Mark Hunt, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Julie Kedzie are all legends in their own right. They are also all a part of Friday night’s UFC Fight Night 33 card, that takes place live from Brisbane, Australia. Compared to some of the more recent free UFC events, this one has a fair amount of star power. The main event, a heavyweight tilt between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva should provide some fireworks. If anything it gives me a chance to perfect my prediction capabilities, so let’s get to it.
Julie Kedzie vs. Bethe Correia
Thanks to a late scratch this fight will now be a part of the main card and it could be an interesting one. It pits WMMA veteran Julie Kedzie against undefeated newcomer Bethe Correia. Kedzie is on a three fight losing streak for the first time in her career and she desperately needs a win to keep her job. This will be the biggest challenge of Correia’s short 6 fight career; she’ll want to impress her new boss with a big win. I think Kedzie has one more win left in her and I see her grinding out a unanimous decision.
Prediction: Julie Kedzie via Unanimous Decision
Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester
These guys were teammates on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, though they never fought on the show, this is an interesting matchup. I’d have to say Andrews is probably the more technical striker, but Hester has a ton of raw power. In his UFC debut Hester knocked out Bristol Marunde with one of the nastiest standing elbows I’ve ever seen. However, in this fight I think Andrew’s experience will prove to be too much for him and Clint will lose a frustrating unanimous decision to the New Zealander.
Prediction: Dylan Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei
Somebody is getting knocked out in this fight, I guarantee it! Barry is 2-2 in his last 4 fights and all of them were ended by TKO or KO. Meanwhile, Palelei has won 9 straight fights all by TKO, including his return to the UFC against Nikita Krylov in August 2013. Soa Palelei will have a significant size advantage, something Barry is used to since he is a very small heavyweight. I like Pat Barry, he’s an entertainer and unfortunately he is also incredibly inconsistent. He lost his last fight to Shawn Jordan, so he’ll want to get back in the win column. I just don’t see that happening tonight, Soa Palelei is going to finish him and he’ll do it quickly in front of a hometown crowd.
Prediction: Soa Palelei via Knockout Round One
Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh
Perosh is coming off a big knockout victory over Vinny Magalhaes in August. But does anyone think he can actually beat Ryan Bader? One thing I know about Bader is that he excels against mid-level competition and Perosh is no superstar. It will probably be a lot like his fight with Vladimir Matyushenko. Bader got that fight to the ground quickly and submitted his opponent with a guillotine choke. The same thing is going to happen this time around; unfortunately for Ryan Bader a victory proves absolutely nothing.
Prediction: Ryan Bader via Submission Round One
Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna
Dana White has made it very clear that he thinks a loss for “Shogun” will force the former light heavyweight champion into retirement. I feel the same way, although this should be a very winnable fight for him. James Te Huna is usually game, however he is not a top ten fighter and that was proven in his bout with Glover Texeira. He might be able to take a punch, but he was no match for Texeira, who will get the next shot at 205lb champion Jon Jones. Te Huna’s best chance of winning this fight would be to survive the first round and wait for Rua to tire before pouncing. I don’t see it getting out of the first, because I believe Rua will show up ready to prove the doubters wrong. Antoher fight or two and retirement will be the best choice, but for now Rua has what it takes to come out on top Friday night in Australia.
Prediction: Mauricio Rua via TKO Round One
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva
Antonio Silva has one positive on his side heading into UFC Fight Night 33; he’s not fighting Cain Velasquez! The current UFC heavyweight champion is the only man to have defeated Silva since he came over from Strikeforce in 2012 and Cain has done it twice. Of course, you can’t have a positive without a negative and unfortunately for Silva it’s a pretty big negative. He just happens to be fighting in Australia, which is close enough to Mark Hunt’s birthplace of New Zealand that the crowd will be cheering for the “Super Samoan”. Not only that, but Hunt has ridiculous power as well as an iron chin. If Silva really wants to win this fight he’ll need to wear Hunt down and his best chance of doing that would be to utilize a Muay Thai clinch. If he can hold on to his opponent, battering him with knees, Silva will get the victory. Everyone knows I love me an underdog, so I’m actually going the other way with this one. I think Mark Hunt is going to end this fight in devastating fashion in the very first round.
Prediction: Mark Hunt via TKO Round One