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 January 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.
Dominate FC 3 – Jan. 5 (Tacoma, Washington)
Anthony Hamilton (17-9) vs. Jared Torgeson (18-19)
Card moved to March
Fight Night 9: Lethbridge – Jan. 25 (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada)
Joe Riggs (48-18-1) vs. Matt Dwyer (11-4) – Middleweight Title
UFC/Bellator veteran Riggs defends his middleweight title against former UFC welterweight Dwyer in the main event. Riggs is winless in his last two fights as he suffered a knee injury against Artem Frolov at M-1 Challege 93 and went to a draw against Boris Polezhay at M-1 Challenge 90. Prior to that, the 36-year-old was on a seven-fight win streak. Dwyer meanwhile has remained undefeated since leaving the UFC in 2016, picking up wins over UFC veterans Jesse Ronson and Dominique Steele in the process.
Chris Curtis (19-5) vs. Mike Graves (6-1-2) – Welterweight Title
Contender Series Veteran Curtis defends his welterweight title against former UFC welterweight Graves. Curtis is riding a six-fight win streak and hasn’t lost a fight since a Apr. 2014 split decision loss to Nah-shon Burrell at CES 34.
ACA 91 – Jan 26 (Gronzy, Russia)
Elias Silverio (14-4-1) vs. Arbi Agujev (32-7)
Former UFC lightweight Silverio looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the frist time since 2015 when he faces Agjev in the main event. Silverio is coming off a unaninmous decision loss to Nikolay Aleksakhin at RCC 3 in July. Agujev meanwhile is currently riding a four-fight win streak.
Brett Cooper (25-13) vs. Azamat Amagov (10-1)
Former Bellator title challenger Cooper looks for his third straight win when he faces Russian Amagov. Cooper has won four of his last five fights, finishing three of those opponents in the process. Amagov meanwhile hasn’t fought since a Dec. 2017 win over UFC veteran Dylan Andrews.
Roan Carneiro (21-12) vs. Husein Kushagov (7-5)
UFC veteran Carnerio looks to snap a two-fight skid when he faces Kushagov. The 40-year-old has lost three of his last four fights and will be looking for his first win since Sept. 2016. Kushagov meanwhile has lost two of his last three fights.
CES 54 – Jan 19 (Lincoln, Rhode Island)
Eric Spicely (10-4) vs. Stephen Regman (9-3)
Former UFC middleweight Spicely competes outside the UFC for the first time since Oct. 2015 when he faces Regman in a middleweight bout. Spicely is coming off three-straight losses to Antonio Carlos Junior, Gerald Meerscahert and Darren Stewart. The Tristar product will be looking for his first win since Jan. 2017. Regman meanwhile heads into his CES debut on a four-fight win streak.
LFA 58 – Jan 25 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Joby Sanchez (11-4) vs. Demetrius Wilson (6-2)
UFC veteran Sanchez looks to avoid a career high three-fight losing streak when he faces Wilson in a flyweight bout. Sanchez went winless in his return to the UFC losing to Roberto Sanchez and most recently Mark De La Rosa at UFC Fight Night 139. WIlson meanwhile has won five of his last six fights including a victory over Contender Series veteran Kevin Gray.
Cage Titans 42 – Jan 26 (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
Joe Giannetti (7-1-1) vs. Connor Barry (5-2)
TUF 27 Finalist Giannetti looks to get back on the winning track against Barry in the main event. The 23-year-old lost his first professional bout to Mike Trizano at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale in July and then followed that up with a draw against Josh Harvey at Cage Titans 41. Barry meanwhile is coming off back-to-back victories.
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.