When fighters are given their discharge from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC or even Bellator — unless they’re a significant star — they frequently fall to obscurity about the regional/overseas circuit unless they rack up a couple of wins and end up signing with one of those 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 instead of listing off the best fights outside these major organizations, I emphasize some familiar names which you may recognize on upcoming struggle cards.
LFA 59 — Feb. 1 (Phoenix, Arizona)
David Michaud (14-4) vs. Christian Aguilera (11-5)
Former UFC lightweight Michaud looks to make it four straight wins when he faces Aguilera. Since he was released from the UFC at 2015, Michaud has gone 6-2 including a TKO win over Fernando Gonzalez Trevino in October. Aguilera meanwhile had his own three-fight win streak snapped in his final bout as he lost a decision to Matthew Frincu in LFA 44. Aguilera will look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time because Mar. 2016. Editor’s note: Michaud defeated Aguilera via 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 present featherweight champion Jourdain. Ronson almost needed a second stint in the UFC back in December because he took a short notice fight 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 struggles. Jourdain meanwhile won the featherweight title defeating Alex Morgan by first-round entry at TKO 45 in December. He’s won three-straight struggles.
Cagesport 55 — Feb. 9 (Tacoma, Washington)
Anthony Hamilton (17-9) vs. Jared Torgeson (18-19) — Heavyweight title Former UFC heavyweight Hamilton aims to ensure it is three-straight wins when he faces Torgeson. The 38-year-old is coming from a unanimous decision win over Dylan Potter at Dominate FC two in September. Torgeson meanwhile has lost five of the last six fights. Editor’s note: Hamilton defeated Torgeson through 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 at a lightweight bout. Held abandoned the UFC after defeating Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Fight Night 118 and has won back-to-back conflicts. Abdulvakhabov meanwhile is coming off a majority decision loss to Ali Bagov at ACB 89 at Aug, which snapped his 14-fight win streak.
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 lost three straight fights in the UFC to Stefan Struve, Tim Johnson and Curtis Blaydes until 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 maintains 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 at ACB 88 which dropped him to 2-2 in his past four fights. Gonzalez meanwhile heads into this battle on a five-fight win series.
Efrain Escudero (30-14) vs. Amirkhan Adaev (14-4)
TUF 8 winner Escudero looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since Apr. 2016 when he faces Adev. Escudaro last competed on 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 last six full heading into the battle.
Invicta FC 34 — Feb. 15 (Kansas City, Kansas)
Pearl Gonzalez (9-3) vs. Vanessa Porto (20-8) — Flyweight Title
Former UFC strawweight Gonzalez faces Porto for its flyweight title in the main event of Invicta FC 34. The 32-year-old has remained undefeated because she was discharged from the UFC in late 2017, going 3-0 with Invicta. Porto has won back conflicts however hasn’t fought since Jan. 2018.
Milana Dudieva (12-7) vs. Karina Rodriguez (6-3)
UFC veteran Dudieva looks to make it two-straight wins for the first time since Aug. 2014 if she confronts short-notice replacement Rodriguez. Dudieva is coming from a TKO win over TUF 26’s Christina Marks at Invicta FC 28 that snapped her four-fight losing series. Rodriguez meanwhile replaces Brogan Walker-Sanchez and looks to rebound from her split decision loss to DeAnna Bennett at 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 at Tuff-N-Uff in September. Maverick meanwhile has won four of her last five fights with her lone setback coming against Brogan Walker-Sanchez in Invicta FC 30 where she suffered 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 struggle in a featherweight bout as Quinones confronts Cedeno. Quinones went 0-2 at the UFC with reductions to Jared Gordon and Sage Northcutt. The 34-year-old struggles 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.
Can there be 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 will add it in or fix it up. Thanks.
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