UFC 160: Mark Hunt vs. Junior Dos Santos Preview

Kevin HessAnalyst IMay 14, 2013

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior Dos Santos during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Mark Hunt journey has been amazing to witness.

A heavyweight who seemed to have his career book being shut, has rebounded not only to rectify his losing record into a winning one but to actually make a championship run in his late 30s.

Hunt has turned a six-fight losing streak into a four-fight UFC winning streak defeating Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell, Cheick Kongo and derailing Stefan Struve as he threatened to become a championship contender.

He has defeated these men by using his granite head and sledgehammer fists. 

Now at 39, he finds himself ranked as a Top 10 fighter and only one fight away from gaining a UFC title shot if he can defeat the former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior "Cigano" dos Santos. 

Junior dos Santos packs a massive punch and has proven takedown defense.

He is ranked only behind current champion Cain Velasquez in the heavyweight division and will want to take out Hunt in impressive fashion to possibly earn himself another championship fight.

Junior needs an impressive bounce back win after being defeated in his last fight and Hunt is tailor-made for his skill set. 

There isn't much to wonder about how this fight will go down.

Hunt and dos Santos will look to keep this one standing, but do not underestimate the amount of strategy that will be involved when this fight takes place. 

Hunt will have a simple strategy when the opening bell rings—end the fight as early as possible by landing huge punches on dos Santos.

If Hunt cannot find his target, he may try to press dos Santos against the fence to limit his movement and wear him down. This strategy may also be taxing on himself, though, as Hunt cannot afford to waste a lot of his own energy and become lethargic in this fight.

The key for Hunt to win is simply to end this fight in the first round. The longer this fight goes, the chance of him winning diminishes. 

As in his fight with Frank Mir, dos Santos will probably look to wear down Hunt and batter him from the outside using his superior footwork and movement. His height and reach advantage will play a significant role implementing this strategy since Hunt is at his most dangerous in the first round.

Hunt might have a hard coconut, but count on dos Santos cracking that shell hard and often to earn himself a stoppage in Round 2 with a barrage of punches.