UFC 140: Top 5 Fighters to Watch on the Undercard

First LastCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2011

UFC 140: Top 5 Fighters to Watch on the Undercard

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    Before the UFC 140 main card begins on pay-per-view, fans will be given the chance to watch all seven preliminary bouts, which will be available on Facebook and Ion Television.

    With stars like Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida, Frank Mir and the Nog bros. making up most of the main card, it's easy to overlook the quality of the talent on the undercard.

    These are the five undercard fighters every fan should keep their eye on this weekend.

No. 5: Nik Lentz

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    Nik Lentz has yet to lose a fight in the UFC, and after seven bouts in the organization, the 27-year-old will face a tough Mark Bocek in a lightweight bout as part of the Facebook preliminary card.

    Lentz's last fight originally resulted in a submission loss against Charles Oliveira, but was overturned to No Contest after Oliveira used an illegal knee to set up the submission.

    His victories inside the Octagon include those against Tyson Griffin, Andre Winner, Rob Emerson and Rafaello Oliveira.

    Whoever wins this fight will have to work hard for the victory, and it will be a well deserved one with someone moving up in the division.

No. 4: Mark Bocek

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    Mark Bocek is considered by many to be one of the top grapplers fighting out of Canada, and he will get a chance to show off his skillset when he makes his 10th appearance inside the UFC.

    Out of Bocek's last six fights, he only lost twice in competitive and evenly matched bouts versus Benson Henderson and Jim Miller. Some thought he even beat Miller in their fight at UFC 111.

    The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will have a tough time against former NCAA Division I wrestler Nik Lentz, but it would be a huge statement if he could submit his opponent and pick up his fifth UFC victory.

    This has all the makings of being a very close fight.

No. 3: John Makdessi

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    The winner of Mark Bocek vs. Nik Lentz might be in line to face the winner of this bout, especially if John Makdessi is to emerge victorious in front of a hometown crowd.

    Makdessi (9-0) will face MMA veteran Dennis Hallman, and it will follow one of the top candidates for knockout of the year when Makdessi knocked out Kyle Watson with a spinning back-fist at UFC 129. Although Lyoto Machida took home the KOTN bonus that day, Makdessi's knockout was one of the nominees for knockout of the year at the 2011 MMA awards.

    This will be his biggest test to-date, and it will be one that puts him on a main card next time out if he is to emerge victorious.

    Read an exclusive Bleacher Report interview with Makdessi here.

No. 2: Jared Hamman

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    Jared "The Messenger" Hamman may be one of the least intimidating-looking fighters in the sport, but his fights have been nothing but exciting, and he has two UFC post-fight bonuses to show for it.

    He brings a 13-3 record into his fight with Constantinos Philippou, who is 8-2 and coming off a victory over Jorge Rivera.

    After a extensive run in the light heavyweight division, Hamman made the move to middleweight and beat C.B. Dollaway in a very exciting fight at a recent UFC Fight Night event.

    This should be a war while it lasts, and win or lose, guarantees to be another entertaining performance by Hamman.

    Read Garrett Derr's exclusive interview with Hamman here.

No. 1: Krzysztof Soszynski

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    "The Polish Experiment" Krzysztof Soszynski is one of the more experienced fighters on the undercard, and his 26-11-1 record dates all the way back to 2003. He will be fighting Igor Pokrajac, who is 23-8 and 2-3 in the UFC.

    Ion television will feature the light heavyweight bout, which will be the final preliminary bout on the card.

    Soszynski's UFC victories include those over Mike Massenzio, Goran Reljic, Stephan Bonnar and Brian Stann. His losses came against Brandon Vera and in a rematch versus Bonnar.

    With his last two fights both going the distance, expect Soszynski to come out looking for a finish in this one.