UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Miocic preview, picks and Kountermove breakdown


After the blockbuster meeting of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas last weekend, it’s back to the real world for combat sports fans this weekend as the UFC goes down under for the latest event in Adelaide, Australia. Like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, UFC Fight Night 67 is basically a one fight card with a bunch of green up and comers, mixed with old warriors on the prelims – but that’s where the similarities end unfortunately.

In the main event, two of the top heavyweights in MMA today clash as hard hitting Australian-based New Zealander Mark Hunt takes on talented Croatian-American Stipe Miocic over five rounds. For Hunt, it will be his first outing since losing the short-notice interim title bout against Fabricio Werdum last November; although he was impressive in that defeat. Before that, Hunt had a wonderful KO of Roy Nelson to top off a massive career resurrection which saw him improve from 5-7 to 10-8-1 and put him amongst the top fighters in the world. Miocic, on the other hand, has a much more straightforward beginning to his career winning nine on the bounce before losing to Stefan Struve. Between then and now, Miocic has won 3 of his 4 fights (including victories over Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga) and only lost, like Hunt, last time out in a nip-and-tuck five-round war against former champion Junior Dos Santos.

Having started out as a world champion kickboxer, Mark Hunt still uses his base art to tremendous success today. His leg kicks are some of the best in the division while his ability to set up and land strikes is also extremely underrated. All this, though, is effective due to a takedown defence he has developed since his days in PRIDE. That new-found ability should be tested on Sunday morning. In a division with some great grapplers, Miocic can more than hold his own and has a wonderful knack of timing his takedown attempts perfectly. On the floor, Miocic has some hard ground and pound, is good in securing top position and should have a big advantage over Hunt. On the feet he might not be as hard hitting as Hunt but Miocic should have the speed and agility advantage.

This should be an extremely enjoyable fight, all told. Look for Miocic to hit angles early and avoid the power shots of Hunt while adding in combinations of his own and trying to get takedowns with quick level changes. Hunt will make no qualms over his gameplan either. Fighting in front of the home crowd you would expect him to go head-hunting early although not in a reckless manner. In a three round fight, I’d expect Hunt to be able to throw with enough output to give Stipe a problem, but over five rounds I don’t see that happening. I see Miocic using his speed, just like Floyd Mayweather, to hit and not get hit before winning a unanimous decision – but in a much more enjoyable manner.

NatashaKM620 Kountermove

Make no mistake about this being a one-fight card but, with that said, the co-main event between Brad Tavares and Robert Whittaker should be an enjoyable, although relatively meaningless championship wise, precursor to the big one. After winning TUF Smashes as a welterweight, Robert Whittaker had an up and down time to begin his UFC career. The Aussie managed to take out Colton Smith and Mike Rhodes but losses to Wonderboy Thompson and Court McGee in between those were a big factor in him moving up to middleweight where he debuted last time out and knocked out the hard hitting Clint Hester. Now a veteran of 11 Octagon fights, Brad Tavares is a much more secure member of the middleweight division. The Hawaiian has impressive career wins over the likes of Tom Watson and Phil Baroni but, like Whittaker, gave up two losses recently to Tim Boetsch and Yoel Romero before bouncing back last time out against Nate Marquardt.

The fight itself should be a pretty enjoyable stand-up affair between two men who are predominantly strikers. If someone has a wrestling advantage it’s probably Tavares who has shown his ability to add in takedowns to his attacks while defending them extremely well too while striking he is a technically sound kickboxer who throws at a very high volume. Whittaker attacks at a similar level put probably has an advantage in power. The Aussie mixes up his striking and, event though he may not be as technically sound as Tavares, his own style works for him. Grappling may be his weakness but his takedown defence is improving with every challenge.

I see this one being fought out primarily on the feet. Tavares will probably throw a lot of leg kicks, jabs and combinations from range early while Whittaker will look to put his power combinations to good use. Although Tavares is notoriously hard to beat, the speed and power of Whittaker, as well as the hometown support, could see him through.

After that there really isn’t much to shout about but, on the undercard, Jake Matthews is the most interesting prospect to look out for while fan-favourite Anthony Perosh, veteran Kyle Noke and Smilin’ Sam Alvey are always worth a watch.

FIGHT PICKS (Kountermove prices in brackets)

Mark Hunt (5300) vs. Stipe Miocic (5200) – Miocic avoids the power and takes the decision
Brad Tavares (4800) vs. Robert Whittaker (4800) – Whittaker gets the late finish
Sean O’Connell (4500) vs. Anthony Perosh (5100) – Can’t pick against The Hippo here
Jake Matthews (4800) vs. James Vick (4800) – Fancy Matthews to get it down for a submission

Hatsu Hioki (5300) vs. Daniel Hooker (4300) – Decision goes to Hioki
Kyle Noke (5500) vs. Jonavin Webb (4100) – I’m taking a late Noke stoppage
Sam Alvey (5300) vs. Daniel Kelly (4300) – I’m going to take Kelly for the big upset
Lisa Ellis (4300) vs. Bec Rawlings (5300) – Fairly even fight, Rawlings via heart
Dylan Andrews (5200) vs. Brad Scott (4400) – Another 50-50 scrap, Andrews barely
Alex Chambers (4500) vs. Kailin Curran (5100) – Curran should win this walking away
Vik Grujic (5200) vs. Brendan O’Reilly (4400) – Decision for Vik
Ben Nguyen (4500) vs. Alptekin Ozkilic (5100) – TKO win for The Turkish Delight


On Kountermove this week I think the main event could be the winning a losing of many games. If Hunt wins, it’ll probably be an early KO while If Miocic takes it, I can see him scoring lots of points on his way to a decision. Personally, Stipe at 5200 is the one I’d go for. Another must-have for me this week is the extremely reasonably priced Jake Matthews at 4800 who has been setting the world alight as of late. In underdog picks I think Dan Kelly (4300) and Brad Scott (4400) might be worth some value while Kailin Curran and The Turkish Delight (both 5100) should also win at slightly more salary space. In the “avoid” bracket this week I’d put the in-and-out of form Hatsu Hioki while Bec Rawlings at 5300 is too much of a risk.

So, to get started playing Kountermove fantasy MMA, simply follow these steps.

1. Click the link – http://www.kountermove.com/r/MMA/654925/

2. Sign up

3. Select a game

4. Select your 5 fighter team while staying under the 25,000 salary cap and submit.

5. Watch the money roll in!



This week I’m going for a 2/1 treble of Curran, Ozkilic and Miocic.


Prelims – Fight Pass at 12.45am (Sunday morning)

Main Card – Fight Pass at 4am


Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma

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