Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In March 2015


Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBIt may still be a frigid winter but Canada is staring to finally heat up with fights as this month we have no less than eight events taking place from Moncton to Vancouver and everywhere in between (except Ontario of course!). Fight fans will get a second Christmas in March. One of the very few months where we needed to add an Honorable Mentions section as a Top 10 just wasn’t enough to highlight the many fantastic match up taking place in the Great Fight North. And while you peruse the best that Canada has to offer this month, why not make use of the Twitter links and follow your favorite fighters through training camp and into the cage.

Now, as always, we wish our Canadian UFC brethren well, but this list is reserved for fights taking place outside the wold famous Octagon. Now considering everyone just skips past this introduction section and scrolls straight to the goods, let’s get down to brass tacks and enjoy this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups.

Honorable Mentions:

Top 10 Maple Leaf Match Ups in March 2015

10. Chris Mattock @AutoMattock170 (4-1) vs. Adam Smith (8-3)
Hard Knocks 42 – Calgary – March 20
The term “Flying under the radar” is no more apparent than when you check out this tilt.  The current KOTC Canada Welterweight champion Chris Mattock taking on Adam Smith who is 8-1 over the course of his past nine bouts and its a buried prelim on a stacked HKFC card. Well that’s exactly why we have TMLMU as this fight needs to be discussed and given it’s proper due. Granted Mattock is only five fights into his pro career but the Gracie Barra Calgary product has shown some brilliance during that span including achieving all four pro wins via submission. “Auto” Mattock won his KOTC Canada strap by submitting the tenured veteran Elmer Waterhen in the first round with a slick arm bar. Smith, a native of Washington, started his pro career 0-2 but has since a strung together an 8-1 stretch that includes seven wins by way of submission and he is currently riding a two fight win streak. Based on their method of victory, there is a great chance we will see an epic grappling battle and if their ground games negate each other than we will see two great mat wizards slugging it out, which in most cases is much more exciting. If this fight doesn’t get your blood boiling, then you’re not a true MMA fan.

Christ Franck victorious in Bellator (photo: Mike Fischl)

Christ Franck victorious in Bellator (photo: Mike Fischl)

9. Joel Powell @PowellMMASwag (7-5) vs. Christ Franck @C_Beast_F (5-5)
Hard Knocks 42 – Calgary – March 20
Two intriguing and under the radar Canadian Welterweights will be taking their first step to inch closer to a shot at the Hard Knocks Welterweight title belt. Joel Powell actually had a shot at HKFC gold when he met Sergej Juskevic this past November but was submitted by the sneaky Lithuanian via kneebar early in the first round. Prior to that loss, the Discipline MMA product had a 3-1 run in his last four bouts with big wins over Andrew Buckland, George Lockhart and Michael Hill. Christ Franck, who now trains out of Champion’s Creed MMA, made his splash on the national scene when he defeated Marcus Aurelio in his Bellator debut. Since then, with a step up in competition, he has seen a step back in his W/L ratio with two tough losses to Matt MacGrath and Martin Grandmont. Both men posses incredible wrestling with great takedowns from the inside and very powerful hands with Powell having the speed advantage and Franck the strength advantage. These two men match up well and are incredibly durable. The fight has all the ear marks for the darkhorse fight of the month.  The only sad thing is two amazing Welterweights from eastern Canada must travel all the way to Alberta to showcase their wares. Damn you OAC!!!!! But put that smile back on your face as this fight will be streamed live as are all HKFCs through Go Fight Live.

8. Lenny Wheeler @LennyWheeler45 (7-3-1) vs. Yuki Baba (11-5)
Pancrase 265 – Tokyo – March 15
With Jesse Gross missing his opportunity to fight for the Fight Xchange, another Canadian has stepped up to take his spot as now the globe-trotting Lenny Wheeler will step in to face off against Yuki Baba. Wheeler, who now trains out of Wulfrun MMA when he is in Canada, spent much of 2014 training around Asia trying to add to his already stellar MMA game. “The Show Stealer” had a slow 2013 fighting only once in a losing effort to Ray Wood in Maine. He looked to step up his schedule in 2014 but with fights always falling through he fought only twice – a NC against Will Romero after Romero landed some punches to the back of his head and a viciously quick 34 second TKO against Massimo Capussela in Malaysia. Baba, who trains out of the famed Rodeo Style gym, has an impressive win streak going on through 2011 and 2012 winning six straight bouts.  Since then, he has seen a rough patch going just 1-3 over his last four including a submission loss to Nam Phan in his last bout. Both men are looking to start their 2015 campaign off on the right foot and a win in this bout is a necessity for each. With Wheeler finishing all seven of his wins between the bells and Baba usually taking a more methodical approach it will all come down to game plan to see who will get their first notch in 2015.

Jesse Arnett

Jesse Arnett (photo: Rob Trudeau)

7. Jesse Arnett (6-4) vs. Vince Murdock @VinceMurdock (5-1)
Hard Knocks 42 – Calgary – March 20
Its been a crazy last seven months for Jesse “Big Cat” Arnett. He notched a career highlight win when he defeated Mike Davis via unanimous decision and finally had the Canadian MMA scene take him seriously. He followed that up with a blistering quick brabo choke submission of Adam Inhoff and just this past January he came from behind to finish the very seasoned and talented Souksavanh Khampasath. To sum it all up, the Hard Knocks’ cage has been a great place for Arnett these past few months but HKFC does not serve up any softballs to their rising stars and this bout is no different as they will be flying in a talented prospect, Vince Murdock, out of Team Alpha Male to challenge the “Big Cat” in his own back yard. Murdock, a native of Michigan who trains with Urijah Faber and team, is a talented young prospect with all five of his professional wins coming without the need for judges with four KO/TKOs and one submission. Arnett has finally started taking MMA seriously and with a win here, MMA will start to take him seriously.

Ryan Janes defeated David Perron (photo: Alicia Hamilton)

Ryan Janes defeated David Perron (photo: Alicia Hamilton)

6. David Perron @DPerron88 (7-3) vs. Ryan Janes @RyanJanesMMA (6-1)
Battlefield Fight League 35 – Vancouver – March 28
Lately BFL has been putting together some amazing and incredibly intriguing main events and BFL 35 is no exception as two of British Columbia’s top Middleweights will rematch to see who is king of hill and who may become worthy of becoming a BFL champion. David Perron and Ryan Janes first met in the cage not too long ago.  In fact, when they face off March 28th it will have been nine months since their first encounter with Janes putting away Perron via RNC with only 30 seconds left in the first frame. It was a very unusual loss for Perron, who is known to be game and has never been finished in the first stanza during his career. It may have been an exception for Perron but for Janes it was just another day in the office as four of his six wins have come in the first five minutes with another one just inside the second round. Their first fight was put together less than 30 days from the fight date and now this bout has been on the books for over 90 days so both men will have had the luxury of full training camps and plenty of time for opponent specific training. Now on March 28th, Perron will look to erase the memory of his previous defeat while Janes will look to continue to exude his dominance and exert his claim on being BC’s top Middleweight and grow his name from coast to coast.

5. Jesse Ronson @Ronsoff (14-5) vs. Gadji Zaipulaev (20-7)
Abu Dhabi Warriors 2 – Abu Dhabi – March 26
Jesse “The Body Snatcher” Ronson will travel half way across the world to start his 2015 campaign when he meets Russian native Gadji Zaipulaev at Abu Dhabi Warriors 2. Ronson received his UFC pink slip on the heels of three straight split decision losses to Michel Prazeres, Francisco Trinaldo and Kevin Lee. The Adrenaline Training Centre protégé righted the ship this past October with a TKO of durable veteran Dom O’Grady. Zaipulaev may be unknown to Canadian fans, but he has had his share of battles over the years going 8-2 in his past ten bouts with a submission victory over TUF China winner Lipeng Zhang.  Gadji is an all around fighter but he definitely prefers the ground game as Zaipulaev holds 14 finishes in his 20 pro wins ten by way of submission and four via TKO/KO. With Ronson looking to book a bout in PFC in the spring, he needs to come away from ADW 2 with a win in vicious fashion and avoid any potential injuries.  Against an unknown veteran with finishing potential like Zaipulaev, Ronson has a tall order in front of him.

Ryan Dickson (photo: Mike Fischl)

Ryan Dickson (photo: Mike Fischl)

4. Ryan Dickson @RydMMA (10-2) vs. Jason Fischer @FinisherMMA (7-3)
Hard Knocks 42 – Calgary – March 20
With Hard Knocks starting to put gold belts around the waist of fighters, it was just a matter of time before we started to see exciting title defenses and on March 20th Ryan Dickson will do just that when he meets long time Bellator veteran Jason “The Finisher” Fischer. Ryan Dickson was one of the few Canadians who saw a lot of work throughout 2014 fighting five times last year going 4-1 with wins over the likes of Shawn Fitzsimmons and Dave Mazany. On top of his impressive 2014, Dickson is an impressive finisher with all 10 of his victories coming between the bells (2 TKO/KOs and 8 submissions). Jason Fischer actually used two Canadians, Taylor Solomon and Kyle Prepolec, to gain a pretty nice Bellator contract – one that has seen him fight 7 of his 10 professional bouts under the Spartan banner. Fischer has had the contract and the opponents Dickson wants and the only way for Dickson to prove he’s up for the task is to take out Fischer in a convincing fashion. He’ll get that chance and in front of partisan Calgary crowd, he’ll need to defend his title and take Fischer’s momentum.

3. Tanner Boser @BulldozerBoser (6-0) vs. Tim Hague @Tim_Hague (19-9)
Unified MMA 22 – Edmonton – March 27
Most of the time a Heavyweight title fight is enough to push ticket sales and get fans pumped for a night of big men throwing down. That interest multiplies when you throw in a UFC veteran who has stopped at nothing to insult, disparage and straight up heckle his opponent through social media. Tim Hague knows he’s good and he knows he can sell tickets when he starts to run his mouth and run his mouth he did going as far as saying Boser wa afraid to face him. “The Bulldozer” Tanner Boser isn’t afraid of anyone and even though he is a clear-cut Light Heavyweight, he will face down Canada’s biggest big man in hopes of defending his newly won Unified MMA Heavyweight strap. Since leaving the UFC for a second time, “The Thrashing Machine” hit a career skid going 2-3 in bouts between 2012-2013. Come 2014, Hague rediscovered his former form going 4-1 with his only loss coming at the hands of current WSOF champion Smealinho Rama. Boser is a young undefeated prospect coming out of the Hayabusa Training Centre and now looks to put a big name on his mantle. No matter how you look at this bout, it’s two big men that clearly don’t get along that will 100% throw down. No one will be hiding behind their jab here as these guys will be throwing bombs until the last man standing walks away with the belt and the adoration of all the Edmonton fans that will be packing the Mirage Banquet Hall March 27th.

2. Malcolm Gordon @Malcolm_X_MMA (5-1) vs. Austin Ryan (4-0)
Havoc FC 8 – Red Deer – March 27
14 months ago, Malcolm “X” Gordon was the undefeated blue chip prospect that traveled from Ontario to capture the Havoc Flyweight title from the established veteran in Mike Davis.  Now, Austin Ryan is in the same position as Gordon was then as he looks to exact some revenge and bring the title back home to Arashi-Do. Gordon turned a lot of heads with his win over Davis and took his perch as Canada’s top Flyweight. Since then, he continued to step up the competition and went 1-1 with a spectacular win over Chris Kelades in Bellator but then was TKOd in the second round by the returning and very dangerous Randy Turner. Ryan, a mainstay of Havoc FC, has fought for the promotion three times and has remained undefeated throughout his young career with three finishes and one tough decision over Keegan Oliver. Very much a match up with ranking implications, Ryan will look to steal more of Gordon’s thunder with a win while Malcolm will look to regain some of the momentum that he lost with his defeat to Turner. Both men are very solid wrestlers who enjoy taking their opponents down and punishing them.  With the grappling being negated, it’s very possible fans will be treated to stand up war and the young man with the best hands could very well come out the victor.

Michael Hill rocks Josh Kitchen

Michael Hill (photo: Jeremy Hainsworth)

1. Michael Hill @MMAMike (7-2) vs. Bristol Marunde @BristolMarunde (15-9)
 XFFC 6 – Grande Prairie – March 20
Michael “The Messenger” Hill looks to continue to build off his stint on TUF 16 when he meets fellow TUF 16 cast mate and UFC veteran Bristol Marunde. Since leaving the confines of the TUF house, Hill has seen mixed results. Fresh off TUF in 2013, the Toshido MMA product, who now trains out of Ryan’s MMA/Checkmate Vancouver, went 2-2 dropping bouts to Joel Powell and Ryan Ford. 2014 was a slow year for “The Messenger” but in his lone bout he was able to grind out a decision victory over fellow prospect Ryan Dickson at WSOF Canada Ford vs. Powell. Unlike Hill, Marunde, a Strikeforce veteran, earned a UFC deal from TUF but came up short in his two Octagon bouts to Clint Hester and Viscardi Andrade. After receiving his UFC pink slip, Marunde put together an impressive 2014 going 3-0 with wins over the likes of Micah Miller and David Castillo. They never got a chance to tangle during TUF even though they competed for separate teams, now Grand Prairie, Alberta will get to see what could have been an epic TUF battle.

3 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In March 2015 ”

  1. Spitz says:

    Powell will bulldoze frank

    And boser beats Hague via actually training.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  2. Mmafan says:

    I have been following hague on Instagram and he is actually is training and looks to have lost alot of weight and be in better shape.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  3. mmafan says:

    You know its a good month of fights when jebb vs krahn cant even crack the top ten, that fight is must see for me

    Well-loved! Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

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