The Size Up – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Lewis

Main Event – Heavyweight – Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt

Lewis Notable Fights: Travis Browne (W), Matt Mitrione (L), Roy Nelson (W), Gabriel Gonzaga (W).

Hunt Notable Fights: Brock Lesnar (NC), Ben Rothwell (W), Stipe Miocic (L), Roy Nelson (W).

Lewis Stat: 10 0f his 11 UFC fights have ended in TKO/KO.

Hunt Stat: 11 of his 14 UFC fights have ended inside the distance.

The Match Up

When looking at this fight in terms of a ranked UFC match-up, one would be forgiven for taking a second read to make sure for certain. Inspected on their own, Hunt and Lewis have forged very respectable careers in the UFC thus far and deserve their ranking. But when you hold them side by side it’s very unusual to see two fighters with their skill sets meeting in a fight which could have title implications going forward.

Hunt is an old-school kickboxer with an iron chin who hits like a bulldozer but has huge faults in his all around MMA game. While Derrick Lewis uses his size and strength to win fights that his technical ability should never warrant winning.
Both men hit extremely hard with Hunt seeking his shots through expert guile and craft while Lewis is extremely patient and strikes when the opportunity arises; whether that be early or late in the fight. The best part of Lewis’ game is undoubtedly his top control and he’ll be looking to put Hunt on his back where he often looks like a fish out of water.

The Pick

Analysing this bout based on ability alone would see Mark Hunt as the clear and obvious winner. He can beat really good pugilists with his jab, lead hook, overhand and uppercut while his takedown defense has improved significantly from a point of nearing shambles a few years ago. Lewis on the other hand doesn’t really have much in the way of strategic attacks and isn’t nearly as fluid or talented as his opponent when throwing his shots.
But in a weird twist of faith, all of that goes out the window when you’re talking about Derrick Lewis. Winning fights he has no business winning is his bread and butter.
 
How he does that is by being extremely patient and striking when an opportunity arises. In MMA today, the output with which fighters throw is constantly increasing. But not Derrick Lewis. He is quite happy to sit back, throw a couple of leg kicks and wait for his opponent to enter his range. If that happens, he either throws big, winging punches and keeps throwing until the fight is over, or he uses his strength to slam his foe to the floor where he is almost impossible to get off.
In all likelihood, Mark Hunt will dominate this fight until it finishes. But just because he is winning at that point, doesn’t mean he will get his hand raised. Lewis has proven he only needs one opportunity and if he gets it the fight will be over. But the thing is, the same can be said for Mark Hunt. If he hits Lewis clean, he is more than likely going to be woken up seconds later. Call me a snob, but I have to take technical ability and skill over Lewis’ strength game. I think Mark Hunt wins here and I think he wins early.

Middleweight – Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly

Brunson Notable Fights: Anderson Silva (L), Lorenz Larkin (W), Robert Whittaker (L).

Kelly Notable Fights: Rashad Evans (W), Sam Alvey (L), Chris Camozzi (W).

Brunson Stat: He has never won a fight outside of the USA.

Kelly Stat: He competed at 4 Olympic games for Australia in Judo.

The Pick: I think this one is almost destined for a decision where the better game-planning of Kelly could see him win.

Flyweight – Tim Elliott vs. Ben Nguyen

Notable Fights: Demetrious Johnson (L), Louis Smolka (W), Joe Benavidez (L).

Notable Fights: Louis Smolka (L), Ryan Benoit (W), Geane Herrera (W).

Elliott Stat: 7 of his 8 fights in the UFC have gone to a decision.

Nguyen Stat: He became an internet sensation for knocking out an obnoxious opponent (WATCH HERE)

The Pick: I really rate Nguyen but I fancy the size and experience of Elliott to tell.

Additional Fight Picks
Lightweight – Dan Hooker vs. Ross Pearson: Pearson
Light Heavyweight – Ion Cutelaba vs. Henrique da Silva: Ion
Featherweight – Alexander Volkanovski vs. Mizuto Hirota: Alexander

Lightweight – Damien Brown vs. Vinc Pichel: Brown
Flyweight – John Moraga vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian: Moraga
Welterweight – Luke Jumeau vs. Dominique Steele: Steele
Welterweight – Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Zak Ottow: Ottow

Women’s Strawweight – JJ Aldrich vs. Chan-Mi Jeon: JJ
Lightweight – Thibault Gouti vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Kim

Bet Of The Week

Mark Hunt to win at Evens.

Start Times

Early Prelims – Fight Pass at 12am

Prelims – BT Sport 2 and Fight Pass at 1am

Main Card – BT Sport 2 at 3am

 


Big thanks to John Sheehan for the headline artwork. Follow him on twitter @johnsportraits


You can listen to further analysis on this week’s episode of The Severe MMA Podcast below:

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma