Can Mark Hunt stay in the title hunt?
One could argue Mark Hunt, is the best 9-8 fighter on the planet. Initially he was little more than a leftover contract from the UFC’s purchase of Pride, but over the past few years he has emerged as one of the best comeback stories in mixed martial arts. After four wins in a row, including knockout wins over Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve, the ‘Super Samoan’ came up short of a title shot after losing to former champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 160.
Now, Hunt is headlining against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in Brisbane, Australia, not far from Hunt’s native New Zealand. If he can come out on top against Silva, he will maintain his status as “Heavyweight Contender.” Injury concerns are always prevalent in the UFC and I wouldn’t be surprised if Hunt found himself in a title fight if he can get back in the win column on Friday
What does Shogun have left in the tank?
It has become clear Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will most likely be unable to find his way into a title hunt as he enters the twilights years of his UFC career. There were glimpses of the Shogun from his days as the Pride Grand Prix Champion, most notably his win over Lyoto Machida to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, but they merely that, glimpses. With Rua’s only back-to-back wins in the UFC coming against veterans Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman in 2009, Rua has looked a shell of his former self and has since gone a meager 3-5.
When he steps into the cage opposite James Te Huna on Saturday, Rua is essentially fighting to prolong his career for at least one more fight. But if he loses, I would not be surprised if he decides to hang up the gloves for good and close the book on his storied career. Despite his mediocre record in the UFC, he will always be legend in the world of MMA.
Is Dylan Andrews a legitimate prospect?
Finally, a topic that doesn’t involve a fighter on the verge of retirement. Dylan Andrews has looked impressive since losing to Uriah Hall in the semifinals of season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter. He won his official UFC debut by with a first round knockout over Jimmy Quinlan and he followed it up with a third-round knockout over Papy Abedi. He’ll be facing another fellow TUF 17 cast mate in Clint Hester on Saturday and with another win would warrant legitimate prospect status.