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Beyond the Octagon: Former UFC star Roger Huerta falls to strikes, UFC vets go 7-5

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Your update on what big-show veteran's are up to on the small stages of MMA.

Welcome to another look at regional MMA action, featuring former talent from the UFC, PRIDE, and Bellator. Our biggest results come out of China, where both ONE Championship and Road FC recently put on shows.

In the main event of ONE Championship: Dynasty of Champions, Jadambaa Narantungalag (12-4, 2-0 Sengoku) delivered a lightning-quick knockout of Eric Kelly (12-3-0), flooring him with one straight right before feeding the dazed Kelly a second to send him fully into unconsciousness. The end came 40 seconds into the first. Narantungalag is 2-0 since losing his lightweight title to Marat Gafurov last year. Kelly has dropped two straight.

Also that evening, Roger Huerta (22-9-1-1NC, 6-2 UFC, 1-2 Bellator) took to the ring against former TUF 12 hopeful Ariel Sexton (11-3-0) for his first bout of the year.

Huerta rose to stardom early in his UFC career thanks to being both a dynamic and photogenic talent. However, unlike many of his peers, Huerta used his heightened profile to insist on better treatment of fighters by the UFC, putting him at odds with the promoter. Despite having won his first six bouts, he was cut after two consecutive losses. Huerta was thereafter never able to recapture his status as a top lightweight, at one point dropping three straight fights by (T)KO.

Huerta's vulnerability to strikes cropped up again in his latest outing, with Sexton forcing a verbal submission in Round 3. Huerta falls to 2-6 since his release from the UFC, with four of those losses coming by strikes. He hasn't won consecutive bouts in nearly ten years. Sexton has won three in a row.

Also appearing on the card was "The Burmese Python" Aung La Nsang (18-9, 1-0 Bellator), who handed Aleksei Butorin the first loss of his career with a second-round arm-triangle choke. Nsang has won three straight; Butorin's record falls to 10-1-0.

Meanwhile, Road FC 32 played host to the continuing misadventures of Bob Sapp (11-19-1, 2-1 PRIDE, 6-1-1 K-1, 0-2 Dream). Sapp lasted just over half a minute with "Heavyweight Supernova" Aori Gele before retreating into his infamous defensive shell and losing yet another bout by TKO. Sapp, once a relatively competitive fighter, has lost his last 13 MMA contests, with ten of them coming by way of either TKO or submission due to strikes. Aori Gele, meanwhile, successfully rebounds from his loss to Hong Man Choi and improves his record to 3-3-0.

For fans of competitive MMA, Road FC's true main event featured surging Korean talent Soo Chul Kim (14-5-1), who put away Jumabieke Tuerxun (17-4, 0-3 UFC) with strikes mid-way through Round 1. Kim, a potent brawler, is unbeaten in his last eight, with five wins over UFC veterans. Jumabieke falls to 2-1 in his post-UFC career and suffers his first loss ever in regional competition.

Earlier, Albert Cheng (8-3, 0-1 UFC) claimed a unanimous decision over Hyung Seok Lee (11-8-0), improving to 6-0 since his 2014 appearance in the UFC.

Other Results

CFFC 59

- Jared Gordon (10-1-0) knocks out Anthony Morrison (20-11-1NC, 1-0 Bellator, 0-2 WEC) in Round 1 via head kick.
- Two-time TUF alum Tim Williams (13-3-0) defeats Nah-Shon Burrell (14-7, 1-2 Bellator, 1-1 UFC, 3-1 Strikeforce) by unanimous decision. Since his stint on TUF 19, Williams has gone 5-2, which includes victories over two UFC vets. Burrell slips to 4-2 since his run in Bellator

Kunlun Fight 47

- TUF: China winner Zhang Lipeng (18-9-1, 2-2 UFC) defeats Yul Kim (2-6-0) by unanimous decision. He's 9-0 since parting ways with the UFC.

Superstar Fight 4

- TUF: China runner-up Wang Sai (16-6-1, 1-1 UFC) defeats Askar Mozharov (4-5-0) by first-round guillotine. Wang is 8-1 since opting to pursue a contract outside the UFC.

Xcessive Force FC 10

- Matt Dwyer (9-4, 1-3 UFC) defeats Jesse Ronson (15-8, 0-3 UFC) by unanimous decision for his first victory since being cut from the UFC early this year. Ronson has dropped three in a row and is 2-3 since his own UFC release.

Aspera FC 41

- Marcio Alexandre Jr. (13-3, 0-3 UFC) submits Brendson Ribeiro (7-2-0) with a brabo choke in Round 2 to remain undefeated outside the UFC. 
- Ivan Jorge (27-6, 2-2 UFC) defeats Guilherme Miranda (14-5-0) by unanimous decision, improving to 1-1 since his 2014 release from the UFC.

KOTC: Ultimate Collision

- Derrick Mandell (7-2-0) defeats Reuben Duran (11-6-1, 1-3 UFC) by split-decision, unifying the KOTC bantamweight titles. Duran falls to 3-1 in his post-Octagon campaign.