Top Maple Leaf Matchups In October 2014


Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBIf you are a Canadian Mixed Martial Arts fan, there is no better month to make sure you have every single weekend off away from distractions as October is literally chock full of amazing cards. Seriously, this month’s top 10 barely manages to scrape the surface of the amazingness that is October 2014. The numbers alone tell an amazing story: we have nine pro cards taking place from coast to coast, while we also have six title tussles involving Canadian fighters.

Now, as always, this list is reserved for fights taking place outside the UFC’s famous Octagon as those battles will get plenty of attention from all other parts of the site. With UFC Fight Night 54 going down in Halifax, there are plenty of Canadians doing their thing in the UFC this month.

For the first time, Top Maple Leaf Match Ups will feature Honourable Mentions as there are just so many great bouts that could not quite make top 10 cut. Now without further ado, let’s get to this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups:

Honorable Mentions:

Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups:

Ryan Ford (photo: Rob Trudeau)

Ryan Ford (photo: Rob Trudeau)

1. Ryan Ford @RyanFordMMA (22-4) vs. Jake Shields @JakeShieldsajj (29-7)
WSOF 14: Ford vs. Shields – Edmonton – October 11
The time has finally come for Ryan Ford to face a top 10 ranked opponent. All the hate, all the “he can’t fight in the states, he’ll never go anywhere” will finally be silenced or echo louder than ever based solely on the outcome of this fight. This bout could not have come at a better time for “The Real Deal” as he has hit his stride in the past two years going 6-0 with five finishes over stern competition like Luis Santos, Michael Hill and Kyle Baker. For Jake Shields, this match is a chance at redemption as it will be his first bout since leaving the UFC. The Cesar Gracie Fighter is 3-2-1 over his last six outings but has been blasted for riding out decisions and just plain being a boring fighter to watch. Both men have a lot to prove in this bout and for one man this could be a huge turning point in their career as either Ford gets the W and proves he is a certified top 10 Welterweight or Shields nails the submission win and proves he still can hang with the best on the planet. Either way, this is huge bout for the Edmonton crowd that will blow the roof off Northlands Expo Centre.

2. Mike Ricci @MikeyRicci (10-4) vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (17-6)
Titan FC 31: Ricci vs. Yoshida – October 31
Gold is on the line as two men who have turned their careers around since their stints in the UFC will vie for the inaugural Titan FC Lightweight strap. Uninspired decisions plagued Mike Ricci throughout his time in the UFC, but since receiving his pink slip he has shown some new found aggression in an absolute battering of Jorge Gurgel and a three round trouncing of former UFC title contender George Sotiropoulos. Yoshiyuki Yoshida has also found his stride outside the Octagon going 6-1 with four finishes while earning big wins over names like Phil Baroni, Ferrid Kheder, and Niko Puhakka. Now both men will get another shot at becoming a darling in front of a national TV audience when these two dance for gold. It will be Ricci’s wrestling versus Yoshida’s submissions skills; whoever can run their game will leave with a shiny new belt.

Smealinho Rama (photo: Rob Trudeau)

Smealinho Rama (photo: Rob Trudeau)

3. Smealinho Rama @Smealinho (8-1) vs. Derrick Mehmen @DerrickMehmen (18-5)
WSOF 14: Ford vs. Shields – Edmonton – October 11
Hopefully the second time’s the charm for Smealinho Rama as he meets Derrick Mehmen in his second championship tilt of his young career. “The Prince” has strung together back to back wins since the Anthony Hamilton head kick that caused him to lose his chance at MFC Heavyweight gold. A three round battering of prospect Steve Mocco and a trouncing of former number one Canadian Heavyweight Tim Hague has put Smealinho back in line for a title shot. Mehmen has pushed himself to the front of the line with six straight wins, beating Dave Huckaba, Scott Barrett and Rolles Gracie all under the WSOF banner. This tussle will all come down to who wants it more. Mehmen may have 23 bouts under his belt but has looked like a new man since joining WSOF while Rama is the young stud who has showed marked improvement fight in and fight out. Heart will be what seals the deal here and both men have shown tons of cardiac courage throughout their career, now who will be the first to wrap the gold around their waist?

4. Chris Horodecki @ChrisHorodecki (20-5-1) vs. Luis Huete (6-1)
WSOF 14: Ford vs. Shields – Edmonton – October 11
In this corner, we have Chris Horodecki who is widely considered to be Canada’s top Featherweight. Only problem is that all of his significant wins have come at Lightweight and he has yet to score a win at 145 lbs. Fighting across the cage is Luis Huete who returned after an astounding five year absence from the sport and has gone 3-0 this year obliterating all his opponents before the eight minute mark. Welcome to the bout that will turn the Canadian Featherweight division on it’s head. “The Polish Hammer” has only fought once this year – a disappointing decision loss to former Sengoku Champion Marlon Sandro at Bellator 119. As mentioned, Huete has earned three wins this year dispatching Noah Ali, Corey Houston and, most recently, Wolfgang Janssen. When these two meet, fans should expect fire works as both men have a fiendish penchant for fisticuffs. The winner here could easily be argued as Canada’s official top Featherweight.

Randy Turner throws kick (photo: Mike Fischl)

Randy Turner throws kick (photo: Mike Fischl)

5. Malcolm Gordon @Malcolm_X_MMA (5-0) vs. Randy Turner @RandyTurner7 (7-3)
Provincial Fighting Championship 3 – London – October 18
As the Canadian Flyweight division continues to flesh itself out, it’s mainly full of young upstarts or stars from the Bantamweight division that have decided to make the cut and that is exactly what we have here. Malcolm Gordon has had a stellar 2014 thus far.  First, he submitted the former top Canadian Flyweight in Mike Davis then he followed that up with an entertaining decision win over east coast top dawg Chris Keladas cementing himself as Canada’s top 125 pounder. It’s been over a year since fans last saw the “Relentless” one compete and even Randy Turner himself would like to forget that bout as the then unknown Mike Banin stepped up on less than 48 hours notice and submitted Turner via Guillotine choke in less than 60 seconds snapping Turners’s five fight win streak. Now the young stud in Gordon will look to secure another top notch win and continue his reign as Canada’s top Flyweight, while Turner will look to make Gordon feel the disappointment he felt a mere one year ago.

6. Shane Campbell @ShaolinStyleMMA (7-2) vs. Marcus Edwards @BadIntentions91 (8-2)
MFC 41: All In – Edmonton – October 3
Injuries and opponent withdrawals aside, MFC’s main event is being billed as a Super Fight, take away the short notice catchweight and what your left with is a tasty number one contender bout between one of the promotions top Lightweights and Welterweights. Shane Campbell has gone 5-1 over the past three years with wins over the likes of Derek Boyle, Tim Smith and Stephen Beaumont with the only loss coming to UFC veteran Jesse Ronson. Marcus Edwards is 2-0 under the MFC banner and is riding a four fight win streak. In fact, his only two career losses have come against big show veteran Efrain Escudero and current WSOF Lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. Sure, Campbell is competent on the ground but he is a true striker through and through while Edwards can throw down as well but it’s his ground game that is above reproach. Now in a true striker versus grappler match up, we will see who is next to receive a title shot, will Campbell receive a shot at the vacant Welterweight strap or will Edwards finally get his meeting with Tom Gallicchio?

Victor Valimaki at Aggression MMA 9

Victor Valimaki (photo: Jason Bouwmeester)

7. Victor Valimaki @V2MMA (18-8) vs. Jeremy Osheim @JeremyOsheimMMA (5-0)
MFC 41: All In – Edmonton – October 3
After a two year absence, Victor Valimaki has resurfaced and looks to once again dominate the Canadian Light-Heavyweight circuit while at the same time strapping the MFC title back around his waist. “The Matrix” returned this past May at MFC 40 where he made short work of veteran journeyman Bill Widler via first round submission which put Victor on a two fight win streak albeit over the course of 24 months. Jeremy Osheim‘s entire pro career has taken place within the same time frame as Valimaki’s last two wins.  The Colorado native traveled to the great white north for the first time this past May and earned his biggest career win over Top 10 Canadian Todd Stoute at SCC 2. Valimaki may have five times the experience but Osheim is young and energetic with four stoppage wins in his five professional bouts. Now the question is can Valimaki use his experience to knock off the young buck and continue his march back up the Canadian rankings? Or will Osheim use his speed to quickly overwhelm and finish Victor while earning his signature career win? Either way, this should be an extremely exciting tilt to watch.

8. Ryan Dickson @RydMMA (9-2) vs. Dave Mazany  @MazanyMMA (11-4)
Hard Knocks 38 – Calgary – October 3
Hard Knocks’ Lightweight strap is on the line as Ryan Dickson tangles with Dave Mazany. Dickson has strung together three submission wins since his disappointing loss to Michael Hill earlier this year. Mazany went 3-0-1 in 2012 but even with that success he took two years off and returned earlier this year with a first round TKO over Mike Hanks. Now these two successful regional Lightweights will look to put a solid name on their resume and move ever so closer to that big league call up. While Dickson is a grappling guru, Mazany is no slouch on the mat either with 5 of his 11 wins coming by way of snap, crack or tap. With both men being pressure type grapplers, it could be the stand up that proves to be the deciding factor in this tussle. Either way this is great scrap for the locals to watch live and lucky fans nation wide to watch on GFL.TV.

Delivering a Kick (photo: See & Believe Photography)

Delivering a Kick (photo: See & Believe Photography)

9. Brad Stewart (7-2) vs. Brendan Kornberger  @BKornberger185 (4-0)
Fivestar Fight Leage 13 – Fort St. John – October 3
It is an all British Columbia main even title fight as Fort St. John’s Brad Stewart looks to defend his Fivestar Fight League Middleweight strap against Vancouver’s Brendan Kornberger. Seeing a Stewart fight is like a bigfoot sighting – you’ve heard of it, a buddy has told you they saw it, there are various stories around, but it’s few and far between just like a real Stewart tussle. Since losing to Elmer Watermen in 2011, Stewart has reeled off one win a year over quality Middleweight in Jordan Beecroft, Matt Baker and Cody Kahn all by way of stoppage. Kornberger is the mystery man in the Canadian Middleweight division and just like Stewart,  he only seems to fight once year but in his young career has fought and finished some fought competition like Paapa Inkumsah, Allen Hope and Micah Brakefield. Once the title is decided, let’s just hope the winner can start to get some regular fights and make a serious push up the Canadian Middleweight ladder.

10. Hakeem Dawodu (2-0) vs. Mike Malott @MainAAttraction (4-0)
WSOF 14: Ford vs. Shields – Edmonton – October 11
Its not too often that two young prospects get some so much hype surrounding them, let alone when they have less than five fights,  but in this WSOF tilt you have probably the two biggest hyped Canadian Featherweight prospects duking it out. Mike Malott, who fights out of Titans MMA, has been on a rage since entering the cage as a professional earning four wins in three years while needing only 4:16 of cage time to amass those victories. Hakeem Dawodu, a Mike Miles protégé, is a Muay Thai phenom that recently decided to try his hand at MMA and that decision seems to have been a good one as he has gone 2-0 with two finishes over stern competition in the form of Behrang Yousefi and the previously undefeated Jake MacDonald. Now its time for the metal to meet the meat as these two will decide who is the next big thing in the Featherweight division and considering how these two enjoy finishing fights make sure you don’t blink as someone will be going down hard.

4 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Matchups In October 2014 ”

  1. Graham Weenk says:

    Huge fights this month, any of the honorable mentions would normally be top 5 worthy fights! good to see quality fights happening in Canada thanks to MFC, WSOF, XFFC, Fivestar FL and PFC all putting on high caliber shows!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  2. Parker says:

    Stewart is like Bigfoot? Nice write up Wilson
    This will be his 4th fight in 23 months, and he’s ranked 5th in the Canadian rankings under only guys in the UFC. I think he’s doing quite ok in regards to climbing the rankings.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. Crazy month of fights. Could have been a top 20.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. What the? says:

    Who is Micah Brimfield?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

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