Regional shows have some curious matchups this first weekend of February, with some fighters in very important bouts.
The UFC continues its grueling pace of consecutive events, but the rest of the MMA world has plenty to offer for those seeking action this weekend.
While there’s no Bellator event this weekend, the U.S. regional scene has some pretty relevant fights. We start off with New England CES 48, a card headlined by über-veteran Travis Wiuff (75-21!!) taking on Greg Rebello (23-8). Wiuff is coming off a win at the King of the Cage: Equalizer event in October of 2016, having some rocky ups and downs in his recent career run including losses to Chris Barnett and UFC fighter Timothy Johnson. Wiuff has been a battle-tested mainstay in the sport, having competed in the UFC as well as Bellator, the IFL, Sengoku, Rumble on the Rock, PRIDE, Jungle Fight, IGF, and even YAMMA. Yes, YAMMA.
Rebello is a former Ultimate Fighter contestant that has had some rough fights and a more recent string of finishes. Despite KO/TKO losses to UFC fighter Azunna Anyanwu and brutal finisher Ashley Gooch, Rebello has wins over Tyler King and Mike Mucitelli. Rebello has also won seven fights since 2014 – the last six wins being all finishes.
The co-main event is a fight between sometime Bellator fighter Tim Caron (8-1) and one-time Bellator fighter Timothy Woods (7-5). Caron has never gone to a decision in his professional career, while Woods has a 2009 submission loss to Jon Koppenhaver and a 2008 slam KO win over former Strikeforce and UFC fighter Ron Stallings. Also on the card will be a bout between Kevin Barberena (5-3) taking on solid veteran Dinis Paiva (10-6). Kevin is the brother of UFC fighter Bryan Barberena, and is on a three-fight win streak. He’s going to have his hands full with Paiva, a hard-nosed New England scene regular that’s also riding on three consecutive wins. CES 48 takes place Friday night at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI and will be televised on AXS TV starting at 7:00pm EST.
Shamrock FC 302 takes place this weekend, headlined by former Stikeforce and UFC fighter Bobby Voelker (29-13) facing Bobby Emmons (5-7). Former Titan, Bellator and RFA fighter Aaron Derrow (14-9) fights 4-5 Josh Weston. A Roufusport product, Derrow has been around the block, and has had some fun fights.
Finally, Victory FC: Junction City 9 is headlined by none other that hometown hero Joe Wilk (19-12), returning to action against William Joplin (16-14). Wilk has fought for Victory many times in the past, then moved on to brief stints in Strikeforce and Bellator. Joplin has fought for Shamrock FC, Titan FC, and RFA. He’s fought the likes of the aforementioned Aaron Derrow, as well as former UFC fighters Pablo Garza and Walel Watson. That card kicks off at 6:00pm EST on Saturday night, live from the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Junction City, KS.