Australians fighting at UFC 209

By Owen Phillips     3/3/17     News

UFC 209 Mark Hunt Tyson Pedro Daniel Kelly Rashad Evans Paul Craig Alistair Overeem

Mark Hunt. Photo: Dave Mandel/

Australian-based fighters are in the spotlight at UFC 209 and MMA Files highlights the warriors making the walk this weekend.

Mark Hunt (12-10-1, 1NC) faces Alistair Overeem (41-15, 1NC) in a rematch of their DREAM promotion fight this weekend at UFC 209. Hunt hasn’t fought since the controversial UFC 200 bout against Brock Lesnar back in June of last year. Overeem is fresh off a title challenge against Stipe Miocic, where he fell short in a spirited attempt to grab to belt.

Overeem has used a very strategic style to stay near the top of the heavyweight division. He will be very patient, staying out of range of his heavy-handed opponents, whilst picking them off with kicks and getting inside for clinch work or a takedown.

He has recognised that taking shots leads to a poor result for himself, so he aims to take as little damage as possible on route to victory.

Trying to avoid damage against Mark Hunt will be easier said than done. If the ‘Super Samoan’ lands one big shot on ‘The Reem’ then it could be ‘lights out’.


Mark Hunt highlights courtesy of One Island


Daniel Kelly (12-1) has had an extraordinary run in the UFC. From a man previously laughed at by ex-UFC fighter Kajan Johnson on The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs Australia for his work kicking pads, to an Australian cult hero for his impressive run where most were predicting his downfall.

His dream matchup is now a reality. Taking on former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (19-5-1) at UFC 209. Evans has fallen on tough times in the last few years culminating with his last outing where he suffered a stoppage at the hands of Glover Teixeira.

Evans has now moved to the middleweight division and is licensed to fight in Nevada after some problems encountered in other jurisdictions due to a medical issue.

You never know how a Dan Kelly fight will play out, but one thing is he’s extremely durable. The expression “You will have to kill me to beat me”, epitomises what Kelly’s opponents are up against.



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UFC 209 Tyson Pedro

Tyson Pedro weighing-in for his UFC debut last year. Photo courtesy Sporting News


Tyson Pedro (5-0) is new star that has developed his skills in western Sydney and gets to put them on show for the second time in the UFC. In his debut he submitted Khalil Rountree Jnr after weathering some trouble on the feet in the early stages.

Paul Craig (9-0) has burst on the scene out of Scotland and has called for high level opponents. He believes in his skill and will be a great test for Pedro. The ground battle should be a treat and will reveal who will move on to bigger and better things in the UFC.

Tyson Pedro has bright future in MMA and whatever happens against Craig at UFC 209 will not stop Pedro from leading Australian MMA into the next decade.

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