CURRENT RECORD: 101-63-1
After an electric night of fights at UFC 212, the UFC now rolls into Auckland, New Zealand for Fight Night 110. Headlining this card is a thunderous heavyweight clash between two of the division’s hardest hitters; Derek “The Black Beast” Lewis and Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt. Playing second fiddle to the main event is an exciting middleweight contest between Derek Brunson and Dan Kelly. Elsewhere on the card, there are interesting match ups between Ion Cutelaba and Henrique da Silva, Tim Elliot takes on Ben Nguyen, Dan Hooker squares off against Ross Pearson while Ashkan Mokhtarian makes his UFC debut against John Moraga. An exciting night of fights not to be missed so be sure to be tuned in, so you don’t miss out.
As always, I will now break down all the main card fights, give my predictions and of course, put my own “Armchair Expert” title on the line.
DERRICK LEWIS vs. MARK HUNT
“The Black Beast” comes into this bout on the back of six consecutive victories; with only one not ending by knockout. The heavyweight division is shallow with title challengers and Derrick Lewis’ name is firmly in contention – barring any mishaps here. Mark Hunt hasn’t had the same such fortune. The king of the ‘walk off’ recorded back to back knockout victories before losing to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200. With that fight overturned to a no contest, Hunt looked to bounce back with a win against Alistair Overeem, but instead Hunt was himself brutally knocked out. This a great match up between two huge punchers that can end a fight in a split second. Once Hunts’ chin has fully recovered and he doesn’t get caught early I think he could get the victory here. Lewis tends to throw wildly and gas out quickly so the longer this fight lasts, the more it’ll play into the patient hands of Hunt. I’m expecting Hunt to get a late stoppage victory here.
Hunt by knockout.
DEREK BRUNSON vs. DAN KELLY
Derek Brunson rattled off four first round victories before been put to the sword by Robert Whittaker. He next faced the great Anderson Silva but was once again defeated, this time by a questionable decision. Dan Kelly is the surprise package of the middleweight division, with a record of 13-1 and on a four fight win streak, Kelly, despite being 39, is slowing moving himself up the rankings. Brunson has genuine knockout power but is also a superb wrestler, something he has drifted away from of late, so it’ll be interesting to see if Brunson takes the wrestling route against the Judo black belt. Brunson tends to fade badly in fights and unless he gets an early knockout then I can see the constant work of Kelly delivering on the judge’s scorecards.
Kelly by decision.
DAN HOOKER vs. ROSS PEARSON
Dan Hooker has been blowing hot and cold since joining the UFC in 2014, alternating between wins and losses going 3-3 so far. The New Zealander will want to put on a show for his home crowd but he will need to be at his best against the gritty Ross Pearson. Pearson is in desperate need of a victory having lost his last three straight. He is 11-10-1 with the UFC, not exactly a standout record and on a three fight skid, so he massively needs a win here if he is to remain with the promotion. Pearson’s problem of late seems to be his resistance to letting his hands go; if he were to press forward more and be like the Pearson of old he could start turning some of those losses into wins. But unless he gets a stoppage here I don’t fancy the judges going against one of their own. I think the safe bet is on Hooker getting the decision win.
Hooker by decision
ION CUTELABA vs. HENRIQUE da SILVA
Henrique da Silva joined the UFC with a huge reputation, 10-0 with all ten victories by knockout. He won his first two fights with the UFC by TKO and then submission to continue the streak, before suffering a surprise submission loss to Paul Craig. He again lost, last time out, by decision so “Frankenstein” will be eager to bounce back. At only 23, Ion Cutelaba already has a professional mms record of 13-3, with nine of those victories coming by knockout. The heavy handed Moldavian is coming off a decision loss to Jared Cannonier so will also be looking for that bounce back victory. Both of these fighters can end the fight in AN instant but I feel da Silva is a little more of a complete fighter and should do enough to gain the victory.
da Silva by submission.
TIM ELLIOT vs. BEN NGUYEN
After winning TUF Tim Elliot got his shot at the P4P king and flyweight champion Demetrius Johnson but ultimately came up short in a decision loss. Despite the loss, Elliot showed his vast improvements since his first stint within the UFC. He next faced Louis Smolka and again looked great as he cruised to a decision victory. Ben Nguyen joined the UFC with a record of 14-5 and quickly won two consecutive fights before scuppering to the aforementioned Louis Smolka. He bounced back from that loss with a decision victory over Geane Herrera last time out. Both of these fighters have a vast array of skills and both are extra impressive on the mat. I just feel Elliot has started to find himself as a fighter and his confidence continues to grow. He should be able to grind out a decision victory here.
Elliot by decision
ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI vs. MIZUTO HIROTA
Aussie Volkanovski made his debut for the UFC when they visited Australia late last year and he impressed with a second round knockout of Yusuke Kasuya. Volkanovski has a record of 13-1 and has nine knockouts and three submission wins to his name. Mizuto Hirota is an experienced fighter having fought in nearly 30 pro fights across an array of promotions. Hirota has a record of 18-7 but has yet to be knocked out in his career. Once Volkanovski takes control of the early exchanges he shouldn’t have an issue getting his hand raised and I think he may also become the first person to KO Hirota.
Volkanovski by knockout
Best of the Rest.
Damien Brown vs. Vinc Pichel
Pichel to win.
John Moraga vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
Moraga to win.
Luke Jumeau vs. Dominique Steele
Steele to win.
Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Zak Ottow
Kunimoto to win.
JJ Aldrich vs. Chan-Mi Jeon
Aldrich to win.
Thibault Gouti vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Kim to win.
Bet of the Day.
The adventurous bet: all 12 predictions in an accumulator is about 2067/1.
The inbetweener bet: Kunimoto, Moraga and Volkanovski to win is 6/1.
The conservative bet: Hunt to win by knockout is 11/8.
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