The forgotten weight class, lightweight never really had its feet on solid ground in the United States before B.J. Penn returned to 155 pounds to win his first lightweight title in 2008. For years the division has been dominated by the Japanese and foreign stars who plied their trade in Shooto and Pride Bushido. Now the best fighters in the world are mostly competing for Zuffa - with several notable exceptions. The list:
- USA: Frankie Edgar
- Asia/AUS: Shinya Aoki
- Europe: Dennis Siver
- Brazil: Gesias Cavalcante
- Canada: Mark Bocek
- CIS and Assorted: Mairbek Taisumov
Edgar and Aoki get a bye here, leaving these bouts:
3. Dennis Siver vs. 6. Mairbek Taisumov
My Take: Taisumov has fought all over Europe for M-1 but Siver is a new level of competition for the Russian wrestler. Siver has gone 6-1 in his last seven fights in the UFC, but he's also been handed a number of stylistically favorable matchups as the UFC has attempted to push him as a star in Germany. I like Taisumov here in the upset special.
4. Gesias Cavalcante vs. 5. Mark Bocek
My Take: This is an awesome fight. Bocek has the Jiu Jitsu wizardry, but JZ is a beast. When healthy, I like the Brazilian. But Cavalcante hasn't been the same since a 2008 knee injury. I'll roll the dice on Bocek.
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