Australians competing at UFC International Fight Week

By Owen Phillips     5/7/16     News

ufc 200 the ultimate fighter 23 finale ufc fight night 90 mark hunt jake matthews anton zafir

Photo: Dave Mandel/

Fighters that call Australia home are representing during UFC International Fight Week in a ‘three events in three days’ special, finishing up with UFC 200 on Sunday (Australian time).

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has a monumental week culminating in UFC 200 on Sunday (Australian time). UFC Fight Night 90 featuring a lightweight title fight between Rafael Dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez takes place on Friday (Australian time), then the next day Las Vegas again hosts another event The Ultimate Fighter 23 (TUF23) Finale which has opposing TUF23 coaches Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha fighting for the women’s strawweight belt.

The day after puts a capstone on International Fight Week with UFC 200 lead by a light-heavyweight tussle between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, and a co-main event stoush between Brock Lesnar and adopted Australian Mark Hunt.

Australian-based fighters that are in action during International Fight Week are as follows:

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale 

Anton Zafir (7-2) vs Jingliang Li (10-4)

Zafir made his debut in the UFC on short notice at UFC 193 in Melbourne at the record setting stadium event last November. His opponent then was James Moontasri and he was too much for Zafir winning by TKO. Zafir did well early getting a takedown and working good shots from top position. When the fight went back to the feet Moontasri took over with some vicious spinning strikes.

Let’s see what Zafir can show with a full camp against an unpredictable opponent in Li. Li has a good top game also and good striking which helped him dominate his last fight against Keita Nakamura before one of the comebacks of 2015 to be submitted by rear naked choke in the 3rd round.

Jake Matthews (10-1) vs Kevin Lee (12-2)

Matthews showed improved striking in his last fight when he derailed Johnny Case’s 12 fight win streak. Matthews managed to get the finish on the ground late in the 3rd round by rear naked choke.

Kevin Lee has had a successful UFC career so far, winning five from seven bouts. He bounced back from his first ever TKO loss to Leonardo Santos with a last start decision victory over Efrain Escudero. Lee likes to wrestle his opponents and grind them out, which will be tough against a well-rounded Matthews.

UFC 200

Mark Hunt (12-10-1) vs Brock Lesnar (5-3)

Hunt has started another run in the UFC heavyweight division, looking lean and fast in knockout wins against Antonio Silva and Frank Mir. He now gets a primetime slot against one of the biggest names in professional wrestling and mixed martial arts, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar left the UFC in 2011 after two losses and poor health, after claiming the heavyweight title.

He now comes back for a special UFC 200 appearance and ‘The Super Samoan’ Hunt welcomes him to the octagon. Lesnar will not have an easy time of things and if he can’t keep Hunt on the ground and impose his huge size advantage, then it will be a rough night. All the fans watching may be able to experience what the ‘walk-away’ KO is all about.

What do you think?