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 June 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.
PFL 2018 #1: Regular Season – June 7 (New York City, NY)
Steven Siler (29-17) vs. Magomed Idrisov (8-1)
UFC vet Siler looks to snap a two-fight skid when he meets Idrisov who makes his North Amerian debut. Siler has lost three of his last four fights and will be looking for his first win since Aug. 2016. Idrisov meanwhile hasn’t lost since his pro-debut in 2012 and heads into this matchup on an eight fight win streak.
Marcos Galvao (18-9-1) vs. Nazareno Malegarie (34-4)
Former Bellator bantamweight champion Galvao makes his PFL debut against former UFC featherweight Malegarie. Galvao has lost three of his last four fights and competes outside Bellator for the first time since June 2013. Melegarie heads into this contest on a five-fight win streak.
Shawn Jordan (19-8) vs. Phillipe Lins (10-3)
Former UFC heavyweight Jordan looks for his first win since Oct. 2016 when he faces Bellator vet Lins. Jordan has gone 1-2 since leaving the UFC in 2015, most recently coming off a loss to Blagoi Ivanov at WSOF 35 in March 2017. Lins has lost back-to-back fights and competes for the first time since Aug. 2017.
Jared Rosholt (15-4) vs. Valdrin Istrefi (12-1)
UFC veteran Rosholt looks for his second-straight win when he battles Istrefi who will be making his North American debut. The 31-year-old American is coming off a unanimous decision win over Nick Rossborough at PFL: Everett last July and will look for back-to-back wins for the first time since Nov. 2015. Istrefi meanwhile has won five-straight fights and has finished three of his opponents during that span.
Josh Copeland (16-4) vs. Jack May (9-3)
A pair of UFC veterans clash in a heavyweight affair as Copeland battles May. “Cuddly Bear” has won four-straight fights and hasn’t lost since a June 2016 setback to Blagoi Ivanov. May has won back-to-back fights over Tony Lopez and Dave Cryer, but has only competed three times since 2015.
Francimar Barroso (19-7) vs. Daniel Gallemore (7-4)
Brazilian Barroso competes for the first time since his UFC release as he faces Victory FC heavyweight champion Gallemore. Barroso competed primarily at light heavyweight during his career and has lost three of his last four fights. Gallemore has won three of his last four fights, with his lone setback against Mike Kyle at PFL: Fight Night in his last bout.
Prestige FC 10 – June 8 (Fort McMurray, Alberta)
Tony Lopez (60-28) vs. Jared Kilkenny (13-10)
Bellator veteran Lopez heads into this matchup on a four-fight win streak as he battles Canadian Kilkenny. Lopez has already fought four times this year and has finished all of his opponents during that span. Kilkenny meanwhile is coming off a TKO loss to Craig Hudson at Rumble In The Cage 58 in April which snapped his two-fight win streak.
Ring of Combat 63 – June 8 (Atlantic City, New Jersey)
Frankie Perez (10-4) vs. Jerome Mickle (3-5)
Former UFC lightweight Perez looks to avoid three-straight losses for the first time in his career when he faces 30-year-old Mickle. The 29-year-old is coming off back-to-back losses against Marc Diakiese and Chris Wade in the octagon and competes for the first time outside the UFC since Sept. 2014. Mickle meanwhile has lost four of his last five fights and competes for the fourth time this year.
KSW 44 – June 9 (Gdańsk/Sopot, Poland)
Marcin Wrzosek (13-4) vs. Kleber Koike Erbst (23-4-1)
Paul Redmond (14-6) vs. Gracjan Szadzinski (7-2)
Former UFC featherweight Redmond looks for his fourth-straight win when he faces Polish fighter Szadzinksi. The 31-year-old has gone 4-1 since his UFC release in 2015, with his lone setback against Norman Parke at BAMMA 28 in Mar. 2017. Szadzinski meanwhile has won four of his last five fights.
Wagner Prado (13-3) vs. Chris Fields (12-7-1)
UFC veteran Prado aims to make it two wins in a row when he faces “The Housewives’ Choice” Fields in a 205-pound contest. Prado has won five of his last six fights, with all of those bouts finishing inside the scheudled three-rounds. Fields has won two-fights in a row and looks to make it three in a row for the first time since Feb. 2012.
ACB 88 – June 16 (Brisbane, Austraillia)
Thiago Silva (20-7) vs. Chris Camozzi (24-13)
UFC veterans collide in the main event of ACB 88 as Silva battles Camozzi. Silva has lost two of his last three fights and looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since Nov. 2015. Camozzi moves up to light heavyweight for the first time in his career and looks to snap a three-fight losing streak.
Luke Barnatt (14-5) vs. Karol Celinski (15-6-1)
Former UFC middleweight Barnatt faces 37-year-old Celinski in a light heavyweight contest. Barnatt has alternated between wins and losses in his last five fights. Celinski meanwhile has won three-straight fights.
Marcin Held (23-7) vs. Callan Potter (16-6)
UFC/Bellator veteran Held makes his ACB debut against “The Rockstar” Potter. Held left the UFC despite coming off a win over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Fight Night 118 in Oct. 2017 but went 1-3 with the Las Vegas based promotion overall. Since then the 26-year-old has competed in three grappling bouts going 2-1 in the process. Potter hasn’t lost since Sept. 2015 and carries a eight-fight win streak into his ACB debut.
Chase Gormley (14-7) vs. Tanner Boser (14-4)
Former Bellator and UFC heavyweight Gormley looks for his first win since Oct. 2016 when he faces Canadian standout Boser. Gormley has lost back-to-back fights against Sergei Kharitonov and Denis Goltsov, being knocked out in both of those matchups. Boser meanwhile has two-fights in a row and has won five of his last seven fights.
PFL 2018 #2: Regular Season – June 21 (Chicago, Illinois)
Will Brooks (18-4) vs. Luiz Firmino (20-8)
Former Bellator lightweight champion Brooks looks to snap a career high three-fight losing streak when he meets Firmino in a 155-pound matchup. Brooks was on a eight-fight win streak (including back-to-back wins over Michael Chandler) before signing with the UFC where he ended up going 1-3 before he was released. He now face Firmino who has gone 2-2 in his last four fights.
Chris Wade (12-3) vs. Natan Shulte (11-3)
Wade competes outside the UFC for the first time since May 2014 when he faces Brazil’s Shutle. The 30-year-old snapped a two-fight skid in his last bout, earning a unanimous decision victory over Frankie Perez at UFC on FOX 25. Meanwhile Shutle dropped his WSOF debut in a submission loss to Islam Mamedov at WSOF 35 which snapped his 10-fight winning streak.
Rashid Magomedov (20-2) vs. Jason High (21-6)
Former UFC lightweight Magomedov makes his PFL debut against High. “Highlander” went 5-1 in the UFC with his lone setback coming against Beneil Dariush where he lost a unanimous decision back at UFC Fight Night 86. High is coming off a unanimous decision win over Caros Fodor at PFL: Daytona and has won three of his last four fights.
Ramsey Nijem (9-6) vs. Brian Foster (27-10)
TUF 25’s Nijem makes his promotional debut against former WSOF title challenger Foster. Hasn’t competed since a split decision loss to Andrew Holbrook at UFC on FOX 16 but did compete on Season 25 of The Ultimate Fighter where he defeated Julian Lane and lost to James Krause. Foster has lost two of his last three fights defeating Luis Firmino and losing to Justin Gaethje and Jon Fitch.
Ronny Markes (18-5) vs. Sean O’Connell (17-9)
UFC veteran Markes looks for his third straight win when he takes on O’Connell in a 205-pound matchup. The 30-year-old is coming off back-to-back wins over Smealinho Rama and Dylan Potter and has won three of his last four fights overall. O’Connell has lost three-straight fights and will be looking for his first win since May 2015.
Thiago Tavares (21-7-1) vs. Robert Watley (10-1)
Former UFC featherweight Tavares moves back up to the lightweight division to face LFA 155-pound champion Watley. Tavares made his UFC debut in April 2007 and was released from the promotion in 2016 following a TKO loss to Doo Ho Choi. The Brazilian will look for back-to-back wins for the first time since Aug. 2014. Watley won the LFA title last year defeating Thiago Moises by unanimous decision and is currently riding a 10-fight win streak. The 28-year-old hasn’t lost a fight since his pro-debut in June 2014.
Vinny Magalhaes (14-9) vs. Jamie Abdallah (7-2)
UFC veteran Maglhaes looks to snap a two-fight skid when he faces Austrailia’s Abdallah. The 33-year-old jiu-jitsu specalist is coming off back-to-back decision losses to David Branch and Karol Celiński. Meanwhile Abdallah is also coming off two-straight losses to Rob Wilkinson and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. The 27-year-old will be looking for his first win since Sept. 2015.
Destiny MMA – June 23 (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Louis Smolka (11-5) vs. Tycen Lynn (5-2)
Former UFC flyweight Smolka aims to make it two wins in a row when he faces 30-year-old Lynn. Da Last Samurai is coming off a first-round TKO win over Tyrone Christian Gorgonia at Gladiator Challenge, which snapped a four-fight skid. Meanwhile Lynn is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Journey Newson at Combat Games 60: Supreme Showdown 3 which snapped his three-fight win streak.
AMMO Fight League 5: Battlegrounds – June 23 (West Springfield, MA)
Drew Fickett (42-21) vs. Jon Manley (11-4)
XFN: Back to the 02 Arena – June 28 (Prague, Czech Republic)
Karlos Vemola (20-5) vs. Patrik Kincl (19-8)
Former UFC light heavyweight Vemola drops down to middleweight against ACB veteran Kinci. Vemola has won 11 of his last 12 fights since leaving the UFC in 2013, with the lone setback during that stretch against current UFC middleweight Jack Hermansson at Warrior Fight Series 4. Meanwhile Kinci is unbeaten in his last seven fights.
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.