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 19

Allen Event Center in Dallas
Event Date: April 12
Website: legacyfights.net
Watch Event: AXS TV
Twitter: @legacyfighting

Spotlight Fight:
Will Campuzano (11-4) vs. Allan Nascimento (7-0)

Despite the UFC’s addition of a flyweight division, the big show’s lack of attention to the weight class has led to the best fights at 125 pounds taking place on the regional and international circuit. With several significant flyweight bouts on Brazilian soil now in the books, the focus shifts to Texas, where Legacy Fighting Championship has put together its own stable of flyweights. Reigning over the division is UFC and WEC veteran Will Campuzano, and he’ll put the title on the line against the undefeated Allan Nascimento.

Campuzano’s time with Zuffa didn’t result in much success. He picked up his lone Zuffa win in a “Fight of the Night” performance against Coty Wheeler under the WEC banner. Meanwhile, he suffered losses to Damacio Page, Chris Cariaso and Nick Pace. Since parting ways with the UFC, Campuzano has collected three wins, including a second-round TKO of Jimmy Flick at Legacy FC 16 that resulted in the 26-year-old claiming the flyweight crown. The 5-foot-9 Texan prefers to stand, where he’s earned six wins by some form of knockout. Campuzano’s striking background is complemented by a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has spent some time training at Team Alpha Male during his career, which could have further bolstered his wrestling and grappling game.

Nascimento is a 21-year-old prospect whose only Legacy appearance ended in a third-round kneebar submission victory. Like his adversary, Nascimento is a tall flyweight, standing 5-foot-9. “Puro Osso” trains out of Chute Boxe and Macaco Gold Team. His bread nad butter is the ground game, but he has a professional kickboxing record that makes him somewhat of a dual threat. The Brazilian has picked up six wins via submission. This is a young man who has already earned the nickname of “lil Anderson” (in reference to current UFC champion Anderson Silva) and stands as a massive fighter in the flyweight division. His eventual home will probably be in the bantamweight or even the featherweight class.

This fight makes this Legacy event a must-watch show. Campuzano has excelled as a flyweight and has the UFC and WEC experience to qualify as by far the best opponent that Nascimento has encountered. Meanwhile, Nascimento is a great prospect for the flyweight division, even if he’s destined to outgrow the weight class. The youngster has an aggressive forward-moving style to his game. He’ll press the action, but could end up walking into some of Campuzano’s strikes. If Nascimento can close the distance, he still needs to find a way to drag Campuzano to the mat. Without much in the way of wrestling, he’ll seek to get to the clinch and then either throw Campuzano to the mat or pull guard.

Nascimento has been compared to both Silva and Jose Aldo, another dominant UFC champion, when those two fighters were at a similar stage in their careers. He still has a lot of question marks though. He’ll be in a five-round affair that will test his cardio, he’ll be facing a high-level foe and he’ll be on the biggest stage of his career as part of one of the show’s featured bouts. Can he overcome all of this to become a champion? The answer lies in his striking and his ability to get Campuzano to the ground.

Campuzano has put down the likes of Jimmy Flick and Joshua Sampo by TKO and knockout, respectively. He’s found a much better fit at flyweight. But Nascimento’s size and the pressure he puts on opponents could hamper Campuzano’s own offense. However, if Campuzano can counter strike effectively, he could gain the upper hand.

Nascimento will eventually find a way to close the distance and lock Campuzano up in the clinch. From there, he’ll be happy to pull guard and work from his back to tie Campuzano in knots. That will be his route to an eventual submission victory.

Other key bouts: D.J. Linderman (13-4) vs. Robert Drysdale (5-0), Din Thomas (25-8) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (20-3-1), Kevin Aguilar (7-0) vs. Hunter Tucker (5-0), Matt Hobar (6-1) vs. Nelson Salas (4-0), Chris Jones (8-1) vs. Reynaldo Trujillo (13-10), Steven Peterson (8-3) vs. George Pacurariu (4-1)

Respect Fighting Championship 9

Bayer Sportcenter in Dormagen, Germany
Event Date: April 13
Website: respectfc.de

Spotlight Fight:
Ruben Crawford (13-2) vs. Daniel Weichel (31-8)

The last time we looked in on the career of Ruben Crawford, he was preparing to defend his German MMA Championship lightweight strap against Nayeb Hezam. Well, in just 3:13 of the first round, Crawford was successful in that defense, ending Hezam’s night with a triangle choke submission. Now, Crawford steps into a lightweight fight against M-1 Challenge veteran Daniel Weichel under the Respect Fighting Championship banner.

The 23-year-old Crawford has now amassed a 13-1 mark since losing his pro debut in 2008. The only loss since then came under the KSW banner in 2011 against Mamed Khalidov’s cousin, Aslambek Saidov. Both losses came on the scorecards, whereas 11 of his 13 wins have come by way of a finish. Crawford prefers to work on the mat, where he has picked up eight submission wins. The Combat Club Cologne product is active off of his back and has the ability to finish fights early, though his submission of Hezam was one of only two first-round stoppages since 2010.

Weichel holds the experience advantage—he’ll be a 40-fight veteran at the conclusion of this contest. Of his eight losses, four came between the start of 2007 and the end of 2008. Two of those losses came at the hands of Paul Daley and Dan Hardy, and Weichel has also tasted defeat courtesy of Thiago Tavares and Rob Sinclair over the course of his career. Meanwhile, he has notched wins over the likes of Artiom Damkovsky, Magomedrasul Khasbulaev, Ivan Musardo and UFC vet Dennis Siver. The 28-year-old German fighter holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has submitted 19 of his opponents. He has trained under the tutelage of Mario Stapel and with a diverse set of camps that includes Team Quest, Alliance Jiu-Jitsu and Team MMA Spirit.

Crawford is in for a real test here. His most significant opponent thus far has been Saidov, who handed him a decision loss. Now, he’s entering into battle with an adversary who has a wealth of experience against UFC-caliber opposition. Can Crawford prove that he’s up to the task?

Weichel’s biggest weakness comes in his striking game, where he has been dropped by four opponents. Those foes include the aforementioned Daley, Hardy and Sinclair, all of whom pack much better striking skill sets than what Crawford offers. Instead, this encounter holds the potential to turn into a grappling affair. Weichel has been submitted before, whereas Crawford has only lost via decision. Crawford’s toughness suggests that he won’t be put away easily, but Weichel has some notable submissions on his record and will eventually find a way to hand Crawford his first stoppage loss.

Other key bouts: David Zawada (7-0) vs. Djamil Chan (6-2) for the welterweight title, Nicolas Penzer (7-0) vs. Marcin Naruszczka (11-2) for the middleweight title, Stephan Puetz (6-0) vs. Alexander Neufang (3-1) for the light heavyweight title, Max Coga (6-1) vs. Duane van Helvoirt (11-5) for the featherweight title, Vladimir Sikic (6-0-1) vs. Ric Schreiter (9-5), Nick Hein (6-1) vs. Roberto Pastuch (5-0), Maurice van Waeyenberghe (8-3) vs. Roman Kapranov (4-1)

Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 53

Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, Scotland
Event Date: April 13
Website: cagewarriors.com
Watch Event: main card live stream on MMA Junkie (USA/Canada), JOE.ie (Ireland), Sportube.tv (Italy) and cagewarriors.com (rest of the world). Prelim stream live on Facebook.
Twitter: @CageWarriors

Spotlight Fight:
Joanne Calderwood (5-0) vs. Sally Krumdiack (9-6)

The majority of the female fights taking place right now occur under the banners of either the UFC or Invicta Fighting Championships, but that doesn’t mean the ladies are exclusive to these two promotions. However, when women step into any other cage or ring, the ramifications of the outcome are often tied back to one of those two promotions sitting at the forefront of the sport. And that’s where the Cage Warriors bout between Joanne Calderwood and Sally Krumdiack holds the most significance. A win for Calderwood further solidifies her claim to a top spot in the strawweight division. A win over Krumdiack could translate into an Invicta meeting with Bec Hyatt or another top contender, with a shot at champion Carla Esparza on the line.

Calderwood’s striking has carried her to an undefeated five-fight professional record. That striking skill set is no joke. She started training Muay Thai at the age of 13 and has developed into a championship-level competitor. She holds the ISKA World Flyweight Championship and several other Muay Thai titles and is ranked No. 2 in the world by the World Professional Muay Thai Federation. The Scottish fighter has scored three wins by some form of knockout in her MMA career, including a “Knockout of the Night” over Ashley Cummins at Invicta FC 3.

Her opponent, Krumdiack, is more of an all-around fighter. She tends to lose via submission, but has also picked up two wins by some form of knockout, three by submission and four by decision. Krumdiack is on a two-fight skid, with losses to Patricia Vidonic and Sarah Schneider. She’s also just 2-4 over her last six outings.

Krumdiack is a veteran that will present a test of where Calderwood currently stands in the division. A loss for Calderwood would be a significant setback, whereas a win propels her towards a potential title shot with Invicta. Calderwood already has a championship pedigree as a Muay Thai practitioner, and her striking technique has been impressive in her Invicta appearances. The 26-year-old, standing at 5-foot-6, holds a three-inch height advantage, an, as Cummins can testify, makes excellent use of her knees. Krumdiack will be discouraged from standing with Calderwood early after tasting the Scot’s power, so she’ll seek the takedown. That will lead to an introduction to Calderwood’s knees. A combination of punches, kicks and knees will be more than enough to put the American fighter away on Calderwood’s home turf.

Other key bouts: Joni Salovaara (12-5) vs. Jim Alers (9-1) for the featherweight title, Mats Nilsson (9-2-1) vs. Chris Scott (6-1), James Doolan (17-8-2) vs. James Pennington (6-1)

Photo: Joanne Calderwood (L) delivers a knee (Jerry Chavez/The MMA Corner)