Going to the land down under, UFC Fight Night 33 will see a clash of top 10 heavyweights when New Zealand’s Mark Hunt takes on the Brazilian Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. It’s a rare Friday night of fights in the U.S. that will see a great main card, as well as some very close bouts.
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (Heavyweight)
If you know Mark Hunt’s story by now, you know that three years ago that no one would be placing him as the headliner of a UFC card. The former Pride heavyweight had five straight losses before the UFC absorbed his contract, was paid his fight money and told he didn’t have to fight the last fight of his contract, refused the offer, and rattled off four straight wins inside of the octagon. Hunt then challenged former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, putting up a hell of a fight before being knocked out in what was crowned the Fight of the Night.
Mark Hunt’s biggest tool is his elite kickboxing. No other heavyweight other than Alistair Overeem has accomplished near what Hunt has accomplished in kickboxing. The 2001 K-1 Champion will use this against Bigfoot, not afraid to trade shots with the BJJ black belt. Bigfoot has been finished three times in the past two years by hard strikes in the first round, and if Hunt lands early, it’ll be a short night for Silva.
Antonio Silva is better known as “Bigfoot”, but his MMA skills far surpass his gigantic appearance. Not only is he a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, he is also a black belt in Shotokan Karate and in Judo. This makes Silva scary where ever the fight takes place, and a large man like Silva having the skills to knock you out, take you down and submit you is intimidating for any opponent. The Brazilians favourite method of finishing lately has been that of the KO, stopping big name heavyweights like Alistair Overeem, Travis Brown, Mike Kyle and the most notable, Fedor Emelianenko.
Although Silva stood and traded shots with Overeem, winning by KO, I see him changing up his game plan for Hunt. Silva will likely use the same approach as to how he beat Fedor, taking Hunt down and finishing the fight with lethal ground and pound. If Silva uses this game plan, I see Bigfoot coming away with another big win at heavyweight.
Prediction: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva def. Mark Hunt (2nd Round TKO)
Shogun Rua vs. James Te Huna (Light-Heavyweight)
If this were two years ago, I would be wondering what someone like James Te Huna has done to be matched up against a great like Shogun Rua. Unfortunately, it’s what Shogun hasn’t done lately that has caused this matchup, and what he hasn’t done is win. Rua is riding a two fight losing streak, and is coming off a rather embarrassing performance against Chael Sonnen. The former light-heavyweight champion was outwrestled for the entirety of the first round in their three round fight, and was finished in the final seconds of the round by a guillotine choke.
Rua is a former champion of Pride, and has finished greats like Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman and Alistair Overeem. The dominate Shogun of Pride has not made his presence felt in full after entering the UFC. Despite becoming the Light-heavyweight champion, Shogun has gone 5-6 in the UFC, and is on the first losing streak of his career.
James Te Huna on the other hand, has not faced the elite fighters that Rua has faced, though they both have faced and lost to Alexander Gustafsson in their UFC careers. Te Huna was also submitted in his last fight, a match up against now title contender Glover Teixeira, which saw the New Zealand native get dominated from the opening bell to the submission finish. Te Huna has a solid all around MMA game, but will likely stand and trade with Shogun as 10 of his 16 MMA wins have come in the form of KO.
Shogun knows that his days are numbered in the UFC, and after Dana spoke out about wanting Shogun to retire if he loses, Rua might find the fire that will show the world that he can make another comeback, and be the dominate champion that we once knew.
Prediction: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. James Te Huna (1st Round KO)
Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh (Light-Heavyweight)
Ryan Bader was at one point a promising up and comer with a perfect record, a TUF championship and a fight against Jon Jones that would forever decide who would become the next big thing at light-heavyweight. As you probably know Jones won, and Bader went on to have some success, as well as some embarrassing defeats. Following the defeat against Jones, Bader has been submitted by Tito Ortiz and knocked completely unconscious by Lyoto Machida and Glover Teixeira. In between those losses though, he has beaten Rampage Jackson and finished Jason Brilz and Vladimir Matyushenko within minutes of the first round. Bader has a dynamite right hand, elite wrestling skills, but may possess a glass chin.
Anthony Perosh has had an exciting UFC career to say the least. In six UFC fights, the 41 year old Aussie native has either been finished or has finished his opponent. His last loss was a six second knockout courtesy of Ryan Jimmo, which Perosh followed up with by knocking out Vinny Magalhaes in 14 seconds in his next fight. The 3rd degree black belt’s preferred method of finish is by submission, and if an aging Tito can submit the NCAA Division I wrestler, then an aging Perosh should be able to do the trick, if he can avoid getting knocked out.
Ryan Bader will likely see this threat and instead trade shots with Perosh, hoping to land a big right in order to get himself back in the win column. Bader is younger, possesses more power, and should finish Perosh in the first round, or else be finished.
Ryan Bader def. Anthony Perosh (1st Round KO)
Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei (Heavyweight)
Barry is a very exciting fighter, and will always trade a boring game plan in for an exciting fight. Soa Palelei will use this to his advantage, trading shots with Barry until taking him down and submitting him in the first.
Soa Palelei def. Pat Barry (1st Round Submission)
Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester (Middleweight)
Both fighters from the Ultimate Fighter 17 season have won bouts in the UFC after the shows conclusion. Andrews made it to the semi-finals in the season, where as Hester didn’t win a single fight while in the TUF house. Andrews will likely use his boxing to finish off Hester and send him packing.
Dylan Andrews def. Clint Hester (2nd Round TKO)
Julie Kedzie vs. Bethe Corriea
Kedzie is a well known veteran in female MMA, and will be welcoming Corriea into the UFC in what should be brutal fashion. Kedzie has been in wars against the best of the best, and Corriea has yet to see a women’s fighter at the level of Kedzie in her career.
Julie Kedzie def. Bethe Corriea (Unanimous Decision)