Canadian Fights to Watch in March
No UFC until April 1st? No worries. There is some top notch Canadian regional promotions with some quality bouts coming up this month. In no particular order, here are a few upcoming bouts that pique my interest. Why not support your local MMA promotion and go see one of these fights in your city?
Carlos Newton vs. Nabil ‘The Thrill’ Khatib – Warrior 1, Gatineau, March 28. The return of Canada’s first UFC champion to action is a must see in my book. This is Newton’s first fight in Canada since 1996’s Extreme Fighting card. Newton has had some of the biggest wars in MMA history including historic fights with Miletich, Sakuraba, and Hughes. Newton has lost 6 of 7 since 2004 and is giving it one last kick at the cat. Khatib is out of Ottawa. The Thrill has been on a downslide since defeating Gideon Ray and will be looking to turn things around with a big win over Newton. Also on the card, Mark Holst is facing Martin Grandmont in a well-matched semi-main event.
Travis Galbraith vs Nick Hinchliffe, KOTC Canada: Turbulence, Edmonton, March 13. The third fight between these two warriors for the KOTC Canada Middleweight belt. Both fighters have one win under the belt during their battle for the KOTC Canada Light-Heavyweight belt. Both fighters have now dropped down in weight and are looking to take the Middleweight belt home with them.
Jose Rodriguez vs Tiago Tavares – UCW 15, Winnipeg, March 13. This one is personal for me. I have had the pleasure of interviewing both fighters and both have undefeated pro records. Jose Rodriguez, from Scheer’s gym in Saskatoon, has a fine blend of martial arts disciplines while Tavares (not the UFC Tavares) trains out of Xtreme Couture Toronto and is ferocious in the cage.
Jason Heit vs Mike Gates – Heat XC 2, Edmonton, March 27. Jason Heit (2-0) has had two fights ELEVEN years apart. In between those fights he was a champion boxer for Canada and a professional bodyguard for Hollywood celebrities. He had some rust during his fight last year against Elmer Waterhen. Mike Gates has tried to take a step up in competition but has lost 4 of 5 to some tough opponents like TJ Grant and Alex Serdyukov. Will Heit be able to stay undefeated or will the Gates of Hell stop him in his quest for much bigger things?
Nick Penner vs Joe Fonoti – TFC 2, Edmonton, March 20. The TFC has an interesting card where they are pitting TFC fighters against Alaska Fighting Championship fighters. Nick Penner is the TFC Heavyweight champ and they are bringing in Joe Fonoti to fight him. One weight class that is extremely thin in Canada is Heavyweight so anytime you have a chance to see an upcoming Heavyweight talent like Nick Penner, go see him fight. This card also features former IFLer Claude Patrick and the exciting Jackie Mikalsky fighting in front of her home town in a rare female battle.