10 August Tussles Worth Watching

By Tim Leidecker Jul 28, 2010
In this month’s edition of well-hidden gems, we have the “Female Fedor” in action, a battle between two undefeated UK MMA prospects, a rare Shooto world title defense outside of Japan and a showdown between two of the best middleweight grapplers in all of MMA.

As always, the list does not focus on the well-promoted main event bouts you already know to watch but rather on fights from all over the planet that are worth seeing. The UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, Dream and Sengoku Raiden Championship are excluded by design.

10. Tyson Nam vs. Ian McCall
Galaxy MMA “Bad Blood,” Aug. 6 -- Honolulu, Hawaii

Left to fill the void after the demise of Icon Sport (once known as Super Brawl) is upstart promotion Galaxy MMA. For its debut show in May, the event featured UFC veterans Scott Junk and Fabiano Scherner and the sophomore effort looks no less interesting. In the co-headliner, Team Quest’s Tyson Nam takes on WEC veteran Ian McCall. The Team Oyama-trained McCall went the distance with WEC champion Dominick Cruz in his last fight, and Nam is well liked on account of an aggressive fighting style that has yielded him three stoppages in his last four wins.

9. Mukhamed Aushev vs. Artur Kadlubek
ProFC “Union Nation Cup 7,” Aug. 6 -- Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Operating in the shadows of M-1 Global, Southern Russian promotion ProFC has been steadily putting on quality events for the past two and a half years. Their latest effort takes a page out of the IFL’s book and pits six teams against one another. Representing Peresvet FT will be submission fighter Mukhamed Aushev, who takes on Arthur Kadlubek from Team MMA Rocks in Poland. Similar to M-1’s “Battle on the Neva” show in 2007, the seventh installment of the Union Nation Cup will be contested in open air on the River Don.

8. Wayne Murrie vs. John Maguire
OMMAC 6 “Battlestars,” Aug. 7 -- Liverpool, England

Universally recognized as two of the top 10 170-pound fighters in the UK, Elmsall’s Wayne Murrie will defend his OMMAC British welterweight title against Wisbech’s John Maguire in the main event of OMMAC 6. Even though both men’s records are almost identical, Murrie comes into the fight as the heavy favorite on the back of seven straight wins, including a big one over seasoned veteran Peter Irving in March. Although he comes from a muay Thai background, “Mayhem” Murrie boasts seven wins by submission.

7. Jonathan Goulet vs. Matt MacGrath
Ringside MMA “Invasion,” Aug. 7 -- Beauport, Quebec, Canada

Released from the UFC for the second time following a second-round TKO loss at the hands of Marcus Davis in May, Jonathan Goulet resurfaces to headline Ringside MMA’s “Invasion.” The “Road Warrior” will take on Canadian prospect Matt MacGrath. Representing Titans MMA, MacGrath has three losses on his professional record, but those have come against the likes of Matt Veach, Cory MacDonald and Claude Patrick. Will MacGrath be able to finally break through in fights against better-known opponents, or will Goulet successfully bounce back from two straight defeats?

6. Eduardo Pamplona vs. Luis Santos
Amazon Fight 4, Aug. 13 -- Belem, Brazil

Brazilian veteran Eduardo Pamplona hopes the third time will be the charm as he heads into his fight with Minotauro Team’s Luis “Sapo” Santos. Pamplona’s last two scheduled fights against Tom Speer at Bitetti Combat 5 and against Nick Thompson at Shine Fights 3 have been cancelled on short notice, keeping the dangerous muay Thai striker out for more than a year now. Santos, a veteran of 44 fights, could not get a run in the WEC off the ground two years ago, but he has since assembled a nice seven-fight unbeaten streak. Both men will come to bang in this highly anticipated clash.

5. Megumi Fujii vs. Angela Magana
Bellator Fighting Championships 24, Aug. 12 -- Hollywood, Fla.

“Female Fedor” Megumi Fujii is the only undefeated phenom left in the world of MMA. The student of former Shooto lightweight contender Hiroyuki Abe and former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett is an outstanding technician. In addition to 20 wins in MMA over the “who’s who” in her weight class, she has also won two bronze medals at the 2005 and 2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships. Magana is a HOOKnSHOOT GFight Grand Prix 2009 finalist and holds a win over ATT’s Jessica Aguilar.

4. Valentino Petrescu vs. Jimi Manuwa
UCMMA “Invincible,” Aug. 7 -- London, England

In arguably the most highly anticipated domestic clash since the demise of Cage Rage, UK MMA poster boy Jimi Manuwa will collide with fellow unbeaten prospect Valentino Petrescu for the UCMMA light heavyweight title. US-born, UK-raised Manuwa has stopped all eight of his opponents with only two making it into the second round. Well-rounded Romanian export Petrescu is a huge step up in competition, as he already holds two big wins over dangerous striker Arunas Andriuskevicus and submission specialist Przemyslaw Mysiala.

3. Carlos Alexandre Pereira vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Shooto Brazil 17, Aug. 6 -- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

For only the third time in the 25-year history of Shooto, one of the promotion’s world championships will be defended outside of Japan as light heavyweight titleholder Siyar Bahadurzada travels to Brazil to take on Shooto South American champion Carlos Alexandre Pereira. Pereira turned more than a few heads when he laid out UFC veteran Alexandre Barros with a head kick in just 23 seconds in his last fight. Golden Glory’s Bahadurzada, freshly equipped with a four-fight Strikeforce contract, cannot afford to blunder ahead of his North American debut.

2. Masakazu Imanari vs. Tomoya Miyashita
Deep 49 Impact, Aug. 27 -- Tokyo, Japan

Making the second defense of his Deep bantamweight title will be leglock specialist Imanari. After Bibiano Fernandes became the first fighter to score a distinct victory over “Ashikan Judan” in years, the 34-year-old veteran has returned to his home promotion, racking up a trio of wins over modest opposition. Miyashita is a legit title challenger, though. Nearly impossible to finish, he became the first fighter to submit Strikeforce veteran Darren Uyenoyama in April. Miyashita also outlasted Keisuke Fujiwara during the debut of the White Cage at Dream 12.

1. Thales Leites vs. Falaniko Vitale
PWP “War on the Mainland,” Aug. 14 -- Irvine, Calif.

When you hold a win over Nate Marquardt and go the distance with Anderson Silva and you are still released from the UFC, it is clear that the promotion doesn’t approve of your fighting style. That’s the case for Thales Leites. Falaniko Vitale’s UFC run in 2003 was even shorter despite splitting a pair of bouts with then top contender Matt Lindland. Now these two outstanding but unwanted grapplers get to face each other. With 26 career wins by submission between them, their fight should prove to be a high-level groundfighting chess match. Maybe the winner gets another call from Joe Silva?
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