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Best Canadian MMA Prospect by Division

Riley KontekChief Writer IVJanuary 7, 2017

Best Canadian MMA Prospect by Division

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    Canada may be one of the hottest places for MMA right now, and it shows through the talent that is showing up in the UFC and regional promotions.

    Pioneers such as Georges St. Pierre have made MMA a popular entity in the country. Emerging players like Rory MacDonald have taken his lead to create new contenders from Canada.

    Here are the best prospects from Canada.

    Below are the other installments of this "prospect" series.

    Best European prospects

    Best Asian prospects

    Best Australian prospects

Bantamweight: Mitch Gagnon

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    Record: 9-2

    UFC bantamweight Mitch Gagnon is among the brightest prospects at 135, as well as one of the brightest prospects from the land up north.

    Gagnon is a proven finisher, earning all nine of his wins by submission. Don't let that stat fool you, as he has powerful hands that were showcased in his latest win against Walel Watson.

    Gagnon is 1-1 in the UFC, despite a "Fight of the Night" effort in his debut loss. He should be a staple of the division for time to come.

    Runners-up: Josh Hill and Yves Jabouin

Featherweight: Antonio Carvalho

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    Record: 14-5

    Antonio Carvalho has had mixed results so far in the UFC, but the top Canadian featherweight prospect has a solid track record that gives him serious potential.

    He owns 10 stoppage wins to his name, with seven coming by knockout. Most of his career was spent in Japan, but he owns notable wins over Hatsu Hioki, Doug Evans, Takeshi Inoue and Daniel Pineda, in his most recent outing. 

    Although he was defeated by Felipe Arantes in his debut, he shook off the Octagon jitters in a big way in his follow-up fight. That is the fighter that we were looking forward to.

    Runners-up: Chris Horodecki and Will Romero

Lightweight: Mike Ricci

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    Record: 7-2 

    With TJ Grant shedding the prospect tag, Mike Ricci of The Ultimate Fighter has now become the prospect with the most potential from Canada.

    A running buddy of Georges St. Pierre, Ricci has put away five fighters with strikes or submission. He has defeated touted prospects Jesse Ronson and Jordan Mein and has only lost to legitimate fighters.

    Ricci is a tough fighter that has to be considered a favorite on TUF. Watch the show to find out how far he goes. 

    Runners-up: Mukai Maromo and Jesse Ronson

Welterweight: Jordan Mein

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    Record: 25-8

    The son of a career journeyman in Lee Mein, Jordan Mein has made a splash in the MMA world and is currently a veteran of Strikeforce.

    Mein has 20 finishes to his name, with 13 coming by knockout and seven by submission. He owns victories over Tyler Stinson, Evangelista Santos, Marius Zaromskis, Josh Burkman and Joe Riggs.

    He has to be one of the future contenders at 170 lbs. That was seen in his split-decision loss to Tyron Woodley.

    Runners-up: Claude Patrick and Nordine Taleb

Middleweight: Nick Ring

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    Record: 13-1

    Though he owns several controversial wins, there are no better Canadian prospects at middleweight than Nick Ring.

    Ring is the owner of six submissions and two knockouts. He owns UFC wins over Riki Fukuda, Court McGee and James Head, though the McGee and Fukuda wins were controversial.

    Ring is a great competitor in the Octagon and a great person outside the cage. That is the true spirit of an MMA fighter. 

    Runners-up: Vaughn Anderson and Ryan Machan

Light Heavyweight: Steve Bosse

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    Record: 9-1

    I no longer consider Ryan Jimmo a prospect, as he trounced his UFC opponent quickly in his debut. Therefore, Steve Bosse earns the nod as the best prospect in Canada.

    Bosse has lethal striking, which has led to seven knockout victories. His latest came at the expense of Houston Alexander, whom he leveled with a standing elbow strike that had Alexander out cold.

    Bosse has the attitude and skills to grace the Octagon soon. That is, if the UFC decides to bring him in. 

    Runners-up: Dwayne Lewis and Tommy Kang

Heavyweight: Mike Hackert

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    Record: 6-1

    Canadian heavyweights are very scarce in the fight game these days, but Mike Hackert is the brightest Canadian 265er from the country.

    Hackert has solid striking and pretty good ground game. His last two wins came over UFC veteran Tim Hague by unanimous decision and technical knockout, showing he could take his game to the next level.

    Hackert definitely has the skill to test the waters of the UFC. It's a matter of him continuing to win.

    Runners-up: Ryan Fortin and Scott Fraser

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