Who’s Next… Unified MMA 48

Unified MMA made their debut outside of Alberta earlier this month, bringing an absolutely stacked Unified MMA 48 lineup to Toronto, Ont. In the main event, Shane Campbell took on Darren Smith Jr. for the vacant Unified MMA super-lightweight title and in the co-main event Scott Hudson met Austin Tweedy in a likely number-one contender matchup.

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.

Shane Campbell (21-8) vs. Scott Hudson (14-5-1)

Campbell pushed his Unified record to 11-0 with a dominant victory over Darren Smith Jr. and has won six straight fights over the last three years. Campbell has compiled an 11-2 record since his initial UFC stint and has his sights set on a return to the Octagon, which he undoubtedly deserves. Hudson also picked up an impressive win at Unified MMA 48 and has now won seven in a row. Hudson survived an early knockdown and a dominant first round against Austin Tweedy, came back in the second and almost got the finish himself, and eventually found his way to a unanimous decision win with a great show of heart and determination. Hudson, like Campbell, could also make a case for a UFC shot, but if neither man gets the contract this is a Canadian dream match that has to happen.

Pat Pytlik (8-1) vs. Zackery Powell (6-1)

Over three and a half years ago Pytlik suffered his first career loss and was then forced into a long layoff due to injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic. Pytlik has been recovering and waiting for his chance to get back into the cage and finally got his opportunity at Unified MMA 48. Pytlik capitalized in a huge way when he mowed down TUF veteran Michael Hill in the first round. Pytlik has thrown himself right into the mix and should be among the top contenders in the super-welterweight division. Also in that discussion is Zackery Powell, who has been nearly perfect in his pro career thus far with only a split decision loss to Dario Sinagoga to go along with his six wins. Powell is a grinder and would be a tough out for Pytlik who has finished each of his wins since going pro.

Jesse Stirn (14-6) vs. Maged Hammo (12-6-1)

Stirn picked up a hard-fought victory over Vladimir Kazbekov at Unified MMA 48 and pushed his win streak to three straight. With the featherweight division wide open it definitely makes sense to grant Stirn a title shot against the champion, Hammo, who has won four of his last five fights. Hammo is a proven finisher with six knockouts and six submissions to his credit. Stirn has shown to be susceptible to the submission, albeit against very high level competition. It would be interesting to see if Hammo could keep his 100 per cent finish rate intact and claim another title defence against a very worthy challenger.

Louis Jourdain (6-3) vs. Justin Basra (6-1)

Jourdain looked very impressive against Gabe Sagman and put himself in a good position in the bantamweight division. A win over a former title challenger is big, however, another win may be needed to get a title shot as someone else may already have a stronger claim for that spot right now, but more on that a little further down. Basra returned from a lengthy layoff at Unified MMA 47 with disappointing results. Basra challenged Maged Hammo for the featherweight title and was never able to get going and was submitted halfway through the first round. Basra is likely to drop back to his natural weight of bantamweight and could easily make a run at the title there.

Ergys Sigeta (5-0) vs. Bobby Poulter (4-1)

Sigeta made it a perfect 10-0 over his pro and amateur MMA career when he put Kaecy Raddon to sleep in the second round of their Unified MMA 48 bout. Sigeta is definitely one to watch and can make some noise in the super welterweight division. Poulter was scheduled to compete on the same card, but his bout against Julius Trimmeliti was cancelled. With only one blemish on his record to the extremely decorated Saeid Mirzaei, Poulter is likely itching to get back in the cage, and a chance to compete in a potential contenders match with Sigeta should be very enticing for him.

Teshay Gouthro (7-1) vs. Noah Ali (11-5)

There’s a lot happening at bantamweight right now and Gouthro may have put himself at the head of the pack for a title shot. Gouthro picked up his fourth straight victory at Unified MMA 48 against some very solid competition. Ali captured the vacant Unified MMA bantamweight title earlier this year and has been awaiting a challenger to emerge. These durable and exciting bantamweights would likely put on a show for the crowd and produce a very legit champion for Unified MMA.

Mohamed Ado (1-0) vs. Matt Smith (2-0)

Ado came out of nowhere to finish a very tough, unbeaten prospect in Matt Speciale. With no footage to be found and little info on Ado, many wrote him off in this one. Ado proved that he can weather a storm and showed his resilience to get the finish. Ado should be eager to prove that it was no fluke and take out another undefeated prospect. Smith would love to keep his momentum going after a pair of wins in 2022 and avoid the same fate as Speciale.

Amin Almelik (1-2) vs. Antonio Cappello (0-0)

Almelik rebounded from a rough start to his pro career with a unanimous decision victory over a tough Kristian Bouchard and has had a hard time with fights falling through over the past year. Almelik still managed to get three fights in 2022 but had a fight with Cappello cancelled on two separate occasions. Hopefully third time’s a charm and Cappello is able to put his 2-0-1 amateur record to the test in his pro debut.

Bilal Nasari (1-0) vs. Amear Bani (0-1)

Nasari came into his pro debut against Patrick Connors with no documented amateur experience.  Entering the fight, Connors boasted 18 MMA fights across the pro and amateur circuit. After a debut like that, it’s hard to figure out what to do with Nasari. Obviously, he’s passed a huge test already, but you don’t want to go too big too soon. Bani, despite losing his pro debut, would be a solid test for Nasari. Bani sports a 7-1 amateur record with six wins by submission and would be a good barometer for Nasari’s potential.

On The Rebound

Darren Smith Jr. (22-13) vs. Michael Dufort (10-4)

Austin Tweedy (11-4) vs. Stephen Beaumont (10-3)

Michael Hill (11-8-1) vs. Ash Mashreghi (7-7)

Vladimir Kazbekov (7-5) vs. Alex Morgan (11-5)

Gabe Sagman (7-6) vs. Morgan Rhynes (5-6)

Kaecy Raddon (3-1) vs. Chris Chapman (5-3)

Matt Speciale (4-1) vs. Ramil Kamilov (4-0)

Kristian Bouchard (2-2) vs. Jake Geauvreau (2-1)

Patrick Connors (5-6) vs. Lee Gaudet (5-8)

Who’s Next brought to you by Lisa McInnes – Verico Paragon Mortgage Inc.