Top MMA News – Canadian Lightweight Rankings – November 2009
Lightweight is an impressively deep division in Canada and extremely hard to rank. The division is also very active with all but one fighter in the Top MMA News Top 10 scheduled to fight over the next three months. The three top ranked fighters are all from Ontario and have all found contracts with major promotions. What is interesting is how four of the remaining seven ranked fighters are signed to fight other ranked Lightweights at Heat XC and Ringside in the near future. This definitely brings matchmakers Dave Pavelich and Alex Caporicci up a notch in Top MMA News‘ eyes. There are also two fights at this month’s Rumble in the Cage with Lightweight ranking implications.
So far the Bantamweight and Featherweight rankings have been well received. However, with more selection at Lightweight, there is sure to be more debate with these 155 lb rankings. Please comment if you agree or disagree or if we have missed a Lightweight. Sensible comments will be taken into consideration when Top MMA News revisits these Lightweight rankings.
Top Canadian Lightweight Rankings
1. Mark Bocek (7-2) – This Nova Uniao Black Belt is the top Canadian Lightweight. Fans should remember his last fight where he submitted David Bielkheden in front of a lively Montreal UFC 97 crowd. After starting slowly in the UFC, Bocek has submitted Bielkheden and Alvin Robinson over the past year to improve his UFC record to 3-2. Next Fight: vs Joe Brammer at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale
2. Sam Stout (14-5-1) – Like Bocek, Stout is also a native of Ontario. Unlike Bocek, Stout likes it standing. With twenty fights on his record, Stout is the veteran of this group. The Adrenaline fighter is coming off a much-needed decision victory over Matt Wiman at UFC 97 as he may have been let go if he had a loss. Stout needs to keep the ball rolling and continue improving his 3-4 UFC record to keep his spot. A win over Joe Lauzon would help get him closer to the top UFC Lightweights and to the top of these Canadian rankings. Next Fight: vs Joe Lauzon at UFC 108
3. Chris Horodecki (13-1) – Another Ontarion! Stout’s Adrenaline teammate has just been added to the WEC roster. After a very successful run in the IFL where Chris went 8-1 over two years, Chris had two Affliction fights against Dan Lauzon cancelled and only managed one fight over the past year. His first round sub over William Sriyapai this year was a good test for his neck problems. Next Fight: vs Anthony Njokuani at WEC 45
4. Kajan Johnson (15-10-1) – The man with the best nickname in the business is #4 on our list. Ragin’ Kajan started his career 5-10 but has gone 10-1-1 in his last twelve fights after having his face broken by Jesse Bongfeldt in 2004. In the past year, the XMMA champion has beaten Steve Claveau and Samuel Guillet. Top MMA News expects big things from this Revolution Fight Team member. Next Fight: vs Josh Russell at Heat XC 4.
5. Josh Russell (3-0) – Josh Russell may only have three fights but the worst record of his opponent is 5-2. He is a Gracie Barra Black Belt and attained that rank in only three years. Best known as a coach of Edmonton’s Jason MacDonald, Russell has fought all three fights in the MFC – beating Colby Snyder and Donovan Foley by submission over the past year. His fight with Kajan Johnson at Heat XC 4 should be a barn burner. Next Fight: vs Kajan Johnson at Heat XC 4
6. Guillaume DeLorenzi (7-1) – Welcome to the world of Ground ‘n Pound. Delorenzi is strong as a bull, takes you down and pounds you out. “Il Toro” has fought eight times since March 2008 – unfortunately losing when he tried to step up against a name opponent War Machine, but beating a tough Lindsey Hawkes along the way. Next Fight: vs Mark Holst at Wreck MMA.
7. Martin Grandmont (8-4) The former Canadian kickboxing champion has won both his bouts over the past twelve months including an impressive KO over Mark Holst at W1. Three of Grandmont’s losses come over very tough Canadian opposition: Chris Clements, Corey MacDonald, and Sam Stout. Will Grandmont make it to the next level? His win over Holst suggests so. Next Fight: at Welterweight vs Louis Christophe Laurin at UGC
8. Trevor Wright (4-0) – Wright makes the list having the best record out of all the other fighters at this weight over the past twelve months (4-0). Two of those fights came against very tough competition – Matt Bagshaw and Evan Sanguin. Some may argue that Sanguin was doing well before getting injured in his fight with Wright, but Top MMA News would counter that argument by saying Wright was the one who slammed Sanguin and that caused the injury. Regardless, this man is on his way up the ladder. He has another tough fight against Brad Cardinal lined up next. Next Fight: vs Brad Cardinal at RITC
9. Mike Ricci (4-0) – The last two spots were very difficult to fill. Ricci snuck in due to his unbeaten record, the way that he was dominating his fights, and because he beat a very underrated Rory McDonnell. Ricci’s next fight will determine whether he belongs in the Top 10 or not. Next Fight vs Jordan Mein at Ringside
10. Jordan Mein (11-6) – Jordan Mein was supposed to be taking time off in Australia backpacking around that continent. With no recent training, Mein accepts a fight against K-1 fighter Arslan Magomedov and gets TKO’d for his troubles. For such a young fighter, Mein’s record is loaded with fights against studs like Rory MacDonald, Samuel Guillet, Kevin Manderson, Jeff Harrison and Ryan Machan. In fact, his win over Machan puts Mein on the list and keeps Machan off. Mein is a bad ass, just like his father Lee. Next Fight vs Mike Ricci at Ringside
Just out of Top 10 (in no order):
Mark Holst (5-1) – Top MMA News writers’ Next Fight vs Guillaume DeLorenzi at Wreck MMA
Jose Rodriguez (4-0) – Next Fight vs Matt Bagshaw at RITC.
Ryan Machan (9-3)
Gavin Neil (7-1)
Jason MacKay (9-3)
Simon Marini (7-2)
Samuel Guillet (7-5)
Lindsey Hawkes (5-3)
John Makdessi (4-0) – Next Fight vs Rory McDonnell at Ringside
Warren Phillips (4-1) – Next Fight vs Dominic Blais at CFC 3
Kurt Southern (6-2)
Not Considered Due to Inactivity:
Brad Cardinal (7-5) Next Fight: vs Trevor Wright at RITC
Kultar Gill (9-8)
Jason Tatlow (8-3)
Tim Jensen (6-1)
Blake Fredrickson (15-4-1)
Dave Scholten (7-4)
Nelson Akawui Riquelme (4-1)
Stephane Dube (7-3)
*** Featured Gallery photo of Guillaume De Lorenzi courtesy of Eric Gaudreault firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Story photo of Guillaume De Lorenzi coutesy of Benoit Mainguy