Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In February 2015


Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBThe month of February brings Canadians a bunch of great Maple Leaf Matchups!  Canadians are featured in some major main event title fights in Invicta and World Series of Fighting.  Fans should also be excited to see a Canadian back in Bellator as well as the usually stacked Extreme Caged Combat card in Nova Scotia

Now sit right back, grab a brew, and check out this month’s Must See Fights featuring Canadians in February 2015.

10. Mukai Maromo @AfrikanAssassin (8-4) vs. Jose Rodriguez @JoseRozottoMMA (7-3)
WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill – Edmonton – February 12
MFC’s former Lightweight title challenger, Mukai Maromo, will finally return after a year and half layoff to face Jose Rodriguez who himself just returned from a two and half year hiatus. “The Afrikan Assassin” earned his shot at MFC gold when he defeated Adam Lynn via split decision at MFC 33 but his first shot at gold was stolen from him when Lynn missed weight by 1.6 lbs and the bout was switched to a non title affair. Maromo KO’d Lynn in their second outing which earned him a second crack at the belt but, unfortunately, Graham Spencer submitted him in the third round. Rodriguez was riding a two fight win streak prior to his 30 months sabbatical but upon his return in April 2014, he lost a razor close split decision to Derek Boyle. Now two men who are in need of win to remain relevant in the upper echelon of the Canadian Lightweight division will put it all on the line inside the WSOF Decagon.

Michael Spoenlein (photo: Martin Blais|Aggro Photography)

Michael Spoenlein (photo: Martin Blais|Aggro Photography)

9. Michael Spoenlein @M_Spoenlein (3-1) vs. Rick Pfeifer @GingerInjure (5-2)
ECC 22 – Halifax – February 28
It’s literally east versus west as ECC has put together a extremely compelling match up to crown a number one contender for their Bantamweight title. Michael Spoenlein, a protégé of Kent Peters at ZombieProof BJJ, went 3-0 as an amateur before turning pro in 2013 where he went 3-0 with three straight submissions over the likes of Chance Whalen, James Mancini and Morgan Rhynes. At ECC 21, Spoenlein took a big leap up in competition and wound up suffering his first loss to Lyndon Whitlock via unanimous decision. Rick Pfeifer, a member of Arashi-Do Martial Arts, also turned pro in 2013 going 4-1 that year with four submissions all coming before the nine minute mark. Just like Spoenlein, Pfeifer also took a big step up in competition in his last outing coming up short to TUF 18 alum Louis Fisette via submission this past October. Now these two submission artists will battle it out to see who truly is the number 1 contender for ECC’s Bantamweight strap and who will earn the shot at champion Syd Barnier

8. Shane Campbell @ShaolinStyleMMA (8-2) vs. Derek Boyle @DBoyleMMA (13-6)
WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill – Edmonton – February 12
An intriguing rematch highlights this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups. Both men went undefeated in 2014 with Shane Campbell going 2-0 inside the MFC with two second round TKOs, while Derek Boyle earned three wins last year TKOing both Dia Grant and Shawn Fitzsimmons while taking a decision win over Jose Rodriguez. Their first match up took place in 2102 for the Score Fighting Series and “Shaolin” earned the unanimous decision nod over “The Gargoyle”. Once a Lightweight, Campbell has struggled to make the 155 lbs mark over the past couple years and has emerged as a full on Welterweight. Boyle has actually dropped down to Lightweight and has seen success since dropping the weight but, unfortunately for Boyle, he will have to bulk up as the bout will be contested in the heavier class.  It will be Campbell’s striking versus Boyle’s inside game, although Boyle’s hands have improved leaps and bounds since their first meeting. With a combined 12 KO/TKOs between them fans will not want to blink when this bout comes up.

Tucker defeats Waugh at ECC 12

Tucker defeats Waugh at ECC 12

7. Gavin Tucker @GavinTucker6 (7-0) vs. David Harris (7-5-1)
ECC 22 – Halifax – February 28
Two men coming off extremely long layoffs will vie for ECC’s Featherweight title as the undefeated Gavin Tucker will take on David “Bo” Harris. Gavin Tucker, a member of Titans MMA, has not fought since February 2013 when he submitted Lyndon Whitlock at ECC 15. Once one of Canada’s top prospects, his inactivity has cooled his rising star but with six finishes in seven fights and a win over a veteran like Harris could be Tucker’s key to the big show. Bo Harris, a Michigan native, is no stranger to Canada having fought in the great fight north numerous times with wins over Chuck Mady, Brent Franczuz and even Adrian Woolley. In fact, it took Sudbury’s own Mitch Gagnon to halt “Bo” Harris’ Canadian killing streak. Since both men have been out of the cage for more then two years, there will be plenty of ring rust to shake off.  Tucker will need to take the fight directly to Harris to earn his career’s signature win and a potential shot at much bigger pay cheques.

6. Mark Drummond @SweetDreamsMMA (6-2) vs. Spencer Jebb @SpencerJebb (9-3)
WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill – Edmonton – February 12
Two Alberta based Welterweights who are looking to distance themselves from the heard meet in a rematch at WSOF to see who can become the next big thing at 170lbs to come out of the oil rich province. Spencer Jebb, a member of Champion Gym, had a rough start to his professional career going 2-3 in his first 5 including a TKO loss to Drummond. Since then “The Jedi” has won seven straight including five stoppages while earning victories over the likes of Matt DesRoches and Dejan Kajic. Mark Drummond, who trains out of Complete Fitness and Martial Arts, had his five fight win streak snapped when he was submitted by Brandt Dewsberry at WSOF Canada “Ford vs. Powell”. “Sweet Dreams” has since righted the ship with a decision win over Jarid Bussemakers this past September. With both of their careers progressing, they now meet again to see who can push themselves further up the Canadian Welterweight ladder.



5. Julia Budd @JuliaBudd (6-2) vs. Gabrielle Halloway @GabbyGabanator (4-1)
Bellator MMA 133: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko – February 13
With Talita Nogueira withdrawing with an injury, Julia Budd now faces another stern test as the hard hitting Gabrielle Holloway has stepped up to the plate on late notice. Budd, who trains under the tutelage of Lance Gibson, started off her pro career in Strikeforce going 2-2 against some of he best in the women’s Featherweight division. “The Jewel” then signed with Invicta and hit her stride going undefeated over four bouts including a win over title contender Charmaine Tweet. Gabrielle Halloway, a member of Zamora Boxing, has an extensive amateur background going 7-0 in unpaid bouts. “Gabanator” turned pro in 2012 and earned wins in her first three fights before running into Latoya Walker who bested her by unanimous decision.  The Virginia native returned to the win column in her last outing TKOing Lacie Jackson just two weeks ago at RAR 23. With Halloway fighting just weeks ago and Budd having been on the sidelines since December 2013, Julia will need to overcome the early onslaught if she hopes to with stand the young challenger.

Hakeem Dawodu (photo: Alicia Hamilton | Red Statyk)

Hakeem Dawodu (photo: Alicia Hamilton | Red Statyk)

4A. Hakeem Dawodu @HakeemDawodu91 (3-0) vs. Tristan Johnson @TristanJohnson1 (9-5)
WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill – Edmonton – February 12
Hakeem Dawodu took the Canadian Featherweight division by storm in 2014. In his professional debut, he KO’d 8 fight veteran Behrang Yousefi in 67 seconds. “Mean” followed that up by KOing the then undefeated Jake Macdonald and capped off the year by TKOing the highly touted Mike Malott in the first round at WSOF 14. Tristan Johnson, on the other hand, had a rougher go in 2014.  He started of the year by being Rob Font’s stepping stone to the UFC when he was KO’d in the first round of the CES MMA main event. The Nova Scotia native got back on he right foot to end the year when he scored a first round KO over the very durable Keven Morin. Now to cement himself as one of Canada’s stars to watch in 2015, Dawodu must face his stiffest test to date as Johnson has fought the who’s who of Canadian Featherweights. A win over Johnson puts Dawodu on the path to big show while Tristan will look to remain relevant if he can play the part of spoiler to Dawodu’s rising star.

4B. Andrew McInnes @Andrewconda (5-1) vs. Cody McKenzie (15-6)
WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill – Edmonton – February 12
Fresh off the biggest win of his career Mcinnes looks to continue to make an name for himself when he meets UFC veteran Cody McKenzie. McInnes, who trains out of Complete Fitness and Martial Arts, earned a shot at MFC gold with his submission victory over Ryan Healy this past October but with MFC taking a hiatus he has had to look elsewhere to stay busy. A BJJ wunderkind “Andrewconda” has earned all 5 of his wins by way of submission including the rarely seen gogoplata. Mckenzie had a 7 fight stint in the UFC going 3-4 during his time in the Octagon with wins over the likes of Aaron Wilkinson, Marcus LaVesseur and Leonard Garcia. A submission master in his own right the “AK Kid” has achieved 13 of his 15 career wins via tap, snap or crack. This will be an intriguing battle between two ground aces and a win for the Canadian could propel McInnes to new heights and finally get him the respect he deserves.

3. Matt MacGrath @MattMacGrathMMA (15-8) vs. Richard Arsenault @ArsenaultMMA (9-3)
ECC 22 – Halifax – February 28
Canada’s smallest province will offer us one of the biggest fight’s of the month as a pair of PEI boys throw down. Between April 2013 and April 2104, Matt MacGrath quietly amassed most of the regional Welterweight titles in Canada. He defeated Richard Arsenault for the Elite 1 Strap, he stopped Christ Franck for the ECC belt and finally he earned XFFC gold by out pointing Jarod Milko. 364 days, 3 wins, 3 titles – not too shabby for the Charlottetown native who trains out of Wulfrun MMA. Times have been a little tougher for Richard Arsenault.  While once riding a six fight win streak, the former Elite 1 champion has gone 1-2 in his last three outings even hobbling out of the cage on one leg following his last loss. But Arsenault decided to take 2014 off, rest his body, and train even harder and on February 28th fans will see if the gamble paid off.  Can “The Belt Collector” hold onto his gold or will Arsenault surprise us all with the biggest win of his career?Moraes vs Hill

2. Cristiane Justino @CrisCyborg (12-1) vs. Charmaine Tweet @NotSoSweetMMA (6-4)
Invicta FC 11: Cyborg vs. Tweet – February 27
It’s not often a world title shot comes your way, so when it does, it’s best to grab it by the horns and that’s exactly what Charmaine Tweet did when she was offered a shot at Invicta FC’s Featherweight belt and their champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Charmaine Tweet is 1-1 under the Invicta banner with a decision loss to fellow Canadian Julia Budd and a  first round TKO victory over Veronica Rothenhausler. A student of Jeff Wiley BJJ, she has five submissions and 1 TKO in her six wins. Justino AKA “Cyborg” is the former Strikeforce Featherweight champion and won the Invicta FC title by defeating Marlon Coenen for the second time at Invicta FC 6 in July of 2013. It’s been almost 18 months since Justino last fought MMA she spent 2014 fighting Muay Thai and attempting an unsuccessful cut to Bantamweight. If “Cyborg” was ever ripe for the picking the time is now for “Not So Sweet” she’s fought 3 times since Justino’s last MMA fight and she will need to capitalize on any and all ring rust that may have tarnished the “Cyborg’s” metal.

1. Marlon Moraes @MMarlonMoraes (13-4-1) vs. Josh Hill @GentlemanJHill (10-0)
WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill – Edmonton – February 12
For the past few years Josh Hill has been touted as Canada’s best Bantamweight without a big show contract. After a stint on TUF 18, Hill signed with WSOF Canada and notched his first finish in five bouts when he KO’d Mike Adams. That KO punched his ticket to big show success as instead of a shot at the WSOF Canada title, “The Gentlemen” will get a shot at a more prestigious title WSOF world title. Marlon Moraes is 6-0 inside the WSOF Decagon and won his Bantamweight world title by defeating Josh Rettinghouse. Moraes was actually scheduled to face Hill at WSOF 13 but when Hill pulled out with an injury he was replaced by Cody Bollinger albeit in a catchweight bout that Moraes won via second round rear naked choke. Hill has spent time at Team Alpha Male leading up to this career changing bout and he will need to use everyone of his resources to dethrone the trained killer in Moraes.  Who will be the WSOF champ on February 12?  Canada is firmly behind it’s Gentleman!

28 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In February 2015 ”

  1. mcinnes says:

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

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  2. Don Wilson says:

    Honestly McInnes makes a good point. The column was written before his fight was announced but since it took a week to be posted there is no defendable reason as to why his match against a UFC veteran was not included. There for I have updated and included the match up. My apologies Andrew for the oversight.

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  3. Rob Rende says:

    Will be good to see McInnes pop Cody’s head off his shoulders!

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  4. Blackout says:

    “Including the rarely seen gogoplata” lol ffs.

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  5. Gemini says:

    Mcinnis is a self entitled egotistical cry baby! Anytime something doesn’t go his way or he doesnt get the vote,
    it’s F everyone.
    Grow up dude and just fight

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  6. mcinnes says:

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  7. David Lea says:

    Surprized Matt Dwyer vs William Macario at UFC Fight Night 61 in Porto Alegre Brazil missed this list.

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  8. Gemini says:

    Just the sort of comment I would expect from the crybaby bully Mcinnnis
    I rest my case

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  9. mcinnes though he may be a fair regional fighter, does not seem to be garnering many fans among the mma populace.

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  10. Hawkes says:

    He should just play the heel. If you’re a duck sometimes you gotta quack like one.

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  11. David Suzuki says:

    I’m surprised Dwyer is even in the UFC let alone on any kind of top fight list. He doesn’t even make a top 15 welterweight list in canada IMO

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  12. straight up says:

    hey Andrew why are they goofs when your the one calling out anyone in your weight class and you turn down a fight against Derek Boyle before he was matched up with Campbell? instead your fighting a guy who has come out and said he doesn’t train he just fights for a pay cheque? seems honourable

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  13. @mcinnes, respect is earned son, you comming from a traditional martial arts background should know this.

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  14. mcinnes says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 16

  15. Super Kick says:

    Wow “Big Win” Don Wilson :(

    I am very dissapointed that just because Andrew Mcinnes called you a fucking goof for not adding you to a MMA fight list article you wrote, you decided to immidiatly add him to the list. I dont think I am the only one who is dissapointed in you.

    Andrew literally has the maturity level of a 5 year old boy. Blows a spaz and calls the writer of an article a “fucking goof” because he wasnt included in it? Wow. Thats a proffessional right there.

    Don you really shouldnt have added Andrew to the article, maybe if he politly asked why his name wasnt added in the article, but after the guy called you a fucking goof, you really shouldnt have added him.

    And lets be honest. Who’s Andrew Mcinness? The guy has 2 legit MMA wins, both impressive I might add, Healy and Ring. But he’s no GSP or anything.

    Very dissapointed in your decision Don.

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  16. AMLECF says:

    ^ no, the fact that it wasn’t on the list was incorrect. It’s a good bout and I think it’s important it’s on the list. Good for you Don for owning up and putting it on the list

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  17. Super Kick says:


    Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In February 2015 is an opionion column. I totally agree that it COULD have been on the list, not that is SHOULD have been on the list. But calling Don a fucking goof was immature and pathethic. None of the matches on this list HAVE to be on the list, its just an opioning from Top MMA News. Like any other MMA related opinion article on one of the dozens of popular MMA news sites.

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  18. AMLECF says:

    It’s called the top maple leaf matchups, including all the best non-UFC bouts involving Canadians. Although it is an opinion piece, to not include Mcinnes vs a 7 time UFC vet is asinine. Don’t let your hatred of Mcinnes blind you from the fact this is one of the bigger and better matchups involving a Canadian this month

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  19. Super Kick says:

    Bigger and better matchups this month? Wow Canadian MMA must be in rough shape for February then buddy.

    Mciness (who is a very talented and hungry competitor, regardless of how much of a utter douchebag he is, the kid had mad skills), is going to destroy Cody Mckenzie (who doesnt even train anymore and is fighting for a paycheck).

    This isnt an exciting or good fight. Mciness will sub Cody in the 1st round, everyone knows this.

    Mciness is a 155 lb fighter, I dont see him challenging any top 10 170’s in Canada like Machan or Mcgrath or someone.

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  20. Makes one wonder how many guys mcinnes turned down down to fight before he decided on a guy who does not train and does it for the money, yes this sure is one way to move yourself up the ranks.

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  21. Taylor says:

    I don’t see the big issue here on McInnes. He accepted a fight with a UFC veteran who has been in the cage with the likes of Chad Mendes, Sam Stout, Leanord Garcia etc. McInnes accepted a fight with a UFC veteran. Brings a former UFC signed fighter to Edmonton. What is the big issue?

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  22. Snyper Mcgrath says:

    Taylor is correct. Moreover Andrew is taking this fight without much prep for this particular opponent. Fighters fight and that is exactly what Andrew and Cody Mackenzie are doing.
    Props to the WSOF for throwing this fight on the card and for putting a solid show together for the fans of Edmonton and all who catch it on TV/Internet.

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  23. Taylor says:

    The fans should be excited for this fight. Not too often you get a UFC veteran fighting right here in Edmonton. I, myself am very interested to see how it turns out. Gonna be a great night of fights!

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  24. Taylor says:

    Plus if Andrew can get this win, which I believe he will, it will definitely raise his stock with a win over a UFC vet

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  25. @Snyper Mcgrath, how much prep does andrew need for this particular opponenent? a guy who admits he does not train and does it for the money.and a guy who took fight on 2 weeks notice, not that this makes a difference with this opponent.

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  26. Taylor says:

    @BigPoppaGroove69 , the point is Mckenzie is a former employee of the UFC who had several fights there. Sure he’s not actively training and his main reason to fight now is for the money. Sure he took the fight on 2 weeks notice, but Mckenzie has been in there with top level fighters. This provides a good test for Andrew and brings a former UFC employee to Edmonton. Win-Win in my opinion

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  27. Snyper Mcgrath says:

    “@Snyper Mcgrath, how much prep does andrew need for this particular opponenent? a guy who admits he does not train and does it for the money.and a guy who took fight on 2 weeks notice, not that this makes a difference with this opponent.”

    Mackenzie has 13/15 wins via submission. He is obviously a threat on the ground. Luckily Andrew is well versed on the ground as well!

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