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MMA Rundown - March 6th-7th: LFA, Cage Warriors and more set up some quality action scraps

Europe does the heavy lifting this week, with some firepower across a few cards.

While the UFC has one of it’s biggest PPVs of the season, there’s some seriously heavy stuff going on with international competition this week.

ACA gives us a bantamweight banger for the belt as Brazil’s Daniel Oliveira (26-7, 1 draw) and Shamil Shakhbulatov (11-2) duke it out for the vacant strap. Shamil has back to back wins after deading Rasul Mirzaev (yes, that very same one you’re thinking of) and a win over Brazil’s Dileno Lopes, while Oliveira has eight in a row with consecutive wins in his brief ACA run including this brutal finish.

Remember Mirzaev, the one I just mentioned? Of course you do! And he’s on this card against Arman Ospanov (9-3). Mirzaev (18-2) had a sensational run through Fight Nights Global and hit a bit of a rough patch going 2-2 in his last four, but is still a capable Sambo threat.

Hard-hitting Spaniard Jose Toledo Canellas (9-7) has a date at light heavyweight against Asylzhan Bakhyztanuly (10-1, 1 draw), and Ultimate Fighter contestant Cory Hendricks (6-2) is up against undefeated Nasrudin Nasrudinov (7-0).

Brazilian Felipe Silva (10-4) is on a two fight losing skid, and he’s facing Imran Bukuev (10-1) who is coming off two straight wins. Imagine that. Also, former UFC fighter Alex Garcia (15-7) moves up to middleweight to face Abdul Rakhman Dzhanaev (11-2).

ACA 105 starts this Friday at 1:00pm EST, and is available purchase via their proprietary website player.

LFA is also back, live from Dallas with a great group of local talent. Damon Jackson (16-3, 1 draw) made his bones in the LFA, then went on to the UFC and PFL. Now he returns to action as he meets Brazil’s Mauro Chaulet (14-6), who while talented has mostly made hay out of defeating subpar opposition on the Brazilian circuit.

Straight up banger Justin Patterson (11-5) meets undefeated Matt Dixon (8-0), who has never gone to a decision as a professional. Former NFL player and Contender Series contestant Austen Lane (6-2) meets Vernon Lewis (7-4) at heavyweight, and Brittney Cloudy (2-1) is welcomed to LFA by violence machine, threat, and sneaky prospect Hailey Cowan (4-1).

LFA 83 starts at 9:00pm EST and streams live exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

For those of you that want to stay up and watch some international action, Eternal MMA is also hosting this weekend from Queensland with a flyweight title headliner between Shannon Ross (12-4) and Steve Erceg (5-1). Ross has been a dynamo that’s sharpened his tools to be more well-rounded, and Erceg is a finishing threat.

Former UFC fighter Ben Wall (10-7, 1 draw) meets Josh Togo (8-3) at lightweight, and female prospects Rhiannon Thompson (5-3) and Chelsea Hackett (2-0, 1 draw) duke it out at flyweight.

Eternal MMA 52 starts Friday night into Saturday morning at 3:00am EST, streaming exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Cage Warriors returns to Manchester, England to stage a wildly fun batch of fights. Bantamweight gold is to be disputed between Manuel Bilić and Jack Cartwright (7-0). Bilić is composed and tough, a generalist that outworks opponents. Cartwright knows he doesn’t get paid for doing overtime, and it shows. He’s wiry and energetic, and finishes the fight by any means, in any way. He may be the most exciting European prospect since Conor McGregor himself, for my money.

Welterweight Adam Proctor (11-1) is an absolute stud, and he’ll have a tough challenge ahead when he faces Madars Fleminas (7-0). James Webb (6-2, 1 draw) is a tenacious individual, and he meets fellow Englishman Mick Stanton (6-3).

Former Ultimate Fighter contestant Martin Stapleton (19-7) is, to put this somewhat politely, something of a madman. A former BAMMA champion that crossed over to Cage Warriors, he really is one of the most kill-or-be-killed people in the game right now. He’ll be in what I suspect could be fight of the night against France’s Yassine Belhadj (6-2), a furious finisher with a solid chin.

Cage Warriors 112 starts at 11:00am for those of us stateside, and it also streams exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Germany’s also bringing the goods as GMC 24 takes place on Saturday. Former M-1 standout and GMC light heavyweight Stephan Puetz (18-4) attempts to become dual champ when he meets Ruben Wolf (12-10) for the vacant heavyweight title.

Wrestling standout Saba Bolaghi (11-1, 1 draw) faces Brazilian finishing machine Felipe Maia (9-3) at featherweight in what is sure to be a banger.

GMC 24 starts at 1:00pm EST. The internet is your friend on this one.

Also worth mentioning: former UFC fighter Paul “Tellys“ Kelly (14-5) makes his return to MMA after just over seven years after serving prison time as he meets Simone Bottino (4-6). That card starts Saturday at noon.`