Among those is Urijah Faber, the ex-WEC featherweight champ who will be making his UFC debut as a bantamweight at UFC 128.
Faber -- a student of the game who calls Japanese fighter Kazushi Sakuraba his favorite fighter of all time -- was recently asked about his pick to win the tournament, and he went with the legendary Russian mixed martial artist Fedor Emelianenko.
Emelianenko will have to rebound off his loss to Fabricio Werdum last June, but many believe he'll be able to do just that. As a fighter who'd had to fight through adversity himself, Faber thinks the 34-year-old has the mental and physical capabilities to rally back.
"I think it wasn't a fluke, because Werdum's very good, but it's not something that would happen very often," Faber said during a recent UFC event in Las Vegas. "It's one loss. Fedor is a world champion in combat sambo, a national champion. He's grown up being a fighter, and he's the best fighter in the tournament. But [Josh] Barnett is also a really tough dude. So I think it'll be up to [Alistair] Overeem, Barnett and Fedor, and Fedor will win."
Emelianenko's first-round matchup against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva takes place on Saturday at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
His loss to Werdum snapped a 29-fight unbeaten streak that stretched almost a decade. Oddsmakers originally made Emelianenko the favorite, though betting patterns have caused Overeem to leapfrog him.
Latest From MMA Warehouse
- Cain Velasquez UFC 160 Walkout Shirt
- Chael Sonnen UFC 159 Walkout Shirt
- Henderson UFC on FOX 7 Walkout Shirt
- Nate Diaz UFC on FOX 7 Walkout Shirt
- GSP UFC 158 Walkout Shirt
- Nick Diaz UFC 158 Walkout Shirt
- Nick Diaz UFC 158 Hoodie
- UFC Walkout Clothing
- More: MMA Clothing | MMA Gear | MMA Shorts | MMA Gloves | MMA Shirts