Who’s Next… Hard Knocks 45


Hard Knocks THUMBHard Knocks held their 45th event this past weekend continuing their trend of mixing up amateur talent, up and comers along with some of the top fighters in the country. This formula has been doing wonders for Hard Knocks who have drawn many eye balls to their events this year by not only being available live on Go Fight Live but also The Fight Network, PlayStation Live Event Viewer and many other streaming mediums around the world. This has brought in more revenue to Hard Knocks, who in turn have upped their matchmaking game for even more top shelf match ups per event.

With their 45th event in the books, let’s look to the future and see what potential match ups could be in Hard Knocks’ mind.



Joel Powell (10-5) vs. Sergej Juskevic (15-7-2) for Welterweight Title
Even though the Hard Knocks’ broadcast team was pushing a Vyron Phillips versus Joel Powell number one contenders fight pretty hard, and truthfully that is a fantastic match up, Sergei Juskevic‘s has already been on the shelf for to long. “El Dorado” is on the cusp of taking the next step in his career and needs a shot at another big win this year. Sure, Juskevic quickly submitted Powell last November, but Joel Powell has since gone 3-0 inside the Hard Knocks’ cage defeating Christ Franck, Derek Powell and Adam Smith. Powell also punished Smith last weekend when he was rolling for heel hooks, which we all know is Juskevic’s bread and butter. With a Bantamweight title fight already booked for the Hard Knocks 46 card, it seems this fight will have to wait for a later offering but no one can argue Powell has earned another crack at the Lithuanian superstar and both deserve a chance at a big career win before they take their next step.

Vyron Phillips (5-2) vs. Brandt Dewsbery (14-3)
Phillips got back to his winning ways with a devastating ground and pound victory over Justin Schmit at Hard Knocks 45. While Powell should have earned himself a second crack at champion Sergej Juskevic, Vyron Phillips will need a step up in competition to continue on his run towards the title.  With Brandt Dewsbery earning a quick win of his own at Hard Knocks 44 over the previously unbeaten Miles Anstead, this would make for an incredible number one contender’s fight. Dewsbery is already scheduled to take on Christopher Boisvert at RITC 51, but if he comes out injury free this potential clash could take place as early as November or December.

Craig Shintani (5-1) vs. Derek Boyle (13-8)
Craig Shintani earned the biggest win of his career with a quick dismantling of Featherweight standout Wolfgang Janssen. Shintani is now 3-0 inside the Hard Knocks cage and even though it’s still early in his career, he needs to take a step up in competition and Derek Boyle, a 21 fight veteran, is the perfect option. Boyle most recently stepped up in weight class and was defeated by Welterweight contender Joel Powell.  Prior to that, he was defeated by current UFC product Shane Campbell. With 2 losses in a row against stern opposition, Boyle can take a step back and take on the young prospect in Shintani. This would be a perfect opportunity for both men as either Shintani proves his a force to be reckoned with inside the Canadian Lightweight division or Boyle shows he still has gas left in the tank and cannot be counted in out as one of Canada’s premier 155 pounders.

Devon Smith (3-1) vs. William Carriere (3-1)
With Devon Smith‘s chance of getting the UFC call to face CM Punk in the former pro wrestler’s debut being slim to none and with other Middleweight prospects such as Marc-André Barriault and Adam Hunter competing on the other end of the country, a 195 lbs catchweight bout between two of the most exciting Albertans just sounds like fun. Come on, who is not excited for a “Mr Boomtruck” versus “Berserker” showdown? Both men have three stoppage victories to their credit and prefer to choke their opponents out with violent standing guillotines. Both men rely on a strength-based game to overwhelm their opponents on top of being some of the most exciting fighters too watch. I can think of nothing more manly than a knuckle chucking showdown between these two Alberta-based beasts.

Keegan Oliver (3-4) vs. Morgan Rhynes (3-2)
Rarely is match making an easy business but sometimes stars align and you get a fight with heat gift wrapped and placed under your Christmas tree. That’s exactly what Ari Taub and company have right here.  Morgan Rhynes has already called out Oliver on the Top MMA News’s comment section for the Hard Knocks 46 card and Keegan Oliver let his feelings be known post fight calling Rhynes a “Newfie”. Oliver came out of his fight unscathed and Rhynes had his fight cancelled last minute – might as well settle this grudge on Hard Knocks 46 and get these guy’s another pay cheque.

2 Responses to “ Who’s Next… Hard Knocks 45 ”

  1. Joe Doerksen says:

    Joel Powell is tough as nails and scary as he’ll, while Vyron Phillips is afraid of exactly zero people. That would be quite a show.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  2. Dan Monahan says:

    Hard Knox has certainly stepped up their game in all aspects and are living up to the reputation as the Canadian stepping stone to the UFC

    Any chance CM Punk getting his stepping stone to the UFC here in Canada with Hard Knox just as Rhonda Rousy did ?

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

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