It wasn’t that long ago that the biggest superstar in all of mixed martial arts was a Canadian named Georges St-Pierre, who felt the support from his entire home country while tearing through the competition to be considered one of the greatest fighters of all time.
St-Pierre’s rise to fame brought with it a surge of talent from Canada as the country became a hotbed for some of the best prospects in the sport.
As years passed, Canada continued to produce quality ranked fighters but outside of Rory MacDonald’s continued success at welterweight or Julia Budd and Felicia Spencer in the women’s divisions, the list of champions or top contenders in major organizations like the UFC or Bellator has been rather short.
Undefeated prospect Kyran Cameron hopes to change that narrative as he seeks to win a championship in the Battlefield Fight League on Friday night on UFC Fight Pass before eventually graduating to a major promotion based out of the United States.
“I believe there are a lot of really good guys coming up right now and assuming that they’re all getting the work in and not taking a break right now, I think that you’re going to have a lot more Canadian guys making it to the top ranks of the organizations,” Cameron said when speaking to MMA Fighting.
“I want to be one of them. I want to be one of the guys that is a catalyst for that, especially for Ontario.”
With a perfect 5-0 record, including four wins by knockout or submission, the Canadian welterweight is starting to build the kind of resume that he believes will get the attention of organizations like the UFC or Bellator.
Obviously he’s not jumping ahead of himself with a title fight ahead of him on Friday but Cameron can’t help but look towards a future in one of those top flight promotions.
“That’s been the goal since the beginning,” Cameron said. “That’s the natural progression of things. String those wins together, grab a championship and either defend that or go to the states and get a couple of fights but I definitely feel I’m knocking on the door.
“The goal will be to make the next step whether it’s the Contender Series or another big organization. It’s the natural progression of things and that’s what I’ve been training for since the beginning.”
The global pandemic definitely slowed down Cameron’s planned progression with Canada largely shut down for the better part of the past year, which forced him to find new and inventive ways to get his training done day to day.
He ended up sitting out for almost exactly 12 months between fights but then returned with an impressive heel hook submission victory back in March to set up his title opportunity in BFL.
Ideally, Cameron would have competed two or three times in the past year but he still did his absolute best to take advantage of the time off by constantly working to better his overall fight game.
“I’ve definitely made a lot of improvements in that year,” Cameron said. “There was probably a month or two that I had that was off from actual training but since then it’s just been full steam ahead. We’ve been making it work however we can but we really haven’t stopped. We’ve been working on our game the entire time.
“I haven’t really been sitting on the sidelines, I just haven’t been able to get into the cage and compete as much as I wanted to.”
Cameron can’t say for certain how long it will take him to eventually move onto a major promotion but he’s not rushing anything yet. He just knows he’ll eventually get there and Cameron is hoping to bring all of Canada with him.
“I do think it’s coming,” Cameron said. “I do think the UFC is looking for Canadian talent. They’re looking for the guys who will have the country behind them. I want to be one of those guys that shows that it’s possible.
“We had a couple of big guys in the UFC a few years prior but I think there is an opportunity for new talent right now.”