Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In March 2016

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Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBWhat a month to be a Canadian MMA fan! We have six pro cards going down between our borders this month and Canadians fighting outside Canada as well. Even though we have now started to include UFC fights in the Top Maple Leaf Match Ups, we have divided this month into two pieces: one TMLMU breaking down the top 10 regional fights and a second UFC centric list HERE. From gold belts to rising prospects to grizzled veterans, this month has it all and when you include the honorable mentions, honestly how could you not be excited for these tremendous March madness scraps!

As always the fighters Twitter handles have been included so do your favorite leather chuckers a favor and follow them as the train for their upcoming bout and see how they are preparing themselves for the task in front of them. NOw without further adieu sit back, relax and enjoy this month Top Maple Leaf Match Ups Part 1:

Honorable Mentions 

Top 10 Maple Leaf Match Ups in March 2016

10. Devon Smith @MrBoomtruck (3-1) vs. Keith Smetana @TheBanana7129 (9-6)
Prestige Fight Club 2 – Regina – March 12
“Mr. Boomtruck” Devon Smith truly understands the promotion part of MMA.  He used his tenure in Hard Knocks to quickly rise to become one of the promotion’s top fan favorites.  Through his great mic skills and social media acumen, he developed his brand well. Now, outside of Hard Knocks and debuting for Prestige FC against his stiffest opponent yet, all eyes are on the PFA protégé. Smith really came into his own following a disappointing pro debut that  ended in a TKO loss to Justin Schmit. “Mr. Boomtruck” soon started booming with three straight victories – two of which he used his caveman like strength to earn some scary standing guillotines. Keith Smetana is not like the cage newbs Smith has fought in the past. With 15 bouts under his belt, Smetana has fought the likes of Gerald Meerschaert, Lucas Lopes and Paul Bradley throughout the USA regional scene. Smith will have his back against the wall, or cage as it may be, when he enters this bout as Smetana’s experience should negate Smith’s strength advantage. Smith will need to show the evolution of his game and use technique and reach to catch the veteran off guard and earn what should be the biggest win of his career and upgrade his nickname to “Sir Boomtruck”.

Mike Malott submits James Saunders

Mike Malott submits James Saunders at ECC 12 (photo: Martin Blais)

9. Mike Malott @Michael_Malott (4-1-1) vs. Sinjen Smith @Smith_Sinjen (2-0)
Global Knockout 6 – March 26
Since moving down to Team Alpha Male to train, fans have yet to see the best of Mike Malott. What the move to California has done is allow this bright prospect to get a different look at competition by giving him chances at fights in the southern US regional scene. After earning four straight finish victories including an arm bar submission over Michael Imperato, “The Main Attraction” suffered his first career loss at the hands of the vicious Hakeem Dawodu. Malott rebounded of sorts with a draw against the Cung Le trained and more experienced Thomas Diagne at Bellator 142. Now winless in two, Malott is hungrier than ever for a win and will travel out to Jackson, California to find it. Sinjen Smith will be the fodder for Malott’s arsenal.  Smith also known as “The Saint”, has never tasted defeat inside the cage going 4-0 as an amateur and has already amassed a 2-0 pro record. Out of his six wins, he has won four by way of finish so “The Saint” will be no push over for Malott.

8. Jordan McKay (7-2) vs. Marcus Hicks @MMAMarcusHicks (19-24)
KOTC Canada: Wrecking Ball – Calgary – March 4
Its not very often a sub .500 fighter can make this list.  Add to that the massive amount of hate Marcus Hicks receives on this site’s forums and one would be surprised to find him on this list. However, Hicks has turned his career around over the past couple years and is currently 5-1 over his past six bouts with the one loss coming at the hands of the very hot streaking Ryan Machan. Jordan McKay started his career off with five straight wins but after many long layoffs between fights came inconsistency in the cage as McKay sits at 2-2 over his past four fights which spans almost seven years. He was able to get the victory in his last outing – a first round submission over Andrew Buckland at Havoc 7 in December 2014. This is actually a pretty intriguing match up as even though Hicks has won 5 of his last 6, this will be his toughest test outside of Machan during that span. For McKay, there is much risk with little reward as he has to win this fight.  Considering their records, a loss here would hurt McKay’s career credibility even though Hicks is much better than his record actually shows. With Canada’s Middleweight rankings being incredibly weak, especially near the bottom, a win for Hicks here can potentially vault a sub .500 fighter into the top 10.

7. Matt DiMarcantonio @DiMarcs15 (8-6) vs. Charles Bennett @FelonyIsMe (27-29-2)
KOTC: Extreme Horsepower – Niagara Falls – March 12
For most hard core Canadian MMA fans the name Matt DiMarcantonio might fly under the radar, but all hard core MMA fans will remember the name Charles “Crazy Horse” Bennett. Canadian fans can be forgiven for not being very familiar with “The Cat” as he has spent the majority of his career fighting in regional shows around the Midwestern USA. DiMarcantonio had a stellar 2015 going 2-1 with both his wins coming by way of submission which lined him up for a shot at the IT Fight Series Featherweight gold where he was defeated in a Canadian FOTY contender against the undefeated Rob Hanna. “Crazy Horse” found much success in his early career becoming a crowd favorite for KOTC before moving onto Pride FC where even though he continued to garner fans he had mixed results inside the ring. After the Pride days, Bennett’s troubles with the law plagued his in cage career and he retired quietly in 2012 on the heels of a 2-10 run. He returned in October 2015 and has gone 2-1 and submitted Terrell Hobbs a month ago via leg lock. The pressure is all on DiMarcantonio in his bout as Bennett win or lose will continue to get fights, but “The Cat” needs this signature career win to continue to climb the Canadian 145 lbs. rankings.

Adam Hunter Victorious (photo: Martin Blais)

Adam Hunter Victorious (photo: Martin Blais)

6. Adam Hunter @AdamHunterMMA (5-1) vs. Mike Kent @Mike_The_Titan (11-6)
Extreme Cage Combat 24 – Halifax – March 11
This is not the fight Adam Hunter‘s career needs, it is the fight Adam Hunter wants.  With fuve straight wins, “Warhammer” does not need to challenge Kent to further his progress, but he wants redemption for Kent handing Hunter his first career loss in his pro debut. Hunter, now ranked in the top 5 of the Canadian Light-Heavyweight division, has won all five of wins in the first round – four by way of TKO/KO and one via submission. Given that Kent’s chin is not what it once was, a prediction for the ending of this tussle could be an easy one but Mike Kent is the type of fighter you can never count out. Granted he does not take the game as serious as he once did, but his gifted mind for MMA makes him a serious threat that can not be taken lightly. With this bout taking place in Halifax, these two men will easily fill the venue and make the fans scream and boo depending on their favorite but when each men enter the cage, it will feel as if they are the only ones there. For Hunter, this is a must win with a capital M as he not only needs to redeem himself but prove he has come a long way since his professional debut. For Kent, this is more then just a paycheque.  Kent needs to prove to himself that he still belongs in the cage and with a man standing across from him that he has already defeated, his confidence should be higher than ever.


5. Aiemann Zahabi @AiemannZahabi (5-0) vs. Kyle Oliveira @KyleOliveira (3-1)
Prestige Fight Club 2 – Regina – March 12
Finally an opponent with a stiff upper lip to face off against the undefeated Zahabi name sake. Much has been maligned about Aiemann Zahabi‘s past opponents.  Except for Jeremy Dichiara, all had losing records.  However, Zahabi did what he was supposed to do against those men – decimate them in the first round. With power well above his 135 pound frame, WAMMA’s Kyle Oliveira will offer Zahabi his first official stern test. Oliveira has not stepped in the MMA ring/cage in over 18 months, but his time in the squared circle as a pro boxer will forgo any ring rust talk. With Zahabi’s taller frame and the famed Tristar jab in his back pocket, Oliveira will need to use his boxing expertise to get inside and work over Zahabi in the pocket. Question is: will Oliveira, who works with tremendous grapplers at WAMMA, be able to work inside and avoid the ground advantage that most believe Zahabi has? This is an intriguing fight and not only will it impact the Canadian Bantamweight rankings but a true Bantamweight prospect will emerge.

4. Tim Hague @Tim_Hague (20-11) vs. Tanner Boser @BulldozerBoser (8-1)
Unified MMA 26 – Edmonton – March 4
In March 2015, this was the Canadian Heavyweight tilt that everyone had been waiting for. Aside from Smealinho Rama who was out of the picture with WSOF, these two were the top of the heap with Tim Hague being the rugged UFC veteran looking to hold onto his crown while the undefeated Tanner Boser looked to dethrone him. A mere six shocking seconds later, the fight was over almost before it even started with Hague bulldozing Boser with his first punch. Twelve months have passed and, oddly, the Canadian Heavyweight scene has not changed but the careers of these two men are the exact opposite. Hague may have toppled Boser in less then a blink of the eye, but  he is reeling from back to back TKO/KO defeats, while Boser has earned two straight TKO wins almost erasing the memory of the blistering quick loss. For “The Thrashing Machine”, this really is his last hurrah as he thrashed enough in his storied career and his head can’t take much more thrashing itself, while Boser will look to build off his momentum of his last two wins and use the motivation from the loss to propel his career.

Charmaine Tweet (photo: Prestige FC)

Charmaine Tweet (photo: Prestige FC)

3. Charmaine Tweet @NotSoSweetMMA (7-5) vs. Jessy Miele @JessyMiele (5-2)
Prestige Fight Club 2 – Regina – March 12
For fans of WMMA, this is actually a huge match up in the Women’s Featherweight division with Tweet ranked 7th overall and Miele just outside the top 10. Sure, Charmaine Tweet‘s record is not the glossiest, but some of the losses come against the likes of Ronda Rousey, Cristiane Justino and Julia Budd. The weighty end of Tweet’s losses were suffered early in her career and recently she has gone 5-2 in her last seven earning finishes in each of those five victories including an impressive TKO over prospect Veronica Rothenhausler. Jessica Miele, known as “The Widowmaker”, has finished four of her five wins and her only recent loss was at the hands of UFC veteran Peggy Morgan. Both women will enter the cage coming off a win and their confidence high.  Considering both are “ranked”,  a win here is a must to continue their climb up the ladder plus allows for a chance of Invicta to come calling. Throw in a shiny gold belt and the pressure will be high for both ladies.  With their finishing rates high, expect an end to come out of nowhere.  Fans, when watching this bout, make sure to keep your eyes glued to the screen.

2. Kurt Southern @KurtSouthern (14-6) vs. Nick Rhoads @NickNyquilMMA (8-2)
Prestige Fight Club 2 – Regina – March 12
Long heralded as one of Canada’s top performers who just could not put it together in the ring, Kurt Southern, a native of Saskatoon, seems to have a comfy home in the Saskatchewan-based Prestige Fight Club. When PFC debuted last October, Southern returned from a 17 month layoff submitting regional USA standout Daniel Swain in the first round. Opposing “the Hurt” this time around will be another USA regional standout in the form of Nick “Nyquil” Rhodes, who has fought the likes of Donald Sanchez, Thomas Schulte and Estevan Payan. This bout will crown PFC’s inaugural Featherweight champion and, in odd fashion, Southern and PFC have linked themselves together in a symbiotic relationship for success. PFC needs Southern, the Saskatchewan native, to win the title to bolster the promotion and continue to put butts in seats, while Southern needs the win to bolster his career and increase PFC’s footprint as with their success comes more fights with higher paycheques. There is more than just a 15 lb gold belt weight resting on Southern’s shoulders.

Chris Anderson won Harriott/Anderson I (photo: Hassan Behgouei Photography)

Chris Anderson won Harriott/Anderson I (photo: Hassan Behgouei Photography)

1. Curtis Harriott @CurtisHarriott (3-0) vs. Chris Anderson (2-0)
Battlefield Fight League 42 – Vancouver – March 12
Professional records be damned, words cannot express how much excitement and anticipation I feel for this scrap. This will not be a “fight” nor will this be a “tussle”! This will be a down and dirty scrap between two emerging Welterweights who between themselves and BFL have done a fantastic job of building up this fight. Let’s check out Curtis Harriott‘s resume: he was 8-1 as an amateur with his only losses coming to Anderson and while a paid professional, he has gone 3-0 with three finishes, two of which were injury TKO’s over two streaking veteran’s in the form of Dejan Kajic and Ash Mashreghi, and he is the BFL Welterweight champion! Now, let’s compare Chris Anderson‘s spreadsheet: he went 10-2 in unpaid bouts and is 2-0 in pro contests, TKOing amateur standout Stuart Deleurme and absolutely destroying veteran David Perron over the course of 15 minutes. Besides being a extremely technical fighter, Anderson has been gang busters on the mic post-fight letting fans and pundits alike know he is not impressed with Harriott’s performances.  However, how can you not be impressed by a man who beats people so badly their forced out of the fight injured? No matter your opinion on either man, you must agree this BFL Welterweight title fight is a must watch throw down of the month.

15 Responses to “ Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In March 2016 ”

  1. Mike Kent says:

    -Chins fine
    -Very motivated
    -11 week training camp
    -Still take MMA very serious

    see you in a week lol

    Well-loved! Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  2. Bobby Karimi-Busheri says:

    Seriously these are considered the Top 10 regional fights for March, and in that order?
    I strongly disagree with quite a bit of this list.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  3. I am your father says:

    Thought Spisak vs Demarce would make the list.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  4. Orangina says:

    Marcus hasn’t even showed up to weigh ins back to back. Sad he gets any recognition

    Well-loved! Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  5. The Goods says:

    Katona vs Rich should have at least made honourable mention

    Well-loved! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  6. Bobby Karimi-Busheri says:

    The Goods
    it did.
    Brad Katona (2-0) vs. Josh Rich (3-1) – Prestige Fight Club 2 – Regina – March 12

    2nd last one

    Well-loved! Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. Allen hope says:

    Not much going on in the month of March when a guy like hicks makes the list

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

  8. The Goods says:

    So it did, sorry guys that’ll teach me for scanning to fast

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Tough fights to rank, but nice to see there are a lot of fights in March. Anderson vs Harriott has a great chance at being the most exciting fight of the month. Rhoades vs Southern could be #1 too. Good write up!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  10. Ryan Durkin says:

    Hoping Hague and Boser is a barn burner. the two should train together after this would both make each other stronger IMO.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  11. ????? says:

    This list needs to be done over! Nothing against these fighters, but a fighter with under 5 fights should not be on the list and fighters with losing records. There are some really good fights matched up in march and these are the ones you picked?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  12. Cody Rempel says:

    Hey ?????… Why don’t you just post the order you think the list should be in! Everyone here is going to have a completely different list I’m sure! Who is your Top 10?

    Well-loved! Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  13. john doe says:

    Tough times for Canadian MMA…you think it’ll ever bounce back?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. This is a really busy month for Canadian MMA. Yes, it will bounce back. A Canadian UFC champ would do wonders!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. The Goods says:

    Of course it will bounce back, lots of developing talent fighting this month these guys are the next wave of great Canadian fighters

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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