Kazuhiro Nakamura, Lil Nog, and Alistair Overeem.
Will any of them be able to make the "leap" to being an elite 205lbs fighter in PRIDE?
*Alistair Overeem is hard to call. He's good but he's one of those guys that will never be champion. He's just way too inconsistent. I'd like to see him make a serious attempt at moving to HeavyWeight permanantly. He's having too much trouble cutting weight and he looked great against Sergei Kharitonov who is tough as nails and natural HW.
*Nakamura has improved a lot in PRIDE. He's still young and all of his MMA experience has been in PRIDE. They threw him to the wolves in his first match and he lost to Lil Nog. Not a good fight for him to be introduced to MMA. He's shown a good solid chin and decent grappling skills. Also has a lot of heart and doesnt seem to be intimidated by anyone.
He has some good wins over Igor Vovchanchyn, Kevin Randleman Daniel Gracie, Chalid Arrab (K1 Las Vegas Champ), Murilo Bustamante (Ex UFC Champion), Stefan Leko (K1 Las Vegas Champ), Cyborg, Yuki Kondo. All of those guys are well known fighters who are all pretty damn good. Nakamura's loses have only come against the best guys: Lil Nog x2, Wanderlei, Dan Henderson (unintentional injury), HW Josh Barnett. If Nakamura can improve his striking a little bit and start finding ways to finish his opponents, he could move up to the top of the 205lbs ranks. Nakamura is very underrated and doesnt get the respect he deserves.
*Lil Nog is another guy who wins by decision a lot, although he subbed Dan Henderson. He has some big wins and was on a tear until he lost by decision to Shogun at the MWGP last year. Lil Nog can be a serious contender and might be champion one day. His BJJ is obviously very good, his striking is crisp, and he has a reach advantage against most people. IMO Lil Nog is better than Arona already and doesnt have as much experience. Wins against Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem x2, Nakamura x2, Sakuraba, Steibling, Mezger. Lil Nog is on his way to becoming a serious threat to the title.
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