Best of Canada 2013: Fighter of the Year


tmn_best_of_20132013 was a great year for Canadian fighters.  From the Atlantic to the Pacific, athletes put on awe inspiring performances.  That was especially the case last year for fighters on the international fight scene as they dominated the top 3.

Top MMA News Top 3 Fighters of 2013

(photo by Eric Gaudreault|

(photo by Eric Gaudreault|

1. Georges St-Pierre (2-0)
2013 may have been the last year that fans had the privilege to watch GSP compete in the cage.  2013 also saw GSP face his stiffest competition to date. The man known as “Rush” started his 2013 campaign in March by selling a mass amount of wolf tickets to his bout with Nick Diaz. St-Pierre used quick footwork and a stiff jab to keep Diaz off his game en route to a 50-45 decision. After dominating Diaz for 25 minutes, St-Pierre took eight months off before stepping in the cage against what could be argued his stiffest test to date – a bout against two time NCAA Division 1 champion Johnny Hendricks. The debate between whether GSP won the narrow decision or if he was truly defeated will continue to rage, but in the end “Rush” was able to pull off the close decision on the judges score cards. For defeating two opponents who were rated in the top 3 worldwide and defending his UFC title in the process, Georges St Pierre earns the honor as Top MMA News’ Canadian Fighter of the Year.

2. TJ Grant (2-0)
The Cole Harbour, NS native entered his 2013 campaign riding high on a three fight win streak and being undefeated since dropping down to Lightweight. In his first bout of the year, Grant challenged Matt Wiman, who was coming off a spectacular submission of win over Paul Sass, and displayed some vicious Muay Thai battering Wiman with punches and elbows to earn a first round TKO finish. With such an impressive win, Grant was granted a title eliminator versus Gray Maynard. Grant did what no one expected as he bullied “The Bully” around the ring with punches finally trapping him against the cage. What followed was a violent display of striking and Grant unleashed punches, elbows and knees on the battered former title challenger. Maynard was fallen twice before the referee finally halted the assault. The win, and more importantly, the spectacular fashion in which he earned it set Grant up with a shot at then champion Benson Henderson.  Unfortunately, TJ suffered a concussion in training when a partner’s heel inadvertently struck his head during a grappling session. Hopefully 2014 will see Grant finally get the shot at the gold he deserves, but until then his fantastic 2013 earned him the silver medal in Top MMA News’ Canadian Fighter of the Year.

3. Alex Garcia (3-0)
“The Dominican Nightmare” had a year that saw him defeat three undefeated prospects and earn himself a UFC contract. Garcia started his year by earning a hard fought unanimous decision over Ryan Dickson, a then undefeated fighter who trains under Jeff Joslin. Alex used his wrestling and increasingly feared power punching to bloody and control Dickson. Next up for the Tristar trained fighter was a match up with undefeated prospect Chris Heatherly who was thought to be a good match for Garcia. That was not the case as Garcia quickly pressured Heatherly against the fence and started unloading bombs. As Chris turned to avoid the shots, Garcia took his back and sunk in the rear naked choke just 1:42 into the opening round. With two big time wins under his belt, Garcia earned himself a UFC contract and a trip down under to Australia. Alex made his UFC debut against TUF veteran Ben Wall as the opening bout of the evening. In a brief :43, Garcia landed a big right hand that KO’d the Aussie and earned Garcia a triumphant first win in the UFC. With an ever increasing game and feared punching power Gacria earned himself the bronze medallion in Top MMA News’ Canadian Fighter of the Year.

Honourable Mentions

  • Matt MacGrath (3-0) – MacGrath had a great year going unbeaten against Mark Holst, Christ Franck, and Richard Arsenault.
  • Kalib Starnes (4-0) – Starnes rejuvenated his career with wins over David Perron, Clay Davidson, Tim Hague, and Dwayne Lewis.
  • Michael Karkula (2-0) – Karkula put himself on the map with wins over Brad Cardinal and Jesse Gross.
  • Alexis Davis (3-0) – Davis put herself into UFC title contention and defeated Shayna Baszler, Rosie Sexton, and Liz Carmouche.

14 Responses to “ Best of Canada 2013: Fighter of the Year ”

  1. Lord Elrond says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated... Thumb up 9 Thumb down 23

  2. Old School Jake says:

    I would liked to of seen Rama up for at least honourable mention. To go from obscurity to the number one heavyweight in all of Canada is a huge achievement. Not taking away from anyone on the list, just my .02

    He took a tough loss with Hamilton but rebounded with a phenomenal performance his next outing.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

  3. mike kent says:

    super disappointed I didn’t make it on this list. 2013 was career defining. I got fucked up badly by some of canadas best ever. Doesnt that count for anything ?

    Well-loved! Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  4. Dominican fan says:

    Garcia all the way no doubt.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  5. Bobby Karimi says:

    I’m a Rama fan and all, but the list is 2013 Fighter of the Year and Rama went 1-1 in 2013 so I don’t agree he should be on the list

    Well-loved! Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  6. James says:

    Westcott went from obscurity beating no bodies and has not fought in how long with exception of a fight on TUF????????????
    And no disrespect to the aussie but man he should stick to judo if he was an Olympian because he is NOT an MMA fighter!!!!!
    Westcott may be good and athletic but has yet to fight anyone even close to top calibre fighter..

    say what you want about herron webb,,,, sorry just like the olympian .. beating a tough “TUFF” particapent does not make you super star… TUFF lets not forget is a TV show and fighting is second..

    … Westcott still has yet to prove he can fight tough competition plain and simple and has avoided it….

    Well-loved! Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

  7. Ryan D says:

    GSP ???? I disagree. Garcia or Starnes would have been my pick.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  8. Old School Jake says:

    Hey fair enough Bobby, my apologies, I forgot to take into consideration the “2013” part…lol.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. Michael Karkula says:


    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

  10. well deserved @Michael Karkula.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  11. M.T says:

    Tanner Boser was also 3-0 in 2013

    Karkula beat two top level fighters, one last minute, not to mention being a huge underdog in both fights and going into hostile territory not caring who he has to fight

    Let’s not forget our friend the wardog Craig Hudson going 2-0 in 2013 and looking at bigger,better, tougher fights

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  12. RNC says:

    I agree with Ryan D as well Garcia would have been my pick for defeating the undefeated prospect and ko in his UFC debut. Starnes right up there as well for competing in 3 division and winning four fights dominantly with the last one a ko of the year candidate. Alexis Davis as well now in talks of getting close to a title shot in her division. GSP won a clear decision over Diaz in biggest hyped fight of the year then a questionable decision over Hendricks would be fourth for me just ahead of TJ Grant.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  13. Jeremy says:

    Your ufc ww champ who has consistently beat the best of the best, whether deserves it or not is questioned to be #1?

    Your an idiot if you think he shouldn’t be #1

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  14. Ryan D says:

    ^^^lol^^^ not even in the top 3!!! He lost to Hendricks and he knows it!!

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

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