Declaration of Independents for October 2015

All the fans know the UFC and all the press report on that promotion but where do their fighters come from? What else is going on now? Perhaps most importantly what shows should fans watch to see tomorrow’s stars develop? The Declaration of Independents is a monthly snapshot of what is going on in the non-UFC or “independent” scene.

September was a busy month for the independents while now most promotions are set for the rest of the year.  Bellator still have four more events lined up for 2015 while most promotions have two with the majority coming in the next month.  AXS TV stays busy with LFC, RFA, and CES MMA on a mostly weekly basis while NBC and CBS Sports Network continue with WSOF and Fight Time respectively.  The questions are with new promotions Combate Americas on NBC Universo and Venator which supposedly is on FOX Sports.  Overall the schedule is down to as it was in summer but is about to drop off quickly in about a month.

The biggest news in the independent scene this month is on Rizin, the New Year’s Eve show in Japan put together by former Pride FC founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara.  At first glance this three-day mega-event seems like reincarnation of Pride FC with Fedor Emelianenko headlining and a superfight between Shinya Aoki and Kazushi Sakuraba on the card.  What little information is available at this time however is rather underwhelming.  To be clear nobody is speculating anything about worked fights but the rumors of the card are to be polite definitely wanting in terms of matchmaking UFC fans have come to expect.  All that is confirmed so far is Fedor headlines against an as-yet unnamed opponent, Sakuraba fights Aoki, and Gabi Garcia is on the card.

Here is a list of confirmed MMA events on TV and the internet for the next six weeks:

October 16th LFC 47 (AXS TV)
October 17th WSOF 24 (NBC Sports Network)
October 21st Fight Time 33 (CBS Sports Network delayed)
October 23rd Bellator 144 (Spike TV)
October 23rd Hard Knocks FC 46 (webcast PPV)
October 24th UFC Fight Night 76 – Poirier vs. Duffy (UFC Fight Pass)
October 30th CES MMA 31 (AXS TV)
October 31st CFFC 52 (GoFightLive)
November 6th M-1 Challenge 63 (webcast PPV)
November 6th RFA 32 (AXS TV)
November 7th UFC Fight Night 77 (Fox Sports 1)
November 13th One Championship (webcast PPV)
November 13th LFC 48 (AXS TV)
November 15th UFC 193 (PPV)
November 19th Combate Americas (NBC Universo)
November 21st UFC Fight Night 78 (UFC Fight Pass)
November 29th UFC Fight Night 79 (UFC Fight Pass)

Televised shows:

BAMMA – November 14th’s BAMMA card has a whopping twenty fights scheduled with Mark Godbeer vs. Ruben Wolf in the main event, Martin Stapleton vs. Gavin Sterritt in the co-main event.  Following that event Britain’s largest promotion are off until February when an intriguing “Ireland vs. England” card takes place.

Brandon Halsey headlines Bellator 144Bellator MMA (Bellator) – The second-largest MMA promotion is still going strong with four more events this year.  First up is Bellator 144 October 23rd with Brandon Halsey vs. Rafael Carvalho headlining.  Following that event Bellator 145 takes place November 6th, Bellator 146 November 20th, and Bellator 147 ends the ear on December 11th.

Chip Moraza-Pollard fights for CES WW titleClassic Entertainment and Sports MMA (CES MMA) – On August 14th Luis Felix defeated Julian Lane for the lightweight title.  Next up New England’s most important event returns to Twin River Casino October 30th where Gil De Freitas takes on Chip Moraza-Pollard for the vacant welterweight title.

Combat Americas – The September 17th show for this fledgling upstart had its ups and downs, the downside being the theme of an all-Hispanic promotion went out the window.  November 19th will be the real test assuming the scheduled event takes place, at this time there is no card available.

FightTime Promotions – South Florida’s premier event holds two more shows this year with Fight Time 33 on October 21st and 34 on December 16th.  Both events are expected to air on the CBS Sports Network tape delayed, neither have card currently available.

Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC) – Also have a “challengers” event is LFC which headline Clay Harvison vs. Jordan Rinaldi this weekend.  After that event LFC apparently end their year November 13th with Leonardo Leite vs. Ryan Spann on November 13th.

Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) – The November 6th event in Minnesota is a bit of a “challengers” card with Melvin Blumer vs. Leandro Higo in a bantamweight showdown being the main event.  After that show RFA appear to be off for the rest of the year.

Venator (Fox) – What could be Europe’s next big show comes out of Italy, the December 12th event advertised as being on Fox Sports.  Unfortunately it is unclear at this time if Fox Sports will broadcast it live or internationally.  In the main event Mattia Schiavolin takes on Luke Barnatt.

Jon Fitch headlines WSOF against Yushin OkamiWSOF – This weekend WSOF 24 sees Jon Fitch fight Yushin Okami in the main event, Blagoy Ivanov defend the HW title, and Magomed Bibulatov face Donavan Frelow for the inaugural flyweight title.  After that WSOF 25 takes place November 20th with a light heavyweight tournament, the card for which is yet to be released.

Webcast shows:

Darrell Horcher defends CFFC lightweight title on  HalloweenCage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) – Darrell Horcher vs. Stephen Regman for the lightweight title tops the Halloween event for CFFC.  Also on the card Jeff Lentz fights Jared Gordon for the featherweight title while Ricky Bandejas takes on Nick Pace for the bantamweight belt.

Hard Knocks Fighting – Calgary’s webcast up-and-comers return October 23rd as Jesse Arnett faces Dimitri Waardenburg for the bantamweight title.

Invicta FC – Due to both fighters missing weight on the first try Tonya Evinger’s defeat of Pannie Kianzad was a non-title bout at Invicta FC 14 on September 12th.  No word is currently available on the next event.

M-1 Global – Russia’s top event maintains their hectic pace with M-1 Challenge 63 on November 6th, 64 on November 26th, and 65 on December 18th.  Not much is available on the November 6th event aside from the main event, light heavyweight champion Stephan Puetz vs. Viktor Nemkov.

Ben Askren defends WW title at One Championship in  NovemberONE Championship – Two event remain on the calendar for Asia’s largest promotion with shows on November 13th and December 11th.  The November event holds a main event between welterweight champion Ben Askren and Luis Santos, a rematch of their April clash that ended in a “no contest” over an inadvertent eye poke.

Ring of Combat (ROC) – On September 27th Brian Kelleher stunned the MMA community by handing Julio Arce his first professional loss and taking the bantamweight title at the same time.  At this time there is no word on the next event.

Fedor Emelianenko headlines Rizin on NYERizin – Call it the resurrection of Pride or call it a hybrid of pro wrestling and MMA but the upstart Japanese promotion has the fans talking and their first event isn’t until New Year’s Eve.  SkyPerfecTV will broadcast the three-day event as a pay-per-view for those who want to see Fedor Emelianenko emerge from retirement to defeat as as-yet unnamed punching bag.

Shooto Brazil  – In the most recent event which took place September 27th Ronaldo Candido de Oliveira defeated Bruno Suema for the vacant SA flyweight title.  The most recent news however came two weeks later on October 9th when it was announced light heavyweight champion Amilcar Alves tested positive for steroids and the title was returned to Rafael Viana who Alves defeated on August 21st.  At this time there is no word on the next event.

Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) – On August 6th Rolando Velasco defeated Josh San Diego for the vacant bantamweight title.  At this time there is no word on the next event.

Titan FC (TFC) – The September 19th had a bit of a speed bump as defending lightweight champion Pat Healy missed weight and was stripped of the belt before the bout began.  Fortunately for the promotion Healy was defeated by Rick Hawn so the belt still has an owner.  Also on that card Andre Harrison and Tim Elliott defended the featherweight and flyweight titles respectively.  The next event takes place December 18th however at this time no information is available on the card.