Every Monday, The MMA Corner takes a look – with video footage when possible – at the previous weekend’s action at small regional and international shows with a focus on UFC and Pride veterans, consensus-ranked fighters and up-and-coming prospects. Here’s what went down between March 15 and March 18:
M-1 Challenge 31: Monson vs. Oleinik (St. Petersburg, Russia; March 16)
UFC and Strikeforce veteran Jeff Monson (44-13) eked out a split decision win over Bellator vet Alexey Oleinik (33-9-1)…In a fight that made Sherdog’s 10 March Tussles Worth Watching, Alexander Yakovlev (19-3) scored a third-round TKO of former M-1 Global welterweight champion Shamil Zavurov (18-3)…Rashid Magomedov (14-1) claimed the M-1 Global welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Sengoku veteran and defending champ Yasubey Enomoto (9-4)…Pride veteran Aleksander Emelianenko (19-5) scored a second-round TKO of Tadas Rimkevicius (19-7)…Bruno Carvalho (14-5) earned a unanimous nod over Ramazan Esenbaev (3-1).
Emelianenko vs. Rimkevicius
UFC and IFL veteran Michael Guymon (13-5-1) scored a second-round TKO of Cris Leyva (9-4)…Scott Catlin (5-6) scored a second-round TKO of UFC and WEC veteran Gabe Ruediger (17-8)…WEC veteran Chad George (14-6) secured an arm-triangle choke in the first round to submit Shad Smith (12-15-2).
Gaff vs. Maia
Bellator and Strikeforce veteran Mike Hayes (17-4-1) claimed the Cage Warriors heavyweight title with a third-round kimura submission of Andreas Kraniotakes (13-6) meets in a fight that made Sherdog’s 10 March Tussles Worth Watching…UFC veteran Lucio Linhares (17-7) earned a unanimous decision over Kyle Baker (10-6)…No. 5-ranked 125-pound female fighter Sheila Gaff (10-4-1) needed just 10 seconds to knock out Jennifer Maia (5-2-1) and advance to the finals of the promotion’s 125-pound women’s tournament…Assan Njie (12-2) locked in a guillotine choke in the second round to submit Steven Ray (9-3)…Phil Harris (21-9) took home a unanimous verdict over Casey Dyer (6-3)…Mansour Barnaoui (7-0) remained undefeated with a third-round rear-naked choke submission of Brad Wheeler (7-7)…Bradley Scott (8-1) scored a third-round TKO of Mok Rahman (9-4).
UFC and WEC veteran John Alessio (34-14) earned a unanimous decision over Strikeforce and WEC veteran Ryan Healy (19-10-1)…UFC veteran Forrest Petz (25-9) scored a second-round TKO of Sergej Juskevic (11-7-2)…Josh Hill (8-0) remained perfect with a unanimous decision win over Eric Wilson (5-2)…Bellator veteran Alex Ricci (5-0) maintained his unblemished record with a first-round knockout of Iraj Hadin (6-4).
Arnaud Lepont (8-1) secured a guillotine choke to submit Krzysztof Hajtalowicz (2-1) in the first round…Mark Striegl (9-0) kept his spotless record intact with a second-round armbar submission of Marko Huusansaari (3-4).
Jose “Zezao” Ribamar (31-7-1) captured the Max Fight welterweight title with a first-round knockout of Cassiano Tytschyo (22-11).
TUF 10 alum and UFC veteran James McSweeney (7-9) secured a rear-naked choke in the first round to submit Felise Leniu (9-5).
Vaso Bakocevic (9-1) submitted Timur Gagaev (2-1) in the first round by way of an armbar.
Sengoku veteran Shunichi Shimizu (23-7-10) submitted Rob McCrum (3-6) in the first round via an armbar…Dream veteran Keisuke Fujiwara (12-5-4) earned a unanimous decision over Tetsuya Fusano (7-2-3).
Photo: Aleksander Emelianenko (L) looks to finish Tadas Rimkevicius with strikes at M-1 Challenge 31 (mixfight.ru/M-1 Global)