For years, the UFC has been on the up-and-up in Canada. For those who don’t follow sports, or who may be a bit shy about watching two adults scrap it out in a cage match, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is the world’s most popular MMA league. Headed by Dana White, the series puts together the biggest MMA fights in a variety of weight classes.
Don’t know what MMA is? Mixed Martial Arts is a type of fight that combines some of the world’s oldest fighting traditions. There’s Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, which draws from Japan’s jiu-jitsu tradition. There’s Muay Thai, a type of kickboxing art from Thailand. Then there’s plain old wrestling, which draws on a variety of styles from Greco-Romance to freestyle.
What looks like a bloody contest actually involves highly technical moves that force two opponents to attempt to lead the fight with takedowns. Even if you don’t recognize the names mentioned in an mma betting guide, you’ve probably heard of legends like Conor McGregor or, for Canadians, Georges St-Pierre.
The St-Pierre Effect
In fact, St-Pierre, who became a legend in the 2000s, remains the world’s most accomplished MMA fighter. He also helped popularize the UFC (and MMA in general) for the entire country. At the height of his popularity in 2009, two in every 10 Canadians said they were interested in the UFC.
This trend continues thanks to St-Pierre’s legacy. Today, residents are more likely to tune in to a UFC fight than they are professional wrestling or boxing—much of this is thanks to St-Pierre… but will Canada see another prolific fighter like him in the coming years?
A Legacy in Quebec
If you’re interested in learning more about ufc betting in Canada and beyond, you’re going to need to review a few MMA betting tips. These tips revolve around identifying a strong fighter and learning how to analyse the competition before you place bets on main card bouts and smaller undercard matches. Throughout the early 2000s until his final match in 2013, much of this coverage surrounded Montreal native Georges St-Pierre.
As mentioned above, St-Pierre isn’t just a legend in Quebec or Canada. He’s one of the sport’s most lethal participants of all time—and he’s got the record to prove it. During his time in the UFC, he became a two-division champion in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions. In the welterweight division, he took home three champion titles, lingering at the top of the world rankings for multiple years running.
Along the way, he also tallied the most wins in title bouts (for which he still holds the record) and the second-longest title streak (in the UFC) for a total of 2,204 days. However, one of St-Pierre’s greatest feats was his return to the Octagon. In 2017, after three years of retirement, he returned to nab a Middleweight champion title.
Clearly, the St-Pierre shadow may be impossible to fill. And with the Montreal native helping steer UFC interest in Canada, thousands of wrestling fans in the country are waiting on their next hero. So, who will it be?
Fighters to Keep an Eye On
In terms of pound-for-pound rankings, Canada’s top MMA fighters today are Adam ‘Maverick’ Assenza and Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell. However, many analysts and fans are instead keeping an eye on Canada’s latest list of prospects. In other words, many of the fighters who grew up training during St-Pierre’s reign are now entering the UFC and other MMA competitions—to great results.
Currently, lightweight Anthony Romero has an 11-1 record. He’s a master in BJJ and he has medals to show for it. Back in 2020, he competed in Dana White’s Contender Series. However, he’s still waiting on a major break, as UFC passed on signing him at the time.
Tony Laramie is another top Canadian name to keep an eye on. The flyweight fighter endured a few issues after losses in 2017 but has since turned around his professional record at 6-2. Most recently, Laramie looked dominative in the PFC competition.