UFC Fight Night 110 takes place in Auckland, New Zealand tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt
Two exceptionally heavy-handed heavyweight collide in the main event in Auckland, with hunt enjoying the home-town advantage.
Hunt is coming off a tough KO loss to Alistair Overeem last time out – another sign that the now 43-year-old ‘Super Samoan’s’ chin is not what it once was.
That will be a real concern against Lewis, who has been rampaging through the heavyweight ranks, finishing no less than six opponents in a row by way of strikes, incuding Travis Browne last time out.
Technically Hunt has the edge on the feet, with Lewis have a fairly sloppy approach and poor conditioning – though he makes up for the former with his power and the latter with sheer will and heart that few can match.
Lewis definitely has a big chance here to claim another major scalp here, but though there’s every chance he puts Hunt away, I think it’s only a matter of time before his defensive weaknesses are exploited, and Hunt has a knack for finding a home for fight-ending punches.
Mark Hunt to win by KO in Rd1.
Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly
Credit where it’s due, Dan Kelly has done a great job of defying expectations in his UFC career to date, compiling a 6-1 record in the Octagon despite looking every bit of his 39-years, from his ‘dad bod’ to his heavily taped knees and labored movement.
The Aussie has got this far by being exceptionally tough, durable and dependable, while also leaning on his Olympic judo credentials, but you do have to wonder how much longer he can keep going before the wheels start to fall off.
As for Brunson, he took a step up in competition in his last two fights and came up short, losing against both Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva in two disappointing performances.
Brunson’s striking can be very haphazard and reckless at times, but if he can reign that in a bit I believe he’s the better, more dangerous fighter here and though he may struggle to stop Kelly, he’ll claim the more energetic, eye-catching moments in the fight to win on the scorecards.
Derek Brunson to win by decision.
Daniel Hooker vs. Ross Pearson
For practically the entirety of his UFC career, Pearson has been a ‘win-one, lose-one’ type of fighter, but even that consistent theme has escaped him of late, losing his last three fights in a row.
That’s not to say he’s a bad fighter or his chin has deserted him though, it’s just that he’s not really improved much over the years, remaining a fairly predictable, solid, non-flashy striker who can hang in there with a good level of opposition, but is unlikely to go any further.
With that in mind, this seems like a decent match-up for Pearson in his gatekeeper role as Hooker is also a fighter who has struggled to get past a certain level of competition in the UFC so far.
Hooker has youth on his side, but in what’s likely to be a purely stand-up fight Pearson is the better cage-general and should be able to use footwork and counter-striking to claim a decision victory.
Ross Pearson to win by decision.
Ion Cutelaba vs. Luis Henrique da Silva
This has the makings of a wild, chaotic fight as these two are sure to come out swinging from the opening bell.
Cutelaba willy happily hunt down opponents throwing somewhat reckless, but nonetheless dangerous offense, but he won’t have to go looking for Da Silva, a muay thai striker who will meet him half-way and gladly stand and trade at every opportunity.
The two men will also stay active on the mat too, so this should be competitive wherever the fight goes, but overall Cutelaba has the better chin, cardio and I also feel the skills to edge out Da Silva here.
Ion Cutelaba to win by decision.
Tim Elliott vs. Ben Nguyen
Nguyen is very much a striker, and an effective one at that with the power to put away his opponents, but the question here is whether he’ll be able to keep the fight standing long enough to make that count.
I think he’ll struggle as Elliott is both relentless and effective iin pursuit of takedowns and is exceptionally crafty and hard to deal with on the mat.
I expect Nguyen to find himself in some tough spots here, but while he might survive them, I don’t think he’ll come out on the right end of the decision here.
Tim Elliott to win by decision.
Alex Volkanovski vs. Mizuto Hirota
Volkanovski is a proven finisher who pushes a hard pace and is particularly dangerous on the mat with ground and pound.
Hirota is an experienced veteran who defeated Cole Miller last time out, but I feel there’s more upside to Volkanovski, whose pace and pressure will eventually overwhelm Hirota in the later rounds, leading to a TKO finish.
Alex Volkanovski to win by TKO in Rd2.
Damien Brown vs. Vinc Pichel
John Moraga vs. Askhan Mokhtarian
Luke Jumeau vs. Dominique Steele
Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Zak Ottow
JJ Aldrich vs. Chan-Mi Jeon
Thibault Gouti vs. Dong Hyun Kim