If I may borrow a cliché, a pair of UFC heavyweights will look to bring some thunder Down Under on Saturday, June 10. If you’re looking for a ground-based chess match when Derrick Lewis faces Mark Hunt, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Conversely, if you’re expecting the guarantee of a knockout, chances are you’re going to be a very happy customer.
Lewis and Hunt are probably the UFC’s most well-known knockout artists; Lewis hasn’t lost in two years and during that time, all but one of his six victories was by knockout. He also has 16 knockouts total in his 18 overall victories. Hunt has nine total knockouts out of his 12 overall victories, and is the master of the “walk-off” knockout – just ask Stefan Struve. You probably shouldn’t expect this fight to last very long, but you should expect an entertaining finish.
Strengths: Lewis’ fights have become must-see television. When he steps into the Octagon, a knockout is sure to follow. Lewis has already finished names like Travis Browne, Gabriel Gonzaga and Jared Rosholt in his career, and he’s also knocked out multiple other fighters. There’s not much mystery to Lewis’ game – he’s looking to put your lights out, and he often succeeds. So as I’ve already said repeatedly, Lewis has devastating power in his hands. Fighters really should stand and bang with “The Black Beast” at their own peril.
Weaknesses: A guy who has knocked out 15 guys in his last 17 fights is hard-pressed to have any weaknesses, frankly. But like most guys who insist on the stand-up game, if you live by the sword, you still die by the sword. So Lewis could be susceptible to being knocked out, as has happened twice in his career. With Hunt also more than capable of knocking guys out, and also like I’ve said before, I wouldn’t expect this fight to go very long.
Strengths: Lewis and Hunt actually have quite a bit in common. The most obvious trait they share is that they both like knocking guys out. They also both have absolutely brutal knockout power. Hunt has also knocked out some of the more recognizable heavyweight names in mixed martial arts, including Stefan Struve, Ben Rothwell, Cheick Kongo, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Roy Nelson and Frank Mir. His “walk-off” knockout is a fan favorite, as he just casually strolls away after landing that one punch that puts his opponent’s lights out.
Weaknesses: Although Hunt is still definitely capable of knocking an opponent out cold, it appears if all that mileage from a 13-year fight career is starting to add up. Hunt has lost two in a row (though his loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 was changed to a no-contest after it was revealed that Lesnar failed a drug test), and he was knocked out in three of his last four losses, including his last fight against Alistair Overeem at UFC 209. It’s fair to wonder if Hunt’s chin is starting to go, and if Father Time is finally catching up with him.
As an aside, Hunt has also lost six fights by submission and struggles with good grapplers and fighters who want to clinch, like Overeem did in their meeting. So if Lewis would want to change up his approach and attempt to take Hunt to the ground, he may have some success.
Did I mention that I don’t expect this fight to go very long? I may have referenced that fact a time or two. But can you really blame me? Lewis and Hunt are two of the best power punchers in all of the UFC. They like to knock guys out. So it’s not a stretch to expect that to happen in this fight. Hunt’s story in MMA is one of the best, and win, lose or draw, he will always be a fan favorite. But Lewis is a fighter on the rise and looking to enter the UFC heavyweight title picture. I think he adds Hunt’s name to his list in memorable fashion and stakes his claim to a title shot.
Winner: Lewis by KO