Who’s Next… Unified MMA 49

Unified MMA was back at their home at the River Cree Resort and Casino to cap off an incredible and ambitious month of December with Unified MMA 49. Unified held events in three cities in 15 days, starting in Calgary on Dec. 2, followed by Toronto on Dec. 16 and finally back in Edmonton the next night on Dec. 17.

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.

Tim Smith (18-12) vs. Tom O’Connor (11-2)

It’s been a long and winding road for Smith over the last several years as he’s proudly clawed his way back from addiction and suddenly finds himself with back-to-back wins. Smith dispatched the surging Nick Hrabec in a fight of the night. After the fight, Smith declared that he wanted his Unified MMA lightweight title back, a title he never lost inside the cage. Assuming Shane Campbell relinquishes the title as he focuses on the super-lightweight division, Smith and O’Connor make the most sense to crown a new lightweight champ. A win over the red hot O’Connor would be another amazing chapter in Smith’s story.

Cody Ries (4-2) vs. Kolten Menzak (7-6)

Ries returned to the cage for the first time in nearly a decade at Unified MMA 49 to give Aaron Bosiak a retirement fight. Ries spoiled Bosiak’s night, submitting the former title challenger expeditiously. Ries embarked on a brief boxing career after stepping away from MMA and compiled a respectable 6-1 record. Assuming Ries’ return was not a one-off event, there are some fun fights to be had. Menzak has found mixed results over his pro career, however, his losses have mostly been to high-level local talent and a fight with Ries would be an evenly-matched bout.

Harley King (3-1) vs. Albaraa Atmeh (2-1)

King has put together a solid start to his pro career with a 3-1 record, which has included a pair of finishes to go along with last weekend’s dominant decision win over Devon Lozej. King appears to want to stay active and needs another test, and Atmeh would be a perfect next opponent. The Atmeh matchup comes with a built-in story line as King recently defeated his brother Izzudeen and you can bet Albaraa would love to get a measure of revenge and even up the family’s record against King. And somewhere down the line Imadudeen Atmeh might as well finish off the series.

Shannon Clark (2-0) vs. Melissa Croden (4-1)

Clark was able to stay perfect as she chopped Maisonneuve down with leg kicks and battered her en route to a second round corner stoppage. Ideally, Unified MMA would bring in an American to fight Clark as it would be a shame for two high-level Canadian prospects to fight and potentially derail the other’s progress. If that’s not feasible, Croden would be a stiff test for Clark if Unified MMA can book that bout after her Z-Promotions fight against Brittney Cloudy in January.

Caleb Ermine (1-2) vs. Seth Connor (2-4)

Ermine turned pro last year and dropped his first two bouts by submission to some solid competition. Ermine rebounded at Unified MMA 49 and picked up a hard-fought decision victory over the always tough Matt Klute. Ermine has been staying active since turning pro and should look to keep the momentum rolling. Connor has also been busy since turning pro, going 2-4 after an extensive amateur run that saw him go 8-5 and would be a tough test for Ermine.

On The Rebound:

Graham Park (8-4) vs. Josh Clark (13-5)

Nick Hrabec (8-6) vs. Chris Chapman (5-3)

Aaron Bosiak (4-3) vs. Retirement

Devon Lozej (2-2) vs. Izzudeen Atmeh (2-3)

Jo Maisonneuve (1-3) vs. Maria Demers (0-2)

Matt Klute (1-2) vs. Steven Thomas (0-2)

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