The UFC returns to Auckland when two of the hardest hitting heavyweights on the planet go head to head in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:
This fight was clearly put together to show the capabilities of Alexander Volkanovski. Mizuto Hirota is the biggest underdog on this main card in my book. If he somehow pulls off the upset then it will be insane. However, I see “The Great” getting the nod on this one. His 14-1 record speaks for itself. “Pugnus” is hard to finish though, only suffering one submission loss and no knockout losses. This fight should go to decision in Vokanovski’s favor.
Predicted winner: Alexander Volkanovski via Decision
This may be fight of the night with two of the most talented fighters on the card going head-to-head. Their speed and technique is going to make it a competitive one. Tim Elliott has been impressive but I saw him barely winning his last fight. Although I am a fan of him I see Ben Nguyen taking this one. With both flyweights being generally hard to finish, I see this fight going all three rounds.
Predicted winner: Ben Nguyen via Decision
This is a bold prediction but I see this fight going the distance. Usually when two guys who have mostly knockout wins face eachother, I immediately think that someone is getting knocked out. But time and time again I have been proven wrong as both fighters would go on to slug it out until the final bell sounds. I see Henrique da Silva getting the victory, because of his impressive record, but don’t be surprised if nobody is put to sleep.
Predicted winner: Henrique da Silva via Decision
This matchup is interesting. We have Dan Hooker who is a young and physically impressive fighter going up against elderly Ross Pearson who is a veteran in the sport. Hooker looks like the favorite and may have to use his speed to defeat Pearson but I see “The Real Deal” taking “The Hangman” to school on this one. Hooker has yet to beat anyone with the credentials such as Pearson and Pearson has defeated plenty of fighters such as Hooker. I could easily be proven wrong in this fight but I just see Pearson controlling the fight like a true veteran and getting the decision.
Predicted winner: Ross Pearson via Decision
Dan Kelly has been surprisingly on fire recently. He has taken ot some big names, such as Rashad Evans, and showed how skill can get him the win in all of his fights regardless of how strong or big his opponent is. Derek Brunson however is a knockout artist and just had an impressive showing against Anderson Silva. Kelly might put up a good fight but I see Brunson getting the KO with his immense power. I don’t see Kelly being able to use his skills to get out of this one but he may prove me wrong yet again. It will be fun to see.
Predicted winner: Derek Brunson via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1
This fight looks like it’s going to be a one round war. If it goes outside the first then expect the action to be significantly slower. As much as I love Derrick Lewis, I do not see he beating a power puncher such as Mark Hunt. The only time Hunt has been taken out due to punches while on the feet was in 2008. After that his only KO/TKO losses have came from kicks, knees, and ground and pound. Lewis is going to have a hard time putting him away especially in a five round fight. I expect Hunt to land his devistating right hand, but if its going to put “The Black Beast” away then it is going to have to be in the first round. Although I may not b picking him, I hope Lewis proves me wrong and gets the win here because I am a huge fan of him.
Predicted winner: Mark Hunt via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1