UFC 160 Picks: Junior dos Santos (-450) vs. Mark Hunt (+360)
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Heavyweight bout: Junior dos Santos (-450) vs. Mark Hunt (+360)
Fight Breakdown: Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos looks to get back in the win column when he takes on the surging Mark Hunt in the co-main event of UFC 160. Dos Santos is currently a -450 favorite (bet $450 to win $100), while Hunt is a +360 underdog (bet $100 to win $360) at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Dos Santos (15-2) is coming off a brutal unanimous decision loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 160 where he lost the UFC heavyweight championship. The loss was the first time the 29-year-old Brazilian was defeated in the Octagon after starting off his UFC career with nine-straight wins, including a KO over Velasquez at UFC on FOX 1 to capture the heavyweight title. With the bitter taste of defeat still no doubt lingering within him, I expect dos Santos to be extremely motivated to put a beating on Hunt and prove that he's still the best heavyweight on the planet. However, that might be a bad thing because if this fight stays on the feet then Hunt will likely have a slight striking advantage, although if it goes to the mat then dos Santos should be in control. Hunt is a very tough fight for dos Santos in his return to the cage and even though dos Santos is a huge favorite right now, don't be shocked if ends up losing.
Hunt (9-7) might have a poor record but the "Super Samoan" has been extremely dangerous since coming to the UFC, going 4-1 with TKO wins over Stefan Struve, Cheick Kongo and Chris Tuchscherer. The 39-year-old is one of the baddest men on the planet, a former world champion K-1 kickboxer who is amongst the elite strikers in mixed martial arts today. Although historically Hunt's ground game has been his Achilles' heel, he's definitely looked improved in his last few fights and as long as he doesn't get submitted on the ground then he'll have a chance to win the fight because all it takes is one big punch from Hunt for his opponent to go to sleep -- and, call me crazy, but I think he lands one of his bombs on dos Santos and finishes him.
Fight Prediction: I think this fight is going to stay on the feet for the most part and although dos Santos is an accomplished striker in his own right, Hunt is even better. I think Hunt is going to be able to survive whatever dos Santos throws at him and then throw his own shots that hurt dos Santos and forces the referee to intervene for the shocking upset win.
Adam's Pick: Hunt via TKO (click for latest MMA odds)
Adam's Recommended Play: At the odds, you would be crazy not to at least take a flier on Hunt. Yes, dos Santos is an absolute beast and deserves to be the favorite, but after that beating he took from Velasquez I don't know where he is mentally right now while Hunt seems to be as focused as ever, so I give Hunt a much better chance to claim the upset win than the odds indicate. Therefore, there's value, and therefore, I recommend a small bet.