Who’s Next… ECC 23

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Who's Next for Ryan Connor (photo: Martin Blais | Aggro Photography)

Who’s Next for Ryan Connor (photo: Martin Blais | Aggro Photography)

Last week, Extreme Cage Combat held another solid event that the company can hang their hats on. Even though the promotion held only two events this year, there is a great opportunity for them to take the next step. Before injuries from several different fighters brought the number of ECC 23 fights down to 7 (6 MMA, 1 Muay Thai), first time matchmaker Boyd Sharpe was able to get things put together.

With their next event looking to be scheduled for February, let’s take a look at some hypothetical matches that fans might want to see that night.

Gavin Tucker vs. Nate Landwehr for Featherweight Gold
There are a couple of matches that are going to feel like cheating because they were supposed to be on the last card.  However, I still think this is a fight that needs to happen. Gavin Tucker had won the promotions Featherweight title over Bo Harris last February after a two year layoff. Before hurting his MCL training for this fight, Tucker was still coming into this fight undefeated and possesses a good all-around game that can give any fighters problems at 145. Things were looking even scarier as he has been doing some training at Tristar in Montreal after taking the job as the head instructor of its Halifax club. While Nate Landwehr may not be a name that people know in Canada, the Tennessee fighter has the skills that can match well against Tucker. From what you can see on tape shows Landwehr has good knockout power and the stamina to last a five round fight. If they are unable to get this fight going, there are still some top Canadians that could slide and make it a good event. Jesse Gross is a name that comes to mind.

Ryan Connor vs. Michael Spoenlein
After an impressive win against Lloyd Reyes, I think it is fair to say to that Ryan Connor will be getting the Bantamweight title shot against Spoenlein in the near future. Michael Spoenlein has not fought since his title fight and has moved to Ontario since then, but I am sure he is biting at the chance to defend his belt. Spoenlein has shown what he can do on the ground and after his fight against Rick Pfeifer showed that he is able to stand up and trade punches as well. Connor was able to control Reyes for most of the fight so it would be interesting to see if he can do the same with the stakes even higher.

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Tristan Johnson vs. Mike Malott
At the show, I was able to talk with Tristan Johnson for a few minutes and he said he was looking to get on the next ECC card. Besides Tucker, there are not really any fighters in Atlantic Canada who would be able to match up with Johnson so you going to need to fly somebody in. If you are going to fly somebody in, why not kill two birds with one stone and bring in someone that the local fans are familiar with?  Mike Malott made his Bellator debut last weekend, which ended in a draw against Ousmane Thomas Diagne, so this could be a good rebound win for him to come back on. Johnson will also be looking for a rebound win too after losing to Hakeem Dawodu at World Series of Fighting in February. Johnson has amazing stand-up from his years as a pro boxer and Malott has knockout power and that can only have improved since training with Team Alpha Male in California. Is the price is too high to bring Malott back for a fight?  I don’t know, but this would be a show stealer if it would happen as both guys would be trading blows for three rounds.

JP Shortall vs. Kris Lee
On paper you would figure that a fight between a guy who has not fought in six years and a guy making his pro debut would not make the list. This fight must be on this list because, at the night of the show, both fighters had more than their fair share of fans in the stands that night. The fight was called off that night due to the doctors finding Bilirubin in  Kris Lee’s blood work. Lee said on the Top MMA News’ forums HERE that the doctors feared that a strike could have caused some major damage. Lee also said that if an ultrasound shows everything is OK that he would be more than happy to fight JP Shortall on the next card. While we may not get to many heavyweights fights in Atlantic Canada, crowds go crazy when they do.

Mike Kent vs. Adam Hunter
When these two first fought in 2010, both were making there pro debuts when Mike Kent won with a rear naked choke in the first round. Since then, Adam Hunter has been on a war path going 5-0 and claiming both the Elite 1 Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight titles ending all of his fights in the first round. Kent used that win to start an eight fight undefeated streak to begin his career and has turned that into a 11-6 record overall. This fight was in talks for the ECC 23 card, but Kent ended up taking a fight against Nick Campbell at Unified MMA in Edmonton. While Kent lives in Fort McMurray now, he would be more than happy to make a flight home to Halifax to fight in front of his family and friends and Hunter would love to avenge the only blemish on his record. Kent has been one of ECC’s bigger draws and someone will be getting knocked out if this fight were to happen.  Book it!

2 Responses to “ Who’s Next… ECC 23 ”

  1. mma fighting says:

    Ryan Connor will be getting the bantamweight title and I am waiting for his next fight. Thanks for keeping me up to date with future fights.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. kris lee says:

    im healthy, that fight got cancelled for nothing. Now it’s time to remake that fight.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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