Canadian Lightweight Rankings – December 2013

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It’s been a long time since we ranked and rolled.  It’s been a long time since we did the polls.  It’s been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since we visited Lightweights. Yes it has.

My apologies to Led Zeppelin.  Here are the Top 10 Canadian 155 pound fighters:

Top 10 Canadian Lightweight Rankings

1. TJ Grant (21-5) – Previous Rank (1)TJ Grant has not lost at Lightweight.  In 2013, he has been nothing short of spectacular by finishing Gray Maynard and Matt Wiman in devastating fashion in route to a title shot.  Unfortunately, a concussion sustained in training postponed his title shot and TJ is still feeling the effects.  Can’t wait to see Grant healthy and back in the Octagon.  Next Fight: TBD

2. John Makdessi (12-2) – Previous Rank (3) – It is no bull that John Makdessi is on a roll in the UFC.  After losing two in a row and facing a UFC release, “The Bull” won two tactical bouts against Sam Stout and Daron Cruickshank.  With a little more room to breathe with a two fight win streak, Makdessi showcased his devastating striking by KO’ing Renee Forte at UFC 165.  That would have been KO of the Night if it wasn’t for a Renan Barao spinning back kick.  Sky is the limit for Makdessi.  Next Fight: vs Alan Patrick at UFC 169 on February 1

TJ Grant vs Ricardo Almeida

TJ Grant is Canada’s #1 Lightweight

3. Sam Stout (20-9-1) – Previous Rank (4) – Since losing to John Makdessi in November 2012, Sam Stout has gone 2-1 in the UFC.  First he welcomed Strikeforce’s Caros Fodor to the UFC and sent him packing with a loss.  Next, he was submitted at UFC 161 in Winnipeg.  Most recently, he dominated Cody McKenzie at UFC on Fox 9.  With Mark Bocek’s departure due to inactivity.  Stout moves up to #3 on the rankings.  Next Fight: TBD

4. Jesse Ronson (13-3) – Previous Rank (6) – Sam Stout’s Adrenaline Training Center’s teammate Jesse Ronson moves up the rankings despite losing to Michel Prazeres at UFC 165.  In that fight in his home province, Ronson started slow, perhaps due to ‘UFC Jitters.’  However, Ronson finished strong and could have finished his opponent if only he had a few more minutes.  Unfortunately, the slow start cost “The Bodysnatcher” a close split decision loss.  Next Fight: vs Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night 36 on February 15

5. Mike Ricci (7-3) – Previous Rank (7) – Since losing to Colton Smith in the TUF Finale, Mike Ricci went 1-1 in the UFC.  First, he picked apart Colin Fletcher in his hometown of Montreal. Then, the Quebec Lightweight lost an uninspired split decision to Myles Jury and was unceremoniously cut by the UFC.  It looks like the best Mike Ricci has yet to be seen by fans.  With rumours of Ricci fighting Jorge Gurgel on Titan Fighting floating around, expect a resurgence by the Tristar Gym fighter. Next Fight: TBD


Jesse Ronson head kicks Ryan Healy

Jesse Ronson head kicks Ryan Healy (photo: Jeremy Penn|Pennography)

6. Mitch Clarke (10-2) – Previous Rank (NR) – Mitch Clarke vaults up the Top 10 rankings thanks to his first win in the UFC.  What an emotional win it was as Clarke was sitting on two consecutive UFC losses and Maguire was a solid 2-2 in the big show.  With the UFC axe hanging over “Danger Zone’s” head, Clarke outlasted John Maguire in a three round battle in Winnipeg.  What’s next for the Saskatoon fighter?  Maybe a home date in Saskatchewan?  Next Fight: TBD

7. John Alessio (34-17) – Previous Rank (5) – Since The Natural’s 10 win in 11 fight run to the UFC, John Alessio has not garnered a victory in the cage.  In his last fight, Alessio became the latest Canadian to lose in the opening round of a Bellator MMA tournament when he lost a decision to Will Brooks at Bellator 101. With his opening of The Sweat Store, a Las Vegas based, high end, women and men’s fitness clothing store, one wonders if Alessio will be returning to the cage.  Whether John fights again or not, he has cemented his place as one of the best Canadian MMA Lightweights ever.  Next Fight: TBD

Mitch Clarke at UFC 161

Mitch Clarke (photo: Keith Grienke)

8. Chris Horodecki (20-4) – Previous Rank (NR)Chris Horodecki moved down to Featherweight so why is he ranked at Lightweight?  Well… while “The Polish Hammer” is winless at 145, Horodecki, the third Adrenaline Training Center fighter on this list, keeps winning at 150 or 155.  Top MMA News places highest priority on the last three year’s of activity and Horodecki is unbeaten in 2013 at 155 with wins over Tim Smith and Frank Carabello and has only lost to Donald Cerrone at Lightweight since the start of 2010 (Horodecki lost to Mike Richman at Featherweight).  Horodecki has also beaten Lightweights Daniel Downes, Ed Ratcliff, David Castillo, and Chris Saunders over that same period.  Quite the list.  While we hope Chris finds success at 145, in the meantime, let’s welcome him back into the Canadian Top 10 Lightweights.  Next fight: TBD.

9. Kurt Southern (13-4) – Previous Rank (NR)Kurt Southern was sitting on the inactive list for more than a year due to injuries and not being able to secure a fight.  That all changed when “The Hurt” signed with the Maximum Fighting Championship!  In 2013, the MFC kept Southern busy, and Kurt paid them back with three exciting performances.  First, he dominated Jonatas Novaes only to succumb to an arm bar (his third armbar loss) in the third round. Then, he quickly submitted Mukai Maromo in a rematch of their 2010 fight.  Finally, he pounded out Novaes in a rematch at MFC 38.  Now, the MFC has rewarded Southern appropriately with a shot at their Lightweight belt.  Next fight: vs Tom Gallicchio at MFC 39 on January 17

Jason Saggo elbows Iraj Hadin at SFS 7

Jason Saggo elbows Iraj Hadin (photo: Jeremy Penn)

10. Jason Saggo (9-1) – Previous Rank (NR)Jason Saggo has been on a tear since debuting in 2009.  With wins over solid Canadian Lightweights like Derek Boyle and Stephen Beaumont, Saggo has earned his spot in the Canadian Top 10.  With a strong grappling game, Saggo likes to use his size to impose his will on his opponent, get them down to the mat, and submit you.  Saggo finishes everyone he beats and the only time he lost was a split decision against current UFCer Jesse Ronson.  Unfortunately, with the decline of fights in Ontario over the past year, fans have seen less of Saggo.  Let’s hope that improves in 2014.  Next fight: TBD

Fighters who dropped out of Top 10 – Mark Bocek (was #2, inactivity, Guillaume De Lorenzi (was #8), Mukai Maromo (was #9), dropped out), Shane Campbell (was #10)

Just out of Top 10:
Brad Cardinal (16-8)
Alex Ricci (7-1)
Chad Laprise (7-0)
Michael Karkula (6-0)
Guillaume De Lorenzi (10-2)
Shane Campbell (6-2)

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