UFC 131 Canadian Style: What's Next for Canada's No. 1-Ranked Fighters
The summer is packed with exciting mixed martial arts cards throughout North America and the world, as it seems every weekend there are fights to catch and follow.
I love fights and fighters of all shapes, sizes, colors and flag and I follow them all closely.
It is no secret though, that my allegiance to my country is first and foremost and like Donald S. Cherry in hockey, I am wildly devoted to Canadian fighters and their exploits against the toughest fighters in the world.
Here is my look at what Canada's No. 1 ranked fighters have coming up next..
Bantamweight - #1. Ivan Menjivar
When you think Bantamweight in Canada you immediately think of Salvadoran turned Canadian Ivan Menjivar. Sitting at a record of 22-7 Menjivar is coming off an impressive victory over Charlie Valencia at UFC 129 in Toronto on April 30.
I was there live as Menjivar took advantage of Valencia resting on the cage and he cracked him in the cheek with a textbook elbow, crumbling Valencia to the floor.
Ivan is a long time mixed martial arts veteran and salt of the earth gentleman who works a day job at the Trudeau Airport in Montreal, and it has already been announced that he is set to fight young up and coming American Nick Pace at UFC 133 on Aug. 6th in Philadelphia.
Featherweight - #1 Mark "The Machine" Hominick
Not much needs to be written here to update you on our king featherweight. Mark Hominick is healing well and busy as hell as he adjusts to new fatherhood and the new demands on his life following UFC 129.
He is back training and working at his gym Adrenaline MMA and taking care of his wife and new born daughter.
Rumours say The Korean Zombie Chang Sung Jung, or top contender Josh Grispi could be next for "The Machine," hopefully in the fall.
Lightweight - #1. Sam "Hands of Stone" Stout
Many people and lists in Canada have Mark Bocek as the top lightweight in the country but I always cast my vote for Sam Stout.
Stout, a kickboxer by his beginnings will have his game tested as he takes on highly ranked American Yves Edwards.
Rankings are never too important but Edwards' style is in this match-up, and he trains at American Top Team.
Stout has been training in Vegas at the Tapout Gym to limit distractions in his camp for this bout and is ready to start making his climb up the ladder to contention.
Welterweight - #1 George "Rush" St. Pierre
The announcement came out this week that George St. Pierre, the UFC champion will face Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in Vegas on Oct. 29.
It is a fight the fans want due to the fact that GSP has beaten every other worthy man out there inside and outside the UFC.
Diaz is on a great run, and is as tough as they come, but GSP is his worst nightmare, a wrestler who isn't afraid to use it and it alone to dominate to victory.
GSP is always in different parts of the world working on his game, and told the Canadian Press from Rome that he is excited for the Diaz fight and that it is time for Diaz to "walk the walk," in reference to Diaz saying he thinks he could beat GSP for a while now. GSP by decision.
Middleweight - #1 Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald
Jason MacDonald made a triumphant return to the UFC at 129 in Toronto, and he is already getting ready for his next challenge. He will be facing Alan "The Talent" Belcher in his next fight in September.
J-Mac is hearing the naysayers talk about how Belcher is going to beat him up, but I for one am looking forward to MacDonald possibly getting a bit of revenge for Canada's former top middleweight, Patrick Cote. Cote lost to Belcher via rear naked choke, after Belcher spiked him on his head.
Light Heavyweight - #1 Krzysztof "The Polish Experiment" Soszynski
Like lightweight No. 1 Sam Stout, light-heavyweight number one Krzysztof Soszynski is ready for a rumble next week as he is also on the UFC 131 fight card in Vancouver next Saturday. The Polish Experiment will take on Igor Pokrajak.
Soszynski has had some good success in the UFC following his stint on TUF season 8 with a record of 5-2 and is coming off a win over Goran Reljic in November.
I look for him to slowly keep climbing up the ladder but he needs to make a big move soon if he wants to contend in the division.
Heavyweight - #1 Tim "The Thrashing Machine" Hague
The heavyweight division in this country has notoriously been weak to our standards and right now, there are only a handful of big boys worth mentioning at all.
News in the division got even more grim earlier this year when it appeared No. 1-ranked Canadian heavy Tim Hague was going to retire after being released from the UFC after his loss to Matt Mitrione in January.
Hague has been the man up here since 2006.
Word has spread quickly recently that Hague is not retiring and is indeed training for future fight with somebody in about 14 weeks time. he posted on his Facebook page on May 30 that he was officially back and looking for a fight.
I'm not sure what promotion Hague will be fighting in, but I will be keeping my eye out for the announcement.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Correspondent for Bleacher Report MMA (Also a Correspondent for MMACanada.net).
Catch him on Twitter @wakafightermma
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