Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In June 2013
Just like vicious dandelion that plagues Canadian backyards from coast to coast, Canada’s MMA scene is blooming like never before in our beautiful summer months. From MMA finally returning to Ontario to BFL and their two title fights in Penticton, our great country is riddled with spectacular MMA action just like your neighbor’s backyard and those damn dandelions. It doesn’t even end there as the UFC will make their Manitoba debut this month as well with the card being stacked with Canadian talent from top to bottom. But as always, this list is reserved for tussles outside the Zuffa umbrella with monstrous UFC 161 coverage taking place everywhere on the site except right here.
10. Behrang Yousefi (5-1) @BehrangYousefi vs. Alex Halkias (3-0) @AlexHalkias
KOTC: Earthquake – Edmonton – June 7
Two proven finishers will be on display for KOTC Canada fans when they meet in cage on June 7th. Behrang Yousefi, a member of Kamikaze Punishment, challenged Josh Machan for the KOTC Canada crown last April but was submitted in the first round. Prior to that bout, Yousefi was rockin’ a 4-0 record while finishing each opponent before the first bell. Alex Halkias, a relative rookie to the sport, took 2012 by storm going 3-0 while capping off his year with a trip to China where he defeated his opponent Huipeng Zhang, a member of China Top Team. When these two young bucks square off in the cage, the true winners will be the lucky fans in attendance at the Mirage Banquet Hall.
9. Derek Boyle (9-5) @DBoyleMMA vs. Eben Kaneshiro (14-9)
Battle for the Border 2 – Cranbrook – June 1
In this Canada versus USA match up, two well-traveled Lightweights will do battle to see who will increase their overall fighter value. Derek Boyle, who splits his time between PFA and Greg Jackson’s, has recently pulled himself out of the doldrums of a .500 fighter and now has strung together back to back wins going 6-2 in his last eight outings. Eben Kaneshiro, a member of New Breed Jiu-Jitsu, recently has traded wins and losses but throughout his career has fought some of the most talented lighter weight fighters around including Evan Dunham, Urijah Faber and Nam Phan. Even though he has gone only 2-3 in his last five outings, Kaneshiro will enter the bout on the heels of a quick submission win over Canadian journeyman Tim Tamaki. For Boyle, there is a lot riding on this tussle as a win will put him on a solid 3-0 run while evening out his record at a glossy 10-5, while Kaneshiro has already tasted success in the great fight north and has nothing to lose entering a bout against the hometown favorite. “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”
8. Alex Ricci (6-1) @AlexRicciMMA vs. Derek Gauthier (7-5)
Substance Cage Combat – Toronto – June 29
Two fighters who’s careers have taken complete opposite turns will lock horns to see if one can right the ship or see if the other can gain passage on a bigger vessel. Alex Ricci, who trains at Mecha MMA, is stand up machine who started off his career with an impressive 5-0 run before running into the juggernaut known as Jesse Ronson. Ricci quickly bounced back after his first loss by earning a unanimous decision win over the tough as nails Keven Morin. Derek Gauthier, a TriStar pupil, also burst onto the scene with a five fight win streak but since his original success has struggled on the national scene going just 2-5 in his last seven outings. Granted, if only records and past performances were taken into account, Ricci would run away with this by a landslide, but styles make fights and considering Ricci’s Muay Thai prowess, Gauthier’s wrestling,\ and solid top game could prove to be Ricci’s kryptonite. Will Ricci continue his rise to stardom or will Gauthier play the part of spoiler?
7. Matt Dwyer (4-1) @MattDwyerMMA vs. Colin Daynes (4-0) @ColinDaynes
Battlefield Fight League 24 – Penticton – June 8
Battlefield’s Welterweight strap will be up for grabs as BFL’s golden boy Matt Dwyer will tackle former Canadian Olympian Colin Daynes. Dwyer, who trains out of Toshido MMA, has spent most of career under the BFL banner where he has fought both amateur and professional, Dwyer earned the promotion’s Welterweight crown by defeating Ryan Chiappe by first round TKO last November. Daynes, a former member of the Canadian Olympic wrestling team, has not fought since 2010 when he TKO’d George Belanger under the Let’s Get It On banner. After testing positive for banned substances following his December 2012 win in the 74 kilogram division at the Canadian Wrestling Qualification Trials, Daynes wrestling career is effectively over and now his attention has been redirected to MMA. With one athlete groomed through MMA and another through the national wrestling program, it’ll be interesting to see how these men match up when the enter the cage.
6. Chase Maxwell (8-3) vs. Jordan McKay (6-1)
Unified MMA 16 – Edmonton – June 21
Two of Alberta’s best unsung Welterweights will do battle to see who moves forward as a legit contender and who needs more time to develop. Chase Maxwell, who trains out of Hayabusa Training Centre, was on quite the roll going into his 2010 Unified Welterweight title bout with Travis Briere but after dropping a hard fought unanimous decision “Red Dawg” has yet to return to his former glory going just 2-2 since that loss. Jordan Mckay, a member of MMA University, started his career in 2003 and has fought once a year while sporting a 100% finishing percentage with 5 of his 6 wins coming by way of submission. With each man being the best opponent the other has faced, the combatant who gets their hand raised will be on to bigger and better thing in their career while the loser will be forced to take a step back.
5. John Alessio (34-16-1) @JohnAlessio79 vs. Tim Radcliffe (12-4) @FightingMulambo
Global Warrior Challenge – Kansas City – June 29
Eight months after an inadvertent eye poke ended Alessio’s return to Canada, “The Natural” will now represent his adopted home country in a USA versus UK match up. John Alessio, a member of Xtreme Couture Vegas, finally made his long awaited return to the octagon last April but with back to back loses to Mark Bocek and Shane Roller, his return was brief. Prior to his UFC return, Alessio made the decision to drop to Lightweight and won his first three bouts at his new weight class including wins over Luiz Firmino and Ryan Healy. Tim Radcliffe, a protégé of Nova Forca, is a BAMMA and UCMMA veteran who is currently riding a three fight win streak all of which were finished before the bells. With momentum on his side, Radcliffe will look to use Alessio as a stepping stone for his career but the time Alessio has taken off since his last outing will see him rejuvenated and ready to return his career to the win column.
4. Adrian Woolley (7-3) vs. Randy Turner (7-3) @RandyTurner7
Substance Cage Combat – Toronto – June 29
A fight that was tossed around a lot over the last couple years at 135 pounds will now finally take place at Flyweight while both men look to bounce back from losses. Adrian Woolley, a long time perennial top 10 Canadian Bantamweight has finally made the decision to drop down and now looks to rejuvenate his career after suffering back to back losses to Nick Mamalis and David “Bo” Harris. Randy Turner, a protégé of OAMA, was tagged as the next big thing in the Canadian Bantamweight division after back to back wins over the ever tough Eric Perez and TUF veteran BJ Ferguson. Following his first Wreck MMA title defence, “Relentless” decided to make the move to Flyweight where his debut was ruined when Mike Banin submitted him just 56 seconds into their bout. With Turner looking for redemption and Woolley seeking validation at 125 lbs, this bout has all the markings of a three round war. In the past these two wrestlers have been called out as boring, but when two grapplers cancel each other out, fans are usually treated to more bombs then a Saturday night in Bagdhad.
3. Mike Davis (10-3) @Mike_Davis125 vs. Michael Banin (3-1)
Unified MMA 16 – Edmonton – June 21
With the Flyweight division starting to take shape in the great fight north, we get what some could argue as the two best in Canada squaring off for the Unified 125 lbs. crown. Mike Davis, a member of the Arashi-Do stable, earned Unified’s Flyweight title by defeating Corey Lautischer last May. Sporting a 70% finishing percentage, Davis is also currently riding a seven fight unbeaten streak having not dropped a bout since March of 2010. Michael Banin, a pupil of A-Team, burst onto the scene this past March by submitting top ranked Bantamweight Randy Turner in under 60 seconds at Wreck MMA in what was both men’s Flyweight debut. With Davis holding Canada’s only Flyweight title and Banin’s victory over Turner, most will agree that the winner here will take the podium as the top 125 pounder in Canada.
2. Josh Machan (9-4) vs. John Fraser (11-4) @JohnFraserMMA
Havoc FC 2 – Red Deer – June 7
Canada’s 5th and 8th ranked Featherweights will go to war to see who deserves to move up the ladder and who should go back to the drawing board. John Fraser, who represents Supreme Martial Arts, will be starting out his 2013 campaign against Josh Machan after going 1-1 in 2012. After a successful stint at Bantamweight, “The Haggis Basher” will return to 145 lbs. where he’s been undefeated since 2006. Machan, a member of Arashi-Do Martial Arts, is the current KOTC Featherweight champion but will be facing the toughest test of his career in Fraser. Besides his loss to Mitch Clarke in 2010, Machan has gone undefeated since June 2007 including wins over Derek Boyle, Lenny Wheeler and Behrang Yousefi. With both men on the cusps of taking the next step in their respective careers, the winner here will have a lot to look forward too.
1. Tyson Steele (10-1) @TysonSteele vs. Steve Carl (19-3)
World Series of Fighting 3 – June 14
It’s a bird, it’s a plane… nope it’s just Tyson Steele finally getting a fight and the spotlight he deserves. Steele, a member of Alliance Martial Art Systems, has not fought since his spectacular come from behind TKO of Gregor Gracie last November. As Canada’s 7th ranked Welterweight, Steele has not lost since 2010 and holds notable victories over Cody Krahn and Jarod Milko. Carl, who trains out of Hard Drive MMA, has been entered into the Bellator Welterweight tournament twice losing to Dan Hornbuckle in the semi finals of Season 2 and dropping the opening round bout of Season 5 to Douglas Lima. A talented fighter who is currently riding a five fight streak, Carl also sports a 85% finishing percentage with 14 of his 19 wins coming via submission. With this bout being slotted as the co-main event, the winner here will be receiving some much needed and well earned media and fan attention.