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 August 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 #5: Regular Season – Aug 2 (Long Island, NY)
Brian Foster (28-10) vs. Nathan Shulte (12-3)
UFC veteran Foster looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since Nov. 2015 when he faces Brazilian Shulte. Foster is coming off a TKO win over fellow UFC vet Ramsey Nijem at PFL 2018 #2 in last month. Shulte is coming off an impressive win over former UFC lightweight Chris Wade at PFL 2018 #2 where he won by unanimous decision.
Efrain Escudero (30-13) vs. Islam Mamedov (15-2)
TUF 8 winner Escudero looks for his third straight win when he faces Mamedov. Escuardo is coming off a submission victory over fellow UFC vet Jason High at PFL 2018 #2 in his promotional debut. Mamedov defeated Yuki Kawana at PFL 2018 #2 and hasn’t lost a fight since July 2009.
Rashid Magomedov (20-2) vs. Luiz Firmino (20-9)
Former UFC lightweight Magomedov makes his PFL debut against Firmino. Magomedov was slated to face Jason High at PFL 2018 #2 before an injury forced him off the card. The 34-year old is 13-1 i his last 14-fights. FIrmino has lost three of his last four fights including a unanimous decision loss to Will Brooks at PFL 2018 #2.
Vinny Magalhaes (15-9) vs. Brandon Halsey (11-3)
UFC veteran Magalhaes faces former Bellator champion Halsey. Magalhes snapped at two-fight skid when he submitted Jamie Abdallah in the first-round at PFL 2018 #2. Halsey is coming off a TKO victory over former WSOF heavyweight champion Smealinho Rama at PFL 2018 #2.
Will Brooks (19-4) vs. Robert Watley (11-1)
Former Bellator lightweight champion Brooks faces former LFA lightweight champion Watley. Brooks snapped a three-fight losing streak when he defeated Luiz Firmino at PFL 2018 #2. The American Top Team product looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since July 2016. Meanwhile Watley defeated UFC veteran Thiago Tavares via TKO in a controversal finish in his PFL debut last month and has won eight-striaght fights.
Thiago Tavares (21-8-1) vs. Arthur Estrazulas (10-3)
UFC veteran Tavares looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since Sept. 2008 when he faces fellow Brazilian Estrazulas. Tavares is coming off a loss to Robert Watley in his PFL debut and has alternated between wins and losses in his last five fights. Estrazulas meanwhile makes his PFL debut and is coming in on a two-fight win streak.
Chris Wade (12-4) vs. Yuki Kawana (14-2-5)
Former UFC lightweight Wade looks to bounce back from his loss to Natan Schulte when he faces Kawana. Wade has lost three of his last four fights and looks to avoid two-straight losses for the second time in his career. Kawana meanwhile is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Islam Mamedov at PFL 2018 #2 which snapepd his four-fight win streak.
CES 51 – Aug 3 (Lincoln, Rhode Island)
Sean Soriano (11-5) vs. Bruce Boyington (15-11)
Former UFC featherweight Soriano looks for his first three-fight win streak since May 2013 when he faces former WSOF fighter Boyington. Since leaving the UFC in 2015, Soriano has gone 3-2 and is currently riding a two-fight win streak. Boyington snapped a three-fight losing streak in his last bout when he submitted Taylor Trahan at NEF 32 in February and he’ll be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since May 2016.
X-1 World Events 50: Day 2 – Aug 4 (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Jason Novelli (11-3-1) vs. Jace Kaopua (4-1)
Former UFC lightweight Novelli competes for the first time since Nov. 16 as he faces Kaopua. Novelli went 0-2 in the UFC, losing to David Teymur and Polo Reyes in his last fight. The 39-year-old will be looking for his first win since Mar. 2016. Kaopua meanwhile is coming off the first loss of his career which snapped his four-fight win streak.
LFA 47 – Aug 10 (Dallas,Texas)
Sean Spencer (12-6) vs. Bilal Williams (8-7)
Former UFC welterweight Spencer competes for the first time since June 2016 when he faces Williams. Spencer has lost three straight fights in the UFC to Catal Pendred, Mike Pyle and most recently Yancy Mederios at UFC 203. He will be looking for his first win since Sept. 2014. Williams meanwhile has lost five of his last six fights.
William Macario (9-3) vs. Evan Cutts (9-3)
UFC veteran Macario looks for his third-straight win when he faces Cutts in a welterweight matchup. Macario is coming off back-to-back wins in the Fight2Night promotion and will be looking for his first two fight win streak since June 2012. Cutts meanwhile has won three-straight and four of his last five.
Rebel FC 9 – Aug. 11 (Bejing, China)
Antonio Silva (19-12) vs. Wenbo Liu (11-7-1)
Former UFC title challenger Silva looks for his first win since June 2015 when he faces Liu. Silva has lost five-fights in a row, with four of those losses coming by knockout. Liu meanwhile has won three of his last four fights.
Hacran Dias (24-6-1) vs. Gadzhi Rabadanov (8-3-2)
UFC veteran Dias looks for his second-straight win when he faces Russian fighter Rabadanov. Dias snapped a three-fight skid in his last bout, defeating Mauricio Machado at Shooto Brasil 84 in May. Prior to that he had lost three straight fights to Cub Sawnson, Andre Fili and Jared Gordon. Rabadanov meanwhile has won back-to-back fights and is 5-1-1 in his last seven fights.
Takeya Mizugaki (22-13-2) vs. Guanyou Ning (5-4-1)
Former UFC bantamweight Mizugaki looks to make it two in a row when he faces Ning. Mizugaki snapped a four-fight losing streak when he defeated Pietro Menga at ACB 87 in May. Ning meanwhile looks for his first win since May 2015 as he’s coming off back-to-back losses.
Premier MMA Championship – Aug. 11 (Covington, Kentucky)
Justin Edwards (9-6) vs. Carlo Prater (33-19-1)
A pair of UFC veterans clash in the main event of this card as Edwards faces Prater. TUF 25 competitor Edwards is coming off a TKO loss to Devonte Smith at Alliace MMA back in March and he’ll be looking for his first win since Sept. 2016. Prater meanwhile looks for his third-straight win as he’s won back-to-back matchups. Prior to that, the 33-year-old was on a six-fight losing streak.
RIZIN 12 – Aug 12. (Nagoya, Japan)
Hatsu Hioki (29-11-2) vs. Mikura Asakura (6-1)
Former UFC featherweight Hioki looks to get back on the winning track as he faces Asakura. Hioki has gone 2-4 in his last six fights, most recently coming off a TKO loss to Hiroyuki Takaya at Pancrase 290 in October. Asakura meanwhile has won three of his last four fights.
Kaitlin Young (7-9-1) vs. Reina Miura (9-1)
Former Invicta FC bantamweight Young competes for the first time since Nov. 2014 as she faces Miura in a 143.3-pound matchup. Young will be looking for her first since since Jan. 2012 and heads into her RIZIN debut on a four-fight losing streak. Miura meanwhile is coming off back-to-back submission wins.
Kiichi Kunimoto (19-7-2) vs. Ryuichiro Sumimura (13-6)
UFC veteran Kunimoto faces fellow Japanese fighter Sumimura in a 169.8-pound matchup. Kunimoto rebounded from two-straight losses as he defeated Satoru Kitaoka at for RIZIN back in December. Sumimura meanwhile heads into this matchup on a six fight win streak.
Angela Magana (11-9) vs. Kanako Murata (7-1)
Controversal former UFC strawweight Magana looks for her first win since Aug. 2011 when she faces Murata. Magana went 0-3 in the UFC, most recently losing to Amanda Bobby Cooper at UFC 218 in December. Murata meanwhile has won her last three fights and will be making her second appearnce for RIZIN.
BRAVE CF 14 – Aug 18 (Tangier, Morocco)
Jeremy Kennedy (11-1) vs. Danyel Pilo (10-1-2)
Kennedy competes outside the UFC for the first time since May 2016 when he faces Pilo in the main event. The 25-year-old is coming off his first career loss when he suffered a TKO setback against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 221 in February. Pilo meanwhile is riding a four-fight win streak with all of those victories coming by stoppage.
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.