The UFC returns to Brisbane today for the heavyweight collision between Mark Hunt and Frank Mir. That means that it is time for another instalment of The Debate. This week we have Vinny Craig in the corner of Mark Hunt and yours truly will be arguing Frank Mir’s case. Due to the fact that I took part in the debate, it was chaired by an independent party.
As regular readers will be aware, the starting point for The Debate is simply a case of stating why the debaters believe their chosen fighter will emerge victorious.
Vinny Craig: The power of Hunt is still there. He has gotten a big shot through against every opponent, some are able to take them and I don’t see Mir being one of them.
Keefe McKenna: Frank Mir is, alongside Fabricio Werdum, the best heavyweight grappler in MMA. He has said pre-fight that submissions, mainly leg locks, have been a big part of his fight preparation and we know that Hunt has been submitted numerous times before. I think Mir knows he can’t stand with Hunt and takes this to the ground quickly where it is his world.
VC: Hunt has fought Werdum, the guy you say is as good as or better than Mir as a grappler, and didn’t get submitted. In fact, he hasn’t been submitted since 2010. His takedown defence has been solid as well. Let’s look at their opponents in comparison; Bigfoot Silva post failed drug test. Yes they both won, but it’s how they did it. Both with KO’s, but Mir won’t KO Hunt.
KM: I agree, Mir won’t KO Hunt. The advantage I believe Mir has over Werdum in terms of grappling credentials is superior takedown ability. Hunt did well in top position against Werdum, but if Mir gets a takedown and ends up on top, that’s a whole other issue and, as we’ve seen from when Mir fought Nogueira, once he grabs a submission he won’t let go until his opponent taps or snaps.
VC: The entire thing could be ground vs. stand up with each having the advantage. My whole basis is that Mir won’t get it to the ground and will look lost on the feet against Hunt. If it goes to the ground, I will concede that Mir could and should end the fight there.
In terms of how the fight will be won and lost, both Hunt and Mir have strengths which could easily be viewed as their opponent’s weaknesses. The question is; who will manage to do this most effectively?
KM: As I touched on earlier, the weakest aspect of Hunt’s game is his bottom game. On top, he’s very strong and difficult to control, but on bottom, he struggles to get up. Look at his fight with Miocic – granted, Miocic is the next title challenger, but that fight showed 2 things. 1. Hunt is susceptible to takedowns, namely single leg takedowns. And 2. He had no answer for Miocic’s top game. His durability and heart kept him in that fight far longer than he should have, but add in Mir’s submission skills and that’s disastrous for Hunt.
VC: As you said, Mir has the clear advantage on the ground, especially the top, despite his late resurgence with KO’s. Mark Hunt is a different animal. His strength is his power punches, which he should be able to land on Mir. The accuracy of Mark Hunt is also something that will play a factor.
KM: What I will say about Hunt’s stand-up is, everyone knows what punch he wants to land – that huge left hook. If he connects with that, Mir goes to sleep, no question about that. The problem that many of Hunt’s victims have had is avoiding it. But I think if Mir fights smart using his improving footwork, he can avoid that power punch, get Hunt to the ground and submit him.
VC: That surely could happen, but Mir has to get it to the ground first. While Hunt’s fight-ending weapon is the left hook, he sets it up with other punches and low kicks. His tree trunks for legs have some power to them and he chops down the legs when he needs to.
Being the main event for UFC Brisbane, Hunt vs Mir is scheduled for 5 rounds. With that in mind, especially with this being a heavyweight bout, could that be seen as an advantage for either man?
VC: No, this is a disadvantage for both. No heavyweight fight should be five rounds unless it’s for a title. While the last heavyweight I saw go five rounds that was good Mark Hunt was in, I think 5 rounds is a bad idea overall for heavyweights, but a slight advantage for Hunt.
KM: I agree, I’m not a fan of 5 round heavyweight fights. It depends on how the fight takes place who tires first. If Mir can force Hunt to grapple and fatigue him like Miocic did, it opens up submissions. However, Hunt has been working on his cardio and if Mir is unable to implement his game plan and slows down faster he will find it harder to get takedowns and Hunt will KO him.
Something that could play a factor in this fight is the crowd support. Hunt is most certainly going to be the crowd favourite and Mir will be the villain – definitely worth consideration.
KM: Honestly, for large parts of Mir’s career, he has gotten used to not being the crowd favourite. He’s been booed and jeered a lot and still ended up as the winner. I don’t think the hostile crowd will affect him.
VC: Both guys are very experienced and have had their fair share of being a fan favourite. The crowd very well could feed Mark Hunt, but I think the battle of experience is bigger than being a favourite.
It could be argued that both of these heavyweights are in the twilight of their MMA careers and time is running out for them to reach the top again. A great first step for both of them to work towards that is of course winning tonight, but where would that place them in the division and how far can they go?
VC: If Hunt wins this fight, he moves up a couple of spots in the division. This is his last title run and a win over a former champion will go a long way towards him reaching a title shot.
KM: Realistically, even with a win, I think Mir is 2, maybe 3 wins away from a title shot, especially with the current list of contenders lining up. I don’t think Mir has it in him to make a title run, but anything can happen at heavyweight.
Before ending the debate, the traditional final predictions took place.
KM: I’m predicting Mir uses his footwork to avoid Hunt’s big punches, gets the takedown and submits Hunt with a kimura towards the end of round 1.
VC: Hunt will win due to stopping the takedown early and forcing Mir to search for it. He’ll catch him with a left hook after beating him up on the feet a little. Hunt by 2nd round TKO.
There we have it – another debate in the books. Who do you think argued the better point for their fighter and has either man made you reconsider your own prediction? Get in touch and let us know!
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
The Wake-Up Report-UFC 218
The Wake-Up Report is a way for you to get all the important info about the fights the night before. After letting it all sink in and letting all the carnage seep deep into your soul, we get to go back and take a second look at all the madness of the night. Last night the UFC pulled off one of the best PPV cards a true fight fan could imagine. Waking up after a night of fights like we had last night is like waking up from a dream that was also a bit scary. There was two ‘Fight of the Night’ in UFC president Dana White’s eyes but in the eyes of the millions of fans watching all over the world, there could have been so many more.
UFC 218 kicked off at 6:15 ET with the UFC Fight Pass Prelims, by 6:20 we already had the first knockout of the night. Justin Willis welcomed ‘Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series’ fighter, Allen Crowder to the UFC with a massive left hand to the chin.
Official Result: Willis def. Crowder by KO in round 1
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 3, 2017
The prelims continued with a submission win for Dominick Reyes over Jeremy Kimball.
Official Result: Reyes def. Kimball by Submission in round 1
Proceeding that fight was a strange one between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi. An early stoppage by veteran UFC ref Herb Dean led to the KO win by Homasi. Immediately, the stoppage was contested by Alhassan. Dana White agreed that the fight was ended too soon and announced in the post-fight media scrum that this fight will be run back on the UFC 219 card on December 30th.
Official Result: Homasi def. Alhassan by KO in round 1
The early prelims ended with a great win by Amanda Bobby Cooper over Angela Magana.
Official Result: Cooper def. Magana by TKO in round 2
We followed that strawweight fight up with another strawweight battle when Felice Herrig squeaked out the split decision victory over Courtney Casey.
Official Result: Herrig def. Casey by Split Decision
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 3, 2017
David Teymur was on the winning side of a unanimous decision over his opponent Drakkar Klose. Teymur has now won four in a row since coming to the UFC and should be setting himself up for a ranked opponent in his next time out.
Official Result: Teymur def. Klose by Unanimous Decision
Right smack in the middle of this massive fight card was one fight that you can tell your grandkids about one day. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros is the reason we all love MMA. That fight had everything you could want in a fight. Both men gave their all and pushed themselves to the brink in over to get the win. On this cold December night in Detriot, MI, Yancy Medeiros was the better man and he was able to stop Oliveira in the third round by TKO. Earning themselves a well deserved ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, these two fighters have put the rest of the welterweight division on notice.
Official Result: Medeiros def. Oliveira by TKO in round 3
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 3, 2017
The next fight featured another Oliveira, Charles Oliveira. He took on ‘The Irish Dragon’ Paul Felder. Felder put on a dominant performance and took out Oliveira in the second round with a big TKO victory.
Official Result: Felder def. Oliveira by TKO in round 2
As if the FS1 free prelims didn’t already satisfy your fight needs for the night we happily moved right along to the PPV portion of the evening. The main card kicked off in the strawweight division with a pair of title contenders looking to be the first title defense for the newly crowned champ Rose Namajumas. Both women started off strong, but it was Tecia Torres who shortly emerged as the stronger physical fighter. She was able to get Michelle Waterson up against the cage several times and eventually worked out the unanimous decision victory and perhaps a third date with Namajunas.
Official Result: Torres def. Waterson by Unanimous Decision
🌪 🌪 🌪
— UFC (@ufc) December 3, 2017
Following the strawweights were the coaches of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, Eddie Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. This fight was one of the focal points for fans in the weeks leading up to the fight. These two men had a great deal of respect for one another and showed that inside the octagon as well. A back and forth of heavy hands and vicious leg kicks ended in the TKO victory for Alvarez and he handed Gaethje the first loss of his career. This fight also earned a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus from the bossman, Dana White.
Official Result: Alvarez def. Gaethje by TKO in round 3
— Ride The Pine Sports (@RideThePine_) December 3, 2017
Next came a bout in the flyweight division. Perhaps not as exciting as the rest of the card, but, former gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo did what he had to do to get the nod over young talent Sergio Pettis.
Official Result: Cejudo def. Pettis by Unanimous Decision
From some of the smallest guys on the roster to the monsters of the heavyweight division, in walked rising star Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem. We all knew coming into this fight that we would see carnage, but nothing prepared us of the ginormous KO that was about to ensue. Francis Ngannou was able to squash Overeems plan of wrapping him up in the clinch and immediately put his massive left fist right to Overeem’s chin. The world record holder for punching power used all of his might and unleashed on his opponent. With this win, Ngannou has solidified his title shot against champion Stipe Miocic. Dana White has plans for that bout in the first quarter of 2018.
Official Result: Ngannou def. Overeem by KO in round 1
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) December 3, 2017
As if things couldn’t get better than that, we still had a main event featuring one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon. Jose Aldo was looking to regain his title, and for a good portion of the first round it looked like that would be the case. Max Holloway saw it another way. Holloway absorbed all the shots from Aldo and imposed his strength on the exhausted Aldo. The fight, that went on in very similar fashion from the first meeting between these two fighters, ended in the third round when the ref stepped in and called the fight.
Official Result: Holloway def. Aldo by TKO in round 3
All Holloway, all the time.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 3, 2017
Max Holloway has secured a place in the history books as one of the greatest to fight in the UFC at 145 pounds. It would seem that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at the champ. As for Aldo, only time will tell where the former champ goes from here. Perhaps there will be a change of weight classes as he looks for another shot at the man who robbed him of his title initially, Conor McGregor.
The fight fans of Detroit, MI received an early holiday present in the form of violence and mayhem. UFC 218 was a successful fight card and one for the record books. Like true fans of fighting we take a brief moment to reflect before quickly turning our attention to next week where we begin the madness all over again. The nest card will take place in Fresco, CA on December 8th. That card will be headlined by Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega.
2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app
This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.
The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:
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