Mixed Martial Arts Veteran Watch: January 2017

veteranwatchjan17_newWhen 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 January and rather than listing off the top fights outside these major organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you might recognise on upcoming events.   January 6th – WKG (Heilongjiang, China)  Yan Cabral (12-3) vs. Shane Young (10-2)  UFC vet Cabral competes for the first time since his UFC release as he battles Australian fighter Young. Cabral went 2-3 in the UFC, defeating David Mitchell and Naoyuki Kotani while losing matchups to Zak Cummings, Johnny Case and Reza Madadi. Young meanwhile heads into this matchup on a five-fight win streak.   January 13th – TKO 37: Rivals (Montreal, Quebec)  Maiquel Falcao (36-9) vs. Todd Stoute (8-3)  UFC/Bellator veteran Falcao looks to push his winning streak to three-straight as he battles Canadian Stoute. Since leaving Bellator in 2013, the 35-year old has gone 6-4, with five of those six victories coming by way of stoppage. Stoute heads into this matchup off three-straight wins and hasn’t lost since 2014.   January 13th – Absolute Championship Berkut 51 (Los Angeles, California)  Thiago Silva (18-5) vs. Jared Torgeson (17-14)  UFC/WSOF vet Silva looks for his first three-fight win streak since 2008 when he battles American Torgeson. After losing back-to-back fights in 2015, Silva rebounded with two straight wins including a knockout victory over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou back in November. Torgeson heads into this matchup off a three-fight win streak. Paul Buentello (35-17) vs. Tim Hague (21-13)  Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Buentello returns to action against fellow UFC vet Hague. Buentello fought three times in 2016, going 2-1 with wins over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Eric Prindle, while losing to Denis Goltsov. Hague has lost four of his last five fights including a 33 second TKO loss to Michał Andryszak in his last fight at ACB 41. Rodney Wallace (26-12-1) vs. Josh Clark (12-3)  UFC veteran Wallace battles TUF 19 competitor Clark in a light heavyweight affair. After losing back-to-back fights Wallace rebounded with a unanimous decision victory over Julio Gallegos in his last fight at Conflict MMA 42. Clark took all of 2015 off and went 1-1 in 2016 earning a win over Brent Knopp in his last fight and losing to Trevin Giles at RFA 41. Jesse Taylor (30-15) vs. G. Martinez Ayme (9-4)  WSOF/UFC veteran Taylor battles Cuban born welterweight Ayme. Taylor heads into this matchup losing three of his last four fights, while Ayme has gone 1-2 in his last three fights. Luis Palomino (24-13) vs. Musa Khamanaev (17-4)  Former WSOF title challenger Palomino aims to get back on the winning track as he battles Russian fighter Khamanev. “Baboon” has lost four of his last five fights and competes for the first time outside WSOF since 2013. Khamanaev is coming off back-to-back victories and has only lost once in his last ten fights. Pat Healy (30-22) vs. Leandro Silva (19-5-1)  A pair of UFC veterans clash in a lightweight affair as former Titan FC champion Healy battles Brazilian Silva. Healy went 2-2 in Titan FC earning wins over Marcus Edwards and Muhsin Corbbrey, while suffering setbacks to Rick Hawn and Gesias Cavalcante. Silva competes for the first time since his UFC release and is on a two-fight skid.   January 13th – LFA 1: Peterson vs. Higo (Dallas, Texas)  Damon Jackson (10-1-1) vs. Charles Cheeks III (11-5)  Former UFC featherweight Jackson looks to make it back-to-back wins when he battles Cheeks III. After being released from the UFC after his majority draw with Levan Makashvili, Jackson rebounded with a win over Levi Mowles at Legacy FC 61. Cheeks meanwhile is 4-1 in his last five fights.   January 14th – Fight Exclusive Night 15: Final Strike (Lubin, Poland) Matt Horwich (29-25-1) vs. Filip Tomczak (4-0)  UFC veteran Horwich looks to get back on the winning track as he battles Polish fighter Tomczak. Horwich heads into this matchup off four-straight losses and will be looking for his first win since 2012. Tomczak is riding a four-fight win streak heading into this matchup   January 20th – LFA 2: Richman vs Stojadinovic (Prior Lake, Minnesota) Mike Richman (18-6) vs. Lazar Stojadinovic (11-5)  Former Bellator title challenger Richman competes for the first time since May 2015 as he battles American Top Team product Stojadinovic. Richman hasn’t competed in the cage for quite some time due to a PED suspension. The 31-year old has won two of his last three fights. Stojadinovic heads into this matchup on a seven-fight win streak and hasn’t lost since 2009. Chico Camus (16-7) vs. Darrick Minner (17-5)  UFC vet Camus looks to make it three-straight wins when he battles RFA veteran Minner. Since his UFC release in 2015, Camus notched two straight victories over Czar Sklavos and Matt Brown. Minner has won nine of his last ten bouts.   January 21st- Titan FC 43 (Coral Gables, Florida)  Pedro Nobre (18-2-2) vs. Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres (3-0)  One time UFC veteran Nobre looks to make it back-to-back wins as he battles Titan FC flyweight champion Torres. Since his UFC release in 2013, Nobre has gone 4-1. Torres made his professional MMA debut in March 2016 and is coming off a second round TKO victory over Abdiel Velazquez at Titan FC 40.   January 27th – CES 41 (Lincoin, Rhode Island)  Matt Bessette (20-7) vs. Kevin Croom (17-7)  Bellator veteran Bessette defends his featherweight title against Croom in the main event. The 31-year old heads into this matchup off five-straight wins with all five of those victories coming by way of stoppage. Croom is 2-3 in his last five fights and heads into this matchup off a second round submission loss to Tatsuya Ando at Shooto Pacific Rim Double Championship back in November.   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

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