World MMA Light Heavyweight Scouting Report: #7 – Ryan Jimmo

Canada's mixed martial arts scene has continued to grow over the course of the last half decade. With the rise of Georges St. Pierre,…

By: Leland Roling | 13 years ago
World MMA Light Heavyweight Scouting Report: #7 – Ryan Jimmo
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Canada’s mixed martial arts scene has continued to grow over the course of the last half decade. With the rise of Georges St. Pierre, the increase in developing talent, and the migration of major training facilities into various regions in Canada, it’s no surprise to see solid talent emerging at a higher rate. The UFC’s involvement in the region is certainly a huge plus as they normally sign a bevy of local prospects to their cards to drive ticket sales, and the possibility of Strikeforce entering the region will add another layer to the opportunities that these fighters have in getting exposure.

At #7 on our 2011 World MMA Light Heavyweight Scouting Report, Ryan Jimmo (13-1) heads the list of Canadian light heavyweight prospects who could finally see himself walking inside the cage of a major promotion in 2011. He’s one of the more well-known names on our list as he’s battled under the Maximum Fighting Championship banner for most of his career, and despite a loss to Antwain Britt during the elimination round of fights at The Ultimate Fighter season 8 taping — the improvements he’s made over the last two years has kept him in the spotlight.

Offensive Skills: Jimmo’s background in Karate would indicate that he’s a stand-up fighter, and for the most part he wants to implement that game plan in his fights. He has a strong kicking game that doesn’t get enough notice due to his opponents’ eagerness to take him down, and his boxing has improved enough to keep opponents at bay with his jab.

On the ground, Jimmo has the skills to be effective when he’s in top position, but his grappling is probably his major offensive weakness. It plays a major role in why he’s just barely on the outside of a major organization’s radar because he really has no means to finish a fight on the ground other than dishing out a heavy-handed beating from mount or elbows from side control.

Against the better competition he’s faced as of late, he’s had to evolve his takedown defense and stand-up game, and that’s not a bad thing. But the stiff competition that he would meet in a promotion like Strikeforce or the UFC, especially in the wrestling department, would put him on his back, and he doesn’t quite have the skills to pull off quick transitions and slick triangle submissions.

Defensive Skills: On the feet, Jimmo is improving defensively. He is much harder to hit as he’s beginning to use his range fighting skills to his advantage, and his defense to incoming attacks has been solidified by better footwork and a consistent guard from his hands being higher.

On the ground, he still has trouble against better grapplers, specifically when he’s put onto his back. His takedown defense has improved, and it’s by no means an easy task for any opponent to take him to the ground with ease. He makes opponents work hard for it, and that works in his favor over the course of a three or five round affair.

Progression: One of the major reasons that Jimmo was chosen for our rankings was his progression since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter. He lost an elimination bout against Antwain Britt during the eighth season’s opening episode, but has since rattled off seven straight wins. Most notably, he defeated Jesse Forbes, Emanuel Newton, Wilson Gouveia, and Marvin Eastman, although the Eastman bout was marred by controversy as most websites scoring the event gave the bout to the “Beastman”.

Despite the undeserved victory, Jimmo’s wins over Newton and Gouveia serve as proof that his skills have improved substantially. He absolutely battered Gouveia from the opening bell with a better stand-up game and takedowns, and he successfully neutralized Newton’s wrestling game and fired back with kicks and close quarter strikes to render the Team Bodyshop Fitness fighter useless during the affair.

Lightweight Welterweight Middleweight
#1 – Thiago Michel
#2 – Ricardo Tirloni
#3 – Magno Almeida
#4 – Ui Cheol Nam
#5 – Henrique Mello
#6 – Reza Madadi
#7 – Alexander Sarnavskiy
#8 – Ole Laursen
#9 – Guillaume DeLorenzi
#10 – Al Iaquinta
#1 – Yuri Villefort
#2 – Alex Garcia
#3 – Erick Silva
#4 – Douglas Lima
#5 – Luis “Sapo” Santos
#6 – Jesse Juarez
#7 – Gunnar Nelson
#8 – Quinn Mulhern
#9 – Alberto Mina
#10 – Joe Ray
#1 – Papy Abedi
#2 – Chris Weidman
#3 – Vitor Vianna
#4 – Vyacheslav Vasilevsky
#5 – Bruno Santos
#6 – Costantinos Philippou
#7 – Jordan Smith
#8 – Uriah Hall
#9 – Victor O’Donnell
#10 – Assan Njie

Light Heavyweight
#7 – Ryan Jimmo
#8 – Nik Fekete
#9 – Marcus Vanttinen
#10 – Ronny Markes

Environment: Jimmo currently trains with the Hayabusa team in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. Jeff Montemurro, a former member of the University of Alberta Golden Bears wrestling squad, heads the team, and like Jimmo — he has a background in Karate. Interestingly enough, the gym seems to have a working relationship with the University in that they’ve sniped a few of their graduating wrestlers to help train and potentially compete in mixed martial arts. That has helped the gym increase it’s level of training immensely, and it allows Hayabusa’s stable of fighters to hone their wrestling skills to a higher level than most gyms in the region.

Potential: Smoogy and myself argued a bit over this pick. His Nova Scotia roots have a propensity to gravitate toward Canadian talent, and I serve as the voice of reason in these debates… unless he’s actually right in his assessment. For me, Jimmo has long been a nemesis of exciting action. While I did enjoy the comical performances of Antonio McKee drubbing some random guy with outstanding wrestling and then talking about how he can play it safe till he’s sixty years old, Jimmo made me cringe. I know, it’s a paradox that I can’t solve.

Upon further review, I began to hold the belief that my Great White North friend may actually be right. Jimmo’s two most recent performances, one of those being against UFC veteran Wilson Gouveia, were impressive. Instead of being manhandled into a clinch war and throwing next to no offense while he fought off takedowns, Jimmo was able to land short, clean blows against Newton and batter him with far superior distance strikes. It wasn’t the typical Ryan Jimmo performance, and Wilson Gouveia was outmatched in nearly every area of their bout in May.

I’m still not completely convinced that Jimmo will ever be a top light heavyweight fighter, but he is Canada’s best prospect. After ducking Glover Teixeira because he felt he wasn’t worthy of a title shot due to his poor name recognition to the fans of the MFC, I still believe Jimmo was trying to avoid certain defeat, but I’ll give him another chance. He’ll battle Dwayne Lewis in February, and I imagine that a finish may get the UFC’s attention, especially if they intend to head to Canada again soon.


Ryan Jimmo vs. Antwain Britt – TUF 8 Elimination bout
Ryan Jimmo vs. Adam Braidwood1st professional bout
Ryan Jimmo vs. Mychal Clark

Ryan Jimmo vs. Craig Zellner

Ryan Jimmo vs Chris Fontaine

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Leland Roling
Leland Roling

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