A division that is still being sorted out in real life, this one presents the most intriguing mix of fighters yet. I could legitimately see any of these men going far. Unlike the other tournaments, I'd be hard pressed to name a favorite. This is going to get good. The list:
- Brazil: Jose Aldo
- Asia/AUS: Hatsu Hioki
- USA: Chad Mendes
- Canada: Mark Hominick
- CIS/Assorted: Deividas Taurosevicius
- Europe: Joachim Hansen
Aldo and Hioki take the byes and the final four fight it out for a spot in the featherweight semifinals:
3. Chad Mendes vs. 6. Joachim Hansen
My Take: Twice an NCAA All American, Mendes is the top prospect at Team Alpha Male. He's a great wrestler who isn't afraid to approach a fight cautiously. Hansen is a battle tested warrior. The Norwegian has beaten the likes of Shinya Aoki, JZ, and Caol Uno in a career mostly contested as an undersized lightweight. I think he'll have enough tricks to hold Mendes off. In four more years? Well, that will be another story.
4. Mark Hominick vs. 5. Deividas Taurosevicious
My Take: Renzo Gracie fighter Deividas Taurosevicius is a tough fight for anyone. He took L.C. Davis and Wilson Reis to the limit in his last two fights and is capable on any given night of troubling even the most skilled fighter. Still, I like Hominick as an underdog against Jose Aldo at UFC 129. I certainly like him here.
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