Originally published to ArizonaSports.com via the Power MMA Show
The UFC is heading to the land down under to bring fight fans another action packed Fox Sports 1 card beginning at 7 p.m. from Brisbane, Australia.
Headlining the card is a heavyweight match up between the monstrous Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and the incredibly popular Mark Hunt.
Both men came out on the wrong side of violent knockout losses in their last fights, both of which came at UFC 160. Silva was put away early in the first round of his championship bout against current heavyweight kingpin Cain Velasquez and Mark Hunt took a spinning heel kick to the back of the head in his bout against former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
So this is not necessarily a championship-caliber match up, but it’s guaranteed to be a fun fight to watch as both men are known for their refusal to back down from an opponent regardless of the damage they are absorbing.
With surprisingly fast leg kicks to go along with some of the heaviest hands in the organization, Hunt presents a unique problem for his opponents, as the rather rotund Samoan has shown the ability to batter his foes into submission or turn their lights out with one punch.
In fact, 83.9 percent of the “Super Samoan’s” significant strikes in the UFC have connected with his opponents’ heads, the second-largest proportion in heavyweight history. So if Hunt can connect with Silva’s skull, chances are the fight won’t last long. Just ask Stefan Struve what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the former K-1 Grand Prix kickboxing champion’s left hook and he’ll show an x-ray of a severely broken jaw.
But facing a former K-1 champion is nothing new for Bigfoot. After being out-landed by 30 significant strikes in his win over Alistair Overeem, Silva came out swinging and connected with a beautifully placed combination to the Dutch kick boxer’s head, sending him crumpling to the canvas. It was an awe-inspiring performance as Silva was given little chance to win let alone compete in the striking aspect of the fight.
But while Overeem has shown to be susceptible to heavy punches, Hunt has absorbed a tremendous amount of damage from a who’s who of MMA royalty. So with some of the best striking in the entire division combined with one of the best chins to enter the octagon, the edge clearly has to go to Hunt.
Neither man is known for his grappling abilities. While Hunt does come from a striking background, he has grown leaps and bounds when it comes to stifling his opponents’ wrestling attacks. His 81 percent takedown defense accuracy is the second-highest in UFC heavyweight history, and he’s stopped 17 of 21 attempts thrown his way.
But with that being said, I can’t see him stuffing a takedown when his opponent stands 6-foot-4 and will most likely be tipping the scales close to 300 pounds come fight night.
Silva is a solid grappler who tends to use his tremendous size to make up for his lack of athleticism in order to drag his opponents down so he can start throwing his signature Donkey Kong punches. If he closes the distance and brings the fight to the canvas early, his chances of winning will rise exponentially.
This is without a doubt the most lopsided match up between Silva and Hunt. Not only has Hunt shown to posses very poor submission defense, Silva has earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the legendary Nogueira brothers.
While he does tend to use his heavy hands and size to put away his opponents when he gets on top, he should have no problems locking on a submission if the opportunity presents itself. Hunt has been stopped by some of the most basic submissions in the book so this fight shouldn’t last too long if Silva can get on top.
There is no question Hunt’s ability to defend the submission and stop the takedown will be the deciding factor in the bout. If he can manage to keep the fight standing, he should be able to use his kickboxing to pick apart his monstrous opponent and land the huge knockout as Silva has been KO’d in four of his last five fights.
There won’t be many people rooting against Hunt when he enters the cage in front of a sold-out home crowd, but in the end, Silva’s size and grappling skills should prove more than capable of putting Hunt on his back and securing a submission victory.
Silva via Round 2 submission
Here are the rest of my predictions for the main card and preliminary bouts:
- James Te Huna def. Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua
- Ryan Bader def. Anthony Perosh
- Pat Barry def. Soa Palelei
- Clint Hester def. Dylan Andrews
- Julie Kedzie def. Bethe Correia
- Takeya Mizugaki def. Nam Phan
- Nick Ring def. Caio Magalhaes
- Justin Scoggins def. Richie Vaculik
- Bruno Santos def. Krzysztof Jotko.
- Ben Wall def. Alex Garcia