UFC 129 in the Rogers Centre was the mountain top for MMA in the province of Ontario. The event held by the world’s most notable MMA promotion was a sight to see and it remains one of the top five events in the sports’ history.
While it remains a mountaintop event for the UFC and Toronto specifically, there were a lot of buildups done by some legends in the Canadian MMA scene that allowed that event to happen. The sport was illegal for a long time in the province, but the minute it becomes legal the spectacle that fans got with UFC 129 proved everything fans and fighters endured was worth it.
Since then it has only grown more and when you look at the broader Ontario sports news, MMA remains a top topic and a star to cover. With all due respect to Toronto FC of the MLS or Blue Jays of the MLB, or Raptors of the NBA, combat sports remain king.
As the sport thrives in the province that once was taken with Vincanity, looking back at the MMA pioneers who built the reputation in the province is worth doing now.
5. Sean Pierson (14-6) from Toronto
Sean Pierson was a part of the aforementioned UFC 129 card for the promotion but he was unable to get the win. In the grand scheme though when looking at Pierson’s record, not many fighters can say they ended tier career on a four-fight win streak in the UFC. He has notable wins over Kenny Robertson, Matthew Riddle, and Lance Benoist. Of his 14 wins, he has a finish rate of 71%, and that in itself is uber impressive given the high-level competition he has faced in his career.
4. Mark Bocek (12-5) from Woodbridge
Mark Bocek was given no favors in hindsight for his UFC debut when he was given eventual lightweight legend Frankie Edgar. While he didn’t win that bout, he went on great run of 8-4 in the UFC with three of his losses coming to eventual UFC champions. He holds notable wins over Dustin Hazelett, John Alessio, and Nik Lentz and while his career ended in 2014 he went out winning three of his last four.
3. Mark Hominick (20-12) of Thamesford
The first person on this list to compete for a UFC title, Mark Hominick did so against the featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo in front of a massive crowd at UFC 129. He didn’t beat Aldo but he did become the first person to expose him when he won a very one-sided fifth round while having a hematoma the size of Ontario on his forehead. He obviously competed in the UFC but he also was a staple in WEC as well, an absolute legend of not just Ontario’s MMA history but Canada as a whole.
2. Sam Stout (20-12) of London
While he never fought for a title, Sam Stout is the Micky Ward of Canadian MMA. When Hands of Stone was booked for a fight, you made sure you didn’t miss it. His bouts with Spencer Fisher specifically which he split with one win and one loss, are fights that will be shown long after this generation of fans is gone. He went out on a rough losing streak but he also left a legacy that is more than the losses for Ontario sports fans to remember.
1. Carlos Newton (16-14) of Pickering
The lone champion on this list, Carlos Newton was able to achieve UFC gold in a first for the sport when he tapped out Pat Miletich with a bulldog choke. He won the title at UFC 31, the early day of the sport, and because he was in it so early he has so many notable names on his resume. Fighters like Dan Henderson, Pete Spratt, Renzo Gracie, and Shonie Carter, all of which he holds wins over. The record is nearly five hundred but his impact is 100% a foundation when looking back on the history of Canadian MMA and especially Ontario.