Who’s Next… Hard Knocks 54


Hard Knocks 53 went down this past weekend from the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, Alberta (See full play-by-play HERE). It was a bizarre night of action featuring blackouts, severe injuries and last minute replacements resulting in a new Two-Division Champion. In this article we’ll look ahead to see what could possibly be next for some of the more impressive winners as well as other competitors on the card and even one fighter who didn’ get to compete.

Keep in mind, in most cases the match-ups listed here are hypothetical and have not been announced or rumored to be taking place unless otherwise noted.

Let us know your thoughts on who should be up next for the big winners and the rest of the card and who you think would win our hypothetical match-ups.

145lbs- Jesse Arnett (12-4) vs. Kyle Nelson (9-1) for Hard Knocks Featherweight Title
Make it 9 in a row and Jesse Arnett is showing no signs of slowing down! His opponent for his third Bantamweight Title defense was forced to pull out due to injury, so what does Arnett do? He moves up a weight class on about a weeks notice and accepts a Featherweight Title fight against a tough opponent in Maged Hammo. Arnett was able to finish Hammo about halfway through the second although Hammo fought off several submission attempts before finally succumbing to Arnett’s signature D’arce choke. The best part about Arnett’s last minute jump in weight is that I have something new to talk about instead of continuing to suggest a UFC contract or Josh Hill for the 237th time. Now that “Big Cat” holds the Featherweight Title we can talk about a possible first defense, barring Hard Knocks bringing in an American for him to defend against how about once beaten prospect Kyle Nelson who has put together a solid string of wins including most recently taking a split decision over UFC veteran Jonathan Brookins.

170lbs- Peter Grajcar (4-0) vs. Menad Abella (4-0)
Peter Grajcar got the win this weekend although not in the fashion he had hoped for. Grajcar knocked Phillips down with a knee mid-way through the second round Friday night and on the way down Phillips leg got caught underneath him and he suffered a horrific leg injury which forced the stoppage of the fight. Although Grajcar was winning up until that moment it was surely not the way he wanted to win. Menad Abella was all weighed in and set to fight top Irishman and Conor McGregor teammate John Sheil. Unfortunately the commission found a problem with Sheil’s pre-fight medical and were unable to get it sorted out in time and the bout was cancelled. With the recent revelation that Sheil was pulled from the fight due to Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome Abella will need a new opponent so a bout with fellow undefeated prospect Grajcar would be a perfect alternative.

155lbs- Alexi Argyriou (5-0) vs. Hamilton Ash (5-2)
In one of the most bizarre finishes we’ve seen in a long time Alexi Argyriou and Hamilton Ash ended in a no contest Friday night when two separate blackouts in the venue finally forced the fight to be called off after just under 3 minutes of fight time. The bout ended in a bit of controversy as when the lights went out the second time Ash had Argyriou in a mounted guillotine however only Argyriou truly knows how close the choke was and for what it’s worth he says it “Wasn’t even close. Referee Luke Boutin had no choice but the call the contest in the interest of fighter safety as the darkness in the arena would not allow him to see a tap and officials were unable to get the lights back on in a timely fashion. Post fight Ash demanded a rematch and Hard Knocks matchmaker Lee Mein said “Absolutely”. It’s the only fight that makes sense for either man as they definitely have unfinished business.



125lbs- Keegan Oliver (5-5) vs. Julian Villanova (3-1)
After a very successful amateur career that saw Keegan Oliver go undefeated in 6 fights he turned pro and found mixed results against tough competition. Oliver seems to have steadied the ship now with consecutive wins over Michael Davis and previously undefeated Terrence Chan. Julian Villanova is a proven finisher and would be a solid next opponent for Oliver to see if he really has turned the corner in his career. Oliver would also be a stiff challenge to see if Villanova can get past an opponent with substantially more experience than him.

135lbs- Chad Anheliger (5-5) vs. Winner of Rick Pfeifer (5-4) vs. Michael Hay (3-1)
Chad Anheliger is another fighter who has rebounded from and rocky start to his pro career with a string of three straight victories all by finish. Anheliger started his career 2-5 including a three fight skid with losses to Noah Ali, Mike O’Neill and Rick Pfeifer. Anheliger then took two years away from competition before returning with his current win streak. The upcoming bout between Michael Hay and former opponent Rick Pfeifer would emerge as a logical opponent for Anheliger as Pfeifer would give the resurgent Bantamweight a chance to avenge a loss and Hay would be a solid prospect to find out if Anheliger is truly ready for a lengthy run up the Bantamweight ladder.

31 Responses to “ Who’s Next… Hard Knocks 54 ”

  1. QuinnFan says:

    Why isn’t QUINN in talks to appear at next hard knocks? Future UFC bantamweight champion and he’s not even mentioned anywhere, extremely disrespectful. Robin Blaack vs QUINN would generate a lot of $$$$$$

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  2. Marc-Andre Drolet says:

    Quinn should be fighting on Hard Knocks and Robin should be doing Color Commentary.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  3. QuinnFan says:

    Quinn should easily be in the UFC already. He could beat any of the guys in the top 15. Strong, quick and KO power in both hands and the heart of a lion.

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  4. Real talk says:

    Oliver should fight Chad. Word on the street is Chad is scared to fight Keegan, can’t say I blame him.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  5. Ya right. says:

    Lol! Beat everyone in the top 15 besides Noah I guess.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  6. Ya right. says:

    Chad beats Mancini from Tristar. This cat from AMERICAN Top Team, but is scared of the condition from Dynamic under Vinny and combato libro LOL. Bitch please. Get real.

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  7. Ya right. says:

    Real talk ain’t so real

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5


    umm.. chad would punch Keegan’s head out of the building.

    And he just choked out two wrestlers far superior (and bigger) than Keegan.

    So unless chad is scared of committing manslaughter… then that statement of an extreemly false nature.

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  9. Ya right. says:

    Well said Van Dam. Keegan and his fans are trippin.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  10. Real talk says:

    Chad should fight him then. Word is he turned down the fight twice. Plus he beat a guy who trains out of American Top Team, it’s not like he beat Thiago Alves or Cole Miller lol. They both have equal records so set that shit up. Keegan TKO round 2.

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  11. CCLLAAUUDDEE says:

    Turned down the fight (if even true) could have been for any reason. If it were to take a Mancini or Smith fight, then it would just make sense. Not to mention he fought at 145 less than a year ago. I think it’s a fight worth making, honestly.
    . But the idea that chad would be scared of Keegan makes me doubt how on the street/in the know you really are.

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  12. mma123 says:

    If Chad weren’t scared, he’d stop being a lil pussy ass bitch and take the fight.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  13. mma123 says:

    What’s the excuse gonna be this time? He’s too busy waiting for his balls to drop? Talk to Lee and make this shit happen.

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  14. lol says:

    LOL THESE GUYS cmon man GET REAL with respect to Keagan, i don’t see the man putting up a big challenge to chad. maybe he turned it down (if he did) searching for something bigger after 2 big wins, maybe he will take it at a later date, mabe dealing with injuries but man u making your boy keagan look bad with all this weak ass shit talk. why?? but i do think it is a fight to make with both of them having the same record now. either way i got anhelinger all day

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  15. CCLLAAUUDDEE says:

    can we be real for a second?
    What do you find frightful? Losing a fight, or losing you’re consciousness?

    Chad may lose the fight via submission or decision. But nobody had been able to stand with him for more than a couple exchanges yet, and that included fighting up 20 pounds.

    they need to give monster someone that we will want to see. Not another guy diving for his ankles after he gets hit once. If that’s Keegan, then book this motherflipper boys!

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  16. MATCHUPS says:

    Condition and Monster match up well on paper. i think weve waited long enough to watch Monster fight someone with a similar gameplan though.
    That boy can swing for the fucking fences. give the people what they want!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. Real Talk says:

    Keegan is the far superior boxer, jiu jitsu player and wrestler. Just make it happen once Keegan’s hand is fixed and maybe Chad can prove me wrong. Which he wont.

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  18. mmafan says:

    Hill vs Wilson for the WW strap lets go

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. Did you watch the last card? says:

    Pretty sure monster was getting his ass royally kicked by Miami and he was pretty lucky that guy has ZERO cardio.

    Oliver was by far the most impressive fighter on that card, with a dazzling stand up and ground display, he perfectly executed his gameplan and came away with an extremely impressive win against a great opponent

    Monster got so lucky it’s not even funny.

    Oliver handily beats him via 2nd round tko if monster stops ducking him

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  20. CCLLAAUUDDEE says:

    A stellar performance, but against a poker player dude.
    He was 3-0 vs opponents with a combined 0-9 record. No disrespect, but pump the brakes.
    And you’re right, I don’t know why monster even bothered showing up, he barely even won.

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  21. fuckemup says:

    Oh right. I almost forgot Mancini is getting calls from Dana at 2-3. Looooooool

    Are you all forgetting about Oliver’s 6-0 amateur record?? Pro boxing fights, too?

    Chad ain’t shit. Mancini ain’t shit. Lets see Keegan fight em both.

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  22. CCLLAAUUDDEE says:

    Beat a guy who hadn’t fought someone who won a fight yet, and the ghost of mike Davis before that.
    Put the Conor mcgregor walk on hold pal

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  23. CCLLAAUUDDEE says:

    This ain’t amateurs and those pro boxing matches won’t help him succeed in diving for ankles

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  24. Real Talk says:

    Keegan won’t dive for shit lol, he can take that guy down with ease.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  25. mma123 says:


    Are you actually Chad? You seem a lil too invested in this feed to not be. 😂

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  26. I know stuff says:

    First, Keegan doesn’t cut to make 125 and Chad cuts his ass off to make 135. So lets just stop that. Keegans success comes from wrestling in reverse. The wrestling is very good so opponents have to watch out for it, opening other things, like his boxing.

    Mancini is not only a better athlete than Keegan (I’m a keegan fan) but is far and away a better wrestler. Keegan wouldn’t be able to take mancini down so Mancini wouldnt have to worry about it. Keegan does have better hands than mancini and better jits. But in that match, look for mancini to take Keegan down and keep him there.

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  27. Brian Shute says:

    Mancini MAULS Keegan. No question. Calling Keegan a “high level wrestler” compared to Mancini is stupid. Can’t take him down, and can’t keep Mancini from taking him down. His gameplan is shot. I don’t think he can hold his mud in this fight.

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  28. fuckemup says:

    Basra asked Chad to fight at 135 but he said he was moving down to 125. So Oliver called him out! If he struggles to cut to 135, why the fuck would he move to 125?

    If this is wrestler on wrestler, and Keegan has better hands and better jits, how is this a guaranteed win for Mancini? Chad beat Mancini after a two year fight break. Hard pressed to believe that is the BEST version of Mancini.

    Chad and Keegan are both 3-2 in their last five. If Chad wants to run to 125 and avoid Basra, he should fight Keegan. Let’s talk about Mancini after that.

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  29. CCLLAAUUDDEE says:

    nope, but at least your string of being wrong is kept alive!

    If he’s going to 125 permanently (or at all?) Keegan is the default opponent. Call out or no call out. No?
    There’s like…. 10 in the country.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. I know stuff says:

    Understand the level of athleticism that Mancini has over Keegan. Mancini beat Arnett is wrestling multiple times, and Keegan can’t take down Jesse. Not even close.

    Don’t get me wrong. I would love Keegan to beat him. He just wouldn’t.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  31. Real Talk says:

    Keegan is better then Chad and Mancini. Better jits and boxing then Mancini. Better everything than Chad. Just make the fight happen Hard Knocks. That way I can come back here and troll all these hicks.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

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