When fighters are given their release from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC or Bellator — unless they are a significant star — they frequently fall into obscurity on the regional/overseas circuit unless they stand up a couple of wins and end up registering with one of the aforementioned 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 significant organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you may recognize on upcoming fight 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 at 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 last bout as he lost a decision to Matthew Frincu in LFA 44. Aguilera will seem to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since 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 current featherweight champion Jourdain. Ronson nearly had a second stint in the UFC back in December as he took a brief notice struggle against Diego Ferreira. No matter how the comission said he would be cutting too much weight and his UFC contract had been recinded. The 33-year-old has won five-straight fights. 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 name Former UFC heavyweight Hamilton intends to make it three-straight wins when he faces Torgeson. The 38-year-old is coming from a unanimous decision win over Dylan Potter in 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 in a lightweight bout. Held left the UFC after defeating Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Fight Night 118 and has won back-to-back fights. Abdulvakhabov meanwhile is coming off a majority decision loss to Ali Bagov in 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 before he was released in late 2017. Umiev meanwhile had his own six-fight win streak snapped as he was finished in the first round by Evgeny Goncharov at 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 off a majority decision loss to Karol Celi??ski in ACB 88 which dropped him to 2-2 in his past four fights. Gonzalez meanwhile heads into this battle on a five-fight win streak.
Efrain Escudero (30-14) vs. Amirkhan Adaev (14-4)
TUF 8 champion Escudero seems to prevent back-to-back losses for the first time because Apr. 2016 when he faces Adev. Escudaro last competed on the Golden Boy MMA card at which he lost a decision to fellow UFC veteran Gleison Tibau. Adaev meanwhile has won three-straight and five of his last 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 faces Porto for the flyweight title in the main event of Invicta FC 34. The 32-year-old has remained undefeated since she was released from the UFC in late 2017, going 3-0 with Invicta. Porto has won back fights however has not 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 faces short-notice replacement Rodriguez. Dudieva is coming off a TKO win over TUF 26’s Christina Marks at Invicta FC 28 that snapped her four-fight losing streak. Rodriguez meanwhile replaces Brogan Walker-Sanchez and seems to rebound 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 pioneer Kelly Kobold at Tuff-N-Uff in September. Maverick meanwhile has won four of her last five fights 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 set of UFC veterans struggle at 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 appears for two-straight wins for the first time since Oct. 2013 and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Pedro Gomes in Underground Cage Fighting Championship 1 in July.
Is there a noteworthy MMA veteran rival this month which I missed? Or is there a matchup that has been changed? Hit me up on Twitter @LynchOnSports, and I will add it in or fix it up. Thanks.
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