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Beyond the Octagon: WEC great Miguel Torres returns, Mighty Mo KOs Hong Man Choi

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A look at how MMA's big-show veterans are fairing on the regional circuit.

Readers, thanks for a lovely time.

After over two years and, I figure, a hundred or so columns, this will be the last edition of Beyond the Octagon. When I first started this column I was unemployed, had just moved across state lines, and was going through a divorce. Having a corner of the internet where I could obsess over something I love, and be somebody undefined by all those troubles, was a great pleasure and relief. But new projects are tugging at my sleeve, so it's time to set this one down.

I'll continue posting the more notable results from the regional circuit on Twitter, so if you'd like to check in there, I'm @TheRainerLee.

And now, fight results.

For a long time, Miguel Torres (44-9, 0-2 WSOF, 2-2 UFC, 6-2 WEC) was something of an MMA folk hero, toiling away in the obscure bantamweight division of the early aughts. To hardcore fans, he was as one of the uncrowned pound-for-pound best, and with the rise of the WEC, Torres finally got the chance to announce himself to the rest of the world. He made short work of champ Chase Beebe to win the WEC title, and he defended it three times before being knocked out by Brian Bowles. Torres would thereafter experience a steady slip down the rankings, and his recent headlines, when there were any, have centered on brutal losses (to Des Green, by 46-second knockout, and to Angel Huerta in a kickboxing match, during which Torres absorbed a cringe-inducing kick to the knee).

But, after a winless 2015, Torres is back on the comeback trail. In the main event of United Combat League's latest event, Torres faced journeyman Lloyd Carter (11-8, 0-1 Bellator) and showed a flash of his old self, ending the fight in Round 1 with a guillotine. It's Torres's first victory in over two years and stops a three-fight winning streak for Carter. Torres is 4-2 since a stint in WSOF.

And Russia, at Fight Nights Global 51, Diego Nunes (19-7, 0-2 Bellator, 3-3 UFC, 4-1 WEC) returned from nearly two years away from the ring against undefeated prospect Rasul Mirzaev. Nunes's last MMA fight saw him snap a three-fight losing streak with a brutal knockout of former top lightweight Joachim Hansen, but he'd have the tables turned on him against Mirzaev. "Black Tiger" sat the UFC vet down with a right hand early in the first, and follow up strikes soon forced the referee's hand. Nunes, who owns victories over Raphael Assuncao, Mike Thomas Brown, and Manny Gamburyan, is 1-4 in his last 5; he hasn't won consecutive bouts since 2011. Mirzaev, meanwhile, remains dustless at 17-0-0.

Check out Mirzaev vs. Nunes here. Action starts at 2:10.

Meanwhile, in Korea, Road FC hosted it's 33rd event, which featured a bout between Mighty Mo Siliga (10-5, 3-1 Bellator) and Hong Man Choi (4-5, 1-1 Dream) for the openweight championship. Siliga brawled his way to a first round stoppage, brutalizing Choi along the fence before felling the "Techno Goliath" with an overhand right. It's his fourth straight win; he's 4-2 since parting ways with Bellator. As for Choi, he's is 2-2 since returning from his apparent retirement (a move which has roughly coincided with the issue of his arrest warrant related to unpaid debts and fraud).

Watch Siliga vs. Choi here. Action at 2:45.

Also on the card, Won Sik Park (13-6-1, 0-1 Dream) countered a knee bar attempt from Ukyo Abe (6-5-1) with a salvo of fight-ending ground-and-pound, improving to 2-1 for the year.

Check out Park vs. Abe here.

And in New England, UFC veterans Levan Makashvili (12-2-1, 1-1-1 UFC) and Sean Soriano (9-5, 0-3 UFC) took to the ring for the headlining bout of CES 38, with Makashvili submitting Soriano with a rear-naked choke in Round 2. Makashvili is now 2-0 since being cut from the UFC; Soriano is 1-2.

Also on the card, TUF 19's Pat Walsh (9-2, 1-0 WSOF, 1-1 UFC) knocked out Carlos Zevallos (3-4, 1-0 Strikeforce) in the opening round. Walsh is 4-0 since his run in the UFC.

And earlier in the night, John Poppie(7-4) , also a contestant on TUF 19, tapped to a triangle choke from Mike Rodriguez (5-1-0). Poppie is 4-3 since his appearance on the show.

You can watch highlights of the CES 38 fights here.

Other Results

Brave CF 1

- TUF: Latin America's Masio Fullen (11-6, 1-2 UFC) deffeats Abdel Muneer (6-2-0) by TKO in Round 1, marking a successful rebound from his UFC release earlier this year.

Fight Night Championships 26

- Darko Stosic (9-1-0) defeats Dion Staring (34-13, 0-1 Strikeforce) by majority decision.

MGL-1 vs DEEP

- Mongolian product Tsogookhuu Amarsanaa (3-0-0) scored an ostensible upset against Daisuke Nakamura (28-19-1, 2-2 Dream, 0-1 Strikeforce, 2-1 PRIDE), knocking him out in Round 3. Nakamura has dropped four in a row, a career-worst losing streak.

Kunlun Fight 53

- TUF: China winner Zhang Lipeng (19-9-1, 2-2 UFC) defeats Adam Boussif (9-5-0) by second-round rear-naked choke. Zhang is 10-0 since leaving the UFC.

Road to Abu Dhabi Warriors: Bulgaria

- TUF 22 alum Abner Lloveras (20-8-1, 0-1 UFC) defeats Maksim Maryanchuk (6-1-0) by knockout in Round 2. "Skullman" is 1-1 since his lone appearance in the UFC.

Sugarcreek Showdown 31

- Tony Lopez (45-24-1NC, 0-1 Bellator) defeats Lamont Stafford (10-6-0) by first-round submission for the light-heavyweight title. Lopez is 6-4 for the year.

Copa Brasil de MMA 1

- A bout between Iliarde Santos (30-11-1, 0-3 UFC) and Allan Nascimento (15-3-0) was cancelled when Santos did not make weight.

X-1 Returns

- Lolohea Mahe (8-4-1, 0-2 Strikeforce) defeats Trent Standing (4-9-0) by first-round knockout.

Apocalypse in the Cage

- Myron Dennis (12-4-0) defeats Max Trevino (3-2-0) by submission due to strikes in the first round of their championship bout. It's Dennis's first fight since appearing on TUF 23.

KOTC: National Dispute (lol)

- TUF 22 alum Billy Quarantillo (8-2-0) defeats Anthony DiMarcantonio (9-7-0) by unanimous decision.