This Saturday night, Derrick Lewis (#7) will battle Mark Hunt (HM) in a Heavyweight showdown. This is a fight that I strongly believe Derrick Lewis will win and here is why.
Momentum is a bigger factor in this fight than in many others. Lewis (18-4, 1 NC) is on a hot streak with 6 wins in a row, most recently defeating Travis Browne by way of KO/TKO in the 2nd round. While Browne may not possess the same power as Mark Hunt (12-11-1, 1 NC), he does possess better cardio and possibly a slightly better chin at this point in his career. Lewis has already beaten at least one fighter who is better than Mark Hunt.
Momentum works in the opposite direction as well. Hunt is tied up in a legal battle with the UFC, which has likely made an impact on his normal training routine. He is also coming off of a loss against Alistair Overeem in March where we witnessed how diminished the chin of the 42-year-old has become. Lewis will have an advantage in speed and a 7-inch reach advantage, which will help keep his distance from Hunt’s power tremendously in this fight.
Hunt also struggled with his takedown defense in his UFC 200 matchup with Brock Lesnar. Lesnar constantly got takedowns on Hunt and landed ground and pound. As Shamil Abdurakhimov found out, Lewis has devastating ground and pound. If Hunt gets under Lewis, he will be in big trouble.
I don’t expect this fight to last more than 2 rounds. Pair that with the fact that Lewis lands punches at a higher clip and absorbs less than half as many hits as the older Hunt, it’s unlikely that the home crowd will go home happy. My prediction: Lewis by KO late in Rd 1
I don’t expect this match to go more than 2.5 rounds. I don’t see how either fighter doesn’t get a finish. I expect Lewis to come out trying to get that early KO to help boost his stock for a potential title fight down the road. With that being said I see Hunt looking for the right opportunity once Lewis gets a little sloppy and attacks. Hunt right now has some issues with his current employer. I would like to see him take out that anger on Lewis this Saturday night. Hunt also has a chip on his shoulder to prove he isn’t to be forgotten and still needs to be taken seriously. He will be motivated to fight in front of his home town crowd. I like Hunt winning this fight with a TKO in the 2nd round.