With heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez set to return from injury against interim titleholder Fabricio Werdum next month at UFC 188, business will be back to usual for the 265-pound division.
Two of the men looking to climb back into the title picture take to the Octagon tonight (May 9, 2015) as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) careens into Adelaide, Australia, with an intense headliner that pits Top-5 ranked fighters Stipe Miocic and Mark Hunt opposite each other.
Both men enter the bout off of a loss and could use the momentum in building their case for a future title shot. Miocic pushed former champion Junior dos Santos to the brink for five rounds, while Hunt suffered a devastating technical-knockout loss to Werdum at UFC 180 last year.
A win will help stop the bleeding for each and is paramount. So what will it take for them to get their hand raised? The answers are below!
Utilize your reach, duh!
It's become quite obvious that the Samoan powerhouse and former K-1 kickboxer is an expert at closing distance. That's the reason it's highly recommended that he make good use of the eight-inch reach advantage he will enjoy.
Miocic averages close to five significant strikes per minute, which is good for third-best in the heavyweight division's history.
With those long arms and legs, the 32-year-old can safely pick apart Hunt without throwing himself into harms way. The Ohio native boasts significant striking power in both hands and can put together some nasty combinations. He likes to throw a steady dose of left jab-right pairings, in particular.
We've seen what good boxing can do to a fighter like Hunt before in his loss to dos Santos. Time for Miocic to test the eroding chin of Hunt.
Chop down the giant. It is as simple as that.
Miocic isn't known for attempting many, but if he were to, it would do wonders to hinder Hunt's mobility and negate much of his power. Of course, that opens him to the counter from Hunt, which is why it might be better for him to go high every once in a while.
Make it ugly
While Hunt defends the takedown at a nice clip, and isn't one for clinch battling, Miocic would be wise to use the same pressure he put on dos Santos and apply it here.
The former NCAA Division-I wrestler averages close to two per fight and once employed a wrestling-heavy approach to neutralize another striker in Joey Beltran 2011.
Let that uppercut go!
I would mask it behind something. I would hide it behind a jab or something of the sort and only throw it when there's an opening.
Let it be the Anderson Silva-front kick of Hunt's heavy hands. It worked out well for him against Roy Nelson in September. Why not try it now?
Cut off the cage!
We've seen what happens to fighters who stop like a deer caught in the headlights when they're matched up with Hunt. It doesn't usually end well for the opposition.
Hunt tracks down foes mercifully and does so with great success. I don't think we've seen seen the 41-year-old mammoth take a step backwards.
He's deceptively quick and is quite good at timing his combinations, even against taller opponents like Miocic. Once you see that left hand spring forward, fighters know what is about to go down.
I'm not saying that Miocic's right hook is on the level of Dan Henderson's, but it is also probably not best for Hunt to march into the vicinity of the punch. Furthermore, if he keeps moving, while sustaining a wide base, it will make it much more difficult for Miocic to drag the fight to the ground. Hunt's takedown defense is underrated and also some of the best in the history of the heavyweight division.
Well, there you have it Maniacs! Blistering heavyweight bombers will attempt to find the finish within the 25-minute main event mark atop the exclusive UFC Fight Pass broadcasted card.
Should you need any other pertinent information on the Australian event, you can count on MMAmania to fulfill all of your UFC Fight Night 65 requirements, including LIVE round-by-round coverage of the entire event right here.
Enjoy the fights, ladies and gentleman!