Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In July 2015

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Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBSome months are all about quantity and some are all quality and that’s exactly what the month of July is giving us Canadian MMA fans in spades.

From Albert Cheng looking to continue to rebuild his career post TUF China all the way to a Featherweight battle for the ages between undefeated prospects Jeremy Kennedy and Kyle Nelson, this month is an absolute must follow for any true Canadian MMA fan.  The best part is five of the six bouts featured will all be available for fans to watch live! It honestly can’t get much better than this. After spending your Canada Day filling up on pops and snacks, sit back and come out of your post CD coma and enjoy this months Top Maple Leaf Match Ups.

Albert Cheng (photo by Mike Fischl)

Albert Cheng (photo by Mike Fischl)

6. Albert Cheng @AC5_ (4-3) vs. Reggie Merriweather (7-6)
IT Fight Series 34 – July 18
With only four bouts into his professional career, Albert Cheng was picked up for the inaugural season of TUF China. Albert lost his first bout in the tournament to Dong Xin but when given a second chance, he defeated Yong Shun via strikes to earn himself a trip to the semi-finals. Cheng lost in the semis to eventual tournament winner Zhang Lipeng but that was enough to earn him a shot on the Finale card where he unfortunately dropped a bout to Wang Anying. Since leaving the UFC, Cheng has found a home in the IT Fight Series where he has gone 2-0 since joining the promotion. Across the cage will be another fighter just over .500 in Merriweather who has won two of his last three and is no stranger to throwing big in a slug fest. Having achieved the sport’s biggest honor so early in his career, it’s nice seeing Cheng finally getting the build up fights he needs to bolster his career.

Gary Mangat

Gary Mangat (Photo: Trevor Carroll, Reverie Arts)

5. Gurdarshan Mangat @Saintlion (7-1) vs. Damen Wood (5-4)
Super Fight League 41 – July 11
The man known as “Saint Lion” has quietly become one of the must watch Bantamweights in western Canada. Since suffering his first and only professional career loss to Josh Gow in 2013, Gurdarshan (Gary) Mangat has gone 3-0 with a trio of rear naked choke finishes. Once a BFL mainstay, Mangat has been a popular star for the India based SFL earning a spot on the promotions third card in 2012. He returned to SFL America this April dispatching hometown favorite Hector Lopez via RNC just three minutes into the first round. In Damen Wood, Mangat will face a fighter that’s a true gamer. A fighter that will take as good as he gets and is not afraid to go out on his shield as evident by his record five wins five finishes, four losses all by way of stoppage. This is a showcase fight for Mangat and as long as he sticks to the game plan, he will continue his winning ways.

4. David Perron @DPerron88 (7-4) vs. Dejan Kajic @DejanKajic (6-4-2)
Battlefield Fight League 37 – Coquitlam – July 25
Two men who suffered crushing title fight losses in their last outings will meet to see who still has it and who needs a trip back to the drawing board. David Perron put up a game performance against Ryan Janes but was forced to tap out in the second round while having his championship hopes dashed. Dejan Kajic, as well, put on a stellar showing in his Welterweight championship contest going two hard rounds with Ash Mashreghi before suffering a third round submission loss. What better way to see who’s still a contender than lock these two mad dogs inside a cage and see who comes out wagging their tail. It’ll be a classic striker versus grappler match up except both men are known to be proficient everywhere. Will it be Kajic’s hand speed or Perron’s grappling? Luckily fans across Canada will get to see the outcome thanks to BFL’s deal with The Fight Network.

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3. Ryan Janes @RyanJanesMMA (7-1) vs. Brendan Kornberger @BKornberger185 (5-1)
Battlefield Fight League 37 – Coquitlam – July 25
Not sure if this is this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups or a BFL love fest but one cannot help but notice the next level BFL has brought to championship title fights and this Middleweight extravaganza is no different. First off, you have the champion, Ryan Janes, fresh off a top notch submission win over the durable David Perron to earn himself the gold plated belt. Across the cage will be the Fivestar Fight League Middleweight champion Brendan Kornberger, sure his last bout was a close decision loss to undefeated WSOF wrecking ball Krasimir Mladenov. It’s Vancouver versus Victoria in the battle of British Columbia Middleweights.  No matter the victor, BFL comes out the true winner with a BC boy carrying the title out of the cage and one of Canada’s top 185 pounders as their reigning champion. There is no better example of a win win situation.

Mike Ricci (photo: Mike Fischl)

Mike Ricci (photo: Mike Fischl)

2. Pat Healy @BamBamHealy (31-20) vs. Mike Ricci @MikeyRicci (10-4)
Titan FC 34: Healy vs. Ricci – July 18
The match up months in the making will finally take place except not in Montreal as originally planned but in good ol’ Kansas City, Missouri. Lucky for Canadian fans, they will finally get to see a Titan FC event as it will be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass. What else can be said about this match up other than it will be a duel between two hard nose grinders. Since leaving the UFC, Mike Ricci has been on a tear in Titan FC dispatching UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel and taking a hard fought decision over George Sotiropoulos. Just like Ricci, Pat Healy has gone 2-0 since leaving the Octagon earning two hard fought decision over Ricardo Tirloni and wrapping Titan FC gold around his waist by defeating Kurt Kinser. For Ricci, this is the biggest fight of his career. It didn’t happen in the Bellator tourney, it didn’t happen on TUF 16, and didn’t happen in the UFC, but “The Martian” finally has a chance to reach his true potential – the potential all Canadian fans have seen for years. Now let’s see “The Martian” shoot for the moon.

Kyle Nelson defeats Maxime Dubois at UGC 32

Kyle Nelson (photo: Julian Cymbalista-Clapp)

1. Jeremy Kennedy @JeremyKennedyWC (7-0) vs. Kyle Nelson @The_Monster (6-0)
Battlefield Fight League 37 – Coquitlam – July 25
Honestly, any Canadian MMA fan worth their salt does not need a breakdown of this fight. You look at the names and look at the records and if you have any knowledge of their career, you know this is going to be a gun slingin’ shootout between two of the brightest Featherweight prospects in Canada. First off, you have to give props to BFL. Jeremy Kennedy is a Surrey, BC native and BFL could be feeding their champion cans to pad his undefeated record.  Instead, BFL is bringing in undefeated monsters to challenge their local star. Mario Pereira was the first to be brought in and “JBC” trounced him for five rounds on his way to become the BFL Featherweight champion. Next up is Kyle Nelson, a Huntsville, Ontario native, who has stepped up against tougher and tougher competition each time and each time he has prevailed victorious. Once a country filled with Middleweight contenders, times have changed and so has Canada’s top weight class with four undefeated Featherweights – Kennedy, Nelson, Gavin Tucker and Hakeem Dawodu. No matter the outcome on July 25th, fans around the country will only be asking one question, “Who’s Next?”

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