Worldwide MMA Preview – Eurasian, WSOF, Bellator, VTJ

onefcarenabig worldwide

The great Fedor Emelianenko returns against Fabio Maldonado at Eurasian Fight Nights live on UFC Fight Pass (4pm BST) Fedor needs no introduction at this stage, the long time number one heavyweight in the world, his run came to an end in Strikeforce in 2011. Recently he returned and fought in Rizin against Indian kickboxer Jaideep Singh. Maldonado went 5-6 in the UFC, mainly as a light heavyweight. Since leaving the UFC he has embarked on a career in professional boxing.

Fedor isn’t the only reason to watch this show though, as it is packed with good fighters throughout. At heavyweight, former Bellator champion Vitaly Minakov takes on Peter Graham. Minakov defended his Bellator title once against Cheick Kongo before leaving to compete at Fight Nights, where he has won three straight to bring his record to 17-0. Peter Graham is an Australian fighter with a kickboxing background who beat Mariusz Pudzianowski in his last fight.

Also at heavyweight, prospect Sergey Pavlovich is in action. Pavlovich is 7-0 with six wins via knockout. His last fight was the first time he was taken past the first round he slowed down considerably but was still able to take the win. That fight should be a learning experience for him and he will hopefully be improved when he takes on Chaban Ka.

Elsewhere, the card is packed with Russian talent, “Baby Fedor” Kirill Sidelnikov continues his comeback following a victory against Chris Barnett at Rizin, 23-2 middleweight Anatoly Tokov competes only a month after winning a four round war at ACB, light heavyweight Vadim Nemkov will look to bounce back after two disappointing results at Rizin and finally 15-0 featherweight Rasul Mirzaev takes on Brazilian Dioginis Souza.

Friday night (2am BST) takes us to Connecticut, United States for WSOF 31. Heavyweight champion Blagoi Ivanov takes on Josh Copeland in the main event. Ivanov holds a win over Fedor Emelianenko in Combat Sambo and has a 13-1 MMA record which included a run in Bellator before moving to WSOF. Copeland had an unsuccessful run in the UFC but has gone 3-1 since to get his career back on track.

Two UFC veterans meet at lightweight in the co-main event, Jason High and Mike Ricci. High fought in Dream and Strikeforce earlier in his career and then went 2-2 in the UFC, he knocked out Estevan Payan in his first fight after being released. Ricci competed on TUF 16 and was released from the UFC following a split decision loss to Myles Jury, he then competed in Titan and beat Jorge Gurgel and George Sotiropoulos.

Also on Friday night (2am BST) is Bellator 156 where Marcos Galvao and Eduardo Dantas will finally meet for a second time. The two were previously scheduled to fight at Bellator 144 and 150 but injuries kept them apart. Dantas won the first fight back in 2013 but dropped the title in a decision to Joe Warren. Galvao then tapped Warren out with a leg lock and this is set to be his first defence. These two men have been pretty much dominant in Bellator’s bantamweight division over the last few years and it should be a very close fight.

Further down the card Brandon Halsey tries to get back on track after failing to capture the vacant middleweight title against Rafael Carvalho when he fights John Salter and Chris Honeycutt moves up to middleweight to take on Mikkel Parlo.

Finally we come to Sunday morning (8am BST) for VTJ in Osaka, Japan which streams live on UFC Fight Pass. The card is headlined by Next Gen MMA student Alan Philpott who takes on Daichi Takenaka. Philpott has been competing on the British and Irish scene since 2011 and picked up two big wins in BAMMA shows in Dublin recently over Regis Sugden and Nathaniel Wood. This won’t be his first time going abroad though as he picked up a win in Poland in 2014. Takenaka has a 9-0-1 record compiled mainly in Shooto, the 26 year old has two KOs and three submissions on his record but has yet to beat any established names.