The UFC returns to the land down under for the fifth time as Mark Hunt takes on Antonio Silva in the main event. This will be the first time the UFC holds an event in Brisbane and Australia is well represented as every match on the main card includes a fighter that calls Australia home. The co-main event has Mauricio "Shogun" Rua up against hard hitting James Te-Huna, this might be a do or die for Shogun who has lost his last two fights. It should be an entertaining night with a decent card on hand. I'll break down the main card and give you my best bets and briefly give you my picks for the undercard highlighted below.
Mark "The Super Samoan" Hunt (9-8) Vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (18-5)
Antonio Silva comes in as the favorite at -140, while Hunt is the underdog at +120, so the oddsmakers have them matched up pretty closely which I agree with. This is probably the only fight on the card where i'm torn between the two, I like Silva and I understand why he's the favorite, beating the likes of Emilianenko, Overeem and Browne. On the otherside of the coin we have Mark Hunt, who is one of my personal favorite fighters to watch, he's one of the toughest heavyweights in the UFC and holds knockout power. I think the key factor in this fight will be the ground game, where Silva will hold the edge in. While Silva has more ways of winning, you can never rule out Mark Hunt, especially if he can land a hard shot early, that can change the entire fight. I'm going to lean towards Silva, but don't forget this is a heavyweight fight so tread lightly.
Antonio Silva -140
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (21-8) Vs. James Te Huna (16-6)
Even though both fighters are coming off losses, the stakes might be greater for Rua, who is in desperate need of a win and if he doesn't get it, Shogun will most likely get cut by the UFC. The betting line has James Te Huna as the favorite at -130 and Shogun Rua as the underdog at +110. This line seems absurd to me, either the oddsmakers think Rua has completely fallen off or they know something about James Te Huna that we don't know, either way I like Shogun in this fight and getting better than even money is a steal. Not taking anything away from James Te Huna but Shogun has fought the worlds best and although he hasn't looked impressive lately, Rua has more experience and I believe more ways to win this fight.
Mauricio Rua +110
Pat "HD" Barry (8-6) Vs. Soa "The Hulk" Palelei (19-3)
In the second heavyweight matchup on the card we have Soa Palelei defending homeground against kickboxer Pat Barry. Palelei will be making his second appearance with the UFC and is on a 9 fight winning streak, while Pat Barry is coming off a loss to Shawn Jordan in June. Both fighters have 22 knockouts combined, so I think we should be in for a slugfest. Pat Barry is the favorite coming in at -155, while Soa is the underdog at +135, I agree with Barry being the favorite as he has much more UFC experience than Soa. The majority of this fight will probably be standing up and I like Pat Barry picking apart Soa with his kickboxing, i'm going to lean on a Pat Barry knockout in the first round.
Pat Barry -155
Dylan "The Villain" Andrews (17-4) Vs. Clint Hester (8-3)
A matchup between two TUF alums has Dylan Andrews up against Clint Hester in a middleweight bout. Hester is coming off a win against Bristol Marunde in his first and only fight with the UFC while Dylan has looked impressive in his two fights with the UFC beating Jimmy Quinlan and most recently Papy Abedi. Andrews comes in as the favorite at -150 and Hester as the underdog at +130, in my opinion Andrews should be a heavier favorite as he seems to be more well rounded and technically sound. While Hester looked pretty good against Marunde, if the fight goes into the later rounds I'm not sure Hester has the gas tank to keep up with the quicker Andrews. I like Andrews a lot in this fight and I think getting him at -150 is a bargain.
Dylan Andrews -150
Ryan "Darth" Bader (15-4) Vs. Anthony "The Hippo" Perosh (14-7)
We have an interesting middleweight matchup where Ryan Bader meets Australia's own Anthony Perosh. In Ryan Bader's last fight against Glover Texeira, Bader has Glover hurt came in for the finish but Texeira managed to land a devastating combo knocking Bader out cold. Earlier in his UFC career, Bader was thought to be one of the rising stars that would contend for the title getting off to a good start winning his first 5 fights with the UFC but has gone 3-4 since then. The oddsmakers have Bader as the heavy favorite at -500, while perosh is at +400, while I think Bader will win this fight, I wouldn't rule out Perosh, who is coming off a 14 second knockout against Vinny Magalhaes. In Perosh's last two fights (1-1) he has only been in the ring for a combined 21 seconds. I've seen Bader come in as the heavy favorite before and get finished in the first round, so I would be very careful if you plan on betting on this fight. I'm personally going to stay away from this fight but if I do bet, it would be on the line set at under 1.5 rounds at -165.
Under 1.5 Rounds @ -165
The rest of the card is below highlighted are my picks in those fights.
Nick Ring (-225) Vs. Caio Magalhaes (+185)
Takeya Mizugaki (-290) Vs. Nam Phan (+245)
Julie Kedzie (-230) Vs. Bethe Correia (+190)
Bruno Santos (-210) Vs. Krysztof Jotko (+175)
Justin Scoggins (-290) Vs. Richie Vaculik (+200)
Alex Garcia (-550) Vs. Ben Wall (+425)