Top 10 Maple Leaf Match Ups In September


With the dog days of summer behind us, the Canadian MMA landscape is heating up hotter than a prairie heat wave. Aggression FC is making their debut in Winnipeg with a stacked to the gills card, two new promotions are hitting the scene giving smaller communities a chance to see epic fights, Nordine Taleb looks to continue his winning ways in the legendary fight town Atlantic City and Mark Holst travels to the Middle East to tangle with a BJJ legend.

With ranking implications, big show success and national stage notoriety on the line, every hardcore MMA fan in the great fight north should be salivating over the amazing match ups this month. As always, this list is dedicated to those fights outside the Zuffa umbrella as those athletes will be featured on Top MMA Radio, breakdown pieces and separate features. Without further adieu, let’s get on to the top Maple Leaf Match Ups in September:

10. Louis Fisette @L_PetitPain (4-1) vs. Allan Munroe (4-3)
Aggression FC 11 – Winnipeg – September 15
Two of western Canada’s up and coming Bantamweights will battle it out for Aggression FC to see who will be the next big thing at 135 lbs. Fisette, a member of the Winnipeg Academy of MMA, has flown under the national radar quietly collecting quality wins while continually finishing every fight. Munroe, who fights out of Independent MMA, started his pro career in 2009 on the rough side of a two fight losing skid.  Since then, he has gone 4-1 dispatching three of his opponents via devastating TKO. Fisette may be a more all around fighter but this tilt will not be a technical snoozefest but more of a bar room brawl. Both combattants enjoys throwing hands and can give as good as they get. While both men have only collected four scalps on their mantle, this will be their biggest test to date. With a chance to finally assert themselves on the national scene, this match up is easily the dark horse pic for FOTN honors on a card stacked with nationally ranked fighters.

Jon Ganshorn catches Alex Mohgrabi (photo: Jason Bouwmeester)

9. Adam MacDonald (3-0) vs. Jon Ganshorn (4-2)
Fivestar Fight League 1 – Yellowknife – September 15
When MMA finally returns to the Northwest Territories, fans will be treated to a great battle between two Light-Heavyweights who are just starting to make a name for themselves. Ganshorn, a protegé of Outlaw MMA, is a native of Saskatoon who burst onto the national scene in 2010 when he began his pro career at 3-0 finishing all opponents in the first two minutes of the first round. Promoters took notice and in a shallow Light-Heavyweight pool, Ganshorn was booked in some rough fights in 2011, going 1-2 dropping bouts to top 10 ranked Tim Chemelli and Nick Penner. MacDonald, a member of Yellowknife MMA, is one of the few bright up and coming prospects in Canada’s Light-Heavyweight division, sporting a unblemished 3-0 record with all stoppages coming in the first round. Now these two men will duke it out to see who will emerge as the next 205 lbs star in the great fight north. With Ganshorn dropping both his spotlight bouts last year, he will be eager to reassert himself.  However, MacDonald is out to prove that his first three match ups were no fluke and he truly is a devastating finishing machine.

8. Jordan Tracey (3-1) vs. Smealinho Rama @SmailRama (3-0)
Battle for the Border – Cranbrook – September 8
Two Heavyweights looking to come into their own, will square off to find out who is next big thing in Canada’s highest division. Rama, a member of Independent MMA, makes a quick turn around as he quickly battered the veteran Lee Mein not 30 days ago at MFC 34. Tracey, who’s under the tutelage of Gracie Barra Vancouver, returned to the cage in 2011 after a long 3 year layoff to quickly dispatch both Ali Saif and Troy Wilton. Both men hold 3 wins with 2 wins by TKO and 1 win by submission. Even with the similarities in their record the winner here will be the one who dictates where the fight takes place. Rama may have 1 submission but his strength lies in his ability to take a punch and continue moving forward while Tracey may have 2 TKO wins but his submission skills are his bread and butter; if Rama can keep this tilt standing he’ll walk away victorious on the flip side is Tracey can force this bout to the ground he has the ability to turn Rama into a twisted pretzel. Either way the fight goes one thing is for certain the winner will most likely joust their way into the top 5 Canadian Heavyweight rankings.

Dominick Blais tries to sub Warren Phillips (photo: Sean McManus)

7. Lenny Wheeler (5-2) vs. Dominick Blais @DBlais (8-5)
Aggression FC 11 – Winnipeg – September 15
Two men with loads of talent, potential and technique that decided they were better suited for Featherweight then 155 lbs make the top 10 this month. Blais, a protegé of Winnipeg Academy of MMA, will look to rebound after a disappointing KO loss to the ever-tough Tim Tamaki. Wheeler, a member of Wulfrun MMA, suffered a disappointing short notice loss to Ricky Goodall in May 2011 but after a year layoff to train and commit to a new weight class, he returned to quickly submit Justin Bourgeois this past May.  Both men have 100% finishing percentage but their specialties definitely differ. Blais is more of a submission specialist who will look to take the fight to ground while Wheeler is a more all around fighter who will probably try to keep the fight standing. The winner will definitely NOT crack the top rankings but they will surely raise some eyebrows of fans and pundits alike.

6. Aaron Armstrong (4-1) vs. Derek Boyle @DBoyleMMA (8-5)
Battle for the Border – Cranbrook – September 8
Two top Alberta Lightweights will rematch away from home soil in south-eastern British Columbia. Boyle, who fights out of Progressive Fighting Academy and Jacksons MMA, will make a quick return to the cage as he quickly dispatched up and comer Dan Ring at MFC 34 less than 30 days ago. “The Gargoyle” may not have the most glossy record at 155 lbs in Canada but has grown in popularity due to his five TKO finishes including highlight reel finishes of Alex Popov, Tim Welch, and the aforementioned Ring. Armstrong, a member of Independent MMA, recently returned from a two-year sabbatical to earn a unanimous decision victory over the resilient Tim Tamaki. A Calgary native, Armstrong looks to continue to rebuild his still young career by avenging his only career loss to Boyle. Given how well Boyle looked in his most recent outing and the fire Armstrong has shown since returning to the cage, Cranbrook fans will be lucky to witness this classic Lightweight tussle live and in person.

Matt Trudeau takes Tristan Connelly for a ride. (photo: Shane Deringer)

5. Curtis Brigham (10-5) vs. Matt Trudeau (2-0)
Aggression FC 11 – Winnipeg – September 15
Winnipeg MMA fans are in for a treat – not only will they get to witness the tremendous card AFC is bringing them but they will witness the long anticipated return of one of Canadian MMA’s true pioneers, Curtis Brigham. The lead instructor at the Winnipeg Academy of MMA, Brigham commenced his pro MMA career in 1999.  Fighting well above his natural weight, he tangled with such great old school foes like Naoyuki Kotani, Sean Sherk and Jason Purcell. Welcoming Brigham back to MMA will be the young undefeated prospect from Dynamic MMA, Matt Trudeau. Trudeau, a native of Richmond, BC, started his pro career in June of 2011 defeating both his opponents by the five-minute mark. Considering the background this fight has a lot of intrigue surrounding it. If Brigham wins, will he make a full return and give the upper echelon of Bantamweights a run for their money? If Trudeau is victorious, where does a win over the legendary Brigham put him on the national scene? Will youth and exuberance win the day or will experience and technique reign supreme? The lucky fans who pack the Winnipeg Convention Centre will be the first to know.

4. Mark Holst (10-3) vs. Leonardo Santos @LeoSantosBJJ (10-3)
Cage Warriors Fight Night 7 – Aman, Jordan – September 1
Two men with matching records will collide far from home to see who can regain their former glory. Both men have had great opportunities in their career and seemed to have hit their peak without capturing the glory most had thought they would. Both took time off after their big fights didn’t go their way and now with a few tilts and wins under their belt they look to reassert themselves. Holst, a OAMA protegé, made it to the UFC by defeating TUF vet Corey Hill but could not put the pieces together in the big show suffering losses to John Gunderson and Paul Sass. Not only will Holst bring a two fight win streak into the cage come September 1st, but he will also bring a 100% finishing percentage as well. Santos, a student of Nova Uniao, a Shooto Brazil and Sengoku veteran is no stranger to fighting abroad having fought many times in Japan and England. Also no stranger to international competition, Santos has tested himself against the likes of Takanori Gomi, Jean Silva and Kazunori Yokota. Both men have 10 wins but they also match with six submission victories so expect a ground war here.  If the fight does not hit the canvas, MMA fans in Jordan will find out why they call Mark Holst “Boots”. If you’re not in the Middle East come September 1st, make sure to catch this fantastic tussle live on The Fight Network or on the web at

Jarod Milko lands a right (photo: Don Osborne)

3. Tyson Steele @TysonSteele (8-1) vs. Jarod Milko (5-1)
Aggression FC 11 – Winnipeg – September 15
An amazing Welterweight match up will co-headline AFC’s Winnipeg debut. Steele, a student of Alliance Martial Art Systems, has been a fighter to watch for some time with wins over Cody Krahn, Greg Welsh and Ben Stewart but he has not fought since last October. Milko, who has trained at clubs like WAMMA, PFA, and Leading Edge, has quietly amassed a 5-1 record defeating every opponent before the ten minute mark with his only career blemish coming at the hands of AFC’s Welterweight destroyer Derek Medler. Both men are known for their finishing skills dispatching all their combined opponents without hitting the third round; Steele alone has finished every one of his opponents in the first round, now that’s impressive! With Canada’s Welterweight division being one of if not the deepest division in the nation, a win here for either combatant will certainly raise their stock and inch them ever so close to cracking Canada’s top 10. Given both men’s penchant for the ground it seems that would be the most logical area for this fight to take place. Steele, though, has the edge in the grappling department and experience but if Milko can keep the fight standing and be patient he has the ability to finish the fight. Will “The Man of” Steele continue to stand tall or will “The Milkman” deliver the goods?

2. Nordine Taleb @NordineTaleb (9-1) vs. Marius Zaromskis (18-6)
Bellator 74 – Atlantic City -September 28
Taleb, one of Canada’s rising stars at Welterweight, will face his toughest test to date when he locks horns with former Dream Welterweight champion Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis. Taleb, a native of France now living and training in Montreal at Tristar, has quickly become the Welterweight to watch in Canada. After amassing a 5-1 pro record, Taleb was invited to Ring of Combat to challenge Pete Sell for the promotions’ Welterweight strap where he overwhelmed the UFC veteran with punches early in the second round. With gold around his waist, Taleb was signed by Bellator MMA, where he debuted in April of 2012 trouncing an over matched Matt Secor for three rounds. Nordine followed up that decisive win by battering Matt MacGrath with punches before earning the KO finish in the second round. Zaromskis, a Lithuanian native now training out of AKA, rose to international fame by head kicking his way through Jason High and Hayato Sakurai to earn the Dream 170 lbs title. Since his run in Dream, “The Whitemare” fell on hard times when he joined Stikeforce suffering TKO defeats to Nick Diaz, Evangelista Santos. He regained his former form when he defeated the legendary Kazushi Sakuraba afterwards suffering a loss to Canadian wunderkind Jordan Mein. Since Joining Bellator, Zaromskis has earned back to back wins over Waachiim Spiritwolf. Both men have earned two victories outside the normal Bellator tournament format to earn their slot in the upcoming 2012 Welterweight tourney. Now under the bright lights of Atlantic City in a storied fight city they will battle to earn a spot in the tournaments semi final brackets.

El Dirte and Fioravanti (photo: Mike Fischl)

1. Joe Doerksen @JoeDoerksen77 (48-16) vs. Kalib Starnes (12-7)
Aggression FC 11 – Winnipeg – September 15
Two men who have been perennial top 10 Canadian Middleweights since the rankings were introduced will finally meet in a fight that many hardcore fans have been drooling over for a long time. Doerksen, out of the CFC Gym, will look to build on his thrilling victory over Joel Powell this past June. Starnes, a member of Aegis Athletics, last saw action in June of 2011 where he suffered a TKO loss to John Salter then decided to take a brief stab at retirement. Now these two UFC veterans, who during their career have fought the who’s who at 185 lbs, will meet to see who really is one of the best Canadian Middleweights of all time. Both men are gifted submission specialists who have the ability to stand but finish 80% of their fights by way of ground attack, so don’t expect a knock down drag out slug fest here. This bout will be decided on the mat, with thrilling transitions, trading submissions and beautiful sweeps – this will be a grappling fan’s dream. Neither men are top position grapplers so stalling out for the win will not happen in this match, but cardio will come into play as both combatants will be jostling each other’s body weight around the cage. The man who comes in the most prepared and in the best shape will be the victor here; but the really winner will be the lucky fans that pack the Winnipeg Convention Centre for this epic Middleweight collision.


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

  1. Graham Weenk says:

    allot of good fights this sept… a good portion of that list is AFC in winnipeg, gonna be a big night!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  2. Louis Fisette says:


    Well-loved! Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

  3. Jamie Locke says:

    5/10 for AFC, gonna be a great show for sure!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  4. Hard to argue with this list.

    The fight I look forward to most is Curtis Brigham vs Matt Trudeau.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  5. Don't Call Me Leon says:

    Sorry but that picture of Milko, is not him landing a right on Medler but Medler blocking a right! Just saying!

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  6. David Letourneau says:

    Leon it say don osborn not medler, and it looks to me like a clean shot.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  7. Jamie Locke says:

    David, the photo is by Don, the fight is with Medler at AFC.

    I’m with DCML, Medler is blocking that one.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. David Letourneau says:

    yes i know just trying to be controversial

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  9. Don't Call Me Leon says:


    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

  10. Don't Call Me Leon says:

    I’m getting heat on my last comment, you know I was just bugging you David! Just poking fun at the photo, funny to because of that Milko/Medler fight I became a fan of Milko and want to see him do good things in the AFC!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. David Letourneau says:

    haha I swear dcml I did not click dislike once I liked it actually, doesnt matter what you type sometimes you get disliked for just about anything, im of the belief the like dislike should have to be posted by the doer

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  12. Don't Call Me Leon says:

    Agreed! As long as I’m not getting burned as bad as the Canadian MMA version of Steven Segal, I’m good!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Ross says:

    The Milkman WILL deliver!

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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