Top MMA News – Canadian Featherweight Rankings – October 2009

By:
Nick Denis THUMBThe story of Canada’s top 145 pound fighters is not who is in the rankings, but who cannot be ranked due to inactivity. 
 
Who should be the number one Canadian bantamweight?  Mark Hominick?  No, he has not fought in the past year.  Antonio Carvalho?  He has not fought in the last year either.  These are arguably the two best Featherweights from Canada.  There is no doubt that once these fighters fight again, they will be in the Top 10.  Maybe even #1 and #2.
 
With Carvalho and Hominick on the shelf (not to mention Singh and Laporte) the field is wide open.  Three of Canada’s Featherweights debuted on international TV with Sengoku, Bellator, and the WEC this past year, several up and comers recorded big wins to vault them from obscurity, a few are undefeated, and one veteran Featherweight just cannot seem to get below the weight limit.
 
With that said, here are the Top MMA News Top 10 Featherweights in Canada.  Please comment if you agree or disagree or if we have missed a 145er !  Sensible comments will be taken into consideration when Top MMA News revisits their Featherweight rankings.

Top Canadian Featherweights

1. Nick Denis (8-1) – The Ottawa native is a fantastic striker who has knocked out almost 90% of all of his opponents.  He built his reputation at King of the Cage and became their 145 lb champ.  He graduated to Sengoku this year where he finished 1-1 in their Featherweight Grand Prix.  He last fought at Aggression this weekend and beat Top MMA News #5 Bantamweight Jason Townes.  This signals a move to the lower weight class for Denis. That and the fact that Mark Hominick will fight again means his stay atop the Featherweight list could be short lived.  Next Fight: vs Sean Quinn at Wreck MMA.

2. Yves Jabouin (12-5) – When Top MMA News first pencilled this list, Jabouin was ranked lower than #2.  Then Jabouin lost to Rafael Assuncao in the WEC and we had to move him higher.  This is clearly a case of looking very good in a loss and his performance forced us to rank GSP’s training partner higher than previously thought.  Previously, Yves was not fighting top competition, Brad Cardinal excluded, but his WEC loss shows that he can hang with anybody and beat most!  Next fight: TBD

Quenneville

Thierry Quenneville celebrates his win over Tim Tamaki (photo by Eric Gaudreault)

3. William Romero (5-0) – The little guy from Iron Tiger has done big things!  Romero came from obscurity to claim the IMMAC Featherweight title.  Now he’s taking the Quebec scene by storm – first beating Mitch Gagnon (and knocking him from this list and then KOing Guillaume Lamarche in 17 seconds at Ringside (watch it here).  Romero is no doubt a surprise at #3 to most, but this kid is tough.  Next fight: vs Tristan Johnson at IMMAC 8.

4. Thierry Quenneville (15-8) – Quenneville may be the best Featherweight on this list.  At 4-1 over the last two years, Thierry has beaten Bellator’s Ben Greer and ex-UFCer Doug Evans and has only lost to Hatsu Hioki, maybe the top Featherweight in the world.  However, Thierry has not made the Featherweight weight limit for his past two fights and Top MMA News has dropped him a few spots in response to this negligence.  Can Thierry still make 145 lbs?  Lets hope he does his next time out!  Next fight: TBD

5. Ben Greer (11-5) – Greer may have had the toughest past five fights of all the Featherweights – Quenneville (win), Hominick (loss), Vigneault (win), Quenneville (loss), and then losing to Bellator champion Joe Soto.  Bottom line is that Vancouver’s Ben Greer is a great fighter who would be beat most of the guys on this list.  Lets hope he gets matched up against a few as he does need to get some wins behind him.  Next fight: TBD

After #5, it gets much more difficult for Top MMA News to rank fighters.  There is little in the way of common opponents and its a fine line between #6 and #12.  Consider still that a few would not be on this list if all Canadian fighters were active over the past year.   Take these with a grain of salt, they will get more refined as the fighters start facing each other.

6. Tristan Johnson (5-0) – The Nova Scotia native is a former pro boxer so you know he has good hands.  He has been 2-0 over the past year with his last win being a gutsy victory over the 6-5 Brad Duguay.  In that bout, Tristan badly hurt his arm in the first minute of battle only to suck it up and TKO Duguay in the second round. I applaud the matchmakers at IMMAC for pairing Johnson against Romero on their November 21st card. Truly a fight with big implications to the Top MMA News Featherweight Rankings.  Next fight: vs William Romero at IMMAC 8.

7. Diego Wilson (4-0) – In the past year, Wilson has been 3-0 fighting for the MFC/Heat XC organization.  Diego is a tremendous prospect who quickly dispatched a well-rounded Luis Huete at Heat XC 3.  In fact, if you are going to face this Zuma-trained fighter, do not expect to make it out of the first round.  No one has yet!  Next fight: TBD

8. Adam Lorenz (5-1) – I know Dwight Sutherland fans are going to be hopping mad seeing Lorenz ranked at #8 and the guy who beat him unranked, but Lorenz vaulted up the rankings with his Aggression MMA upset victory over WEC vet Rolando Perez.  Fight of the Night quality wins like his victory over Perez not only bring Adam Lorenz up a couple notches on this ranking but he brings all Saskatchewan and Canadian Mixed Martial Artists up a notch in the eyes of the world as well!  Too much?  Maybe, but Lorenz brought his A game back to MMA fighting Perez after perhaps being a bit too over confident over a very capable Sutherland at UCW 16.  Next fight: TBD

9. Graham Spencer (4-0) – The third BC native on the list, Graham Spencer is a guy that dominates positionally by getting you on the ground and keeping you there.  Spencer is a very good grappler and is 3-0 over the past twelve months.  Spencer squeaks onto the end of the list due to his workmanlike victory over Shawn Albrecht who was 6-2 at the time of their fight.  Next fight: vs Wesley Neil at KOTC Vernon

10.  Guillaume Lamarche (4-2) – With wins over Stephane Bernadel and Justin Tavernini, it was hard to leave Lamarche off this list – especially when his only losses came at the hands of #1 Bantamweight Adrian Wooley and #3 Featherweight William Romero.  Next fight: vs TBD at Ringside.

Out of the Top 10:

Mitch Gagnon (4-1) Next fight: Stephane Bernadel at Wreck MMA
Tom Waters (2-0)
Luis Huete (3-1)
Mike Adams (5-0) deserves to be on list but was inactive for years and just returned to action.
Shawn Albrecht (7-3)
Dwight Sutherland (3-1)
Stephane Bernadel (4-1) Next fight: Mitch Gagnon at Wreck MMA
Roland Delorme (2-0) Next fight: vs Stephane Denis at CFC 3

Not Considered Due to Inactivity:

Mark Hominick
Antonio Carvalho
Bob Shabaga
Stephane Vigneault
Greg Compton
Hardeep Singh
Len Tam
Adam Laporte

 *** Nick Denis photos courtesy of Jason Bouwmeester of pixelens.com.  (Check out his Aggression MMA Gallery !)

*** Thierry Quenneville photo courtesy of Eric Gaudreault at zoom_eric@hotmail.com (Look up his MFL pix on Facebook!)

22 Responses to “ Top MMA News – Canadian Featherweight Rankings – October 2009 ”

  1. Brent Fryia says:

    While I don’t in any way think that I should be in the top 10 I think I should get some consideration along with the other guys that are “out of the top 10”
    I am 4-1 as a pro (sherdog has me at 3-1 for some reason)
    http://www.mma-core.com/fighters/_Brent_Fryia?fid=138581 All of my wins have come by TKO or submission in the first round. I have never fought in Canada (not for lack of trying) and have fought mostly for King of the Cage in the USA. In August I moved to Korea to train and compete for one year. I will be fighting in Japan in the new year. For some reason I have had a very hard time convincing Canadian promoters to put me on their card despite good results in the USA and having good credentials in other combat sports before coming to MMA. When I return in August I hope to be able to get a shot to fight in Canada.

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  2. My apologies Brent. I guess it was out of sight, out of mind. Top MMA News talked to a bunch of people and your name just escaped us all. To be honest, your name is not even on my spreadsheet among the guys we did not mention that are “out of the top 10”. We figured that we may miss some even though we compiled hundreds of names. Sorry you were one of them.

    I have now added you to our spreadsheet and you will be considered when we revise these rankings.

    Best of luck with your fight in Japan next year.

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  3. Rain-bows says:

    Just a thought… It could be the expense of flying a guy in from Korea when they could give the fight to one of the 100’s of other 145ers that train just down the street from whatever arena they’re holding the event at! lol

    Hopefully if you return to Canada you can get on a few cards and re-introduce yourself to the Canadian MMA community! Best of luck!

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  4. Brent Fryia says:

    Haha, yeah flying me from Korea would be pricey. That’s not what I meant though… I only moved to Korea 2 months ago. When I was fighting in the USA I was living and training in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I realize that this is a tough location for some promoters who don’t want to fly someone; I’m about 15 hours driving from Winnipeg and 10 hours from anywhere in Quebec. It was easy to get on cards in Michigan and Wisconsisn since I didn’t have to drive as far.
    I totally understand why I wouldn’t be in the rankings, there is really no reason for anyone in Canadian MMA to know about me. I just wanted to post and get my name out there a little bit so that when I come back to Canada (next Aug.) I can get on a Canadian card somewhere.

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  5. Rain-bows says:

    Well with any luck Ontario should be right around the corner with the legalization of MMA and then 10-20 promotions will spring up there overnight! haha

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  6. annonymous says:

    Nick Denis is no longer a featherweight. He has dropped weight classes and now fights at 135 lbs. A fight between him and Adrian Wooley would b good to see who the absolute best is at 135 in the country. Although, ive gotta be honest and say, i dont think anybody can handle Wooley in canada right now. The guy is simply too good!!!

    How often will these rankings be re-evaluated? i would like to see what it looks like with Denis out of the featherweight rankings due to the division drop, and with Hominick in it due to his upcoming bout against Jabouin in the WEC.
    Hope to hear the feedback!!!

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  7. Right now we are doing our first rankings. We started with Bantam and are working to Heavy. These initial rankings are taking about two weeks per division although things should get faster once we hit Welter and Middleweight. We still have 5 divisions to initially rank.

    Once Heavyweight is finished, we will then circle back down to Bantam and revise it. I am guessing that this will be some time in December after Denis’ second Bantamweight fight against Sean Quinn.

    -grienk

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  8. by the way, Anonymous. Wouldn’t it be great to see Denis fight Wooley for his W1 belt the next time W1 has a card. W1 and Wreck are doing great stuff with Canadian Bantamweights.

    I would buy tickets to these shows as their Bantamweights are definitely WEC bound. Watch them while you can!

    keep on giving us Top MMA News feedback on our rankings, folks!

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  9. Grasshopper says:

    I think that Mitch Gagnon should have been on your Top Ten Featherweight list. His only loss to Romero was by decision and was a solid battle, earning them Fight of the Night. He’s been trying to get a rematch since, and I’m sure it will happen soon. Every other fight, he totally dominated his opponent and had them tapping in the first round. He is crazy-fit, fast, aggressive and hungry. He is strong as a Clydesdale With the heart of a Lion. He has serious skill in all spheres. He’ll climb through the list and dominate it for a while. One to watch.

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  10. Grasshopper, the winner of Gagnon/Bernadel at Wreck this December will put themselves in great position to enter the top 10.

    I am guessing that you think the Clydesdale will take it?

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  11. Grasshopper says:

    And then some! Mitch Gagnon is a quiet, unassuming and humble warrior. Remember that his 4-1 record is all within a year.

    I heard the rumour that last year, with two days notice and on a dare, he decided to run a marathon. Apparently never trained for one….just showed up and ran it in 3:40 or so.

    I hear that apparently his trainer/coach Yves Charette from Team Shredders in Sudbury puts them through workouts that make them pray for something easy like a marathon :)

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  12. UPDATE: The IMMAC fight between Will Romero and Tristan Johnson has been pulled.

    http://topmmanews.com/2009/11/07/tristan-johnson-pulls-out-of-immac-fight-with-will-romero/

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  13. Grasshopper says:

    Keith,
    let’s see Mitch Gagnon from Team Shredder in Sudbury on The List. He took Stephane Bernadel out of the equation in :48 seconds with a flurry of strikes to the head that saw Bernadel give up his neck for a guillotine finish. Bernadel seemed completely confused, outclassed and helpless as the steam roller crushed him. Gagnon, who is trained by Yves Charette, looked fit and strong. His standup is seriously underestimated for a world-class wrestler. In a recent poll he was voted as the prefered upcoming fighter by 37% of the voters. He deserves to be 4th or 5th on the list at least.

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  14. Grasshopper, Marc-Andre was at the fights and said Gagnon was a beast and someone we should look out for.

    I know he is talented, but I have a hard time seeing him making the list yet with a win over Bernadel but we will see. Remember there are at least 11 guys above him on our list after this weekend when Hominick fights in the WEC.

    Curious about the poll though, why don’t you put a link to it here? Thanks for reading and appreciate the heads up!

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  15. Grasshopper says:

    Tough job ranking these fine athletes. His time will come. Obviously the list needs to be updated continuously. My impression was that Nick was fighting at 135.

    Here is the link to the poll:
    http://www.ultimefanatic.com/modules/xoopspoll/pollresults.php?com_mode=nest&com_order=0&poll_id=52

    Your site is relevant and important because it gives thoughtful and responsible commentary and asks the right questions. Keep up the good work. I also love that you respond to my comments so quickly!

    Grasshopper
    “if you can snatch the pebbles from my hand….”

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  16. Thanks for the compliment, Grasshopper. We really appreciate feedback as we do miss guys on these lists and these fighters are so close.

    Nick fought in the Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix. At some point, Top MMA News will consider his drop permanent and only rank him at Bantamweight but he did fight this year at 145.

    btw… met for coffee with Marc and he was oohing and aahing about Mitch and Team Shredder again this morning. Who else should we be watching out for from Sudbury?

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  17. Grasshopper says:

    A couple of guys that are very early in their careers but showing good potential. Luc Nadeau is the first one. Fast learner and if you watch his last fight (second pro I believe but don’t quote me), he is IceCold. Not a drop of emotion. If he was in a movie as a hitman, you would believe it. His cardio needs some work but once he sorts that out he’ll be one to watch.

    Jeremy Gagnon, (no relations to Mitch I don’t think), has two pro fights and he’s already got two epic battles on his hands. Give him more experience and put him in the 135lbs category and he’s gonna be that fucking Terminator you just can’t kill. Half body blown away but still crawling toward you to kill you.

    Team Shredder has several more that have wicked skill. Yves Charette clearly knows what he’s doing. Very humble and ethical guy from what I hear. Doesn’t play games but clearly able to produce top notch fighters. Joey Benoit who manages these guys is great at finding just the right fights to develop his fighters. Doesn’t get involved in the pettiness of the game like some schools and managers who seem to thrive on drama.
    Just my humble opinion.

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  18. yenny says:

    Un par de tipos que son muy temprano en su carrera, pero mostrando un buen potencial.

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  19. Cody Rempel says:

    I agree with yenny… Spanish words! haha

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  20. dennis says:

    good too see sudbury doing so well in the MMA world! I’ll have to look up the training facility next time I come back.

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  21. Otto says:

    Thanks a lot for these rankings.

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  22. leafs fan says:

    duguay vs tristan johnson lets go he wants it set it up

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