Derrick Lewis and Mark Hunt will be ready to throw down in New Zealand this coming weekend at UFC Fight Night 110. Lewis is riding the largest win streak in the heavyweight division with six consecutive victories and five of those by way of KO/TKO. Hunt, on the other hand, is coming off a loss against Alistair Overeem back in March at UFC 209.
Height: 6’3″ (191cm)
Reach: 79.0″ (201cm)
Gym: Silverback Fight Club
Derrick Lewis’ climb through the division is quite the strange one. He isn’t supremely talented, or especially skilled in any one area of mixed martial arts, but knows how to get people out of the cage before the fifteen minutes are up. He’s a huge physical specimen who overwhelms opponents with size and heart.
Derrick Lewis last appeared at UFC Fight Night 105 in the main event against Travis Browne. Browne was controlling most of the stand-up action early in the fight by using his arsenal of Muay-Thai striking and keeping Lewis out of range. Browne also smashed Lewis’ ribs with a body kick that forced Derrick Lewis to run and avoid any further strikes. Lewis regained composure and went on to win the fight with a brutal beatdown that left Browne unconscious.
Height: 5’10” (178cm)
Reach: 72.0″ (183cm)
Gym: American Top Team
Mark Hunt is one of the most technically sound heavyweights in the UFC. His power, combined with accuracy and timing, means that he is always a huge threat to any opponent who is trapped in the octagon with him.
Sadly for Hunt, his time as a mixed martial artist has hit a crossroads. He is currently engaged with the UFC in a serious legal dispute regarding the unfair treatment that fighters inside the organisation receive, as a result of fighting Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 who had previously tested positive for prohibitive substances twice in the past.
Hunt needs to win this fight. Although he has four fights left on his contract, a loss in front of his fans in New Zealand would be heartbreaking. A knockout loss would be just as devastating, having experienced a brutal knockout at the hands of Alistair Overeem just three months ago.
There’s no doubting that this one ends in a KO/TKO, it’s just a matter of choosing who will be dealing the final blow.
Mark Hunt has some ways to continually damage Derrick Lewis, most notably his powerful leg and body kicks. Lewis habitually has problems defending leg kicks and showed in his fight against Travis Browne that body kicks can seriously hurt him and slow him down. Hunt’s extensive kickboxing experience could mean that Lewis is in for an extremely tough night if Hunt chooses to rip kicks into the body and legs of Lewis.
Derrick Lewis will need to create chaos inside the octagon in New Zealand if he wants to come out victorious. He shouldn’t engage with Mark Hunt in a straight technical striking contest as Hunt should be able to pick him apart. Instead, if he pushes forward with pressure and closes the distance, he should be able to overwhelm Hunt with his sheer size and power.
When an opponent rushes forward in the way that Lewis tends to do, Hunt chooses to slip under the first punch and pivot on the spot, sending his opponent through past his original position. An effective strategy, in particular against a fighter who likes to throw hands as Lewis does.
I’m going to be backing Mark Hunt to get over the line in this one. It’s not going to be easy, but Hunt will be licking his lips at the tape of Lewis being in extreme pain from the body kicks of Travis Browne. If Hunt can replicate this and carefully time his vicious finishing assault on Lewis, he’ll be able to put the big man down.
The odds aren’t as juicy as I would have liked, but we’re still backing the underdog in this one. I recommend betting Mark Hunt to win by KO/TKO at odds of +138 with Stan James.
Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt to Win by KO/TKO
Sunday 12th June, 04:00 GMT
Odds: +140 – Betway