Big weekend on the regional circuit. Let's jump in.
Chinzo Machida (3-2-0), older brother* to Lyoto Machida, finds himself on a win streak for the first time in his developing career after winning a unanimous decision victory against Dmitry Gerasimov (3-2-0) at RFA 15.
Round 1 is here.
Also on the card, Ricky Legere, Jr. saw his long-time winning streak (which includes victories in Strikeforce and Bellator) come to a close at eight following a split-decision loss to Alan Jouban. Legere was unable to convincingly work his top-control-heavy game and was frequently outgunned on the feet. Legere's record falls to 18-5-0, and Jouban improves to 9-2-0.
And headlining the event, Kevin Casey (8-3-0, 1-1 Strikeforce, 0-1 UFC) put Andrew Sanchez (5-2-0) to sleep in the opening minutes of the first. Casey had been a bit of a punch line early on in his career thanks to a dubiously awarded black belt and an association with reality TV "star" (read: turd) Spencer Pratt. Nevertheless, Casey has begun to carve out a legitimate MMA career for himself, going 3-0 in the RFA and securing the middleweight title in the process.
A highlight of the overall event, including Casey's KO, can be found here.
And at WSOF Canada 2, Tim Hague (17-9-0, 1-4 UFC) rebounded from his first-round TKO loss to Smealinho Rama last month with a first-round TKO of his own. The victory came at the expense of Matt Baker (10-7-0). Hague, who's currently undefeated in WSOF's Canadian satellite, is 2-1 in 2014, and 5-4 since his release from the UFC in 2011.
Headlining the event, former Top 10 middleweight and UFC title challenger David Loiseau moved up to light-heavyweight for a contest with long-time MFC veteran Dwayne Lewis. The move appears to have been ill-advised for Loiseau, as he dropped a unanimous decision. The Montreal native has had three tours through the UFC, accumulating a promotional record of 4-5. He was once known as a sturdy competitor with a high-powered, multi-faceted striking game, though in the aftermath of his five-round dismantling by then-champion Rich Franklin, Loiseau's had trouble reasserting himself in the cage. After entering the fight on a four-fight win streak, Loiseau sees his record fall to 23-11-0. Lewis's record improves to 15-9-0.
At last Thursday's King of the Cage event, Seth Dikun (9-6-0, 1-2 WEC) pulled himself out of a two-fight skid with a unanimous decision victory over Trace Gray (3-3-0).
In the headlining bout of Ohio's latest NAAFS event, Frank Caraballo (13-7-0, 2-1 Bellator) likewise rebounded from two-straight losses with a TKO (retirement) of Tommy Hayden (8-3-0).
Fun fact: Tony Lopez is the first person to beat Kyle Kingsbury, and also his last opponent before Kingsbury's move to the UFC. At a second King of the Cage event this weekend Lopez put away Tim Chemelli (10-5-0) with strikes in the first. Lopez has fought once for Bellator (a loss) and once for EliteXC (a win) but has been otherwise absent from major promotions. Despite this, his career as a well-traveled journeyman has seen him square off with his share of UFC talent, albeit usually in losing efforts. This latest win moves Lopez's record to 34-14-0, though he's gone a dispiriting 2-4 since 2013.
At M-1 Challenge 49, Kenny Garner (12-7-0) lost his fourth bout in a row, this one a unanimous decision loss to Shamil Abdurahimov (15-2-0). Garner hasn't gotten time in any of the largest promotions, but I have a sort of soft spot for him. It's strange that the Floridian should have become a mainstay in the M-1 promotion and, on top of that, he's the only man to beat M-1 poster boy Guram Gugenishvili. Abdurahimov has won three straight since a loss to the aforementioned Lopez.
Junior Assuncao (15-5-0) continues to find victory after being cut from the UFC in 2011, most recently taking a unanimous decision over Alejandro Solano (19-10-0, 1NC) in the main event for Sao Paolo's XFC 5. Assuncao, who went 2-3 across two UFC campaigns, has won two straight since the loss to Ross Pearson that saw him back to the regionals.
Assuncao vs. Solano is here. Beware: it's recorded off of someone's TV, and on top of that there's an occasional "referee cam." Potential for motion sickness is at a maximum.
And finally, at England's Cage Warriors 69, big show veterans went winless, beginning with former UFC bantamweight Rosi Sexton.
Sexton (13-5-0, 0-2 UFC) struggled mightily for one and a half rounds against Joanna Jedrzejczyk (6-0-0) before being felled by a lunging right along the cage. Sexton, who exited the UFC following a fifteen minute drubbing from powerhouse Jessica Andrade, has now lost three in a row, the first losing streak of her career.
Here's Sexton vs. Jedrzejczyk, sans sound.
Bellator vet Norman Paraisy was next on the chopping block, succumbing to a rear-naked choke from Jack Hermansson in the fourth round of their fight for the vacant middleweight CWFC championship. Paraisy, who once defeated the shambling remains of Paulo Filho, loses for the first time outside of Bellator and sees his record fall to 14-4-2 (1NC, 0-3 Bellator). Hermansson improves to 8-2-0.
Simeon Thoreson (17-5-1, 1-2 UFC) stumbled out of the gate in his first post-UFC fight, dropping a unanimous decision to Jake Bostwick (15-8-0). Like the aforementioned Sexton, Thoreson is in the midst of the first slump of his career with three straight losses, while Bostwick is enjoying an eight-fight hot-streak.
And in the night's main event, Curt Warburton (13-5-0, 1-2 UFC) fought Stevie Ray (15-5-0) to a split-decision loss. The bout was for the promotion's vacant lightweight title.
And that's all for this week. Phew!
*a previous version mistakenly identified Chinzo as Lyoto's younger brother.