Top 5 Maple Leaf Match Ups in December


Happy Ho Ho Ho time friends, the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups has returned. With only four cards taking place inside our borders this month, we’ve shortened the list down to the top 5 to make sure we only featured the crème de la crème of Canadian combatants. Also, with UFC 140 taking place in our own back yard, there’s plenty of top northerners battling it out in the octagon. So don’t fret too much fans as Mr. Clause will be delivering some tremendous match ups for the beginning of 2012.

Now for the usual Zuffa disclaimer, due to the fact that all UFC and Strikeforce cards will get their own personal breakdown, the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups is reserved for fights outside of Zuffa LLC.

Zuffa Match Ups:
Josh Ferguson (8-3) vs. Roland Delorme (6-1) – Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale – Las  Vegas – December 3
Claude Patrick (14-1) vs. Brian Ebersole (48-14-1) – UFC 140 – Toronto – December 10
Mark Hominick (20-9) vs. Chan Sung Jung (11-3) – UFC 140 – Toronto – December 10
Krzysztof Soszynski (26-11) vs. Igor Pokrajac (23-8) – UFC 140 – Toronto – December 10
John Makdessi (9-0) vs. Dennis Hallman (50-14-2) – UFC 140 – Toronto – December 10
Mark Bocek (9-4) vs. Nik Lentz (21-3-2) – UFC 140 – Toronto – December 10
Mitch Clarke (9-0) vs. John Cholish (7-1) – UFC 140 – Toronto – December 10
Yves Jabouin (16-7) Walel Watson (9-2) – UFC 140 – Toronto – December 10
Sean Pierson (11-4) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (14-1-1) – UFC 141 – Las vegas – December 30
TJ Grant (17-5) vs. Jacob Volkmann (13-2) – UFC 141 – Las vegas – December 30

Honorable Mentions
Derek Gauthier (7-3) vs. Ricky Goodall (7-4) – Instinct MMA 2 – Quebec City – December 2
Guillaume Lamarche (7-5) vs. Stephane Lamarche (7-10) – Instinct MMA 2 – Quebec City – December 2
Denis Kang (34-14-2) vs. Shungo Oyama (10-13) – Road FC 5 – Seoul – December 3
Chris Clements (9-4) vs. Rich Clementi (42-20-1) – Meltdown in the Valley – Sarnia – December 3
Ali Mokdad (4-1) vs. Misha Cirkunov (4-1) – Meltdown in the Valley – Sarnia – December 3
Chase Maxwell (7-2) vs. Rio Wells (6-1) – Unified MMA 10 – Edmonton – December 16

Top 5 Maple Leaf Matchups in December
5. Jesse Gross (6-2) vs. Daron Cruickshank (9-2)
Meltdown in the Valley – Sarnia – December 3
The Canadian killer Cruickshank faces yet another one of the great white north’s top Lightweights in top 15 ranked Gross. After a viciously quick dismantling of Brad Cardinal and a systematic beat down of Mike Ricci, Cruickshank is riding high this year. Gross, on the other hand, has had his star darkened in 2011, with a contentious loss to Cardinal and getting caught early in his Bellator debut versus Alexandre Bezerra. Even with their contrasting years, this tilt still has a chance to be epic. Both competitors are great wrestlers with non stop gas tanks and need to cap off their years with a bang. For Gross, this is a chance at redemption, as not only could he erase the memory of his most recent performances, but he could extract vengeance for his loss to Cardinal by defeating the man that smashed Cardinal. Cruickshank is easily on the doorstep of the big show and capping off his 2011 with a win over a top prospect could be just what he needs to push himself over the threshold. Given how spectacular the rest of the Meltdown in the Valley card is, if you live anywhere in Ontario and have not picked up a pair of tickets, you’re silly! If for some reason you can’t make it down to the RBC Centre in Sarnia, catch all the action live on

4. Waylon Lowe (10-4) vs. Tim Wadsworth (5-0)
Instinct MMA 2 – Quebec City – December 2
Tim Wadsworth fans rejoice! After a 20 month layoff from the cage, the BTT Canada product finally returns to action. Instinct MMA has not done Wadsworth any favours as they matched him up with 2-2 UFC veteran Waylon Lowe. There has been much debate as to whether Wadsworth is a top 10 ranked Canadian, now matched up against tough competition he has his chance to prove it. There’s a stark contrast between the two’s most recent performance as Wadsworth defeated Dwight Sutherland in April of 2010 and Lowe TKO’d Floyd Hodges less then 30 days ago. It’s a battle of ring rust versus the quick turnaround. Given the wrestling pedigree of both competitors, this match could take place mostly on the canvas or if their styles cancel each other out, fans could witness a stand up brawl. This is Wadsworth’s chance to recapture his former glory and return to the forefront of the Canadian MMA hardcore’s minds. If you’re a MMA fan in Quebec and haven’t picked up your “billets”, stop being silly and snatch em’ up quick. For you western MMA fans check out this stacked card on PPV.

3. Ryan Machan (14-7) vs. John Salter (7-2)
PFC 8 – Red Deer – December 9
Just over 20 days after returning to Middleweight and defeating Josh Powell, Machan once again steps up to 185 lbs and looks to avenge his mentor Jason MacDonald’s 2010 loss. Salter has quietly worked his way through Canada’s Middleweight division, defeating the aforementioned MacDonald and most recently TKOing former top 10 ranked Kalib Starnes into retirement. Now it’s up to Machan to defend our national honour and return himself to the nation’s top 10 rankings. Salter, a UFC and Strikeforce veteran, is currently riding a two fight win streak and looks to return to the big show. Speaking of the big show, Machan himself is on the door step of the big leagues, as even David Hulett who Machan defeated made his Strikeforce debut recently. There is a lot on the line when these two go to war, the winner puts himself in line for a big league deal, and Machan could cement himself as a national top 10 fighter. This will be a spectacular fight and, as usual, expect Machan to take a lopsided beating before he turns it on in the second round. Every Alberta MMA fan hit up the nearest Ticketmaster and pick up your pair of tickets right quick.

2. John Fraser (9-3) vs. Travis Reddinger (16-3)
Meltdown in the Valley – Sarnia – December 3
Buckle up Sarnia, Top 5 ranked Bantamweight John Fraser finally makes his hometown debut. It’s the “Haggis Basher” versus “The Hurricane” in a Bantamweight tilt with all the marbles on the line. Big league dreams and aspirations will be turned into a big league contract for the winner of this war. Fraser is currently riding a six fight win streak including submission wins over Thierry Quenneville for the W-1 Featherweight title and Eric Wilson for the Wreck MMA Bantamweight title. While Reddinger, a winner of 7 of his last 8, looks to continue his winning ways and spoil Fraser’s hometown debut. This may be a feature match for Fraser in his hometown but Reddinger is no walk in the park and with 10 of his 16 wins by submission, he’ll look to go hold for hold with Fraser on the mat. Ontario fans take off the underwear, sport the kilt and arrive commando for what could be the most entertaining fight of the month.

1. Martin Grandmont (12-5) vs. Pete Spratt (23-21)
Instinct MMA 2 – Quebec City – December 2
Two devastating and vicious strikers go to war on Instinct MMA’s sophomore effort. Grandmont returned to our beloved sport after a year long sabbatical with a KO of the Year candidate head kick of William Sriyapai. Spratt, a former number 1 contender to the UFC Welterweight title, has had his ups and down throughout his storied MMA career but in facing “The Hammer” he fights an opponent who battles on the same combat plain as himself. Any true blooded combat sports fan has to be excited for this match up.  Both men as true sluggers who love to sit in the pocket and trade. Granted Spratt has earned 9 of his 23 wins by submission, but you shouldn’t expect to see many takedowns, heel hooks or guard passing in this affair. This is the type of scrap that warms my combat cockles and is the reason why any MMA fan within 500 KM ,that’s 297 miles for our south of the border fans, should be picking up their tickets and watching what hopefully lives up to the battle of the ages it should be.

24 Responses to “ Top 5 Maple Leaf Match Ups in December ”

  1. Bobby Karimi says:

    You have a bunch of honorable mentions, so why not make a Top10? WTF

    Well-loved! Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. jordan says:

    grandmont/ spratt is better than clements/ clementi?

    Ronson/ hervey WOW

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. Cj Saftic says:

    yea Ronson versus Hervey is going to be intense

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. 1. Lowe/Wadsworth
    2. Clementi/Clements
    3. Machan/Salter
    4. Grandmont/Spratt
    5. Fraser/Reddinger
    6. Mokdada/Cirkunov
    7. Gross/Cruickshank
    8. Ronson/Hervey
    9. Chambers/Belanger
    10. Wells/Maxwell

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  5. Bobby Karimi says:

    How is there not a Top 10. You have guys like Clements vs Clementi in honourable mention.

    Where’s the Shady Smith Unified Title fight?

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. The writer felt there was not enough fights to make a proper top 10.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  7. Bobby Karimi says:

    But he listed 6 in his honourable mentions. So that gives him 11, makes no sense.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. Robin Black says:

    Most excited for Gross vs Cruikshank.

    Can’t wait for that one. Exciting.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  9. L-Boutin says:

    When was Spratt the number 1 contender for the WW title ? 3-6 record in the UFC and never won 2 in a row.

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  10. L-Boutin says:

    Could have easily had a top 10, he put 2 unknown 1-0 heavyweights in last months. The 6 honorable mentions are much better than that one. Clements vs Clementi not making the cut is too bad, a great match-up. I’m pretty sure the initial date for Misha vs Mokdad made that months top 10 as well…lol, it was good enough in October but not December ?

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  11. Bobby Karimi says:

    1. Lowe/Wadsworth
    2. Fraser/Reddinger
    3. Clementi/Clements
    4. Machan/Salter
    5. Gross/Cruickshank
    6. Mokdada/Cirkunov
    7. Ronson/Hervey
    8. Grandmont/Spratt
    9. Wells/Maxwell
    10. Dalsin/Smith

    Honourable mention:
    1)Wurz vs Merrill

    More than enough fights to do a Top10, I skipped Kang/Oyama, Lamarche/Lamarche, Chambers/Belanger, etc

    November had Munroe/Fox and Cheng/Nolan.
    September had Boyle/Popov, Hammo/MacPhee, Cheng/Sledzion, Blaber/Waterhen

    ETC… I think people get my point.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. Bobby Karimi says:

    Good points LB! 4 good shows this month, shoulda got their rightful recognition.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Bobby Karimi says:

    K so Don has write ups on 5 of the fights.
    Here is one for Mokdad vs Cirkunov that he did for October.

    Misha Cirkunov (4-1) vs. Ali Mokdad (4-1)
    Score Fighting Series 2 – Hamilton – October 14
    Probably the most interesting and intriguing fight in this month’s top 10 as both men possess similar records while both have yet to notch that breakthrough win. Cirkunov, Canada’s 10th ranked Light Heavyweight, has been on the shelf for the past six months after starting off the year with two wins over Ricardo Francois and Ion Cherdivara. Mokdad, considered top be one of top up and coming Middleweights will take a step up in weight divisions when he faces Cirkunov. “The Monster” started off his 2011 campaign on the right foot defeating Andreas Spang. His train was quickly derailed when he was narrowly defeated via split decision by former TUF cast member Javier Torres. Can Cirkunov topple “The Monster” or will “The Monster” squash him? When the SFS kicks off on October 14, one man will finally get his career defining victory and prove that the hype train will continue to ride the rails.

    I’ll post some gibberish for the other fights I have listed in my Top 10. 4 to go

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  14. Bobby Karimi says:

    My 3rd fight. Just some quick thoughts

    Clementi (42-20-1)/Clements (9-4)

    This is your classic striker vs grappler match up. Although both guys are around the same age, Rich Clementi seems to be on the decline of his career, while Chris Clements is on a clear upswing, finally seeming to be injury free and focusing on his career.
    The last few years have not been too kind to Rich Clementi, as he’s been trading wins and losses since his last UFC stint. While Clements has picked up 2 titles and defeated good Canadian talent in Goulet and Briere. This fight will be a test in seeing if Clements has what it takes to break out of the regional/national level and compete with fighters on the international circuit.

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  15. Bobby Karimi says:

    My 7th fight.

    Ronson (7-2)/Hervey (12-10)

    Jesse Ronson is set to take on his most experienced opponent in former KOTC World Champ Tony Hervey. While Ronson is known for his stand up skills, Hervey’s striking is not too shabby at all either. This fight has all the makings for a definite stand up war, similar to Campbell vs Hervey. With wins over the likes of BJJ champ Crane and Canadian Top 10 LW Brad Cardinal, this will be a difficult test for the Body Snatcher.

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  16. Bobby Karimi says:

    My 9th fight

    Wells (6-1)/Maxwell (7-2)

    This fight is arguably Edmonton’s premiere match up for the month of December. Both fighters have previously failed to capture wins in the past when taking a step up in competition, with Wells falling to Carles and Maxwell losing to both Briere and Omic. This will be a test between Wells’ athleticism against Chase Maxwell’s technique.

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  17. Bobby Karimi says:

    My 10th fight

    Dalsin (4-3)/Smith (10-6)

    The inaugural Unified Lightweight Championship fight is a classic Calgary vs Edmonton battle. There’s no doubt that this will be a fun and exciting strikers battle, with Dalsin and Smith both preferring the stand up game. Shady Smith showed himself well in his last fight with Ricci and will be the favourite coming into this fight.

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  18. L-Boutin says:

    Great write-ups Bobby !

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Bobby Karimi says:

    Thanks man, just thought we should have a top 10, and didn’t feel like working too hard today so have others doing work lol.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Bigtoe says:

    I’m not sure if this is honorable but Hague mentioned on Facebook that he’s fighting Bob Sapp in Brazil this month…

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  21. L-Boutin says:

    Hague mentions that he’s fighting anyone and everyone on his Facebook page…….let’s see if it happens or not.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. Rennifer says:

    The voice of riaotnaltiy! Good to hear from you.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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