- Watch It: BT Sport 2 (UK) FS1 (USA) Fox Sports 2 (AUS)
- Date: Saturday, March 19 / Sunday, March 20
- Time: 10 PM ET / 2 AM GMT / 1 PM AEDT
Mark Hunt and the UFC will make their second stop in Brisbane for UFC Fight Night 85 on 19 March in a card stacked with local talent. Headlining the event will be a heavyweight match between New Zealand kickboxing legend Mark Hunt and former UFC champion/submission ace Frank Mir.
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The rest of the main card consists of fights between Hector Lombard and Neil Magny, Jake Matthews and Johnny Case, Daniel Kelly and Antonio Carlos Junior, James Te Huna and Steve Bosse and Bec Rawlings and Seohee Ham. The UFC fight pass prelims and early prelims feature seven additional bouts between O’Reilly/Jouban, Nguyen/Scoggins, Walsh/Andrade, Laprise/Patrick, Pearson/Trujillo, Hooker/Eddiva and Smith/Nakai.
Fight Night 85 Full Card
- Mark Hunt vs. Frank Mir
- Hector Lombard vs. Neil Magny
- Jake Matthews vs. Johnny Case
- Daniel Kelly vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
- James Te Huna vs. Steve Bosse
- Bec Rawlings vs. Seohee Ham
- Brendan O’Reilly vs. Alan Jouban
- Ben Nguyen vs. Justin Scoggins
- Rich Walsh vs. Viscardi Andrade
- Chad Laprise vs. Alan Patrick
Fight Pass Early Prelims
- Ross Pearson vs. Abel Trujillo
- Leslie Smith vs. Rin Nakai
- Daniel Hooker vs. Mark Eddiva
Mark Hunt vs. Frank Mir Preview and Betting Odds
Fight Night 85 is a free-to-watch event so we’re not going to see any title fights, but the headline card is sure to be a fun one. Once again, we get the classic striker vs. grappler matchup that always makes for an intriguing fight.
Mark Hunt (11-10-1) is a fan favourite because he always brings a fight and he has such a cool personality all-around. His kickboxing background is hidden behind a frame that doesn’t scream athleticism, but Hunt has some serious striking skills and KO power. He can take a lot of punishment, defend well enough and then find the perfect time to throw a bomb that would kill most normal-sized men.
Hunt is a streaky fighter, though. He’ll lose six in a row and then win four in a row and keep you guessing. Over his last four fights, he beat Roy Nelson and then lost to Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic and then came back with a victory over Antonio Silva at UFC 193. In his last outing, he finished Antonio Silva in the first round via TKO.
Frank Mir (18-10-0) has been fighting in professional MMA matches for over 15 years now and is known for his impressive submission wrestling game. This is the man who coined the Mir Lock with his shoulder lock from the guard and holds the record as the only fighter to win a UFC fight via toe hold. He holds a long list of records in mixed martial arts and has achieved victories via a wide range of submissions and strikes.
Mir put together a nice streak in 2015 that put him back in title contention for a third time. He knocked out Antonio Silva in short fashion last February and then followed that up with a first round KO over Todd Duffee in July. Mir then faced Andrei Arlovski in September of 2015 but couldn’t continue the title run after losing a close decision to Arlovski. A win over the hard-hitting Super Samoan will go a long ways in putting Mir back on the winning track.
Both men are getting up there in age (Hunt at 41 and Mir at 36) but are still hanging around near the bottom edge of the top-10 heavyweight rankings. A win for either fighter will provide a major boost in getting signed for more fights and making more money.
Mark Hunt definitely has the advantage in the standup game. If you tally up his kickboxing, boxing and MMA career, Hunt has nearly 70 fights to his name. His chin is still strong and he has plenty of experience facing all types of fighters. If this stays standing, Hunt will probably get the KO.
Frank Mir is also highly experienced, but his standup game just isn’t as crisp or relaxes as Hunt’s. However, Mir does have the advantage on the ground and just the simple threat of a takedown helps close the experience gap. We havne’t seen much of Mir’s groundwork lately, but I think his best bet is to drag Mark to the ground at least once and keep him guessing. If this one does hit the ground and stay there, Mir has the advantage.
Hunt does have a decent takedown defense record (68% of takedowns successfully defended in the UFC) and Mir doesn’t have the greatest takedown accuracy (47.5% successful takedowns in the UFC). Frank Mir has surprised me before so I won’t count him out, but I do think the MMA bookmakers have it right in giving him underdog status.
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Wes Burns has more than a decade’s worth of experience as a writer, researcher, and analyst in the legal online betting industry and is co-founder of OnlineBettingSites.com. Wes approaches his work from the viewpoint of players.