Sunday, March 20, 10am. Brisbane, Australia.
MARK Hunt continues to demonstrate that age is no barrier for the Super Samoan.
The 41-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand, fighting out of Sydney, is on the comeback trail to heavyweight stardom after defeating Antonio Silva via knockout at UFC 193.
His opponent, the more experienced Frank Mir, brings more of a submission game to the Octagon and he is looking to avenge a unanimous decision loss to Andrei Arlovski at UFC 191. Mir had won his previous two fights, including a Performance of the Night victory against Antonio Silva and Todd Duffee.
Mir needs to take Hunt down to the ground and if the fight is left standing, the distinct advantage goes to knockout king Mark Hunt.
Hunt lands one more strike per minute than Mir and we know those Samoan hands have an incredible amount of power in them. His 73 percent knockout efficiency is up there with the best in the UFC and we think Hunt will be going for the early put away here.
Method of victory market:
Hunt by KO – $1.72
Hunt on points – $10
Hunt by submission – $17
Mir by KO – $6
Mir on points – $13
Mir by submission – $4.20
Draw – $51
This fight won’t end in a draw so discount that option. The heavy favourite is Hunt to win via knockout and we’d have to agree. He doesn’t need much room to move and Mir will be looking to use his clinch.
Mir by submission has also been well favoured which is to be expected. Mir doesn’t look for the knockout and even though his striking has improved, he will be looking to take this fight to the ground as soon as possible.
If they get on the ground it could be game over for Hunt. We have seen many ‘home town’ favourites get beaten in past UFC Fight Night’s by fighters trying to score early knockouts and Hunt doesn’t want to fall into this category.
We will stick with the notion that Hunt will score a win by knockout, so we looked at the round markets for the best value.
Hunt to win in Round 1 – $3.10
Hunt to win in Round 2 – $5
Hunt to win in Round 3 – $10
Hunt to win in Round 4 – $18
Hunt to win in Round 5 – $23
Betting on Hunt to win in the latter rounds isn’t the worst bet to take. He can fight for five rounds and if he can tire Mir throughout the fight, a knockout in the closing rounds will become easier.
That being said, Mark Hunt likes to load up from the word go and leave nothing in reserve, hence why Round 1 is the current favourite. We are leaning towards Round 2 as the best option at $5. Mir might try and run Hunt around the ring and this could frustrate Hunt.
If Mir can’t take Hunt down to the canvas, expect Mir to get frustrated and this is where Hunt will deliver his final blow.
Hunt via knockout in Round 2 – $5 at Sportsbet.com.au
UFC Fight Night Brisbane undercard matchups and odds
Hector Lombard ($2.06) vs. Neil Magny ($1.76)
Neil Magny has come a long way since competing on the Ultimate Fighter and he now finds himself the favourite against one of the toughest UFC fighters.
Hector Lombard has a record of 35 wins and four losses, which makes him one of the most experienced fighters still competing. The Cuban fighter has great defense which could frustrate the younger Magny who is looking to improve his record to 18 wins and four losses.
Magny has worked his way to #9 in his division rankings, but this hasn’t been based on excitement. Magny has a KO percentage of only 29, with the majority of his wins coming via decision. That style of fighting won’t gain him any praise from the Brisbane fans and Lombard isn’t a fighter to muck around.
Lombard has a KO percentage of 65 and he doesn’t enjoy leaving the fight in the judge’s hands. Lombard’s defensive play is his best attribute and we think he can pull off the minor upset at $2.06 with WilliamHill.com.au.
Jake Matthews ($1.81) vs. Johnny Case ($2)
Australia’s own Jake Matthews gets his biggest chance to shine when he faces Johnny “Hollywood” Case.
Matthews has suffered just one loss in 11 fights and he mixes a combination of striking and submissions to get the job done. He lands a handy 4.34 strikes per minute which ranks highly and if Case is looking to take down Matthews, he should think again.
Matthews has a takedown defensive percentage of 100 so Case will call on his striking to get the job done. Case is more than capable of winning via knockout and he has the clear experience edge.
There is nothing between these fighters as the betting suggests, but we’ll side with the Australian at $1.81 with CrownBet.com.au.
James Te Huna ($1.39) vs. Steve Bosse ($3.02)
Another Kiwi fighting out of Australia is James Te Huna who will have his hands full against Steve Bosse. Te Huna has a record of 18-8 and he mixes it up with striking and grappling, but Bosse has a record of 10-1 and will be targeting a knockout.
The heavy-hitting Canadian does, however, have a 3-inch reach disadvantage which will make hitting Te Huna that much harder. Te Huna is more impressive than he looks and the bookmakers believe he will win this fight easily.
Bosse has yet to fully test himself inside the ring and fighting Te Huna might be too much of a stretch. Take the shorts around Te Huna and add the $1.39 to your UFC multi bets.
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