When fighters are given their release from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC or Bellator – 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.com, I take a look at some regional/overseas MMA matchups for the month of March and rather than listing off the top fights outside these major organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you might recognize on upcoming fight cards.
Fight Nights Global 84 – Mar 2 (Bratislava, Slovakia)
Viktor Pesta (12-4) vs. Alexandr Gladkov (11-1)
Former UFC heavyweight Pesta looks for his third win in a row as he faces off against Gladkov. The 27-year-old went 1-4 in the UFC earning a win over Konstantin Erokhin and suffering losses to Ruslan Magomedov, Derrick Lewis, Marcin Tybura and Alexey Oleinik. Since then he’s won back-to-back fights by stoppage since leaving the UFC last year. Gladkov heads into this matchup on a six fight win streak and hasn’t lost since Oct. 2013.
Ali Bagautinov (17-7) vs. Andy Young (11-9)
Former UFC flyweight title challenger Bagautinov looks to make it three wins in a row for the first time since Feb. 2014 when he faces BAMMA veteran Young. The 32-year-old is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Danny Martinez at Fight Nights Global 76. Young meanwhile is coming off a majority decision loss to Daniel Barez at BAMMA 32 and will be making his Fight Nights Global debut.
KSW 42 – Mar 3 (Lodz, Poland)
Scott Askham (15-4) vs. Michal Materla (25-5)
UFC veteran Askham looks to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since June 2014 when he faes Materla. Askham is coming off a split decision victory over Luke Barnatt at ACB 70 in a matchup that was surrounded by controversy as Askham clearly won the matchup. Materla is currently riding a three fight win streak with all of those wins coming by knockout.
Alliance MMA: @ The Arnold Sports Festival – Mar. 3 (Columbus, Ohio)
Justin Edwards (9-5) vs. Devonte Smith (6-1)
TUF 25 contestant and UFC veteran Edwards competes for the first time since Feb. 2017 when he faces rising lightweight prospect Smith. Edwards defeated Joe Stevenson on TUF 25 but was eliminated from the competition when he lost via submission to Tom Gallicchio. Smith meanwhile is coming off an impressive TKO victory over fellow prospect Nick Gherts and heads into this matchup on a two-fight win streak.
BAMMA 34 – Mar 9 (London, England)
Colin Fletcher (15-9) vs. Walter Gahadza (16-2)
TUF Smashes Fletcher looks to avoid two straight losses when he faces fellow UK fighter Gahadza. Fletcher had his two fight win streak snapped in his last bout when he lost a decision to Anthony Dizy at BAMMA 33 in December. Gahadza meanwhile looks for his first win since May 2016 as he’s coming off back-to-back losses.
ACB 83 – Mar 10 (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Thiago Silva (20-6) vs. Mikhail Kolobegov (11-3)
UFC veteran Silva looks for his fifth win in his last six fights when he battles Russian fighter Kolobegov. Silva is coming off a TKO victory over Jose Daniel Toledo Canellas at ACB 74 back in November. Kolobegov meanwhile hasn’t lost since Nov. 2013 and is unbeaten in his last seven fights.
Daniel Sarafian (10-6) vs. Carlos Eduardo (17-4)
TUF Brazil’s Sarafian looks for two-straight wins when he battles fellow Brazilian fighter Eduardo. Sarafian hasn’t competed since a unanimous decision win over Austen Heidlage a LFA: Sioux Falls Fight Night 1 back in April 2017. Eduardo meanwhile is currently riding a six fight win streak.
Brett Cooper (24-13) vs. Andre Santos (38-10)
Former Bellator title challenger Cooper aims to make it four wins in his last five fights when he faces Santos. Cooper is coming off a second-round TKO win over Sharaf Davlatmurodov at ACB 76. Santos meanwhile hasn’t competed since a Nov. 2015 unanimous decision win over UFC veteran Josh Neer at Bellator 146.
Christos Giagos (14-6) vs. Herdeson Batista (13-2)
UFC veteran Giagos looks to avoid back-to-back losses as he faces Brazil’s Batista. Giagos is coming off a split decision loss to Shamil Nikaev at ACB 71 in September which snapped his three-fight win streak. Batista meanwhile had his 13-fight win streak snapped after losing a unanimous decision to Ali Bagov at ACB 71.
Road FC 46 – Mar. 10 (Seoul, South Korea)
Siala Siliga “Mighty Mo” (12-5) vs. Hyun Man Myung (5-3)
47-year old Bellator veteran Siliga looks for his seventh win in a row when he faces Myung in a open weight contest. “Mighty Mo” has finished all of his opponents during that winning streak, including a second-round TKO win over Dong Guk Kang in his last bout at Road FC 40. Myung meanwhile is coming off a TKO win over Chris Barnett at Road FC 41 an has remained unbeaten in his last three fights.
Rony Torres (36-5) vs. Shamil Zavurov (34-5-1)
Former UFC/WSOF fighter Torres looks for his 12th win in a row when he faces Russian fighter Zavurov. The 31-year-old is coming off a first-round submission win over Tom Santos at Road FC 44 in November. Zavurov meanwhile is currently riding a five-fight win streak, with all of those wins coming by decision.
Beatdown 21 – Mar. 10 (New Town, North Dakota)
Johnny Case (22-6) vs. Brandon Logano (4-1)
Former UFC lightweight Case looks for his first win since Nov. 2015 when he faces rising prospect Logano. Case heads into this matchup off back-to-back losses against Jake Matthews and Tony Martin, which promoted his release from the Las Vegas based promotion. The 28-year-old has never lost three fights in a row in his career. Logano meanwhile is coming off back-to-back wins including a unanimous decision victory over Joe Elmore at NFC 100 back in October.
Mike ‘Biggie’ Rhodes (10-5) vs. Bryan Baker (18-5)
UFC veteran Rhodes looks for his fifth win in his last six fights when he meets former Bellator standout Baker. Rhodes is coming off a first-round submission loss to Rafael Lovato Jr. at Bellator 181 which snapped his four-fight win streak. Baker hasn’t competed since a Feb. 2013 TKO loss to Douglas Lima at Bellator 90 and he’ll be looking for his first win since May 2012.
Rob Emerson (19-12) vs. Chino Duran (8-11)
TUF 5 and Bellator vet Emerson looks to avoid two-straight losses when he faces Duran in a bantamweight contest. The 36-year-old lost his Victory FC bantamweight title to Roufusport’s Raufeon Stots at Victory FC 56 in his last bout which took place in April 2017. Duran meanwhile hasn’t won a fight since Feb. 2014 and heads into this matchup on a four-fight skid.
Carina Damm (23-14) vs. Alexa Connors (4-2)
Strikeforce veteran Damm looks to snap a two-fight skid when she faces Invicta FC bantamweight Connors. The 39-year-old is coming off a split decision loss to Jessica-Rose Clark at Titan FC 35 and will be looking for her first win since June 2016. Connors meanwhile is coming off a first-round TKO loss to Katharina Lehner at Invicta FC 25 which snapped her four-fight win streak.
Pancrase 294 – Mar. 11 (Tokyo, Japan)
Issei Tamura (11-8) vs. Yoshinori Horie (6-0)
Former UFC bantamweight Tamura looks for his second-straight win when he faces fellow Japanese fighter Horie. Tamura has won four of his last five fights including a unanimous decision win over Takuma Suzuki at Pancrase 291. Horie meanwhile is a 22-year-old undefeated prospect who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Kazushi Sugiyama at Pancrase 291 in November.
CFFC 70 – Mar 17 (Hollywood, Florida)
Colton Smith (7-4) vs. Sean Brady (9-0)
TUF 16 winner Smith looks for his fifth win in a row when he battles CFFC welterweight champion Brady. The 30-year-old hasn’t fought since April 2016, where he won by unanimous decision over Joey Valadez. Smith went 1-3 in the UFC defeating Mike Ricci while losing to Robert Whittaker, Michael Chiesa and Carlos Diego Ferreira. Brady meanwhile is 25-years-old and won the vacant title back at CFFC 65 in May of last year, defeating Tanner Saraceno by first-round submission. He then followed that up with a second-round submission win over Mike Jones at CFFC 68.
Cage Warriors 92 – Mar. 24 (London, England)
Vaughan Lee (14-13-1) vs. Jack Shore (7-0)
UFC veteran Lee looks for his first win since Mar. 2014 when he faces the undefeated Shore in a bantamweight contest. The 35-year-old has lost four straight fights including a TKO loss to Nathaniel Wood at Cage Warriors 82 in April 2017. Shore meanwhile is coming off a first-round submission victory over Ayton De Paepe at Cage Warriors 89.
864 Fighting Championship: Fight 3 – Mar. 24 (Greenville, South Carolina)
Dominic Waters (9-5) vs. Cody Wilson (10-4)
Former UFC welterweight Waters looks to snap a three-fight skid when he faces fellow American Wilson. Waters went 0-3 in the UFC losing to George Sullivan, Dong Hyun Kim and most recently Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 87. The 28-year-old will be looking for his first win since May 2015. Meanwhile Wilson is coming off a unanimous decision win over Codale Ford at Primus FC in December which snapped his two-fight losing streak.
Invicta FC 28 – Mar 24 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
DeAnna Bennett (8-3-1) vs. Karina Rodriguez (6-2)
TUF 25’s Bennett returns to the Invicta FC cage and faces prospect Rodriguez in a flyweight contest. Bennett went to a majority decision draw against Melinda Fabian in her UFC debut back in December, which promoted the UFC to release her. The 33-year-old will be looking for her first win since Sept. 2015. Rodriguez meanwhile is riding a three-fight win streak, including a unanimous decision win over Christine Ferea at Invicta FC 26.
Pearl Gonzalez (6-3) vs. Kali Robbins (5-0)
Former UFC bantamweight Gonzalez makes her Invicta FC debut against undefeated Robbins. The 31-year-old went 0-2 in the UFC losing to Cynthia Calvillo and most recently Poliana Botelho at UFC 216. Gonzalez will be looking for her first win since April 2016. Robbins meanwhile is coming off a first-round submission victory over Sharon Jacobson back in August in her Invicta FC debut.
Fight Nights Global 85 – Mar. 30 (Moscow, Russia)
Rousimar Palhares (19-8-1) vs. Aliaskhab Khizriev (11-0)
Former WSOF welterweight champion Palhares faces Russian fighter Khizriev. The 38-year-old is coming off split draw against Shamil Amirov at Fight Nights Global 73. Khizriev meanwhile is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yasubey Enomoto at Fight Nights Global 74 which pushed his winning streak to 11-straight.
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 or fix it up. Thanks.