Preview of UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs Mir

By Owen Phillips     19/3/16     Previews

ufc fight night 85: Hunt vs Mir

Mark Hunt all smiles with Megan Olivi at UFC 193. Photo: Dave Mandel/

MMA Files offers up a preview of UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs Mir and three more clashes that will not disappoint.

The ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt (11-10-1) is back to press his claims for a title shot against mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Frank Mir (18-10) who was on a bit of a roll before losing a close decision to Andrei Arlovski in his last fight. Brisbane, Australia is host to UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs Mir and these two heavyweight juggernauts in the main event will be bringing a full range of skills to the fight with the goal to finish the fight quickly; Hunt with his iron fists and Mir with his ground game.

Mark Hunt got back in the win column last November at UFC 193 in Melbourne with a quick TKO victory over Antonio Silva in a rematch of one of the greatest heavyweight MMA contests ever. The last time the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) visited Brisbane was the scene for that remarkable five round masterpiece. Hunt would prefer to spend less time in the cage with Frank Mir and replicate the rematch with Silva.

Frank Mir has continued to evolve in the latter part of his career, becoming more skilled with his striking and registering two knockouts in his last three wins. Primarily a submission specialist with bone breaking arm locks, the striking aspect came as a real surprise to some of his opponents. Todd Duffee and Antonio Silva were not expecting to be blasted senseless by Mir’s hands but this was what happened and it is a testament to the effort he is putting in at training.

It will be interesting to see whether Mir attempts to stand with Mark Hunt given Mir’s recent form. He can try striking with Hunt for a bit then attempt to bring the fight to the ground. Against such an experienced striker as Hunt, it would be unwise to try to beat him on the feet as this is likely not to end well.

This spectacular match-up as the main event of UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs Mir could bring another ‘walk-away’ knockout from Mark Hunt or a limb-tearing submission from Frank Mir. Veterans looking to extend their careers and get future title fights. Do not blink when these heavyweights clash on Sunday afternoon (Australian time).

Opposing styles makes for a special contest at welterweight

In the co-main event Hector Lombard (34-4-1, 2NC) meets up with Neil Magny (17-4) in an intriguing welterweight match-up that pits the aggressive, heavy hands of Lombard against the technical well-rounded MMA game of Magny. MMA Files has been looking forward to this fight. Magny enjoys a 9 inch (23cm) reach advantage which will help to keep Lombard away from him. Magny is very good at keeping opponents frustrated by controlling the range with his proficient jab.

Lombard likes to stalk his opponents and cut them off near the cage to deliver devastating hand combinations. Neil Magny will not be easy to corner due to his good movement and control of distance. Lombard will have to be willing to take some damage to get inside and work his power game.

Hector Lombard may decide to bypass the labyrinth posed by Magny on the feet and engage in a clinch to move the fight to the ground. Lombard has fantastic Judo skills that he usually uses to defend against takedowns but can quite easily throw his opponent from a grappling situation to the mat. This could be a tactic implemented by Lombard to void the reach difference.

Magny has a very competent ground game and would be difficult to control on the ground. His Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is quite capable of forcing a stoppage in this area. All the factors involved in this fight are going to be incredible to see play out and makes the bout a highlight of UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs Mir.

Johnny Case not looking to be a good guest for the Aussie welcome party

Quite possibly the best fight of the lot is on the main card between Johnny Case (22-4) and Jake Matthews (9-1) Case is unbeaten in his UFC career and has not been tested by any of his opponents inside the octagon. This may be about to change with self-confessed homebody Jake ‘The Celtic Kid’ Matthews laying out the tea and biscuits for the American lightweight standout.

Matthews has told MMAjunkie he is happy to have all of his fights in Australia to take advantage of the regular time-zone and home comforts. The home ground fights have favoured him and he has only lost once out of three fights. His other UFC fight was a win over in nearby New Zealand. His last fight was at the UFC 193 stadium event in Melbourne where he survived some early trouble against Akbarh Arreola to come back in the 2nd round and deliver surgical ground and pound through elbows that sliced his opponent up significantly that the fight was called during the break between rounds.

Matthews and Case are a part of the generation of fighters who trained MMA from the start and who do not favour any particular element and are comfortable everywhere. Matthews also said to MMAjunkie he feels that Case is “the most confident fighter in the UFC”. This might be his biggest weapon on top of his all-round skills. Case has a 12 fight winning-streak that he is bringing to this fight and has not experienced disappointment since 2010.

Will Johnny Case be able to continue on his journey up the ranks of the lightweight division and mark himself as the best of the UFC’s youth or can Jake Matthews bring all of his talent together to deliver his best performance yet in front of a boisterous Brisbane home crowd. This will all be revealed at UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs Mir in a salivating collision that should not be missed.

Pearson loves to bang and now he will get his chance

In the featured preliminary bout on UFC Fight Pass, Englishman Ross Pearson (18-10, 1NC) comes back to familiar territory to face-off with Canadian Chad Laprise (10-1) in a late notice lightweight booking. Similar boxing styles and the ability to go after the fight make this pairing a recipe for fireworks. Due to Abel Trujillo having visa problems Pearson’s original opponent was pulled and then Laprise was moved up to fight Pearson.

Both Laprise and Pearson are technical with their boxing and suffered their last start losses against a common opponent in Francisco Trinaldo who picked them both apart with his reach. Laprise suffered his first professional MMA loss and was stopped with strikes after a knockdown. Pearson was not able to get close to Trinaldo and was frustrated throughout the duration of the fight.

This upcoming battle is looking like it will take place in the pocket and will be sure to please the fans watching. I do not think either fighter will be willing to back down and it may be a case of the last man standing getting his hand raised. Be sure not to miss all of UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs Mir on Sunday (Australian time) which will be shown on Fox Sports for the main card and preliminaries plus another preliminary portion on UFC Fight Pass.