Best of Canada 2013: Rookie of the Year
The Top MMA News Rookie of the Year is an award that signifies excellence by a fighter who had his professional debut in 2013 or near the end of 2012.
All the fighters below have had great starts to their careers and after a single year of competition, there is already expectations of big things for these fighters.
Top MMA News Rookie of the Year
1. Randa Markos Thomas
After struggling to get opponents early in her career, Randa Markos Thomas‘ career took off in late 2012. The Maximum Training Centre fighter debuted in the States last November where she beat Allanna Jones, who came into the fight with 1-0 pro and 7-2 amateur records. Next, she took on highly regarded striker Ashley Nichols, who she submitted in the first round. In her last fight, Markos took on the 1-0 Kara Kirsh, who she outlasted in a three round decision. Her 3-0 performance over the last 12+ months quickly established her as Canada’s top Strawweight fighter and earned her the title of Canada’s Rookie of the Year for 2013.
2. Mario Pereira
Mario Pereira, a member of H2O MMA, began his career as an amateur amassing an impressive 7-1 record winning SUMMUM and EFL amateur Featherweight titles in the process. Making his pro debut in November 2012 at SLAMM 1 he avenged his only amateur loss by defeating Michael Dufort with a split decision victory. In “Super” Mario’s second bout, he convincingly beat the highly touted Adrian Vilaca over the course of three rounds for a unanimous decision win. When he returned to the cage for his third outing, Pereira showed his ever improving striking by flooring Emilio Williams just seconds into their first round then slapping on a rear naked choke for the submission victory. Demonstrating finesse in both striking and grappling with superb takedowns and solid defence Pereira is poised to make a big splash on the national scene come 2014.
3. Maverick Cowx
You know someone loves to fight when after getting his first win, he forgets his fight purse. Well, that was the case for Maverick Cowx when he made his debut against Josh Allen at Elite 1: Unstoppable in January. While he looked impressive in that fight, it was the fight against Tyler Lee at ECC 15 less than a month later that showed fans this kid is a star on the rise. In the fight, Cowx was able to control the standup and send Lee down to the mat multiple times in less than three minutes. It almost felt like Cowx could have ended the match but he wanted Lee to get back so he could fight some more. While Lee was able to get a couple of good shots in, Cowx just kept moving in for the kill until the ref decided it was enough. A month later against Matt Heim at ECC 16, he decided to switch things up and show that he could wrestle as he submitted Heim with an arm triangle choke. His progress in 2013 was put on hold as Cowx broke his hand while training for an ECC 17 fight, however it sure looks like Scott MacLean has produced another stud from his Fit Plus stable.