When fighters are given their discharge from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC or Bellator — unless they are a major star — they frequently fall into obscurity about the regional/overseas circuit unless they rack up a few wins and end up signing with one of the above promotions. In this regular feature for MMAOddsBreaker.com, I take a look at some regional/overseas MMA matchups for the month of February and rather than list off the top fights outside these major associations, I emphasize some familiar names which you might recognize on forthcoming struggle cards.
LFA 59 — Feb. 1 (Phoenix, Arizona)
David Michaud (14-4) vs. Christian Aguilera (11-5)
Former UFC lightweight Michaud seems to make it four straight wins when he faces Aguilera. Since he had been discharged from the UFC in 2015, Michaud has gone 6-2 such as a TKO win over Fernando Gonzalez Trevino in October. Aguilera meanwhile had his three-fight win streak snapped in his final bout as he lost a decision to Matthew Frincu in LFA 44. Aguilera will look to prevent back-to-back losses for the first time because Mar. 2016. Editor’s note: Michaud defeated Aguilera through TKO at 4:14 of the first round.
TKO 46 — Feb. 8 (Quebec City, QC) — Matchup Moved To April
Jesse Ronson (20-8) vs. Charles Jourdain (8-1)
UFC veteran Ronson defends his lightweight title against current featherweight champion Jourdain. Ronson almost needed a second stint in the UFC back in December because he took a short notice struggle against Diego Ferreira. However the comission said he would be cutting too much weight and also his UFC contract was recinded. The 33-year-old has won five-straight fights. Jourdain meanwhile won the featherweight title beating Alex Morgan by first-round entry at TKO 45 in December. He’s won three-straight fights.
Cagesport 55 — Feb. 9 (Tacoma, Washington)
Anthony Hamilton (17-9) vs. Jared Torgeson (18-19) — Heavyweight name Former UFC heavyweight Hamilton aims to ensure it is three-straight wins when he faces Torgeson. The 38-year-old is coming off a unanimous decision win over Dylan Potter at Dominate FC two in September. Torgeson meanwhile has lost five of his last six fights. Editor’s note: Hamilton defeated Torgeson via three-round unanimous choice.
ACA 92: Poland — Feb. 15 (Warsaw, Poland)
Marcin Held (25-7) vs. Abdul-Aziz Abdulvakhabov (15-2)
UFC veteran Held faces Abdulvakhabov in a lightweight bout. Held abandoned the UFC after defeating Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Fight Night 118 and has won back fights. Abdulvakhabov meanwhile is coming off a vast majority decision loss to Ali Bagov at ACB 89 in Aug, which snapped his 14-fight win series.
Daniel Omiela??czuk (20-9-1) vs. Zelimkhan Umiev (11-2)
Former UFC light heavyweight Omielanczuk looks to avoid back-to-back losses when he faces Umiev. Omielanczuk dropped three straight fights in the UFC into Stefan Struve, Tim Johnson and Curtis Blaydes before he was released in late 2017. Umiev meanwhile had his six-fight win streak snapped as he had been completed in the first round by Evgeny Goncharov in WFCA 50 in August.
Luke Barnatt (14-6) vs. Jorge Gonzales (14-3)
UFC veteran Barnatt competes in his third consecutive fight in the light heavyweight division when he faces Gonzalez. The 30-year-old is coming from a majority decision loss to Karol Celi??ski in ACB 88 which fell him to 2-2 in his last four fights. Gonzalez meanwhile heads into this fight on a five-fight win series.
Efrain Escudero (30-14) vs. Amirkhan Adaev (14-4)
TUF 8 champion Escudero seems to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since Apr. 2016 when he faces Adev. Escudaro last competed to the Golden Boy MMA card at which he chose to fellow UFC veteran Gleison Tibau. Adaev meanwhile has won three-straight and five of his past six full heading into the fight.
Invicta FC 34 — Feb. 15 (Kansas City, Kansas)
Pearl Gonzalez (9-3) vs. Vanessa Porto (20-8) — Flyweight Title
Former UFC strawweight Gonzalez confronts Porto for the flyweight title in the main event of Invicta FC 34. The 32-year-old has remained undefeated since she had been discharged from the UFC in late 2017, going 3-0 with Invicta. Porto has won back-to-back fights however has not fought since Jan. 2018.
Milana Dudieva (12-7) vs. Karina Rodriguez (6-3)
UFC veteran Dudieva seems to create it two-straight wins for the first time since Aug. 2014 when she faces short-notice replacement Rodriguez. Dudieva is coming off a TKO win over TUF 26’s Christina Marks at Invicta FC 28 which snapped her four-fight losing series. Rodriguez meanwhile replaces Brogan Walker-Sanchez and seems to rally from her split decision loss to DeAnna Bennett in Invicta FC 28
DeAnna Bennett (9-4-1) vs. Miranda Maverick (4-1)
TUF 26’s Bennett seems to get back on the winning track against Maverick in a flyweight bout. The 34-year-old is coming off a loss to Women’s MMA leader Kelly Kobold in Tuff-N-Uff at September. Maverick meanwhile has won four of her last five struggles with her lone setback coming from Brogan Walker-Sanchez in Invicta FC 30 where she endured a split decision loss.
War at the Rock — Feb 16 (Hollywood, Florida)
Michel Quinones (8-3) vs. Yosdenis Cedeno (11-6-1)
A pair of UFC veterans clash at a featherweight bout as Quinones faces Cedeno. Quinones went 0-2 in the UFC with reductions to Jared Gordon and Sage Northcutt. The 34-year-old fights for the first since Nov. 2017. Cedeno meanwhile looks for two-straight wins for the first time since Oct. 2013 and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Pedro Gomes at Underground Cage Fighting Championship 1 in July.
Is there a notable MMA veteran rival this month which I missed? Or is there a matchup that’s been changed? Hit me up on Twitter @LynchOnSports, and I’ll add it in or fix it up. Thanks.
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