The Fight Report: UFC Fight Night 33

| December 2, 2013 | 10:58 am | Reply

UFC Fight Night 33 Main EventThe UFC will travel abroad once again this weekend for the UFC Fight Night 33. Instead of Brazil, this time they are touching down in Brisbane, Australia, with a slew of Aussie fighters chomping at the bit to fight on the big show. Our main event features Aussie legend Mark Hunt, as he looks to keep afloat at the top of the division, facing Brazilian monster Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

We’ve got plenty of local flavor to take in at UFC Fight Night 33, so let’s see what’s going down.

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva: As an analyst, I never thought I’d be writing about Mark Hunt contesting a main event as a viable heavyweight contender, but that’s why I love this sport. The oddest things can happen. Over the last few years, Mark Hunt’s rededication to combat sports have proven to be a wise one, evolving from the sloppy power hitter of yesteryear into a precision striker whom makes smart use of his unusual functional strength and athleticism.

Antonio Silva is a bit of an anomaly himself, being a literal giant whose been honing his BJJ and boxing game for years. A slow starter, Silva functions like a freight train once he gets going, walking through stiff opposition and having a highlight reel KO over Alistair Overeem. While Cain Velasquez starched him with authority last time out, Silva has a few more battles left in him and has the tools to beat Hunt, provided he can get them out of the toolbox before Hunt puts him to sleep.

This all comes down to that crucial opening minute, as Silva has proven to be an easy target with his initial plodding and probing, while Hunt has bricks for hands and knows he’s not paid by the hour.  If Hunt can get off on Silva in the opening moments, I have no doubt he poleaxes the giant and his follow-up should be all she wrote. Once Silva is awake and moving though, Hunt’s chances of victory severely suffer, as Silva is the much more powerful man and should be able to control the clinch with ease, land his massive knees, and make the mat work a snap. Time is of the essence, but I don’t see Hunt launching himself like a rocket at Silva, instead being corralled on the cage and punished for a pair of rounds.  Ultimately, the mat will be Hunt’s doom, as Silva hits a takedown and gets the ground and pound stoppage in the third.

Mauricio Rua vs. James Te-Huna: A fight that should define both men’s careers, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will take on one of Australia’s best exports in James Te-Huna. Rua has struggled against top competition as he enters what appears to be an early decline, having lost to Chael Sonnen in his last outing. While his muay thai and BJJ is still fairly sharp, Rua’s timing and durability have clearly suffered, and he’ll need to be on a high gear immediately to hope to dispatch Te-Huna.

Te-Huna has been matched tough in his career and done well for himself in the UFC, though his four-fight win-streak was snapped in his last bout against Glover Teixeira. A heavy-handed boxer / wrestler, Te-Huna’s greatest assets are his physical strength and toughness, having outlasted dangerous fighters to ultimately prevail. With his skills growing ever sharper, this is his chance to make a major impression on the division and keep afloat as an elite fighter.

The fact Rua is already talking a move to Middleweight makes me think he knows this is a mistake, as fellow Middleweight Chael Sonnen had his way with him in that last fight. Te-Huna is a true Light Heavyweight known for being a pure gorilla in terms of strength, and while Rua can still fire some heat with his hands, Te-Huna can do so much more. In what might be considered insanity to say two years ago, Te-Huna should walk away with a win here, battering Rua in the clinch, hitting a takedown and pounding Rua out cold inside the first round.

Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh: A fight that should be woefully short for Anthony Perosh fans, or the final nail in the coffin of Bader as an elite fighter as the two Light Heavy’s clash. Bader learned the truth of “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades” as he nearly KO’d Glove Teixeira in his last fight, only to be blasted into unconsciousness himself a moment later. Perosh, on the other hand, hit a lottery ticket in his last fight, landing a stiff right hand on Vinny Magalhaes in the first punch of the fight.

I can’t see Perosh getting much going here, although I also couldn’t see him beating Magalhaes, or Bader getting tapped by Tito Ortiz. Short of another lightning strike, Bader should be able to line up a kill shot within the first minute of the fight, sending Perosh off to a long due retirement.

Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei: One of the most likable fighters, if not a terribly flawed one, Pat Barry will look to keep his career alive at the expense of Soa Palelei. Palelei is one loss away from being shit canned himself after his horrid bout with Nikita Krylov, having shown he’s far softer than you’d think for such a gigantic human being. While Palelei has every tool to win this on paper, he doesn’t have an ounce of heart and one salvo from Barry will put him on the mat in a heap within minutes of the fight starting.

Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester: A sleeper fight for FOTN, the ultra-likable Dylan Andrews will face potential breakout star Clint Hester. Andrews showed his stripes in his last fight, having been manhandled for the majority of the bout by Papy Abedi before imploding his head with an uppercut, despite having badly injured his shoulder early in the fight. His opponent is good at imploding heads as well, having crushed Bristol Marunde with a mean counter elbow in his UFC debut, and showing huge potential for his limited proper training. While I think Andrews really belongs at welterweight, he has a great deal of strength and works well in the pocket, which is Hester’s weak spot currently. Hester could give Andrews fits if he gets the space to work his powerful striking, but don’t expect Andrews to play that game, instead opting clinch wrestle and ultimately decision the tough fighter.

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Nam Phan: An outstanding pairing, Bantamweight bruiser Takeya Mizugaki will meet newly minted 135lber Nam Phan on the undercard. Mizugaki has been on a roll as of late, notching tough decision wins against Bryan Caraway and Erik Perez this year, and looking to close out 2013 with another win. Phan comes into this after being completely annihilated by Denis Siver, which forced him to reconsidering the weight class and settle at 135lbs. A talented fighter whom should enjoy a size advantage for the first time in his career, Phan has a unique boxing style and grappling chops to make this an interesting match.

The thing I like about Phan is that he’s just unorthodox enough to be a problem, but not so out there that he doesn’t function at a professional level. Unfortunately for him however, his bread and butter boxing style of tight combinations with an emphasis on body work is the same style Mizugaki has been using his entire career, and will come as no surprise to the Japanese fighter. Considering these two are near mirror images in that regard, I have to give the edge to Mizugaki in terms of his grappling control and proven endurance at this weight, allowing him to pull off close rounds and drag Phan to a decision that he should sneak out.

Nick Ring vs. Caio Magalhaes: Two highly technical fighters in different disciplines, muay thai fighter Nick Ring takes on BJJ ace in Caio Magalhaes. Ring has never been out of a fight and brings the composure and precision to beat Magalhaes to the punch every time, while the Brazilian is woefully unprepared to get this to the ground. Look for a stand-out performance from Ring, who lumps Magalhaes up from bell to bell to grab a late TKO or decision win.

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Category: MMA, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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