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Beyond the Octagon: UFC's Mike Rhodes takes decision, Akihiro Gono knocked out

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A look at big-show veterans on the regional circuit, featuring UFC talent Mike Rhodes, PRIDE FC showman Akihiro Gono, and former Sengoku contender Michihiro Omigawa.

This week's BtO sees yet another batch of mixed results for UFC veterans, including JMMA luminaries Akihiro Gono and former Dream champion Michihiro Omigawa. We start, however, with Roufusport prospect Mike Rhodes.

Rhodes (9-4-0) was expected to carve out a spot for himself in the UFC's welterweight division but wound up never really getting his footing. A submission loss to human tornado Erick Silva would see Rhodes's UFC record slip to 0-3 and send him back to the regional circuit where, to his credit, he's since found the steady success as one would expect from a solid prospect. His latest outing proved no different. At NAFC: Super Brawl, Rhodes out-classed Mark Stoddard (11-9-0) across three rounds to capture a unanimous decision victory. Rhodes now stands at 3-0 since his departure from the UFC.

Ronny Markes (15-4, 3-2 UFC, 1-0 WSOF) did not fare quite so well in his latest trip to the ring, tapping out to a heel hook from Cassio de Oliveira (17-6-1) some 100 seconds into Round 1. Markes falls to 1-1 since his last appearance in the Octagon; he previously picked up a win in WSOF. Oliveira, meanwhile, has a big ol' tattoo of an alligator wearing kung-fu pajamas, which makes somewhat less sacrilegious his nickname of "Jacare." You got to give the guy credit for really doubling down on that one.

World Series of Fighting put out a stacked card for its second Global Championship show, which featured a heavyweight title fight between knockout artist Evgeny Erokhin (14-4-0) and fellow slugger Brandon Cash (10-4, 1-0 Bellator, 0-2 Strikeforce). As you might expect, this one didn't even last half the round. Cash, sporting a fearsome size advantage, went to work early with leg kicks, but it was the smaller Erokhin who scored the first knockdown, plastering the American with a counter right. Cash recovered well, though, and once on his feet even landed a clean right of his own before looking to push his weight around in the clinch. But Erokhin would not be trapped, instead stinging Cash with three to the dome that saw the larger man lunge for a fruitless desperation takedown. Erokhin continued to fire off combinations while Cash settled for lobbing one haymaker at a time, one of which actually seemed to give Erokhin some pause. What damage it may have done remains uncertain, however, as Cash right after seen limping backwards while clutching at his right leg, prompting the referee to halt the action, thus awarding Erokhin his ninth (T)KO victory in a row. Cash, meanwhile, sees a similarly concussive string of victories halted at five.

Erokhin vs. Cash is here.

In the night's co-main event, Akihiro Gono (34-20-8, 6-3 PRIDE, 1-2 UFC, 2-2 Sengoku, 0-1 Bellator) faced Slovakian slugger Miroslav Strbak (13-5-1). Unfortunately for JMMA fans, the 41-year-old Gono suffered one of the most cringe-inducing knockouts you'll see this week, catching a short uppercut that sent him crashing face-first to the mat. The end came mid-way through Round 2 and makes for three knockouts in his last three losses.

Round 2 of Strbak vs. Gono is here.

Fellow PRIDE veteran and former Sengoku contender Michihiro Omigawa had a better night, edging out French product Teddy Violet (10-1-0, seen here doing I'm sure I don't know what) on the scorecards for a split-decision win. Omigawa 4-0 in the last two years.

Also on the card, would-be UFC heavyweight Richard Odoms (11-2, 1-0 Bellator) knocked out DEEP Megaton Champion Yusuke Kawaguchi (18-11-0) in the opening round.

And at Tech-Krep FC: Battle in Siberia, Michail Tsarev (30-5, 1-2 Bellator) took to the ring in search of a rebound victory following his unexpected submission loss to Jesse Taylor last summer. Tsarev made short work of Artem Reznikov (5-2-0), ending his night with a guillotine less than a minute after the opening bell.

Check out Tsarev vs. Reznikov here.

And finally, in the main event of MMA War in Bogota, Columbia, TUF: Latin America alum Alexander Torres (4-3, 0-1 UFC) improved to 2-1 in his post-UFC career, putting away Jhon Garcia (3-2-0) with strikes in Round 2.