Top Maple Leaf Mach Ups in January 2015

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Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBCanada’s MMA scene saw many peeks and valleys through 2014 – granted there were more valleys then peeks especially during the final six months of the year. It’s very fitting that the two promotions that carried the biggest load throughout 2014 are the two that start off 2015 with a bang. This month Canada’s Featherweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions get a well needed shot in the arm with some big match ups taking place in each.

As always this list is reserved for match ups taking place outside the famed Octagon and everyone knows we wish Jordan Mein the very best of luck against Thiago Alves at UFC 183 but that fight will be broken down closer to the fight. Now without further ado, let’s get onto this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups:

5. Matthew Richardson (1-0) vs. Haotian Wu (14-7-1)
Kunlun Fights 14 – China – January 3
It’s not often that a 1-0 fighter is included in the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups and in this case it’s due to the fighter’s pedigree through Amateur MMA and Muay Thai. Matthew Richardson, who left Canada to improve his stand up at Phuket Top Team, fought for almost every Quebec amateur MMA promotion earning titles in some and losing title fights in others – in other words he was always a top competitor in every promotion he fought for. His pro Muay Thai record is just as impressive for a young up and comer going 8-2 and while building his Muay Thai game in its birthplace, Richardson made his professional MMA debut defeating Yunxing Tang via unanimous decision. Wu, a native of Inner Mongolia, China, has been fighting professionally since 2007 and started his career off impressively going 11-1-1. Since then he’s hit a rough patch posting a dismal 3-6 record.  Granted, he did win his last bout this past September. Wu is no pushover for Richardson with over 10 times the experience but with his recent set backs he is ripe for the picking and Richardson’s sophomore effort could prove to be a big win for the Canadian.

Ash Mashreghi (photo: Don Osborne)

Ash Mashreghi (photo: Don Osborne)

4. Ash Mashreghi @AshSmashMMA (4-3) vs. Micah Brakefield @MicahBrakefield (4-4)
Battlefield Fight League 34 – Richmond – January 24
Records don’t always make fights.  Sometimes it is just fun to sit down and watch two evenly matched gladiators throw down for our amusement and that’s exactly what BFL has for us here. Ash Mashreghi, who trains out of Revolution Fight Team, had a rough start to his pro career dropping his first three bouts but “Smash” didn’t let that get him down as from December 2013 to November 2014 he strung together four straight wins finishing all four opponents – three of which were done before the four minute mark. Micah Brakefield, who trains with Kalib Starnes out of Aegis Athletics, is a BFL golden boy.  He started there as an amateur going 5-2 before turning pro. The sky was the limit for Brakefield and BFL as he turned pro going 3-1 under the promotional banner but when “The Bully” left for tougher opposition, he didn’t fair as well going 1-2 outside BFL before returning for his last bout, which was a first round TKO at the hands of Jared Revel. Now these two BC favorites will look to continue down the path of redemption except this path leads to a crossroads as one man will take the high road to victory and the other the road less traveled back to the drawing board. Both men have never needed the score cards to determine their victory.  In fact, out of 15 total fights only “Smash” has been to a decision once. Fans should expect a knock down, drag out, grudge match that will almost certainly end in a finish for either Brakefield with a submission or Mashreghi with the TKO. Either way this is an iPPV worth watching.

3. Misha Cirkunov @Misha_Cirkunov (7-2) vs. Ariel Gandulla @CobraPush (7-8)
Hard Knocks 41 – Calgary – January 30
With Rodney Wallace coming in heavy for his HKFC Light-Heavyweight Title fight with Clay Davidson last month, this 205 lbs duel has gotten even more intriguing as the winner will most certainly be in line for shot a shot a the vacant golden strap. Misha Cirkunov has had extreme difficulties in finding opponents having only fought once a year since 2012 and during that time the former BJJ phenom was surprisingly submitted in his only trip south of the border. Cirkunov has consistently been one of Canada’s top 205ers over the past four years with wins over the likes of Martin Desilets and Jon Ganshorn. Ariel Gandulla, who fights out of the Young Tigers Fight team, started his career with a bang going 6-0-1 before a disastrous 0-6 stretch between 2007-2010. Since then, he has gone 2-2 with his last bout being a loss to the aforementioned Wallace at HKFC 36 this past May. Light-Heavyweight has notoriously been a thin division in Canadian MMA but Hard Knocks has built one of the more stocked 205 lbs rosters which includes Cirkunov, Gandulla, Wallace, Davidson and Todd Stoute and what this means is we finally get to see some of our best Light-Heavies fight some stern competition. That’s exactly what we have here. Sure Gandulla’s record is not as glossy as it could be but he’s a name and we finally get to see Cirkunov get tested. What’s even better is if/when Cirkunov comes out victorious, it is very possible Hard Knocks could set up his next bout very quickly and let’s hope its a shot at Wallace and that vacant Hard Knocks title.


2. Shawn Albrecht @ShawnAlbrecht45 (10-6) vs. Mike Adams (7-3)
Battlefield Fight League 34 – Richmond – January 24
BFL is doing it big to start off 2015.  Not only are they holding a tremendous Featherweight title fight, but they’re doing it right by having the title eliminator right underneath in the co-main event slot and this is a tasty title eliminator especially for the BC crowd. Shawn Albrecht, who is the current FSFL Featherweight champion and now head coach at Fivestar Athletics, has been one of Canada’s top Featherweights for years but has struggled with inconsistency. 3-1 in his last four bouts, Albrecht is a devastating finisher earning all 10 of victories by way of stoppage – 8 TKO/KO and 2 submissions. Mike Adams, a long time member of Toshido MMA, has been fighting professionally since 2002 and has earned some huge wins over the course of his career defeating the likes of Kajan Johnson, Brad Cardinal and Graham Spencer. The owner of one of the most impressive physiques in Canadian MMA has had a rough go as of late going 1-3 in his last four outings dropping bouts to some of our nations best in the form of Josh Hill and Curtis Brigham. Adams may be moving up in weight but will definitely not be giving up the strength advantage, its long and lanky versus compact and powerful. It will all come down down to who can use their natural gifts the best. Will Adams use his wrestling and strength to take Albrecht down and pound him out? Or will Albrecht use his reach to gain the TKO on the feet or use his length to get a submission off his back? This will be one helluva fight as they are not just fighting for the “W” they are fighting for a shot at BF Featherweight gold.

Mario Pereira (Photo: Julian Cymbalista-Clapp)

Mario Pereira (Photo: Julian Cymbalista-Clapp)

1. Jeremy Kennedy @JeremyKennedyWC (6-0) vs. Mario Pereira @MarioPereiraMMA (4-0)
Battlefield Fight League 34 – Richmond – January 24

What more could you ask for in a fight? Two undefeated blue chip prospects in a championship bout! It literally is BFL’s belated Christmas gift to Canadian MMA fans. Jeremy Kennedy, who trains out of Team Quest Thailand, is 6-0 as a professional traveling back and forth between Canada and Thailand for training and fights. “JBC” owns five finishes in six fights even the elusive Peruvian neck tie submission albeit against lackluster opponents. Mario Pereira, a member of H2O MMA, has been battling it out in the Quebec scene since 2012 earning some big wins over stern competition in the form of Adrian Vilaca and Maxime Dubois. Unlike Kennedy “Super” Mario has been decision heavy over his short career only finishing a single opponent out of four. This fight is almost impossible to breakdown as Kennedy may have the better footwork and kickboxing but Pereira has the crisper and more powerful boxing. Kennedy has shown slicker submission skills but Pereira easily has the stronger wrestling. No matter where the fight takes place both men have an advantage. Now this fight is even more important as the winner will take home the BFL title and will also win the most elusive prize in Canadian MMA, A SECOND FIGHT!!!!!!!!! As the winner will get to defend their title against the winner of Shawn Albrecht vs. Mike Adams. Considering the state of Canadian MMA, no prize is bigger then getting to fight at least twice in a calendar year.

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Mach Ups in January 2015 ”

  1. harry balls says:

    Richardson is a straight G. Really happy he’s out there living his dream.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. Jack says:

    Tim hagues 400 000 contract “crickets”

    Well-loved! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  3. timhague says:

    Still 5 all in bout me on threads unrelated to me. Thanks for the publicity :-)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  4. timhague says:

    Talking**

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

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