 competitor Beal looks to snap a three-fight losing streak when he battles Glendale Fight Club product Khashakyan. Beal suffered setbacks to Neil Seery, Chris Kelades and Joe Soto which prompted his release from the UFC. Khashakyan had his two-fight win streak snapped in his last fight when he suffered a second round submission loss to Ricardo Ramos at NEF: Dana White Looking for a Fight back in August.   December 17th – Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution (St Petersburg, Russia)  Brett Cooper (22-12) vs. Aslambek Saidov (19-4)  Former Bellator title challenger Cooper looks for his second straight win when he battles KSW vet Saidov. Cooper has lost three of his last five fights, but did earn a victory in his last bout defeating Beslan Isaev via unanimous decision at Absolute Championship Berkut 43. Saidov heads into this contest off four-straight wins.   December 23rd – Victory FC 55 (Topeka, Kansas)  Jake Lindsey (11-4) vs. Dakota Cochrane (26-10)  Former UFC lightweight Lindsay looks to defend his lightweight title against Bellator vet Cochrane. Lindsay has gone 2-2 in his last four fights, including a third round TKO victory against Zak Bucia in his last fight at Victory FC 50. Tristar product Mandell Nallo was initially slated to take on Lindsey, however Cochrane steps up and heads into this matchup off three-straight wins.   December 29th – RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2016: 2nd Round (Saitama, Japan)  Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (32-11-2) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1)  (UPDATE) Bout cancelled due to an injury to Silva. Shane Carwin (12-2) vs. Amir Aliakbari (3-0)  Former UFC intern heavyweight champion Carwin comes out of retirement to fight 28-year old Iranian fighter Aliakbari. Carwin has lost two-straight fights to Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos, and hasn’t competed since 2011. Aliakbari has just three-pro bouts and made his pro-debut in October 2015.   December 31st – RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2016: 2nd Round (Saitama, Japan)  Tatsuya Kawajiri (35-10-2) vs. Kron Gracie (3-0)  Kawajri competes for the first time since his UFC release when he battles Brazilian Gracie. Kawajiri lost back-to-back fights against Dennis Bermudez and Cub Swanson before asking for his release from the Las Vegas based promotion. Gracie has won back-to-back fights in RIZIN submitting Erson Yamamoto and most recently Hideo Tokoro.   Is there a notable MMA veteran competing this month that I missed? Or is there a matchup that has been changed? Hit me up on Twitter @LynchOnSports and I’ll add it in / fix it up. Thanks.  

Written by James Lynch

Leave a Reply

Live Dogs for the TUF Finale Prelims

Premium Oddscast – TUF 24 Finale: Johnson vs Elliott Betting Preview