Every Thursday, The MMA Corner will take a look at three regional or international cards, previewing from each a single fight to which people should pay close attention. We will also list other significant bouts from the card, as well as information on how to follow each promotion and watch the events.

Let’s discover those prospects that fight in the obscurity of the regional and international circuits, waiting for their shot at the bright lights and big stage of the UFC, and those veterans looking for one more chance at stardom. It all begins here, in the small convention centers and high school gymnasiums. It all begins with promotions such as these…

Legacy Fighting Championship 16

Allen Events Center in Allen, Texas
Event Date: Dec. 14
Website: legacyfights.net
Watch Event: live on AXS TV
Twitter: @legacyfighting

Spotlight Fight:
Will Campuzano (10-4) vs. Jimmy Flick (5-0)

If there’s one bout that could be said to have been a long time in the making, it’s the headlining affair of the Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championship’s latest offering. After several false starts, the promotion will finally crown a flyweight champion—assuming both fighters involved can stay healthy until fight time—when UFC and WEC veteran Will Campuzano clashes with the up-and-coming Jimmy “The Brick” Flick.

Legacy has tried twice in the past to put together a title bout, first pitting Campuzano against Chad Robichaux (Robichaux withdrew following complications from his weight cut) and then matching Campuzano with Flick (Campuzano withdrew with an injury). Yet, even after all the waiting, this rescheduled pairing of Campuzano and Flick stands as one of the most intriguing flyweight battles outside of the confines of the UFC’s Octagon. Campuzano and Flick have both suggested that a win here could lead them to the big show, and Campuzano believes the UFC doesn’t even have the world’s best flyweights.

Campuzano’s run under the Zuffa banners didn’t go very well for the 26-year-old. He went 1-2 with the WEC and 0-2 with the UFC, picking up his only win via decision over Coty Wheeler and getting stopped twice by way of submission and once via a knockout. However, those fights were contested at bantamweight. The Mohler MMA product is undefeated through his first two bouts at 125 pounds.

Flick is undefeated, period. The Oklahoma native maintained an unblemished record through seven amateur fights and is perfect through five (or six, depending on which fighter database is being referenced) fights as a professional.

Campuzano has worked with Team Alpha Male in the past and claims that his focus has been centered on his wrestling for the past three years. He has some solid training partners in UFC fighter Johnny Bedford and fellow Legacy FC 16 combatant Chas Skelly for this camp with Mohler MMA and Team Unleashed. However, Campuzano’s primary background comes in the striking department, and he has shown a weakness against submission attacks.

The 22-year-old Flick has a wrestling background that he uses to bring his opponents to the mat, where he seeks to coax the tapout. He’s been successful in this strategy, with a majority of his wins—amateur and pro—coming via submission. His submission of choice has been the arm-triangle choke.

Campuzano is far and away the best opponent Flick has collided with during his career. Can his success be attributed to his level of competition, or is Flick for real? Campuzano will provide the test that answers that question. Given that Campuzano has been in the cage with the likes of Chris Cariaso and Eddie Wineland, he’ll bring an experience advantage that Flick likely won’t be able to match. Flick might develop into a true top flyweight in the years to come, but Campuzano is the superior fighter at this moment. He’ll show that superiority by picking apart Flick on the feet en route to a unanimous decision victory. That might even be enough for Campuzano to punch his ticket back to the UFC…after all, the flyweight ranks are still slim up there.

Other key bouts: Matt Hobar (5-1) vs. Steven Peterson (8-2), Chas Skelly (9-0) vs. Reynaldo Trujillo (12-8), Ryan Benoit (5-1) vs. Joseph Sandoval (6-3), Eli Tamez (4-0) vs. Nelson Salas (4-0), Derrick Krantz (13-6) vs. Charles Byrd (4-2)

Jewels: 22nd Ring

Differ Ariake in Tokyo
Event Date: Dec. 15
Website: kakutoh-blog.com/jewels/
Twitter: @JEWELS_info

Spotlight Fight:
Ayaka Hamasaki (8-0) vs. Emi Fujino (11-5)

Although a majority of the best female fights now take place under the Invicta FC banner, the older Jewels promotion still manages to create some exciting match-ups. For its latest show, Jewels is taking a fighter it has shared with Invicta FC—Jewels 115-pound champion Ayaka Hamasaki—and lining her up against challenger Emi Fujino with the title on the line.

Sometimes, Japanese fighters don’t fare so well when they hit U.S. shores, but that was not the case for Hamasaki. Hamasaki ventured to Kansas City, Kan., to face Lacey Schuckman and emerged with the third-round submission victory. She was to return for Invicta FC 4 in January versus Carla Esparza for the promotion’s strawweight belt, but opted to withdraw and defend her Jewels crown instead.

In Fujino, Hamasaki is facing a kickboxer and professional wrestler who has won just three of her last eight outings. Oddly, despite the kickboxing background, Fujino has never finished a fight with strikes. She does hold four wins by way of submission, with the remainder of her fights, including all five losses, going the distance. Fujino’s resume does hold some interesting names, as she lost via unanimous decision to Megumi Fujii and came up with one win, by way of a split decision, in two meetings with Mei Yamaguchi.

Fujino doesn’t always emerge victorious, but she’s proven to be a tough opponent who can hang in there for a full 10 or 15 minutes versus some of the best lady warriors out there. She’ll have her work cut out for her once again when she meets Hamasaki for the belt. Hamasaki is a 2nd dan black belt in judo and is skilled in her ground game. She should be able to control where this fight takes place.

There’s a good chance that Hamasaki cannot stop Fujino over the course of this contest, but the champion should be able to outpoint her opponent. Fujino can’t be counted out by any means, but Hamasaki should follow in the footsteps of the other top fighters that have clashed with Fujino by taking the decision win.

Other key bouts: Shizuka Sugiyama (8-3) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (15-10), Yasuko Tamada (13-8-3) vs. Satomi Takano (2-0)

Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow 9

Dynamo Sports Palace in Moscow
Event Date: Dec. 16
Website: fightnights.ru
Watch Event: pay-per-view (U.S. and Canada)
Twitter: @Fnsofficial

Spotlight Fight:
Andrei Arlovski (18-9) vs. Mike Hayes (18-5-1)

There was a point in time when Andrei Arlovski was at the top of the heavyweight mountain. Now, he’s globetrotting from one show to the next, competing for promotions in such varied locations as Illinois, Hawaii, the Philippines and Las Vegas. What’s next? Antarctica? Well, maybe not so extreme. Instead, Arlovski is headed much closer to home, as the Belarusian travels to Moscow to meet Bellator veteran Mike Hayes.

Arlovski’s recent trek across the globe has netted him three wins and one no-contest (due in large part to an odd set of rules). His opponents in that time were Ray Lopez, Travis Fulton, Tim Sylvia and Devin Cole. That’s a far cry from the rest of his post-UFC run that saw him meet Ben Rothwell, Roy Nelson, Fedor Emelianenko, Brett Rogers (when he was still an intimidating heavyweight), Antonio Silva and Sergei Kharitonov. Arlovski’s striking has done the trick against his more recent set of foes—even Sylvia technically should have lost via TKO.

The one thing that his opponent, Hayes, has going for him is the fact that he’s never been stopped. Hayes does have five losses, but they’ve all come courtesy of the judges’ scorecards. Hayes was one of the more intriguing participants in a pair of Bellator heavyweight tournaments, but he never fought outside of the quarterfinal round. He has shown an ability to finish fights regardless of where they take place, and he has a background in boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Bellator’s heavyweights have failed to impress on almost every level, and Hayes doesn’t really break that trend. He has a solid record, but nothing he has done suggests that he can beat a UFC champion, even one on the downside of a lengthy career. Arlovski’s combination of kickboxing and sambo is still plenty sufficient to put an end to Hayes’ night. Hayes has been a tough out until this point, but Arlovski should change that with a TKO stoppage within the first two frames.

Other key bouts: Ruslan Magomedov (9-1) vs. Ubiratan Marinho Lima (13-10), Ali Bagautinov (8-2) vs. Andreas Bernhard (7-2), Gasan Umalatov (13-2-1) vs. Viktor Halmi (14-4), Nills van Noord (10-5-1) vs. Abdul-Kerim Edilov (5-2)

Photo: Andrei Arlovski (top) finishes his opponent (Lucas Noonan/World Series of Fighting)