clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Beyond the Octagon, part 2: Luiz Cane, Rolles Gracie, Nam Phan, and more

Japanese, Polish, and Brazilian MMA promotions this weekend offered up a wealth of action from big show castaways looking to fight their way back to the limelight.

Let's start off Part 2 of this double-sized BtO with Colleen Schneider. Schneider (6-5-0) was a TUF 18 hopeful who lost in the elimination round to Shayna Baszler via first-round armbar. Last Saturday, she contended for Super Fight League: America's vacant bantamweight title against Brenda Gonzales (5-1-0). She won by unanimous decision. At first glance her record looks pretty poor but, in fact, Schneider has seen great improvement since the first year of her career: she's 5-1 since 2012.

And in the co-main event of Absolute Championship Berkut 10, Brett Rogers rebounded from a decision loss last september with a first-round KO of formerly undefeated Aslambek Musaev (3-1-0). Rogers, who hasn't fought in America in just over two years, is 3-3 in 2014.

Joaquim Ferreira (17-9-0) hasn't ever fought in a major fight promotion, but his name may nevertheless be familiar: he's the last man to beat Junior Dos Santos before the eventual UFC champion made his Octagon debut. Unfortunately, Ferreira has had trouble finding sustained success on the regional circuit, and this weekend provided one such stumble in his career. Fighting for the vacant JF Fight light-heavyweight title, Ferreira would succumb to a heel hook from Cassio de Oliveira (16-4-1) only a minute and a half into the first round. Ferreira is 1-1 for the year, Oliveira 2-0.

Also in Brazil this weekend, Luiz Cane (14-6, 4-5 UFC) stepped into the ring for the first time this year for a fight with Alexandre Zaneti (11-2-0) in the main event of BRFC 4. Cane was released from the UFC in October of 2012 after a 1-4 stretch that consisted of three defeats by TKO and which was capped off by two straight losses. Cane picked up a pair of solid wins in 2013 over fellow UFC alum Rodney Wallace and Sengoku veteran Fabio Silva, but the win streak was not long for this world. Against Zaneti, Cane fell to strikes mid-way through the second round, making for the fourth TKO loss of his career and bringing his post-UFC mark to 2-1.

And at KSW 28 in Poland, Rolles Gracie (8-3, 0-1 UFC, 0-1 WSOF) challenged Karol Bedorf (11-2-0) for the heavyweight title. Bedorf would make short work of the UFC veteran, finishing him with a body kick and follow-up punches late in the first. Gracie, who went on a five-fight tear immediately following his release from the UFC in 2010, has now lost two straight. Bedorf has won five straight. A GIF of the knockout (Via GrabakaHitman) can be found here.

In the night's co-main event, Michal Materla (21-4-0), easily one of the best middleweights not signed to a major promotion, took out Jorge Bezerra (19-11-0) with punches in Round 2. Materla, who has fought almost exclusively for KSW since 2006, has beaten a string of former UFC fighters in the last few years, including Matt Horwich, Kendall Grove, and Jay SIlva. He's 2-0 this year with a fight scheduled against Melvin Manhoef for this December.

Earlier in the night, Peter Graham (10-7, 1-2 Bellator, 0-2 Sengoku) was awarded the TKO win following a knee injury to Marcin Rozalski (5-3-0). It was Graham's first fight since his release from Bellator.

And Maciej Jewtuszko (11-2, 0-1 UFC) made it three in a row with a knockout, via knee to the body, of Vaso Bakocevic (16-7-1). Jewtuszko was cut after only a single appearance in the UFC: a 2011 decision loss to Curt Warburton. He's 3-1 since then, having dropped his first contest back on the regionals but now winning three straight.

And Daniel Acacio (30-17, 2-1 Pride) dropped his his third fight of the year, the fourth fight in a row, this one coming by tapout to a guillotine from Rafal Moks (10-6-0). It is only the second losing streak of Acacio's 14-year long career.

At Pancrase 261, former Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka (34-13-9, 5-2 Sengoku, 1-1 Dream) bested former TUF contestant Richie Whitson (12-6-0) by unanimous decision. Kitaoka, who has defeated notables Kuniyoshi Hironaka, Willamy Freire, and, of course, Takanori Gomi, has won two straight, and is 4-1 since 2013. Whitson is 1-3 during that same time.

Also on the card, Nam Phan (20-13, 2-6 UFC, 1-1 Sengoku, 0-2 Strikeforce) continued his climb back up the ranks with a first-round rear naked choke of Yuki Baba (11-6-0). Phan, whose mark inside the Octagon could just as well read 4-4 considering the dubious decision losses to Mike Thomas Brown and Leonard Garcia, was released from the UFC earlier this year after a third straight loss. He's wasted little time working his way back, going 2-0 since then and finishing both opponents in the first round.

Finally, we have the stacked Vale Tudo Japan 6. Early in the evening, Mamoru Yamaguchi (27-9-4) earned a TKO by doctor stoppage of Yosuke Saruta (9-5-2). Possessed of a quite lovely afro, Yamaguchi sat for a long time in the Top 10 of the flyweight division. However, in 2011 he lost consecutive bouts for the first time in his lengthy career, entering a slump from which he hadn't been able to pull himself out until the stoppage win this weekend. It's his first victory in three and a half years.

UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka (23-9, 1-3 UFC, 2-2 Dream) was also on the card, looking to erase the memory of the brutal soccer kick TKO he suffered last March. The rebound would be a successful one, with Hironaka rendering a non-UFC version of Dong Hyun Kim (10-6-1) unconscious via second-round arm-triangle choke. Since his last televised fight (a KO loss to Katsunori Kikuno), Hironaka is 7-2.

And as Anton Tabuena noted, lightweight great Caol Uno (32-16-5, 3-5-2 UFC, 9-5 K-1 Hero's) won his sixth fight in a row, this one coming against Raja Shippen (14-9by rear-naked choke against Raja Shippen (14-9-1). Uno, who went 0-2-1 in his last UFC campaign, is 7-3 since his 2010 release from the promotion.

Former Dream champion Hiroyuki Takaya (19-11-2, 7-3 Dream, 0-2 WEC) got a win streak of his own going, taking out Ryogo Takahashi (5-3-0) by KO early in the second. Takaya is 2-0 for the year, both wins coming by (T)KO.

And finally, prospect Isao Kobayashi (16-1-4) emerged the winner by unanimous decision after three rounds with Takeshi Inoue (21-10, 2-2 Dream). Inoue was long-considered one of the best at featherweight, but has lost an unprecedented five fights in a row since 2011. As for Kobayashi, he hasn't tasted defeat in over four years, remaining undefeated in twelve fights.