Mixed Martial Arts Veteran Watch: March 2015

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565When fighters are given their release from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC, Bellator, WSOF or Titan – 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 March and rather than listing off the top matchups outside the major promotions, I point out some familiar names that you might recognize on upcoming events. March 6th – Prize Fighting Championships 8 (Denver, Colorado) Chris Camozzi (20-9-0) vs. Wes Swofford (10-5-0) Camozzi looks for his second straight victory since his UFC release as he takes on MFC veteran Swofford. The TUF 11 member last saw action this past November when he submitted Jeremy Kimball in the first round at PFRR 7. Swofford meanwhile bounced back from a knockout loss last May at MFC 40 to Sam Alvey, by knocking out Tony Lopez this past November at Rouge Fights 28 just 50 seconds into the first round.   March 6th – RFA 24 Smith vs. Romero (Prior Lake, Minnesota) Jeff Curran (36-16-1) vs. Melvin Blumer (11-2-0) In the night’s co-main event, former WEC title challenger Curran returns to the cage for the first time since August 2013 as he battles Blumber, who has won five straight fights. “Big Frog” has lost three of his last four fights while the 33-year-old Blummer has finished four of his last five opponents.   March 6th – Jeremy Horn’s Elite Fight Night 26 (Salt Lake City, Utah) Nick Malalis (24-10-0) vs. Craig Ross (10-9-0) Four time Bellator veteran Mamalis battles Jeremy Horn trained Ross in the nights main event. “Garfield” hasn’t competed since a September 2013 first round submission loss to Czar Sklavos (at Rocky Mountain MMA- Fists of Fury) while “The Boss” was knocked out this past November by Chris Gutierrez (at SCS 23 Redemption) in the first round.   March 7th 2015 – Shamrock Promotions – Heavy Artillery (Kansas City, Missouri) Bobby Voelker (25-12-0) vs. Justin Guthrie (17-7-0) UFC and Strikeforce veteran Voelker looks for his second straight win as he squares off with Guthrie, who has lost three of his last four fights. After his UFC release last year, the 35-year old Voelker bounced back last September with a first round knockout victory over Cedric Marks at Shamrock Promotions – Onslaught.   March 10th – Conflict MMA 25 – Charlotte (Charlotte, North Carolina) Mushin Corbbrey (13-8-0) vs. Chris Cain (4-7-0) WEC and Elite XC veteran Corbbrey looks for his fourth straight victory as he takes on Cain, a loser of five straight fights. Corbbrey has fought a number of established veterans including Nick Diaz, Jim Miller, Anthony Njokuani and Kurt Pellegrino, but has never been able to get over the hump. Cain meanwhile searches for his first win since 2011.   March 13th – Classic Entertainment and Sport 28 (Lincoln, Rhode Island) Rick Hawn (19-4-0) vs. Derek Loffer (9-2-0) Two time Bellator tournament winner Hawn searches for his second straight win as he goes to war with Loffer, a winner of four straight fights. The former Olympic judoka Hawn snapped his two fight losing streak as he defeated Carlo Prater by unanimous decision this past December at Titan FC 32. Loffer has primarily fought for the Iowa Challenge promotion, but did earn a win last March in Bellator over Bobby Reardanz. Richard Patishnock (6-2-0) vs. Luis Felix (12-2) Former WSOF title challenger Patishnock competes for the first time in over a year when he battles Team Rockstar product Felix. Prior to his loss to Justin Gaethje, the 27-year old Patishcock had a 6-1 record and now faces an opponent who’s won seven of his last nine fights.   March 13th- Pacific Xtreme Combat 47  (Guam, Guam) Darren Uyenoyama (9-5-0) vs. Kentaro Watanabe (10-5-0) UFC veteran Uyenoyama competes in his second straight fight for the PXC promotion as he battles Shooto veteran Watanabe. After losing back to back fights in the UFC to Joseph Benaviez and Alptekin Ozkilic, the 35-year old Uyenoyama earned a first round knockout victory this past October against Shane Alvarez at PXC 45. On the flip side, Watanabe has lost two of his last three bouts.   March 13th – Pinnacle Combat 19 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Eric Wisely (22-9-0) vs. Jared Downing (9-5-0) A pair of Bellator veterans look to get back on the winning track as Team Conquest product Wisely battles hometown favorite Downing. Wisley last saw action at Bellator 119, losing a unanimous decision to John Alessio last May, which snapped a three fight win streak. Downing meanwhile has lost four straight fights and searches for his first victory since 2012.   March 14th – Hex Fight Series 2 (Melbourne, Australia) Ben Wall (8-2-0) vs. Nick Patterson (15-4-1)  Wall looks to snap his first career two-fight losing streak when he meets fellow Aussie Patterson in the nights main event. Wall was released from the UFC following losses to Alex Garcia and Justin Salas while his 31-year old opponent is on a four fight win streak, including three finishes.   March 15th – Pancrase 265 (Tokyo, Japan) Satoru Kitaoka (35-13-9) vs. Akira Okada (9-3-3) 35-year old DREAM/Sengoku veteran Kitaoka aims for his fourth straight victory as he battles fellow countryman Okada, a fighter who has only lost once in the last three years. Kitaoka most recently defeated UFC veteran Yoshiyuki Yoshida by unanimous decision at DEEP’s New Year’s Eve event, while Okada won his fifth straight fight last December against Taisuke Okuno.   March 20th – Unified MMA 22 (Edmonton, Alberta) Tim Hague (19-9-0) vs. Tanner Doser (6-0-0) UFC veteran Hague looks to make it four straight as he takes on undefeated 23-year old Hayabusa product Boser. Since losing to WSOF champion Smealinho Rama last June, Hague has won three straight – all by knockout- against Matt Baker, Dwayne Lewis and Craig Hudson. Boser hasn’t fought since last September, where he earned his sixth straight win, getting a knockout victory over Jordan Tracey at Unified MMA 20.   March 20th XFFC 6 – The Proving Ground (Grand Prairie, Alberta) Bristol Marunde (15-9-0) vs. Michael Hill (7-2-0) Two TUF veterans go to war as the Canadian Hill takes on American Marunde in a welterweight affair. Hill hasn’t competed in over a year where he earned a unanimous decision victory over Canadian prospect Ryan Dickson at WSOF Canada’s inaugural event. Marunde has won three straight fights since his UFC release in 2013, most recently defeating David Castillo by unanimous decision at Showdown Fights 15 last November.   March 20th – Legacy FC 40 (Duluth, Georgia) Clay Harvison (12-5-0) vs. Joe Elmore (9-6-0) Three time UFC veteran Harvison searches for a career high fourth straight win as he takes on XFC veteran Elmore. “Heavy Metal” defeated David Lindsay this past January by third round knockout at Wild Bill’s Fight Night 62, while “Hitman” is coming off a loss to Jordan Rinaldi last November at USFFC 21.   March 20th – World Cagefighting Championships 13 (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Dustin Pague (11-10-0) vs. Charlie Gathers (8-6-0) UFC veteran Pague looks to snap a five fight losing streak when he takes on 36-year old Gathers, who has won three straight. After his UFC release in 2013, Pague lost again to D’Juan Owens by submission at The Victorium: Episode 3 last May. The 27-year looks for his first win since 2012.   March 21st – Road Fighting Championships 22 (Seoul, South Korea) Riki Fukuda (21-7) NC  vs. Dool Hee Lee (8-7) NC Fukuda looks to extend his winning streak to three-straight since his UFC release when he faces off in a rematch against Lee. These two fought at Road FC 19 this past November and the bout was ruled a “No Contest” due to accidental groin shots.   March 21st -Havoc FC 8 (Red Deer, Alberta) Cody McKenzie (15-7-0) vs. Ryan Machan (23-9-0) Mckenzie competes just over a month after his controversial DQ loss – to Andrew McInnes at WSOF 18 – when he takes on Canadian Machan. Mckenzie looks to snap a career high three fight losing streak, while Machan aims for his sixth straight win.   March 21st- Shamrock Promotions – Showdown (St Louis, Missouri) Adam Cella (6-3-0) vs. Kalel Robinson (12-7-0) Cella aims for his first two fight win streak since 2012 as he battles Titan FC veteran Robinson. Cella is perhaps unfairly remembered for being on the receiving end of a Uriah Hall spinning hook kick knockout during his stint on TUF 17. While Robinson has only won twice in his last eight fights after going 9-1 to start his MMA career.   March 21st – SCL 42 – Army vs. Marines (Reading, Pennsylvania) Gilbert Smith (10-4-0) vs. Timothy Woods (7-5-0) TUF 17 veteran Smith looks to bounce back from his unanimous decision loss to Chidi Njokuani at RFA 22 in January as he takes on Lloyd Irvin product Woods. Prior to the loss to Njokuani, Smith had won five of his last six fights since his UFC release. Woods has alternated between wins and losses in his last few fights and was most recently knocked out by Sam Oropeza this past January.   March 21st – Warfare MMA 14 (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) Rafaello Oliveira (17-8-0) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (9-4-0) Olivera competes for the first time since his UFC release as he takes on hometown favorite Rinaldi. The AMA Fight Club product Oliveira hasn’t competed in over a year and looks to snap a two fight losing streak. Rinaldi has won two in a row and holds a win over current UFC featherweight standout Dennis Bermudez.   March 26th – Abu Dhabi Warriors 2 (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Brett Rogers (17-9-0) vs. Alexei Kudin (19-8-0) Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Rogers looks for his first two-fight win streak since 2013 when he meets 30-year old Kudin. Since his release from Bellator in 2012, the 34-year old Rogers has fought primary overseas and has amassed a 5-4 record. Kudin is 5-2 in his last seven fights and is recently coming off a loss to former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov last week. Jesse Ronson (14-5-0) vs. Gadji Zaipulaev (20-7-0) Canadian lightweight Ronson aims for his second win in a row since his UFC release as he battles Russian submission artist Zaipulaev. “The Body Snacher” is most recently coming off an impressive knockout win over Dom O’Grady at PFC 3 last October, while Zaipulaev is coming off a split decision loss to Antonio McKee in November. If the 29-year-old Ronson can earn another impressive victory, a return to the UFC may not be far off.   March 28th – Sugar Creek Showdown 25 – Apocalypse (Hinton, Oklahoma) Jeremy Horn (91-21-5) vs. Tony Lopez (36-17-0) The 39-year-old Horn looks for his fifth straight win when he takes on former KOTC champion Lopez, who has won two in a row. Horn last saw action last September at SCS 22, where he submitted Brian Imes in the first round. Lopez is also coming off a submission victory, he defeated Jesse Hernandez at SCS 24 this past January.   March 28th – Global Proving Ground 19 – Portugal vs. USA (Pennsauken, New Jersey) Will Martinez (10-3-1) vs. Kamrin Naville (7-8-0) Bellator veteran Martinez looks for his 10th win in his last 11 fights as he takes on Naville, who is on a two fight losing streak. Martinez’s only blemish during his impressive run has been a unanimous decision loss to current Titan FC featherweight champion Desmond Green last March. Naville is coming off back to back losses against UFC veteran Vagner Rocha and current Titan FC standout Mike Bruno.   March 28th – Square Ring Promotions – Island fights 33 (Pensacola, Florida) Jesse Taylor (27-11-0) vs. Adrian Miles (14-7-0) Two Ultimate Fighter veterans square off as Season 7 member Taylor looks to snap a two fight losing streak when he takes on Season 19 cast member Miles. The 32-year old Taylor was submitted in his last two fights by David Branch and most recently Trey Houston. Miles meanwhile hasn’t competed since he was knocked out by Brian Rogers last May at Bellator 119. Wes Sims (24-14-11) vs. Jonathan Ivey (31-53-0) Always outspoken UFC veteran Sims competes for the first time since September 2013 when he takes on 39-year old Tennasse native Ivey. Sims has fought just three times in the last five years while Ivey has won just once in his last seven bouts.   March 28th – Phoenix Fight Night 25 (Dorset, England) Andre Winner (19-8-1) vs. Xavier Sedras (2-2-0) TUF 9 veteran Winner looks for his fifth win in a row as he takes on South African fighter Sedras who has lost two straight. This matchup is a little puzzling as Winner has 28 bouts on his record compared to Sedras’ four. Either way, should Winner emerge victorious and improve his record to 10-2 since his UFC release, a callback to the Las Vegas based promotion may not be far off.  

Written by James Lynch

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