Welcome to MMA Outposts, a weekly look at the most important, intriguing or bizarre fights happening this weekend from every corner of the globe. The focus here is on the regional scene and as such the UFC, WsoF, Bellator and ONE FC are excluded.
KOTC Awakening: Trevor Prangley (35-11-1) vs DJ Linderman (18-9)
Trevor Prangley is old school and that's why people still want to watch him fight. The South African is a battle scarred veteran, a throwback to the early 2000's, and when he steps on to the mat against ever confident DJ Linderman there will be the same question. How long can he fight off Father Time? Approaching 43 the long time Idaho resident has seen everything in the cage and despite creeping cobwebs still finds a way to win more often than not. That said DJ Linderman is no joke, once the most feared heavyweight in the Pacific North West 'Da Protege' has had an indifferent run of results since co-headlining the first WSOF. Linderman does however come in to this on the back of defeating even more grizzled grappling veteran Jeff Monson in April.
Ring of Combat 51: Julio Arce (7-0) vs Michael Imperato (7-1)
There are few better places for fighters to pay their dues than in New Jersey's consistently excellent Ring of Combat. The list of current and former UFC fighters to have passed through their doors is long and distinguished, names like Frankie Edgar and Chris Weidman looming largest of all on its alumni roll. Julio Arce looks to protect his bantamweight gold and stay undefeated in the process as Michael Imperato leaves the stuttering Canadian regional scene to raid south of the boarder. The Ontarian has a razor sharp submission game that Arce will need to be prepared for or the so far relative plain sailing he has experienced will end abruptly.
RFA 26: Ben Smith (14-2) vs Gilbert Smith (10-4)
With the recent growth and expansion of quality regional promotions effectively forming a 3rd tier of the MMA pyramid it has become harder and harder to separate fighters with excellent records from excellent fighters. Time and time again we have seen gaudy records obliterated in the big show but Ben Smith is piecing together a steady solid reputation under the auspices of Ed Soares' would be UFC farm league Resurrection Fighting Alliance. In TUF veteran Gilbert Smith he will look to add another solid scalp to his collection. The stocky Gilbert Smith is built like a gorilla, sacrificing 2 inches in height to his opponent yet holding a 3.5inch reach advantage. Do not mistake Gilbert for a blown up lightweight as many have, giving up their back to the deceptively long reached TUF alum who loves to sink in the choke.
EFC 40: Peter Queally (5-1) vs Igeu Kabesa (5-0)
EFC Africa recently became EFC Worldwide, opening it's doors to non-African fighters for the first time as part of it's continued impressive growth. Already boasting some of the highest production values in all of MMA and logical but exciting match making it has also just introduced extensive anti-doping measures. To go with it's its burgeoning reputation is a growing roster of home made stars like undefeated bantamweight champion Demarte Pena. In Igeu Kabesa they may have discovered another top talent with the potential to fill the space on posters left by Garreth McLellan's departure to the UFC. Looking to halt Kabesa's rise is Conor McGregor training partner Peter Queally. The Irishman is looking to take advantage of EFC's new open door policy by picking up his second straight win under the banner in his return to lightweight.
Cage Run: Teddy Violet (9-1) vs Saba Bolaghi (4-0-1)
The superbly named Teddy Violet is one of France's brightest prospects and on Saturday he will meet perhaps Germany's absolute brightest in decorated freestyle wrestling convert Saba Bolaghi. The German is a former World Junior and full European Championship bronze medallist and already a person of interest in German MMA. The question in need of answering here is can Violet threaten enough off his back to stop the German strangler. Violet himself has a solid submission game but has fought primarily on home soil in France where strikes on the ground are still outlawed, it's a whole different game when the man on top is punching you in the face.
Also worth noting
-Jeff Monson (55-22-1) starts his 3 fight tour of Europe with a fight against streaky Russian Evgeny Erokhin (9-4) at FEFoMP Mayors Cup 2015
-Sidemar Honorio (10-5) makes the first defence of his CFFC Flyweight title against Shooto Brazil fixture Lincoln de Sa (16-5)
-American Top Team Bantamweight prospect Kevin Syler (3-0), brother of the UFC's Bentley Syler, returns home to his native Bolivia to battle Argentine debutant Paulo Milanez (0-0) at 145lbs
-For those of us with minimal to zero command of Mandarin the most bizarre fight of the week is surely Chinese poster girl Jin Tang (17-7-3) vs an Iranian debutant listed only as Miley (0-0) at Kunlun Fight 26 UPDATE - Now known to be Younes 'Miley' Malihe
-Alexei Kudin (19-8) and Denis Smoladrev (10-1) look to earn a crack at the M-1 strap in a heavyweight battle at M-1 Challenge 58