UFC 200 Breakdown: Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt

Brock LesnarPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the co-main event of UFC 200 in Las Vegas, Nevada as Mark Hunt welcomes “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar back to the UFC.   Mark Hunt (Record: 12-10, -160 Favorite, Fighter Grade: B+) The Auckland, New Zealand born and Australian trained fighter has been a fixture in the top ten of the UFC’s heavyweight rankings. Hunt is on a two fight winning streak knocking out Frank Mir and Antonio Silva back to back in the first round. Hunt has competed for the UFC title, but it’s safe to say his UFC 200 bout will be his highest profile fight to date. The eighth ranked heavyweight in the UFC, Super Samoan Mark Hunt is one of the most feared fighters in the division. In a division filled with tall fighters with superior reach, Hunt gets by on powerful and skillful striking. Of his twelve career MMA wins, nine of them have come by knockout. He’s the only fighter to knockout Roy Nelson inside a UFC octagon. He did so with superior timing and powerful hands. That’s what you get with Mark Hunt; a talented striker in a rather unusual body for high level MMA. Hunt is as resilient as they come. His first fight with Antonio Silva was one of the all-time great fights as he was able to battle from nearly being finished multiple times to find his way to the scorecards. While he was outclassed by Stipe Miocic, he was able to survive nearly five rounds with the now heavyweight champion. He’s made some effort to work on his ground game; it’s still very much a liability. If a fighter is able to gain top control, he very much has an opportunity to finish the fight with a submission. Of his ten career losses, six of them have been by submission. In a traditional stand up exchange, Hunt can compete with anybody in the UFC. When it evolves beyond that, Hunt is in for a much more difficult contest.   Brock Lesnar (Record: 5-3, +140 Underdog, Fighter Grade: B+) The Beast Incarnate returns to the UFC for the first time since a December 2011 loss to Alistair Overeem. Lesnar has been granted permission by WWE for a one off fight in the UFC. The former UFC champion has been keeping in great physical shape as a fixture at the WWE’s biggest events. A two time Division I All American and one time national champion in collegiate wrestling, Brock Lesnar’s game starts and ends in with his wrestling. He’s a freakish athlete that is arguably the best athlete to ever compete in the UFC’s heavyweight division. In his eight career fights, Lesnar landed an incredible 57% of his takedown attempts. He was able to score takedowns in all but one of his fights. In top control, Lesnar has very good ground and pound and will wallop opponents from that position. He also has an underrated submission game and can finish from top position. While Lesnar is a great athlete with decent movement, his stand up is a bit too tight and his strikes are not very free flowing.  In a prolonged stand up exchange, Lesnar could be caught by a quality striker. Match-up The UFC booked a great stylistic clash for its UFC 200 co-main event. Mark Hunt is one of the best kickboxers in MMA and is a threat to knockout his opponent in every single fight he is put in. Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar is perhaps the best heavyweight wrestler currently signed to a UFC contract. He’s a former NCAA Champion in wrestling and his athletic, physical style makes him a difficult opponent to prepare for.  This is a difficult fight to call as both fighters have a clear path to victory. Hunt is more than capable of knocking out Lesnar; his kicks are devastating and his punches are accurate and powerful. With that said, he has to stay on the feet to be a factor. That’s going to be difficult to do against Lesnar who is a very good offensive wrestler. At the beginning of each round, Hunt will be looking for the knockout, but I expect Lesnar to avoid the early strikes and score a takedown quickly in this bout. He knows he cannot compete with Hunt on the feet. On the ground, Lesnar has a big advantage and will use his length and positioning to look for a submission. Given Hunt’s rather novice approach to the grappling, I like Lesnar’s chances of scoring a submission win. If you’re looking for a long shot prop to play at UFC 200, Lesnar by submission at +700 is a solid option.

Written by Jay Primetown

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