Joachim Hansen Goes Into DREAM.13 Featherweight Title Shot Against Bibiano Fernandes With Big Expectations

via mmazzacare.files.wordpress.com

Dave Walsh makes the case at Head Kick Legend:

What people tend to forget is just how well-rounded Hansen is. While his last bout with Aoki didn't end favorable for Hansen, as he was out-grappled by a star grappler, Hansen is a very decorated grappler in his own right, he just happens to have incredible kickboxing on top of that. If Georges St. Pierre is the prototype for the future Mixed Martial Artist in the United States; the strong wrestler with solid jiu-jitsu and kickboxing, Hansen is the early beta of what to look for in the Japanese fight industry; the exciting grappler with explosive kickboxing who isn't afraid to take risks.

At DREAM.13 Hansen is dropping in weight, taking a shot at the Featherweight belt, finally giving in to dropping in weight and seeing how he fares at Featherweight. If he was a force at Lightweight, one would have to think that dropping down to Featherweight he could very well be unstoppable. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few months fans are calling for dream matches between Hansen and the likes of Brown, Aldo and Faber.

I dunno. I've never been 100% sold on Hellboy. I'm not sure that I expect him to beat Fernandes as he's giving up a serious BJJ and wrestling edge. While I'll be impressed if Hansen wins, I certainly think talk of Hellboy wading through the WEC featherweights is a bit further than I can go just yet.

I also think the dramatic consolidation of talent that the WEC has pulled off in the 135 and 145lb divisions is something to behold. The current WEC featherweight division is easily the strongest 145lb roster in the history of the sport.

But the counter argument is that Hansen had a long and storied run at the uppermost reaches of the strongest lightweight divisions ever assembled (PRIDE and DREAM).

The greatest tragedy of the collapse of PRIDE and the bungled absorption by the UFC is the sad fate of the PRIDE lightweight division, which was easily the best in the world from its founding to 2007. Sure, B.J. Penn may be the likely far and away best lightweight in the world, but his competition, worthy as it is, hasn't included any of the names who dominated the division for most of the last decade: Gomi, Aoki, Kawajiri, Sakurai or the new blood that came into the mix in DREAM: Calvancante, Alvarez, etc. 

Hansen didn't just survive in that shark tank, he won a title. Maybe D.W. is right, maybe Hellboy will be the best featherweight in the world this time tomorrow.

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