UFC on Fuel 8: Predicting the Fight Night Bonuses
The UFC returns to Japan this weekend on the heels of last week's historic UFC 157 card.
UFC on Fuel 8 will be shown on free TV and feature one of the most underrated cards of the year. Boasting names such as Wanderlei Silva, Stefan Struve and Hector Lombard, this card promises to be action packed and full of surprises.
A number of contenders in several different divisions are represented on the card. Welterweight contender Dong Hyun Kim and middleweight contenders Yushin Okami, Brian Stann and Lombard are just a few of the top guys scheduled to appear.
Here are the predictions for the fight night bonuses, which could be tough to decide when the fights are all said and done.
Knockout of the Night: Mark Hunt
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There are a lot of heavy handed fighters gracing this UFC on Fuel card, but arguably none have as much raw power as Mark Hunt.
Hunt is coming off a huge upset of Cheick Kongo, which occurred during the promotion's last trip to Japan at UFC 144. That win came via knockout in a fight in which many expected Kongo to drag the big man down and punish him on the mat.
Stefan Struve, Hunt's opponent, has been known to block punches with his chin. That is not something the Dutchman is going to want to do here, especially against a guy who can disintegrate even the most granite of chins.
Also in the running: Brian Stann, Hector Lombard
Submission of the Night: Cristiano Marcello
Could Rani Yahya be in the running?
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There aren't many fights that I believe will end in submission. However, if there is one that will catch the boss's eye, it will likely come from Cristiano Marcello.
Marcello is a high-level jiu-jitsu fighter, who used to be the jiu-jitsu trainer for Chute Boxe back in the Pride Days. Since then, he has competed on The Ultimate Fighter: Live and fought two bouts in the UFC (1-1).
Kazuki Tokudome is largely unknown, but this will be his toughest test. He has been submitted before in his career, but I doubt it was from anybody on the submission grappling level of Marcello.
Expect Marcello to play it safe by taking down Tokudome and slapping on some sort of impressive submission.
Also in the running: Rani Yahya, Dong Hyun Kim
Fight of the Night: Diego Sanchez vs. Takanori Gomi
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There are a number of fights that could turn out to be absolute barnburners, but I think that the bout between Diego Sanchez and Takanori Gomi is going to be a Fight of the Year candidate.
Sanchez has the "always move forward" mentality that often gets him into crazy firefights. He has a chin of granite and a will of iron.
Gomi is a sickening power puncher that will test said granite chin, while looking to avoid the wild blitzes of Sanchez. It is going to be an awesome contrast in styles that will have fans screaming at the top of their lungs.
Also in the running: Brian Stann-Wanderlei Silva, Alex Caceres-Kyung Ho Kang, Mark Hunt-Stefan Struve