Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In September 2013
With the summer coming to the end and the days starting to cool off, Canada’s MMA scene is just starting to heat up with no less then eight professional cards including one stacked UFC card taking place this month. Included in that bevy of MMA is probably the best display of Canada’s high level of fisticuff talent. Almost every match up featured this month has a lot riding on it whether it’s protecting an unblemished record, ranking implications, career rebuilding or just plain continuing on a amazing run! Every bout will have that lil’ bit of extra tension added to it. As always, this list is reserved for match ups taking place outside of the UFC as those bouts will receive all the attention they deserve on Top MMA Radio and Wael Saghir’s spot on break downs. Now without further ado, let’s get to what may be the most stacked month of the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups:
10. Gary Mangat @Saintlion (4-0) vs. Josh Gow (2-0)
Battlefield Fight League 25 – Richmond – September 7
Two undefeated prospects bred under the “new” system of MMA training, which includes a bevy of ammy MMA action prior to making your pro debut, clash in the main event of the first professional MMA card (non-UFC) to take place in Vancouver in over four years. Mangat, who splits training between Kultar Gill and Firas Zahabi, will look to increase his unblemished pro record to 5-0 when he meets Gow. Prior to making his pro debut in 2011, Mangat toiled in the amateur ranks going 5-2 ending three of those unpaid bouts in the first round. When the pro leagues came calling, Mangat continued his quick finishes ending three of his four wins between the bells. Gow, just like Mangat, got a few ammy bouts under his belt finishing all bouts without the need of score cards. When the time came for Gow to start receiving paychecks, he continued making short work of his professional opponents finishing both in the first round. Somebody’s “O” has got to go and with the fight taking place in “Saint Lion’s” backyard expect him to do everything possible to keep his glossy record all prim and proper.
9. Travis Gervais (3-0) vs. Kevin Lee @MoTownPhenom (5-0)
CFC 8 – Winnipeg – September 13
It’s Canada versus USA as two undefeated prospects put their unblemished records on the line to see who will take the next big step in their career. Gervais, a CFC protégé, may have started his career way back in 2010 but he has only fought three times finishing all three opponents by brutal KO or TKO in under 10 minutes. Lee, on the other hand, needed the judges in his first three professional bouts but started finishing things little quicker of late submitting his last two opponents by choke between the bells. The native of Grand Rapids, Michigan has not been kind to Canadians defeating both Levis Lebrie and Kyle Prepolec in recent outings. With both men having had a rough time securing fights, expect them to come out guns a blazing and make the most out of the chance they’ve been given.
8. Ricky Goodall @RickyGoodall (10-8) vs. Richard Aresnault @ArsenaultMMA (8-2)
Elite 1 MMA – Moncton – September 7
Fresh off the heels of Henderson versus Pettis 2, two men that competed in one of the best Canadian fights of 2012 will lock horns again. Arsenault enters the bout on the heels off his first loss since 2008. After defeating Goodall for the Elite 1 Welterweight title in the aforementioned FOTY candidate, Arsenault was dismantled by Matt McGrath losing both the fight and his championship belt. Goodall, on the other hand, comes into this fight on the heels of a solid win TKO’ing his arch rival Steven Rogers in the first round on the same card Arsenault was finally defeated. Honestly, records and past performance mean little entering this bout as the magic created when these men fought last is the only meaningful measuring stick. As seen in this past weekend’s UFC main event, the rematch doesn’t usually live up to the hype but that fight sadly was missing a maritimer and in this case we have two so fans can rest assured either way a hometown boy will walk away the victor while fans nationwide hope both men can deliver another jaw dropping spectacle.
7. Eric Wilson @EricWilsonMMA (6-3) vs. Tyler Davis @Lil_Demon88 (9-2)
Fivestar Fight League 9 – Yellowknife – September 7
Being that these are two high level Bantamweights both hailing from the same side of the country, it’s odd that these two just outside of the Canadian top 10 rankings have not faced each other yet. It comes as no surprise that when they finally do clash, it will be for the Fivestar Fight League 135 pound strap. Wilson, a perennial top Canadian Bantamweight, has had a tough go of late winning only two of his last five outings but considering four of his past five opponents have all been top 10 ranked Canadians Bantamweights at some point in their career and the other was Sean Quinn, one can only applaud Wilson on his high level spirit. Davis, another member of Team Arashi-Do, is currently riding a seven fight win streak albeit not against the same level of competition as his opponent has faced over the past couple years. For Wilson, this match up represents a chance at redemption and an opportunity to finally string together a pair of wins over sterling competition. For Davis, this match up represents a chance to finally have fans nationwide recognize his true potential and the fact that he should be considered among the best on the country at 135 pounds. With only six decisions between their combined 15 wins, it’s a good chance the lucky Yellowknife fans may see a Canadian FOTY contender.
6. Joe Doersken @JoeDoerksen77 (49-16) vs. Mike Kent @Mike_The_Titan (9-2)
CFC 8 – Winnipeg – September 13
On the cusp of his 50th career win and with thoughts of hanging up his punching mitts circulating in his mind, Mr. “El Dirte” will once again treat his hometown fans to a punch in the face good time. Doerksen, a long time member of CFC, is currently riding a two fight win streak. In fact, the nine time UFC veteran has won three of his last four including victories over Joel Powell and Kalib Starnes. For a veteran of 65 professional fights, Doerksen sports an impressive 86% finishing rate having only gone the distance 7 times in 49 wins. Kent, who is now under the tutelage of Sandy Bowman, started his pro career with a bang going 8-0 and finishing all but one of his early opponents. However, when the step up in competition came Kent was not ready. After a single fight stint at 205 pounds, which ended with a TKO loss to Tim Chemelli, Kent returned to Middleweight where he defeated former forum rival Cody Krahn but lost to undefeated stud Elias Theodorou. Honestly, this fight will not have anything to do with technical takedowns or “El Dirte’s” slick jits, Doerksen has shown over his last few fights that slugging it out is more up his alley now and with Kent often showing a penchant for punching, every Manitoban within viewing range should be prepared for an ol’ fashioned throw down of epic proportions.
5. War Machine @WarMachine170 (13-4) vs. Vaughn Anderson @BludAnderson (16-1-1)
Bellator 100 – September 20
A former top 10 ranked Canadian Middleweight will look to replicate the success he had in Asian’s MMA scene in Bellator’s next Welterweight tournament. Anderson, a member of Legacy Gym, enters the tournament riding a twelve fight undefeated streak having finished all but two of his opponents. With only one lone blemish on his record, confidence will not be issue for “Blud” but having fought just once in the past 12 months, can he shake off the ring rust before encountering his most dangerous foe to date. War Machine, who splits training time between Und1sputed and Purebred, may have served two separate prison sentences over the past three years but his was able to fit back to back wins over Blas Avena and Roger Huerta between them. The former TUF and UFC veteran has defeated notables Guillaume De Lorenzi, Jared Rollins, and Zach Light over the course of his career but has seemed to have peeked in terms of performance over his last two outings. With Anderson looking to prove his worth on the North American scene and Machine looking to redeem himself after his legal setbacks, this bout has all the ear markings of an amazing match up. With the Canadian Bellator (no Canadian has ever advances in a Bellator tournament fight) curse still in full affect, Anderson really has his back against the wall.
4. Tristan Johnson @TristanJohnson1 (8-4) vs. Adam Lorenz @AdamLorenz1 (7-3)
ECC 18 – Halifax – September 28
It seems fitting that on a night when two of the fastest rising Canadian Featherweights headline a card that two men once on top of the division look to rebuild. Johnson, a member of Fit Plus, will enter this bout on the heels of 1-2 slump after dropping bouts to WSOF prospect Rick Glenn and, most recently, a three round decision to Jesse Gross with split decision win over Will Romero thrown in the middle. Lorenz, one of the many killers coming out of Alliance Martial Arts Systems, is also entering the fight coming off a loss. Make that two losses as Lorenz dropped back to back fights to UFC veteran Alvin Robinson and Lenny Wheeler. Before their resent setbacks, both men were tapped as Canada’s next big show Featherweight entrant but now they will play curtain jerker to two men now wearing those same shoes. With tensions high and big show hopes still looming, these men will stop at nothing to deliver including trying their best to over shadow those two young bucks in the main event. Two feared camps, two top 10 Featherweights and east versus west match up, easily a contender for FOTY.
3. John Alessio @JohnAlessio79 (34-16) vs. Will Brooks @IllWillBrooks86 (10-1)
Bellator 101 – September 27
The first Canadian to ever challenge for a UFC title will look to once again reinvent himself en route to a chance at the Bellator Lightweight title. Alessio, a member of Syndicate MMA and Drysdale BJJ, made his long awaited return to the UFC on the heels of 10-1 run but when he finally returned to the big show, back to back losses to Mark Bocek and Shane Roller ended the dream as quickly as it started. With 34 professional wins under his belt, “The Natural” has defeated such names as Sean Pierson, Chris Clements and War Machine over the course of his career. Brooks, a Midwest Training Center protégé, scored a career changing win last New Year’s Eve when a short notice offer turned into a spectacular win over Satoru Kitaoka. Following his NYE performance, “Ill Will” was picked up by Bellator and entered their most recent 155 pound tournament where he earned a win over Ricardo Tirloni but was KO’d by Saad Awad in the semi finals. Can the old hand score one of the biggest wins of his career and end the Canadian Bellator curse? Or will the young buck prove his recent success was not a fluke but a vision of things to come?
2. Advin Omic @AdvinOmic (12-3) vs. Ryan Dickson @RydMMA (5-1)
Havoc FC 3 – Red Deer – September 6
Two men just outside the Canadian top 10 Welterweights rankings will meet to see who can move into one those precious 10 slots. Omic, a member of Team Arashi-Do Martials Arts, has been on an incredible run since a May 2011 loss to Joel Powell, rattling off six successive wins over the likes of Chase Maxwell, Keto Allen and Marcus Vinicios. With such an incredible streak, it’s a shame “The Bosnian Bad Boy” has only competed once in the past 18 months as a contract with AFC ended on a sour note. Hopefully when a door closes, a window opens and fans will finally see Omic face top talent on a continuing basis. Dickson, a protégé of UFC Veteran Jeff Joslin, started his pro career off with a bang quickly amassing five straight wins including victories over the then surging Chris St Jean and CMAC star Brandt Dewsbery. The Burlington native took a step up in competition last May challenging 9th ranked Alex Garcia only to lose his unblemished record in a hard fought unanimous decision. Both men have been considered top contenders surging in the division so it’s only fitting that they finally meet. With both men possessing incredible BJJ skills, its a good possibility the winner here will not only move up the rankings but also leave with a highlight reel submission finish.
1. Jesse Gross @GhostGross (8-3) vs. Gavin Tucker @GavinTucker6 (7-0)
ECC 18 – Halifax – September 28
Two of the fastest rising Canadian Featherweights lock horns to see who continues to rise to the top 10 rankings and take the next big step in their career while the loser will stay stagnant. Gross, a protégé of ATC, started his career off with a 6-0 start but a 0-3 slump had him step back from the sport for almost twelve months. Upon his return, “The Ghost” dropped down to 145 pounds and earned back to back wins over Seiji Sugiman-Marangos and Tristan Johnson. Tucker, a Titans MMA fighter, is still undefeated as a professional finishing all opponents except his first pro bout. Having moved up in competition bout after bout, Tucker has most recently defeated Jeremy Henry, Robert Rende and Lyndon Whitlock respectively. With confidence running high for both gentleman and a potential big show shot on the line, expect the winner and loser to only be separated by a narrow margin and potentially a stretcher ride.