Casual UFC fans didn't have to worry about plopping down a sizable sum of money this weekend as the world's premier mixed martial arts promotion remained quiet for its second straight week. As expected, a number of prominent regional shows took advantage of the lull in action and lessened focus on the UFC brand. Bellator, Ringside MMA, and XFC all put on successful shows over the weekend with well-known talent.
Those aren't the only shows worth mentioning however. The regional scene was ripe with great action with everything from top prospects to UFC and Strikeforce veterans battling it out to get one notch closer to the major leagues. Here's a brief rundown of results:
- Thirty-six year old Strikeforce veteran Joey Villasenor returned to the cage on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was his first fight since his controversial split decision win over Chris Camozzi in May at Shark Fights 15, which was eventually reversed in favor of Camozzi due to what was deemed a scoring error. Villasenor quickly dispatched of forty-eight fight veteran Chuck Parmlee in two minutes and forty-seven seconds in his welterweight debut.
- #3-ranked World MMA Scouting Report light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa destroyed Nick Chapman at UCMMA 24 at the Troxy in London, England on Saturday, brutalizing the 2-0 rookie with knees to finish in only two minutes and fourteen seconds. The win isn't exactly an impressive resume builder for the Brit striker, but he's coming off a major injury and still relatively green himself. Surprisingly, Manuwa has turned down two UFC contract offers in order to better himself, and he's scheduled to train stateside with Alliance MMA alongside UFC vets Phil Davis, Alexander Gustafsson, and Brandon Vera.
- Undefeated Brazilian Alexandre Pimentel returned to mixed martial arts after a little under two years to defeat late replacement Udi Lima at Jungle Fight 33 on Saturday. Pimentel was once considered a prospect to watch, but he suffered a debilitating knee injury that kept him out of the sport till now. Surprisingly, it isn't an uncommon problem for fighters in Brazil due to the cost of surgeries and the little money fighting brings to the table.
Bantamweight prospect Iliarde Santos battled Eduardo Kiko to a no-contest after he kneed his opponent in the face while he was grounded. The strike broke Kiko's nose. Lightweight grappling whiz Neilson Gomes KO'd Elieni Silva in three minutes and thirty-four seconds.
- UFC veteran Mario Miranda knocked out IFL veteran Aaron Stark in the second round at SportFight 30 in Portland, Oregon. Ryan Healy, who was scheduled to face UFC veteran Paul Kelly, narrowly edged late replacement Andrew Chapelle. Kelly had to withdraw due to visa issues.
- Top-flight Northeastern prospects Joey Gambino, Aljamain Sterling, and Sean Santella all saw action this weekend at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 11 in Atlantic City. Gambino, who has been training with the likes of Georges St. Pierre at Tristar Gym, stopped Eddie Fyvie in the second round of action to remain undefeated. The win earned him the CFFC featherweight title.
In what could be described as one of the best bantamweight prospect tilts outside of any major regional promotion, wrestlers Aljamain Sterling and Sean Santella went head-to-head for the CFFC bantamweight title. Impressively, Sterling dominated the AMA Fight Club team member, beating him on the scorecards (50-45, 49-46, 49-46).