Mixed Martial Arts Veteran Watch: March 2016

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565When fighters are given their release from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC, Bellator or WSOF – 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 fights outside these major organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you might recognize on upcoming events.   Mar 4th – M-1 Challenge 65 (St. Petersburg, Russia) Maiquel Falcão (35-8) vs. Ramazan Emeev (13-3)  UFC/Bellator veteran Falcao looks to get back on the winning track when he faces 28-year old Emeev. Falcao had his three-fight win streak snapped in his last bout, losing by TKO to Aziz Karaoglu at KSW 33 just 30 seconds into the bout. Emeev meanwhile has won back to back fights against Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Luigi Fioravanti.   Mar 4th – Ring of Combat 54 (Atlantic City, New Jersey) Jay Silva (9-10-1) vs. Guram Mestvirishvili (0-0)  Former UFC and Bellator fighter Silva looks for his first win since 2013 when he faces Mestvirishvili who is making his pro-debut. Silva has gone 0-2-1 in his last three bouts, suffering losses to Michał Materla and Aziz Karaoglu.   Mar 4th – Unified MMA 26 (Edmonton, Alberta) Tim Hague (20-11) vs. Tanner Boser (8-1)  UFC veteran Hague heads into this matchup off back to back losses and faces off with Boser in a rematch. These two fought less then a year ago at Unified MMA 22, where Hague won by knockout just six seconds into the fight. Since then Hague has lost twice by knockout to Evgeny Erokhin and Tony Lopez. His 24-year old opponent has won two straight fights since the first matchup, dispatching Jared Henderson and Victor Valimaki by knockout.   Mar 4th – RFA 36: Barcelos vs. Vannata (Prior Lake, Minnesota) Chico Camus (14-7) vs. Matt Brown (10-5) Former UFC flyweight Camus competes for the first time outside the octagon since 2012 as he faces 34-year old Brown. After dropping back to back fights against Henry Cejudo and Kyoji Horiguchi, the 31-year old was released from his UFC contract. Brown had his four-fight win streak snapped in his last fight, losing via first round submission to Darrick Minner at URFA 30.   Mar 5th – Carnage in the Cage 6 (Mackay, Queensland) Chris Indich (5-3) vs. Anthony Johns (3-0) TUF Nations contestant Indich aims to bounce back from two-straight losses when he takes on undefeated Aussie Johns. Indich failed to earn a win in both of his UFC matchups, dropping bouts to Richard Walsh and Vik Grujic. The 28-year old will be looking for his first win since 2013. Johns made his pro-debut in 2014 and is coming off a decision win over Keohu Smith at Carnage in the Cage 5.   Mar 5th – Full Contact Contender 15 (Bolton, England) David Lee (12-9) vs. Brendan Loughnane (10-2) Former UFC lightweight Lee competes fro the first time since 2013 when he meets 26-year old Loughnane. Lee competed in the UFC from 2006-2007, losing both of his octagon appearances to Tyson Griffin and Junior Assuncao. Heading into this matchup, Lee is 2-2 in his last four fights. Loughnane meanwhile is coming off a split decision loss to Tom Duquesnoy which snapped his five-fight win streak.   Mar 5th –KSW 34: New Order (Warsaw, Poland) James McSweeney (15-13) vs. Karl Bedorf (13-2)  TUF 11 competitor McSweeny looks for his first two-fight win streak since 2014 when he battles Polish powerhouse Bedorf. McSweeny suffered back to back knockout losses to Roger Gracie and Denis Golsov before rebounding in his last fight against Marcin Różalski at KSW 32. Bedorf meanwhile hasn’t lost since 2011 and is currently riding a seven-fight win streak.   Mar 11th – CES 33: Soukhamthath vs. Nordby (Lincoln, Rhode Island) Julian Lane (9-5-1) vs. Nate Andrews (7-1)   TUF 16 veteran Lane faces off with Team Rockstar product Andrews in a lightweight affair. After winning four-fights in a row, Lane heads into this matchup off back to back losses to Luis Felix and Javier Torres. Andrews is coming off a first round knockout victory over Jay Bakanowski at CES 29. Chuck O’Neil (15-8) vs. Dennis Olson (14-10)   Former CES welterweight champion O’Neil moves back to the 170-pound weight class to take on Olson. The 30-year old has lost two straight fights after losing a decision to Dominique Steele and suffering a submission defeat to Daniel Vizcaya at CES 31. Olson is 1-3 in his last four fights, losing bouts to Brett Oteri, Paul Daley and Brennan Ward.   Mar 12th – KOTC: Extreme Horsepower (Niagara Falls, New York) Charles Bennett (28-29-2) vs. Matthew DiMarcantonio (8-6)  Former PRIDE/Elite XC fighter Bennet looks for his first two-fight win streak since 2007 when he takes on Canadian DiMarcantonio. After being away from the sport for close to three-years, Bennett has amassed a 2-1 record since returning to the cage last October. His 26-year old opponent DiMarcantonio is comign off a unanimous decision loss to Rob Hanna at IT FIght Series 38 last November, which snapped his two fight win streak.   Mar 12th – Akhmat Featherweight Grant Prix (Russia) Kurt Holobaugh (14-3) vs. Frodo Khasbulaev (22-6)  Former Titan FC featherweight champion Holobaugh competes for the first time in Russia as he takes on Bellator veteran Khasbulaev. Holobaugh had his five-fight win streak snapped in his last outing, losing a unanimous decision to Andre Harrison at Titan FC 354. Khasbualev had his 10-fight win streak snapped in his last fight, suffering a unanimous decision loss to Eduard Vartanyan at Absolute Championship Berkut 27: Tajikistan back in December.   Mar 12th – Akhmat Lightweight Grant Prix (Russia) Desmond Green (15-5) vs. David Cubas (17-3-1)  Bellator/Titan FC veteran Green heads to Russia to battle 37-year old Cubas. Green is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Andre Harrison at Titan FC 35 and will look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. Cubas is coming off two-straight draws and hasn’t lost a fight since 2012.     Mar 19th – Road FC 29 (Wonju, South Korea) Marlon Sandro (26-6-2) vs. Mu Gyeom Choi (6-4)  Bellator veteran Sandro looks to win two-straight fights for the first time since 2013 when he meets Korean Choi. The 38-year old Brazilian is coming off a first round TKO victory over Wanderson Michel at Shooto Brasil 57. Choi meanwhile is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Yoon Jun Lee at Road FC 25. Marcus Brimage (7-5) vs. Soo Chul Kim (12-5-1)  UFC veteran Brimage competes for the first time since his UFC release as he battles 24-year old Kim. Brimage was slated to compete against Sabah Fadai on the Z Promotions card back on January, however that event ended up being cancelled the day of the fight. Kim hasn’t lost since a 2013 unanimous decision defeat to Bibiano Fernandes at ONE FC 11 and is riding a six-fight unbeaten streak. Hong Man Choi (3-4) vs. Aorigele (2-2)  Choi looks to make it two-straight wins when he takes on 20-year old Aorgele. The towering 7’2 South Korean returned to MMA competition last year, going 1-1 after having not competed in the sport since 2009. Aorigele is 2-2 in his career and is coming off a second round knockout loss to Wunier Jirigala back in January.   Mar 19th – Top FC 10 (Seoul, South Korea) Will Chope (29-9) vs. Jung Min Kang (7-6-2)  UFC veteran Chope looks for his sixth win in his last seven bouts when he takes on Korean Kang. Chope competed nine times last year, amassing an impressive 7-2 record, to push his overall resume to 29-9 overall. Kang heads into this matchup off a loss to Dong Hyun Kim (the Kim who lost to Dominique Steele at UFC Fight Night 79) which snapped his six fight unbeaten streak.   Mar 19th – XFC International 14 (Sao Paulo, Brasil) Fábio Maldonado (22-9) vs. Andrew Flores Smith (15-9)  Maldonado competes for the first time since his UFC release as he takes on Peruvian fighter Smith. After going 3-2 to start his UFC tenure, Maldonado went 1-3 over his next four bouts losing to Stipe Miocic, Quinton Rampage Jackson and Corey Anderson. Smith meanwhile is 2-2 in his last four bouts but is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Marquez at Fusion FC 16.   Mar 19th – GOTC MMA 20: Holt vs. Edwards (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Justin Edwards (8-5) vs. Joey Holt (7-2)  TUF 13 competitor and UFC veteran Edwards is set to return to action for the first time since his release, as he takes on fellow American Holt. Edwards suffered three straight losses to Brandon Thatch, Ramsey Nijem and Joe Proctor before earning his pink slip from the Las Vegas based promotion. Bellator veteran Holt meanwhile is riding a four fight win streak.   Mar 19th – MCF 11: St. Patty’s Day Beatdown IV (North Platte, Nebraska) Eric Prindle (10-7) vs. Maurice Jackson (3-1)  39-year old and Bellator tournament finalst Prindle looks for his third straight win when he takes on Millennia MMA product Jackson. After losing four straight fights, Prindle rebounded earning two straight wins over Mitsuyoshi Nakai at Pancrase 269 and Pancrase 272. Jackson has won two in a row but has only competed twice since 2008.   Mar 25th – Legacy FC 52: Page vs. Schnell (Lake Charles, Louisiana) Damacio Page (19-10) vs. Matt Schnell (9-2)  UFC/WEC veteran Page looks to get back on the winning track when he meets 9-2 flyweight Schnell for the promotions 125-pound title. Page looked well on his way back to the UFC after amassing three straight wins, however ended up losing by submission in his last fight against Alexandre Pantoja at the RFA vs. Legacy show last year. Schnell heads into this fight on a six-fight win streak, including five stoppages. Sean Soriano (9-3) vs. Thomas Webb (9-3)  Blackzillians product Soriano looks for his second win in a row when he takes on 32-year old Webb. Soriano bounced back in a big way last year after his UFC release, earning a first round knockout victory over Josh Quayhagen at Legacy FC 48.  Webb has gone 2-1 in his last three bouts and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Scott O’Shaughnessy back on Jan. 9th.   Is there a notable MMA veteran competing this month that I missed? Hit me up on Twitter @LynchOnSports and I’ll add them in.

Written by James Lynch

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