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Beyond the Octagon: UFC vet Saraiva gets flattened, plus former champ Mizuto Hirota vs. Masakazu Imanari

Former Sengoku champion Mizuto Hirota takes on submission specialist and reputed weirdo Masakazu Imanari, erstwhile UFC flyweight Darren Uyenoyama returns to the ring for the first time since his release, and UFC veteran Diego Saraiva suffers a hellacious knockout.

First up, some late-breaking results from last week out of Russia, where Akop Stepanyan (14-7, 1-4 Bellator) competed for the first time since his exit from Bellator last November.

Though his American campaign turned out a pretty abysmal record, Stepanyan frequently made for good viewing, and the discouraging numbers bely how strong his performances could be, at least in a fight's early going. Unfortunately, Stepanyan had a distinct knack for stumbling outside the opening minutes. He'd set things right this weekend, however, scoring a first-round TKO of Anatoly Angelovskiy (3-1-0). Stepanyan will look to build on this momentum quickly, with a co-main event fight against Paul Reed (20-12-1) set for November 1.

As for this weekend, we start things off with Friday's PXC 45 in Guam, where Darren Uyenoyama (9-5, 2-2 UFC) returned to the ring for the first time since his release from the UFC last December. Uyenoyama announced himself in the Octagon with a unanimous decision victory over Kid Yamamoto, and he was part of the organization's first class of flyweights. Looking to rebound from the two straight losses that saw him out of the UFC, Uyenoyama would square off this weekend with Shane Alvarez (10-1-0), who was making his own drop down to flyweight. Uyenoyama would make short work of his opponent, putting him away with punches for the first-round TKO victory.

And on Saturday, Will Chope (21-7, 0-1 UFC) continued his run in the south-east Asian circuit, taking out novice Matthew Pellino (0-1-0) with a triangle choke in the first. Chope has won two straight, and is 2-1 since the UFC cut him this past March.

Chope vs. Pellino here.

Also on Saturday, at NFC 69 in Georgia, Diego Saraiva (22-17-1, 0-3 UFC, 0-1 Bellator) looked for a second consecutive win following his upset victory over Eddie Yagin in June. Standing in his way was Shah Bobonis, who entered the contest with a three-fight losing streak hanging over his head. Brevity and brutality would be the order of the evening, with a lunging overhand right flattening Saraiva only seconds into the fight. Bobonis would firmly remove Saraiva from consciousness with a follow-up left for the KO at 0:15 of Round 1. Bobonis improves his record to 16-11-0. Saraiva hasn't won consecutive bouts since 2010.

Bobonis vs. Saraiva can be seen here.

And at Dakota Fighting Championships's Fall Brawl 2014, the oft-featured Travis Wiuff (73-20-1NC, 0-1 UFC, 0-1 Pride, 1-2 Sengoku, 4-2 Bellator) lost for the second time by TKO in as many fights, this defeat coming at the hands of surging heavyweight Timothy Johnson (8-1-0). This fight leaves Wiuff with a fifth TKO loss in two years. For Johnson, it's his seventh straight win.

Last but certainly not least, DEEP 69 Impact featured a host of big-show veterans, including Japanese MMA pioneer and former DEEP champion Ryuta Sakurai (24-19-6, 0-3 Pride) who took on reigning champ Yoshiyuki Nakanishi (15-3-0) in the night's main event. The younger Nakanishi would claim his third win in a row, besting Sakurai by unanimous decision.

Earlier in the night, UFC veteran and former Sengoku champion Mizuto Hirota (16-7-1, 0-2 UFC, 0-1 Strikeforce, 2-1 Sengoku) continued his climb back up the ranks with a second-round TKO of leg-lock specialist, former DEEP and Cage Rage champion, and overall weirdo Masakazu Imanari (28-14-2, 3-2 Dream, 0-2 Pride). The win moves Hirota (party to one of the most horrific submissions in MMA history) to 2-0 since his release from the UFC in June 2013. Imanari, meanwhile, is 1-3 for the year.

Also on the card, journeyman Daisuke Nakamura (27-15-1, 2-2 Dream, 0-1 Strikeforce, 2-1 Pride) narrowly avoided a third straight loss, fighting Shinji Sasaki (13-8-3) to a split-draw. Nakamura hasn't won a fight since October of 2012.

Action fighter Daiki Hata (17-9-7, 1-2 Dream) also took to the ring, earning a split-decision victory over Seiji Akao (18-9-3). Hata has won four straight and is in the midst of a career-best unbeaten streak, being undefeated in nine contests. This, following a dispiriting four-fight slump from 2009 to 2011.

Finally, Keita Nakamura (28-6-2-1NC) continued to make the most of his run through the Japanese circuit, scoring a TKO over Yuki Okano (8-7-1) early in the second. Nakamura, who went 0-3 in the UFC from 2006 to 2008, and 3-0 in Sengoku, where he became the organization's welterweight tournament champion, is 2-1 for the year.