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UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs Bigfoot – Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs Bigfoot goes down this coming weekend on December 6th (December 7th in Australia) at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia, featuring a main event of  Mark Hunt taking on Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the heavyweight division and a co-main event that see’s the the former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua battle James Te Huna at 205.

Here are our MMAInsider.net staff picks.  Feel free to share your picks in the comments!

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Heavyweight Bout – Mark Hunt (9-8) vs Antonio “Bigfoot”  Silva (18-5)

DR: A main event that see’s Mark Hunt taking on Antonio Silva tells me one thing first of all, it’s not going five rounds. If Mark Hunt hits you, you’re going down and if Bigfoot Silva gets on top of you, you’re not getting up. Hunt, a former K-1 Grand Prix champion will certainly have the edge in the technique department in this fight and I expect him to be searching for the knockout early with one of those trademark right hands. However, to do so he’s going to have to put himself in harm’s way against the hard hitting Silva, who despite not having the greatest of technical striking, has a strong reach advantage and certainly packs a wallop, as evident in his TKO victory over the talented Alistair Overeem. If Silva takes this one to the mat then I would expect him to dominate there, with his excellent top control and ferocious ground and pound, so that’s certainly a position that Hunt, who has improved his takedown defence in recent years, will be looking to avoid. All in all Silva almost definitely has more tools at his disposal to come out victorious in this bout and my head leans towards a victory for the Brazilian. However, heart overrules head in this one and with the Australian crowd cheering Hunt on I’m backing him to find a way to end Bigfoot’s night early. – Hunt via (T)KO

CG: Who doesn’t like a “rises from the ashes” come back story?  Mark Hunt was the protagonist of our MMA worlds very own such story.  After dropping five straight over his last four years with Pride FC Zuffa offered to simply pay him out on his contract and let him ride off into the sunset.  Being a fighter to his very core that didn’t sit well with the New Zealander.  So Dana White and friends decided to give him a shot.  A shot that didn’t start very well.  At all.  He was was submitted in just over a minute in his UFC debut, marking the fifth submission loss over his six fight skid, and we thought we had witnessed the last of Mark fighting for Zuffa.  But, alas, he had other plans.  He stepped back into the Octagon about five months later and earned his first UFC win, which marked his first MMA win since May 2006, and took home the ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonus in the process.  Then he won again, and again, and one more time for good measure.  The man who was all but finished in mixed martial arts a couple years prior, at least in the eyes of Zuffa, found himself on a four fight winning streak.  With three via knockout.  Not to shabby.  He was rewarded with a fight against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos and a win over the dangerous Brazilian would have certainly secured him a title shot.  He came up short that night but gave a ‘Fight of the Night’ winning performance.  He squares off against a man who would love to put another submission loss on his record in Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.  A BJJ Blackbelt training at Team Nogueira, and American Top Team more recently, Silva has the tools required to dispatch Hunt with a submission.  One thing to note about the massive Brazilian is that he only holds three submission wins over his twenty three career fights, so it’s not as though he has a history of pulling off the submission.  In fact it has been over four years since he last logged a victory in that fashion.  While ‘Bigfoot’ possesses the raw knockout power required to earn a finish on the feet, I can’t see him being able to hang with the K1 ace in that department.  This should be a fight of conflicting game plans as Hunt will want to stand and bang, while I imagine Silva will be looking to get this to the mat to work some ground and pound and look to setup a submission or TKO finish.  I’m leaning towards Mark being able to avoid the takedown and ultimately catch Silva trying to close the distance. – Hunt via (T)KO

JS: This is a main event I’ve been looking forward to for ages, if only because it has the potential to be both short but explosive. I believe Silva is the real story here, will he be able to get the fight to his domain? Will his chin be able to withstand the test to get it there? There’s no avoiding the fact that in order to close the distance, Bigfoot must enter the danger zone. Mark will look to get back on a winning track after losing a hard fight to Junior dos Santos and as everyone in the heavyweight division knows, there’s zero shame in that. Silva’s chin is in major danger as it has faced no bigger test. I’d personally like to see The Super Samoan get one last run to glory, I believe it starts now.  Hunt via (T)KO


Light Heavyweight Bout – Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-8) vs James Te Huna (16-6)

DR: There are some great matchup’s on this card, with knockout’s looming around every corner and when “Shogun” takes on James Te Huna I don’t just see it as another match that may end with a knockout but is also likely to be one of the strong candidate’s for ‘Fight of the Night’. The main thing standing in the way of this one ending in a knockout is the iron will and sheer durability of these two men, with both of them showing throughout their career’s that they won’t back down from anyone. I expect this one to turn into an all out war and while both men are capable of putting the other away, I think it will go the distance. I’m predicting “Shogun”, along with his high level striking,  to draw on his experience of being in some of the biggest fight’s in MMA history and come away with his hand raised following a tightly contested bout. Te Huna certainly has the capability of turning out a minor upset but I’m not sure if he’ll be able to get enough done to win a decision against the talented Brazilian. – Rua via Decision

CG: At some point, sooner rather then later I suspect, the wars Rua has been in are going to start catching up with him.  Now I’m not saying I think this will be the fight they catch up with him but I do tend to agree with Dave that this has the potential to be yet another of those wars.  Two things of note about ‘Shogun’ in this fight, 1) he has talked about dropping to middleweight after this bout, and 2) Dana White has hinted at having the retirement talk with the former Champ should he suffer another loss tomorrow.  I’m not sure if that will help or hurt Rua as he readies himself for this tilt.  My usual key point when it comes to his fights is which fighter will show up on the night?  Will it be the killer that destroyed Machida and Griffin in both rematches, or the lackluster fighter that fought Griffin in his UFC debut?  Prior to suffering his second loss in the Octagon Te Huna had rattled off an rather impressive four fight winning streak and was spoken about in the “title picture” talks we hear mentioned so often.  The Glover loss, while humbling, didn’t damage his stock as much as some might think but he can’t afford another loss here if he wants to get his name back into those conversations.  Even with the knockout power Rua possesses I doubt he’ll be able to finish the resilient New Zealander in this one.  I think holding the hometown advantage will give Te Huna the edge he needs here to earn his fifth UFC victory, and it should stand to be his most impressive to date. – Te Huna via Decision

JS: Thank you Mauricio. Thank you for the memories and introducing me to Pride Fighting, Thank you for being one of my favourite fighters to watch of all time. I will never forget the wars with Little Nog and Dan Henderson (the latter stands as my favourite MMA bout of all time). James Te Huna however,  will end another Pride era on Friday night. I believe Te Huna has the scrappy durable style to cause major problems for Shogun, who has lost 3 of his last 4 with the only victory coming over the now afterthought Brandon Vera. It pains me to type that, but I truly believe we have seen the twlight and following the Jon Jones title fight, he was never quite the same fighter. I am at this point thankful for a fantastic career and have to go with my head on this pick.   Te Huna via (T)KO


Light Heavyweight Bout – Anthony Perosh (14-7) vs Ryan Bader (15-4)

DR: I honestly don’t know what to expect from Perosh, who recently turned forty-one, in this bout. Since the Aussie native dropped down to the light heavyweight division he put together a three-fight winning streak before being knocked out in just seven seconds by Ryan Jimmo. However, he quickly put that result behind him with a fourteen second knockout of Vinny Magalhaes. Meanwhile, Ryan Bader is another fighter who it’s difficult to judge the talent levels of right now. On one hand, with the exception of Glover Teixeira who is about to challenge Jon Jones for the 205 strap, all of Bader’s defeat’s have come at the hands of former or future champions. On the other hand, his only victory in the last eighteen months is over the forty-two year old and now released Vlad Matyushenko, and one of the former champion’s who defeated him is Tito Ortiz, who has only won one of his previous nine bouts. Stylistically though, regardless of recent events, I feel this matchup is more stylistically suited to Bader. While Perosh is an excellent grappler with decent standup, he’s not going to have an easy time getting the two-time All-American wrestler to the mat, and while Bader may not be the most technical striker, he has age and athleticism in his favour and has plenty of power in his hands, which in my mind is likely to see Bader use his wrestling in reverse and land the knockout in this one. – Bader via (T)KO

CG: In the fourteen seconds we got to see him in his last fight Perosh looked good.  Good enough to get a win over a dangerous-ish Ryan Bader?  I’m not convinced.  Obviously he will enjoy the same hometown advantage as the rest of the Australian and New Zealand fighters on the card but Bader did fight, and beat, Rampage Jackson in Japan so that’s not something he isn’t accustomed with.  I expect Bader to look to counter more in this fight as his last two losses have been suffered by knockout when he was rushing in or pressing the action.  I doubt Perosh can take the former NCAA Division I All American down so unless Bader wants this on the mat I expect this will be contested on the feet.  I would give Bader enough of an edge in that department to get the finish. – Bader via (T)KO

JS: I will admit to vavering on this pick. I believe Perosh using the home crowd to give Bader a big challenge. Bader has a history of being dominant or underwhelming in his performances and this may be the type of trap fight against an experienced veteran that gets him in trouble. I however feel that Bader will be smart enough to use his wrestling in reverse and force The Hippo to stand and trade. This matchup becomes his to lose if he is able to stay on the feet and I believe this time he will.   Bader via (T)KO


Heavyweight Bout – Pat Barry (8-6) vs Soa Palelei (19-3)

DR: While Palelei won his recent bout over Nikita Krylov in his first UFC outing for nearly six years, it certainly wasn’t the most memorable, with both guys looking extremely exhausted after the opening round. Palelei, who showed signs of fatigue early,  forced the stoppage in the final round against the Ukranian, who simply had nothing left to give. However, there were reports that Palelei suffered a rib injury shortly before the bout, and added to the pressure of returning to the octagon, we can afford to give him a bit of leeway for the performance and after-all, he did get the win. So with Palelei possessing good boxing and the kind of punching power that can end a bout at any moment, this one could certainly be an interesting first round, but in the shape of former K-1 striker Pat Barry we pretty much know what to expect and I think the combination of his mobility and devastating leg kicks will be enough to tire out Palelei relatively early and lead to HD getting the finish. – Barry via (T)KO

CG: I don’t think I’ll get any arguments when I say Palelei didn’t look the part of the knockout machine he is known to be, albeit that was right until he won…via knockout, in his return the UFC this past August.  I am willing to cut the man some slack, however, as it was later revealed he had suffered a fractured rib the week prior to the fight and didn’t want to pull out.  This fight is almost a coin flip in my opinion.  Here’s a fun fact in their combined thirty six fights only Barry has ever gone to a decision, as he defeated Joey Beltran via unanimous decision at UFC: Fight for the Troops 2.  I don’t expect the judges will be required in this one either but I’m not sure which man will be the one getting the finish.  If Barry is able to utilize his leg kicks to make up for his six and half inch reach disadvantage he could very well slow Soa down to the point that the stat doesn’t matter.  While I am a fan of Pat Barry, and his fighting style, I’m not sure he’s going to be able to get the job done in this one and I see Palelei being able to walk away with another UFC win. – Palelei via (T)KO

JS: Will this turn into sloppy boxing due to fatigue? Will it even get that far? Those were some of the questions running through my own head as I heard this matchup announced. I am a big fan of both fighters but I (along with many pundits) was disappointed in Palelei’s suspect cardio showing in his return to the octagon. I truly believe he has rarely faced a striker the caliber of Pat Barry in his MMA career and I see Barry earning a late stoppage via cumulative damage caused by kicks to slow the Big Aussie.   Barry via (T)KO


Middleweight Bout – Clint Hester (8-3) vs Dylan Andrews (17-4 (1nc))

DR: This is a tough one to call as in Clint Hester you have a man who’s a former professional boxer with real power in his hands, while Andrews isn’t quite as dynamic in the striking department but is by far the more well rounded of the two. You can expect Hester to be doing everything in his power to keep this fight standing while he goes in seach of a knockout and Andrews, who has more than serviceable standup, most likely knows that his best route to victory in this one is getting it to the mat, where he can take advantage of Hester’s somewhat suspect ground game.  I think this one likely ends with a finish one way or another, whether it’s standing or on the mat and I’m leaning towards Andrews as the man getting the job done, due to his mental toughness and good conditioning. – Andrews via (T)KO

CG: Andrews really impressed me during his stint on TUF and we can’t really take anything away from him for his knockout loss to Uriah Hall, which eliminated him from the tournament in the semi-finals.  I mean Hall, for whatever reason, was on fire in that house.  Hester wasn’t able to make the same length of a run during his TUF experience but did look good in his knockout win over Bristol Marunde in his official UFC debut.  I think Andrews is the more complete fighter of two and should be able to walk away with the win here. – Andrews via (T)KO

JS: This is certainly an interesting clash of styles. Andrews will be coming into this fight riding a 6 fight win streak as in his last fight he scored a comeback victory over Papy Abedi. Both fighters are lanky for the 185 pound division, but I agree with Dave in every facet here. Andrews best path to victory is the ground game and if he can get it there, I believe he will overwhelm and finish Hester. – Andrews via (T)KO


Women’s Bantamweight Bout – Julie Kedzie (16-12) vs Bethe Correia (6-0)

DR: Kedzie via Decision

CG: Kedzie via Decision

JS: Correia via Decision


Bantamweight Bout – Nam Phan (18-11) vs Takeya Mizugaki (18-7-2)

DR: Mizugaki via Decision

CG: Mizugaki via Decision

JS: Mizugaki via Decision


Middleweight Bout – Caio Magalhaes (6-1) vs Nick Ring (13-2)

DR: Ring via Decision

CG: Ring via Decision

JS: Ring via Decision


Flyweight Bout – Richie Vaculik (9-1) vs Justin Scoggins (7-0)

DR: Scoggins via (T)KO

CG: Scoggins via (T)KO

JS: Vaculik via Submission


Middleweight Bout – Krzysztof Jotko (13-0) vs Bruno Santos (13-0)

DR: Santos via Decision

CG: Jotko via Decision

JS: Santos via Decision


Welterweight Bout – Ben Wall (7-0-1) vs Alex Garcia (10-1)

DR: Garcia via Submission

CG: Garcia via Submission

JS: Garcia via Submission

 

Current scores after 18 events:

Chuck Grace:  – 119/175 (68%)

Dave Reid:  – 115/187 (61%)

Jordan Smith:  – 106/174 (61%)

Chris Pohlman: – 66/105 (63%)

Paul Bruens – 50/71 (71%)

Dane Ford:  – 50/83 (60%)

Douglas Keast: – 11/23 (48%)

Remember if you want to compete with the MMAInsider.net crew then head on over to MMAFantasyFever.com and go head to head with us!

About Dave Reid

Dave is an avid MMA fan and the content officer for MMAInsider.net If you would like to get in touch with him you can email him at dreid@mmainsider.net or follow him on twitter @davereiduk

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