With only a few weeks left for the year to end, MMA events continue to ramp up for a final push.
With Bellator and the UFC both staging events this week, the landscape is still going to be crowded in the rest of the sport’s field. We start off with Fight Night Global 81: Omsk, headlined by Alexander Matmuratov (8-3) facing Levan Makashvili (6-2-1), Friday at noon EST. Matmuratov has fought for Draka, ACB and Akhmat, and has become something of a mainstay for FNG’s featherweight division. He’s currently on a two-fight win streak, with his last win being a TKO victory over Ilya Kurzanov in March. Hailing from Georgia, Makashvili did a tour of his country’s regional scene before competing on the U.S. east coast in shark tank organizations such as CFFC and Ring of Combat. This led to a UFC run with a split decision win over Mark Eddiva, a split decision loss to Hacran Dias and a draw against Damon Jackson. This led to back to back wins in the New England scene for CES against Ryan Sanders and a submission win over fellow UFC veteran Sean Soriano. This led to joining FNG, where he holds consecutive decision wins over Rasul Mirzaev (yes, him) and Jack McGann.
Other talents on that card include multiple-time Sambo champion Marina Mokhnatkina (3-0, all submissions) taking on Brazilian Karina Silva (9-2). Despite a string of brutal finishes, Silva’s mostly defeated untested or less experienced opposition. Her two losses are to Elaine Albuquerque and current UFC fighter Maryna Moroz. She still poses a serious threat nonetheless.
Later on Friday, BAMMA holds a dual show with Bellator in the UK starting at 4:30pm EST. This one’s headlined by Ryan Scope (10-1) vs Mickael Lebout. Scope is coming off a loss yet a majority of his wins have been finishes, mostly due to strikes. Lebout had a UFC run where a debut decision loss to Sergio Moraes, a decision win over Teemu Packalen and a decision loss to Stevie Ray. He’s also faced the likes of Jessin Ayari, Nico Musoke and Pawel Zelazowski on the European circuit.
Other notable fighters on this card are former UFC fighter Colin Fletcher (a.k.a. Freakshow - yes, him) (15-8) fighting tough Frenchman Anthony Dizy (10-2), as well as former UFC fighter Curt Warburton (13-6) taking on BAMMA and Cage Warriors veteran Warren Kee (8-6-1 draw).
Titan FC 47: Yusuff vs. Gomez starts at 7:00pm EST on UFC Fight Pass, and has Luis Gomez (5-1) fighting Sodiq Yusuff (5-0). Gomez fought this summer on Dana White’s Contender Series in an unfortunate submission loss to Dan Ige, but bounced back with a decision win over Guilherme Costa at Titan FC 46. For his part, Team Lloyd Irvin product Yusuff had a good run in Victory FC with a win over Chuka Willis and a knockout win in CFFC 66 against Vadim Ogar. This card also features a lightweight bout between Kazakh talent Bebit Nazarov (14-2) and Demarques Jackson (7-1).
LFA keeps rolling along on AXS TV with a 15-fight card in LFA 29: Camus vs Simon, with former UFC fighter Chico Camus (18-7) faces rising phenom Ricky Simon (10-1) at bantamweight. Simon also fought for Dana White’s Contender Series this year, defeating former World Series of Fighting title challenger Donovon Frelow. Following a decision loss to Kyoji Horiguchi, Camus started a post-UFC run where he’s been unstoppable at 4-0. This card also has submission hunter Nate Jennerman (9-3) vs California transplant Sam Toomer (11-1).
Polish org Ladies Fight Night has a doubleheader this weekend with events on Friday and Saturday, christened Ladies Fight Night 7/8: Double Trouble (same subtitle for both numbered events). Former UFC fighters Cristina Stanciu (5-2) and Izabela Badurek (6-3) will be seeing action against regional talents on Friday. Saturday features Polish kickboxer Sylwia Juskiewicz fresh off an October fight in RIZIN, as well as Swiss fighter Stephanie Egger, who holds wins over German Judith Ruis as well as the UFC’s Mara Romero Borella, as well as a loss in Invicta last year against Alexa Conners.
Finally, South Africa’s EFC hosts the finale for their inaugural reality series this Friday in which the winner gets a title shot. Dubbed EFC Worldwide 66: The Fighter 1 Finale, the co-main event is a bout between Andrew Van Zyl (15-3) vs Jared Vanderaa (6-1) for the heavyweight title. The main event is a bantamweight title tilt between Angola’s Demarte Pena (11-0) taking on South Africa’s own Irshaad Sayed (13-2) in a title unification rematch. Sayed had earned a unanimous decision win over Pena in their first fight, but failed a doping test, leading to this rematch.