clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Beyond the Octagon: UFC vets Edwin Dewees, Professor X, O'Neil, Funch, and more

New, comments

Former UFC middleweight and TUF 4 contestant Edwin "Babyface" Dewees returns as a heavyweight after two years away from the cage. Plus, Richard Odoms, the heavyweight signed to and then released from the UFC without ever having stepped in the Octagon, fights for the first time since his unceremonious departure.

Before anything else, let's take a moment to appreciate the event known as Say Uncle Fight Night. It's an organization based out of the U.K., a country where dignity reigns, and where "say uncle" presumably means something different than what it means here in the ol' U.S. of A. While doing research for these posts, I come across a lot of pretty outrageously titled events, almost all of them trading in extreme, hyperbolically violent imagery. Say Uncle Fight Night manages to top all of them, though, by bucking the trend and instead evoking for us the image of one eight-year-old giving an Indian burn to another, slightly smaller eight-year-old. I challenge you to come up with a name for an organization as at once unassuming and silly as Say Uncle Fight Night.

Anyway, on to the results.

In the co-main event of RFA 19, bantamweight Abel Cullum (20-6-0) continued to reestablish himself in the bantamweight division. Cullum, who had a 1-2 campaign in Dream, which included an absolute barnburner with Hideo Tokoro, disappeared from competition in 2011 following a third-round armbar loss to submission ace Masakazu Imanari. He returned last month, almost three years later to the day, to take out Ulysses Gomez by first-round guillotine. Making the most of that momentum, Cullum returned last weekend to put away Carl Deaton III (8-2-0) by second-round rear-naked choke. Cullum has now won two straight. As for Deaton, the loss snaps a four-fight win streak.

Cullum vs. Deaton, accompanied by the dulcet tones of the incomparable Michael Schiavello, can be seen here.

Over in Rhode Island, in the main event of CES 26, UFC veterans Chuck O'Neil (14-6, 0-1 UFC, 1-0 Bellator) and Ricardo Funch (8-5, 0-4 UFC) squared off for the organization's vacant welterweight title, with O'Neil emerging victorious thanks to a second-round armbar. TUF 13 alum O'Neil, who has also beaten former UFC mainstay Marcus Davis, was released from the UFC in 2011 after a loss on his season's finale. He's gone 6-2 since then and has won three straight. As or Funch, the fight this weekend was his first since his release from the UFC in 2012. It's also the first loss of his career that came outside the Octagon.

And at Saturday's Rage in the Cage 174, former UFC middleweight Edwin Dewees (37-16, 0-3 UFC) returned to competition after a two-year hiatus to challenge the undefeated Dale Sopi for the vacant heavyweight strap. Dewees was one of former champion Rich Franklin's earliest UFC opponents and was also a contestant on TUF 4: The Comeback, in which he lost a unanimous decision to eventual finalist and unlikely future contender Patrick Cote. That final run in the UFC marked something of a downturn in Dewees's career. Though he never found victory inside the UFC, he had, up to his appearance on the TUF 4 finale, been an extraordinarily reliable competitor on the regional circuit. Since his final UFC loss in 2006, however, Dewees has only gone 4-7 in smaller shows.

That slump includes his fight this weekend against the younger Sopi. Dewees was wary of the striking game and shot for the takedown frequently in the fight's opening minutes, but was denied each time. Sopi eventually caught Dewees with his hands down along the fence, flooring him with a head kick and following up with a barrage of punches for the TKO win. Dewees is 2-4 in his last six, while Sopi is 6-0.

Sopi vs. Dewees can be seen here.

In the main event of APFC 17, outside Chicago, Illinois, Brian Houston (4-3, 0-2 UFC) squared off with Louis Taylor (10-3, 2-0 Bellator, 0-2 Strikeforce) in a middleweight contest. Taylor would emerge victorious, earning his fourth win in a row with a first-round guillotine choke.

Taylor vs. Houston here.

Meanwhile, in Indiana, at CES 30, Ryan Thomas (18-8, 0-2 UFC, 1-3 Bellator) defended his welterweight title with a first-round TKO of Joshua Thorpe (12-13-0). Thomas is 7-2 since he last appeared in Bellator in 2010. Thorpe has dropped three in a row.

And in Russia, at the Far Eastern Modern Pankration Federation, Richard Odoms (8-2-0) , who was signed to the UFC and then curiously released before ever having competed, fought for the first time since his canceled debut. Things would not go well for the American, unfortunately, with Odoms falling to the punches of Konstantin Erokhin in under half a minute. Odoms is now 1-2 since 2013, while Erokhin has won eight in a row, which includes victories over Sokoudjou and Brett Rogers.

And earlier in the evening, Xavier Foupa-Pokam (28-20, 0-2 UFC) pulled himself out of a two-fight skid, taking out Renat Lyatifov (26-19-0) with knees and punches early in the first. Foupa-Pokam is 6-2 since 2013, while Lyatifov has lost four straight, three inside the distance.