Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In July


With Canada Day behind us and our Canadian summer in full swing Top MMA News is back with another instalment of the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups. The hot heat of the summer sun has continued to dry up our MMA events with only four events featuring pro bouts this month on our native soil. Luckily for media and fans alike, Invicta FC has seen the potential in our female fighters and has seen fit to add four Canadians to their July card.

The usual Zuffa disclaimer remains, as all Canadians fighting in the UFC or Strikeforce will get their due in separate breakdowns and features this list is meant to promote athletes outside the big show. Now onto what you all came here for, the July edition of the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups:

10. Sarah Moras (2-0) vs. Raquel Pennington (1-1)
Invicta FC 2 – Kansas City – July 28
Kelowna native and Toshido Mixed Martial Arts trained Moras looks to build on her recent TKO finish of previously undefeated Julianna Pena. Having already fought in England and USA, Moras is no stranger to international crowds or competition. Pennington, a Colorado native, had an impressive run as an amateur going 7-1 but has yet to taste the same success as a professional with a meagre 1-1 record. This has the potential for an exciting fight as both competitors are young and hungry and looking to show fans and promoters alike how exciting they are. With Invicta FC looking to showcase and build female MMA this is a great opportunity for two young prospects to make a name for themselves on the world stage.

9. Jeff Larkin (3-0) vs. Rocky Biggs (2-0)
Unified MMA 12 – Edmonton – July 6
It’s Edmonton versus Red Deer and Arashi-Do vs. Hayabusa in this all Alberta battle of young undefeated Welterweight prospects. Larkin, an Arashi-Do trained fighter, enters the bout with a 3-0-1 amateur record and a sterling 3-0 pro record while finishing all three opponents before the third round. Biggs, a member of the famed Hayabusa Training Center, has been fighting professionally for less then 8 months but managed to dispatch his first two opponents in less then three minutes total cage time. With Unified MMA always looking to promote local superstars, this a tremendous opportunity for one man to not only emerge as a new star for Unified MMA but also the hot prospect coming out of Alberta. Only one combatant will emerge with an unblemished record as someone’s “O” has to go.

Julia Budd

8. Julia Budd (2-2) vs. Elina Nilsson (2-2)
Invicta FC 2 – Kansas City – July 28
When two .500 fighters meet in the cage the result is extremely important for each one moving forward – one will emerge with a winning record while the other will be looked upon as a losing fighter no matter who is on their record. Budd, a long time Lance Gibson pupil, has excelled in all forms of combat sports including impressive runs in both kickboxing and muay thai. Being thrown to the wolves quickly in her MMA career, Budd has fought all four of her professional bouts in Strikeforce where she faced some of the best in the world. Nilson, a native of Stockholm, Sweden who trains at Galdius MMA, had a bleak 0-2 start to her MMA career but evened out her record by garnering wins in her last two outings but the Swede has not competed in MMA in over a year. Considering her past competition and her opponent’s ring rust, this is a great opportunity for Budd to gain a winning record and emerge from the pack of talented female competitors.

7. Mark Durant (2-2) vs. Cory Houston (4-2)
Elite Championship Fighting 2: Rez Warz – The Pas – July 28
Even though both men are considered competent MMA fighters, it’s not their MMA records or training that will make this fight a classic. It’s their previous stand up training that will put butts in seats and then raise them out of them when the action starts. Durant, a Canadian Fighting Center trained fighter, is an accomplished muay thai fighter who is just outside the IKF Super Welterweight top 5 rankings. Houston trains out of WAMMA and notched his signature MMA win with a submission win over Denis Puric. Houston’s success on the national boxing scene mixed with Durant’s muay thai skills is what will make this an exceptional stand up war . Throw in the fact that both men fight and train out of Winnipeg, not only will fans get a tremendous stand up tussle but add in the battle of Manitoba and this is a scrap that cannot be missed.

6. Mike Adams (6-0) vs. Cory Vombaur (2-0)
Battlefield Fight League 17 – Penticton – July 28
Canada’s answer to a yoked out action figure, Adams looks to return to the cage after a two year sabbatical. The Toshido Fighting Arts trained fighter and former national top 10 ranked Featherweight has already notched many signature career wins by defeating Kajan Johnson, Brad Cardinal and Graham Spencer. Vombaur, a native of Washington state, may only have two pro wins of which both were finished in the first round, he also sports a 4-0 amateur record again finishing all opponents before the 10 minute mark. BFL is definitely trying to set up Adams with a win and one cannot blame them as being a British Columbia promotion nothing sells tickets better then a native British Columbian star. A lot of weight will be on Adams’ shoulders entering this bout – not only will the promotion be counting on him but five of Vombaur’s recent bouts have taken place while Adams was on the shelf. A win for Adams here could change his entire life as he’ll be a focal point of BFL moving forward, as well the national scene will once again take notice of this once bright star.

Jesse Ronson (photo by Jason Bouwmeester)

5. Eric St-Pierre (4-3) vs. Jesse Ronson (9-2)
Elite 1 MMA – Moncton – July 28
An odd rematch comes in at number five this month as the first time these two met it was Ronson’s pro debut and St-Pierre’s last fight before taking a three year sabbatical from the cage. Ronson, a member of the famed Adrenaline Training Center, is currently riding a four fight win streak including victories over top prospects Jason Saggo and Brad Causey. St-Pierre, trains out of Team Saigo, recently returned after a long lay off with a big win over one of the Maritimes’ top Lightweights Steven Rogers. Both men have grown leaps and bounds since their first meeting and this bout has more on the line then their first. Can St-Pierre really return after such a long absence and dominate the 155 lbs division on the east coast? Can Ronson continue to build on his dominating win over Causey and prove to the big shows that he belongs there? If you can’t make it to the the Redball Internet Centre in Moncton, make sure you catch this bout on Internet PPV.

4. Nabil Khatib (11-8) vs. Matt MacGrath (10-8)
Elite 1 MMA – Moncton – July 28
Two of Canadian MMA’s old guard will go to war to prove who still has it and who should consider hanging up the gloves. Khatib, a Team Bushido and TriStar trained fighter, has fought the who’s who in MMA including Dan Hornbuckle, Ryan Ford and Carlos Newton. MacGrath, a member of Wolfrun MMA, has fought pretty much everyone under the sun in Canadian MMA including Kalib Starnes, Jonathan Goulet, Claude Patrick and Ryan Machan. Their records are not the only similarities between these two men, both have suffered losses recently to national prospects. While Khatib has gone 3-5 in his last eight outings, MacGrath has gone 2-6 in his last eight. On top of all that, these two combatants have been the springboards for many Canadians to make it to the big leagues. Now these two will finally meet and considering their similarities in style and experience, this is a fight fans coast to coast will be excited for.

3. Richard Arsenault (7-2) vs. Ricky Goodall (9-6)
Elite 1 MMA – Moncton – July 28
Another interesting and intriguing Welterweight contest from Elite 1 comes in at number three this month. The long awaited and long talked about meeting between maritime Welterweight standouts Arsenault and Goodall has finally been signed and will be delivered this month. Arsenault, a Team Bueno trained fighter, will put his Welterweight strap on the line when he meets Goodall. He will enter this title defence while riding a five fight win streak but fans do need to consider the combined record of his last five opponents is 19-20. Goodall, a member of Titan’s MMA, was once a hot national prospect but a failed drop to Lightweight and a current two fight losing streak has cooled his heat. Even though Goodall has fallen on hard times,  he has had success against capable combatants including Lenny Wheeler, Jerome Martinez and Derek Gauthier. A lot of questions will be answered come July 28th. Considering Arsenault’s opponents’ lack of credibility, is he really as good as his sterling record shows? Can Goodall overcome his last two losses and reassert himself as a top Welterweight on the east coast? Lastly, will Elite 1 continue to give fans intriguing fight matchups in future events like we are seeing this month at Redemption?

2. Tim Smith (11-6) vs. Shane Campbell (4-1)
Unified MMA 12 – Edmonton – July 6
An exciting all Albertan war comes in at number two this month, when heavy handed submission ace “Shady” Smith meets muay thai expert Campbell in a five round tussle with Unified MMA’s Welterweight title on the line. Smith, an A-Team trained fighter, is 4-1 in his last five outings and his only losses over the past four years have come against some of the toughest in the nation Sheldon Westcott, Travis Briere and Alex Ricci. Campbell, a member of House of Champions, formerly Iron Tiger Muay Thai, is an accomplished muay thai fighter who’s only lose came at the hands of well traveled Dave Mazany. It’s not the fighters record or past accomplishments that give this match intrigue, it’s the fact that both men love to brawl, have solid chins and give as good as they get that gives this fight a chance at being one of the best this country has seen this year. Sure Campbell has a sizeable advantage on the feet, while Smith is head and shoulders above on the ground. Happily though, none of that will come into play in this scrap as both men love to scrap and this will easily result in a brawl to end it all for Edmonton fans. My only complaint is only the lucky 1000 or so fans that pack the Mirage Banquet Hall will get to witness this potential fight of the year candidate.

Alexis Davis

1. Alexis Davis (11-5) vs. Hitomi Akano (18-9)
Invicta FC 2 – Kansas City – July 28
The number one match this month will pit the number two pound for pound Canadian female against a legend of the sport and perennial world top ranked female fighter. Davis, a member of Caesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, will look to rebound after a disappointing close decision loss to Sarah Kaufman this past March. Akano, currently training out of Abe Ani Combat Club, has faced almost every top female competitor over he storied career including Cristiane Santos, Tara Larosa, Meisha Tate and Debi Purcell. Now, as the co-main event for Invicta FC, these two well travelled combatants will put it all on the line to emerge as one of the world’s top female Bantamweights. Akano has garnered 14 of her 18 wins by way of submission while Davis has finished 7 of her 11 opponents – 5 by submission and 2 by TKO/KO. Considering their mix of styles and techniques, this match up will be more of technical chess match then a battle royal. Luckily for all Canadian fans, Davis should be able to defend Akano’s technical submissions while bloodying her up on the feet. With so much on line and so much attention from pundits and fans alike, this is the perfect place for Davis to show she is a world class top competitor that deserves a shot at a world title.

7 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In July ”

  1. Chris says:

    Richard has two losses, both being to Jason Rorison

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  2. mike kent says:

    wouldnt say the loser in matt magrath vs nabil fight should consider hanging it up. its hard to find someone in canadian mma in the last two to three years thats fought stiffer compition then magrath and alot of those were as a last minute replacment . he has alot of fight left in him and so does nabil. there both warriors

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  3. brian says:

    Shane campbell record is wrong he should b 3-1 the other fights are muay thai.

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  4. Update:

    Changed Campbell’s record to 4-1.
    Changed Arsenault’s record to 7-2.

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  5. Donald Duck says:

    Nabil’s getting to where he’s going to need a seeing eye dog to find the ring in the first place. Why is it that old fighter’s don’t retire gracefully. The guy was a monster in his day but just seems to be hell bent on ruining his body in the quest for a few more ‘hand raises’.

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  6. Dave Mah says:

    Elmer Waterhen is fighting Falaniko Vitale Saturday July 14th in Honolulu Hawaii for KOTC. Thought it deserves mentioning.

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  7. Wow. Thanks for letting us know @Dave Mah. If Don Wilson would have known that, I am sure it would have made this list.

    In the future, if anyone has Canadian fighters fighting outside of Canada, please let us know at

    Go Elmer!

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