For the first time in a year, UFC action is headed Down Under, as the Octagon will see a full night of action for UFC Fight Night 33 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
Fight fans won't get a chance to watch a title fight, but it is a solid card nonetheless. Headlined by Mark Hunt (9-8) taking on Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (18-5), this will be a good night for some knockouts.
Check out the full fight card, and then I'll highlight the three bouts I'm most looking forward to.
|Main Card (Fox Sports 1)||Fighter 1||Fighter 2|
|Heavyweight||Mark Hunt||Antonio Silva|
|Light Heavyweight||Maurício Rua||James Te Huna|
|Light Heavyweight||Ryan Bader||Anthony Perosh|
|Heavyweight||Pat Barry||Soa Palelei|
|Middleweight||Dylan Andrews||Clint Hester|
|Women's Bantamweight||Julie Kedzie||Bethe Correia|
|Preliminary card (Fox Sports 2)||Fighter 1||Fighter 2|
|Bantamweight||Takeya Mizugaki||Nam Phan|
|Middleweight||Nick Ring||Caio Magalhaes|
|Flyweight||Richie Vaculik||Justin Scoggins|
|Middleweight||Bruno Santos||Krzysztof Jotko|
|Preliminary card (Online)||Fighter 1||Fighter 2|
|Welterweight||Ben Wall||Alex Garcia|
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva
We may as well start with the headliner. Both of these veteran fighters enter this bout coming off knockout losses and need a strong showing to remain relevant.
Mark Hunt was a logical choice for this event. He was born in New Zealand and currently lives in Australia. The 39-year-old was also a star on the rise before Junior dos Santos knocked him out in his last time in the Octagon. Prior to that, however, Hunt had won four straight.
As for Silva, he suffered a knockout to heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. There is no shame in that, of course. Velasquez is arguably the best in the business right now. Prior to that, Silva had won two straight, and both were knockouts.
Both of these powerful fighters will attack with the urgency that comes along with the pressure of avoiding a losing streak. This sets up for what will be a brutal battle that stands almost no shot of going the distance.
Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna
It is easy to get excited for a Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (21-8) fight. His intense style has thrilled fans for years. He should be especially fierce for this fight, as he is trying to get his career back on track following two losses.
In fact, going back to his loss against Jon Jones in March 2011, Shogun has won just two of his last six fights. If he loses to a fighter like Te Huna, his career will be at a serious crossroads.
For Te Huna (16-6), this is the biggest fight of his career.
He can catapult himself into the Top 10 with a win over Rua. No one understands the opportunity that this fight presents better than Te Huna.
Both of these guys are game competitors and will be highly motivated. This should be a great fight.
Soa Palelei vs. Pat Barry
This one will feature some big blows. Soa Palelei (19-3) has earned 15 of his 19 victories by stoppage. The Australian will have the support of the fans to help propel him to an attempt at a 16th stoppage.
He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but he isn't one to go for the submission, which is unfortunate for him in this matchup.
Pat Barry has a tough time guarding against submissions and struggles against wrestlers.
He is, however, a passionate fighter with a propensity to produce highlight-reel knockouts. Of course, he is just as likely to be on the receiving end of a knockout as the giving end.
Given the two aggressive fighters with striking power, this fight is sure to pack the highlights.