After an unsuccessful two-fight stint in the UFC, Russian bantamweight Azamat Gashimov returns to action this month, taking on Zhenhong Lu in the main event of RUFF 12 at the Hongkou Indoor Stadium in Shanghai.
Their fight headlines an 11-fight card which is taking place on March 29 and also hosts the return of top Chinese featherweight Wang Guan, who will be looking to bounce back from the first defeat of his career when he takes on Jerson Estoro.
Lu (5-1) has won five straight fights to establish himself as one of the top bantamweights on the RUFF roster. Gashimov (7-3) is coming off back-to-back losses at the hands of Ivan Menjivar and John Lineker and this will be his first bout since being handed his UFC walking papers.
With RUFF’s reigning bantamweight champion Irshaad Sayed having been released by the organization recently in order to pursue opportunities in his native South Africa, the division is wide open and the winner of this bout will be potentially be in pole position for a shot at the belt.
Guan (12-1-1) was beaten for the first time by Bekbulat Magomedov in the main event of RUFF 11, but remains one of China’s top MMA prospects. The organization’s 145-pound champion returns to take on Estoro (5-2) a URCC veteran who will be competing outside of the Philippines for the first time.
China Top Team standout Rijiragala Amu (8-2) is coming off a submission win over RUFF 125-pound champion Meixuan Zhang and has won three straight fights. He is facing undefeated Danaa Batgerel (3-0) in a bantamweight match-up. The Mongolian won three fights out of three for the now-defunct Legend FC.
Top Chinese lightweight Haotian Wu (13-5-1) missed out on becoming the inaugural RUFF 155-pound champion when he was submitted by BJJ black belt Rodrigo Caporal in the midst of a dip in form that saw him lose four fights out of five.
Wu is coming off a win at RUFF 11 last November and will be taking on another lightweight who tasted victory that night in the shape of Kuat Khamitov (6-3) from Kazakhstan. Khamitov is a veteran of Alash Pride and has also fought for Asian promotions Zst and the Super Fight League.
Hongkou Indoor Stadium
March 29, 2014
-Azamat Gashimov vs. Lu Zhenhong, 61kg
-Jerson P. Estoro vs. Wang Guan, 66kg
-Danaa Batgerel vs. Amu Rijirigala, 61kg
-Baasankhuu Damlanpurev vs. Song Yadong, 61kg
-Kuat Khamitov vs. Wu Haotian, 70kg
-Galindez Ereneo JR.Odayao vs. Zhao Yafei, 61kg
-Otgontulga Rentsen vs. WulaliBieke Baheibieke, 57kg
-Shamil Magomedov vs. Shang Zhifa, 57kg
-WuLiJiBuren vs. He Nannan, 66kg
-Alateng Heili vs. Tom Ni, 61kg
-Yang Jianbing vs. Yuanye, 57kg
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