Mark Hunt fights Brazilian Fabricio Werdum in Mexico for the UFC interim heavyweight title
What: Interim heavyweight title match at UFC 180
Who: Mark Hunt vs Fabricio Werdum
When: Sunday, 16 November – scheduled for 6pm NZ Time
Where: Mexico City
I can watch it on: Sky Arena
What they did last time:
Mark Hunt scored a stunning second-round knockout of Roy Nelson in Japan back in September. It was just the second time Nelson had been knocked-out in 30 fights.
In his last fight, in April, Werdum dominated the more fancied Travis Browne in a five round unanimous decision in Florida.
What you need to know:
Hunt was a last minute replacement after heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez injured his knee in training last month. Hunt and Werdum will now fight for the interim heavyweight title.
Hunt was nowhere near fighting condition when UFC head-honcho Dana White gave him the call-up, so he’s been on a month-long battle to drop from 137kg to around 120kg.
Born and raised in New Zealand but based in Minto in Sydney’s West, Hunt is known as the ‘Super Samoan’ and until recently was just another stringer on the UFC’s books. His UFC record stands at 10 wins, 8 losses and a draw but he had a long kick-boxing career before stepping into the octagon.
The draw, against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva one of the most brutal and bloodiest battles in organised fighting history – look it up.
Fabricio Werdum (18-5-1) is Hunt’s 37 year old opponent. He’s the number one heavyweight challenger (Hunt is four) and is on a four match winning streak. He’s a Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo black belt and fights out of LA.
Hunt is a slugger. He’s got hands of steel and courage to boot while Werdum is more of a grappler. If the Brazilian gets Hunt on the canvas, it’s basically all over. That’s easier said than done though, as Hunt is incredibly difficult to get to the mat.
Werdum was already deep in training when an out of shape Hunt got the call-up and will be in far superior condition. At altitude, that could be crucial in the later rounds.
The odds are stacked heavily against him, but we’re backing Mark Hunt to score a second round knock-out.