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MMA World Cup: The Light Heavyweight Elimination Round

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For years the light heavyweights have been MMA's go-to weight class for exciting, compelling, and great fighters and fights. It's strange - the equivalent cruiserweight and light heavyweight divisions in boxing have long been a wasteland. But led by Frank Shamrock and Tito Ortiz in America and Kazushi Sakuraba and Wanderlei Silva in Japan, 205 has become MMA's money division.

The tournament brackets here are interesting. The top fighters in the world are predominately from Brazil and America. The bottom four competitors here are likely competing for a bronze - and thanks to a recent UFC bout, we have a pretty good idea of how the top two match up as well. The list:

  1. USA: Jon Jones
  2. Brazil: Mauricio Rua
  3. Soviet: Gegard Mousasi
  4. Europe: Alexander Gustafsson
  5. Canada: Ryan Jimmo
  6. Asia/AUS: Ryo Kawamura

Jones and Rua get a bye leaving the following fights:

3. Gegard Mousasi vs. 6. Ryo Kawamura

My Take: Ryo Kawamura is a tough Pancrase veteran, but my how times have changed. The days of Japanese stars playing a major role in the light heavyweight division are long gone. I think Mousasi is better in every area and should win this one, although Kawamura is certainly a live dog.

4. Alexander Gustafsson vs. 5. Ryan Jimmo

My Take: Yesterday MFC owner Mark Pavelich threw Ryan Jimmo under the bus on Bloody Elbow Radio. I think Jimmo is a good prospect, but Gustafsson is a monster. I like him here and would consider him a threat to most of the division's top 10.

Vote in our Poll to choose the winners!

The Heavyweights

The Rules and an Explanation