Top Maple Leaf Match Ups: TKO 36
With November being a month of rest for Canadian MMA, this month’s Top Maple Leaf Match Ups will e entirely focused on TKO 36. The entire card can viewed by Canadians either on UFC Fight Pass or Fight Network. No matter how you view it if your a Canadian MMA fan this is a must watch from highly anticipated debuts to long time veterans, TKO 36 has it all. Now TKO is not the only show in town this month there is also Canada’a longest running promotion RITC holding their 53rd event and Saskatchewan’s only promotion Saturday Night Fights holding a show as well.
As always every fighters Twitter handle will be linked so with social media presence being tied to fighter’s pay do your favorite a favor and give them a follow.
Now sit back, relax and get excited for one of the biggest Canadian cards this year… TKO 36.
TJ Laramie @LaramieTJ (3-1) vs. Damien Peltier (6-5-0)
Damien Peltier replaced an injured Maxime Dubois on a little more then two weeks notice, but for TJ Laramie the opponents’ names means nothing as this is a fight for redemption. Once one of Canada’s most hyped and talked about prospects, Laramie lost a narrow split decision to Vince Murdock in his last outing then missed weight by an embarrassing amount that caused his fight with Brad Katona to be cancelled. Now, having decided to move up to Featherweight, Laramie will look buff out and try to regain some of the shine he has lost. Considering his first three wins were first round finishes, expect a motivated Laramie to try and end this quickly and ferociously.
Malcolm Gordon @Malcolm_X_MMA (8-2) vs. Dimitri Waardenburg @DW401 (11-8)
In a fight one would have liked to have seen at 125 lbs, these two warriors will face off at Bantamweight. Malcolm Gordon, once Canada’s number one ranked Flyweight, hit a road bump in his career when he lost back to back bouts to Randy Turner and Austin Ryan. The man known as “X” bounced back and is currently riding a three fight win streak which included capturing the Prodigy MMA Bantamweight title and WXC Flyweight strap. Dimitri Waardenburg started his career just as the original TKO had shut its doors. A long time top Bantamweight on the Quebec regional scene, he recently had a three fight win streak snapped with a submission loss to Jesse Arnett. This is a battle of styles as Gordon will rely on his wrestling and Wardenburg will look to stay on his feet and use his hard hitting strikes.
Lindsay Garbatt @Linzgarbs (3-1) vs. Maguy Berchel @MaguyOrton (5-1-1)
One of Canada’s top ranked Strawweights will look to continue her winning ways when she takes on her most experienced opponent to date in the form of Maguy Berchel. Lindsay Garbatt has been gaining notoriety through the Canadian scene with big wins under the Hard Knock’s banner and even a first round KO inside Japan’s Pancrase organization. Berchel has fought her entire career inside her native France and is currently riding a four fight unbeaten streak. With this card being highly publicized on UFC Fight Pass, this will be a huge bout for both woman. Strawweight is one of UFC’s thinnest divisions and a spectacular win on their own streaming service could allow one of this ladies a shot at the big show.
Jo Vallee @Jo_Vallee (4-1) vs. Fritz Paul (10-3)
The Fight Night Middleweight champion will return to action in his home province when he welcomes the returning Fritz Paul. After a disappointing decision loss to ONE Championship veteran James Kouame, Jo Vallee has now rattled off three wins in a row including a victory over the then undefeated Marc Andre Barriault. Most recently, Vallee captured the aforementioned Fight Night Middleweight crown by submitting Markhaile Wedderburn. It’s been over three years since Paul last competed and it’s actually somewhat of a big deal that he will be competing under the TKO banner as he spent most of his career fighting on UGC shows – Quebec’s other long time running promotion. A fighter that lives or dies by the sword, Paul is a walking highlight reel on either side of the highlights. Is Vallee Quebec’s next Middleweight star or has Paul matured and looking to make another run? Either way this is a fight that will electrify fans in attendance.
Jesse Ronson @Ronsoff (15-8) vs. Jimmy Spicuzza @JimmySpicuzza (7-3)
Jesse Ronson, one of Canada’s top ranked and most exciting Lightweights will finally return to 155 lbs and look to put on the performance of a lifetime when he meets WSOF veteran Jimmy Spicuzza. Since receiving his UFC pink slip, Ronson has looked for and found some of the toughest fights of his career – even moving up to Welterweight to find them. Granted, this move has put him on wrong side of a three fight losing streak. Spicuzza went 3-3 under the WSOF banner before returning to the win column with a split decision win over Max Bohanan at ROC 55. Spicuzza prefers to go for the submission while Roson prefers to batter his opposition into submission. With a high profile fight on a high profile platform, both men will be motivated to put on their best showing to date.
Josh Hill @GentlemanJHill (14-2) vs. Xavier Alaoui @XavierAlaoui (7-0)
It’s not often you get two top five ranked Canadians squaring off, but that’s exactly what Stephane Patry and TKO have given us. Sandwiched between two losses to WSOF champion Marlon Moraes was an impressive four fight streak for Josh Hill which included wins over Josh Rettinghouse and Bekbulat Magomedov. Xavier Alaoui, a Tristar protégé, hasn’t come close to fighting the names Hill has but will look to counter Hill’s experience with slick grappling. Alaoui’s penchant for ground fighting has earned him four submission finishes in a row with three of them by way of some form of leg lock. Hill will look to use his proficient striking and stellar wrestling, while Alaoui will be searching for another leg lock or heel hook finish. With Hill needing a win to regain the luster he lost to Moraes and Alaou looking to get the nods and notice from the big shows, there is a lot on the line for both men.
Chris Horodecki @ChrisHorodecki (21-6-1) vs. Derek Gauthier (7-6)
TKO 36’s main event does not hold the name value it would have had a few years ago, but what it does do is rejuvenate that feeling of TKOs of the past: the Ontario star being brought into to take on Quebec’s star. Chris Horodecki is actually undefeated under the TKO banner going 4-0 before being picked up by the now defunct IFL. Derek Gauthier started his career soon after TKO shut it door and went 5-0 with five finishes. This will be a chance at redemption for Gauthier as he has longed for a big name victory. With TKO getting a second shot promoting, both of these men are getting a second shot at their careers. Main eventing a UFC Fight Pass streamed card will certainly get the victor recognition and notice from the big shows. More importantly, this bout will take us back to a point in Canadian MMA where the sky was the limit and one of the brightest promotions in the world was in our very own backyard.