Mark Hunt presents: "Messin' with Bigfoot," live from Brisbane Entertainment Center in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on Dec. 6, 2013.
After tough losses to Heavyweight division deities Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, knockout machines Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva will collide this Friday night when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads to the "Land Down Under."
That's not all.
We have five UFC Fight Night 33 "Prelims" under card bouts on the MMA menu this time around, one of which will stream online via Facebook and the remainder on Fox Sports 2.
Let's take a look:
125 lbs.: Richie Vaculik vs. Justin Scoggins
Richie Vaculik (9-1) wasn’t going to let a little thing like a 20-pound weight disadvantage stand in the way of his UFC dreams and so joined The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "The Smashes" as a Lightweight for Team Australia. After losing to Norman Parke in the quarterfinals, he got a second shot against "Freakshow" Colin Fletcher after Mike Wilkinson was injured, but succumbed to his opponent’s size and freaky grappling.
All nine of Vaculik's his victories have come inside two rounds.
The man known as "Tank," Justin Scoggins (7-0), has been as destructive as his namesake during his brief career, picking up six finishes including five inside two rounds. All but one of those finishes came by knockout, including a rare lead-leg hook kick knockout two fights ago.
At only 21 years old, Scoggins is nine years his opponent’s junior.
Though Vaculik is a solid fighter, I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen out of Scoggins. He’s somewhat reminiscent of Conor McGregor, although his power kicks seem to be his primary weapon instead of his punches. He’s got that same hands-low outside striking style and seems to pack the same kind of finishing ability.
This fight boils down to whether Scoggins can keep Vaculik far enough out to minimize the takedown threat -- on the feet, I feel he has "Vas" fairly well outclassed. Though Vaculik is the more experienced of the two, Scoggins hits too damn hard for me to pick against him.
Scoggins sleeps him in the first.
Prediction: Scoggins by first-round knockout
185 lbs.: Bruno Santos vs. Krzysztof Jotko
After defeating "The Arm Collector" Giva Santana in the opening round of Bellator’s Season 6 Middleweight tournament, Bruno Santos (13-0) was set to face the dangerous Brian Rogers in the semifinals. Unfortunately, injuries scuttled that bout and have kept him out of action since that May 2012 match.
"Carioca" will give up four inches of height to Krzysztof Jotko (13-0).
Jotko has actually fought four times since Santos last entered the cage, including two wins in the same night. He has picked up six finishes in his 3.5-year career, four of them via technical knockout. This will be his first fight outside of Europe.
While I’d like for this grind-off to flip the script and be a crazy slugfest, that’s probably not happening. In all likelihood, this is going to stink. It will stink in Santos’ favor, though. Despite the height disadvantage, he is likely the bigger of the two and ostensibly the superior wrestler. Though "Carioca" is a non-factor on the feet, he’s got a damn good single-leg takedown that I don’t see Jotko having any success stopping.
Further, Santos has international experience and his Bellator appearance should preclude Octagon jitters. The layoff is worrying, but he’s gone five rounds on multiple occasions. Santos grinds him out for his tenth consecutive decision win.
Prediction: Santos via unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Ben Wall vs. Alex Garcia
Ben Wall (7-0-1), a member of Team Australia’s Lightweight squad on "The Smashes," fell in the opening round to Team United Kingdom’s Fletcher. Undaunted, he returned to his native Oz to pick up a decision over countryman Jai Bradney.
He is a very late-notice replacement for unbeaten Swede Andreas Stahl, who pulled out with an injury just a week ago.
"The Dominican Nightmare," Alex Garcia (10-1), bounced back strong from his April 2011 loss to Seth Baczynski, picking up three first-round finishes among four wins. He has now ended eight fights inside the opening frame, with an additional third-round knockout to give him nine total finishes. Despite being the heavier man, the Tristar-trained product will give up an inch of height to his opponent.
I applaud Wall for seizing the day and agreeing to face Garcia. I also pity him for the utter thrashing he’s about to take. Garcia is a very, very strong Welterweight with dangerous ground-and-pound and submissions. He’s been a top-tier prospect for years, training out of a gym notorious for producing overpowering takedown artists.
And Wall is a Lightweight.
The only question in my mind is whether Garcia elects to pound out Wall or score another of the rear-naked chokes he’s become fond of lately. He’s just too big, strong and powerful a wrestler for Wall to handle.
Garcia gets the tap in a hurry.
Prediction: Garcia via first-round submission
We've got two more UFC Fight Night 33 "Prelims" fights to preview and predict tomorrow.
See you then, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 33 card on fight night (Fri., Dec. 6, 2013), starting with the Facebook under card bouts at 6:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2 "Prelims" matches at 7 p.m. ET and running right on through the FOX Sports 1 main card broadcast that start at 9 p.m. ET.