The 5 best UFC fighters from Canada
When legendary Welterweight champion Matt Hughes quipped back in 2004 about the shame of “losing to a Canadian in a fist fight” it seemed pretty appropriate. After all, at that time, Canada had barely seen any successful fighters venture into the UFC. In the past decade or so though, all that has changed dramatically.
Canada has now produced some of the most successful UFC fighters in recent years, with a great deal of the success coming down to the success of a big-time Canadian training camp –Firas Zahabi’s Tri-Star team from Montreal, Quebec. But who are the very best Canadian fighters to step into the UFC’s Octagon? Here are my top five.
TJ Grant – Grant came into the UFC as a mid-level Welterweight known primarily for his grappling, but by 2012 a drop to 155lbs and a dramatic improvement in his Muay Thai game made him one of the most feared Lightweights on the roster. In 2013 he knocked out Gray Maynard to earn a shot at the Lightweight title, but a severe concussion forced him out of the bout and issues with post-concussion syndrome have seen him sidelined since.
Gary Goodridge – ‘Big Daddy’ was a pioneer in the early days of the UFC – going way back to his debut at UFC 8 – and he was responsible for one of the most memorable knockouts of the early days with his vicious elbow assault on Paul Herrera. But he didn’t have any genuine success despite reaching one tournament final and one semi-final.
Alexis Davis – A skilled grappler, Davis earned a title shot at Women’s Bantamweight with her impressive wins over Rosi Sexton, Liz Carmouche and Jessica Eye. But her general lack of natural athleticism was always going to catch up with her and she was finished by Ronda Rousey in under a minute. She’s now settled into a gatekeeper role in the UFC which is fine for her but she doesn’t quite make this list.
Sam Stout – Kickboxer Stout was nicknamed ‘Hands of Stone’, but was more renowned for his chin of granite, as he could take insane amounts of punishment in his prime with no real issues. Although he never truly impacted the title picture at 155lbs, his wars with the likes of Spencer Fisher, Joe Lauzon and Matt Wiman were truly memorable. He retired in 2015 after his legendary chin finally began to fail him.