61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565When fighters are given their release from a major North American MMA promotion like the UFC, Bellator, WSOF or Titan – 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 April and rather than listing off the top fights outside these major organizations, I highlight some familiar names that you might recognize on upcoming events.   April 2nd – FCOC – Fight Club OC (Mesa, California) Jack May (7-3-0) vs. Joseph Bryant (4-3-0) UFC veteran May looks to snap a two fight skid as he faces off with Bryant. “The Outlaw” had a short stint with the UFC last year where he lost back to back fights against Derrick Lewis and Shawn Jordan. Prior to the loss, May had an impressive 7-1 record including six first round finishes. Bryant hasn’t fought since an October 2013 loss to Raphael Butler at Bellator 105.   April 3rd– Legacy Fighting Championship 41 (Tulsa, Oklahoma) Daniel Pineda (20-11-0) vs. Jonny Carson (11-6-0) Pineda, a late replacement for the injured Anthony Njokuani, meets the “King of Late Night”.  Since his UFC release last year, the 29-year old has racked up two straight wins over Leonard Garcia and Thomas Webb. Carson hasn’t fought since April 2013 and has lost three of his last five fights.   April 3rd– Fight Time 24 – MMA Kings (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) Jeff Monson (55-20-1) vs. DJ Linderman (17-9-0) 77 fight veteran Monson looks for his fifth straight win when he meets Bellator veteran Linderman. The 44-year old ATT product Monson competes less than a month after his victory over Alexander Stolyarov at OFS 3 in Russia. Meanwhile the 31-year old Linderman snapped a four fight losing streak when he defeated Terrell Bonsen this past November at Rouge Fights 28.   April 3rd– Tech-Krept Fighting Championship: Ermak Prime Challenge (Krasnodar, Russia) Peter Graham (11-7-0) vs. Denis Goltsov (13-4-0) Bellator Season 9 tournament finalist Graham looks for his second straight win when he meets hometown favourite Goltsov. The 39-year old Aussie snapped a two fight skid by picking up a victory over Marcin Rozalski at KSW 28 this past October. Meanwhile his opponent, 24-year old Goltsov is currently riding an eight fight win streak including victories over Strikeforce veteran Brett Rogers and UFC veteran Roy Boughton.   April 4th – Victory Fighting Championship 45 (Ralston, Nebraska) Ryan Jensen (20-8-0) vs. Josh Rosaaen (9-2-0) Recently known for being a detective outside the cage, former UFC fighter Jensen takes on South Dakota native Rosaaen in the co-main event of VFC 45. The 37-year old has won five straight fights by stoppage and aims for his second six fight winning streak of his career. Rosaaen meanwhile has won all of his fights by submission.   April 10th– RFA 25: Lawrence vs. Toomer (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) Justin Lawrence (6-2-0) vs. Sam Toomer (9-0-0) Two time UFC veteran Lawrence faces off with undefeated featherweight Toomer in the nights main event. The 24-year old had a short stint in the UFC, losing back to back fights against Max Holloway and Daniel Pineda before his release. Since leaving the UFC, Lawrence has won two straight fights and should he emerge victorious against an undefeated fighter, a call back to the UFC may not be far off.   April 11th– IFG- Inoki Genome Fight 3 (Tokyo, Japan) Oli Thompson (12-8-0) vs. Ikuhisa Minowa (59-37-8) “The Spartan” looks for his first win since 2013 when he takes on Japanese superstar “Minowaman.” The 35-year old Thompson fought briefly for the UFC in 2012 where he suffered back to back losses to Shawn Jordan and Philip DeFries. Meanwhile hometown favourite Minowa looks to snap a two fight losing streak. Dion Staring (31-10-0) vs. Yosef Ali Mohammad (4-1-0) Dutch fighter Staring, known mostly for losing a unanimous decision against Daniel Cormier on short notice at Strikeforce: Saffiedine vs. Marquardt in 2013, faces off with Swedish fighter Mohammed. Staring has won three straight fights including his last bout, a TKO victory over former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez. Mohammed meanwhile has won his last three fights.   April 11th– NAFC – Explosion (Waukesha, Wisconsin) Mike Rhodes (6-4-0) vs. Charlie Brown (11-4-0) Fresh off his UFC release, 25-year old Roufusport product Rhodes faces off with Shine Fights veteran Brown. “Biggie” went winless in the UFC, losing bouts to George Sullivan, Robert Whittaker and Erick Silva. Brown meanwhile snapped a two-fight skid as he knocked out Tom Angeloff in 15 seconds this past November at WXFC.   April 11th– SHC 11 – Oedzdemir vs. Sobral (Geneva, Switzerland) Rentao “Babalu” Sobral (37-11-0) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (11-1-0) 39-year old Sobral ends his less than two-year retirement to fight fellow Bellator veteran Oezdemir in the main event. “Babalu” has lost three of his last four fights and hasn’t competed since June if 2013. His opponent, Swiss fighter Oezdemir only has one blemish on his resume – a loss to Bellator tournament finalist Kelly Anundson at Bellator 115 – but has won nine of his ten fights by stoppage. Karl Amoussou (18-7-2) vs. Vaidas Valancius (12-10-2) Bellator welterweight tournament winner Amoussou looks for his first two fight win streak since 2012 as he battles Lithuania fighter Valancius. The 29-year old lost three of his last four fights in Bellator and was subsequently released from the promotion. The ATT product bounced back with a win over Christos Plasaris this past January at Fightor 1. Meanwhile his opponent, the 25-year old Valancius has only won three times in his last 10 fights.   April 15th– Arena Tour MMA 5 – Sordi vs. Wallace (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Rodney Wallace (22-10-1) vs. Emiliano Sordi (13-4-0) Three time UFC veteran Wallace looks to bounce back from a first round knockout loss to Misha Cirkunov this past January, when he faces Sordi who has won four in a row. Prior to the loss, the 33-year old Wallace had won three of his last four fights – all by unanimous decision. “He-Man” meanwhile is coming off an impressive first round submission victory over Bubba McDaniel at Bellator 128 this past October.   April 18th– Driller Promotions – O-Town Throwdown 2 (Owatonna, Minnesota) Travis Wiuff (72-20-0) vs. Kevin Asplund (16-9-0) Former UFC fighter Wiuff, a veteran of 94-career fights aims to get in the win column after back to back knockout losses when he battles Asplund. Prior to his two straight losses, the 37-year old Wiuff had won five straight fights. Most fans will remember Wiuff for his 2005 loss to “Babalu” Sobral at UFC 62. “Concrete” meanwhile has fought the likes of Brett Rogers and Bobby Lashley and has won just once in his last nine fights.   April 18th– SFFN 33- Confrontation (Farmington, Utah) Brock Jardine (10-5-0) vs. Eric Wahlin (6-3-0) Titan and UFC veteran Jardine faces off with former Bellator fighter Wahlin, who has won six of his last seven fights. “The Machine” Jardine ended the worst stretch of his career – where he lost four straight fights – when he bounced back last month against Joe Rodriguez at SFFN 31: War Zone. Wahlin is coming off a 17 second knockout victory over Jarome Hatch this past November at Showdown Fights 15.   April 18th– Dakota FC 21: Spring Brawl 2015 (Fargo, North Dakota) Carina Damm (22-11-0) vs. Marciea Allen (3-2-0) 33 fight veteran and former Strkeforce fighter Damm looks to get back to her winning ways as she squares off with WSOF vet Allen. Damm has won five of her last seven fights, while her opponent is coming off a loss to Ashlee Evans-Smith at WSOF 10: Branch vs. Taylor.   April 24th– DCS 16 – Spring Brawl 2 (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jason Brilz (22-6-1) vs. Derrick Mehmen (18-6-0) A pair of fighters coming off title losses look to bounce back as UFC veteran Brilz faces off with WSOF veteran Mehmen in the main event. The 39-year old “Hitman” suffered a fourth round submission loss to Vinny Magalhaes – at Titan FC 30 last September – and subsequently failed to capture the vacant Titan FC light heavyweight championship. The 29-year old Mehmen suffered a first round knockout loss to Smealinho Rama – at WSOF 14: USA vs. Canada this past October – where he lost out on winning the inaugural WSOF heavyweight title. With a combined 17 career knockout victories between the two of them, don’t expect this one hitting the scorecards.   April 25th– XFO 55 (Chicago, Illinois) Drew McFedries (10-7-0) vs. William Hill (22-30-0) Former UFC fighter McFedries competes for the first time since January of 2013 when he matches up against 40-year old Hill. The 36-year old Champions Gym product McFedries has fought just three times since 2009 and looks for his first win since 2011. Hill meanwhile has 11 career submission victories so look for him to take this fight to the mat early.   April 25th– BAMMA 20 (West Midlands, England) Colin Fletcher (11-4-0) vs. Andre Winner (19-8-1) A pair of TUF finalists clash in England, as “Freakshow” Fletcher faces off with Team Rough House product Winner. Since his UFC release in 2013, Fletcher has gone 3-1 while Winner has gone 7-2 since he cut ties with the UFC in 2011. An impressive win for either fighter could mean a return to the Las Vegas based promotion.   April 26th– Pancrase 266 (Tokyo, Japan) Marlon Sandro (25-5-1) vs. Isao Kobayashi (16-2-4) Former Pancrase and Sengoku featherweight champion Sandro looks to win back to back fights for the first time since 2013 as he battles Japanese fighter Kobayashi. The two time Bellator tournament finalist Sandro last saw action when he defeated WEC veteran Chris Horodecki at Bellator 119 last May. The 24-year old Kobayashi suffered his first loss in over five years in his last fight, suffering a unanimous decision loss on New Year’s Eve – at Deep – Dream Impact 2014 – against Kazunori Yokota. Daniel Roberts (15-6-0) vs. Akihiro Murayama (16-6-9) On the same card, UFC veteran Roberts faces off with Shooto veteran Murayama in a welterweight affair. The 34-year old Roberts has gone 3-2 since his UFC release in 2012 and will undoutably look to take this fight to the mat where he boasts 11 career victories by submission. Murayama has only lost once since 2010 and has never been submitted through his 31-fight career. Hiroyuki Takaya (19-11-2) vs. Alessandro Ferreira (15-2-0) DREAM and WEC veteran Takaya looks for his third straight win when he meets Cesar Gracie product Ferreira. The 37-year old Japanese standout holds wins over Hatsu Hioki, Joachim Hansen and current ONE FC bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes. Meanwhile Ferreira has won four of his last five fights and boasts 12 submission victories in 17 fights.   April 29th– Deep Osaka Imapct 2015 (Osaka, Japan) Yoshiyuki Yoshida (17-7-0) vs. Kota Shimoishi (13-3-0) Bellator and UFC veteran Yoshida looks to bounce back from his first loss in close to five years when he tangles with fellow countryman Shimoshi. Yoshida was riding a six fight win streak before a unanimous decision loss to Satoru Kitaoka this past New Year’s Eve at Deep Dream Impact 2014. His opponent, 27-year old “Genjin” has won three straight fights including two knockout victories.