Worldwide MMA Preview – Victory, Battlezone, Shooto, WSOF

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There is no UFC this weekend but it is still a busy weekend of fights with action from America, Ireland and Brazil.

American regional promotion Victory FC will host a show in Nebraska tonight, the show is streaming live on UFC Fight Pass from 3am BST. Two Ultimate Fighter alumni will meet in the main event with Dakota Cochrane taking on Valdir “BBMonstro” Araujo at welterweight. Cochrane has competed extensively on the American regional scene with fights in Titan, RFA and Victory with a couple of Bellator appearances on his record too. His last fight was a win against ex UFC fighter Jake Lindsey. BBMonstro fights out of the Blackzilians in Florida and fought Nathan Coy and Steve Carl from ATT on the Ultimate Fighter. Since the show he has gone 1-1 with the defeat coming against recent UFC signing Alex Morono.

Another Blackzilians fighter who competed on that season of the Ultimate Fighter will be competing in the co-main event. Andrews Nakahara who has a sparse record of only 4-2-2 will be making his first appearance since the show where he was finished by Hayder Hassan in his only fight. This will be his first professional fight in America with most of his fights taking place in Dream or in Road FC. His opponent is ex UFC fighter Brian Houston, Houston had an unsuccessful two fight run in the promotion and has lost his three fights since release.

Saturday has some action close to home as Battlezone 15 takes place in Donaghmede. The main event is a fight between Team Ryano;s Keith McCabe and SBG’s Kiefer Crosbie. These two fought as amateurs with McCabe coming out on top and this will be the professional debut for both men.

Following a short retirement John “Johnny Jitsu” Redmond will return to action. He was featured in Severe MMA’s “The Fighting Irish” and fought on BAMMA 22 but announced his retirement following defeat. He takes on the debuting Will Fleury, Fleury captured the Ryoshin amateur middleweight title and has professional fights against Tom Hogan and Charlie Ward cancelled due to injuries.

Saturday night from 1am BST on UFC Fight Pass is a live show from Shooto Brazil. The main event is a welterweight title fight between current champion Ismael de Jesus and challenger Arymarcel Santos. Santos is an experienced journeyman who has been competing since 2000 and has over 60 fights. He even fought Khabib Nurmagomedov in one of his few trips outside of Brazil. He has won seven of his last eight fights to give him a record of 36-29. De Jesus competed on a season of TUF Brazil but fell to Warlley Alves. After the show he won two fights in Shooto Brazil, claiming the title against Luiz Dutra in the second fight. Since winning the title he dropped a fight in another promotion and this will be his first defence.

The scheduled main event was Cassio “Jacare” de Oliveira against Carlos Eduardo at light heavyweight. Unfortunately Jacare got injured and now the former Bellator man Eduardo is facing Willyanedson Paiva, a young fighter with a 1-1 record. As always the show features many young fighters from the Nova Uniao gym.

World Series of Fighting 30 takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night, the main card kicks off at 4:30am BST. The card is headlined by a middleweight title fight between Dave Branch and Clifford Starks. Branch holds titles at both middleweight and light heavyweight in WSOF, the last defence of his middleweight title was against Yushin Okami and he beat Teddy Holder for the light heavyweight belt. Since losing to Rumble Johnson in 2012 he has won seven fights in a row to stake his claim as one of the best middleweights in the world. Clifford Starks has also put in a good run recently, since losing to Yoel Romero he has won five straight fights, two of those with Bellator and three with WSOF.

In the co-main event Rousimar Palhares’ welterweight title will be redistributed following his suspension. Jon Fitch will take on Joao Zeferino for the vacant crown. Fitch bounced back from defeat to Palhares with a win over Yushin Okami in October. Zeferino is usually a lightweight and in November he took part in a one night tournament for a shot at Justin Gaethje. Unfortunately for him he came up short in the final to Brian Foster but he gets a shot now at the heavier weight class.