Who’s Next… BFL 66

BFL 66 took place this past weekend in Vancouver, B.C. After a full year without Canadian MMA, B.C. has held a pair of events over the last couple weeks. BFL 66 was full of rising stars and hot prospects with a bunch of long-awaited pro debuts and a couple of title defences.

Keep in mind, in most cases, the matchups listed here are hypothetical and have not been announced or rumoured to be taking place, unless otherwise noted.

Let us know your thoughts on who should be next for the big winners and the rest of the card, and who you think would win our hypothetical matchups.

Achilles Estremadura (7-0) vs. Dana White’s Contender Series bout

Estremadura was signed to compete on Dana White Contender Series (DWCS) earlier this year, but the COVID situation threw a monkey wrench into that plan. Now that he’s got another win in the bank, that only strengthens his position and puts him in line for another shot, if the UFC can get the travel restrictions figured out. If they’re still having issues getting Canadians out of the country for DWCS, they should be able to swing a late notice replacement fight for Estremadura. Either way, he’s earned his shot.

Caio Machado (4-1-1) vs. Christian Larsen (5-1)

With Tanner Boser, Dustin Joynson and Arjan Bhullar signed with major promotions, the only option left for Canadian matchups for Machado is the Unified MMA heavyweight champion, Larsen. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to get a UFC shot at 4-1-1, especially at heavyweight. but Machado may need one more high-quality win to secure the contract. A champion vs. champion match with Larsen would likely result in the winner getting that call up to the big show. It would be great to see BFL and Unified work together to make this fight happen on either show.

Dario Sinagoga (4-0) vs. Zack Powell (4-0)

Sinagoga had easily the biggest win of his career in an upset over Craig Shintani, which likely put him in line for a lightweight title shot. However, with Estremadura likely headed to DWCS, the title shot may be put on hold in favour of a matchup with another undefeated prospect in Powell. This bout signs itself as both Sinagoga and Powell went back and forth on social media this week. This would be a fantastic fight and a good test for both fighters.

Kyran Cameron (5-0) vs. Kolton Menzak (7-5)

Cameron had perhaps his most impressive victory of his career with his first round submission win over Keanan Kellar. Out of his five wins, the most experienced opponent he’s faced has had three fights. It’s time to put him in there with an experienced opponent. With Menzak living in Alberta, it may be a long shot for this to happen on a BFL card, but he would be the perfect next opponent for Cameron to test himself.

Ali Wasuk (4-1) vs. Justin Basra (5-0)

Wasuk made it four in a row and finished a tough veteran in Maclean on Friday night. Wasuk has definitely earned a shot at the BFL bantamweight strap and would likely welcome a stiff test in his next outing. Basra has been out for awhile, but is reportedly close to returning to the cage and would easily be one of the top contenders in Canada at bantamweight. Basra has yet to taste defeat in his professional or amateur career and matching these two up would guarantee a high-level matchup and a very deserving champion.

Gerico Platon (1-0) vs. Nick Ghaeni (3-4)

Platon is another amateur standout that turned professional and picked up a quick and impressive finish in his debut. Platon needed less than half a minute to put Nicholson out of commission and could use a stiffer test in his second outing. A bout between the capable striker and strong wrestler Ghaeni could provide some fireworks and launch the winner up the rankings.

Ivan Hryshchuk (1-0) vs. Gordon Cunningham (3-0 amateur)

In his professional debut, Hryshchuk blew away a 17-fight veteran in under 40 seconds. Where do you go with a guy like this moving forward? It’s going to be tough to lineup an opponent for Hryshchuk until he has a few more fights under his belt, but Cunningham has been vocal on social media about wanting a crack at Hryshchuk. Given how tough it’s going to be to find opponents for Hryshchuk, it makes sense to take what’s on the table, and Cunningham would provide a stiff test.

Indroop Virk (1-0) vs. Howie Tan (2-1)

Virk was one of a few promising amateur standouts to make his pro debut this weekend and put on a dominant performance over three rounds of action. If Virk can put a couple of solid wins together, he could quickly ascend the flyweight rankings and put himself in line for some big fights. Tan is a proven finisher and if Virk is able to withstand the onslaught and topple the once-beaten prospect, it would go a long way in his early pro career.

On the rebound:

Curtis Demarce (18-16) vs. Tim Tamaki (19-28-1)

Lee Mein (11-15) vs. Justin Doege (2-2)

Craig Shintani (9-4) vs. Maged Hammo (9-5-1)

Kennan Kellar (2-1) vs. Joel Odorski (2-0)

Craig Mclean (5-4) vs. Corey Gower (7-7)

Tylor Nicholson (1-5) vs. Matt Dawson (2-1)

Drayton Angus (7-11) vs. Derek Boyle (14-13)