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UFC 200 Fight Preview: Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt

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Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt. Let me say that again – Brock Lesnar versus Mark Hunt. “The Beast Incarnate” versus “The Super Samoan”.  This co-main event for UFC 200 features two of the baddest men ever to walk the face of God’s green earth. Attempting to even dissect this fight would disrespectful to the spectacle it truly is.

In Lesnar, you have a once in a lifetime freak athlete. He beat Randy Couture after only 3 pro MMA fights to claim the UFC heavyweight title to shut up anyone and everyone calling him a “fake” pro wrestler. If you look up the word anomaly in the dictionary you’ll find a picture of Brock Lesnar.

In Mark Hunt, you have a guy who the UFC once offered $450,000 to go away. True story. The former K-1 champion started his MMA career with a 5-1 record under the PRIDE banner. Wins over legends like Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ and Wanderlei Silva excited a lot of fans who followed Hunt during his explosive kickboxing career. Always a man of few words, this was a guy who has always expressed himself with his work inside of whatever structure he’s been asked to fight in.

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After beginning his pro MMA career with a 5-1 record, Hunt would lose his next 6 contests. All 6 fights would come via finish; 5 via submission and one via KO. With a record of 5-7 heading into his UFC 127 bout as a fan favorite in Australia, no one would’ve ever predicted that the then 36-year-old would be fighting for UFC gold 3 years later. On that very night, Hunt would undergo a career resurgence for the ages by KO’ing Chris Tuchscherer, a former training partner of Brock Lesnar. Hunt would add names like Cheick Kongo, Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson, Antonio Silva and Frank Mir to his list of walk-off KO’s quickly making him one of the most must see heavyweights in UFC history.

Brock Lesnar
UFC Record: 4-3
MMA Record: 5-3

Noteable Wins:
Shane Carwin (SUB, arm-triangle choke – 7.3.10)
Frank Mir (TKO – 7.11.19)
Randy Couture (TKO – 11.15.08)

Also of Note:
Former 2-time defending UFC Heavyweight Champion
Former NCAA Division I All-American
Former 4-time WWE Champion
1,653 days since his last UFC bout

Mark Hunt
UFC Record: 7-4-1
MMA Record: 12-10-1

Noteable Wins:
Frank Mir (KO – 3.20.16)
Roy Nelson (KO – 9.20.14)
Stefan Struve (TKO – 3.3.13)

Also of Note:
K-1 Grand Prix Champion
Master of the walk-off KO
2013 Fight Booth King of Violence

It’s hard to know what version of Brock Lesnar we’re going to see in the Octagon later tonight. We’re being told to think that his well documented battle with diverticulitis was the only reason he was savagely beaten into retirement by Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. And maybe that was the case. Maybe he could’ve solidified himself as the greatest UFC heavyweight of all-time had he not been temporarily beaten by that horrific disease. Instead, he’d go on to end The Undertaker’s unbeaten streak at WrestleMania 30 – and the rest is history.

Mark Hunt is not supposed to be here. He’s not supposed to be the co-headliner on a card like UFC 200. And I dare anyone to try telling him that. Hunt is a natural-born fighter to the core who has defied every single odd to make it where he is today. And on the surface, he just seems like a regular guy who seems elated to have the opportunity to
“play punch face” with a household name. You know what, maybe he is supposed to be here. Maybe Mark Hunt is the only man for this job.

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Since leaving the UFC to join the WWE once again, Brock has done some of his best work. He has been an absolute force to be reckoned with and has taken superstar after superstar to that dreaded place called “Suplex City”. So what does that mean when it comes to making a prediction for tonight’s fight? It means he’s kept himself in good shape. That’s about it. The fact of the matter is, Brock Lesnar never learned how to take a punch (or a kick for that matter) during his days in the UFC. And after taking a few from the most feared striker in the division, he’ll quickly be reminded why this may not have been such a good idea.

You cannot deny the heart and the courage and the downright competitive spirit of Lesnar. He’s a guy who has everything and really doesn’t need this fight. When he says he made the phone call to Dana and not the other way around, I believe him. He wants this more than anything. I’m just having a tough time, even as a huge fan of his work in both the WWE and the UFC, seeing a way he can pull this particular one off.

Hunt just isn’t that guy you can take get to the ground and submit anymore like he was during the dark days of his MMA career. Not anymore. He’s evolved so much during the latter part of his career and his power is just too deadly for someone whose been away from the sport for nearly 5 full years to take. Kudos to Brock for coming back. I know it really has been on his mind since he announced his retirement and I think it’d be one of the great stories in sport if he can pull this off. That said, I’m picking Hunt via TKO here. Guys, I really cannot wait for this fight tonight. Screw The Rock versus John Cena – this is the true “Once in a Lifetime” fight for the fans.

 

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