MMA DFS Playbook – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Mir

ufc

Welcome back to the MMA Playbook for UFC Fight Night 85. The UFC is back in Melbourne with a card headlined by two heavyweight legends; Mark Hunt and Frank Mir. UFC 196 was a downer for me, as many underdogs put up unexpected, albeit impressive performances. Let’s get back on track this week with picks from the higher profile fights on the card.

 

Hunt

Will Mark Hunt knock out another UFC legend?

 

 

Mark Hunt ($10,300) vs. Frank Mir ($9,100)

Although both men are creeping up on the end of their careers, this bout should be entertaining for as long as it lasts. At ages 41, and 36, you wont find many fighters with more experience than Hunt and Mir. Hunt is the favorite in his backyard, returning to the cage after a first round TKO of Antonio Silva, also in Melbourne. Mir makes his return off of a decision loss in which many thought he should have been awarded the win. Prior to that, he won by quick KO in two straight bouts. Mir seems to have been more interested in his stand-up game lately, and that definitely could spell trouble in this one, as Hunt arguably hits the hardest of any fighter on the roster. If Mir truly feels confident in his boxing, this could end in a brutal KO finish for Hunt in the early rounds. Hunt is the more accurate and more powerful puncher, and Mir’s chin is already suspect after an astonishing 26 fights in the UFC. However, I don’t think Mir will be crazy enough to keep testing Hunt on the feet if it’s not going his way early. He’ll shoot for a takedown, land a trip in the clinch, or dive for a submission finish after clipping Hunt. Either way, this is ending in a submission victory from Frank Mir in the first or second round.

 

Neil Magny ($9,800) vs. Hector Lombard ($9,600)

Interesting match up at welterweight for the 9th ranked Magny and 13th ranked Lombard. Magny was last seen winning a split-decision over Kelvin Gastelum, while Lombard has been inactive for over a year after a failed PED test. Magny is a tall, rangy fighter with amazing cardio. He’ll look to keep Lombard at bay with a long jab, while defending trips and takedowns. If he can stay on his bicycle, and take this fight into deeper waters, he could give Lombard issues. The Cuban-Australian Lombard should look to get right in Magny’s face, and turn this fight into a brawl. If he can do that, he should land a takedown with ease, due to Magny being very deficient in that area of the MMA game. He could also land a huge shot on Magny if he can get inside, and with the power he possesses, he could put his lights out quick. I think Lombard will impose his will physically with his grappling, land a good number of takedowns, and brutalize Magny on the floor with hard power shots. The pick is Lombard by late TKO.

 

James Te Huna ($10,500) vs. Steve Bosse ($8,900)

New Zealand’s James Te Huna finally makes his return to the cage for the first time since June of 2014. He’ll look to right the ship after three straight losses, all by finishes. He takes on former professional hockey player Steve Bosse, who makes his 2nd appearance in the UFC, after losing by head-kick KO to Thiago Santos. This is a good matchup for Te Huna. He’s been out for a long time, has lost three in a row, and could use a step down in competition from what he has been facing before the injury layoff. Bosse is a decent fighter, as is anyone who makes it to the big show. There is just a definite mismatch in skills here, and the betting odds confirm that. Te Huna should be able to steer his career back into the right direction in this one. I see him connecting with a combination in the first round, ending it with follow up punches on the floor.

  

Seo Hee Ham ($9,900) vs. Bec Rawlings ($9,500)

South Korea’s Ham takes on Australia’s own, “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings in a women’s strawweight bout that opens the main card. After an impressive submission victory over Lisa Ellis, Rawlings would love to keep the momentum up with a win over Ham. I think she gets the win here. Ham is a very talented fighter and made a lot of noise in a successful career in Japan. The problem I have, is that I believe she’s too small for the division, which is the lowest women’s weight class currently. Rawlings will use her reach advantage, using a jab to keep Ham off balance, and smother her with her size advantage if this fight hits the mat. Rawlings wins a close decision.

 

Alan Jouban ($11,200) vs. Brendan O’Reilly ($8,200)

Welterweights Jouban and O’Reilly close out the preliminary card on FS1. Jouban was last seen being knocked out by the surging Albert Tuminov, while O’Reilly returns after a decision win over Vik Grujic. O’Reilly should make this competitive with his grit, but this is Jouban’s fight to lose. Despite the loss to Tuminov, Jouban is ultra talented, and will be the superior fighter in most areas of this fight. If it stays on the feet, he should be able to pick O’Reilly apart with his high-level muay thai. He’s also a brown belt in jiu-jitsu under Eddie Bravo, so should this fight hit the mat, he’ll be more than capable of winning the fight there as well. I look for Jouban to win a clear-cut unanimous decision.

 

Chad Laprise ($10,100) vs. Ross Pearson ($9,300)

On UFC Fight Pass, The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 winner Ross Pearson takes on another winner of the reality show, Canada’s Chad Laprise. This is an interesting fight that could easily be featured on the main card. Both men are looking to rebound after both lost to Francisco Trinaldo. I think this fight will stay on the feet, with both men possessing legitimate stand-up skills. It’s a fairly even match-up on paper, but I like Pearson in this one. Laprise is a good prospect, but hasn’t faced the level of competition that Pearson has. Pearson has fought and beat fighters much more skilled than Laprise, and the savvy veteran will put on a good performance. Pearson wins the exchanges throughout the fight, taking home a unanimous decision.

 

 

My Lineup:

Frank Mir ($9,100)

Hector Lombard ($9,600)

James Te Huna ($10,500)

Bec Rawlings ($9,500)

Alan Jouban ($11,200)

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