When fighters are given their release from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC or Bellator – 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.com, I take a look at some regional/overseas MMA matchups for the month of February and rather than listing off the top fights outside these major organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you might recognize on upcoming fight 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 in 2015, Michaud has gone 6-2 including 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 at LFA 44. Aguilera will look 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 short notice fight against Diego Ferreira. However the comission said he would be cutting too much weight and his UFC contract was recinded. The 33-year-old has won five-straight fights. Jourdain meanwhile won the featherweight title defeating Alex Morgan by first-round submission 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 title
Former UFC heavyweight Hamilton aims to make it three-straight wins when he faces Torgeson. The 38-year-old is coming off a unanimous decision win over Dylan Potter at Dominate FC 2 in September. Torgeson meanwhile has lost five of his last six fights. Editor’s note: Hamilton defeated Torgeson via three-round unanimous decision.
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 at ACB 89 in Aug, which snapped his 14-fight win streak.
Daniel Omielańczuk (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 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 competes in his third straight fight in the light heavyweight division when he faces Gonzalez. The 30-year-old is coming off a majority decision loss to Karol Celiński at ACB 88 which dropped him to 2-2 in his last four fights. Gonzalez meanwhile heads into this fight on a five-fight win streak.
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 where he lost a decision to fellow UFC veteran Gleison Tibau. Adaev meanwhile has won three-straight and five of his last six overall heading into this 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-to-back fights 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 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 streak. 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 looks 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 against Brogan Walker-Sanchez at 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 clash in a featherweight bout as Quinones faces Cedeno. Quinones went 0-2 in the UFC with losses 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 competing this month that I missed? Or is there a matchup that has been changed? Hit me up on Twitter @LynchOnSports, and I’ll add it in or fix it up. Thanks.