Top Maple Leaf Match Ups In July 2016

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Top 10 Maple Leaf Matchups THUMBHappy Canada Day everyone. Sadly June’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups was shelved as I was on vacation but I’m back, well rested and ready to pump out another fantastic addition. Sadly this month we are 2 fight shy of a true top 10 but the 8 we have are especially top 10 worthy. Our boys in the UFC are looking to get back on track, our boys in the WSOF are looking for gold and the ones outside are looking for trips to the big show.

As always Twitter handles are included so please make sure to follow our boys through training camps, weigh ins and post fight. Now sit back relax and try one of those citrus infused microbrews while we peruse this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups:

8. Albert Cheng @AC5_ (7-3) vs. Hyung Seok Lee (11-7)
Road FC 32 – July 2
TUF China really brought Albert Cheng out of his shell and gave him the exposure he needed especially in Asia where due to his heritage he has started to become a fighter of note. Since a disappointing injury loss in his lone UFC appearance, Cheng has put together a 5 fight win streak and will look to increase that when he takes on his most experienced foe to date on the form of Korea’s Hyung Seok Lee. The Korean may be coming off a loss but has gone 4-1 in his last 5 outings finishing 3 of his 4 wins during that span with choke submissions. Both men definitely prefer a ground game but it could be the striking game that decides this battle and luckily for us Canadian Cheng has to favored if the fight takes place on the feet. Which is good thing for Cheng as his stock is really on the rise in Asia and a win especially a finish could mean big things Toronto native. With the UFC potentially being sold to Chinese interest and with One FC looking towards making a big splash in China, Cheng would make a great addition to either promotions roster.

7. Spencer Jebb @SpencerJebb (11-5) vs. Marcus Hicks @MMAMarcusHicks (19-24)
Xcessive Force FC 10 – Grande Prairie – July 8
Grand Prairie’s own and XFFC’s poster boy will be returning to the cage following his razor-thin loss to TUF veteran Michael Hill. Jebb will be fighting up 2 weight classes when he meets Marcus Hicks at a 190 lbs. catchweight in fact this will be the heaviest Jebb has ever fought as a professional before this outing his 182 lbs. catchweight was the highest he’s been. Jebb started his career trading wins and losses before a 52 second TKO of Ayrin Avey started a 7 fight win streak. Since then the “Judge” has back to wins over Cody Krahn and David Perron sandwiched between losses to Mark Drummond and Michael Hill. Once the butt of many Canadian MMA jokes “The Loudmouth Assassin” may not have done a full 180 but more like a 120 degree turn in his career racking up 5-1 record over his past 6 outings. Granted those victories did come against mostly sub par competition but Hicks did score victories over the like of Raphael Bergmann and Graham Park during that time with the lone lose coming against Ryan Machan. On paper this is obviously a sure win for Jebb but lately nothing seems like a sure thing when Hicks is involved. For Jebb this is a chance to get back in the win column and add another veteran name to his mantle while for Hicks is just another fight and that’s what makes Hicks so dangerous the man literally has nothing to lose.

6. Tim Hague (21-12) vs. Michal Andryszak @MichalAndryszak (16-6)
Absolute Championship Berkut 41 – July 15
Tim Hauge’s quasi retirement lasted a mere 90ish days and really who can blame him after that gutsy TKO win over Kalib Starnes at XFFC 9 where he managed to win the promotions Heavyweight title. Add to that the fact Heavyweights tend to get paid very well especially in AC Berkut. That’s all well and good but Hague has tasted more TKO loses then one would wish especially lately and in his opponent, Poland’s own Michal Andryszak, he faces someone with devastating power who has finished fighters like Lew Polley, Baga Agaev and Ion Cutelaba who everyone saw had an impressive chin with he faced Misha Cirkunov at UFC Ottawa. So here we have two guys with big power who like to throw big punches and sure everyone and their mother will favor Andryszak but in Heavyweight MMA it only takes 1 punch and Hague proved in his last outing he still has many punches left.

5. John Makdessi @JohnMakdessi (13-5) vs. Mehdi Baghdad @Mehdi_Baghdad (11-4)
UFC Fight Night 90: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez – July 7
Makdessi has been inside the UFC for almost years and from his spinning back fist KO of Kyle Watson to his gutsy albeit losing effort against Donald Cerrone his Octagon career has been a roller coaster ride. Now opposite Mehdi Baghdad on he heels of back to back losses and a 1-3 in his last 4 outings he is staring down the most important UFC fight of his career as a loss will probably receive a pink slip but a win will cement him another shot at a big UFC payday. Baghdad had a great two fight run in the RFA which earned him a shot in the Octagon unfortunately he did not make the most of his bout losing by submission to Chris Wade at UFC Fight Night 81. This bout is just as important to “The Sultan” as going 0-2 in the Octagon is also a quick way to earning the dreaded UFC pink slip. The pressure will definitely be on for both men which considering both men are known for their striking prowess could add to the already inevitable fireworks. Makdessi will have the edge as his patience and technique have the ability to overwhelm the heavy-handed Baghdad. Those heavy hands though could pose a danger for Makdessi who has been KO’d in the past 12 months. Granted one fighter may lose his chance at big show payouts both men have a shot at significantly increasing their net worth in this bout as a fight of the night bonus is no out of the question when these two throw down.

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4. Hakeem Dawodu @MeanHakeemKO (5-0-1) vs. Marat Magomedov (7-0-1)
WSOF 32: Moraes vs. Hill II – July 30
WSOF continues to make amazing decisions since the departure of Ali Abdel-Aziz and this rematch is the perfect evidence. With many of WSOF divisions fairly thin a rematch of a draw between two undefeated fighters makes nothing but sense. Magamedov was able to capture the first two rounds by using his wrestling to takedown Dawodu but he mounted little to no offence on top over 10 minutes. In final frame Dawodu took advantage of his tired foe by stuffing the takedown attempts and unleashing many barrages of punches that had Magomedov on roller skates more than once. The vicious striking was enough to gain two 10-8 score cards for Dawodu causing the fight to be declared a draw. Both men have been marinating in the gym since their last bout 7 months ago, while Magomedov will be looking to shore up striking Dawodu will have been drilling takedown defence daily. The fight will come down to who can impose their game plan with Magomedov needing the gas tank to go 15 minutes while dragging a body around and Dawodu will need to keep his ass off the canvas. With Alexandre de Almeida defending the WSOF Featherweight crown on this card a win for either man especially in a decisive fashion could make them next in line for the coveted belt.

3. Jesse Ronson @Ronsoff (15-7) vs. Matt Dwyer @MattDwyerMMA (8-4)
Xcessive Force FC 10 – Grande Prairie – July 8
The highly anticipated tussle between two Canadian UFC veterans will finally happen as Jesse Ronson meets Matt Dwyer in the headliner for XFFC 10. Just the thought of what could transpire between these two impressive strikers is enough to give a Canadian MMA fans a fightgasm. When one starts to break down the fight you realize what you have is a natural Lightweight versus a Welterweight and Dwyer will a large reach and weight advantage into this fight. The you start taking into the intangibles like Ronson toughness and the fact that Ronson has consistently fought above his weight since exiting the UFC while only facing off against the best men outside the UFC. Add in the fact that Ronson has trained with famed strikers like Mark Hominick, Sam Stout, Chris Clements and Chris Horodecki since he entered the sport. With all that being said when you came back down to brass tacks this will be and intriguing and highly entertaining bout. Does Ronson have another UFC run left in him? How will Dwyer look since being released? All these questions and more will be answered come July 8th. Make you not only support these athletes but also the show as the proceeds for XFFC 10 will go towards helping victims of the Fort McMurray fire. A fantastic fight and an even better cause what more could a fight fan ask for?

2. Mitch Clarke @MitchClarkeMMA (11-3) vs. Joseph Duffy @Duffy_MMA (14-2)
UFC Fight Night 90: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez – July 7
Saskatchewan’s own Mitch Clarke has had his ups and down since making his Octagon debut at UFC 140 and now on the undercard of a Lightweight title defense he stares down his most important outing to date. Clarke started off 0-2 in the UFC cage before bouncing back with back to back wins which included a performance of the night submission over Al Iaquinta. His last outing a decision loss to contender Mike Chiesa more than 14 months ago was a gutsy performance. Sure Duffy is not the toughest Clarke has faced that honor goes to Chiesa and Iaquinta but with his extended layoff and his position in the UFC 155 lbs division this fight is a must win for Clarke. Duffy’s original claim to fame was being the first to finish Conor McGregor but since being signed by the UFC he has moved to Tristar gym and gone 2-1 in the Octagon. “Irish” finished both Jake Lindsey and Ivan Jorge before suffering his first and only UFC loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 195. Both men poses tricky submission skills and you can give Duffy the nod in the stand up department but where Clarke will have the advantage is in his wrestling and pace if he can stick to Duffy like Poirier and keep his vicious high energy pace Clarke can get the win and cement himself in the UFC top 15 Lightweight rankings.

1. Marlon Moraes @MMarlonMoraes (16-4-1) vs. Josh Hill @GentlemanJHill (14-1)
WSOF 32: Moraes vs. Hill II – July 30
With Ali Abdel-Aziz finally ousted from WSOF the decision making process for the promotion has seen a up tick and included in that is giving Josh Hill his much deserved rematch with reigning Bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes. Since his loss to Moraes in February 2015 “The Gentleman” has gone 4-0 picking up wins from Hamilton to Romania over the likes of Josh Rettinghouse, Ioan Vraceanu, Bekbulat Magomedov and Bendy Casimir. The champion has not remained as active picking up only two title defenses in that time over Sheymon Moraes and Joe Barajas neither of which gave Moraes the type of battle Hill did. In their first outing Moraes was just a half step quicker in some rounds and Hill did not use his wrestling as much as his skills allowed causing most media outlets to score the fight 49-46 in favor of the champ. Hill has looked better than ever recently with his time at Team Alpha Male really playing dividends in the striking and transitioning departments. With Hill version 2.0 and Moraes lack of action over the course of 16 months all signs point to the champ being ripe for the picking. This is the fight Hill fans have been waiting for and most expected when the young prospect debuted on the Ontario scene and he will need to make the most of it as the WSOF title is Hill’s key to future success while a los could mean he will be relegated to regional card headliner for the reminder of his career.

 

 

 

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