Fight fans, who else out there misses the summer? I don’t know where you’re reading this, but in my neck of the woods — baby, it’s cold outside! But good news: whether you’ve got fireplace going or not, you can stay occupied with three MMA shows this weekend to choose from.
Tonight, UFC rolls out UFC Fight Night 33 from Brisbane, Australia, with Mark Hunt looking to add to his list of knockout victims against another top ten heavyweight, Antonio Silva. Also on the card is Ryan Bader, (who I profiled earlier this week) against Anthony Perosh, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua against James Te Huna.
Finally, Invicta FC has Invicta 7 in Kansas City tomorrow, headlined by Barb Honchak defending her flyweight championship against Leslie Smith. Also on the show are Carla Esparza defending her straw weight title against Claudia Gadelha, and Miriam Nakamoto, one of my favorites (I profiled her here), against Lauren Murphy for the bantamweight crown.
World Series of Fighting makes its first trip north of the US border tomorrow for WSOF 7 in Vancouver, Canada. Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Lance Palmer is the main event, for the vacant WSOF Featherweight championship.
Three shows… and if you’re a boxing fan, you’ve got Zab Judah vs. Paulie Maglinaggi from Brooklyn too. You’re also on the wrong site, but as they say in Australia, good on ya.
Let’s take a look at the main events.
First, the most glamorous matchup of the weekend: Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva at UFC Fight Night 33.
Mark Hunt is one of MMA’s great sluggers, a true fighting legend, and a one-of-a-kind personality. Yesterday a spectacular interview was published by an up-and-coming Australian site where “The Super Samoan” described his reckless youth, rough transition to MMA, and much more. Check it out and get wistful like I will, that Hunt can beat the odds and score another highlight reel KO tomorrow against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
But, I don’t think it will happen. Silva is closer to his prime and has a well-rounded game that Hunt still lacks. I like Silva to weather an early storm, get the bout to the mat, and threaten submissions before forcing a stoppage on strikes. Silva, TKO, round three.
Ladies next: Barb Honchak vs. Leslie Smith (for Honchak’s Invicta Flyweight title) at Invicta 7.
Another good one here. Honchak is a consensus top-10 in the world, a well-rounded throwback to the days her trainer Pat Militech led one of MMA’s most dominant teams. Watch for her to try and slow down Smith, a brawling Cesar Gracie protege who has secured three “fight of the night” honors for Invicta. Smith says she’s on a another level, but I’m not so sure — they’ve got a similar level of competition, and Honchak represents a tough style matchup. Watch for the champion to grind this one out with takedowns and and score enough strikes standing to earn victory. Hochak by decision.
Finally, the WSOF main event of Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Lance Palmer for the WSOF Featherweight title.
Young prospect Palmer is a late injury replacement and probably just a little over his head here. He may grind out an early advantage with his superior wrestling, but expect Karakhanyan’s signature wide-open striking and submission offense to eventually get the duke — and the title. Karakhanyan, submission, round two.
As always, enjoy the fights! Thanks for reading.