| Sat 10/06/2017 - 12:04 EDT

UFC Fight Night Predictions: Derrick Lewis vs Mark Hunt

UFC Fight Night Predictions: Derrick Lewis vs Mark Hunt

UFC Fight Night Card

New Zealand has produced its fair share of MMA fighter most notably the "Super Samoan" himself, Mark Hunt. Despite being 0-2 in his last two fights, Hunt remains a fan favourite because of his iconic "walk-off knockout". He'll have his hands full against the "Black Beast" Derrick Lewis who has won six-in-a-row with five coming via knockout with only the ultra-durable Roy Nelson surviving. Lewis is so much bigger than Hunt and will use that size and reach advantage to grind him out unless the Hunt catches him early.

Fight Card LEWIS VS HUNT (UFC Fight Night, June 10, 2017)

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Prediction TAKE LEWIS (-150) Sports Interaction (SIA)

Lewis might be next in line for the UFC heavyweight belt if he gets past Hunt impressively. Outside Brock Lesnar, there aren't many other heavyweights who have both the size and density of Lewis who is 6'3" and has to cut to get to 265. He has used his trademark ground-and-pound to get most of his TKO wins. His first priority is to get Hunt flat on his back and pound him out. Hunt is "tough as a coconut" as Lesnar claimed as several minutes of ground-and-pound couldn't finish Hunt.

Hunt has come a long way from having virtually no ground game to some passable ability. But he's still been susceptible. Against Lesnar and champion Stipe Miocic he was helpless as both men kept him down and beat him senseless. Lewis, who has wrestled his way to some victories should respect Hunt's one-punch knockout power. Lewis will have seven-inch reach advantage if he chooses to "make a statement" and beat Hunt at his own game.

But money is on him shooting for takedowns and/or tying up Hunt. Lewis is only a slight underdog and -150 is generous considering Lewi has a better path to victory. Sportsbooks also offer alternative betting options here like the totals (over/under) for rounds set at 1.5 right now. At even odds (-115), this is a good bet as Lewis is likely to respect Hunt's power and be tentative. The limited cardio of both fighters also means this fight might drag out and a prop bet on Lewis to win by decision is +750 upwards.

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Lewis-Hunt isn't the only fight worth looking at. Ion Cutelaba (-310) has been steamed to steep odds but he is a far superior fighter to Henrique da Silva (+230) who is playing a jobber here.

Cutelaba has the speed, cardio, and skill advantage. Da Silva's best attribute is his ability to take punishment but assuming Cutelaba fights smart and avoids Da Silva's jiu-jitsu, this is a wrap. It is best to parlay him with another fighter like Lewis (-150 and -310 will give you +120).

Some other fighters worth taking chances on are underdog Kiichi Kunimoto (+265) and pick'em Vinc Pichel (-110). Kunimoto is coming from a long layoff but is being vastly underestimated. He has a balance of wrestling and grappling skills and will take on late replacement Zak Ottow (-380). Ottow should be the likely winner here but there's a good chance Kunimoto makes it close enough for a narrow decision. Pichel has over a three-year long layoff but has the wrestling chops to control Damien Brown (-110) who has been outgrappled several times.

Main Card (TSN, 10 PM ET)

  • Derrick Lewis vs Mark Hunt 
  • Derek Brunson vs Dan Kelly
  • Dan Hooker vs Ross Pearson
  • Ion Cutelaba vs Henrique da Silva
  • Tim Elliott vs Ben Nguyen
  • Alexander Volkanovski vs Mizuto Hirota

Preliminary Card (Fight Network, 8 PM ET)

  • Damien Brown vs Vinc Pichel
  • John Moraga vs Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Luke Jumeau vs Dominique Steele
  • Kiichi Kunimoto vs Zak Ottow

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 7 PM ET)

  • JJ Aldrich vs Chan-Mi Jeon
  • Thibault Gouti vs Dong Hyun Kim

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