The main event of UFC Fight Night 33 features two powerful heavyweights going head to head, both possessing a ridiculous amount of knock out power. Mark Hunt is racing against the clock to work his way up to a title shot at age 39 while Bigfoot has already lost two fights to the current champion – both fighters are looking to make a big statement to prove that they are still competitors for the belt. Who will come out on top? See our breakdown and prediction below!
Mark Hunt (9-8 MMA, 4-2 UFC) [+120] vs. Antonio Silva (18-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) [-120]
Between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva, of their combined six wins in the octagon five have been won by knock out. While Bigfoot possesses a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, his recent success has come by landing power punches hand which was demonstrated against decorated striker Alistair Overeem and current top five heavyweight Travis Browne. While Mark Hunt is coming off of a knock out loss to Junior Dos Santos, his ability to take a punch is second to none in mixed martial arts having absorbed some of the hardest shots in the history of the sport – he is, however, still very green on the ground which Bigfoot could exploit. We are either in for a vicious stand up war which would favor the K-1 champion in Hunt, or we’re in for a grappling clinic which would favor Bigfoot.
Hunt, 39, established himself in K-1 years before crossing over to mixed martial arts making his debut in the legendary Pride FC. He started off very well going 5-1 with wins over top Pride fighters in Mirko Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva. Continuing on with his mixed martial arts career in DREAM, Hunt lost five straight before (surprisingly) signing with the UFC where he lost a first round submission to Sean McCorkle. Since then, Hunt has appeared to of revitalized himself as he went on to win four straight in the octagon and earned a shot at the consensus #2 heavyweight Junior Dos Santos in a fight with title implications. While Hunt lost that fight in the third round, he kept it more competitive than many had thought which was a testament to the adjustments made since losing to McCorkle.
Hunt’s preferred method of fighting is no secret to anyone – he wants to bang it out and showcase his superior chin and his superior power. Hunt has been more than willing to take a shot to give one which almost always ends in his favor if he gets his way. Hunt is very good at cutting off angles allowing him to set up his powerful right hand, something he’s done to earn himself two knock out of the night bonuses inside the octagon (his knockout of Struve was heard around the world.) At 39, it appears to be too late in the game for Hunt to establish a formidable submission game so expect Hunt to do everything he can to keep the fight standing. With that said,
What Hunt should do:
- Use footwork and angles to set up strikes. Swinging wildly may leave him susceptible to take downs which could cost him the fight given Silva’s ability to smother his opponent.
- Hunt should put a target on the large chin of Bigfoot and ‘hunt’ for it all night long. Body shots should only be used to set up strikes to the head. Mix up leaping hooks with overhand rights. Hunt has the power to end the fight with one blow.
What Hunt shouldn’t do:
- Hunt needs to avoid moving straight forward and straight backward. If he doesn’t move laterally, Silva may be able to close the distance, backing him up to the cage and taking him down.
- “The Super Samoan” needs to make sure he doesn’t expend all of his energy early on. A shortage in fuel in the tank could result in easy take downs for Silva who has shown he can still keep a mean pace over three rounds.
Bigfoot, 34, has been victorious in over many opponents who were believed to of been able to make quick work of him with the great Fedor Emelianenko and the K-1 champion Alistair Overeem both being apart of that list of victims. While his striking isn’t overly technical he throws huge punches with huge power and although his chin isn’t the most reliable he isn’t scared to take a punch. Bigfoot is very good at keeping his composure and is never really out of a fight until the bell sounds or the referee stops the fight. His only two losses in the UFC were the result of the current champion Cain Velasquez – both losses showed some pretty big holes in the game of Bigfoot (he’s rather slow and has poor striking defense). Although Bigfoot has stood and traded with some of the best strikers the heavyweight division has to offer, he should look to showcase his superior grappling capabilities.
He is the more well rounded fighter. Although 13 of his wins have come by knock out and only two by submission, Bigfoot has the ability to get on top of his opponents and overwhelm them with relentless and powerful strikes (which we saw in his TKO victory over Emelienaneko) which would be a smart game plan to put away Hunt.
What Bigfoot should do:
- Stay outside of Hunt’s power range until he sees an opening for a take down. Try and pepper him with jabs and even low kicks, or simply feint from the fringe until Hunt over commits and makes himself available to be taken down.
- Once he sees that opening, get the fight to the ground immediately to work his far superior grappling.
What Bigfoot shouldn’t do:
- Don’t test the waters of Hunt’s stand up. While Bigfoot has shown big power and even the ability to take a pretty good shot, he doesn’t have the ability to take almost any shot like Hunt does. While JDS was able to out strike Hunt and absorb his punches, JDS is a whole other animal on the feet than Bigfoot. Bigfoot should get the fight to where he is most dominant immediately.
@MikalMMA ‘s Prediction: Mark Hunt defeats Antonio Silva via knock out in round 1.
While Silva is the superior mixed martial artist on paper, I believe he has some issues with pride. We saw in the Overeem fight that he wanted to try and show the world that he could strike with Overeem. While he was able to catch Overeem in the later rounds, it was largely due to Overeem’s overconfidence and lack of ability to take a shot. This will not remain true for Hunt. I believe Silva will try and test the striking of Hunt early on with the thought that if it doesn’t work out he can just take him down later – and it will cost him quickly. Hunt will find a home for his right hand early dropping Bigfoot. From there it will only take a few more shots by “the Super Samoan” to put Bigfoot away.