Top 10 Maple Leaf Match Ups In November
Holy MMA cards Batman! This November there is no shortness of great match ups as the great fight north will host no less then 13 professional and amateur fight cards. In addition to those thirteen fights, a few Canucks are also picking up fights outside our borders. Picking a top 10 without receiving at least some hate was impossible as there is close to 25 deserving fights that could grace the TMLMU this month!
As always the ZUFFA disclaimer since all fights under the UFC/Strikeforce umbrella will be broken down and discussed ad nauseum this list is reserved for fisticuffs taking place outside the number 1 promotion in the world.
Now, without further adieu, get your stress balls ready, don your troll caps, and get ready to let the comment section have it. It’s time for this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups:
10. Garett Davis (15-11) vs. Elmer Waterhen (12-16)
King of the Cage – Edmonton – November 16
It will be champion versus champion as Davis will defend his KOTC Canada Welterweight title against KOTC Canada Middleweight champion Elmer Waterhen. Davis returns after being sidelined for the past 18 months with injuries but prior to the layoff had gone 4-1 in his last five outings earning wins over the likes of Ryan Chiappe, Shannon Ritch and Gabe Rivas with his only loss coming at the hands of Strikeforce alum Quinn Mulhern. Waterhen, a member of Champion Fight Club, has been fight professionally since 2003 and has fought the best 170 lbs athletes Canada has to offer including Jesse Bongfeldt, TJ Grant, Gary Wright and Rory MacDonald albeit in losing efforts. Sure both men may be far from top 1o ranked competitors but these two men helped build our national scene into what it is today and put on some incredible tilts over that time. In a card titled “Stand and Deliver” that’s exactly what your going to get when these two certified warriors step in the cage to do battle.
9. Diego Wilson (6-1) vs. Louis Fisette (4-1) @L_PetitPain
Aggression FC 13: Natural Selection – Victoria – November 3
Two young prospects at 135 lbs will duke it out to see who is the top Bantamweight prospect coming out of western Canada. Wilson, a protege of Zugec Ultimate Martial Arts, is former national top 10 ranked Bantamweight but since his Aggression MMA 6 loss to Josh Hill has only competed once with a second round TKO win over Corey Gower at AFC 8 this past April. Fisette, a WAMMA trained fighter, has been much more active then his competitor while currently riding a four fight win streak including wins over Allen Munroe and Mike O’Neill. Both men bring similar skill sets, along with similar records, into this bout with take downs and grappling being each combatants strong suit while still being able to mix it up on the feet. The biggest factor in this match up will be Wilson’s long layoffs. Will ring rust be a factor or has Adam Zugec kept Diego’s training at a peak during the last twelve months? Considering how many Bantamweights are just outside the nation’s top 10 rankings, the winner of this fight could potentially put themselves just outside of rankings in what has become Canada’s most stacked weight class.
8. Mark Holst (10-4) vs. Nabil Khatib (11-9) @Nabil_TheThrill
Wreck MMA – Gatineau – November 9
The all Ottawa grudge match (Check out their first fight HERE) almost three years in the making will finally go down this month and fans will ultimately see who is the top Welteweight in the Ottawa/Gatineau area. Khatib, a Tristar Gym trained fighter, has been asking for this rematch immediately after the original tussle. Since that fight, ‘The Thrill’ has gone 2-3 and is currently looking to end a three fight losing skid and has become a member of Tristar Gym. Holst, an OAMA/Renzo Gracie member, used his win over Khatib coupled with a win over TUF veteran Corey Hill to propel him into the UFC where he went a disappointing 0-2 with losses to Jon Gunderson and Paul Sass. Since leaving the UFC, Holst has amassed a 2-1 record and most recently was submitted by Leonardo Santos . Since the original battle with Khatib, Holst has gone 3-3. Considering the hype surrounding this match up, there are a lot of questions especially regarding Khatib that will dictate the outcome of this bout. Has age caught up with Khatib? Has the injury he suffered against Matt MacGrath healed? Will Khatib be able to come in on weight? With Holst coming off the disappointing loss to the aforementioned Santos and his semi-retirement after his brief UFC stint, has his MMA flame been fully rekindled? Or is he fighting for paychecks or gym integrity? In all honesty, all these questions will probably be thrown out the window come fight time as this is no longer Holst vs Khatib – it’s OAMA vs Team Bushido. Considering how much each gym means to each fighter, this match up could be EPIC as each man will bring the combined strength of their respective gyms into the cage come fight time.
7. Randy Turner (6-2) vs. BJ Ferguson (8-2)
Wreck MMA – Gatineau – November 9
Our newest edition to Canada’s top 10 Bantamweight ranking, Turner will face one his sternest tests when he tackles TUF veteran BJ Ferguson in his first defense of his Wreck MMA 135 lbs title. Turner, an OAMA protege, earned his Wreck MMA strap by defeating former top 10 ranked Eric Perez by decision at Wreck MMA: Road to Glory this past April. Ferguson, a member of All American MMA, competed on TUF 14 but did not make it into the house losing to Canada’s 4th ranked BantamweightRoland Delorme in the elimination round. Considering the clash of styles in this bout, the winner will be the man who sticks to his game plan – either Turner will use his wrestling and GnP to grind out Ferguson or BJ will catch the champion in a submission off his back. Ferguson, who recently fought September 22 defeating a 3-9 fighter, may hold an advantage in not being on the shelf very long or the quick turn around could be to his detriment. One thing is for sure – if Ferguson can’t keep pace with “Relentless” over 25 mins he’ll be sucking wind by round three and will be in for a long 10 minutes in rounds 4 and 5. Either way Ottawa/Gatineau MMA fans will be treated to a tremendous tussle between two top notch Bantamweights.
6. Ryan Ford (18-4) @RyanFordMMA vs. Kyle Baker (12-6) @KBakesMMA
Bellator 79 – Rama – November 2
After dispatching the ever tough Luis Santos at Bellator 67, Ford will look to continue his journey to the next Bellator Welterweight tournament. “The Real Deal”, Canada’s 5th ranked Welterweight, had most of his training camp at Tristar Gym and has had a successful campaign in 2012 defeating the aforementioned Santos and quickly finishing Ricky Goodall at Aggression MMA 9 the past February. On the flip side, Baker, who fights out of MMA Institute, has only fought once in 2012 dropping a unanimous decision to M1 and UFC veteran Lucio Linhares. Since 2009, Baker has amassed a 5-3 record while Ford is a much meatier 10-3. This match has Ford written all over it but also puts a lot of pressure on his shoulders, “The Real Deal” could be the next “big thing” in Bellator’s 170 lbs division and has a lot to lose if he does not perform well against a Bellator new comer. With technique and skill on Ford’s side gong into this match up, he will only need to stick to his game plan and avoid Baker’s heavy hands (9 out of 12 wins via TKO/KO). With a win here, Ford should be guaranteed a slot in the Welterweight tourney, if not expect a large scale riot from the GDUP crew and fans.
5. Josh Hill (9-0) @GentlemanJHill vs. Rafael Rebello (9-4)
Score Fighting Series – Hamilton – November 23
Canada’s 7th ranked Bantamweight and biggest surging star will finally get to test his mettle against a former “Big Show”(well smaller big show) competitor when “The Gentleman” meets WEC veteran Rebello. Hill, a product of House of Champions, will return to cage fresh off a three round shellacking of 8th ranked John Fraser at SFS this past August. Rebello, a member of American Top Team, fought three times in the WEC going 1-2 with his lone win coming against Kyle Dietz. Since his time in the blue and white cage, the ATT alum has gone 3-0 most recently submitting Bobby Huron. This is bad stylistic match up for Rebello as most of his losses have come against top position grapplers and Hill is the exact definition of that. As long as Hill can avoid Rafael’s strong sub game, 6 out of 9 wins via tap, he should remain undefeated and continue to knock on the UFC’s front door. “Mr Silva… Mr Shelby, it’s me Josh Hill will you let me in now?”
4. Gregor Gracie (7-2) @GregorGracie vs. Tyson Steele (9-1) @TysonSteele
World Series of Fighting 1 – November 3
WSOF is debuting this month and luckily for Canadian MMA fans they decided to add a member of our great fight north to their fight card. Steele, a member of Alliance Martial Art System, recently returned after a long eleven month lay off to best Jarod Milko over three rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory at AFC 11 this past September. Gracie, obviously a Gracie trained fighter, has spent most of the last two years competing in Brazil and Asia amassing a 4-1 record over his last five fights, most recently submitting Nicholas Mann via arm bar at OneFC 5this past August. Both men should be considered ground wizards (Steele 7 out of 9 wins via sub/ Gracie 6 out of 7 wins by sub) and this bout will really see who’s jits is best and considering Steele is taking on a Gracie, he has his work cut out for him. Unlike wrestler versus wrestler which usually devolves into a haymaker extravaganza, two jits guys will usually continue to work their honed craft so fans need not expect a barn burner but rather a technical chess match. It’s not really who’s jits is best but who has the better MMA ground game and an educated fan may lean towards Steele’s wrestling advantage to play a deciding factor in the outcome.
3. Ryan Dickson (4-0) @RydMMA vs. Brandt Dewsbery (10-1-1)
Score Fighting Series – Hamilton – November 23
Two of the best up and coming Welterweights in Canada trained by two of the greatest MMA minds in the nation will lock horns to see who is the real deal (no pun extended Mr. Ford). Dickson, trained by UFC veteran Jeff Joslin, will look to continue his unbeaten ways which include four stoppages between the bells, three by way of submission and a lone TKO finish. Dewsbery, a member of Lee Mein’s CMC hit squad, is currently riding a five fight win streak including a FOTN performance over Xtreme Couture prospect Benjamin Smith at last month’s RITC 46. Both men posses incredible skills on the mat while still being capable on the feet. Dewsberry may carry a slight striking advantage into the cage while Dickson’s wrestling will be a tad superior. They share a common opponent in Chris St Jean where Dewsberry submitted him in round 2, while Dickson TKO’d him in the first. Even as stacked as Canada’s Welterweight division is, the winner here will make a great case for themselves to crack the nation’s top 10 rankings.
2. Stephen Beaumont (6-0) @StephenBeaumont vs. Shane Campbell (5-1) @ShaolinStyleMMA
Aggression FC 14 – Edmonton – November 23
The term styles make fights has never been so evident as “Big Bad” Beaumont will look to use his top notch wrestling against “Shaolin” Campbell’s Muay Thai mastery. It’s grappler versus striker for the Aggression FC Lightweight title. Beaumont, a Legends Training Centre fighter, won the AFC strap by defeating Evan Sanguin via unanimous decision at AFC 9 this past June. Campbell, a Shaolin Muay Thai/House of Champions trained fighter, has continued to fight both Muay Thai and MMA professionally. He is currently riding a three fight win streak while most recently training with Jose Aldo in preparations for Aldo’s title defense that didn’t go down at UFC 153. Both men are known as tremendous fan favorites (downside for Shane as this bout will be in Stephen’s backyard) but seemed to have gone unnoticed by the salivating MMA hardcores and aren’t usually mentioned in discussions for the top 10 national Lightweight rankings. Considering these combatants past bouts and experience, this could easily be this month’s most entertaining match up as neither fighter knows how to move backwards or back down from an exchange inside the pocket. Either Campbell will pick apart Beaumont on the feet and potentially end the fight in highlight reel fashion or Beaumont will put Campbell’s butt on the canvas and mark up his face with his fists. If you live any where in Alberta and haven’t already picked up a pair of tickets to this slug fest, stop being silly and get them ASAP.
1. Jordan Mein (25-8) @FightingMeins vs. Forrest Petz (25-9) @MeatCleaverPetz
Score Fighting Series – Hamilton – November 23
Canada’s number 4 ranked Welterweight will finally dust himself off the Strikeforce shelf and return to action on home soil. Mein, a CMC trained assassin, has had a tremendous 2-1 run in Strikeforce dispatching Evangelista Santos and Tyler Stinson while falling victim to a lay and pray decision at the hands of title challenger Tyron Woodley. Petz, a UFC veteran and long time journeyman, is currently riding a four fight win streak including his last win in a fight of the night performance over Sergej Juskevic at a SFS event in March. This is a very important match up for both men as Mein needs to win a fight outside Strikeforce to keep his contact status intact while Petz is in the driver seat as a win against a loaned out fighter could bolster him into the Strikeforce ranks. Considering both men enjoy chucking leather and can give as good as they get, Hamilton area MMA fans could be treated to the most thrilling and exhilarating match up of the month.