WOW! What a card this Fight Night turned out to be. I have a feeling the UFC will be heading to Australia a little more often now after the eccentric performances last night. In case you missed my prelim review, click here
Bethe Correia def Julie Kedzie via Split Decision
These two women really brought it all to the Octagon, and their performance showed it. This was probably one of the more technical women’s fights that I’ve seen, as usually they get bashed on for quickly turning into wild brawls. This fight proved differently as Kedzie and Correia were basically involved in a 15 minute kickboxing bout. Correia managed to squeak out the victory on the scorecards, but this fight was evenly matched. Kedzie’s kicks looked to be pretty solid, but I guess it was the late takedown in round one and the clinch initiations of Correia that earned her the hard-fought victory. I start off my predictions at 0-1 as I was really expecting Kedzie to be the sharper tool out there overall, but Correia came prepared.
Clint Hester def Dylan Andrews via 2nd Rd TKO
An unfortunate end to what was slowly turning into a good fight; a dislocated shoulder prompts a second round doctor stoppage on Andrews declaring Hester the winner. Nevertheless, it was Hester that was winning the fight up until then. He was just a little too quick and gave Andrews a little too much to think about on the feet. The movement and timing of Hester was really working for him, but what surprised me about this fight was the wrestling. Andrews initially was looking for takedowns in the first round; he probably felt out-matched and out-gunned, but it was Hester in round two that even started to win that battle. Good performance for Clint Hester despite an unfortunate ending. 1-1 for me as I slotted Hester for a decision victory, feeling confident in his superior striking skills.
Sao Palelei def Pat Barry via 1st Rd KO
I KNEW IT! I was pulling for Palelei on my Smart Bets and I knew that he’d pull through. Palelei wasted no time in taking this fight to the ground where he quickly mounted Barry, and put his lights out with a vicious barrage of ground and pound. I knew Palelei’s power in close fighting scenarios would pull off as the big factor here, and it did. Great win for Palelei in his backyard. 2-1 for me on the main card.
Ryan Bader def Anthony Perosh via Unanimous Decision
This remains as a pinnacle for bad match-making. You have one guy who is a brute force wrestler with serious power taking on an unorthodox grappler who wins by capitalizing on his opponents mistakes. Bader, the elite fighter that he is, doesn’t make very many mistakes and is why this fight proved to be a giant mismatch. Bader picked Perosh apart with big punches on the feet, took him down, and absolutely hammered him into smithereens. I originally picked Bader win by knockout in the first round, but it was clear Bader was in no rush to end a one-sided beat down. 3-1 in my main card predictions after this fight.
Shogun Rua def James Te Huna via 1st Rd KO
WOW! Dana White labeled this fight as the knockout of the century on Twitter; I don’t think it was quite at THAT caliber but it was a vicious yet beautiful display of a one-punch knockout. A lot of people were expecting Rua to take this fight to the ground where he would have a serious advantage, but he reminded us all that Rua remains as one of the best strikers at 205. Te Huna felt just a little too confident in his chin and his stand-up, came forward without any defense, and paid for it with his consciousness. I’ll admit, I was one of those expecting Te Huna to give Shogun troubles on the feet, but still picked Rua to win by a submission after taking it to the ground. This outcome pleasantly surprised, as now maybe it is finally time to see Rua get some momentum back. 4-1 now on my predictions.
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva is declared a Majority Draw
Following the “knockout of the century” was perhaps the “fight of the century” as Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva clobbered each other’s heads for a full 25 minutes. While both men were completely gassed and exhausted at the end of it, their hearts and will on display. I predicted Silva to get this fight to the ground and end it after series of ground and pound, but Hunt’s wrestling defense was a reminder that Mark Hunt isn’t just a kickboxer anymore, he’s an MMA fighter. Hunt tossed Silva around in the clinch to many peoples’ surprise, and kept this fight on the feet. However, Silva’s long reach and steady right hand was giving him troubles, and looked to be an inevitable knockout win for Silva regardless. Hunt rallied back late in the fight after Silva began to fatigue, and started opening up with some vicious combinations. The last two rounds of this fight would be perhaps the greatest displays of heart and toughness that I’ve ever seen. Hunt and Silva were standing zombies, slamming eachother with as much power as they could muster up. But in the end, the right call was made, and this fight was declared a draw.
This ends my Fight Night 33 Review. I end the event with a 6-4-1 prediction record; not the greatest, but I’ll take it! Stay tuned to MMAConvert for more MMA news!