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The Return of Antonio Carvalho

A case can be made for Urijah Faber in the top 5 or even top 3 of featherweights worldwide, but if you believe Americans or the North American scene owns the weight class, you are sorely mistaken.

Next month marks the return of an excellent featherweight I consider to be top 10 in the world. To wit:

Shooto has announced that Canadian Antonio "Pato" Carvalho (10-2) will face "Streetfight Bancho" Hiroyuki Takaya (8-4-1) at the promotion's "Back To Our Roots 6" show Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo. The fight will be contested at a 148-pound catch weight.

The 27-year-old Carvalho - a Toronto Franco Behring fighter living in Tokyo for the better part of the last 12 months - has been training with Hiroyuki "Abe Ani" Abe at the Abe Ani Combat Club. He defeated favored TKO featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki at Shooto "Back To Our Roots 3" in May.

The best part about Carvalho is that Shooto has been dicking him over for a while now, so I'm hoping for a potential move to the WEC very soon. I'm not suggesting the Americans are bad at featherweight, but they're unproven. The Japanese scene was established first and generally the Americans who cross over do not do well. Carvalho, a Canadian, has and I'm excited to see him back in action.

If you've never seen what he has to offer, here's a great highlight reel for your amusement. Enjoy:

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