Mixed Martial Arts Veteran Watch: October 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 October and rather then listing off the top fights outside these major organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you might recognize on upcoming events.   Oct 3rd – Abu Dhabi Warriors 3 (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (16-13-0) vs. Paul Buentello (33-16-0) UFC/PRIDE vetearn Sokodjou competes for the first time outside the Bellator cage since 2013 when he faces former UFC title challenger Buentello. The 31-year old Sokodjou has his two fight win streak snapped in his last fight losing via second round TKO to Linton Vassell. At 39-year old Buentello competes for the first time since March 2014 and is 4-1 in his last five fights. Waylon Lowe (15-7-0) vs. Vaso Bakocevic (20-8-1) Former UFC fighter Lowe looks to get back on the winning track when he meets 26-year old Bakocevic who has won four straight fights. Lowe has gone 1-3 in his last four fights most recently losing by submission to Ryan Quinn at Bellator 140. “Psychopath” meanwhile has finished three of his last four opponents and has already fought three times this year. Jesse Ronson (15-5-0) vs. Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy (30-3-0) After VISA issues forced him off his fight with Frodo Khasbulaev last month, Canadian Ronson is back in the drivers seat taking on another Bellator veteran in Sarnavskiy. Since his UFC release, Ronson has won two straight fights, both by finish. Sarnavskiy is coming off a 3rd round submission loss to Marcin Held at Bellator 136 which snapped his two fight win streak. Karl Amoussou (19-7-2) vs. Abdulmazhid Magomedov (6-2-0) Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Amoussou looks for his first three-fight win streak since 2012 when he meets M-1 fighter Magmomedov. Since his Bellator release last year, Amoussou has racked up two straight wins by submission. Magomedov had his six fight win streak snapped in his last fight, where he lost to Dinislam Kamavov at Fight Nights Fight Club: Russian Team Championship Stage 5 back in April.       Oct 3rd – KOTC: Total Elimination (Oroville, California) DJ Linderman (18-9-0) vs. Carl Seumanutafa (9-5-0) Bellator and WSOF veteran Linderman looks for his third straight win when he takes on former Strikeforce fighter Seumantafa. After losing four fights in a row between 2013-2014, the 32-year old has rebounded earning wins over Terrell Bosen and former UFC title challenger Jeff Monson. Seumanutafa has won two of his last three fights and looks for his first two-fight win streak since 2012.   Oct 3rd – Akhmat Fight Show 7: Battle in Grozny (Grozny, Russia) Attila Veigh (29-6-2) vs. Maxim Grishin (20-6-0) Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Veigh looks to snap a two fight losing streak when he meets M-1 veteran Grishin. After losing a split decision to Emanuel Newton to drop his Bellator title, Veigh lost another split decision to UFC veteran Goran Reljic at KSW 31 this past May. Grishin is riding a eight fight win streak including victories over UFC veterans Mario Miranda, Rodney Wallace and Trevor Prangley.   Oct 3rd. – British Challenge MMA 12 (Essex, England) John Maguire (19-8-0) vs. Aldric Cassata (10-6-0) UFC veteran Maguire looks to snap a two-fight skid when he meets French fighter Cassata. Since his UFC release in 2013, Maguire has gone 1-2, with setbacks to Damir Hadzovic and TUF 22 contestant Saul Rogers. His 34-year old opponent Cassata has won seven of his ten fights by submission.   Oct 3rd – Elite 1 MMA (Moncton, New Brunswick) Mike Hill  (8-3-0) vs. Matt McGrath (16-8-0) TUF and WSOF veteran Hill looks for his second win in a row as he battles fellow Canadian McGrath, who has won six-straight. Hill has gone 3-1 in his last four bouts with his only setback being a unanimous decision loss to fellow TUF castmember Bristol Marunde. McGrath meanwhile hasn’t tasted defeated since a TKO loss to UFC welterweight Nordine Taleb in 2012.   Oct 4th – Pancrase 270 (Tokyo, Japan) Nam Phan (21-14-0) vs. Andy Main (10-2-1) UFC veteran Phan takes on fellow TUF Season 12 cast memeber Main in the nights main event. Phan has gone 3-1 since his UFC release in 2014, with his only setback coming against Mike Richman at Bellator 131. Main has won three of his last four fights and hasn’t gone to the judges scorecards February 2014.   Oct 9th– RFA 31: Smith vs. Marunde (Las Vegas, Nevada) Bristol Marunde (16-9-0) vs. Gilbert Smith (11-4-0) Marunde looks for his fifth straight win since his UFC release in 2013 when he meets fellow TUF 17 castmember Smith. The 33-year old has dispatched the likes of Micah Miller and Mike Hill during that winning streak, and no doubt an impressive win here could lead to a UFC call up. Smith has amassed an impressive 6-2 record since leaving the UFC in 2013. Zoila Frausto (12-4-0) vs. Jocelyn Lybarger (5-1-0) Invicta/Bellator veteran Frausto competes for the first time since December 2013 when she meets Lybarger. Frausto has lost three straight fights to Jessica Eye, Jennifer Maia and Vanessa Porto and will be looking for her first win since 2012. Lybarder hasn’t lost since 2013 and has won three straight fights.   Oct 9th– Road FC 26 (Seoul, South Korea) Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga (6-5-0) vs. Mu Bae Choi (12-4-0) Mo looks to snap his three fight losing streak when he meets hometown favourite Choi who has won three in a row. The 44-year old Hawaiian is coming off a unanimous decision loss to UFC veteran Denis Stojnić back in June and will be looking for his first win since March 2014. Choi has only lost once in his last six fights and has won four of his last five fights by knockout. Denis Stojnić (12-3-0) vs. Hyun Man Myung (1-1-0) Two time UFC veteran Stojnic looks for his eighth win in a row when he meets Korean Myung, who only has two pro fights. The 35-year old hasn’t lost a fight since he was released from the UFC in 2009, where he dropped back to back fights against Cain Velasquez and Stefan Struve. Myung is coming off a loss via DQ to Yuta Nakamura back over a year ago.   Oct 16th– Rumble on the Ridge 33 (Snoqualmie, Washington) Mike Hayes (19-10-0) vs. Tony Lopez (38-18-0) Bellator veteran Hayes searches for his first win since 2013 when he meets 57-fight veteran Lopez. Hayes is coming off a Draw against UFC veteran Travor Prangley back in June, prior to that he had lost two straight fights. His opponent, 41-year old Lopez is looking for his third straight win.   Oct 17th– DEEP 73 Impact (Tokyo, Japan) Yoshiyuki Yoshida (17-8-0) vs. Kimihiro Eto (7-1-2) Former UFC/Bellator fighter Yoshida looks to snap a two-fight skid when he faces off with fellow Japanese fighter Eto. The 41-year old Yoshida was on a six-fight win streak before losing two straight fights by decision to Satoru Kitaoka and Kota Shimoishi.   Oct 20th– Rebel FC 4 (Las Vegas, Nevada) Phil Baroni (15-18-0) vs. Song Ke Nam (6-1-0) UFC veteran Baroni competes for the first time since July 2014 as he takes on hometown favorite Nam in a welterweight tournament bout. Baroni has lost three straight fights and hasn’t won a matchup since a first round knockout victory over Rodrigo Ribeiro at ONE FC 5 in 2012.  Song comes into this matchup off a first round TKO loss to Israel Adesanya but prior to that, had won six straight fights.   Oct 24th  – Prestige FC  1 (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) Mike Rhodes (7-4-0) vs. Ryan Machan (23-9-0) UFC veteran Rhodes looks for his second straight win since his UFC release in 2014 as he battles Canadian Machan. The 25-year old is coming off an impressive first round TKO over Tom Angeloff at NAFC: Explosion this past April. Machan has won five fights in a row with all of those victories coming by finish. Charmaine Tweet (6-5-0) vs. Bobbi-Jo Dalziel (1-0-0) Invicta veteran Tweet looks for her third win in her last four bouts as she takes on fellow Canadian Dalziel. Tweet is coming off a first round TKO loss to Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino at Invicta FC 11 back in Feburary, which snapped Tweets two fight win streak. Dalziel made her pro debut in June 2014, winning by first round knockout over Tamikka Brents at Pro Fighting Series 3.   Oct 24th  – KOTC: Harvest of Champions (Sloan, Iowa,) Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett (26-28-2) vs. Sean Wilson (35-27-0) PRIDE veteran Bennett heads into this matchup on a three fight skid, while his opponent Wilson has also lost two straight fights. In fact Bennett has only won twice in his last 12-bouts and will be looking for his first win since 2012. Wilson will be competing in his fifth straight fight this year and is coming off back to back losses against Bellator vets Justin Lawrence and Joe Wilk.   Oct 30th  – CES 31 (Lincoln, Rhode Island) Chuck O’Neil (15-7-0) vs. Daniel Vizcaya (8-3-0) TUF 13 contestant O’Neil moves back up to middleweight to take on TUF 19 contestant Vizcaya. The 29-year old O’Neil had his four fight win streak snapped at CES 30 where he dropped a unanimous decision to Dominique Steele. Vizcaya has won 5 of his last 6 fights but faces arguably the biggest name in his career in the former CES champion O’Neil.   Oct 31st  – KSW 32: Raod to Wembley (London, England) Mariusz Pudzianowski (9-3-0) vs. Peter Graham (10-9-0) Polish fighter looks to keep his four fight winning streak alive when he meets Bellator veteran Graham, who has lost two in a row. The Polish fighter is coming off a first round TKO victory over Rolles Gracie, where he knocked out in the Brazilian in just 27 seconds. Graham meanwhile has gone 1-3 since his Bellator release last year. Jesse Taylor (29-12-0) vs. Borys Mańkowski (17-5-1) TUF 7 contestant Taylor looks to win his third straight fight when he battles Polish fighter Mańkowski who has won four in a row.  Since losing to Maiquel Falcao earlier this year, Taylor has bounced back with two straight first round submission wins over Nick Barnes and Michail Tsarev. His 25-year old opponent Mańkowski  has won three of his last four fights by finish. Goran Reljic (15-4-0) vs. Tomasz Narkun (10-2-0) Former UFC fighter Reljic looks for his fifth straight victory when he faces Narkun in a rematch from their fight at KSW 29 last December. Since his UFC release in 2010, Reljic has gone an impressive 7-1 run, with his only blemish coming to current UFC light heavyweight fighter Jan Błachowicz. Narkum meanwhile has won six of his last seven bouts, with his only loss coming to Relijc during that span. Jim Wallhead (27-9-0) vs. Rafał Moks (27-9-0) BAMMA and Bellator veteran Wallhead looks for his third win in a row when he takes on 29-year old Polish fighter Moks. Wallhead is known for his fights with current Titan FC champion Rick Hawn, MMAOddsbreaker host Frank Trigg and current UFC fighter Lymon Good. Moks had his four fight win streak snapped when he lost to Aslambek Saidov this past Feburary at KSW 30. Brett Cooper (20-11-0) vs. Maiquel Falcao (34-7-0) A pair of former Bellator title challengers finally cross paths as American Cooper battles Brazilian Falcao.  The 28-year old Cooper has lost back to back fights to Brandon Halsey and Mamed Khalidov, and will be looking for just his second win since 2013. Falcao meanwhile has won two straight fights – both by submission – and will be aiming for his first three-fight win streak since 2012.

Written by James Lynch

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