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Beyond the Octagon: UFC vets Brock Larson, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, and Jeff Monson

It was a weekend of mixed results for UFC veterans, repped this time by Brock Larson, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, and the ubiquitous Jeff Monson. Also this weekend, JMMA luminaries Mamoru Yamaguchi and "Lion" Takeshi Inoue put in work.

Another weekend, another batch of big-show veterans fighting on the comeback trail that is the world's regional shows. We start things off with a welterweight submission artist who was once tricked into fighting current light-heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson...

I'm speaking, of course, about former UFC welterweight Yoshiyuki Yoshida (17-8, 2-3 UFC, 0-1 Bellator), who took to the ring for a main-event bout against Kota Shimoishi (14-3-0) at last Tuesday's DEEP Osaka Impact 2015.

Yoshida showed some appreciable flair for the submission game during his brief tenure with the UFC, notably choking War Machine unconscious, but he also frequently appeared outgunned on the feet and was eventually released from the organization in 2010. From 2011 through 2014, however, he managed a six-fight win-streak, which included victories over Phil Baroni and a guillotine choke of human garbage Niko Puhakka. Yoshida did, however, lose his final fight of last year, dropping a unanimous decision to former Sengoku champ Satoru Kitaoka.

As for Shimoishi, he was riding into last week's fight on the strength of a three-fight win streak and an impressive overall record, though he yet lacked a signature win. That would change by the end of the night, however--executing a gameplan of high-pressure ground-and-pound, Shimoishi would earn himself a unanimous decision victory over the UFC veteran.

And on Thursday, at Alash Pride FC, Jeff Monson (55-22-1, 4-3 UFC, 1-0 PRIDE, 0-1 Strikeforce) looked to rebound quickly from a TKO loss to D.J. Linderman suffered in early April. His opponent was Evgeny Egemberdiev, whose slight record of 1-0-0 seemed to mark him as easy prey for one of Monson's typical north-south chokes. It would turn out, though, that Monson bit off more than he could chew, as the far younger Egemberdiev would fight his way to a unanimous decision victory, improving to 2-0-0. Monson falls to 2-2 for the year.

Moving into Saturday, we have Road FC 23, which hosted Mu Bae Choi (11-4, 4-1 PRIDE, 1-2 Sengoku), who returned from a lengthy hiatus to fight Lucas Tani (1-3-0) in the night's co-main event. Choi, known alternatively as "The Heavy Tank of Busan" and "Fuchinkan" ("The Unsinkable Warship") has finished the likes of Soa Palelei, Gary Goodridge, and Dave Herman, and had predictably little trouble with Tani, who he put away with punches in the opening minutes of Round 1.

Watch Choi vs. Tani here. Action starts at 1:45.

Also on the card was Emi Fujino (16-8, 0-1 WSOF), who made a losing bid against Jessica Aguilar for the WSOF strawweight title. Fujino was tasked with novice Jung Eun Park (0-1-0) and, despite her opponent's lack of professional experience, was only able to win via majority decision. Fujino is 3-0 since her loss to Aguilar.

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, Brock Larson (41-9, 3-3 UFC, 4-1 WEC) faced Kyle Olsen (8-11-0) in the main event of KOTC: Bad Blood. Larson owns not only one of the toughest-sounding names in MMA, but victories over Melvin Manhoef, Mike Pyle, and Eduardo Pamplona. As for the journeyman Olsen, he was returning from a four-year layoff that was preceded by a 1-4 slump. Things unfolded predictably, with Larson dispatching Olsen by TKO early in Round 1. Larson is 6-2 in the last two years and is 2-0 since a unanimous decision loss to the resurgent Roan Carneiro last October.

And finally, in Tokyo, Shooto put on Sunday's "Mobstyles 15th Anniversary: Fight and Mosh," which featured 125-pound pioneer Mamoru Yamaguchi. The be-afroed Yamaguchi was ranked among the best of the flyweight division back when Demetrious Johnson was still gearing up for his professional debut. Now 37 years old with over 15 years of pro-MMA experience under his belt, his career seems to be winding down--a TKO victory last October was his first win in four years. Sunday's bout with Kosuke "Rambo" Suzuki (10-5-3) offered him the chance at his first win streak since 2011, but he wouldn't be able to pull it off: the pair fought for the duration, ultimately earning a split-draw for their efforts. Yamaguchi's record stands at 27-9-5 overall. He's 1-2-2 in his last five.

Please enjoy this Yamaguchi highlight, featuring some pretty slick striking.

Also on Sunday's card, former featherweight luminary "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (22-10, 2-2 Dream) took on Fumiya Sasaki (8-11-1). Inoue entered the bout weighed down by a five-fight losing streak that stretched back to 2011. He'd finally put himself back in the win column, taking a unanimous decision over the journeyman.