Currently the UFC has somewhere around 20-25 Canadian fighter on their roster. If you were to add the fighter who train in Canada at gyms like Tristar then you would see that Canada’s influence in great. Canada continues to put out world class talent in MMA. I believe there is still a lot of talent to find in Canada. The UFC realizes this and has sought out the top fighters in the country and have even discussed holding a Canadian version of the Ultimate Fighter. The UFC has committed to holding events in Canada as well. They have found that the country is one of the best markets in the world. Annual events in Toronto and Montreal as well as events in other cities such as Vancouver have shown the UFC’s commitment to Canada. It only makes sense to have a host of Canadian fighters available to fight on those cards. The next UFC event in Canada will be UFC 145 in Montreal in March. It is possible that we will see some Canadian newcomers on the event. UFC has already signed Canadian Chris Clements for this event, but is there any other Canadians who could get a call?
1. Josh Hill – (7-0) – Bantamweight – Hill is the current Agression MMA bantamweight champion. I believe that Hill will eventually find his way to a major promotion. He may need one or two more wins to get there, but there is a possibility that UFC could target him for one of their Canadian events.
2. Steve Bosse – (8-1) – Light Heavyweight – The former hockey enforcer may be the most likely on this list to get picked up by the UFC. He has a few things going for him. One he has an exciting style. Second, he has an impressive resume which includes wins over UFC veterans Wes Sims, Marvin Eastman and Houston Alexander. Third, he is a former hockey player, which gives some intrigue. Also, the UFC could use more talent in their light heavyweight division. I think Bosse is the right guy for the UFC 145 card in Montreal. Montreal is where Bosse trains.
3. Misha Cirkunov – (5-1) – Light Heavyweight – The 24-year old Latvian native is not a Canadian by birth, but he does live and train there. He trains at Tap Star with UFC fighter Sean Pierson. Cirkunov perhaps has some of the most upside on this list. I would be shocked if he does not make it to UFC or Bellator soon.
4. Nordine Taleb – (6-1) – Welterweight – The 30 year old fighter has to be on major promotion’s radar. Taleb really impressed in his victory over Pete Sell in which he became the Ring of Combat WW Champion. Taleb trains with some of the best in the world at Tristar gym. Taleb will fight February 10th at Ring of Combat, a win there should earn him an invite to a large promotion.
5. Alex Garcia – (7-1) -Welterweight – Garcia is another one of the Tristar welterweight that is on the rise. Garcia may have already had his chance if he hadn’t lost to Seth Baczynski. However, he has since rebounded. Many people speak highly of Gracia. If he should string together a few more wins he will be in the UFC soon. At just 24-years old he has time.
6. John Fraser – (10-3) – Bantamweight – Fraser is a solid bantamweight who I believe could beat many UFC bantamweights. He is currently riding a seven fight win streak, which includes an impressive victory over Travis Reddinger in his last outing. The one obstacle for Fraser is his age. At 34 years old his upside is minimal.
7. Kajan Johnson – (19-10-1) – Lightweight – While his record is not particularly stellar, Johnson has the chance to continue to improve under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi. Kajan has won two in a row over Richie Whitson and Ryan Healy. I would be shocked if UFC signed him directly right now, but he could make a case. Johnson tried out for the Ultimate Fighter 15, no word on whether or not he made it.
8. Tyson Steele – (8-1) – Welterweight – Steele has been rumored to actually be on the verge of heading to the UFC. Steele has a chance to convince the pwers that be that he is ready. He will take on Ryan Ford in February. If Steele could beat Ryan Ford, there is little doubt he would get a call.
9. Nathan Gunn – (9-2) – Welterweight – Perhaps a UFC stint is unlikely, but it is somewhat possible. Gunn has a solid resume, however he is already 33 years old and has lost to his most notable opponents.
10. Shelden Westcott – (5-1) -Lightweight – Westcott has cut his teeth inside Canada’s MFC. I believe a few more wins for the young lightweight could get him some more buzz.
Let me also throw out the possibility that the UFC could target Canadian veterans to fight at this event. Perhaps someone like John Alessio or Patrick Cote would make sense. Perhaps some of the America guys that have trained in Canda could also be worth a look.