A number of familiar faces from the UFC and Strikeforce took to the cage over the weekend in hopes of either earning their way back into “the big show” or at least proving they still have what it takes to compete at a respectable level. Among those seeing action and finding success were Patrick Cote, Maurice Smith, Murilo Bustamante, Lyle Beerbohm, Gilbert Yvel, Drew Fickett, Pete Spratt, Thales Leites, and Karo Parisyan.

The bulk of the bouts were spread out over two shows (AFC 2/WMMA 1) and held in Brazil and Texas respectively.

Cote, Bustamante, Spratt, and Leites all looked relatively sharp in their outings with Cote and Leites both picking up stoppages. Cote’s knockout victory over Gustavo Machado at AFC 2 was his fourth straight win, while Leites avenged a loss to Matt Horwich by tapping him out in the second round with an Arm-Triangle Choke. Bustamante and Spratt both picked up decisions with the former involving what is likely the Brazilian grappler’s final bout. Fittingly enough, the triumph came over a fellow classmate from the UFC’s “old school” era, Dave Menne.

Beerbohm, Fickett, and Parisyan all came out guns blazing in Texas. A former UFC contender, Parisyan’s win over Thomas Denny was his first since July 2010. Also worth mentioning, stand-out heavyweight Sean McCorkle also competed on the card but didn’t fare as well as his fellow Zuffa alumni, getting stopped with strikes in the second stanza of his headlining match-up with Brian Heden.

Smith and Yvel were the two exceptions in the group, competing at RFA 2 where each picked up highlight-reel knockouts. Yvel’s deboning of Houston Alexander capped the evening off though paled in comparison to the beautiful head-kick finish from 50-year old Smith.


MMATraining Take: I caught a lot of these fights and was reminded of how great regional MMA is. Even if a show in your area doesn’t feature any superstars you can count on seeing good action from hungry competitors. Throw in the number of former UFC/Strikeforce/Bellator guys floating around out there and it’s simply icing on the cake.