The original Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva fight will go down as one of the most entertaining heavyweight battles in all of mixed martial arts history let alone the UFC which tabbed the showdown as the main event of UFC Fight Night 33.

Notice we don’t say it was one of the best because technically speaking there wasn’t much technique or skill utilized between the two behemoths. But it was immensely entertaining because both fighters shunned technique and skills in exchange for bravery, heart, determination, and ferociousness.

The end result was a draw. Ninety percent of the time, fight fans go nuts when judges can’t come up with a final verdict. In this case, though, it seemed entirely fitting that the fight was called even after 25 minutes of human warfare.

“The Super Samoan” and “Bigfoot” were both beaten to the proverbial pulp. If both men were in their younger days, you’d say that this fight aged them, but these two were already looking back on their best years. Still, neither can be the same after that epic standoff … so why not do it again?

The rematch goes down on Saturday, November 15th in Melbourne, Australia – back in Hunt’s familiar turf following the first go-round which took place in December 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.

Both men haven’t fared that well since the original matchup which can most definitely be attributed to the wear-and-tear they took from that clash. Hunt’s first fight afterwards was a KO win over Roy Nelson, but he goes into the rematch on a two-fight slide caused by knockout losses to Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum. Silva hits the rematch on a slight upswing after putting away Soa Palelei but he took two losses after the draw by falling to Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovksi.

Hunt (10-10-1) and Silva (17-9-1) should look hard at these keys to win in order to come away much more satisfied from the rematch:

Hunt

*Mix up the strikes: A zipping straight right put Silva on the canvas in the third but it was an array of strikes that did the most damage during the entire fight. The standard package 1-2 was Hunt’s main weapon early and then he switched things up with great results especially in the fourth and fifth. Hunt cracked Silva several times with standing elbows, one of which resulted in a gash above Silva’s left eye that required a doctor’s check. Hunt also moved off his right in favor of sweeping left hooks that had Silva wobbled on numerous occasions.

*Be a stalker: Hunt did the lion’s share of his damage upon Silva when he moved forward and put pressure on Silva in the middle of the cage and against the fence. As long as Hunt was in Silva’s grill he was threatening because when he stood still or put it in reverse, Silva “bigfooted” his way into Hunt’s face. Hunt’s best fortunes in the early going of the fight came from moving a little quicker towards Silva and throwing an uppercut.

*Guns blazing: The fourth and fifth rounds were truly epic. It would have been interesting to see how things might have gone had Hunt come out of the gates with more urgency. Hunt’s plodding start seemed to give Silva some solid footing and certainly negated any momentum Hunt could gain from the wildly partisan crowd. Silva’s last five losses have come in the opening round so the Kiwi might strongly consider getting after things at a faster pace.

Silva

*Put the boots to him: How would you like those tree trunks coming at you at top speed? Silva hammered Hunt in the opening couple of rounds with vicious leg kicks, forcing Hunt to switch stances to protect the wounded limb. A cracking kick to the thigh in the second shook Hunt badly. Silva also mixed in some front kicks and a handful of kicks to the midsection. All in all, it appeared as though Silva might have been able to wrap things up with more kicks which would indicate they are serious weapons in the rematch.

*Takedown and keep him down: It’s a no-brainer that Silva is a vastly superior grappler and Hunt would be ill-advised to go the mat with him. Yet while Silva’s jiu-jitsu is masterful compared to what Hunt can offer, it was Silva’s ground-and-pound attack that did more damage especially in the later rounds. In fact, he nearly finished the fight thanks to an absolutely frightening gorilla smash and subsequent attack from the mount in Round 4. If the submission is there, Silva obviously should take it, but he might be better off focused on dishing out abuse if things get to the canvas.

*Defend the left: It’s definitely arguable who was getting the better of whom when the two stood toe-to-toe and banged it out. One thing’s for sure though is that Hunt battered Silva with his left hook so many times that surely Silva was hoping a straight right was coming instead. Silva needs to keep his right up on defense, and he might be better able to thwart those lefts by keeping Hunt off-balance with the leg kicks as mentioned earlier.

About The Author

Scott Zerr
Staff Writer

Scott joins The MMA Corner having spent the last 14 years in mixed martial arts as Director of Media & Fighter Relations for the Maximum Fighting Championship. He will provide The MMA Corner with insight on breaking news in the sport, plus an insider's perspective on business developments, matchmaking, fighter signings, and much more. In addition to his longtime work in MMA, Scott was a sports reporter before moving into media relations and marketing. After growing up and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.