Right now, the MMA discourse is decidedly star-centric.
Cain Velasquez just beat Junior dos Santos to regain the heavyweight strap. Georges St-Pierre recently returned and is gearing up for his grudge match with bad boy Nick Diaz. Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen are about to kick off the run-up to their "fight" with the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter.
With the calendar having just turned over, pundits are celebrating the best of the year, with lightweight champ Benson Henderson raking in plenty of accolades.
But as 2013 sprawls before us, who are some of the more overlooked fighters on the landscape?
Let me draw a thin but real distinction between underrated and overlooked. Underrated means that a fighter has not yet gotten the big fights or recognition that he or she might deserve. Overlooked means that they have concrete accomplishments—that they're right "in the mix," as Dana White would say—but for whatever reason still don't get the respect they deserve.
In other words, underrated is speculative. Overlooked is more objective. Got it? Great.
Here are 10 fighters who aren't on the tip of every tongue, but could be poised to take fans—or even other fighters—by surprise in 2013.