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Posted on February 24, 2012 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC 144: Mark Hunt Vs Cheick Kongo
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I won’t go as far as to call this a freak show fight, but this is as close as the UFC has gotten to making one in 2012. Its a nifty piece of matchmaking by Joe Silva, and holding it in Japan where Mark Hunt has fought on ten Pride cards makes it good timing as well. Add in the fact that this a heavyweight fight, and two guys who know to put fist to face, and we have a recipe for some mayhem. Hunt drew attention from many UFC fans when Dana White announced that instead of just being bought out of his Pride Fighting contract, which the UFC had acquired, he insisted that the UFC give him the fight. He was the only fighter to do so and since(after dropping his debut) he has quietly put together a two fight win streak.

Mark Hunt has a 30-13 kick boxing record, and fighting k1 rules since about 1999 according to his record. After dropping his first pro mma fight at Pride “Critical Countdown,” Hunt went on a 5 fight win streak which included 3 tko/ko’s and two split decisions over Mirko Crocop and Wanderlei Silva. One thing has to be said, although he went on a 6 fight losing streak, its important to mention that those losses were to Barnett, Fedor, Alistair Overeem, Mousasi, Melvin Manhoef and Sean McCorkle. The alarming part to the losing streak, is he was finished in all 6 fights and 5 of them were from arm submissions (Kimuras, and Key locks.)

Kongo, also a striker, can be streaky. The violent Kongo who absolutely mutilated Mustapha Al Turk could show up, the zombie version of Kongo could show up where after he gets violently put down-he gets up and finishes the fight, or the guy who fought Travis Browne to a draw after being deducted points for grabbing his shorts. Lets hope that guy stayed at the Wolfslair, for Kongo’s sake. Experience, this is Kongo’s 16th trip into the Octagon, and his ten inch reach advantage will have to into play if he wants to win this fight.

Kongo is favored in this fight, and I think he will be able to use his reach to keep Hunt on the outside. Kongo is able to use his leg kicks well, and although he won’t be ending the night with those on a kick boxer like Hunt, he can use them to set up his jabs and keep Hunt off balance. If Hunt starts to tee off on Kongo, Kongo has a pretty decent clinch game and will most likely be able to muscle Hunt to the fence. There Kongo will look for the inside trips, and I think he will be able to find a way to get this fight on the floor. Kongo won’t be getting a submission win over Mark Hunt, but he has a safe enough (and brutal at times) top game. Sometimes he is ok with just sitting in half guard, and raining down elbows and punches from there as he is long enough to do so.

Mark Hunt may make a go of this fight in the third round, but it will be too late as Kongo will already have mounted enough offense for the win. This one may not be as pretty as everyone hopes it will be, but I am taken Kongo by decision.

 

Heavyweight bout:
Mark Hunt vs.  Cheick Kongo

Name

Odds

Height

Reach

Stance

Age

Record

UFC Record

Last 5

Streak

Average Fight Time

Mark Hunt————

+250

5’10

74in

Orthodox

37

7-7

2-1

2-3

+2

7:53

Cheick Kongo

-325

6’4

82in

Orthodox

36

17-6-2

10-4-1

3-1-1

+2

9:01

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