Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In April 2014


Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBSpring is supposed to be upon us but most of our gorgeous country is still covered in cold white stuff. Fear not MMA fans, we have loads of great MMA action this month in the great fight north to keep us warm in this oddly snow covered April. From Halifax, Nova Scotia to Cranbrook, British Columbia, we have some tasty match ups and some intriguing title tussles. With the addition of Twitter handles make sure to follow your favorite fighters so you can keep up to date on the ending of camp all the way to weigh in day.

The usual ZUFFA disclaimer: as always this list is reserved for action taking place outside the octagon as all Canadians fighting in the eight sided cage will be written and talked about in every other facet of the website.

Now sit back with some hot cocoa or maybe even an Irish cream coffee and enjoy this month’s surprisingly deep list of the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups in April 2014:

10. Morgan Rhynes @MoeRhynes (3-0) vs. Michael Spoenlein @M_Spoenlein (2-0)
ECC 20: Apocalypse – Halifax – April 5
Two young Bantamweights from the east coast will battle it out early in their careers to see who can continue to boast an undefeated record. Morgan Rhynes, a member of Wulfrun MMA, quickly amassed his 3-0 professional record in just over 10 months. Along with his “0” being on the correct side of his record, he boasts three finishes in three fights and has yet to see the third round. Michael Spoenlein, fighting out of Zombieproof BJJ, made his debut this past September submitting seven fight veteran Chance Whalen.  He then followed that up by submitting wrestling prodigy and 2013 KOTY winner James Mancini in the first round. Both of these young guns have bright futures ahead, the winner here will just see the rewards sooner.

Morgan Rhynes (photo: Martin Blais)

Morgan Rhynes (photo: Martin Blais)

9. Spencer Jebb @SpencerJebb (6-3) vs. Stephen Clement (5-2)
XFFC 4 – Grande Prairie – April 19
It’s east meets west in this intriguing Lightweight match up between two proven fight finishers. Spencer Jebb, a Grande Prairie native, is currently riding a four fight win streak after starting his professional career with only two wins in five outings. Along with his new found winning ways, Jebb has continued his art of quick finishes earning all six wins by way of first round KO/TKO. Stephen Clement, a member of MACFIT Freestyle Martial Arts, has won back to back match ups and will be fighting outside of the Maritime provinces for the first time in his career. The man known as “Spider-Man” has finished every victory in his career in the first round with two TKOs and three submissions. Both men seem to have found their stride of late and will need a win here to continue their professional momentum. Considering their records and penchant for quick finishes, anyone lucky enough to catch this fight live make sure to not blink because when the finish comes, it will come with a vengeance.

8. Mike Malott @MainAAtraction (3-0) vs. Ainsley Robinson @RobinsonAinsley (5-2)
ECC 20: Apocalypse – Halifax – April 5
It’s the ol’ dog versus the young pup as one of the hottest prospects at 145 lbs takes on the nationally decorated wrestler. Mike Malott has been on an amazing run over his short career finishing all of his opponents in the first round only hitting the 120 second mark once. Ainsley Robinson, a member of the Elite Training Centre, is a former Olympian and multiple time Canada Cup champion. He started his MMA career in 2008 and went 4-1 before deciding to take a break from combat sports.  He returned in 2012 earning a win over Eric Attard before dropping a unanimous decision to Chad Laprise in his last outing. This match up means a lot for both men.  For Malott, this will be his toughest test to date a long with testing his wrestling skills against one of the country’s best. While for Robinson, this is a chance at redemption as a win over such a bright prospect would rejuvenate his own career. No matter the outcome, this bout will speak volumes about Canada’s future in the Featherweight division.

Mike Kent vs Alderic Keith

Mike Kent about to throw a right (photo: Martin Blais)

 7. Mike Kent @Mike_The_Titan (10-4) vs. Alfonso Gonzales (4-0)
Battle for the Border 3 – Cranbrook – April 12
With the big boys falling through for BFTB, they bounced right back with this intriguing main event: The durable Canadian veteran versus the undefeated upstart from the good ol’ USA. Mike Kent, who now trains out of Bowman’s MMA, had a rough 2013 going 1-3 in four bouts but fought his toughest competition to date including David Loiseau, Joe Doerksen and Elias Theodorou. 2014 is a new year and the Fort Mac fighter has already started it off on the right foot earning a split decision nod over Matt Baker at WSOF Canada this past February. Alfonso Gonzales, a member of Northwest Elite, had a solid amateur career before going pro as he went 5-1 and earned three ammy titles. Since turning pro in February 2013, he has picked up four wins earning a perfect 50/50 split between submissions and TKOs. Cranbrook MMA fans are in for a treat as Kent knows of no other way than to put on an entertaining fight win or lose.  Mix in a prospect who has never been to a decision and either way this goes, it’ll be fun to watch.

6. Adrian Woolley (7-3) vs. Eric Wilson @EricWilsonMMA (6-5)
XFFC 4 – Grande Prairie – April 19
As this countries Flyweight division starts to take shape, more and more Bantamweights are making the move and here we have two very successful 135 pounders meeting at 125 lbs. Eric Wilson makes this list for the second time in two months as he made his Flyweight debut last month losing a close decision to Stephane Pelletier at Hybrid’s inaugural professional event. Being only 1-5 in his last six outings is not the best recent record but Wilson literally has fought the nation’s best at Bantamweight. Woolley will finally make his 125 lbs debut after years of injuries and opponent withdrawals have left him on the outside looking in. Having not fought in almost three years, “The Bully” enters this bout on a two fight skid but considering how long ago those bouts took place, he will be a much different fighter when he enters the cage. Both men have faced many set backs and this bout will tell us how much they have left to give. One of these men will make one last run at dominance in 125 lbs weight class – the only question is which one?

5. Derek Boyle @DBoyleMMA (11-6) vs. Jose Rodriguez (7-1)
Rumble in the Cage 49 – Lethbridge – April 5
The long awaited return of the man known as Jose Rodriguez will finally take place and we have RITC to thank for that. Rodriquez, who trains out of Scheer’s MMA, has not stepped in the cage since October 2011 when he submitted Nick Heynen via anaconda choke just 76 seconds into the first round. The native of Saskatoon has  won seven 0f his last eight bouts winning six of those between the bells with an even split between subs and TKO’s. Derek Boyle, who trains out of CMAC and Jackson’s MMA, started his 2014 campaign early with a first round TKO of Dia Grant in January of this year. “The Gargoyle’s” only losses over the past four years have only come against some of the country’s best including Chad Laprise, Shane Campbell and Jason Saggo. For both men this match up will tell a lot about their careers moving forward. Can Boyle earn a big win and continue the upswing he’s been riding lately? Or will Rodriguez’ return after three years show he hasn’t lost a step and make a triumphant return with a big win?

4. Lyndon Whitlock @LyndonWhitlock (7-4) vs. Ryan Connor @Ryan_Connor_  (4-1)
ECC 20: Apocalypse – Halifax – April 5
With Lyndon Whitlock‘s Bantamweight debut falling through at PFC, ECC fans gain one hell of a main event. Whitlock, at one point in his career, was looked upon as one of Canada’s top Featherweight prospects going 6-1 in his first 7 bouts. Things started to turn when Whitlock stepped up the competition and he went 1-3 in his next 4 outings even being finished in all three defeats. Ryan Connor, a member of Fit Plus, is currently one of the more intriguing Bantamweight prospects coming out of the east coast with his only loss coming at the hands of Gavin Tucker. While slightly similar in fighting styles, both men look to get much different things out of this match up. For Whitlock, he needs to prove he can make 135 lbs while still being able to bring it in the cage and with back to back losses, a win is needed to regain his in cage confidence. For Connor, this is his first shot at adding a “name” to his record and prove he’s more then an east coast prospect but somebody who should be on the national radar.

Ryan Connor (photo: Martin Blais)

Ryan Connor (photo: Martin Blais)

3. Brad Stewart (6-2) vs. Cody Krahn (14-8)
Fivestar Fight League 11: Homecoming – Fort St. John – April 25
The Fivestar Fight League Middleweight crown will be on the line when Brad Stewart puts the gold on the line against Cody Krahn. Stewart, a member of the Fivestar Training Centre and former KOTC Canada Middleweight champion, has found success in FSFL going 2-0 in the promotion over the likes of Jordan Beecroft and Matt Baker, while leaving neither bout in the hands of the judges. Krahn, who trains out of Complete Martial Arts and Fitness, is on one of the best runs of his career with a three fight win streak including a possible KO of the year when he slammed Clay Davidson into the mat at MFC 39 just 64 seconds into their bout. Both men have loads of experience throughout the national scene and both men have found success of late.  For one man the “W” will propel them up the national ladder, while the loser will fade in the minds of the hardcore fans. While neither man have tasted top 10 status in Canada, a win here will not guarantee them a spot but will push them ever so closer.

2. Tristan Johnson @TristanJohnson1 (8-4) vs. Rob Font (9-1)
CES MMA 23 – Lincoln – April 25
We only have one Canadian on the list going south of the border this month as Tristan Johnson faces an extremely tough Rob Font in Lincoln, RI. Johnson, a long time member of Fit Plus, has hit a rough patch as he’s stepped up the competition level going just 3-3 in his last 6 while he started of his career going 5-0. Font, a pupil of Team Sityodtong, is the current CES MMA Featherweight champion who is riding an 8 fight win streak with his only loss coming to Bellator tournament finalist Desmond Green back in 2012. Johnson needs this win to rejuvenate his career and return himself to a talking point on the nation Featherweight rankings. While a win for Font, especially a finish, over such a seasoned competitor would definitely get him a look from the big show. Both men may not always get the finish, but each are known to fight for it until the bitter end and luckily for us north of the border, CES usually streams their events so even “we” can witness the carnage.

Jarod Milko

Jarod Milko (photo: Rob Trudeau)

1. Jarod Milko @JarodMilko (8-2) vs. Matt MacGrath @MattMacGrathMMA  (14-8)
XFFC 4 – Grande Prairie – April 19
The current XFFC Welterweight champion will put his gold on the line against a title holder from the east coast to see who reigns supreme East or West. Jarod Milko, who now trains out of WAMMA, earned his shot at the XFFC gold by defeating both Chase Maxwell and Chris Stranger. Those wins earned him a match up with Jordan Beecroft for the title which “The Milkman” took full advantage of by submitting Beecroft via guillotine choke near the end of round 2. Matt MacGrath, a member of Wulfrun MMA, has a found a career resurgence of late earning four wins in a row and strapping two gold belts around his waist. MacGrath started it all with back to back wins over Nabil Khatib and Mark Holst to earn himself a shot at Richard Arsenault  and his Elite 1 gold. The PEI native forced Arsenault to retire after the second round to capture the Elite 1 gold then TKO’d Christ Franck this past October to capture the ECC 170 lbs crown. Both men turned their careers around in the past year and a win in this fight could allow the victor to finally crack the Canadian top 10 rankings.


6 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In April 2014 ”

  1. Adam Piercey says:

    Great to see so many guys from the east coast making a name for themselves. I’ve had the honor over the years to see/help some of them train and compete. It makes me proud to see such great guys finally earning the spotlight they’ve worked so hard for.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  2. Spencer Jebb says:

    welterweight* not lightweight :)

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. jonesknows says:

    inb4 wooley pulls out again

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11

  4. harry balls says:

    Kent’s twitter: ”

    People don’t get it when fighters thank the big man upstairs.That man is there dad. Most pro fighters I know live in there parents basement!”

    Spelling aside, I fucking laughed.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  5. Definitely looking forward to make of these matches this month. Thanks for reminding me of them and posting a schedule.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Truth says:

    Woolley opponents dropping out? Isn’t that what he does. Just feel bad for Wilson who will make the weight. Why didn’t Randy Turner get a second run at him.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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