Every week, Combat Press takes a look at three regional, developmental or international cards from the upcoming weekend, previewing from each a single fight to which people should pay close attention. We will also list other significant bouts from the card, as well as information on how to follow each promotion and watch the events.
Let’s discover those prospects that fight in the obscurity of the regional, developmental and international circuits, waiting for their shot at the bright lights and big stage of the UFC, and those veterans looking for one more chance at stardom. It all begins here, in the small convention centers and high school gymnasiums. It all begins with promotions such as these…
Event Date: Oct. 21
Vladislav Parubchenko (15-1) vs. Bruno Roverso (10-3)
A Japanese promotion and a Brazilian event. That sums up the Arzalet Fighting 2 card. Arzalet is the Brazilian fighting series from Japan’s Real Fighting Championship. This is only the second show for the promotion, but it features an excellent featherweight showdown in the main event, where champion Vladislav Parubchenko puts his belt on the line against challenger Bruno Roverso.
The 24-year-old Parubchenko has been fighting professionally since 2011. He scored stoppage victories in his first seven outings before he was stopped via first-round knockout against Alexandr Durymanov. The Ukranian fighter has responded with eight straight victories. His most notable wins came in the Real/Arzalet featherweight tournament, where he submitted Japanese veterans Yoshifumi Nakamura and Takahiro Ashida. During his recent eight-fight run, the Germes export submitted seven of his opponents and went the distance in the remaining contest. Parubchenko is an international Master of Sport in combat sambo and a medalist at the combat sambo world championships.
Roverso will fight in front of a hometown crowd when he competes in his native Curitiba. “Macaco Louco” made his pro debut in 2014 in a losing effort against Diego Gasparetto. He won his next two fights before suffering another split-decision loss, this time against Isaac Moura. The Chute Boxe fighter responded with five straight finishes, including a first-round submission of veteran Gustavo Wurlitzer. He was knocked out earlier this year by Max Lima, but he bounced back with three more stoppage wins. Overall, Roverso has five knockouts and five submission victories.
This fight has the potential to be a real barnburner. Between these two men, the judges have only been called upon three times. Parubchenko’s submission game will be his biggest asset, but he’ll have to watch out for Roverso’s knockout power when the two square off on the feet. However, Roverso might not get to flash much of his superior striking, because Parubchenko is very aggressive in pursuing the takedown.
The scrambles on the ground could provide a real treat in this affair. Parubchenko is very good at takedowns and working for position, but he can get caught in bad spots. Roverso has a slick submission game and could capitalize on the Ukrainian’s missteps. Parubchenko is a tough out, though. He survived a lengthy triangle choke attempt from Dzhefer Ismiev and turned the tide to take the unanimous nod. Roverso will have to work hard for the submission finish.
This is one of those fights where a win from either man wouldn’t be a shock. Parubchenko’s ability to work from top control could make all the difference here. The champion certainly has the stronger takedown game, so Roverso’s best shot could come via a triangle or guillotine from the bottom. If his fight against Ismiev is any indication, Parubchenko should be able to avoid those attempts and eventually sink in a choke for a finish of his own.
Other key bouts: Thiago Oliveira (12-3) vs. Roberto de Souza (5-0), Jonathan Menezes (2-0) vs. Yu Fujimaki (9-5-1), Cleber Luciano (14-6) vs. Masahiro Oishi (26-19-9), Wagner Lima (10-2) vs. Erick Viscondi (0-0), Liana Pirosin (5-1) vs. Larissa Malvadeza (0-0), Sérgio de Fátima (13-4-1) vs. Cleiton Caetano (5-3-1)
Event Date: Oct. 21
Watch Event: live pay-per-view stream via cffc.tv
Sean Brady (6-0) vs. Dwight Grant (7-1)
Cage Fury Fighting Championships is the first of two promotions this week to feature a member of the our very own Combat Press “Give Them a Chance” prospect list. That man is Sean Brady, the undefeated Cage Fury welterweight champion. Brady’s title is on the line when he meets Dwight Grant at the promotion’s 68th event.
Brady has been a mainstay of the Cage Fury promotion since his debut in 2014. He scored a 33-second technical knockout of Paul Almquist in his first fight. He added decision victories in his next three outings, including a fight against veteran Rocky Edwards. His next victory, a 57-second spinning-backfist knockout, came against Legacy Fighting Alliance and World Series of Fighting veteran Chauncey Foxworth. Brady captured the vacant Cage Fury title in May when he scored a first-round submission finish of Tanner Saraceno. The 24-year-old was perfect through five fights as an amateur as well, with two submissions and one knockout.
Grant is an American Kickboxing Academy fighter who has only lost once through eight pro fights. He debuted in 2011 with a first-round knockout finish of Jason Ward. He dropped a unanimous decision to Chase Owens in his sophomore outing, but he’s been perfect ever since. A former middleweight, Grant now competes at 170 pounds and has defeated the likes of prospects Jordan Williams and Don Mohammed in his new weight class. The decision nod over Mohammed came on the preliminary card of last year’s Bellator 165 event. Grant went 3-1 as an amateur.
This is a risky match-up for the undefeated Brady. The young up-and-comer will have his hands full with an opponent who has displayed strong takedown defense and astounding power in both hands. Grant is very skilled at keeping the fight upright. He also has the ability to duck down while throwing a huge overhand right that can drop opponents. He’s used it to great effectiveness, including in devastating finishes of the aforementioned Williams and Ward. Grant is also a tall and lanky fighter who will tower over Brady by four inches.
Grant could very well play spoiler to Brady’s perfect record. Brady’s tendencies involve catching kicks, scoring takedowns and working for position on the ground. He’s not going to have an easy time getting Grant to the canvas, and he can’t hang with the 33-year-old on the feet. Brady has shown promise in his young career, but he’ll face a learning experience here. Grant will land one of his murderous overhands and floor the champ to snag the title.
Other key bouts: Joseph Lowry (6-0) vs. Richard Patishnock (7-4) for the lightweight title, Terry Bartholomew (3-0) vs. Louie Sanoudakis (5-1), Sodiq Yusuff (5-0) vs. William Calhoun III (3-2), Jerrell Hodge (5-1) vs. Tony Gravely (11-4), Claudio Ledesma (13-7) vs. Dez Moore (6-2)
Event Date: Oct. 22
Watch Event: Fite TV pay-per-view stream via Combat Press
Mateusz Gamrot (13-0) vs. Norman Parke (23-6-1)
KSW heads to Ireland this weekend for its 40th event. The lineup features Mateusz Gamrot, a member of the our very own Combat Press “Give Them a Chance” prospect list. The Polish fighter puts his lightweight strap up for grabs against The Ultimate Fighter alum and UFC veteran Norman Parke in a rematch of a KSW 39 fight that went in Gamrot’s favor.
The 26-year-old Gamrot could join fellow Europeans McGregor and Duquesnoy on the big stage in the near future. The Polish fighter debuted in 2012 and won his first three fights before joining KSW. The shift in organizations meant an upgrade in Gamrot’s competition. He kept winning despite facing the likes of Mateusz Zawadzki, Tim Newman, Łukasz Chlewicki, Rodrigo Cavalheiro, Marif Piraev, Mansour Barnaoui, Renato Gomes and UFC veterans Andre Winner and Parke. That long list of adversaries sported a combined mark of 138-34-5 when they fought Gamrot. The “Gamer” has just four knockouts and three submissions, but he’s been a very effective fighter who currently rules over KSW’s lightweight division. After defeating the aforementioned Parke in his most recent title defense in front of his countrymen, he’ll rematch the UFC vet in KSW’s trip to Parke’s homeland.
“Stormin” Norman debuted in 2006 with a loss to Greg Loughran before cranking out 10 stoppages. He ran into another setback when he met future UFC fighter Joseph Duffy. After the loss to Duffy, Parke went on another six-fight winning streak and then entered The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes competition. Parke defeated Richie Vaculik and Brendan Loughnane to advance to the TUF finals opposite Colin Fletcher. Parke outworked Fletcher to earn the unanimous nod and win the show’s lightweight competition. Over his next four Octagon outings, he added victories over Kazuki Tokudome, Jon Tuck and Naoyuki Kotani and fought to a draw with Leonardo Santos. That’s when things fell apart for the 29-year-old. His grinding style caused him to lose close decisions to Gleison Tibau and Francisco Trinaldo. He got back in the win column against Reza Madadi, but then suffered his third loss within four fights when he fell on the scorecards against Rustam Khabilov. Parke was jettisoned from the UFC and landed back in the European circuit, where he notched victories over Andrew Fisher and Paul Redmond en route to a short-lived lightweight title reign that ended when he lost to Gamrot in May.
Prior to his entry into the UFC, Parke was a solid finisher who had tallied 12 submissions, three knockouts and just one decision. His losses had to that point consisted of submission defeats. Once he made it to the TUF finals, however, Parke became a grinder. He has gone the distance in 11 of his last 12 fights. His only finish in this stretch was a knockout against the aforementioned Kotani. The black-belt judoka and skilled wrestler relies heavily on cage control and clinch work to grind out his opponents and score points with the judges.
Gamrot is pretty familiar with this strategy. After all, the Polish fighter has seen the scorecards in nearly half of his own fights. He fought to a close 29-28 decision over Parke in their first meeting, and Parke claimed Gamrot bit his finger at one point in the contest. Gamrot has brought an early end to the night for such notables as the previously undefeated Piraev and veterans Newman, Cavalheiro and Gomes. Meanwhile, he’s gone the distance against Winner, Chlewicki and Barnaoui.
Parke has never been an easy out, so Gamrot is unlikely to get the job done in this rematch. It’s likely to be another close affair that ends with the reading of the scorecards. Parke may well perform better in his homeland, but Gamrot should do enough to take another close and potentially controversial decision.
Other key bouts: Mariusz Pudzianowski (11-5) vs. James McSweeney (15-15), Maciej Jewtuszko (12-3) vs. David Zawada (14-3), Michał Materla (24-5) vs. Paulo Thiago (18-9), Ariane Lipski (9-3) vs. Mariana Morais (12-4) for the women’s flyweight title, Konrad Iwanowski (5-1) vs. Paul Lawrence (3-1), Michał Fijałka (16-6-1) vs. Chris Fields (11-7-1), Łukasz Chlewicki (14-6-1) vs. Paul Redmond (12-6), Antun Račić (19-8-1) vs. Anzor Azhiev (7-2)
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