Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In May

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Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBWith a total of seven fight cards going down in Canada this month, the great fight north scene is really starting to heat up. Hell even North West Territories is finally getting another card this month – an area that definitely needs to get much more MMA. We have five professional titles, four amateur titles up for grabs, and even the return of long time Middleweight top dog Nick Ring – seriously how could this month get any better? By having three or four of these cards available for streaming and, as it sits right now, fans from coast to coast will be able to tune into many of these live. Honestly, if you are a true Canadian MMA fan this month is truly for you. And speaking of being a true MMA fan, the twitter links for all fighters features are available to you so give your favorites a follow and tweet them all he way up to fight time.

As always, this list is reserved for fights outside the famous eight sided cage as UFC bouts will get plenty of attention in all other facets of the site. Now we all know your not here to read the introduction, so let’s get down to brass tax and this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups:

Owen Carr (photo: Rob Trudeau)

Owen Carr (photo: Rob Trudeau)

10. Owen Carr @CarrMartialArts (5-3-1) vs. Ryan Connor @Ryan_Connor_ (5-2)
Hard Knocks 43 – Calgary – May 22
Sure their records might not be spotless, but it is fantastic matchmaking like this featuring two dogs from the east and west that is slowly making Hard Knocks Fighting Championships the promotion to watch for serious Canadian MMA fans. Owen Carr, who now travels down to Team Alpha Male for camp, had his three fight unbeaten streak snapped when he submitted to a vicious ankle lock at the hands of Souksavanh Khampasath. A mainstay of the Canadian prairie MMA scene, “The Body” has seen action against some of the best western Bantamweights including Tyler Davis, Maged Hammo and Allan Munroe. Ryan Connor, who trains out of Fit Plus, after a rough professional debut against Gavin Tucker went 4-0 with four finishes between the bells mixing up submissions and a TKO. A disappointing decision loss to Lyndon Whitlock in a ECC Bantamweight number one contenders match was erased this past February with a first round arm bar victory over the fast rising Morgan Rhynes. With fantastic camps behind them, this will be a helluva tilt while a win will raise the victor even higher up the Canadian Bantamweight ladder.

9. Joel Powell @PowellMMASwag (8-5) vs. Jordan McKay (7-2)
Hard Knocks 43 – Calgary – May 22
Hard Knocks Fighting Championship continues its rash of tremendous matchmaking pairing two great Welterweights from the east and west of Canada. Joel Powell returned from a disappointing 2014, where he dropped back to back bouts to Ryan Ford and Sergej Juskevic, to earn a dominating unanimous decision over the very durable Christ Franck. Prior to his rough 2014 skid, the Discipline MMA trained fighter had gone 6-1 in his last seven with huge victories over the likes of Brandt Dewsberry, George Lockhart and Michael Hill. Jordan McKay has only fought twice over the past four years: a TKO loss to Chase Maxwell in 2013 and a first round Kimura win over Andrew Buckland in his return last year. A exciting finisher “Hellboy” has finished all seven of his wins between the bells with six of those by way of submission. Honestly, this will be a rough bout for McKay as Powell’s wrestling and strength will give him fits but he definitely has the submission chops to pull of a win and resurrect himself as one of Canada’s top 170 pounders.Sabah Fadai

8. Parwez Ghulam @PWolfMMA (5-1) vs. Sabah Fadai @SabahFadai (10-4)
Unified MMA 23 – Edmonton – May 29
Matthew Spisak may be injured and out of the fight but with Sabah Fadai as the replacement, the fight just got more interesting. Parwez Ghulam, a member of Complete Fitness and Martial Arts, won the Unified MMA Featherweight strap this past September by quickly dispatching Behrang Yousefi via arm bar in just 101 seconds. “The Wolf” has been quickly chomping through his competition since he debuted in 2010 earning all five of his wins in under two minutes. Sabah Fadai will be making a quick turnaround after travelling down to Las Vegas for the TUF tryouts then right back to Canada for his duel against Ghulam. Currently riding a two fight win streak, “The Persian Warrior” turned around a rough 1-3-1 stretch between 2011 and 2013 by dropping down to 145 lbs. This will easily be Ghulam’s toughest test to date and Fadai likely will not fall within in the first two minutes thus we will get to see if Ghulam has solid conditioning. The winner here will easily push themselves into Canada’s top 10 and possibly into an international promotion.

7. Alderic Keith @AldericKeithMMA (7-2) vs. Adam Hunter @AdamHunterMMA (4-1)
Elite 1: Annihilation – Saint John – May 30
It is a champion versus champion match up as the new crowned Light-Heavyweight champion will return to his natural weight of 185 lbs. to meet Elite 1’s Middleweight champ for his shiny gold belt. Since dropping his pro debut to Mike Kent, Adam Hunter has not looked back with a four fight win streak under his belt all of which were finished in the first round – two in under 30 seconds! Hunter won the Elite 1 Light-Heavyweight belt this past March with a 27 second KO of Chris Johnson. Alderic Keith, who spends his serious training camp time at Tristar, has not stepped in the cage since submitting Chris Currie for the Elite 1 Middleweight strap. “The Coroner’s” only two career losses came back to back against Mike Kent.  Besides those two blemishes, he holds notable wins over Jeremiah Bernard and Todd Henry. Hunter will come into this bout head hunting and looking for the big shot to finish the fight quick while Keith will need to rely on his speed to avoid the big barrage and look to take it to the mat. No matter the outcome the winner will come out as one of Canada’s brightest prospects at 185 lbs.

Ricci taking on Tim Smith (photo: Mike Fischl)

Ricci taking on Tim Smith (photo: Mike Fischl)

6. Alex Ricci @AlexRicciMMA (8-3) vs. Kyle Prepolec @KPrepolec (8-3)
Global Warriors FC 2 – Burlington – May 30
A match up this writer feels is long over due will finally take place as two of Ontario best strikers at 155 pounds will duel it out to see who’s best and see who can potentially up their value on the international stage. Alex Ricci, who is currently working out of M-1 Thai Boxing, has had a rough time of late going 1-2 over his last three with a win over E.J. Brooks caught between decision losses to Ryan Healy and Darrell Horcher. The man in desperate need of nickname started his career out 5-0 with five finishes over the likes Dia Grant, Tim Smith and Iraj Hadin. Kyle Prepolec, a long time member of the Maximum Training Centre, is currently riding a three fight win streak turning around from an 0-2 slump with losses to UFC Veteran Kevin Lee and Bellator Veteran Jason Fischer. The Windsor native has shown a penchant for finishing fights and being well rounded with four of his eight wins coming by way of TKO/KO with another three via submission. Ricci will definitely have an advantage on the feet being a former Muay Thai champion while Prepolec will have the advantage on the canvas by a large margin.  The winner will be decided in the transitions. Can Prepolec land the takedowns to take Ricci to the mat? Or will Ricci’s takedown defence stand up to Prepolec’s shots? The answers to those question will determine a winner in this fantastic Lightweight brawl.

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5. Ash Mashreghi @AshSmashMMA (5-3) vs. Dejan Kajic @DejanKajic (6-3-2)
Battlefield Fight League 36 – Vancouver – May 30
They may not have the glossiest records but this will easily be the most entertaining scrap of the month and has potential fight of year written all over it. Ash Mashreghi, a member of Revolution Fight Team, turned around an 0-3 start to his pro career to a five fight win streak that includes wins over Marcus Vinicios and Micah Brakefield.  With an unblemished record under the BFL banner, if you combine his amateur record he is 9-0 in BFL with nine finishes – eight of which happened in the first round. Dejan Kajic, who trains out of Clinch MMA and Fitness, most recently demolished Justin Schmit via head kick KO that is a top contender for KOTY in Canada. 4-1-2 in his last seven, Kajic has quietly turned into one of Canada’s must watch fighters every time he hits the cage. These two men first met in 2012 with Kajic getting the split decision nod now with Welterweight gold on the line and both men at the top of their game, we will finally see who truly is the better man and the top Welterweight out of BC not signed to the UFC.

4. Adrian Woolley @WoolleyDaBully (9-4) vs. Cleber Junior (9-3)
Global Warriors FC 2 – Burlington – May 30
So far 2-1 since his move down to 125 pounds, Adrian “The Bully” Woolley will look to add another scalp to his Flyweight mantle when he takes on Brazilian native Cleber “Pitbull” Junior. Woolley, a pro since 2007, has long been one of Canada’s top fighters in the lower weight classes and is the former W-1 Bantamweight champion. After a two fight skid in 2011 saw him take a three year hiatus from the sport he loves, he returned in 2014 and promptly dropped down to his more natural weight of 125 lbs. The drop has seen mixed results with an incredibly close split decision loss to UFC veteran Chris Kelades sandwiched between wins over Jeimeson Saudino and Eric Wilson. Junior shares many similarities with Woolley – he also started his pro career in 2007 and even took two years off in 2010. But as “The Bully” went 2-1 in his return “The Pitbull” went 1-2 since his return dropping his last outing to Felipe Jesus via third round TKO in May of 2014. Both men are looking to take their next step in their career and in Woolley’s case a trip to the UFC/Bellator is long over due but no matter who wins they will need to do it in spectacular fashion to catch Sean Shelbey’s eye and get that phone call that could change their life.

Misha Cirkunov (photo: Jeremy Penn)

Misha Cirkunov (photo: Jeremy Penn)

3. Misha Cirkunov @Misha_Cirkunov (8-2) vs. Shaun Asher @ShaunAsher1 (9-1-1)
Hard Knocks 43 – Calgary – May 22
Misha Cirkunov will defend his freshly won Hard Knocks Light-Heavyweight title against surging Bellator veteran Shaun Asher. Cirkunov may have only fought three times in the past three years but he has shown massive improvements in those bouts finishing all opponents in the first round capping it off with a spectacular head kick TKO win over Rodney Wallace to win the HKFC 2015 lbs. strap. Asher, as well, is on quite a roll currently riding a four fight win streak all inside the Tuff Wars promotion where he finished three out of four opponents between the bells. With their current win streaks on the line and a potential shot at a bigger promotion this is a must win for both men. They may both have suffered losses by submission but this will not be a ground war even though they are both very capable on the mat. Look for both men to exchange on their feet and attempt to earn a vicious finish to improve their stock even more with the bigger promotions.

2. Nick Ring @Promise_RiiNG (13-3) vs. Jason Zentgraf @JasonZentgraf (8-2)
Hard Knocks 43 – Calgary – May 22
Canada’s premier Middleweight may have been cut from the UFC but he’s looking to get his career back on track when he takes on MFC veteran Jason Zentgraf in an tasty 185 lbs. match up. Nick Ring, who continues to train out of Champion’s Creed MMA, went 3-3 inside the Octagon with wins over the likes of Riki Fukuda, James Head and Court McGee. “The Promise” will look to put himself back in the column after suffering back to back loses to Chris Camozzi and Caio Magalhaes. Zengraf last fought this past November where he defeated Jordan Currie via third round guillotine. No stranger to fighting in the great fight north, Jason went 2-1 in the MFC finishing both Clay Davidson and Cody Krahn via submission. This could very turn into a ground duel as all 8 of Zentgraf wins come by way of snap, crack or tap, while Ring has 6 submission wins under his belt. Either way this is a very important bout for both men as Ring needs a big win over a solid competitor to return to his former glory while a win over a UFC veteran for Zentgraf could really reinvigorate his career.

Josh Hill

Josh Hill

1. Josh Hill @GentlemanJHill (10-1) vs. Josh Rettinghouse @JRettinhouse (10-3)
Global Warriors FC 2 – Burlington – May 30
Two men coming off losses to WSOF Bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes will look to rebound and reassert themselves as top contenders in the international Bantamweight division. Josh Hill, who currently trains out of House of Champions, earned his shot at WSOF gold with a first round KO of Mike Adams at WSOF Canada 2. Prior to that, Hill participated on TUF 18 as a Member of Team Tate. Hill defeated Patrick Holohan via majority decision to earn entrance into the house but lost to Michael Wootten in the quarterfinals to be eliminated from the competition. Josh Rettinghouse, a member of BJJ Spokane, earned his shot a Moraes by defeating Alexis Vila at WSOF 6. Both men lasted 5 rounds with the WSOF and bot had trouble dealing with the champs speed in the later rounds, now with their records blemished they will look for redemption against some of the stiffest competition outside the championship match up. It will be “The Gentleman’s” boxing and wrestling up against “The Finisher’s” BJJ and the man with the correct game plan will be getting their hands raised. This bout could very well go to judges so the man with the best conditioning could easily cinch up the win with 3 extremely active rounds.

3 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In May ”

  1. Merritt says:

    The Champ,Alderic (The Coroner) Keith is not going to lose his Belt on May 30th to Adam Hunter..The Champ will Git Er Done.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  2. Great fights this month !

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. fIGHTER says:

    Really great fights Keith.
    Might be making a trip to Calgary on the 22nd

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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