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UFC 200: Why Mark Hunt beats Brock Lesnar

UFC 200 got a major boost with the addition of Brock Lesnar who will make his return to the Octagon after a lengthy absence to fight knockout artist Mark Hunt. Lesnar will enter the fight as the underdog, and deservedly so.

I like Hunt to send Lesnar back to the WWE with his third straight loss in the Octagon. Here’s why:

Rust… Lots of rust!

Lesnar hasn’t fought in a long time — 1653 days to be exact — but now he’s back to compete in the main event of the highest-profile card in UFC history against the No. 8 ranked heavyweight in the UFC. Those factors work strongly against him as Hunt spent the four and a half years that Lesnar was away from MMA throwing bombs at people’s faces. Hunt went 5-3-1 during the time Lesnar was away, fighting many of the top fighters in the division.

Even before he “retired”, Brock only had eight MMA fights under his belt, so he’s not exactly an experienced fighter. Combine that, the long layoff and Hunt having almost three times more MMA experience should make The Beast an even bigger underdog than he already is.

You might also recall Lesnar didn’t look so great in his last two UFC fights, so why should we expect him to be better 1653 days later? 

Lesnar stinks against good strikers

Never mind the fact that Lesnar hasn’t competed in an MMA fight for four and a half years, even when he did, he got the crap kicked out of him by a few of the top strikers in the heavyweight division — just rewatch the Overeem and Velasquez fights for the evidence.

A legit argument can be made that Hunt belongs in the upper echelon of strikers in the division — his six T/KOs since joining the UFC are great evidence of that. It’s not that Lesnar can’t take a punch, he’s just not good at defending an onslaught of strikes. So, unless Hunt decides to divert from the offensive-heavy approach that he’s utilized throughout his career, expect him to come out swinging.

This isn’t the same Lesnar from his first UFC run

There’s no doubt that Lesnar is an absolute freak of nature and still a phenomenal athlete for a man his size, but the ferocious killer instinct he had in his four straight UFC wins either got beaten out of him by Velasquez and Overeem, or perhaps it just faded with age.

In the build-up to this fight, Brock has talked about getting in there “to have fun,” and said, “I’m excited to get in there and may the best man win.” Doesn’t exactly come off as a guy who’s intent on ripping Hunt’s head off — a mindset he had entering the Frank Mir fight at UFC 100.

Lesnar is clearly haunted and bothered by his last two losses and wants to prove to himself that external factors were to blame for the defeats, but Hunt is the wrong guy to try to prove that against.

Justin Hartling thinks Brock Lesnar will be the one getting his hand raised in UFC 200's main event. Read why here.

UFC 200: Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt

Odds as of July 9th at Bovada

  • Brock Lesnar +145
  • Mark Hunt -175