I’ve long said that I would travel nearly anywhere to watch Matt Bessette’s inevitable UFC debut with the possible exception of East Asia, Australia or New Zealand. It’s simply too far. To be fair, that’s how fans in that region feel about nearly every other card on the schedule, so I’m not going to complain too much.
However, if flying all that way to sit and watch a sporting event seems daunting, imagine taking that same trip to then fight a hometown hero who basically walked to the stadium.
It’s hyperbole guys. I know they’re not on the same block, but that is essentially the story for the two biggest fights on the card. Americans Derrick Lewis and Derek Brunson are set to take on New Zealand’s Mark Hunt and Australia’s Dan Kelly, respectively. And they’re sure to deliver with two of the best fights of the weekend.
Now let’s get into the other points of interest for this week’s fight card.
- Main Card:
- Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt (diehard)(casual)
- Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly (diehard)
- Tim Elliot vs. Ben Nguyen (diehard)
- Preliminary Card:
- John Moraga vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian (diehard)
MMA MAD PODCAST GUESTS
- Tim Elliot:
- Fresh of giving Mighty Mouse one of his toughest tests yet
- Redemption story of getting cut, working his way back, and climbing the rankings
- Last Appearance in September, 2015
TOP THREE POINTS OF INTEREST
Derrick Lewis Is A Social Media God. Worship Him.
In the internet age, “going viral” is as unpredictable as it is dangerous. After spending my week watching this Chris Spags vs. Rhianna fat-shame drama unfold at Barstool Sports, I’m very woke on the dangers of playing with internet fame.
However, every now and then a media god emerges. Someone who has the ability to control the narrative and manipulate the masses. A true renaissance man with the charisma to rise to the top of fame and fortune. That man, is Derrick Lewis.
“I’ve just gotta do number two. That’s all. It’s not really hurting from the kick. I’ve just gotta booboo.” – Derrick Lewis
And it just gets better from there. This guy is an treasure. Don’t take him for granted. Here’s another gem:
Don’t ever change Derrick Lewis.
Mark Hunt Still Has The Coolest Career Arch In MMA History
I mean let’s start with the fact that this guy is 5’10”. Five feet and ten inches in a division where the current champion is 6’4″ and ranks somewhere on the lower end of the heavyweight height distribution, himself. He’s also 43 years old and still performing at a high level.
The argument can be made that he’s slipped a bit in recent years, but most of it is explainable. Overeem is a top contender, Lesnar is a roided up monster, Miocic is the current champion, and Werdum was the champion before him. Besides, this isn’t about his recent performances. It’s about his legacy.
Most of you probably know this story already, but it bears repeating. Hunt was fighting for Pride Fighting Championships when the UFC acquired them. The UFC didn’t see the value in signing Hunt to the organization so they offered to pay out his contract – totaling nearly half a million dollars – in order to legally cut him from the roster. Hunt refused the offer in order to fight out his the remainder of his contract and has since become one of the most popular heavyweights of all time.
Hunt invested in himself and it paid off in a major way. That’s the kind of inspiration that we could all use every now and then. This guy has my full respect.
Don’t Sleep On Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly
Dan Kelly has quietly put together one of the best records in the middleweight division and we can no longer write him off with having a weak resume. Granted, Brunson will likely be his toughest test, but Evans, Camozzi, Antonio Carlos Junior… these are legit opponents and he’s beaten them all.
There’s something about his lumbering style and dead-pan face that lead us to believe that he isn’t as good as he is. But that’s simply not true. Add in the pseudo-hometown effect for Kelly, and we’re looking at a hell of a challenge for the #8 ranked Derek Brunson.
Plus, as dangerous as Brunson is, he’s coming off back-to-back losses and could be in prime position for another. The Silva result was controversial and the Whitaker matchup earned Fight of the Night honors, but still. A loss is a loss. Now I’m not sure Kelly can actually pull it off. Or maybe he can. But I will say this:
It promises to be one hell of a fight. Mark my words.