Top 10 Maple Leaf Match Ups In August


Welcome back folks to August’s rendition of the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups. This month is less a list of the top match ups from coast to coast but more a MFC versus SFS (MFC won 6 to 4 BTW) Granted, this was a less than a fair fight as the Maximum Fighting Championship had their card announced by the end of May, while the Score Fighting Series, usually a top notch organization, had less than five fights confirmed as of July 30th. Promoters, how can I put this anymore bluntly, if you can’t have your card finalized 30 days out from fight time, how do you expect to sell and promote the show?

Enough of this pundit’s bitterness. Let’s get on to what you are all here for: The Top 10 Maple Leaf Match Ups in August. Even though only two shows grace the nation’s soil this month, August is probably one of the more stacked lists in recent memory. Also, the usual Zuffa disclaimer: since any match up taking place under the 800 lbs gorilla will be discussed, broken down and dissected at nauseum in every other facet of the site, this list is reserved for match ups that take place out side the Zuffa umbrella. Lastly a new addition this month, each fighters Twitter handle will be added so you can follow along as they prepare for their Top Maple Leaf Match Up.  Now without further ado:

– Ronda Rousey @RondaRousey (5-0) vs. Sarah Kaufman @MMASarah (15-1) – Strikeforce: Kaufman vs. Rousey – August 18

Derek Parker (photo: Rob Trudeau)

10. Paul Grandbois (4-3) vs. Derek Parker  @TheLionParker (1-1-1)
MFC 34: Total Recall – Edmonton – August 10
It doesn’t always take a world class fighter or hot prospect to crack the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups, sometimes it just takes a good ol’ scrap and that’s exactly what we have here. Grandbois, a pupil of World Class Gym, may not have the most sterling record but he is a helluva scrapper who either sends his opponents crashing to the mat or crashes to the canvas himself. Parker, fights out of Jeff Wiley Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is a former amateur hockey player and all around tough man and is easily the best brawler in Canada today. Given Parker’s past thrilling performances with Jared McComb and Strahinja Gavrilovic, this tussle with Grandbois, who’s notched all four of his wins by TKO, is not to be missed. Don’t expect a display of technical striking here as this will be more of a tough man slugfest that could easily go down as one of Canada’s most brutal fights to date, and that’s not hyperbole folks.

9. Jason Meisel (3-0) vs. Kyle Prepolec @KPrepolec (4-1)
Scoree Fighting Series – Hamilton – August 25
Bragging rights for who is Ontario’s top Lightweight prospect is on the line when Meisel and Prepolec clash on August 25th. Meisel has fought his entire short career under the Score Fighting Series banner with each fight being one of the most exciting of the night. Meisel has demonstrated powerful technical striking with a slick offensive ground game.  In only a few professional bouts, his improvement fight over fight has been impressive to say the least. Prepolec, a member of Maximum Training Centre, has shown one of the crispest jabs in recent memory. Combined with the fact that all of Kyle’s victories have come within the first five minutes of his fights and this is a prospect not to be missed. The Score Fighting Series and Alex Caporicci specifically have done a fantastic job of matching up these two rising stars for the delight of the Hamilton hardcore fans. One man will emerge as a serious contender in Canada’s Lightweight division while the loser will be forced back to the drawing board.

8. Dan Ring @DanRing155 (5-0) vs. Derek Boyle @DBoyleMMA (7-5)
MFC 34: Total Recall – Edmonton – August 10
Another top prospect versus grizzled veteran comes in at number 8 this month. Ring, who trains under the tutelage of Dynamic MMA, has seen his star brighten with resounding decision wins over Garret Nybakken, Neal Anderson and, most recently, James Haddad. Boyle, a pupil of Progressive Fighting Academy, is best known for his highlight reel flying knee KO of Alex Popov (watch HERE) and his head kick KO of Tim Welch. Where Boyle has really made his name is being the litmus test to the stars as Josh Machan, Ford Robertson, Jason Saggo and Shane Campbell were all feed a steady diet of Boyle to test themselves while they came up through the ranks. No longer anyone’s gatekeeper or steeping stone, Boyle will look to once again right his ship as he wades into deep water against another rising prospect. Ring has shown talent in all aspects of MMA, a strong ground game, nice transitions and technical striking. Can he finally put it all together and finish his first opponent or will Boyle step up and place the first blemish on the young upstarts record? The lucky fans at The Mayfield Conference Center will be the first to know.

Elias Theodorou (photo by Mike Fischl)

7. Elias Theodorou @EliasTheodorou (4-0) vs. Simon Marini (9-4)
Score Fighting Series – Hamilton – August 25
One of the nation’s brightest Middleweight prospects will tangle with one of the nation’s toughest journeymen when the “The Spartan” meets “The Mutant”. Theodorou, a member of Mecha MMA, has fought professionally for just over 12 months and in that time he has shown a tremendous heart and a relentless pace that none could match, but in Marini he faces an opponent whose skill level far exceeds that of his previous four opponents. Marini, who trains out of Cutting Edge Martial Arts, is a formidable foe.  Since he started his professional career in 2007, Marina has fought as low as Welterweight and as high as Light Heavyweight where he took Canada’s 8th ranked LHW Tim Chemelli to a decision, albeit in a losing effort. This will be a test for both men as Marini will easily have the strength and experience advantage against the cardio and sheer toughness of Theodorou. With Theodorou trying to emerge as one of the nation’s best and Marini trying to rejuvenate and reinvent himself, there is a lot on the line for both men going into August 25th.

6. Nick Hinchliffe @NickHinchliffe (19-8) vs. Dhiego Lima @DhLima121 (6-1)
MFC 34: Total Recall – Edmonton – August 10
One of Canada’s most active and dominating juggernauts, pun intended, will lock horns with one of the Maximum Fighting Championships top Welterweights. Hinchliffe, one of many beasts that train out of Impact MMA Nanaimo, has fought a complete who’s who of Canada best Welterweights, Middleweights and Light-Heavyweights – this column is not long enough to list the names on “The Juggernaut’s” impressive resume. Most recently, Hinchliffe beefed back up to Middleweight where he avenged his previous loss to Bastien Huveneers. Lima, a member of Ascension Mixed Martial Arts, burst on to the MFC scene by defeating three opponents in a row finishing each between the bells before suffering a decision loss to now reigning MFC champion Nathan Coy. Lima has not fought since the loss to Coy and with all the hype surrounding him before that fight, there’s no doubt he’ll be looking to rekindle that blaze right quick. Having fought in almost every organization coast to coast, signing with the MFC is a huge opportunity for Hinchliffe who at this point in his career needs to show consistency. Given what’s on the line for both men in this meeting, expect fireworks, Parliament Hill Canada Day style fireworks… BOOM!

Luke Harris (photo: Rob Trudeau)

5. Luke Harris @HayabusaHarris (9-1) vs. Joseph Henle @LeonidasMMA (6-0-1)
MFC 34: Total Recall – Edmonton – August 10
Canada’s slick submission specialist returns once again to the Maximum Fighting Championship ranks to put his unblemished record on the line against another TUF veteran. Harris, the embodiment of the Hayabusa Training Centre, besides an odd ring failure against John Troyer has submitted every one of his opponents within the first round. Henle, a pupil of Reign MMA, is a veteran of season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter where he won his elimination round fight but then lost via decision to Seth Baczynski to end his hopes at winning the reality show. Since leaving the show, Henle has earned four victories earning three wins between the bells. This is a stern test for Harris as Henle has all around skills but seems to prefer the submission game, which will be a mistake if he tries to trade holds with Harris. With MFC now introducing titles and their Middleweight division starting to blossom, this is a huge opportunity for both fighters.  A win here will not only push them towards a potential title match in the MFC, but it will make fans, pundits, and promoters take notice that the winner is a true world class 185 pounder.

4. Mukai Maromo @AfrikanAssassin (7-2) vs. Adam Lynn @AdamLynnMMA  (17-9)
MFC 34: Total Recall – Edmonton – August 10
After three hard fought rounds on the night of May 4th of this year, Maromo was declared the winner over Lynn via split decision. This decision set off pundits who almost unanimously thought Lynn had done enough to easily deserve the decision. So with a tremendous hard fought fight in the books with an unsavoury ending, Mark Pavelich did what many thought was right – he announced an immediate rematch and upped the stakes by putting the MFC Lightweight title on the line, probably to ensure that this fight will definitely not be left in the judges hands. Maromo, a protégé of House of Champions, is a pin point striker who is currently riding a four fight win streak including the aforementioned disputed win over Lynn. Lynn, a member of Subfighter MMA, began his pro career in 2002 and has notched notable wins over Garrett Davis, Curtis Demarce and Josh Odom. Their camps, records and previous opponents have little to do with why this is one of the top matches of the month.  The fact that they have already fought tooth and nail once before, a disputed decision, and gold on the line really up the ante for both men. Come August 10th if your butt isn’t in a seat at the Mayfield Conference Centre or you eyes aren’t glued to AXS TV, then you’re just plain silly, as these two men have already demonstrated they are willing to lay it all on the line to get their hands raised.

Alex Ricci (photo by Mike Fischl)

3. Jesse Ronson @Ronsoff (10-2) vs. Alex Ricci @AlexRicciMMA (5-0)
Score Fighting Series – Hamilton – August 25
Two of our nation’s best and brightest strikers will put their talents on the line to see who can impress the masses the most. Considering the debate over the number 1 and 2 spots this months, most are overlooking this potential fight of the year match up. Ronson, a pupil of Adrenaline Training Centre, already had an impressive record but 2012 has seen him skyrocket to the tip of everyone’s tongue with a blitzkrieg KO of top prospect Brad Causey and impressive TKO of Eric St Pierre just days ago. Ricci, fights out of Mecha MMA, is an undefeated warrior who has stepped up in competition fight after fight while continually KO or TKOing his opponent before the clock reaches the 10 minute mark. Once again, throw out records, past opponents, and camps here, the most important stat is Ricci has a 100% finishing percentage while Ronson boasts a 90% finishing percentage and what does that mean? It means “Somebody gonna get a hurt really bad!” Both are young talented men who are looking to carve there own niche out in this sport and the road to that goal places these two warriors across the cage from one another. Some fights make you happy, some make you excited, but ones like this make you have a small puddle of drool leaking from the side of your mouth and come August 25th, if your not rabidly drooling then your not a hardcore fan. Expect some wet seats at the Hamilton Place theatre come co main event time.

John Fraser

2. Josh Hill @GentlemanJHill (8-0) vs. John Fraser @JohnFraserMMA (10-3)
Score Fighting Series – Hamilton – August 25
And now we come to what was the hardest decision between 1 and 2 since the inception of the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups. This pundit’s consensus favourite for the month was this war between the nations 5th and 6th ranked Bantamweights. After much deliberation, arguments, and physical altercations with fans and media coast to coast who seem to favour two Heavyweights slugging it out over a brilliant display of martial art technique that will no doubtably be displayed by these two talented combatants. This pundit decided to tuck tail, run and lick his wounds to fight another day. With that out of the way, the Score Fighting Series is putting on one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year as the best Canadian Bantamweights outside the UFC will finally lock horns to see who is indeed “The Man”. Hill, a protégé of House of Champions, has looked unbeatable in his first eight fights. Even with five decisions on his record (all unanimous), his unblemished record boasts some notable 135ers including Randy Turner, Eric Wilson and Diego Wilson. Fraser, a member of Supreme Martial Arts, started fighting professionally in 2003 and as of 2006 was a meagre .500 fighter with a 3-3. After a long three year sabbatical from the sport, Fraser returned in 2009 and hasn’t looked back.  He currently is riding an impressive seven fight win streak which included winning titles in both W1 and Wreck MMA. Canada may be a large country but its MMA community is small and considering the domination these two athletes have displayed, it was just a matter of time before the immovable force met the unstoppable object. There may be no gold on the line come August 25th but the winner here may receive a bigger and brighter treasure, a call from Sean Shelby. Remember those wet seats mentioned in the previous bout, this time the wetness will not be drool.

Hackert vs Hague I (photo by Dave Scantland)

1. Tim Hague @Tim_Hague (14-6) vs. Mike Hackert @MikeHackertMMA (5-1)
MFC 34: Total Recall – Edmonton – August 10
The nation’s consensus number 1 pick for this month (even though it still baffles the mind of this pundit) is a battle of the nation’s 1 and 2 ranked Heavyweight fighters. If there is any constant in all of combat sports, it is that fans love the big men and an underdog and this megalithic tussle has both. Prior to May 18 of this year, there was no “Honey Badger” and very few MMA fans knew the name Mike Hackert, in fact, when the first fight was announced everyone expected Tim Hague to absolutely demolish a blown up overweight Middleweight. A lot changed that night, Mike Hackert decimated Hague with a beautiful display of the sweet science (check out their first fight HERE) and with that the birth of “The Honey Badger” and a new number 1 ranked Canadian Heavyweight. That night Canada’s Heavyweight division was turned on its head and with the MFC signing Hague prior to the fateful night, the only way to right the ship was to do it all again, except this time in a brighter arena, in front of thousands of more fans all while in front of an international TV audience – now that’s upping the ante. Hague, a member of Cardinal Sports Gym, was Canada’s perennial top Heavyweight prior to that again fateful night.  “The Thrashing Machine” has mounted many Heavyweight names over his mantle including Pat Berry, Miodrag Petkovic, Zak Jensen and Travis Wiuff. Hackert, a pupil of the Comox Valley Boxing Club, is a former Middleweight who’s biggest claim to fame prior to May 18 was defeating Derek Medler in an amateur fight in 2007. It will be almost impossible for these two goliaths to rekindle the greatness of their first fight, but the real question is will the result be the same? Can Hague with a proper training camp and the right motivation regain his rightful spot atop the nation’s big men or will “The Honey Badger” prove the first match was just that a true demonstration of skill and technique. Sometimes size isn’t all its cracked up to be.

14 Responses to “ Top 10 Maple Leaf Match Ups In August ”

  1. cody krahn says:

    “….and is easily the best brawler in Canada today.”

    I disagree.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  2. BDC says:

    Strikeforce date is wrong i think…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. unclecreepy says:

    excited for a few of these fights, MFC roster has slowly died down though and will be exciting when the demon demarce is back if he goes back, easily the most exciting fighter in that promotion and i think every promoter can agree. The ricci vs ronson fight is sick as well, lynn and mukai is another, this month will be exciting.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  4. Don Wilson says:

    @BDC fixed the Strikeforce date, thanks for pointing that out.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. mike kent says:

    im excited about the haugue / hackert rematch . Tim posted a pic of him on twitter showing what he looked like in june and now what he looks like and he has lost a serious ammount of body fat . looks like a different fighter . i think he is taking this fight very serious and will be in shape . that being said even with all of this hackert still has the skill set to win again , very intriguing match-up .

    Well-loved! Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  6. TimHague says:

    I have a feeling the fans win in my rematch with Hackert

    Well-loved! Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  7. Even with only two cards in Canada in August, this is a stacked list. Better than some months with 5-10 cards.

    I agree that the Hague vs Hackert rematch is #1.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  8. LBoutin says:

    Lots of good scraps in August !

    Marini has actually fought as low as 155, crazy that he moved up to 205 for his last fight.

    I think Ring finished Nybakken by RNC if I remember correctly as well.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Rob says:

    Haggis Basher by TKO!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  10. Bryce Hansen says:

    Can’t believe Hauge would even reconsider a beating like he took after the first fight, go Hackert!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  11. Kyle Stoltz says:

    2 of these fights made Sherdog’s top 10 fights in August.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. TimHague says:

    Bryce, although your wording is pathetic, i think you mean to say, “how can Hague even give himself a chance in the rematch?” Well… thats the exciting part about it, for both you and I, isn’t it?

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  13. Roger A says:

    Sorry Tim, Mike Hackert is way to much for you !!reapeat of the first fight is whats going to happen!!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  14. Roger A says:

    Mike Hackert got this he will reapeat with a win!! just as easy as he did the firth time

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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