UFC 200 MAIN EVENT UPDATE

By: Chad Milburn

Early Wednesday, on Good Morning America, the UFC announced the new main event for UFC 200. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 2 for the Light Heavyweight Title. This fight has the makings to be the biggest Light Heavyweight title fight ever. Cormier has looked much improved since his first loss to Jon Jones, disposing of Rumble Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson. Jon Jones, just this past weekend defeated Ovince Saint Preux for the interim Light Heavyweight title. The best part of this upcoming fight, however, is the disdain that Cormier and Jones share together. This hatred was most certainly not hidden at all either today, when the UFC held a UFC 200 press conference at Madison Square Garden today. I suggest if you have not watched the press conference that you do so as the trash talking was at an all time high between Jon and Daniel. Here are our thoughts on the new UFC 200 Main Event.

I personally like this main event better than the McGregor-Diaz rematch. It may not sell as many pay per views, but I think it will be a much more competitive fight. I cannot wrap my head around how the McGregor-Diaz fight ends in a different winner than the first. Cormier-Jones 2, I think, will be a much closer contest than the first one. Daniel Cormier has proven to be a top tier Light Heavyweight during Jon’s absence. The war with Gustafsson and fight where Rumble almost knocked him out in the opening minute is a testament to how much stronger minded Daniel is since his first fight with Jon. He will come into this fight with a lot more confidence and will not wilt in the final rounds as he did in the first fight. Jon on the other hand just ended his drought from the UFC with an uneventful, but impressive beating of Ovince Saint Preux where he definitively won all 5 rounds of the fight. What impressed me most with Jones was how much stronger he has become since power lifting. His take downs of Saint Preux where he lifed Ovince over his head and brutally slammed him to the floor were very good showcases of the brute strength he possesses. I know this fight may not be as popular as Nate and Conor’s rematch, but I am confident the people who watch this fight will be very satisfied with a possible fight of the year candidate as the headline of the biggest UFC pay per view to date.

Video Can Be Found Here:

UFC 200 Press Conference: Tickets on Sale

RESOLVING UFC 200 DISCUSSION

So Conor McGregor’s situation with the UFC is a little messed up, I’m sure most of you are familiar with this situation. We will be having an open “debate” on our personal opinions of the McGregor situation, whether he should headline UFC 200 now, and how should if not. Text beginning with “CM:” is written by Chad Milburn, “AS:” by Andrew Smolen. Let us know in the comments section what you all think about the situation as well as what we say throughout the article.

AS: By letting McGregor back onto the UFC 200 card, it just shows that the UFC no longer has full control over itself and its athletes. The UFC should be before the individual athletes competing.

CM: I think what you are saying is very good, but Conor does make the UFC a lot of money and did have his fair share of press obligations when promoting UFC 189 and 194 with the world tour he went on with Jose Aldo.

AS: Along with that is where it changes. He thinks he is in control here and gets to decide what he does and doesn’t do. When Jon Jones and Chris Weidman had these same obligations you never heard of anything like this happening. They understand it is part of the job they hold, and when Conor doesn’t fulfil his obligations the UFC is in their right mind to take him off the card. If he doesn’t want to do the press, don’t be a fighter. It’s as simple as that. He expects Nate Diaz to do all of the press but doesn’t want to himself.

CM: That is where I draw the line with Conor’s antics. Instead of totally neglecting his media obligations, I feel like the UFC and Conor could work out a slightly smaller press tour that applies to all the fighters and not just Conor. Conor comes off as a sour grape, the first UFC loss he takes and now he does not want to speak to any press. There should be a middle ground these two can meet as Conor has generated much more press in a couple tweets than the press conference on Friday did.

AS: That’s where I disagree, yes he has generated a lot of media attention from those tweets, but what does the first one have to do with UFC 200? Those tweets weren’t about the fight they were about him trying to get his way. Along with that I hope that he isn’t allowed back on the card for one reason, Nate Diaz deserves a fight against a top contender in his division, not a smaller fighter who’s ego is too big for his body and thinks he can go beat a champ at a weight above him just because of a few fights against “midgets” as Nate said.

CM: I take your points, but Nate himself said he only wants to fight Conor and why should Nate lose out on another huge pay day because of Conor’s antics. Who should Nate fight specifically, and what if he truly will only fight Conor?

AS: I think in order for Nate to not want to fight Conor, you offer him a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the right to fight the winner of dos Anjos vs Alvarez. I think this fight is one more suited for the enjoyment of the fans and will test both Nate and Khabib and prove to the world that either of them is ready for a title shot.

CM: But Nate does not care about titles. He, like Conor, wants the biggest payday. No fight for Nate other than GSP or Robbie Lawler even comes close to the payday and PR that a McGregor rematch would. That is why the UFC must find a common ground to get Conor back on this card. Nate deserves this payday more than anything.

AS: With the way they could promote it, and the two fighters, a fight between Nate and Khabib could be the second biggest fight of the year, only behind Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier 2. That payday would be huge, not to mention if he wins the payday for winning the title let alone fighting for it would be insane. By fighting Conor he gets no closer to a payday within his division, and will have to keep wanting a superfight in order to get that payday. The best way to guarantee to continue to be payed is by fighting Khabib and then by winning that fight taking on the title shot.

CM: Fighting Conor definitely pays more than Khabib and title shots do not determine a huge payday in the UFC. Nate wants his money right now, and the best way to do that and better promote himself would be surely to get a McGregor rematch. If he wins that decisively, he could become just as big a star and draw that McGregor currently is. Also, if Nate doesn’t want to fight anyone but McGregor, why punish him?

AS: The thing is Nate is smart enough of a man that he knows the McGregor fight is a last time deal. No matter what this will be his last fight with McGregor. He would understand if the UFC scheduled him a fight that can bring in a large sum to then have the chance to win the title shot, which does not guarantee more money, but makes the idea of making more every fight more realistic. If he beats McGregor again (which I believe he will with ease especially with a full camp) it won’t mean as much because like the first fight everybody will use the excuse that he is a higher weight class. It’s a no win situation for Nate and I hope he realizes the only thing he gets is a one time payday, but doesn’t get any larger pay for the future. A championship bout will be able to attract more, and if he becomes the Champ he will have more duties and will make more money, if not per fight, through endorsements and other deals.

CM: By beating Conor twice, Nate will have his own PPV drawing power just like McGregor. No one else can promote Nate like a fight with McGregor. He already said he does not care about belts. Also, we know the Diaz brothers are not afraid to leave MMA for long periods of time until they get a fight they want, normally a big money fight. Is it worth losing Diaz because McGregor wants to train more and do less press? The middle ground can and should be met to keep this fight alive.

AS: Basically what I’m saying through all of this is why let Conor get away with this type of situations, when Aldo, Jones, Holm, and every other fighter could not get away from it before. Why should Conor get special treatment. No fighter is bigger than the organization. Also Conor is thinking as if he’s an all time great, as if he’s on the level of GSP, Anderson Silva, and JBJ who are in all honesty the only 3 fighters in the UFC who should be able to have any form of special treatment, because they are all in the question of best fighter of all time, something Conor isn’t even in the same ballpark as these fighters as he’s only fought 8 total fights in the UFC, if one of these two fighters deserves this special treatment it’s Nate Diaz who has time and time again saved the UFC from disaster.

CM: Conor did not save the UFC from disaster twice when he took Mendes and Diaz on late notice to preserve the fight cards? But, I digress and move on to one last topic for us to ponder, what fight would you like to see headline UFC 200 if it is not Diaz-McGregor 2 as it looks to be. I know Cormier-Jones 2 is picking up a lot of steam, but I would still personally love to see Robbie Lawler fight on the UFC 200 card in some way, shape, or form. The guy always puts on a show for the fans.

AS: I would love Cormier-Jones 2 as well as Lawler against either Condit again (nobody can deny it was a great fight) or possibly Tyron Woodley as neither have fights scheduled. That would leave us with 4 title fights (Cormier-Jones 2, Aldo-Edgar, Tate-Nunes, and Lawler and whoever else sneaks in with him) as well as Velasquez-Browne. It may leave us with a quick drought of no title fights but it is 100 percent worth it. It’s UFC 200 lets see a card worthy of the name!

CM: I agree that would be a great card, but I feel like 4 title fights may be a bit much. The UFC recently advertised UFC 200 as having 3 title fights. Jones-Cormier 2 would be a great headliner unless they can convince GSP to fight Robbie Lawler. Hopefully, Nate can also stay on the card and fight Tony Ferguson or another lightweight contender. That would give us Cormier-Jones 2, Aldo-Edgar 2, Tate-Nunes, Diaz-Ferguson, and Velasquez-Browne. That would truly be a great fight card that one would remember for a long time.
And with that, we will wrap up our little debate/opinion discussion. I hope everyone enjoyed what we brought to the table. Also, do not be afraid to put your opinions for the McGregor situation and the overall UFC 200 card in the comments section. Until next time, thanks for the read!

UFC 197 MAIN CARD PREDICTIONS

UFC 197 features some of the UFC’s prolific fighters featuring the return of, possibly, the greatest fighter to step foot in the octagon Jon “Bones” Jones. Jones is fighting the late replacement for Daniel Cormier, up and coming prospect Ovince Saint Preux for the interim Light Heavyweight Title. The main event is accompanied by a second title fight. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson fights undefeated, Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo for the Flyweight title. In the remaining bouts, ex-Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis attempts to end a two fight losing streak against the always tough Edson Barboza. Middleweight contenders Robert Whittaker and Rafael Natal put their four fight win streaks on the line. Intriguing Featherweight Yair Rodriguez, a walking highlight reel, faces Team Alpha Male product Andre “Touchy” Fili.

Yair Rodriguez vs. Andre Fili

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Andre Fili by Unanimous Decision: Andre “Touchy” Fili has been a very good prospect who, I feel, has gone under the radar in this fight. I know everyone loves the outlook for Yair Rodriguez, but he eats a lot of punches and loves to fight off his back in full guard. I think it will be a fairly even stand up fight with Fili controlling the majority of the exchanges and grinding out a decision victory. There may be opportunities for Fili to get the finish, but he will play it smart while he is winning on the score cards knowing Rodriguez’s potential to finish a fight with his diverse striking.

Andrew Smolen: 

Predicted Winner: Andre Fili by Stoppage in the 2nd Round: Although Fili is the underdog here, he has been impressive in his professional fights and I fully expect him to win this. The only way Yair Rodriguez is to win is if he takes it to a decision, otherwise I see the Team Alpha Male product running this fight and getting a stoppage in the 2nd round.

Robert Whittaker vs. Rafael Natal

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Robert Whittaker by 3rd Round TKO: Robert Whittaker is going to be looking to his name thrown around for a title shot or at least a number one contender fight after this fight. He is the overall better athlete, being faster and stronger than Natal. He will take this fight wherever he wants to, blasting him with strikes or out wrestling the crafty Brazilian. Natal, will be worn out and beat up by the third round and Whittaker will go for a big finish and he will get the finish.

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Rafael Natal by Split Decision: In what on paper is the closest fight of the main card, I again have the underdog, Natal, squeaking out a win via split decision. I think that its unfair to count either of these fighters out as they both are coming off of a nice win streak they built up but I think Natal’s added height and 2.5 inch reach advantage will help here just barely win.

Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza

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Anthony Pettis is looking to regain his title form Saturday night against Edson Barboza.

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Anthony Pettis by 2nd Round KO: Anthony Pettis will be looking for another highlight reel finish to add to his collection to get back into the Lightweight title picture Saturday night. He is coming off of back to back loses and seems as hungry as ever, going to Arizona to train with Greg Jackson and notable Lightweight contender Donald Cerrone. Edson Barboza is a great fighter standing and on the mat, but he will be facing the best Anthony Pettis we will have seen. Pettis will be much more assertive on foot, moving forward unlike his last two fights and controlling the fight. I do not see this fight going to the mat. Pettis will dictate the pace and look as great as ever, eventually getting a finish in the second round against Edson Barboza.

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Anthony Pettis by 2nd Round KO: Barboza doesn’t stand a chance in my view. I think he fights through and just barely survives through the first round, trying to clench and take Pettis down as much just for a rest from all of the blows he is taking. Pettis, seeing that comes out strong in the second and finish him off quickly.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Demetrious Johnson by Unanimous Decision: I think Henry Cejudo will surprise a lot of people Saturday night, including Mighty Mouse. Cejudo definitely knows how to rise to the occasion when the spotlight is on him, being a gold medalist in wrestling. However, Demetrious is just too technical and pushes a rapid pace that does not slow down over a 5 round fight. Demetrious will get taken down a couple times and Cejudo will even win a round or two. In the end, however, Mighty Mouse Johnson will come out on top as us fighting fans have been accustomed to see him doing since the beginning of the UFC Flyweight division.

 

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Demetrious Johnson by Unanimous Decision: Demetrious Johnson hailed the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought, this being hit and don’t be hit. Although many will say it is a less interesting point, Johnson made a sound point saying to him its not about entertaining all of us, but taking care of himself and his business. Once again Mighty Mouse will stay cruising through they Flyweight division, where we haven’t seen a very good contender to him in quite some time.

Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux

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As you can see, Jones has really taken his suspension seriously, becoming a monster in the weight room. Here he is deadlifting 585 lbs.

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Jon Jones by 3rd Round Submission: Ovince Saint Preux will definitely surprise a lot of people early in this fight. His 80″ reach will give Jones problems just like Gustafsson’s did at UFC 165. Saint Preux is very athletic and has some decent take down defense using his strength and athleticism. However, the tall task of fighting Jon Jones off of his one year hiatus will prove too much for Saint Preux. It will be a competitive fight, but look for Jon to control the action standing and on the mat. Ovince does hold his hands very low and with Jon’s new dedication to lifting weights, that could mean trouble for Saint Preux. Bottom line, Jon will tire out Ovince like Glover Teixeira did when they fought and get the finish a couple rounds into the fight.

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Jon Jones by 2nd Round Submission: Saint Preux may, in a year or two be the biggest threat to Jon Jones’ title than anybody we have ever seen, but he is not that finished product yet. This may cause an uproar among all those who LOVE Daniel Cormier, but teach OSP how to work better on the mat and pace himself in fights and he will be a much better fighter. Until then I don’t see anybody but Gustafsson giving Jon Jones a run for his money in his reclamation of the title, including Daniel Cormier. Ovince will gas himself in the first round in this fight, being it for a title Jon Jones will know how to pace himself, and with OSP gassed in the second get the takedown and submission.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: TEXIERA VS. EVANS PREDICTIONS

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There are 4 fights featuring stars of the UFC on the UFC on FOX 19 – Texiera vs. Evans card, in what may be the hardest card to pronounce all the names. The main fights we will be focusing on are Cub Swanson vs. Hacran Dias, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Darrell Horcher, Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres, and of course Glover Teixeira vs. Rashad Evans.

Cub Swanson vs. Hacran Dias:

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Cub Swanson by TKO: Not to take away from Hacran he but he has no distinct advantage over Cub while Cub easily has a striking advantage, and has the power to knock Hacran out with 8 of his 21 Wins coming by knockout. Even if it isn’t a knockout odds are if Cub can win it will be a stoppage with 15 of his 21 wins coming from such.

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Hacran Dias by Unanimous Decision: Cub will dictate pace on the feet early as he is desperately looking to end a two fight losing streak. However, Dias will be the younger and fresher fighter controlling the fight on the mat and continuing Cub’s slide taking it to a decision victory.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Darrell Horcher:

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Although we won’t be getting to see this hair tonight, Khabib will no doubt be his usual outspoken self, and call out a top contender or Rafael dos Anjos after the fight.

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Khabib Nurmagomedov by Stoppage: Look, Khabib is an amazing talent who is the most recent to beat Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos. With Darrell Horcher saying he did not expect to actually land this fight and it being at a catchweight due to Darrell’s 9 days notice, you can not see him standing a chance in the octagon with Khabib. I have Khabib with a stoppage in the first round. Don’t be surprised if Khabib gets a title shot in the near future.

Chad Milburn

Predicted Winner: Khabib Nurmagomedov by TKO in Round One: Khabib is going to come out firing in his first fight since all of his recent injury troubles. Horcher being on short notice and in his first UFC fight he will not be able to withstand the drastic increase in talent he will be facing in Khabib. Khabib will take him to the ground with his great wrestling and ground and pound him to a TKO stoppage.

Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres:

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Rose Namajunas by Submission via a Rear-Naked Choke: Last these two fighters came together Tecia Torres won by Unanimous Decision and has sat at 7-0 in her MMA career. But Rose has gotten better since then and has won her last two making all four of her wins by submission three through the RNC. If she can take it the distance Tecia can win it, but she has to be careful for Namajunas’ ground game, something that I think wins Rose the fight.

Chad Milburn

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The last time these two came together, Tecia Torres came away with the unanimous decisionimages.jpeg

Predicted Winner: Rose Namajunas by Submission (RNC) in Round Two: Rose is on fire after losing to Carla Esparza at the TUF Finale, beating UFC superstar Paige VanZant and Angela Hill. Rose will be tested, however, by the always tough Tecia Torres who has beaten Rose previously. Tecia will control the fight standing and win the first round, but Rose will get her to the ground in the second round and get her with her very common rear naked choke.

Glover Teixeira vs. Rashad Evans:

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Rashad Evans by Unanimous Decision: Coming off his loss Rashad Evans will come out to fight with a vengence, as we have seen him do so often. He will look to prove that he is still relevant as a contender even at age 36 and who better to beat to prove that than Glover Teixeira. Teixeira has 3 inches height and 1 inch reach advantage, but Rashad has always brought the fight closer to his opponent. If Rashad can take this into the late rounds I think he will have a win due to Teixeira only winning 3 bouts by decision.

Chad Milburn

Predicted Winner: Glover Teixeira by Submission in Round Four: The main event of the evening feature two top level Light Heavyweights who have fought on the biggest stage in the UFC. Rashad Evans, coming off a one sided loss to Ryan Bader will have him determined to pull off a win to get back in the chase for a title shot, but Glover is much too seasoned a veteran to let Rashad win this fight. This fight will be very evenly contested both on the feet and on the ground. However, Rashad will try to wrestle Glover who has a very good submission game and Glover will catch Rashad later in the fight when he has less energy and is less careful.

UFC Fight Night 85 Main Card Predictions

By: Chad Milburn

 

UFC Fight Night 85 should be a very entertaining card for the fans. I mean who would not want to watch Frank Mir trade blows with Mark Hunt, even if they are getting up in age? And say what you want about both of these men, but Neil Magny has recently been holding up well with some tough Welterweight competition and Hector Lombard is one of the hardest hitters in the division. Not to mention, this is all on Fox Sports 1 for free. The rest of the main card features a lot of exciting up and coming talents in the UFC, making it a very intriguing overall card. A lot of questions will be answered. But now that I am done hyping you up, onto the predictions.

 

Seo Hee Ham vs. Bec Rawlings

Ham enters this Straw weight bout coming off her first UFC win in Korea over Cortney Casey, while Bec “Rowdy” Rawlings is also coming off of her first UFC win over Lisa Ellis. Ham seems to be a quicker striker with more accuracy and less power. She is more of a natural atom weight (105 lbs) while Rawlings is a bigger straw weight fighter.Rawlings is a crafty grappler who will have her home country support in this fight.

Rawlings will be the much bigger fighter and will take down Ham and control the fight keeping Ham on her back. Ham will get worn down by the pressure from Rawlings and will get submitted near the end of the fight after getting beat up on her back for the entirety of the fight.

Final Prediction: Rawling by 3rd Round Submission

 

James Te Huna vs. Steve Bosse

Any match up with Steve Bosse is destined for fireworks. James Te Huna is off almost  a two year hiatus from injuries and returns to fight Bosse who lost his UFC debut to Thiago Santos by head kick. Bosse is 10-2 with 9 KO/TKO victories and Te Huna brings in a 3 fight losing streak from before he encountered injury set backs.

Bosse will come out swinging as always, but Te Huna will be able to avoid these big punches and get the better of the exchanges with Bosse, whos chin may be a bit weaker since suffering the KO to Santos. Bosse will keep coming back trying to find that knockout punch, but eventually Te Huna will catch him and end the fight early.

Final Prediction: Te Huna by 1st Round KO

 

Daniel Kelly vs. Antonio Carlos Jr.

A Middleweight bout with a very diverse stylistic match up. Native Australian Daniel Kelly is well known for his success in Judo. Antonio Carlos Jr. is a great Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, so it is a safe bet this fight will end up on the mat. Carlos Jr.’s last fight was a no contest due to an eye poke, but before that he defeated Eddie “Truck” Gordon. Kelly is coming off a rather uneventful decision victory at UFC 193.

Carlos Jr. will be the bigger, faster, and stronger fighter as Kelly has really shown that he is closing in on 40 in his previous fights. Carlos Jr. will control all of the scrambles and any action that happens standing up as well. However, Carlos Jr. will take this fight to the mat quick and end the fight early on.

Final Prediction: Carlos Jr. by 1st Round Submission

 

Johnny Case vs. Jake Matthews

This may actually be the most intriguing fight on the entire card. Both of these fighters are very young and have shown a ton of promise inside the octagon. Case is on a 12 fight win streak dating back to January of 2011 and is 4-0 in the octagon during this time. Case has very creative stand up finding many good angles to throw strikes while also using deceptive movements to stay out of harms way. Matthews is a huge prospect fighting in his home country of Australia. He is only 21 but has already fought in 4 UFC bouts going 3-1. He has a very great ground game and an also impressive, but not as noticed, stand up.

Matthews will try to suffocate Case with his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but Case will be fast enough to avoid Matthews’ ground game for most of this fight. Case will also establish to be the faster and more creative striker and control the tempo of this fight. He will not land many big shot, but he will land enough shots to get a victory.

Final Prediction: Case by Unanimous Decision

 

Neil Magny vs. Hector Lombard

This fight really just has people asking who is “for real” in a rather stacked Welterweight division that has a lot of current excitement in it. Can Neil Magny deal with Lombard’s power and maybe even get an exciting finish of his own? Can Lombard sustain a winning streak in the UFC against top opponents and stay out of trouble while doing so? Magny had a very impressive 7 fight win streak going in the UFC before getting pulverized by Demian Maia at UFC 190, but he quickly rebounded with two split decision victories over Erick Silva and Kelvin Gastelum.

This fight is a great battle of intriguing and very different styles. Magny is by far a better technical fighter, but Lombard hits hard enough to end the fight at any time. I think this will be a very close contest, but eventually Lombard will rock Magny and that will be the end of the fight.

Final Prediction: Lombard by 2nd Round TKO

 

Frank Mir vs. Mark Hunt

This fight, just like many in the heavyweight division can go either way, as the striking power of these two men is enough to put a man to sleep in an instant. Mark Hunt is coming off a TKO against Bigfoot Silva at UFC 193, but after two devastating losses that had people thinking that his first war with Silva weakened his chin, but it could just be the fact he was fighting the two men who are now currently going to fight for the UFC Heavyweight title in Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic. Frank Mir had a sneaky two fight KO win streak that had people thinking he could be vying for the title that he once owned. Then he had a major setback in a highly anticipated fight that ended with him losing a rather boring, but close decision to Andrei Arlovski.

I think Mark Hunt comes out swinging for the fences in front of his Australian home crowd hoping for the big KO to end this fight. Mir will avoid Hunt’s devastating strikes and Mir will find that Hunt is rather tired after the first round. He will then shake off the bad performance he had against Andrei Arlovski at UFC 191 and land some big punches on Hunt and get the stoppage in the second round.

Final Prediction: Mir by 2nd Round TKO