With 2019 now in the books, it’s time to look ahead to what looks to be an exciting 2020 for Canadian MMA.
Multiple fight cards are already set to kick off the new decade, and include many intriguing fights.
There are plenty of names to keep an eye on in Western Canada as far as who may be next to receive a call to the big show, but the list below isn’t focused on those fighters.
The 10 fighters listed below are fighters who are set to make their pro debut, are a few fights into their pro career, or perhaps names you just may not know much about yet.
Regardless of their current status, these are 10 fighters in prime position to make a lot of noise in 2020.
Josh Kwiatkowsi (4-2) PRO
One of the more experienced fighters on the list, Kwiatkowski is heading into 2020 riding a massive wave of momentum. Coming off a second round TKO victory over his toughest test to date in Randy Mahon at Rise FC 5, Kwiatkowski enters 2020 on a three-fight win streak. The move to Checkmat Vancouver has proven to be a positive one for Kwiatkowski, who continues to show massive improvements each time he steps in the cage. Look for Kwiatkowski to be back action early in the new year.
Gwyn Berry (7-2) AMATEUR
Currently one of the top amateurs in Canada at both featherweight and lightweight, Berry is set to make his professional debut at BFL 65 on Feb. 8. Training out of The Sound Martial Arts in Squamish, B.C., Berry has the tools, the skills, and the knowledge to succeed at the professional level. In his most recent outing, Berry became the BFL amateur featherweight champion at BFL 63, after defeating Dakota Angel. Don’t be surprised to see Berry make a quick rise in the professional ranks by the time 2020 comes to a close.
Ali Wasuk (2-1) PRO
After a small stumble in his professional debut, Wasuk quickly got back on track by winning his next two contests. What makes Wasuk even more dangerous in the bantamweight division is his lengthy amateur career in which he went 8-3, including an impressive showing at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships. Wasuk is in prime shape to make a run at a title shot in 2020, and that starts with a bout with Nick Ghaeni at BFL 65 in February.
Andrew Mavridis (1-0) PRO
Coming off a successful professional debut at Unified MMA 39 against an always tough Josh Mackenzie, Mavridis showed no signs of nerves making the jump from amateur to professional. After a 7-0 amateur career, which included a gold medal at the 2019 Canadian National Amateur Championships, Mavridis has still yet to taste defeat. He has shared the cage with some of the toughest and hard-hitting lightweights in Western Canada, showing his rock-hard durability. With the well-rounded game he possesses, Mavridis could very well make some noise in 2020 in what is a stacked lightweight division.
Lucas Neufeld (4-1) PRO – **has since moved to 5-1**
After fighting just once in 2019, Neufeld is preparing for a massive 2020. Other than the lone blemish on his record, a decision loss to tough American prospect Jordan Leavitt, Neufeld has looked nearly unbeatable so far in his professional career. With his first bout of 2020 already set for Jan. 25 at Fight Night 12, don’t be surprised to see Neufeld in a title fight in the first half of 2020.
Thomas Deneve (4-0) AMATEUR
So far in his amateur career, there is only one word to describe Deneve. Lethal. All four of his wins have come by first round knockout, three of which came in 30 seconds or less. After fighting the majority of his amateur career for Prestige FC, Deneve said he plans on branching out into other promotions in 2020, which is likely to setup an amateur title fight at some point in the new year. With the extreme danger he poses on the feet, Deneve will be one to watch as he takes the next step up in amateur competition, as well as his likely looming professional debut.
Konstantin Gaivoronskii (5-0) AMATEUR
Yet to taste defeat in his amateur career, Gaivoronskii is a danger to any opponent he shares the cage witg. He possesses heavy knockout power, and trains out of one of the top gyms in Western Canada in Toshido MMA. Gaivoronskii is now ready to test his skills in the professional ranks as he was set to make his pro debut at Rise FC 5 before his opponent, Steve Southern, was forced out due to injury. Expect to see Gaivoronskii make his much-anticipated professional debut early in 2020, and don’t be surprised to see him pick up right where he left off in his amateur career.
Radley Da Silva (2-1) PRO
Don’t let his 2-1 record fool you. Da Silva’s skill level and fight IQ is far and above his three-fight professional career. After making his professional debut back in 2013 at just 18 years old, Da Silva took six years off to mature, both physically and mentally. In his return to cage action with loads of hype surrounding him, Da Silva became the Rise FC featherweight champion after defeating John Nguyen at Rise FC 5. Although his capoeira background is one of the more intriguing aspects of his game, Da Silva is as well-rounded a fighter as you will find. Now that he’s back in action for good, don’t be surprised to see Da Silva make a quick climb to the top of the Canadian featherweight division.
Jamey-Lyn Horth Wessels (3-0) PRO **has since moved to 4-0**
If you haven’t seen or heard of Horth Wessels, you’ve been missing out. Yet to taste defeat as an amateur or professional, Horth Wessels is the complete package. Training out of The Sound Martials Arts in Squamish, B.C., she boasts dangerous striking and strong grappling. Horth Wessels is set to compete for her first professional title at BFL 65 when she takes on one of the top female fighters from Eastern Canada in Jade Masson-Wong in a fight that could very well see the winner on the UFC’s doorstep.
Taylor Christopher (1-0) PRO
After a 7-1 amateur career, the much-anticipated professional debut of Christopher was all it was expected to be and more. Over two years removed from his final amateur bout, Christopher finally made his pro debut at BFL 64 in November, submitting a tough first test in Cedric Lochard. With amateur wins over the likes of Josh Kwiatkowski, Philip Romanov, and Blake Sigvaldason and not having lost since his amateur debut in 2014, Christopher is primed to make a quick rise in the professional featherweight rankings.