Every week, Combat Press takes a look at three regional, developmental and 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…
Michael Tobin (16-2) vs. Diego Pereira (5-3)
It hasn’t been that long since we last checked in on Australia’s Eternal MMA organization. The company is back with another card that offers a glimpse at a couple of the region’s prospects. Michael Tobin is arguably the best of the bunch. The featherweight standout gets what could be viewed as a showcase fight against the unheralded Diego Pereira.
Tobin, a 27-year-old grappling ace, has been fighting professionally since 2012. He streaked out of the gates to the tune of 12 straight wins before running into trouble during an excursion to the Russian circuit. “The Great White” lost back-to-back fights to fellow prospects Dean Garnett and Mike Grundy, but he has gone on to rebound with a four-fight winning streak. Tobin has a head-turning 15 victories via submission.
Pereira has had a roller-coaster ride since his 2015 pro debut. “El Pantera Negra” needed just nine seconds to land a fight-ending head kick against fellow rookie Nix Agulto, but he suffered his own knockout loss in his sophomore affair against the formerly winless Beau Luxford. He bounced back with another win, only to follow it with an additional loss. The Aussie fighter compiled a winning streak over his next three appearances, including his own foray into the Russian circuit. His success was brought to a quick end, though, when he lasted just 25 seconds against Aaron Blackie at Eternal’s 42nd show.
Tobin’s ground skills provide him with a significant arsenal against any opponent. However, Pereira has never been submitted. Meanwhile, Tobin has been stopped via strikes, which appears to be Pereira’s specialty. There’s an opportunity here for Pereira to pick up a sneaky win.
That’s a slim possibility, though. Tobin has long fed on fighters with similar records and standings as Pereira. Tobin is three inches taller than Pereira and should enjoy a reach advantage, which will force Pereira to close the distance if he wants to land his shots. When Pereira comes forward, Tobin will tie him up and force the fight to the canvas. Once on the mat, it’s only a matter of time before Tobin finds a submission.
Other key bouts: David Martinez (6-0) vs. Josh Togo (6-3) for the lightweight title, Chelsea Hackett (1-0-1) vs. Nicole Szepesvary (2-1), Mitch Heron (6-1) vs. Brett Jacobsen (5-7)
Ben Parrish (4-0) vs. Chauncey Foxworth (10-8)
Mississippi is hardly an MMA mecca. This doesn’t mean the state can’t deliver an occasional bout worthy of our attention. In this case, it’s a 195-pound catchweight affair between upstart Ben Parrish and veteran Chauncey Foxworth at the 33rd edition of Summit Fighting Championships.
Parrish is still relatively green in the sport. After a 4-1 amateur run, he made the shift to the pro ranks in late 2016. He kicked things off with a pair of submissions over fighters with losing records. After a two-year hiatus, he returned with yet another submission against a low-level opponent. Parrish finally took a step up in his most recent outing when he submitted World Series of Fighting veteran Teddy Holder in less than two minutes. Parrish started training in MMA after playing football in his youth. He credits the sport with helping him slim down from 310 pounds to become a more fit athlete.
The 28-year-old Foxworth has made stops in a number of significant promotions since his 2015 pro debut. He lost to Jaleel Willis in his lone appearance with the World Series of Fighting. He feel in 57 seconds to Sean Brady under the Cage Fury banner. He won both of his appearances with the Legacy Fighting Alliance. He dropped his lone Bellator fight to Johnny Eblen, and he was also on the losing end against Kyle Stewart at a smaller show. “The Machine” is an equal-opportunity fighter who has doled out four knockouts and four submissions. Unfortunately, he has also suffered two knockouts and tapped three times.
Foxworth provides Parrish with an excellent next test. The veteran has had small tastes of the big show, with mixed results. He’s been in the cage — mostly on the losing side — against a number of prospects, including several undefeated up-and-comers. Just look at those who’ve beaten Foxworth. Willis is on the cusp of cracking the big leagues and has been a featured star for the LFA. Brady just won his UFC debut over Court McGee. Micah Terrill recently made his Bellator debut, albeit in a losing effort. Stewart has made two unsuccessful UFC appearances. Dixon is up to an 8-0 mark. Eblen is now two fights into his Bellator stint and has yet to lose.
Parrish still has a lot to prove, but a victory over Foxworth would put him in good company. The “Big Tuna” has solid power that could rock Foxworth and put him on the mat. Parrish is relentless with ground-and-pound while looking for openings for the submission. This might all add up to be too much for Foxworth, who seems to have reached his ceiling as a fighter. Expect to see Parrish have his hand raised once more, most likely after coaxing the tap from Foxworth.
Parus Fight Championship
Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai Event Date: Nov. 3 Website:mfp-mma.ru
Maiquel Falcão (40-16) vs. Evgeny Erokhin (20-7)
Finally, we come to an event that features some mildly recognizable names. While the fight poster hypes the appearance of Deep Purple’s Joe Lynn Turner, the fight action includes UFC veteran Maiquel Falcão. The troubled Brazilian hasn’t had his hand raised all that often in the last few years, but he’ll hope for better results when he tangles with fellow light heavyweight Evgeny Erokhin.
Falcão’s issues outside of the cage played a significant role in his departure from the UFC after an uninspired victory over Gerald Harris in his lone Octagon appearance. The Brazilian has also made a stop in Bellator, where he marched through Norman Paraisy, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Andreas Spang in a middleweight tournament to earn his shot against Alexander Shlemenko. Shlemenko dropped the Brazilian in round two, though. Falcão has suffered numerous setbacks since the loss. He has gone just 10-11 in this stretch, while suffering stoppages in all but two of his defeats. The 38-year-old has a penchant for knockout finishes — he has stopped 26 opponents via strikes — but he has also registered seven submission wins. His inconsistency in the cage has also led to 11 knockout defeats and three submission losses.
The 33-year-old Erokhin has been a staple of the Russian regional circuit since his 2009 debut. He’s had his own set of ups and downs, but never quite the same frequency of losses as his upcoming opponent. Erokhin went 5-1 through his first six contests. This included finishes of Valentijn Overeem and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. He then went on a three-fight skid that included knockouts courtesy of Konstantin Erokhin and Murod Khanturaev, plus a decision loss to Brett Rogers. The Russian righted the ship to score 12 victories and one no-contest over his next 13 fights. This stretch included wins over the aforementioned Rogers, Mike Kyle, Jeff Monson, the late Tim Hague, Emanuel Newton and Eric Prindle. He ran into additional adversity in 2016 and dropped back-to-back fights. Erokhin has recovered to win three of his last four outings, with his only loss coming against UFC veteran Daniel Omielańczuk. Erokhin is also fond of the knockout, which has accounted for 14 of his victories. However, he has also suffered five knockout losses over his 27-fight pro career.
Someone’s likely to be staring at the lights when it is all said and done. We’re talking about a pair of fighters who have combined for an astounding 40 career knockouts and 16 defeats via knockout. They sure can bang. The difference lies in the direction of their careers. Erokhin is still winning fights by the handful, whereas Falcão hasn’t strung together consecutive victories since 2016.
We can never be sure which version of Falcão will show up, though. The Brazilian did pick up a finish over fellow UFC castoff Igor Pokrajac in May, but the victory came on the heels of a split-decision loss to Wagner Silva, whose record stood at just one win above the .500 mark when they met. The “Big Rig” is always capable of putting his opponent to sleep, but he’s never a guarantee. Erokhin has had his stumbles, but he should be the better of the two men when they collide in Dubai. The Russian will score the knockout.
Other key bouts: Elnur Agaev (15-8) vs. Georges Eid (7-2), Evgeniy Ryazanov (22-17) vs. Youssef Ghrairi (7-1), Dan Vinni (16-16) vs. Nikolay Kovalenko (1-0)
The Best of the Rest
Valor Fighting Challenge 66: Cody Durden (8-2) vs. Dre Miley (6-2) for the bantamweight title
Pure Fighting Championships 15: Jonas Flok (13-4) vs. Justin DeMoney (15-11-1)
Shogun Fights XXIII: Tucker Lutz (8-1) vs. Trevor Thompson (2-2) for the lightweight title
Colosseum MMA: Battle of Champions 10: Lom Ali Tavlaev (3-0) vs. Muradil Abdyrakhmanov (2-0) for the lightweight title
Last Week’s Scorecard
Greg Rebello vs. Parnell Davis at CES 59
Rebello by knockout
Łukasz Brzeski vs. Ednaldo Oliveira at Babilon MMA 10
Oliveira by decision
Brzeski by decision
Jai Herbert vs. Cain Carrizosa at Cage Warriors 109
Herbert by submission
Herbert by knockout
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