Hunt’s ground game has also never been considered one of his strong suits; six of his eight total losses have come by way of submission. He hasn’t tapped out since September 2010, and that was at the tail end of a six-fight losing streak during which he was submitted five times.
Hunt’s ground defense has been stellar in the Octagon. He overcame being mounted by solid grappler Stefan Struve to knock out “The Skyscraper” at UFC on Fuel TV 8, and he survived a grinding war with Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC Fight Night 33.
However, while both of those opponents have serviceable mat skills, they simply can’t hold a candle to Werdum’s elite grappling.
The decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion is widely regarded as the finest mat wizard in the heavyweight division, and he may be the best submission artist in all of MMA.
“Vai Cavalo” ended the legendary Fedor Emelianenko’s 10-year unbeaten streak with an impressive triangle in 2010, and “The Last Emperor” is a submission specialist himself.
Hunt is not, and if he finds himself exhausted and in bottom position against Werdum, it could be game over. He obviously has the striking power to end Werdum’s night with one big shot, but he won’t be able to utilize that skillset if he’s being smothered on the ground.