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…

Tachi Palace Fights 17: Fall Brawl

Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
Event Date: Nov. 14
Website: tachipalace.com
Watch Event: live stream on sherdog.com
Twitter: @Tachipalace

Spotlight Fight:
Nate Loughran (10-1) vs. Kito Andrews (10-3)

Tachi Palace Fights continues to deliver strong fight cards on the West Coast. In its 17th venture, the promotion has lined up a pair of intriguing title fights. In the headliner, Jared Papazian meets Russell Doane in a fight for the interim bantamweight title. Before they take to the cage, though, Nate Loughran battles Kito Andrews for welterweight gold.

Andrews competed on The Ultimate Fighter 17, but he did not make the house. In one of the most emotional moments of the show, Andrews, with his sons looking on, lost to eventual season winner Kelvin Gastelum via decision. Not counting the exhibition bout with Gastelum, Andrews has only suffered three defeats. One came early in his career, in just his second fight since making his pro debut in 2007. The others came via submission against future UFC veteran Seth Baczynski and, in his most recent outing, via decision to prospect and fellow TUF hopeful Max Griffin in a welterweight title tilt. The 35-year-old discovered MMA while in college and has trained with the likes of Nick Diaz and Team Alpha Male. Andrews has taken home numerous grappling championships and is a submission specialist. He has only claimed four of his wins by way of submission, and he has also lost via submission on two occasions.

NorCal Fighting Alliance’s Loughran made his pro debut in 2006, but has only fought once since the end of 2008. He eked out a split decision over Jamie Jara in a March 2012 fight, his first since suffering a rib injury in a 2008 bout with Tim Credeur. The Credeur fight, which took place under the UFC banner, stands as his only loss, but it also forced him out of action for an extended period and resulted in his UFC release. He holds victories over UFC veteran Johnny Rees, Bellator vet Brian Warren and Strikeforce vet Bryan Travers. Though he does have one TKO win and the split verdict over Jara, Loughran tends to stick to chokes and armbars, which account for eight of his victories. He also tends to finish fights in the first round, with only three of his wins seeing the second frame and only the Jara fight going to a third stanza.

This will be the first fight at 170 pounds for the former middleweight, Loughran. He had a strong track record as a 185er and went 1-1 inside the Octagon, only losing due to an injury. He might still be rusty after just one fight in the last five years, but he has the ground skills to hang with Andrews. It should be a close fight, but Andrews’ losses to a UFC vet and a TUF hopeful suggest he could be prone to the submission or could simply get outpointed. Yet, it’s the combination of Loughran’s inactivity and Andrews’ camp at Team Alpha Male that gives him a chance in this contest.

Loughran is likely to end up on bottom and might get outpointed, but Andrews has been caught in a triangle choke before and that happens to be one of Loughran’s preferred finishing methods. Andrews will gain the upper hand early, but he’ll make a mistake at some point and find himself trapped in a Loughran submission from which he won’t escape.

Other key bouts: Jared Papazian (17-10) vs. Russell Doane (10-2) for the interim bantamweight title, Joe Soto (11-2) vs. Cory Vombaur (6-2), Jeremiah Labiano (5-1) vs. Adam Calderon (3-1), Randall Wallace (7-1) vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf (10-12-1), Anthony Ruiz (30-18) vs. Collin Hart (4-2-1), Marion Reneau (2-0) vs. Jennifer Anderson (0-0)

ONE Fighting Championship 12: Warrior Spirit

Putra Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Event Date: Nov. 15
Website: onefc.com
Watch Event: pay-per-view stream at Livesport.tv
Twitter: @ONEFCMMA

Spotlight Fight:
Adriano Moraes (9-0) vs. Yusup Saadulaev (10-3-1)

With Adam Kayoom out with a broken rib and replacement Vitor Pinto a last-minute scratch after he failed to clear pre-fight medicals, ONE FC has lost its welterweight championship main event and Nobutatsu Suzuki has lost his place on the promotion’s 12th offering. However, that doesn’t mean the card is void of intriguing match-ups. Stepping up to the headlining spot is a 134-pound catchweight bout between Adriano Moraes and Yusup Saadulaev.

Even this affair has suffered from changes. Moraes was originally slated to meet King of the Cage flyweight champion Josh Paiva, but Paiva withdrew and Saadulaev stepped up on late notice to take the spot, hence the catchweight. Saadulaev made his professional debut in 2008 and went undefeated through his first nine contests, with eight wins and a draw. The Russian wrestler hit a rough patch beginning in 2011 and has just two wins in five outings during the time since. He holds a notable win over Hideo Tokoro, which came by way of a knockout via slam just 42 seconds into the bout. Saadulaev has suffered his losses to Rodolfo Marques Diniz and Leandro Issa by way of unanimous decision and Kevin Belingon via TKO. Though he is now back in Russia with Top Team Dagestan, Saadulaev did spend several years in the United States and was trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Christian Uflacker. The Russian was a quick learner and soon had NAGA and Pan American Championships gold in his trophy case. He has used those grappling skills to finish seven of his opponents via submission.

Moraes fights out of the Constrictor Team in Brazil and has trained alongside Paulo Thiago and Rani Yahya. He remains undefeated through nine fights, but not all of his bouts have come against scrubs. “Mikinho” holds a decision win over Jose Marcos Lima Santiago Jr. and scored a TKO victory over TUF Brazil alum Dileno Lopes. Moraes has a well-balanced attack that has resulted in three wins each by knockout, submission and decision. Moraes is a BJJ brown belt, but he also has a strong striking attack that aided him in defeating Lopes and claiming Shooto Brazil’s flyweight title.

Saadulaev had a good run early in his career, and his win over Tokoro proves that he can top tough competition. However, though he is coming off a win in his most recent fight, the Russian has losses to most of the better competition outside of Tokoro that he has faced. The loss to Belingon is especially troubling, given that Moraes has an excellent stand-up attack and that may be Saadulaev’s biggest weakness.

The Russian needs to use his combination of wrestling and submission skills to give Moraes a hard time on the mat. But if he couldn’t get Belingon down and neutralize his striking attack, it’s doubtful that he’ll do better against Moraes. As a natural flyweight, Moraes may have difficulty finding enough power to score a knockout finish, but he’ll do enough to outpoint Saadulaev and take home the unanimous verdict.

Other key bouts: Bryan Rafiq (8-2) vs. Leandro Ataides (5-0), Chris Lokteff (11-1) vs. Tony Johnson (7-1), Peter Davis (6-3) vs. Alaa Mazloum (1-0), Casey Suire (3-0) vs. Raymond Tan (2-0)

Legacy Fighting Championship 25

Arena Theatre in Houston
Event Date: Nov. 15
Website: legacyfights.net
Watch Event: AXS TV
Twitter: @legacyfighting

Spotlight Fight:
Jorge Patino (34-13-2) vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira (8-0)

The Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championship promotion has slowly put together a strong roster of fighters. Prospects Henry Cejudo and Francisco Trevino bring depth to the promotion’s 25th offering, but the spotlight falls firmly on lightweight champion Jorge Patino and fast-rising challenger Carlos Diego Ferreira.

Now residing in Texas, Ferreira was born in Brazil and earned his black belt while training at Amazonas BJJ. The Silverback Fight Club product has taken numerous honors in BJJ tournaments and has performed well against the likes of Patino and Andre Galvao in the grappling arena. The eye-opening moment for Ferreira came in his upset victory over Carlo Prater. The 28-year-old was able to dominate the UFC veteran en route to a unanimous decision victory. He followed that performance up by handing Chris Feist the first loss of his pro career, also by way of a unanimous decision. Ferreira, who made his debut in 2011, is just over a month removed from his win over Feist. He has five submission victories, with his other three wins coming on the judges’ scorecards, but his striking is improving and was a large factor in his victories over Feist and Prater.

Patino has more than six times the number of fights on his resume than Ferreira. The 40-year-old is a UFC and Strikeforce veteran, and he has held the Legacy welterweight and lightweight championships. The Macaco Gold Team fighter and Texas resident made his pro debut in 1995 and has faced the likes of Jose Landi-Jons, Pat Miletich and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. He is a third-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a second-dan black belt in judo. He has won 10 fights via some form of knockout and 14 by way of submission, but has only been stopped on five occasions (three KO/TKO, two submissions). Patino is on a seven-fight winning streak and has not lost since 2010. This will be his second defense of the Legacy lightweight crown.

Patino has an impressive streak going, but he only eked by via split decision in his most recent outing versus Efrain Escudero. He found similar results against Pete Spratt in a welterweight bout for Legacy’s 170-pound title. Escudero and Spratt represent arguably the most well-rounded and highly skilled opponents in Patino’s current run. Ferreira’s recent performances suggest that he’s at that same skill level. He’s an ace on the mat, but he has also displayed a striking arsenal that allowed him to top two talented fighters in Prater and Feist.

Ferreira has already defeated Patino on the BJJ mats, though the victory was on points, not via submission. Yet, it goes to show that Ferreira won’t be the lesser man if the fight hits the ground. And on the feet, Ferreira has impressed, whereas Patino has suffered a handful of striking losses, including a submission due to strikes, a knockout, a TKO and a doctor’s stoppage. Patino has the more explosive striking game, and his best chance certainly lies in pressing forward and looking for a knockout. Ferreira’s striking style has been a key to his victories, however, and he could surprise Patino by keeping him at bay and even landing with some power.

Patino is a tough fighter and isn’t going to succumb to a stoppage easily. Ferreira, though, possesses a blend of grappling and striking that can lead him to the victory. He’ll edge Patino in points on the mat, and possibly even in the stand-up, en route to taking the judges’ nods in a close fight.

Other key bouts: Henry Cejudo (5-0) vs. Humberto DeLeon (6-5), Francisco Trevino (10-0) vs. Lester Batres (3-1), Jonathan Harris (7-3) vs. Artenas Young (9-6), Kaileb Cummins (2-0-1) vs. Charles Ontiveros (3-1)

Photo: Carlos Diego Ferreira (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)