Our friend Jason Durance asked promoters from Battlefield Fight League and Quest for Glory along with top local MMA media BCMMAA.com, MMAsucka's, Vanfighter, among others to give us their top 5 amateurs, any weight class, any criteria. Promise, Age, Excitement factor, records and achievements, etc. These are the combined results.
They say Canada is the Mecca of Mixed Martial-Arts. I'm not exactly sure who "They" are, but I think on this occasion they may be right. Before I left my home in Ontario, and before the sport was even legal there, I saw MMA events flourish on native soil. My new home in Vancouver, British Columbia is no different, except the amateur MMA scene here has right out exploded! No matter where you go, in or around the city, you can literally throw a rock and hit a Gym. And local promotions such as Battlefield Fight League, Gionco International, and West Coast Promotions have put on numerous shows that have proved to have more thrills than most UFC events. The difference? In the UFC, fighters are fighting to keep their job. In the amateurs, fighters are fighting for an opportunity.
And while these brave warriors are also competing for no purse, what they do earn is all the respect in the world from the fans in attendance, the promoters who hold the events, myself and all my peers in the media. These fighters will also be paid homage as we have all put our collective minds together to give props to the next talent to follow in the footsteps of other locals making the move to the professional level. Locals such as Battlefield Welterweight and Featherweight champions Jacen Brooks and Gary "St-Lion" Mangat. Below is our "Pound 4 Pound" top ten based on talent, excite factor, maybe some records and achievements came into play, but we wouldn't be surprised to see anyone of these guys fighting in the UFC someday.
10. Ryan Christopher (West Coast BJJ)
"Watch your limbs! It takes only seconds for one to be mine."
Age: 26Division: LightweightRecord: (2-0)A purple belt under Don Whitefield at West Coast BJJ, Ryan's quote couldn't be more true. Perhaps Ryan's strongest attribute is his composure as he stays calm under pressure and is a dangerous fighter in any position.
9. Ash "Smash" Mashreghi (Revolution Fight Team)
"I love to fight, it's the only thing I know how to do. Fighting makes us better, makes us humble, and shows us the real character of others."
Sometimes a loss is the best thing to happen to a fighter. Ash seems to have learned from his lone defeat and was able to rebound in his last outing. Ash is very dangerous both standing and on the ground with a black belt in Muay Thai and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu.
8. Jer "The Jerk" Kornelson (Impact MMA)
"I won't stop until I've reached my goal; To be the best I can possibly be and go as far as my abilities allow. I respect everyone, but fear no one."
With knockout power in both hands and a mean ground game, the oldest member on our list knows it's now or never to make something out of his career, and The Jerk has every intention on making that happen.
7. Cam "Rock-a-Doodle" Deleurme (RDC Jiu-Jitsu Academy)
"We don't stop fighting because we grow old; We grow old because we stop fighting."
With a dangerous ground game courtesy of RDC, Cam's only loss comes at the hand of Battlefield featherweight champion, Gary Mangat, in a fight that went the distance. With nothing but time on his side, this youngster looks to put the loss behind him and carry forward.
6. Achilles Estremadura (Axe Capoeira)
"The fight is over when I win or when I die."
While it's still early to tell, there seems to be no Achille's Heel for Estremadura. Perhaps he shall be dubbed "The Old Man Beater" considering his two opponents have been nearly double Achille's age. At 19 years old, Estremadura is only going to grow from here.
5. Justin Lansing (Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu)
"It's better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep."
It's really hard to gauge this BJJ Brown belt considering he's only spent a total of two minutes and eight seconds in his two fights winning both via submission in the first round. But what we do know is his jiujitsu is slick and he looks to be a real threat to anyone who steps up to face him.
4. Murray "Showtime" Sogen (Elite, RAW)
"Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it."
The charismatic yet humble Murray Sogen is perhaps the most electrifying fighter on the list with his flashy walkouts and never surrender, push the pace, fighting style. After recently capturing the West Coast Lightweight Championship, the anticipation of his first title defence has ramped up.
3. Emilio "Get Money" Ditrocchio (Posener's Pankration)
"I'm happy to be where I am today. Thanks to all the fans! I'm gonna keep putting on exciting fights for all of you!"
The newly crowned West Coast Featherweight champion is undefeated in his first 5 fights, but it seems the competition will soon be amped up for this scrappy fighter. Perhaps a bout in fall against the 2nd ranked featherweight…
2. Jeremy "JBC" Kennedy (West Coast BJJ)
"It stands for Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. My teammates gave it to me because of my usual bad diet."
This 18 year old is the youngest fighter on our list, but is also one of the most experienced with six fights. His only loss comes at the hands of Cam Deleurme, yet Kennedy is still ranked higher which goes to show our thoughts on this kids raw potential.
1. Adam Santos (Morganti Ju-Jitsu/Team Narita MMA)
"If I attack, follow me. If I die, avenge me. If I retreat, kill me!"
If any fighter needs to turn pro now, it's Adam Santos. He is a 2nd dan Morganti jiujitsu black belt and has never seen outside of the first round. Having spent only a little over 5 minutes inside the cage in four fights, there is no one we can see left in the amateurs who could withstand what Santos brings to the equation.
Honourable Mentions to "Tricky" Nick Marinos and Cheryl Chan. Marinos has been very successful marketing himself and has appeared on television and in movies since winning the West Coast and IFC Welterweight titles. Cheryl Chan has been the face of women's MMA in the area. Win, loss, or draw, this Mendoza fight team product is tough as nails and is a real crowd pleaser.
So there you have it. 12 names you should be on the lookout for. But you know something? 13 has always been my lucky number, so I'd like to give an extra shout out to ALL fighters. I respect everything you do in and outside the cage, and having the balls to test yourself by putting it all on the line once the door closes. Keep working hard, and in a few months when we do this all over again, maybe we'll see your name up there. We all have our eyes on you!
*Thanks to Battlefield Fight League, Quest for Glory, BCMMAA.com, MMAsucka, Vanfighter, Darcy McBride, and female super fan, Devon McDonald for supplying their thoughts to fuel these rankings. I asked all for their top 5 amateurs in order. Number of nominations combined with where they ranked in the choices were what factored into the finalized list above. Perhaps next time we collect everyones top 10's and include a few new faces. Open to suggestions, but this is all in good fun. Cheers!
by The MMeh? Show! on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 1:12am