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Beyond the Octagon: UFC vets Amagov, Giagos victorious, former Bellator champ Newton moves to HW

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

Cheers to Friday, cheers to everyone who successfully bore their bedraggled bodies through another week for some much-deserved rest, cheers to the comeback trail, and cheers to those Russian MMA organizations that so often play host to the champs and would-be contenders of yesterday. Let's jump in.

Headlining the latest Plotforma S-70, Russian juggernaut Evgeny Erokhin added another name fighter to his growing list of victims as he bested Emanuel Newton (26-11-1, 8-4 Bellator, 1-0 IFL) by unanimous decision. After a 5-4 start to his career, Erokhin has gone unbeaten in his last eleven; a surge that includes victories over Jeff Monson, Brett Rogers, and Mike Kyle. Newton, with a solid if understated resume, is probably a more relevant talent of any of them. The former Bellator light-heavyweight champion has struggled of late, however, leaving Bellator earlier this year following a three fight slump. He's 1-1 since then.

In the night's co-main event, former UFC welterweight Adlan Amagov (14-2-1, 3-1 Strikeforce) moved up to light-heavyweight to submit Dirlei Broenstrup (14-4-0) with an armbar in Round 1. Amagov was released from the UFC despite a 2-0 start with the organization; this is his first fight since then.

The event also saw Akop Stepanyan (24-8, 1-4 Bellator) put himself on a two-fight win streak taking a split-decision over Thiago Meller (22-8, 0-1 Bellator). Stepanyan's disappointing run in Bellator came to a close in 2013, but he's gone 11-2 since then, including victories over UFC vets Andre Winner, Eddie Yagin, and Will Chope.

And earlier, Team Bodyshop's Jesse Juarez (23-12, 6-2 Bellator) dropped fell to the strikes of Alexei Ivanov (8-3-0). With this latest setback, Juarez slips to 1-2 since parting ways with Bellator last year. As for Ivanov, he's won five in a row, all by (T)KO.

Meanwhile, in the main event of RFA 42, Christos Giagos (13-5, 1-2 UFC) improved to 2-1 in his post-UFC career with a unanimous-decision-worthy effort over Arthur Estrazulas (8-3-0).

Also on the card, TUF 18 alum Cody Bollinger submitted to a first-round guillotine from Anthony Avila (13-4, 1-0 Strikeforce). With the loss, his overall record drops to 18-7-0 (2-1 WSOF).

And at Absolute Championship Berkut 43, former Bellator mainstay Brett Cooper (22-12, 7-5 Bellator, 1-0 IFL) claimed a valuable unanimous decision win over Beslan Isaev (34-8-0), who had entered the fight with ten straight victories to his name. Cooper is 2-2 since his last appearance in Bellator in 2014.

Other Results

Dragon House 23,

- Mauricio Alonso (12-7, 0-1 Bellator) defeats Justin Baesman (19-10-1, 0-1 WSOF, 2-2 Bellator) by unanimous decision to win the middleweight title. Alonso has won two straight, Baesman has dropped just as many in a row.


- TUF: Latin America alum Alexander Torres (5-3, 0-1 UFC) defeats Derek Hyatt (5-2-0) by unanimous decision. Torres has won two straight and is 3-1 since his lone UFC appearance; Hyatt had previously won four in a row.