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UFC Fight Night 85: Betting Odds Preview

The UFC will pack their backs and head to Australia for Fight Night 85 this Saturday/Sunday (depending where in the world you live). The main event will feature two veterans of the heavyweight division looking to stave off rumblings of retirement when Frank Mir and Mark Hunt meet. The co-main event will see Hector Lombard make his return to the Octagon after a year long suspension to face Neil Magny.

Main Event: Frank Mir vs Mark Hunt

Though I alluded to both of these aging veterans being closer to the end than the start, they are both possibly just as close to a heavyweight title shot in the horribly shallow division. Frank Mir is coming off a sloppy, slow loss to Andrei Arlovski in which neither fighter looked overly impressive. Mart Hunt is coming off a first round TKO victory over Bigfoot Silva.

Mir has seen his striking game improve in recent years as the former champion has embraced boxing. Though Mir is still far from the best, he is effective at counter punching, something he proved with his knockouts over Bigfoot and Todd Duffee. However, Mir has never had the strongest of chins as seven of his 10 career losses have come by T/KO.

There is no denying that Mir’s bread-and-butter is his submission game. The Las Vegas-native may be the greatest submission artist in the history of the heavyweight division as he has recorded 50 percent of his career victories via tapout. It’s not just his stellar technique though; it is also Mir’s incredible aggression in the submission game that has made him one of the best ever.  

Hunt is a banger. There is no doubt that he will be aiming to end a fight early with his massively powerful hands. ‘The Super Samoan’ has deceptive hand quickness that allows him to uncork his signature left hand that has laid waste to a lot of fighters. Though he may have some exciting fights, Hunt is always on the edge of a finish either way, as all 10 of his career losses have come by stoppage.

Hunt has done better job as his career has gone on in the grappling game, as he has shown that he isn’t completely done for if his opponent gets a hold of him. That being said, Hunt works best in space and suffocating him can cause problems.

When two fighters of this age meet anything can happen. Mir could easily use his reach advantage to cause Hunt to chase, which could ultimately lead to a takedown and submission victory. Or, Mir could shoot at the wrong time and get hit with a massive left from Hunt.

Co-Main Event: Hector Lombard vs Neil Magny

Lombard will make his first appearance in the Octagon since January 2014 after he was suspended following a failed drug test. The Cuban has made his living being the shorter fighter, with a small 5’9 frame, and will be facing a roughly 10’ inch reach disadvantage against Magny. Lombard excels at exploding through that reach disadvantage and landing the big power strike. Despite holding black belts in judo and BJJ, Lombard will always rely on his standup game first and foremost.

Magny is a tall, lanky fighter who excels at finding, and owning, his range. The Doltan, Illinois-native is a high volume striker with conditioning for days. Magny will work his jab, even tripling up on the strike, to keep his opponent where he wants them to be. He has more than capable wrestling skills, but tends to be more of a counter fighter when it comes to the grappling game.

Lombard is fighting in familiar territory in this one, reach disadvantage and in Australia. He is one of the legitimate one-punch knockout guys in the sport and has proven he can rock almost anyone. It has been a long time since Lombard has been in a fight and he'll be facing some questions following his failed drug test. Magny is excellent at fighting his game and forcing others to adapt to him. A win in this fight for either man will be a nice stepping-stone towards the top of the division.

Rest of the Main Card

Two 155 lbs prospects square off when Jake Matthews and Johnny Case meet in Australia. Matthews is a big-bodied lightweight who has excelled at using his size to bully opponents. ‘The Celtic Kid’ will look for a ground finish either by submission or ground-and-pound. Case enters the fight on a 12-fight winning streak with the past two coming by decision.

Daniel Kelly and Antonio Carlos Junior will meet in a 185 lbs bout that should be intriguing. Kelly is a judo Olympian with a strong grappling game to match. He has won five of his 10 career fights by submission thanks to his grappling ability. Carlos Jr. is a solid all-around prospect that is especially adept at submissions as well.

Veterans James Te Huna and Steve Bosses will clash in what should be an intriguing bout. Te Huna has fallen from grace as he comes into this fight losing each of his past three appearances. Six of the Australian's eight career losses have come by submission. Bosse will be in his second fight at 185 after spending the bulk of his career at light heavyweight. The Canadian was a hockey enforcer and brings those big hands to the Octagon.

The main card kicks off with a fight between Bec Rawlings and Seo Hee Ham. Rawlings is a well-rounded and tough fighter to finish, but she excels within her submission game. The Aussie has won four of her six career fights via sub. However, her cardio and endurance are lackluster. Ham is an aggressive, veteran fighter who excels at pushing forward. She packed some solid power at atomweight, but that hasn't been seen since she has moved up in weight. The South Korean is a decision fighter with 17 of her 22 professional fights going to the judges.

UFC Fight Night 85: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Odds as of March 19 at Bovada

  • Mark Hunt -140
  • Frank Mir +110
  • Hector Lombard -130
  • Neil Magny EVEN
  • Johnny Case -120
  • Jake Matthews -110
  • Antonio Carlos Junior -500
  • Daniel Kelly +350
  • James Te Huna -270
  • Steve Bosse +210
  • Soo Hee Ham -125
  • Bec Rawlings -105
  • Alan Jouban -500
  • Brendan O’Reilly +350
  • Viscardi Andrade -105
  • Richard Walsh -125
  • Chad Laprise -125
  • Ross Pearson -105
  • Daniel Hooker -200
  • Mark Eddiva +160
  • Leslie Smith -140
  • Rin Nakai +110