Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In July 2013


Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBEven though we are only treated to a measly three pro cards in Canada this month there is a mammoth amount of great MMA madness with every card being stacked from top to bottom. With three title belts on the line and almost every other bout having ranking ramifications this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups is chock full of tasty MMA goodness.

As always, the usual ZUFFA disclaimer as the number 1 promotion in the world will receive its own break down and discussion to nausea on the radio and other columns. Enough with this ranting and raving about how good this month will be, let’s go onto the fights.

10. KB Bhullar @KB_Bhullar (3-0) vs. Derek Parker @TheLionParker (3-1-1)
AFC 19: Undisputed – Edmonton – July 5
It’s “The Bengal” versus “The Lion” in a National Geographic brawl for it all to see who is the top up and coming Middleweight prospect in western Canada. KB Bhullar, a Hayabusa Training Centre protégé, has been an absolute whirlwind killer in his first three pro bouts finishing all opponents in the first round via TKO or KO including two back to back KO finishes in his last two outings. Derek Parker, who trains at Jeff Wiley Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, has also set the division on fire in just a few bouts; putting on some of the most entertaining fights seen in the past two years and is currently riding a two fight win streak. With such great wildlife nicknames and a limited number of pro tilts on both sides, you honestly could not get a better match up! Throw in the fact that both men enjoy chucking leather and the only person in the entire arena that will go home disappointed is the man who does not get his hand raised.

Starnes lands a left against Joe Doerksen. (Photo: Jim Beattie)

Starnes lands a left against Joe Doerksen. (Photo: Jim Beattie)

9. Tim Hague @Tim_Hague (15-7) vs. Kalib Starnes (13-8-1)
AFC 19: Undisputed – Edmonton – July 5
Before you start rubbing your eyes and questioning feelings of deja vu, no, you are not seeing things once again. Canada’s Heavyweight UFC vet Tim Hague is taking on another blown up Middleweight. Hague, who has mixed in training with Toshido MMA for this bout, recently righted his ship with a first round TKO victory over Jordan Tracey after suffering back to back losses to the last former Middleweight he encountered Mike Hackert. Kalib Starnes, a long time member of Aegis Athletics, also just rebounded after a tough 0-3 stretch to the likes of Patrick Cote, John Salter and Joe Doerksen with a second round TKO stoppage of David Perron. The big questions here are ‘does size matter?’ or ‘does skill always trump all?’ or ‘does it all come down to technique?’. Can Hague use his size and power to overcome Starnes’ speed and agility or will one of our country’s best big men once again be toppled by a 185 pounder.

8. Charmaine Tweet @NotSoSweetMMA (4-3) vs. Ediane Gomes @IndiaGomesMMA (10-2)
Invicta FC 6 – July 13
Three weeks ago, Julia Budd was prepared to battle Ediane Gomes for a potential shot at Invicta gold.  Injuries happen in this great sport and Budd’s loss is Charmaine Tweet‘s gain as now she gets to challenge the dangerous Ediane “India” Gomes. Tweet, a student under Jeff Wiley, started off her MMA career on the wrong foot going 1-3 in her first four being TKO’d by Anna Barone and submitted via arm bar by Ronda Rousey in just her first two outings. “Not So Sweet”, like the little engine that could, came back with a bang or choo choo and rattled off three straight wins her last three bouts putting her record over .500 and demonstrating to the great fight north that she is one of the top WMMA competitors. Gomes, a veteran of ATT, is currently ranked as high as number two on most WMMA worldwide rankings and is riding a four fight win streak including two back to back Invicta wins over Hiroko Yamanaka and Katalina Malungahu. Any MMA fan worth their salt will be tuning into this bout as these two bangers will go toe to toe with the winner being the one not unconscious on the canvas.

Derek Boyle finishes Dan Ring at MFC 34

Derek Boyle finishes Dan Ring (photo: Rob Trudeau)

7. Chad Laprise @ChadLaprise (6-0) vs. Derek Boyle @DBoyleMMA (10-5)
Xcessive Force Fighting Championship 2 – Grande Prairie – July 20
Two just outside the top ten Canadian Lightweights will duke it out to see who takes the next step up the ladder and who goes back to the drawing board. Chad Laprise, a member of ATC and Team Tompkins, has gone unblemished in his pro MMA career thus far with notable wins over Josh Taveirne and Ainsley Robinson. Derek Boyle, who splits time between CMC and Greg Jackson’s, has battled back from being a .500 fighter to doubling his wins over losses and notching some solid wins over the likes of Aaron Armstrong and Dan Ring. Laprise is known as a devastating striker needing the judges only once in his young career. Boyle has shown a penchant for punching with 6 of his 10 wins coming by way of TKO or KO (and lets not forget his highlight reel flying knee KO over Alex Popov.  Watch it HERE). Both men train out of respected camps and both are in dire need of this signature win to advance their careers, a vicious gruesome finish should not be overlooked in this fantastic tilt.

6. Nathan Gunn @NathanGunnTbay (10-3) vs. Ryan Machan @RyanMachan (17-9)
Xcessive Force Fighting Championship 2 – Grande Prairie – July 20
It’s a shameful thing but usually nice guys finish last, except in this scrap as two of Canada’s sweetest MMA personalities will touch gloves and let the leather fly if for nothing else than the fans’ amusement. Ryan Machan, a senior member of Arashi Do, has traded wins and losses throughout his career but had seemed to turn things around going 3-0 in 2012 but most recently Machan dropped a split decision to Las Vegas’ Michael Madrid. Nathan Gunn, who trains out of Leading Edge Gym, had seen much success against some of Canada’s most durable fighters like Nabil Khatib, Lindsey Hawkes and Tyler Jackson but has faltered in his biggest match ups dropping back to back fights with Pete Spratt and Jesse Juarez to end his MFC run and a tragic submission loss to Dom O’Grady ended his 2012 Bellator hopes. Both men have long been considered top Welterweights in Canada but always outside the top 10. A win here for either of these fine chaps will inch the victor ever so closer to the elusive top 10 rankings. As both men enjoy putting on a show for the fans, entertainment will be the game plan for both going in. No matter who wins or who loses, you’ll be guaranteed to see both these men sharing a pint or seven at the after party.

5. Chris Horodecki @ChrisHorodecki (18-4-1) vs. Tim Smith @ShadyTimeMMA (13-7)
Xcessive Force Fighting Championship 2 – Grande Prairie – July 20
Sure on paper this may not seem as the most competitive fight but not all things are as they appear. Chris Horodecki, an ATC protege, has long been a top Canadian Lightweight with solid runs in the IFL and WEC. Working along side the likes of Sam Stout, Mark Hominick and Chris Clements, “The Polish Hammer” holds notable wins over Bart Palaszewski (twice), Ed Ratcliff and Danny Downes. However, his last three outings have seen a change of pace for Chris who has gone 0-1-2 in his last three suffering a KO defeat to Mike Richman, a draw against Mike Corey and an accidental clash of skulls against Brad Cardinal. “Shady” Smith, on the other hand, has had his ups and downs. The ups being a two fight win streak which includes capturing the Unified MMA Lightweight strap and defending it against the surging Merrick Duggan. The Kamikaze Punishment pupil has been known to enjoy the brawlin’ style as his two most recent losses have come against technical strikers in the form of Shane Campbell and Alex Ricci. As mentioned above, sure on paper Horodecki has this fight all wrapped up with a pretty pink bow, but it’s been nine months since Chris has been in the cage while Tim had ranked up two impressive wins in that time. As well, Shady’s fight camp with Lee Mein at his CMC camp will polish up his all around game. For either man getting their hand raised will not be an easy task as standing in front of them is a grizzled veteran with 20 plus fight miles etched into their brow… Who wants some?

Dwayne Lewis will return from retirement (photo: Keith Grienke)

Dwayne Lewis will return from retirement (photo: Keith Grienke)

4. Tim Chemelli @TimChemelli (10-4) vs. Dwayne Lewis (12-8)
AFC 19: Undisputed – Edmonton – July 5
AFC has lined up a doozy of a slobber knocker as two of western Canada’s best throwdown artists will duke it out for supremacy and career redemption. Tim Chemelli, a member of Team Sparta, is Canada’s eighth-ranked Light-Heavyweight yet is still looking for his crown jewel win. With respectable victories over the likes of Mike Kent, Simon Marini and Jon Ganshorn, Chemelli has struggled in the big fights with losses to Nick Penner, Victor Valimaki and Razak Al-Hassan. Dwayne Lewis, the pride of Fort Mac, will make his long awaited return as a nagging back injury forced him into early retirement. Now all healed up and raring to go, “D-Bomb” will look to return to the win column after suffering back to back losses to Wilson Gouveia and Ryan Jimmo. Prior to that, Lewis had defeated two UFC veterans including the aforementioned Al-Hassan and Mike Nickels. Granted this tilt is at a catchweight of 215 pounds due to Chemelli accepting on short notice, but this bout will have serious ramifications in the 205 lbs rankings. Will Lewis return in top notch form or will Chemelli finally get that signature win that proves he is one of the top Light-Heavies in the country?

3. Stephen Beaumont @StephenBeaumont (7-1) vs. Jason Saggo @JasonSaggo (8-1)
AFC 19: Undisputed – Edmonton – July 5
AFC’s former Lightweight champion will welcome one of eastern Canada’s top 155 pounders to see who will get a shot at the winner of Campbell versus Ronson. Stephen Beaumont, a member of Hayabusa Training Centre, was AFC’s inaugural Lightweight champ defeating Evan Sanguin to capture the crown. “Big Bad” subsequently lost the belt to the aforementioned Campbell five months later but bounced right back to the win column with a stunning submission over the well seasoned Tim Jenson. Jason Saggo, a protege of Wulfrun MMA, has earned quite the name for himself in the eastern provinces with solid wins over the likes of Derek Boyle, Iraj Hadin and Kevin Morin. Oddly enough, Saggo’s only blemish was to the aforementioned Ronson who’s fighting for the crown on the same card. This has to be the toughest road for redemption seen in quite a while for either man; as to redeem their only loss they must first notch the biggest win in their respective careers.

Ryan Ford (photo: Rob Trudeau)

2. Ryan Ford @RyanFordMMA (20-4) vs. Mike Hill @MMAmike (5-1)
AFC 19: Undisputed – Edmonton – July 5
AFC has finally minted a Welterweight strap and two of western Canada’s best will throw down for the right to bear it first. Ford, AFC’s perennial contender at 170 pounds, will look to add another win to his record and a championship title before he makes his way the TUF Canada vs. Australia tryouts. Currently on a 4 fight win streak “The Real Deal” has only needed the judges twice over the course of his 20 career wins. Hill, a Toshido MMA product, accepted this scrap on short notice as original number 1 contender Joel Powell was forced out due to injury. Since his time on TUF 16, where Hill made it to the quarterfinals before being defeated by Mike Ricci, Hill has fought twice blitzkrieging Josh Kitchen and dropping a close split decision to the aforementioned Powell. Considering what’s on the line for Ford, Hill has a great opportunity to play the master spoiler either Ford comes away with a career defining performance en route to the TUF tryouts or Hill will quickly become the hero to every single internet forum dweller.

1. Shane Campbell @ShaolinStyleMMA (6-1) vs. Jesse Ronson @Ronsoff (12-2)
AFC 19: Undisputed – Edmonton – July 5
The biggest question here is will this tilt be as entertaining as it appears on paper, considering gold will be on the line and two of Canada’s best stand up artists will be on display? Rest assured, every Canadian MMA fan will have their fingers crossed for a slugfest. Shane Campbell, AFC’s reigning Lightweight champion, is currently riding a four fight win streak all of which came against fighters known for their toughness and durability like Taylor Solomon, Derek Boyle, Tim Smith and former AFC champ Stephen Beaumont. Jesse Ronson, a ATC protégé, has been the top unsigned prospect coming out of eastern Canada for the past twelve months and is currently on a seven fight win streak which includes wins over Jason Saggo, Brad Causey, Alex Ricci and Ryan Healy. Both men last competed in MMA in November of 2012 but Campbell has continued to stay active in combat sports fighting three times in 2013 in kickboxing bouts including a K-1 World Qualifying win just last month in Calgary. Will Ronson show Campbell why he is called “The Body Snatcher”? or will Campbell use his world class technique to pick away at the potentially sluggish Ronson?  Either way this fight has all the markings of a fight of he year contender.

One Response to “ Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In July 2013 ”

  1. Mike Davis says:

    you know you have good match making when 4 of the top 5 match ups come from one show.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

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