(Yeah, we had pretty much the same reaction to that picture of Silva’s feet.)
On Wednesday, we took a step back from the bright lights of the UFC to preview some great fights transpiring under the WSOF, Invicta FC, and Cage Warriors banners this weekend. But make no mistake, it doesn’t get any bigger than tonight’s Fight Night 33 main event between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva. Seriously, these dudes are enormous. I imagine this fight going down like the battle between E. Honda and Zangief in the Street Fighter movie. That’s right, the movie. Show Raul Julia some respect; he died making that piece of shit that I’ve seen no less than 20 times.
Regardless of your stance on Street Fighter, we can all agree that the UFC has dropped a relatively stacked card onto our laps tonight. A six fight main card featuring the likes of Mauricio Rua, James Te Huna, Pat Barry, and crazy cat lady Julie Kedzie is a card worth delving a little deeper into, so we decided to break down each fight and rank them according to our own completely unbiased interest level. Oh yes, there will be gifs. Big gifs. Small gifs. Scanners gifs. Enjoy them, then make sure to swing by CagePotato at 9 p.m. EST for our liveblog from down unda’.
#6 – Clint Hester vs. Dylan Andrews
We mean no disrespect to these TUF 17 alums, who have both scored impressive KO victories in recent fights (Andrews is actually 2-0 in the UFC, with his last fight ending in a third round knockout of Papy Abedi). But simply put, one of these fights have to be ranked last, and if you think we’re placing these guys over Pat Barry or Julie Kedzie on our “Must Watch” list, you’re dead wrong, son.
Whether during their time on the show or in the actual octagon, both Hester and Andrews have proven themselves to be consistently entertaining fighters with above average cardio and serious power in their hands to boot. In fact, the two have only gone the distance 4 times in 33 fights combined, making this fight an early frontrunner for KOTN. Until that KO is overshadowed by at least one of the marquee matchups, that is. Official Ranking:
#5 – Julie Kedzie vs. Beth Correia
How can you not love Julie Kedzie? She’s well-spoken, perpetually pleasant, and more adorable than a thousand kittens in a thousand cups. She does outstanding work as a commentator over at Invicta, and to top it all off, she’s not afraid to kick a bitch in the face when need be (Author’s note: I mean no disrespect, Miesha. That’s just how the saying goes. We good?). Kedzie is the definition of a pioneer and has been throwing down for longer than 90% of her fellow WMMA stars. With her bubbly demeanor and vicious skills hidden just below the surface, Kedzie is essentially the living embodiment of the No Fear logo.
But our love for Kedzie aside, it’s hard to see her sticking around the organization should she lose to UFC newcomer Bethe Correia, a 6-0 Jungle Fight veteran who has scored just one finish in her professional career. Kedzie hasn’t been able to claim victory since 2011 and is currently riding a 3-fight losing streak including a unanimous decision loss to Germaine de Randamie in her UFC debut, so yeah, she could use a win here. But if the weigh-ins were any indication, Kedzie ain’t scurred of Correia’s weak intimidation game (scroll to the 17:30 mark then LOL). Official Ranking:
If it were up to just me, this fight would be ranked a bit higher. I like watching old dudes kick ass, which is why the career resurgence of Anthony Perosh had been one of my favorite stories to follow over the past few years. He’s 4-1 in his past 5, and although you probably won’t see it on any “Best of the Year” lists, I will go on record and say that Perosh’s 14-second humbling of Vinny Magalhaes was not only my favorite KO of the year, but possibly my favorite MMA moment of the year. It was a comeuppance right up there with Stevens vs. McKenzie and Aoki vs. Nagashima, and that Perosh was able to do so after being shut down by Ryan Jimmo in just 7 seconds in his previous fight speaks volumes of his character and toughness.
But Ryan Bader has put down more old dudes than Jack Kevorkian. Vladimir Matyushenko? Choked out in 50 seconds. Jason Brilz? KO’d in just over a minute. Ryan Bader treats senior citizens worse than disgruntled retirement home workers, and if the 41 year-old Perosh doesn’t keep his wits about him, he could end up flat on his back like that time he tried to carry the box of Christmas lights into the attic by himself. Any of these old people jokes doing it for you? Official Ranking:
#3 – Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei
We don’t like to use the phrase “Loser Leaves Town” when Pat Barry is involved, so let’s call this a “Shit or Get Off the Pot” fight for both men.
After spending some six years trying to erase the memory of his horrendous one-off fight at UFC 79 by crushing the likes of Bob Sapp and Sean McCorkle in Australia-based promotions, Palelei was finally granted another shot at UFC 164…and proceeded to put on another Toughman-level fight with Nikita Krylov. Although Palelei would walk away from the fight victorious (and later claim that a rib injury was to blame for his poor performance), there’s no denying that Palelei is on thin ice here. If he is trounced by Barry or fails to impress in victory again, it’ll be back to the minors for this Aussie.
The same can be said for our boy Barry, unfortunately, who has simply never been able to get any momentum going in the octagon. He’s gone win-loss in his past 4 fights and is on the heels of a disappointing first round TKO loss to Shawn Jordan at UFC 161, so look for “HD” to utilize his footwork and speed advantage against the heavy-handed Palelei. If not, he’ll have some splainin’ to do to “Thug” Rose, and brother, that is not a doghouse you want to be in. Official Ranking:
FYI, Ms. Hepburn is saying “Timber,” because Barry is going to chop that vegemite sandwich-eatin’ sumbitch down.
#2 – Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna
Speaking of “shit or get off the pot,” Dana White has all but declared this Shogun’s last chance at 205 lbs., offering him the alternatives of either cutting to 185 or retiring should he lose to Te Huna. Personally, I’d rather see Shogun retire without having to risk his life cutting weight, but methinks we’re in for a vintage Rua performance tonight.
Te Huna, on the other hand, is a dynamite-fisted banger (or for short, a “fistbanger”) who presents a mostly one-dimensional but dangerous challenge for Rua. As we’ve seen, Shogun has lost a bit of snap in his punches as of late, and a Shogun without his usual speed and onslaught of leg kicks is a Shogun content to stand in the pocket and trade. This is a terrible strategy to bring against Te Huna. The Australian is not just some swing for the fences, home-run puncher; he is perhaps one of the more technically sound boxers in the light heavyweight division, having set the record for significant strikes landed in a single round against Joey Beltran at UFC on FUEL 4.
All I’m saying is, PRIDE fanboys like myself should start preparing for the possibility of an upset. Official Ranking:
#1 – Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva
The attitude of Mark Hunt is equal parts Roger Murtaugh and Sweet Brown, in that he is both getting too old for this shit and truly never had time for this shit to begin with. When Mark Hunt knocks you out, he does not require a referee’s intervention. He simply struts away, leaving your broken down body in a puddle of urine and knowing that you will do nothing to invalidate his decision. Antonio Silva will tell you that he is going to submit Hunt tonight, and maybe he believes that. He is mistaken.
MARK HUNT WILL REPRESENT. YOU WILL WATCH MARK HUNT PUNT ANTONIO SILVA’S HEAD INTO THE STANDS AND RESTORE THE #RALLYFORHUNT MOVEMENT. MARK HUNT KNOWS NO FEAR. BECAUSE PRIDE. #RALLYFORHUNT. AHHH!! AAAAHHHHH!!! Official Ranking: