This week, Sherdog.com’s column devoted to the Canadian mixed martial arts scene includes perspectives of the UFC, MFC and IFL; news updates on Jeff Joslin (Pictures) and Georges St. Pierre (Pictures); seminar information and finally a short mailbag.
Newton hopes to rebound versus Lindland
Although the Toronto Dragons aren’t a part of IFL team competition this Friday in Houston, there will still be a strong Canadian contingent.
The main event features Dragons head coach Carlos Newton (Pictures) stepping back into the ring only a month after his split-decision loss to Renzo Gracie (Pictures). This time he’ll be pitted against arguably the best middleweight in the world, Matt Lindland (Pictures).
There are many people who have opined that in his last fight it was Newton who deserved the victory, not Gracie. It’s hard to believe considering all that he’s accomplished, but at 30 years old Newton is only now entering his physical prime. He’s recently gotten back into the fight game after a two-year layoff, and I’m excited to see where he’ll go next.
As you may have heard on the latest edition of “Beatdown” on the Sherdog Radio Network, the Anacondas Chris Horodecki (Pictures) puts his undefeated status on the line when he squares off Quad Cities Silverback Bart Palaszewski (Pictures), who is unbeaten in IFL competition.
Hailing from the highly touted Team Tompkins in London, Ontario, Horodecki is the youngest fighter in the IFL at 19. While his opponents may have thought they were facing a boy, his thunderous hands and powerful kicks quickly made them revaluate that assumption.
He’s accrued six of his seven wins by stoppage, and many industry insiders have been claiming for a while now that as far as his future in MMA is concerned, the sky is the limit. I’d be surprised if there isn’t a bidding war for him once this IFL season is over.
Late news has it that Anacondas heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski (Pictures) is out due to a broken hand he sustained against Mike Whitehead (Pictures) at the IFL finals in December.
Cote looks for first UFC win
Patrick Cote (Pictures) is the lone Canadian on this weekend’s UFC card, and he’ll be taking on fellow TUF 4 participant Scott Smith. The pair were on opposing sides of the win-loss column at the show’s season finale last Nov. Although undoubtedly a very talented fighter, Patrick is 0-4 in the UFC, so this may be a make or break fight for him.
MFC 11 “Gridiron”
This weekend the Maximum Fighting Championship comes once again to the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Though the MFC may not be that well known of a promotion, it has consistently put on quality events since 2001.
However, with two of its main stalwarts — Jason MacDonald (Pictures) and Victor Valimaki — making it to the UFC, the MFC has recently entered the consciousness of worldwide MMA.
Western Canada has a huge talent pool of experienced fighters to draw from, and the MFC does a good job of bringing in tough competition for the fans.
Mark Pavelich is the owner of both the MFC and Pro Camp Sports Management, and with his addition of B.J. Penn (Pictures)’s heavyweight student Scott Junk (Pictures) to his stable, look for Western Canada to do some serious representing on the world stage in the future.
The main event features Valimaki defending his light heavyweight title against Jared Kilkenny. Valimaki is coming off his UFC Fight Night loss to David Heath (Pictures), so he’s likely to come out with something to prove.
This will be Kilkenny’s second bout at 205 after previously fighting at heavyweight, and although he has physically overwhelmed most of his opponents, Valimaki is a big step up for him. Regardless of the outcome, this should be a terrific fight.
MFC 11’s “Gridiron” moniker comes from the fact that it will be featuring two football players from Edmonton’s Canadian Football League squad, the Eskimos.
Mike Maurer, a fullback who normally walks around at 225 pounds, faces Halifax’s Roger Hollett (Pictures) at 205. Adam Braidwood is making his MMA debut against Ryan Jimmo, also of Halifax. A defensive end, Braidwood has to lose about 10 pounds off of his 6’ 4” frame to meet the 265-pound maximum for heavyweight.
Roger Hollett (Pictures) is the son of former Canadian middleweight boxing champion Ralph Hollett, and he brings an unblemished 3-0 record West with him. He’s a very powerful and well-rounded fighter who is equally comfortable on his feet or on the mat. Jimmo is an MMA rookie but is a former Pan Am Games gold medalist in karate. Despite being introduced to BJJ in the past few months, his team is amazed at his quick learning curve.
Weigh-ins will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday in front of the HMV music store inside the world famous West Edmonton Mall.
I’ll be attending this event for Sherdog.com, so keep your eyes peeled next week for my usual detailed report and also pictures and video interviews.
Jeff Joslin (Pictures) update
As first reported by Sherdog.com’s Jordan Breen, Hamilton, Ontario’s Jeff Joslin (Pictures) will make his second UFC appearance April 5 live on SpikeTV.
Joslin’s first foray into the Octagon last Dec. was a decision loss to Josh Koscheck (Pictures), so look for “The Inferno” to make his mark when he squares off against Kuniyoshi Hironaka (Pictures).
It’s very interesting to note that both fighters have decision losses to Jon Fitch (Pictures) on their résumés. Joslin’s was a very controversial one in 2005 that I’ve recounted to you before, and Kuniyoshi’s was at UFC 64 last Oct. Fans have been craving a Joslin-Fitch rematch, so I’m willing to bet that if Joslin is victorious in this match the UFC will make it happen.
St. Pierre signs long-term contract
According to a recent article by Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, Georges St. Pierre (Pictures)’s manager Stephane Patry confirmed that “Rush” has signed a new six-fight contract with the UFC.
The article confirmed that this deal would make the UFC welterweight champion one of the top-five UFC earners, undoubtedly a hefty amount considering it doesn’t include any bonus or endorsement money.
Canadian seminar information
I received so much positive feedback the last time I provided seminar information to Sherdog readers that I thought I’d do it again.
On Saturday, Feb. 10 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Lee Mein (Pictures)’s Canadian Martial Arts Centre is bringing in one of the UFC’s most exciting welterweights, Karo Parisyan (Pictures), for a five-hour seminar.
Times are from 12 noon until 5 p.m. and the cost will be $75 with pre-registration, or $100 the day of the seminar. Karo has incredible judo technique, so this is a fantastic opportunity to learn first hand how he ties it into an effective MMA fighting style.
To register you can call the CMAC at (403) 320–5569, or e-mail Lee Mein (Pictures) (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jason Day (email@example.com).
“The Alaskan Assassin” Sam Hoger (Pictures) will visit the Miletich Fighting Systems affiliate in Edmonton, Alberta for a two-day seminar Feb. 9-10.
The focus will be on top position and ground-and-pound. This seminar will include a meet and greet at a local pub, and the pre-registration cost is $135 for both days. To register, call MFS Edmonton (780) 444-5999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following this seminar, MFS Edmonton will be bringing in the man himself, Pat Miletich (Pictures), in May.
Winnipeg MMA fans will be disappointed to hear that PRIDE superstar Wanderlei Silva (Pictures)’s planned seminar in March had to be canceled due to other contractual obligations. “The Axe Murderer” is one of the top light heavyweights in the world and it’s hoped that he’ll be able to come at a later date.
Andy, I am from the U.S. and my favorite fighter is Canadian Joe Doerksen (Pictures). He has a ton of fights. Do you know if he's fighting in the UFC anytime soon? I think he's in PRIDE also; do you know who he'll be fighting next? Where does he live and train? I am in Boston. – Darren Rivers
Hi Darren, thanks for your question. I talked to Joe and he was more than happy to answer your question himself:
“I currently have a three-fight deal with PRIDE for the year. It is not an exclusive contract, so I will likely fight elsewhere in between PRIDE fights. I will not be fighting for the UFC as long as I am under contract with PRIDE.
I live and train mostly in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I train Muay Thai with Giuseppe DeNatale at CKMTC, and do some grappling at the Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts. Several times a year I travel to Salt Lake City and spend time training there with Jeremy Horn (Pictures).”
Darren, you’re not alone when it comes to having Joe as your favorite fighter; he has many fans both in Canada and around the world. Joe is a very humble guy, and in his answer to you he doesn’t give himself enough credit.
If you watched Jeremy Horn (Pictures)’s post-fight video interview here on Sherdog after his recent IFL win over Falaniko Vitale (Pictures), you saw that he attributed a large part of his success to the efforts of Joe.