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MMA Rundown: September 24th-25th - Crowded events in the Middle East, Titan FC returns

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A stellar flyweight tourney and the return of the Iron Hillbilly? Sounds like a bit of almost everything.

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Fabio Maldonado
Fabio Maldonado
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

While Bellator heads to Europe and the UFC returns to the Emirates, there’s other wild action going on this week in the Middle East. As if these events on that side of the world weren’t enough, we’ve got the debut of a new promotion and another Titan FC show out of South Florida.

Now that I think about it, maybe Bugs Bunny was right. Florida should be its own country.

Brave CF has a stellar flyweight tournament set up this Thursday, featuring former UFC fighters Jose “Shorty“ Torres and Zach Makovsky. Makovsky’s opponent had an unfortunate weight cut and will not be able to participate, giving Zach a bump into the next round by default as the fight could not be postponed. Torres will be fighting the notoriously tough Sean Santella (23-7, 1 draw), who was the former Cage Fury flyweight champ. Santella’s a rugged wrestler that packs a punch and trains with Ricardo Almeida and Nick Catone in NJ, riding a three-win streak. Among those are wins against former UFC talent Naoki Inoue and promising Costa Rican submission threat Andre Barquero Barrera. Shorty has his hands full, and this is the main match to keep an eye on.

Former UFC fighter Rolando Dy (12-9) takes on Maciek Gierszewski (7-5), and finishing machine Velimurad Alhkashov (6-1) looks to keep rolling with a win over Brazil’s Flavio de Queiroz.

Brave CF 42 starts at 1:00pm EST for those of us stateside. This event is available on for $14.99.

UAE Warriors is also back, staging a very wild main event tilt between infamous Chi Lewis-Parry (8-0, 2 draws) and the formerly indestructible Fabio Maldonado (26-14). This one’s for the heavyweight title as well.

ROAD FC vet Kyung Pyo Kim (9-2) faces former World Series of Fighting and PFL vet Islam Mamedov (18-1, 1 draw), while Muay Thai sensation Top Noi Tigermuaythai (6-1) puts in that work against Brazil’s Isaac Pimentel (17-9).

As a treat, Chris “Beast Boy“ Barnett (20-6) hopes to make a splash in his own unique way when he locks horns with strongman Oli Thompson (21-12).

UAE Warriors 13 starts Friday morning at 6:00am EST for you early risers out there, with a livestream to be expected on their YouTube channel.

There’s a new kid on the block, and it’s iKon MMA. Yes, the name is what it is, and also not surprising given the conventions of naming in combat sports. This new enterprise is a joint venture with Roy Jones Jr. boxing, and will be having their debut event on Fight Pass this Thursday.

Not much in terms of star power, but there’s some interesting nuggets to look forward to. Khasan Askhabov (20-2) is the former WWFC lightweight and featherweight champ, and a ferocious competitor. Having trained at American Top Team and Tiger Muay Thai, he’s one of the most exciting international talents you may not have heard of. With composed striking, a level head that shows veteran savvy and a killer submission game, he’s got a lot going for him in his stateside debut.

He’ll no doubt be turning heads by Friday morning, especially considering he’s fighting fellow lightweight Cliff Wright (12-13). Wright does have wins over Dakota Cochrane (in 2012) and against former UFC fighter Thomas Gifford. It just is what it is.

Also on the card, we’ve got former Island Fights and Bellator fighter (and Contender Series contestant) Tyler Hill (10-4) meeting Vegas’ own Johnny Parsons (4-2), who has a loss to Glenn Sparv and a win against Shonie Carter.

iKon MMA makes its debut this Thursday night at 7:00pm EST, streaming on Fight Pass.

Finally, Titan FC graces the South Florida scene yet again, as they return live from the InterContinental for Titan FC 64.

Heavyweights will slug it out for the Titan heavyweight belt with American Top Team’s Said Sowma (5-1) facing Bobby Brents (17-7). Sowma’s a stocky fighter that’s been busier with standup and throws some wild looping overhands, while Brents hits stupid hard and has some takedowns mixed in with his glacially-paced clinch game.

Former Invicta talent, Syndicate MMA gem (and friend of our very own Roxanne Modafferi) Serena DeJesus (1-1) meets Brazil’s Evelyn Martins to open the card.

Titan FC 64 starts Friday night at 8:00pm EST, streaming live and exclusively on Fight Pass.