Sunday, May 11th, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden for UFC Fight Night 109: “Gustafsson vs Teixeira” by Daniel Tom

The opinions expressed in this free content are for entertainment purposes only, as my goal here is to provide analysis for those who enjoy the technical or gaming aspects of our sport. If you choose to gamble, I recommend doing so responsibly and legally as it is at your own risk. Enjoy the fights!

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Derrick Lewis (18-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’3″ Age: 32 Weight: 264 lbs Reach: 79″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Travis Browne (2-19-17)
  • Camp: 4oz. Fight Club (Texas)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Legacy Fighting Heavyweight Title
+   Regional MMA Accolades
+   16 KO victories
+   1 Submission win
+   7 first round finishes
+   KO power
+   Dangerous right hand & uppercuts
+   Underrated kicks & knees
+/-Aggressive engagements & entries
^   Counter availabilities
+   Strong inside the clinch
^   Strikes well off the breaks
+   Improved grappling & positional awareness
^   Underrated scrambling/get-up ability
+   Devastating ground striker

Mark Hunt (12-11-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 43 Weight: 265 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: KO loss / Alistair Overeem (3-4-17)
  • Camp: Galeb Bros. BJJ (Australia)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   K-1 Grand Prix Champion
+   Multiple Kickboxing Accolades
^   30-13 as a Pro Kickboxer
+   9 KO victories
+   4 first round finishes
+   KO power
+   Deceptive speed & agility
^   Closes distance quickly
+   Accurate shot selection
^   Changes timing & tempo well
+   Deadly uppercuts & hooks
+   Underrated takedown defense
^   Demonstrates fundamental awareness
–    Struggles with top pressure
^   Propensity to take damage


The main event in Auckland is a heavyweight war between Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis and Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt.

A rising contender riding a 6-fight winning streak, Derrick Lewis’ popularity has steadily grown in the past couple of years. Now, with his third headlining spot ahead of him, Lewis will travel to New Zealand—the birthplace of his opposition—to take down his biggest name to date, Mark Hunt.

The quintessential underdog, Mark Hunt’s career tells a captivating but simple story: He’s built to fight. Coming off of two tough losses inside of the Octagon—while still entrenched in legal battles outside of it—Mark Hunt continues onward as he welcomes another heavyweight beast into his backyard.

Although breaking down heavyweight fights in MMA can feel both masochistic, and even pointless at times, I will—as per usual—attempt to do so once more.

Starting off on the feet, we have two heavy-hitting fighters who both carry dual dynamics to their striking game. Like many heavyweights, each man is inherently at their best when coming forward. However, both Lewis and Hunt also possess deceptive abilities to counter opposition, but in different ways.

Stepping onto the scene as an unabashed brawler, Derrick Lewis has shown signs of improvements underneath the scary destructions that often take place in his fights. An athletic-mover for his size, Lewis can throw accurate knees and head-kicks with little signs of struggle.

A downright scary distance closer, Lewis will force his opponent into the fence whether he lands on them or not. With a frame that is hard to control in close, Lewis does his best work when striking off of the breaks as I see him being particularly potent in this space. That said, his opposition is also no slouch when it comes to exchanging inside of small windows.

Favoring a more basic arsenal, Mark Hunt’s ability to deceptively change speeds is what sets him apart from the pack. Striking at blatant, lackadaisical speeds, Hunt will bait opposition his way by lulling them into a false sense of security. After adjusting and achieving reads, Hunt will then explode into fight-ending counter shots.

Whether he is rolling with his left hook or slipping into his right uppercut, Hunt works with an impressive economy of trunk movement as his style relies heavily upon it. And though Hunt’s durability often aides his counter striking sensibilities, leaning on his chin has been an increasingly troublesome path for the Super Samoan as of late.

Nevertheless, I still feel that Hunt has a slight edge standing as his left-hook will be worth watching for in this fight.

Where this battle begins to get tricky is when looking at the prospects of grappling and clinch fighting. With both men traditionally being forced to defend those efforts in their fights, it will be interesting to see if either man attempts to use their grappling tools offensively.

For my money, I would not be surprised to see Lewis exercise that right as I feel it may pay him more dividends stylistically. Despite not showing the best technique on his takedowns in previous outings, Lewis’ fight-to-fight improvements—coupled with his raw power—could ultimately prove to be enough to ground Hunt, who typically struggles with that type of pressure.

And even though Hunt has been renown for his durability, the power Derrick Lewis can generate in his ground striking is on another level, even for heavyweights.

The problem with either man looking take down their opponent and or capitalize on top—is that both fighters are deceptively hard to hold down. As I dove into great detail in my Lewis–Browne breakdown, Derrick Lewis parlays his ability to explosively scramble into technical, tripod style get-ups that allow him to return to his base safely.

Although Mark Hunt is not as athletic nor explosive as Lewis, his tripod get-ups are just a technically sound as we have also seen him shuck off high-level black belts(Roy Nelson) off of his back before.

As stated at the top of the breakdown, picking a winner in heavyweight fights can feel masochistic and pointless most times, but betting on them is just a form of cruel masturbation.

For that reason, along with my admitted bad track record at picking Derrick Lewis fights, I strongly suggest keeping your money away from this one. I am not comfortable with the fact that Hunt is coming back from a knockout loss so soon, but I also think that this is the type of matchup that he thrives in stylistically, as I see the Super Samoan finding and capitalizing on an opening in the first.

Official Pick: Hunt – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: To be determined.



With this week originally scheduled to be an off week for me, I was not able to provide my usual, formal breakdown, as my hours for tape study were limited. For that reason, I will not be suggesting any bets, as I also ask you to temper your value in my picks below for this week. For more in-depth analysis on UFC Auckland’s main card, listen and subscribe to the latest episode of The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast

Main Card Predictions:

  • Hunt def. Lewis
  • Kelly def. Brunson
  • Pearson def. Hooker
  • Cutelaba def. da Silva
  • Elliot def. Nguyen
  • Volkanovski def. Hirota

Preliminary Card Predictions:

  • Brown def. Pichel
  • Steele def. Jumeau
  • Moraga def. Mokhtarian
  • Ottow def. Kunimoto
  • Aldrich def. Jeon
  • Kim def. Gouti

Fights to avoid(the dog is likely live and or the line is off):

-Pearson vs Hooker
-Elliot vs Nguyen
-Steele vs Jumeau

For further technical and betting analysis, listen and subscribe to: The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast and for future & past UFC breakdowns, stay tuned to:

  • trfe

    Thanks man. New fan excited to see future breakdowns.

    • Dan Tom

      Thank you for reading and following along!

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