The featherweights continue to get a big push. Two weeks ago DREAM held the first round of their featherweight tournament, and this week Sengoku’s participants will take to the ring. This tournament may not have the big names like DREAM, but it remains stocked with plenty of young talent and the winner should make an impact on the world rankings.
Hatsu Hioki (17-3-2) vs. Chris Manuel (6-0-2)
The literal “poster boy” for the tournament is also the favorite. Hatsu Hioki is a world ranked fighter, and also the TKO champion. Over the course of his career he has defeated top fighters like Hideki Kadowaki, Jeff Curran, and Mark Hominick twice. He is truly an ace on the ground, which was made apparent by his guard passing dominance against Baret Yoshida. Yoshida may not have an impressive record, but he is a multiple time ADCC competitor and one of the best lighter weight grapplers on the planet. Hioki sometimes forgets his ground dominance and stands up too much. If he is going to win the tournament he needs to stick to his bread and butter.