UFC: Clash of styles set for Mark Hunt

By Daniel Richardson

Mark Hunt. Photo / Getty Images.
Mark Hunt. Photo / Getty Images.

The contrast in styles couldn't be more obvious.

On one side of the cage is Mark Hunt, the Super Samoan, who is perhaps the most dangerous striker in the UFC's heavyweight division.

Across the mat is Frank Mir; a former UFC heavyweight champion and the owner of the most submission wins (eight) in the history of the division.

Hunt, who never shies away from explaining his simple plan for when he pulls on the four-ounce gloves, summed it up best when asked for his thoughts about meeting Mir in the main event of UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane on Sunday.

"I'm going to try and put my fist through his face and he's going to try and break my neck or something. So that's how it's going to be," Hunt told the media in Brisbane today.

Mir, who has enough submission ideas to fill an encyclopedia, also didn't mix words when asked of his plan.

"I hope to make it a grappling match early on," the American veteran said.

What's also of note is that the strength of each particular fighter is also the biggest weakness of the other.

Hunt, known for his days as a champion kickboxer, is susceptible to submissions having being forced to tap out six times in his MMA career.

Mir (18-10), while he has a solid chin, has been finished seven times via strikes and Hunt has the power in both hands to end a scrap.

Sunday's bout, to be held at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, is a pivotal one for both fighters who are both ranked inside the division's top 10. Hunt (11-10-1) turns 42 next week and he knows time isn't on his side if he wants another shot at UFC gold.

"I feel like I've got one more run in me left and Frank Mir is just in my way," Hunt said.

Mir, who has held the belt before, registered two solid knockout victories last year over Antonio Silva (19-8-1) and Todd Duffee (9-3) before he dropped a unanimous decision to Andrei Arlovski (25-11, 1 NC) at UFC 191 in September.

The 36-year-old Mir is the UFC's longest-tenured active fighter having made his debut in the promotion in 2001.

His win over Silva helped him snap a four-fight losing streak and while he is closer to the end than the start of his career, he's not worried about making another dip at the title, which is held by Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1).

"I really just enjoy fighting," Mir said. "It's just one fight after another."

Mir looked bigger than usual for his stoush with Arlovski but there's a chance he will be slimmer this weekend, which could allow him better mobility in the cage to move the fight to the deck.

A submission appears to be his best hope of victory with Hunt the bookies' favourite. Hunt still needed to drop another two kilograms overnight before tomorrow's weigh-ins.

Meanwhile, on the undercard, Kiwi light heavyweight James Te Huna (16-8) will make his return to the cage after a lengthy absence when he meets Canadian Steve Bosse (10-2).

Auckland featherweight Dan 'The Hangman' Hooker (12-6) will also be involved when he squares off against Mark Eddiva (6-2).

Hooker has split his four previous UFC appearances for two wins and as many losses and Sunday's fight shapes as a great opportunity for him to make a statement in the division.

- NZ Herald

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